Eric Freeman

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Eric Freeman is a contributor to Ball Don't Lie. As a lifetime fan of the Golden State Warriors, he has learned not to set high expectations for his favorite teams. Eric is also a co-founder of The Classical. He lives in San Francisco.

  • Kevin Durant is speaking his mind more often, with varying results

    Kevin Durant beats his chest. (Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports)Kevin Durant beats his chest. (Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports)Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant is perhaps the best liked player in the NBA, a future Hall of Famer who was held up as some sort of super-famous ideal in the wake of LeBron James's "The Decision" fiasco. As the story goes, Durant is humble, kind, and everything the MVP of an internationally popular league should be. At its worst, this public image has been wielded by various groups as a cudgel against any players who may not conform to the dominant culture's expectations, all while presenting Durant as a dull goody-two-shoes with no personality. Yet, if that brand has been unfair to KD as a person, it's also allowed him not to get caught up in any dust-ups with the media.

    That's all changed in the past week, because Durant has been involved in several minor controversies that have added up to begin a shift in coverage. It started at All-Star Weekend in New York, when he stated that media members shouldn't be voting on awards, generally don't know what they're talking

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  • Amar'e Stoudemire reportedly to sign with Dallas Mavericks

    Amar'e sizes up a new teammate. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)Amar'e sizes up a new teammate. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)Amar'e Stoudemire did not stay on the market for long. One day after reaching a buyout agreement with the New York Knicks during the final year of the $100-million deal he signed in the summer of 2010, the veteran forward has reportedly committed to signing with the Dallas Mavericks on a prorated one-year contract for the veteran minimum. Yahoo's own Adrian Wojnarowski had indicated earlier Monday that Stoudemire was likely to join the Mavericks, but Shams Charania of RealGM.com was the first to report the commitment on Monday night.

    Given the terms, this deal looks like a solid one for both team and player. The Mavericks have been in need of a reserve big man since dealing away Brandon Wright in the trade that brought back Rajon Rondo and rookie forward Dwight Powell. While Powell has performed ably in limited minutes, he does not have anything close to Stoudemire's track record or presumptive impact. Amar'e does not fit the Mavericks' need of a secondary interior defender to

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  • Marc and Pau Gasol battled for the first brotherly All-Star tip-off

    Marc and Pau Gasol made history on Sunday night at the 2015 NBA All-Star Game in New York City by engaging in the event's first-ever brother-on-brother opening tip. The Gasols won headlines in late January by becoming the first brothers to be voted as starters in the All-Star Game. While it was not confirmed that they would face each other on the tip, head coaches Steve Kerr of the West and Mike Budenholzer of the East ensured that they would be able to share the special moment at Madison Square Garden.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Take a look at the historic tip, won by Pau, here:

    Big brothers usually find a way to beat little brothers, even at the highest level of the sport.

    The two also had the opportunity to share a hug during pregame player introductions:

    Marc and Pau are not the first brothers to participate or play against each other in the same All-Star Game — that honor belongs to Tom Van Arsdale of the Cincinnati Royals and Dick

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  • Patrick Beverley wins Taco Bell Skills Challenge at All-Star Weekend

    Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley is best known as a tenacious defender rather than as an offensive force, but that didn't stop him from taking home some hardware on All-Star Saturday Night. Beverley bested Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Knight in the finals to take home the title in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.

    The second event of All-Star Saturday Night adopted a new tournament format this year featuring eight players over three single-elimination rounds. Two players ran a shorter-than-usual course simultaneously while dribbling around statue defenders, passing through a ring, making a lay-up at the other end of the court, and dribbling to the opposite side to hit a three-pointer.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    Beverley defeated Phoenix Suns point guard Isaiah Thomas in the first round, came back from a rough time with the passing ring to beat Atlanta Hawks All-Star point guard Jeff Teague, and did the same to take down Knight

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  • Mo'ne Davis puts Kevin Hart in the spin cycle at Celebrity Game

    The NBA All-Star Celebrity Game is typically not a particularly good showcase for quality basketball. At its best, it's an opportunity to see if a handful of famous people can play without embarrassing themselves. It's a contest best viewed with Twitter at hand and a willingness to make jokes.

    [Slideshow: Best photos from the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game]

    Credit the 2015 version at Madison Square Garden, then, for giving us a legitimate highlight. Thirteen-year-old Little League World Series sensation Mo'ne Davis, playing for the West, was one of the most notable participants in this year's game, and she wasted no time in showing everyone what they wanted to see. A few minutes into the game, Davis took on actor, comedian, and Kevin Hart and got to the hoop with a very impressive spin move:

    The similarly short Davis and Hart were paired on the game's opening tip and immediately set about going at each other at both ends of the court. Hart made sure to post up Davis, which seems like a

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  • Derrick Rose impresses with 30 points in Bulls win over Cavs

    It has been an up and down season for Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose. On a basic level, it's good that the 2011 MVP has been able to play consistently after two lost seasons. Yet Rose has not been able to recapture his superstar form with much consistency, alternating flashes of very strong play with stretches of quality but not exactly overwhelming performance. Rose is still very good, but it's sometimes hard to see him as the same Derrick Rose we became accustomed to.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    When he gets to that level, though, it's extra fun to watch. That's what happened in Thursday's home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at United Center. In a game controlled by the Bulls throughout, Rose scored 30 points on 12-of-24 shooting with seven assists and two turnovers. Perhaps most important of all was that he looked to have a spring in his step. Take a look at the highlights:

    Rose wasn't alone in the Bulls' 113-98 victory.

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  • Carmelo Anthony looks ready to shut it down after the All-Star Game

    Melo reacts to an apparent injury on Monday. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)Melo reacts to an apparent injury on Monday. (Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony figures to be one of the most visible faces at this All-Star Weekend. His team is one of the official hosts of the weekend, and Melo is the sole member of either the Knicks or Nets to have a role in Sunday's main event. He will wear many hats, both literally and figuratively.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    If it ends up being a busy few days for Anthony, then at least he figures to have a long time to rest — not just the All-Star Break, but likely a few months. In an interview with ESPN Radio, Melo suggested that he's going to shut himself down for the season very soon. Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com has more:

    "It's very likely. It's very likely. Now I've got to start thinking about the future," Anthony told Marc Stein, Marc Kestecher and P.J. Carlesimo in an interview on ESPN Radio. "This season is this season. So I really want to just sit down with my team and sit down with the proper people to just kind
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  • Anthony Davis out of All-Star Game, Harden, Thompson to start

    We will miss the Brow's dunks. (Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports)We will miss the Brow's dunks. (Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports)Sunday's NBA All-Star Game in New York City is down another major player. This one's star power will be missed a little more than the others.

    After having sat out the New Orleans Pelicans' last two games with a right shoulder sprain, do-everything forward Anthony Davis announced that he will miss the high-profile exhibition at Madison Square Garden. Davis had been voted in as a starter for the Western Conference and figured to be one of the most talked-about players at the event. Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com reported that Dirk Nowitzki will be named as Davis's replacement on the West roster, but head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors will select who starts in Davis's place. Davis announced the news via a team statement.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    This season has been something of a coming-out party for Davis, already a star but now arguably the most statistically productive player in the league. He is averaging 24.5 points

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  • DeMar DeRozan's tough winner lifts Raptors over Wizards

    Despite the resurgence (or just surgence?) of the Cleveland Cavaliers and generally very impressive play of the Atlanta Hawks, the NBA's Eastern Conference remains fairly wide open. The East's eventual representative in the NBA Finals could depend on matchups more than seeding and homecourt advantage. As such, any regular-season game between contenders seems just a little more notable, in that it could provide some insight into which teams others may want to avoid this spring.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    For the average viewer, though, it's mostly just fun to watch two evenly matched teams go at it. Such was the case in Wednesday's matchup between the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards at Air Canada Centre. Washington led by as many as 10 late in the third quarter, but the full fourth was a close affair with the margin never growing four points in either direction. With 35 seconds remaining, the teams were knotted up at 93-93. Toronto

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  • James Harden propels Rockets to high-scoring win over Suns

    Houston Rockets star James Harden is the NBA's leading scorer and one of the top few MVP candidates in the league right now, but he has yet to secure his place in the West starting lineup for Sunday's All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden. With Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin both missing the game due to injury, the 25-year-old guard has a solid shot at starting the game for the first time in his third-straight All-Star appearance. However, West head coach Steve Kerr may opt to go with his Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson instead.

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    If Kerr is going to base his choice off recent performances, then Harden made a pretty good case for himself in Tuesday night's game vs. the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Harden finished with 40 points (13-of-23 FG, 3-of-7 3FG, 11-of-14 FT), 12 rebounds, nine assists, three steals, and a block in 43 minutes to lead Houston to a 127-118 win. This performance followed

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