Nate Robinson wins third straight dunk title

DeMar DeRozan and Nate Robinson each had a couple of interesting dunks, but otherwise the 2010 dunk contest was a snoozer.

Read the full recap here.

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No LeBron in the dunk contest

Last year, he said he was going to play. Last week, he said he was 50/50. Today, the participants for the Slam Dunk contest were announced, and surprise-suprise, LeBron’s name wasn’t on the list.

2009 Sprite Slam Dunk champion Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks will attempt to become the first three-time winner of the competition when he defends his title on NBA All-Star Saturday Night, Feb. 13, at American Airlines Center (8 p.m. ET on TNT) in Dallas. Robinson will compete against the Charlotte Bobcats’ Gerald Wallace and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Shannon Brown.

The Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Eric Gordon will compete in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In, a single-round slam dunk competition that will be held at halftime of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam on Friday, Feb. 12.

I’m interested to see what Shannon Brown can do. He’s a smallish guy (6’4″ passes for small these days) with great hops.

It’s a bummer that LeBron refuses to participate, but I can’t say I’m surprised.

Nate Robinson on the move?

After a series of DNP-CDs, Nate Robinson wants out of New York, or so says Chris Sheridan…

Robinson does want out, and a source close to the Robinson camp tells there’s one place the former slam-dunk champion would truly like to land if a trade can be worked out: Boston.

If that can’t happen, Robinson wants a buyout, believing he will be able to sign with one of the top contending teams in the league, including the Lakers, Cleveland and Orlando — the thinking being that he can provide the instant offensive boost for any of those teams that he once provided for the Knicks.

To illustrate just how far his stock has fallen in a few short months, here is what John Hollinger had to say about him before the season:

2009-10 outlook: With few teams showing interest in him as a restricted free agent, Robinson re-signed with the Knicks on a one-year, $4 million deal — a below-market salary that he’ll seek to rectify as an unrestricted free agent next summer. He’ll move back into the same situation in New York as a sixth man who backs up both guard spots and will be one of the front-runners for the league’s Sixth Man award. Despite coming off the bench, he’ll likely average more than 30 minutes a game and could average as much as 20 points if everything breaks his way.

Seemingly a fine fit (as a finisher, not a distributor–is there really that much difference between Robinson and Leandro Barbosa?) in Mike D’Antoni’s system, it’s odd that he’s not able to get any minutes. But the Knicks have been 6-3 since D’Antoni took Robinson out of the rotation, so the proverbial proof is in the pudding.

It’s not likely that the Knicks will be willing to move Robinson, as they are unwilling to add any salary that would eat into their cap space next summer. Moreover, Robinson can veto any trade, so would he rather fight for minutes on a bottom feeder or sit on the end of the bench in New York? He wants to play for a contender, but everyone wants to play for a contender.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Five players who could be on the move

Marc Stein lists five “big” names who could be on the move as the NBA trade season begins in earnest. Those names are: Andre Miller, Nate Robinson, Brandon Bass, Marcin Gortat and Ramon Sessions. Here’s part of Stein’s writeup on Miller:

Miller might actually find it easier to operate in Portland’s offense with Oden off the floor and less of an emphasis on throwing the ball inside. Harsh as that sounds, given Oden’s unquestioned likability and hideous luck, Miller and Roy appeared to be the main sufferers from the lack of offensive flow that has plagued Portland this season as Oden’s role expanded. If the Blazers open things up a bit more with Oden sidelined, as Roy envisions, that could really help Miller.

Yet the reality remains that Miller and Roy are an iffy tag team because both need to see so much of the ball to be effective, which explains why Miller has started only nine games. There’s this, too: While NBA front-office sources say there is considerable outside interest in young (and mostly forgotten) Portland guard Jerryd Bayless, Miller’s more substantial salary — $6.7 million to Bayless’ $2.1 million — would probably bring a bigger talent payoff in a trade.

“They need a Mo Williams-type to play with Brandon Roy,” said one rival team executive in the West. “They need a shooter to play off him.”

Stein suggests that both Miller and Sessions were signed so that the Blazers and T-Wolves would have tradeable assets that they can “flip” at some point during the season. Sessions supposedly had an opportunity to play for the Knicks on a one-year deal and probably should have done just that. Chris Duhon is struggling, so it’s likely that Sessions would be the starter by now, and with his ability, he could post some nice numbers in Mike D’Antoni’s system. The Knicks aren’t going to trade for Sessions now because his contract would eat into their projected cap space next summer.

Nate Robinson arrested for driving with a suspended license

Per the NY Post

Pint-sized New York Knicks player Nate Robinson came up short last night in The Bronx, where cops busted the slam-dunk expert for driving with a suspended license, authorities said.

Robinson — whose license was suspended in June for the fifth time — was driving himself and newly drafted New Jersey Nets player Terrence Williams when cops stopped him in The Bronx in the late afternoon.

Robinson tweeted just after he was pulled over, saying that he thought that he was stopped because his windows were too dark. After the arrest, he had this to say…

“To All My Tweeps: I was irresponsible earlier when I tweeted about being pulled over,” Robinson wrote afterwards. “I thought it was for tinted windows but turns out I had an unpaid ticket and I wasn’t aware the ticket had been mailed to my Seattle address … I apologize to the Knicks, my family and fans.”

Tsk, tsk, tsk…

Not a smart move for a restricted free agent hoping to sign a one-year deal with the Knicks and enter unrestricted free agency next summer. I doubt this will impact the Knicks’ decision, but you never know.

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