Hats off to Brittney Griner and Tim Howard. Or perhaps I should say, hands up! The Phoenix Mercury center and Team USA goaltender both showcased incredible defensive performances this week. On Sunday, Griner recorded 11 blocked shots against the Tulsa Shock, the most ever in a WNBA game. On Tuesday, Howard made 16 saves during Team USA's game against Belgium, the most in a World Cup game since 1966.
While scoring gets a lot of praise and attention, Griner and Howard showed us why defense deserves more applause.
All-Star NBA center Kevin Love has been one of the top stories of the offseason. After (maybe) asking the Timberwolves to trade him, teams from around the league have tried to entice him away from Minnesota. But he was able to take a break from all that in June at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles. Between playing the latest titles from Activision, SI Kids spoke to Love about his favorite games and the "cheat codes" he uses when playing NBA2K.
The surprise move of the NBA offseason isn’t LeBron or Melo opting out of their contracts. It’s that Jason Kidd got traded.
Kidd spent last season — his first as a former player — behind the bench coaching the Brooklyn Nets. But he decided to show us that trades aren’t just for players. A strange series of events that began last Friday ended today when the rare coach trade: Kidd is headed to the Milwaukee Bucks for two second-round picks. The Bucks fired head coach Larry Drew organization Monday morning, after the deal with the Nets was reached. The Nets, meanwhile, are suddenly in need of a new bench boss.
The 2014 NBA draftees all have long and promising careers ahead of them. Some of them may be future All-Stars or even Hall of Famers. But for now, these guys are just getting used to being in the spotlight.
Let’s meet some of the first round draft picks you might not know much about!
Dante Exum (No. 5, Utah Jazz)
From the land down under, Dante Exum, the “international man of mystery” as John Rothstein appropriately coined him, went No. 5 overall to the Utah Jazz. This 18-year-old guard from the Australian Institute of Sport joins Kyrie Irving, Andrew Bogut, and Luc Longley as only the fourth player from Australia to be selected as a lottery pick.
“It’s an unbelievable experience. Words can’t explain. It’s just great,” Exum said.
When the Jazz selected Exum, many were left wondering how Trey Burke and Exum would fit together.
“I think I already spoke to him, and he’s excited to have me, and I’m excited to be there. I know we’re both going to give up something a little so everyone’s happy,” said Exum. Who is giving up what? Will Burke relinquish his starting position? Time will tell.
Fun fact: Exum’s father was a North Carolina Tar Heel in the early 1980s.
When the Los Angeles Lakers called Julius Randle’s name with the No. 7 pick last night, Carolyn Kyles, his mother, had no words. “She couldn’t really say anything. She was just screaming,” Randle said after coming off the stage.
For the 30 men whose NBA careers began last night, family represents the support system that got them up on that stage. And now they have the chance to give back.
“My mom’s been my biggest fan since day one, she’s always been there for me,” Randle said. “It definitely will mean a lot to take care of her and pay her back for what she’s done.”
You can argue whether the injured Joel Embiid went too high, whether Dario Saric should’ve been taken by the Magic (before that trade, of course) or if Zach LaVine slipped too far. But you absolutely cannot argue that the best pick of the 2014 NBA Draft was made by the NBA itself between Adreian Payne going to the Hawks at No. 15 and the Bulls’ No. 16 selection.
Baylor’s Isaiah Austin was on track to start his NBA at the Draft. Then on Sunday he was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, Marfan syndrome. And that meant Austin would never play competitive basketball again.
But even though the heartbreaking news kept Austin from entering the NBA, it did not keep him from hearing his name called in New York on Thursday night.
The 2014 NBA Draft went like most people expected: the Cleveland Cavaliers took Andrew Wiggins with the top overall pick, and the Milwaukee Bucks selected Jabari Parker number two. But even if there wasn’t much drama at the top of the show, the rest of Draft night was full of excitement — and surprises.
We run down the big moments and highlights from last night, straight from the floor of the Barclays Center!