September 30

Top-10 Prospect Hamidou Diallo Says He’s Eligible To Bypass College & Enter NBA Draft

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Diallo, a 6-foot-5 electric athlete, told Scout on Thursday that he graduated from high school last year at Putnam (Conn.) Science Academy. Diallo is now doing a post-graduate season at PSA, which means by the time the NBA Draft rolls around next June he will be a full year removed from his high school graduating class, making him eligible.


“It’s definitely something that I’m going to look into,” Diallo said when asked about the draft. “It’s my ultimate goal and I don’t feel like it would hurt me looking into. But as of now I want to go to college.”


For a player of Diallo’s caliber, testing the waters appears to be a good idea. Once the necessary steps are taken, NBA scouts will show up in droves to watch Diallo at Putnam (Conn.) Science Academy this season.


Diallo, who ranks as the No. 1 shooting guard and No. 10 overall prospect in the class, had a dominating spring and summer playing for the NY Rens on the Nike EYBL circuit, where he averaged 19.1 points and 5.8 rebounds a game.


“Hami is a guy anyone would want to coach and you would hate to play against,” one high major assistant coach told Scout. “His competitive spirt is off the charts and you win with guys like him”

The post Top-10 Prospect Hamidou Diallo Says He’s Eligible To Bypass College & Enter NBA Draft appeared first on SLAMonline.

September 29

The Cavs Will Reportedly Give Championship Rings To More Than 1,000 Employees

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When the Cleveland Cavaliers did the unthinkable and overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Finals, they delivered the city of Cleveland its first championship in more than 50 years. It was a historic moment for the city and its long-suffering franchise.

And one of the best parts of winning an NBA title is the bling that comes along with it. Traditionally, each member of the team and the coaching staff will be presented with a championship ring, but according to a new report, the franchise is taking that a few steps further. Via Joe Vardon of

Majority owner Dan Gilbert and his partners decided to present rings to more than 1,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization, employees who’ve been fitted for rings told


Of course, not every team employee will get the same, diamond crusted ring that’s going to rest on the fingers of [LeBron] James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and other players from last season, but ticket takers, seat ushers, security guards, Cleveland police officers and all who work behind the scenes at home games will be able to say they won a ring. And they’ll have proof.

With both Anderson Varejao and David Blatt set to be offered rings as well, it’s practically an episode of Oprah, although Varejao has since said he won’t accept his. And thanks to Richard Jefferson’s recent faux pas, we already know what those rings will look like, even if lower-level personnel will receive a decidedly more modest version.

(; h/t Pro Basketball Talk)

September 28

SLAM Top 50: Kristaps Porzingis, No. 37

SLAM Top 50: Kristaps Porzingis, No. 37

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You had the cruel memes and the snarky (although some were downright hilarious) captions that came of it. From GQ calling it “the Knicksiest pick ever,” to Stephen A Smith announcing “I’m officially done” with the team after its selection, Twitter showed no mercy on that Thursday evening and in the days that followed. And let’s not forget the crying Knicks fan at Barclays, whose emotional breakdown went viral.

But then Porzingis took the hardwood. And it turned out that he could actually hoop. Like, the dude can actually ball. Any doubt that he was just another overrated overseas prospect whose game wouldn’t be able to translate to the League quickly evaporated within the first week of the season.

After dropping 16 points and 5 rebounds in the season opener, the 7-3 Latvian was already posting double-doubles by the following week when he finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds against the San Antonio Spurs. He had his second double-double by the end of the week—and then his third one by the weekend. He would go on to post eight double-doubles for the month of November, including a 29-point and 11-rebound outing against Charlotte and then a 24-point and 14-rebound night two games later in Houston. Ultimately, he would go on to win Rookie of Month for the Eastern Conference for October/November.

He then dropped 28 points against his idol Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks in December, among an array of other impressive performances throughout the month, on his way to earning Rookie of the Month honors once again. And then he did it again in January, piling up a third consecutive Rookie of the Month award. By season’s end, Porzingis had accumulated an average of 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, finishing second in Rookie of the Year votes behind Karl-Anthony Towns.

Let’s be real. No one saw this coming. Not this quickly. Not even the “Knicksiests” fans out there.

According to Basketball Reference, when KP dropped 19 points and 6 rebounds against the eventual NBA champs Cleveland Cavaliers, he became the only rookie in NBA history to score more than 1,000 points, grab over 500 rebounds, hit over 75 three-pointers and block over 100 shots in a season. Granted, the League didn’t start counting blocks until 1974 and the three-point line was introduced in 1979. Nonetheless, his numbers were staggering any way you look at it.

From being mocked, booed and the subject of jokes (actually the Knicks were probably the main subject of half of those jokes, when you think about it), to being praised by the game’s top players, Porzingis really made it in America.

Kevin Durant referred to him as a unicorn. LeBron James predicted “a bright future.” Nowitzki acknowledged that the power forward was “way better” than the very own future Hall of Famer was at age 20. Teammate Carmelo Anthony boldly claimed that “he’s gonna lead this organization long after I’m retired.” You get the picture. People who are very good at basketball think he’s going to be very good at basketball for a very long time.

With his rookie season in the rearview, it will be interesting to see which direction his career takes sophomore year. Expectations are big in Gotham. But if we’ve learned anything about Porzingod’s career, is that there’s no point in trying to predict his ceiling. The kid is a unicorn.

Rankings are based on expected contribution in 2016-17—to players’ team, the NBA and the game.

Follow the entire #SLAMTop50 countdown.

The post SLAM Top 50: Kristaps Porzingis, No. 37 appeared first on SLAMonline.

September 28

Box Gate – BLOB Man-to-Man Play

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Exclusive Bonus: To download the “Box Gate” BLOB play as a PDF for free to take to your practices, click here.

Overview of the Play

The play begins in a box formation and involves your best shooter setting a simple back screen for a center to get open for a quick layup. The screener then uses a gate screen to open up a catch and shoot from the wing. The play finishes with an open post up by the center.

Key Personnel:

  • Best shooter should start on the weakside low block.
  • Best post-up player should start on the weak-side elbow.
  • Point guard should inbound the basketball.


The play begins in a box formation.

1. 2 sets a back screen for 5 who cuts to the rim looking for the basketball.

2. As 2 sets the screen, that’s when 3 starts to move up the side of the key. 3 can’t move too early or the defense will read the play.

3. Immediately after setting the screen for 5, 2 sprints through a gate screen set by 3 and 4 looking for a catch and shoot on the wing.

4. After screening, 3 and 4 clear out to the top of the key.

5. 1 steps inside the court and sets a cross screen for 5 who looks to duck in for the pass or post up on the ball-side low block.

Coaching Points:

  • The reason the point guard should inbound the basketball is so that the help on the cross screen is a small defender.
  • 3 must wait until 2 is ready to sprint off the gate screen before moving. They should arrive at the same time.
  • 1 must make the pass to 2’s inside shoulder. If they pass to the outside of their body, it will be difficult to catch and shoot.

September 28

Charles Barkley Wants Colin Kaepernick And Other Athletes To Do More Than Protest

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It seems just about everyone has an opinion on the National Anthem protests that Colin Kaepernick started before 49ers preseason games this past August. Things started in the NFL, but have crossed over into other sports and the current hot topic of discussion is what NBA players are planning on doing once the season starts.

Of course, there isn’t a social issue we can discuss without it finding its way over to former NBA power forward Charles Barkley. In an interview with Mark Trible of the Courier-Post, Barkley believes that today’s athletes need to start taking further steps.

“They have a right to protest,” he explained. “I mean, you can’t pick and choose when you want people to protest. That’s the greatest thing about this country.

“… My concern is with what they’re going to do next. You have to give money, time and effort to the black community. Kneeling or holding up a fist, that’s a statement but there’s something that comes after that. So, I challenge all those guys to give money to their certain causes … Anytime you’re famous and you do something people don’t like, there’s going to be outrage. That comes with the territory.”

Barkley isn’t the only one who believes this. Kaepernick and Carmelo Anthony have already begun discussions over email to see what they can start doing to progress what they’ve started. And in terms of giving back to the black community, Kaepernick is already in the midst of giving $1 million over the next 10 months.

(via Courier-Post)

September 27

Russell Westbrook x True Religion Collab for Fall ’16 Fashion Line

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True Religion hosted a pop up shop on September 24 at the Midtown Art Gallery in Oklahoma City to celebrate the launch. The first 150 people to make a purchase received a custom t-shirt with Russell’s logo in their choice of black, gold, or silver, printed at the event.

Check out images of the event and of the clothes up top.The collection will be offered exclusively on the True Religion app from September 25 to October 5, launching in stores and online on October 6.

Photos courtesy of True Religion


The post Russell Westbrook x True Religion Collab for Fall ’16 Fashion Line appeared first on SLAMonline.

September 27

Carmelo Anthony Is In Talks With Colin Kaepernick About Next Steps For Activism

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The sports world collided with a huge social issue when Colin Kaepernick decided to start protesting the national anthem before preseason and now regular season games. Since Kaepernick’s protest became a national story, several NFL players have decided to kneel or hold up their fists during the anthem, while athletes in other sports have either shown support or criticized the backup quarterback for the way he’s decided to protest.

On the NBA side of things, Carmelo Anthony has been active in the Black Lives Matter movement, even showing up at a protest for Freddie Gray last year. Inspired by Kaepernick’s momentum, Anthony has reportedly reached out to his NFL counterpart to discuss what the next steps are for the movement.

What’s next has been a question many have been asking. Kaepernick has pledged to donate $1 million of his earnings, spread out over the next 10 months, to social programs that help underprivileged communities, but many feel much more action needs to be taken to see some real change, something that Anthony also agrees with.

Change has to come from those with influence on both sides, but it’s great to see two prominent athletes willing to put their respective reputations on the line to help better their communities.

(via Posting and Toasting)

September 26

Georgetown Multiple Effort Drill #2

Georgetown Multiple Effort Drill #2

This is a very game like basketball drill because it is going to simulate going from offense right into defense. It will work on conditioning players to always be thinking about the next play and moving from one area to another without any delay.

If you are a team that really likes to push the pace and get up to pressure the ball full court after a score, this is a great basketball drill to add to your workouts and practices. This drill will allow your players to get reps, train them to have the mindset of getting back after a score, and also work on the physical conditioning of completing multiple plays in a row without a break.



Drill Name: Georgetown Multiple Effort Drill #2

Similar Drills: Georgetown Multiple Effort Drill, Georgetown Multiple Effort Drill #3, Georgetown Multiple Effort Drill #4

Drill Goal: Work on scoring moves, and then quickly getting back into defense.

Equipment Needed: 3 basketballs, 2 chairs, and a partner.

Tips: Be sharp with your different moves and value every shot, don’t run off early to the next spot before you finish your shot. Outlet passer can make passes harder or easier to steal depending on the player. This drill can be done from either side of the floor.

Directions: Set up one chair on the left wing, one chair on the right elbow, and another chair in the mid range area of the right corner. Set a basketball in each of the chairs on the right wing. The player is going to start with a basketball at half court on the left side of the floor. When the drill starts, the player will attack the chair on the left wing and make any move they want before finishing at the basket.

As soon as they finish they will go to the right lane line and close out at the baseline chair. As they are doing this the coach will call out “1” or “2”. If the coach calls out “1” the player will slide to the elbow chair and then open up around the chair, grab the ball from the chair, and then shoot it. After that they will fill around to the left wing for their second catch and shoot shot.

If the coach calls out “2” the player will slide to elbow chair and then back to the corner chair where they will open up, circle the chair, grab the ball and shoot it. After this shot, they will fill up around the elbow chair for their second catch and shoot shot at the left elbow. Regardless of what number the coach calls, after the player shoots their last shot, they are going to sprint back on defense and steal the lob pass that the partner tosses.

The post Georgetown Multiple Effort Drill #2 appeared first on Basketball HQ.

from Basketball HQ

September 26

Side Step Shooting Drill

Side Step Shooting Drill

Sometimes when doing shooting drills if you aren’t careful as a shooter you can checkout mentally. The shooting begins to get repetitive and your shot becomes sloppy and you end up actually practicing bad habits which in the long run actually hurt your shot more than help it.

So a great way to stay mentally focused and locked into volume shooting is to have fresh types of shooting drills or challenges that the shooter must do as they shoot. This is not one of the more complex shooting drills that we offer, but it is going to provide another variation that you can use when shooting to keep the player mentally locked in and engaged.



Drill Name: Side Step Shooting Drill

Similar Drills: Double or Nothing Shooting Drill2 Minute Magic Basketball Shooting Drill (5 Shot)Field Goal Percentage Shooting Drill

Drill Goal: Work on shooting and develop mental toughness as a shooter.

Equipment Needed: 1-2 basketballs and 1-2 partners.

Tips: Stay mentally engaged and shoot the basketball the same way every time, really lock in on the details of your shot. Shoot one shot at a time and don’t let a miss negatively impact your next shot.

Directions: The goal of this drill is for the player to make a total of 100 combined shots from 5 spots on the floor; corner to wing, wing to slot, slot to slot, opposite slot to opposite wing, and opposite wing to opposite corner. At each spot the player will continue to shoot until they miss two in a row. After each shot the player will slide one step to either their left of right (depending on which way they are working their way up or down in a spot). Once the player misses two shots in a row they will move on to the next spot. After all 5 spots total of the number of makes and see if you were able to beat the hundred point mark or the goal established for the shooter.


The post Side Step Shooting Drill appeared first on Basketball HQ.

from Basketball HQ

September 26

Side Pull Foot Ups Tennis Ball Drill

Side Pull Foot Ups Tennis Ball Drill

As a post player you really can’t ever get enough footwork and hand eye coordination training. So much of finishing in the post comes down to having great footwork and soft hands around the basket. Foot up drills are great for any position, but primarily they are for developing post players.

This footwork and agility drill is going to be very reminiscent to something a soccer player would do with using your feet to move the basketball from side to side. Adding in the added difficulty of catching and tossing a tennis ball at the same time will really help the player develop their hands as well.



Drill Name: Side Pull Foot Ups Tennis Ball Drill

Similar Drills: Combination Foot Ups Tennis Ball DrillFoot Ups Side to Side Tennis Ball DrillFoot Ups Around the World Tennis Ball Drill

Drill Goal: Work on footwork, quick feet, and hand eye coordination.

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball, 2 tennis balls, and 1 partner.

Tips: Do your best to not let your heels touch the ground, stay light on your feet the whole time. The passer should do a good job of making the player have to reach high and low to catch the tennis balls.

Directions: The player is going to start with their right foot on the ball and the passer will face the player 4-5 feet away with two tennis balls. When the drill starts the player will begin to hop to their right and as they do bring the basketball with them by slightly tapping it to the right with the bottom of their foot. As they are sliding the passer will toss tennis balls back and forth with the player. At anytime the passer can call out “switch” or “change” and the player must switch which foot is up on the ball and start sliding the opposite direction. Continue this drill for 30-60 seconds.


The post Side Pull Foot Ups Tennis Ball Drill appeared first on Basketball HQ.

from Basketball HQ