Biggest Challenges and Hurdles for New Brooklyn Nets Coach Lionel Hollins

July 8th, 2014 by Jonathan Wasserman No comments »
Good for Lionel Hollins. This guy deserved the next big available NBA coaching position following the admirable job he did with the Memphis Grizzlies from 2009 to 2013. Hollins, who was recently named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets after Jason Kidd bolted for Milwaukee, inherits a team with experience, talent and a win-now mentality.  But the Nets don't have much flexibility in terms of upgrading their roster this offseason. They didn't have a first-round pick in the draft, and according to Marc Stein of ESPN, they'll reportedly lose Shaun Livingston to the Golden State Warriors and their free-agent spending money is short. For the most part, what you see is what you get right now with this Nets roster. The obvious concern with this group is durability. Brook Lopez missed 65 games last year, thanks to another devastating foot injury. And whether you like it or not, Lopez is this team's centerpiece. He's the one ...

Russell Westbrook Launches His Own Line of Sunglasses ‘Westbrook Frames’

July 8th, 2014 by Kyle Newport No comments »
Russell Westbrook has always been one to try to set a fashion trend, so it should come as no surprise that he is giving the fashion industry a shot. The Oklahoma City Thunder star already has a deal as an underwear model, and now, he has come out with his own line of sunglasses. All of Westbrook's sunglasses are scratch-resistant and ultra-lightweight with UV400 protection. You can buy a pair of shades at WestbrookFrames.com, but you better be prepared to drop some money. There are currently 10 designs available, all of which range from $95 to $145. Like his outfits, some of Westbrook's sunglasses are pretty wild. Below are a few of the designs available on the website.   Hollywood   Inglewood   Malibu [WestbrookFrames.com, h/t Black Sports Online]Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

Would Miami Heat Completely Start over If LeBron James Leaves?

July 8th, 2014 by Grant Hughes No comments »
Pat Riley talked big in the aftermath of the Miami Heat's NBA Finals defeat, and though they weren't in the room, his words were aimed directly at LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. "This stuff is hard. And you got to stay together, if you've got the guts. And you don't find the first door and run out of it," he told reporters, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. It was a stirring speech, one clearly designed to appeal to the competitive instincts of Miami's Big Three. He was effectively telling them not to quit when times got tough, an exhortation meant to ease the pain of their recent defeat but also one with a forward-looking slant. Knowing the difficult task of rebuilding the Heat roster on a minimal budget lay ahead, Riley might have also been preparing his top players for a second disappointment. Now, Riley is about to find out whether his ...

We Remember: LeBron James Left the Cavaliers on ‘The Decision’ 4 Years Ago Today

July 8th, 2014 by Kyle Newport No comments »
On July 8, 2010, LeBron James made a decision that impacted his legacy and changed the landscape of the NBA.After spending the first seven seasons of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, James announced on ESPN's The Decision that he would be "taking his talents to South Beach."That was only the beginning of things to come. The Decision led to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert's infamous letter. Miami held a very memorable pep rally to celebrate the signings of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.In the four years of the Big Three era, the Heat went to four straight NBA Finals and won two championships. James won two NBA Most Valuable Player awards and two NBA Finals MVP awards as a member of the Heat.Cleveland, on the other hand, couldn't back up its owner's guarantee of winning a championship before James. The Cavaliers won the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft in three of the ...

Beck/Bucher: Does Cleveland or Miami Offer LeBron James a Higher Upside?

July 8th, 2014 by Team Stream Now No comments »
LeBron James has yet another decision on his hands as he weighs a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers against continuing his run with the Miami Heat. Which destination provides more of an upside for King James? Ric Bucher and Howard Beck debate in the video above.Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

New York Rangers Who Need to Take Next Step in 2014-15

July 8th, 2014 by Tom Urtz Jr. No comments »
The New York Rangers went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2013-14, but they can't rest on their laurels. The Blueshirts had their greatest season since the 1993-94 squad won the Cup, and they will need to take another step forward during the 2014-15 campaign. Rick Nash is a player most would expect to see on here because of his poor postseason showing, but during the regular season, he has scored 30 or more goals, or has been on pace to score 30 during all but one season of his career. He isn't the type of player that will be featured. Instead, players who can improve their game in an enhanced role this season will be showcased. The Rangers have added some players, they will be without some players and they will look to returning players to elevate their play in order to make 2014-15 a memorable season. There are a number of players ...

Lakers News: Latest Updates on Young Stars’ Contract Situations

July 8th, 2014 by Nate Loop No comments »
The Los Angeles Lakers are all-in on signing a big-name free agent this season, but the team is leaving plenty of work on the table when it comes to the young players who will eventually support any top players coming to Tinseltown. Julius Randle is the Lakers' highest-profile draft pick since Andrew Bynum, but it could be a while until fans see him suit up in purple and gold. The Lakers are holding off on signing Randle to his rookie contract. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times explains:  When he will play, though, is a good question. The Lakers begin summer league Friday in Las Vegas, but Randle will not be on the court until he signs with them. The team is waiting because it can save about $500,000 if his signing is delayed, money that could be used toward free agents such as Anthony and Pau Gasol. It probably won't hinder Randle's development if he misses out ...

Every Team’s Best Undrafted Free-Agent Signing to Date

July 8th, 2014 by Adam Fromal No comments »
Especially in a draft class as loaded with talent as the 2014 one is, undrafted free agents are important. Even among those who weren't named as one of the 60 players added to the NBA fraternity during the festivities in the Barclays Center, there are players who can make an impact during the 2014-15 campaign. Really, that's been true throughout basketball history, even when the draft class is a weak and shallow one.  In fact, the 2013 NBA draft produced only 15 second-round selections who suited up in at least one game for one of the Association's 30 squads; 14 undrafted free agents did the same, including Troy Daniels, Brandon Davies, Matthew Dellavedova and Dewayne Dedmon.  Kent Bazemore, Hollis Thompson, Toure' Murry and Henry Sims—among others—have all made various degrees of noise in the NBA after going undrafted in 2012.  Chances are, the 2014 crop is going to produce an ever larger—and better—group of ...

Elfrid Payton’s Early NBA Summer League Dominance Bodes Well for Orlando Magic

July 8th, 2014 by Chris Roling No comments »
Elfrid Payton has arrived. The 10th overall pick and third point guard off the board in the 2014 draft has used the NBA Summer League as a launching pad for his pro career. So far, it looks like the Orlando Magic have hit the jackpot. To be fair, it's quite early. Nevertheless, after a sluggish first pro contest in which he was initially stifled when pressured, the Louisiana-Lafayette product has hit the ground running and already won over the fanbase with his work ethic and attitude. The reviews, such as one from Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears, have been positive: The perfect embodiment of the new philosophy in Orlando, which centers around an unlimited motor and defensive-minded approach—No. 4 overall pick Aaron Gordon fits this mold, too—Payton has looked strong on the stat sheet thus far: While far from perfect, Payton has shown exactly why the Magic were hard at work on the phones after ...

Should Boston Celtics Keep Chasing Kevin Love?

July 8th, 2014 by Zach Buckley No comments »
The Boston Celtics have yet to decide between a complete overhaul and a rapid retooling. Celtics' president of basketball operations Danny Ainge seems to prefer the latter, which is why the franchise must keep blazing the Kevin Love trail. The possibility of building an overnight contender exists in the Eastern Conference. Three of the East's eight playoff teams in 2014, including two of the top-five seeds, missed out on the festivities the year prior. The conference field could be further depleted by the free-agency period. Should the Miami Heat (Big Three) or Indiana Pacers (Lance Stephenson) suffer calamitous losses on the open market, the East could be as wide open as ever. Now, why should that matter to a Celtics team that lost nearly 70 percent of its games last season? Because this group could be bolstered by the addition of two top-tier players this summer: Love and a healthy Rajon Rondo. Getting Love is ...