Tag Archives: NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James on Mavs star Luka Dončić: ‘He’s a great, young talent; I love his game’

STAR WATCH 

GREAT COMPANY — Three-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has been especially complementary of Luka Dončić, the Mavericks’ prized swingman, who’s been as good as advertised since he made the transition from the EuroLeague to U. S. soil following the 2018 campaign. (Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY)

DALLAS — Ever since he’s made his NBA coming out party last season, Dallas Mavericks star Luka Dončić has been the beneficiary of a slew of accolades and figurative pats on the back.

Especially from arguably the best basketball player on the planet.
Three-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has been especially complementary of Dončić, the Mavericks’ prized swingman, who’s been as good as advertised since he made the transition from the EuroLeague to U. S. soil following the 2018 campaign.
Having been dubbed the best 20-year-old player in NBA history behind James — who entered the NBA at 18 years of age — all Dončić has done since being anointed NBA Rookie of The Year last season is pick up where he left off.
PLAYOFF PREVIEW? Heading into Friday night’s nationally-televised showdown against the first place Lakers at the American Airlines Center (8:30 CST on ESPN) in what appears to be a potential playoff preview, the Mavericks (23-14) are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings, having amassed eight more wins than last season after 27 games.. (Getty Images Photo)

The 6-foot-7 Slovenian’s 29.6 points per game is third best in the NBA behind Houston’s James Harden (38.5) and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league’s reigning MVP.

Add to the fact that Dončić’s display undoubtedly has given way to the Mavs having become one of the NBA’s biggest surprises this season, and it’s no wonder the greatest player of this generation deems it essential to often give props to a youngster, who’s already assumed the superstar label, a feat he’s emphatically cemented less than one year removed from the ceremonious retirement of Mavs great Dirk Nowitzki.

Much to the delight of Dončić, James is certainly a fan of the NBA sophomore sensation.

“He’s a great, young talent,” James told Making Headline News during a recent interview. “I love his game. He has the ability to not only create shots for himself, but I love the fact that he can get great looks for his team.”

It is, by all accounts, because of Dončić’s remarkable play, coupled with last year’s midseason acquisition of Kristaps Porziņģis, that Dallas will be vying for a playoff spot between now and season’s end.

Heading into Friday night’s nationally-televised showdown against the first place Lakers at the American Airlines Center (8:45 CST on ESPN) in what appears to be a potential playoff preview, the Mavericks (23-14) are currently sixth in the Western Conference standings, having amassed eight more wins than last season after 27 games.

MAKING NOISE — Having been dubbed the best 20-year-old player in NBA history behind James — who entered the NBA at 18 years of age — all Dončić has done since being anointed NBA Rookie of The Year last season is pick up where he left off.

“They’re a competitive team with KP (Kristaps Porziņģis) and Luka with (Maxi) Kleber, (Dorian) Finney-Smith, and Seth (Curry) and those guys they have around him,” James said of a Dallas team that has dropped two of three meetings with the Lakers this season. “They play fast. They shoot a lot of threes and push the tempo to keep you off balance. (Mavs coach Rick) Carlisle’s team has always been well-coached.”

Said fellow Lakers superstar Anthony Davis in assessing the resurgence a Mavs team that’s looking to snap a four-year playoff drought: “They’re a very good team. They’re a playoff team. Their cornerstone is KP and Luka with a great supporting cast around them.”

While James has praised the way the Mavs’ leader has gone about adjusting to life as one of the NBA’s young bright stars, Dončić, on the other hand, has always been equally fond of James, a 16-year veteran and 14-time All-Star.

During a game in L. A. last November, Dončić was spotted waiting outside of the Lakers’ locker room, where he received an autographed jersey signed by James.

While James has praised the way the Mavs’ leader has gone about adjusting to life as one of the NBA’s young bright stars, Dončić, on the other hand, has always been fond of James, a 16-year veteran and 14-time All-Star. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

One of James’ representatives emerged from the locker room with a signed No. 23 jersey that read “To: Luka D, God Bless and continue to #StriveForGreatness.”

All things considered, striving for greatness seems to have become a personal mantra, of sorts, for Dončić, who unquestionably has made his presence felt since he’s entered the NBA ranks.

Just like James, his biggest mentor, had done a little more than a decade-and-a-half ago as an NBA newcomer.

“That’s what I like about him,” said James, who has gone on record recently and said Dončić is the kind of player with whom he’d like to play. “He plays the game the right way.”

A pretty remarkably brilliant assessment from arguably the best basketball player on the planet.


Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder/Publisher & Editor In Chief of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to makingheadlinenews@gmail.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 


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Accomplished Arkansas Minister Dr. Alandrus P. Spencer ‘Touching Lives’ through his book blanketed by encouragement

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:6 KJV)

 

Upon crossing paths with Dr. Alandrus P. Spencer, it wouldn’t take very long for anyone to discover that he’s armed with encouragement.

 A whole lot of it, for the record.

HANDPICKED BY GOD — A proud Navy veteran and the Senior Pastor of Touching Lives Ministries, Inc. in nearby Blytheville, Arkansas, Dr. Alandrus P. Spencer is the mastermind behind the book entitled, Encouraging Moment: Live Life By An Encouraging Moment.

Consider, for instance, how Dr. Spencer, an accomplished Jonesboro, Arkansas-area minister, wasted little time taking to his Facebook page Saturday morning, during which he staged a brief post to — you guessed it — encourage the masses.

Said Dr. Spencer just before 10 a.m. CST in a thought-provoking catchphrase once uttered by Texas Empowerment Strategist Franco Charles: “What you fail to announce will be ignored.”

Out of fairness to Dr. Spencer, there is, by all accounts, a rather favorable reason why he deems it essential to encourage people mightily as often as he could.

For starters, he answered the divine call long ago when he became a spokesperson for Christ.

Secondly, he’s grasped a thorough concept of what it means to build up his spirit man, regardless of how challenging or bleak circumstances become in his life.

Thirdly and most importantly, he routinely encourages others because, well, God practically commands us to.

And so it came to pass that Dr. Spencer acted out of obedience unto God by composing an awe-inspiring book that — you guessed it again — figures to encourage people from various walks of life.

A proud Navy veteran and the Senior Pastor of Touching Lives Ministries, Inc. in nearby Blytheville, Arkansas, Spencer is the mastermind behind the book entitled, Encouraging Moment: Live Life By An Encouraging Moment.

BUY DR. ALANDRUS SPENCER’S BOOK HERE: https://www.amazon.com/Encouraging-Moment-Live-Life/dp/154344038X

A spiritually gut-checking and life-enhancing written document that is comprised of 90 pages, Dr. Spencer’s Encouraging Moment: Live Life By An Encouraging Moment officially hit the market on September 20, 2017, approximately two years after God had revealed to him the vision to write it.

Much to his delight, Dr. Spencer didn’t just write down the vision. He took it and ran with it.

Not only that, it is a foregone conclusion why he produced the book to begin with.

“I chose to write this book because I love to encourage others, and I felt I could give them these same quotes that challenged and encouraged me during some of life most challenging times,” Dr. Spencer said.

Interestingly, he appropriately used the familiar Biblical passage that is 1 Samuel 30:6 as the feature scripture from which his book was birthed.

“David encouraged himself,” Dr. Spencer said without hesitation.

Speaking of hesitation, given the passion with which Dr. Spencer speaks when promoting his book, it’s safe to assume that Encouraging Moment: Live Life By An Encouraging Moment was assembled without hesitation.

“The divine message is that God wants us to experience a healthy dose of encouragement whenever and wherever possible, and that we have the built-in capacity to encourage ourselves,” said Dr. Spencer, explaining the purpose for his new book.

As expected, the feedback since the release of Dr. Spencer’s book has been favorable.

MORE ON TOUCHING LIVES MINISTRIES: https://www.touchinglivesministries.org/

Touching Lives Ministries Co-Pastor and First Lady Veronica L. Spencer

“The feedback has been tremendous,” Dr. Spencer said. “People mostly appreciate it. It’s not a wordy book. It’s simple but impactful and it challenges their faith while encouraging them to strive for better.”

All things considered, as it pertains to composing his book, exemplifying a sense of passion was extremely key, Dr. Spencer emphasized.

“God created me with the gift to have passion for and to encourage others,” he said. “And this book is a direct display of my heart toward people.”

A spiritually gut-checking and life-enhancing written document that is comprised of 90 pages, Dr. Spencer’s Encouraging Moment: Live Life By An Encouraging Moment officially hit the market on September 20, 2017, approximately two years after God had revealed to him the vision to write it.

While Encouraging Moment: Live Life By An Encouraging Moment is an ideal read for people who are lost spiritually and desire to return to Christ, Dr. Spencer acknowledged his book is especially prevalent for the modern-day church, where the spirit of discouragement has rid its ugly head unlike never before.

“The world as we know it is lacking strongly in the area of encouragement and, yes, even in the church,” Dr. Spencer said. “I believe if we can start to embrace and harness the energy of encouragement, we can make the world a better and a more promising place.”

After all, he’d be the first to tell you that, “What you fail to announce will be ignored.”

Surely, that goes for encouragement.

A whole lot of it, for the record.

 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

 

 

 

Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. looking to add Slam Dunk champion to his banner rookie season

DALLAS — Approximately 90 minutes prior to the Dallas Mavericks’ final game before the All-Star break on Tuesday, Mavs point guard Dennis Smith Jr. sat in front of his locker, trying all he could to keep from basking in the glory of the moment.

Too late.

AIR DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. will compete in the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest as part the NBA All-Star festivities Saturday Night at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday. The former North Carolina State star is the third player in Mavs history to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest. (Photo by Lecka/Getty Images North America)

That’s because Dallas’ prized rookie was a couple of days away from showcasing his skills on the NBA’s most celebrated and star-studded stage.

A former North Carolina State star, Smith Jr. will compete in the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest as part the NBA All-Star Game festivities Saturday Night at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday.

An event that will precede the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and the JBL Three-Point Contest, Smith Jr. is the third player in Mavs history to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, joining Tony Dumas and Michael Finley.

Finley, who played for Dallas from 1996-2005, finished third at the event held in Cleveland in 1997. Dumas, whose four NBA seasons were spent mostly with Dallas from 1994 to 1996, failed to advance past the first round of the 1995 competition held in Phoenix.

The 67th Annual All-Star Game is Sunday at 7 p.m. CST on TNT and will feature Team Stephen versus Team LeBron.

For the 20-year-old Smith Jr., whose 48-inch vertical leap during a pre-draft workout with the Los Angeles Lakers last summer reportedly tied an NBA record, if things go his way Saturday night, the possibility exist that he will emerge as the Slam Dunk champion.

According to odds makers, while labeling this year’s competition as an open race, they predict the winner of this year’s event will likely come to down to Smith Jr. and newly-acquired Cleveland power forward Larry Nance Jr., with the 6-foot-3 Smith edging out Nance in the finals.

Joining Smith Jr. in the Slam Dunk competition are fellow rookie Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, the field’s only All-Star, and Nance Jr., a second-generation dunk contest participant, whose father won the contest in 1984.

Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said that Smith Jr. appearing on the league’s grandest stage this weekend for the All-Star festivities is testament of the solid work he’s put it prior to entering the NBA as the No. 9 overall pick last June.

“I’m humbled by it,” Smith Jr., during an interview with Making Headline News, said of being selected to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest. “It’s a blessing to be there. You know, you work hard and dream about things like that and, finally, it’s a great honor for me. It’s a blessing.”

Though Mavs coach Rick Carlisle earlier this week was complementary of his star rookie being selected for a chance to become the first slam dunk champion in team history, he also took the time to pass along to the team’s second-leading scorer some pertinent advice that was comprised of just two words.

“Be safe,” Carlisle said.

Aside from joining arguably the NBA’s finest players this weekend in Los Angeles, where he will also compete for the U.S. Team in the Mountain Dew Kickstart Rising Stars game Friday night, Smith Jr. described participating in the Slam Dunk Contest as a “dream come true,” considering he’s spent years watching YouTube footage of Michael Jordan and a host of other electrifying dunkers.

“I like Vince (Sacramento Kings veteran Carter), T-Mac (Tracy McGrady), Jordan,” Smith Jr. said. “You know, there’s a couple of others…Steve Francis. And Penny (Hardaway). That’s my dawg, but I’m not going to throw him in (on the list).”

According to odds makers, while labeling this year’s competition as an open race, they predict the winner of this year’s event will likely come to down to Smith Jr. and newly-acquired Cleveland power forward Larry Nance Jr., with the 6-foot-3 Smith Jr. edging out Nance in the finals. (Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report)

For what it’s worth, Carlisle said that Smith Jr. appearing on the league’s grandest stage this weekend is a testament of the solid work he’s put in prior to entering the NBA as the No. 9 overall pick last June.

“I want him to learn from it,” Carlisle said. “He’s hard to guard and he gets his teammates involved. You know, I love the way he’s being an aggressive scorer with the awareness of putting his teammates in position to score. From the perspective of how he understood the game even before coming to the NBA to where he is now, you know, he’s made tremendous strides there.”

If things go his way Saturday night, the Mavs’ prized newcomer will add yet another notable accolade to what is already a memorable rookie campaign.

What: Verizon Slam Dunk
When: Saturday, Feb. 17 | 8 p.m. ET  (3rd Event)
TV: TNT 
Where: STAPLES Center

 

Andre Johnson is the Founder/Publisher And Editor In Chief of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.