Rookie Rankings, Week 11: New International Rookie Game Format is Good Idea

CanadaFlag

The glorious history of NBA All-Star Weekend is littered with bad ideas. Remember 2-Ball? The Wheel of Fortune at the Slam Dunk Contest? The game uniforms that had different colors on the front and back, so you couldn’t tell which players were on which team? This week, however, the NBA announced a change to one of the All-Star Weekend events that is a really good idea. The Rising Stars will pit American players against international players. The Rising Stars has undergone several changes

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Rookie Rankings, Week 10: The Cavs Should Have Kept Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins

Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers should have kept Andrew Wiggins. Yeah, I know, it’s easy to say now, with Kevin Love sitting out fourth quarters and contemplating whether to re-up alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, while Wiggins drops 20 every night for the Minnesota Timberwolves. But I’m not just saying it now. I said it back in the summer, too, before the big deal was even done. 

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Rookie Rankings, Week 9: Jusuf Nurkic, Winning

Jusuf Nurkic Nuggets

It’s hard to find an NBA player – let alone a rookie – who had a better week than Jusuf Nurkic. Last Saturday, the center from Bosnia and his Denver Nuggets teammates were lying in wait for the Memphis Grizzlies, who were coming off a tougher-than-expected road win over the Los Angeles Lakers the previous night and had to make one of the league’s tougher overnight trips. LA to Denver may not seem like much, but it is a long flight

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Rookie Rankings, Week 8: Smart Shows Toughness, Now Has to Play Smart

Smart vs Cousins

Whether you are in the schoolyard or the prison yard, the theory remains the same: If you’re the new guy and want to prove your toughness, go pick a fight with the biggest guy in the yard. That’s what Boston Celtics rookie Marcus Smart did in Wednesday’s home win over the Sacramento Kings. In the fourth quarter with the Celtics pulling away, the 6-4, 220-pound Smart ran directly into the chest of the 6-11, 270-pound DeMarcus Cousins, who was trying to set

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MVP Rankings, Edition V: LeBron Approaches the Big Three-Oh

LeBron-Wade

LeBron James pulled his jersey up over his mouth as he spoke to the players on the Miami Heat bench late in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s Christmas day dud on Biscayne Bay, keeping the lip-readers out of the conversation. He id the same thing after the game ended when he spoke with Dwyane Wade, but his efforts at stealth could not elude the ESPN microphones. One snippet that was audible to the world was James saying he was making “like

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Rookie Rankings, Week 7: Mirotic Earning His Minutes With Bulls

Mirotic Feature

When the offseason began, all the talk around the Chicago Bulls was regarding the acquisition of veteran All-Star forward-center Pau Gasol and how he would work in a three-man big rotation with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Then the focus shifted to former MVP point guard Derrick Rose and his arduous comeback from a pair of debilitating knee injuries as he played for Team USA in the World Cup and arrived in training camp. Once the first two months of the season

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Rookie Rankings, Week 6: Injuries Hurt Development, Too

Jabari Parker

When looking at the lottery picks of the 2014 NBA draft, it’s almost easier to list those who are healthy than those who are not. The torn ACL suffered this week by No. 2 pick Jabari Parker was devastating news for the Milwaukee Bucks, who have been surprisingly competitive throughout the first third of the season, currently 6th in the East, and appeared to have the Rookie of the Year favorite in their starting lineup. But Parker’s injury also continued a trend among the most

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MVP Rankings, Edition IV: From New York to Slovenia to Cuba

Cuba

Been too long since the last MVP rankings, nearly two whole weeks. A lot has been happening during that time, and I have a few stories to tell — new and old, before we get into the latest rankings. This morning’s New York Times brings news that the United and Cuba will restore full diplomatic relations. But wait … no tourism for Americans, and no democracy for Cubans? Hey, you never know what kind of a surprise the Old Gray Lady

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