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The Five Most Random Players To Appear In An NBA All-Star Game

Remember them?

All-Star Sunday is upon us, with the 66th NBA All-Star game set to tip at 8 p.m. on Sunday night (Feb. 19), live from the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, La., on TNT. It definitely won't lack excitement, given the captivating storylines from Kevin Durant to Russell Westbrook. The teams will surely put on a show for the fans in attendance, and those watching across the globe. Now, you surely know the big names gracing the court such as Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Steph Curry, but there are always a few players that sneak into the end of the bench of the 24-man selection process. Refresh your memory, and let us know if you remember any of these five NBA players appearing in the All-Star game.

Josh Howard, Dallas Mavericks - 2007

Josh Howard carved out a nice career for himself as a small forward in the NBA. Most people wouldn't know that he actually appeared in the 2007 All-Star game as a reserve for the Western Conference. The Dallas Maverick scored three-points while grabbing four rebounds in about 20 minutes on the floor. Howard's career seemed to go downhill after he admitted to ESPN before a playoff game in 2008 that he smoked weed during the off-season. He has since got into coaching after two torn ACLs ended his career after 11 years in the league.

Gerald Wallace, Charlotte Bobcats - 2010

Gaining notoriety while playing for a small market team in Charlotte is no easy task, but "Crash" of the Michael Jordan-owned franchise did just that in 2010, for his first and only All-Star appearance. Wallace only scored two-points in 15 minutes of playing time in a close 141-139 victory for the Eastern Conference. He went on to finish the 2010 campaign averaging a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds per game, the best season of his career.

Charles Oakley, New York Knicks - 1994

The 53-year-0ld made headlines earlier in February, after being dragged out of Madison Square Garden and arrested for an altercation with Knicks' owner James Dolan. Oakley was the heart and soul of those 90s Knick teams, but you wouldn't expect a role player like Oak to be rewarded with an All-Star appearance like he was in 1994. Oakley averaged nearly 12 points and 12 rebounds in the best campaign of his career, which helped lead the New York Knicks to the NBA Finals. The Knicks were well represented in the 1994 All-Star game in Minneapolis, with John Starks and Patrick Ewing joining Oakley on the floor.

Nick Van Exel, Los Angeles Lakers - 1998

The popular Nick Van Exel bounced around the NBA, but will be most remembered for his days as a Laker, capped off with an All-Star appearance in his last year with the team in 1998. Van Exel joined three other teammates in the game, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Eddie Jones. The man who was name-dropped by Jay Z made the most of his 20 minutes on the floor, dropping 13 points even though the Western Conference's efforts came up short. The 45-year-0ld is currently an assistant coach with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers - 2012

Bynum was drafted out of high school in 2005 with all the talent in the world for a seven-foot big man. It seemed to all be coming together for Bynum in the 2011-12 season, where he was tabbed as a starter in the NBA All-Star game along with fellow Laker, Kobe Bryant. Bynum only appeared in the game for five minutes and was held scoreless. The 29-year-old enjoyed the best season of his career averaging 18 points, and nearly 12 rebounds per game, before being run out of the league just two years later with short stints in Cleveland and Indiana.

Did you remember these guys in their playing days? Either way, enjoy the All-Star game tonight!

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Cam Newton Says Practicing Celibacy Has Made His Mind Stronger

It might be the offseason for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, but that doesn't mean the game is over just yet. Part of his time off includes engaging in self-made challenges and this month, the athlete has decided not to get down in the bedroom.

The fashionable athlete shared the details behind his challenges on The Late Late Show with James Corden. The 29-year-old broke down his twist on New Year's resolutions with his latest challenge possibly taking the cake for being the hardest thus far.

"Every month I try to challenge myself in many, different ways," the Atlanta native started. He pledged to veganism for the month of February and dedicated the third month of the year to nothing less than chastity. "And then March, I hope this is an adult crowd — it looks like it is — no climax."

Newton's revelation was met by exclaims from the crowd and of course from Corden himself. "It's challenging," the father of three responded. "For me, doing certain things that challenge me in the off-season that I can't necessarily do, so now when the season comes along it makes my mind stronger; I feel like if I go back and I say "I did those things," I'm mentally stronger."

Newton subtly teased the notion of celibacy on his Instagram account earlier this month with a photo of a flower.

Some of his challenges have stuck around longer than a month, like his journey with veganism. We can only wonder what challenges April will bring.

Check out the full interview up top.

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Ex-Basketball Player, Cliff Dixon, Killed While Celebrating His Birthday

Cliff Dixon, former basketball player and Kevin Durant’s longtime friend, was fatally shot in an Atlanta strip mall Wednesday (March 20), while celebrating his 32nd birthday.

According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Dixon had just arrived at SL Lounge when he was shot multiple times in the parking lot. He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he died from his injuries. Police responded to the incident at around 1 a.m. The gunman fled the scene by foot and remains on the loose, Fox 5 reports.

Dixon turned 32 earlier in the week. His final post was promoting his birthday bash.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

We litty tonight @slloungeatl come catch the vibe

A post shared by Cliff Dixon (@cldtoon) on Mar 20, 2019 at 4:21pm PDT

A native of Maryland, Dixon attended Suitland High School where he first met Durant, whose mother ended up taking him in when he was 16 years old. After graduating high school, Dixon attended community college before transferring to Western Kentucky University where he played basketball for two seasons. In 2014, Dixon headed overseas to play ball in Austria.

Durant saw Dixon an “adopted brother. The NBA player's mother, Wanda Durant, extended “deepest condolences & prayers to Dixon’s mother, siblings, friends and loved ones, in a heartfelt statement on Twitter Thursday (March 21). “Our family was an extension of his & we shared wonderful memories. His transition is an incredible loss for all of us who loved him, he will be missed dearly.”

The Durant family extends our deepest condolences & prayers to Cliff’s mother, siblings, family & friends. Our family was an extension of his & we shared wonderful memories. His transition is an incredible loss for all of us who loved him, he will be missed dearly #CliffDixon RIP pic.twitter.com/QuIRt0hIIu

— Wanda Durant (@MamaDurant) March 21, 2019

Dixon was most recently linked to reality star Erica Mena, but the pair split last year. Mena joined Meek Mill, Dave East, and a chorus of others in posting tributes to Dixon on social media.

Read the dedications below.

 

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Damn that’s fucked up @cldtoon rip! Y’all 2 guys showed me nothing but love since we met! #restwellprime I had some good nights with yall! 🤞🏾🤞🏾

A post shared by Meek Mill (@meekmill) on Mar 21, 2019 at 10:02am PDT

 

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I Can’t think of no memories with @easymoneysniper or @tdurant And u wasn’t there. We been cool since like 16-17 years old 🤦🏽‍♂️U was just in my session in Atlanta listening to my album this shit super wacc!!!! Rest in heavenly peace bro u ain’t deserve whatever happen to u all we talked about was ball bitches and gettin to it!!!! God bless you cuzo real shit 🙏🏽 @cldtoon @akbar__v hold ya head I know y’all was close ✊🏾

A post shared by Freaky Forever Mugga � FTD ENT (@daveeast) on Mar 21, 2019 at 3:29am PDT

 

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#EricaMena speaks on the passing of her ex, #CliffordDixon. We're sending our deepest condolences to his loved ones 🙏🏾

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Mar 21, 2019 at 1:09pm PDT

Better days.

Rest In Peace, Cliff Dixon. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/p8Q8UwvRVZ

— Timeless Sports (@timelesssports_) March 21, 2019

Rest In Peace to Cliff Dixon who was killed in Atlanta, GA early this morning celebrating his birthday 😔 pic.twitter.com/n4A0e4SXh5

— DC Maryland Virginia (@DMVFollowers) March 21, 2019

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Kobe Bryant Encourages LeBron James To "Keep Pushing" Despite Rocky Season

Following the Los Angeles Lakers' up-and-down season, former purple and gold player Kobe Bryant offered encouraging words to the team and its newcomer, LeBron James.

On an episode of ESPN's Get Up with Mike Greenberg, Bryant said the string of injuries plagued the West Coast franchise. "It's unfortunate because they got hit with so many injuries in rapid succession," he said. "When they were rolling they were playing very well, exceeding people's expectations. Then they got hit with all these injuries, kind of set them back, knocked them off of kilter a little bit. It's hard to reboot that."

"Seasons like this are what make the championships worth it.”

[email protected] on LeBron and the Lakers pic.twitter.com/RyqA6myggd

— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 20, 2019

Greenberg then went on to ask if the 20-year vet has any advice to offer James, who joined the legendary franchise in 2018. "Oh, you just got to keep pushing," Bryant said honestly. "Seasons like this are what make the championships worth it."

Much like James' experience with the Lakers, Bryant missed the 2005 playoffs after losing to the Detroit Pistons in the Finals the year before. Injuries and fluctuating rosters caused them to lack focus. However, the Lakers did make their way back into the playoffs that following year.

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