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- NBA to review domestic violence policies September 22, 2014Even with a penalty scale already in place, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said his league will review its policies regarding domestic violence in the midst of the NFL's current crisis.Dan McCarney
- Try the Bonner Challenge September 22, 2014Ever wonder why Matt Bonner is such a dead-eye shooter? It might have something to do with the Bonner Challenge, the shooting drill he devised in high school that has since been adopted and refined by the Spurs.Dan McCarney
- Bruce Bowen on Kawhi, Kobe and dealing with Gregg Popovich September 22, 2014Retirement has done nothing to blunt Bruce Bowen's spirit. Taking time from his recent trip to Argentina, where he participated in the NBA's global 3X initiative, he held little back in a lengthy chat with the Express-News on a variety of topics, including Kawhi Leonard, Kobe Bryant, James Harden (gulp) and his relationship with Gregg Popovich.Dan McCarney
- Duncan fifth best? Probably not, but still damn good at 38 September 19, 2014Tim Duncan probably isn't the NBA's fifth-best player, as Sports Illustrated named him Friday in the final installment of their top 100 rankings. But with impact on both ends of the court and impeccable intangibles, he's still everything you could ask for in a franchise cornerstone.Dan McCarney
- Report: Chinese teams pushing for Baynes September 19, 2014With training camp set to begin next weekend, multiple teams in China are reportedly pushing to sign restricted free agent center Aron Baynes.Dan McCarney
- Bulls re-sign veteran center Mohammed (The Associated Press) September 22, 2014CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bulls say they have re-signed veteran center Nazr Mohammed.
- The 10-man rotation, starring the late Caldwell Jones (Ball Don't Lie) September 22, 2014
- Gregg Popovich fondly recalls his team's 'lobotomies,' readies his championship-defending technique (Ball Don't Lie) September 18, 2014Three months later, it’s still remarkable that the San Antonio Spurs were able to win the 2014 NBA title. The team had the talent enough, that’s for sure. Top to bottom, they were probably the deepest team in the NBA, and easily the best squad in the NBA when it came time to thinking on its collective feet and anticipating all manner of movement from opponents on either end of the court. They weren’t gifted a title, they earned one – in spite of the disparate ages and stylings of its core players. No, the Spurs’ 2014 championship was remarkable because of what happened some 12 months before. San Antonio fell in the final two games of its 2013 season, losing the NBA Finals along the way, in a production that was as galling as anything we’ve seen since Bill Russell’s final championship win over a shocked and reeling Los Angeles Lakers squad in 1969. Perhaps more galling, one supposes, because the 2013 Spurs were supposed to act as the modern-day Celtics in this matter – all full of security and sound moves down the stretch. Instead, they folded; with both players and coaching staff making serious mistakes late in losses in Game 6 and 7 against Miami. How coach Gregg Popovich managed to rally his players initially is one thing, any coach can get the juices flowing after a massive disappointment for a short stretch. How Gregg Popovich managed to rally his players for a training camp, an 82-game season and 23-game playoff run stretched out from early October until mid-June? It may just have been the greatest coaching achievement in NBA history. Even if Tim Duncan is on your side. Coach Pop’s motivational technique was as tangible as well as ethereal. From Buck Harvey’s feature on Popovich in the San Antonio Express-News : If you took a right out of Gregg Popovich's office in the practice facility last season, and you walked past the offices of the assistant coaches, you couldn't miss it. Straight ahead, prominently displayed on a wall, was a framed picture of the Game 6 scoreboard. […] The picture didn't display the final score. It didn't freeze time at 28.2 seconds. It showed a moment late in the third quarter — when the Spurs led by 13 points. That’s a coach burn, right there. Don’t fixate on Ray Allen’s three-pointer or the half-full Heat arena celebrating the win after the final buzzer. Focus on the 12 and a half minutes’ worth of things that went wrong on Miami’s way toward outscoring San Antonio by 13 over the rest of regulation on its way to an overtime win. You’d call that typical Coach Pop, until you move on to read what else he and Harvey talked about , as Popovich readied to welcome his players back from a summer spent celebrating that hard-earned championship. On Miami’s mindset, heading into Game 3 of the 2014 Finals, working with a 1-1 series tie and home court advantage : “When they won Game 2,” he said, “they probably didn't handle that win real well. They were probably thinking that we got lucky in Game 1, with the air conditioning issue, and they thought they were just going to do it again. As two-time defending champs, it was natural. This had become their place in the world.” Combine the two attitudes, and the result was a stunning, overwhelming exhibition of basketball excellence. Even now, when Popovich watches the last three games of the Finals, he comes away amazed. “I'm thinking, 'Who are these guys?'” he joked about his players. “'Did they all have lobotomies?'” Popovich, in his own way, is always trying to surgically tweak brains. It's not manipulation as much as it is a search for the clearest, most honest message. He doesn't want to do what the Heat did, which is not handle success well. This is killer stuff. For one, the Heat can’t rightly respond. They don’t have LeBron James at their side anymore, so while Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Luol Deng and (especially) coach Erik Spoelstra can take all the offense they want to the insinuation that hubris got in the way of a third consecutive Heat title, they’ll still have to work through Cleveland, Chicago, and possibly a few other Eastern upstarts if they want a way to make Coach Pop eat his words in the FInals. This isn’t about the Miami Heat, though. You know that. This is about Coach Pop expecting his Spurs to have a mindset that combines the best of the 2013-14 combination of patience and execution, while learning on the fly how to do something that Pop’s Spurs teams have never been able to accomplish. That would be defending a title all the way until they’ve won another one. Finding a way to add to what was already a crystal clear focus in the wake of the 2013 disappointment, while understanding that no longer are the San Antonio Spurs considered the respectful-if-fogeyish mainstays that are to be admired but not feared. Nope, they’re the champs. And with bling, comes burden. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
- The Summer of Dirk Nowitzki continues with a David Hasselhoff cover song (Ball Don't Lie) September 18, 2014Sure, LeBron James went home , Kevin Durant received $350 million to wear a brand of shoes he might've worn anyway and DeMarcus Cousins represented his country with honor , but Dirk Nowitzki is quietly enjoying the best summer, and we better start enjoying it with him before it's over. His Dallas Mavericks replaced three important but aging contributors to a team that took the San Antonio Spurs deeper into a series this past spring than anybody else — Jose Calderon, Vince Carter and Shawn Marion — by reacquiring old friend Tyson Chandler, swiping Chandler Parsons from the division rival Rockets and adding a couple capable point guards in Jameer Nelson and Raymond Felton. Is that group better than the one that took the Spurs to seven games in the first round this past season? Time will tell, obviously, but Nowitzki sure seems pleased as he makes the German media rounds. After all, one doesn't sing David Hasselhoff songs on national television without a certain degree of comfort. Hasselhoff's "Looking for Freedom" spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the German charts in 1989, when Nowitzki was an 11-year-old boy sporting lederhosen and clogs on the courts of Würzburg, and he later joked about humming the tune as part of his free throw shooting routine during the 2006 NBA playoffs. Soon afterwards, the former Baywatch star, seeking the spotlight like only the Hoff knows how, showed up on the sidelines of a Mavericks-Suns matchup in the Western Conference finals, and Nowitzki ultimately reached the finals as Miami Heat fans rained "Dav-id Hass-el-hoff" chants down upon him. This is Dirk's jam, so it's no wonder he pulls it off wonderfully on the set of Stefan Raab's German version of "The Tonight Show." But this isn't the only good news Nowitzki has offered in recent days. The 12-time All-Star has touched on topics ranging from his interest in returning to the German national team ( he will ) to his flatulence etiquette during interviews ( he will not ). Good news for Stefan Raab, apparently. Why so much fun with Dirk this summer? Well, he's promoting a documentary about his life entitled, " Nowitzki: Der Perfekte Wurf " ("Nowitzki: The Perfect Shot"), perhaps in an effort to make up for all that money he passed up by signing a three-year, $25 million deal to stay in Dallas this past July. Dirk Nowitzki. Not about the money. All about the Hoff. What a summer.
- Tim Duncan will appear alongside The Punisher in a new comic (Ball Don't Lie) September 17, 2014Throughout his career, San Antonio Spurs big man Tim Duncan has been seen as the superstar who isn't very interested in being a media fixture, preferring to excel on the court and to appear in the occasional local ad . Many have praised Duncan's supposedly all-business approach, while others have criticized him (and the Spurs as a whole) for having little interest in promoting a league that has allowed him to earn more than $220 million over his 17-year career. Yet both sides seem to agree that Duncan would rather keep out of the limelight, perhaps so he can stay at home and paint Warhammer 40K figurines. But Duncan does have his passions, and sometimes he allows them to enter the public eye. Soon, the Big Fundamental will combine two of his biggest loves — comic books and customized cars. In a post to the Facebook page of BlackJack Speed Shop, the customization shop Duncan owns in San Antonio, it was revealed that the future Hall of Famer would appear in an upcoming comic with "The Punisher," the 40-year-old Marvel Comics character. Take a look at the announcement and the accompanying photo (via PBT ):
- France Realigns Without a Star September 2, 2014The decision by Tony Parker, France’s most famous basketball player, to skip the World Cup altered the country’s expectations but provided a reminder of an approaching eventuality.
- Loss to Lynx Ends Hammon’s Playing Career August 24, 2014Minnesota won at San Antonio, 94-89, to advance to the W.N.B.A.’s Western Conference finals and end the playing career of the Stars’ Becky Hammon.
- Pioneer of a Crossover Move August 12, 2014Becky Hammon’s being named the first full-time female assistant coach in the N.B.A. by the San Antonio Spurs may have started on a shared flight from the London Olympics.
- San Antonio Spurs Hire Becky Hammon as N.B.A.’s First Female Full-Time Coach August 6, 2014Hammon, 37, the former Liberty player who is retiring after a 16-season playing career in the W.N.B.A., spent much of last season in an unofficial capacity with the Spurs.
- Jeter, Like Duncan, Makes the Routine Extraordinary July 20, 2014It is not surprising that Derek Jeter speaks admiringly of Tim Duncan, because the two understated stars have much in common, including five championships.