NBA All-Star voting is underway

The first wave of results are back from fan-voting for NBA All-Star starters. Some of the results have been raising questions.

Should fans be the ones that vote for starters in the NBA All-Star game? An argument can certainly be made on both sides. Players get plenty of official accolades for their strong play, such as making All-NBA Teams, All-Defense, MVP, etc.

Do they really need one more official pat on the back, or can fans just select whoever the heck they want? It is just an exhibition game after all. Player pride may be on the line, but fans are the main reason the players have such a lofty platform. As I said, either side can be argued.

The reason it is being argued is below, in the first voting return:

There are many names that everyone expects to see. LeBron and half of the Warriors show up out West, while new kings of the East, Giannis, Embiid, and Kawhi take deserved spots on the other side. Three frontcourt players and two backcourt players start per conference. The issue lies in a few of the would-be starters as of now.

Luka Doncic is the likely rookie of the year, but All-Star starter over Durant, PG-13, or the Brow? The fans are making a questionable pick here.

Nostalgia is one of the true leading vote-getters this year. Derrick Rose, though he is having a nice bounce-back season, would currently be a starter over Harden and Westbrook. C’mon now. Out East, Dwyane Wade is in his final season. That makes this pick a bit more understandable, but it would still be a bit of a shame if the deserving Kemba Walker didn’t get that spot. Even Vince Carter makes an appearance in the top 10.

Again, this is an exhibition game that is clearly meant for fan service. To the players and top-talent purists, there may be a few too many old guys (and Lakers/Warriors) on this list. Either way, it will be a blast as it always is. If you don’t like the current standings go vote for your guys!

Follow us on Twitter @BBall_Movement and let us know who you would like to see on All-Star Weekend this February!

NBA gameday this Christmas

As always, the NBA has saved some juicy matchups to help fill in the biggest holiday in the U.S.A.

The NFL has had a part of Thanksgiving traditions for many years. More and more, the NBA is sneaking into Christmas traditions across the country. With five games broadcast one at a time, there will be great basketball on all day long.

Naturally, the holiday is best spent with friends and family. If you just need something on in the background though, look no farther. The 10 teams playing will all have unique Christmas jerseys and the broadcast will certainly have Christmas aspects all over.

Here is a little rundown of the games so you can decide which you would like to have in the background and which ones get your full attention. Game times shown in Central Time.

Bucks @ Knicks - 11:00am ESPN

Let’s be real; The New York Knicks are on because they are one of the biggest markets. They aren’t doing very well, but it is always interesting to catch up with a team that doesn’t get as much national coverage. On the other hand, Milwaukee is a team that is 100 percent worth your attention. Led by MVP candidate, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks are number one in the NBA in points per game.

Thunder @ Rockets - 2:00pm ABC

Two more perennial MVP candidates and former teammates, Russell Westbrook vs. James Harden is always going to make for good TV. OKC’s Paul George has also inserted himself in MVP discussions for one of the Western Conference’s top teams. After a disappointing start, Houston is back on the rise as well.

76ers @ Celtics - 4:30pm ABC

Despite both having ups and downs thus far in the season, these are still two of the most entertaining teams in the NBA. The young core of Philadelphia with the addition of Jimmy Butler looks as talented and potent as ever. For Boston, Kyrie Irving is rolling after a sluggish start to the year. The health of Irving, Gordon Hayward, and Al Horford may be what makes or breaks this team.

Lakers @ Warriors - 7:00pm ABC/ESPN

LeBron James fan? Actual Lakers fan? Steph Curry fan? Fan of super teams that lazy, sensitive players flee to for rings? This matchup is a fan-pleaser for sure. (Oh, and anti-Durant views are solely those of Blogger @WilHarrington and not The Basketball Movement).

Jokes aside, this will be an entertaining game featuring some of the best basketball players on the planet. Los Angeles is rounding into a solid playoff team, while Golden State is essentially winning games by just messing around while they wait for the playoffs.

Trailblazers @ Jazz - 9:30pm ESPN

The night game features less star-power than most of the above matchups, but will still be worth turning on as you slip into your food coma. Portland’s Damian Lillard is one of the top competitors to watch in the league while Utah bring scrappy defense and underrated players on their end. Casual fans may recognize Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, but do yourself a favor and get familiar with my man, Joe Ingles this Christmas.

That will do it for a very NBA Christmas! Keep your priorities straight concerning your time this holiday, but feel free to treat yourself to some top-quality basketball when you can. Have a very Merry Christmas from your friends at The Basketball Movement!

NBA standings - Wild, wild west

The Standings in the NBA are very interesting, with much more parity than expected with the Golden State Warriors still intact.

A few teams are finally beginning to separate themselves, but the last few weeks in the NBA have provided some surprising positions in the standings. The Western Conference is unusually tight from the top almost all the way to the bottom. The East is where we are finally seeing parity.

Out in New York, the Knicks and Nets both got off to hotter-than-expected starts, but have slowed back down. Brooklyn’s decline may have something to do with the injury to potential Most Improved Player candidate, Caris LaVert. Charlotte has also slowed down, but still remains in the hunt.

The Orlando Magic are a surprise this season at 12-13, though their roster remains very similar to the one that had them near the bottom of the conference a year ago. Detroit is another surprise. The Pistons have dropped their last two, but are still 13-9, currently good for fourth.

The Boston Celtics have been the biggest disappointment after being picked by many to take the conference championship. However, they have now won their last three and may be ready for a push.

The Raptors sit on top and look like the best team in the NBA right now. Giannis Antetokounmpo has finally transformed his Milwaukee Bucks into a contender as well.

Below are the full Eastern Conference standings pulled directly from ESPN:


Western Conference

The 2018-19 NBA season may be just a little over one fourth of the way done, but the standings in the West are still wild. Only 6.5 games separate the 15th placed San Antonio Spurs from the number one seed Denver Nuggets. The Phoenix Suns at 4-20 are the only team looking too far gone.

Denver was expected to be good, but not necessarily lead the West. They are well-rounded and have been getting a nice boost from our ally Monte Morris. Another surprise near the top is the LA Clippers, who are looking pretty smart after blowing up their core last season.

The Warriors are still great and likely know it isn’t necessary to bring it every night - especially with DeMarcus Cousins nearing a return as early as Christmas. The Thunder have the best chemistry they’ve seen in years, Memphis is healthy and tough, and the LeBron-led Lakers are rolling.

The Houston Rockets may be the strangest team in the league. Trading away two of their top defenders hurt them more than they thought it would and they are near the bottom of the standings. So many teams are hovering around down there though, that it is still anyone’s game.

These West teams are just so close. Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, or Karl-Anthony Towns could power their teams up the standings at any moment. Or the defense of the Jazz. Or leading Rookie of the Year candidate, Luka Doncic of the Mavs. And wait… Sacramento is in there too? See? Wild.

Here are the full standings, also pulled directly from ESPN:


The is a lot of basketball movement left in the 2018-19 NBA season, so you are of course in the right place!

What to make of Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony quickly went from star, to role player, to… well, what is going on with Melo now?

There has been an abundance of interesting storylines already in this young NBA season. From Jimmy Butler drama, LeBron leaving Cleveland again, and the Kawhi Leonard/DeMar DeRozan trade all the way down to Joel Embiid’s Twitter game, there has been no shortage of entertainment from the world’s best basketball league.

Now, we have an interesting Carmelo Anthony situation. After breaking off his relationship with the New York Knicks, Anthony spent last season with the OKC Thunder. He refused a bench role, though that is what seemed like the best solution with Paul George and Russell Westbrook in the starting lineup. No one doubted Anthony’s potential when it came to instant offense off the bench.

The fit clearly wasn’t there, so he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, was waived, and signed with the Houston Rockets ahead of the current NBA season. Suddenly he was ready to accept a bench role. The Rockets had to move some players to make room for him - those players wound up being defensive stoppers, Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute.

Only 10 games into the season, Anthony was averaging 13 and 5 off the bench, shooting 40 percent from the field. The Rockets are off to a more sluggish start than anticipated and their decision for shaking things up is to part ways with Carmelo Anthony.

What is next for Anthony?

The future is certainly hazy for the aging star. He has technically not been waived yet by the Houston Rockets, which is a bit mysterious in and of itself. After two discouraging stops since leaving New York, most teams may have a hard time envisioning a fit for the former All-Star on their roster.

Has his game not aged well? His mentality? His refusal to come off of the bench in Oklahoma City may suggest the latter. Aging gracefully in this game is not always as easy as players like Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, and Dwyane Wade are making it look. Accepting limitations is an important part of being a veteran of the league.

His game - the guy can still shoot. The percentages are not always there, but he is still a capable iso scorer. That just isn’t a desired skillset when it is attached to a player that has lost a step. Especially during a period in which many teams are building young cores while the Warriors run wild.

His defense has never been good, and is likely worse now.

One option for Carmelo is to go the way of Stephon Marbury. Carmelo could make a whole lot of money being the best player in China.

Whatever happens, we will still be paying close attention, as Melo is likely a Hall of Famer after a long career of unstoppable scoring. Keep checking back with The Basketball Movement for more on this and all other things basketball.

Jimmy Butler is set to debut in Philadelphia

Jimmy Butler finally got his wish granted - He has been traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves and is back in the Eastern Conference.

The Philadelphia 76ers play the Orlando Magic tonight (only available on League Pass) and it sounds like Jimmy Butler will start for the Sixers. Butler was traded by the T-Wolves along with Justin Patton to Philadelphia in exchange for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jarryd Bayless, and a 2022 second-round draft pick.

The Jimmy Butler drama has carried over from a long Summer into an uncomfortable start to the season for the Timberwolves. The drama translated into a poor record to start, underwhelming performances by the Wolves’ young stars, and tensions reaching new heights.

The inevitable trade happened on 11/10/18, effectively jettisoning Butler from the team. All things considered, it wasn’t a bad haul for the Wolves since Butler was a lock to leave one way or another.

Dario Saric will bring a nice facet to Tom Thibodeau’s squad in the form of a stretch four that can stay out of Karl-Anthony Towns’ way, but still be a scoring threat. Robert Covington brings needed perimeter shooting as well and Jaryd Bayless is a solid veteran presence to backup oft-injured point guard, Derrick Rose.

Philadelphia’s new star

Butler is the kind of player that can realistically fit with any team on the court. He has good size and strength, but maintains the quickness necessary to lock down opposing perimeter players. He is an improved outside shooter and a fantastic slasher. However, he is leaving a team with young players with unique personalities to go to… a team with young players with unique personalities.

The 76ers go-to scorer, rebounder, and rim-protector is Joel Embiid. “The Process” as he is nicknamed is a 7 footer that can hit the three and handle the rock in a pinch. Aside from being an MVP candidate, he is actually known just as much for his tweeting and say-anything demeanor.

Philly’s other star is Ben Simmons, a 6’10” point guard with incredible talent that refuses to shoot jumpers. There is also Markelle Fultz, another huge talent and former first overall pick that is so down in the confidence department, that he may struggle to ever reach his potential.

Enter Butler, who is a fiery competitor that was fed up with his nonchalant young teammates in Minny. Despite the quirks of his new teammates, he must see more of a desire to win here.

After giving up substantial outside shooting, Philadelphia will have to adjust on the fly as they are clearly in “win now” mode. Will Fultz get with the program or be the next piece to be moved?

One way or another - this is going to be interesting. The Sixers were already one of the most fun teams to watch and that is not set to change. Stay tuned to the Movement! 

The 2018-19 NBA season tips off tonight

After a long summer of draft hype, free agency, Summer League action, and trade drama, NBA games are finally back.

This summer, the NBA felt more like a drama than a thriller. Between the Kawhi Leonard trade, LeBron James signing, and now Jimmy Butler debacle, there has been plenty of entertainment. As interesting as all of that has been, it is refreshing that we are finally getting back to basketball.

Hoops at the highest level returns tonight with a double-header on TNT. Things kick off with two Eastern Conference powerhouses at 7:00PM (CST). The young, talented Philadelphia 76ers are headed to Boston to take on the Celtics. The C’s are largely considered to be the team to beat out east. Thoughts can’t help but turn to opening night last season, which also featured the Celtics. The newly acquired Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome leg injury in that one, but he is set to finally break onto the scene with Kyrie Irving and company.

Following that game is a big Western Conference clash, featuring the defending champion Golden State Warriors and OKC Thunder at 9:30PM (CST). This has been a classic matchup ever since Kevin Durant fled to Golden State to easily win championships in an attempt to pad his “legacy” (sorry… I’m a Thunder fan).

Following the departure of Carmelo Anthony, OKC is hoping to have better offensive and defensive flow. Unfortunately, they will be without defensive stopper, Andre Roberson for a couple months and they may be missing Russell Westbrook for a few games as well following a minor offseason surgery.

The majority of the league will start their seasons up tomorrow evening. LeBron’s Lakers debut will come Thursday night against the Portland Trailblazers on the backside of another TNT double-header.

Get your fantasy lineups set, popcorn ready to pop, and favorite jersey on. The NBA is back, baby.

There is a lot to look forward to this upcoming season. The Basketball Movement will be tracking NBA action as well as NCAA on down to prep hoops. Keep checking back, because there is always movement in the world of basketball!

The Jimmy Butler saga

Jimmy Butler has made it clear that he wants a new team. That didn’t stop him from practicing - hard.

Minnesota Timberwolves swingman, Jimmy Butler has been looking for way out of Minny for much of the Summer. With the 2018-19 NBA season nearly upon us, he still has not been dealt. Coach and Basketball Operations President, Tom Thibodeau has been with Butler for a long time and originally was trying everything to keep him. Now that they are finally open to trading him, they are struggling to find a solid return.

The result is an unhappy Jimmy Butler still with the team. Debatably the top source for happenings in the National Basketball Association, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski or “Woj” is the man to listen for with any news on situations like these. Once Woj broke his Twitter silence to announce that Butler practiced for the first time with the team, we new things were going to get real.

Then the juicy stuff started coming in.

Butler’s return to the team was going to have an unavoidable awkwardness no-matter what. Things apparently went beyond awkward though, with emotions spilling over and confrontations between teammates, coach, and general manager.

From ESPN’s numerous reports on the situation, it sounds like between Butler’s verbal jabs was some of the hardest played basketball a Timberwolves practice has seen since Kevin Garnett.

Butler reportedly played alongside the team’s third-string players and soundly beat the regular starters. He was guarding the much larger Karl-Anthony Towns in the paint and succeeding. He was shining light on KAT and Andrew Wiggins’ lack of killer instinct.

The below interview between Jimmy and ESPN’s Rachel Nichols confirms the reports concerning how things went down. Butler is clearly displeased, believing that he is underappreciated as the hardest working player on his team. He says that Towns has the most talent and Wiggins has the most “God-given” ability with his long arms, large hands, and bounce. He has also made it clear who has the most fire.

Even if Butler is right about his running-mate’s lack of drive or the organization’s lack of appreciation for him, his response was perhaps a bit bold. Outplaying everyone in the gym and challenging teammates is one thing, but some of his comments towards ownership need some censoring. Regardless, Jimmy is clearly playing at his old All-Star level and looking to take a team with him to the top - whichever team that may be.

Many players may have left inspired by Jimmy Butler’s tenacity. By the end of the day though, the wound between Butler and the organization has not been mended. You know what that means? Unless a trade happens instantly, he’ll be back practicing with the team again today.

Update: It has been reported that the Timberwolves are not practicing today (10/11). There will be no media access either.

For more NBA action and everything else basketball, follow The Basketball Movement on Twitter and keep checking back with us here.

NBA Preseason is in full swing

We are in the middle of the 2018 NBA Preseason, which runs from Friday, September 28 through Friday, October 12.

There is no denying it now; the 2018-19 NBA regular season is close. So close that there is already plenty of action! The stars may be limited in the preseason, but there are many reasons to tune in as many of the best basketball players in the world collide.

New faces in new places, breakout candidates, and up-and-coming full-time NBA hopefuls abound this NBA preseason.

As for new faces in new places, it would be tough to argue that anyone stands out more than LeBron James in his Lakers gold and purple. At 33 years old, James has played a surprising amount this preseason. It was exciting to catch a glimpse of him already as he begins to gel with his new, young Lakers teammates. Despite his comparatively advanced age and limited minutes, he still looks like the same ol’ LeBron James and had good chemistry with new teammate, Rajon Rondo.

We have talked plenty about the offseason’s blockbuster DeMar DeRozan / Kawhi Leonard trade. DeRozan looked fairly pedestrian in his first outing as a San Antonio Spur, albeit also in limited minutes. Leonard is the more interesting player to watch, as we have not seen him play in some time due largely to injury.

So far in limited minutes, he has not had much time to put up big numbers. However, he appears to be moving well and has had some flashy moments handling the ball in a halfcourt set for the Raptors. The addition of Leonard will instantly vault the Raptors into the conversations about top defensive teams in the NBA.

There are naturally more players in new places, but we will continue to cover them all as the season progresses.

On the rookie side of things, first overall pick, DeAndre Ayton has looked as good as advertised. Luka Doncic is also looking well-rounded. There are many promising young players joining the fray this year. The Cavaliers, Collin Sexton and New York Knicks, Kevin Knox have shown great promise. Trae Young is distributing nicely but has yet to get his shot going.

Other NBA news:

Jimmy Butler is still a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Coach Tom Thibodeau has essentially said that the team is still trying to move him.

After missing the majority of the 2017-18 season, Andre Roberson of the OKC Thunder has re-aggravated his injury. He will likely miss two additional months.

For more NBA, NCAA, prep, and local basketball goodness, keep coming back right here to The Basketball Movement.

ESPN top 100 NBArank 2018-19

Each year, ESPN attempts the impossible by ranking the top 100 NBA players ahead of the new season.

NBA players are the best of the basketball world. To break them out and rank them against each other on-by-one would be a daunting task. Each player brings different things to their respective teams. Still, the talking heads of the sports world love rankings. So, ESPN, The Undefeated, and FiveThirtyEight got together to do their best to determine the most valuable players going into the 2018-19 season.

The rankings were voted on by TV analysts, producers, reporters, editors, and researchers. They voted to estimate which players would be best this season in terms of quality and quantity of play. For the latter reason, players coming off of injuries such as Gordon Hayward (40), Kristaps Porzingis (58), or DeMarcus Cousins (69) appear a little lower than it seems they should.

Another factor that is brought up frequently on the list is RPM, which means Real Plus Minus. Per ESPN, this metric measures how well a team does offensively and defensively with any given player on the court, and compares it with how well the team does at each with that same player off the court.

The list is not perfect and of course will be proved wrong many times this season. Still, it makes for great barber shop conversation. Giannis Antetokounmpo tied with Kevin Durant? Let’s talk.

The top 10

Damien Lillard sits at the number ten spot, which does not come as much of a surprise. Lillard is coming off of a selection as First Team All-NBA a season ago. His scoring and leadership for the Trailblazers will continue this season. Joel Embiid is number nine, but could certainly continue his ascension as one of the best bigs in the game.

Kawhi Leonard is eight, assuming he goes all-out playing for the Raptors this year. Number seven is the new Mr. Triple-Double, Russell Westbrook. The former MVP at the seven spot shows the strength of the NBA in 2018.

Third in MVP voting last season, Anthony Davis is number six. Statistically, “The Brow” is one of the best players in the NBA. He has been a bit fragile for much of his career, but his offense and defense are both impossible to deny for the Pelicans. We skip five because ESPN notes a tie for the fourth best player.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has drastically improved each season and is just 23 years old. His offense has blossomed and he may now be the premier player in the Eastern Conference with LeBron James out of town. Kevin Durant is a back-to-back FInals MVP and the best scorer we’ve seen in a long time. It may have hurt him in these rankings that the Warriors can keep on churning without him.

Last season’s MVP, James Harden is listed at number three. His isolation play, passing, and well-rounded offensive game make him one of the greatest in the world. His defense, while improved, may have held him down on this rankings. Steph Curry is listed at two. Though his points have dipped since the arrival of Durant, his efficiency as a high-volume shooter is simply unheard of. He is one of the greatest winners in basketball, and the greatest shooter to date.

ESPN lists LeBron James as number one, and has for the last eight years. That’s some staying power. LeBron’s dominance as a player, especially in the Playoffs is undeniable. He will be 34 this season, but his stats have only improved over the last few seasons. We haven’t seen any decline yet, so there is no reason to expect it.

The other guys

Curry and Durant have some running mates in the top 20. Klay Thompson (19) and Draymond Green (16) are great players that also benefit from a great team. A couple of other notable top 20 guys that are teamed with top 10 players are Paul George (13) and Chris Paul (11).

Kyrie Irving at number 20 certainly seems like a player that could rise with a healthy Celtics squad. Irving’s teammate Jayson Tatum is already up to number 24 while Jaylen brown at 37 is two spots higher than DeMar DeRozan, which seems… wrong. Ben Simmons (18) is another player poised to move up - all he needs is a jumpshot.

A new wrinkle in the rankings is that Bradley Beal (29) has passed teammate, John Wall (32). ESPN already lists rookie Luka Doncic at 63 while first overall pick DeAndre Ayton does not crack the list.

For the full list from 100 on down to number 1, check out ESPN’s page here. The Basketball Movement is ready for the NBA to fire back up, so keep coming back here for continued coverage of this and all things basketball.

One last dance - Dwyane Wade's final season

NBA superstar, Dwyane Wade has announced that his 16th NBA season will be his last.

This past Saturday, Dwyane Wade announced via his Instagram page that the 2018-19 season will be his last in the NBA. The Instagram post led to a link with a YouTube video of Wade starting his own going-away party. In the intimate, raw video, Wade stands alone reflecting on his beginning as a player and where he is today.

This means that Dwyane Wade will play his final season for the Miami Heat, which he has desired all along. The Chicago native was drafted by the Heat in 2003.

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One Last Dance. Link in Bio.

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Wade was the fifth pick in the ‘03 draft. LeBron James went first, and is still showing incredible bounce. Darko Milicic and Chris Bosh are no longer in the league, but third pick, Carmelo Anthony has not shown signs of nearing retirement. A couple of other 2003 draft selections and NBA Champions, David West and Boris Diaw announced their retirement this Summer.

It is great for D-Wade fans to get a full season’s worth of opportunity to see him in action. A heads-up to his final season means that many will get a chance to see one of the greats do his thing in person before it’s too late.

The LeBron James era in Miami produced plenty of wins and plenty of highlights. The most impressive performance of Wade’s career though occurred in the 2005-06 NBA Finals. Even though it was his third year in the league, Wade averaged 35/8/4, overshadowing even his teammate Shaquille O’Neil. He was a force in that series, defeating Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.

Wade is a NBA Scoring Champ (‘08-’09), 3x NBA Champion, 12x All-Star (All-Star MVP in 2010), 3x All-Defense selection, 8x All-NBA, and Finals MVP (‘05-’06). Wade is considered by many to be the third best shooting guard of all-time behind Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

One last dance

The video that Dwyane Wade posted to announce his final season was a great way to go about things. He is candid about his feelings towards the game and his journey. He speaks of loss, family, and priorities.

Athletes, especially at the professional level, are often just seen as that - athletes. In the clip, Wade talks about the grind of improving, the toll of the game, and the upbringing that no one else sees. Check out the video below to see a top athlete get vulnerable and allow us to see his side of the story.

As many of the current great player’s careers wind down (Wade, Nowitzki, Vince Carter), remember to take the time to enjoy getting to see them in action and also reflect back on what they have given to the game of basketball. Good luck to D-Wade as he gears up for his final season in South Beach.

2018 WNBA Finals - It's a wrap

The 2018 WNBA season is officially done thanks to a Finals sweep by the Seattle Storm.

WNBA playoff series are all best-of-five from the first round through the Finals. Somewhat surprisingly, the Seattle Storm only needed three games to put away the Washington Mystics and claim the title of champion for the 2018 season.

The final game was largely decided by perimeter shooting, with the Storm going 13 of 26 from deep. The stretch-bigs proved to be the difference. A four-time NCAA champion at UCONN, the Storm were led by regular season MVP, Breanna Stewart. This is the sixth time that a player has won the regular season MVP award and also gone on the win Finals MVP.

Stewart’s greatness at just 24 years old is impressive. On the other end of the spectrum, her teammate, Sue Bird’s continued excellence at age 37 stands out as well. She is one of the most tenured and respected players in the league.

The Washington Mystics, led by star Elena Della Donne are certainly disappointed by the results, but had a great season.

First and Second Team All-WNBA

Following the championship, the WNBA also released the picks for All-WNBA First and Second team. For anyone following along, the list is not too surprising. The league tweeted out the selections below.

Congratulations to Finals standouts and First-Team selections, Breanna Stewart and Elena Della Donne as well as everyone else selected. It was another great season.

Now the wait is on for NCAA and NBA basketball. NBA preseason action starts September 28th, so it will be here before you know it! OKC Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook has already been declared out for the preseason with arthroscopic knee surgery, so basketball news continues.

The Basketball Movement will continue to cover all things basketball, so keep checking in!

Player profiles: Centers

We wrap up our player profiles series with the players that put the five in starting five - the center.

Whether your team has a true center or not, someone in the starting five is technically playing the "five spot". The whole team cannot hang out on the perimeter, so it falls to the center by default to set up shop in the paint.

Like the other positions that we have discussed, there is no specific way to approach playing the center position. The traditional thought is that the center of a team is its leading rebounder and best rim-protector. Most centers in today's game can do more than just swat shots and grab boards, but there are still plenty of prominent examples of traditional players that we will go over.

The best centers are often still great rebounders, but scorers as well. We will breakdown "all-around" centers below that can do a bit of everything on the court.

We will be going over former and current NBA centers, but it is worth noting that there are some great centers to watch today in the WNBA as well. Candace Parker and Brittney Griner come to mind with former player Lisa Leslie being another great one to watch.

Traditional centers to watch

For all the talk about traditional centers going away in the age of the three-point shot, there are still plenty of examples of excellent traditional centers in the game. There are three high-caliber examples that quickly come to mind: DeAndre Jordan, Rudy Gobert, and Andre Drummond.

Jordan is a tenacious defender and rebounder. His poor free throw shooting is offset by the way he uses his length on both ends of the floor to make an impact. Drummond is the player to watch if you need a free clinic on rebounding the basketball. Rudy Gobert may be the best interior defender in the world. Watch the Frenchman Gobert to learn how to use defensive length and footwork to protect the strong and weak side of the paint.

A few more current examples of traditional centers in the NBA are Steven Adams, Clint Capela, Dwight Howard, and Hassan Whiteside who all make their impact with defense, rebounding, and hustle.

Known for his defense and teamwork more than his scoring, Bill Russell may be the top traditional center in history. Film on Russell may be scarce, but his 11 championships and winning ways speak loudly for his style of play.

All-around centers

By now you may have noticed a trend with these player profiles. You can have plenty of success as a player that focuses on specific skills, especially at lower levels of the game. More often than not though, it is the players that can do a bit of everything on the floor that are often the best at their position.

Even players like Shaquille O'neal, that has every appearance of a traditional center is more well-rounded than he may get credit for. Despite his massive size, Shaq could run the floor, pass, and make shots from mid-range-in with surprising finesse. Another Lakers great, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar is arguably the best all-around center for his defense, rebounding, and peerless scoring ability.

The list of former all-around centers is pretty long and impressive, including names like Hakeem Olajuwon, Moses Malone, David Robinson, and Patrick Ewing.

A few current well-rounded centers that are quickly ascending are Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. Jokic is a great center to watch for passing out of the post while Embiid is great to watch for his post moves and shot-blocking. An underrated, but well-rounded center to watch today is Al Horford.

Perhaps the best all-around centers in the game (though Embiid is knocking on the door), Karl-Anthony Towns and DeMarcus Cousins are certainly great players to study up on for improving centers. Just don't emulate Cousins' technical count.

That does it for our player profiles! Take note of these players to watch as great examples at their positions. Stay locked into The Basketball Movement for more news and basketball content.

Manu Ginobili retirement signals end to an era

San Antonio Spurs star, Manu Ginobili departs from a basketball career that helped shape one of the most dominant runs in pro sports history.

Manu Ginobili was one of the final pieces remaining in the San Antonio Spurs dynasty that had them appearing in 21 consecutive NBA Playoffs. That streak included an unprecedented 18 consecutive 50-win seasons (1998-1999 season was shortened and 50 would have been impossible).

Coach Gregg Popovich remains for the time being, but the legendary Spurs players have now all moved on. One of the winningest trios in sports, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker will be remembered as basketball legends.

David "The Admiral" Robinson's protege, big man Tim Duncan retired two years ago. Earlier this summer, Tony Parker left the Spurs to go to the Charlotte Hornets, though he has vocalized his desire to retire a Spur one way or another. A few days ago, Manu Ginobili announced his retirement via Twitter.

Ginobili's career is incredibly impressive, especially considering that he spent his NBA tenure coming off of the bench. Scoring in bunches, scrappy defense, and creative playmaking defined the Argentinian's unorthodox style. He very well may have been the player that first introduced the euro-step to the league.

He could easily be written off as a folk hero in San Antonio. Actually, he is a four time NBA Champion, a NBA Sixth Man of the Year, two-time NBA All-Star, a Euroleague Champion, and Olympic gold medalist from 2004 when Argentina beat Team USA. That resume has Basketball Hall of Fame potential.

The departure of Kawhi Leonard this Summer means that Coach Pop and Patty Mills are the only Spurs champions left standing. With DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge still in place, they will still have a chance to make yet another playoff push.

However, there will be something missing when you tune into a Spurs game going forward. The sustained greatness that was supplied by Ginobili & Co. may waiver, but Popovich will certainly make sure that the signature cool-as-ice play and smooth ball movement will carry on. Good luck to Manu in retirement and thanks for what you gave the world of basketball!

2018 Basketball Hall of Fame inductees

One of the highest honors of the basketball world is to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The 2018 Hall of Fame inductees were announced a little while ago, but the Hall of Fame presenters have been announced recently. Below is a full list of this year's inductees as well as those that will be presenting them and the year that they themselves were inducted. This information is directly from

2018 Inductees and Presenters

Ray Allen, presented by Reggie Miller (’12)

Maurice “Mo” Cheeks, presented by Billy Cunningham (’86)and Julius Erving (’93)

Charles “Lefty” Driesell, presented by John Thompson (’99), Mike Krzyzewski (’01), and George Raveling (’15)

Grant Hill, presented by Isiah Thomas (’00), Mike Krzyzewski (’01)Patrick Ewing (’08)and Alonzo Mourning (‘14)                   

Jason Kidd, presented by Gary Payton (’13)

Steve Nash, presented by Don Nelson (’12)

Dino Radja, presented by Larry Bird (’98)

Charlie Scott, presented by Dave Cowens (’91), Julius Erving (’93)Larry Brown (’02)James Worthy (’03)Jerry Colangelo (’04)Roy Williams (’07)and Spencer Haywood (’15)

Katie Smith, presented by Dawn Staley (’13)      

Tina Thompson, presented by Cheryl Miller (’95)

Rod Thorn, presented by Jerry West (’80)

Rick Welts, presented by Bill Russell (’75), Lenny Wilkens (’89 & ’98), Annie Meyers (’93), Russ Granik (’13), and David Stern (’14)

This is clearly an impressive list of inductees, headlined by some big-name players. The bottom half of the list from Dino Radja to Rick Welts is comprised of individuals selected by committees that focus on preserving the game including: The Veterans Committee, International Committee, Early African Pioneers Committee, and the Contributor Committee.

Three point sniper Ray Allen is a two-time NBA Champion that rounded out one of the best Celtics squads since Bird, McHale, and Parish. Then, he helped LeBron James win one in Miami.

Steals artist Maurice "Mo" Cheeks was a four-time NBA All-Star, and is currently an assistant coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Charles "Lefty" Driesell is the only coach in NCAA history to be named Conference Coach of the Year in four different conferences, per

Jason Kidd was a 10-time NBA All-Star and Champion with the Dallas Mavericks. One of the best to never win a championship, Steve Nash was a two-time NBA MVP and eight-time All-Star.

Grant Hill was a seven-time NBA All-Star whose career was hampered by injury. He made his presence felt nonetheless. Katie Smith is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and Tina Thompson was a four-time WNBA champ.

The ceremony will be held at the hall in Springfield, Massachusetts Friday, September 7th. A television showing is likely to be held on NBA TV, if not ESPN. Tune in to hear from some of the greatest to play the game of basketball! 

2018-19 NBA schedule released

The NBA has already released the schedule for the upcoming 2018-19 season. Here are a few notable nights.

With the release of the NBA schedule, we see some familiar trends. Holidays like Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Thanksgiving(ish), and of course the first opening days are loaded with interesting matchups.

The season will kick-off October 16 with the 76ers traveling to Boston to take on the Celtics. This was a big rivalry many years ago, but with LeBron James now in the Western Conference (his first game as a Laker is Oct. 18), each team can now see themselves on a trajectory that could land them in the NBA Finals. The game will be on TNT.

As usual, Christmas Day is a great one for basketball fans that have the opportunity to put their feet up and get get away from the hustle and bustle. LeBron vs. the Warriors is a classic, but we will see him try to topple Steph, KD, and the gang as a Laker this time. The other top Christmas Day game will likely be Thunder at Rockets. Aside from just being a fun game to watch, it will be interesting to see OKC face Carmelo Anthony and determine if they are in the running in the West.

Most basketball fans have heard a thing or two about the Kawhi Leonard/DeMar DeRozan trade. Assuming Kawhi does not find a way to leave or not play for the Raptors, we will see him face off against the Spurs for the first time February 22nd.

A lot of familiar faces are in new places this season. The nights that feature former teammates and organizations are often some of the most exciting. LeBron vs. Kyrie is now a classic Lakers vs. Celtics match that will make for fantastic television. Those two will meet February 7 and you can bet it will hold down a prime TV spot. James' return to Cleveland will be November 21 - the crowd reaction will be very interesting.

A couple of other notable stars returning to their old teams for the first time will be Gordon Hayward of the Celtics returning to Utah November 9th and Blake Griffin of the Pistons returning to L.A. January 12th.

Thunder fans will likely have March 16 circled on their calendars, as the showdown with Kevin Durant is always juicy drama.

With all of the fancinating rookies from Luka Doncic to Alize Johnson, familiar faces in new places, and plenty of rivalries, it will be a very entertaining season. Heck, maybe the Warriors won't even win it all. Oh wait, they added DeMarcus Cousins. Well, we'll see.

Each of the 30 teams will play a 82 game season, so there are of course too many games to show here. A link to the full NBA schedule can be found here:!?PD=N&Month=0

Trae Bell-Haynes - NBA prospect

Trae Bell-Haynes has his eyes on the NBA after playing for the Milwaukee Bucks Summer League team.

The Basketball Movement is working out another NBA Summer League alumni. Coming off a summer participating in the NBA's Global Camp in Italy and the NBA Summer League, Trae Bell-Haynes is ready to take the next step.

Bell-Haynes played four years at Vermont, where he was American East Player of the Year and AP All-American honorable mention twice. At Vermont, he got to know The Basketball Movement's Payton Henson. Payton knew that Trae was trying to take his game to the next level, so he let him know about his great experience with Coach Rob Yanders. Trae was interested in the workouts, so Coach Rob reached out and got him to Southwest Missouri.

In a phone conversation with Bell-Haynes, he broke out how Rob and The Basketball Movement has already helped him as a player.

Trae Bell-Haynes at The Movement

Many different trainers tell players many different things as Bell-Haynes pointed out. In talking to Payton Henson, Trae said that he learned that Rob was the real deal.

Rob doesn’t do crazy things. He focuses on teaching you to play the right way, which was very applicable to me because I’m not a crazy, flashy player.
— Bell-Haynes on Coach Rob

Trae talked a lot about the high level of energy and intensity of the workouts at The Basketball Movement. He says that the fast-pace is different than other workouts he has experienced. He noted that Rob said something that has really stuck with him - "The person is the player."

What this means is that everything in life bleeds over onto the basketball court. If there is drama or positivity in your life, it affects your play for better or worse. Bell-Haynes says that as he strives to make his living playing basketball, this is a thought he will carry with him to make sure he attempts to block out any negative impact on his game.

In college, Trae Bell-Haynes did most of his scoring at the basket. He got his numbers in transition or at the free throw line. These are valuable skills for a guard, but he is currently working on expanding his range to become a more complete scorer. He says that being young (22) there is still plenty of room for improvement everywhere - "That's why I came to The Basketball Movement."

A pro-level player

It has already been a whirlwind summer for the 6'2" guard out of Toronto, Canada. With the worldwide growth of the game of basketball, the NBA has been expanding its search for top talent. For that reason, they hosted the NBA Global Camp in Italy this summer, where Bell-Haynes was one of just 40 players invited for interviews, scrimmages, drills, and strength and conditioning tests.

Being in Italy was a bonus, but it was my first time being around 39 other NBA-level, like-minded guys. It was a great experience.
— Bell-Haynes on NBA Global Camp

While he was there, Trae interviewed with the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic organizations. After the interviews, he recalls that the Bucks expressed interest a couple weeks later. From there, he attended workouts and after the draft came and went, they called and asked if he would play on their Summer League squad.

Bell-Haynes played all five Summer League games at point guard for the Bucks. In only 14.2 minutes per contest, he still managed to show off his passing prowess and ability to get to the rim, shooting 62 percent. He scored 13 in his final game of the summer.

Trae Bell-Haynes knows that he can be a valuable contributor on an NBA team. The more time he spends at The Basketball Movement, the closer he will get to achieving his goal. For more on The Movement from prep-to-pro, keep it locked right here as we continue to elevate our game to help you elevate yours.

Team USA mini-camp

This week there has been a three-day Team USA mini-camp for 35 men players interested in competing in the 2020 Olympics.

The 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo, Japan and will feature some of the best athletes from around the world. Among those will be the reigning gold-medalist USA basketball team, poised for another gold medal run.

As there are most summers, there is a short camp for team USA basketball. This year's has been held in Las Vegas from July 25-27. Coach Gregg Popovich will be at the helm after Duke University's Mike Krzyzewski stepped down after a long, successful stretch coach team USA.

The roster of players at the camp is 35 strong. Team USA can still add or remove players as it chooses for next year's FIBA World Championship in China or the 2020 Olympics. This means that if they are still up for it, players like LeBron James or Chris Paul could still be added to the trimmed-down roster at a later time despite skipping camp. Given their comparatively advanced age, it could go either way.

A few players had to miss the camp despite being on the roster. Minnesota Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler, had offseason hand surgery and Washington's Bradley Beal had the birth of a child. One interesting absence is Kawhi Leonard, who may not feel like seeing Coach Pop after his falling out with and recent trade from the San Antonio Spurs.

Plenty of teammates are on the roster such as Detroit's Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, Indiana's Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner, OKC's Paul George and Russell Westbrook, and the Warriors' Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. Interesting ex-teammate situations such as Durant and Westbrook abound as well.

The roster at the camp is as follows, per Bleacher Report:

Team USA Roster

Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks)

Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)

Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)

Jimmy Butler (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Mike Conley Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies)

DeMarcus Cousins (Golden State Warriors)

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)

DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs)

Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)

Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors)

Paul George (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Eric Gordon (Houston Rockets)

Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)

Blake Griffin (Detroit Pistons)

James Harden (Houston Rockets)

Tobias Harris (Los Angeles Clippers)

Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics)

Kyrie Irving (Boston Celtics)

LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)

DeAndre Jordan (Dallas Mavericks)

Kawhi Leonard (Toronto Raptors)

Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)

Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors)

CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers)

Khris Middleton(Milwaukee Bucks)

Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers)

Chris Paul (Houston Rockets)

Isaiah Thomas (Denver Nuggets)

Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)

Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers)

Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)

John Wall (Washington Wizards)

Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)

For now, fans will have to wait until the FIBA World Championships next year to see these guys in action together. The closest we'll get until then will be the 2019 All-Star game in which many of these stars will mingle with fellow NBA players from around the globe.

Stick with The Basketball Movement as we follow this and other noteworthy teams, keeping you up-to-date on basketball movement around the world.

Looking ahead at LeBron "Bronny" James Jr. and others

Already in the headlines for obvious reasons, Bronny James Jr. is going to be hyped for many years.

Only 13 years old, LeBron James' son, Bronny James Jr. already has an impressive highlight reel to his name. He is also fresh off a USBA (United States Basketball Association) national title with his AAU team, the Blue Chips. The young phenom raises some questions that likely his Father could best answer; could Bronny and LeBron play in the NBA at the same time?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, not many players make it to the NBA. It is not a given that LeBron's son will make it either. He has good genes, every facility imaginable, and one of the best teachers in the sport available nearly 24/7 though, so his odds are better than most. Especially if he keeps growing (he is 5'10"), his odds are decent. Also, he is only 13. Maybe he will decide he's more into NASCAR... alright, maybe not.

Bronny is a minimum of about 5 years away from being able to be employed by the NBA. In five years, LeBron will be closing in on 39 years old. No player has been playing the amount of minutes LeBron has over the last multiple seasons. If he has any tread left on the tires, you have to think he would love the chance to player either with or against his son.

LeBron's other son, Bryce Maximus is just 11 years old, but shaping up to be an impressive young player as well. It will be interesting as the years go by to see if these kids stick with it and make it to the top.

Some other noteworthy young ballers

A few years older than Bronny, Zaire Wade is a player to watch for as well. Zaire Blessing Dwyane Wade is the son of Kobe Bryant. Wait... alright, maybe not. Dwyane Wade's son, Zaire is 16 years old and already throwing down some impressive jams.

A more recognizable name may be Shareef O'neil. The great Shaquille O'neil's son does not quite have the size of his father. Many colleges would certainly still leave their doors open to the 6'9" 205 lb. forward. Shareef is 18 years old and has shown impressive range on the offensive end of the floor. 

There are of course many current and former noteworthy father-son basketball duos. The above are just a few of the bigger names out there right now. Good genes certainly help, but hard work will be a big determining factor for these (and all) players.

There are more players for basketball fans to keep an eye on than is probably possible. The Basketball Movement will continue to do its best to let you know about big names at every level of the sport, so keep coming back for more!

2018 WNBA All-Star lineups officially set

The WNBA is trying out the same All-Star format that the NBA used this year. How did the teams shake out?

Much like Team LeBron vs. Team Steph, 2018 marks the first year for the WNBA to try out the team captain approach. The 15th WNBA All-Star contest will feature Team Delle Donn vs. Team Parker. This is the first year that the format will not be Eastern vs. Western Conference players, with players from each representing either team.

The game will be Saturday July 28th in Minneapolis at 2:30 Central time. The game will be on ABC as well as broadcast live on SiriusXM's NBA radio.

The WNBA season is 34 games long, so it is already slowly winding down with the conference standings taking shape. The Atlanta Dream may be the hottest team, leading the East with a 15-4 record, though their seven-game win streak just barley has them ahead of the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun.

The Seattle Storm are dominating the West at 18-7, though the West is more competitive from top-to-bottom.

The selections

Elena Della Donn selected first while Candace Parker chose second, alternating throughout. Familiar names pepper each roster, with team Della Donn sporting the only rookie in the contest, A'ja Wilson. Interestingly, team Parker has the first sister pair ever to compete in Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike.

Below is the full team list taken directly from


No NCAA hoops, no NBA, no problem with some great basketball on deck from these women. Once again, you can tune in Saturday afternoon the 28th on ABC or listen on SiriusXM's NBA radio channel. 

The Kawhi Leonard / Demar DeRozan trade

LeBron James signing with the Lakers may have been the biggest move of the Summer, but we now have a contender.

Once LeBron made his decision to go to L.A., the biggest NBA free agent had made his move. Since then, basketball fans have been waiting to hear about the association's next biggest free agent star, Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has been traded from the Spurs along with Danny Green to the Raptors for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a 2019 protected 1st round pick.

Kawhi had made it clear that he was ready to move on from the San Antonio Spurs. Normally, players seem to covet playing in the Spurs system for coach, Gregg Popovich. Following a few injuries, Kawhi Leonard sat for what many believed was too long. Was the team being cautious, was there drama behind the scenes, or had Kawhi already checked out?

One way or another, Leonard and San Antonio were ready to part ways this summer. This is a stark contrast from Demar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors.

DeRozan wanted to stay

DeRozan signed a 5-year contract in 2016 and had made it clear that he was all-in for the Raptors. Despite having an All-Star buy into their system, the feeling was not mutual on Toronto's end.

Via Instagram, DeMar made it clear that he was not feeling the love from the organization. Per ESPN's David Alridge, DeRozan felt lied-to during this pricess by the Raptors' organization.

To make things more interesting, various sports media outlets have reported that Kawhi Leonard does not have interest in playing in Canada. So, neither player was pleased with this move. Yet another example of the business of professional basketball. Still, Toronto may have trouble attracting stars in the future after how they handled their 9-year man, DeRozan.

What now for these teams?

Did one team win the trade? The Spurs had to move Kawhi Leonard one way or another. To send he and Danny Green in return for All-Star scorer DeRozan, promising big Poeltl, and a first round pick is pretty good. San Antonio did the best they could here. Plus, they didn't have to keep Leonard in their Western Conference.

The Raptors future stemming from this trade is more uncertain. When healthy and playing, Leonard is one of the, if not the best, defenders in the league. His scoring two seasons ago was also among the best in the NBA - he is a star. However, he does not want to be in Toronto.

Will he bench himself until he gets his way much like he seemed to do in S.A.? He wanted to play back in his home town of Los Angeles; will he hold out until then? Even if he does play this season, he is on a one-year contract. The Raptors are all-in this season looking for a championship now that their biggest LeObstacle is now out West.

If he plays, the Raptors will be a defensive nightmare between him, O.G. Anunoby, Serge Ibaka, and Danny Green. Kyle Lowry is a scrappy defender as well.

Only time will tell how everything shakes out, but the deal is done. The Raptors are gambling on one season, while sacrificing their future. The Spurs are finally able to close an unfortunate chapter in Coach Popovich's impressive tenure.

The season is a way off, but keep checking back with The Basketball Movement for more news and analysis, as well as looks at a few NBA players of our own!