Tag Archives: NBA

Ice Trae Hits Orlando Up For 39 As The Hawks Start The Season Off Undefeated

(Atlanta, GA) – The Atlanta Hawks got off to a pretty good start that saw Ice Trae break some records along the way in Detroit for the season opener.  The youngster scored the most points in a Hawks’ season opener since Dominique Wilkins in 1986. The magic number 38…Trae-mazing to say the least.
But could the Hawks take that 1-0 record and boost it to 2-0. Fans were certainly ready for it as State Farm Arena was pretty much full.
20191027_012313
Opening night, Trae Young had 25 points in the first half and it looked as if he was on his way to another stellar night racking up a quick 13 points in just 13 minutes of play, with 4 rebounds and 5 assists.
Offense looked smooth minus some senseless turnovers that Atlanta was surely hoping wouldn’t come back to haunt them. Good ball movement helped them find some easy buckets down low and one thing about this young Hawks’ team, once they get rolling their chemistry is tough to break-through. Quick baskets by De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Heurter, Jabari Parker and Cam Reddish helped push Atlanta up 46-42 with 3 minutes left in the 1st half.
Trae Young would return with 2:30 left in the first half and you have to keep your eyes on him or you might miss something. He ended the first half with 17 points playing just 18 minutes, the only Hawk in double digits after 2 quarters.
For Orlando, Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Markelle Fultz would all end the first half with 10 points each.  But it wouldn’t be enough to grab the lead as the Magic went into halftime 2 down – 52-50.
2ND HALF
Trae Young added 7 quick points as the 2nd half got underway, but a series of fouls kept giving Orlando opportunities to inch closer. Alex Len had 3 but made up for it hitting a seismic 3 from the left corner that helped the Hawks stretch it out a little bit more; but Orlando quietly moved within 4, 64-60 with 6:30 to play in the 3rd quarter.
If the Hawks were getting comfortable, Jabari Parker made sure to spark things up taking up some real estate down low and dunking on quite a few folks but a bad touch foul matched with some good acting skills by Aaron Gordon made it a 2-point game real quick. 70-68. Atlanta managed to end the 3rd quarter up 77-75, so all is fair in love and basketball.
In the 4th quarter, Batman and Robin got started as Trae lobbed one up to John Collins who jammed it in. But for every point the Hawks scored, the refs found a foul to give to Orlando and before you knew it, the Magic had the lead 80-79.
At this point, the Hawks had 20 personal fouls and 14 turnovers and that cloud was starting to form. When the home team only hits the line for 9 free throws and the visiting team has 24 + , that could certainly steal your joy and the game. 6:42 left to play and the Magic had a 5 point lead. 90-85.
SUB…

Coach Pierce brought in his young boys, Young, Collins, Bembry and Parker with vet Vince Carter to regroup.  Carter’s first basket would pull Atlanta within 3, 90-87 and after an offensive charge by Orlando, there was a chance to make a move. Trae Young pulls up from the belt-line draining a 3 and tying it all up 90-90.

Carter’s leadership would prove to be pivotal.  And the fact that Trae Young doesn’t see anyone on the court is that kind of fierceness that will get you through the storm. With just a couple of minutes left, Atlanta forced a big turnover that would see Trae Young lob a high three that hit the glass and found its way in.

Post game, Vince said he was watching it come down and thought if it hits the back of the rim it’ll bounce back out to him.  But luck was on their side this time, after being on the other side of Victory several other times, and the Hawks will take it how it comes.

As for Trae, who finished the game with 39, he’s never been afraid of the big moments and said he wanted to get off to a more powerful start in his second season in the NBA. Looks like he’s doing just that.  And Coach Pierce wasn’t to upset about the fouls.  He said anytime you can get 60 in the paint, you can live with it. Final Score 103-99.
Up next, the Hawks will host the 76ers on Monday while the Magic will visit the Raptors.

Giannis Antetokounmpo Takes High Honors At ESPYS, Sues Over Greek Freak Paraphernalia

(Los Angeles, CA) – Sports’ hottest stars were on hand last night for the 2019 ESPY Awards but it was Giannis Antetokounmpo who stood out above the rest.
The Bucks’ star was a big winner at the awards show taking the Best Male Athlete and Best NBA Player Award.
In related news,  Antetokounmpo  is suing a Pennsylvania artist JInder Bhogal  for selling ‘Greek Freak’ merchandise. Giannis registered his nickname with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last year. Back in May, his attorneys sent a cease and desist letter to Bhogal who removed the “Greek Freak” merchandise from his website, but not his Facebook page.
Antetokounmpo is seeking all the profits Bhogal gained from selling the merchandise and/or $2 million for every counterfeit mark on goods sold.

Fall Of A Dynasty: Greed Could Mean The End For Big Baller Brand

(Los Angeles, CA) –  The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:10, For the love of money is the root of all evil. And it looks like money could end up being the downfall of the Big Baller Brand.
Love him or hate him, LaVar Ball  with his valiant and often boisterous personality has positioned his three sons Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo to be a 1,2,3 punch dynasty in the NBA. He’s groomed his boys to be disciplined in life and the game of basketball and as they transform to current and future NBA stars, the marketing almost works itself.
Who wouldn’t be interested in three brothers, at one point, lined up to dominate High School, College and NBA basketball all at the same time. Fans are banking on decades of the Ball brothers showing out, especially the youngest one. It made perfect financial sense to turn the Ball Brand into a real business.
That’s what family friend Alan Foster said when he saw the attention and publicity surrounding LaVar’s sons and LaVar as he stirred up controversy and interest (often negative) pretty much everywhere he went.  Some say that controversy is what’s keeping middle son LiAngelo out of the league right now while others, from the beginning, understood the father of three’s vision and the mechanics of his abrasive ways.
I’ll admit.  For the longest, I just wanted pops to be quiet. I was one that was skeptical until I took the time to watch the family’s reality show on Facebook Watch, “Ball in The Family”.
ball-family
What I saw was a well orchestrated and organized household designed to turn LaVar Ball and Tina Ball’s sons, and any of their friends who were willing to put in the work, into bonafide basketball beasts and respectable young men. LaVar ball doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke and detests tattoos (until his son Gelo got not one, but a few and Lonzo soon followed). And then there’s the dynamic between him and his wife and his commitment to her after she suffered a stroke.  It’s safe to say that Tina Ball brings out LaVar’s soft side. Yes, he has one.
With help from both LaVar and Tina’s parents along with his brothers, there’s a strong family support system and everyone plays his or her role in the family business.  Alan Foster, whose son befriended Lonzo in middle school, pitched an idea to LaVar that would turn the creation of professional endorsement deals and signature shoes for an NBA rookie on its head.  Forget NIKE, forget Adidas, Rebook and any other athletic brand. Let’s do our own.  The Big Baller Brand. Subsequently, overpriced shoes, hats, t-shirts and hoodies with triple BBBs emblazoned on them became the gear to have.
They even have a girl’s line.
Ball in The Family started airing on Facebook Watch and the dynasty had officially begun.
At the start of his rookie season, Lonzo Ball hit the court for the Los Angeles Lakers in his own signature shoe created by the Big Baller Brand. Major pop-up shops across the world soon followed and the JBA league which was a direct marketing tool for the Triple BBBs took off as well. Minus Lonzo suffering from continuous ankle problems (which the Lakers reportedly think are caused by his triple BBBs shoes) business was booming.
Melo Ball's 16th Birthday
Alan Foster was leading the way. He served as LaVar’s business partner, advisor and was purported to be the one who organized LaMelo’s move to SPIRE Institute in Ohio and kept close contact with LiAngelo’s agent to keep LaVar abreast on what moves were possible in advance for his middle son. LaVar trusted him blindly to not only manage the family business but some of Lonzo’s personal business as well. Afterall, Foster is a Co-Owner of BBB so it seemed like a win/win.
Alan held a near 17% stake in the company while Lonzo was the majority holder with over 51% percent leaving just over 30% presumably for LaVar, Melo and Gelo to split. I’m pretty sure Lonzo initially funded the Big Baller Brand.  He had just signed a 3-year 22 million dollar deal with the Lakers when BBB started.
1064179954.jpg.0
There was only one instance that appeared to be a red flag but with new startups some bumps in the road are expected.  On one episode of Ball In The Family a number of JBA players hadn’t been paid. Deposits were quickly made, but it made you question how money was being transferred for both payments and purchases.  It’s no secret that the other triple BBB – The Better Business Bureau isn’t too fond of the Big Baller Brand.  There has been a number of complaints from consumers. But again, with startups you expect a few wrinkles.
But what you don’t expect is to have the Co-Owner and friend of the family embezzle $1.5 million dollars in the first year and a half of the company’s existence and Lonzo Ball’s professional career.  However, when the Co-Owner is a convicted fraudster……it’s more than plausible. In fact financial misdeeds are not new to Foster.
According to federal records, in 2002, he was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering as part of a scheme that defrauded 70 investors of $4 million. Foster was also ordered to pay $3.7 million in restitution to victims.
Lonzo told ESPN that he believes, “Alan Foster used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself. As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately.”
Lonzo also scrubbed all visuals of the Big Baller Brand and logo including the triple BBBs tattoo that he had on his forearm.  It’s been replaced by a pair of dice showing allegiance to his two younger brothers with the numbers 1,2,3.
All three of the Ball brothers have stopped following the Big Baller Brand on social media as well. And ..I’m sure that won’t be the end of it.

Charlotte Ready To Kick Off All-Star Weekend

(Charlotte, NC) – It’s that time again.  For fans, it’s the opportunity to get a close but fun look at the NBA’s brightest stars but for players it’s a much needed break capping the first half of the regular season. Either way you slice it, All-Star weekend begins today.
The weekend kicks off with the Rising Star’s game where the U.S. will play the World tonight.  Tomorrow fans can enjoy the Slam Dunk and Three Point Contests along with the Skills Challenge.  The grand finale will go down on Sunday.  LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo have been tapped to lead the West and the East respectively.
Getty_Steph_0214_1550173107514_6765882_ver1.0_640_360
All-Star will have special meaning for one superstar though.  Steph Curry is returning to his old stomping grounds.  He grew up in Charlotte.  His dad played for the Hornets and he also played for Davidson College.
Steph says, “I’m going to do whatever I can to highlight, like showcase the city,” Curry said. “And celebrate it for what it meant to me and my journey. Our family and my dad, in terms of where he is in all the record books of Charlotte – Kemba Walker just passed him I think for all-time scoring – but he has other records that talks about his longevity there.”

Below is a schedule of events for NBA All-Star 2019 in Charlotte, NC.

Friday, Feb. 15

All times Eastern (ET)

9:30 a.m. | MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars Practice & Media Day
11:00 a.m. | MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars Practice | NBA TV
5 p.m. | Hall of Fame Announcement | NBA TV
7 p.m. | NBA All-Star Celebrity Game presented by Ruffles | ESPN
9 p.m. | MTN DEW ICE Rising Stars | TNT

Saturday, Feb. 16

All times Eastern (ET)

9:30 a.m. | NBA All-Star Practice & Media Day presented by AT&T | NBA TV

  •   9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. All-Star Saturday Night Participant Media Availability
  •   10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Team Giannis Media Availability
  •   10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Team LeBron Media Availability
  •   12:05 p.m. – 12:55 p.m. Team Giannis Practice
  •   1:05 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. Team LeBron Practice

7 p.m. | Commissioner Adam Silver media availability | NBA TV
8 p.m. State Farm All-Star Saturday Night | TNT

Sunday, Feb. 17

All times Eastern (ET)

3 p.m. | NBA Legends Brunch | NBA TV coverage begins at 3 ET
8 p.m. 68th NBA All-Star Game | TNT coverage begins at 7 ET (also available on TBS)

Hawks Shut Down Lakers Defense, Beat L.A. 117 – 113

(Atlanta, GA) – It looks like a few days off was all the Hawks needed to get their chemistry back together and their energy back up.  Coach Lloyd Pierce said he might have to give them a few more days off if that’s what it takes to get them to play the way they did against the Lakers.
Granted LeBron James and his purple and gold squad are still trying to marry a mix of players that will put them in good standing for a playoff run but as of right now it doesn’t look like anyone is interested in advancing post regular season.
DSC_4316.JPG
A Lonzo Ball-less Lakers couldn’t find their way out of trouble against the Hawks, even with Lebron dishing up his usual triple double with 28 pts 16 ast and 11 rbs. The defense collapsed early allowing the Hawks to go 10-17 from the arc in the 1st quarter alone and L.A. gave up 100 pts in just 3 qtrs.
For the Hawks, they had 6 players in double digits including veteran Vince Carter who was also responsible for a couple of those 3s in the 1st quarter. Led by Trae Young, who had 22 pts and 14 asts, the Hawks were able to break-down the Lakers’ defense early and unlike past outings was able to hold onto a 5pt lead going into the 4th quarter which saw both teams struggle.
DSC_4425.JPG
For the Lakers, the loss was their fourth out five forcing them under .500 at 28-29. The Hawks are 19-38.  They’ll host the Knicks tomorrow night while the Lakers are off until after the All-Star break.

Hawks’ Fans Leave Happy Despite Loss To Celtics And Here’s Why…

(Atlanta, GA) – State Farm Arena was pretty packed last night when the Hawks hosted the Celtics and no it wasn’t just  because LeBron James’ old running mate Kyrie Irving was in the building or beloved former Atlanta star Al Horford or the fact that popular actress Taraji P. Henson and uber successful producer Will Packer  were courtside.  No….I believe it has everything to do with how this Atlanta Hawks team is finally starting to mesh.
They shocked the league when they blew out OKC 142-126. A win that highlighted the dynamic between a rookie and a second year player. You can’t deny the magic between John Collins and Trae Young and coming into this matchup against Boston, Hawks’ fans were anxious to see more of the same.  The effort and the growth is essentially what will ultimately define this young team this season. And boy did they come out swinging.
The Hawks needed to handle four core areas against the Celtics.  Somehow contain Kyrie or go head to head with him, watch the turnovers, use that speed that has them pushing it faster than any other team in the NBA right now and take advantage of Trae Young around the perimeter where he’s currently shooting 42%. It’s doesn’t hurt to swing that thing around to Kevin Heurter either. The boy can shoot.
Granted Gordon Hayward was out but so was Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince still isn’t 100 percent. Speaking of Prince, I know the general rule of thumb is to shoot yourself out of a slump.  But when that shot isn’t falling, pass it off. In the first half, he was 2 for 8 from the field, 0 for 5 at the 3pt line. It’s okay to find other ways to create plays and produce.
The Hawks were ahead  60-67 at the half and at times led by as much as 12.  A 3rd qtr altercation, in which Marcus Smart lost his mind and charged at Deandre’ Bembry swinging at whoever is in front of him (a ref in this case) and being so out of control that it caused a senior member of the Celtics security team to fall to the ground, looked to derail Boston. But, by the 4th quarter the Celtics would find their fire and not only tie the score but pull away from the Hawks.
Kyrie Irving was stellar as usual leading all scorers with 32. But despite the 113-106 defeat, the Hawks continued to show just how diverse and promising this team is.  Compromised of power, speed, accuracy and flash, swag or drip depending on how old you are….the Hawks looked liked a team that’s learning each other’s strengths and deepening its chemistry.  John Collins is a beast around the rim, Jeremy Lin is like a secret assassin who can kill you at the arch or flip a behind the back pass just when you think he’s going to go for the short jumper. Trae Young is shooting 42% from the perimeter right now…that’s not just good..that’s elite. And we haven’t even gone into the skill sets that Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince and Deandre’ Bembry bring.  Simply put, the ingredients are there.  Thee Hawks just need to perfect the recipe.
Up next, the Hawks will host the Magic on MLK day while the Celtics welcome the Heat.

Dwyane Wade Plays His Last Game In Atlanta, Solidifies Legacy

(Atlanta, GA) – Sunday afternoon the Atlanta Hawks took on the Miami Heat at State Farm Arena. This was the last time Dewyane Wade would be playing in Atlanta, so there were definitely more D Wade fans in attendance than there were actual Hawks fans. Wade showed up and gave the crowd a couple highlights and scored 11 points. The energy in the Arena was amazing. It felt like a playoff game whenever Wade made one of his amazing plays.

dsc_2020.jpg
Dwyane Wade at State Farm Arena, January 6th, 2019. Photo Credit/ Christopher London

Despite all the excitement the Hawks were able to go out and take care of business at home to get a dominating 106-82 point victory. The Hawks led the entire first period and through most of the 2nd, but the heat finally took their first lead around the 7 minute mark in 2nd. That lead was very short lived and the Hawks were able to take a 38-37 point lead into halftime. The Hawks picked back up on the the momentum they started the game with in the 3rd, and proceeded to take full control of the game by outscoring the Heat 41-21 in the 3rd quarter. Miami never recovered from that dominant 3rd period from Atlanta. The Hawks cruised their way through the 4th period on their way to a 24 point victory.

dsc_2010.jpg_resized_1
Photo Credit: Christopher London

Trae Young had a great night leading the Hawks to a victory vs one of his Idols. Young finished with 19 points and swapped jerseys after the game with Dwade. DeAndre Bembry continues to show and prove. Bembry ended his night with 17 points and has really been coming into his own this season. Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce stated that Bembry will be starting these next 4 games so he has a chance to see Exactly what works for him as a starter. John Collins had a quiet night, but even his quiet night always make a huge impact.

dsc_2085.jpg_resized_1
John Collins campaigns for an All-Star seat. Photo Credit/Christopher London

Collins contributed 13 points and 13 rebounds in this victory.In addition to this being Wade’s final game in Atlanta, the future Hall of Famer also reached another milestone. With less than a minute to go in the 3rd Wade landed the 500th 3 pointer of his career. With this shot Wade joined an elite club with only Michael Jordan and LeBron James as the only players to have at least 20,000 points, 5000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocks, and 500 3s. This was another great motivating victory for the Hawks who had just lost really badly to the Bucks on Friday night.

The Hawks are going on a 3 game road trip starting in Toronto so that should be another interesting game. Can’t wait to see what this young team is able to do vs the best team in the league Tuesday night!

By Kennan Johnson

John Collins Scores Career High 30pts Against Nuggets

(Atlanta, GA) – The Atlanta Hawks cut a 4-game losing streak by beating the Denver Nuggets 106-98 at home.  Riding on the shoulders of John Collins, who has continued to increase his scoring over the last three games and hit a career high 30, the Hawks were able to dominate the 2nd and 3rd quarters after being down by 10 at the end of the first period.

Collins’ 30 pts were accompanied by 12 rebounds for a solid double-double. Collins who missed a number of games due to an injury at the beginning of the season seems to really be flourishing with that ankle inflammation and soreness behind him.  He was 12 of 20 from the floor and 3 of 6 from the three point line.

Post game Coach Pierce said, “It helps when he makes threes; he was 3 of 6 tonight. We know what he can do at the rim. But when he gets out there and their helping off of him, when he can knock some of those down, now they have to run out and guard him. I think he had a dunk where he attacked a close out because they were sprinting out to him at the three point line.”

DSC_0072

Nuggets Coach, Mike Malone even had to give up for Collins saying, “He did everything tonight. He hit threes, he got behind us for lob dunks, he worked the offensive glass, and he made plays for his teammates. I believe it was a career-high for John and Bembry, so anytime you give up two career-highs in the same game it’s usually not going to end well. John Collins had a heck of a game for them and he hurt us in every way possible tonight.”

That career high for DeAndre Bembry came in the form of 18 pts as Atlanta cruised to victory for a change.  We’ll see if they can hold that momentum though.

They’ve got a 3-game road trip ahead where they’ll play them Mavericks, Celtics and Nets before they come back home to host the Wizards.

Milwaukee Officer Involved In NBA Player’s Arrest Fired

(MILWAUKEE, WI – AP) – A Milwaukee officer involved in the stun gun arrest of Bucks’ player Sterling Brown has been fired because of social media posts mocking the incident, the city’s police chief said Thursday.

Police Chief Alfonso Morales said the firing decision was not tied to anything Erik Andrade did when Brown was arrested, but explained that the social media posts compromised the officer’s ability to testify in other cases. Morales spoke about the case at a Marquette University event.

Sterling-Brown-Video-800x445Brown sued the police department in June and accused officers of using excessive force and targeting him because he’s black. A group of officers swarmed on him at a Walgreens parking lot because he didn’t immediately remove his hands from his pockets. Brown was standing with the officers waiting for a citation for parking in a
disabled spot early on Jan. 26, but never appeared to threaten police before or during his arrest, according to police body camera videos.

Andrade later mocked Brown on Facebook for his arrest .

”Nice meeting Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks at work this morning! Lol #FearTheDeer,” one Facebook post read, referencing a slogan used to cheer on the Bucks at games. Andrade also posted a racist meme of Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant.

DgExUVJX0AArXVI

Morales said in a statement that Andrade’s posts violate the department’s social media policies.

”They have a racist connotation and are derogatory, mocking an individual who was recently the subject of officers’ use of force,” Morales said. ”Such comments also directly affect his credibility and ability to testify in future hearings as a member of this Department. I have not, and will not, tolerate such behavior.”

Andrade was at the scene when Brown was arrested but was not among the officers who took him down, according to police. A total of 11 officers involved in the arrest were disciplined or retrained, but Andrade was not among those punished at the time.

The president of the Milwaukee Police Association, Mike Crivello, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on behalf of Andrade. Andrade does not have a listed phone number.

Morales apologized to Brown for his officers’ actions and theBucks’ second-year guard was never charged with anything.