Posts Tagged ‘Instagram’

Report: J.R. Smith to re-sign with Cavaliers

VIDEO: J.R. Smith lights it up from deep

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The long, strange trip that has been J.R. Smith‘s free-agent summer is over, according to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ swingman. He is returning to the Cavs, per a message he delivered on his Instagram account.

Smith’s struggles in The Finals made it unclear exactly where he stood on the priority list for the Cavaliers this summer as they tended to other free agent business, the signings of LeBron James and Kevin Love being the team’s top priorities.

But Smith explains (above) his reason for opting out of the final year of his deal to test free agency and how that played into the Cavaliers’ summer plans.

The Cavaliers have kept their core group largely intact, with Smith being one of the final pieces to be taken care of before training camp. Smith and Iman Shumpert, acquired last season in a deal with the New York Knicks, were crucial additions for the midseason roster tweaking and subsequent run to The Finals for the Cavaliers.

Smith’s new deal with the Cavaliers is for two years, $5 million for next season and a player option for the second year, per Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 194) Featuring Brandon Jennings

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Brandon Jennings created a stir as a teenager when he bucked the system and decided he would create his own path to the NBA, one that didn’t involve a stop in college for one year. Instead of seven months on campus and perhaps a wild ride during March Madness at some traditional college powerhouse, Jennings opted for a year in Italy earning a living as a true professional and learning the ways of the world (basketball and beyond) before coming to the NBA.

Fast forward eight years and Jennings, 25, has a much different outlook on things. If only he knew then what he knows now. The Detroit Pistons’ point guard insists he’d “already have been an All-Star,” perhaps a couple of times.

Wisdom comes with perspective. Both are the byproducts of time and experience. Jennings has accumulated his fair share of it all throughout the course of his intriguing professional career. And there is no better time than now, as Jennings battles back from an Achilles injury, to reflect on his past, examine his present situation and forecast his future.

He does all that and then some on Episode 194 of The Hang Time Podcast, going back to his days as a hoop dreamer idolizing Kobe Bryant in Compton to his life overseas as a teenage pioneer to his entry into the NBA and the trials, tribulations and triumphs as the mature veteran he has become (complete with his mastery of the social media world).

We also salute Steve Nash now that he has officially retired, discuss what’s wrong with the Atlanta Hawks, what’s right with the San Antonio Spurs and more.

You get it all on Episode 194 of The Hang Time Podcast … Featuring Brandon Jennings …



As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of,  Lang Whitaker of’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 “OG” and best sound designer/engineer in the business, Bearded Clint “Clintron” Hawkins.

– 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: Brandon Jennings goes off for a career-high 21 assists

Budenholzer Says No To Twitter

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer is admittedly an old school sort when it comes to many things. And that definitely includes all forms of social media.

He doesn’t do Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any of the other forms of instant interaction with friends, family or strangers. So there won’t be any updates from training camp, late-night rants after tough losses or inspirational messages for the masses. Budenholzer learned a lot as an assistant to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich in nearly two decades, plenty of dos and don’ts that will aid a first-time coach.

Avoiding the social-media craze was clearly near the top of the do list. When asked about his bypassing of the social-media frenzy that has spread throughout the league, Budenholzer smiled as he explained his absence.

“I definitely don’t have a Twitter account. I actually have a nephew who works for Twitter and he’s always on me about getting it done,” Budenholzer said. “But I’m definitely going old school with that one. The Twitter account is somewhere … maybe never to be found, and certainly not this season.”

With a new program to put in place and a completely revamped roster to work with, Budenholzer doesn’t really have time to explore his social media options anyway.

Budenholzer got his first taste of being in the eye of the social-media storm after an August DUI arrest, a case that has yet to be settled. He’s well aware of the pitfalls that come with his new position and is wise not to bring any extra attention to himself before the Hawks actually start playing games.

“I never want to bring any negative attention to our organization or our players,” Budenholzer said. “Having said that, there’s a legal process that’s playing out. I think it’s important for me to respect that process. I can’t say a whole lot more than that.”

His players understand and respect his position, knowing that any one of them could slip down the same rabbit hole with one mistake.

“I think that’s a setback but I think he’ll be fine,” Al Horford said. “He’s a good guy. I support him. We believe in him. And everybody makes mistakes. I told him straight up, ‘listen man,  I still have respect for you. I know you are a hard worker and I’m looking forward to us working together.’ And that’s all I said to him.”

LeBron On The Run, Too!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Kobe Bryant isn’t the only NBA superstar getting his work done on the anti-gravity treadmill this summer.

In a classic nod to his U.S. Men’s National Team teammate and NBA rival, Miami Heat star LeBron James showed off his anti-gravity track speed via Instagram, same as Kobe did earlier this week:

If this is LeBron’s way of showing Kobe some comedic love on his 35th birthday, I dig it.

I’m taking this as a sign of respect from LeBron to one of the few players in the game who is truly on his level and not a dig at Kobe’s recovery from Achilles surgery. (And the argument could be made that LeBron is still trying to reach Kobe’s level since the Los Angeles Lakers’ star is  a five-time champion, 11-time All-NBA First Teamer, nine-time All-Defensive First Teamer and 15-time All-Star.)

A true competitor wants Kobe back and healthy as soon as humanly possible. The best want to beat the best. And LeBron might be the four-time MVP, the reigning two-time regular season and Finals MVP and NBA champ, too. But he knows Kobe is still ahead of him on the career titles list by a hat trick.

So poking the Mamba is surely his way of acknowledging the fact that he knows Kobe is coming back with a vengeance.

Well played, LeBron. Well played, sir.

Kobe’s Recovery: Mamba On The Run!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The debate will last until Kobe Bryant, in full uniform and cleared to resume his duties as the face of and force behind the Los Angeles Lakers, sets foot on an NBA court in a regular-season game.

Then and only then will we know for sure how long it took to return from the Achilles injury that didn’t allow him to finish the Lakers’ tumultuous 2012-13 season.

All the folks who have weighed in up to this point, however, have to be as shocked as I was to see the Mamba running in that anti-gravity treadmill (he posted a video of himself getting it in on Instagram):

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#mambamental #vinoclock

A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

I said it when he went down in that game against the Warriors, that whatever the supposed recovery time was for his injury, Kobe would beat it. Jim Buss, Mitch Kupchak and just about everyone else affiliated with the Lakers have weighed in with their own predictions of when Kobe would make it back. But this is the best piece of evidence I have seen.

I’m upgrading my prediction to sooner rather than later and requesting to alter that to training camp if he keeps progressing at this rate.

When I told someone last week that Kobe was moving pretty well in the videos we saw of him on the Nike Basketball tour in Asia, he suggested I was making too much out of it. I then phoned a friend who tore his Achilles and needed 15 months to get back to feeling comfortable on his surgically repaired leg. He said that what he saw on those videos was nothing short of remarkable.

Kobe is just five months removed from his injury and he’s already running, albeit in an anti-gravity treadmill. It’s still pretty remarkable. And the best part is, the NBA’s resident social media king will keep us all informed of his progress.

Everyone Wants To Be A Witness

Kobe Bryant took this shot on the practice track before Jamaica’s amazing Usain Bolt set an Olympic record in winning the 100 meters Sunday night.

LONDON — The eyes of the world were on the Olympics and Usain Bolt Sunday night, and that includes those of the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team.

As star-studded a group as they are, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are the only athletes competing here that could rival Bolt for global recognition right now, the need to witness history on the track in the fastest 100 meters race was a must.

“This is the biggest event of them all right here,” James told the Associated Press shortly before Bolt’s Olympic-record sprint to glory. “The whole world is going to watch this tonight.”

Pretty much.

There is a mutual admiration among so many of the world’s elite athletes that permeates this competition. They finally get a chance to interact with each other at the venues and in the Olympic Village.

From 100 meter bronze medalist Justin Gatlin and other members of the U.S. track and field team showing up in the stands to support James, Bryant and the crew when they whipped Tunisia to members of the basketball team showing up at everything from beach volleyball to swimming to women’s basketball to tennis (Bryant caused a particular stir at Wimbledon over the weekend), this is one of those rare occasions when they can all enjoy each other competing at the highest level.

“It’s just a recognition of all of the hard work, of a job well done to get here and be able to represent your country,” Bryant said of what draws these athletes from different disciplines to each other. “In Beijing we got a chance to see Michael Phelps in action live and I told all of these guys that we had to do more of that this time. When you look back years from now and tell your kids that you were at the Olympics, you want to be able to tell them you saw history being made.”

Kevin Love took Bryant’s words to heart, and has been on a mission since setting foot on British soil to document every magical moment of the team’s trip — Twitter and the popular photo-sharing app Instagram being his weapons of choice.

Working around their own practice and competition schedule, Love said they haven’t missed much. Sometimes they go in pairs, but more often in larger groups, hustling to make sure they witness as much as they can.

“I was all in from the moment we met up in Las Vegas for training camp,” Love said. “But I really think it hit me at the opening ceremonies. Once you are inside that stadium and you see the athletes from every country walking in and those flags waving. It’s hard not to get caught up in the Olympics. Obviously, our first priority here is to take care of business and win a gold medal. But you don’t get here and not take advantage of the entire experience. You have to enjoy this time in whatever ways you can.”

The U.S gets back to work on the court in the final game of pool play at the Olympic Basketball Arena tonight against Argentina (5:15 p.m. ET, NBC).