Fun Fact of the Day: The Sacramento Kings are known for trading away their young talented players. They have picked in the Top 10 of the NBA draft each year since 2010. Only 2 of those 7 original players remain: Ben McLemore and Willie Cauley-Stein.
All-Star Weekend. If you didn’t catch all the All-Star action happening in New Orleans, don’t worry, you didn’t miss much. Most of the events were pretty anticlimactic. Here are the highlights:
- Skills Challenge. This year, big men proved that they have skillz too! N.Y. Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis won the challenge, showing why he’s called “The Unicorn.” (Psst—it’s because his combination of size, speed, and skills don’t come along everyday).
- 3-Pt Contest. Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon beat out Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving in an overtime tiebreaker. Last year’s champ Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson choked and was eliminated early.
- Slam Dunk Contest. Indiana Pacers Glenn Robinson III won by jumping over 3 people with a 2-handed reverse dunk. Otherwise, this year’s Dunk Contest was a real let down, especially after last year’s might have been the best Dunk Contest ever. Even finger-wagging former-NBA star Dikembe Mutombo was bored and disappointed checking out the dunks.
- All-Star Game. The West beat the East 192-182 in the highest-scoring All-Star game in NBA history. New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis fittingly won game MVP. He set a new scoring record with 52 points, beating out Wilt Chamberlain’s 42-point record set back in 1962. Basketball peace. Former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook gave us a flashback to the good old days with this classic alley-oop. Afterwards, the entire Western Conference bench broke out into cheers.
Spotlight on the Boogie Trade
Late Sunday night, the Sacramento Kings made waves when they announced that they were trading away big man DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans in a 5-player deal.
Why was it so shocking? The best player the Pelicans had to give up was rookie Buddy Hield. You may remember Hield as one of the biggest stars in college basketball last year, when his sharpshooting led Oklahoma all the way to the Final Four. But in the NBA his performance has been inconsistent. Meanwhile Boogie is one of the best centers in the league, so everyone was surprised by how little the Kings got in return for him. The trade has already been criticized as one of the 5 worst deals of all time.
Even Kings GM Vlade Divac basically admitted that this deal sucked, because he said that he had a better deal 2 days ago, but it was pulled off the table. He completed this trade because he was scared the offers would only get worse closer to the trade deadline on Thursday.
So why did the Kings do it? The Kings insist that Hield has a lot of potential and could be the next Steph Curry, but it’s more likely they just wanted to dump Boogie. Even though Boogie’s an incredible basketball player, he’s known for being a hothead and tough to get along with. This year he’s already collected 17 technical fouls and now he faces automatic suspension if he receives any additional techs. The Kings’ press release regarding the trade said that it was “the best direction for the organization” because “culture and character matters.” Ouch.
Seen and Heard
Alternative facts. Maybe Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving should have stayed at Duke a little longer than one year. Last Friday, he said on a podcast that he believes the Earth is flat. When asked for evidence he said he “know[s] the science” and then said “it’s right in front of our faces. I’m telling you, it’s right in front of our faces. They lie to us.”