We recently celebrated a list of some of the 2010-11 NBA season’s not-so-great moments, so it’s only right that we also highlight some of the best moments of the year. Did you remember what basketball shoes they were wearing when these plays went down? Will any of these sneaker moments hold up as time goes on?
If you caught our worst plays of the year rundown, you may have noticed that regardless of JaVale McGee’s basketball IQ, he’s a crazy athlete. He has an extensive collection of highlight blocks from this season, but none more impressive than this.
Who doesn’t like seeing Chris Bosh get dunked on? By point guards?
J.R. Smith Dunks On Gary Neal — “Cool Grey” Air Jordan XI
Level of difficulty. Style. Post-dunk swing and celebration? Check, check, check and check.
Nick Young’s Incredible 360-Reverse Layup — “East LA” Nike Zoom Kobe VI
I’ve joked about Nick Young’s at-times unnecessary addition of 360s to plays that don’t necessarily need them. This play, however, is just amazing.
Manu Ginobili Works His Magic Against Clipper Defense — Nike Air Max Closer IV
I know what you are thinking: “It’s the Clippers. Of course Manu is going to make someone look bad.” He took it to a different level on this play though, somehow managing to abuse all five opposing players on a single drive.
Nicolas Batum’s Buzzer-Beating Tip-In — adidas adiPure
Point-nine seconds is long enough to catch and shoot, but a game-winning lob is always a lot more exciting.
Dwyane Wade Posterizes Kendrick Perkins, Does Cabbage Patch — Air Jordan 2011
While it may SEEM like Juwan Howard has contributed little to the Heat, as evidenced here after this dunk, he clearly taught DWade his signature dance move: the cabbage patch.
Blake Griffin Goes Crazy On Mike _’Antoni Defense — Nike Zoom Hyperfuse
In a performance that may only be possible against a Mike D’Antoni defense, Blake Griffin put together a season’s worth of highlights in a single game.
Blake Griffin abused defenders at the rim all season long, so it’s only right to see the favor returned. (Cavs fans beware – it’s very possible fraudulent posters of this play exist in the LA area, much like the Patrick Ewing non-poster on MJ adorns the walls of NYC sports bars.)
Kevin Love: 31 & 31 — PEAK Relentless
A year-and-a-half after signing with Peak, Kevin Love went for 31 and 31 the night he actually started wearing them.
Thursday marked the NBA Trade Deadline, and it was one of the most active in recent memory. In addition to the blockbuster trade that landed Carmelo Anthony back in his hometown of New York City as a Knick, several marquee players switched jerseys this week. Here’s a recap of the moves that were made at the deadline.
New Jersey Nets Get: G Deron Williams Utah Jazz Get: G Devin Harris, F Derrick Favors, 2011 First-Round Pick, 2012 First-Round Pick, Cash
The difference between this jaw-dropper and the Carmelo Anthony trade is that we saw Melo’s coming. Nearly two weeks after they parted ways with legendary Head Coach Jerry Sloan, the Utah Jazz shocked the league by sending their franchise player to New Jersey.
The Nets, who struck out trying to convince Carmelo Anthony to sign a longterm extension before he was shipped to New York, took a gamble in bringing in arguably the league’s best point guard. They gave up a healthy package, including third overall pick Derrick Favors and two potential future lottery picks, but brought in a piece to build around. The problem? Deron was reportedly not too happy with the trade, especially after learning about it while watching Sports Center. The Nets now have the pressure of bringing in another marquee player, but have a better chance of doing so by selling Williams’ presence to them.
New Orleans Hornets Get: F Carl Landry Sacramento Kings Get: G Marcus Thornton, Cash
This trade flies under the radar, but benefits each team. The Hornets, one of the more solid defensive teams in the league, add a veteran forward in Landry that shores up a little frontcourt depth and can put the ball in the hoop. Thornton, who is known to light up the scoreboard himself, was buried in a rotation deep with perimeter players and will have more of a chance to showcase what he can do in Sacramento . . . or Anaheim. Whatever.
Atlanta Hawks Get: G Kirk Hinrich, F Hilton Armstrong Washington Wizards Get: G Mike Bibby, G Jordan Crawford, G Maurice Evans, 2011 First-Round Pick
The Hawks continue their efforts to erase draft blunders of the past by bringing in Kirk Hinrich. Hinrich figures to be an upgrade over departing Mike Bibby at the point guard position on both ends of the floor. The Wizards shed some salary next year and get a First-Round Pick for their efforts. They also add a young prospect in Jordan Crawford. In addition to shedding the extra year on Gilbert Arenas’ deal earlier this year, Washington’s front office has done a solid job of setting the stage for the franchise’s future.
Cleveland Cavaliers Get: G Baron Davis, 2011 First-Round Pick Los Angeles Clippers Get: G Mo Williams, F Jamario Moon
I’m not sure what Cleveland’s logic in taking on Baron Davis and the 42 million dollars remaining on his contract was, but the thrown in First-Round Pick is a deal sweetener. The Clippers get a player who was putting up just as good, if not better statistics than Davis in a HORRIBLE situation, shed salary and add a little bench versatility with Moon. Sure, they give up the pick, but this draft isn’t one that intrigues too many league officials.
Oklahoma City Thunder Get: C Kendrick Perkins, C Nazr Mohammed, G Nate Robinson Boston Celtics Get: F Jeff Green, C Nenad Krstic, Future First Round Pick Charlotte Bobcats Get: F D.J. White, G Morris Peterson
Okay, these are two separate trades, but I had to lump them together to show how great of a job Oklahoma city did getting prepared for their playoff run. The Celtics stunned everybody by getting rid of the center that they “haven’t lost a playoff series with”, and the Thunder shored up their weakness in a hurry.
Oklahoma City brings in two hard-nosed seven-footers that can bang with the best of them and will give the Lakers something to think about down low. They also add another scoring spark by bringing in Nate Robinson to come off the bench. On the other hand, the Celtics get a little younger and versatile with the addition of Jeff Green, while bringing in a quality veteran center in Krstic to fill the Perkins void. They also bring back a future First-Round Pick, and many people peg the Celtics of having an eye on Dwight Howard in 2012.
Memphis Grizzlies Get: F Shane Battier, G Ish Smith Houston Rockets Get: C Hasheem Thabeet, Future First-Round Pick
Figured to be sellers at the deadline, the Memphis Grizzlies were actually buyers and brought back Shane Battier for his gritty defense and veteran presence. They ship former Number Two overall pick Hasheem Thabeet, who has been nothing short of disappointing, to Houston along with a future First-Round pick. The Rockets are stockpiling assets to deal with in the future.
Phoenix Suns Get: G Aaron Brooks Houston Rockets Get: G Goran Dragic, Future First-Round Pick
Due for a contract extension this summer, the Rockets opted to send Aaron Brooks to Phoenix, while bringing back a more traditional and cheaper point guard in Dragic. The Suns add another piece for their playoff push, and may be looking at life after Nash with their move. Also notice that Houston once again acquired a First-Round pick.
Portland Trail Blazers Get: F Gerald Wallace Charlotte Bobcats Get: F Dante Cunningham, C Joel Przybilia, C Sean Marks, 2011 First-Round Pick, 2013 First-Round Pick
With LaMarcus Aldridge playing the best basketball of his career and Brandon Roy returning from knee surgery, the Blazers once again look to make a playoff push by adding the versatile Gerald Wallace. Wallace gives the Blazers a boost on offense and defense, perhaps putting them in a position to upset one of the top teams in the West.
The Bobcats part with the remaining member of their 2004 expansion team for a package that amounts to salary cap relief and assets. Those two first-rounders are a start for a franchise that has some more dealing to do in the rebuilding process.
Other Deadline Deals:
Boston Celtics Get: 2017 Second-Round Pick Sacramento Kings Get: G Marquis Daniels, Cash
Cleveland Cavaliers Get: C Semih Erden, F Luke Harangody Boston Celtics Get: 2013 Second-Round Pick
Golden State Warriors Get: F Troy Murphy, 2012 Second-Round Pick New Jersey Nets Get: F Brandan Wright, C Dan Gadzuric
Chicago Bulls Get: 2011 First Round-Pick Toronto Raptors Get: F James Johnson
At Carmelo Anthony’s wedding to Lala Vasquez back in July of 2010, it was reported by the New York Post that New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul toasted to a potential future in New York playing alongside friends Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire. Since then, it’s been widely speculated that Anthony would force a trade to the New York Knicks this season or sign with the team outright during the offseason. After a long process that included other teams trying to reel in the All-Star forward, Carmelo Anthony is indeed the second domino to fall in the “New York Toast,” as a deal was completed to send him to the Knicks on Monday night.
In exchange, the Denver Nuggets received a healthy package that included point guard Raymond Felton, forwards Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari, center Timofey Mozgov, cash, a first-round pick and two second-round picks. On the way to New York with Carmelo Anthony are guards Chauncey Billups and Anthony Carter, forward Renaldo Balkman and center Shelden Williams.
Many view this trade as a victory of sorts for the Nuggets, whose leverage to make a deal dwindled with Anthony’s reluctance to sign an extension elsewhere. It has been reported that the decisions of Knicks Team President Donnie Walsh were overridden by Team Owner Jim Dolan. Walsh was in the process of executing a plan that would have either sent less to Denver to acquire Anthony or brought him in as a free agent during the offseason, leaving the remaining trade assets to trade for a third superstar. According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, a close ally to Walsh was quoted as saying, “This is all Dolan. All Isiah. All (Worldwide) Wes and Leon Rose.”
Still, the Knicks have to be excited to now floor one of the best 1-2 scoring punches in the league. Stoudemire and Anthony are currently both within the Top Six of the scoring list, averaging a combined 51 points per game. The addition of Billups and Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system make the Knicks an offensive threat every night.
There are a few concerns worth pointing out, though. Will the Anthony/Stoudemire tandem be able to function as a cohesive unit? Compromising their depth to make this trade, how do the Knicks compete with a team like Boston in seven games? How will teaming up two superstars who have never been known for playing great defense in a system that doesn’t encourage defense pan out? We’ll find out the answers to these questions in New York’s remaining 26 regular season games.
In a separate deal, the Knicks acquired forward Corey Brewer from the Timberwolves, sending forward Anthony Randolph, center Eddy Curry and cash to Minnesota.
What do you think about Carmelo Anthony teaming up with Amar’e in New York? Is this team good enough to win a championship as is, or is there still much work to be done?
For the past couple NBA seasons, NBA fans have eagerly anticipated a Finals showdown between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. While last night’s All-Star Game wasn’t exactly for the Trophy, you couldn’t tell by looking at the demeanor of the game’s two best players. Both stars had performances for the ages, but it was the Black Mamba who would strike last. Holding off a late charge by the East, the West pulled away late to win 148-143.
With the hot hand early, Kobe put the Western All-Stars in control from the jump. By halftime, Kobe had netted 21 points and the West led by 12 points. The 13-time All-Star “slowed down” in the second half, managing “just” 16 points, bringing him to 37 and five points shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s game record of 42. Bryant also recorded 14 rebounds, three assists and three steals on his way to being named MVP for a record-tying fourth time.
As great as Kobe was, LeBron certainly made it interesting late. With a sense of pride and urgency, LeBron turned the volume up, urging to his team that this “felt like a road game.” Showing how much the game meant to him, LeBron accomplished something that only one other player had done in an All-Star Game – mess around and get a triple-double. LeBron scored 29 points, pulled down 12 boards and dished out 10 assists in a big rally effort from the East. The only other player to have a triple-double in the All-Star Game? It starts with M and ends with ichael Jordan.
Other sensational performers in the All-Star game were forwards Amar’e Stoudemire and Kevin Durant. Stoudemire racked up 29 points and six rebounds for the East, while Durant scored the quietest 34 points you’ve ever seen. In fact, while Kobe was brilliant, it was Durant’s clutch shooting at the end that really put the game away for the West.
The game, which seemed to be heading for “dud” territory after the first half, proved exactly why the NBA has the best All-Star celebration. They have the best skills competitions, best musical performances and the All-Star Game typically becomes competitive at a point. The LeBron vs. Kobe duel on Sunday night was a great closing chapter in another successful All-Star Weekend for the NBA.
Here’s a comprehensive look at what every All-Star wore in Sunday’s game.
Al Horford tries to block Manu Ginobili in the Nike Air Max Fly By.
Amar’e Stoudemire finally ditches the Zoom Huarache Trainer, instead wearing a Nike Air Max Fly By PE for the game.
Blake Griffin greets the legendary Bill Russell while debuting the Nike Hyperdunk 2011 on the court.
Carmelo Anthony shoots in the All-Star colorway of his Jordan Melo M7.
It was built to be an inevitable showdown between Celtics teammates Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, but in the end, Miami Heat sharpshooter James Jones emerged from the pack as the 2011 Three-Point Contest Champion. Jones scored 20 points in the final round to pull off the shocker against Allen and Pierce. With the win, Jones became the fourth member of the Miami Heat to win the three-point contest.
Kevin Durant and Boobie Gibson were almost historically bad, threatening Michael Jordan’s record low of five points by scoring six and seven points respectively. Golden State’s Dorell Wright finished fourth with 11 points.
Let’s take a look at what these long-range threats wore for the 2011 Three-Point Contest.
James Jones found his rhythm in teammate LeBron James’ Nike Air Max LeBron 8.
James receives his trophy wearing the Nike Air Max LeBron 8.
All-time three-point king Ray Allen shoots in a Player Exclusive colorway of the Jordan Evolution ’85.
Paul Pierce failed to defend his Three-Point Crown in the Nike Air Legacy 2.
Another look at Paul’s Air Legacy 2 Player Exclusive.
Kevin Durant couldn’t get it going in a new colorway of the Nike Zoom KD III.
Reflective of the Cavs season, Boobie Gibson drew a lot of iron in the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse.
Golden State’s Dorell Wright couldn’t get it going in PEAK’s Team Dynamic.