DALLAS — Call them an early-season disappointment. Brand them defensively challenged. Take it a step snarkier and dismiss them as creaky — or even flat-out old.
DALLAS — Call them an early-season disappointment. Brand them defensively challenged. Take it a step snarkier and dismiss them as creaky — or even flat-out old.
Time for our weekly run around the league ... This is the Drummond we've been dying to see. He has taken just 12 shots out of post-ups in 11 games, per Synergy Sports. Drummond tried 277 last season, mostly clunky jump hooks that rarely resulted in free throws.
A typical episode of one of the most popular podcasts about professional basketball includes no music, no theme song, no production whatsoever, and features, just for example, an 11-minute discussion of the trade of Allen Crabbe, an unremarkable player going from a mediocre team to a bad one.
One of the best parts about the NBA this season has been witnessing the emergence of a stellar rookie class. From Ben Simmons and Jayson Tatum to Kyle Kuzma and John Collins, the league is relishing the myriad strong performances from the league’s latest contributors.
DALLAS -- During a third-quarter timeout Saturday, LeBron James leaned over from his seat on the bench, turned his head to peer down the row of seats to catch Jae Crowder's attention and barked instructions at his new teammate over the crowd noise at American Airlines Center.
To watch these New Orleans Pelicans is to bear witness to the perils of potential. It's a familiar predicament for young upstarts: The boom-or-bust stakes, the pressures of living up to expectations. For the most part, failure is an option for teams on the rise.
This week's mailbag features your questions on redshirt rookies, starting lineup patterns, and more. You can tweet your questions using the hashtag #peltonmailbag or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Simmons and friends look back on the best Woj scoop, the best in-game dunker, the most improbable turnaround, sweet Jokic passing, the glories of Waiters Island, and much moreIf you were expecting to read my choices for Most Valuable Player, All-NBA and every other major NBA award on the offic
It’s September 1 and LeBron James is on his knees, teetering on a purple medicine ball. He balances himself while holding up a weight in each hand before a trainer puts a lighter weight on top of each. Neither James nor the weights falls. To the fans that make up James’s 33.
On Sunday afternoon, I was watching my daughter play soccer in Parts Unknown, California, right as Sergio Garcia was stealing the Masters from Justin Rose. The Masters app kept freezing on me, so I settled on clandestinely following the last few holes on Twitter.
What’s the perfect length for the NBA season? Have we underrated Karl-Anthony Towns? And could the NBA lottery really be rigged?Sorry there hasn’t been an NBA mailbag in a few weeks — I’ve been resting myself for the playoffs. Send future questions to email@example.com.
It was always going to end this way. The Warriors can shoot and outscore teams, and the Warriors can ruin teams with defense. They can go small with Draymond at center, they can go big and rotate Festus Ezeli with Andrew Bogut. They can go fast, or they can go warp speed.
In the glass-box proscenium of the Nolan Ryan Building on Nike's Brussels-size campus outside Portland, Oregon, Kevin Durant is walking the sacred transept of Sneaker Paradiso: the studios where young designers, working in pods, create future seasons of basketball footwear, some in styles a
It’s that time of year again: Time to look back at the season that was and take stock of the players who were exceptional.
OAKLAND — About 30 minutes after Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, Warriors forward Draymond Green sat at his locker in full uniform, fiddling with his phone. All around him, teammates hastily showered and dressed, rushing from Oracle Arena and the champagne fumes that polluted the air.
Back in March 2014 at Staples Center, Stephen Curry and the Warriors were playing the Clippers. After David Lee missed a layup, Blake Griffin swatted at the rebound, but the ball flung back toward the top of the arc and into the hands of Curry. Naturally, he looked to shoot.
But first, it’s a Grantland Basketball Hour alert! On the heels of last night’s “Hardcore Playoff Preview” with me, Jalen Rose and Zach Lowe …
It's Friday, so let's talk about some things around the NBA. Guys, I am going to tell you something that might shock and disturb you. It may upend everything you think you know about basketball -- nay, about life --and plunge you into an existential abyss from which there is no escape.
Bill Simmons picks the starters for each conference, decides which unicorns have earned a spot, and identifies the former MVP who isn’t making the cutIn Adam Silver’s latest attempt to throw a no-hitter for the decade, the NBA changed its voting process for the 2017 All-Star Game next month.
Five weeks after the parade, LeBron James watches the final minutes of the last game for the first time. He sits in a black swivel chair, on a basketball court inside an airport hangar, as 81 of America’s best amateur players study him from metal bleachers.
Few NBA things make me happier than an emphatic, streaking Thabo Sefolosha dunk. He's already crammed twice this season, and he's flying all over the court for an Atlanta second unit that is just obliterating people. The Hawks are plus-62 in the 84 minutes Sefolosha has played so far.
On the team plane late Sunday after a dismal loss to the Pacers -- the second of three straight -- Chris Paul strode to Blake Griffin's seat for a chat about what had befallen the mighty Clippers. The talk was brief, and happy. "We'll be fine," Griffin told Paul, the two men recalled to ESPN.com.
It's time for our sixth annual Luke Walton All-Stars -- a list of role players, journeymen, and castoffs thriving in unexpected circumstances. Click here if you're curious about criteria for Walton status, and the origin of the column's name.
Is Nikola Jokic a basketball unicorn? Should Paul George be traded immediately? What would it take to get Anthony Davis out of New Orleans? Plus, 27 more deals from the Picasso of the Trade Machine.The NBA trade deadline is Thursday. I repeat: THE NBA TRADE DEADLINE IS THURSDAY.
OAKLAND — Kyrie Irving missed a jumper with a minute left, Draymond Green grabbed the rebound and, with 55 seconds on the clock, Kevin Durant bent over in disbelief and staggered toward the ABC broadcast booth around midcourt, his back turned to the ongoing action. The Warriors were up 11.
The Players’ Tribune has partnered with Chase for a special edition of “Letter to My Younger Self,” a series where athletes reflect on their biggest lessons learned, from finance to relationships and careers. When you get off the school bus tomorrow, you’re going to be in a whole new world.
How long does it take to become elite at your craft? And what do the people who master their goals do differently than the rest of us? That's what John Hayes, a cognitive psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University, wanted to know.
The Nets are what happens when there’s no parachute and the engine blows. They are the audacious experiment whose mission malfunctioned at takeoff and was aborted in midair, leaving behind a trade that is debated as the worst in the history of the NBA.
This is the eighth version of this column -- our last big preseason tradition -- and I almost scrapped it. How can you predict anything in this league after the summer that just happened? Is any prediction too insane?
Sometimes a player is so good at something—so dependable, so versatile, so influential—he can be punished for it. Tuesday night, with Isaiah Thomas out with a lingering hip injury and Derrick Rose down with an ankle sprain, LeBron James played point guard for the Cavaliers.
The Cavs don’t appear to have a plan right now. It’s hard to have one when there’s no person in charge.
The story of the season has been the play of young hybrid big men. Karl-Anthony Towns and Myles Turner talk about their revolutionary styles. Plus, notes on Kawhi, Harden, and more.When Karl-Anthony Towns talks about his basketball influences, he sounds like he’s opening a restaurant.
Cleveland will need to make home run moves to not only keep up with the Warriors, but to keep LeBron in the city. And it’s become harder for Indiana to ignore George’s wandering eye. This is a mutually beneficial trade — who says no?LeBron James can’t wait out the Warriors.
How a lanky kid from South Dakota became the trusted confidant of LeBron James and Tracy McGrady — and seemingly everybody else in the NBA When the Orlando Magic traded Mike Miller in 2003, Tracy McGrady’s constant complaining about the deal irritated coach Doc Rivers.
The NBA playoffs force teams to face their own mortality. Winning four consecutive seven-game series is much harder than racking up wins in the regular season, and any weakness in a team’s roster will get exposed in the pressure cooker of playoff basketball.
Leave it to the San Antonio Spurs. Just one day after celebrating one of the most emotional title clinchers in NBA history, the “Ozymandias” episode of the Duncan-Pop era was rendered irrelevant by America’s first World Cup game.
It appeared in some form in almost every analysis of the landmark Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas swap: Irving would thrive in Boston and evolve from his hoggy dribbling in his new pick-and-roll partnership with Al Horford -- a shifty screener who can shoot, roll, and keep the ball whizzing with expert p
Tanking is a bitter pill to swallow, but for a few teams unaccustomed to failure, this is the perfect time to take the plunge. Plus: Atlanta’s assimilation to Dwight, Cody Zeller’s screen game, and STAUSKAS!As we go through life, we’re taught about different levels of shame in sports.
It can be difficult to grasp the gravity of any given situation while it’s happening. Often, it’s only after time passes that it becomes apparent how pivotal a decision was, or how what once seemed significant ultimately turned out to be meaningless.
How did Kevin Love become part of LeBron’s “I’m Coming Home” package to Cleveland even before that signing went down? LeBron passes 40,000 career minutes during the seventh minute of opening night in October, that’s how.
One year after the NBA’s astronomical salary cap boom, things are starting to normalize. Teams will have to be smart with their money, just like before. What does that mean for acquiring stars in the future?The NBA is finally starting to process the fallout from an unprecedented summer last year.
Now that we have the NBA Finals we all wanted, just who will end up winning this thing? Miami has now made four straight Finals, something no team has done since the 1980s, and a win here would give them a three-peat — and four total post-Jordan rings.
Golden State finally has its signature victory of the regular season in a beatdown of the defending champs. Here’s what changed between Christmas and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.It didn’t take long for the Warriors to send the Cavs a message on Monday.
As the Golden State Warriors sat in their locker room a year ago, digesting the final loss of the worst collapse in NBA history, Andre Iguodala stood and said he wanted to address the group. Iguodala rarely does this, according to several members of the team. Everyone stopped.
DeMar DeRozan is uprooting our understanding of efficiency, and Evan Turner is uprooting the Blazers’ playoff hopes. Who else makes our list?For the most part, the more things change in the NBA, the more they stay the same.
Whether the Cavaliers manage to survive this series could be the least of their worries. Murmurs around the league suggest that the King might be interested in westward expansion in 2018. Here’s what the move would mean for his future — and the NBA’s.
Despite all the rumors, Paul George and Jimmy Butler didn’t get traded, while Danny Ainge decided to dive headfirst into the Celtics’ assets like Scrooge McDuck into his pile of gold rather than make a move.
Which prospects boosted their stock at the combine? Which tweeners are best positioned to shoot up draft boards? And what the hell does Frank Mason III have to do to get some NBA love?The only NBA draft guide that promises little to no discussion of Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball is back with Part I
Imagine if points scored didn’t determine the winner of a basketball game. Instead, imagine the victor was chosen by a panel of judges that assigned points to each team for every action that occurred on the court — much like a gymnastics meet is decided.
The NBA’s final regular-season week usually revolves around playoff seed positioning, MVP conversations, awards ballots, this Spurs picture, some unapologetic mega-tanking by th
Why superstar players seeking max salaries are stuck between a rock and a hard place — while NBA owners are laughing all the way to the bank In a time of hushed meetings and amorphous potential offers, the Rockets have transformed a thought exercise into a real thing by presenti
I didn’t write an NBA Bag on Thursday because I knew David Letterman was stepping down. I wrote an NBA Bag because I’ve been doing mailbags ever since I started writing this column in 1997 … and only because I loved Letterman’s “Viewer Mail” gimmick.
There’s always room for improvement. So even though the NBA is now a 12-month league that we can’t look away from, we here at The Ringer have a few humble suggestions to make it even greater.
Despite a flood of new national television cash, 14 of the NBA's 30 teams lost money last season before collecting revenue-sharing payouts, and nine finished in the red even after accounting for those payments, according to confidential NBA financial records obtained by ESPN.com.
The Cleveland-Boston standoff over Isaiah Thomas's health also signaled the rest of the league: The bidding for Kyrie Irving is still open.
As of today, James Harden is the leading scorer in the NBA and the most important offensive force on a team in the thick of the Western Conference title race. He’s a legitimate MVP candidate, quite clearly the best shooting guard in the league. And yet, he’s more than that.
It's the final Friday of the regular season -- time for one more dash around the league. It hasn't gotten nearly as much attention, but Washington's leaky defense has actually been a hair worse than Cleveland's since the All-Star break.
Bill Simmons: With my beloved Celtics stuck in Rebuilding Mode, I find myself rooting for LeBron’s Cavaliers to give Cleveland its first championship in 50 years. How they handle a hypothetical Kevin Love–Andrew Wiggins trade is crucial for that quest.
Most years, we have more time. The NBA Finals end, and then there’s a nice little grace period that allows everyone to get caught up with the biggest stories in the NBA draft. That didn’t happen this year. It feels like the Finals ended five minutes ago, and now the draft is just days away.
After combing through his fake inbox of fake NBA emails, Bill Simmons has one move that could shake up the whole league Greetings from Miami, Florida, the gorgeous home of South Beach, LeBron and Wade, Pat Riley and the Miami Mafia, David Caruso’s sunglasses, the strongest coffe
In a normal season, there are usually one or two awards on the NBA’s ballot that are easy — a runaway rookie of the year (Blake Griffin), a borderline unanimous MVP, a bench guy who lapped the sixth-man field. Not this season.
“I don’t know if it’s a fairy tale. But I hope it ends the way most of them end.” — LeBron James, on July 10, 2014, in Las Vegas.
The Raptors, these wonderful accidental pseudo-contenders, have fundamental flaws beyond playing in the same conference as LeBron James. The makeover starts now, in a summer fraught with difficult choices that will chart the franchise's course over the next half-decade. Toronto scored 101.
Well, holy freaking crap. The NBA has never, ever seen a day like July 1, 2015.
On the 20th Friday of the season, let's look at 10 NBA things that have my attention. It's about time. Alley-oops and dunks are awesome because they are hard to get. They represent the total outmaneuvering of an entire team of humans trying to prevent them.
With Lonzo taking top billing for sport’s glamour franchise, LeBron possibly on the way, and stars from virtually every team to be found on the streets and in SoulCycle classes, Los Angeles has become the mecca of the NBA offseason.
NBSheaThe postseason comes with its own set of acknowledged rules and lessons. This is the secret understanding behind a Steven Adams mega-screen, or a LeBron elimination game.
Right now, the NBA is in the midst of a point guard era. The level of play at that position has been elevated so high that the performance of the primary ball handler often dictates which team will win a game. But this wasn’t always the case.
It’s hard to pick out the best single defensive play of the entire 2013-14 NBA season, but Kawhi Leonard’s block of Russell Westbrook in overtime of Game 6 of the Western Conference finals deserves serious consideration.
The discourse around LeBron James has never been all that rational. It was stupid four years ago to build a one-hour television show around one sentence, and it revealed a baffling cluelessness from LeBron and his team about how “The Decision” would torture the NBA’s saddest fan base.
These are normally the dog days of the NBA season — the slog after the All-Star break, when seedings are set, tanking teams drop the pretenses, and we project first-round matchups that won’t materialize for weeks.
Even the NBA, the most predictable major U.S. pro sports league, is fraught with uncertainty. The Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals! But making predictions is a useful thought exercise, and it's healthy to creep out on a limb once in a while.
With less than three weeks before the trade deadline, there is a sense around the league that the NBA landscape is under a constant humming tremor — the kind of soft rumbling that could result in a grand upheaval or fade away without a monster eruption.
From stars at the top of the food chain to reserves fighting for an opportunity, these game changers could shape the seasonIt feels like LeBron James chasing Andre Iguodala down from behind happened only a few weeks ago, but the offseason is over already. The NBA is back.