NBA Rumor: All-Star Contests

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“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.”

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.”

Anthony Edwards, Jaylen Brown and Miles Bridges decline Dunk Contest invites

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.

Buddy Hield mulling NBA 3-point shootout contest invite

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.

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)

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.


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.”

It was admirable of 34-year-old Dwight Howard, the 2008 dunk champ, do get back out there with Jones, Gordon, and White Men CAN Jump spokesman Pat Connaughton. Sources said Howard’s Friday night dunk contest practice was drawn out, with Howard having to revise his dunk routine with dunks that he could actually pull off. He posted the lowest single dunk score in Saturday’s contest, with a 41 for jumping, posing with his arms spread, then spinning and dunking. “I was going to put my arms in the rim,” Howard said, when asked what dunk he might’ve done in the finals. “I couldn’t wait to do it. But it’s OK. I’m happy to be here.”

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April 15, 2021 | 12:47 pm EDT Update

LaMarcus Aldridge announces retirement

Brooklyn Nets center-forward LaMarcus Aldridge announced his sudden retirement from the NBA on Thursday after he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat after a recent game. “Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced,” Aldridge said in a statement posted on Twitter. “With that being said, I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA. For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it’s time to put my health and family first.” Aldridge is 35 years old and has two children.
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LaMarcus Aldridge: Today, I write this letter with a heavy heart. My last game, I played dealing with an irrewgular heartbeat. Later on that night, my rhythm got even worse which really worried me even more. The next morning, I told the team what was going on and they were great getting me to the hospital and getting me checked out. Though I’m better now, what I felt with my heart that night was still one of the scariest things I’ve experienced.
LaMarcus Aldridge: With that being said, I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from the NBA. For 15 years, I’ve put basketball first, and now, it is time to put my health and family first. I’m thankful for everything this game has given me: the great memories, including all the ups and the downs, and the friendships I’ve made and will keep with me forever. I thank Portland for drafting a skinny, Texas kid and giving him a chance. The city of Portland has given me some unforgettable years. They will always remain in my heart. I want to thank the Spurs for letting me into the family and giving me 5 fun years. Last but not least, I want to thank Brooklyn. You wanted me for me. In a game that’s changing so much, you asked me to come and just do what I do which was good to hear. I’m sorry it didn’t get to last long, but I’ve definitely had fun being a part of this special group. You never know when something will come to an end, so make sure you enjoy it everyday. I can truly say I did just that.
Andre Drummond – who won no playoff games in eight seasons with the Pistons and Cavaliers – has been up-and-down since joining the defending-champion Lakers. Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma: “I mean, it’s just a process, man. It’s not going to happen overnight. Rome wasn’t built overnight. I think that for him, it’s a big adjustment. When you think about it, he’s kind of really never really been coached in his career. Playing in Detroit, in Cleveland, and then coming here into a championship organization, it’s tough. It’s tough.”
By signing Deck, the Thunder moved closer to the salary cap minimum. A team’s payroll must be at least 90% of the cap without incurring a penalty. “We’re excited about the player,” Daigneault said. “Our front office and our scouting staff really like him. He’s obviously played at a high level for a number of years and he’s a multi-positional, pretty versatile player from everything I understand. “We can’t wait to get him in the fold, get to know him a little bit, learn his game and see how he can help us this year and moving forward.”
If Irving is, at 29, still figuring some things out about himself, determining what is and is not important to him, then good for him. He’s entitled to think out loud. I didn’t agree with his anti-media stance at the beginning of the season, but so what? People can disagree about one thing and agree on 100 others, and vice versa. One can only present his or her objection. People, including NBA players — many (certainly not all) of whom use the word in casual conversation — are going to be slow to convince. The word is like a weed, hard to extricate permanently. It’s hard not to feel like a scold sometimes. No doubt, this will be dismissed in some quarters as out of touch with the times. But words, still, matter. NBA players are asked to give their support to so many causes; I do not seek some sort of campaign (though the potential power of one would be substantial). Rather, the hope is that players continue the discussion themselves, among themselves, and that more stars speak up and speak out.