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The Best of BasketballNews: 2021

The Best of BasketballNews: 2021

We're flipping our calendar at BasketballNews — but not before taking one look back at a memorable 2021.

Sports never cease to give us compelling storylines. Last year, they came from all places, from the pros in the U.S. and abroad, to college, to youth levels, and even off the basketball court. Below are some of our staff's best stories, arranged in several categories. Read the Best of BasketballNews 2021:

Best Features

Gary Payton II on growing up in father's shadow: 'We have two different paths' — by Kelsea O'Brien

Former NBA execs, Overtime Elite seek to revolutionize amateur-to-pro preparation — by Spencer Davies

Daniel Gafford, Wizards surging since trade: 'When I got here, it clicked automatically' — by Spencer Davies

Two-way threat: PJ Dozier reflects on whirlwind path to Nuggets — by Ethan Fuller

NBA G League Finals MVP Devin Cannady remains focused on bigger goals — by Kelsea O'Brien

There’s plenty of blame to go around for Frank Ntilikina’s failure — by Moke Hamilton

Nikola Vucevic may finally get credit he deserves with new-look Bulls — by Alex Kennedy

Meet Justė Jocytė: 15-year-old phenom and professional record-breaker — by Ethan Fuller

Kristaps Porzingis' renewed confidence leading to resurgent season — by Evan Sidery

NBA G League star Scoot Henderson's aspirations far exceed the hype — by Spencer Davies

Best Interviews and Q&As

Richaun Holmes Q&A: 'I definitely feel I’m deserving of the All-Defensive Team' — with Alex Kennedy

Magic's R.J. Hampton Q&A: 'I don’t think you can put a cap on our ceiling' — with Alex Kennedy

The Rex Chapman Show with Josh Hopkins Episode 7 - Stephen Curry

The Rex Chapman Show: James Jones on Suns' culture change, player-to-GM leap

One-on-One: Derrick White, Spurs' youth trying to make a name for themselves — with Spencer Davies

One-on-One: Patrick Patterson opens up as Clippers begin playoff run — with Spencer Davies

Larry Nance Jr. Q&A: 'I did not come out here to half-ass this thing' — with Alex Kennedy

Jermaine O’Neal on reconciling with Metta World Peace: 'I didn't know about mental health' — with Etan Thomas

Markelle Fultz reveals what really happened with his shot, shoulder — with Etan Thomas

Thad Young on being blindsided by Spurs trade, trade rumors, key to longevity — with Alex Kennedy

Best Player Breakdowns

On Lock: How Jrue Holiday became the NBA Finals’ X-Factor — by Jannelle Moore

Enough 'no bag' talk: Giannis Antetokounmpo put the NBA on notice — by Nekias Duncan

Film study: What Kyle Lowry brings to the Miami Heat — by Nekias Duncan

Dime Fest: Breaking down Courtney Vandersloot's historic night — by Nekias Duncan

What does Marcus Smart at point guard look like for the Celtics?   — by Ethan Fuller

Rudy Gay is injecting the Jazz with funk — by Mark Schindler

Is Jaren Jackson Jr. a star in the making, or something else? — by Matt Brooks

Dissecting Desmond Bane's growing role in the Grizzlies' offense — by Jackson Frank

Is Cade Cunningham a franchise player the Pistons can build around? — by Mat Issa and Bryce Simon

Making the NBA All-Star case for Cavs big man Jarrett Allen — by Bryan Fonseca

Best Team and League Breakdowns

To tank, or not to tank? Analyzing the Raptors' present and future — by Imman Adan

The NBA Draft Lottery is not rigged, and here's why — by Alex Kennedy 

Why NBA bigs take more time to develop: 'They're used to imposing their will' — by Spencer Davies

As NBA offseason nears, which teams are in the dead money doldrums? — by Ethan Fuller

Suns create unnecessarily awkward situation by not extending Ayton — by Evan Sidery

Length matters: The NBA's long-ball revolution may be coming — by Imman Adan

The Grindhouse: How the Grizzlies are winning with defense — by Nekias Duncan

Tom Thibodeau isn’t the only reigning Coach of the Year to struggle — by Moke Hamilton

NBA Power Rankings: Bulls are hot, Warriors reclaim top spot from Suns  — by Tommy Beer

Hornets' embarrassing defense sinking their enticing potential — by Evan Sidery

Best Opinion

Injuries Galore: The NBA’s all-too-soon return has made losers of us all — by Moke Hamilton

What can the NBA do to prevent more ugly fan incidents? — by Alex Kennedy

Rachel Nichols-Maria Taylor incident exposes ESPN’s racism, sexism  — by Imman Adan

The discourse around NBA stars and super-teams is tiresome — by Spencer Davies

A beginner's guide to NBA stats: The three types of statistics — by Ethan Fuller

Which NBA players could have realistically played in the NFL? — by Alex Kennedy

No enhancement necessary: NBA should leave well enough alone — by Jannelle Moore

The Nets should be ashamed of themselves — by Nekias Duncan

Missing the forest through the trees on Christmas Day games — by Mark Schindler

NBA teams need to show more respect to veterans, and we're seeing why — by Bryan Fonseca

Best of the NBA Draft

2022 NBA Draft Big Board — by Matt Babcock

Behind the scenes with projected lottery pick James Bouknight — by Matt Babcock

Q&A: Draft prospect Nah'Shon 'Bones' Hyland demands your attention — by Alex Kennedy

2021 NBA Draft: Matt Babcock on rumors, trades, risers, fallers — by Ethan Fuller and Matt Babcock

The Little Guy From Bendigo: Dyson Daniels is unlike anyone else — by Spencer Davies

2022 NBA Draft Q&A: French big man Ismael Kamagate — by Jason Filippi

2022 NBA Draft: Jean Montero scouting report — by Doc Martin

Babcock’s Takeaways: Jabari Smith, Patrick Baldwin, Matthew Cleveland — by Matt Babcock

2022 NBA Draft: The evolution of Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji — by Derek Murray

2022 NBA Draft: Getting to know JD Davison, Alabama's native son — by Grant Aqui

Best Player Pieces

Behind the scenes of the Wizards' COVID-19 outbreak: 'It's been a wild season' — by Troy Brown Jr.

It’s a shame Carmelo Anthony didn’t end up in Portland sooner — by Kenyon Martin

My first time getting traded: Learning what it's like to be dealt in the NBA — by Troy Brown Jr.

After 20 years of public degradation, Kwame Brown is fed up — by Etan Thomas

Paul George is silencing his critics — by Etan Thomas

The NBA is a big business, and players should be allowed to act like it — by James Posey

LeBron James doesn’t seem to be succumbing to Father Time just yet — by James Posey

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