NBA News and Rumors: Headlines You May Have Missed Because of Linsanity
Jeremy Lin has dominated the NBA and media headlines for the past week. While Lin's miraculous rise is certainly attention-grabbing, the NBA has produced plenty of other notable news stories and rumors.
Check out the following slides to catch up on items you may have missed during this "Linsane" week. From All-Star announcements to J.R. Smith rumors, plenty has happened outside of New York City.
NBA All-Star 3-Point Competitors Named
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The shooters looking to dethrone Jones are teammate Mario Chalmers, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love, Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson, Orlando Magic forward Ryan Anderson and New Jersey Nets guard Anthony Morrow.
With the exception of Chalmers at fifth, no other competitor is in the top 10 for three-point shooting percentage.
Kevin Love is shooting 36.2 percent (64th). Joe Johnson is shooting 35.1 percent (71st)
Ryan Anderson is shooting 43.5 percent (16th). Anthony Morrow is shooting 41.7 percent (28th).
Two competitors do lead the NBA in three-point shots made. Ryan Anderson leads the NBA with 87 makes. Anthony Morrow is second with 63. Joe Johnson and Kevin Love are not even in the top 10.
Stats courtesy of ESPN.
While Johnson and Love do bring All-Star recognition to the contest, the three-point contest should be a display of pure shooting prowess. I would like to see Love and Johnson replaced with three-point specialists like Brandon Rush, who leads the league in three-point percentage, or Jason Terry.
Ben Wallace to Retire at Season's End
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Ben Wallace has announced that he will retire at the end of this season, according to ESPN.
Jeremy Lin has stolen the media spotlight, an undrafted player now on the largest media surge the league has ever seen.
Wallace, who was also not drafted, has appeared in 1,056 career games, the most ever for an undrafted player. He surpassed the previous record holder, Avery Johnson, just two nights ago in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Wallace has logged over 10,000 rebounds and 2,000 blocks. According to Basketball Reference, he is the Detroit Pistons' career leader in blocks, second in steals and third in total rebounds.
While Lin is shaping up to be an impressive undrafted player, Wallace is a proven one.
San Antonio's Hot Streak
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The San Antonio Spurs have been on a quiet win streak this season. They’ve won nine in a row, with Manu Ginoboli sitting out the first six with a broken hand.
Tony Parker has dominated in this stretch, proving himself to be the Spurs’ best player. In the last eight games, Parker has averaged 25.3 PPG and 7.6 APG.
With Parker’s impressive play and Manu Ginobili shaking off the rust, the Spurs are shaping up to be a real contender in the West. Only 1.5 games behind the first-place OKC Thunder, look for the Spurs to surpass the Thunder as they finish up their annual Rodeo Road trip.
Chauncey Billups Undergoes ACL Surgery
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Chauncey Billups underwent a successful operation to repair his torn left Achilles tendon, reports ESPN. Billups suffered the injury February 6 against the Orlando Magic.
While the injury is season-ending, Billups is determined to return next season.
In an interview with ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Billups stated his plans to continue playing.
"I'm most definitely not retiring,'' Billups said in a telephone interview from a hotel in Cleveland, where the Clippers will play the Cavaliers on Wednesday night. "The way my career has gone and the body of work I've put in, I definitely want to walk out on both feet. I don't want to go out like this.''
Though injured, Billups is doing his best to help his team compete. He has been recruiting J.R. Smith to join the Clippers now that he is back in the USA.
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J.R. Smith has returned to the USA after his stint with Chinese team Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Smith’s scoring ability is a hot commodity in a league plagued by injury.
Of his three finalists, the Knicks can offer the largest contract. The Knicks have the mini mid-level exception available, worth a prorated $2.5 million. The Clippers and Lakers can only offer the veteran’s minimum.
While the Lakers have historically represented Los Angeles, Smith may prefer the city's other team. According to ESPN, Clipper players Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and new addition Kenyon Martin are heavily recruiting Smith. With Billups out for the rest of the season, Smith may choose the Clippers because of the amount of playing time he’d receive.
Solid play this season will guarantee Smith a large contract moving forward.