NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says league studying possible playoff format change – NBA.com

LOS ANGELES — NBA commissioner Adam Silver in his annual state-of-the-league news conference before the All-Star Saturday activities at Staples Center addressed many issues, including relations between the players and league referees.

“The fact that we have players and referees sitting down and talking about these issues … can only improve things,” Silver said.

Other topics Silver address during Q&A portion:

ONE AND DONE: Discussions are ongoing about the current “one-and-done” rule for draft-eligible players, both with an NCAA commission led by former secretary of state Condoleeza Rice and within the league’s ranks. The continued development of the G League as a true, 1-to-1 affiliated minor league figures to play a role in any changes, as will input from the players union. Nothing is imminent.

PLAYER TAMPERING: Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson, recently fined $50,000 for “tampering” by talking about Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, crossed a line despite praising the Bucks All-Star and suggesting he would lead Milwaukee to an NBA championship. “Context is everything,” Silver said. The commissioner said he spoke with Johnson Friday about the transgression, and left no wiggle room in the message he shared with the media Saturday: “Stop talking about star players on other teams.”

PLAYOFF SEEDS: A question about sticking to 12 All-Stars from each conference, now that the playground-draft format has rubbed out conference lines, morphed into Silver commenting again on proposals to draw 16 playoffs teams – or at least seed them – without regard for East or West. The biggest hurdle to revamping the playoffs remains travel for the first three rounds, potentially sending teams across three time zones. Silver said the league will continue studying ways to address that, perhaps stretching out the schedule further to allow more travel days.

GAMBLING: Any resistance from the gambling industry to the

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Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook mend fences: The best quotes from NBA All-Star Media Day – USA TODAY

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Giannis Antetokounmpo is a rising star having an MVP-caliber season, but he still thinks a legend like Kobe Bryant could teach him a lot about being a winner. USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant react during Team LeBron practice at the Los Angeles Convention Center.(Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)

LOS ANGELES — Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant couldn’t avoid the questions about their relationship. And they didn’t try to. 

“I feel like I just made (the drama with Westbrook) a thing when it shouldn’t have been,” Durant said during All-Star Media Day on Saturday when asked where he and his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate stand. “It’s cool to kind of get past that and appreciate these guys for who they are, what they do. It’s all love at the end of the day.”

Westbrook — whose media availability at the Los Angeles Convention Center took place at the same time as Durant’s, just four interview pods down — expressed similar sentiments.

“It’s been fine, it’s been normal,” Westbrook said when asked what it’s been like to be around Durant again. “Communicating, that’s about it. All the other stuff is kind of irrelevant. Just keeping it cool, talk when we need to and just moving forward.”

What a difference a year has made for these two, who during the All-Star festivities last February in New Orleans would hardly look at each other, let alone answer questions about their past.

Aside from Durant and Westbrook burying the hatchet, USA TODAY Sports rounded up some of the best quotes from NBA All-Star Media Day.

LeBron James on the recent comments made by Fox News host Laura Ingraham – “She did the best thing

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Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell delights in a nostalgic NBA Slam Dunk Contest win – Washington Post

Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell gestures after pulling off an homage to Vince Carter during Saturday night’s Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. (Chris Pizzello/AP)

LOS ANGELES — The participants in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest used wardrobe changes and the art of imitation throughout their performances. While Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell was no exception, his talent proved that he didn’t need all the flash and flair.

Mitchell won the glamour event during All-Star Saturday night by wearing a Vince Carter throwback jersey and executing a reverse, spinning 360-degree windmill dunk. After the impressive feat, Mitchell found the nearest camera and imitated Carter’s “It’s over” bluster and gesture from the 2000 contest the former Raptors great won going away. Mitchell earned a 48 score for the dunk, defeating Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. in the finals.

“I wanted it so badly,” Mitchell said. “This is one of my favorite events of All-Star Weekend.

“I haven’t made that dunk in half a year. I tried it two night ago, didn’t make it. Tried it this morning, didn’t make it. So to make it tonight, I was excited.”

Mitchell’s imagination came in handy, which was evident in his performance. When asked how he prepared for the event, he said he’s been looking forward to a night like this since childhood.

“Believe it or not, I’ve been preparing for this since I was a kid,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t know I was gonna be able to jump this high, so I added some new tricks.”

In the first round, Nance, the son of the inaugural slam dunk champion, showed a touch of showmanship with a nod to his past. Nance incorporated the entertainers Quick Change, who, as their name suggests, speedily change clothes to the delight of

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Best moments from Saturday of NBA All-Star Weekend – ESPN

Feb 16, 2018

Team LeBron and Team Curry will take the floor at the Staples Center on Sunday for the 67th NBA All-Star Game. But first, some of the more talented players in the sport are set to compete for three separate titles on All-Star Saturday night, including the skills challenge, 3-point contest and dunk contest.

Assume the role of All-Star captain, assemble your team and choose a coaching style. Do you have what it takes to defeat Team LeBron or Team Stephen?

All-Star Weekend 2018 is upon us, and we’ve got you covered with everything to watch. From the celebrity game to the All-Star Game on Sunday, here’s a viewers’ and visitors’ guide to all the happenings in La La Land.

1 Related

Eight players will kick off the evening by taking part in the 2018 Taco Bell Skills Challenge. After Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis won the past two seasons, Joel Embiid & Co. are searching to make it three frontcourt winners in a row since the format of the contest changed back in 2016.

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon could defend his title in the 3-point contest, but will face stiff competition from 2016 champion Klay Thompson and six more of the NBA’s best sharp shooters.

The night will end with young dunkers, Victor Oladipo, Dennis Smith Jr., Larry Nance Jr. and Donovan Mitchell, battling it out for the trophy of Saturday’s most anticipated event.

Dunk Contest

Donovan Mitchell wins the 2018 #VerizonDunk contest! pic.twitter.com/WfP1klbwD1

— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 18, 2018

Wait…run that back!

Larry Nance Jr. DOUBLE TAPPED IT!#VerizonDunk pic.twitter.com/F6mwGG145v

— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 18, 2018

Larry Nance Jr. gets the assist from his dad for the final round BIG SLAM! #VerizonDunk

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NBA Three-Point Contest 2018 recap: Highlights from Devin Booker's record-setting win – SB Nation

Devin Booker is your Three-Point Contest winner, and he’s the new record holder, too. Twenty-eight! Granted, he was helped by the contest’s new format, but it was a lights out showing all the same.

Here’s our live blog from Saturday’s contest.

9:23 p.m. — Here’s highlights from Booker’s historic rack.

And his final score.

9:22 p.m. — Booker nailed 20 of the 25 threes, which ties an all-time record, while his scoring — helped by the moneyball racks — is the best ever. Craig Hodges and Jason Kapono both scored 25-of-30 under the old format, to give an example of who Booker was going up against. But on Saturday, Booker was flames.

He was my predicted winner, too. This is why they pay me the big bucks, folks. No one else predicted that Booker would win this. (Correction: many, many people predicted that Booker would win this.) Ignore that correction. I’m a genius, is the takeaway you should have from this.

9:20 p.m. — And Thompson can’t catch Booker’s all-time record, either. Devin Booker is your Three-Point Contest winner.

9:18 pm. — Devin Booker with a Three-Point Contest record, recording 28. Steph and Klay both have had 27 before, but Booker’s the new record holder.

9:14 p.m. — Wow, Tobias Harris had this — and then he couldn’t hit on his moneyball rack and the final one, just one of his final nine shots. It might be because he was shooting actual jumpers, really lifting off the floor, which truly wears you out. He finishes with 18, one less than the first round.

9:09 p.m. — Eric Gordon hit just 1-of-5 on the moneyball rack, which he strangely put at the top of the arc. As mentioned by the broadcast, maybe he should have scooted back a

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