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- Dunk History: Gerald Green's buzzer-beating off-the-backboard alley-oop (Ball Don't Lie) August 28, 2014As the summer wears on, with training camps and preseason play still off in (what feels like) the distant future, we turn our attention to the past. Join us as we while away a few late-summer moments recalling some of the most scintillating slams of yesteryear, the most thunderous throwdowns ever to sear themselves into our memories. This is Dunk History . Today, Ben Rohrbach revisits Gerald Green's buzzer-beating off-the-backboard alley-oop. You might think someone who had a portion of his right ring finger severed while dunking in a doorway as a sixth-grader might develop an aversion to the basketball art form. Not Gerald Green. For background, here's a New York Daily News description of Green's gruesome injury circa 1999. The ring caught on a nail and his finger was ripped to the bone. Amputation was the only option. "All you saw was nothing but white bone, like a skeleton," Green said. "They said my tendons, all my ligaments were ripped out." Bad times got worse. Green hid his hand to avoid ridicule, developing a habit so ingrained he had his hand stuck in his pocket upon meeting David Stern at the podium as the NBA's No. 18 pick in 2005. This seems relevant since Green has unleashed some of the league's most ridiculous dunks during a career defined more by the Kevin Garnett trade, D-League demotions and recent Most Improved Player consideration — all with a four-and-a-half-fingered right hand that can't palm a basketball. He is basketball redemption defined. Green introduced himself to the basketball world outside Boston on March 22, 2006, when as a Celtics rookie he successfully converted a pass thrown too hard off the glass from fellow NBA infant Tony Allen during the waning seconds of a 110-96 blowout against the Raptors . If there is a better buzzer-beating off-the-backboard alley-oop in NBA history, I'd like to see it. The dunk made No. 1 on SportsCenter's Top 10 that night, but not everybody was a fan. While Tommy Heinsohn cackled on the C's call, Raptors play-by-play man Chuck Swirsky took issue in Toronto. “You talk about rubbing it in. I’m sorry. I don’t like that. I know it’s showtime. I know this is entertainment. You know what? Just dribble out the clock. I don’t think that was very classy at all. That’s just my opinion." The two teams were a combined 29 games under .500 at that point and Green had played fewer than 100 garbage minutes of NBA basketball, so maybe Chuck should've been more chill. As Green told The Boston Globe at the time, "God blessed me with the ability to dunk, so I just do it when I can." So, when the opportunity presented itself again two weeks later, Green ripped a vicious windmill that put another win over the Raptors out of reach in the final seconds. Heinsohn rubbed the salt in Swirsky's wounds, announcing on the Celtics broadcast: "I wonder if Chuck got upset there." These two slams encapsulated everything the Celtics envisioned when they drafted Green, an untapped athletic freak who won the McDonald's All-American Game's dunk contest a year earlier and would go on to win the NBA's version a year later. In 2006-07, he averaged double digits and made himself a valuable enough commodity to join Al Jefferson as pieces in the C's franchise-altering trade for KG. After just 29 games in Minnesota, the Timberwolves sent Green to the Rockets, and he was promptly waived. He made a brief appearance in Dallas the following season, but spent the next three years on a pair of Russian teams, China's Foshan Dralions and the D-League's Los Angeles D-Fenders. As high as Green soared on those slams, he fell even further. Green's NBA dunking days were behind him. Then again, if a nail tearing through his tendons didn't stop him as a teen, neither would a few years banished abroad. Green played well on a series of 10-day contracts with the Nets late in 2011-12, and then earned a roster spot on the Pacers during their run to Game 7 of the 2013 Eastern Conference finals. This past season, he logged career highs for points per game (15.8), true shooting (58.5%) and PER (16.5), playing all 82 games for a Suns squad that nearly, impossibly made the playoffs. More than eight years after he reached back about three feet to corral that Tony Allen assist, a 28-year-old Gerald Green still wows with an athleticism that's now paired with a polished offensive game in Phoenix. We should all appreciate each of his dunks as Paul Pierce did on March 22, 2006 — for nobody can be sure when Green's NBA life will be in the rearview again.
- LeBron James' first phone call upon signing in Cleveland was to Kevin Love (Ball Don't Lie) August 26, 2014The Cavaliers introduced Kevin Love as the newest member of a revamped squadron, culminating 30 days of nonstop coverage ranging from legitimate analysis to Minnesota also dealing an octopus named K-Love to Cleveland, so little was expected from Tuesday's press conference. For the most part, that held true — since Love's stated "longterm" commitment to the Cavs was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski three weeks ago — except for one revelation that is sure to raise some eyebrows in the NBA commissioner's office: LeBron James called Kevin Love the day he signed in Cleveland. "LeBron had signed to come back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and just a few hours post he called me and I said, 'You know what? I'm in.' That had a lot to do with my decision. I knew they had a lot of young pieces in place, a lot of great talent that has accumulated here as well, and I knew the city relatively well, but that had a lot to do with it." Later, Love clarified: " I was the first call that he made after he signed, and I'm very happy about that." Considering the league just fined the Raptors $25,000 for "global brand ambassador" Drake instigating a "KD" chant in front of Kevin Durant at Toronto's OVO Fest, Love's statement seems significant. According to Larry Coon of NBA Salary Cap FAQ fame, the NBA's tampering rule is as follows . Tampering is when a player or team directly or indirectly entices, induces or persuades anybody (player, general manager, etc.) who is under contract with another team in order to negotiate for their services. The NBA may impose suspensions and/or fines up to $50,000 if tampering is discovered, however the league's practice has been to wait until a team lodges a complaint before investigating (but that's not to say they don't continue to monitor the league and won't take action independently if they discover that tampering has occurred). Now, Love didn't get into too much that was said on that phone call, but the inference after a roundabout discussion of their relationship as USA Basketball teammates is that James wanted him in Cleveland. Of course, Timberwolves president Flip Saunders still had to trade Love, making it unlikely he'd file a complaint, so the question becomes whether Adam Silver's office deems this worth an investigation. Four years ago, when LeBron teamed with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, then commissioner David Stern did not "consider it colluding," which is a ridiculous statement. It may not have been tampering, since all three were free agents, but it was definitely collusion. Regardless, the difference here is Love was under contract in Minnesota, and James called immediately after signing in Cleveland. Generally, the commissioner's office fines coaches and teams for violating its anti-tampering stance, and as we learned from Woj over the weekend , the NBA granted Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert permission to meet with Love during the Las Vegas Summer League late last month — more than a week after Sports Illustrated published LeBron's "I'm Coming Home" announcement on July 11. If the NBA starts fining players for talking to each other about the possibility of playing together, we'll be seeing quite a few salaries slashed. Considering the relationships players forge on the AAU, collegiate and international levels, the list of such scenarios is somewhere between long and endless, so it's probably best for the league to let Love's slip slide and rethink its wording on the tampering rule.
- Big names missing in final U.S. roster for Spain (Reuters) August 23, 2014(Reuters) - The United States team will travel to Spain without some of the sport's biggest names to defend their title at the Basketball World Cup after a selection process described as one of the "most difficult" in recent years. With marquee players LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kevin Love opting out of selection and All-Star Paul George hurt, the U.S.
- USA Basketball announces World Cup roster (Yahoo Sports) August 23, 2014Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard was among the final players cut.
- The 10-man rotation, starring Dick Bavetta, who never missed an assignment and who will be missed (Ball Don't Lie) August 21, 2014A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Triangle Offense , Sports Illustrated and NBA.com . Russ Bengtson and Ben Golliver bid a fond farewell to Dick Bavetta, who's hanging up his whistle after 39 years as the NBA's "officiating iron man," while Steve Aschburner finds out what precipitated the referee's retirement ("“This year when [my wife and two daughters] met [to vote], it was 3-0 to retire"). PF : Hardwood Paroxysm . Roy Hibbert's certainly not a great rebounder, but Scott Rafferty thinks he's not nearly as bad as some folks believe, since he's often doing just what he's asked to do within the Indiana Pacers' scheme. SF : Hang Time . Lang Whitaker on Rudy Gay's strong performance in Team USA's dominant win over the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, and how the Sacramento Kings forward could go from late-post-KD-bouncing addition to pivotal piece of the U.S. squad in the upcoming 2014 World Cup. SG : Raptors HQ . Ian Levy on where Terrence Ross seems to need to go next in his development, where the Toronto Raptors seem to need him most, and "the interesting dilemma" presented by the fact that those appear to be two different places. PG : The Hook . Tom Ziller considers rumors that the stalled restricted free agency of Eric Bledsoe have the Phoenix Suns looking to move him, and finds that they don't quite stand up to logical scrutiny. 6th : Bullets Forever . After letting Trevor Ariza go to the Houston Rockets and replacing him with Paul Pierce in free agency, can the Washington Wizards adjust to the change in defensive acumen on the wing without taking a big step backward? 7th : The Triangle . Alex Wong on one Florida man (not @_FloridaMan ) and his five-years-and-running pursuit of a one-on-one game with Michael Jordan.. 8th : The Cauldron . Robert Silverman finds himself more than a little uneasy with the media promotion of sports/military partnerships like the one that the NBA and USA Basketball have in "Hoops for Troops": "The United States military is not a team . We don’t buy tickets and 'root' for them they way we do for the Lakers or the Celtics. By conflating them, we fail to distinguish between meaningless basketball games — even ones that are played by the U.S. National Team — and war , and that does a incredible disservice to those who are tasked with fighting on our behalf." 9th : D-League Digest . If the New York Knicks want 2014 second-round pick Thanasis Antetokounmpo to play for their D-League affiliate, it could wind up costing them D-League draft choices. Of course it could. These are the Knicks, after all. 10th : The Reversal . Max Minsker looks at the relationship between offensive rebounding and offensive efficiency, and how it's manifesting itself in changes to frontcourt dynamics throughout the NBA. - - - - - - - Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YourManDevine Stay connected with Ball Don't Lie on Twitter @YahooBDL , "Like" BDL on Facebook and follow BDL's Tumblr for year-round NBA talk, jokes and more.
- FIBA World Cup Studs From Aug 30 Pau Gasol And Valanciunas August 31, 2014The 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain kicked off on Saturday August 30 and the NBA was well represented. The Raptors young center Jonas Valanciunas shot a perfect 8-8 from the field and the Bulls newest All-Star Pau Gasol led all-scorers on day-one with 33 points. Other studs from Day One include:
- Toronto Raptors: 5 Notable Headlines From 2014 Offseason August 30, 2014Introduction With September approaching and the start of the NBA preseason just over a month away, it seems like a good time to reflect on the offseason that was for the Toronto Raptors. Although there is technically some time left before the season begins, I think it is safe to assume that the bulk of […] Toronto Raptors: 5 Notable Headlines From 2014 Offseason - Hoops Habit - Hoops Habit - Analysis, Opinion and Stats All About The NBA
- Raptors Slasher DeRozan Vs. Warriors Shooter Thompson August 28, 2014The Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson has been gaining increased notoriety as the sixth man in Team USA’s rotation this summer while many pundits had incorrectly predicted the Raptors slasher DeMar DeRozan would be left off the roster. In the classic NBA comparison of slasher vs. shooter, which of DeRozan and Thompson really has the edge as the better player?
- Toronto Raptors: What Jordan Hamilton Brings To The Table August 27, 2014On Aug. 18, the Toronto Raptors announced the signing of Jordan Hamilton to a deal that has been reported as one year in length and only partially guaranteed. Either way, the addition of Hamilton, a 6’7″ forward who split time with the Nuggets and Rockets last season, brings the roster to 16 players heading into […] Toronto Raptors: What Jordan Hamilton Brings To The Table - Hoops Habit - Hoops Habit - Analysis, Opinion and Stats All About The NBA
- Raptors Terrence Ross Vs Warriors Harrison Barnes August 26, 2014The Toronto Raptors were hoping Harrison Barnes would fall to them at 8th in the 2012 NBA Draft, however, Barnes went to the Golden State Warriors at seven and then Toronto took who they believed was the next best wing player available Terrence Ross. After two seasons, how do these two players compare?
- Lowry Will Be Back With the Raptors July 3, 2014Point guard Kyle Lowry will re-sign with the Toronto Raptors, his agent confirmed.
- Nets Move On With a Swat at the Buzzer May 5, 2014Bounced from the first round a year ago, the Nets earned a measure of redemption as Joe Johnson scored 26 points and Paul Pierce blocked Toronto’s final shot.
- Nets’ Fate May Rest With Backcourt May 4, 2014Game 7 of the Nets-Raptors series could be decided on how well each backcourt plays and how much life is left in the legs of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
- Game 7s Abound in the First Round of N.B.A. Playoffs May 4, 2014That so many series have gone the distance reflects the compelling and competitive nature of the matchups in the first round.
- Hobbled With Ankle Injury, Williams Carries Nets to Game 7 May 3, 2014Deron Williams fought through pain to finish with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, helping the Nets avoid elimination with a 97-83 win against the Raptors.