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Lakers News

Lakers continue to struggle without Kobe Bryant posted by Lakers News

The 36-year-old Bryant missed his second consecutive game in the Lakers’ 113-93 loss on Thursday to the Chicago Bulls at United Center after reporting soreness in his knees, both Achilles tendons and metatarsals as well as back tightness.

“I just need to kind of hit the reset button,” said Bryant, who watched the game from the bench. “What happens is my body realizes how messed up it is. Then everything starts hurting. It’s an opportunity to treat everything.”

Meanwhile, the Lakers provided more than enough evidence to refute an inaccurate statement after pulling a surprising win over Golden State, the Western Conference’s best team. The Lakers (9-20) are not better without Bryant.

After supposedly benefitting from Bryant’s absence thanks to more ball movement and more shots, Nick Young and Jeremy Lin combined for nine points on a 3-of-14 clip. The Lakers shot 39.1 percent overall.

“Teams seem to focus more on me, and it showed tonight that they wouldn’t leave me,” Young said. “We can joke around and all that. But we’re always going to need Kobe out there.”

That partly explained why Bryant has averaged 24.6 points per game (third in the NBA), albeit on a career-low 37.2 percent clip. None of his teammates consistently produced enough to leave Bryant with open shots or entice him enough to pass.

“Ball movement is great when guys are making shots,” Bryant said. “You don’t hit shots, I try to take the load myself and we have a lot of standing around. In games they hit shots, I sit back and let them hit shots.”

Continue reading "Lakers continue to struggle without Kobe Bryant"


Lakers News

Los Angeles Lakers Preseason Report 2014 posted by Lakers News

In the history of Los Angeles Lakers, 2013-14 was their worst season. Kobe Byrant worked hard to return after his injury and came in after 20 games, but unfortunately played only six games before he was injured again. The team started the season with 10-9, and even if Byrant was able to come back and perform as he did in the previous year, it would not have made much difference. Most players were a letdown, and the stats seemed empty.

For 2014-2015, there seems to be some major changes for reviving the team's morale and performance. The Lakers have hired Byron Scott to be the head coach. Scott is a former player and has helped the team win championships when was playing. In his stint as a coach, his best record is 42-22, and he managed to get New Jersey into two finals. However, he has also spent three years coaching Cleveland without getting the team back on track. Scott has been longing to coach the Lakers, and his return might motivate the team.

However, the roster of Los Angeles Lakers does not look promising, and there are doubts whether the team can even reach the playoffs. Pau Gasol, one of the key players is no longer in the team, and the replacements, Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis have not shown much promise. Bringing in Jeremy Lin might be hype, as he has not been able to maintain the explosive performance when he first started. However, he is still an improvement for the team. Younger talent that were picks from the first round, such as Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, and MarShon Brooks, have not performed in other franchises. Julius Randle, another pick from the first round is considered ready for NBA. However, he may not have the caliber to make it in the playoffs.

Continue reading "Los Angeles Lakers Preseason Report 2014"


NBA News

Lessons I learned from playing poker that helped my improve my basketball skills posted by NBA News

Poker is a game that some try to discourage due to its perceived association to gambling. Some parents may discourage their children from playing the game; for fear that it could eventually lead to a gambling problem. However, this attitude is wrong, given the many benefits that both children and adults can gain from playing the game.

Playing poker requires a diverse range of skills that you acquire over some period of time. These skills can be applied in different areas of your life, from the sports you participate in to businesses and the personal relationships and interactions you have to handle on a day to day basis.

Making Timely Decisions

One of the ways lock poker helped me improve my basketball skills, was to improve my ability to make judgments. I learned to read non verbal cues that I could read from my opponents and use that to make split second decision. It made me realize that non verbal cues can add improve decision making. I realized it is possible to learn to look for this cues as when training and playing in the field, without necessarily knowing what to look out for.

The beauty of poker, is that it helps you to learn things faster. You recognize patterns and learn to identify them quickly. The game has a tight feedback system that enhances the learning process. Other games do not. But if you play this game for an extended period of time, you will teach your mind to identify these patterns.

Taking Risks

Another way that this poker helped me to improve my basketball skills was to learn how and when to take risks. The consequences of taking certain risks become apparent almost immediately. As a result you learn to weigh the risks. You become increasingly aware of the weight of your actions and learn to make the right decision on your feet.

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NBA News

Tips To Becoming A Professional Sports Bettor posted by NBA News

Gambling is one of the oldest forms of commercial activities known to man.  There are many types of gambling and one of the most popular is sports betting.  To put it in layman’s term, sports betting is simply predicting and placing a wager on the outcome of a sports event.

For most people, sports betting is merely a hobby that can be addictive and engaging. People place wagers on the outcome of the Super Bowl, for instance. Through sports betting, cheering for a particular team or athlete becomes more thrilling since there is money involved.

However, for some people, sports betting is not just a recreational activity that they enjoy. In fact, they rely on sports betting for their main source of income. These professional sports bettors don’t just rely on luck. After all, luck can’t be on their side most of the time to make sports betting their primary source of income.

Sports betting is not for everyone. It takes a lot of guts for people to make sports betting their bread and butter. For the few who are inclined to make sports betting their number one source of income, here are some tips to become successful in this endeavor.

The first key to being a professional sports bettor is to learn how to be detached to a certain sports team or athlete. In sports betting, it is very common for recreational bettors to place a wager on their favorite team or athlete. For instance, a bettor from New York is inclined to put his money on the Knicks instead of, say, the Miami Heat. Emotional attachment to a sports team or athlete is one of the obstacles to becoming a successful professional sports bettor. When one bets solely or mainly on the basis of preference, then there are higher chances that he or she will end up on the losing side.

Continue reading "Tips To Becoming A Professional Sports Bettor"


NBA News

The Kentucky Derby is Just Around the Corner posted by NBA News

The Kentucky Derby is considered as the most exciting two minutes in all of sports.  It is held every year in Kentucky, Louisville.  It is the highlight of the two-week long Kentucky Derby Festival. It is the first leg of the US Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Unlike the other two races, the Kentucky Derby has been held every year since 1875.  This year, the event is slated on May 4. Several horses are being picked as top contenders in the race. These include Verrazano, Revolutionary and Shanghai Bobby. Like in previous years, the Kentucky Derby is expected to draw a lot of interest with millions of people placing bets on their favorite horses. You can make money by betting on the Kentucky Derby, and this article discusses how. 

First, you should be familiar with the betting terminologies. A win pertains to a bet on a horse you think will win the race, while a place pertains to a bet on a horse you think will end up either in first or second place. A show is a bet on a horse you think will finish first, second or third.  The three are the basic types of wagers offered by Churchill Downs, the racetrack that hosts the derby.  There are also exotic wagers, or more complicated types that include exacta (picking the top 2 finishers), trifecta (picking the top 3 finishers) and superfecta (picking the top 4 finishers). 

In the Kentucky derby, you are betting against other players. Churchill Downs gets a slice of the total pool (around 15 to 20%) and then the rest of the money is given to all the players that have the winning tickets.  If it is your first time to bet, you can check live KY derby betting odds to have a better idea on which horse to put your money on. 

Continue reading "The Kentucky Derby is Just Around the Corner"


Richard Kagan

Miami Heat Could Be A Bust posted by Richard Kagan

It's come down to this.  A coming out party for the 3 star players of the Heat:  LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, was wierd.  It was over-the-top and unfortunate.  If this is an example of giving the players their due props, then the Heat are already in trouble.  They haven't won anything.  You'd think they won the NBA title.  Heck, they haven't even played together, won a game together, fought together or sweat together.

I'll say this, when it came down the crunch time against the Celtics, where was Lebron?  He all but disappeared in game 5.  Looked dreadful, out of sync, like he woke up on the wrong side of the bed. 

This whole deal with the Heat is all hype and flash.  It's alot of smoke and flash.  The Heat will be interesting to watch.  Everyone will expect them to win every game they play.  After about 10 games, playing for them won't be fun anymore.  The Heat could collapse under the weight of the over-sized egos on the team.  They may have to turn to Pat Riley to coach these guys, but he can;'t make them play together.  Not too many teams will be able to test them, but they will be tested, and then we will see how good they are.  One coach will find a way to neutralize LeBron, and the other parts won't work as well.  A coach has to understand physics and the laws of human nature and there aren't too many coaches that come to mind.  Phil Jackson can find a way to beat the Heat.  He has Kobe and Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom.  The Lakers and the Heat will be something to see.

Continue reading "Miami Heat Could Be A Bust"


TP&G Blog

Lakers Watch (7/1/10) posted by TP&G Blog

June 15, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES -  epa02204272 Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar (C) makes a pass  around Boston Celtics center Rasheed Wallace (L) and Boston Celtics  guard Nate Robinson (R) in the fourth quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers  89-67 win over the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals Game Six at the  Staples Center in Los Angeles California, USA 15 June 2010. The best of  seven series is tied at 3-3. May 10, 2010 -  Salt Lake City, Ut, California, U.S. - Los Angeles Lakers' Shannon Brown  slams home two points over Utah Jazz's Ronnie Price in the first half  Monday night, May 10th, 2010 at the Western Conference Semifinals at  EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah. ....///ADDITIONAL  INFO:01.lakers.0511.mg - 05/10/10 - Photo by MICHAEL GOULDING,THE ORANGE  COUNTY REGISTER - Additional info, CQs, and keywords for  searching..Lakers vs Utah Jazz in Game 4 of the Western Conference  Semifinals at EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah.

There is still nothing major yet to report regarding the Laker off-season moves, but this so-called exciting job fair is starting bad. Really, really bad with too many non-top-tier players (and counting) getting offered ridiculous contracts.

Continue reading "Lakers Watch (7/1/10)"

TP&G Blog

What the 2009-2010 Season Taught us About the Lakers posted by TP&G Blog

June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES -    epa02208457 Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic of Slovenia kisses    the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after he and the Los Angeles    Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics 83-79 to win their 16th NBA    Championship at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA 17    June 2010.

Plans of dethroning the Lakers are well underway, and in less than 24 hours the first step will being. But before we start watching how next season will shape up for our back-to-back champs, let's take a look at some of the highs and lows that brought the Lakers to one of the most epic NBA Finals in history and cement another Laker legacy:

• Jerry Buss has always been a businessman who knows his craft but never ever takes whatever or whoever makes his Lakers one of the most respected franchise in sports history. That includes sticking with the players who win him another championship. He may have tried to put on his poker face with Lamar Odom last sumer, but we all knew he would help Lamar win that poker game only because he hates fixing something that isn't broken. However, Odom may have made Buss regret not sending him on a one-way bus fare to Miami by being too inconsistent in this year's playoffs. Another thing about Buss: he demands the same generosity from the players he give charity to. The way Odom stunk it up in the post-season, he just might be the first victim of Buss' budget plans for next season.

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nbaball

Three-peat is highly possible for Lakers in next NBA season posted by nbaball

THE BOLD declaration of Los Angeles Lakers superstar guard Kobe "Black Mamba" Bryant that the team will attain its third straight crown in the next season of the National Basketball Association is highly possible. Basketball experts said three-peat might be hard to achieve in the face of the tough competition in the NBA but if the Lakers will continue to play its full potential it is very possible.

The basketball experts said one thing going for the Lakers in its quest for a piece of NBA history is the fact that almost all of their important players will be back for the team to defend their crown. Bryant the heart and soul of the Lakers had an existing contract to play for the Lakers for many years to come.
With the superstar guard still part of the Lakers roster, the team will remain solid for years to come. Aside from Bryant other Lakers players who will be back to defend their crown are superstar center Pau Gasol, versatile power-forward Lamar Odom, veteran point-guard Derek Fisher, rising young center Andrew Bynum and defensive specialist Ron Artest.

Gasol had been a vital factor in the Laker's tough victory against its arch rival Boston Celtics in their best of seven NBA Finals.
The Spanish center provided front-court scoring and defense to frustrate and defeat the determined Celtics who was able to send the game into a deciding game seven. Odom although undersized as a power-forward still contributed big for the team with his ball distribution and clutch plays against the trough defense put out by the Celtics.

Fisher for his part provided efficient veteran leadership to solidify and add more spunk to the defending champion. Bynum for his part was a steady center who provided quality minutes in terms of scoring and defense for the team. Newly acquired Laker Artest is himself had a big contribution for the Lakers victory with his tough defense against the top scorers of the opposing team particularly in the NBA Finals against Celtics superstar forward Paul "Truth" Pierce. With those players mentioned back in Lakers uniform in the next NBA season it would very difficult for other NBA teams including the Celtics to defeat the defending NBA champion. To achieve their desired three-peat the Lakers however need to resign Lakers coach Phil Jackson to coach the championship team again in the next season of the premier professional basketball league in the planet.
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Amari Harris

Father's Day, Fútbol, and Prince Albert? posted by Amari Harris

Good morning brave souls.

 

Once again, it has been an unreasonably long time since I’ve done this but I’ve had quite a bit on my plate for the last couple months.  I’ve officially started my education in the law and I’m also the captain/coach/coordinator/quarterback/cornerback for my flag football team.  Ok, that’s only two things but cut me some slack.  I have to make time for Paul, Jack, and Evan.  But I am digressing.  You don’t want to hear about what’s going on in my life (you selfish bastards!).  You want to hear about men in little shorts, playing with balls that they throw or kick in a whole, a goal, or sometimes even into the hands of another man (gross).  

 

So where do I begin?  Well, if this were an international blog I’d have to start with globes most beloved sport and the World Cup.  Everybody loves the soccer and everybody loves the World Cup.  People come out of the wood works to pick the team they think is going to go all the way and 9 times out of 10 they can’t even name the goalie.  But me, I’m an honest Joe.  I mean I’ll keep track of who is moving up in the standings, but I may watch a total of 5 minutes of this dreadfully dry activity over its duration. I’m not going to pretend I like soccer or know anything about it for that much.  With that said, I bought an ITALIA World Cup t-shirt because it looks good on me and girls love Italy…I think.  

My goodness, I forgot two very important administrative announcements before I started this thing.  First I’d like to wish all of the

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Los Angeles Lakers News

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Report: 76ers' Joel Embiid needs 2nd foot surgery, will miss 2015-16 season (Ball Don't Li

Nearly one month after suffering a setback in the healing of his surgically repaired right foot, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will now undergo a second procedure on that foot, one that is expected to cost him the entire 2015-16 NBA season. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball] The Sixers announced Embiid will need a bone-graft procedure of his fractured foot, confirming a report from  Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer earlier on Saturday. The 21-year-old 7-footer, who starred for Bill Self at Kansas in his lone collegiate season before suffering a stress fracture in his lower back that kept him out of the entire Big 12 tournament and both of the Jayhawks' NCAA tournament games, was considered one of the top prospects in the 2014 NBA draft, and a potential target of the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall pick. One week before the draft, though, the Cameroonian center suffered a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot — a tiny bone in the middle of the foot that's "essential in proper weight transfer and force absorption during ground impact," according to Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes . That's the same bone broken by Houston Rockets giant Yao Ming, who suffered multiple fractures that would eventually prompt his retirement . It's also, however, the one broken by former Cleveland Cavaliers great Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who missed the lion's share of three seasons and underwent three separate surgeries on the bone before eventually being able to stay on the court, playing another decade and making a pair of All-Star appearances. Despite Embiid having surgery just before the 2014 draft and the daunting prospect of him becoming yet another gifted giant whose career trajectory would be drastically altered by failing feet, the 76ers tabbed him with the No. 3 overall pick . Hinkie operated under the same thought process as he had the year before, when he swung a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans to snare injured Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel, who was considered by many to be a prospective No. 1 overall pick before tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Noel missed his whole rookie season rehabilitating from the injury, but that was fine by Hinkie; getting nothing from his top draft choice would only aid his sink-to-the-bottom rebuilding plan, and when Noel got healthy, he'd have landed a No. 1-caliber talent at a lower price while gaining another asset (a future first-round draft pick) in the process. The Sixers handled Embiid exactly as they did Noel, holding him out for the entirety of what was to be his rookie season — even though he at times seemed athletically capable of moving on that right foot — with plans to reintroduce him to live game action during the Summer League . But last month's setback — which came amid reports that Embiid was looking "dominant" and "explosive" in workouts — kiboshed that plan. "Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his activities," the 76ers wrote in a statement last month announcing Embiid's setback. As recently as late June, following the 2015 NBA draft, Hinkie reported that Embiid "was pain free and the foot hadn’t bothered the big man in 'many, many weeks,'" according to John Gonzalez of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia : "That’s part of what makes this — maybe confusing is the right word — confusing for [Embiid], but confusing because he feels great," Hinkie said. "He says, 'I can’t believe how good I feel. I’ve felt great for a while. It’s hard to believe something could be wrong.'" This latest report suggests that something could be very wrong, and that an awful lot more than summer league suit-ups will be scuttled for Embiid, who hasn't suited up for a competitive game in a year and a half and now will be faced with spending the first two seasons of his career on the shelf. Despite spending top-six selections on Noel and Embiid in the past two drafts, the 76ers selected Duke center Jahlil Okafor with the No. 3 pick in June's 2015 NBA draft. It was rumored at the time that while Hinkie's selection was likely informed by his desire to add the highest-ceiling talent possible at Philly's draft position — and perhaps compromised somewhat by the Los Angeles Lakers somewhat surprisingly electing to pass up Okafor to take Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell second overall — the choice of Okafor could also have been made due to pessimism that Embiid will be able to shake the foot injuries and develop into the kind of franchise-tilting prospect he'd appeared to be at Kansas. To what degree such a possibility informed Hinkie's thinking remains unclear. So too, sadly, does the point at which we might actually see Joel Embiid on an NBA court. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 10-man rotation, starring the Bucks staying put, for better and/or for worse (Ball Don%2

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Three new Lakers answer their first Kobe Bryant question with a chorus of silence (Ball Don't Li

The Los Angeles Lakers did not sign any All-Stars this summer, franchise-level types like LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love told the team “no”before moving onto championship contenders as free agents, but this wasn’t the worst summer! They signed and traded for former All-Stars! There’s nary a Carlos Boozer or Jeremy Lin acquisition to triumph! [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slamsfrom all of basketball ] Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams and Brandon Bass –these are all really good players! Surely they’d appease the competitive spirit of one Kobe Bryant, reported to be entering the final year of his NBA career in 2015-16. If the team’s press conference on Wednesday is any indication …eh, nah: This is not unprecedented . Now, Hibbert has distracted many a Bryant drive in his career, and Lou Williams has no doubt matched wits in a one-on-one crossover-fest with Kobe Bean. Brandon Bass, even, was a former member of the hated Celtics . Still, these are all more than serviceable players. Williams was a Sixth Man of the Year winner. Hibbert was an All-Star in 2012 and 2014 and was thought to be the most important player on a championship contender as recently as 14 months ago. These are good players that won’t be able to lead the team to the playoffs in 2015-16, but they will contribute enough to possibly take the Lakers out of the high lottery and …oh, yeah, the Lakers would then have to give up their lottery pick to the 76ers. After Kobe’s final season. Perhaps you can kind of understand why Kobe’s a bit cross, and suffering in silence. ( Video via Dave McMenamin .) - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


The 10-man rotation, starring optimism about the NBA dealing with new billions (Ball Don't Lie

A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Bleacher Report . Howard Beck brings sunshine through the cloud cover provided last week by the words of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts : "While more money might create more reasons to fight, the opposite could also be true: It might convince everyone not to mess with a good thing. And there are an increasing number of voices on both sides who believe the latter axiom just might win the day." ( NBA.com's David Aldridge struck an optimistic tone, too, noting that both "sides will likely continue talking in August, in private, and talking is always better than not talking.") PF : Houston Chronicle . Brian Smith talks to former star point guard, addict, coach and recovery guru John Lucas, who has "been contacted" by the Houston Rockets to work with Ty Lawson, whom the Denver Nuggets traded to Houston shortly after being arrested for his second DUI in six months. (That's one element of the outcome that many observers, including CBSSports.com's Ken Berger , hoped would result from Lawson's move to Houston.) SF : RealGM . Smart stuff from Jonathan Tjarks on the Rockets' nice problem to have —a super deep squad chock full of players in their primes —and how it still could be a problem: "This season, for the first time in the Harden era, everyone on the roster is going tohave to sacrifice." SG : The Triangle . Zach Lowe on the Orlando Magic's $64 million bet on Tobias Harris, and the challenge of evaluating "good stats on a bad team" players. PG : PistonPowered . Mike Davidson wonders what exactly it'll take for Reggie Jackson's brand new five-year, $80 million deal with the Detroit Pistons to start looking like the "bargain" that head coach Stan Van Gundy predicts it will wind up being. 6th : Silver Screen and Roll . Drew Garrison goes to the videotape to take a look at what D'Angelo Russell did well and poorly in his Las Vegas Summer League debut for the Los Angeles Lakers. 7th : The New York Times . Michael Powell discusses NBA corporate welfare not from the perspective of the Milwaukee Bucks' ongoing arena deal saga , but rather from the vantage point of the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. 8th : The Oregonian . Mike Richman reports that despite a drastic offseason overhaul that's been marked by a major increase in youth and athleticism (and a significant decrease in experience), Terry Stotts doesn't plan to alter the way his Portland Trail Blazers approach things on the defensive end. 9th : The Triangle . Jason Concepcion on the different ways in which international front-office executives, scouts and coaches evaluate players during Summer League. 10th : SportsNet and The Toronto Star . Michael Grange and Doug Smith on Anthony Bennett, the much-derided former No. 1 overall draft pick who's yet to live up to his lofty draft position with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves, showing out for the Canadian national team at the 2015 Pan-Am Games and finally looking like he's having fun playing basketball again. More NBA coverage: - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Wesley Matthews 'was pissed off' that Portland didn't even offer him a contract, or phone ca

Less than a month into the NBA’s 2015 NBA offseason, the Portland Trail Blazers have firmly established their presence at the top of everyone’s “worst summer in the NBA”lists. The team lost four starters from last year’s club (and even a late-season replacement for one of those starters) to either free agency or trade. Coming off of a 51-win season and division title, the franchise’s front office has decided that it needs to rebuild. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball ] One of those former starters, shooting guard Wesley Matthews, was defined characteristically as the team’s figurative heart and soul several times last year, prior to tearing his Achilles past the mid-point of the season . The Blazers decided against offering their heart and soul a contract as he entered free agency this summer, and Matthews is less than pleased at the team’s refusal to even reach out, much less offer him a contract. From the Oregonian’s Jason Quick , via Pro Basketball Talk : But in the end, after five seasons, the feeling was not mutual. He was greeted with silence. No phone call. No text messages. The Blazers never made an offer. "I was pissed off," Matthews said. "I felt disrespected." […] "I was angry," Matthews said, "but I also realize that this is a business." It is, indeed. And just because this business is the same one that will pay Matthews $70 million over four years to play for the Dallas Mavericks, it doesn’t mean Matthews can feel a little pang of frustration when discussing his former team. If Wesley is telling the truth, and we have no reason to believe that he isn’t, then Portland’s insistence on staying silent smacks of behavior unbecoming to any franchise. This, coming on the heels of firing highly respected assistant coach Kim Hughes for being caught on tape talking about what everyone already knew regarding the imminent departure of LaMarcus Aldridge, does not look good. Wesley Matthews knows that this is a business. He grew up, with his father Wes working on the Showtime-era Los Angeles Lakers, in this business. Even had he not torn his Achilles in March, it would be understandable for the Blazers not to re-sign the shooting guard as they enter in their rebuilding phase. Still, you at least text the guy. Within a span of a few months the Blazers went from fringe championship hopefuls, coming off of a second round playoff appearance and looking to take that Northwest Division title, to an also-ran. After the All-Star break Matthews tore his Achilles, his replacement in swingman Arron Afflalo didn’t exactly pan out, the team had its tails handed to them by the Memphis Grizzlies in a first round playoff ouster, and it was evident almost immediately after the season that LaMarcus Aldridge wanted out. The plan, as undertaken by PDX general manager Neil Olshey, was an understandable one. If the 30-year old Aldridge wanted to leave Portland in pursuit of greener pastures, then it was time to rebuild around guard Damian Lillard. In a risky move that could pay off brilliantly (though we wish Hughes were still around to help things at shootaround), the team dealt Nicolas Batum for teenaged former lottery pick Noah Vonleh. Robin Lopez, at age 27, was allowed to sign in New York (along with Afflalo, nearly at age 30). Aldridge eventually headed to San Antonio, and the 29-year old Matthews decided to sign a four-year, $54 million deal with Dallas . That deal, after DeAndre Jordan reneged on his promise to sign with the Mavs and more cap space opened up, turned into a four-year $70 million deal. That’s a lot of money to pay a man who will turn 29 during training camp, playing at the NBA’s least-essential position. That’s certainly a lot of projecting on the Mavericks’part as well; they’ve always managed money wisely despitethe lure of owner Mark Cuban’s largesse, but it’s almost as if they’re hoping that Matthews turns into a championship-level tertiary option just by paying him like one. That’s also quite a bit of money for someone coming off of an Achilles tear. Achilles tears are the NBA’s worst-case scenario injury. Derrick Rose fears aside, players have come back routinely from ACL tears to act as they always have (reminder: we’re 14 years removed from Jamal Crawford tearing his ACL while with the Bulls. Bring that up at a dinner party prior to never being invited out again) and even frightening stress fractures can be overcome. Achilles tears, however, have routinely hamstrung the careers of player after NBA player. They can still play following the rehabilitation, but usually not at the same level. If anyone can return to that same level, it’s Wesley Matthews. He was seen working his typical exploits from behind the arc early in his rehab, and he’s a cerebral player who figured to age well no matter the obstacle. Furthermore, even if the Mavericks stay stuck in the realm of the mediocre, Matthews working at an average of less than one-fifth of the NBA’s salary cap in two years shouldn’t be the biggest millstone. One hopes, at least. Even if Matthews wasn’t coming off of an Achilles tear, though, you can understand why the Blazers would pass on locking him up for four or five more years. This is a rebuilding team, now, paying more attention to 19-year-olds like Vonleh than 29-year-old free agents like Aldridge was (prior to his mid-July birthday) and Matthews will be come October. Olshey handled the Blazer breakup with alacrity and smarts, even in dealing Batum after his worst season (and even after the needless firing of Hughes), and for that he should be credited. And Matthews, to his credit, even outpaced what we once thought was a laughable contract estimate . Still. You call the dude. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops [read full article]

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