There’s a J.R. Smith sized hole in NY…and Sasha Vujacic is about to fill it


Ever since J.R. Smith left the Big Apple, the lights haven’t shone as bright, the Empire State Building doesn’t seem as tall and the clubs from Chelsea to Midtown have been nowhere near as busy.

Enter Sasha Vujacic, the NBA’s lost partyboy, who has been wasting his talents in Europe for the past four seasons, apart from a failed 10 minute cameo comeback with the Clippers in 2013/14. Now it looks like the wait is over and the 31-year-old shooting guard looks set to suit up with the New York Knicks this season.

In all seriousness, if Phil Jackson is legit about playing the triangle, bringing in one of his old guys is a good move. Vujacic can still play, will give Derek Fisher another veteran presence in the locker room and some perimeter help. Vujacic  is a career 37.1 percent three-point shooter.

Also this moves breathes life into the hostile Slovenian Goran Dragic v Sasha Vujacic beef, which we will get to see at least four times this season. How much of this is mind games from Jackson to psyche-out Dragic, a player the Knicks reportedly tried to sign this summer? Probably none..maybe some.

via: CBS Eye on Basketball

Room for improvement for Boomers after second loss to Lithuania

The Boomers have plenty of work to do after a second straight defeat to Lithuania, going down 92-85 overnight. David Andersen led the way for the Boomers, creating great spacing with his floor stretching, three-point shooting, putting up 20 points, with Andrew Bogut chipping in with a near double-double 12 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and some nice touch around the rim. Andrej Lemanis’ men shot the ball well, hitting 50% from the floor and 47% from three on 9/19 shooting, but it was a frustrating night of not being able to get into sets quick enough and the turnovers piling up. The Boomers gave the ball up 20 times, leading to plenty of transition buckets for Lithuania, something I’m sure will be a focus for their next game against Slovenia. Whilst the Lithuanian’s were pesky on defence, picking up six steals, the majority of the surrendered possessions came from broken plays, mistimed reads and sloppy entrance passes. The positive being, taking care of the ball is something that can be fixed game to game. But that’s what this tour is about, building rhythm, establishing combinations and giving guys an opportunity to learn where each other want to be on the floor. Brock Motum was again a solid contributor on offence, pouring in 15 points in 23 minutes, including a couple of threes and his trademark attacking ferocity. The Boomers now head to Slovenia to continue their preparations for the Homecoming series against New Zealand. Here’s the full box score via: Just Live Basketball box scoreWatch the full replay here (H/T Delfi TV)

Spurs Jesus now fights crime, you guys

SA Express: Spurs Jesus isn't just a superfan... He's a super hero.

SA Express: Spurs Jesus isn’t just a superfan… He’s a super hero.

Yep. You read that headline correctly… San Antonio Spurs superfan ‘Spurs Jesus’ has now taken his hand at fighting crime in the San Antonio area.

Whilst at home earlier this week, ‘Spurs Jesus’ came across a man inside his home, he then chased the guy and helped the San Antonio law enforcement bring him to justice.

Check out this video from Fox San Antonio on the encounter:

Just remember that Spurs Jesus isn’t a vigilante… A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed, or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, and if they can’t stop you, then you become something else entirely… a legend… or a god… Or at least a guy who dresses up as a god and goes to basketball games.

via Sporting News

Episode 316 – Kristaps, or how I learned to stop worrying & love the East

Getty Images: Could Kristaps become the Knicks next rap GAWD?

Getty Images: Could Kristaps become the Knicks next rap GAWD?

Today on Believe The Hype, Jared Zwerling from Bleacher Report joins Tom and Benyam for a chat about how the off-season has treated the New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat. The guys discuss how Kristaps Porzingis looked during Summer League and what to expect from him this season, the Knicks acquisitions of Arron Afflalo, Robin Lopez, Kyle O’Quinn and Derrick Williams, the future of Carmelo Anthony in New York, the Cavs confirming and finalizing the return of key guys such as LeBron James, Kevin Love, Matthew Dellavedova, Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith, how a full strength Miami Heat team may look in 2015/16, the growth of the NBA the last few years and more!

Follow Jared on twitter: @JaredZwerling and check out his work at Bleacher Report.

Don’t forget that that you can follow us on twitter @traread @benyamkidane and using the#BTHype tag to ask questions to be answered in next weeks episode. Download:

Closing Song: Transleiteris – #PORZINGIS

Russia suspended by FIBA… Could miss Eurobasket & Rio Olympics

Getty Images: Shved & Kirilenko hug it out after winning Bronze in London.

Getty Images: Shved & Kirilenko hug it out after winning Bronze in London.

The Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) plan to fight a ban layed down on them by FIBA today that could see them in-eligible to participate in the upcoming Eurobasket 2015 Championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The RBF has had some internal issues recently and due to confusion over the RBF’s management structure has lead to FIBA laying down the ban on the Federation.

On the ban, FIBA released the below statement:

The FIBA Executive Committee decided on Wednesday to suspend with immediate effect the Russian Basketball Federation (RBF) in view of the fact that the RBF has been unable to resolve longstanding institutional and legal issues preventing the Federation to work under proper conditions and maintain full control and governance in the country, as proven by the recently published Court decision against the RBF.

As a consequence, the RBF forfeits its rights as member of FIBA, and its teams and officials may not participate in official competitions or activities.

Considering the calendar of upcoming events and meetings, the suspension will not affect the status of Russian national teams and officials currently in competition or in the U18 European Championship Women starting on Thursday 30 July, as well as in the youth 3×3 Competitions.

In order to exhibit FIBA’s continuous efforts to regularise the situation of the RBF, the Executive Committee invited the RBF to give a report on the situation at the upcoming FIBA Central Board meeting to be held in Tokyo on 8-9 August.

It is FIBA’s hope that the situation be resolved by this date so that the suspension may be lifted to allow for the healthy development of basketball in Russia and the participation of Russian national teams in FIBA events.

Later on today, Russia confirmed that they had received the ban from FIBA on their website and said that they plan to fight the sanctions.

Former NBA star Andrei Kirilenko spoke to TASS on the situation:

“This is not news for me, but once again nobody wants to assume responsibility for this.

“We are losing more and more of our positions and the sooner the issue with (RBF) elections is settled the sooner the work will start.”

“The most important for FIBA is the legitimacy and transparency in all legal aspects,” he said. “We do not have it at the moment and we received a relevant reaction.”

The Russian Men’s National Team is currently ranked 6th in the World and picked up the Bronze Medal at London 2012. It’s Eurobasket squad was expected to include Brooklyn Nets wing Sergey Karasev and former Knick Alexey Shved. Star center Timofey Mozgov had ruled himself out of the tournament due to knee surgery.


Andrew Bogut makes his return to FIBA basketball in a loss to Lithuania

Getty Images: Bogut's finally back in green and gold.

Getty Images: Bogut’s finally back in green and gold.

It’s been a long time coming, seven years to be precise, but Andrew Bogut made his return to international basketball today as the Australian Boomers fell 80-68 in a warm-up game against Lithuania.

The performance certainly won’t be regarded as one of Bogut’s best in the International arena, finishing with 0 points after shooting 0-7 from the field whilst also finishing with four fouls. Lithuania were able to contain him defensively in what was definitely an un-Bogey like rusty performance after a long NBA season as can be seen in his shot-chart:

Bogut Shot Chart

Despite having shooting struggles, Bogut was still able to make himself an integral part in the offense. He finished the game with three assists including a great touch pass to a cutting David Andersen, a bounce pass from the perimeter to Brad Newley at the rack and this nice pass from the top of the three point line to a cutting and open Dante Exum:

For Australia, Brock Motum lead the way finishing with 19 points whilst shooting 9/12 from the field including this great drive:

and a nice dunk in transition off a Ryan Broekhoff dime:

The Boomers started off the game well, finishing the first quarter with a 26-18 lead. However, Lithuania would crawl back and tie up the game at 41-41 the half and again 57-57 at the end of the third period before blowing out the game with a 23-11 final quarter.

Matthew Dellavedova and Cameron Bairstow were both rested for this game and it’s not known if they’ll play in 2 days time in the next game in the series.

Here’s Australia’s box-score from the game (via basket hotel):


Watch the full replay here (H/T Delfi TV)

Mason Plumlee is now also…….a rapper

The NBA off-season is a truly strange time.

The NBA off-season is a truly strange time.

Yep, that’s a real headline.

In one of the strangest pieces of sports symmetry, Mason Plumlee has teamed up with “rapper” Will Roush….or as most will know him as that guy from the New York Rangers game who bragged about his $4500 seats.

“Plumdog Millionaire” clearly learned a thing or two about the rap game from his time in Brooklyn, with notable shout outs to Jay Z, Mikhail Prokhorov and Bobby Boucher (the Waterboy is just a great film).

Also for some reason, Plumlee is in possession of a cash gun,….so there’s that.

Side note: he is now teammates with Damien Lillard, the NBA’s pre-eminent rap that’s also a thing.

I’m just as confused as you. I have no idea who told Plumlee this was a good idea.

basketball animated GIF

via: Complex Sports

Episode 315 – Upgrades in the West

Getty Images: Lance is looking for a fresh start in Los Angeles.

Getty Images: Lance is looking for a fresh start in Los Angeles.

Today on Believe The Hype, Nate Duncan from the Dunc’d On Podcast joins Tom and Benyam for a chat about some of the big moves in the Western Conference over the course of free agency. The guys talk about how the Spurs signing LaMarcus Aldridge and David West and Houston making a trade for Ty Lawson and the Clippers bringing back DeAndre Jordan along with bringing in Paul Pierce, Lance Stephenson and Josh Smith elevates them into the conversation with the Warriors as the ‘best in the West’. Furthermore, the guys chat about the underrated trade by the Portland Trail Blazers for Noah Vonleh, the Sacramento Kings doing Sacramento Kings kinda things, the Lakers pretty good off season haul, Enes Kanter and more!

Follow Nate on twitter: @NateDuncanNBA and check out the Dunc’d On Podcast on iTunes and at

Don’t forget that that you can follow us on twitter @traread @benyamkidane and using the#BTHype tag to ask questions to be answered in next weeks episode. Download:

Closing Song: Dribble (Wiggle Kevin Durant Parody)

Tony Parker trying to complete a puzzle whilst being stalked by a tiger is classic French television

YouTube: Tony Parker is really good at figuring out puzzles in life-or-death situations.

YouTube: Tony Parker is really good at figuring out puzzles in life-or-death situations.

In France… They have no problems sending their star athletes into potentially dangerous situations.

For an upcoming episode of the hit game-show ‘Fort Boyard’, Tony Parker formed a team with his fellow basketball countrymen Boris Diaw, Nicolas Batum and Ronny Turiaf to take on all the challenges that ‘the Fort’ would throw at them.

In one of the challenges, Parker had to drive a rusty old mini-caged car around a tiger cage and solve a really obscure puzzle whilst getting water transferred from his team-mates into a watering target.

This is probably the best slash strangest thing I’ve ever seen on the internet in the last hour.

On a side note… Boris Diaw got to tick off entering a roaring match with a lion from his bucket list…


via BDL

Here’s the winners of the first ever NBPA Awards


Getty Images: James Harden accepts his MVP award from Jay Pharoah.

Last night on BET, the first ever annual NBPA Awards Ceremony aired. The show, taped on July 19th in Las Vegas was hosted by SNL comedian Jay Pharoah, who’s Shaquille O’Neal impersonation has always been on point, and also had performances from Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Jason Derulo, Fifth Harmony, Monica, Kid Ink and DJ Khaled as the house DJ.

The winners were:

The event also performed well on social as was highlighted in the NBPA Press Release:

On the digital front, Instagram partnered with BET and the NBPA to deliver a unique and fun new photo experience onsite: The InstaStudio. Players, Presenters, Performers and other VIPs took portraits onsite and shared them exclusively with the BET (@betnetworks) and NBPA (@thenbpa) Instagram accounts.  Select images were also included in the broadcast of the show. “This is the first time this photo experience is being unveiled at an award show, and we’re excited to be sharing this content with the world via Instagram,” said Dan Reed, Global Head of Sports Partnerships at Facebook.

The first ever “Players’ Awards” also left a lasting impression on social media.  The official hashtag #PlayersAwardsBET trended on Twitter for over three hours and was the top hashtag used for the show. According to Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings from SocialGuide, “The Players’ Awards” ranked as the #1 most social new/live non-sports, primetime show on all of TV and it garnered a total of 45.3K tweets & 5M impressions by 22K unique authors.

This was a great start to a new initiative and something that definitely has a lot of traction to become a mainstay event on the already crowded NBA calendar moving forward. NBA players have spoken for a while now about not being able to vote for the major NBA awards, this event allows them to have their say and reward their peers.

As the event grows, it’d be great for it to be shown live and also have a wider international reach. However, for a first time, you can’t really fault it for how it all went down.