The NBA All-Star Weekend is nearly a month away and as February 15 draws closer, the voting for the starting fives heats up.
LEBRON, CURRY CONTINUE TO LEAD ASG GAME
LeBron James and Stephen Curry continue to lead the NBA All-Star Game vote getters for this year.
There is also a clearer picture for what the starting five for the game in New York to be.
Cleveland’s James leads all with 775,810 votes at the Eastern Conference frontcourt spot. Golden State’s Curry has 755,486, good for second in the league and tops among the Western Conference guards.
In the results released Thursday, Chicago’s Pau Gasol and New York’s Carmelo Anthony follow in the East frontcourt. Washington’s John Wall remains the East’s leading vote-getter in the backcourt, followed by Miami’s Dwyane Wade.
Kobe Bryant is second to Curry in the West backcourt. The frontcourt is led by the New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Memphis center Marc Gasol.
Voting runs through Jan. 19, and starters for the Feb. 15 game in New York will be announced Jan. 22.
RONDO ANTICIPANTES EMOTIONAL RETURN TONIGHT
Dallas Mavericks’ Rajon Rondo will travel back to Boston tonight to face the Celtics. He’s been told by Paul Pierce to keep blinking so that he doesn’t cry during the tribute video, so he’s prepared for something.
Via ESPN Boston:
Just two weeks after being traded to Dallas, Rondo is back in Boston and bracing himself for an outpouring of emotions that will come when he plays against the team that he spent the first eight-plus seasons of his career with.
Rondo has been on the other sideline as Celtics fans welcomed back heroes from the 2008 title team like Pierce and Kevin Garnett. He knows a video tribute looms during the first TV timeout, and that’s when he’ll utilize Pierce’s advice.
Rondo was his typical frisky self during Friday’s shootaround. He smiled and shook his head when he saw the swarm of media waiting for the team as it arrived, then jokingly tried to position himself behind a scorer’s table before his interview, then hopped up on top as the pack of cameras and microphones converged.
During a seven-plus-minute chat with reporters, Rondo recapped the surprise of the early-season trade, got nostalgic about his time in Boston and the legacy of the 2008 team, and glowed about the opportunity he has now with the Mavericks.
RONDO ALSO ADMITS TO NOT PLAYING DEFENCE…
For a couple of years …
Full Rondo defense quote with question in bold. pic.twitter.com/hsTkqgx19u
— Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 2, 2015
HAWKS OWNERS TO SELL 100 PERCENT OF FRANCHISE
Atlanta Hawks could be put on the market as soon as next week.
The Atlanta Hawks are for sale – as in 100 percent of the NBA franchise.
According to person familiar with the situation, agreements have been reached between all three ownership groups to sell their complete stakes in the team. Those agreements have been approved by the NBA.
The team will be officially on the market next week, according to a league source. The investment banking firm Goldman Sachs and Inner Circle Sports has been retained to handle the sale process. The firm can now begin the process of gathering and vetting prospective buyers. Estimations are the franchise could be sold for upwards of $600 million.
The Washington-based group, led by controlling owner Bruce Levenson, announced in September that it would sell its 50.1 stake following the discovery of a racially inflammatory email that rocked the franchise.
Agreements are also in place for the Atlanta-based group, Michael Gearon Jr. and Sr., Rutherford Seydel and Beau Turner, to sell its combined 32.3 percent of the franchise. In addition, the New York-based group, led by Steven Price, has agreed to sell its 17.6 percent stake.
Several people have expressed interest in being part of an ownership group soon after the controversy came to light. Former NBA players Dikembe Mutombo and Chris Webber and New York entertainment lawyer Doug Davis are known to have interest. Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed has said numerous parties have expressed interest.
DEROZAN EYES RETURN
Toronto Raptors held their first practice of 2015 and DeMar DeRozan participated for the first time since November 28.
“Today was my first day really out there practicing, being out there with the guys doing everything,” DeRozan said. “Today felt good.”
While there isn’t a firm date for his return, his recovery has been going well and returning to practice means that DeRozan is nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been a long month for the fifth-year guard. In addition to dealing with the first serious injury of his career, DeRozan has had to learn patience while he remains on the sideline. He’s kept a cool demeanour, acted as sideline reporter after a recent victory, and slipped on his videographer’s hat to film some scenes for Open Gym during the Raptors’ current road trip, but the time off has been difficult.
“It may seem like I’m patient, but I’m about to go crazy [while] watching the games,” DeRozan said. “Even just being at home, not being able to do my normal routine that I’d be doing if I was playing. It’s tough. It’s not an easy thing at all”
DeRozan has elected to watch most of the games from the locker room, rather than the bench, so that he can receive additional treatment from the training staff. Toronto is 11-5 since his injury, a fact that has helped him focus on his recovery instead of dwelling on his inability to contribute while he is sidelined.