Napheesa Collier To Be Named WNBA Rookie Of The Year

Napheesa Collier of the Minnesota Lynx

The WNBA will announce Napheesa Collier as Rookie of the Year today, Kent Youngblood of Minnesota’s Star Tribune reports, crowning the UConn product as the best in a draft class with no shortage of impact players.

Collier filled the stat sheet for the Minnesota Lynx in her first year in the W and was the only rookie to participate in the All-Star Game. Collier didn’t fill score at quite the same rate as Rookie of the Year runner up Arike Ogunbowale but she contributed efficiently and across the board for a playoff contender.

Collier averaged 13.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting .361 from beyond the arc and playing workhorse minutes. Her emergence as a first-year star allowed the Lynx to claw their way back to the postseason in 2019 despite the retirement of Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore’s sabbatical.

Collier, who was drafted No. 6 overall last April, received 29 of the 43 votes for the award while Ogunbowale received the remaining 14.

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Ricky Rubio Leads Spain Over Argentina in FIBA World Cup Championship 🏆

Ricky Rubio scored 20 points and dropped 7 dimes as Spain defeated Argentina, 95-75, in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Beijing, China. Rubio earned MVP honors and joined former teammate Pau Gasol (2006) as the second Spanish player to be named MVP.

Rubio averaged 16.4 ppg, 6.0 apg, 4.6 rpg and 1.5 spg and passed Pablo Prigioni (Argentina) as the World Cup’s assist leader, according to FIBA.

“Right now we made history, and we were ready for that,” Rubio said after the game. “We had a great tournament. We had to fight for this one. It’s just amazing how the whole tournament has been for us as a team. We weren’t the biggest or most talented team, but we were the team with the biggest heart. We showed it tonight and in the whole tournament. Couldn’t be more proud of my teammates and our coaches. This will go down as a memory for us as a family.”

Five other Spanish players finished in double figures: Sergio Llull (15 points), Marc Gasol (14 points), Rudy Fernandez (11 points), Willy Hernangomez (11 points) and Juancho Hernangomez (11 points).

Spain started the game scoring 14 of the game’s first 16 points and holding Luis Scola scoreless in the first half. Scola finished the contest with 8 points and 8 rebounds. In the second half, the Spaniards went on a 14-0 run and extended the lead to 22 points.

Spain dominated all facets of the game – out-rebounding Argentina (47-27) and outscoring them in the paint (44-30).

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Michael Jordan Sells Equity Stake In Hornets

michael jordan all-star game

Michael Jordan, who owns the Hornets, is selling part of his club. According to a team press release, Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim have bought into the franchise as minority partners.

“While I will continue to run the Charlotte Hornets, make all decisions related to the team and organization, and remain the team’s NBA Governor, Gabe and Dan’s investment in the franchise is invaluable, as we continue to modernize, add new technology, and strive to compete with the best in the NBA,” Jordan said in the press release.

“Both Gabe and Dan are industry standard-setters and proven leaders, with a belief in philanthropy and a passion for the game of basketball. They share my commitment to Charlotte and the Carolinas, and I look forward to working with and learning from them.”

The move is subject to league approval, as Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer relays. It’s unclear how much Plotkin and Sundheim will pay to become part-owners. It’s also unclear exactly what the ownership percentage will be. Prior to the agreement, Jordan owned 80% of the team.

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Where Should JALEN GREEN Hoop in College?!

jalen green

Jalen Green killed in every event he played this summer, providing plenty of highlights along the way. Green recently trimmed his list of schools to Auburn, FSU, Kentucky, Memphis, Oregon and USC and will reportedly commit on December 25.

Check out Jalen’s top plays of the summer in the video above!

RELATED: The Best Hoopers TURNED NYC UP for SLAM Summer Classic Vol. 2 🎥

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Kobe Bryant: ‘The Days of the ’92 Barcelona Dream Team Are Gone’

In the midst of USA Basketball’s shortcomings in the FIBA World Cup, Kobe Bryant says the days of American ballers destroying their international competition are long gone.

Things are no longer a “cakewalk” according to Bryant, who points out that his own 2008 Olympic quad had to sweat out its Gold Medal victory.

The Black Mamba adds that global hoops competition will only become more fierce in the coming years, and that Team USA must “respect everybody.”

Per The Athletic:

“Put the best players that you think are going to make the best U.S. team out on the floor, we are still going to have challenges,” Bryant said Friday in Beijing, between World Cup semifinal games. “It’s not going to be a cakewalk. The days of the ’92 Barcelona Dream Team are gone.”

Bryant, 41, was a two-time Olympic gold medalist and an anchor for the 2008 “Redeem Team,” which came here to Beijing and avenged a spate of American hoop embarrassments at the 2002 and ’06 World Cups and 2004 Olympics.

“That was a hell of a team we had,” Bryant said. “We still needed a real late push to beat Spain in that gold medal match.”

This summer, All-Star-caliber players James Harden, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Kevin Love, Bradley Beal and Andre Drummond backed out of commitments to play at the World Cup. LeBron [James], Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving were never in the mix.

“It’s not a matter of the rest of the world catching up to the U.S., it’s that the rest of the world has been caught up for quite some time,” Bryant said. “And it’s to the point now where us in the U.S. are gonna win some, we’re gonna lose some. And that’s just how it goes.”

Related Kobe Bryant Hung His Olympic Gold Medal in Pau Gasol’s Locker

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Chet Holmgren Is a 7-FOOT Guard?! 🤯

chet holmgren

Seven-footer Chet Holmgren has serious handles! The big man can do everything on the court, including taking on Stephen Curry at his own camp.

Peep the rising junior’s summer highlights in the video above. Who would you compare his game to?

RELATED: These Hoopers ROASTED Each Other: ‘WHAT BLOCK?!’ 🤣 | SLAM Point ‘Em Out

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Shaun Livingston Retires From The NBA

Fifteen years after being drafted, Shaun Livingston is calling it a career, as he announces on his Instagram.

“After 15 years in the NBA, I’m excited, sad, fortunate and grateful all in one breath. Hard to put into a caption all of the emotions it takes to try and accomplish your dreams. I wasn’t supposed to be here.

Anybody that has beat the odds understands the mental and emotional strain it takes to inspire yourself on an uphill war, let alone inspire others. “The injury” gave me a chance to find and prove to myself [and the world] that I wouldn’t be defined by my circumstances. With my time in the League what I will be most proud of is the fact that my character, values and faith were tested, and I persevered…”

Livingston was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2004 draft and suffered a catastrophic knee injury early in his career. That could have forced him to call it quits but he rehabbed and altered his game, becoming a trusted veteran off the bench.

The point guard won three championships as a key member of the Golden State Warriors. He totaled 833 games played during his NBA career.

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