HoopsHype All-Star rumors

February 17, 2014 Updates

Those were the perennial All-Stars when Wade and James first started showing up in the midseason event about a decade ago. "It's a little sad. When I first got in, it was always Kobe, Tim Duncan, Shaq was still every year and now I'm the old guy," said Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki, the oldest All-Star who will turn 36 at June. Boston Herald

But the annual winter meeting at All-Star weekend showed that so much has not changed: The players, by and large, still don't care. CBSSports.com

February 16, 2014 Updates

After a series of much-hyped rule changes, the 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest was a major disappointment. A disjointed new format and a series of blown dunks took away the excitement that came with the added star power this year. But Washington Wizards point guard John Wall salvaged something rare out of the night: a dunk that had never been performed in the contest’s history. The 6-foot-4 Wall jumped over the Wizards’ mascot, G-Wiz, brought the ball down to his ankles and finished a reverse jam. For The Win

In his first three-point shootout at All-Star Weekend, San Antonio Spurs sharpshooter Marco Belinelli got off to a shaky start. Belinelli threw up not one, but two airballs. He made a strong comeback on his final money ball rack to advance with the best score in the West. Bradley Beal advanced from the East, and the two tied in a frantic final round (where Belinelli found air again), forcing overtime. Belinelli won 24-18 in the tiebreak round. For The Win

Thunder guard Reggie Jackson didn't win the Taco Bell Skills Challenge while partnered with Phoenix guard Goran Dragic. But maybe Jackson will be back next year for a different competition. He expressed interest this week in participating in the dunk contest. “I wouldn't rule it out,” Jackson said. “I was told that I was mentioned as possibly an alternate (this year). I'm happy I didn't get picked. I don't want to be necessarily rewarded maybe for being shorter and dunking. I actually want to have some good tricks up my sleeve if I do anything.” Oklahoman

It already will be different, as the Friday and Saturday events will be at Barclays Center and Sunday's All-Star Game will be at the Garden. But Silver, in his first state of the league address, said instead of the fan-friendly Jam Session that features interactive basketball activities, the NBA might do something involving all five boroughs. "Several members of the Knicks and Nets are in town studying everything that they're doing here in New Orleans," Silver said. "One of the ideas we have talked about, and it's consistent with a focus on the game, is to expand the All-Star experience to all five boroughs through programs for kids, a series of clinics throughout the New York area. "As opposed to one focused Jam Session, taking the game to the schools and having a program involving coaches and kids leading up to All-Star Weekend, that's one of my primary focuses." Newsday

February 15, 2014 Updates

As the debate heated up about the NBA’s best player, at least so far this season, Rockets center Dwight Howard said he doesn’t consider LeBron James or Kevin Durant to be the league’s top player, adding that other All-Stars do not either. “I know I’m going to get a lot (criticism), but I have to believe in myself as being the best player,” Howard said. “That’s how I think everyone in this room feels. They’re not going to say that this person is better than them. We have to believe that. No matter what the stats say, you have to go on the floor with that kind of mentality. ‘I’m the best player on the floor every night.’ “That’s the mentality I have when I step on the floor. I’m pretty sure Kevin does, LeBron does and all these guys in this All-Star Game feel the same way.” Houston Chronicle

Damian Lillard’s sixth All-Star Weekend competition was not like the five that have had him in the headlines. The Portland Trail Blazers point guard has attracted attention all over the NBA for being the first player ever to attempt all five major events (the Rising Stars Challenge, skills competition, three-point shootout, dunk contest and the All-Star Game itself), but the #4BarFriday party he hosted at the Maison club in downtown New Orleans on Friday was a contest of his own creation. All season, Lillard has been posting raps on his Instagram account with the #4BarFriday hashtag, and it’s taken on a life of its own. For The Win

Continuing its crackdown on counterfeit merchandise during NBA All-Star 2014 weekend in New Orleans, investigators and law enforcement officers collected more than 500 suspected knockoffs Friday (Feb. 14). Forty items infringed on the NBA's trademark, officials said. Homeland Security Investigations, New Orleans Police, State Police and the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office will aggressively enforce ordinances banning the sale of counterfeit goods, the NBA said. New Orleans Times-Picayune

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