Tag:Royce Young
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:17 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 7:40 pm

2012 NBA All-Star reserves roundtable

Posted by Ben Golliver, Matt Moore and Royce Young 

All eyes are on Love, Griffin and the rest of the West forwards again. (Getty Images)

1. The Western forwards are the toughest decision. What's your pick there and what's the second toughest decision?

Matt Moore: Pau Gasol's not worthy and doesn't have the historic success to validate a career achievement selection. Paul Millsap gets hosed because he doesn't have enough usage. It's Griffin, Love, and LaMarcus Aldridge. You simply can't exclude any of them. Second toughest I think is whether to include anyone from the Hawks or Sixers. Both teams use comprehensive, cohesive approach to both sides of the ball. Choosing one guy seems a disservice to the others. 

Royce Young: I think you have to take both LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love. There's just no way around it. Pau Gasol and Paul Millsap are snubs, but that's just life. I'd say the second toughest decision is between Tony Parker, Steve Nash and James Harden. All three have terrific claims, but not all three can go. 

Ben Golliver: I disagree with the premise of the question and agree with you guys. It's clearly Griffin, Love and Aldridge. Griffin is the most questionable of the three and he's already in by default. Millsap likely get hosed but there's a process to this All-Star thing and he's working his way up the chain; Nowitzki definitely doesn't deserve it and he did the right thing by saying as much. I don't think this one is all that tough. I would probably cheat and try to sneak Pau Gasol in as a center, or play semantics and call Aldridge a center to get Gasol in as a forward. The spillover effect at the West center is probably the toughest. Pau and Marc Gasol both have a case, Al Jefferson probably thinks he has a case and Tim Duncan looms as the sentimental guy. Something has to give. 

2. Let's say the reserves all have to actually be reserves, non-starters. What's your list?

Young: In the East, can I just say the 76ers bench? Because that's pretty much it. For the West, Mo Williams, James Harden, Jamal Crawford, Jason Terry, Al Harrington, Derrick Favors and Yao Ming (just kidding).

: West I'd go Mo Williams, James Harden, Nicolas Batum, Al Harrington, Derrick Favors, Ian Mahinmi, O.J. Mayo. East I'd go with J.J. Redick, C.J. Watson, Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, Brandon Bass, Ersan Ilyasova, and Jodan Farmar.

Golliver: The Eastern Conference doesn't have a full team of All-Star worthy starters this year, let alone reserves. You might as well just send Andray Blatche if we are going to play that game. In terms of the West, maybe just an all-perimeter line-up of Mo Williams, James Harden, Andre Miller, Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford, and Jimmer Fredette, just because this was kind of a dumb question. Al Harrington and Nicolas Batum would be in too.

3. Who's getting hosed the most Thursday night? 

Golliver: I'm worried it will be Kyrie Irving, due to the blind anti-rookie bias and the fact that Cleveland is just a touch out of the playoff picture in the East. His case statistically is stronger than any of the other snubs. Top-25 league-wide in PER as a teenager? That deserves a medal.

Moore: Marc Gasol. Arguably the best center in the West and his star power isn't enough to warrant a selection. 

Young: I'm afraid it's going to be Kyle Lowry. He's playing on a decent Houston team and is really kind of having an MVP quality season, but it seems not many are noticing it. Plus, there are way too many good, bigger name point guards in the West.

4. Let's say Rondo sits out to get healthy. Who do you take between Kyrie Irving, Deron Williams, and Brandon Jennings?

Moore: Deron Williams and Kyrie Irving. Williams' numbers stack up and I won't punish Williams for getting traded to the Nets who can't put together a team if it was 2kSports, and Irving is already a premier point guard with elite production numbers. Jennings hasn't been efficient long enough. 

I go with Irving and Jennings. Deron Williams just doesn't get a pass for mailing in the first three weeks of the season. He's playing more like himself lately, but he wasn't good for a while. Jennings is a tad erratic, but has carried the Bucks near .500 while being without Andrew Bogut for a lot of the season. And Irving, well, he's just been fantastic, rookie or not. 

Golliver: Jennings has a shockingly compelling case given the season he had last year but I think it's Irving and then Williams. D-Will has probably taken the biggest step back in overall appeal of any 2011 All-Star since Los Angeles.

5. Who's going to be the worst All-Star selected this year, starter or reserve? Think Gerald Wallace's performance in 2010. 

: Joe Johnson. I'm always so bored when Joe Johnson gets picked, but it's inevitable.

Golliver: Roy Hibbert, assuming he gets selected or added at a later date. He will only be remembered if he gets Mozgov'd or Perkins'd. After writing this I'm now actively hoping he winds up snubbed.

Moore: Andre Iguodala makes everyone better. That's like, the opposite of what the All-Star game is about. Iggy's a worthy selection but not a great fit. Too selfless.
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:57 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 11:01 pm

Perkins talks about why he slammed LeBron

Posted by Royce Young

When someone calls someone else out through the media, typically things just go round and round for a while. And that's the cycle we're caught in with the Kendrick Perkins - LeBron James beef. Perkins called out LeBron, LeBron responded and now Perkins is responding to LeBron's response.

But some were a little bit confused as to why Perkins singled out LeBron for his tweet about the Blake Griffin dunk. Perkins went on Jim Rome today and explained himself further.

"I got a lot of respect for him, no doubt," Perkins began with. But then he explained himself a little.

"It happened, let it be," said Perkins. "If it was on the other foot, I definitely wouldn't be tweeting it from another team. I'm not about to tweet, 'Oh, JaVale McGee just dunked on such and such. Oh wow.' Nah, I'm not on that. Because me personally, if you don't bleed OKC or aren't a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder I don't really care what kind of highlights you got."

LeBron responded yesterday to Perkins' initial criticism by saying, "From day one, that's why I got to Twitter, to connect to my fans. I would never apologize for anything like that when I’m connecting with my fans.

"I can see why he may have felt embarrassed," he said. "I don’t think I was the only one that reacted to that unbelievable play by Blake, and that's what it was all about, me acknowledging how great of a play it was. If Kendrick Perkins had dunked on somebody else on the other end, I would have done the same thing.

Perkins though said he wasn't embarrassed at all by the play even confessed that he's watch it "over and over again on YouTube" and said when his kids are older that he'll probably show it to them. But he sees the dunk and the tweeting as two separate things.

Rome asked Perkins if it was really just a "keep my name out of your mouth" type of thing.

"Yeah basically. Just do your job. Worry about the Heat," Perkins said.

Perkins said the Thunder have a mentalilty of "all we have is each other" and that they want to beat other guys, not get excited about what they do.

"You'll never see any of our guys tweeting about any highlights from anybody else from around the league because we don't care," he said. "So we really don't care about what you're doing."

But for real now guys, let's just let this thing die.

Via Thunder Rumblings
Posted on: February 9, 2012 2:49 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 4:14 pm

Jeremy Lin says Tebow is an inspiration to him

Jeremy Lin is kind of sort of the NBA's version of Tim Tebow. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Linsanty, meet Tebow Mania.

Jeremy Lin's explosion onto the NBA scene isn't quite to the 24/7 talk that followed around Tim Tebow, but in terms of NBA storylines, it's about as close as we're going to get. The only thing that might be able to match it is if Jimmer Fredette started scoring 25 points a game in the fourth quarter while leading the Kings to a 10-game win streak.

For now, it's Linsanity. This is a guy that was cut from two NBA teams (the Warriors and Rockets, with GM Daryl Morey admitting today on Twitter he messed up on Lin), is sleeping on a teammate's couch and wasn't entirely sure he wasn't going to get cut by the Knicks yesterday. Lin joined 95.7 The Game in San Francisco to talk about his rise to fame, including a person he draws some inspiration from -- one Timothy Tebow:
“Actually a lot of inspiration just because [Tebow's] such a polarizing figure but I think the things he says in interviews, his approach to the game is just unbelievable and I respect him so much. I want to be able to do some of the things that he does in terms of the amount of charity work and the non-profit work, and the way he impacts people off the field. I think that is what is most inspiring to me about him.”
Getting to know Jeremy Lin

Like Tebow, Lin wears his faith on his sleeve a bit. He mentioned God quite a bit during the interview and his Twitter bio says, "to know Him is to want to know Him more," with his profile picture being Jesus talking to a man on a bench. Lin hasn't spawned the jokes or putdowns that came with Tebow, but he definitely relates.

Lin, a Harvard grad that didn't get a single scholarship offer out of high school and went undrafted, isn't afraid to say he's surprised by his success.
“Yeah definitely true. I can’t sit here and say I knew this would happen or something like that. I think it’s something that I’ve been working towards to try to kind of establish myself in the rotation but to have this happen so fast has been miraculous and I’m just so thankful to God, my teammates, and this organization for giving me this opportunity. It’s been an unbelievable week.”
He's getting his shot now and he's taking advantage of it. In his three games playing prominant minutes with the Knicks, he's averaging 25.3 points and 8.3 assists. The Knicks have won three straight games, two coming without Amar'e Stoudemire or Carmelo Anthony. It's still early on in Linsanity and things could chill at any moment.

But for now, Lin's living the dream. And sleeping on a teammate's couch.

Via Sports Radio Interviews
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:39 pm

Mo Williams is frustrated with the Clippers

Mo Williams wants the Clippers to tell him they love him. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

After the Clippers acquired Chris Paul, the obvious assumption was that Mo Williams was instant trade bait. The Clips just picked up CP3, just signed Chauncey Billups and had youngster Eric Bledsoe as a third option.

But the Clippers held on to Williams and it has paid off big time. He's having a Sixth Man Award caliber year off the L.A. bench and even has gotten a little chatter to be named an All-Star. He's been nothing short of terrific and a big part of the Clipper rotation.

And he wants to be recognized for it. As he told T.J. Simers of the L.A. Times, he just wants "to know where I stand with the Clippers." Which is another way of saying, "Pay me."
"I want to play," he says in explaining his attitude, but what he really means to say is, he wants to start. But aren't Paul and Billups better players?

"I'll let you decide," Williams says. "They are teammates of mine, so I won't say."

I help him out: They are much better than you are. Now Billups is out, and Coach Vinny Del Negro is going with Randy Foye as his starter instead of Williams. Obvious question for Williams: Are you upset about this?

"For this team I have a role," he says, "whether I accept it or not."

And does he accept it, his job still to come off the bench and provide energy and scoring?

"Like I said, I'm playing basketball," he says.
Williams has two years left on his deal pay him $8.5 million a season. The Clippers have said they don't see him as simply trade bait and with the injury to Billups, that will likely be true. But he still wants an extension and he wants a better role.
"The way they tell you they love you every day is by signing you to a contract extension," Williams says.


"This has nothing to do with money," Williams says.

Any time an athlete says it has nothing to do with the money, it has everything to do with money.

"You misinterpreted what I said," Williams says. "This has nothing to do with money; I just don't know where I stand.

"I could be traded tomorrow. I could be traded next week or before March 15, [the trade deadline], or before next season. They aren't going to trade Blake Griffin."

I help him out again. "You are not in the same class as Blake Griffin," and he seems surprised.

"I'm not looking for anything," he says. "I'll approach every day the same and be prepared to play, but in a month I could be gone. I'm just answering your questions now."
For a guy that's had a bit of a rebirth on a team most didn't see being this good before the CP3 trade, he sure does seem a bit disgruntled. Selfish, even. He has a role, is playing a lot and doing his job well. He's getting paid well and the Clippers have said they aren't going to trade him. What more does he want? A contract extension? Who doesn't want one? Financial security is wonderful, but worry about that later. Focus on doing your job every night and that'll take care of itself.

The Clippers need Williams more than ever now. Without Billups, Williams is as important a player as they have, not named Blake or Chris. He's their top option off the bench and a major part of their success. If he doesn't realize that or needs the Clippers to tell him that in the form of a contract extension, then I'd just say he's got his priorities mixed up.
Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:53 pm

Kobe says his wrist is fully healed

Kobe says his wrist is officially healed. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

There are people that play through injuries, and then there's Kobe Bryant. Some just try and get by while something heals, but not Kobe. Despite having a torn up wrist, he didn't just get by, he averaged 29.3 points a game, tops in the NBA, shooting the ball all over and putting together a couple 40-point nights.

But that's in the past now, Kobe says. Via the O.C. Register:
Kobe Bryant told me after Lakers practice on Wednesday the torn ligament in his right wrist is completely behind him.

“I got through it,” Bryant said.

When I asked him if he would use the term “healed,” Bryant said: “Yes.”

Bryant said he stopped using the pregame injection that would numb the wrist to pain two games ago.

A lot of people wondered if Kobe should just shut things down to let it heal, but it looks like he knew what he was doing. That's assuming it's actually healed and Kobe's not just saying that so everyone will quit asking about it.

Kobe had been taping his wrist, but even has ditched that too.

“I experimented with no injection in Utah, and the next game felt completely fine,” Bryant said. “So, no tape, no injection. I’m good.”

Kobe injured the wrist in the Lakers' first preseason game against the Clippers, when he fell hard landing on it. He didn't miss a game but instead just taped it up and played through it. He said he had to deal with constant pain, but obviously it was worth it to him to be on the floor for a Laker team that clearly needed him.

The wrist didn't stop Kobe from recently passing Shaquille O'Neal on the all-time scoring list either, as No. 24 moved to No. 4 on the NBA's top scorers list.
Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:32 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 10:33 pm

Video: Jeremy Lin crosses John Wall and dunks

Posted by Royce Young

Move over No. 6. You're in third place now.

OK, so maybe Linsanity hasn't reach that level quite yet where an averaging dunk is better than LeBron's over John Lucas III or Blake Griffin's over Kendrick Perkins. But it's definitely bubbling to that point. Not only did Lin lead the Knicks to a third straight win, but he dropped another special performance scoring 23 points while dishing out 10 assists. It's been just three games and I think we're all trying to tell ourselves to slow our roll a bit, but it's hard not to get excited. The excitement around Lin isn't quite at the point of the madness surrounding Tim Tebow, but it's certainly building.

And it was in a head-to-head matchup with John Wall, a good exciting point guard that surely wanting to calm a little of the buzz around Lin's uprising. Not only did Lin get the best of Wall, but he put him on skates late in the third quarter and rose up for what some that are fully wrapped in the Lin Mania might call the dunk of the year.

I mean if we want this thing to get to a Tebow level, we're going to have get a little Linsane, right?
Posted on: February 8, 2012 10:17 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 10:27 pm

LeBron responds to Perkins, won't apologize

Posted by Royce Young

Don't hold your breath waiting for an apology Perk, because LeBron's not giving you one.

After Kendrick Perkins called out LeBron James for a tweet gushing over Blake Griffin's poster of Perkins, LeBron naturally was asked about it and responded by saying he's not sorry for tweeting. Via the Sun Sentinel:

"From day one, that's why I got to Twitter, to connect to my fans. I would never apologize for anything like that when I’m connecting with my fans."

To refresh, after Griffin crammed on Perkins, LeBron tweeted, "Dunk of the Year! @blakegriffin just dunked on Kendrick Perkins so hard!!! Wow! I guess I’m No. 2 now. Move over #6.”

And he seemed to sort of twist the knife on Perkins too.

"I can see why he may have felt embarrassed. I don’t think I was the only one that reacted to that unbelievable play by Blake, and that's what it was all about, me acknowledging how great of a play it was. If Kendrick Perkins had dunked on somebody else on the other end, I would have done the same thing.

"I'm an easy target, let's leave it at that."

I'd say LeBron handled it well, but probably should've just said, "I don't care about Kendrick Perkins," but LeBron chalked it up to "connecting" with his fans. I don't really know how that's connecting, but LeBron seems to think so.

LeBron seemed to gloss over the point Perkins was making about caring about himself too much and being starved for attention, but that might've been intentional. But then again, he probably wasn't psyched about having to talk about this in the first place.
Posted on: February 8, 2012 9:40 pm

DeVos on Howard: 'I don't want to trade him'

Posted by Royce Young

The Magic's owner said Wednesday that he doesn't want to trade Dwight Howard. (Getty Images)

For whatever reason, before the Magic's game Wednesday against the Heat, owner Rich DeVos made a surprise visit to Orlando's locker room to speak with the media. And put it simply to the reporters there:

"I don't want to trade him," DeVos said of Dwight Howard who could become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

That's not exactly "I won't trade him" but it signals what some are beginning to suspect. The Magic aren't in a hurry to trade Howard and aren't going to just give him away.

According to reports, DeVos was greeted by players like Jason Richardson and Daniel Orton but did not get anything from Howard, who dressed only a couple feet away. Tension? Yeah, probably. Howard has made it pretty clear he'd like to be traded as well as making it painfully clear he doesn't want to remain with the Magic. But Devos still holds on to some optimism.

"We like to think we're making headway," DeVos said of negotiations. "But I don't know. He probably won't know until the end and I won't either."

DeVos wouldn't put a percentage chance on Howard staying.

"I don't gamble on that, I just plan on him staying," he said.

"You never give up," DeVos said. "We've got a great talent, a great young man. He's got to look at his options (and) what's best for him and I have to tell him what I think is best for him. I'm selfish."

DeVos, who is 85 and in a wheelchair, obviously isn't keen on the idea of starting a major rebuild with the team. If his hand is forced, he would prefer to keep his team competitive for as long as possible. DeVos told reporters he wants to keep the teams in the hands of his family for "forever," and certainly doesn't want to pass on a deterioating product.

It sounds like he's not glass-half-full in these Howard talks, but glass-half-full-of-whiskey. He's probably being unreasonable and far too optimistic that Howard stays, but I understand his position. Why give Howard away and not get anything near comparable in return? DeVos is looking at a chance to win now and wants to hang on to that for as long as possible.

DeVos told reporters that if he leaves Orlando for a new city, he might not ever equal that connection he has with the team that drafted him and the fans that watched him grow.

"Listen to the fans tonight, cheering," DeVos said. "He's respected. You have to move in life, but the loyalty you develop in a community is always remembered. But if you leave, you don't pick it up in the next town. It's not an add-on, you know, because you lose what you had. Maybe you gain some new [loyalty], but maybe you don't. Maybe the net gain isn't as good you think. We just talk about stuff."

A quality pitch, but it's probably not enough to sway Howard into staying. Not going to stop DeVos from trying though. Maybe well past the March 15 trade deadline.

Via the Orlando Sentinel

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