June 14

Walking Double Behind the Back Dribbling Drill

One of the biggest parts of being a great ball handler is being able to change up your speeds and keep the defender off balance. If you are consistently playing at one speed, you become predictable and easy for the defender to guard.

This ball handling drill is going to work on the double behind the back combo move, but it is really going to emphasize being able to pause, and then make a really explosive move. Once you can really start figuring out change of pace as a ball handler, you become exponentially harder to guard off of the dribble.

 

 

Drill Name: Walking Double Behind the Back Dribbling Drill

Similar Drills: Walking Between the Legs Crossover Dribbling Drill

Drill Goal: Work on selling the between the legs behind the back move and really changing up speeds.

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball.

Tips: Stay low in a low athletic stance the whole time. Don’t be a robot with your movements, really look to pause, sell your move, and change up speeds as you go through the drill. Keep your eyes up as you do the drill and also use your eyes to sell the move.

Directions: The player is going to start on the baseline with a basketball. The player will take a stationary dribble (the only one during the drill), pause, and then make an explosive double behind the back combo move leading themselves forward with the move. Without taking any stationary dribbles in between, the player is going to pause again and then execute the same move. Continue this pattern all the way to the free throw line and then retreat dribble back to the baseline. Repeat the same action, but this time starting with your other hand.

 

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June 14

Walking Double Between the Legs Dribbling Drill

As a ball handler, if you are really able to; pause your defender, read them, and then make an explosive move, you become so much harder to guard. A lot of the times though ball handlers get caught playing too fast at one consistent speed. The reason Kyrie Irving is such a hard player to guard, is because of his ability to stop and go at anytime he chooses.

This ball handling drill is going really focus on having the player change up speeds and from slow to fast as they are getting ready to set up a move. The move that this drill is working on is the double between the legs combo move, but it is really focusing on these other areas as well.

 

 

Drill Name: Walking Double Between the Legs Dribbling Drill

Similar Drills: Walking Between the Legs Crossover Dribbling Drill

Drill Goal: Work on selling the between the legs behind the back move and really changing up speeds.

Equipment Needed: 1 basketball.

Tips: Stay low in a low athletic stance the whole time. Don’t be a robot with your movements, really look to pause, sell your move, and change up speeds as you go through the drill. Keep your eyes up as you do the drill and also use your eyes to sell the move.

Directions: The player is going to start on the baseline with a basketball. The player will take a stationary dribble (the only one during the drill), pause, and then make an explosive double between the legs combo move leading themselves forward with the move. Without taking any stationary dribbles in between, the player is going to pause again and then execute the same move. Continue this pattern all the way to the free throw line and then retreat dribble back to the baseline. Repeat the same action, but this time starting with your other hand.

 

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June 14

Removing Excuses

This article was written by Basketball HQ co-founder Kyle Ohman

 

One of the easiest (and unfortunately one of the most common) ways to avoid potential situations where you might experience failure is to come up with excuses. It is natural as humans to use excuses to help us justify why we won’t be able to accomplish something. In life excuses come in all forms. With basketball though, they are pretty much narrowed down to; too short, not quick enough, not strong enough, not fast enough, low basketball IQ, etc.

Players are constantly being evaluated from a young age and are critiqued based on what they are perceived to be able to do or not able to do. Players allow themselves to be put into boxes created by other people’s criticisms, and even worse, they begin to place those same criticisms on themselves! Players become their own biggest doubter based on what other people are saying about them. A player’s limits are now being created by their own mind, and instead of figuring out a way to overcome them, they are using them as an excuse for failure.

Too many players (and people in general) allow different limitations to determine so much about them. Instead of working and overcoming being a little bit shorter, not as highly recruited, not built like the next LeBron James, etc. They allow these perceived limitations to define them and determine what they are capable of.

The goal of this article is to get you out of this type of fixed mindset and negative approach to your game and life as a whole. If you are able to have confidence in yourself and are willing to back it up with your best effort and hard work everyday there is no telling what you are capable of.

 

 

Personal Experience

One of the reasons I am so passionate about this topic is because of my playing history. To make a long story short, I went from not receiving a single college scholarship offer (from any level), to walking on at a division 1 school, earning a scholarship, scoring over a thousand points in my college career, being one of the best shooters in the country, and playing professionally in Europe.

If I would’ve listened to the limitations that others placed on me, I would’ve never even given myself the opportunity to have a chance at all of those things. One thought in my mind of, “I didn’t get any offers I guess I am not good enough to play” could’ve changed my entire life plan.

Not every player’s story ends up like mine, but if you allow yourself to come up with excuses, you will never even get the chance to prove what you are capable of.

 

The second reason I am so passionate about this topic is because I have seen way too many players in my coaching and training career that have allowed themselves to be limited by excuses. They allowed themselves believe that it couldn’t be done for one reason or another, and because they bought into this idea, it became true.

I look at similarly skilled players all the time. One player has the mindset to do whatever it takes, and the other has the mindset of limiting themselves with excuses, and the difference between the two similarly skilled players is night and day. You must have the mindset of anything being possible if you want a chance to do something great.

 

When the Rubber Meets the Road

At this point in the article I am hoping that I did my job and have you fully believing that you can overcome any perceived limitation that you may have, and that you are willing to run through a wall if need be. However, that is just the first part of the equation. Your mindset is a huge part of getting rid of excuses and it is definitely the first step, but without also following it up with action it doesn’t do much good.

I have always heard the saying, “when the rubber meets the road” and I thought this is the perfect time to use it. I looked up the meaning of the phrase because I wanted to use the exact definition and I really liked what it said. Here is what I found, “When something is about to begin, get serious, or be put to the test.” I thought that was absolutely perfect.

Believing in yourself is great, but if you are not willing to put the work in and; begin, get serious, and put yourself to the test, it really is for nothing. It wasn’t enough for me to believe that I was good enough to play in college, I had to work everyday and prove to people that I was good enough.

As a player you may find yourself in a similar situation with playing in high school, college, or professionally. It is up to you to prove what you are capable of. It doesn’t matter what others are saying about what you are able to do, it is up to you to work and show what you are able to do.

You don’t need to talk and complain about other people, just put in the work and there will be no doubt about what you are capable of.

 

 

 

Why Not You?

There are so many different stories of players that were doubted in college or overlooked coming into the NBA, but they believed in themselves, put in the work, and then proved that they belonged. From players like Steve Nash, who only received one scholarship offer and then went on to be a two time NBA MVP, or more recently, Stephen Curry who was told he was too small and slow to play, but is now a two time MVP and has two rings.

The list goes on and on, and the natural tendency is to see them as inspirational stories, but not really believe that you could do the same thing. Don’t fall into that trap! There is no reason why you as a player can’t be one of those exact same stories. It may not happen right away, and you may end up having a story like San Antonio Spurs Jonathan Simmons who took years to finally break into the NBA.

Not everyone’s journey is the same, so don’t give up on yours just because it looks different than everyone else’s. So I want you to ask yourself this question, Why Not Me? Ask yourself that question everyday and use it for motivation. Why can’t you be one of the player’s that has a story like Steve Nash, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Isaiah Thomas, or one of the other players that everyone said wouldn’t make it? WHY NOT YOU?

 

Conclusion

After reading this article you may be feeling invincible and that nothing can stop you from accomplishing your goals, and that is great! However, the reality is that you may fail and you may not make it, but wouldn’t you rather give everything that you have and know that you gave your best? I know that I would!

I cannot guarantee that if you believe in yourself and work your absolute hardest that you will accomplish everything you want, no one can. I can guarantee though that if you do not do those things you will never even get the chance.

 

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June 14

Nike Air Mags Auctioned for World-Record $52,500

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/kicks/nike-air-mags-auctioned-world-record-52500/

“This auction was a successful first step to bring together a number of different themes and objects,” said Leon Benrimon, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art at Heritage Auctions, via press release. “Collectors were excited to see their passions displayed on a public stage, giving them a platform and a voice. As a result, we saw a record number of page views on ha.com, amazing press coverage and the foot traffic at the Beverly Hills office during the preview leading up to the auction was amazing. We shattered the world record for collectible sneakers sold at public auction by $20,000 when the Nike Air Mags sold for $52,500. I was also pleased to see the prices realized for the other collecting categories as well.”

The Nike Air Mag, originally introduced in Back to the Future II, was brought to market in late 2016. The 2016 version has LED lights and Nike’s Adaptive Fit technology, which senses the wearer and tightens according to that specific foot.

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June 14

Made in the Offseason

Hosted by: https://basketballhq.com/made-in-the-offseason

This article was written by SUNY Canton Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ben Thompson

 

As coaches, we are constantly preaching to our team that players are “made in the offseason”. We say this because it is true, but also as motivation to inspire our student-athletes to grind and work harder at improving their game. I have used this comment several times with my guys and truly believe that it rings true with them.

However, as coaches, we are “made in the offseason” as well. What do you use your offseason for? We expect our student-athletes to put in the extra hours and early morning times in the gym or weight room; but, how much extra effort do we put in during the offseason to work on our craft?

 

Depending on your level, you might be able to work with your team some in the offseason. This is a great thing, but how many of us also work on ourselves. The offseason is a time for you to invest in yourself and improve as a coach.

There are many forms of this, but self-evaluating how you performed this past season, as well as your staff, is crucial. Going back to watch film on games, practices, workouts; whatever it is and helps you, how much time do you spend trying to evaluate your own performance?

 

This is a great time to review practice plans, does your practice flow, where would you tweak some things, do you need a complete overhaul? Do you reach out to boosters, alumni, parents? Getting with your own administration, picking their brains on things they see, areas you could improve.

Ask questions of those around you and those you trust; asking coaches that you play against or that have seen you play, but have a great rapport with or friendship with can be helpful as well. Meet with people in the community, run camps, do things that will get you more involved in your area.

 

Invest in yourself and your own growth. Find clinics, roundtable discussions, and forums to attend to get different perspectives and give your own perspectives. Sometimes explaining things you do to other peers/coaches and what you believe in, helps remind and refresh yourself of why you do what you do.

Networking is another key thing in the offseason; this can be done in many ways, but meet different coaches, meet with other administrators, meet others on your own campus that you do not know.

 

Lastly, do not forget to take some down time. Do not use the ENTIRE offseason as down time, but take some time with family/friends and refresh. Work on your health and your fitness; sometimes during the grind of the season, we lose sight of our own well-being and our health.

Make sure you get back to your work/life balance. Take some trips, have some staycations, refill your tank, but then get back to work. We cannot tell our players that they are “made in the offseason” if do not rebuild and re-tweak ourselves in the offseason as well.

 

 

SUNY Canton Head Men’s Basketball Coach

“In his first season as a head coach, Thompson led the SUNY Canton Men’s Basketball team to a 20-9 record. They also won the first conference championship in NCAA program history and competed in the first ever NCAA sponsored post-season tournament in program history with a win in the ECAC tournament. It was the first NCAA sponsored post-season win for any sport in SUNY Canton history.”

 

 

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June 14

Andre Iguodala Doesn’t Want To Visit The White House, But He’ll Follow Steph Curry’s Lead

Hosted by: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/andre-iguodala-steph-curry-donald-trump-white-house-visit/

There was a report on Tuesday morning that the Golden State Warriors were going to pass on the ceremonial trip to the White House. While the team released a statement that refuted said report, it doesn’t exactly sound like Warriors forward Andre Iguodala would enjoy taking a trip to meet the President of the United States.

Iguodala is one of the many people in the Warriors organization who isn’t exactly a fan of Donald Trump. When Sam Amick of USA Today Sports asked him if he’d like to attend prior to Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the versatile veteran gave a simple answer.

“Hell nah,” Iguodala said.

As Iguodala explained, though, it’s ultimately not his decision. The way the Warriors operate, the decision will ultimately be made by the team’s leader.

“We’re going to do what our leader (Curry) does,” Iguodala said. “I think we handle (the White House situation) when it gets there. I mean, it may be different. There might be somebody different in (office). That’s a realistic thing to say though, right? So you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Based on comments that Curry and head coach Steve Kerr have made about Trump in the past, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the Warriors ultimately decided to skip out on heading to the White House. Should that happen, Iguodala thinks he knows exactly what will go down.

“Maybe (Trump) doesn’t (invite us) and we don’t go, or we don’t say anything and make a big deal of it, and he doesn’t make a big deal of it and we go our separate ways,” said Iguodala, 33, who is known for being as aware of social issues as he is sarcastic. “Y’all might write about it. I might call him and say, ‘If they ask, just say our schedules conflicted.’ And then if y’all write something, we’ll say, ‘Fake News.’ ”

Give Iguodala credit, at least he’s keeping a sense of humor about the entire thing.

(Via USA Today Sports)

June 13

Made in the Offseason

This article was written by SUNY Canton Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ben Thompson

 

As coaches, we are constantly preaching to our team that players are “made in the offseason”. We say this because it is true, but also as motivation to inspire our student-athletes to grind and work harder at improving their game. I have used this comment several times with my guys and truly believe that it rings true with them.

However, as coaches, we are “made in the offseason” as well. What do you use your offseason for? We expect our student-athletes to put in the extra hours and early morning times in the gym or weight room; but, how much extra effort do we put in during the offseason to work on our craft?

 

Depending on your level, you might be able to work with your team some in the offseason. This is a great thing, but how many of us also work on ourselves. The offseason is a time for you to invest in yourself and improve as a coach.

There are many forms of this, but self-evaluating how you performed this past season, as well as your staff, is crucial. Going back to watch film on games, practices, workouts; whatever it is and helps you, how much time do you spend trying to evaluate your own performance?

 

This is a great time to review practice plans, does your practice flow, where would you tweak some things, do you need a complete overhaul? Do you reach out to boosters, alumni, parents? Getting with your own administration, picking their brains on things they see, areas you could improve.

Ask questions of those around you and those you trust; asking coaches that you play against or that have seen you play, but have a great rapport with or friendship with can be helpful as well. Meet with people in the community, run camps, do things that will get you more involved in your area.

 

Invest in yourself and your own growth. Find clinics, roundtable discussions, and forums to attend to get different perspectives and give your own perspectives. Sometimes explaining things you do to other peers/coaches and what you believe in, helps remind and refresh yourself of why you do what you do.

Networking is another key thing in the offseason; this can be done in many ways, but meet different coaches, meet with other administrators, meet others on your own campus that you do not know.

 

Lastly, do not forget to take some down time. Do not use the ENTIRE offseason as down time, but take some time with family/friends and refresh. Work on your health and your fitness; sometimes during the grind of the season, we lose sight of our own well-being and our health.

Make sure you get back to your work/life balance. Take some trips, have some staycations, refill your tank, but then get back to work. We cannot tell our players that they are “made in the offseason” if do not rebuild and re-tweak ourselves in the offseason as well.

 

 

Ben Thompson
SUNY Canton Head Men’s Basketball Coach

“In his first season as a head coach, Thompson led the SUNY Canton Men’s Basketball team to a 20-9 record. They also won the first conference championship in NCAA program history and competed in the first ever NCAA sponsored post-season tournament in program history with a win in the ECAC tournament. It was the first NCAA sponsored post-season win for any sport in SUNY Canton history.”

 

 

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June 13

NBA Finals Kicks of the Night: Warriors Win the Title

Hosted by: http://www.slamonline.com/kicks/nba-finals-kicks-night-warriors-win-title/

Kevin Durant captured the Finals MVP in a blue Nike KD10 and Stephen Curry scored 34 points in the white Under Armour Curry 4. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green also rocked mostly white colorways of both the Anta KT2 and the Nike Hyperdunk 2017 Flyknit.

Andre Iguodala, who rose up for a few dunks, wore a grey and gold Nike Kobe AD.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the full recap and congrats to the Dubs!

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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June 13

These Are The Best Highlights From The 2017 NBA Finals

Hosted by: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/nba-finals-2017-best-plays-cleveland-cavaliers-golden-state-warriors/

The NBA Finals are over. The NBA season is over. We are now about to dive into the dark, purgatorial state known better as the NBA’s offseason. For one team that participated in the Finals, the offseason will provide the opportunity for a victory lap. For the other team that participated in the Finals, along with the other 28 teams in the league, the offseason will be a time to try and figure out how the hell you’re supposed to beat the Warriors.

But before we dive head-first into the offseason, let’s look back on the Finals.

Namely, let’s look back on the eight best plays that happened during the third edition of the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Golden State Warriors.

8. Kyrie Goes Coast-To-Coast

Scene: Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Golden State is up, 2-0. It’s back in Cleveland. Kyrie Irving has been, for lack of a better word, not great thus far in the series.

Game 3 rolls around and Irving starts shooting fireballs from his hands. Sure, the Dubs ended up winning, but this was world-class from Irving – he went coast-to-coast and finished through insane traffic to score before halftime. It’s not a stretch to say that no one is able to score from below the rim quite like Irving, which he showed us here.

And my goodness, those handles are something else.

7. Steph Shakes LeBron

Did he double-dribble? Probably! But this play showed how far Curry has come in his NBA career – originally billed as just a shooter, he’s now an ultra-creative offensive player whose handles, ability to get to the rim, and finish are among the best in the world.

When you make LeBron dance like this, you did something special. This is something special.

6. Iggy Turns Back The Clock

There was a time in Andre Iguodala’s career when he was among the most vicious dunkers and biggest open-floor threats in the NBA. That time has passed, sure, but he reminded us during Game 5 that he can still elevate and finish with authority.

It was so smooth yet so powerful, two things that were trademarks of Iguodala’s game when he was a star in Philadelphia. Father time is undefeated, but Iggy still got the best of him here.

5. LeBron Brings The Thunder In Game 1

Durant made one heck of a business decision here. Sure, he could have tried to stop LeBron from putting him on a poster, but with JaVale McGee standing right there, Durant decided to let his big man try and get the block.

That, of course, didn’t happen. LeBron was just cruel to McGee on this one. He even stood and flexed for a sec, which LeBron rarely does. I guess when you know you just made a grown man look silly, you do these kinds of things.

4. KD Brings The Thu…uh…Hammer Down In Game 1, Too

This play was an accident. Curry was obviously trying to pass the ball to Klay Thompson, but due to a miscommunication that didn’t happen.

Fortunately for him, Durant was in the right spot and just absolutely shook LeBron, giving him a clear path to the lane. It set the crowd at Oracle ablaze, even if it all happened on accident

3. LeBron Puts Durant On A Poster

Durant tried to slow this down by smacking LeBron square in the face. No foul was called, but it didn’t matter, because LeBron soared through the air and hammered it home. At this point, it almost seemed like Cleveland might be able to win Game 5. It didn’t happen, but for a moment, it seemed like the Cavs were cooking on all cylinders. Then the Warriors decided the game was over, but this was still cool.

However, this wasn’t LeBron’s best dunk of the Finals. That honor goes to…

2. LeBron Goes Off The Glass

By this point, the game was basically over. But still, LeBron threw a dang basketball off the dang backboard for a dang alley-oop to himself in a dang NBA Finals game. It was awesome. And hilarious. And ballsy. And about a million other things.

1. Durant’s Dagger Seals Game 3

It cannot be stressed enough how big this shot was by Durant. Every Finals game has big moments, but this moment literally decided a win and a loss. It also capped off a massive comeback by Golden State to steal a game at Quicken Loans Arena and was cold blooded as all hell – the list of guys who can pull up in transition and can a jumper in LeBron’s eye like this is as follows:

  1. Kevin Durant

That’s it.

Total aside, but all of the top-5 plays on this list involve the two-best basketball players on earth. Sure, plenty of people weren’t happy with the fact that Durant left Oklahoma City to join the Warriors, but at least we got a series that featured the latest chapter in the LeBron vs. Durant rivalry.

We’re probably getting the latest chapter in that rivalry, along with Cavs-Dubs IV, next Finals. Hopefully the offseason doesn’t drag on too long in the meantime.

June 12

Former Lottery Pick Sebastian Telfair Arrested On Multiple Weapons Charges In New York

Hosted by: http://uproxx.com/dimemag/sebastian-telfair-arrested-gun-weapons-possession-charges/

Former NBA player Sebastian Telfair, who was selected as a high school senior with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2004 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, was reportedly arrested on Sunday in Brooklyn on gun possession-related charges. Telfair reportedly was arrested after police found loaded weapons and two bags of marijuana in his vehicle while he and another man, Jami Thomas, were parked illegally on the median on Atlantic Avenue.

NBC New York has more details on Telfair’s arrest:

Telfair, 32, and another man, Jami Thomas, 18, were found with four loaded weapons, ammunition and a bullet-resistant vest, police said. Two bags of marijuana were also allegedly found in the 2017 Ford F-150 pickup.

As officers approached, they started to drive off, according to the source. Police who pulled them over smelled marijuana and saw a lit “blunt” on the dashboard, police said.

According to PIX11 in New York, Telfair was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a weapon, unlawful possession of a ballistic vest, criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of ammunition. It’s Telfair’s second gun-related arrest, his first coming in 2007.

Here is a picture of the haul police took in from Telfair’s vehicle:

Telfair last played in the NBA during the 2014-2015 season, when he suited up for the Oklahoma City Thunder for 16 games. Before Oklahoma City, Telfair also spent time with the Toronto Raptors, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves and Trail Blazers.

Telfair, who is the cousin of Stephon Marbury, was one of the best players in the country as a high school senior and was highly touted when he decided to forgo college and enter the draft. But his skill set, which was so lethal at the high school level, never truly translated to the NBA and as evidenced by the number of teams he played for, Telfair’s career will largely be remembered for his journeyman role off the bench at his various stops.