Posts Tagged ‘Dean Smith’

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 198) Featuring Sam Perkins

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Sam Perkins is a pioneer.

He helped start a movement during his stellar 18-year professional career, expanding his game and his range during his NBA playing days and helping redefine the power forward position. From the low-post grunt work as the man who watches the big(ger) man’s back around the rim to 3-point shooting, floor spacing giant capable of creating space all over the floor is what Perkins took part in during his days with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He said it was a challenge from Byron Scott and Mike Dunleavy (the father, of course, not the son), then the veteran shooting guard and coach, respectively, for the Lakers. They dared him to get in on a shooting contest at practice and the result was Perkins vowing to work his tail off to become a proficient shooter from distance. The unintended consequence was Perkins the Stretch-4.

Big Smooth’s work goes beyond basketball these days. As an ambassador on behalf of the Special Olympic, Perkins is in the midst of preparations for the Special Olympic World Games, which will be hosted by the city of Los Angeles July 25 through August 2. Billed as the largest sports-and-humanitarian event in the world in 2015, and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. Some 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries will be participating, along with 30,000 volunteers and an anticipated 500,000 spectators.

For Perkins, the connection to and participation with the Special Olympics was inspired by the late, great Dean Smith, the coaching icon, humanitarian and activist who schooled Perkins, Michael Jordan, James Worthy, our very own Rick Fox and countless others during their college days at North Carolina and beyond.

In the days, weeks and months leading up to the Special Olympics World Games Perkins will participate in the first-ever Unified Relay Across America, joining others in carrying The Flame of Hope across the country to Los Angeles beginning May 26. Perkins will be running the Dallas leg of the relay June 25. You can go to UnifiedRelay.Org to sign-up.

We talk about life after basketball and the tremendous work still to be done, the playoffs (how the Cleveland crew of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love are doing in their first blush as a group), what Perkins appreciates about his time in the postseason cauldron from his own playing days and so much more on Episode 198 of the Hang Time Podcast Featuring Sam Perkins 

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of NBA.com,  Lang Whitaker of NBA.com’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best sound designer/engineer in the business, Andrew Merriman.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.


VIDEO: All-Star swingman Jimmy Bulter is answering any and all questions about how he and the Chicago Bulls will respond in the playoff cauldron

Morning shootaround — Feb. 9


VIDEO: Highlights of the games played Feb. 8

NEWS OF THE MORNING

LeBron calls out Love … and it works | Clippers in a tail-spin | Karl and Kings close on a deal | Dwight Howard the big cheerleader?

No. 1: LeBron calls out Love … and it works — Even when he’s being a bit of a heel, LeBron James gets it right. He called out Kevin Love, who has admittedly struggled with his transition from focal point in Minnesota to third option in Cleveland behind James and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. That he took to Twitter to do it will bother some, okay plenty of folks, with old school sensibilities about how to lead. But it’s hard to argue with the results. Love had one of his best games of the season Sunday in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group has more:

LeBron James has nearly 18.7 million followers on Twitter, but a tweet he sent at 11:37 Saturday night was likely, almost certainly, directed at a single person.

His teammate, Kevin Love.

James posted to his Twitter account: “Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart of something special! Just my thoughts.”

Those words — “fit out” and “fit in” — were the same Love used to reporters in October when discussing his adjustment to playing for the Cavaliers.

“it’s not a coincidence, man,” James told a few reporters, following the Cavaliers’ 120-105 win over the Lakers Sunday. Love scored a season-high 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“I lost the Finals in 2007, 2011 and 2014 and that was the same day I came back to Cleveland. Put it together, seven, 11, 14. Coincidence” James said, proving his point.

For reference, it is indeed true that James announced his decision to return to Cleveland via free agency on July 11, 2014.

James was asked about his tweet following Sunday’s game and Love’s big night. James nearly recorded a triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists — three of those assists went to Love on three-pointers.

“It wasn’t even about this team, it was more about people in general,” James said initially, to a larger group of reporters. “It was just a general thought that I had, and obviously whatever thought I had people try to encrypt it and Da Vinci Code it and all that stuff. It’s just a general thought, that’s all that is.

“And people are always trying to fit out instead of fitting in, instead of being a part of something special. And that’s all that was about.”

In October, Love told reporters that “I’m just trying not to fit in so much” and that nameless Cavs teammates had told him to “fit out and just be myself.”

“Fit in” and “fit out” of course, were written in all caps in James’ tweet.


VIDEO: Kevin Love talks after the Cavs’ win over the Lakers

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NBA family reacts to passing of UNC coaching legend Dean Smith


VIDEO: GameTime: Remembering Dean Smith

Dean Smith, the coaching legend who won two national championships at North Carolina and coached numerous NBA legends, has died. He was 83. The NBA community continues to react to the passing of a legendary and influential coach.

Dean Smith Awarded Medal Of Freedom

Dean Smith (left) and Michael Jordan, who he coached at North Carolina, embrace.

Dean Smith (left) and Michael Jordan, who he coached at North Carolina, embrace.

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Dean Smith has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work and impact as the coach at the University of North Carolina. The NBA smiles and nods to that.

Smith’s closest actual connection with the league was as a member of USA Basketball committees during the early days of professional players in the Olympics, but his impact is unmistakable. He made a historical imprint on the NBA without ever setting foot in the NBA. Talk about a legacy.

Smith products carried the DNA when they left Chapel Hill. Michael Jordan, of course. And Billy Cunningham, James Worthy, Charlie Scott, Bobby Jones, Walter Davis, Kenny Smith along with Bob McAdoo, too. On and on.

That tree reached to the coaching ranks and front offices, too. Larry Brown, George Karl, Mitch Kupchak, Doug Moe, McAdoo, Jordan, John Kuester and Joe Wolf all came through Smith.

Dean Smith has absolutely been in the NBA.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian honor, the White House said in announcing the 16 newest recipients, and are presented “to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or peivate endeavors.” Indeed, in addition to underlining Smith’s two national championships and retiring in 1997 as the winningest coach in history, the announcement Thursday also noted his work as a civil-rights advocate and a 96-percent graduation rate at Carolina.

“I base my life on the things that coach Smith taught me and the direction and the insight that he gave me into the type of person I would want to be,” Scott, who faced severe racism playing in the South in the late-1960s, told the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer. “What would make coach proud of me? [That’s] a question that I answer every day.”

Smith, 82 and suffering from what his family described in 2010 as a “progressive neurocognitive disorder that affects his memory,” joins John Wooden as the only men’s college basketball coaches to be so honored. Other 2013 recipients include Ernie Banks, Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey.

How popular is Smith in his adopted home state? Though sometimes an outspoken opponent of many lightning-rod issues – the Vietnam war, the death penalty – Public Policy Polling found in February that 76 percent of both Republicans and Democrats in North Carolina thought he should receive the Medal of Freedom, a rare level of agreement. That’s nothing, though. Seventy-two percent of Duke fans were also in favor.

The awards will be presented at the White House this year at a date to be announced.