October 17, 2017

VIDEO: Brooklyn Nets: new players, camaraderie, building upon last season, optimism, and how D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin will co-exist on the court

In this video, Keisha Wilson and Mike McDonald are discussing Brooklyn Nets Media Day 2017.

NBA players, Sean “Diddy” Combs and others stand behind NFL players; Brooklyn Nets Players look forward to new season; Time for safety nets at MLB stadiums

WHAT'S POPPIN'

Donald Trump Uses NFL to Boost his Ratings

Donald Trump injected himself into the NFL players’ protest against rogue police officers killing innocent Black men. Trump said at a campaign rally in Alabama that owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem and that fans should consider walking out in protest “when somebody disrespects our flag.” Trump’s comments touched off a firestorm.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t hesitate to give Trump serious pushback, stating:

“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players.”

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association tweeted: “We will never back down. We no longer can afford to stick to sports.”

A good number of NFL players took exception to Trump attempting to deny their US Constitutional right to free speech, and being called “sons of bitches”. NBA players and others are standing up, even Sean “Diddy” Combs commented.

Donald Trump Disinvites Golden State Warriors

Speaking of Donald Trump, he rescinded his invitation to the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House because Stephen Curry was hesitating and ultimately decided he did not want to go. “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!,” Trump tweeted. Based on the current climate, the UNC Men’s Basketball team decided its players won’t be visiting the White House either.

Carmelo Anthony Has Left the Building

It took a minute, but a deal that worked for all the parties involved finally got done. Carmelo Anthony is no longer a player for the New York Knicks; he is now signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Anthony joins Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and company.

QUICK HITS

Aaron Hernandez’s attorney says the late football player had extreme CTE and his suing the NFL and the New England Patriots on behalf of his daughter
Floyd Mayweather told TMZ Sports that he has yet to cash his checks from the Pacquiao and McGregor fights.
Carmelo Anthony set up a relief fund for Puerto Rico and he pledged 50 thousand dollars.
• The New York Yankees clinched a wild card playoff spot.

OTHER TOPICS IN THIS EPISODE

Is it time for Major League Baseball to install safety nets at its stadiums

Will fans ever forgive Kevin Durant for his fake Twitter account?

Brooklyn Nets Media Day 2017

With Carmelo Anthony gone, the face of the Knicks is now Kristaps Porzingas

OFF TOPIC

Co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records and Jay-Z’s business partner, Damon “Dame” Dash, is currently selling his coveted sneaker collection on eBay. Hosted on Shoezeum’s eBay shop, the collection is packed with some of the most coveted items from what many would consider to be the golden years of sneaker culture.

VIDEO DISCUSSION: Brooklyn Nets Teamwork

On NBA Draft night with the number 22 pick in the first round, the Brooklyn Nets chose Jarrette Allen, but prior to the draft they acquired D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov from the Lakers in exchange for Brook Lopez and a first round draft pick.

Russell attended NBA Summer League and like a good teammate, he cheered on the Nets. Reportedly, Russell stayed and watched the Lakers play.

The question among reporters that cover the Nets is will D’Angelo Russell benefit from the Nets development culture.

Jeremy Lin said he's very excited about having Russell playing in the backcourt with him, according to Nets general manager Sean Marks.

Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson is known for developing guards, so the expectations that D’Angelo Russell will assimilate in Brooklyn is very high.

VIDEO: Jimmy Butler and Timberwolves are big winners in NBA Free Agency; Paul George lands in OKC, Brooklyn Nets, Knicks, focusing on young players

Before we get to our discussions of the top sports stories, here a couple of quick bites:

• The NBA fined Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid for foul language after he released a video on Instagram where he said, "F- LaVar Ball"
• Lakers small forward Brandon Ingram will miss the remainder of summer league due to cramping in his right leg
• The Miami Heat officially waived Chris Bosh and plan to retire his jersey. Bosh has since cleared waivers and is now a free agent.
James Harden landed the biggest NBA extension contract in history. The deal, reportedly worth $228 M, would start trickling in 2019-20 at a salary of $37.8M, $40.8M, $43.8M and $46.8M.

NBA Free Agency

NBA free agency was in full effect this past week. And, Keisha and Mike are talking about the winners and those who did not do as well.

Paul George Goes to OKC

Indiana Pacers guard Paul George has left the building and has landed in OKC to play with NBA MVP, Russell Westbrook, and the rest of the Oklahoma City Thunder team. Has OKC positioned itself to be in better contention to take over the West? Did the Los Angeles Lakers miss the boat on not trading for him?

Lonzo Ball NBA Summer League Outing

As his father, LaVar Ball predicted, NBA Draft stand-out, Lonzo Ball is now in the NBA and playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Lonzo had a rough Game 1, but he managed to right his ship and played clicking on all cylinders for Game 2. Will Lonzo bring “show time” back to the Lakers?

What’s The 411Sports’ Photo of the Week

Our photo of the week is a photo of Markelle Fultz, the 2017 NBA Draft’s #1 pick overall, being helped off the court by his teammates because of an injured left ankle.

What’s The 411Sports’ New York Sports Report

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets acquired Jarrett Allen in the 2017 NBA Draft at No. 22, and just before the draft, the Nets acquired guard D’Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Brook Lopez and a Nets first round draft pick. Russell attended NBA Summer League and like a good teammate, he cheered on the Nets. However, when the game was over, Russell stayed to watch the Lakers play.

Should D’Angelo Russell have stayed to watch the Lakers summer league game? Will the Nets development culture be able to assimilate D’Angelo Russell?

New York Knicks

Phil Jackson is out as the NY Knicks president and the Knicks inked a four-year deal to bring Tim Hardaway Jr. back after Jackson’s exit. New York Knick fans are crowing about Hardaway’s $71 million four-year deal. Meanwhile, David Griffin, former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager, has turned down the job of general manager of the New York Knicks.

Is this a good move to bring Hardaway back to the Knicks? Who made this decision? Would the Hardaway acquisition have happened if Phil Jackson was still with the Knicks?

The New York Yankees

New York Yankees were in a huge tailspin heading into the MLB All-Star Break.

Will the Yankees turn this ship around and sail into smoother waters?

New York Giants

New York Giant wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr landed on the number 8 spot on the list of Top 100 NFL Players of 2017 as determined by his peers.

Off Topic

LaVar Ball Gets Real

LaVar Ball’s camera-ready persona has reportedly landed the Ball family a reality-show deal. Deadline is reporting that the Ball family will be the focus of a yet-to-be-named docu-series as part of Facebook's push for original video content.

A Woman Uber Driver Gets First-Day Surprise

It was a woman’s first day as a Uber driver and she picked up Golden State Warriors center JaVale McGee. How cool is that?

VIDEO: Sean Marks, Brooklyn Nets general manager, details his NBA Draft selection and trade of Brook Lopez to the Los Angeles Lakers

Sean Marks, Brooklyn Nets, General Manager, started his conversation with reporters that cover the Brooklyn Nets with praises for Brook Lopez for his 9-season commitment to the Brooklyn Nets. Lopez should be proud that the Nets front office thought enough of him to preface their player movement briefing by thanking him for his hard work and dedication to the Brooklyn Nets. Many organizations neglect to publicly thank former employees for being an asset to the organization, they just move on as if you never existed.

After thanking Lopez, Marks pivoted and answered questions from reporters regarding the Lopez trade for Los Angeles Lakers players D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov, and the Nets’ NBA Draft night pick Jarrett Allen.

The Nets selected Allen in the first round at No. 22. Brooklyn's second draft pick in the first round at No. 27, Kyle Zuma, went to the Lakers to complete the Russell- Mozgov trade.

Now, in case you’re wondering how the Nets could have draft picks if the Nets gave away its draft picks to the Boston Celtics through the 2018 season, here’s the answer. The Washington Wizards needed depth and the Nets needed draft picks, so the Nets and the Wizards did a deal. The Wizards traded forward Andrew Nicholson, guard-forward Marcus Thornton, and a 2017 first-round lottery protected pick (#22) to the Nets for shooting guard Bojan Bogdanovic and forward Chris McCullough.

The Nets also had Boston’s first-round pick (Boston has Brooklyn’s), which gave the Nets a second first round pick at No. 27.

Kidd Leads Nets to Record-Setting January

Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd has been named the NBA's Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for January after leading the Nets to a 10-3 record, the league announced today.

This marks the first Coach of the Month honor for Kidd in his first season as a head coach. The Nets' 10-3 (.769) record in January marked the best winning percentage for the month of January in the franchise's 38 NBA seasons.

However, it was not too long ago, that some thought Kidd should be fired.

Let's take a walk back. At the start of the NBA season, many were critical of the Brooklyn Nets management for hiring Jason Kidd as an NBA head coach. After all, he had just retired as a player from the New York Knicks only a few weeks prior to the head coach announcement.
Kidd lacked experience said his detractors.

As the regular season got into full swing and the Brooklyn Nets went on a downward spiral losing game after game, the naysayers amplified the chatter for the firing of the rookie coach.

With the Nets on a losing streak and many calling for the proverbial hammer to come down, Kidd made a decisive turn in early December; he demoted his primary assistant, Lawrence Frank, by "reassigning" him to report-filing duties.

The Nets fortunes didn't turn around on a dime and the team continued to experience misfortunes in December.

Center Brook Lopez broke his foot in December. There was also the embarrassing 95-78 Christmas Day loss to the Chicago Bulls.

On December 31, The Nets left the court early during a blowout loss to the Spurs on December 31, forcing Kidd to take a timeout so that he could retrieve them from the locker room.

With a new year, often come new resolutions; and the Brooklyn Nets as a team must have decided to resolve to win in the new year.

The Nets strung together two five-game winning streaks under the first year head coach's guidance and held nine of their 13 opponents under 100 points, resulting in eight victories. Brooklyn also won four of five road games in January, including a buzzer-beating victory to begin the month at Oklahoma City January 2.

Kidd, who won NBA Player of the Month honors twice as a member of the Nets (November 2001 and December 2002) and once as a member of the Phoenix Suns (April 1999) becomes the fourth person in NBA history to win both coach and player of the month honors, joining Larry Bird, Larry Drew, and Jeff Hornacek. Kidd also becomes the second person to win both honors with the same franchise, joining Hornacek, who captured both honors with the Suns, including Coach of the Month in December 2013.

Kidd becomes the fourth head coach in franchise history to earn Coach of the Month honors, joining Avery Johnson (November 2012), four-time winner Lawrence Frank (February 2004, April 2005, March 2006 and April 2007) and two-time winner Byron Scott (December 2002 and December 2003).

Speaking of Avery Johnson, even though he won Eastern Conference Coach of the Month in November 2012, Nets management lost patience with the team's struggles and fired Johnson the following month in December 2012.

An historic game and blowout 106-89 win for the Brooklyn Nets over the Chicago Bulls; Lopez has stellar performance and Williams finally brings his "A-Game"

New York City is known the world over for its skyline. Saturday, the bright colors of orange and blue dominated the afternoon skyline with a New York Knicks win over the Boston Celtics. Later in the evening, those colors faded to black, as the Brooklyn Nets took center stage and the stars shimmered brightly against the skyline with the Nets blowout 106-89 victory over the Chicago Bulls. I took a mini survey about the pulse of the Nets while at a few local bars watching the two preceding playoff games. And quite frankly, I didn't like what I saw from Brooklyn, NY. There was not enough black and white nor a lot of chatter about this historic first major postseason game in Brooklyn since October 10, 1956, when the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. This is a monumental game for the Brooklyn Nets, which are in a 4 versus 5 NBA Playoff match-up against the Chicago Bulls. At the outset, I thought this engagement would be very physical and feature some great match-ups, as the two big-city teams clashed.

NBA Playoff Basketball is all about position battles. Two match-ups basketball fans are clamoring for are the all-star center battle between Joakim Noah of the Bulls and Brooklyn's all-star center Brook Lopez, and guard Deron Williams versus Chicago's MVP Derrick Rose. Basketball enthusiasts received good news at the pregame press conference when Chicago's head coach Tom Thibodeau announced Noah looked good earlier in the shoot around and will play tonight. Unfortunately, the same could not be said about the point guard match-up because although Rose practices with Chicago, he did not suit up tonight to face Deron. However coach Thibodeau didn't rule him out for the series, so there still maybe hope for fans to see the dream match up.

I asked earlier would Brooklynites be ready to cheer on their home team in this historical event and quite frankly this was the most boisterous crowd all season and was a key to the Brooklyn Nets first playoff victory.

Right out the gate in the first quarter, you could tell Deron brought his A-game. I have not seen him move so fluid on offense and defense in a Nets uniform. He set the tone early for playoff basketball. His energy was at a gear unlike other games; he had nine points and one assist while he blanketed the other starting point guard Kirk Hinrich leaving him 0 of 0 in the first quarter. Also Lopez was huge in the first quarter. He dominated the banged Noah who also had 0 points while Lopez had 12. Lopez came out soft shooting four straight jump shots and missing then did a nice post move dunk on Carlos Boozer which really got him going for the rest of the night. The Nets were up 25-14 after the first quarter and never looked back.

The Nets shot 55.8% field goal shooting against one the leagues best defensive teams and its bench scoring was phenomenal getting 12 from Andray Blatche and 10 from C.J. Watson.

Williams said during the postgame talk that with his "Double Pump Dunk", he just wanted to show the guys that next year they should put him in the Slam Dunk Contest.

This was a great win in a great playoff atmosphere in Brooklyn.

Game 2 for the Nets vs. the Bulls will be on Monday, April 22 at 8:00 pm. Hopefully, Deron Williams can keep up this intensity for the rest of the playoffs.

Nets Couldn't Handle Charging of Bulls in 2nd Playoff Game

In a dramatic turn of events, the Chicago Bulls has evened the first round of its playoff run against the Brooklyn Nets 1-1, as they dominated the Nets, 90-82 Monday night.

Bulls head-coach Tom Thibodeau said in a pregame press conference that Joakim Noah would be playing limited minutes, but that did not stop the Bulls from giving the Nets a beat down on its home court.

Brooklyn's fans were loud and proud, chanting "Brooooklllyn," the entire game, but the Nets did not match up to the momentum that their loyal fans displayed.

All-Star Deron Williams shot 1-9 and finished with eight points, the same amount of points as Kris Humphries. Williams had 10 assists.

"We didn't get stops, which was the key for us because then we couldn't get out and run like we wanted to," Williams said. "We have to do a better job defensively next game. I've got to do a better job of everything really. This was a bad one for me."

Joe Johnson, who also seemed quiet on the floor went 6-for-18 and finished with 17 points.

Brook Lopez who played 35 minutes scored 21 points.

Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo who seemed at ease and jittery during pregame interviews said before the game that his team had the bigger advantage on Saturday, when they beat Bulls 106-89.

"We weren't playing against the normal Chicago defense," he said.

Carlesimo was right. This time around, Chicago tightened up its defense and the Nets suffered from careless turnovers and couldn't stabilize a steady shooting rhythm.

Although Brooklyn didn't come out with the win, fans were excited to see Bulls' point guard Derrick Rose shooting around on the court moments before the game. Rose, who injured his left knee, which resulted in a torn ACL on April 28, 2012 in the first game of last season's playoffs, has not played at all this season.

Thibodeau said that Rose would most likely be sitting on the bench for the entire postseason.

The Nets will travel to Chicago for the third game of the playoffs on Thursday.

‘Weird’ feeling for Paul Pierce as Nets get victory in their first matchup since Celtics trade

It was evident that Paul Pierce faced some challenges when he went up against the Boston Celtics Tuesday night-- the team that birthed and raised his career for the past 15 years.

The 36-year-old admitted that it "was a little weird looking over and seeing all the green uniforms" since he was used to "lining up in the green and white for so long."

Even before tipoff, the uneasiness was still there as he stopped by the Celtics' locker room and walked into the shower room to greet Rajon Rondo, then made his rounds to the other players. During warm-ups, the two former teammates had another chat.

Before game time, Brooklyn Nets head coach Jason Kidd said he advised Pierce to treat the game like a scrimmage. But of course, that was easier said than done, as the veteran went scoreless for the first quarter and ended up with 4 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists. Unusual enough, Pierce was the first Nets starter announced when he was always the last one called in Boston.

Andray Blatche, who started in place of Kevin Garnett, picked up most of the slack with 14 points. Brook Lopez scored 20 points, but it was newbie Chris Johnson who put Brooklyn on top with the 82-80 victory.

Other new faces like Shaun Livingston, Mason Plumlee, Alan Anderson, Jorge Gutierrez and Brooklyn native and Benjamin Banneker alumni, Gary Forbes, banked in a few minutes.

Once a fan favorite at the Barclays—newly Celtic Kris Humphries was booed by the crowd in every moment possible, but he preserved and came out big, scoring 12 points in 28 minutes. There was some chatter on Twitter that Mr. Whammy, the Nets most-beloved fan yelled at fans for booing Humphries.

"He was a Net," Mr. Whammy reportedly said.

Meanwhile, the Nets played without Deron Williams, due to a sprained right ankle, and key reserves Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) and Jason Terry (left knee), who was also part of that Boston trade.

Yeah, the Brooklyn Nets lost again Wednesday night to the Los Angeles Lakers; but it was Jason Kidd's intentional drink spill that made headlines.

Kidd bumped into Brooklyn reserve Tyshawn Taylor with 8.3 seconds left in the game causing his drink to spill on the court. What seemed as an accident at first, it was later confirmed a setup after a replay showed Kidd telling Taylor to "hit me," as the guard walked toward the bench.

Because of the spill, the Nets had time to draw up a play while the floor was being cleaned up, but still they still lost 99-94.

But not so fast, Kidd was later fined $50,000 Thursday by the NBA after they reviewed him telling Taylor to purposely bump him.

Paul Pierce took the last shot for the Nets on Wednesday--what Kidd described as a "great look."

But the only problem was, Pierce was only 4-17. Was he the most suitable player to take the last three-pointer that could've tied the game? Probably not.

Joe Johnson finished strong for the Nets with 18 points, along with Mirza Teletovic who had 17.

For the Lakers, Nick Young who didn't start led his team with 26, while Pau Gasol scored 21.

Injuries are still hurting the Nets, as Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Tornike Shenegelia and Jason Terry all watched from the sidelines.

The Lakers played without their star Kobe Bryant due to a torn Achilles and Steve Nash is still recovering from nerve damage in his back.

Before tip-off, Coach Mike D'Antoni told reporters that his team and the Nets have a lot in common. Besides trying to fill the void with Bryant out, D'Antoni said expectations with the Lakers have not been made yet, similar to Brooklyn since they got the three-way blockbuster trade over the summer.

"They're fighting for our lives like we are," D'Antoni said.

Update: And it seems as if it's only going to get worse for Brooklyn now 5-12 and 4th in the Atlantic Division as they will have to make way without Paul Pierce. The team announced Monday that he will miss two-four weeks due to a broken bone in his right hand. The Nets can't catch a break!

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