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At Home During Cayman Islands Classic

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Angel Reese remains away from the LSU women’s basketball team after missing her third consecutive game against Niagara on Friday. In fact, Reese did not travel with the team on their recent trip to the Cayman Islands Classic.

Head coach Kim Mulkey has declined to provide any details regarding the absence of her star player but rumors have surfaced that Reese’s suspension could be due to her performance in the classroom.

However, Mulkey has also done nothing to dispel the rumors either. Instead, she’s kept all information in-house.

“I’m going to protect my players,” Mulkey said on Monday. “Always. They are more important. It’s like a family. Let me ask you this, if you do some disciplining of your own children, do you think we’re entitled to know that? That’s a family in that locker room…Those kids are like my children, and I’m not gonna tell you what you don’t need to know. And that’s just the way I address things.”

Reese, the Most Outstanding Player in last year’s Final Four, last played on Nov. 14 in LSU’s blowout 109-79 win over Kent State. She finished that game with 11 points and four rebounds but was benched in the second half and has yet to return since.

Along with Reese, teammate Kateri Poole has also not been with the team.

Still, that didn’t stop LSU from cruising to another 99-65 win over Niagara on Friday.

How Has Reese Responded To The Allegations?

Reese has subtly responded to the allegations on her social media accounts. On Nov. 19, she wrote on X and pleaded with fans not to “believe everything you read”. In a recent TikTok video, Reese used audio from Deion Sanders to address her current mindset. In the clip, Sanders is heard saying, “Look at me. What about me would make you think that I care about your opinion of me? Your opinion of me is not the opinion that I have of myself. You ain’t make me, so you can’t break me.”.

@angelreese10♬ original sound – Positive_mindset23

Will Reese Return To The Court This Season?

Reese was reportedly excited for a chance to repeat at LSU this season. Mulkey brought in several high-profile transfers and recruits that positioned the Lady Tigers as one of the most talented teams in the country. Haley Van Lith and Aneesah Morrow both joined LSU via the transfer portal to go along with top recruit Mikayla Williams.

“I wanted a super-team,” Reese told The Athletic prior to the season. “They want greatness and I want greatness. They want a national championship and so do I. So why not do it all together?”

But with Reese reportedly suspended, many LSU fans are wondering when they might see the Bayou Barbie back on the basketball court.

While there has been no indication on the length of her suspension or the nature of her absence from the team, it seems possible that Reese may not be out for much longer. LSU only has one ranked team (No. 9 Virginia Tech) on the schedule for the rest of the month and likely wouldn’t need Reese to win those games.

However, the Lady Tigers are set to tip off the SEC schedule after the New Year and their schedule will get much tougher from there.

With games versus three top-25 teams, including a battle versus No. 1-ranked South Carolina, on tap for January 2024, it wouldn’t be a surprise for Reese to return shortly after the holidays.



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Anthony Edwards admits players don’t contest All-Star Game

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Remember the times when the All-Star Game used to be competitive and would end up being one of the most exciting games of the year? Those were the good old days. However, in the past decade it seems as if those memorable exhibitions are now long gone, and modern stars are in no hurry of changing this around. 

This past weekend, Anthony Edwards was selected to compete in his second-ever All-Star contest, and once the match was over on Sunday, he opened up about why players don’t want to give it their all on the basketball court.

In a way, the Minnesota forward said what we all already know, but don’t want to accept it as we are in denial. “For me, it’s an All-Star Game, so I don’t think I will ever look at it like being super competitive. It’s always fun. I don’t know what they can do to make it more competitive,” he said. “It’s a break. I don’t think nobody wants to come here and compete.”

The All-Star Game is probably the best opportunity for fans to witness all of the NBA’s top talents play against each other at once. Even though we can always stand out many highlights from it, the exhibition definitely lacks defense. It seems that the players are too concerned about getting hurt, so they put in little effort on that end of the floor.

The Wolves star ended up only participating in 12 minutes off the bench and finished the match with 4 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist. The East produced a record-winning 211-186 display by the end of the match.

The young athlete later added to the “unseriousness” surrounding the All-Star Weekend and told the press he only planned on shooting exclusively with his left hand. “I’m going to shoot it with my left hand the whole game. I’m going to shoot it with my left hand the entire game … It’s an All-Star Game. Ain’t no field goal percentage,” he said.

The 22-year-old, who is right-handed, proceeded to do so during the Skills contest and made a mockery of himself, as he wasn’t able to drop in a single shot from beyond the arc.

Legend Larry Bird implored All-Star players to compete during Sunday’s East vs. West matchup

It seemed like no one listened to Hall of Famer Larry Bird before the All-Star contest on Sunday, as the Boston icon took his time to explain in an interview why it was important for modern superstars to compete to their best during the league’s showcase events.

The legend’s request was a simple one, as he was invited to participate in the NBA’s activities in Indianapolis. “The one thing I would really like to see is they play hard tonight in this All-Star Game,” Bird shared. “I think it’s very important when you have the best players in the world together, you’ve gotta compete, and you’ve gotta play hard, and you’ve gotta show the fans how good they really are.”

The former basketball athlete also addressed LeBron James, as he urged fans to appreciate him while they still can because he considers him to be “one of the greatest, if not the greatest, ever.”

“I tell people quit whining about LeBron. Enjoy him while he’s here. He’s unbelievable,” Larry expressed in an interview with NBA TV.





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Tyrese Haliburton’s 17.5 assists per 48 minutes tied for 6th all time

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Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton is averaging 17.5 assists per 48 minutes this season, tied for the sixth best in NBA history. The two-time All-Star trails only John Stockton (19.1 AP48M in 1987-88, 18.7 AP48M in 1989-90, 18 AP48M in 1990-91, 1991-92) and John Lucas (17.9 AP48M in 1983-84).

Haliburton, 23, could also become the sixth NBA player to average at least 12 assists per game in a season. He would become the first since John Stockton. The Iowa State product was averaging 12.6 assists per contest in January. By mid-February, his season average dropped to 11.7 assists per game.

In addition to Stockton, he would join Isiah Thomas, Kevin Porter, Magic Johnson, and Kevin Johnson. Stockton holds the top-two spots for the most assists per game (14.5 APG in 1989-90, 14.2 APG in 1990-91) in a season.

Per a few NBA betting sites, the Pacers hold 15th-shortest odds to win the championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Miami Heat.

Thomas (13.8 APG in 1984-85) is second, followed by Porter (13.4 APG in 1978-79) and Magic Johnson (13 APG in 1983-84). Of course, Kevin Johnson averaged 12.2 assists per contest in 1988-89.

In 82 games played, Stockton set the all-time record for most dimes in a single NBA season with 1,164 in 1990-91. Haliburton has notched 502 assists through 43 appearances this season.

Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton averaging career highs of 21.8 points, 12.7 assists per game

Through 43 games (42 starts) this season, Haliburton is averaging career highs of 21.8 points and 12.7 assists, along with 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 32 minutes per game.

Haliburton is also shooting 49.2% from the floor, 40% from 3-point range, and 85.3% at the foul line. In Indiana’s 140-126 win over the New York Knicks on Dec. 30, 2023, the four-year veteran recorded a career-high 23 assists.

Moreover, Scott Skiles set the single-game assists record with 30 in 44 minutes played in the Orlando Magic’s 155-116 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 30, 1990.

Haliburton currently leads the NBA this season in assists per game (11.7) and assist percentage (49.8%).

Not to mention, he ranks second in assists (502), seventh in player efficiency rating (25.3), second in offensive box plus/minus (8.9), and sixth in offensive rating (132.5).

Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young is the league’s assists leader with 546. Tyrese Haliburton was ahead last month until he suffered a Grade 1 left hamstring strain in a Jan. 8 win over the Boston Celtics.

Furthermore, he missed the next five games before returning to action with 21 points and 17 dimes against Portland on Jan. 19. Then he was out for five more contests after playing the Trail Blazers.

In Indiana’s 142-130 win against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 3, he became the first NBA player to post 31 points, 12 assists, three blocks, and five 3-pointers with zero turnovers in a game.





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Stephen A. Smith says LeBron James is responsible for Slam Dunk demise

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Just a year ago, the press was talking about how Mac McClung saved the Slam Dunk Contest, which for years has become a rather boring segment of the All-Star Weekend. This past weekend, the media is already making drastic statements again, assuring that the competition is back to being a disgraceful part of the show. 

This year, the contest proved again that it lacks star power, despite the participation of Jaylen Brown who ranked second. However, Stephen A. Smith believes that there is only one athlete responsible for the Slam Dunk’s demise, and it is LeBron James.

According to the ESPN analyst, the Lakers superstar’s refusal to participate in previous events during his prime has contributed to many other great players rejecting the opportunity. “LeBron James is directly responsible for ruining the slam dunk contest… The slam dunk contest, from 1985 to 1997, five of the 13 contests were won by future Hall of Famers…,” he assured.

“Every high-jumper, skywalker, and above-the-rim talent, salivated for the opportunity to participate in the dunk contest. It stopped when LeBron said I’m not doing it… There is no one who knows basketball that would refute what I am saying. LeBron James refusing to participate was the beginning and the spark plug of its demise. Period! There is no one who can dispute that,” Smith added.

There’s no doubt that the four-time champion has been one of the NBA’s best dunkers in the past two decades, and fans have implored him to take the Dunk Contest stage. LeBron once committed to the contest but then refused to participate, which has only increased the frustration.

According to the insider, the entire All-Star Weekend should be cancelled altogether, as the competition’s quality has dropped drastically in recent years. Stephen took the mic on Monday’s episode of First Take to voice out his thoughts.

“What transpired last night was an absolute travesty,” Smith expressed. “Nearly 400 points were scored. No defense, no effort whatsoever. This is the ultimate indictment against NBA stars who show up on NBA All-Star weekend—you play harder in the summer when you’re training.”

LeBron has previously explained why he never participated in the Dunk Contest despite fans’ requests

The purple and gold star has addressed this issue many times in the past, as he’s been heavily criticized for not prioritizing a special All-Star tradition that many Hall of Famers participated throughout the contest’s history.

“I don’t think it was something I wanted to accomplish in my career; it’s not a goal of mine, and it never was coming into the NBA to be a part of the Dunk Contest, you know? Making the NBA All-Star Team was, being the league MVP, winning Defensive Player of the Year, and winning NBA Championships…? Those were some goals of mine. The NBA Dunk Contest was never a goal of mine so, it wasn’t something that I had too much passion for,” he shared years ago.

Vince Carter, one of the greatest dunkers of all time, once gave insight on how the NBA would look for ways to incentivize the league’s stars to participate in the competition. The league reportedly even offered $1 million to athletes to compete.

“I know for a fact, some years back, the NBA tried this tactic as far as upping the ante a little bit, a million dollars. They threw around some names, I remember it was LeBron, Kobe, T-Mac—my name was thrown in there of course, and it was a few other people for $1 million. But you obviously couldn’t get the commitment of everyone to do it,” shared the Raptors icon.





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