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Killer Crossover

August 27, 2013

The other day, as I was viewing some back footage for a scouting report, I came across a commentator who referred to a spin move as “killer.”  A killer spin move?  Hmm.  As all fans who came of age before, say, 2000 know, that is not the true killer maneuver.  Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s the best killer of them all?

The killer crossover.

Let’s review some of the great NBA crossovers from the last few decades in all their glory.  Fasten your seatbelt, though:  we’re going to examine crossovers from all sorts of angles and some of them aren’t pretty.  You’ve been warned.

The coach crossover

Let’s run a quick poll:  how many of you know that Lenny Wilkens is only the third individual ever inducted to the NBA Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach?  Pretty impressive, no?  How about this other fact:  Wilkens was named as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players and 10 greatest coaches in 1998 for the NBA’s 50th anniversary.

Blazing trails, indeed!

Blazing trails!

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Even more relationship lessons from the NBA

August 10, 2013

After an outpouring of support and comments following HT’s last post about relationship lessons from the NBA, we here at HT determined that a follow-up article was in order.  After all, the greats have always repeated:  Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, MJ, and now LeBron James.  We’re shifting to some slightly more controversial topics, so be forewarned:  this isn’t your goody-two-shoes, Tim-Duncan list.  We’re ranging over some of the stranger relationships in the NBA as we glean insights into how we live and relate to one another as fellow human beings.

I love you, too! [sniff, sniff]

I love you, too! [sniffle, sniffle]

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Relationship lessons, as taught by the NBA

July 29, 2013

This past weekend, both the sister of one of my best friends and a former colleague married their respective long-term boyfriends.  As I celebrated their weddings, I, of course, faced the logical question:  what does the NBA teach us about marriage?  Quite a bit, actually, and I don’t mean that 100% facetiously.  So let’s see what our friends in the NBA have to say.

Hand signals…off the court.

Hand signals…of love.

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No Kidding! Jason’s quadruple double

July 10, 2013

An era has passed:  Grant Hill and Jason Kidd have both retired.  For those of us who came of age in the early – late 1990s, these 1994-95 joint Rookies of the Year epitomized the future of the NBA.  Sadly, Hill’s career was dampened by major, life-threatening injuries.  On the other hand, Kidd flourished into the best big point guard since Magic Johnson.

As Kidd takes over the coaching reins in Brooklyn, I pause to ponder his career and legacy.  Sure, basketball fans know about his accomplishments in dishing assists and almost single-handedly willing—yes, willing—the then-New Jersey Nets into the NBA Finals in back-to-back years.  Some fans would argue that Kidd has been one of the most underrated players in the last 15 years and that he should have won an MVP title.

I won’t enter the fray here, but I will list one of Kidd’s accomplishments that few people know and even fewer have attained.  Jason Kidd notched a quadruple-double.  Let me repeat:  a quadruple-double.  Don’t believe me?  Let’s check the stats.

I don't remember this quadruple-double…

Did I do that?

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Canada Day comes early, eh?

June 28, 2013

After a long day of travelling yesterday to Toronto—which caused me to miss the NBA Draft—I opened up the Globe and Mail this morning and was shocked to read the news that has been rattling the Canadian and NBA blogosphere:

“With the first pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select…” Pause and gesture to the crowd.  “Anthony Bennett of Toronto, Canada and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.”

Shouts, screams, and a disappointed Nerlens Noel flash on the screen.  Irony of ironies, as I had no idea that Bennett was in the running for first overall and my trip was not designed to coincide with his selection.

Thank you, Mr. Stern. / Merci, M. Stern

Thank you, Mr. Stern. / Merci, M. Stern.

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Two LeBrons Don’t Make a Right

June 21, 2013

Para español, continúa al fondo.

First and foremost, let me say that I think LeBron James is the best player in the NBA right now.  The Miami Heat would be a good but not stellar team without him.  Dwyane Wade had Shaq during his mid-2000s run and Chris Bosh is, frankly, redundant.  But LeBron’s play during the NBA Finals raises a handful of questions about his hunger for the top.

Let’s examine the NBA Finals briefly.  First, each team had an NBA First Team player:  Tim Duncan for the Spurs and LeBron James for the Heat.  Each team had its “big three.”  Each team had a team philosophy, although I would argue that the Spurs’ roots enabled them to be more flexible over time.

However, for long periods of play, fans were asking the question, where is LeBron?  And this is where we see that two LeBrons don’t make a right.

I should probably start playing now, right?

I should probably start playing now, right?

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Back in Black

June 16, 2013

Out of its own ashes comes the phoenix—although not this year, as Phoenix has been wallowing in its ashes for some time.  However, HT is now entering a new phase after months of rebuilding and relearning the pick-and-roll.  We’ve studied game footage late into the night.  We’ve worked on our typing and on our joke delivery.  We’ve experimented with open mics at jazz nightclubs and putting banners on propellor planes.  And boy, are we ready.

This edition of the NBA Finals has featured a seesawing push-me-pull-you between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs.  We could turn this into another analysis of LeBron James’ many talents, ranging from his post-up game to his spectacular blocks to his violin skills.

Don’t call the Cleveland Orchestra just yet

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