You know that feeling of rushing to the new roster posted outside the gym, scanning it for your name, and walking away disappointed? Damian Lillard does. Because it happened to him as a pro, twice, in a six-month span.
By Lauren Shute and Christina M. Tapper
We’ve reached the midpoint of the All-Star weekend and the big game is tonight! Four events highlighted Saturday night’s action. But the main event was the Slam Dunk Contest. Here’s what went down:
LaVine Wows Crowd With Perfection in Dunk Contest
Zach LaVine’s name had been on the lips of just about every NBA player before the NBA’s All-Star Slam Dunk Contest. And Saturday night, everyone in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center — and millions watching at home — saw exactly why.
The 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend kicked off yesterday with Media Day. It gave journalists covering this weekend’s All-Star Game some time with featured players from around the league. Media Day was packed with what seemed like a never-ending crowd of reporters and cameras rolling and flashing at every turn. But we managed to get in on some Media Day action with some of your favorite NBA star.
Upon arrival at Media Day, LeBron James reunited with his former teammate Dwyane Wade while reporters looked on and captured the moment. LeBron, whose dominant play led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 12-game win streak earlier this year, comfortably dressed in sweats and donned sunglasses inside the room. It was probably the most useful accessory to have when the spotlight is on you!
Before the start of the NBA season, Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley had a message for media personnel in New York City: “If you haven’t gotten a chance to see Anthony Davis play, let me tell you, he’s the next big thing in the NBA.”
Davis was the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans). He spent last summer in Barcelona, Spain, with Team USA, and Barkley was impressed by what he saw. Just three years into his pro career, Davis has gone from a great young talent with loads of potential to one of the best young players in the league. So far this season, he’s averaging 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game. Davis was recently selected for his second All-Star appearance (his first time as a starter). Though he’ll miss the game because of a nagging shoulder injury, Davis spoke with SI Kids as All-Star Weekend kicked off about all of his early professional success, how far he’s come, and what his Pelicans need to do to turn things around come playoff time.
Its been a tough season for the Philadelphia 76ers. A 12-41 is pretty lousy, regardless if they earned it by tanking our just being straight up bad. There’s not a whole lot to do to get your fan base at least a little excited (isn’t that right, Knicks?), but the 76ers gave it a try today by introducing Franklin, the team’s new mascot.
Franklin made his debut, appropriately enough, at the Franklin Institute in Philly. Three hundred kids were on hand to meet the big blue dog “with perky ears and wagging tail” and who is Sixers fans’ new “best friend.” (I wonder if the team gave any thought to introducing a dog mascot in the middle of a dog of a season…)
In Tiffany Mitchell’s short time playing college basketball, the junior guard has developed into a powerful force on the court. She has helped South Carolina reach the top of the national rankings for the first time in school history, while simultaneously becoming the school’s first (preseason) All-America selection.
Mitchell credits much of her success to her coach, Hall of Famer Dawn Staley.
“I wouldn’t want to play for anyone else,” Mitchell says. “That’s why I came to South Carolina, and that [she is my coach] makes everything that much better.”
The relationship between player and coach began long before Mitchell ever stepped on campus.
So while you were all finalizing your plans to watch the NHL All-Star Game and NFL Pro Bowl (ahem), Golden State Warriors guard was making history. On Friday night, Thompson dropped an NBA-record 37 points in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings en route to a 52-point night (which included 11 threes, tying a Warriors record). The Warriors would go on to win, of course, 126-101. The previous mark was 33, set in 1978 by George Gervin and match in 2008 by Carmelo Anthony.