Magic Hand the Keys to Rookie Point Guard Elfrid Payton

Orlando Magic Amway hallway

No disrespect to Andrew Wiggins, who can fly like a young Tracy McGrady and defend like a future Scottie Pippen. No disrespect to Jabari Parker, who can score like Carmelo Anthony and is our pick to win Rookie of the Year next season. And nothing against Julius Randle, Marcus Smart, Aaron Gordon, or any of the other mega-prospects who will likely be lighting up the league for the next 10 years. But Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton is the coolest player in

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“The Basketball Tournament” is a 32-team, open event with a $500K prize and some big names

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March Madness for everyone. In June. For money. A lot of money. That’s the idea behind The Basketball Tournament, a 32-team, open event coming to Philadelphia next week featuring a ton of players including Hakim Warrick, Josh Selby, Josh Boone, Rashad McCants, Aquille Carr and Marshall Henderson. Winner takes home $500,000. Organizer Jonathan Mugar said The Tournament, which is open to any U.S. citizen over the age of 18, was born out of a simple idea: What if you took everything great about

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Most Improved Player Rankings: And the winner is….

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This is a tough column to write. It’s the last edition of the Most Improved Player Rankings, and like John Boehner at an eighth grade science fair, I’m about to lose it. I uhh…I just want to tell you all how much you mean to me. (Voice cracks) It’s been another incredible year in this column space. We’ve talked about Ike Manfresca, the Oscars, Seinfeld, the genetic connection between twins, existentialism, John Lennon, Mars Blackmon, and un-seeing the Eastern Conference standings. We even compared every candidate to a character in

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With Final Push, Dragic Can Lead Suns into Playoffs, Clinch Most Improved Player

GoranDragicSH1

In these rankings, much like in life, you’ve got to be lucky to win. You can be the same exact person, with the same skill set and attitude, but if that ball doesn’t bounce the right way, you don’t get the recognition you deserve. Take UConn coach Kevin Ollie. If 7-foot freshman center Amida Brimah, who hasn’t played more than four seasons of organized basketball in his life, doesn’t complete a ridiculous three-point play with less than 25 seconds left in the first

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Who is the Most Improved Player in the NCAA Tournament?

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As the sun fades into the North Texas sky (not sure why we can’t call it Arlington) on Saturday evening, college basketball will take center stage on the American sports landscape. Everyone except Chris Bernucca will settle in for the Final Four, where some of the NBA’s future stars will duke it out in a titanic stadium not meant for basketball with everything on the line. It is a spectacle that deserves America’s attention. And that is why we’ve decided to lend

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Suns Making Madness of Their Own, Taking Over Most Improved Rankings

GoranDragicSH1

March is about underdogs. That’s why we love it so much. Well, most of us anyway. (Can someone check Chris Bernucca for a pulse?) Just kidding, boss. It’s the incredible stories like Mercer’s upset of Duke, Dayton’s run to the Sweet 16 and Stephen F. Austin’s miraculous comeback against VCU that keep us glued to the TV screen in March, like a month-long Rob Ford press conference. There’s nothing like a good underdog narrative, and year after year, the NCAA Tournament delivers with several

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How Did Most Improved Player Candidates Fare in March Madness?

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It’s March Madness, and that can only mean one thing. I just spent the past 48 hours writing three paragraphs on all 68 teams in the NCAA Tournament for my blog, RoundballDaily.com. If I have to hit the parentheses button one more time, I’m going to lose my index finger (I put a lot of the stats in parentheses). Dammit. In the spirit of the Big Dance, I’ve decided to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about the greatest March

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From the Clouds: This Week’s Most Improved Player Rankings

MikeFrancesa2008

A well-proportioned, wise Italian man with a radio show in New York once told me and a listening audience of probably hundreds that the NBA “goes into the clouds” in February and March. I can’t really remember his name, OK? So let’s just call him Ike Manfresca. Manfresca’s quote has always stuck with me, because:  (a) it was so strange and (b) it’s the perfect way to describe the seasonal malaise that rolls in around this time of year, like a

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