TIME Basketball

NBA Star Enes Kanter Looks Like a Child Next to the World’s Tallest Man

Kanter is 6 ft. 11 in., Kosem is 8 ft. 3 in.

At 6 ft. 11 in., Turkish basketball player Enes Kanter is much taller than most regular people and more than a few of his NBA peers.

But if there’s anyone who can tower head and shoulders over the Oklahoma City Thunder center (literally), it’s his compatriot and the world’s tallest man Sultan Kosen.

The duo met at a school opening in an Atlanta suburb on Thursday, and a local reporter tweeted a picture of them standing side by side that really lays bare the difference in their heights.

At 8 ft. 3 in., Kosen would probably be near impossible to defend if he played in the NBA. Kanter, for one, is definitely open to the idea of having him as a teammate.

TIME Basketball

Former NBA Player Darryl Dawkins Dies at 58

Darryl Dawkins
AP Darryl Dawkins, Philadelphia 76ers is shown in 1980

He was 58

Darryl Dawkins was once summoned in the Philadelphia 76ers’ locker room to come meet a celebrity who wanted to meet the man known for dunking with backboard-breaking force.

The guest was Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder. The entertainer is blind, yet even he could tell there was something very unique about Dawkins’ game.

“A guy who never saw me,” a beaming Dawkins said in a 2011 televised interview, “gave me the name ‘Chocolate Thunder.'”

The name stuck, and the rim-wrecking, glass-shattering dunks remain unforgettable — as will the giant of a man who changed the game with them. Dawkins died Thursday at a hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, according to the Lehigh County coroner’s office. He was 58, and even though officials said an autopsy would be performed on Friday his family released a statement saying the cause of death was a heart attack.

“Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart,” his family said. “His family, wife Janice, children Dara, Tabitha, Nicholas and Alexis, along with countless family, friends, and fans, all mourn his loss.

“More than anything Darryl accomplished in his basketball career as the inimitable ‘Chocolate Thunder,’ he was most proud of his role and responsibility as a husband and father,” his family added.

Dawkins, the first player to go from high school into the first round of the NBA draft, spent parts of 14 seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia, New Jersey, Utah and Detroit. He averaged 12 points and 6.1 rebounds in 726 career regular-season games.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Dawkins was “beloved around the league.”

“The NBA family is heartbroken by the sudden and tragic passing of Darryl Dawkins,” Silver said. “We will always remember Darryl for his incredible talent, his infectious enthusiasm and his boundless generosity. He played the game with passion, integrity and joy, never forgetting how great an influence he had on his legions of fans, young and old.”

Dawkins was selected No. 5 in the 1975 draft by the 76ers. His two backboard-shattering dunks came about a month apart early in the 1979-80 season, one against Kansas City, the other against San Antonio.

“You were one of my favorite players of all time,” Houston center Dwight Howard posted Thursday on Instagram under a photo of Dawkins dunking in a game. “You were very inspirational to a lot of young players. Thank u for the long talks and great memories. I can’t believe that you’re gone. But you are in a better place. You were the originator of the dunk.”

Dawkins’ shows of force unquestionably changed the game. The NBA soon went to breakaway rims and mandated that backboards be shatter-resistant.

“Simply put, Darryl Dawkins was beloved-by his family, friends, former teammates and his fans all over the globe,” 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil said. “His endearing charm, infectious smile and unparalleled sense of humor will be sorely missed. ‘Chocolate Thunder’ will always have a special place in our hearts. His family is in our thoughts and prayers.”

Dawkins was, by any measure, a character. His love for the game was unquestioned and unwavering — he appeared at an 76ers alumni event earlier this month and recently posted a photo to his Twitter account of him coaching a summer-league girls team.

Dawkins was as revered off the court as he was on it. He remained enormously popular after his playing days were done, even during his stint as a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. He would name his dunks — the “look out below,” the “yo-mama” and the “rim wrecker” among them — and often boasted that he hailed from the “Planet Lovetron.”

In actuality, he was born and raised in Orlando, Florida, growing up impoverished with dreams of giving his mother and grandmother better lives.

“A great man, entertainer, athlete and ferocious dunker,” former NBA guard Kevin Johnson wrote on Twitter. “He will be missed but not forgotten.”

Injuries plagued Dawkins late in his NBA career, and he went overseas for several more years to play in the Italian league. He also briefly had stints in the Continental Basketball Association and the International Basketball Association. He also coached at times, at both the minor-league and junior-college levels.

He averaged double digits in nine consecutive NBA seasons, with his best year likely being the 1983-84 campaign for New Jersey. He averaged a career-best 16.8 points that year, with only foul trouble — 386 that season, still a league record — holding him back.

“Darryl Dawkins is the father of power dunking,” Shaquille O’Neal once said. “I’m just one of his sons.”

TIME Basketball

Derrick Rose Denies Involvement in Gang Rape

Chicago Bulls v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game FIve
Nathaniel S. Butler—NBAE/Getty Images Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the NBA Playoffs at The Quicken Loans Arena on May 12, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.

An unidentified woman filed a suit against the Chicago Bulls player on Wednesday

A lawyer representing the Chicago Bulls and Derrick Rose called a lawsuit filed against the point guard accusing him of rape “outrageous.”

The suit, which can be read in full on the Chicago Tribune website, was filed Wednesday by an unidentified women who accuses Rose and two other men of drugging her and gang-raping her in Aug. 2013. The woman, who claims she dated Rose from 2011 to 2013, says the men slipped something into her drink while at the former MVP’s Beverly Hills home. According to her account, she was able to escape, but later that night Rose and his friends broke into her apartment and sexually assaulted her while she was incapacitated.

Rose’s lawyer Lisa Cohen wrote in a statement that the accusations were “completely false and without any factual basis.” Cohen acknowledged that Rose was involved in a relationship with the woman in question during that time period, but that it was both consensual and not exclusive.

“This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete,” the statement said. Cohen added that her legal team has “complete confidence that the case will be dismissed.”

The Bulls issued a statement Thursday: “We just learned about this matter and do not know all the facts. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

The Chicago Bulls and a lawyer for Derrick Rose did not immediately respond to Time’s request for comment.

[Chicago Tribune]

 

TIME Basketball

Michael Jordan says There’s ‘No Question’ He Could Have Beaten LeBron James One-On-One

NBA: Heat v Bobcats Game 4
Charlotte Observer—Getty Images Charlotte Bobcats' team owner Michael Jordan shakes hands with Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6), after the Heat defeated the Bobcats, 109-98, in Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, April 28, 2014.

Jordan also said the best Bulls would have "killed" the best Lakers

Retired basketball legend Michael Jordan has no doubt that the latest batch of all-stars, LeBron James included, wouldn’t have stood a chance against him in a one-on-one matchup.

“This is the ESPN question,” Jordan said during a Q&A session marking at the 20th annual Michael Jordan Flight School in Santa Barbara, California, Sports Illustrated reports. “If I was in my prime, could I beat Lebron in a one-on-one game? No question,” before adding, “And he’s going to say no question.”

The response comes a few weeks after Cleveland Cavaliers forward James surpassed Jordan’s record for the most minutes played during playoffs.

Jordan also challenged Shaquille O’Neal’s theory that the top 5 Lakers players would have mopped the floor with the top 5 Bulls players by a 50 point spread.

“I think we would have killed them,” Jordan countered.

MONEY shoes

This NBA Player is Building an Actual House for His Shoes

nba-player-house-for-shoes-lamarcus-aldridge
Thearon W. Henderson—Getty Images Shoes worn by NBA star LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge has a lot of footwear.

After nine seasons with the Portland Trailblazers, Dallas native LaMarcus Aldridge is coming home to an $80 million contract with the Spurs—and a brand new house he commissioned.

The one problem?

His “massive” closet turned out to be too small to contain his collection of more than 150 pairs of shoes.

In a new video interview with Slam Magazine, the NBA player says his solution is to build a mini-house behind his regular house to act as “a little showroom” for his footwear.

Here’s the full interview, below.

Read More: How To Choose an Appraiser to Value Your Collectibles

TIME Scott Walker

NBA Investor Backed Scott Walker Super PAC Before Stadium Push

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin and Republican U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, waves after speaking during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, July 18, 2015.
Daniel Acker—© Bloomberg Finance LP 2015 Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin and Republican U.S. 2016 presidential candidate, waves after speaking during The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, July 18, 2015.

On the day before Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker launched a push this spring to spend $250 million in public funds on a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, the super PAC promoting Walker’s presidential campaign received a large check.

The May 27 donation to Unintimidated PAC, for $150,000, came from a limited liability corporation connected to Jon Hammes, a Milwaukee-area businessman and investor in the NBA franchise, as first reported by the Capital Times. Hammes has since signed on as a national finance co-chairman of Walker’s presidential campaign.

A Walker campaign aide noted the stadium deal, designed to keep the Bucks from bolting Milwaukee, had been brewing for months before the two-term governor announced his support for the latest proposal on May 28. The aide told TIME it was “a dangerous leap” to imply the decision to back the agreement was made for the benefit of an influential donor. Hammes has long been a supporter of Walker, donating more than $15,000 to Walker since 2005.

It’s not clear that the deal brought any political benefits for Walker’s presidential campaign. Free-market think tanks and powerful conservative organizations that have long been supporters of the governor denounced the use of public money to help finance a stadium for the team’s billionaire owners. Among them was the Wisconsin branch of Americans for Prosperity, the Koch-backed group that played a significant role in Walker’s election victories.

If the Bucks owners gained from the agreement, Hammes was not the only—or even the primary—beneficiary. One of the club’s majority owners, financier Marc Lasry, is a top fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Others have also donated to Democratic candidates.

Walker has cast the arena deal as a way to protect taxpayers from the loss of current and future tax revenue that would ensue if the Bucks skipped town.

“This plan protects taxpayers from the loss of current and future tax revenue generated by the Bucks and visiting teams and supports a new arena without tax increases or state bonding,” Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for the governor, told TIME in June.

Unintimidated PAC, which like other super PACs is permitted to raise and spend unlimited sums in support of its favored candidate, is prohibited from coordinating with Walker’s campaign. While Walker was not yet a candidate at the time of the donation, his pre-campaign and super PAC had already established a so-called firewall preventing coordination in accordance with Federal Election Commission rules.

The Wisconsin legislature approved the arena deal last month in a pair of bipartisan votes.

TIME NBA

Atlanta Hawks Forward Mike Scott Has Been Hit With Drug Charges

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Three
Gregory Shamus—Getty Images Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks is called for an offensive foul on James Jones #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second quarter during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 24, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Scott allegedly had marijuana and MDMA in his possession

Professional basketball player Mike Scott was arrested in Atlanta on drug charges Thursday, police said.

Scott, a 27-year-old backup forward for the Atlanta Hawks, was allegedly caught with more than an ounce of marijuana and 10.9 grams of MDMA or “Molly,” the Associated Press reports.

The sheriff’s office in Banks County said deputies attempted to stop an SUV driven by Scott’s younger brother Antonn for following too closely on Interstate 85 just outside Atlanta, after which they found the drugs on the NBA player when the vehicle finally pulled over after going at 98 mph for about two miles.

Scott has reportedly been charged with felony possession of marijuana and possession of a Schedule I drug, while his brother faces additional charges.

The Hawks did not comment but said they were aware of the situation.

[AP]

TIME NBA

See The Best Responses from LeBron James’ Twitter Q&A

He would neither confirm nor deny that he's doing Space Jam 2

It’s not every day that people get to ask one of the greatest athletes in the world whatever they want on Twitter and have him respond, but that’s exactly what happened on Tuesday evening as NBA superstar LeBron James announced an impromptu question-and-answer session on the microblogging site.

The Cleveland Cavaliers guard was flooded with questions immediately, and even extended the Q&A beyond the appointed time. (That is, until it was time to go watch The Big Bang Theory.)

But in between, we learned a few things. His favorite song and rapper right now, for example:

His favorite movies (including the one he just starred in) and cartoon:

And his desired superpower (aside from the superhuman strength and agility he already has, of course):

We also learned that he’s terrified of recently-crowned ESPY Fighter of the Year Ronda Rousey, which is understandable:

And that he doesn’t want to pick sides in the upcoming Batman v Superman movie:

LeBron also took a moment to accept a free lunch invite (although Brock probably shouldn’t hold his breath):

And another to shut down a random hater:

But he wouldn’t give a definitive response to the biggest question on everyone’s minds. Is Space Jam 2 happening??

Come on LeBron, the suspense is killing us.

TIME Lebron James

LeBron James Scores a Major Hollywood Deal

Basketball legend teaming up with Warner Bros., report says

Basketball legend LeBron James has a career in film and television pretty much prepared after he hangs up his basketball jersey.

James’ production company, SpringHill Entertainment, is partnering with Time Warner’s Warner Bros. Entertainment, The Wall Street Journal reports.

James has already proven his acting chops, such as in the recently released movie “Trainwreck.” But the deal with Warner Bros. mints him as a budding entertainment industry executive.

“To be able to partner with Warner Bros. will allow me to do some things I’ve always dreamed of,” James told the newspaper.

James and business partner Maverick Carter started SpringHill Entertainment in 2013 and were looking for a studio partnership before signing with Warner Bros.

“This is not a vanity deal,” Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Bros.’ CEO, told the paper. “Warner Bros. always needs to be thinking about bringing fresh perspectives and diverse voices into the company.”

The deal will enable Warner Bros. and SpringHill to co-produce and co-own all created content. The specifics of the deal weren’t released, however.

“This is not about making a movie or a couple of TV shows,” Carter told the publication. “We want to build a company.”

News of the deal had news outlets speculating that “Space Jam 2” may be in the works — a sequel to the 1996 classic movie Space Jam from Warner Bros. that starred Michael Jordan.

There have been other NBA stars who’ve cemented their status as business powerhouses. Magic Johnson has a burgeoning business, which Fortune wrote about last year.

TIME movies

Space Jam 2 Might Be Happening, With LeBron James as the Star

The basketball player has embarked on an "unprecedented" creative partnership with Warner Brothers

Last month, Warner Brothers filed to renew its trademarks for Space Jam, the sensational 1996 sports comedy cum space opera that introduced Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan to a generation too young to remember the Looney Tunes and the 1991 Chicago Bulls.

In other words, we can expect a sequel. This isn’t exactly breaking news: last February, Deadline reported that television producer Charlie Ebersol would be directing the forthcoming Space Jam 2, with Lebron James as the lead — a claim that James’ representatives quickly denied.

But, on Wednesday, Warner Brothers announced that it was embarking on an “unprecedented” creative partnership with the basketball player, “spanning all areas of content creation.” The official statement is vague when it comes to exact plans, but it does say that James’ “creative footprint” would “touch all areas” of the studio.

There is no official word that he will star in the Space Jam sequel — or that the Space Jam sequel is even going to happen — but the circumstantial evidence is abundant. Even after his people denounced Deadline’s report last year, James coyly hinted at the possibility.

“I’ve always loved Space Jam,” he told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “It was one of my favorite movies growing up. If I have the opportunity, it will be great.”

Speaking purely from a creative standpoint, it’s easy to envision the film. Space Jam‘s storyline tinkered with Jordan’s own controversial narrative — namely his cocksure decision to briefly abandon the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s for an embarrassing stint in pro baseball — and James’ story is just as compelling. Four years ago, ABC wondered aloud if he was “the most hated man in basketball” after he scandalously ditched the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat. I’m sure Bugs Bunny can factor into that somehow.

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