Cousins nearly lost his mind during a foul shot

At one point during the first half against Lithuania at the FIBA World Cup, DeMarcus Cousins became perhaps more frustrated with Lithuania’s Jonas Valanciunas.

      
 

 

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By talking basketball, nothing lost in translation

No language barrier: At FIBA World Cup, speaking basketball leaves nothing lost in translation

      
 

 

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Finland lost by almost 60, their fans were still happy

Incurable optimists.

      
 

 

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Miami Heat: Why They Won And Lost The Offseason

Miami Heat: Why They Won And Lost The Offseason
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…
When I writing the winners and losers of the NBA offseason, I had difficulty placing the Heat. On the left hand their best player and the best player in the NBA, LeBron James went to Cleveland. If you have the best player in the NBA and he signs with another team you cannot be an offseason winner, but on the right, I loved the rest of their offseason, so they cannot be called losers. Yes I just said I cannot call them winners or losers, but I will call them winners and losers. Yes, it’s a technicality, but if you’d like to complain feel free.
Yes, losing LeBron James hurts, they won’t be a better team and likely aren’t a contender, so yes they are losers in that regard, but they have rebounded as well as they could. Pat Riley was able to still keep the Heat one of the 3 best teams in the Eastern Conference. Signing Chris Bosh to a 100+ million dollar contract isn’t perfect, but with no Ja…

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Report: Carmelo Anthony lost weight ‘to play trianngle offense’

Carmelo Anthony shocked the NBA world recently when he posted an Unstagram photo of himself looking skinner than he usually looked.  Anthony had spent the off-season losing weight.  It wasn’t initially clear why he would do this but now we know.
According to the New York Post who cite an ‘Anthony confident’, the reason that Anthony lost the weight was to better fit the triangle offense which the Knicks will be running in the upcoming season.
“He wants to be as athletic as he was when he was a rookie,’’ the confidant told The Post. “Plus he wants to be a facilitator in the triangle and speed will help that.’’
The All-Star forward, who re-signed with the Knicks after weeks of indecision, feels that being in better shape as well as being faster and quicker will help him fit the role better.
The triangle offense is a read-and-react scheme that requres a lot of passing and movement.  It’s a far cry from the offense the Knicks ran under Mike Woodson in the past.
Knicks president Phil Jackson

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Los Angeles Lakers: Why They Lost The Offseason

Los Angeles Lakers: Why They Lost The Offseason
By Mike Elworth: Owner and Publisher/Hoopstuff…
The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the losers of the offseason. As I was ranking the winners and losers they came in 4th among the losers, as they were well, really pathetic. Let’s start with the positives, this will be fast because there were few. I loved their draft choice of Julius Randle 7th, who can be an All Star power forward and a key part of their franchise and foundation. I like the hiring of Byron Scott, who is a veteran, he isn’t elite, but can and will help them win. Also signing Ed Davis for just 1 million was an excellent move, as he can be a starter in this league at power forward. Then there is umm, the uh, well that’s it for the Lakers. Here is why they are one of the biggest losers this offseason.
The biggest failure was that they had the cap space for 2 All Stars or 1 max contract yet the best free agent they signed was Carlos Boozer. The biggest name they were able to …

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PHOTO: Carmelo Anthony looks like he’s lost some weight

TweetApparently LeBron James isn’t the only NBA superstar who’s dropped some pounds. Check out this picture of a slimmed-down Carmelo Anthony from his Instagram account: .embed-container {position: relative; padding-bottom: 120%; height: 0; overflow: hidden;} .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } The Knicks are going to need Anthony in shape all season, so that could be a reason his reduced weight. That, or Derek Fisher he doesn’t plan on playing ‘Melo a lot of minutes at power forward next season and needs him to be quicker? You would hope he’s eating good after signing that max contract with the Knicks earlier this summer. Your guess is as good as ours. -ALR

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Debunking the theory that the Lakers have lost their “luster”

“Love trade makes it official: Lakers’ luster is gone.”
Was that headline created by someone looking for click bait or by a not-so closet Laker hater? Whatever the case may be – and there’s a good chance they were both: a Laker-hating click-baiter – the theory that the purple and gold have lost their “luster” couldn’t be any further from the truth, especially when it comes to the Kevin Love situation.
“Slowly, agonizingly, Laker fans are facing the reality that the NBA’s great players don’t have to wear Laker raiment to feel complete,” Mark Whicker writes in one of the worst columns I’ve read all year. “The latest destiny’s child was supposed to be Kevin Love. From the moment he expressed weariness with Minnesota, Lakers fans nodded their heads expectantly. Let’s see –- win the lottery, draft Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker, get Kobe Bryant rolling again, and trade whomever’s left for Love and sign him. How could Kevin Durant or any future legend resist that?
“This is

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Is USA Still FIBA World Cup Favorite Without Kevin Durant and Other Lost Stars?

Kevin Durant‘s withdrawal from Team USA cost the club its reigning MVP and clear leader, and it may have also done serious damage to America’s status as the team to beat at the FIBA World Cup.

Durant released a statement explaining his decision, per The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry:

It’s hard to fault Durant here, as nobody in the NBA has a stronger fatigue card to play. This guy has been killing himself on the court over the past four years to an unparalleled degree:

So far, there hasn’t been much public outcry or disappointment expressed. After Paul George‘s gruesome departure, would-be critics are keenly aware that the risks of playing for Team USA don’t just include fatigue.

Catastrophic injury is also in play.

Losing Durant hurts all the more because George’s absence had already taken away the team’s second-best big wing. Not only that, but Blake Griffin and Kevin Love withdrew earlier in the summer, leaving the 4 and 5 spots (one of which Durant would have occupied) even thinner.

Plus, a whole separate tier of major talents—LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul—took a pass on Team USA entirely, as veterans of their ilk are wont to do.

The US squad certainly isn’t hurting for talent, though. James Harden (who many forget has NBA Finals experience) is still on the roster. Derrick Rose, the only other former MVP, looks terrific and could use this opportunity to prove he’s ready to lead on a big stage again.

Anthony Davis remains a fearsome force at center, and there’s no shortage of ball-handling or shooting in the backcourt. Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving and others assure that much.

Durant, though, was the only guy who could play as a legitimate stretch 4 in the international game. He was big enough to bother power forwards on defense and created a matchup nightmare on the other end. Missing Paul Millsap, who was cut earlier this summer, stings a little extra now.

If the US is smart, it’ll be placing a call to the Atlanta Hawks forward, posthaste.

Kenneth Faried, Andre Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins will get bigger roles now, as the team may be forced to opt for size and strength instead of Durant’s frontcourt shooting. Love would have been nice for that reason as well.

Thanks to Spain, easily Team USA’s most accomplished opponent, size will matter more than ever.

Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka were going to be tough to handle even with Griffin, Love and Durant on the roster. And now that KD can’t create a mismatch on offense while handling Ibaka or Pau on defense, Team USA will have no choice but to square off against the Spaniards, big on big.

In terms of overall skill—and certainly experience—Spain has the US frontcourt smoked.

Marc Gasol is better than any big man on the US roster, and Ibaka could be awfully scary with the shorter international three-point line turning his excellent long-two accuracy into even deadlier triples. Is Team USA really ready to trust Cousins or Drummond against the Gasols? Can Faried, a substandard defender, do enough to make Ibaka‘s life difficult?

We’re about to find out.

As much as anything, Davis’ already sky-high value just jumped into the stratosphere.

Spain’s odds got an instant bump after the Durant news broke, per ESPN News Services: “USA’s odds to win went from 2-7 to 2-5 while Spain went from 5-2 to 2-1. All other odds remained the same.”

France, Brazil, Argentina and Greece all boast rosters littered with NBA players, and they collectively fill out the tier below the US and Spain on the international hierarchy. It’s hard to see any of those clubs ever being favored against Team USA, though Brazil looks dangerous up front with Nene, Tiago Splitter and Anderson Varejao.

Argentina is loaded with vets and is always a tough out. France has skill and international experience with Boris Diaw and Nicolas Batum.

Threats, perhaps. But not grave ones.

In terms of overall talent, Team USA is still tops. The danger posed by Spain all along, though, has only increased.

Matchups are going to be more conventional now, and that’s good for Spain because it never had anyone who could guard KD (who does?).

Ultimately, we should still consider Team USA the favorites. The odds say so, and the objective collection of talent remains impressive. But it wouldn’t have been an outright shock to see Spain upset the US before Durant backed out. Now that he’s joined a few other key withdrawals on the sidelines, the chances of an upset have only increased.

Rose and Davis must step up now, along with the rest of the relatively untested roster.

Crisis begets opportunity, and if the remaining players can save the US from a disappointing defeat, perhaps they’ll build their own legends through international play. Who knows, maybe if they handily cover for KD‘s absence, they’ll accrue enough cache to withdraw from the next international competition.

That’s how it works, isn’t it?

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Brooklyn Nets Reportedly Lost $144 Million Last Season

The Brooklyn Nets are in organizational limbo following a swap that sent former head coach Jason Kidd to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for two second-round picks, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard and Marc Stein

However, Brooklyn’s problems aren’t limited to office politics and power struggles. 

Kidd’s departure aside, the Nets are in murky financial waters, according to Grantland‘s Zach Lowe, who reports that Mikhail Prokhorov and Billy King’s careless spending and neglect of the league’s luxury tax has left the team in the red to a massive degree: 

The basketball side of the Nets’ business is projected to have lost $144 million over the 2013-14 season, according to a confidential memo the league sent to all 30 teams in early June. (Grantland has reviewed and verified the memo with a half-dozen sources.) If that strikes you as out of whack, that’s because it is.

The NBA expects nine teams will end up having lost money once luxury-tax distribution and revenue-sharing payments are finalized. The Nets, with that monster $144 million figure, are the biggest losers. Next in line? The Wizards, with projected losses of about $13 million. That’s right: The Nets lost $131 million more than any other NBA team last season. This is what happens when you pay $90 million in luxury tax for an aging roster and play in a market so large you are ineligible to receive any revenue-sharing help.

Brooklyn’s pursuit of titles has come at a staggering cost, but that’s not surprising given how its books shaped up last season. 

Just take a look at the team’s $102.6 million payroll from the 2013-14 campaign: 

According to HoopsHype, Brooklyn’s books were stacked to such a degree that its payroll exceeded that of the New York Knicks by more than $18 million and bested the superstar-laden Miami Heat by nearly $22 million. Those clubs ranked second and third in payroll, respectively, while the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls rounded out the top five. 

And how about the clubs whose numbers were in the black? 

According to Lowe, the Lakers remain the Association’s most profitable team, having generated a shade over $100 million last season. 

After that, the Chicago Bulls ($61 million), Houston Rockets ($40.7 million), Boston Celtics ($33.1 million) and small-market wonder Oklahoma City Thunder (approximately $29 million) comprise the league’s most financially prosperous clubs. 

So where do the Nets go from here? 

According to general manager Billy King, via the New York Post‘s Tim Bontemps, re-signing names like Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston may take precedent over a slightly more sizable splash. 

“Sometimes it’s great to go buy the new car, but sometimes the car you had runs better than the new one,” King said. 

But as Bontemps mentions, keeping Livingston in tow may be more challenging than it appears on the surface, as the Nets will only be able to offer him the taxpayers’ mid-level exception. For this coming season, the mini mid-level exception is slated to come in at just over $3 million. 

Beyond that, the Nets will need to play with the hand they’ve dealt themselves.  

Salary-cap relief isn’t in sight until the summer of 2015, but even then, the team won’t have much room to maneuver. According to HoopsHype, the Nets currently have a shade under $63 million committed in salaries for the 2015-16 campaign. 

But these days when we’re talking about the Nets, it’s important to remember that ambition tends to be the modus operandi of their billionaire owner.

Financial prudence has never been one of Prokhorov‘s defining characteristics, nor should it be given that his net worth currently sits at $10.9 billion, according to Forbes

And while that figure may have declined from $18 billion in March 2011, Prokhorov still has plenty of change to throw around should he see a way to feasibly shake things up once again. 

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