NBA rumors: Anfernee Simons not defending Slam Dunk Contest title

Jason Quick: Blazers’ guard Anfernee Simons will not defend his Slam Dunk title, telling @The Athletic “I just wanted to focus on the season” while adding that the title was “more of a checklist accomplishment.” Simons is coming off a January when he averaged 23.1 points and 6.7 assists.

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Shams Charania: Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony is committing to the NBA Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. At 6-foot-3, Anthony has had some explosive dunks and is having a breakout sophomore season (18 PPG, 6 RPG, 6 APG).
JD Shaw: The NBA has announced a new All-Star Rising Stars format for this year. Details: pic.twitter.com/4KqNXjLZTu

http://twitter.com/JShawNBA/status/1486069003554635788
Chris Haynes: Sources: @NBAonTNT report on Trae Young’s intentions to participate in the 3-Point Contest if selected as an All-Star and the Atlanta Hawks’ plan to place a bid to host All-Star Weekend. pic.twitter.com/5RJ1ITFbQe
What goals did you have for yourself this season? Any accolades or participating in the three-point contest? Seth Curry: I don’t have any individual goals for statistics. I want to be efficient and shoot the ball at a high clip. You brought up the three-point contest. I feel like I’ve got to add one of those to the mantel to be a part of the (Curry) family. Hopefully, I can get one of those before my career is over. Steph (Curry) already has two of them. If I get the invite, I’m going to go to as many as possible, so I can add one to the trophy case.
Ja Morant tells @taylorrooks that he needs $1 MILLION to do the NBA Dunk Contest
It’s been 10 years since Griffin caught a Baron Davis lob and leaped over the hood of this car in the 2011 dunk contest, but neither the silver Sharpie ink on the horn nor the black ink of Griffin’s signature near the driver’s door has faded. Longa has been driving the car since roughly 2015 and says it’s still in good condition. It has just under 89,000 miles on it and gets about 26 miles per gallon in the city. Longa is sure the value of the car is substantial—a normal 2011 Optima that hasn’t had an NBA player dunk over it could fetch anywhere between $3,000 and $11,000 today. But he is content with never finding out what his is worth. “It’s kind of my dream car,” Longa said. “I’m crazy, I’m still in love with the car.”
Primeaux ultimately paid $35,220 (well above market value) for the car, which was promptly delivered to his dealership. There, he immediately began not just displaying it, but also marketing his business around it. Primeaux made posters and advertisements featuring the car and the dunk. He allowed people to come to the dealership just to see the vehicle and even created giveaways around the car and the legend of the dunk. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of the Optima, and the business, he says, more than benefited from it. “This is no BS, I would say it was invaluable,” Primeaux said. “I couldn’t measure it, but I got [the $35,220] 10 times from it.”
Ian Begley: Immanuel Quickley, in part, on not making Rising Stars game: "Yeah I definitely feel like I could have been selected. But it's not ever a reason to (stop) working hard or continue to come with energy every day & be positive for your teammates...Just use it as a motivating factor"
@Spursin9: 6-man Dunk Contest of players in their prime, who would you pick to be in that contest? Blake Griffin: Vince Carter, Michael Jordan, Aaron Gordon, Zach LaVine, Dominique Wilkins, Nate Robinson
Lillard said he told him the windmill dunk felt like a backup-type dunk. “I told him, ‘If you do the kiss dunk — I’ve never seen nobody do that,'” Lillard said. The finishing touches on the kiss dunk were also offered by Lillard. When Simons landed, he blew a kiss up toward the rim. “I have to take credit for that,” Lillard said. “That was my idea to blow a kiss at the rim so people know that’s what he was doing.”
“T-Mac was my hero growing up,” Simons said. “He was the first person I saw, and I fell in love with the game. He and LeBron (James) were the first jerseys I ever had. He was just a big impact on my life, especially him being from Florida as well.” Simons, who is shy by nature, said he still hasn’t met his idol. “I had a chance to meet him a couple times when I was younger, but I was too scared to meet him,” Simons said. “So hopefully one day I get to meet him.”
Scott Agness: Cassius Stanley: “Pretty much everyone around me thought I got a 50. Even someone who I looked up to, Zach LaVine, came out and was like ‘You got a 44 on that?’ "I get to be on the list of people who might’ve gotten robbed for a 50, so that’s a cool thing I guess."
On Sunday, Stephen Curry won the NBA All-Star 3-point contest for the second time, joining Larry Bird, Craig Hodges, Mark Price, Jeff Hornacek, Peja Stojakovic and Jason Kapono as multiple-time winners. Curry scored 28 points in the final round to edge Utah’s Mike Conley, who registered 27 points.
Though he has more 50-point, perfect score dunks (eight) than any player in NBA history – more than Michael Jordan, more than Zach LaVine – Gordon stands alone as the league's best dunker without a crown. “Growing up as a little kid, that’s something I dreamed of – winning the NBA dunk contest trophy,” Gordon says in the opening to the documentary short "Mr. 50" that follows him through the 2020 event during All-Star Weekend in Chicago.
Gordon could be bitter about the results. “I don’t harbor any bad or negative feelings,” he said. He remains a fan of the event and is worried his experience – perfect scores, no trophy – may prevent others from participating. “I have some fears that I ruined the dunk contest, that people aren’t going to want to do it anymore,” Gordon said. “I hope that people see ‘Mr. 50’ and are inspired and continue to elevate that dunk contest because there are still dunks that haven’t been done. I’m not going to do them, but I hope somebody comes in and does them. It’s a great event. It’s beautiful for the game.”
The genesis of the documentary began with the idea to give viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his weekend. “But it turned into something more,” Gordon said. “My friend and filmmaker Aaron Chapman chopped it up in a way that I had never seen before. It was much more artistic, much more poetic and raw. “The message I wanted to get across is to conquer your fears and be satisfied in your actions more than the outcome.”
Tom Orsborn: Pop on Keldon Johnson's selection to Rising Stars roster: "It means a lot to Keldon. I’m happy as hell for him. He deserves it. It really makes him feel good that his efforts have been applauded and rewarded and noticed, so that’s great."
For the first time during his third NBA season, Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons is going to be participating in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. And needless to say, he's looking forward to it. "Super excited. I can't wait man," Simons said of the dunk contest on NBC Sports Northwest's Trail Blazers Courtside.
Derrick Jones Jr. also offered him a key piece of advice when choosing to go with a dunk: Make sure you make it on the first try. And just how many dunks will Simons have in his bag of tricks? He's working on four. And if the contest goes into a dunk-off as it did last year between Aaron Gordon and Jones Jr. did, Simons has a bold plan for how to compete. "Anything extra, and I'm just gonna wing it."
Marc Stein: U.S. Rising Stars roster as the NBA announced via @nba_topshot: LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Tyler Herro, De'Andre Hunter, Keldon Johnson, Ja Morant, Michael Porter Jr., Zion Williamson, James Wiseman.
The league tried to add high-profile names. Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards — who recently had one of the most jaw-dropping dunks you’ll ever witness — turned down the league’s request to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, league sources told Yahoo Sports. A field with Williamson and Edwards would have certainly made for must-see TV. Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown and Charlotte Hornets high-flyer Miles Bridges declined as well, sources said.
That even goes for Buddy Hield, who has an NBA 3-point shootout title to defend, although he was non-committal about the even. "Do you think I should go defend it?" Hield asked reporters when talking about the event. "I don't know yet, to be honest, I've been having mixed emotions, you know, cover rules and especially I don't have no time with my family. Just trying to see how the COVID rules and the boundaries are set up. No clear cut yes yet, I'll just see in the next couple of days." According to Hield, he received an invitation from the league to join the festivities, but he is still mulling it over.
Mike Vorkunov: Obi Toppin says he's the best dunker in the family. But he adds: "My dad still got some." Obi Toppin might steal some tricks from his dad, though. "Maybe I'll pull out one of his dunks. We'll have to see but he definitely has some tricks back then. I think I have better ones."
A wide grin broke across Toppin’s face at the possibility — a potential indicator he has inside intel of having a legitimate chance at an invite. “The Dunk Contest, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see,’’ said a smiling Toppin. “I don’t want to just give you all answers, but hopefully I might be able to be there. Maybe not. So we’re just going to have to wait and see.’’
Marc Stein: The Hawks’ State Farm Arena is emerging as the likely All-Star Game site, sources say. Discussions continue on various All-Star fronts but momentum is indeed building for a dunk contest and 3-point contest to be attached to the March 7 All-Star Game.
Steve Popper: Elfrid on Randle as an all-star: "Honestly, it’s not even a question. I don’t even know what we’re talking about. He’s definitely been playing at an all-star level. We’ve been winning. I don’t think it’s really a debate."
Bleacher Report: "There's only a couple of people that think D-Jones should have won, though ... You and D-Jones." D-Wade and Aaron Gordon clear the air about the 2020 dunk contest *NSFW* (via @DwyaneWade)

http://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1256408096517189633
Aaron Gordon has put his displeasure with the 2020 Dunk Contest into a "diss" track titled "9 OUT OF 10," in which he calls out Dwyane Wade for the vote that helped him lose to Miami's Derrick Jones Jr. In an epic dunk contest back in February, Gordon dunked over Chance the Rapper (twice) and threw down 360-degree, between-the-leg slams. The battle between Gordon and Jones carried on into a "dunk-off" in which each player had to improvise dunks that hadn't been rehearsed. For Gordon's final dunk, he cleared 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall.
The latest installment comes two months after Gordon lost to Wade's former teammate, Derrick Jones Jr., in a controversial dunk contest during NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago. Last week Gordon released a diss rap track aimed at Wade, one of the judges who gave Gordon a nine when jumped over 7-foot-5 rookie Tacko Fall on his final dunk. The song is titled "9 out of 10." The chorus goes, “Nine out of 10, can you please fix your lens? Nine out 10 got you playing pretend. Nine out of 10, here we go again. Nine out of 10, could have bought the fam' a Benz. Nine out of 10, are you making amends? Nine out of 10, probably lost an M.”
The latest installment comes two months after Gordon lost to Wade's former teammate, Derrick Jones Jr., in a controversial dunk contest during NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago. Last week Gordon released a diss rap track aimed at Wade, one of the judges who gave Gordon a nine when jumped over 7-foot-5 rookie Tacko Fall on his final dunk. The song is titled "9 out of 10." The chorus goes, “Nine out of 10, can you please fix your lens? Nine out 10 got you playing pretend. Nine out of 10, here we go again. Nine out of 10, could have bought the fam' a Benz. Nine out of 10, are you making amends? Nine out of 10, probably lost an M.”
Jason Richardson: Well, I think Aaron Gordon has been robbed twice in a row. I might be biased, but I think the dunks he did were unseen and spectacular. He was great. I think he should be a two-time dunk contest winner. I totally believe that. It’s special what he can do. It’s special what most of these guys can do now. I was just talking to a kid yesterday who recognized me when I was working out at the gym. I was telling him how these guys are evolving. It’s just funny how evolved these guys are, how crazy they’re jumping and the tricks they’re coming up with. It’s just amazing.

http://twitter.com/Rachel__Nichols/status/1233530240359636992
But has the increased attention stemming from Saturday night’s memorable victory over Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic changed Jones Jr.? “Man, he walked in and didn’t say nothing to me this morning,” Jimmy Butler joked. “Nah, he’s the same dude. He’s always going to be like that. And I know him: If he goes to the dunk contest next year, he’ll win it again.”
Much like in 2016 when Gordon was the tough-luck loser to two-time champion Zach LaVine, Gordon has spent the past few days dealing with the fall out of an event he’s always thought he was destined to win at some point in his basketball career. In the subsequent four days since the Dunk Contest ended, Gordon has heard from countless numbers of fans, fellow NBA players and celebrities in the music and movie industries about a result they felt was wrong. That, in a weird and twisted sort of way, has helped to soothe Gordon’s disappointment over the results, he said. ``I definitely feel some type of way about it,’’ Gordon said while carefully choosing his words. ``I’m definitely kind of irritated a little bit and a little frustrated, as well. ``But it’s OK, it’s really OK,’’ he added. ``We’ve got to move on because it’s over now. I think it will be talked about for years and years and years, which is really cool. But at the same time, it’s over.’’
We talked to Dr. J -- who was in the building for the dunk contest -- at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. on Monday ... and we asked the hoops legend if the Orlando Magic star was robbed by the judges in Chi-town. "I don't know if robbed is the right term, if it had ended in a tie, I don't think anybody would've been upset. But, a contest like that going into basically 2 overtimes. Third overtime. You hate to have a loser." BUT, forced to pick a winner, Dr. J -- who won the inaugural ABA Dunk Contest in 1976 -- says Gordon's final dunk was justtttttttt a little better than Derrick Jones Jr.'s jam. "I think [Gordon's] last dunk was cleaner. Neither one of them were 50's because they had shot their load in terms of their best stuff."
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July 3, 2022 | 9:44 pm EDT Update

Nets in no rush to trade Kevin Durant

For the Nets, trading Kevin Durant correctly is a lot more important than doing it quickly. League personnel who spoke to The Post said Nets general manager Sean Marks — and by default team owner Joe Tsai as well — are adamant about getting back All-Star caliber talent in return for Durant. And with their disgruntled star having four years left on his contract, the Nets are in no rush to deal.
The 76ers — who are currently negotiating with James Harden — are keeping an eye on Irving, a source told The Post. And with former Nets point guard Goran Dragic spurning Dallas to ink a one-year deal with Chicago — according to Boardroom, which is owned by Durant — The Athletic reported that the Mavericks are also showing interest in Irving.
Kellan Olson: Suns have announced their Summer League roster. Ish Wainright is on the squad. Former Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV also in there. Same case as last year with a handful of guys from overseas.

July 3, 2022 | 7:04 pm EDT Update