Miami Heat fans were irate after the team was locked out of the All-Star Game. There was an overwhelming feeling that Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were unfairly snubbed for the honor — Adebayo for sure, according to Butler.
Maybe their All-Star absences were blessings in disguise. It could motivate this overachieving Heat bunch even more, one still feeling disrespected from last year’s magical bubble run. Why? Because no NBA franchise has ever captured a championship without having at least one player compete in the All-Star Game. So Miami could make a little history if the franchise was able to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the year.
There are two exceptions to the non-All-Star rule: the 1950 Minneapolis Lakers and the 1999 San Antonio Spurs, per William Petroff. There was no All-Star Game either of those years since it didn’t become a tradition until 1951 and a league-wide lockout canceled the 1999 edition.
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— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) March 8, 2021
“We’ve learned that we can’t make any excuses, that nobody cares if guys are in and out of the lineups,” Butler told reporters last week. “We’ve got to go out there and do our jobs because we always have enough to win. And that’s where we’re going to leave that at. Nobody cares.”
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Harden Confirms Blake Griffin to Nets
Turns out, the rumors linking Blake Griffin to the Brooklyn Nets are true. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the deal and Nets star James Harden basically announced it himself during a post-game Zoom call after the All-Star Game. He toyed with the media a bit before conceding the truth.
“All right. You got me. Yeah, I’m sure he wants to win,” Harden told reporters. “If he passed up more money to obviously stay in Detroit, he wants to win, and he wants to have an opportunity to play meaningful minutes. I’m assuming that’s one of the reasons why he came.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 8, 2021
The Miami Heat had been looking like the leading candidate to grab Griffin in free agency at the end of last week. The 31-year-old cleared waivers on Sunday night after agreeing to a buyout on the remaining $56.5 million left on his contract with the Detroit Pistons. There were many other suitors, per ESPN, but Griffin has chosen Brooklyn.
“Obviously, we know the athletic and high-jumping Blake,” Harden said, “but I think as of these last couple years, he’s knocking down the three-ball a little bit better, ball-handling is a lot better, and he can be a great contribution to this team. So, if your sources are correct, then we’d be more than welcome and excited to have him on our Brooklyn Nets team.”
Steph Curry Wins Contest, Duncan Robinson Not Invited
Duncan Robinson never got an invitation to join the three-point shooting contest during NBA All-Star Weekend. There was some slight speculation the league might reach out to him last week, but the call never came. Instead, he stayed home and watched it like everyone else.
“If I’m invited, I’d probably take the opportunity,” Robinson told the Miami Herald on March 2. “I’d have to wait and see. I don’t really know. To be honest with you, I haven’t heard anything on what that’s looking like. So we’ll see, I guess.”
Steph always CLUTCH 🎯
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 8, 2021
It probably wouldn’t have mattered the way Stephen Curry was shooting it on Sunday night. The Golden State Warriors star scored 28 points in the contest’s final round to take home the trophy. Curry held off a feisty charge from Mike Conley and needed o drill a corner money-ball to win the event for the second time in his career. His 31 points in the first round set a new NBA record.
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