We’re baaack. Dime #71 set out to answer the debates you’ve been having since 2000. Who’s the best player since the days of the Y2K scare? What are the best jerseys or sneakers (that one is sure to start some new debates actually) that you’ve been pining to find again if you didn’t snap them up the first time around? We’ve got those along the other top trends of the last decade and change. Our best player is Kobe Bryant, the cover subject of this issue, and we’ve already heard from plenty of people who are speaking up for their own favorite player in that debate. You know we’re holding it down with our standards by bringing you the new faces to watch, new basketball innovations and more. But then we take a short break from the present-day basketball news feed to look back and rank everything since 2000. It’s ambitious and we know it won’t satisfy a lot of folks because basketball opinions are as deep and set as the hardwood’s own grain. That’s why we love this game, though. It’s changing so fast a new debate’s about to spring up. Until then, we’ve got you covered on everything since 2000. … Suddenly the summer of 2013’s free agent class is already being overlooked. Dwight Howard‘s time to (finally) find his dream team isn’t the end-all, be-all transaction to look forward to after LeBron James left the agent he’s had since 2005. James split from Leon Rose, in what the Sun-Sentinel called an amicable breakup, to go for longtime friend Rich Paul, who had worked under Rose at Creative Artists Agency but now will lead a new agency. Paul is the King’s third agent after Aaron Goodwin represented him out of high school. Paul has known him since childhood. It sounds strictly business, but here’s where the intrigue lies, whether or not it has any truth to it: new agents can only collect on new contracts, and LeBron’s first chance to opt out of his current Miami contract is in 2014. Some will see that possibility, combined with the fact LBJ just bounced from CAA, where Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are represented, and see him maneuvering for an opt out. We don’t buy a commission as the reason he would leave, and we don’t buy he’ll leave, either. Paul has a solid roster of players he already represents in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Tristan Thompson and Jonny Flynn. We just think that even without a new deal, everyone connected to Miami and its Big Three will recoup their investments if the team wins titles or gets to the Finals. Still, now everyone’s looking at ’14. … Eight years after showing out in one of the greatest 35 seconds in hoops history against the Spurs, Tracy McGrady worked out for San Antonio Thursday to try and catch onto their roster. He’s working out next for the Knicks next, Yahoo reported. … The LeBron X won’t be a $300 sneaker but it will be close. Nike told ESPN on Thursday the full pack will sell for $270 instead of the $315 that was reported this summer, a cost that put sneaker cost and its place on our national priorities in question overnight on cable news. The all-in pack you’ll get for that money is the Nike+ one that measures your game. If you already have the pack or have a 13-inch vertical and don’t really want a shoe reminding you of your limitations, there will be less expensive models, as well. ... Hit the jump to read about Derrick Rose’s‘s return …
Derrick Rose is Chicago. His signature line of apparel, and the new D Rose 3 sneaker unveiled today in Chi-town, shows that adidas knows Chicago is Rose, too. Our man Sean Sweeney was there and his piece on the unveiling is a must read. It wasn’t that way at first for Rose, though, when he had the ceiling-shattering potential but needed to grow accustomed to the weight of a city’s basketball burden. The MVP. The knee injury. The rehab. He’s at that place now where he knows how to take over the city for good, and if his performance at the adidas unveiling didn’t persuade you, you might not have a pulse. The shoes are dope, especially the variable ankle support, and we love the three stripes staying on the sole, where you’ll see them as he runs by you. The hoodies, snapbacks and shorts — it’s all the product of a huge corporate effort and yet incredibly personal, too. There’s the hand-drawn art on the inside of the shoes and on the T-shirt, and the logo feels connected all the way through, from the No. 1, to the rose and the outer edge signifying his neighborhood. He said it: He could have gone a different way growing up in Chicago’s Englewood district. He didn’t and today was a chance to celebrate that. … It’s not a season-ending injury but we still feel awful about this Robbie Hummel news, nonetheless. The hard-luck former Purdue star has suffered another knee injury, according to the Journal and Courier. He’s expected to be out for 4-to-6 weeks with a meniscus tear in his right knee, which compared next to his torn ACLs in both his knees at Purdue, doesn’t seem as bad. Still, can this guy catch a break? Drafted by Minnesota he was preparing to play in Spain this year. … While Hummel can’t play more than a year without another injury, Andrei Kirilenko wants to play forever for the Russian Olympic team. The 31-year-old isn’t just eyeing Rio in 2016, but the 2020 Games, as well (wherever they are). You’re going to have to run the Google Translator through Lithuanian to read the original report but even through a stilted translation, he sounds like he loves playing in four-year cycles of motivation. That wasn’t the only bit of AK-47 news divulged on Thursday. Turns out his decision to join the Timberwolves wasn’t solely on “basketball reasons.” More like “hockey reasons.” … We’re out like the D Rose 3.
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