August 9

A Harlem Globetrotter Knocked Down A Shot Flying 210 Feet High In A Helicopter

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The Harlem Globetrotters are famous for many things. They always kick the hell out of the Washington Generals, they always put on a fun show, and for reasons that are beyond comprehension, every single person to ever wear the red, white, and blue is incredible at chucking up basketballs from all over the place and getting nothing but net.

This also gives the Globetrotters room to try out fun stunts that involve hitting shots from insane distances. I don’t necessarily mean during their games, I mean with stuff like this. Globetrotters guard Bull — also known as Will Bullard, who played his college ball at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and was drafted by the team in 2008 — got in a dang helicopter and attempted a shot from more than 200 in the air in Wildwood, N.J. As you can guess, his shot was perfect and he banked it in.

It is possible that it took Bullard a while to come close to hitting the hoop and even longer for him to make the shot, but come on, he plays for the Globetrotters. He probably knocked this down on his first attempt and then celebrated like it was the easiest thing in the world. Although I guess when you’ve won as many games as the Globetrotters have, everything else that one of their players may accomplish in basketball pales in comparison.

August 8

Dirk Nowitzki And Kristaps Porzingis Talk About Their Bond At NBA Africa Game

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Like all young stars, KP needs a mentor and without a conventional one for his skillset currently on the Knicks, the Latvian has looked to one of the league’s most respected elder statesman–Dirk Nowitzki. As you can see in the video above, the two furthered their bond while in Johannesburg for Team World at this weekend’s NBA Africa Game, which Team World won 108-97 over Team Africa behind 12 points from Porzingis. Before hanging out last week, Dirk says that he gave KP his number a few years back, saying “If there’s ever anything you need or questions, I’m more than happy to help you out.”

It’s clear there’s a close relationship between the two and there are a ton of obvious similarities besides both being European — their size, playing styles and feathery shooting touch — so it’s natural they’d flock to each other at some point. KP couldn’t pick a better player to model himself after than the NBA’s all-time leading international scorer.

Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Lowry Highlight Second NBA Africa Game
Dirk Nowitzki and Kristaps Porzingis Work Out Together in South Africa
SLAM 193 Cover Story: Kristaps Porzingis Has No Ceilings

Video courtesy of the NBA

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August 8

LeBron James’ Latest Tweet Seems To Be A Not-So-Subtle Message To Kyrie Irving

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August has arrived in full and there is no resolution in the Kyrie Irving trade request saga. As such, there is plenty of tension in the air surrounding the Cleveland Cavaliers and that includes the (very) odd vibe coming from the best player in the world, LeBron James. James famously used a Meek Mill song to seemingly send a message to Irving through social media back in mid-to-late July and now there is more apparent fire to the smoke.

James uses a clean version of lyrics from Drake’s “Portland” in this instance, not allowing anyone to “ride (his) wave” with an assumed eye toward Irving. Petty LeBron has become quite a thing recently and, with that, this tweet will produce all kinds of reaction. At the end of the day, though, it would be tougher to argue against the fact that Irving was involved here than it would be to argue in favor of that theme.

At this date in the calendar, the urgency level for the Cavs to move on from Irving could be picking up, even with the caveat that Cleveland could make a compelling case to hold on to the All-NBA guard. Until something is resolved, though, chatter like this will continue, and when LeBron James is involved, the magnifying glass is always cooking.

August 7

Charles Oakley Doesn’t Seem Upset About His Ban From Madison Square Garden

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The long saga between Charles Oakley and the Knicks that began back in February during an altercation between the legend and arena security finally came to a conclusion last week when a court ruled Oakley would be banned from Madison Square Garden for a year as part of a plea deal.

The entire ordeal began when Oakley was accused of shouting at Knicks owner James Dolan at a game, leading to security trying to escort him out of the arena. Oakley then shoved a security guard as the altercation became physical. The next few days were filled with accusations from both sides, a brief lifetime ban placed on Oakley which was only lifted following significant public backlash towards Dolan and the Knicks.

With the resolution coming from the plea deal, everyone involved can move on. Oakley, currently coaching in the BIG3, seems very ready to move on from the Knicks in general, as evidenced by his latest tweet.

For those hoping for a happy ending between Oakley and the Knicks, don’t hold your breath. It appears Oak isn’t going to look to extend an olive branch to Dolan — nor should he — and after Dolan’s ridiculous radio interview after the incident in February, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope for reconciliation.

We know Oakley won’t be attending any Knicks home games in the next year, because he legally can’t, but you could bet on it being much longer until he’s back in the world’s most famous arena once the ban is lifted.

August 6

Tony Allen Made Rudy Gay Angry By Revealing ‘Grit And Grind’ Started As A Joke At His Expense

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As it turns out, “Grit and Grind” — one of the best NBA team mottos in recent memory — isn’t so great for Rudy Gay. Tony Allen told’s Tom Westerholm a ton of interesting things at the Basketball Hall of Fame’s 60 Days of Summer program, but the story of Grit and Grind truly stands out.

Allen told a long story about the motto’s origins, which started when Rudy Gay didn’t play because of a toe injury. Allen wasn’t happy about him sitting out, and he made a point to mention it after the game.

“Rudy Gay said ‘I’m not playing this game, my toe hurts,’” Allen said. “‘I said, your toe hurt? Your toe hurt? You just did a windmill dunk last night, your toe wasn’t …’ I said ‘Alright, your toe hurt.’”

Allen went on to guard Kevin Durant instead of James Harden.

“To make a long story short, we win,” Allen said. “Y’all can YouTube this too, in case you think it’s fabricated. I was so upset with Rudy for not playing … I end up having 27 points, eight rebonds and like five steals. Mind you, I hadn’t played in 22-some-odd games, and this is to let you know how in shape I was. Durant had like 35, but they lost. When they gave me my interview, the first thing I said was, ‘It’s just all heart. Grit and grind.’ That’s how that phrase blossomed in Memphis. I was still upset. That was really a jab at Rudy Gay. But he’s my man today, I’ve forgiven him for that. But yeah, that’s where it started at in Memphis.”

You can indeed YouTube this and see the postgame interview for yourself.

It’s a pretty great story, but it’s definitely something Gay was going to notice. On Saturday, he tweeted out a screenshot of the story’s origin and said Allen was being a hypocrite. He didn’t say what made Allen a hypocrite, but he was still really angry.

The Fastbreak Breakfast podcast’s Twitter account pointed out the rest of the quote to Gay, in which Allen walked it back and said they were still close today. Gay then cooled down a little and reinforced that he and Allen are tight.

Grit and Grind certainly evolved well past a swipe at Gay and into something great for Memphis and the Grizzlies, but it must have been weird for Gay to see it take off knowing how it began.

August 5

2017 Caribbean Hoopfest Slated for August 16-21 in Montego Bay, Jamaica

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Aside from Jamaica, the list of countries that are slated to partake include Trinidad, Canada and the United States. While all players arrive on the 16th, when they will partake in a variety of community and social events, the action on the hardwood starts on Friday, August 18. The itinerary aims to balance competition, entertainment and culture immersion.

An event that originated with four teams has grown to over 12 squads and hundreds of visitors from across the world. Featured players for the 2017 Caribbean Hoopfest include Brandon Jacobs and Loseni Kamara. The Queens native duo will be entering college this on full scholarships, with Kamar attending The University of Idaho and Jacobs attending Pace University.

Caribbean Hoopfest founder Donald Francois had a vision of bringing corporate resources to an underserved region. And so while uniting the global community he partnered with ADIDAS, the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second largest in the world.

RISING STARS, a non-profit organization is also assisting with the Caribbean Hoopfest initiative. The organization is dedicated to building communities and creating more balanced individuals, which directly align with the goals and mission of the Caribbean Hoopfet–to assist in the development of life skills through basketball.

Both organizations recognized Francois’ vision and ever since have supported the idea of uniting the global community by “Bringing the Worlds Together” to teach, educate and converge the youth.

This unique event focuses on strengthening morale amongst the athletes, as well as their families, local business owners, community leaders and vendors, whom have all been impacted by the annual showcase.

“Our goal has always been to promote growth and culture and this is our best way to do it,” says Francois.

Robin’s Nest Children’s Home, an orphanage in Jamaica, recently partnered with the Hoopfest outreach program. Proceeds from numerous fundraisers will be presented to Danielle Stryka, the Director of Robin’s Nest.

Francois is also the boy’s freshman basketball assistant coach at Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, Queens.

At Molloy, he’s coached and mentored current Division I prospects Cole Anthony, Moses Brown and Khalid Moore. In addition to his wide range of community projects, he is also the Director of TEAM NYC, an emerging AAU boys travel organization founded in 2012.

In Francois own words, the “commitment is not limited to basketball; It’s a commitment for life.”

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August 5

John Wall Called Kyrie Irving’s Trade Request ‘Crazy’

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A few weeks have passed since news broke that Kyrie Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. It sent shock waves around the league, causing almost every single team to make a call to the Cavs asking about Irving’s availability. Even now, the news is still quite shocking. A fact that one of Irving’s peers, Washington Wizards All-Star John Wall couldn’t help but bring up in a recent interview.

Talking with’s Chase Hughes, Wall called Irving’s request “crazy,” but he also can understand why the Cavs All-Star guard wants to be in a different situation than the one he’s in currently in Cleveland.

From Hughes:

“That was crazy to me. I didn’t know that was happening at all. Well, too bad,” Wall said of the timing. “It’s kinda tough. If I had been to three straight [NBA] Finals, I’d want to stay but you never know what type of relationship or what type of details they have going on the backside. Nobody knows what’s going on behind closed doors.

“He’s one of those guys who wants to be the main guy. It’s a different situation when you’re playing with a guy like LeBron James who is so dominant. Everyone is always going to be the second guy to him. It’s kind of like what I tell all the young guys when they first come into the league. It’s kind of tough to get the young guys to play as one on the floor because everybody is trying to build their name up and start their own foundation. It’s kind of tough when you’re always in the shadow of somebody else. That’s something he probably got tired of.”

Wall doesn’t really provide anything for fodder here, but it is notable that he, too, is flummoxed by Irving’s trade request, meaning that this is yet another example of how NBA stars are just like the rest of us.


August 4

Manu Ginobili Highlights NBA’s Best Blocks Of 2016-17

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The best blocks also featured Ginobili’s superstar teammate, Leonard, who has a knack for ferocious swats. Joel Embiid bursted onto the scene in his first season with the Philadelphia 76ers, cracking the top 10 with his swat of Cody Zeller.

The year following a season that was defined by the greatest chase-down block in League history by LeBron James to seal the Cavaliers first championship in franchise history, this campaign definitely made sure that the block remained a can’t-miss highlight.

Peep the video above for the best of the best from ’16-’17 and watch the one below to see King James give his opponents nightmares.

Top 50 Blocks of the 2015-2016 Season
Manu Ginobili Throws Down Monster Slam in Game 5
Joel Embiid is the Next Great Rim Protector: SLAM 207 Cover Story

Courtesy of NBA

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August 4

LeBron James Is One Of Many NBA Players Who Made Political Donations In Recent Years

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No sports league has more politically active athletes and coaches than the NBA, and much of that activism is done with their wallets. But which candidate—or political action committee — did your favorite NBA player support?

ESPN The Magazine columnist Howard Bryant was doing some research for a book and started tweeting the donations reported by NBA athletes, coaches, owners, and even commissioner Adam Silver. The league appears to swing heavily toward the Democratic side of the spectrum, though that wasn’t necessarily the case with owners.

LeBron James is no stranger to political opinions, and he’s quite famously supported Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in recent presidential elections. He’s donated to Democrats multiple times over the years.

Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge supported Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential election, while former Celtics coach and current LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers was an Obama donor to the tune of $25,000.

Not all of the donations mentioned are necessarily recent, but it’s a fascinating divide. Did you know Ron Artest supported Obama and that Charles Barkley once donated to John Edwards?

Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni, however, is a Bernie Bro. He gave the candidate $2,500 for his Democratic primary run.

That made another writer wonder whether vocal San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has supported anyone financially, and Bryant had a quick answer to that as well.

None of this information is secret and it’s certainly not new, but it’s an interesting study in how politics impacts the sports world. Bryant even makes an excellent point about the current blacklisting of Colin Kaepernick in the NFL, where a majority of the owners like Dan Snyder have supported Republican candidates — including Donald Trump — who have been highly critical of Kaepernick’s silent protest against police brutality against people of color.

The truth is that politics penetrates all things in America, including sports. Sticking to sports isn’t as easy is it sounds.