Let's bounce around the big questions in three Western Conference series resuming with pivotal games tonight ... It is cliche, and usually inaccurate, to say any player almost "single-handedly" won an NBA game. Not with Game 4 in Memphis.
After years of ridicule for being the most “overpaid” player in the NBA, the 16-year veteran has won back the masses as a Jazzman by doing what he’s always done — just with a lower profileJoe Johnson has always been defined by money.
One of the most consistent teams of the past five years faces a serious question.
The soft runner down the middle of the paint that won Utah its Game 1 against the Clippers was classic Joe Johnson. Both Johnson and the man defending him, former Hawks teammate Jamal Crawford, had seen this one before: down late in the game, a one-on-one situation followed by a sure-fire bucket.
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
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 and colors
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 …
Russ? Harden? Kawhi? LeBron? Bill Simmons makes his Most Valuable Player pick. It’s historic.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
All-Star Weekend is the time for the best basketball players on the planet to show off. It’s also the time for some very mediocre basketball players to play against one another on national TV because they are good at singing and acting.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
“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.
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.
Well, holy freaking crap. The NBA has never, ever seen a day like July 1, 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You almost had to laugh. The fightin’ Chicago Bulls, down big in the fourth quarter with their season on the line, tried to mount a comeback with Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and Kirk Hinrich on the floor together.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The worst sleep LeBron James has ever had in his 13 years in the NBA was in the aftermath of the 2011 Finals. James had joined Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami to form a super team that was destined to win "not one, not two, not three ..." championships, and so on.
It was just one game, but the Clippers’ annihilation of Boston on Sunday was a reminder that the playoff-chasing Celtics of 2015 are a cute feel-good story — and little more. The rebuild is moving faster than expected, with a surprise run at the no.
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.
After a long summer of topless championship parades, free-agency meetings in the Hamptons, Snapchat mishaps, and gold medals, the NBA is finally, truly, really, almost back. The start of training camp marks the beginning of our NBA Preview. This is How Basketball Works Week.
The final month of the NBA season means a lot to more than just title contenders. With the most loaded college draft class in years, there’s a chance for an excruciating lottery for some teams.
On the surface, Golden State’s dramatic, last-minute, “Ha-ha, we lied to you!” lineup change didn’t really work.
Steph was back. Six minutes and 2 seconds into Game 4 of the Golden State Warriors' second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, Stephen Curry sauntered off the bench for his first live action in two weeks and into the epicenter of the most exciting game of the year.
The NBA enforcer was once a staple of the league, regulating, protecting, inciting, and disrupting. But rule changes and evolving playing style pushed the bad boys out of the paint. Here we look back at the history and fading future of the basketball hard man.
Sometimes you’ve just got to go for it, to do something crazy, to fear no consequences. And sometimes, in the NBA, you completely embarrass yourself.On December 29, during the third quarter of a Celtics-Cavaliers game, Marcus Smart decided to shoot his shot.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have just eliminated the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals. Despite the loss, the Toronto fans have stayed on to chant for their beloved team.
Watching the Lakers right now is honestly unlike anything I can remember in my NBA life. They have transcended basketball and become some meta public art piece that we can all enjoy.
What would happen if the NBA removed limits on individual player salaries? The coming NBA summer may not bring as much upheaval as the famous summer of 2010, when Dwyane Wade recruited LeBron James and Chris Bosh to a Miami team that has made every Finals since.
We’re close. Four more days and there will be professional basketball on TV every night. To help pass the time and preview what’s coming next, I’m stealing an idea from Robert Mays from a few years ago — NFL Stock Watch — and using it to take a look around the basketball marketplace.
J.J. Redick will be entering his 11th season in the NBA this week and for the first time he has noticed he is part of a small — and shrinking — club as a white American NBA player. The NBA certainly has its long list of European players.
J. R. Smith, who has played in the National Basketball Association for most of the past twelve years, has, in that time, been responsible for some of the league’s most unpredictable pleasures and diversions, both on and off the court.
Trading Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love was a win-now move for Cleveland.
It's time for our weekly tour of the league -- on the penultimate Friday of the regular season. LaMarcus Aldridge once nicknamed Boris Diaw "tea time" to honor Diaw's slow, casual approach to scoring down low.
From his daughter's passion for the Cup-less Kings to his own for the aged Celtics, Bill Simmons gets a refresher course in disappointment My daughter was crying. We were waiting for a green light on Olympic Boulevard, returning home from a Stanley Cup celebration that never happened.
From mutated pick-and-rolls to off-kilter handoffs, these are some of the ways players like James Harden, Isaiah Thomas, and Giannis Antetokounmpo create easy bucketsThe relationship between pick-and-roll offense and defense is not unlike the relationship between the flu and its vaccine.