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Ray Allen’s long shot to top

For something that took so long to accomplish, Ray Allen seemed to want to get it over with in a hurry last night.

After nearly 15 years in the NBA and 6,429 shots from beyond the arc, Allen lofted home one more 3-pointer from the right wing with 1:48 left in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers and it was done. Ray Allen stood alone.

As the ball curled through the net, a radiant smile pierced Allen’s face. But it was not as wide as the one his mother, Flo, was wearing — for she had seen more of those shots than anyone on Earth.

She had seen them when the world was watching and when no one was watching. And now she had seen No. 2,561, the one that allowed her son to pass Reggie Miller as the all-time 3-point leader in NBA history.

The sellout crowd of 18,624 was on its feet while the ball was still in the air, as it had been the three previous times Allen launched from the ozone. Once they cheered, twice they groaned, and with this one they exploded.

It was another 24 seconds before there was a pause in the action. When it came, Allen walked over to Miller, who was sitting courtside as part of TNT’s national broadcast team. They hugged in the way only two athletes who understood the struggle the other went through to get to this moment can.

And then Allen turned to Flo. It was difficult to be sure whose smile was wider, but both were the kind only a mother could share — because they, too, know how many shots it took to get to the one that put her son’s name above anyone else who ever launched a 3-pointer. Shots in the heat. Shots in the cold. Shots in empty gyms and jammed ones. Shots in the bedroom when the light was supposed to be out. Shots over the TV and from behind the sofa.

Shots launched only in the mind of a skinny kid who believed one day he would shoot shots the world would pay to see. And so it came to pass last night that one more went up and a record fell.

It came against the Celtics [team stats]’ most hated rival, and with the man who held the record (and had to take 57 more 3’s to set it) as witness. Most of all, it came after a sleepless night in which Allen had to admit he was unable to act like it would be just another night in 15 years of nights.

“I didn’t sleep extremely well (Wednesday) night, and I didn’t expect it,” Allen admitted before the game. “I got into trying to talk about shoes, just dealing with everything that was going on today and making sure that everything was together.

“The game itself is big enough. Being on the precipice of breaking this record takes you to another level. I saw Reggie earlier, and it’s like so surreal because I know Reggie and he’s been here many games. But now, being here, in this moment, and being able to say this moment is before us, it seems pretty overwhelming.”

It looked that way when he badly missed his first 3 attempt just 4:36 into the first quarter. It didn’t look that way when he tied the record on a pass from Kevin Garnett that found him wide open with 4:15 to play in the period. But with Kobe Bryant now on him, he missed again a few seconds later on a shot that not only he seemed to rush but the whole team seemed rush.

Then it came, the perfect pass from Rajon Rondo [stats] to Allen on the right wing. And then that classic frozen moment before he went straight up, as he always seems to, and flicked the ball as if it was light as a feather.

For Allen, that’s how a basketball has felt for years. But more than anyone else, Flo knows better, for she saw shots no one else saw. Shots that hit the rim. Shots that missed the rim. Shots that refused to do what they were told.

Last night, 3-point shot number 6,429 listened. It went where it was told, into the net for the 2,561st time as gently as a dream and maybe that’s what it was. The fulfillment of a dream that began when nobody was watching but his mom, and nobody knew how far this would go but him.

Continue reading here: Ray Allen’s long shot to top

BYU basketball: Dave Rose expresses his sadness at Jerry Sloan’s departure – Deseret News

PROVO — Fresh off a 90-52 dismantling of Air Force Wednesday night, and while preparing for a big home game against arch-rival Utah on Saturday, BYU players and coaches were saddened by the news that broke earlier Thursday — that longtime Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan was resigning.

Guard Jimmer Fredette, projected to be a first-round NBA draft pick next June, said Sloan’s resignation was a topic of conversation in the locker room before practice.

“I was really surprised. I had no idea. I had no indication he was going to do that,” Fredette said of the news. “I’m kind of curious to see what direction Jazz basketball goes now.”

Fredette said he admires Sloan, though he has never met the former Jazz coach. Fredette added that he would like to meet Sloan someday.

BYU coach Dave Rose met Sloan years ago in St. George, when the Jazz held their mini-camps there. At that time, Rose was the head coach at Dixie College.

Asked about his reaction to Sloan’s resignation, Rose said, “I’m actually sad. I have enjoyed watching his teams over the years. It doesn’t matter who he has got, they always seem to play the same way.

“He has obviously decided it is time. I just hope he feels good about what he’s done, because he has been great for the Jazz, the state of Utah and the city of Salt Lake. I, for one, am sad to see him go.”

INJURY UPDATE: Guard Kyle Collinsworth (concussion) and center James Anderson (shoulder) participated in Thursday’s practice, though they were held out of most contact drills.

Both players traveled to Colorado Springs for the Air Force game, but they did not play.

As for their availability for Saturday, Rose said it will be a game-time decision.

Meanwhile, Fredette, who banged his knee on the knee of an Air Force player on Wednesday, said his knee is sore, but that he’ll be fine.

ROGERS THE REBOUNDER: BYU sophomore Stephen Rogers scored 11 points against the Falcons, hitting 4-of-5 shots from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point territory. Rogers also grabbed five rebounds.

Last season at Mesa Community College, Rogers averaged 21.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game en route to earning JUCO All-America honors.

As for his role with the Cougars, Rogers said, “It just kind of depends on what’s needed from me at the time and what team I’m a part of. Last year at Mesa, I had more of a scoring role. This year, with Jimmer and Jackson (Emery) and the guys who score so well, I do what I can.”

e-mail: [email protected]

Cougars, Utes on the air

Utah (10-14, 3-7) atNo. 7 BYU (23-2, 9-1)

Saturday, 4 p.m.

Marriott Center

TV: The mtn.

Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM

Continue reading here: BYU basketball: Dave Rose expresses his sadness at Jerry Sloan’s departure – Deseret News

Ray Allen breaks record in Celtics loss

BOSTON (AP) – Ray Allen broke the NBA record for 3-pointers on Thursday night, sinking two in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers as the man he passed, Reggie Miller, sat courtside working the TV broadcast.

Allen hit his second 3 of the game with 1:48 left in the first quarter to reach 2,561 in his career — a number that flashed on the scoreboard in green and white while the TD Garden erupted in applause.

The 38-year-old Celtic celebrated little as he got back on defense, but at the next whistle went over to Miller for a hug and a handshake, then bumped fists with Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

“I’m just so happy for him because this is one of the best guys,” Miller said on the TNT broadcast. “He’s so humble, he’s so giving, he’s a great family man and I’m excited. This is great. This is great for the game of basketball. You know why? We’re focusing and talking about shooting.”

The record-breaker came on a transition basket from the right side on a pass from Rajon Rondo. The sold-out crowd at the TD Garden — the visit by the rival Lakers would have been enough for that — cheered, and his teammates rose out of their seats.

After the quarter ended, Allen exchanged a few words and another hug with Miller, then went down the sideline to receive his family’s congratulations. Allen made one more in the game to finish two ahead Miller, but the Boston Celtics lost the NBA finals rematch 92-86.

“It’s so serendipitous that it happened the way it happened. For us to be sitting here, Reggie’s in the building and he’s in the building able to work the game,” Allen said before the game. “He just told me he was proud of me and he was excited for me. He said he was glad that he could be here in this moment.”

Miller has been cheering Allen on as he pursed the record, and the former Indiana Pacers star said people shouldn’t be surprised.

“All records are made to be broken,” Miller said. “I had a conversation with Ray earlier tonight and he was like, ‘When I was a rookie and I came to Market Square Arena and I saw you for 3 to 3½ hours before (the game) shooting, that’s how I wanted to patent my game.'”

A 6-foot-5 guard from Connecticut, Allen is the No. 25 scorer in NBA history, finishing the night with 21,875 points in a 15-year career with Milwaukee, Seattle and Boston. He is already the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made per game since the shot was introduced to the league in 1979, with an average of 2.4.

“He’s just a machine,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said before the game. “He shoots every day. He works on it. He runs every day. You look at his body. If you’re a young player just look at Ray Allen if you want a long career. He’s the ultimate pro.”

Allen got to the record a little faster than Miller, needing 6,430 shots to reach the record — a percentage of 39.8. Miller took 6,486 shots from 3-point range in his 18-year career with the Indiana Pacers, making 39.5 percent.

Allen said beforehand he had unexpected trouble sleeping on Wednesday night, with the combined anticipation of an NBA finals rematch against the archrival Lakers and the chance to break the record.

“I was like a little kid,” he said. “Just the game itself is big enough and being on the precipice of breaking this record takes you to another level. … Being here in this moment and being able to say this moment is before us, it seems pretty overwhelming.”

Allen entered the season needing 117 to pass Miller, and he entered the night needing one to tie and two for the record. With the crowd cheering in anticipation every time he got the ball beyond the arc, he missed his first attempt and then made his second, from the top of the key.

Allen gave a fist pump while teammate Nate Robinson raised one finger in the air. The next time down, Paul Pierce passed him the ball on the left side and Allen fired up another shot that, to the crowd’s dismay, went off the rim. He missed the next try, too, but then got the record on his fifth 3-point attempt of the game.

“I think it’s a remarkable thing he’s achieving tonight,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before the game. “It is something to watch for and I hope he gets rid of it right away.”

During the second quarter, the Celtics showed a video with him making 3-pointers through his career — first with the Milwaukee Bucks and then with the Seattle SuperSonics. The number “2,561” was repeated in green and white on the message board that ringed the scoreboard and on the one that circled the arena.

Continue reading here: Ray Allen breaks record in Celtics loss

Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber: The New Mainstream

NEW YORK – Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber: Separated at BirthPhenoms Gaga and Bieber both have highly-anticipated releases today—”Born This Way” and Never Say Never. Chris Lee writes that the seemingly opposite artists have much in common.

They are two of the most heavily hyped, eagerly anticipated entertainment properties of early 2011: Never Say Never, a nouvelle rockumentary chronicling the Top 10 ascendancy of 16-year old ‘tween heartthrob Justin Bieber and “Born This Way,” the lead single from an upcoming album by multiplatinum-selling pop provocateuse Lady Gaga of the same name.

Both have been unveiled today, just in time for Valentine’s Day. And both entertainment offerings are synergistically timed to capitalize on the media exposure each singer-songwriter will get from their heavily touted performances at Sunday’s Grammys Awards—a TV event that’s been notably diminished from the staggering Nielsen ratings it enjoyed in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but one that remains a higher profile platform for live music than just about anything in televisiondom short of American Idol.

To be sure, Gaga’s new song and Bieber’s movie exist as unabashed love letters to their primary constituencies—respectively, so-called little monsters and sufferers of Bieber Fever. But viewed another way, the new releases represent the tacit acknowledgement by both performers of a certain received pop-cultural wisdom.

Call it the most obvious and yet seldom followed career game plan: the “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it” school of professional management.

As has already been widely reported, “Born This Way” is a paean to the gay and transgender communities who have been devoted to the point of fanaticism to Lady Gaga and to whom she gushingly dedicates much of her creative output—be it portraying a hermaphrodite in the video for her song “Telephone” or donning a dress made entirely out of meat. The song was originally intended to come out on February 13 but as Gaga explained in a tweet to her 8 million followers: “Can’t wait any longer, single coming Friday,”

“Don’t be a drag, just be a queen,” she sings on “Born This Way’s” chorus. “No matter gay, straight or Bi, lesbian transgendered life/I’m on the right track, baby/I was born to survive.”

On the surface, the song seems like a deliberate provocation—a hard elbow to the mid-section of conservatives critical of gay politics. But as evidenced by the strength of her record sales (15 million albums, 51 million singles and counting) and Monster Ball Tour (in the Top 10 of highest-grossing concert tours for 2010, according to Pollstar magazine) Gaga’s little monsters in fact represent a new face of the mainstream. And she seems determined not to alter her message for middle America and to continue serving a previously underserved audience with the same kind of zeal Glenn Beck rails against progressive politics for his Fox News Channel faithful.

Moreover, by not flipping the script like Kelly Clarkson—who followed up the blockbuster success of her 2004 album Breakaway with My December, an alt-rock-y effort intended as a stylistic departure a la Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska that basically flopped—the erstwhile Fame Monster appears on track to sustain her unitard-clad momentum beyond the release of her Born This Way album in late May.

Never Say Never, meanwhile, is the Biebster’s obvious effort to cash in on the Beatlemania-like fan attention he currently commands, the first filmic step in what he envisions as a long and varied movie-musical career he’s modeling on Elvis. The movie gives the people—well, his core fan base of screaming girls and their moms—what they want: an up close and personal 3-D look at pop’s reigning prince, depicting where he came from and how he got to the pinnacle of pop at a time when Bieber’s Q-rating continues to reach new heights.

“At the end of the day, my fans are everything and they got me to this point,” Bieber said at the movie’s premiere. “Always remember where you came from.”

Which sounds like precisely the kind of pre-programmed answer you’d expect out of a meticulously groomed pop grommet. But it’s unlikely that, say, High School Musical breakout star Zac Efron managed to keep a similar sense of perspective given his first post-Musical project: the little-seen indie drama Me and Orson Welles (domestic gross: $1.19 million).

The performer may have taken the role intending to show his “range”—and thereby shatter the image he created for himself via a couple of Disney Channel TV movies and their theatrically released sequel. But instead, Efron managed to disenfranchise his core ‘tween support base en route to what has now become a thoroughly middling movie career.

Did you see Efron’s last movie Charlie St. Cloud? Me neither.

So in that light—as if global stardom, attendance record-shattering performance dates and pop cultural ubiquity weren’t enough already—Bieber and Gaga deserve some critical props. For doing the obvious things to stay on top.

“This movie isn’t about me…and it isn’t just for my fans…it’s about believing in a dream,” Bieber tweeted earlier this week. “We all can share in that.”

Plus: Check out more of the latest entertainment, fashion, and culture coverage on Sexy Beast—photos, videos, features, and Tweets.

Chris Lee is a senior entertainment writer for Newsweek/The Daily Beast. He previously worked as an entertainment and culture reporter for the Los Angeles Times. His work has also appeared in Vibe, Premiere and Details magazines and has been plagiarized in The Sunday Tribune of Ireland and The Trinidad Guardian.

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Continue reading here: Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber: The New Mainstream

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