Tag:Royce Young
Posted on: August 10, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 3:30 pm

Video: Stop trying to guard Brandon Jennings

Posted by Royce Young

I imagine trying to check Brandon Jennings in a streetball game is sort of like trying to walk over hot coals. Eventually, you're going to get burned. He embarrassed a guy a few days ago by bouncing the ball off his head and now, he did it by going through someone's legs. Not his own, mind you.

Here's my question: Obviously the off-the-head move doesn't do you much if you pulled it in an NBA game. You'd just be seen as a showboating hotshot, which isn't beneficial. But the between-the-legs move -- that would work, right? Streetball tactics mostly don't have a place in actual games, but in some ways, I think Jennings could benefit from busting out some of this stuff.

He's one of the most creative ball handlers in the league, but he's pretty vanilla as a point guard in the NBA. Why not break out some of these nasty moves in a real game? The risk is failing and then being seen as reckless, which you don't want. But it's just like trying a behind-the-back pass or a big crossover. As long as it's not only for show and actually has a purpose, why not use it?

I think I'm just being selfish here because really, all I want is to see Jennings use that on Derek Fisher or something. Now that would be excellent.

Posted on: August 10, 2011 12:00 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:01 pm

Judge throws out Shaq's kidnapping-sex tape suit

Posted by Royce Young

Remember that alleged Shaquille O'Neal kidnapping/sex tape/assault/robbery thing from a few months back? Not going to say I told you so, but there was pretty much no doubt that there wasn't much legitimacy to the whole thing.

Which is why a judge wasn't having it. According to the New York Daily News, the case is being thrown out.

“We did not have the necessary confidence in the victim Robert Ross to proceed,” District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison told the Daily News.

A law enforcement source said one major red flag was an electronic message Ross allegedly sent to O’Neal’s ex-wife Shaunie O’Neal during the case that warned her it was time to “pay up.”

So the case was tossed because the key witness Ross wasn't trusted. Which is funny, because Ross has another lawsuit against Shaq, this one alleging O'Neal order "multiple" murders. I wonder if that one will get tossed too.

Good to hear that at least one crazy lawsuit is off the docket for Shaq. We don't want anything to get in the way of what's sure to be a stellar season for him on Inside the NBA with Kenny and Charles.
Category: NBA
Posted on: August 10, 2011 11:46 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 12:02 pm

LeBron is working with Olajuwon in the post

Posted by Royce Young

LeBron in the post. That phrase has almost taken on mythical status, as if it's the lost treasure to LeBron James' game. It's the MacGuffin for him. Add in a solid post game and you've got a Death Star that's fully operational.

That's the idea. And that's why so many people have be chattering about it.

Sounds like LeBron is finally listening. He's getting serious about improving his post game. So serious, that he's bringing in the master to help him out -- Hakeem Olajuwon.

There is a misconception that LeBron has no post game and never has. That's not entirely true, but it's real that he could be better. At 6-8 and 250 pounds with a lightning fast first step, great feet and a strong upper body, there's no reason he shouldn't be dominant there. But for example, against the Mavericks in The Finals, he'd isolate in the post and look like he has no real idea what he wanted to accomplish.

Now LeBron's following behind what other greats have done. Michael Jordan established himself as a post master. Kobe Bryant did after, you guessed it, working with Olajuwon. (The Heat Index has some pretty interesting numbers on Kobe pre and post-Hakeem. Kobe went from 4.1 posts-ups per game to 8.1 after working with Olajuwon and scored 272 more points out of the post the next season. That's an impact.)

Obviously a couple workouts with Olajuwon isn't going to magically turn LeBron into a post wizard. It's a process to build up and improve in that area. It's not even so much about having the moves down, it's about understanding how to apply them in the right situation. What happens when you're doubled at the elbow? What happens when you've got someone isolated on the dribble backing down on the left baseline? What happens when you have the ball faced up on the right block? Realizing and putting together those sequences is almost as much a part of it as anything else. And that comes with lots and lots of application and practice.

But if anything, it's a message from LeBron that he's serious about improving in the area. LeBron's a hard worker, but not necessarily in the sense of fine tuning his game. He's the league's most talented player and that didn't happen by accident. Problem though,  it's easy to just remain there. But the greats move on. They evolve. They progress.

Just think if LeBron had a little reliable post game in The Finals against Dallas. That Game 2 collapse where the Heat couldn't do anything for the last six minutes? The ball could've gone to LeBron on the block. He could've gotten a high percentage look or with his passing ability, dished out of a double team and created for someone else. It's diversity within a player and within an offense. Creating options is always a good thing.

Dwight Howard worked with Olajuwon last summer and is again this year. It hasn't been a magical quick fix for him, but he's improved. Like I said, for both players, it's going to take more than a handful of hour-long workouts to really get it. Repitition is what gets it done. But LeBron's done the hardest part -- he got started.
Posted on: August 3, 2011 11:26 pm

Darius Miles arrested for bringing gun to airport

Posted by Royce Young

Via St. Louis Today, former NBA player and St. Louis native Darius Miles was arrested Wednesday afternoon at Lambert Airport for allegedly trying to bring a loaded gun through security.

Miles, who is still somehow only 29 years old, was taken into custody after security discovered the firearm in an X-Ray screening. It's unknown as to if the gun was in his luggage on actually on him. It's also not known what kind of gun it was.

Via the report, airline passengers cannot bring firearms to security checkpoints, according to TSA. All firearms, ammunition and firearm parts can only be transported in checked baggage and must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided container and declared during check-in. Violators can face criminal prosecution and civil penalties up to $7,500.

The last appearance Miles had in the NBA was in 2009 with the Grizzlies. He was invited to camp for the Bobcats in 2010 but didn't make the team.

He'll forever be known as a waste of talent as he was picked third overall straight out of high school in 2000 by the Clippers but never really worked out. He was decent, but with that much talent, he should've been something more. Character issues -- go figure -- were a big part of what held him back. He did have microfracture surgery at one point too, so that didn't help.

He also played for the Cavaliers and Trail Blazers. For his career, he averaged 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds a game.

This isn't the first time Miles has been in trouble with the law. He was arrested in 2009 for marijuana possession and driving on a suspended license. He also had to sit out 10 games in 2008-09 when he was with Memphis for violating the NBA's substance abuse policy.
Category: NBA
Posted on: August 3, 2011 11:12 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 7:29 am

Hunter says he wouldn't bet on a 2011-12 season

Posted by Royce Young

Are you looking for a little lockout optimism? A little good news on the bargaining front? Something to give you hope for next year actually happening?

Well then stop reading. Because here comes some serious negativity.

Via the Baltimore Sun, union chief Billy Hunter told a seminar that he doesn't see the 2011-12 NBA season as likely. In fact, he's not putting his money on it, noting that the two sides are "$800 million apart per year."
"The circumstances have changed among his constituency," said Hunter, referring to NBA commissioner David Stern. "In the last six or seven years, there is a new group of owners to come in who paid a premium for their franchises, and what they're doing is kind of holding his feet to the fire."

Because negotiators are dug in, Hunter said "something has to happen that both of us can use as leverage to save face."

Asked by a conference attendee whether there would be a 2011-12 season, he replied: "If I had to bet on it at this moment, I would probably say no."

The NBA had no immediate response after being apprised of Hunter's comments, spokesman Tim Frank said.

At the seminar that also included DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association executive director. Hunter told attendees to ask him tough questions, which they apparently did. Hunter was asked about the report that Stern makes somewhere in the $23 million a year range, even though that number is being disputed.

"I think it's somewhat ironic. It's inconsistent to me," he said.

But there's good reason Hunter isn't willing to bet on a 2011-12 season. He said the league's most recent proposal would keep average salaries around $5 million, which is where they are now. However, Hunter said owners initially demanded that "we give them back a billion dollars a year." That number then came down to $900 million he said, but still, that's not anywhere close to what the union is looking for.

"A month and a half ago, we gave them a proposal that we would give them back $100 million per year," the union chief said. "The gap is far between us." Yeah, I guess you could say that."

If Hunter's that pessimistic about the season, it's hard to see the light. Still, at the same time you've got to realize all of these public comments are part of the negotiations. It's posturing from one side to the other. When fans hear 2011-12 will be lost, they get cranky and immediately start pushing to try and nudge one side to cave. And the side that always ends up looking bad in that scenario is the owners. So it's to Hunter's advantage to talk doom and gloom.

But with the way all of this has gone and with the gap so wide, it might not be entirely jargon this time. Which isn't fun.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 5:06 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 5:08 pm

Stan Van Gundy's swaggin' at basketball camp

Posted by Royce Young

Too bad Dwight Howard doesn't need to improve on his ball-handling. Because Stan Van Gundy's got plenty of that to go around.

The Magic's head man is helping run a youth basketball camp and while going over a little dribbling drill, SVG decided to casually bust a move.

I like how he kind of pretends to not care that he's showing off by just acting like he's totally coaching. But he knows. He knows. If we ever got that one-on-one showdown with Jeff and Stan, I'm pretty sure we know which Van Gundy is taking that one. I mean, how do you stop that, Jeff? Other than by grabbing his ankles of course.

A quick first step, between the legs, behind the back, spin, between the legs and all while yelling instructions at a bunch of children. I get the feeling this type of coaching impressed these 10-year-olds. I don't think Vince Carter ever really bought into it.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 3:58 pm

Report: Farmar signs with Maccabi Tel Aviv

Posted by Royce Young

Yesterday we told you about Jordan Farmar zeroing in on a contract with Israeli pro club Maccabi Haifa. Looks like the Maccabi part was right, but instead of Haifa, Farmar is signing with powerhouse Tel Aviv instead, according to Yahoo! Sports.

This is after Haifa owner Jeffrey Rosen, an American, said in a statement, "We've been in serious talks with Jordan Farmar, who has expressed great interest to play for Maccabi Haifa," Rosen said. "We believe we are close to an agreement, but we have a few more hurdles to overcome to make it happen. We would love to have Jordan Farmar join Maccabi Haifa during the NBA lockout and we find his aspirations to play in Israel to be inspirational."

Well, doesn't look like it's going to go that way. Tel Aviv has a lot more money to throw around and that's likely what convinced Farmar to go that way. But with him being under contract still with the Nets, this contract is just a lockout provisional one with an NBA opt-out.
Posted on: August 3, 2011 3:38 pm

Guy heckles Durant by yelling 'Russell Westbrook'

Posted by Royce Young

A night after ripping apart the fabled Rucker Park with 66 points including an epic stretch of four straight 3-pointers, Kevin Durant did what has to do in order to breathe: He played more basketball.

He finished with 41 in a game in New York City's Nike Pro City, showing off a bunch of what he did at Rucker. Dunks, jumpers, deep 3s and all the like. One thing about this event that was a bit different: Some dude decided he wanted to heckle Durant all game long.

The guy starts with "Baby LeBron," as if that's supposed to be some major slight. Durant even looks back at the guy and says, "Baby LeBron? OK, Baby LeBron." I don't even understand the jab there.

The guy didn't let up so then Durant even looks at him with a smile that clearly says, "Come on man, shut up," and gives a little thumbs down. Then he yelled, "This ain't Rucker, Kev." Yep, some small gym in NYC definitely isn't the legendary pickup court. Got that one right, heckler person.

Durant missed a free throw to tie the game and a couple more people joined in. They even started chanting "Russ-ell West-brook." I get why, really, that's kind of a pathetic attempt. Durant and Westbrook are really close friends and even though I'm sure Durant understood the reason, it was probably one of the dumbest chants ever lobbed at him.

Right after, in typical ice-cold Durantula fashion, KD dropped a game-tying 3 to send the game to overtime. After hitting it, he looked over at his hecker, cracked a grin and gave him a little "waddup" look. And to wrap it up, Durant drilled the game-winning 3 and gave his heckler a friendly goodbye wave. Durant, in the way he normally does, let his game do the talking. Durant 1, heckler 0.
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