NBA All-Star Weekend Needs to Finally Return to Chicago in 2018

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The NBA All-Star Game was inaugurated in 1951, but hasn’t been played in Chicago since 1988. The second city, as much of a hoops haven as any destination in America, has only hosted it twice (1973 was the other occasion). The 2017 NBA All-Star weekend, commencing tonight with the Rising Stars Game, was originally awarded to Charlotte, North Carolina.

On March 23, 2016, North Carolina passed House Bill 2, commonly known as “the bathroom bill.” This led to the NBA threatening to pull the game from Charlotte if the bigoted bill was not repealed or revised so as to not discriminate against the LGBT community. The state of North Carolina kept their discriminatory law in place, and the NBA announced on July 21, 2016 that the game would be moved from Charlotte to New Orleans.

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Former Illini Center Meyers Leonard Expanding His Role with Portland Trail Blazers

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Meyers Leonard currently wears #11 for the Portland Trail Blazers, and it matches the sequence in which he was selected in the 2012 NBA Draft. Leonard was taken in the lottery, #11 overall, out of Illinois and no Illini has been taken in the NBA Draft since. Demetri McCamey, Jereme Richmond and Brandon Paul all earned combine invites, but none of them were drafted.

Malcolm Hill may or may not be selected this June, and if he does here his name called, it won’t be until the mid-to-late second round.

However, Meyers Leonard is an interesting, fantastic Illini basketball story however and gives the Illinois fan something else to follow this winter when seeking a change of pace from speculating on the future of John Groce, and who might be replacing him.

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Chicago Bulls Must Realize Where Denzel Valentine Fits, at Point Guard

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NBA Draft Lottery picks are not meant to be sent back and forth between the parent club and the D-League franchise. Denzel Valentine, the 2016 College Basketball Player of the Year Award winner, does not belong at the Sears Center.

Unless suburban big box mart shopping is his thing, the 14th overall selection in the NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls should not be spending substantial time near the giant IKEA in Schaumburg, or the homogenized office parks that dominated the edge city landscape of Hoffman Estates.

Zel has fallen so far down Coach Fred Hoiberg’s rotation that the Bulls second round pick, Paul Zipser, has a much better and more defined role with the team.

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Are the Cavaliers in Trouble?

cavs Cleveland Cavaliers Players

Entering this NBA season, it was thought that the defending champions the Cleveland Cavaliers would likely run away with the Eastern Conference. That’s certainly not the case as the Boston Celtics are now trending towards the elite form showcased in years past. The extremely storied and glorious franchise is back on the upswing, thanks to the leadership of Head Coach Brad Stevens, and superstar Isiah Thomas having a NBA MVP type of the season.

The Celtics, not the Toronto Raptors as most preseason prognosticators thought, are the biggest threat to the Cavaliers, and they’re currently nipping at Cleveland’s heels in the standings.

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San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich Addresses White Priviledge

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In comparison to other sports leagues, the NBA just “gets it.” Not speaking of league leadership in general, but in terms of having more leading strong influential figures, the NBA is way more woke. The day after the presidential election, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich absolutely lambasted Donald Trump. Pop eviscerated Trump for the xenophobic, misogynist, racist, offensive and immature campaign conducted by the then President-Elect.

Gregg Popovich verbally destroyed Trump again this past weekend, pointing out the new POTUS’ thin-skinned narcissism and immaturity, among his many alarming defects.

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2017 NBA Mock Draft (First Round) 2/4/17

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Here is The Sports Bank’s 2017 NBA Mock Draft.

(Updated: 2/4/17)

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2017 NBA Mock Draft (Second Round) 2/4/17

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Here is The Sports Bank’s 2017 NBA Mock Draft.  Outstanding trades have not been taken into account with the second round.

(Updated: 2/4/17)

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Stick to Sports? Not Anymore, not with the SERIOUS Concerns We Have

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(Editor’s note: re-posting from November 18th, 2016)

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to acknowledge the passing of the phrase “stick to sports.”

It has now passed on into the great abyss.

Of course, to be honest with ourselves, we must first acknowledge

a.) that “stick to sports” only existed as a phrase conveniently leaving off the second, more important, self-defining portion of the expressed sentiment.

b.) that it was impossible for stick to sports to ever really exist in the first place.

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The NBA More Woke than Any Other Sports League Right Now

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In comparison to other sports leagues, the NBA just “gets it.” Not speaking of league leadership in general, but in terms of having more leading strong influential figures, the NBA is way more woke. College football and baseball just have too much of an old guard, stuffed shirt vibe.

The NFL has some progressive elements, but the game always has, and always will be, inter-twined with over-the-top jingoism and the military-industrial complex. There are some sharp, dissenting minds in the college basketball world, but unfortunately the NCAA cartel curtails their expression too often.

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Indiana Basketball: OG Anunoby NBA Draft Stock Report

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Indiana basketball player OG Anunoby will undergo surgery on his right knee next week and will miss the rest of his sophomore season. The 6-8, 236 pound forward from Jefferson City, Missouri got hurt at Penn State on January 18th, and now big basketball future contains a ton of question marks.

Is he done in Bloomington?

Will he be back and recovered in time to impress NBA scouts and combine and other pre-Draft activities?

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Rajon Rondo Goes ThermoNuclear; Bulls Brass Accountable

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Chicago Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo just made comments that effectively sealed his inevitable exit from club. There is no absolutely no way the former Kentucky Wildcat can suit up for the team again after this. Rondo went thermonuclear on his official Instagram account, making comments in response to Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade that are utterly impossible to walk back.

Sure, we all saw the friction with Rondo coming, given his past history, but no one expected a scorched Earth action like this.

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Gregg Popovich Calls Out Trump’s Thin Skinned, Narcissistic Traits

gregg-popovich

The day after the presidential election, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich absolutely lambasted Donald Trump. Pop eviscerated Trump for the xenophobic, misogynist, racist, offensive and immature campaign conducted by the then President-Elect.

Gregg Popovich wasn’t the only NBA figure calling Trump out. Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr pointed out the crude, low-brow direction that Trump took the race for the presidency.

Detroit Pistons Coach Stan Van Gundy highlighted the hypocrisy of the “morals” and “values” based voters who cast their vote for Trump.

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