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It's a world-class debate for NBA's flat-earth society at All-Star weekend

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver took a bold stand Saturday.

"Personally," he said, "I believe the world is round."

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The world seems to have gone mad with people espousing theories that defy logic, not to mention the laws of gravity.

Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving asserted on a podcast that the Earth is flat, and he didn't back down in follow-up comments: "I think about it from just a, not even a scientific way, but the way I travel and how I get around and also the tons and tons of research that supports that theory."

Silver, a fellow Duke alum who joked that he and Irving apparently "took some different courses" in college, said he thought Irving was just trying to be "provocative" and make "a larger comment on the sort of so-called fake news debate that's going on in our society. It led to an interesting discussion."

Contest winners: Glenn Robinson III is the new dunk king, with an assist to Pacers teammate Paul George, the Pacers mascot and a Pacers cheerleader.

Robinson leaped over all three, snagging the ball from George along the way before finishing with an emphatic, two-hand, reverse jam, giving him a perfect score — and the title — on his final dunk.

Robinson edged out the Suns' Derrick Jones Jr., who was done in by his failure to complete his difficult first dunk of two in the final round.

In the 3-point contest, Eric Gordon of the Rockets dethroned Warriors splash brother Klay Thompson. Kristaps Porzingis of the Knicks won the Skills Challenge.

Strong finish: The NBA saluted the late Craig Sager on Saturday night in a novel way. Reggie Miller, a host of current NBA players and celebs like Anthony Anderson and Michael B. Jordan fired 3-pointers to raise money for the Sager Strong Foundation, which supports patients and strives to find a cure for leukemia. They combined to make 13 in a minute, for $130,000.

Steph Curry, in street clothes, was called to the court to make a half-court shot to increase the donation to $500,000. He missed nine straight, but the donation was completed after Shaquille O'Neal lifted Sager's son, Ryan, who made a lay-in.

Earlier Saturday, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that Sager, the legendary sideline reporter, Batavia native and Northwestern alum, would be a Curt Gowdy Media Award recipient, along with columnist Harvey Araton.

They will be acknowledged for their contributions to basketball during Hall of Fame Enshrinement in September in Springfield, Mass.

Shaquille O'Neal holds up Ryan Sager to make a basket before the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest at Smoothie King Center on Feb. 18, 2017.
Shaquille O'Neal holds up Ryan Sager to make a basket before the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest at Smoothie King Center on Feb. 18, 2017. (JOHN G. MABANGLO / EPA)

Class it up: Tracy McGrady said he feels too young to merit consideration for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Yet he, Tim Hardaway, Chris Webber and former college and WNBA star Rebecca Lobo highlight 14 finalists for the 2017 class, as announced Saturday.

"I still feel strange about this," McGrady said. "I'm a nominee for the Hall of Fame at 37 years old. It just doesn't seem right. I am here, so I embrace it."

McGrady made seven All-Star teams and scored 18,381 points. Webber made five All-Star teams and starred with the "Fab Five" at Michigan.

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"I'm thinking about everyone who had an impact on my life," Webber said. "I'm here in the present, but my mind is going back to the past."

Notre Dame women's coach Muffet McGraw is a finalist, as is Kansas' Bill Self and Bo Ryan, who never missed an NCAA tournament in 14 years at Wisconsin — and won four Division III titles at Wisconsin-Platteville.

Let's be Frank: Frank Kaminsky's transition from Wisconsin to the Hornets did not go smoothly, with the 7-footer acknowledging he put too much pressure on himself as a lottery pick.

But now Kaminsky is putting pressure on opposing defenses. Injuries to Cody Zeller and Miles Plumlee have thrust Kaminsky into the Hornets' lineup, and Kaminsky responded with a 27-point performance (11-for-18) shooting against the Raptors in the Hornets' final game before the All-Star break.

He followed that up with a sizzling performance Friday night in the Rising Stars game. Granted, defense was optional as the team representing the World beat the U.S. squad, 150-141. Still the Benet Academy grad scored 33 points in less than 20 minutes, draining 9 of 13 3-point attempts. He also made all three shots inside the arc.

Kaminsky said his focus is in helping to revive the Hornets, who have lost 11 of their last 12 games: "We have to attack the last quarter of the season as hard as we can."

Talking 'bout practice: Western Conference coach Steve Kerr clearly gets the spirit of this weekend.

While mic'd up for a Saturday practice at the Superdome, he joked: "I actually have to coach? All right, guys, let's bring it in. I don't think you guys are in good enough shape. Let's do some suicides, some 17s (side to side)."

Later Kerr barked to his Warriors forward, Draymond Green: "Wake up, Draymond!"

After the Curry threw an alley-oop pass off the glass that did not connect, Kerr said: "Steph — how many times do I have to talk about turnovers?"

Associated Press contributed.

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