Hoops Links

Hoops Links Vol. 5: Shirley Temple Lies, Milkshake Theft, More

Welcome to the fifth installment of Hoops Links, where we round up our favorite content from around the NBA blogosphere and shine a light on it here. Every week we set out to feature entertaining, original content powered by the blogging community.

See your own piece plugged? Well done! Now share the love by spreading the word about Hoops Links – we’re talking favs, retweets, postcards to mom and everything in between. Help us build a bigger stage for your best work!

If you want to hit us up with a link in the future, make sure to drop me a line on Twitter (@AustinKent) or even just email HoopsRumorsTips@Sports.ws. Remember, we want to be intrigued and captivated. It also helps if the content is relatively fresh (considering we publish on Thursdays).

Without further ado…

With a roster full of young players and a negligible chance of winning a meaningful amount of ball games, the Suns made the decision with months remaining in the season to tank unabashedly. After Tuesday’s NBA draft lottery, in which Phoenix dropped from a projected No. 2 seed to the No. 4 seed, Adam Maynes of Valley of the Suns wrote a spirited column suggesting that the organization got what it deserved.

Rating: 9 out of 10 Angry Earl Watsons
Author: Adam Maynes – @Adam4America
Link: Phoenix Suns tank fail

Joel Embiid verticalWe’re all happy to buy into the quirky Joel Embiid narrative whenever the goofy big man does something like sip a Shirley Temple on live television. But what if we’re living a lie? Kyle Neubeck of Liberty Ballers revealed that the pink beverage at Embiid’s side during the Draft Lottery was little more than a prop.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Red Pills
Author: Kyle Neubeck – @KyleNeubeck
Link: Joel Embiid’s Shirley Temple prop

Are the Bulls less likely to deal Jimmy Butler to the Celtics now that Boston has landed the No. 1 pick in the draft? Vijay Vemu of Blog A Bull suggests as much, writing that Danny Ainge took a risk holding onto the pick at the deadline rather than going the safe route and dealing for an established star.

Rating: 7 out of 10 Fortunate Gambles
Author: Vijay Vemu – @VJVemu
Link: Jimmy Butler to Celtics less likely

The Hawks could have done more to involve Dwight Howard in their offense, Da’Vonte Hughes of Soaring Down South writes, suggesting that the big man had reason to be upset with how he was utilized during his first season Atlanta.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Neglected Supermen
Author: Da’Vonte Hughes – @CookieByNature
Link: Dwight Howard non-option for Hawks

Did you forget that Joel Anthony was still in the NBA? You aren’t alone. Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie noticed the big man’s name trending on Twitter and discovered that people all around the world were shocked to see the veteran big man suit up in the Spurs‘ blowout loss Wednesday.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Two-Time NBA Champions
Author: Dan Devine – @YourManDevine
Link: Joel Anthony trends on Twitter

There are similarities between Jimmy Butler and Stanley Johnson, including underwhelming freshman and sophomore seasons, says Luke Wolthuis of Piston Powered. Could Johnson, a well-built two-way forward, make a leap similar to that of Butler’s in Year 3?

Rating: 7 out of 10 Better Late Than Nevers
Author: Luke Wolthuis – @WolthuisLuke
Link: Stanley Johnson, Jimmy Butler comparison

Harrison Barnes verticalAlthough he may not win the award, Harrison Barnes deserves a spot in the Most Improved Player conversation, Sam Guertler of Mavs Moneyball suggests. The forward’s offensive game improved dramatically in his first year as a targeted weapon in Dallas, without any compromise in efficiency.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Additional Better Late Than Nevers
Author: Sam Guertler – @SamGuertler
Link: Harrison Barnes Most Improved Player

It takes a delicate balance of usefulness and expendability for a player to suit up for three different franchises in one season. This year, Ersan Ilyasova dressed for the Thunder, Sixers, and Hawks, and still managed to set a new career high for points in a season. Miles Wray of The Step Back took a good long look at how the season stands up historically.

Rating: 9 out of 10 Bonus Points For Playing For Two Altogether Different Teams Last Year
Author: Miles Wray – @MilesWray
Link: NBA players who play for three teams in one season

It was hard to evaluate the first season in the NBA for Jakob Poeltl, a lottery pick on a reigning Eastern Conference Finals squad, but Brian Boake set out to do so anyway for Raptors Rapture. In Poeltl, the Raptors have a cheap, malleable option to audition as their Stretch 5 of the Future.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Teenage Mutant Ninjas
Author: Brian Boake – @NewmarketBrian
Link: Jakob Poeltl’s future with Raptors

Over the years, Gregg Popovich has simply owned Mike D’Antoni in the NBA playoffs, so much so that the J.R. Wilco over at Pounding the Rock had a particularly specific video commissioned just to drive home the point.

Rating: 9 out of 10 Academy Award-Winning Method Actors
Author: J.R. Wilco – @JRWilco
Link: Gregg Popovich, Mike D’Antoni History

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hoops Links Vol. 4: Conspiracy Theories, Broken Mechanics, More

Once a week, we here at Hoops Rumors like to share the best blog content on the internet. In this, our fourth installment, of Hoops Links we take you all over the blogosphere from the upcoming NBA lottery to the Raptors rebuild that never was and the fountain of youth.

Want to see your favorite content featured here next week? Submit it for possible inclusion by tweeting @AustinKent or emailing HoopsRumorsTips@Sports.ws. We want entertaining, unique content and that’s exactly what’s out there.

When the dust settled on the 2016/17 regular season, the Magic finished with the fifth-worst record in the NBA. This week, Aaron Goldstone of Orlando Pinstriped Post explored what that means for their lottery odds. The team with the fifth-best odds has won the lottery five times since its inception, Goldstone writes, but a simple look at the probabilities of possible outcomes reveals that the club is most likely to walk away with the No. 6 pick.

Rating: 9 out of 10 Spontaneous Math Tutorials
Author: Aaron Goldstone – @GoldstoneAaron
Link: Orlando Magic lottery odds

Kristaps Porzingis verticalMight Kristaps Porzingis have intentionally published the cryptic Clippers tweet to send a message to Knicks owner James Dolan? Behold a conspiracy theory from the nefarious mind of one New York blogger notorious for having once trafficked in deceit himself to improve standing in the workplace. Richard Bertin of Daily Knicks suggests that the hacking claim rings false and that other motives are at play.

Rating: 7 out of 10 And Anyway, Leaving Your Account Open Isn’t The Same As Being Hacked Eithers
Author: Richard Bertin – @RichardBertin
Link: Kristaps Porzingis’ Clippers tweet

The shock of the Raptors‘ sweep at the hands of the Cavaliers has started to give way to action and a Masai Ujiri exit interview this week reassured fans that he’s well aware of what needs to be done. Adam Corsair of South of the 6ix is comfortable having faith in the Raptors president. A full Ujiri rebuild, Corsair writes, is eerily exciting considering we haven’t actually seen one yet.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Vetoed Knicks Trades
Author: Adam Corsair – @ACorsair21
Link: Ujiri’s options for Raptors offseason

He hasn’t played a game in the NBA yet, but that doesn’t stop the Sixers and their fans from planning a future with Ben Simmons in their lineup. Myles Stedman of The Sixers Sense went through each of the top draft prospects for this upcoming class and discussed how they could fit alongside 2016’s first overall pick.

Rating: 7 out of 10 Mock Draft Addictions
Author: Myles Stedman – @StedsTake
Link: Sixers draft prospects

It’s hard to know just what impact LaVar Ball‘s assumed involvement will have on Lonzo Ball‘s NBA career but Anthony Irwin of Silver Screen and Roll cautions that the most famous father in this year’s draft class is likely licking his chops at the size of the Lakers‘ platform. That could be one of several unnecessary distractions.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Luxury Flip Flops
Author: Anthony Irwin – @AnthonyIrwinLA
Link: Lonzo Ball and the Lakers

With age comes wisdom and a vastly improved three-point shot — the Raptors learned this the hard way not long after the Pacers did last month. Is 32 the new 22? The way LeBron James has been tearing through the NBA seems to suggest as much. For the King James Gospel, Dan Gilinsky wrote about how James and the Cavaliers are looking more dominant than ever.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Goats
Author: Dan Gilinsky – @ArmchairQBDan
Link: LeBron James aging well

Andre Drummond verticalIt was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad season for Pistons fans, and making matters worse is that Andre Drummond may not fully own up to what went wrong. Steve Hinson of Detroit Bad Boys recently broke down an interview the big man gave and wasn’t too impressed.

Rating: 7 out of 10 Mats Of Luscious Shoulder Hair
Author: Steve Hinson – @Shinons8
Link: Andre Drummond discusses Pistons season

It was a rough year for Chandler Parsons this season, as the 28-year-old posted career lows across the board just months after signing a max contract. Still, the most disappointing thing about it wasn’t Parsons’ lack of production, but his lack of awareness as to what it means to commit to the Grizzlies franchise. Joe Mullinax of Grizzly Bear Blues argues that the star should make more of an effort to fit into the Memphis community if he wants to be embraced.

Rating: 9 out of 10 Screencapped Instagram Comments
Author: Joe Mullinax – @JoeMullinax
Link: Chandler Parsons disappointing Memphis season

Minor tweaks to shooting mechanics could help Justise Winslow improve his jumper in much the same way that Kawhi Leonard benefited from slight changes to his own shot. Wes Goldberg of All U Can Heat broke down the Heat forward’s shooting stroke and suggests that establishing a more consistent base could help him increase a woeful 20% “wide-open” three-point percentage.

Rating: 8 out of 10 Spontaneous Physics Tutorials
Author: Wes Goldberg – @WCGoldberg
Link: Justise Winslow shooting mechanics

After a tumultuous few seasons, Lance Stephenson is back with the Pacers and Josh Padmore of 8 Points, 9 Seconds wonders if the swingman can return to near-All-Star form. He argues that Stephenson and the Pacers are just meant to be.

Rating: 7 out of 10 Memes
Author: Josh Padmore – @JPadmore92
Link: Lance Stephenson back with Pacers

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hoops Rumors Accepting Best Blog Links

As you’ve surely heard by now, we’ve revamped our weekly Hoops Rumors link dump. Now more than ever we want to shine on a light on the best original content that comes out of the blogosphere. Think you know of a blog post that deserves recognition? Submit them for possible inclusion in next week’s post.

There is no shortage of sports content available on the internet but there’s something about the blog community that stands out. What we want to spread is original, entertaining content, the perfect blend between quality and fan passion.

The next time you come across a great article – even if you, ahem, wrote it yourself – let us know. You can mention @AustinKent on Twitter or even send an email to HoopsRumorsTips@Sports.ws.

Here’s a look back at our Hoops Links posts from the last three weeks.

May 4 – Vol. 3: Traditional Big Men, Puppies, More
April 27 – Vol. 2: The Next MJ, McGee’s Reign, More
April 20 – Vol. 1: Unpopular Raptors, Kobe GIFs, More

Hoops Links Vol. 3: Traditional Big Men, Puppies, More

Welcome to Hoops Links, your one-stop shop collection of the best original content from around the NBA blogosphere. Consider it a mid-week safari of sports news, just with more journalism and fewer hyenas savaging the carcasses of fallen jackals.

As I do every week, this is my plea for all readers to hit me up with future articles so that each edition of Hoops Links can shine a light on areas of the online hoops community that deserve it. You can email them to me at HoopsRumorsTips@Sports.ws or send them to me on Twitter (@AustinKent). Heck, flag down any of the Hoops Rumors staff the next time you see us walking down the street and that’ll work just as well.

Lost in the excitement of the thrilling Game 2 finish between the Wizards and Celtics is that Washington could realistically have pulled out the victory in regulation. Jake Whitacre of Bullets Forever relives the last 14 seconds of the fourth quarter and breaks down what went wrong.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Missed Opportunities
Author: Jake Whitacre – @JakeWhitacre
Link: Wizards-Celtics, Game 2

Jrue Holiday verticalA thorough look at advanced metrics reveals that Jrue Holiday is a valuable second-tier guard. Oleh Kosel of The Bird Writes recently walked through the NOLA playmaker’s portfolio and revealed that, while his numbers may lack in comparison to some of his elite counterparts, the fact that the pending free agent is willing to defer to players like Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins is a good thing, not a bad thing.
Rating: 9 out of 10 It’s Not A Bug, It’s A Features
Author: Oleh Kosel – @RedHopeful
Link: Jrue Holiday offensive metrics

Through seven seasons in the NBA, and especially this most recent one, James Harden has established himself as a scoring savant capable of stuffing the stat sheet with gaudy point and assists totals. That much we know. This second-round series between the Rockets and Spurs, however, will serve as an indication as to whether or not the box-score stuffer is ready to formally join the league’s contending elite. Kwame Fisher-Jones of The 76er Files has the details.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Most Valuable MVP Runners-Up
Author: Kwame Fisher-Jones – @MrJonesNBA
Link: James Harden Rockets-Spurs series

When the Cavaliers were limping through the second half of the regular season, criticism of head coach Tyronn Lue was commonplace. Quenton Albertie at King James Gospel, for one, admits to not-so-subtly calling for the man’s firing. Fast forward one month later and the Cavs are back running like a well-oiled machine, a testament to the adjustments Lue has made from the sidelines, and writers like Albertie have changed their tune.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Richard Jefferson Snapchats
Author: Quenton Albertie – @QuentonAlbertie
Link: Cavs coach Tyronn Lue

The Magic will be well represented in the new BIG3 league set to debut this summer. A total of 10 former Orlando players were drafted to three-on-three rosters last Sunday. While Rashard Lewis and Jason Williams team up to captain the 3-Headed Monsters, the list of former Magic players who will participate is significant (we see you Larry Hughes! BONUS LINK). Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily has the complete list.
Rating: 6 out of 10 Flat-Footed Old Guy Jumpers
Author: Philip Rossman-Reich – @OMagicDaily
Link: Orlando Magic BIG3 players

LeBron beerThe same Ohio beer company that infamously launched a special ale called Quitness when LeBron James left for the Heat in 2010 have now taken to using the King’s own image in a more recent promotion. As Henry Bushnell lays out at Ball Don’t Lie, James’ legal team will handle the beer company looking to cash in on James pretending to take a sip out of a beer bottle on the tray of a courtside server last Monday.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Marketing Fails
Author: Henry Bushnell – @HenryBushnell
Link: Beer company’s LeBron James promotion

A Michigan-wide dog adoption event ended about as well as any of us could have hoped, with Stan Van Gundy taking home the last of the available canines at a Harbor Springs Humane Society. For Detroit Bad Boys, Sean Corp breaks down the Van Gundy family’s decision to take home the lab with complicated medical needs. “And with this,” one DBB commenter says, “SVG concludes the Pistons’ offseason roster movement.” He’s kidding. We hope.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Good Boys
Author: Sean Corp – @Sean_Corp
Link: Stan Van Gundy adopts dog

The Celtics and Wizards had beef even before their second-round series, Jeff Clark writes for Celtics Blog, but that doesn’t mean can’t get progressively worse. Clark talks about the “boop” game and the “funeral” game and the fact that Markieff Morris has a reputation for finding himself involved in “extracurricular activities.”
Rating: 7 out of 10 Reminders Not To Leave The Bench In The Event Of An Altercation
Author: Jeff Clark – @CelticsBlog
Link: Celtics-Wizards Feud

It’s getting harder and harder for the Raptors to get by with Jonas Valanciunas on the court and the club’s latest matchup is yet one more compelling case for the club to fully embrace small ball. For The Step Back, Andrew Bernucca writes that Toronto deserves credit for having the foresight to acquire Serge Ibaka at the deadline, but that it’s no longer justifiable to have the back-to-the-basket Valanciunas out there with him.
Rating: 9 out of 10 Signs Of The Time
Author: Andrew Bernucca – @Krosoveri
Link: Jonas Valanciunas small ball

Plodding big man Al Jefferson came under fire from his own general manager for not being in great shape this postseason. C. Cooper of Indy Cornrows, however, calls to question the Pacers in general, arguing that they ought to get the rest of the bench working effectively around him, too.
Rating: 6 out of 10 Floor Spacing Issues
Author: C. Cooper – @C2_Cooper
Link: Al Jefferson out of shape

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hoops Links Vol. 2: The Next MJ, McGee’s Reign, More

It’s here. The second installment of our revamped Hoops Links feature. If you missed last week’s debut, you can check it out now. This week, we have an entirely new batch of the best posts and pieces published from all around the blogosphere.

Before you read on, remember that we’re looking for original NBA content from all around the internet. The next time you read an article that you think could make the cut, send it to Austin Kent on Twitter (@AustinKent) or at HoopsRumorsTips@Sports.ws.

Michael Jordan verticalThe NBA has evolved so much over the course of the past 10 years that gone are the days where any 6’6″ swingman capable of flushing a highlight reel dunk was touted as the “Next Michael Jordan.” Howard Beck of Bleacher Report takes a good long look at how Jordan’s legacy has changed over the course of the past two decades.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Harold Miner Posters
Author: Howard Beck – @HowardBeck
Link: The Next Michael Jordan

If the Grizzlies weren’t already the most affable and relatable team capable of contending in the Western Conference, they are after ESPN cameras captured Mike Conley and Marc Gasol hugging following their Game 4 win. This week, Ross Jarrar of Grizzly Bear Blues wrote about how and why the gesture has resonated so much.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Public Bromances
Author: Ross Jarrar – @ASAPRockyTop
Link: Mike Conley and Marc Gasol hug

There’s no denying that the best Shaquille O’Neal rap album analysis is unsolicited Shaquille O’Neal rap album analysis, so when PopGates‘ Charlie Wooley journeyed back to the early nineties and broke down the big man’s musical debut, we took notice.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Triple Threats
Author: Charlie Wooley – @WooleyCharlie
Link: Shaq Diesel review

It wasn’t the only ill-conceived trade in the NBA this season, but Charlotte’s move to take on Miles Plumlee and his bloated contract may have been the worst of the bunch, says Jerry Stephens of Swarm and Sting. Stephens ruminates on the desperate decision the Hornets made to ship Roy Hibbert and Spencer Hawes to the Bucks mid-season and how it’s already impacting the team’s wallet.
Rating: 6 out of 10 Reddit Memes
Author: Jerry Stephens – @JR_StephNBA
Link: Nebulous Miles Plumlee trade

Former NBA commissioner David Stern gives the Nets the benefit of the doubt that they may not have fully understood the impact their decision to rest players in the final game of regular season would have on the playoff picture. Still, he isn’t afraid to call out the only franchise with absolutely zero incentive to rest players for inexplicably letting the Bulls waltz uncontested into the postseason. Henry Bushnell discusses the details at Ball Don’t Lie.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Disappointed Grandfathers
Author: Henry Bushnell – @HenryBushnell
Link: Stern criticizes Nets for resting players

There was plenty of skepticism over Brad Stevens‘ decision to put Gerald Green in the Celtics‘ starting lineup after two surprising losses to the Bulls in their first round playoff series, but the move has significantly changed the outlook of that series. Tim MacLean breaks down the impact the 31-year-old Green has had on Boston’s matchups and floor-spacing for Celtics Blog.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Birthday Candles
Author: Tim MacLean – @MacLeanNBA
Link: Starting Gerald Green

Norman Powell horizontalFor the second year in a row, Norman Powell has emerged as a driving force behind the Raptors‘ playoff success, so what keeps on happening and why doesn’t Dwane Casey just employ him this way year-round? Shyam Baskaran of Raptors Republic writes about how the space on the wing Toronto freed up for Powell by trading Terrence Ross was quickly swallowed up by the additions of veterans Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Dwane Casey Rotation Changes
Author: Shyam Baskaran – @ShyamBaskaran
Link: Norman Powell in the playoffs

Although he was widely lauded as an elite defensive prospect (among other things), Andrew Wiggins‘ first three seasons of NBA action don’t exactly support the hypothesis that he could be a lockdown perimeter threat. With Wiggins’ value still high, given his raw athleticism and offensive output, could it be the perfect time for the Timberwolves to move him? Erik Voldness of The Blog That Boredom Built suggests as much.
Rating: 6 out of 10 Maple Jordans
Author: Erik Voldness
Link: Trade Andrew Wiggins now?

No matter how you look at it, JaVale McGee‘s game-altering impact has given the Warriors a devastating new weapon. And, believe it or not, this isn’t just some hastily scribbled fan fiction published by a mysterious dude on the internet named Pierre. What McGee’s athleticism and length brings to the Dubs’ second-unit is profound. However, as Scott Rafferty writes for The Step Back, let’s not thrust him into a starting role with 30-plus minutes per game just yet.
Rating: 9 out of 10 Awkward Cross-Generational NBA Feuds
Author: Scott Rafferty – @CrabDribbles
Link: JaVale McGee, Warriors secret weapon

If Paul George to the Lakers is an inevitability, which a cursory look at the rumor mill seems to suggest, somebody ought to take a peek at what a trade might actually look like. Ryan Magdziarz of Sir Charles In Charge recently patched together a possible scenario that could land George in Los Angeles while sending a pair of young Lakers to the Pacers.
Rating: 6 out of 10 Hours Spent On The Trade Machine
Author: Ryan Magdziarz – @RyanMagdziarz
Link: Paul George’s future

Hoops Links Vol. 1: Unpopular Raptors, Kobe GIFs, More

Welcome to Hoops Links. My name is Austin Kent. If you’re one of the many who realize that today is Thursday and not the weekend, you’ll already have noticed that we’re doing things a little bit differently here.

We love the NBA blogosphere. I may have personally mentioned it about a thousand times already. To prove it, we decided to change how we feature content that comes to us from bloggers across the internet.

What you’ll see below are 10 of our favorite original content pieces from around the internet. Some were user-submitted; some we went out and flagged ourselves because we enjoyed them so much.

I urge everybody reading this to make note of the next great article they read and send it to me for possible inclusion in next week’s Hoops Links post (even if that brilliant author is you).

You can get at me on Twitter 24/7 @AustinKent or send your tips to HoopsRumorsTips@Sports.ws. Obviously we don’t have room to include everything that gets sent our way, but unique, genuinely interesting content generally tends to find its way in front of an audience.

The Pistons played their last game in the Palace of Auburn Hills last week and Sports on Earth‘s Will Leitch was there to document it while enjoying a totally normal vacation to Michigan in April. If you’re looking for a nostalgia-soaked ode to the awkwardly suburban masterpiece, this isn’t it. Leitch’s account of the facility’s NBA finale is as emotionless and firmly entrenched in regular old depressing reality as the entire past decade has been for the Pistons organization.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Dancing Ushers.
Author: Will Leitch – @WilliamFLeitch
Link: Pistons’ last game at the Palace of Auburn Hills

Carmelo Anthony verticalIt wasn’t long ago when Carmelo Anthony‘s wife was in his ear convincing him to request a trade out of Denver to a bigger market. Now that the pair have split up, some are wondering if the Nuggets should make an effort to reacquired their former All-Star. Matthew Huff of Nugg Love says not to expect it. Or want it, really.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Cheerios
Author: Matthew Huff – @Huff_Melo7
Link: Carmelo Anthony should not return to Nuggets

The Raptors organization has made countless questionable additions over the course of the past two decades, but only a handful have stood the test of time as constant reminders of unadulterated disappointment. Over at Raptors HQ, Mitch Robson facilitated a 64-man tournament to determine which player was the least popular of them all. Nobody holds a grudge like a Raptors fan.
Rating: 9 out of 10 National Primo Pasta Endorsements
Author: Mitch Robson- @_MitchRobson
Link: The most unpopular Raptors of all time

There was a notable discrepancy in fouls calls between the Grizzlies and Spurs when the two collided for Game 2 of their first-round series this week and Memphis head coach David Fizdale wasn’t afraid to make a scene about it. The thing is, the Grizzlies actually do foul a lot. Especially when compared to San Antonio. Please forward all ire and thrown tomatoes at Michael Erler of Pounding the Rock and not me.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Warnings That Memphis Fans Shouldn’t Read This
Author: Michael Erler
Link: Grizzlies average more fouls than Spurs

We’ve all heard by now that Kobe Bryant obsessed over ways of stopping Allen Iverson. Anthony Irwin of Silver Screen and Roll has come through with the video evidence to show just what the Mamba might have learned whilst studying. Seeing the legends square off in their early twenties is a joy to watch, and not just because you will immediately get the NBA on NBC theme song stuck in your head.
Rating: 8 out of 10 CRT Television Sets
Author: Anthony Irwin – @AnthonyIrwinLA
Link: How Kobe Bryant defended Allen Iverson

There’s a fine line between modest transgression and outright corruption, and professional sports organizations would be wise to tread carefully to avoid either. Kenyon Redfoot of Unsung Zeroes recently wrote about how player agents should steer clear of compensating prospective clients to persuade them to sign with their agencies for fear of committing commercial bribery.
Rating: 6 out of 10 Bitter Realizations That I Retained Nothing From My Own Sport Law Lectures
Author: Kenyon Redfoot – @KenyonRedfoot
Link: Commercial bribery between NBA players and agents

Larry Bird verticalIn a matter of two years, the forecast for the Pacers franchise dimmed considerably. Chris Wooden of Sir Charles In Charge wonders if Larry Bird ruined things by making too many reactionary moves and not thinking about the big picture. Had Indiana retained Frank Vogel and George Hill, might the team stand a better chance of making its first-round matchup with the Cavaliers competitive?
Rating: 6 out of 10 Nate McMillan Playbooks
Author: Chris Wooden – @SDChrisWooden
Link: Larry Bird’s impact on Pacers

Consider David Fizdale‘s rant about the lack of respect his Grizzlies get from the officials an all-timer. So says Ball Don’t Lie‘s Kelly Dwyer, who breaks down the fiery post-conference monologue and the impact it’s already had. As Dwyer notes, Grizzlies players – appreciative of Fizdale’s lobbying on their behalf – agreed to pay their bench boss’s $30K fine.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Data
Author: Kelly Dwyer – @KDOnHoops
Link: David Fizdale’s post-game rant

It’s hard to determine whether the Celtics have been underachieving in the postseason or whether the Bulls have been punching above their weight — that’s part of what makes the NBA postseason so special. Andrew Tobolowsky of The Step Back argues that it could very well be a little bit of both.
Rating: 8 out of 10 Playoff Rondos
Author: Andrew Tobolowsky – @AndyTobo
Link: Bulls-Celtics series analysis

There are plenty of cases where player comparisons between draft prospects and existing NBAers don’t hold much weight, but that’s not the case with De’Aaron Fox. Kevin Rowley of The Sixers Sense explained how Fox fits the bill as another Elfrid Payton, and says that’s exactly why the Sixers should avoid the temptation to draft him this June.
Rating: 7 out of 10 Ping Pong Balls
Author: Kevin Rowley
Link: Sixers should not draft De’Aaron Fox

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Send Your Best Blog Posts Our Way

Hoops Rumors will be expanding how we engage with the basketball blogosphere and ramping up our current Hoops Links offerings. We love what the blog community means to the sports world and want to make sure that we shine a light on the best original content pumped out by journalists and fans alike.

Typically, we’ve posted our weekly round-up of the blogosphere’s best content on Sundays. That will change going forward so that we can publish our weekly celebration of the internet’s top material during the middle of the week when readers are chained to their cubicles desperate for distraction material.

Help us help you be that distraction material.

My name is Austin Kent and I’ll be the primary point of contact for this venture heading forward, you can get at me on Twitter at @AustinKent. With or without content submissions, I’ll be constantly scouring the web for the best blog content, the funniest material, and the most thought provoking analysis printed on this here contraption we call the internet.

If you’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into an original long-form feature for your own independent blog, send it my way. If you know of a particularly entertaining post from a major networked blog, yeah, we want that too. At the end of the day, we want the highest quality content churned out by the fan community, regardless of the publication’s pedigree, and we want it all.

This is a green light to promote your favorite blogs, even if that blog is your own. Just be aware that we receive a significant volume of submissions and will only be able to share the best of the best with our readers.

What are you waiting for? It’s time to start generating content.

Twitter: @AustinKent
Email: HoopsRumorsTips@sports.ws

Hoops Links: Joseph, Lowry, Lillard

On Sundays, we link to some of the very best work from around the basketball blogosphere. Do you have a link to a great basketball blog post – either your own or someone else’s – that you want to see featured on Hoops Rumors? Send it to us at HoopsLinks@gmail.com. Here’s this week’s rundown:

  • Brian Boake of Raptors Rapture takes a look at Toronto’s cap situation and believes the team needs to shed salary this offseason in order to re-sign its own free agents. Boake believes Cory Joseph is expendable and Denver would be a good place to send the point guard.
  • The Jump Ball discusses the Clippers, Sam Hinkie and the league’s awards in its latest podcast.
  • South of the 6ixth talks Kyle Lowry‘s return and playoff seeding in its latest podcast.
  • RealGM passes along notes from the 2017 Nike Hoop Summit.
  • SLC Dunk examined how Damian Lillard‘s recent 59 point game stacks up against previous Jazz opponents.

Hoops Links: Lowry, Antetokounmpo, NCAA Tournament

On Sundays, we link to some of the very best work from around the basketball blogosphere. Do you have a link to a great basketball blog post – either your own or someone else’s – that you want to see featured on Hoops Rumors? Send it to us at HoopsLinks@gmail.com. Here’s this week’s rundown:

Hoops Links: LeBron, Tucker, Lakers, Kings

On Sundays, we link to some of the very best work from around the basketball blogosphere. Do you have a link to a great basketball blog post – either your own or someone else’s – that you want to see featured on Hoops Rumors? Send it to us at HoopsLinks@gmail.com. Here’s this week’s rundown:

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