HoopsHype All-Star rumors

February 16, 2014 Updates

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

Unlike most of his teammates, he doesn’t get to kick back on a beach or at the house to chill out for a few days. But he still doesn’t plan on putting in much of a workload in New Orleans. With his sprained left ankle still healing, plus a playoff race ahead of him, he values all the rest he can get. “A couple minutes,” was all Nowitzki said when asked what he expects to do in Sunday’s All-Star Game. “I got a couple days now, and I probably won’t do much, including the game.” Dallas Morning News

Even though he hasn’t played in this year’s All-Star Game yet, LeBron James is already looking forward to being in the Big Apple for next year’s contest. “The city of New York, it will be my first time being there All-Star weekend,” he said. “The only problem is, what if New York City next year is like New York City today? I don’t know what the NBA would do with that. Would they cancel it? “But having the All-Star Game Sunday, if I’m fortunate enough to make it, being in the Garden for the All-Star Game? Wow. That’s going to be big time. That might be my favorite. That might be my favorite. If I’m fortunate enough to play good enough basketball and I’m injury free, that would probably be my favorite.” New York Post

February 14, 2014 Updates

Today, Under Armour unveiled what Stephen Curry will be wearing during his first NBA All-Star Game this weekend: a “Purple Voodoo” edition of the Anatomix Spawn. Taking inspiration from New Orleans’ connection to the spiritual world, the upper’s smoky graphic symbolizes the mystery surrounding Voodoo. Also, the colors indigo (sacred color, removing evil) and purple (physical strength, wisdom) both have significant meaning. These are available at UA’s online store now so head on over to scoop up your pair. Dime

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