LeBron James and his new-look Cleveland Cavaliers, took to their home court last night for the season opener against the New York Knicks, and while there was a lot of hype off the court, there was less to get excited about on the court.
The Cavs stuttered their way through the game against a Knicks side that was utterly defeated in their own season opener against the Bulls the night before and who lacked any real spark.
In a game that was meant to signal his triumphant return home, LeBron had a bad game. He shot 5 of 15 from the floor and 1 of 5 from beyond the arc, racking up just 17 points to go alongside 8 turnovers.
Kevin Love also made his regular season debut for the Cavs, scoring 19 points, on 6 of 14 from the field, to go with 14 rebounds.
It was only due to the collective effort of the starters that kept Cleveland in the game. Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters and Anderson Varejao all scored in double-figures, with Irving leading the team on 22 points.
The Knicks would finally beat the Cavs 95 - 90. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 25 points, while J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert added 12 apiece.
Despite the Knicks stealing LeBron's thunder on the night, New York's Amare Stoudemire said of the game ""It was pretty incredible...I haven't seen anything like that before. The city was on fire".
Anthony also had some reassuring words for LeBron and the Cavaliers, by saying "Everybody expects it to automatically work… It's going to take some time. It took time in Miami for him. He'll figure it out. They'll figure it out. I don't see anything that they won't figure out."
No doubt the Cavs will pick things up from here, and LeBron will be especially conscious of picking up his game after putting down a rough night to nerves. "It was a special night," he said. "I'm glad it was great, but I'm also glad it's over," he said after the game.
The next game for the Cavs will be a big test as they make the trip to Chicago to take on Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and the rest of the solid looking Bulls side.
Finally it's here!! The 2014-15 NBA season is set to get underway tonight, with three games to ease us back into the excitement of US basketball.
The Orlando Magic will play the New Orleans Pelicans, the Dallas Mavericks will take on the reigning league champions, San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets will welcome Kobe Bryant back as they take on the LA Lakers.
While the action is getting underway on US soil, the NBA are celebrating the fact that this season, there are a record number of international players involved in the league.
Over the 30 NBA teams, there are now 101 international players, from 37 different countries.
The San Antonio Spurs top the list for international players on a single team, with 9 foreign-born players on-board this season. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets come second, with 6 international players each, and the Golden State Warriors have 5.
Of course we in the UK can count two of our own amongst those ranks, with Luol Deng suiting up for the Miami Heat this season and Joel Freeland continuing his run with the Portland Trail Blazers.
In terms of countries, Canada comes out on top in the NBA, with a record number of 12 international players showcasing their skills south of the border, while France comes in second with 10 players.
Check out the full list of international players, playing in the NBA this season, courtesy of NBA.com:
Argentina Luis Scola, Indiana Pacers
Argentina Pablo Prigioni, New York Knicks
Argentina Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs
Australia Cameron Bairstow, Chicago Bulls
Australia Matthew Dellavedova, Cleveland Cavaliers
Australia Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Australia Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors
Australia Aron Baynes, San Antonio Spurs
Australia Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs
Australia Dante Exum, Utah Jazz
Australia Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz
Boznia and Herzegovina Mirza Teletovic, Brooklyn Nets
Boznia and Herzegovina Jusuf Nurkic, Denver Nuggets
Boznia and Herzegovina Ognjen Kuzmic, Golden State Warriors
Brazil Vitor Faverani, Boston Celtics
Brazil Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers
Brazil Leandro Barbosa, Golden State Warriors
Brazil Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs
Brazil Bruno Caboclo, Toronto Raptors
Brazil Lucas Nogueira, Toronto Raptors
Brazil Nene, Washington Wizards
Cameroon Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Cameroon Luc Mbah a Moute, Philadelphia 76ers
Canada Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics
Canada Dwight Powell, Boston Celtics
Canada Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Canada Joel Anthony, Detroit Pistons
Canada Steve Nash, Los Angeles Lakers
Canada Robert Sacre, Los Angeles Lakers
Canada Anthony Bennett, Minnesota Timberwolves
Canada Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves
Canada Andrew Nicholson, Orlando Magic
Canada Tyler Ennis, Phoenix Suns
Canada Nik Stauskas, Sacramento Kings
Canada Cory Joseph, San Antonio Spurs
Congo Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder
Croatia Bojan Bogdanovic, Brooklyn Nets
Croatia Damjan Rudez, Indiana Pacers
Dominican Republic Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks
Dominican Republic Francisco Garcia, Houston Rockets
Democratic Republic of the Congo Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Hornets
France Ian Mahinmi, Indiana Pacers
France Damien Inglis, Milwaukee Bucks
France Ronny Turiaf, Minnesota Timberwolves
France Alexis Ajinca, New Orleans Pelicans
France Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic
France Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers
France Boris Diaw, San Antonio Spurs
France Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
France Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
France Kevin Seraphin, Washington Wizards
Georgia Zaza Pachulia, Milwaukee Bucks
Germany Dennis Schroder, Atlanta Hawks
Germany Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
Great Britain Luol Deng, Miami Heat
Great Britain Joel Freeland, Portland Trail Blazers
Greece Kostas Papanikolaou, Houston Rockets
Greece Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Haiti Samuel Dalembert, New York Knicks
Israel Gal Mekel, Dallas Mavericks
Israel Omri Casspi, Sacramento Kings
Italy Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets
Italy Luigi Datome, Detroit Pistons
Italy Andrea Bargnani, New York Knicks
Italy Marco Belinelli, San Antonio Spurs
Jamaica Jerome Jordan, Brooklyn Nets
Lithuania Donatas Motiejunas, Houston Rockets
Lithuania Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors
Macedonia Pero Antic, Atlanta Hawks
Mexico Jorge Gutierrez, Brooklyn Nets
Montenegro Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls
Montenegro Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves
Montenegro Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
New Zealand Steven Adams, Oklahoma City Thunder
Nigeria Festus Ezeli, Golden State Warriors
Poland Marcin Gortat, Washington Wizards
Russia Sergey Karasev, Brooklyn Nets
Russia Andrei Kirilenko, Brooklyn Nets
Russia Timofey Mozgov, Denver Nuggets
Russia Alexey Shved, Philadelphia 76ers
Senegal Gorgui Dieng, Minnesota Timberwolves
Serbia Nemanja Nedovic, Golden State Warriors
Slovenia Beno Udrih, Memphis Grizzlies
Slovenia Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns
Slovenia Zoran Dragic, Phoenix Suns
Spain Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls
Spain Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
Spain Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
Spain Jose Calderon, New York Knicks
Spain Victor Claver, Portland Trail Blazers
Sweden Jeff Taylor, Charlotte Hornets
Sweden Jonas Jerebko, Detroit Pistons
Switzerland Thabo Sefolosha, Atlanta Hawks
Switzerland Clint Capela, Houston Rockets
Turkey Hedo Turkoglu, Los Angeles Clippers
Turkey Ersan Ilyasova, Milwaukee Bucks
Turkey Omer Asik, New Orleans Pelicans
Turkey Enes Kanter, Utah Jazz
Ukraine Alex Len, Phoenix Suns
U.S. Virgin Islands Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
Venezuela Greivis Vasquez, Toronto Raptors
Image: WILFREDO LEE/AP
Los Angeles Lakers point guard, and future Hall of Famer, Steve Nash, is set to miss the upcoming 2014-15 season, to a recurring back injury.
After consultations with the Lakers medical staff, both Nash and the team came to the agreement that he should miss the upcoming season, which would be his third with the team.
Nash, 40, has only played in 67 games over the last two seasons, managing only to play in 15 games last season.
The former 2-time league MVP released a press release today, in which he said,
“Being on the court this season has been my top priority and it is disappointing to not be able to do that right now.....I work very hard to stay healthy and unfortunately my recent setback makes performing at full capacity difficult. I will continue to support my team during this period of rest, and will focus on my long-term health.”
In January 2015, the NBA will return to London, with the New York Knicks taking on the Milwaukee Bucks at the O2 Arena.
Tickets go on sale at 9am on 31st October for the 5th NBA regular-season game to be played in the capital in as many years, and you can grab on the O2 website.
Historically, the Knicks are one of the most notorious teams in the NBA, and one of the most recognisable franchises worldwide.
This season, the team will be making the trip to London under the direction of newly appointed head coach, Derek Fisher, and will see 7-time NBA All-Star, Carmelo Anthony, leading the line-up.
The Knicks last played in London in 2013, where they took on the Detroit Pistons.
The Bucks might not have seemed like such an exciting match up earlier this year, but after the NBA Draft, the Bucks found themselves in possession of one of the most exciting rookie prospects of the 2014-15 season.
Drafted 2nd overall, Jabari Parker has got the potential to be a big star in the league, and for many die hard NBA fans, the chance to see him play in his rookie year is not to be missed.
Parker will be joined by Brandon Knight, who led the team in points per game, assists and steals last season and young Greek star, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Head coach for the Bucks is now Jason Kidd, who made the trip to London last January as the Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets.
The past few NBA games in London have been sell-outs at the O2 Arena, so make sure you get in quickly on 31st October to grab yourself a spot.
Hakeem Olajuwon is easily one of the greatest centres in NBA history. During his career, he led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA Championships (1994 and 1995), outplaying the likes of Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Dikembe Mutombo.
The Rockets won the 1994 NBA Finals in a seven-game series against the New York Knicks, who were led by Patrick Ewing, and like Ewing, Hakeem is coming back into the sneaker game this year with his original endorser, Etonic.
The relaunch of Etonic will see a return of the OG Akeem the Dream signature shoe, releasing in throwback Houston Rockets colourway, with new colourways expected towards the end of the year.
Speaking about the return of Etonic, and his signature shoe line, Olajuwon has said:
“When I became the Etonic Brand Ambassador during my rookie year, Etonic was fresh and new in the basketball arena. It’s been my ambition to continue my brand in the footwear and apparel industry. From product development to testing on the court is creatively satisfying. Teaming back up with Etonic is a natural progression for me. I’m thrilled about this new venture to reintroduce the retro Etonic Dream collection, as well as to develop and launch Brand Dream. The Dream Team behind this undertaking is a seasoned group of exceptional individuals and entrepreneurs. I respect Bruce Weisfeld’s willingness to invest in assembling the best team. I look forward to growing this revived union.”
The retroed sneaks feature a premium leather, high top construction, with all of the vibrant accents and design quirks that you'd expect from a 1980's sneaker classic.
Check out some of the pictures below, and watch this space for Etonic and Akeem the Dream landing at Basketball Megastore very soon.
Images via SneakerNews
In LeBron James' first encounter with his former team, the Miami Heat, LeBron seemed to forget which team he was playing for, as he screened for Heat point guard, Norris Cole.
Check out the Vine below.
The Cleveland Cavaliers came out in top, winning 122-119 in overtime. With LeBron only scoring 7 points in his 20 minutes of playing time.
Kevin Love scored a game high 25 points to go with his 7 rebounds, in his 26 minutes of playing time.
Chris Bosh top scored for the Miami Heat with his 19 points.
All of the biggest off-season buzz this year has been around the Cleveland Cavaliers. Firstly they saw the return of LeBron James to his home state, in a much talked about move away from Miami, after they lost the NBA Finals to the San Antonio Spurs.
Then there was the Love-Wiggins saga, which ended in Kevin Love also heading to Cleveland, and 2014 No. 1 draft pick, Andrew Wiggins, heading to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Love nicely positioned himself to help form what might well be the most talented line-up in the NBA this season.
So the Cavs stole all of the column inches over the Summer, but the real question has been, how would this group of players perform together on the court.
The answer.... just as we would have hoped.
Check out the highlights below from the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers first NBA pre-season game, against Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv.
LeBron might have only played the first half, but he picked up 12 points on some very clean looking shots, and was looking pretty sharp moving around the court.
Point guard, Kyrie Irving, added 16 points in an impressive performance that showed some of his diversity across the floor, and Love put up 8 points to go with 11 rebounds.
The team as a whole cruised to a 107 - 80 victory in front of a packed home arena.
The fully-fledged highlight factory might not be up and running just yet, but these guys are looking sharp, considering this is only pre-season. We might just have one helluva NBA season ahead of us, and we can't wait!
Cleveland Cavaliers point guard, Kyrie Ivring, recently posted a video to Vine, showing that even he throws down like a monstar, when presented with a mini basketball hoop. (We all do it!)
Check him out throwing down a mean windmill on a mini basketball hoop at home, from the off-the-wall alley-oop from his buddy.
If you're missing out on that bedroom, livingroom, or office basketball action, check out the range of NBA mini boards from Spalding, or if you're SERIOUS, take a look at the Spalding Slam Jam Miniboard, with an NBA replica backboard and slam jam breakaway rim.
We've all tried to chuck up some half court shots at basketball practice, and we've watched our favourite basketball players make some pretty neat half court shots, but we haven't seen anything like this.
This is DJ Sackmann, an NBA skills coach who manages to do a push up on the basketball, then throw it behind his back to sink the half court shot.
So, we'll definitely be trying this the next time we're on the court! (And no doubt failing miserably.)
The new look Minnesota Timberwolves have a very athletic line up this year, with rookies Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine being possibly two of best leapers in the league.
They love competing against each other to see who is the best dunker on the team, like they did last night at the Wolves' training camp scrimmages at Minnesota State University.
Check out these highlights from the 'Dunks After Dark' scrimmage game.