HoopsHype All-Star rumors

February 9, 2014 Updates

There’s really no other way to put it. Calderon is clearly one of the top five 3-point flingers in the league and when eight shooters were selected for the 3-point contest and he wasn’t one of them, it makes you wonder what he has to do to qualify. Not that Calderon wants to raise a stink about it. “I’d love to be there,” he said. “It would be a great opportunity. But it’s OK. I think the rest will be good as well. Maybe next year I’ll get the opportunity. They make the decisions. And the players who are there are great shooters. It will be a great 3-point shootout.” Dallas Morning News

Asked if the league talked to him about it, Calderon said his agent made a phone call, but the league never reached out to him. The point guard’s teammates and coaches were more irked by the snub than Calderon was. “It’s a travesty,” Devin Harris said. “But these things are mostly a popularity contest. And I’m pretty sure he’ll enjoy the rest more.” Dallas Morning News

February 8, 2014 Updates

Don't expect to see Blake Griffin in any future dunk contests. The Los Angeles Clippers' star forward said Saturday he understood why Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard wanted to become the first player in history to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge, Skills Challenge, 3-point contest, slam dunk contest and the All-Star Game, but said he'll just stick to the All-Star Game moving forward. "I wouldn't say it was a mistake [in 2011] because it was a great experience, but it's something I would never do again," Griffin said. "For me, All-Star Weekend is about getting a chance to rest as much as anything. With the All-Star Game alone you still have obligations almost all day Friday and you have some kind of an event Friday night and Saturday's practice and appearances. Saturday night for me now has become the time where I hang out with my family and hang out with my friends and take it easy." ESPN.com

He is known for his absurd vertical leap and ability to finish in traffic, but when asked if his style is more aerodynamic or high-flying, McLemore told CLNS Radio, "A little bit of both." "I’m definitely a high flyer. I can get high. I just want to show my athleticism out there on the floor and bring a lot of excitement out there." Being both aerially dynamic and a high leaper, the current holy grail of the slam dunk, the 720, has come under consideration. "I was thinking about that, nobody has put that up," McLemore told CLNS Radio. "But we’ll see." Celtics Blog

February 7, 2014 Updates

“I just thought it was a move that should’ve been done. Get some superstar power back into the dunk contest,” George said. “I think I owed it to my fans. Give them another run, another show and another opportunity to have fun at All-Star weekend.” Indianapolis Star

As far as ideas for this year, George teased that he may be into recycling. “Yeah, I think I’m going to pull out the lost files of 2012,” George said. Indianapolis Star

New Orleans forward Anthony Davis was chosen Friday to replace the injured Kobe Bryant in the NBA All-Star game that will be played in his home city. Davis was nearly chosen as a reserve, but missed by one spot in voting by Western Conference head coaches, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because vote totals were not released. Yahoo! Sports

February 6, 2014 Updates

NBA All-Stars Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and John Wall of the Washington Wizards headline the list of dunkers in the 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk (#SpriteSlam), taking place during State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night (#StateFarmSaturday) at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 15. Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors and Ben McLemore of the Sacramento Kings fill out the Western Conference teams, while reigning Sprite Slam Dunk champion Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors completes the East roster. This year's event will feature the participants competing as a team -- three players representing the Eastern Conference and three players representing the Western Conference -- in an above-the-rim two-round format. In a significant first in the event's history, the competition will tip off with a Freestyle Round where the dunkers for each conference will have 90 seconds to showcase as many dunks as they want. At the conclusion of the Freestyle Round, the panel of judges will then choose a winner by voting "East" or "West." The winning conference will earn the advantage of deciding whether its dunkers will dunk first or second in the head-to-head battles that take place in the Battle Round. NBA.com

NBA All-Stars Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Joe Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves headline the field of participants for the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest (#FootLockerThree) taking place during State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night (#StateFarmSaturday) at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 15. The Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal, who will also be participating in the BBVA Compass Rising Stars challenge, Marco Belinelli of the San Antonio Spurs and Arron Afflalo of the Orlando Magic complete the field. The NBA's best from behind the arc will take part in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, with the eight players competing in a two-round competition. Each player will have one minute to shoot as many balls as he can. The highest scoring East and highest scoring West competitors from the First Round will advance to the Championship Round. Of the two finalists, the one with the lower individual score from the First Round will go first in the Championship Round. The player scoring the most points in the Championship Round will win the 2014 Foot Locker Three-Point Contest for his conference along with $100,000 for their Conference's charities. NBA.com

Reigning champion Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, both All-Stars for the first time this year, headline the list of participants for the 2014 Taco Bell® Skills Challenge (#TacoBellSkills), taking place during State Farm® All-Star Saturday Night (#StateFarmSaturday), at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 15. Lillard, the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year, also is participating in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and Sprite Slam Dunk, becoming the first player to appear in three events during State Farm All-Star Saturday Night. He also is participating in the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 14, and the 2014 NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 16. NBA.com

As Lillard knows, though, there will be some who question his decision to take on so many tasks during this time that serves as a much-needed breather for most of his colleagues. And as is typically the case when it comes to Lillard, he's not concerned with the critics. "The skills competition takes two minutes on the court, the dunk contest maybe will be three or four minutes on the court, and three-point shooting is about two minutes," said Lillard, whose Blazers (35-14) are the surprise team in the NBA this season. "And it's not like the rookie-sophomore game is a real regular season game, so I mean I'm look at maybe an hour total of actual activity with all five things. People think there's more energy being exerted than there actually is. It's really not that much when you think about the time that you actually spend doing it." USA Today Sports

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