Archive for the ‘ NBA All-Star blog ’ Category

Kevin Garnett

Boston Celtics center Kevin Garnett says this weekend “is definitely my last All-Star game.”

Garnett would not elaborate on why he wouldn’t be back after playing in the midseason exhibition for the 15th time in his 18-year career. Garnett says he’s bringing along friends and family so he can enjoy this weekend’s game in Houston.

Is it possible that the 37-year-old Garnett is planning to retire?

– Reported by the Associated Press

dwight howard

In theory, NBA All-Star weekend will give plenty of Lakers time to clear their minds and rest their dinged up bodies.

But not Dwight Howard, and the reasons go beyond his plan to participate in what will be his eighth All-Star appearance despite having a aggravated right shoulder and a surgically repaired back.

“Our team trainers are going to come and we’re going to get a lot of work in while I’m there,” Howard said. “I’m trying to get into better shape. That’s my main goal. All the stuff I’ll be doing, I’ll do just to make sure I get into better shape.”

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

paul millsap

Jazz forward Paul Millsap won’t be partying during the All-Star break.

Bruised and fatigued after starting every one of Utah’s first 54 games this season, Millsap plans a low-key mini-vacation in Salt Lake City.

“I’m going to be at home — resting,” Millsap said. “I like beaches and things, but it’s not the time. I just don’t want to do nothing right now. I don’t even want to leave the house.”

In the Jazz’s final game before the break on Wednesday night, Millsap scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds during a 97-93 win at Minnesota.

– Reported by Steve Luhm of the Salt Lake Tribune

kyrie irving

Irving continues to dismiss any advice Scott could offer him on the contest, poking fun at his coach’s third-place finish in 1988. But Irving did get advice from former Cavs sharpshooter Mark Price, who won the event in 1993 and ’94.

“I’m not taking any advice from Coach Scott,” Irving said. “I know I’m a better shooter than Coach Scott. I believe it, he believes it.”

Scott scoffed at Irving when he told him he wanted advice from Price.

“That’s good. Mark Price won a 3-point contest and I have three championship rings,” Scott told him. “So I got the last laugh in that one. He shook his head, he didn’t say nothing after that. So that was the end of that conversation.”

– Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal

2013 NBA Skills Challenge participants

2013 NBA Skills Challenge participants

Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs will defend his Skills Challenge contest title against a field consisting of Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers, Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets, and Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks. The 2013 Skills Challenge competition will take place on Feb. 16, at Toyota Center in Houston as part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night.

Parker will attempt to join the Los Angeles Lakers’ Steve Nash (2005 and 2010) and the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (2006 and 2007) as the only two-time winners in Skills Challenge history. This year’s Skills Challenge features an expanded six-player field for the second year in a row. There were five contestants in 2011 and four in 2010.

For the first time, NBA All-Star Saturday Night will feature a new format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in a night of competition that will raise money for charity. As part of the new format, points earned by each conference throughout the four All-Star Skills Competitions will determine the conference that earns the title of 2013 All-Star Saturday Night Champion.

Three players representing the Western Conference and three players representing the Eastern Conference will compete in the two-round competition. The two competitors with the fastest times from their respective conferences in the Team Round advance to the Championship Round.

2013 NBA Three-Point Shootout participants

First-time All-Stars Paul George of the Indiana Pacers and Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers headline the field for the 2013 NBA Three-Point Shootout, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, at the Toyota Center in Houston as part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night. Rounding out the field are Ryan Anderson of the New Orleans Hornets, Matt Bonner of the San Antonio Spurs, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Steve Novak of the New York Knicks.

Anderson is the lone returning three-point marksman from last year’s event, won by the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Love in a tiebreaker round over the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant. Love is currently on the injured list, recovering from a broken hand sustained on Jan. 3, and is unable to defend his title.

For the first time, NBA All-Star Saturday Night will feature a new format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in a night of competition that will raise money for charity. As part of the new format, points earned by each conference throughout the four All-Star Skills Competitions will determine the conference that earns the title of 2013 State Farm All-Star Saturday Night Champion.

Three players representing the Western Conference and three players representing the Eastern Conference will compete in the two-round competition. The highest scoring East and highest scoring West competitors from the Team Round will advance to the Championship Round.

Five shooting stations will be set up around the three-point line, with four Official Spalding NBA game balls worth one point each and one Spalding NBA All-Star 2013 commemorative “money ball” worth two points at each location. Each player will have one minute to shoot as many balls as he can. The competitor with the lower individual score from the Team Round will go first in the Championship Round.

2013 NBA Shooting Stars competition participants

Two teams representing the Western Conference and two teams representing the Eastern Conference will compete in the 2013 Shooting Stars competition as part of All-Star Saturday Night on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Toyota Center in Houston

Representing the Western Conference from the NBA are James Harden, who earned his first career All-Star Game nod in his inaugural season with the Houston Rockets, and fellow All-Star Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The WNBA stars for the West are Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx, a 2012 Olympic gold medal winner and 2011 WNBA champion, and the Seattle Storm’s Tina Thompson, the WNBA all-time leading scorer. NBA Legends Sam Cassell and Robert Horry, who played a combined 31 seasons in the league and won 10 NBA championships, round out the West representation. Cassell and Horry were teammates on a Rockets team that won back-to-back titles in 1994-95.

On behalf of the Eastern Conference from the NBA are Chris Bosh, an All-Star and key member of the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat, and All-Star Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets, who earned his first All-Star nod. The WNBA Eastern Conference stars are Swin Cash of the Chicago Sky, a three-time WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, and Tamika Catchings, who guided the Indiana Fever to the 2012 WNBA title and earned Finals MVP honors along the way. The NBA Legends on the East squads are Muggsy Bogues, the shortest player in NBA history at 5-3, who enjoyed a 14-year NBA career, and Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, a nine-time NBA All-Star, who finished with 26,668 career points.

In last year’s competition, Team New York, which featured Landry Fields, Allan Houston and Cappie Pondexter, defeated Team Texas in the final round with a time of :37.3. Team Texas was comprised of Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets), Sophia Young (San Antonio Silver Stars), and Kenny Smith (NBA Legend).

Shooting Stars is part of All-Star Saturday Night, an all-inclusive skills showcase, which will take place on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Toyota Center in Houston and will be televised live by TNT at 8 p.m. ET. The other events consist of the the Skills Challenge, a contest of top guards working against the clock to complete a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills; the Three-Point Contest; and the Slam Dunk contest. For the first time, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature a new format that pits the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in a night of competitions that will raise money for charity.

The Shooting Stars contest features one current NBA player, one current WNBA player and an NBA legend on each team. There are six numbered shooting locations of increasing difficulty, with each team attempting to make all shots in numeric order in the fastest time. Each team will select a specific player rotation to follow throughout the competition. Each shot must be made before the next player begins shooting in succession. Teams have up to two minutes to complete the entire shooting course.

2013 NBA Dunk contest participants

2013 NBA Dunk contest participants

The 2013 NBA Slam Dunk contest will feature six dunkers competing in a two-round competition as part of All-Star Saturday Night. The new format will pit the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference in an exciting night of competition that will also raise money for charity.

The Western Conference will be represented by the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk champion Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz along with the Los Angeles Clippers’ Eric Bledsoe and Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried. The Eastern Conference lineup will include the Indiana Pacers’ Gerald Green, Toronto Raptors’ Terrence Ross and New York Knicks’ James White.

The 2013 NBA Slam Dunk contest will consist of the three Eastern Conference players competing against the three from the Western Conference in a two-round competition. The highest scoring East competitor and the highest scoring West competitor from the Team Round will compete head-to-head to determine the champion. Fan voting will open at the beginning of the Championship Round and the player with the highest percentage of combined votes from all platforms will be champion.

Evans won the 2012 Slam Dunk contest, defeating Houston’s Chase Budinger and Indiana’s Paul George in a tight race that included over 4 million fan votes to decide the champion.

james harden

James Harden of the Rockets and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder will be the coaches of the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. The event will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Assistant coaches will be singer/actress Queen Latifah and TV personality Samantha Harris.

The celebrity game is a highlight of the NBA All-Star Weekend, which kicks off Feb. 14 and culminates with the 62nd NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 17.

The celebrity teams will include Kevin Hart and Nick Cannon of “Real Husbands of Hollywood” Grammy winning singer Ne-Yo, singer/actor Trey Songz, Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, rapper Common, ABC News correspondent John Schriffen EPNS host Ryen Russillo and Terrence Jenkins of “E! News.”

– Reported by Syd Kearney of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

lebron james

Both on the court and along the sidelines, the Miami Heat will be well represented at this month’s NBA All-Star game.

LeBron James scored 30 points, Chris Bosh had 28 against his former team and the Miami Heat beat Toronto 100-85 Sunday for their 10th straight victory over the Raptors.

The victory guarantees Miami the top spot in the Eastern Conference as of Feb. 3, percentage points ahead of the New York Knicks. That means Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff will be in charge when the All-Stars suit up in Houston in two weeks.

”It’s awesome,” James said. ”It’s a testament to our coaches’ preparedness. As players we go out there and just try to execute their game plan. We’re happy for them.”

Spoelstra, the fifth-year coach who led the Heat to the NBA championship last June, called the All-Star nod ”a heck of an honor.” …

Dwyane Wade added 23 points as the Heat bounced back after Friday’s 102-89 loss at Indiana, ensuring their team Super Bowl viewing party would be a happy one…

Rudy Gay led the Raptors with 29 points and DeMar DeRozan had 27. Kyle Lowry scored 10 points and Aaron Gray matched his season high with 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who have lost four of five.

”They’re the champs,” DeRozan said. ”We couldn’t stop them. We couldn’t slow them down when they got it going.”

James finished with team highs of eight rebounds and seven assists and Bosh scored 13 in the fourth quarter for Miami, which improved to 12-11 on the road.

– Reported by Ian Harrison of the Associated Press

Brook Lopez

An injured guard is out but a healthy center is in for the 2013 NBA Eastern conference All-Star team.

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez has been selected as a reserve on the 2013 Eastern Conference All-Star Team by NBA Commissioner David Stern. Lopez replaces injured guard Rajon Rondo, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

This is the first career selection for Lopez, who is averaging a team-leading 18.6 points per game, best among NBA centers. Lopez is also 7th in the league in blocks per game (2.2), 22nd in field goal percentage (52.3%) and is the only player in the NBA averaging at least 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks per game this season.

Lopez is the 13th player in Nets franchise history to be selected to the NBA All-Star Game, joining Buck Williams (three times), Otis Birdsong, M.R. Richardson, Derrick Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Jayson Williams, Stephon Marbury, Jason Kidd (five times), Kenyon Martin, Vince Carter (three times), Devin Harris and Deron Williams.

The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 (8 p.m. ET), televised exclusively on TNT and broadcast exclusively on ESPN Radio in the U.S. The All-Star Game will reach fans in more than 215 countries and territories in more than 47 languages.

Read NBA fan reaction and share your views in this basketball forum topic.

Jrue Holiday

Jrue Holiday said that he kept his composure at the Flyers game on Thursday when he found out that he had been named as one of the seven reserves for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team on Thursday.

But when he got home, well, it sounds like that was a different story.

“I was happy,” said Holiday, one of five first-time all stars named by coaches to Eastern Conference team. “Obviously I contained it until I got home and could express it and not embarrass myself in front of the rest of the world.

“But when I got home I was damn near jumping for joy,” Holiday said. “How many people get to play in the All-Star Game?”

– Reported by John Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Luol Deng

The good vibes flowed following Friday’s morning shootaround as Luol Deng and Joakim Noah savored their All-Star status.

Coaches voted Deng to his second straight All-Star reserve selection, while Noah will make his first at the Feb. 17 game in Houston.

“People were coming up to me and saying I had a shot to make it, so it was pretty nerve-wracking,” Noah said. “It’s just an unbelievable honor. I found out (Thursday) night and still can’t believe it.”

The selection prompted a string of eloquent and emotional comments from Noah on his Twitter timeline.

“A lot of people helped me along the way, so there’s definitely a lot of people to thank,” Noah said. “Not only does it make me happy, but it makes a lot of people that were with me happy. A lot of people had to make sacrifices in order to get me where I’m at today, so I just wanted to thank them.” …

Deng agreed that making a second straight All-Star game is special.

– Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

Most NBA centers aren’t very good at basketball when compared to their more talented counterparts at the power forward position.

The league, while not exactly wording it the way I did above, has taken note of this and taken action.

For the first time, the NBA All-Star Ballot will feature two position choices, guards and frontcourt, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations Stu Jackson announced today.

Fans will select two guards and three frontcourt players when choosing the starters for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. Previously, the ballot featured three positions with fans picking two guards, two forwards and a center.

“The NBA’s competition committee and the league office agreed that having the center position as the only specific position singled out on the ballot was outdated and not representative of today’s game or players,” Jackson said. “Our players have become more versatile each season, and this ballot will more accurately reflect that versatility.”

The 2013 NBA All-Star Ballot will be unveiled on Tuesday, Nov. 13 during a special event in Houston.

Read NBA fan reaction and share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

The NBA is finally doing something about the Duncan Dilemma.

The league will announce Wednesday a change to its All-Star ballot that will, for the first time, allow fans to vote for three undefined “frontcourt” players instead of having to vote for two forwards and a center. With more and more teams playing smaller than in the past, the definition of “center” was becoming increasingly difficult — not to mention finding enough quality big men for whom to vote.

For years, for example, the Spurs have listed Tim Duncan as a power forward, even though everyone on earth knew he was their starting center. And so when it came to All-Star balloting, Duncan would take up a forward spot in a very crowded field of Western Conference stars instead of his logical spot in the middle. This was good for Duncan, who surely would have made his 13 All-Star teams anyway, but it often cost another forward a shot.

– Reported by David Aldridge of TNT/NBA.com

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wants to bring the NBA All-Star game back to Cleveland.

Gilbert, who opened his new downtown casino Monday, said he plans to approach the league about hosting a future All-Star weekend. He hopes Cleveland would be able to get one “in the next few years.” The city last hosted the mid-season event in 1997, when the league celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Gilbert said Cleveland is again poised to hold such an event because of his casino as well as a downtown convention center under construction.

– Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

New Orleans is slated to host the 63rd NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 16, 2014, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at New Orleans Arena, home of the Hornets, pending the completion of arena and hotel agreements.  This will mark the second time that NBA All-Star will be hosted in New Orleans, having previously been held in the “Crescent City” in 2008.

“There is no better place to celebrate and showcase the NBA than in New Orleans, a city with a rich tradition of hosting major events that is second-to-none,” said Stern. “Our 2008 NBA All-Star festivities proved a terrific experience for everyone involved, and we anticipate 2014 will be even better.”

A weeklong celebration, NBA All-Star showcases NBA players’ passion for basketball, engagement with fans, commitment to community and respect for the history and tradition of the game.

“I have always taken great pride in our city hosting Super Bowls. I don’t think any city does it better than New Orleans,” said Tom Benson. “With the NBA, we get the unique opportunity from time to time to host the NBA All-Star Game, which has proven to be one of the highlights of the NBA season and will be a highlight for our city in 2014. I thank Commissioner Stern for making this announcement today and once again proving how much he believes in the city of New Orleans. In February 2013, we will host the Super Bowl. In February 2014, we will host the NBA All-Star Game. The city of New Orleans is the place to be. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact will be generated for our region in these back-to-back February events. We could not be more pleased.”

The 2014 All-Star Game will mark the 30th year that Turner Sports will provide NBA All-Star coverage, and the 12th consecutive year the All-Star Game will be televised in primetime on TNT.  The All-Star Game will be seen by a worldwide television audience in more than 200 countries and territories and in more than 40 languages.

“The addition of the 2014 NBA All-Star Game is part of an unprecedented run of major sporting events for New Orleans. It started with the 2012 BCS Championship, which was followed by the 2012 Final Four just three months later,” said Governor Bobby Jindal. “In 2013, we will host the Super Bowl and the NCAA Women’s Final Four. No city in America has attracted such a string of major sporting events in such a short period of time. This proves that Louisiana continues to be a world class destination for major events. These events will generate millions in economic return for the city and state, provide thousands of jobs for our citizens and provide immeasurable national and international publicity for our great state.”

“We are pleased to add the 2014 NBA All-Star Game to an already unprecedented lineup of international events being hosted in the city,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Commissioner Stern and the NBA have been unbelievable partners for New Orleans.  NBA All-Star 2014 will once again put New Orleans on the world stage and give us an opportunity to showcase our city’s comeback.”

NBA All-Star competitions will get underway on Friday, Feb. 14, as the league’s top rookies and second-year players square off in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. The following day’s festivities will feature NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm, an all-inclusive skills showcase comprised of Haier Shooting Stars, a competition featuring NBA and WNBA players, and NBA legends; Taco Bell Skills Challenge, a contest of top guards working against the clock to complete a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills; the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, a longstanding staple of the evening; and the high-flying Sprite Slam Dunk contest. Sunday’s slate of activities will also feature the Sprint Pre-game Concert before the 63rd NBA All-Star Game tips off.

In 2008, more than 2,500 people who attended NBA All-Star rolled up their sleeves and participated in the inaugural All-Star Day of Service. Ten service projects were conducted across New Orleans on Feb. 15, which was at the time the largest single-day effort by the NBA family in its ongoing support in rebuilding the city. The 2008 Day of Service highlighted a weeklong schedule of community events, with NBA All-Stars and participants, former players, NBA business and media partners, and guests coming together to give back to several thousand New Orleans-area residents.

LeBron James captured All-Star MVP honors in a 134-128 victory for the Eastern Conference when New Orleans played host in 2008. James tallied 27 points, including a thunderous drive-and-dunk in the final minute, to secure the award. Ray Allen added 28 points for the East, while the West was paced by 18 points apiece from Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Brandon Roy.

The NBA will continue to celebrate its tradition and commitment to social responsibility during NBA All-Star 2014 with a full schedule of NBA Cares events. NBA Cares will partner with schools, government, and local nonprofit organizations in New Orleans and surrounding areas to highlight the league’s grassroots and community initiatives that reach millions of young people and their parents while providing critical resources to community-based programs.

One of the week’s most popular attractions, NBA All-Star Jam Session, the world’s largest interactive basketball theme park, will be held at The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. At Jam Session, fans can have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of participating in NBA All-Star excitement, with the chance to meet and collect free autographs from NBA players and legends. Jam Session is nonstop basketball action, as fans can shoot, slam, dribble and drive all day; compete against their friends in skills challenges; or get basketball tips from NBA players and legends. Young fans can hang out at Kids Zone, with hoops and interactive activities that are the perfect size for kids’ slam dunks, three-pointers and jump shots. For fans who want NBA entertainment, Jam Session features the NBA’s favorite players, mascots, dance teams and celebrities as they hit Center Court in a variety of basketball competitions, including NBA All-Star Practice and the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

Kobe Bryant
kobe bryant
Competitive.

Kobe Bryant added another milestone to his career Sunday as he passed Michael Jordan to become the all-time-leading NBA All-Star game scorer.

But did it come at a price?

Bryant skipped a postgame media session after his 27-point performance, and was taken for further evaluation after he said he was “experiencing headaches.” The Lakers announced later that Bryant had suffered a nasal fracture and would be reevaluated Monday after he returned to Los Angeles by an ear, nose and throat specialist.

It’s believed Bryant was injured with 8 minutes 48 seconds to play in the third quarter when he received a hard foul from Dwyane Wade. Bryant sank the first free throw then went to the bench to have a trainer look at his bloody nose. He returned and made the second free throw.

About four minutes later he beat Jordan’s mark of 262 points on a breakaway slam off a pass from Kevin Durant. Bryant, who also played more than eight minutes in the fourth quarter, had 271 career points by game’s end.

– Reported by John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times

Read NBA fan reaction and share your views in this basketball forum topic.

Kevin Durant
kevin durant
Makes it rain

Kevin Durant cringes a little whenever he hears his name next to words like elite or superstar.

But after winning his first All-Star MVP award with a scoring display that ranked among the best in the game’s history, even Durant might have to acknowledge his own NBA stardom.

The Oklahoma City Thunder forward scored 36 points and grabbed seven rebounds Sunday night to help the West hold off a late charge from the East in a 152-149 victory.

“It’s just exciting to be named (an) All-Star, but to step it up another level and become MVP, it’s only something as a kid you dream about,” Durant said. “Coming from where I come from, I didn’t think I would be here. Everything is just a blessing to me.”

His performance was a small piece of All-Star redemption for Durant after he came up just short against Minnesota’s Kevin Love in Saturday night’s 3-point Shootout.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Among the 24 players selected to play in Sunday night’s All-Star Game at the Amway Center, 11 were sidelined with injuries at some point during the first half of the season.

Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson was unable to play Sunday night because of tendinitis in his left knee, replaced by Boston’s Rajon Rondo, who missed eight games earlier this season with a wrist injury.

“Basically, every week there’s four games and that’s a lot of wear and tear, but at the same time you have to be smart with your eating habits and put in the right fluids,’’ Anthony said.

Injuries are not only disrupting the plans of contending teams, but it has impacted rebuilding franchises like the Hornets.

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune

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