It was last year, February 7th, that we lost Dean Smith. So, I thought I would share again our thoughts on a great man. A man that we seem to really be missing right now in life and basketball – from the New Dumb in politics, to the New Dumb in Sacramento and the New Dumb of rewarding horrible free-throw shooters. Maybe we can steel ourselves to collectively improve our standing and follow Dean’s example.
A Lion Never Roars After a Kill…
The American Dream is a national ethos, it is a set of ideals that include the pursuit of happiness, life and liberty. It is said that life should be better, richer and fuller for everyone with the opportunity for each according to ability or achievement, regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.
If life is a dream, as some suggest, intertwined with beauty and desperation, then could the passing of Dean Smith be a curtain call on the deeply held beliefs of what the American Dream means to some of us? In no way am I saying that it is dead or dying, but you would have to concede that it is not the same as it was 50 years ago – hell not even 10 or 15 years ago, and maybe 9/11 changed all of that. But the passing of Dean Smith might represent more than just an Old Lion – he may just symbolize what we might have lost. Or maybe he reminds us, of all that is good within and to pursue what makes us happiest……
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has come around on the so-called “hack-a-Shaq” strategy of intentionally fouling poor free-throw shooters away from the ball, and plans to make rule changes to eliminate this as a strategic tactic once the current season is finished.
Ex-NBA bad boy hits up his former coach Phil Jackson on Twitter after New York fires Derek Fisher
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is a man of many interests. He’s dabbled in acting, flirted with professional wrestling and dipped his toe in the waters of freelance international diplomacy, famously becoming BFFs with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Is a return to his basketball roots next?
The messy marriage between George Karl and the Sacramento Kings looks to be coming to an end.
Fifth on the NBA’s all-time coaching wins list, Karl was hired midway through last season with the stated purpose of giving the long-awful Kings some stability, or at least some watchability. But Karl almost immediately began squabbling with Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive over DeMarcus Cousins, the Kings’ lone standout. Karl wanted to trade him, Ranadive said no, and it got to the point where Cousins was cursing out Karl in the locker room after games, leading to team meetings and hand-wringing and other signs of a team in disarray. Oh, and there’s a 21-31 record after four straight losses, with the Kings giving up at least 120 points in their last three (they gave up 128 points on Friday to the Nets, owners of one of the league’s worst offenses).
And now this: Point guard Rajon Rondo said Monday that only “three or four guys” show up to the team’s optional shootarounds.
James’s first triple-double of the season is an odd one
LeBron James scored 21 points to go along with 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the Cavaliers’ win over the Kings on Monday. But despite his triple-double, James did not lead Cleveland on Monday in points, rebounds or assists. Kyrie Irving led the team with 32 points and 12 assists and Iman Shumpert grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds. It’s the first triple-double in which a player did not lead his team in any of the categories in which he reached double digits since Penny Hardaway had one of those for Phoenix in 2001.
It’s the 36th time that James has scored 20 points in a regular-season triple-double, by far the highest total among active players. In fact, LeBron has done that as often as the active players with the two next-highest totals combined (Russell Westbrook 19, Kobe Bryant 17).
Rajon Rondo has had at least 15 assists in each of his last three games, including 16 in the Kings’ loss to the Cavaliers on Monday. Rondo has tied his longest streak of 15-assist games as a professional, which he’s done four other times since the start of the 2010-11 season. The only other NBA player with even one such streak over the last six seasons is Steve Nash, who had a three-game stretch like that for Phoenix in December 2010.
Joe Johnson‘s 27-foot three-pointer turned a deficit into a win as time expired in Brooklyn’s win over Denver on Monday. That’s the longest behind-to-ahead buzzer-beater in the NBA either this season or last season. The last one as long as Johnson’s was a 29-foot shot by Denver’s Randy Foye against the Clippers in February 2014.
Kobe Bryant made three three-pointers in a span of 72 seconds in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ loss in Indianapolis on Monday. It’s the first time in just over 10 years that Bryant hit three three-pointers in such a short span in the fourth quarter or later; he made three in 72 seconds as part of a 50-point game against the Clippers on January 7, 2006.
Kevin Durant scored 25 points in the second half of Oklahoma City’s win in Phoenix on Monday, for his second-highest total in a half this season. Durant scored 27 points in the second half against Utah on December 13.
Jamal Crawford scored 23 points, tying J.J. Redick for the team high in the Clippers’ overtime win in Philadelphia on Monday. Crawford, who turns 36 years old in March, is the oldest NBA player to score 20 or more points in five straight games since Kobe Bryant did so in the fall of 2014. The only other Clippers player to have such a streak after his 35th birthday was Sam Cassell, with a six-game streak in January 2006.
Head coach Fisher sacked by Knicks
Derek Fisher was dismissed as head coach of the Knicks on Monday after a season-and-a half on the job. Fisher’s 40-96 record gave him the second-lowest winning percentage of any head coach in team history (.294). The only other coach of the Knicks with a win percentage below .300 was Larry Brown, who had a 23-59 record in 2005-06, his only season with the team (.280).
One factor in Fisher’s downfall was Carmelo Anthony‘s inability to stay healthy. Anthony missed 49 games during Fisher’s tenure and the Knicks won only seven of those contests, averaging 91.0 points per game.
Raptors a team-best 14-1 in last 15 games
The Raptors won in Detroit on Monday for their 14th win in their last 15 games. It’s the first time that Toronto has won 14 times in a 15-game span which leaves the Wizards, Magic, Timberwolves and Pelicans as the only current NBA teams that have never had a 14-1 or 15-0 stretch within one season.
Vucevic takes over in OT
Nikola Vucevic led all players with 28 points, seven of which came in overtime, in Orlando’s win in Atlanta on Monday. That’s the most points that Vucevic has scored in any overtime period he’s played in the NBA.
Pelicans protect the ball
The Pelicans committed only four turnovers in their win in Minnesota on Monday, tying the lowest total in a regular-season game in team history, done previously in 2007. In the playoffs, New Orleans committed only three turnovers in a first round win over the Lakers in 2011.
Road teams go 3-0 in overtime
There were three overtime games in the NBA on Monday and all three were won by the road team-the Clippers in Philadelphia, Magic in Atlanta and Trail Blazers in Memphis. That ties the most overtime road wins on one day in NBA history, done five previous times, most recently on February 26, 2010.