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The NBA and the iPhone? It’s a slam dunk for iPhone apps

by David Lister

This NBA season has no shortage of questions.

Can Kobe Bryant win a fifth title, putting him one short of Jordan? Is this LeBron James’ last season in Cleveland, and how will he mesh with Shaq and Antawn Jamison in the post-season? If a referee lockout occurred and no one cared, did it ever really happen?

Fortunately for you, you can get all these answers in a few choice iPhone apps. It’s enough to make you wonder how we followed basketball prior to the iPhone.

Fantasy Basketball iPhone Apps

NBA Draft KitFantasy basketball has nowhere near the number of apps that fantasy baseball and football do, but of the few options available, there are some impressive efforts. If you are having a late or rolling draft, you should consider these apps.

NBA Draft Kit lacks a slick look, it does allow you to rank players based on custom scoring and  provides more stats of some of its competitors. If you feel these additions are worth $2.99, you would be wise to download this nice app.

MyFantasyTeams - Professional EditionAs always, Yahoo! fantasy basketball owners should download MyFantasyTeams. The app works for baseball, football and hockey as well, and it does a great job of bringing the Yahoo! fantasy sports Web site to your iPhone. For those of you who aren’t sold, there is a free edition as well as the $3.99 one.

If you’re looking for fantasy news, you’re covered there as well. Fanball.com Fantasy News provides you with the latest in the fantasy sports world from -- you guessed it -- Fanball.com, while all the Rotoworld.com junkies can turn to NBC Sports Mobile, which conveniently includes a Rotoworld section.

Sports News iPhone Apps

Pro Basketball LiveIf you are more concerned with reality than fantasy, you will be pleased to find you have options when it comes to getting the latest NBA news as well.

The Zumobi Network and iApp Adventures offer apps known as Pro Basketball and Pro Basketball Live, respectively. Both apps are comparable to the company’s baseball and football efforts, the difference between the two being Pro Basketball includes stats and scores while Pro Basketball Live is focused exclusively on news articles.

SportacularIf you already have Sportacular, you won’t need to worry about getting a basketball-only app. It has all the scores, news and stats you crave -- it just happens to include other sports as well.

There’s even competition when it comes to team-specific basketball apps, as iFan and Basketball Fans both offer apps for each of the 30 NBA teams. Basketball Fans is pricier ($1.99 vs. 99 cents), but it does include stats -- something you won’t find in iFan.

Players' iPhone Apps

The biggest selling point of the NBA has always been star players. Unlike football, the player’s faces aren’t concealed behind helmets and unlike baseball, its biggest stars don't have a cloud of suspicion following them when it comes to performance-enhancing drugs (I kid baseball… sort of).

Thanks to NBA Mini-Bobble, for a scant 99 cents, you can have your favorite player’s bobble-head on your iPhone. Well, as long as your favorite player is one of the 21 players -- such as LeBron James and Dwight Howard -- included in the series. This app may sound silly, but bobble heads in general are a little silly and that hasn’t hurt their popularity.

Baron DavisBefore Chad Ochocinco jumped the egotistical shark by releasing the Chad Ochocinco Experience, the Clippers’ eccentric point guard Baron Davis released his own app. Baron Davis (the app, not the player) is a bit light on features, but it’s also free and a must-own for all 10 of you Clippers’ fans out there.

The only basketball player iconic enough to warrant a SupaFans app is Kobe Bryant. SupaFans-Kobe Bryant Fans includes photos, a news feed and a chat section to discuss the star as he and his Lakers teammates attempt to repeat in 2009-10.

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