Episode 322 – The Leftorium

Photo Credit: Getty/Fox

Photo Credit: Getty/Fox

On today’s episode of Believe The Hype, Tom and Benyam chat about the notable snubs such as Manu Ginobili, Victor Oladipo and Jabari Parker from SI’s Top 100 list along with Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose‘s low rankings. Furthermore, the guys discuss Dwight Howard‘s comments about James Harden being the best left-hander of all-time, the Markieff Morris/Phoenix “keef beef”, DeAndre Jordan changing agencies, Mario Chalmers‘ future at the Miami Heat, Tristan Thompson to the Raptors rumours, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Netflix and more!

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: Adam Jensin – Northern Funk

Dwyane Wade, master dodgeballer of the universe

It may be the off-season, but for Dwyane Wade, the competition never stops, even if it is a game of dodgeball.

Watch as he towers over his competition, pummeling his way to victory, and adding Dodgeball Master of the Universe to his already stellar resume.

Source: StanceHoops/Instagram

Source: StanceHoops/Instagram

via: CBS Eye on Basketball

Sooo…Hassan Whiteside can grab the rim standing on his tippy-toes

ICYMI: Hassan Whiteside is huge.

I mean, he’s an NBA center, he’s over 7 feet tall, but this photo just seems ridiculous.

I don't think people realize how big I am and how long my arms are I'm just hanging 😴 #its10feetlol

A photo posted by Hassan whiteside (@hassanwhiteside) on

I guess for the rest of us, we’ll have to stick to hoopin’ in Jimmy’s training shoes.

via: Instagram

FIBA Americas Preview: Andrew Wiggins holds the key to Canadian Olympic Qualification

andrewwiggins

“Soon” – Andrew Wiggins. Source: @NBAcom on twitter

So far three nations, The United States, Brazil and Australia have booked their tickets to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games basketball tournament. At the time of writing, both Nigeria and Angola are a few hours away from fighting it out for another spot as they will face off in the Afrobasket Final.

Tomorrow marks the start of one of the most interesting FIBA Americas Championship in recent memory. 10 of the best basketballing nations in North and South America will ascend on Mexico with the hopes of both winning the Championship and taking out one of the two Olympic Qualifying spots up for grabs.

Brazil, perennial FIBA Americas heavyweights will be hosting the 2016 Olympics and don’t need to use the tournament as an avenue for qualification and because of this, have rested their big-name players such as Leandro Barbosa, Anderson Varejao, Nene, Tiago Splitter, Marcelinho Huertas, Bruno Cabooclo and Cristiano Felicio. Instead, they will take a team, lead by super fun guard Vitor Benite, that mirrors the one that recently won the 2015 PanAm Games gold medal in Toronto.

It’s been a long 15 years since the Canadian National Team has participated in the Olympics. That year, future two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash lead the Maple Leafs to a seventh place finish.

Getty Images: Steve got Nashty in Sydney.

Getty Images: Steve got Nashty in Sydney.

For this current crop of Canadian players, not only is the weight of a nation on their shoulders to qualify, but there’s a growing expectation that they can go at least four better than Nash’s team and actually contend for a medal in Rio in twelve months time.

Today, Canada confirmed it’s squad for FIBA Americas, with Utah Jazz 2015 Draft Pick and BC Žalgiris guard Olivier Hanlan the unfortunate last cut. The team features nine players with NBA talent in Anthony Bennett, Melvin Ejim, Cory Joseph, Andrew Nicholson, Kelly Olynyk, Dwight Powell, Robert Sacre, Nik Stauskas and 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins along with the Euro-based talent of Aaron Doornekamp, Brady Heslip and Phil Scrubb.

Canada’s preparation heading into this important tournament has been pretty much faultless. Nicholson and Bennett announced they are future forces to wreckon with at the FIBA level by leading Canada to silver at the PanAm Games and then the #FullSquad were undefeated finished undefeated against Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Argentina to take out the 2015 FIBA Marchand Continental Cup in Puerto Rico.

Wigging was undoubtedly the star for Canada, averaging 14.5ppg for the Tourney along with this three fire emoji post-card to J.J. Barea‘s family:

For Canada to be successful in this FIBA Americas Tournament, all eyes will be on Wiggins. No one seemed to be able to stop him during the warm-up tournament but we’ll see him getting a lot more defensive attention this time around.

It’s not all Wiggins though, this is arguably the deepest team that Canada has ever fielded. Cory-Jo can now be considered a veteran of the National Team and will take advantage of the lack of decent defensive point guards in the tournament along with his own ability to shut down defenders on the other end of the floor.

As mentioned before, whilst his NBA career hasn’t got off to the start he had wanted it to, Anthony Bennett averaged 7.5rpg in the FIBA Marchand Continental Cup along with leading the PanAm Games in rebounds averaging 9.4rpg. His ability to get create second chance opportunities and create fast break situations for the athletic Canadian guards makes him a very valuable piece in this fast-paced Canadian system.

Some of the other teams with hopes of taking one of the two qualifying spots for Rio are Mexico, Puerto Rico and Argentina.

Defending Champions Mexico, lead by Gustavo Ayon and Jorge Gutierrez will look to build on their Cinderella run to the Round of 16 in the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Home court advantage throughout the tournament means that they’ll definitely not be an easy-beat.

With no Manu Ginobili, Pablo Prigioni, Carlos Delfino and Fabricio Oberto suiting up for Argentina, this tournament will be seen as the ‘Changing of the Guard’ for the perennial FIBA World Cup and Olympics medal contenders. They’ll rely heavily on Luis Scola and reigning Euroleague Final Four MVP Andrés Nocioni. This team is super fun to watch at the moment… Well… If you’re a Scola fan that is. In the FIBA Marchand Continental Cup, Scola lead the team in points, rebounds, assists and blocks.

Puerto Rico are always a team that you can’t take too lightly. Once again, J.J. Barea will lead the charge along with the super-fun small forward Ángel Daniel Vassallo who if the Puerto Rican’s can cause a few upsets, may be one of the big names to come out of this tournament.

The FIBA Americas Tournament kicks off on August 31st with the final on September 12th.

Group A features Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Uruguay.

Group B features Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Argentina and Venezuela.

Top four from each pool qualify for the second round, with the top four advancing to the Final Round and the 5th (and if Brazil are ranked higher 6th) placed teams automatically qualifying for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

PSA: Anthony Davis is out here warning us that he’s going to drop threes all season long

Getty Images: Be warned... AD is outchea dropping threes.

Getty Images: Be warned… AD is outchea dropping threes.

Just when you thought it was safe for your basketball team to go outside, drive to the area, and take on the New Orleans Pelicans…

Anthony Davis has said that he’s been working on his three point shot all off-season.

AD published this video on facebook a couple of weeks ago:

Then yesterday, SLAM Magazine’s Christopher Cason spoke to him at Red Bull Reign about the video:

SLAM: There was a video out a few weeks ago with you working on your three-point shot. Can we expect you to step out and take more going forward?

AD: I’m going to mix it up. I love playing down low, but at the same time, if the opportunity is there; I’m definitely going to take them. That’s one thing for sure that coach Gentry has told me—“Shoot the ball,” “Let it go.” I’ve been working on it and I’m very confident in my game.

I’ve shot three’s all my life. I didn’t really need to shoot them over the past few years as much, but I’m never going to turn down shooting threes, especially if the coach tells me he wants me to shoot them. It’s something that I’ve definitely been working on. I definitely plan on utilizing it this year.

Davis’ game has improved significantly over the last few seasons. Especially offensively. The last bastion for AD to be considered to have a complete outside game is if he becomes a threat from the perimeter, plus improving his mid-range game from right of the key.

Stat Muse: AD's 2014/15 season shot chart.

Stat Muse: AD’s 2014/15 season shot chart.

AD is a career 11.1% three-point shooter… He only hit one shot from beyond the arc in the entire 2014/15 season. Although it was probably the highlight of the season:

adgif

If AD starts draining threes consistently. It’s over. Hand him the MVP.s for the next 7 seasons in advance.

Via SLAM

Klay Thompson is a CHEAT…….at go-kart racing, and a bad one at that

Warriors guard Klay Thompson is used to winning now. As an NBA champion, there’s no going back, so for Klay being humbled on the go-kart track was not an option.

Trailing in the race, Klay tries to pull of a sneaky shortcut, only for the grass to keep it real and bog his kart.

As he described in the caption f his Instagram post, “I’m a very competitive person and I learned a very valuable lesson today: cheaters never prosper.”

Considering nearly everyone’s go-karting knowledge stems from playing a sickening amount of Mario Kart in the mid-90s, we can at least see where he was coming from with the hashtags.  #ThoughtitwasWarioStadium #KoopaTroopaShortcut #lightskindjeffgordon

via: Instagram

Kobe Bryant & Shaquille O’Neal regret their feud that broke up the Lakers

Getty Images: Kobe & Shaq share a joke.

Getty Images: Kobe & Shaq share a joke.

Kobe Bryant is going to be a guest on an upcoming episode of Shaquille O’Neal‘s podcast “The Big Podcast With Shaq”.

The interview is going to be one of the first public appearances with the both of them spending more than about five minutes together since the great Lakers break-up of 2004.

It’s no secret that despite playing with each-other from 1996 through to 2004, winning three titles and making four Finals appearances, that the duo never really got along and Kobe was a huge proponent to forcing Shaq out of LA LA LAnd to Miami in the Summer of 2004.

In an excerpt of the podcast appearing on ESPN.com, the two spoke about their feud.

“A lot of stuff was said out of the heat of the moment,” O’Neal said in an excerpt from the podcast that was played on ESPN Radio on Wednesday. “I guarantee I don’t remember a lot of stuff that they said, because I changed my thought process of, you know what, we won three out of four, what the hell are you all talking about? This is not really even a story.”

Said Bryant: “Here’s the thing, though. When you say it at the time, you actually mean it, and then when you get older you have more perspective, and you’re like holy s—. I was an idiot when I was a kid.

“To me, the most important thing was really, ‘just keep your mouth shut.’ You don’t need to go to the press with stuff. You keep it internal, and we have our arguments and our disagreements, but I think having our debates within the press was something I wish would’ve been avoided. But it did kind of create this whirlwind around us as a team with myself and Shaq and the press and the media that just put so much pressure on us as an organization.”

Looking back, if this was handled better by everyone… Imagine how many more titles the Lakers could have won?

 

There goes the neighbourhood: James Harden celebrates 26th birthday in style

Harden goin' up....on a Tuesday

Harden goin’ up….on a Tuesday

It’s been a great off-season for James Harden, from hitting game-winning threes over Nick Young in the Drew League to hanging out in Sydney playing H.O.R.S.E, and cashing $200 million cheques from Adidas, he’s been having all of the fun.

So on Tuesday when he turned 26, of course it was going to be in style. Alongside the Kardashian clan, Kanye West, Tyga, Trevor Ariza, Baron Davis and a host of other stars, the Beard turned up on a huuuge yacht in Marina Del Rey.

However, according to TMZ, the boat party was so loud much fun, it woke the neighbours, sending the Californians into complete meltdown.

Per TMZ:

Khloe Kardashian and James Harden threw their own personal 4th of July with a GIANT fireworks display that woke up thousands of residents — and city officials are scrambling to find out HOW it got approved.

The thunderous fireworks show — visible from multiple towns along the oceanfront — went on for 15 minutes at the stroke of midnight. TMZ has learned the whole thing was a yacht party for Harden’s 26th birthday, and it was all on the up and up.

giphyvia: TMZ

Episode 321 – Extend that guy

Getty Images: Are the Wizards about to extend Bradley Beal?

Getty Images: Are the Wizards about to extend Bradley Beal?

Today on Believe The Hype, Tom and Benyam catch up with West Coast Correspondent Jamieson Welsh for a chat. The guys chat about Jamieson’s takeaways from Team USA Camp, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s extension, plus other guys who may or may not be extended before the October 31 deadline in Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Dion Waiters and Andre Drummond. Also, the guys chat about Nick Young‘s intentions to play for the Australian National Team.

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

Download:

Closing Song: Yung Hass – The Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Song

Russell Westbrook rocks out at Taylor Swift concert, because Westbrook

T SWIFT …WAS ROCKINNNN LAST NIGHT!! …. @taylorswift

A video posted by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

Russell Westbrook ‘s Taylor Swift/pop music fandom is nothing new. We’ve seen him rocking out in the car, rocking out during injury rehab, and of course famously singing Ke$ha tracks on the bench.

Taylor Swift is everywhere, she even managed to crack the hardest of stones in Kobe Bryant, who presented her with a banner at Staples Center earlier this week.

We stand no chance. Right Amar’e?

via: Instagram