Almost one year ago to the day, Denver Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried publicly came out in favor of same-sex marriage, while triumphing the work his mother and step-mom did in raising him in a same-sex household. A year later, Faried and two Nuggets teammates – Quincy Miller and Randy Foye – have made a video in support of You Can Play, an organization that promotes tolerance and the ability for gay and lesbian athletes to be honest about their sexuality with their teammates without having to fear for reprisal or shunning.Read More »from Three Denver Nuggets team up to support the pro-athlete, anti-homophobia You Can Play Project (Video)
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Three Denver Nuggets team up to support the pro-athlete, anti-homophobia You Can Play Project (Video)By Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Wed, 22 Jan, 2014 4:05 PM EST
Luol Deng ‘can’t wait to beat’ the Chicago Bulls, while Joakim Noah definitely wants ‘to kick his ass’By Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Wed, 22 Jan, 2014 3:40 PM EST
On Sunday, the Brooklyn Nets will travel to Boston to play the Boston Celtics, in a return to the former home of current Nets Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, with the latter (who spent his entire 15-year career with the Celtics prior to this season) expected to receive a rousing and pointed re-introduction to the city, possibly peppered by emotion and tears. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN, with Pierce actually sitting out a exhibition contest in Boston last October so as to save the real return for a more proper setting. For Boston fans, the shock of seeing Pierce in another team’s uniform will be cushioned by the fact that the team is set to receive what should be a series of good-to-great draft picks because of the deal.
On Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls will travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers, a squad that features former longtime Bull forward Luol Deng, who was traded to Cleveland earlier in January. The contest will be a locally televised affair pitched early in a massive League Pass scheduling night, and because of the Cleveland setting, there will be no standing ovation for the former Bull. And because the picks Chicago received for Deng aren’t likely to worm their way out of their various protections, it’s possible that all Chicago traded their All-Star for is a pair of second round picks, and luxury and payroll relief for a team that was recently valued at $1 billion dollars.Read More »from Luol Deng ‘can’t wait to beat’ the Chicago Bulls, while Joakim Noah definitely wants ‘to kick his ass’
- Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Wed, 22 Jan, 2014 1:20 PM EST
Shaun Livingston has started nine games in a row, and his Brooklyn Nets have won eight of those contests. The team’s defense has improved, something it probably couldn’t help but do, and Livingston has helped steady the offense as the Nets rang up impressive wins over the Heat, Thunder, Golden State, and two different victories over the Hawks. Tuesday night’s 11-point win over the lowly Orlando Magic was probably to be expected, but the way in which the Nets went about keeping the Magic at arm’s length on both sides was performed with an alacrity that you just aren’t used to seeing from a team that started the year losing 21 of its first 31 games.
Perhaps the most surprising excerpt from the preceding paragraph is the idea that the Shaun Livingston’s Brooklyn Nets are, in a way, “his Brooklyn Nets.”
Kevin Garnett will always have the loudest voice in the locker room, Joe Johnson will remain the team’s highest-paid player and go-to scorer, while point man Deron Williams remains the ostensible face of the franchise, but for various reasons this much-needed turnaround came with Livingston at the helm. Shaun is no panacea, the team went 3-6 with him as a starter at various points through Williams’ injury-riddled season previous to this nine game span, but he is part of the reason the team has emerged as a consistent force offensively, and improved and fluid and finally capable team on the other end.Read More »from Seven years after frightening knee injury, Shaun Livingston is leading the re-born Brooklyn Nets
- Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Wed, 22 Jan, 2014 11:45 AM EST
Vince Carter will play in Toronto on Wednesday, for the 22nd (including playoffs) time as a member of a visiting team. The Dallas Mavericks swingman suited up as a Raptor 418 times between 1999 and 2004, in a wildly divisive turn that will inspire both boo-birds and adoring hoots of approval during Wednesday’s otherwise anonymous January NBA game between two teams with above average records.
This is why, in a move that was curious to some, SportsNet has put together a documentary breaking down Carter’s time in Toronto, and the ever-evolving legacy. This isn’t even an anniversary or last-ditch tribute – Carter told reporters on Wednesday morning that he had no intentions of retiring once his contract with the Mavericks expires last year, and the 10-year mark for his trade to the then-New Jersey Nets doesn’t hit until this December. It’s just a look at Carter as a Toronto Raptor, an idea that remains endlessly fascinating to many NBA fans both in and out of Canada.
In talking with reporters from Dallas, VC looked back on his up and down turn:Read More »from Vince Carter looks back on his complicated legacy in Toronto. Part of it, at least.
- Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Tue, 21 Jan, 2014 4:25 PM EST
As recoveries go, Danilo Gallinari’s surgery and rehabilitation following an ACL tear was a rather complicated thing. The Denver Nuggets swingman suffered an ACL tear last April 4th, but some two months after the injury he still had yet to undergo surgery to repair the ligament.
It turns out, according to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, that Danilo never underwent an ACL reconstruction repair. Instead it was determined that the forward would be able to heal from the tear naturally, and the Nuggets decided to “only” perform surgery on his torn meniscus nearly a month after his final game. Apparently that approach has failed both Gallinari and Nuggets, as it was reported today that he’ll be out for the rest of the 2013-14 season after failing to play a minute.
Declining to surgically repair a torn ACL is a rare approach, but it’s not without precedent. Former Portland Trail Blazers draft pick Qyntel Woods is still playing basketball overseas on a torn ACL he suffered in high school, and the former high flyer declined to undergo surgery to repair it. With the long time frame afforded by his late season tear, the Nuggets likely considered Danilo as good a candidate as any to avoid surgery and return midseason, but the move hasn’t worked out.Read More »from The Denver Nuggets gambled on Danilo Gallinari’s recovery from an ACL tear, and lost
- Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Tue, 21 Jan, 2014 1:50 PM EST
Even before the trade sending Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Brooklyn was finalized, rumors abounded surrounding Rajon Rondo’s status and permanence with the Boston Celtics. Some wondered if he would demand a trade after witnessing the destruction of a veteran-laden roster filled with stars ready to win now. Others wondered if he’d want a deal so as not to suffer through a rebuilding process after the rough rehabilitation of his surgically repaired right knee. And then some went as far as to project onto Rondo, assuming that he wouldn’t get on well with rookie C’s head coach Brad Stevens.
None of this has played out. Rondo did not complain in the slightest as KG, Pierce and Terry were shipped south, he’s been nothing but supportive of Stevens as head coach, he’s stuck it out on the bench for the duration of his rehab, working with his young teammates, and the Celtics couldn’t be happier to have their former All-Star back up to his old tricks. Stuck on a minutes restriction, Rondo has averaged seven points and a combined eight assists/rebounds in 20 minutes a contest, working the point in two close losses to the Lakers and the Orlando Magic.Read More »from Rajon Rondo’s reunion with his new Boston Celtics team has been nothing but smooth sailing
- Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Fri, 17 Jan, 2014 3:50 PM EST
Can we just make our decision about Josh Smith right now? Can’t we just sign off on this? As NBA fans and journalists and combinations of both, we’re supposed to be able to think on our feet, keep an open mind, and always presume that the game can keep teaching us new, wonderful things.
With Josh Smith, though, ten years into his career? Afforded his second huge contract and finally given a new set of surroundings in Detroit after nine years in Atlanta? Still feeling confident about all those three-pointers and long twos? Still wreaking havoc on the Pistons’ offense more often than not, even if he does provide the occasional game-winning flash?
Can we just about finish up the scouting report, after reading quotes like these?Read More »from Josh Smith still remains ‘confident’ in the terrible shots he takes
With his Brooklyn Nets turning a corner, Mikhail Prokhorov reveals that he’d always had Jason Kidd’s backBy Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Fri, 17 Jan, 2014 2:20 PM EST
We gave Jason Kidd a rightful bit of stick in the beginning of the 2013-14 NBA season. His Brooklyn Nets were an unholy amalgamation of uninspired players, unsure contributors, and downright ineffective performers. The team barked a lot defensively and said all the right things after the game, but when it came time to collaborate and actually execute, the Nets were left wanting.
Things are improving, improving at a rate that will leave the Nets in a position to overcome what was seen by most as an unworkable 10-21 start to the season. Those people weren’t as cynical about the woeful Eastern Conference as others were in their expectations, because the Nets always had a punter’s chance in a bracket that will reward you with a playoff berth even if you manage just 35 wins. That’s exactly the pace the Nets are on after winning six of seven games, as their 16-22 record has the squad stuck with the eighth and final spot in the East’s postseason lineup.
The team’s most recent win came in London, where the team had three full days “off” to prepare for the Atlanta Hawks, a team they downed by a 127-111 score in a contest that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. Jason Kidd continued his no tie superstition, the Nets have lost just once when he goes without neckwear, and his squad has shown improved spacing and screening and shooting – sound hallmarks for a solid offense. The defense? Not so much. But the team is scoring, especially behind the white hot Joe Johnson – who managed 26 first half points in the blowout win in London.Read More »from With his Brooklyn Nets turning a corner, Mikhail Prokhorov reveals that he’d always had Jason Kidd’s back
- Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Thu, 16 Jan, 2014 4:35 PM EST
This is an easy shill, because this is something I use weekly and love. For a few seasons now, Yahoo Sports has partnered with TNT to present TNT Overtime, an interactive way to basically act as your own game producer for that night’s marquee matchup. For one or two games, every Thursday, fans can choose their own camera angles, their own vantage points, or even participate in choosing the star that one camera will hound with a single shot – even when the player takes a rest on the bench – throughout the evening.
It’s not a gimmick, and it’s certainly not something you’ll tire of. It’s genuinely one of the cooler tools I’ve had the pleasure to have known in years of obsessing over watching NBA games. You’ll still get all the play by play, and updated stats roll alongside the screen of your choosing – whether you pick the Player Cam, an overhead or baseline shot, or utilize all four screens (as I do) at once.Read More »from A reminder that TNT Overtime is a fantastic way to watch Thursday night’s NBA action
The Philadelphia 76ers are still debating about when or if they’ll play the improving Nerlens Noel this seasonBy Kelly Dwyer | Ball Don't Lie – Thu, 16 Jan, 2014 4:00 PM EST
The Philadelphia 76ers drafted former Kentucky center Nerlens Noel last year with the understanding that his 2013-14 rookie season would not matter, and that in fact his rookie season may not even take place in 2013-14. Noel, who suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during the second week of February last year, was traded for by a rebuilding 76ers squad that was bent on punting the entire year in order to develop a solid core, and acquire draft assets for the loaded 2014 NBA draft.
Initially, it was thought that Noel would see at least some token action from the Sixers this year, but before the season even started Philly coach Brett Brown tossed some cold water on that idea, telling the press that Noel may not play this season because not only did the team want to be mindful of his ACL rehabilitation, they wanted to “start a bit from ground zero” with his still-developing and very raw overall game.
On Wednesday, ESPN.com reported that the Sixers and Noel’s surgeon announced that he had been cleared to resume basketball-related activities. Noel’s surgeon, the famed Dr. James Andrews, also pointed out that Noel was “doing excellent,” with one source suggesting that Dr. Andrews (who met with the 19-year old last week) thought Nerlens was fit to return to practice. Prior to this, Noel’s only time spent with an actual basketball included him working in shooting drills with head coach Brown and player development coach Greg Foster, a former solid-shooting big man for the Jazz and Lakers.Read More »from The Philadelphia 76ers are still debating about when or if they’ll play the improving Nerlens Noel this season