Kelly Dwyer

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Kelly Dwyer is the editor of Ball Don't Lie. He has written for various websites about the NBA since 1997, he lives in Indiana with his wife, two children, three cats, and yes, Kelly Dwyer is a "he."

  • Ted Leonsis, Jordan and Pollin celebrate MJ's 2000 hiring. (Getty Images)
    Ted Leonsis, Jordan and Pollin celebrate MJ’s 2000 hiring. (Getty Images)

    In 2003, after two years spent working as the Washington Wizards’ swingman and three and a half seasons working as the team’s personnel chief in either an official or unofficial capacity, Michael Jordan retired as an active player for the final time.

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    Three weeks after the 2002-03 season ended, with the Wizards having missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, Jordan met with Washington owner Abe Pollin to discuss what he assumed would be the resumption of his career as team president – a role he held from January 2000 until September 2001, when he had to give up the gig in anticipation of his return as an active player.

    Pollin clearly did not feel as indebted to Jordan as MJ (and many others) assumed he would, and though letting Jordan go would mean firing an NBA legend (while leaving his team GM-less during the upcoming NBA

    Read More »from Abe Pollin's widow on Michael Jordan's 2003 firing: 'It was purely business'
  • Dirk checks the scoreboard, Cuban checks the books. (Getty Images)
    Dirk checks the scoreboard, Cuban checks the books. (Getty Images)

    When the dust settled on yet another swing-and-miss offseason for the Dallas Mavericks, you knew the inevitable was coming. A Kobe Bryant-styled (kind of) contract for Dirk Nowitzki that would make up from the massive pay cuts he took in 2014-15 and 2015-16 to aid in Dallas’ salary cap flexibility.

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    That flexibility didn’t really allow the Mavericks to bring in any boffo free agents, a running theme that has plagued the franchise despite prudent and creative financial planning in the years since its 2011 championship. Ironically Dirk will take in the biggest contract of his career at age 38, and in the same summer that the team did sign one of the most coveted free agents on the market – former Golden State Warrior Harrison Barnes.

    The kicker here is that Mavs owner Mark Cuban, flush with that rising salary cap and Dirk’s low cap hold (which allowed

    Read More »from Mark Cuban says he paid free agent Dirk Nowitzki far more than Dirk asked for
  • Ben Gordon and Flip Murray are looking for their next shot at the NBA

    Ben Gordon and Flip Murray wonder why. (Getty Images)
    Ben Gordon and Flip Murray wonder why. (Getty Images)

    Ah, the shooting guard in a point guard’s body. It’s been a conundrum for pro leagues for decades – even outfits like the late ABA and CBA that (at one time or another) were happy to get any modicum of consistent scoring from any player at any position. Even if that player doesn’t really have a position.

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    Ben Gordon and Flip Murray are taking a less frantic approach than Von Wafer came through with earlier in the offseason, but both would like to be back in the NBA if you wouldn’t mind. At ages 33 and 37, respectively, both are undersized shooting guards that can handle the ball in a pinch (Murray produced a solid assist rate at one point), but prefer to do their work as scorers and shooters while pining for that extra two inches of height that Jamal Crawford (still chugging along at age 36) was blessed with.

    Murray hasn’t played in the NBA since his Chicago

    Read More »from Ben Gordon and Flip Murray are looking for their next shot at the NBA
  • Richard Jefferson discusses his rookie year fistfight with Kenyon Martin

    Kenyon Martin sizes Richard Jefferson up. (Getty Images)
    Kenyon Martin sizes Richard Jefferson up. (Getty Images)

    Kenyon Martin, as an NBA player, was a combustible sort.

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

    This is the guy that once returned a barb from Alonzo Mourning, who had to push his NBA career aside twice due to kidney disease, by reportedly sending mocking “my kidney! My kidney!” chants into his Net teammate’s face. This is the person that, had he been healthy and suited up for that rather lame Knicks/Nuggets “brawl” in 2006, probably would have restored law and order in a rather stirring and effective fashion. Dick Wolf’s name would have shown up after about five and a half seconds.

    This is also the guy that entered the NBA on crutches after suffering a broken leg, broke the other leg during his rookie year, and suffered through microfracture surgeries on both knees. This is a tough dude.

    Richard Jefferson, recent-champion and then-rookie with the 2001-02 New Jersey Nets, found out as much

    Read More »from Richard Jefferson discusses his rookie year fistfight with Kenyon Martin
  • Kevin Durant and James Harden line up. (Getty Images)
    Kevin Durant and James Harden line up. (Getty Images)

    Kevin Durant knows something we don’t know. Or, at least, something that the 450-plus players that dive in and out of the NBA every single year know, and we don’t understand. James Harden is a monster of a basketball player, and as such he should be rewarded as one despite his team’s failure to turn the corner in the playoffs prior to last season, and his squad’s embarrassing showing during both the regular and postseason in 2015-16.

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

    Durant is currently gearing up with his Team USA mates, heading with noses pinched and mouths mostly closed before heading into Rio for a chance at defending its 2012 Olympic gold medal. During a Sunday practice prior to the team’s Monday night exhibition performance against Nigeria, Durant went out of his way to credit Harden in ways the fans and press seem to pass on in the wake of his crash and burn turn in 2015-16.

    From

    Read More »from Kevin Durant: 'Nobody really appreciates' James Harden save for NBA players
  • Did Guy Fieri help lure Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors?

    When Guy Fieri tongs, people listen. (Getty Images)
    When Guy Fieri tongs, people listen. (Getty Images)

    Food Network personality Guy Fieri is a Bay Area native and, because the Golden State Warriors are awesome now, a fixture at Warriors games. We doubt very much that he was as big of a fan of the team when they basically started a quadraphonic big man starting lineup (alongside Vonteego Cummings) during the lean years, but we welcome him and his unnecessary indoor sunglasses on the bandwagon.

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

    The Warriors made the biggest splash in the NBA this offseason in adding 2013-14 NBA MVP Kevin Durant to a lineup that had already set the NBA record for wins in a season in 2015-16, prior to falling just short of an NBA championship. According to Fieri, he was a champion of the move long before it was consummated, much in the same way that he was way, way ahead of the game in glopping BBQ sauce all over an already-tortured California roll.

    It all started when Justin Bolios

    Read More »from Did Guy Fieri help lure Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors?
  • Carmelo Anthony wants nothing to do with a Team USA singalong

    “Can’t we just do Blu Cantrell or something?” (Getty Images)

    Rarely mentioned in the usual Larry/Isiah/MJ-led discussions about how current NBA players aren’t mean enough to each other these days is the influence of international tournament camaraderie. It’s not just social media, changing societal norms about tact, poise and reason, or AAU play that bonds these guys. Every two years, a big crew of them gets to go on an award tour to bring home the gold.

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

    For the Team USA Men’s Basketball Team, heading to Houston for one more exhibition game prior to the 2016 Olympics, the journey has begun. And so have the plane rides. And so has the chance for Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, Kyrie Irving and others to start a team singalong to a Vanessa Carlton song.

    A song that, to paraphrase DeMar DeRozan, Carmelo Anthony (via Deadspin) just isn’t having any of it:

    Melo ain't having it…????

    A video posted by DeMar DeRozan

    Read More »from Carmelo Anthony wants nothing to do with a Team USA singalong
  • Phil Jackson: Modern players 'lack the skills to play the triangle'

    Phil Jackson watches the kids just fritter it all away. (Getty Images)
    Phil Jackson watches the kids just fritter it all away. (Getty Images)

    It’s not an uncommon refrain, among NBA lifers of a certain age, and they’re not always wrong in cuing up the chorus. The game has evolved, or devolved to certain eyes, and players are capable of as many new things as they aren’t capable of older tenets that were at one time integral to how the game was played in decades past.

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

    Rare is the older observer, however, that pins his perception on a single style of play. In this case, as is usually the case, it’s New York Knicks president Phil Jackson. The man that grew up playing under Bill Fitch and Red Holzman’s pass-heavy offenses prior to falling in love with Tex Winter’s triangle offense during the mid-1980s (after being hired to work alongside Winter as a Chicago Bulls assistant coach) doesn’t think modern players are suited for the offense he’d hoped to bring to New York.

    Such a pity, Phil

    Read More »from Phil Jackson: Modern players 'lack the skills to play the triangle'
  • Jimmy Butler doesn't mind being left in the dark with trade rumors

    Jimmy Butler takes on the questions. (Getty Images)
    Jimmy Butler takes on the questions. (Getty Images)

    On the NBA’s 2016 draft night, for the first hour of the proceedings at least, the name on everyone’s lips was “Jimmy Butler.” Everyone knew Ben Simmons would be taken No. 1 overall by Philadelphia, Woj already had picks 1-through-19 (all 19-year olds, incidentally) tweeted out, but just about every other tweet besides those in the moments leading up to the draft had the Chicago Bulls swingman potentially on his way toward either Boston or, in a new twist, a Minnesota Timberwolves team fronted by ex-Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

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

    Chicago fans were apoplectic at the thought of dealing a player who averages over 20 points while playing standout defense for a prospect that someday could average over 20 points while playing standout defense, but such is the lack of faith Bulls fans have in their team’s front office that many expected a deal to eventually be agreed upon.

    Read More »from Jimmy Butler doesn't mind being left in the dark with trade rumors
  • LeBron James ordered a pizza with 16 different toppings

    LeBron James has clearly let himself go. (Getty Images)
    LeBron James has clearly let himself go. (Getty Images)

    LeBron James is allowed to eat whatever the heck he wants. He averaged nearly 42 minutes per game during his brilliant MVP turn in last season’s NBA Finals win, he’s already played more minutes than several NBA luminaries that retired in their mid-to-late 30s (LeBron is 31), and he burns more calories before tip-off than most people do all day.

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

    This, however, via his Facebook page (and our pals at Reddit) is something else:

    (Courtesy Facebook.com/LeBron)
    (Courtesy Facebook.com/LeBron)

    LeBron’s Facebook caption reminded us to never “order while starving.” He also added a side salad.

    “High-rise dough” and spicy marinara with mozzarella? That’s a typical start to things, a pie usually then topped off with pepperoni and mushroom (or, for the gut-watching NBA player, grilled chicken and spinach) before ending the order.

    Nah. Not for The King. He’s come a long way since asking for well-done

    Read More »from LeBron James ordered a pizza with 16 different toppings

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