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Ex-NBA star Lamar Odom admits to using prosthetic penis to cheat Olympic drug test

Ex-NBA star Lamar Odom admits to using prosthetic penis to cheat Olympic drug test

Former NBA Sixth Man of the Year and two-time champion Lamar Odom revealed in his upcoming memoir, “Darkness to Light,” that he cheated a drug test in order to play for USA Basketball at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. 

In an excerpt of the memoir, obtained by People magazine, Odom writes that being offered a spot on the team was “one of the biggest honors in my career.” However, “the joy of being named to the twelve-man roster quickly turned to anxiety when Olympic officials informed me that I would have to pass a drug test before officially joining the team,” he writes.

Odom, who says he was “smoking weed every day that summer,” then began to search online for a solution.

“We started googling ‘fake penises’ and studied different ways to beat a drug test,” he writes. 

So he ordered one, and though he “was paranoid it wouldn’t work,” he says he used it — filled with his trainer’s urine — and passed the test.

“(An official) stuck a thermometer in the cup to gauge the temperature … satisfied that the pee was mine, said ‘Welcome to Team USA,’ ” Odom writes.

Team USA, which also featured LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan, went on to lose in the semifinals to Argentina before winning a Bronze medal — the most disappointing finish in USA Basketball’s Olympic history. 

Odom, who was traded from the Miami Heat to the Los Angeles Lakers a month before the 2004 Olympics, played and started all eight games for Team USA, averaging 9.3 points and 5.8 rebounds. 

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The high school sprinter putting up Olympic-level times has accepted an NFL wide receiver’s open challenge to a $10,000 race

The high school sprinter putting up Olympic-level times has accepted an NFL wide receiver’s open challenge to a $10,000 race

Matthew Boling is a sprinting sensation, posting times that would look more at home at the Olympic trials than at a high-school meet.

In the past few weeks, Boling’s runs have gone viral twice, first when he broke 10 seconds on his 100-meter dash, and again when he put together a brilliant anchor run for his school’s 4×400 relay, erasing a 30-meter deficit to come back and win the race.

Read more: Teenager sprinter Matthew Boling ran the fastest 100 meters in high-school history, and his leg in the 4×400 championship was even more jaw-dropping

Now it appears that Boling is ready for his next challenge — a race against New Orleans Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr.

On Thursday, Ginn told Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe that he was willing

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Would the Pelicans Trade Zion for LeBron James? | Open Floor NBA Podcast

Would the Pelicans Trade Zion for LeBron James? | Open Floor NBA Podcast

The rumors surrounding Zion Williamson and Anthony Davis have reached a fever pitch. An example of that came when a reader asked the Open Floor podcast whether the Pelicans should consider trading Zion Williamson for LeBron James. Andrew Sharp and The Washington Post‘s Ben Golliver field that question and dig deeper into Zion Williamson’s situation in New Orleans. 

(Listen to the latest Crossover podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)


Alvin Gentry

Ben Golliver: I’m just really disappointed in people. I can’t launch Zion Inc. at the same time I’ve already got Giannis Inc. going, and I can only be on so many boards. But my big takeaway about this whole Zion, New Orleans thing… everyone was questioning, “Is you going to go back to Duke?” Is he going to try to hold out? It bugged me a little bit. And I think if I was in Zion’s camp, all of the excitement from the Pelicans that came out of the first 24 hours about, “Oh, this could mean that he’s going to be able to help keep Anthony Davis. This is so big for the Anthony Davis situation.” That would have actually bugged me, and I think I would have brought it up to David Griffin. I would have said, “You know what the defining question of your franchise is not, ‘What does Zion do for Anthony Davis? The

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Stephen Curry had a funny reaction to guarding his little brother, Seth Curry, in the Western Conference Finals

Stephen Curry had a funny reaction to guarding his little brother, Seth Curry, in the Western Conference Finals

Stephen Curry and Seth Curry are the first brothers in the NBA to play each other in the conference finals, and it has created an awkward dynamic.

Speaking with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Curry admitted that in Game 1 of the Golden State Warriors’ series against the Portland Trail Blazers, he had “mixed feelings” about playing Seth, especially when guarding him.

Curry recalled a play where Seth had a corner 3-pointer in front of the Warriors bench. Curry said he couldn’t help but contest the shot but didn’t mind if it went in.

“I was like, ‘I’ll be okay if he makes this one,'” Curry said. “I’m gonna still contest really hard so it looks good on film, but I might be okay with him making it.”

Curry said he could “care less” when he’s on offense, however, because he wants to score, regardless of who is guarding him.

“I need to get my buckets,

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Giannis Admits Eastern Conference ‘Definitely Open’ with LeBron James on Lakers

Giannis Admits Eastern Conference ‘Definitely Open’ with LeBron James on Lakers
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MAY 15:  Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dribbles the ball while being guarded by Marc Gasol #33 of the Toronto Raptors in the fourth quarter in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Fiserv Forum on May 15, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Eastern Conference Finals do not feature LeBron James for the first time since 2010, and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo recognized how open the conference playoffs have become since the four-time NBA MVP moved to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I didn’t see it as open,” Antetokounmpo said per Malika Andrews of ESPN. “But now that I look back and see how everything went, it’s definitely open, not having LeBron in the East and not trying to go through him.”

Antetokounmpo’s Bucks lead the Toronto Raptors 1-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals, which James won each season from 2011-18 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers or Miami Heat.

The Eastern Conference has commonly featured a dominant player or team running the show and preventing other talented franchises from making the NBA Finals. 

Bill Russell and Bob Cousy led the Boston Celtics to East titles from 1957-1966. The Moses Malo

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N.B.A. Draft Lottery Recap: Pelicans Win No. 1 Pick, and the Right to Select Zion Williamson

N.B.A. Draft Lottery Recap: Pelicans Win No. 1 Pick, and the Right to Select Zion Williamson

After months of breathless anticipation — and a race to the bottom of the standings by several teams — the New Orleans Pelicans shocked everyone by winning the N.B.A. draft lottery on Tuesday night, giving them the No. 1 pick in a draft that will include one of the most acclaimed prospects in league history: Duke’s Zion Williamson.

For the Pelicans to win the lottery, the three teams with the worst records this season — the Knicks (17-65), the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63) and the Phoenix Suns (19-63) — had to lose again. They each came into the night with a 14 percent chance of getting the top pick in a revamped system designed to reduce the value of finishing at the very bottom. The Knicks ended up with the No. 3 pick, the Cavaliers with No. 5 and the Suns with No. 6.

New Orleans was tied for the seventh-best chance of getting the first pick — at just 6 percent — after finishing the season with a 33-49 record. Though not among the teams that appeared to tank for draft position, the Pelicans had trouble focusing all season because of drama surrounding a trade demand from their signature star, Anthony Davis. The question of what to do now about Davis — and possibly the rights to Williamson — will undoubtedly captivate the league in the lead-up to the draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 20.

Regardless of whether New Orleans stays at No. 1 or trades the pick, the top choice in the draft will almost assuredly be used on the 18-year-old Williamson, a player who has received as much attention as any amateur since LeBron James went straight to the N.B.A. from high school in 2003.

In an age in which 3-point-shooting skills seem to be valued above all else, Williamson is a throwback to a more rough-and-tumble era of the N.B.A. He stands 6 feet 7 inches and tips the scales at 280 pounds of sculpted muscle. He does much of his damage in the paint, using his power and his leaping ability to set up countless highlight-reel dunks.

Williamson acknowledged the overwhelming hype while doing his best to appear humble ahead of Tuesday’s lottery.

“The biggest challenge is just trying to live up to everyone’s expectations,” he said in an interview televised before the lottery.

[The legend of Zion Williamson? That started long before he got to Du

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The New Orleans Pelicans ticket office went berserk when they won the NBA Draft Lottery and the rights to Zion Williamson

The New Orleans Pelicans ticket office went berserk when they won the NBA Draft Lottery and the rights to Zion Williamson
  • The New Orleans Pelicans landed the first overall pick in the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night, and with it, the rights to drafting Duke superstar Zion Williamson.
  • The Pelicans entered the night with just a 6% chance of winning the first overall pick but wound up winning the biggest prize of the NBA offseason despite their long odds.
  • At the Pelicans ticket office, employees went wild after learning that Williamson would be coming to New Orleans.
  • You can watch a video of their reaction below.
  • Visit Business Insider’s

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WWL’s Strief, McAllister weigh in on Pelicans’ NBA Draft bombshell – WWL News, Talk, Sports Radio Station

WWL’s Strief, McAllister weigh in on Pelicans’ NBA Draft bombshell – WWL News, Talk, Sports Radio Station

In a turn of events that sent shockwaves through the NBA Tuesday night, rather than a team like the Knicks or Lakers reasserting their place in the Anthony Davis trade sweepstakes by scoring the top pick in the 2019 draft, it was the New Orleans Pelicans themselves who landed the coveted pole position, and with it, the right to draft 19-year-old basketball wunderkind Zion Williamson out of Duke.

The good fortune will mean a lot for pro hoops in the Big Easy. It might mean absolutely everything, whether it results in a haul of young talent to pair with Williamson through a Davis trade or perhaps even the chance to talk Davis into changing his mind and remaining in New Orleans for the long-term to play with Williamson himself.

Either way, a renewed wave of hope washed over the Crescent City last night, and it wasn’t lost on the team that provides the radio call for Gayle Be

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The Pelicans Win the N.B.A.’s Draft Lottery and the Right to Select Zion Williamson

The Pelicans Win the N.B.A.’s Draft Lottery and the Right to Select Zion Williamson

After months of breathless anticipation — and a race to the bottom of the standings by several teams — the New Orleans Pelicans shocked everyone by winning the N.B.A. draft lottery on Tuesday night, giving them the No. 1 pick in a draft that will include one of the most acclaimed prospects in league history: Duke’s Zion Williamson.

For the Pelicans to win the lottery, the three teams with the worst records this season — the Knicks (17-65), the Cleveland Cavaliers (19-63) and the Phoenix Suns (19-63) — had to lose again. They each came into the night with a 14 percent chance of getting the top pick in a revamped system designed to reduce the value of finishing at the very bottom. The Knicks ended up with the No. 3 pick, the Cavaliers with No. 5 and the Suns with No. 6.

New Orleans was tied for the seventh-best chance of getting the first pick — at just 6 percent — after finishing the season with a 33-49 record. Though not among the teams that appeared to tank for draft position, the Pelicans had trouble focusing all season because of drama surrounding a trade demand from their signature star, Anthony Davis. The question of what to do now about Davis — and possibly the rights to Williamson — will undoubtedly captivate the league in the lead-up to the draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on June 20.

Regardless of whether New Orleans stays at No. 1 or trades the pick, the top choice in the draft will almost assuredly be used on the 18-year-old Williamson, a player who has received as much attention as any amateur since LeBron James went straight to the N.B.A. from high school in 2003.

In an age in which 3-point-shooting skills seem to be valued above all else, Williamson is a throwback to a more rough-and-tumble era of the N.B.A. He stands 6 feet 7 inches and tips the scales at 280 pounds of sculpted muscle. He does much of his damage in the paint, using his power and his leaping ability to set up countless highlight-reel dunks.

Williamson acknowledged the overwhelming hype while doing his best to appear humble ahead of Tuesday’s lottery.

“The biggest challenge is just trying to live up to everyone’s expectations,” he said in an interview televised before the lottery.

[The legend of Zion Williamson? That started long before he got

Read More

14 college basketball players we can’t wait to see next season in the NBA

14 college basketball players we can’t wait to see next season in the NBA

When a major network decides to dedicate a camera solely to you during the NCAA tournament, chances are you’re a pretty big deal.

Williamson drew intense media attention during his time at Duke for a good reason. The presumptive number-one-overall pick

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The New Orleans Pelicans (???) are Going to Get Zion Williamson (!!!)

The New Orleans Pelicans (???) are Going to Get Zion Williamson (!!!)

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Ad render call ad id “.concat(e,” was prevented from writing to the main document.”);u(U,l,n)}else if(a)t.open(“text/html”,”replace”),t.write(a),t.close(),o(t,i,r),x.callBurl(n);else if(c){var p=x.createInvisibleIframe();p.height=r,p.width=i,p.style.display=”inline”,p.style.overflow=”hidden”,p.src=c,x.insertElement(p,t,”body”),o(t,i,r),x.callBurl(n)}else{var h=”Error trying to write ad. No ad for bid response id: “.concat(e);u(M,h,n)}}else{var v=”Error trying to write ad. Cannot find ad by given id : “.concat(e);u(q,v)}}catch(t){var b=”Error trying to write ad Id :”.conc

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NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding 76ers, LeBron James, Ben Simmons and More

NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding 76ers, LeBron James, Ben Simmons and More
Philadelphia 76ers' Ben Simmons reacts during the second half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. Raptors won 101-96. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The NBA rumor mill is continually pumping out information, and the news only gets busier as more teams are eliminated from the playoffs.

Mere hours after the Toronto Raptors eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers, point guard Ben Simmons joined the headlines. The Sixers’ All-Star is suddenly being connected to trade rumors, something that already caught LeBron James within the last few days.

Wait, what?

If LeBron can land in these discussions, it’s safe to say nobody in the NBA is incapable of gracing the rumor mill this offseason.

           

Brett Brown to Return in Philly

Despite overseeing a 50-win team for the second straight yeara mark the franchise hadn’t reached since 2000-01 prior to last seasonBrett Brown’s job security was a question.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Brown will be back in 2019-20. Surely it didn’t hurt to have such immense support from the players.

Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice shared the passionate defenses of Brown from Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick.

“I heard about all these rumors and stuff and I just thought it was bulls–t,” Embiid said. “He’s done a fantastic job. He’s been there through everything and this year I think he grew even more as a coach. He learned; we all learned.”

Butler praised Brown for having a huge heart and working incredibly hard; Redick added the coach’s success should speak for itself.

It was loud enough for another year.

           

Ben Simmons Headed to the Block?

Although the 76ers don’t have a Ben Simmons problem, they have a Ben Simmons discussion. The first-time All-Star was frustratingly mediocre during the playoffs, mustering just 11.6 poi

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There is growing buzz about a LeBron James trade, and the Sixers could be involved

There is growing buzz about a LeBron James trade, and the Sixers could be involved

LeBron James’ first year with the Los Angeles Lakers did not go according to plan.

While James impressed through the opening stretch of the season, an injury left the LeBron-less Lakers to flounder through a treacherous Western Conference, and Los Angeles wound up missing the playoffs for the sixth straight year.

After a tumultuous start to the offseason that included the sudden departure of Magic Johnson, who was the team’s president of basketball operations, and a chaotic search to fill out a new coaching staff and front office, it feels more likely than ever that James might not wind up playing out the end of his deal in Los Angeles.

Read more: It’s becoming clear that nobody on the Lakers knew about or expected Magic Johnson’s abrupt resignation and few have seen anything like it

Rumblings of James’ potential departure began in earnest with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who was reporting on the Lakers front office turmoil ahead of a Warriors playoff game. After detailing why the Lakers’ talks with former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue had fallen apart, Smith said that president Jeanie Buss was hearing all sorts of ideas on how she could kick-start the team’s turnaround.

“Nothing is out of bounds right now,” Smith said. “We don’t know what the hell is going on in Los Angeles. You’ve got folks close to Jeanie Buss imploring her to trade LeBron James. He does not have a no-trade clause, and now you haven’t given him the coach that he wanted.”

Read more: The Lakers’ offseason is turning into a disaster, and the franchise is nearing a tipping point

On Monday, Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports Philadelphia added a bit of fuel to the fire, saying that the Philadelphia 76ers might be a destination for King James.

“I think they very well might explore that,” a rival executive told Haberstroh of Philadelphia’s potential to trade for LeBron.

After the Sixers’ heartbreaking loss to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals, there are plenty of questions about what the team will look like next year, with both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris set to become free agents and Philadelphia unlikely to bring back both players on the massive, possibl

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Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Swish! All About Kawhi Leonard’s Buzzer-Beater

Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Swish! All About Kawhi Leonard’s Buzzer-Beater

It was a shot you will see repeated on highlight shows and YouTube for years to come. A shot to win a game and a series. A shot that shouldn’t have gone in, but somehow did.

On Sunday night, Kawhi Leonard beat the buzzer with a high-arcing, deep-in-the-corner jump shot that sent the Toronto Raptors past the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal, 92-90. It took a few beats longer than your standard buzzer-beater, but for fans of anyone but Philadelphia, the wait was worth it.

It had been a hard-fought series. The Sixers had seized home-court advantage with a win in Game 2. The Raptors got it back by winning Game 4. The series ultimately headed, seemingly inevitably, to Game 7 in Toronto.

Toronto led for much of the game, but never by a large margin. With 1 minute 14 seconds left, the Raptors seemed to take a grip on the series at last, grabbing a 4-point lead.

But the Sixers made some free throws, and Leonard missed a 10-footer and then a 3-pointer. Jimmy Butler tied the score for Philadelphia. There were 4 seconds left.

Few in the arena doubted that Leonard would get the last shot. He was the Raptors’ star and already had a game-high 39 points. It was just a question of where he would wind up when he took it, and if it would go in.

Leonard used a screen to get free and received the ball near the edge of the center circle. He then dribbled, circling the key and curling deep into right corner. First Ben Simmons followed him, and then the seven-footer Joel Embiid came over to help out, to try to at least alter the shot that was coming.

Leonard headed toward the baseline. Two seconds, one. With less than a second on the clock, he uncorked an off-balance jumper, his feet leaving the floor from just inside the 3-point line. Embiid jumped and put an arm up. Sensing this, Leonard sent it higher than usual on his release, 18

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NBA Playoffs 2019: Best sights, sounds and Twitter reactions from Kawhi Leonard’s series-clinching game-winner – Sporting News AU

NBA Playoffs 2019: Best sights, sounds and Twitter reactions from Kawhi Leonard’s series-clinching game-winner – Sporting News AU

The Toronto Raptors are headed to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in franchise history after an improbable series-clinching buzzer-beater from All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, who finished with a game-high 41 points.

From LeBron James to Damian Lillard, there was a widespread reaction to Leonard’s shot as it set the basketball world ablaze.

NBA Twitter Reacts

Damian Lillard

Dwyane Wade

Marco Belinelli

Andrew Bogut

LeBron James

Kelly Olynyk

Best Sights

Pictures are worth 1,000 words.

For a better perspective on the difficulty of Leonard’s shot and the ranges of emotions as it sailed through the air as well as once it bounced in the rim, take a look at some of the best photos from the moment.

Kawhi Leonard shoots over Joel Embiid

Kawhi Leonard shoots over Joel Embiid

Kawhi Leonard shoots over Joel Embiid

The Raptors look on as Kawhi Leonard’s shot goes up

The Raptors look on as Kawhi Leonard’s shot goes up

The Raptors react to Kawhi Leonard’s game-winner

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15 athletes who had brilliant performances in movies

15 athletes who had brilliant performances in movies

Superstar athletes are used to putting on a show.

Whether it’s a dazzling highlight on the court or in a boxing ring or a thoughtful post-game interview, the

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Pippen, Richard Jefferson Pick Kevin Durant over LeBron, Harden to Win 1 Game

Pippen, Richard Jefferson Pick Kevin Durant over LeBron, Harden to Win 1 Game
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) talks to Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. The Lakers won 127-101. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Tony Avelar/Associated Press

LeBron James has been considered the best in the league for a long time, but two former NBA champions wouldn’t bet everything on him. 

On ESPN’s The Jump Monday, Scottie Pippen and Richard Jefferson were asked which player they would take to start their team if they had one game to win or someone would “take [their] house away.” After some thought, both said Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant.

They parted ways after that, however, with Pippen saying James Harden would be his No. 2 choice while Jefferson picked James.

“Harden is the No. 2 player in the game right now,” Pippen said, per the show’s Twitter account.

The reigning MVP was arguably even better this season, averaging 36.1 points per game during the regular season to lead the NBA. However, his inconsistency during the playoffs should raise questions about whether you want him to win one game.

Meanwhile, James became somewhat of a forgotten m

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Five college basketball coaches who should consider following John Beilein to the NBA

Five college basketball coaches who should consider following John Beilein to the NBA


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SportsPulse: Now that March Madness is over we look ahead to the top 25 teams in the country heading into the 2019-20 college basketball season.
USA TODAY Sports

John Beilein shook up the college basketball world Monday by accepting a five-year deal to become the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new coach following 12 seasons at Michigan. 

While Beilein will have an adjustment period to the NBA similar to fellow college-turned-pro coaches Brad Stevens and Billy Donovan, the move to hire an influential college coach for a rebuilding NBA franchise is intriguing. 

But there’s a reason successful coaches like Kentucky’s John Calipari, Nebraska’s Fred Hoiberg and Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton have returned to the college game after unsuccessful NBA stints: It’s not easy managing egos of multi-million dollar paid players. 

Here’s a look at five college basketball coaches who should also consider the leap to the NBA. Note: College coaches who have already coached in the NBA like Calipari or Nevada’s Eric Musselman were excluded.  

Villanova’s Jay Wright. The 57-year-old coach has been coveted by NBA teams in the past, and his name will be atop the leaderboard should the 76ers fire Brett Brown. But Wright seems content at ‘Nova, where he’s steered the Wildcats to two national titles in the past four years. 

THRILLER!: Inside Kawhi Leonard’s historic buzzer-beater that lifted Raptors

PORZINGIS: Dallas Mavericks star involved in altercation at club in Latvia

Tom Izzo, Michigan State. Izzo, coming off his eighth career Final Four appearance, has grown weary of some of the baggage that is attached to the college game, including offseasons on the recruiting trail that often seem more important than the actual season. Keep in mind Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, a Spartans die-hard, tried to lure Izzo to Cleveland back when LeBron James left for the first time in 2010. 

Mike Krzyzewski, Duke. At 72, it’s unlikely that

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Lakers Hire Backup Head Coach In Case LeBron Doesn’t Like The Main Guy

Lakers Hire Backup Head Coach In Case LeBron Doesn’t Like The Main Guy
L-R: Fodder, more fodder.
Photo: Christian Petersen (Getty Images), Jason Miller (Getty Images)

After trying and failing to convince Ty Lue to go for another round of LeBron-fueled stress nightmares, the Los Angeles Lakers settled on their new head coach over the weekend: Frank Vogel, and also Jason Kidd.

Vogel last coached the Orlando Magic for two unremarkable seasons. Before that, he coached the Indiana Pacers as they habitually lost to LeBron’s Heat in the playoffs. So, you could say he’s familiar with the Lakers’ strengths.

Kidd last coached the Milwaukee Bucks, and was fired in the middle of the 2017–18 season. (This season’s squad earned the top playoff seed

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LeBron James Trade Rumors: Lakers Star Won’t Demand Move from LAL

LeBron James Trade Rumors: Lakers Star Won’t Demand Move from LAL
LeBron James applauds as he watches on a giant overhead video screen as a member of the military is honored during a timeout in the first half of an NBA basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in New York. James and other NBA stars, including Houston Rockets Chris Paul, left, turned out to watch final game of Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade's NBA career. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Despite the Los Angeles Lakers‘ struggles, LeBron James does not appear willing to force his way out via trade.

“Jalen Rose said the same thing myself and even Max Kellerman said. [Rose said] ‘He should ask for a trade,'” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on Monday’s Get Up. “In other words, we don’t know. We don’t believe that’s what LeBron James will do. Matter of fact, I’m told it’s not what he will do.

“I’m certainly told…the Lakers will not trade him either, even though there’s been people in Hollywood, not basketball people, but people in Hollywood in Jeanie Buss’ ear telling her, ‘Get rid of him. Trade him. Just rebuild because ya’ll ain’t going anywhere anyway.’ But again, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so you could conceivably move him. That’s not something they’re going to do. It’s not something he’s thinking about doing.”

James signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the Lakers last July, embarking on a journey that’s been arguably more frustrating than anything he’s done in his NBA career. The Lakers (37-45) missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season—James’ first missed postseason since 2004-05—w

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The Lakers’ new coaching hire could set the team up for even more unneeded drama

The Lakers’ new coaching hire could set the team up for even more unneeded drama

The Los Angeles Lakers’ new coaching hire may still invite more drama to a franchise that’s been rife with it in recent months.

Over the weekend, the Lakers agreed to hire Frank Vogel as their new head coach. The move came after they fired Luke Walton, then missed out on their top replacement, Tyronn Lue, over disagreements in salary, contract, length, and staff.

Read more: The Lakers’ offseason is turning into a disaster, and the franchise is nearing a tipping point

Interestingly, the Lakers reportedly got another coach they wanted on Vogel’s staff: Jason Kidd. The former Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets head coach will be an assistant under Vogel.

Frank Vogel was hired as the Lakers new head coach.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It’s fair to wonder if this will be a productive set-up for Vogel and the team. Kidd interviewed for the Lakers’ head-coaching job this offseason and reportedly impressed the team. According to reports, the Lakers wanted to include Kidd on Lue’s staff before talks

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NBA Trade Rumors: Exec Thinks 76ers ‘Might’ Explore LeBron James for Ben Simmons

NBA Trade Rumors: Exec Thinks 76ers ‘Might’ Explore LeBron James for Ben Simmons
PHILADELPHIA, PA - FEBRUARY 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers in action at the Wells Fargo Center on February 10, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Lakers 143-120. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

All teams look for ways to improve the roster after being eliminated from the playoffs, but the Philadelphia 76ers might have a blockbuster move in mind.

According to Tom Haberstroh of NBC Sports, the team could look at trading away Ben Simmons for LeBron James.

“I think they very well might explore that,” a rival executive said of the possible trade.

Simmons was the Rookie of the Year last season and an All-Star this year as someone who can fill up the stat sheet in a lot of different ways. Considering he is still just 22 years old, he has enormous potential.

However, there is a question about how he fits on the 76ers roster and if he can lead Philadelphia to a title. 

“Fair or not, Simmons failing to add some semblance of a jump shot in Year 2 of his career is seen as a reason that Philadelphia has to put him on

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Sixers coach Brett Brown gave a heartfelt reply to Joel Embiid walking off the court in tears after losing to the Raptors

Sixers coach Brett Brown gave a heartfelt reply to Joel Embiid walking off the court in tears after losing to the Raptors

The Philadelphia 76ers were eliminated from the playoffs in heart-wrenching fashion on Sunday when Kawhi Leonard hit a buzzer-beating jump shot in Game 7 to give the Toronto Raptors the win.

After the game, 76ers center Joel Embiid, who contested Leonard’s shot as well as anyone could, walked off the court in tears. He was seen being consoled by 76ers players, Raptors players, and even his girlfriend when he got to the locker room.

Read more: Joel Embiid sobbed as he walked off the court in a dramatic scene after Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning shot

It was a disappointing finish for the Sixers, who went all-in this year by trading for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, and fo

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LeBron James went on a mini-rant about ‘real basketball’ after the Blazers big win to advance to the Western Conference Finals

LeBron James went on a mini-rant about ‘real basketball’ after the Blazers big win to advance to the Western Conference Finals

LeBron James had some thoughts to share on Twitter after Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum all but sealed his team’s win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 with a mid-range jumper in the final seconds.

James praised McCollum for his 33 points while arguing that playoff basketball doesn’t have room for analytics. Mid-range jumpers have become more and more

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Maverick Carter’s USC commencement speech was a pretty great ad for his startup Uninterrupted

Maverick Carter’s USC commencement speech was a pretty great ad for his startup Uninterrupted

On Friday, Maverick Carter gave the commencement address at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and welcomed the more than 900 graduates to the real world.

As with any good commencement address, Carter used a blend of personal anecdotes, learned advice, and inspirational material to encourage the new grads to aim beyond the safe, low-risk career path and always bet big on themselves. The lessons he imparted came from his experiences of working with LeBron James, but also growing up around his grandmother’s basement casino. Between the two, Carter said he learned how to measure risk versus reward, instantaneously calculating each decision based on upside and downside, and being prepared to take a risk.

But perhaps the best lesson Carter gave in this speech was how to make the most of every brand opportunity. He managed to take the tagline and inspiration behind his media startup Uninterrupted–“More Than”–and extend it far beyond the idea of giving athletes a voice, turning it into a man

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C.J. McCollum pulled off a LeBron James-like block and Michael Jordan-esque jump shot in a heroic effort to advance the Blazers in the playoffs

C.J. McCollum pulled off a LeBron James-like block and Michael Jordan-esque jump shot in a heroic effort to advance the Blazers in the playoffs

C.J. McCollum had the game of his life on Sunday to help the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets, 100-96, in Game 7 and advance to the Western Conference Finals.

McCollum finished with 33 points on 17-29 shooting and 9 rebounds, helping the Blazers overcome a 17-point deficit to get a shot at the NBA Finals just one year after being swept out of the first round.

Read more: Blazers guard CJ McCollum gave a great answer about his team’s comeback from an ’embarrassing’ sweep and a prophetic vow he made to his brother

McCollum made two huge plays that evoked NBA greats and helped the Blazers secure the win.

With less than five minutes remaining, Nuggets guard Jamal Murray leaked out on a fa

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NBA Rumors: Some Lakers Players Embarrassed By Current State Of Franchise – LakersNation.com

NBA Rumors: Some Lakers Players Embarrassed By Current State Of Franchise – LakersNation.com

After the horribly mismanaged process that caused former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue to end negotiations, the Los Angeles Lakers have been viewed as a dysfunctional franchise with more questions than answers.

Going back to as far as the 2012-13 NBA season with the failed Steve Nash and Dwight Howard trades, it seems the Lakers have made very few good moves and several catastrophic ones.

Despite all of that, the Lakers managed to sign LeBron James and for all intents and purposes, they remained an organization that truly ca

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Stunning photo captured the Raptors and Sixers watching Kawhi Leonard’s series-winning shot bounce around the rim

Stunning photo captured the Raptors and Sixers watching Kawhi Leonard’s series-winning shot bounce around the rim

Kawhi Leonard sent the Toronto Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals in stunning fashion on Sunday, eliminating the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 with a series-winning shot that bounced around the rim before falling in.

Leonard’s shot wasn’t as smooth as, say, Damian Lillard’s 37-foot series winner over the Oklahoma City Thunder, but it was just as dramatic, as the game was tied and appeared to be going to overtime before the shot fell.

Read

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C.J. McCollum Had All the Answers for Portland in Game 7

C.J. McCollum Had All the Answers for Portland in Game 7

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Windhorst: ‘Drop That Notion’ LeBron James Was Influencing Lakers Coaching Hire

Windhorst: ‘Drop That Notion’ LeBron James Was Influencing Lakers Coaching Hire
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James stands on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Friday, March 22, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Nets won 111-106. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

LeBron James reportedly didn’t have a say in the Los Angeles Lakers‘ hiring of new head coach Frank Vogel. 

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, “Anyone who erroneously believed James was influencing the coach hire can drop that notion.”

The Lakers had a fascinating coaching search. The team’s first two candidates, Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue, decided against taking the job. Williams was hired by the Phoenix Suns, while Lue reportedly turned down a deal in the range of three years and $18 million, per Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

Per that report, “Lue’s camp was seeking a five-year deal with a salary commensurate with a championship resume.”

Lue was reportedly a “preferred choice” for James after he served as the head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers in James’ second tenure with the organization. The Lakers reportedly wanted Lue to take on Jason Kidd as an assistant coach, and per Wojnarowski and McMenamin, “It isn’t believed that Lue had objections to Kidd joining his staff, but the two had not discussed the possibility directly.”

But Windhorst added that Lue “valued control more than he wanted this gig” with the Lakers.

So instead, Vogel was hired, agreeing to have Kidd—a former head coach himself—on his staff. That could fuel speculation that Vogel is just buying time for Kidd to become the head coach, much as David Blatt was replaced in Cleveland by Lue, who was an assistant on his staff.

Per Windhorst:

“Regardless of how James feels about his head coach, there is no way his respect for Vogel will match the level of his respect for Kidd—at least not right away. How could it? James will naturally be connected to Kidd because of their relationship and Kidd’s success in the league playing both against and with James.”

But if James indeed has no say on the head coach, any preferences between Kidd and Vogel won’t matter. What will matter is if general manager Rob Pelinka fails to land a major star or two to pair with James next season.

Pelinka has made his first major decision without former team president Magic Johnson. It’s the decisions to come, however, that will define James’ time in Los Angeles. 

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Joel Embiid sobbed as he walked off the court in a dramatic scene after Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning shot

Joel Embiid sobbed as he walked off the court in a dramatic scene after Kawhi Leonard’s game-winning shot

Joel Embiid was in tears as he left the court following Kawhi Leonard’s series-winning shot to the help the Toronto Raptors eliminate the Philadelphia 76ers.

Embiid contested Leonard’s shot, a fade-away jumper on the right sideline that saw the ball bounce on the rim four times before going down.

Read more: Kawhi Leonard knocks out 76ers with dramatic game-winning shot that bounced on the rim 4 times before falling in

As the Raptors swarmed Leonard to celebrate,

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LeBron James, Dwyane Wade show their love for Steph Curry

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade show their love for Steph Curry

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LeBron James, Dwyane Wade show their love for Steph Curry

The Warriors star scored 33 points in the second half of the Warriors’ series-clinching win against the Rockets on Friday.

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SportsPulse: The demise of the Warriors dynasty is on hold. USA TODAY Sports’ Josh Peter breaks down how even without Kevin Durant, they showed why they’re still the team to beat in the NBA playoffs.
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HOUSTON — Steph Curry’s performance Friday night against the Houston Rockets earned Twitter love from two basketball luminaries.

“NEVER underestimate the heart of a Champion‼️‼️’’ LeBron James tweeted after Curry scored 33 points in the second half.

After with Kevin Durant sidelined during Golden State’s series-clinching, 118-113 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals, Dwyane Wade also saluted Curry via Twitter.

“Y’all better stop disrespecting @StephenCurry30 just because he’s a team first guy and is willing to sacrifice in moments doesn’t mean he’s not still a beast.’’

Curry looked mortal during first five games of the Western Conference semifinals and his subpar shooting turned him into a target.

WARRIORS WIN: Golden State looking like a champion

NBA PLAYOFFS: Full schedule

“I heard a lot noise this series, I’ll just leave it at that,’’ said Curry, who has helped lead the Warriors to three NBA titles in four years. “Whether it’s positive or negative or whatever the case is, like I know what I’m capable of.

“It’s bigger than me so, I don’t get caught up in that. I don’t need any extra motivation. I don’s need to hear who I am as a player. I know that. So my confidence never wavers in those types of moments.

“I obviously appreciate those words (from James and Wade) and champions recognize champions and what it takes to win games like tonight and do what we’ve been able to do these last five years. So hopefully more of that to come.’’ 

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AP source: Lakers hire Frank Vogel as head coach, Kidd joins as assistant – Sportsnet.ca

AP source: Lakers hire Frank Vogel as head coach, Kidd joins as assistant – Sportsnet.ca

LOS ANGELES — A person familiar with the search says the Los Angeles Lakers have hired Frank Vogel as coach and Jason Kidd as an assistant.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because Vogel’s three-year contract has not been finalized. Vogel flew to Los Angeles on Thursday and met with a group that included owner Jeanie Buss, general manager Rob Pelinka and adviser Kurt Rambis.

The 45-year old Vogel worked for the organization before as an advance scout during the 2005-06 season. He did not coach last season following two years with the Orlando Magic. Vogel went to Orlando following five-plus seasons leading the Indiana Pacers, including trips to the Eastern Conference finals in 2013 and ’14. He has a career record of 304-291.

Kidd interviewed with the Lakers last month. The former star player who was a head coach in Brooklyn and Milwaukee was fired by the Bucks during the 2017-18 season. He has a 183-190 record.

The Lakers have missed the playoffs six straight seasons. The drought was expected to end this season but injuries to LeBron James,

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Sources: Lakers to talk with Vogel again soon

Sources: Lakers to talk with Vogel again soon

Frank Vogel has agreed to a three-year deal to become the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told ESPN.

Vogel met with Lakers management Thursday and talks escalated quickly toward an offer Saturday to end the franchise’s tumultuous coaching process with his hiring, sources said.

The Lakers completed the deal Saturday afternoon with Vogel’s agent, Lonnie Cooper, who also represents LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers.

Jason Kidd has also agreed to a deal to become a prominent assistant coach on Vogel’s staff, league sources said.

The Lakers are enthusiastic about the prospect of Kidd working with point guard Lonzo Ball on a full-time basis. Kidd also has a strong relationship and history with LeBron James; the two were former teammates for USA Basketball.

Vogel, 45, was the third coach to be offered the Lakers’ coaching job. Monty Williams and Ty Lue both rejected the Lakers’ offers.

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Adrian Wojnarowski breaks down how former Lakers coach Phil Jackson’s positive view of Frank Vogel helped him land the Los Angeles head-coaching job.

Vogel’s candidacy speaks to the significant influence of Lakers adviser Kurt Rambis and former coach Phil Jackson, whose opinions weigh h

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Dear Toronto Raptors fans, please enjoy the moment – Raptors Rapture

Dear Toronto Raptors fans, please enjoy the moment – Raptors Rapture

The Toronto Raptors are preparing for a franchise-altering Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers. It might be tough, but fans should enjoy it.

There has never been a more important game in Toronto Raptors’ history than this Sunday, Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

A win provides a chance to play in the Eastern Conference Finals for just the second time in franchise history, a continued chance at what appears to be the most vulnerable championship in years, and a sizeable positive impact on the immediate future of the franchise – Kawhi Leonard is a free agent in case you haven’t heard.

With so much on the line, you can’t blame the Raptors fanbase for being nervous. A fanbase that has been crushed as much as any group in the NBA over the past six seasons.

There have been more incompetent organizations. The New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, and Los Angeles Lakers have all bee

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Highlights: LeBron James’ Son Bronny Battles Top Recruit Emoni Bates in AAU Game

Highlights: LeBron James’ Son Bronny Battles Top Recruit Emoni Bates in AAU Game

Credit: 247Sports and USA Basketball

Emoni Bates and LeBron James Jr., aka Bronny, faced off in a highly anticipated AAU game on Saturday, with James’ Strive For Greatness team beating Bates Fundamentals 93-73 at Pacers Athletic Center in Westfield, Indiana.

Bates, who is considered the class of 2022’s No. 1 prospect via numerous sources, dropped 43 points and 11 rebounds, per Evan Daniels of 247Sports.

Daniels wrote that Bates could be the best freshman prospect since LeBron James and offered the following scouting report:

“Bates was sensational, showing his full scoring arsenal. From breaking down defenders off the dribble to nailing tough pull-up jumpers from mid-range and three to showing exceptional vision and passing ability, Bates did it all. His 43-point, 11-rebound outing was effortless. It was likely just a precursor of what his high school career will look like.”

Bates, a 6’7″ forward, received much praise from onlookers, including Eric Bossi of Rivals and Kyle Tucker of The Athletic:

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Kyrie Irving Might Be Looking to Suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers

Kyrie Irving Might Be Looking to Suit up for the Los Angeles Lakers

After failing to make the Eastern Conference Finals, it sounds like Kyrie Irving is more than happy to take his talents to the West Coast. More specifically, to ex-teammate LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the likelihood of Irving and James reuniting is getting stronger and stronger each day. “But as time passes here and as the pos

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Million Dollar Mile: Week 4 Recap, Highlights of LeBron James, Tim Tebow’s Show

Million Dollar Mile: Week 4 Recap, Highlights of LeBron James, Tim Tebow’s Show
Chris Paul and LeBron James applaud during a ceremony at an NBA basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in New York. The pair were there to watch Heat guard Dwyane Wade play his last NBA game. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Still trying to find its footing, CBS’ Million Dollar Mile was back for its fourth episode Saturday evening after moving from Wednesdays to Saturdays on May 4.

Coincidentally, it is the premise of the show—hosted by Tim Tebow and produced by LeBron James‘ SpringHill Entertainment—to win up to $1 million on foot, as contestants take on a mile-long obstacle course through the streets of downtown Los Angeles while proven athletes, dubbed “Defenders,” chase them.

Each contestant is granted a two-minute head start. However, should a Defender surpass a contestant on the course, the contestant is sent home empty-handed.

The first contestant to go for $1 million in Saturday’s episode was Andy Stern, a group fitness teacher. “You’re gonna get hit, you’re gonna get hard, you’re gonna get knocked down,” the 29-year-old told the camera ahead of his race. “But it’s actually not about what happens to you. It’s how you react.”

Stern reacted to Defender Veejay Jones by narrowly escaping the

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Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Tyronn Lue and Magic Johnson’s Status with Team

Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Tyronn Lue and Magic Johnson’s Status with Team
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue yells instructions to players in the first half of Game 7 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, April 29, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are in for some significant changes this offseason. Some have already occurred, as former team president Magic Johnson stepped down and former head coach Luke Walton was let go.

This was the aftermath of LeBron James‘ first season with the Purple and Gold.

Of course, the first year of this experiment was always going to be a trying one. It was more about finding out which young pieces worked with James and setting the table for acquisitions in the 2019 offseason.

Some of those additions could well be evaluated by James’ former coach Tyronn Lue, who appears close to filling the coaching vacancy, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne:

Hiring Lue makes sense, as his working relationship with James was good, and he helped the Cleveland Cavaliers reach three consecutive NBA Finals. James is not widely considered an easy player to coach, both because of his profile and because of his personality.

“With Lue, the Lakers are not only giving LeBron a coach, they’re throwing him a bone,” Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times wrote. “Lue is the LeBron Whisperer. He is the opposite of Luke Walton, and not just because LeBron actually likes him. Lue can stand up to The King, stare down The King, even sit

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NBA Coach Luke Walton Sued for Sexual Assault by Sports Reporter Kelli Tennant

NBA Coach Luke Walton Sued for Sexual Assault by Sports Reporter Kelli Tennant

Los Angeles Times. The purpose of the meeting was to present him with a copy of her 2014 book, The Transition: Every Athlete’s Guide to Life After Sports, for which Walton penned the foreword. (Tennant was a star volleyball player at the University of Southern California before starting a career in sports media.)’ data-reactid=”17″>In the lawsuit, Kelli Tennant, who was working as a reporter with SportsNet LA, claims she met Walton at the Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, California, per the Los Angeles Times. The purpose of the meeting was to present him with a copy of her 2014 book, The Transition: Every Athlete’s Guide to Life After Sports, for which Walton penned the foreword. (Tennant was a star volleyball player at the University of Southern California before starting a career in sports media.)

Sacramento Kings said: “We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.” Similarly, the Warriors said in a statement: “We became aware of the alleged incident and story this evening and are in the process of seeking more information. We’ll have no further comment at this time.” For their part, the Lakers denied having any knowledge of alleged assault:’ data-reactid=”20″>In a statement, the Sacramento Kings said: “We are aware of the report and are gathering additional information. We have no further comment at this time.” Similarly, the Warriors said in a statement: “We became aware of the alleged incident and story this evening and are in the process of seeking more information. We’ll have no further comment at this time.” For their part, the Lakers denied having any knowledge of alleged assault:

suit claims. (Tennant left SportsNet LA in 2017. She now is working on multiple ventures, including covering the Association of Volleyball Professionals tour for Amazon Prime.)’ data-reactid=”22″>Tennant continued to encounter Walton professionally following the alleged assault. At a charity event in May 2017, Walton “uttered vulgar, guttural sounds at her in a lewd manner,” then said, “Mmmm… you’re killing me in that dress!” and embraced her in an aggressive and unwanted manner, the suit claims. (Tennant left SportsNet LA in 2017. She now is working on multiple ventures, including covering the Association of Volleyball Prof

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NBA Rumors: LeBron James Wants Tom Thibodeau to Join Lakers’ Coaching Staff

NBA Rumors: LeBron James Wants Tom Thibodeau to Join Lakers’ Coaching Staff

The NBA playoffs are still in the second round, but that doesn’t mean the summer rumor mill isn’t alive yet.

Several key players will enter free agency this summer, including Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving. The offseason’s coaching carousel is also in full swing, as the Lakers and Grizzlies both still have vacant positions to fill.

Check out the latest NBA rumors below: 

• If the Lakers finalize a deal to make Tyronn Lue the team’s new head coach, Lue will want to add Tom Thibodeau to his coaching staff. LeBron James has also

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A 76ers player was seen texting on the bench while his team trailed by double-digits in Game 1 of the playoffs

A 76ers player was seen texting on the bench while his team trailed by double-digits in Game 1 of the playoffs

ESPN cameras caught Philadelphia 76ers reserve forward Amir Johnson texting on the bench during their Game 1 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

The incident happened during a timeout in the fourth quarter with the 76ers trailing the sixth-seeded Nets by double-digits. When ESPN returned from break, analyst Doris Burke criticized Johnson and Joel Embiid, who was sitting next to

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Oakland A’s center fielder robs home run, hurls the ball hundreds of feet in one of the wildest sequences of the MLB season

Oakland A’s center fielder robs home run, hurls the ball hundreds of feet in one of the wildest sequences of the MLB season

Oakland A’s center fielder Ramon Laureano added another incredible play to a growing highlight reel.

In the top of the second inning, Blue Jays right fielder Teoscar Hernandez hit a deep fly ball to left-center that seemed destined to go over the wall. That’s when Laureano made an incredible recovery to the warning track, jumped, and rea

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The Lakers’ offseason is turning into a disaster, and the franchise is nearing a tipping point

The Lakers’ offseason is turning into a disaster, and the franchise is nearing a tipping point

Somehow, things have only gotten worse for the Los Angeles Lakers since Magic Johnson abruptly resigned as team president in an impromptu press conference.

Days after Johnson stepped down without telling team owner Jeanie Buss, citing happiness as a reason, the Lakers fired head coach Luke Walton.

As of Friday, they still don’t have a head coach, and reports indicate they have bungled the process. At the rate things are going, the Lakers appear to be nearing a tipping point in which major change might be needed.

The Lakers missed out on their top candidate by lowballing him

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that the Lakers top candidate, Tyronn Lue, backed out of the process after the two sides came to an impasse in negotiations.

Tyronn Lue was the Lakers’ top head-coaching candidate.
Ezra Shaw/Getty

According to Wojnarowski, salary, contract length, and overall team structure played a part. Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers offered Lue a three-year $18 million deal to become the head coach, surprising Lue’s camp, as they expected a five-year offer. It would have coincided with LeBron James’ Lakers contract expiring, and reports indicated that Lue was offended at being seen as merely a coach for James.

The Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke reported that the Lakers offer not only came up short in years, but it was also low on money. According to Plaschke, both Walton and Monty Williams (another candidate the Lakers interviewed but passed on) signed five-year $25 million deals with the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, respectively, this offseason — figures closer to today’s standard in the NBA.

The structure of the team appeared to turn off Lue as well. Wojnarowski reported that the Lakers wanted input on Lue’s assistant coaching staff. Among the candidates was Jason Kidd, who the Lakers interviewed for the head-coaching job and impressed the team. Such a setup would have undermined Lue’s authority in the locker room from the jump.

The entire Lue debacle shows how poorly the Lakers handled the situation. The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported that the Lakers preferred Lue over Williams, but some in the organization were sensitive to the optics of hiring Lue, believing it would be viewed as appeasing James, who played under Lue with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

According to Stein, the Lakers essentially waited out Williams, who was hired by the Suns, then began to move in on Lue. Lue’s hiring seemed so inevitable that Lue was seen celebrating his birthday with a Lakers-themed cake.

According to Wojnarowski, the Lakers are now “scrambling” for a coach. There are other intriguing candidates on the market, but the organization hasn’t done itself any favors in appealing to future candidates.

An uncertain power structure

The Lakers still have a team-president void, and the optics of the coaching search haven’t been favorable to general manager Rob Pelinka.

Pelinka has been criticized during his time as Lakers GM.
Reed Saxon/AP

ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Pelinka didn’t think Lue would back out of negotiations because he didn’t have any other offers. The whole thing amounts to the Lakers misplaying their hand.

The Athletic’s Bill Oram wrote that the Lakers

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LeBron James’ Latest Nike Sneaker Was Designed Exclusively By Women

“The [first] collaboration between James and Harlem Fashion Row was natural: Take two voices devoted to empowering others and combine them to create a shoe t

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Lonzo Ball opened up about the fallout with Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster and said money started to disappear around the time his mom got sick

Lonzo Ball opened up about the fallout with Big Baller Brand co-founder Alan Foster and said money started to disappear around the time his mom got sick

Lonzo Ball opened up about his decision to leave Big Baller Brand in the past and the difficult relationship he had with family friend and BBB co-founder Alan Foster.

Ball made his decision to cut ties with Big Baller Brand, going as far as covering up his “BBB” tattoo, due to his belief that Foster embezzled as much as $1.5 million. Suspicions arose after the funds could not be accounted for while a financial adviser was preparing Ball’s taxes.

Read more: Lonzo Ball has severed ties with his family’s controversial Big Baller Brand, and a friend of LaVar Ball is at the center of the rift

Appearing on HBO’s “The Shop,” where LeBron James hosts a variety of personalities from the sports and entertainment world for conversations, Ball spoke about how hurtful it was to know that he had been betrayed by such a close family friend.

“He was like

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The ESPN Daily: How the Chiefs got their man

The ESPN Daily: How the Chiefs got their man

THINGS TO CARE ABOUT

How the Chiefs outmaneuvered the NFL … Patrick Mahomes looks like the quarterback of the future for the Kansas City Chiefs. The road to drafting him wasn’t easy, though — it required some fancy trades with a whole heap of variables. Here’s the story of how the Chiefs got their man, and how he might change the course of their franchise forever. Read More

Get ready for the Leggy 100 … There is some premium defensive talent in this draft — so much so that you’ll have to go out of the top 10 of Jeff Legwold’s ranking of the top 100 NFL prospects before you find a quarterback. If your team needs a masher on the defensive line, you’re gonna want to take a look at this to see who’s out there. Read More

The evolution of the NBA’s kicks game …The NBA and sneakerhead-dom are intertwined, but these days, it’s about way more than just who has the biggest collection. Here are three players who have embraced the sneaker-culture evolution. Read More

SAY WHAT?

Bad blood … Imagine someone wakes you up at 6 a.m. asking for your blood. Would you give it to them? You probably wouldn’t, because you’re probably not a UFC featherweight who’s subject to random year-round drug testing. But UFC featherweight Dan Ige didn’t think twice … until the person he gave it to told him something shocki

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Harden Dropped 38 to Even the Series, Giannis Went off for 39. What a Night

Harden Dropped 38 to Even the Series, Giannis Went off for 39. What a Night

James Harden dominated Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors with 38 points to help the Houston Rockets even up the series. Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped 39 points in the Milwaukee Bucks’ win over the Boston Celtics. 

Watch the video above for more about the wild night in the NBA.

    

Bleacher Report is the go-to destination for basketball fans everywhere. B/R’s NBA coverage delivers must-see on-court analysis and highlights on a daily basis. Connect to the NBA stories, teams, athletes and highlights that make the game more than a game.

Download the free Bleacher Report app to catch all the moments that matter in one place. Get the app to get the game.

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Beck’s NBA Spotlight: Houston Rockets Need James Harden to Step Up vs Warriors

Beck’s NBA Spotlight: Houston Rockets Need James Harden to Step Up vs Warriors

The Houston Rockets have a problem. James Harden is not shooting well, which has happened in past playoff runs.

Watch the video above to find out why Howard Beck says the Rockets need Harden to step up if they are going to make it past the Warriors.

                      

Bleacher Report is the go-to destination for basketball fans everywhere. B/R’s NBA coverage delivers must-see on-court analysis and highlights on a daily basis. Connect to the NBA stories, teams, athletes and highlights that make the game more than a game.

Download the free Bleacher Report app to catch all the moments that matter in one place. Get the app to get the game.

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Lakers fan looking to organize protest outside Staples Center – Larry Brown Sports

Lakers fan looking to organize protest outside Staples Center – Larry Brown Sports
Lakers logo

The Los Angeles Lakers never could have imagined that fans would be protesting over the direction of the franchise roughly a year after the team signed LeBron James, but here we are.

A Lakers fan took to Reddit on Wednesday to announce that he is planning to stage a protest outside the Staples Center at noon on Friday. He said the goal is to “voice our displeasure of the front office” and have the event covered by ESPN.

“Why? Jeannie (Buss) hates bad PR. She don’t care about us, but cares wha

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Opinion: Lakers’ organization resembles clown car, not storied franchise that attracted LeBron James

Opinion: Lakers’ organization resembles clown car, not storied franchise that attracted LeBron James


CLOSE


SportsPulse: The second round is underway, and USA TODAY Sports’ Martin Rogers breaks down the key matchups in the Western Conference semifinals.
USA TODAY

The Lakers have earned the nickname The Big Top from other teams. It’s a circus in La La Land.

Chaos within the organization reached another embarrassing level with the hiring process for a new coach as those near and dear to Lakers owner Jeanie Buss continue to fail her. And with each wrong move, the team risks alienating LeBron James.

It’s a strange time when the Phoenix Suns, usually mired in dysfunction, nail their coaching hire, and the Lakers look like a clown show.

The warnings came from Los Angeles and far from Laker Land. Pleas were public and private, imploring Buss to stop treating the storied franchise like a mom-and-pop shop. It hasn’t happened.

Los Angeles botched the Ty Lue hire – whom many believed would be a good fit for James because of their championship history – and it doesn’t matter what side decided to push back from the table after they couldn’t come to terms on a contract. While both parties have moved on for now, they could always re-engage. 

Though Rob Pelinka is the general manager, Kurt Rambis, who played nine seasons in two stints for the Lakers and served as Phil Jackson’s assistant, was hired as a senior basketball advisor before the start of the 2018-19 season. Rambis has emerged as an influential figure in front-office decisions, according to ESPN.

His wife, Linda Rambis, is a long-time close friend of Buss and works for the Lakers as the executive director of special projects. Linda and Kurt have been involved in the interview process.

So who’s in charge? Pelinka, who was Lakers great Kobe Bryant’s agent before moving to the team side of basketball operations? The Rambii? Neither Pelinka nor Kurt have extensive front-office experience, and there are some around the league stunned that Kurt has obtained this much power.

What is clear? There is no obvious line of authority, and there is a fight to convince Buss what is right for the franchise.

Magic Johnson didn’t work out. Pelinka isn’t distinguishing himself. They crafted a flawed roster, butchered the Anthony Davis trade situation and fueled the chaos. Buss’ struggles to bring back Lakers glory has been far more difficult than she probably anticipated.

Say what you will about Lue, but he is a champions

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Kyrie Irving’s free agency, one of the biggest mysteries in the NBA, is looming over a massive offseason for the Celtics and the rest of the league

Kyrie Irving’s free agency, one of the biggest mysteries in the NBA, is looming over a massive offseason for the Celtics and the rest of the league

The Boston Celtics flamed out of the playoffs in ugly fashion on Wednesday, falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the second round.

Now, after a disappointing season that saw them come up much shorter than the 60-win and NBA Finals contention that many expected, they head into an offseason with a massive question: what will Kyrie Irving do?

Irving invited some of the rampant speculation about his future that is coming his way. After saying at a season-ticket-holders event in October that he planned on re-signing with the Celtics, he backtracked in February, telling reporters to ask him about his future on July 1, saying he doesn’t “owe anybody s—.”

Read more: Kyrie Irving said he doesn’t ‘owe anybody s—‘ when asked if he’ll stay with the Celtics, as rumors of a move to the Knicks mount

It suddenly opened a door that seemed shut. The Celtics had been openly struggling with camaraderie when Irving made those comments, yet few thought he was a true flight risk.

The Celtics’ plan going forward now revolves around whether they can convince Irving to stay in Boston.

What does Kyrie Irving want?

ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on his podcast, “The Lowe Post,” on Wednesday that some league executives have floated the theory that Irving has “concocted” the appearance of unhappiness to set the stage for his exit in free agency. Perhaps Irving’s public comments about struggling with leadership, his distaste for the media, and his wafflings on personal growth were ways to set a foundation to leave the Celtics.

It seems far-fetched, but it’s a sign that few really know what’s going on with Irving and what he wants.

ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan, who was a guest on the podcast, said she believes Irving is stream-of-consciousness thinker and talker. Some think Irving’s mind could already be made up, but MacMullan believes Irving may not yet know what he wants to do.

Kyrie Irving.
Andy Lyons/Getty

There are a broad range of possibilities. Irving’s current situation is a good one. He’s the clear-cut No. 1 star on a historic franchise that has improving, young talent and the assets to make the team better.

Yet, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, some around the NBA believe Irving and the Celtics are heading for a split.

Irving’s comments throughout the season (particularly when he made a point to note that he called LeBron James to apologize for bristling at his leadership attempts wth the Cleveland Cavaliers) raised questions ab

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Sources: Vogel to interview for Lakers job

Sources: Vogel to interview for Lakers job

The Los Angeles Lakers have regrouped from Wednesday’s breakdown with head-coaching candidate Tyronn Lue and plan to interview Frank Vogel for the position, ESPN confirmed.

Vogel was flying to Los Angeles on Thursday for the interview, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Vogel, 45, last coached for the Orlando Magic, going 25-57 in 2017-18 before being fired. In eight seasons with the Indiana Pacers and Orlando, his teams went 304-291 (.511) in the regular season and 31-30 (.508) in the playoffs. The Pacers reached the conference finals under his watch in 2013 and 2014, falling both times to LeBron James a

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B/R Breakdown: Are the NBA Playoffs Better Without LeBron James?

B/R Breakdown: Are the NBA Playoffs Better Without LeBron James?

For the first time since 2005, LeBron James is not in the NBA playoffs. And for the first time since 2010, there will be a new king in the East. New matchups are leading to the formation of new rivalries.

But are the NBA playoffs more fun without James? Watch the video above to find out why they might be.

   

Bleacher Report is the go-to destination for basketball fans everywhere. B/R’s NBA coverage delivers must-see on-court analysis and highlights on a daily basis. Connect to the NBA stories, teams, athletes and highlights that make the game more than a game.

Download the free Bleacher Report app to catch all the moments that matter in one place. Get the app to get the game.

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Lakers, Lue reach impasse on deal, sources say

Lakers, Lue reach impasse on deal, sources say

Negotiations between the Los Angeles Lakers and Tyronn Lue have ended without an agreement to make him the franchise’s next head coach, league sources told ESPN.

Lue and his representatives turned down the Lakers’ offer Tuesday, league sources said. The Lakers then on Wednesday offered Lue a deal in the range of three years and $18 million, after which Lue’s side pulled out of negotiations.

According to the sources, Lue’s camp was seeking a five-year deal with a salary commensurate with a championship résumé.

Beyond an inability to agree on contractual terms, the Lakers had proposed several scenarios involving their preferred candidates for assistant coaches, including Jason Kidd, sources said.

The Cleveland Cavaliers still owe Lue more than $10 million on his contract payout, and accepting a less-than-market-value deal from the Lakers could ultimately cost him money

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Kawhi Leonard threw down 2 of the best dunks of the playoffs, as his total domination of the 76ers continued

Kawhi Leonard threw down 2 of the best dunks of the playoffs, as his total domination of the 76ers continued

The Toronto Raptors moved closer to the Eastern Conference Finals with a massive, 125-89 Game 5 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. They now lead the series 3-2.

Though the Raptors got much better overall production from their entire team, it was once again Kawhi Leonard who made the standout plays.

To close the second half, Leonard brought the ball across mid-court, ran the clock down, then drove to the basket, slithering through the 76ers defense to create a sudden hole for a massive dunk.

Note how Kyle Lowry scrambled to set a second

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Report: The Lakers Have A Supremely Jacked-Up Hiring Process

Report: The Lakers Have A Supremely Jacked-Up Hiring Process
Photo: Hannah Foslien (Getty)

The Lakers are reportedly in the process of hiring former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue to replace the fired Luke Walton. Contractual parameters are being sorted out, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Lue’s hiring would come with the blessing of LeBron James, who of course won a championship playing for Lue in 2016, and also utterly controls the outlook of the Lakers organization over the next decade.

Holding aside however you might feel about the sagacity, purely as a basketball matter, of selecting Lue as their next head coach, something needs to be said about the Lakers’ process for vetting and selecting and hiring coaching candidates. The Lakers had reportedly settled on Lue and Monty Williams as finalists for their open position, but according to Marc Stein of the New York Times, decision-makers within the organization were divided between the two, with some worrying “that hiring LeBron’s former Cleveland Cavaliers coach would be giving James too much control in Lakerland.”

That’s a reasonable concern. Holding aside, again, however you might feel about the sagacity of picking out Monty Williams and Tyronn Lue as the finalists for the head coaching job of a team that aspires beyond mediocrity, it’s reasonable to worry that the wholesale remaking of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball operation into a reassembled Cleveland Cavaliers outfit might send the wrong message about who exactly runs the show. It’s reasonable to view that potential conflict as a mark against Lue, if not exactly a mark in Williams’s favor. Then again, if

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‘I’ve Battled,’ Tiger Woods Says as He Accepts Presidential Medal of Freedom

‘I’ve Battled,’ Tiger Woods Says as He Accepts Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Rose Garden ceremony also publicly rewarded a prominent athlete whose relationship with the president stands in contrast to that of African-American sports superstars like LeBron James and Stephen Curry who have staked out public stances against Mr. Trump. Some championship teams, or individual members, have declined to visit the White House for traditional title celebrations, particularly after the president called for sports teams to fire any player who joined in a growing protest of racial discrimination and police brutalit

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Kawhi Leonard is saving the Raptors’ season by doing something Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant never accomplished

Kawhi Leonard is saving the Raptors’ season by doing something Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant never accomplished

The Toronto Raptors evened their second-round series with the Philadelphia 76ers at 2-2 on Sunday, thanks to a heroic performance from Kawhi Leonard.

Leonard scored 39 points on 13-of-20 shooting to go with 14 rebounds and 5 assists (and 7 turnovers), carrying a Raptors offense that once again struggled to do much when he wasn’t involved.

Unlike the Raptors’ ugly Game 2 and Game 3 losses to the Sixers, Leonard did receive a bit more help from players like Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka. But even in Game 4, a virtual must-win for the Raptors to avoid going down 3-1, no other player scored more than 20 points.

In the playoffs, Leonard is now averaging 32 points on 57% shooting, 50% from 3, with 7 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Zoom in just on the second round series and his 38 points per game on 60% shooting puts him into a category unto himself.

Leonard’s final points were his most crucial.

With the Raptors leading by one with just over a minute to play, Leonard isolated on the perimeter on a switch with Joel Embiid. With the shot clock winding down, Ben Simmons then left Gasol to double Leonard, when Leonard rose up over Embiid and Simmons and hit a fading, 26-foot three-pointer as time expired to give the Raptors a four-point lead.

The difference in the Raptors offense with and without Leonard is stark. During the playoffs, with Leonard on the floor, the Raptors have an offensive rat

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Stephen A.: LeBron James Played Video Game During Pat Riley’s FA Pitch in 2014

Stephen A.: LeBron James Played Video Game During Pat Riley’s FA Pitch in 2014
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 9:  LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts against the Portland Trail Blazers on April 9, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

Chris Elise/Getty Images

In the summer of 2014, Miami Heat president Pat Riley took a trip out to Las Vegas in an effort to convince LeBron James to re-sign with the organization during his free agency. 

James, of course, returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers instead. And Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN’s First Take Monday that James wasn’t exactly fully engaged during his meeting with Riley:

“I’ll tell you a story that resonates far deeper than that, Jay [Williams]. Not only did Pat Riley come out to Vegas, but literally, while Pat Riley was there to come and talk to LeBron in Vegas, LeBron was playing some Nintendo game, or PlayStation, or whatever the hell that he was playing and it was considered so disrespectful that Alonzo Mourning, from what I was told, had to step in the fray and say, ‘Yo, you are not going to disrespect this man like that.’ That’s how bad it was.”

Smith brought up the

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HFR x LeBron 16 Gets Zesty Yellow Update

HFR x LeBron 16 Gets Zesty Yellow Update
The Met Launches "Camp Collection" Featuring Moschino, Off-White™, Gucci and More

The Met Launches “Camp Collection” Featuring Moschino, Off-White™, Gucci and More

Including apparel, artworks, fragrances and more.

Nike React Element 87 Gets a Camo Remix With "Volt" & "Bright Crimson"

Nike React Element 87 Gets a Camo Remix With “Volt” & “Bright Crimson”

Vivid accents over a textured base.

Travis Scott's Air Jordan 1 “Cactus Jack” Goes Global in This Week's Footwear Drops

Travis Scott’s Air Jordan 1 “Cactus Jack” Goes Global in This Week’s Footwear Drops

Alongside CLOT’s Nike Zoom Haven 97, JW Anderson’s Converse “Glitter Gutter 2” pack, and much more.

Lilbootycall Gets Animated for “Mariah” Video

Lilbootycall Gets Animated for “Mariah” Video

The video was directed by Aaron Hymes.

sacai x Nike LDWaffle and Blazer Mid Official Release Dates and Store List

sacai x Nike LDWaffle and Blazer Mid Official Release Dates and Store List

The hotly-anticipated collaboration is finally set to hit stores.

New 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Trailer Explores the Aftermath of 'Endgame'

New ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Trailer Explores the Aftermath of ‘Endgame’

As Peter returns to school.

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LeBron James Disputes Reported Rift with Lakers, ‘Not True At All!’

LeBron James Disputes Reported Rift with Lakers, ‘Not True At All!’

LeBron James

No Rift With Lakers!!!

‘Not True At All!’

4/24/2019 2:42 PM PDT

Breaking News

LeBron James is firing back at a report he’s beefing with the L.A. Lakers — saying it’s “NOT TRUE” — and he can prove it. 

Bron w

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Gregg Popovich joked that he was too busy ordering wine at restaurants to scout the Spurs’ latest breakout player in college

Gregg Popovich joked that he was too busy ordering wine at restaurants to scout the Spurs’ latest breakout player in college

No team in the NBA is better at unearthing hidden gems than the San Antonio Spurs.

The latest example is second-year guard Derrick White, the 29th pick in the 2017 draft. With a hole on the team following the offseason departure of Tony Parker, retirement of Manu Ginobili, and injury to point guard Dejounte Murray, White stepped up and had a productive season for the Spurs, averaging just shy of 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game while becoming a good defender.

Jim Cowsert/AP

Prior to the Spurs’ first playoff game on Saturday — a win over the second-seeded Denver Nuggets — Popovich spoke to ESPN’s Michelle Beadle about the team’s ability to find productive players all over the dr

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Highlights: Watch Kevin Durant, James Harden Duel in Rockets vs. Warriors Game 3

Highlights: Watch Kevin Durant, James Harden Duel in Rockets vs. Warriors Game 3
HOUSTON, TX - MAY 4: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets during Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 4, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

In a game full of stars, two players stood above the rest in the Houston Rockets’ 126-121 Game 3 win over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Kevin Durant led all scorers, dropping 46 points in 50 minutes of the overtime game.

However, James Harden was just as good, scoring 41 with nine rebounds and six assists in the win.

Harden struggled with consistency during the game but had two clutch baskets in the final minute of overtime. He ended up with seven of the team’s final nine points in the extra period after his two game-tying free throws were the final points of regulation.

Both former MVPs got help in the back-and-forth battle. All five Warriors starters scored at least 16 points, while Draymond Green tallied a triple-double. Eric Gordon was especially impressive for the Rockets with 30 points on 7-of-14 from three-point range.

Still, the one-on-one battle between Harden and Durant stole the show and leaves us wanting more going into Game 4.

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Sources: Lakers coach search eyes Lue, Williams

Sources: Lakers coach search eyes Lue, Williams

LOS ANGELES — A tumultuous week continued for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team announced that it has mutually parted ways with head coach Luke Walton on Friday.

The move comes just three days after Magic Johnson left the franchise reeling by shockingly deciding to step down as president of basketball operations on Tuesday night. Walton finished his third season as head coach with a frustrating and disappointing 37-45 record in a season that began with massive expectations after LeBron James‘ arrival.

Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue and Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams are the central candidates in the Lakers’ search to replace Walton, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will run the search, a source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

Lue, who played for the Lakers from 1998-2001, spent four years with James in Cleveland, first as a Cavaliers assistant before taking over as head coach and leading the team to the 2016 title.

Walton leaves the Lakers with two years remaining on his five-year deal.

“We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years,” Pelinka said in a team statement. “We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward.”

Walton, who went 98-148 in his three seasons as head coach, thanked the franchise and controlling owner Jeanie Buss, who was a staunch supporter of Walton’s.

“I want to thank Jeanie Buss and the Buss family for giving me the opportunity to coach the Lakers,” Walton said. “This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family.”

The Lakers had cursory discussions with Walton’s representatives on Wednesday in which they discussed whether there was a way forward, multiple sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. The conversations didn’t go very far, however, as it was obvious to both sides that the Lakers had planned to fire Walton before Johnson abruptly stepped down on Tuesday night.

When James and his agent Rich Paul met with John

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Michael Jordan says Tiger Woods’ win at the Masters is the ‘greatest comeback’ he’s ever seen

Michael Jordan says Tiger Woods’ win at the Masters is the ‘greatest comeback’ he’s ever seen

Tiger Woods’ win at the 2019 Masters has been heralded as the greatest comeback in sports, as Woods prevailed from personal scandal, injuries, surgeries, and more to win his first major in 11 years.

Count Michael Jordan among those giving Woods that title. Jordan spoke to The Athletic’s David Aldridge and called Woods’ win “the greatest comeback I’ve ever seen.”

“I never thought he’d get back physically,” Jordan said of Woods. “He didn’t think he’d get back physically. But he did it. No one expected him to be back the way he is now. He’s probably the only person who believed he could get back. To me, that’s a major accomplishment. To me, it’s unbelievable. Mentally, you always think you can. But you can’t answer to what your body has to deal with.”

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

He added: “I’m pretty sure he questioned himself, whether he could get it back, a

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Lonzo Ball described what ‘really hurt’ him about Big Baller Brand’s scandal

Lonzo Ball described what ‘really hurt’ him about Big Baller Brand’s scandal

In the months since Lonzo Ball fired Big Baller Brand co-founder and LaVar’s friend Alan Foster, the Lakers guard has distanced himself from the embattled company.

As news broke about Foster’s alleged $1.5 million embezzlement scam, Lonzo responded by covering up his Big Baller Brand tattoo, having his manager urge people to throw away BBB gear and deleted all BBB content from his social media.

In an appearance with LeBron James on HBO’s The Shop, Lonzo went into more detail about what exactly went down with Big Baller Brand’s apparent collapse. He explained that his mother, Tina, used to take care of their finances before her stroke. So, he was especially “hurt” that Foster allegedly saw Tina’s health problems as an opportunity to take advantage of his family. (Warning: NSFW language.)

Lonzo said:

“Yeah, I mean, I’ve known him since I was 12. He was like my second dad. He was way more than that, though … Like, I bought my mom and dad a house — he had a room in t

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Funko is talking to eBay about creating an online marketplace for ‘Fortnite’ and other collectibles

Funko is talking to eBay about creating an online marketplace for ‘Fortnite’ and other collectibles

funko sdcc 2015Kirsten Acuna/Business Insider

  • Funko is talking to eBay about creating a virtual marketplace for its pop-culture collectibles.
  • The toymaker and e-commerce giant are “having conversations” about making a secondary market where collectors can trade their Funko bobbleheads and figurines.
  • Funko’s net sales jumped 22% in the first three months of 2019, driven by strong demand for franchises such as “Fortnite.”
  • Its momentum continued in April with the release of “Avengers: Endgame” collectibles and a Post Malone figure in Foot Locker.
  • Watch Funko trade live.
  • Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.

Funko is talking to eBay about creating a virtual marketplace for its pop-culture collectibles, following a strong start to the year driven by “Fortnite,” “Avengers: Endgame,” and Post Malone.

The company — which makes bobbleheads and figurines under license from “Harry Potter,” “Game of Thrones,” “Star Wars,” and other franchises — recently launched an app that allows users to view a catalog of more than 17,000 Funko products, track their personal collections, create wish lists, and monitor market prices.

During Funko’s first-quarter earnings call, Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink asked executives whether the next step might be an online marketplace for buying, swapping, and trading

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Brian Windhorst Doesn’t Love LeBron James, Lakers’ Anthony Davis Trade Chances

Brian Windhorst Doesn’t Love LeBron James, Lakers’ Anthony Davis Trade Chances
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 27:  Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans greets LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers after the game on February 27, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to pull off a trade for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis prior to the trade deadline Feb. 7, and not everyone loves the team’s chances of consummating a deal this offseason.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently told LeBron Wire’s Erik Garcia Gundersen that he doesn’t know if Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and Co. have enough pieces to entice the Pelicans.

“Do I love their chances? I do not. Because the prime asset they could offer is Brandon Ingram, and Ingram has had a very unfortunate thing happen, and there’s just a lot of uncertainty there,” he said. “I don’t like their chances of pulling it off, but they’ve got to go back to the well.”

Windhorst acknowledged, though, that the 2019 NBA draft lottery could impact a potential offer. If Los Angeles—which owns the 10th-worst record in the league—winds up with a top-three pick, New Orleans may jump at the chance to add a Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett or Ja Morant.

However, the pieces in place may not be enough to swing a deal. The Lakers’ entire roster outside of LeBron James appeared to be available back in February. That included 20

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Bill Laimbeer Says LeBron James is the G.O.A.T. ‘Every Day of the Week’

Bill Laimbeer Says LeBron James is the G.O.A.T. ‘Every Day of the Week’

Bill Laimbeer

LeBron’s the G.O.A.T. Over Jordan

‘Every Day of the Week’

4/24/2019 4:45 PM PDT

Breaking News

Bill Laimbeer wants to hand Michael Jordan one more “L” … ’cause the NBA legend says LeBron James is the greatest of all time “every day of the week!!!”

Bill knows what it’s like to beat MJ — the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons defeated the Chicago Bulls on their way to

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‘What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali’ Review: LeBron James’ HBO Doc on ‘The Greatest’ Is a Real Gut Punch

‘What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali’ Review: LeBron James’ HBO Doc on ‘The Greatest’ Is a Real Gut Punch

It’s the first feature-length production for HBO from James’ SpringHill Entertainment.

There have been countless Muhammad Ali documentaries, and many of them are acclaimed tributes to one of the most remarkable Americans of the modern age. “When We Were Kings,” an invigorating examination of Ali’s 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” fight against George Foreman, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1996. Filmmaker Clare Lewin’s 2014’s “I Am Ali” was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary.

But HBO’s “What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali” is the first documentary told by a fellow professional athlete and cultural icon. LeBron James is an executive producer and, much like his subject, he’s an easy argument for the greatest to ever play his sport, as well as a philanthropist and an activist. James is also 34, around the same age Ali was when he started talking about retiring from boxing, although he didn’t officially step out of the ring for good for five more years. The parallels between the two are obvious and purposeful, and that gives this documentary a powerful resonance about the physical price paid by elite athletes who strive to make a societal impact. 

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, “What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali” debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival; HBO will air t

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Screenland: ‘King James Goes Down!’: How the Internet Turned on LeBron

Screenland: ‘King James Goes Down!’: How the Internet Turned on LeBron

Do you blame him for trying? James’s move to Los Angeles was an attempt at the great American art of reinvention — a bet on one last adventure, all the better if it included movies, mansions and sunglasses. But the caper unlocked a strange, negative energy, a giddy viciousness that has swept across the sports landscape and, at times, felt almost feral.

At the end of an otherwise meaningless contest, the Lakers were losing to the Knicks by one point with 20 seconds left, and the packed arena was raucous, the crowd on its feet. James started with the ball on the opposi

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LeBron James left stunned, disappointed by Magic Johnson’s resignation with Lakers

LeBron James left stunned, disappointed by Magic Johnson’s resignation with Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James didn’t believe it when he was told Magic Johnson had stepped down as president of basketball operations for the Lakers.

In his first public comments since Johnson decided to leave the Lakers in April before the season ended, James relayed the story of how he found out from Randy Mims, James’ chief of staff.

“My right hand comes to me and says, ‘Magic just stepped down,’ ” James said on HBO’s The Shop, which aired Saturday. “I’m like, ‘You mean from out of his car? Get the (expletive) out of my face.’ … He’s like, ‘Go check your phone.’ “

James, who was in the Lakers’ locker room but not playing in that night’s game, checked his phone. Indeed, Johnson held an impromptu and bizarre news conference, informing reporters of his resignation.

“No one had no idea,” James said on his show. “We were like, ‘Damn, like right now?’ It was literally 70 minutes on the clock before (the game). I’m not playing, but my team is still playing, and you kind of decide to do that right here, right now. I feel like there’s a time and place for things, and I believe that you knew that you were going to make that decision, so why would you do it here and why would you do it now?”

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LeBron James Hearing of Magic Johnson’s Exit: ‘Man, Get the F–k Out of My Face’

LeBron James Hearing of Magic Johnson’s Exit: ‘Man, Get the F–k Out of My Face’
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dunks the ball against the Charlotte Hornets on March 29, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

Chris Elise/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James revealed his understandable reaction to team president of basketball operations Magic Johnson stepping down from his post during an impromptu mid-April press conference (warning: video contains profanity):

James, who noted his response in an episode of his HBO show The Shop, was naturally surprised upon hearing the news. The same goes for Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, who said that he found out through James in the locker room.

The Johnson resignation capped a bizarre year in Los Angeles, one that started with high expectations but ended with the team finishing 11 games out of the playoffs at 37-45.

Of note, the quartet of James, Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma

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Million Dollar Mile: Week 3 Recap, Highlights of LeBron James, Tim Tebow’s Show

Million Dollar Mile: Week 3 Recap, Highlights of LeBron James, Tim Tebow’s Show
ALLENTOWN, PA - MAY 02: Tim Tebow #15 of the Syracuse Mets in action during a AAA minor league baseball game against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs on May 1, 2019 at Coca Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

After a four-week hiatus, Million Dollar Mile returned to CBS on Saturday night with Episode 3 of the LeBron James-produced and Tim Tebow-hosted television reality show.

Since the program has been off the air for an extended period of time, here’s a brief refresher on the premise. Contestants compete in an obstacle course set up in the streets of Los Angeles for the chance to win prize money worth up to $1 million.

Oh, they also have to get around a group of elite athletes in their quest to win the race.

The contestants get a two-minute head start to make sure they aren’t completely overwhelmed by the athletes. Despite starting with an advantage, it’s turning out to be quite difficult for contestants to have success.

Olivia Lozano, a wildlife firefighter from California, found out the hard way when she got caught on the hang-time track almost as soon as she arrived at the rotating wheel.

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Lakers Rumors: L.A. has officially begun talking to Tyronn Lue about taking their head coaching job – Silver Screen and Roll

Lakers Rumors: L.A. has officially begun talking to Tyronn Lue about taking their head coaching job – Silver Screen and Roll

The fact that Tyronn Lue will be the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers is perhaps the worst-kept “secret” in professional sports, but the the team took the next step towards hiring him on Friday when they (finally) officially reached out to him to discuss the job they’ve been expected to offer him ever since it became clear Monty Williams was no longer an option.

Tania Ganguli and Broderick Turner — basically the Woodward and Bernstein of this coaching search — broke the news for The L.A. Times:

The Lakers began conversations with Tyronn Lue’s representatives Friday, Lue’s 42nd birthday, and those discussions are expected to end their search for a head coach.

While this news doesn’t officially make Lue getting hired a done deal, and the two sides obviously have to work out a contract they both agree on, all signs seem to point to this getting done soon.

For one thing, Lakers star LeBron James clearly wants this to happen, even if he and his representatives reportedly aren’t directly telling the Lakers to get it done. There is also the fact that the Lakers are already selling this in a way that makes it seem like a decision that was preordained by

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Sources: Lakers proceeding toward Lue offer

Sources: Lakers proceeding toward Lue offer

The Los Angeles Lakers are proceeding toward an offer to Ty Lue in the coming days and have no plans to introduce new candidates into their head-coaching search, league sources told ESPN.

The team has been on its own timetable throughout this process and has yet to offer the job to any candidate, league sources said.

Lue has been a favorite throughout because of his X’s & O’s knowledge. His strong relations

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Alvarez Says LeBron James Would Dominate as Pro Boxer

Alvarez Says LeBron James Would Dominate as Pro Boxer

canelo Alvarez

LeBron Would Dominate as Boxer

5/3/2019 4:00 PM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

If the whole “basketball God” thing never happened for LeBron James, he could’ve earned his way as a real-deal professional boxer … and if you don’t believe it, just ask canelo Alvarez!!!

TMZ Sports spoke with the boxing supe

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Dwyane Wade Calls NBA Farewell Tour ‘Surreal’; Not Concerned About LeBron James

Dwyane Wade Calls NBA Farewell Tour ‘Surreal’; Not Concerned About LeBron James
TEST TEST TEST DO NOT MOVE Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) after an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks on Saturday, March 30, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Nicole Sweet)

Nicole Sweet/Associated Press

As Dwyane Wade prepares for what could be the final week of his NBA career, the future Hall of Famer has nothing but fond memories of the 2018-19 season. 

During an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on The Jump, Wade described his retirement tour as a “surreal” experience.

“It’s like you have this vision on how you want things to go. … “It’s the end of something beautiful,” he said.

Wade also mentioned he’s not worried about LeBron James as the Los Angeles Lakers star prepares for his first playoff-free offseason since 2004-05. 

“I’m not concerned for LeBron James,” Wade said. “Realization is going to knock you in the head.”

Speaking from his experience with injuries, Wade noted he hopes James is able to avoid physical problems after a groin injury cost him 17 games in December and January. 

As Wade has been given ovations from opposing fans around the NBA all season, he pointed out it might not have happened if Carmelo Anthony didn’t talk him into returning


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Million Dollar Mile: Week 2 Recap, Highlights of LeBron James, Tim Tebow’s Show

Million Dollar Mile: Week 2 Recap, Highlights of LeBron James, Tim Tebow’s Show
Former Florida football player Tim Tebow speaks to fans after he was inducted in the Ring of Honor at Florida Field during the first half of an NCAA college football game against LSU, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

John Raoux/Associated Press

CBS’ Million Dollar Mile was back in action on Wednesday night after 4.07 million viewers tuned in for the series premiere last week, according to the Hollywood Reporter‘s Rick Porter.

The show, produced by LeBron James and his business partner Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment, turns athletes loose onto the streets of downtown Los Angeles.

Former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow is splitting his time between serving as the show’s enthusiastic host and pursuing a baseball career in the New York Mets system.

Each contestant (“runner”) navigates an obstacle-laden mile-long course for the chance to win up to $1 million. Not only do runners have to complete the course, but they must also do so without getting caught by “Defenders,” tasked with catching them to end the game.

The first to take on the course in Week 2 was 28-year-old marathon runner Logan Cohen from New York City against 32-year-old Defender Orla Walsh, a former Division I cross country, track and soccer athlete. Cohen began with Spiraling Up as her first obstacle, while Walsh waited for Cohen’s two-minute head start to expire.

Walsh arrived at Spiraling Up while Cohen was still completing it, but Cohen was able to bank $10,000 by completing the man-made spiral before Walsh caught her.

Disconcerted by Walsh’s speed, Cohen headed to the exit obstacle. The exit obstacle requires competitors to climb a 15-story wall before ziplining back to Tebow. Cohen sprinted to the finish line just before Walsh caught her and went home with $10,000.

Next, Tebow was joined on stage by a fellow former Division I quarterback. Kellen Pagel, 28, from Strongsville, Ohio, played college football at both Bowling Green and the UMass before concussions ended his football career prematurely.

Enticed by the opportunity to compete in the national spotlight, Pagel accepted the Million Dollar challenge and had to outrun 20-year-old Defender Veejay Jones, the youngest Spartan Race winner in history.

Pagel traipsed toward the Energy Bars, a 100-yard jungle gym-esqu

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Dennis Rodman says LeBron James has ‘no moves’ and his ‘game is too simple’

Dennis Rodman says LeBron James has ‘no moves’ and his ‘game is too simple’

Dennis Rodman has dunked on LeBron James for having “no moves.”

Sports is inundated with extraordinary stories of game recognizing game, of greats lauding their peers.

Earlier this year, Serena Williams was in tears watching Tiger Woods win his 15th major championship in golf because he shows “greatness like no other,” Floyd Mayweather marvelled at NBA sensation Luka Doncic in February, and The Rock and Conor McGregor once exchanged Instagram messages where they gushed over each other’s work ethic.

But Rodman has taken a look at James and slammed the LA Lakers forward’s game for being “too simple.”

James has returned a per game average of 27.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists this season, but Rodman said height is the only thing the three-t

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LeBron James-Less Lakers Beat Donovan Mitchell, Jazz as Alex Caruso Scores 18

LeBron James-Less Lakers Beat Donovan Mitchell, Jazz as Alex Caruso Scores 18
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 07: Alex Caruso #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz during the first half at Staples Center on April 07, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

Even without many recognizable names on the roster, the Los Angeles Lakers still find ways to win games.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope took over late in Sunday’s 113-109 win over the Utah Jazz, the second straight win over a playoff-bound opponent. The guard scored 18 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter, plus an assist on the game-sealing basket by JaVale McGee:

Alex Caruso added 18 points and 11 assists at the Staples Center to help the Lakers improve to 37-44 with one game remaining.

The Jazz saw their seven-game win streak come to an end despite 19 points from Donovan Mitchell, but the 49-31 squad is still in good shape to nab the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.

     


Alex Caruso Should Have Future Spot in Lakers Rotation

If there is one positive to take away from the final few weeks of the Lakers season, it’s the play of Caruso.

With LeBron James and all of the notable young players unavailable, Caruso has taken on a bigger role and run with it. He showcased his skill set against one of the best defenses in the NBA on Sunday night, finishing with 18 points and 11 assists.

This comes after totaling 32 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in Friday’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Although it’s a joke that Caruso would be the team’s star or go-to option, he has


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Russell Westbrook Dominant as Thunder Cruise Past LeBron James-Less Lakers

Russell Westbrook Dominant as Thunder Cruise Past LeBron James-Less Lakers
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- APRIL 2: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 2, 2019 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jeff Haynes/Getty Images

Russell Westbrook posted the first 20-point, 20-rebound, 20-assist triple-double in 51 years as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Lakers 119-103 on Tuesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

Westbrook contributed 20 points, 21 assists and 20 rebounds for the 45-33 Thunder. Per the TNT broadcast, he joined Wilt Chamberlain as one of two NBA players to ever earn a 20-point, 20-assist, 20-rebound triple-double.

Rob Perez of Action Network reported that Chamberlain last did so on Feb. 2, 1968.

Jerami Grant added 22 points, and Paul George had 19 points and five steals.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 23 points for the 35-43 Lakers, who were without LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.

Depth, Three-Point Shooting Limit OKC’s Playoff Ceiling

Is there a playoff team with a larger gap between their ceiling and floor than the Thunder?

On the positive end, how surprising would it be if the Thunder rolled to the Western Conference Finals as, say, a No. 7 seed that potentially avoids the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors until the third round?

They could even pick off the Warriors in the postseason if Westbrook fills up the stat sheet and George dominates on both ends as he’s become accustomed to doing.

On the negative end, the Thunder have two significant issues, and both present problems toward achieving that ceiling.

Both reared


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Moe Harkless Buzzer-Beater Powers Trail Blazers Past LeBron James-Less Lakers

Moe Harkless Buzzer-Beater Powers Trail Blazers Past LeBron James-Less Lakers
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 9:  Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks to pass the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 9, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers continued their winning ways ahead of the postseason with a 104-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday at Staples Center.

Maurice Harkless drilled a game-winning three-pointer after tying it up with a shot in the lane on his team’s previous possession.

Portland is now 10-2 in its last 12 games and will enjoy home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs as a result. Los Angeles saw its two-game winning streak come to an end in the final contest of a disappointing season.

Harkless (26 points and eight rebounds), Enes Kanter (22 points and 16 boards), Damian Lillard (20 points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals) and Seth Curry (19 points on 5-of-8 from deep) led the way for the Trail Blazers, while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (32 points, eight assists and five rebounds) countered with an impressive showing in defeat for the Purple and Gold.

              

Lakers Should Move on from Front Office but Not Luke Walton

The Lakers’ 2018-19 season delivered one final plot twist just as NBA fans thought it couldn’t get any stranger.

Magic Johnson stepped down as president of basketball operations before Tuesday’s game and didn’t even tell owner Jeanie Buss about the decision before announcing it in an impromptu press conference:

It was a stunning development and came after head coach Luke Walton said “No. No anxiety,” when asked about fears he would be fired after the game, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “… But call me later tonight and maybe that answer will be different.”

Despite those words, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the entire coaching staff “fully expected to be fired” and felt that way for months.

Johnson’s departure may have changed things, though:

Earlier Tuesday, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne had reported Walton and Johnson hadn’t even spoken for weeks, underscoring the level of disconnect there was between the front office and the head coach:

This reported disconnect between Walton and the front office is nothing new and has been a central point of many Lakers headlines throughout the season.

In November, Wojnarowski and McMenamin reported Johnson “admonished” Walton following the 3-5 start to the season. That report noted Buss’ support for Walton was “unwavering” even after Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka were given control of basketball decisions.

That was a common theme, as Buss appeared on Zach Lowe’s The Lowe Post podcast in January and said the organization was behind Walton.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that month “Walton has the strongest possible backing” from Buss, who would “prevent such rashness” if Johnson and Pelinka made a move to fire the coach.

The reports made it clear Walton had much more support from the owner than the president of basketball operations and general manager. He reportedly wasn’t even speaking with Johnson, which makes for an incredibly difficult work environment before even considering the other drama that engulfed Los Angeles’ season.

Whether the Lakers would trade for Anthony Davis—who shares an agent with LeBron James and let it be known he wouldn’t re-sign with the New Orleans Pelicans—before February’s deadline and the pettiness that ensued was the biggest story in the league for weeks.

The Pelicans said they “requested the league to strictly enforce the tampering rules associated with this transaction” in a statement, and a team source told Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium that the Lakers were leaking trade offers to the media.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said the Pelicans didn’t even consider offers from the Lakers as a way of paying them back for perceived tampering:

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Video: Watch LeBron James, Allen Iverson, More Pay Tribute to Dirk Nowitzki

Video: Watch LeBron James, Allen Iverson, More Pay Tribute to Dirk Nowitzki
DALLAS, TEXAS - APRIL 09:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks takes a shot against the Phoenix Suns in the second quarter at American Airlines Center on April 09, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Past and present NBA stars came out in full force to offer kind words Tuesday for Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, who is retiring after his 21st NBA season:

LeBron James, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Durant and Gregg Popovich were among those who complimented Nowitzki in the tribute video.

The Mavs prepared in advance to honor Nowitzki in case this was his last ride. The 2006-07 MVP, who has played all 21 of his seasons in a Dallas uniform, hadn’t made his retirement official yet until Tuesday. He gave reporters a status update during the All-Star Break:

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The ESPN Daily: It’s NFL schedule time!

The ESPN Daily: It’s NFL schedule time!

DROPPING THE NFL SCHEDULE

The matchups are here: The NFL’s 2019 schedule is finally here, and fans across the league can now see how much trouble their teams are in. Did your team luck out and get a bunch of cupcake matchups, or is it traveling to New England, Kansas City and Los Angeles three weeks in a row? Our experts talk through the big winners and losers from the 2019 schedule — and we’ve got the full lineup of Monday Night Football games as well. Read More


THINGS TO CARE ABOUT

Amir Khan’s trial by combat … Just getting to fight in the main event at Madison Square Garden is a victory in itself. For Amir Khan, however, his fight against Terence Crawford (Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN PPV) represents something more: a fair fight against the best in the world. Win or lose, it’ll tell him all he needs to know. Read More

How to coach the King … The Lakers are in the market for a new head coach, and one thing that person is going to have to handle is the challenge of coaching LeBron James. Considering LeBron is more knowledgeable about basketball than just about everybody and a living legend to boot, that’s not an

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Luke Walton reaches agreement with Kings 24 hours after parting ways with Lakers

Luke Walton reaches agreement with Kings 24 hours after parting ways with Lakers


CLOSE


What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Martin Rogers breaks down the Lakers parting ways with Luke Walton and where the team goes from here.
USA TODAY

The Sacramento Kings didn’t waste any time in their search for a new coach.

Barely 24 hours after Luke Walton and the Los Angeles Lakers “mutually agreed” to part ways, Walton is heading to Sacramento to take the reins.

Walton and the Kings reached an agreement on a deal Saturday, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions. They were granted anonymity by USA TODAY Sports because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the deal.

Walton, who spent three years with the Lakers and left with a 98-148 record, will take over a club that hasn’t been to the playoffs in 13 seasons. It has a promising young core including De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley III and Buddy Hield.

Walton, 39, will be reunited with former Laker Vlade Divac, the Kings’ general manager. He and Divac played together in 2004-05, Divac’s last season as a player.

ZILLGITT: Lakers owner faces defining moment with Magic out

WARRIORS: Which team has best chance to dethrone the NBA champs?

GREEK FREAK: How Giannis, Milwaukee are growing together

The news first was reported by The Athletic.

Despite the addition of LeBron James in the offseason, Walton was not able to get the Lakers playing at a high, consistent level. James was injured during the Christmas Day game against Golden State and missed 17 games. The front office whiffed on a chance

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Lonzo Ball, DeAndre Hopkins to Be on Next Episode of LeBron James’ ‘The Shop’

Lonzo Ball, DeAndre Hopkins to Be on Next Episode of LeBron James’ ‘The Shop’
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, left, talks to Lonzo Ball on the bench during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 124-106. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

If we’re judging by the guests on The Shop, Lonzo Ball might be a Los Angeles Laker for the foreseeable future. 

The Lakers guard will appear in the next episode of LeBron James‘ acclaimed HBO series on May 5:

Ball appears on the star-studded marquee alongside rapper Travis Scott, actor Seth Rogen, singer/producer Pharrell, actor Don Cheadle and Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

J

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Germany’s Small But Devoted Group Of Knicks Fans Has Plenty Of Takes And Hates James Dolan

Germany’s Small But Devoted Group Of Knicks Fans Has Plenty Of Takes And Hates James Dolan
Illustration: Elena Scotti (GMG)

BERLIN — As he watched the New York Knicks play on TV in the middle of March, Max Thümer explained why he had, weeks before, vowed to stop watching the team.

It was the Kristaps Porzingis trade.

“I’ve just been thinking about why I spend so much of my rare leisure time to watch a franchise and organization that’s totally full of shit,” said Thümer, a 35-year-old who runs local kindergartens, as he turned back to the screen. “It didn’t make sense to me.”

In January, shortly after I moved to Berlin, a friend and fellow American expat mentioned she had stumbled across a Twitter account called the New York Knicks Nation Germany/Austria. We loved it. Excluding a few weeks when German and American daylight saving times vary, a 7:00 p.m. game would tip off at 1:00 a.m. in Berlin. Were there really Germans choosing to stay up all night to watch crummy Knicks basketball on League Pass when even geographically tethered New Yorkers were willing to abandon this pitiful team?

As it turns out, yes. The New York Knicks Nation Germany/Austria has more than 90 members, preceded in Europe by a slightly older and larger organization, Knicks Nation France. Born out of a Facebook group, the German organization became a legally registered supporters club in 2017. Last summer, members chatted with Porzingis at a Berlin meet-and-greet. They say they sensed a lack of engagement from the former franchise player, who was shipped to Dallas in February. (On March 30, shortly after this story was reported, the New York Post broke the news that a woman had accused Porzingis of raping her in his Manhattan penthouse in February of 2018. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Mavericks knew of the accusation before the trade; two anonymous “league sources” told the Dallas Morning News that the team was only told of an extortion attempt, not a rape.)

This year, the club organized a trip to London to see the Knicks blow a 19-point lead and lose to the Wizards on a last-second goaltend. Members share memes in a WhatsApp group chat, wear club paraphernalia, and pay €10 a year in dues for various administrative fees. “In a perfect world, [the Knicks] would pay you,” Thümer said.

I wanted to learn more about what international, voluntary Knicks fandom looked like, so I sat down with Thümer and three other club members on March 17 to watch a meaningless game against the Lakers and probe them for their spiciest Knicks takes. It’s not easy to find a Berlin sports bar willing to put on NBA games, so we met at Checkpoint Basketball, a clubhouse and event space for a local pick-up league.

L-R: Vinod Krishnamurthy, Ivan Stevanovic, Robert Ogrodowski, and Max Thümer
Photo: Steven Perlberg

We had plenty to teach other. For example, I had no idea that in the ‘90s, German NBA fans kept up on the league through a regular sports update on CNN. In contrast, this group had never heard of New York radio goon Mike Francesa.

Thümer, along with members Ivan Stevanovic and Robert Ogrodowski, grew up in Germany and had similar origin stories for their rooting interest. In the ’90s, their friends loved Michael Jordan, so they chose to support the scrappy, Ewing-Starks Knicks instead. Vinod Krishnamurthy, a flight attendant for a German airline, said he was actually an Orlando Magic fan, drawn to the team in that era because he shared a birthday with Shaquille O’Neal.

As we prepared for tipoff, the Porzingis trade still weighed heavily. “It’s the first time I felt something,” said Ogrodowski, a 38-year-old IT worker originally from Cottbus in the former East Germany. “In the past I was like, ‘It’s a business.’ [But] we watched him grow up in the NBA.”

“[Porzingis] was skeptical

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Nipsey Hussle fans are urging Crayola to rename a crayon after the late rapper

Nipsey Hussle fans are urging Crayola to rename a crayon after the late rapper

Rapper Nipsey Hussle died late last month, killed outside his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles. In the intervening weeks, fans and supporters—including his long-time friend LeBron James—have done their best to pay tribute to the artist, who was well known not just for his music, but for his work as a community activist and supporter of STEM education for kids growing up in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Now that support is moving in a slightly more whimsical direction, as James and other Hussle fans have begun humbly requesting that Crayola name one of their crayons after either the rapper or his work.

It’s all a little confusing how this particular movement got started, but apparently some fans of Hussle caught wind of the fact that Crayola had announced way bac

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Look: James Harden’s Eye Bloodied After Injury in Warriors vs. Rockets Game 2

Look: James Harden’s Eye Bloodied After Injury in Warriors vs. Rockets Game 2
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 30:  James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket against the Golden State Warriors in Game Two of the Second Round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 30, 2019 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Houston Rockets guard James Harden briefly left his team’s playoff game on Tuesday after Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green accidentally hit him in the eye while the two fought for an offensive rebound:

The Rockets told TNT sideline reporter Allie LaForce that Harden suffered a laceration to his left eyelid:

The 2017-18 NBA MVP left the game with 6:27 left in the first quarter and re-entered with 7:09 left in the first half. Somehow, Harden fared better after the injury, scoring all 12 of his first-half points in the second quarter.

Golden State leads the second-round best-of-seven playoff series 1-0 and took a 58-49 lead into halftime.

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These Are the Highest-Selling NBA Player Jerseys of the 2018-19 Season

These Are the Highest-Selling NBA Player Jerseys of the 2018-19 Season

With the 2018-19 NBA Playoffs well underway, the league has just released a list of the top-selling team merchandise along with its best selling player jerseys for the current season.

Moving into the top spot this year are the Los Angeles Lakers, even though the team failed to qualify for the playoffs. Coming in second are last year’s No. 1 placers Golden State Warriors followed by Boston Celtics in third. The Philadelphia 76ers and the Milwaukee Bucks round up the top five.

In terms of best selli

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A Babe Ruth Rookie Card Found in an Old Piano Just Sold for More Than $130,000

A Babe Ruth Rookie Card Found in an Old Piano Just Sold for More Than $130,000

It’s possible that no athlete has stood in a brighter spotlight from such a young age as four-time NBA MVP LeBron James. Born in Akron, Ohio, on December 30, 1984, James was a multi-sport star as a kid. Eventually, he became just the second of three NBA players to be drafted No. 1 overall straight out of high school (and the only one to go on to win Rookie of the Year). But even if you’ve followed his career from Cleveland to Miami (back to Cleveland) to L.A., you might not know these 11 details from the story of King James.

1. Two football coaches changed LeBron’s life.

Gloria James was 16 when she had her only child, and when her mother died just a couple of years later, she and baby LeBron lost their entire support system. They spent six or so years bouncing around between couches and apartments in Akron’s projects. Then, when he was 9 years old, he met Bruce Kelker, who was putting together a youth football team. Kelker took LeBron under his wing and the Jameses moved in with him so that young LeBron would begin to have some stability. By the end of that year, another youth football coach, Frank Walker, offered to let LeBron move in with his family. After missing 80-something days of the fourth grade because of their chaotic living arrangements, LeBron didn’t miss a single day of fifth grade.

2. LeBron James made the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school junior.

In February 2002, just shortly after turning 17, the pride of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School was anointed “The Chosen One” in a now-iconic Sports Illustrated cover story (LeBron went on to get “CHOSEN 1” tattooed across his back). If the league would have allowed it, James would have entered the NBA draft that year, but draft eligibility hinged on graduating high school—so LeBron finished his senior year with his high school team, nicknamed the Fighting Irish. They won their third Division II championship, and the hype around LeBron and his teammates meant they traveled for high-ranking games that were aired on ESPN2. Time Warner even offered their games on pay-per-view.

3. A broken wrist sealed LeBron’s basketball fate.

James played both football and basketball through middle and high school, and some have speculated that he could have gone pro with football. But in the June 2002, just before his senior year, he broke his wrist during an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) game. Because of the two-month recovery time, James decided he needed to forego football season so that he’d be fully healed for his senior basketball season.

4. LeBron subscribes to a “Work Hard, Sleep Hard” philosophy.

If you want to be the greatest of all time, you need to get plenty of rest. A whole lot of it, actually. LeBron once copped to sleeping 12 hours per night, though these days he’s more likely to get a solid eight hours, with a nap sometime during the day. That extra shut-eye is key considering just how much mileage the man has logged on the hardwood. As of 2019, in his 16th pro season, he’s already the NBA’s all-time leader in playoff minutes played with 10,049. That’s the equivalent of three extra 82-game regular seasons.

Another thing LeBron keeps in his health routine? A good red. “I’ve heard it’s good for the heart,” he told ESPN the Magazine in 2018. “Listen, I’m playing the best basketball of my life, and I’m drinking some wine pretty much every day.” He does, however, have discerning taste. “Bron has a supercomputer in his brain” on the subject of vino, former teammate Kevin Love said, and their Cavaliers teammates agreed that he’s usually the one they trust to order when they go out. Luckily for LeB

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Durant leads the way again, Warriors lead Rockets 2-0

Durant leads the way again, Warriors lead Rockets 2-0

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors brought it on both ends, kept their mouths shut and handled business at home against James Harden and the Rockets.

Now, the two-time defending champions are headed to Houston with a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinal.

Durant scored 29 points and established an early defensive tone against Harden, leading the Warriors past the Rockets 115-109 on Tuesday night as the focus refreshingly returned to basketball after two days of constant chatter about the officiating.

“Tonight I think it was a great officiated game,” Golden State’s Draymond Green said. “They let us be physical, both teams, and they made the calls they needed to make. It was kind of disheartening for a game that I love since I was a child to see the talk over the last two days was nothing about basketball and everything about foul calls. Is that what this game is coming to?”

Harden got hit in both eyes early but was able to return and finished with 29 points and seven rebounds

“I barely could see,” said Harden, who was treated with eye drops.

Boos regularly greeted both Harden and Chris Paul at deafening Oracle Arena, where the Rockets complained after a 104-100 Game 1 defeat that the officials missed foul calls when the Warriors closed out on Houston’s 3-point shooters.

Paul celebrated and cheered when Harden drew a foul on Durant in the closing seconds of the third on a very such play. Harden converted three free throws to pull Houston within 82-75 going into the final 12 minutes.

Harden scored seven straight Houston points during one stretch midway through the fourth, including a 3 at 7:25 that go the Rockets within 92-89. Step

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Nike LeBron 16 in the Theme of Martin Lawrence’s TV Show ‘Martin’ Surfaces

Nike LeBron 16 in the Theme of Martin Lawrence’s TV Show ‘Martin’ Surfaces

A throwback colorway of LeBron James‘ signature shoe, the LeBron 16, has just surfaced. The early look of the kicks, courtesy of sneaker insider @US11, can be seen in the theme of Martin Lawrence’s popular ’90s television comedy sitcom Martin. The pair’s Battleknit construction is dressed in purple, black, yellow and orange which are the color palettes of the show’s intro sequence and title card. The official colors are actually called “Court Purple” and “Tour Yellow.” Furthermore, the Nike logo is done in a retro style embroidery as well.

The potential pair alludes to LeBron James claiming on Twitter that his favorite television show was Martin the series. He claims on the tweet

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TMZ Live Kim Kardashian: I’m Getting Ready to Tackle Injustice

TMZ Live Kim Kardashian: I’m Getting Ready to Tackle Injustice

TMZ Live

Kim K Tackling Injustice

By Becoming a Lawyer!!!

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TMZ Live: Michael Jackson: Aaron Carter to Share His ‘Truth’

TMZ Live: Michael Jackson: Aaron Carter to Share His ‘Truth’

TMZ Live

Aaron Carter to Share

His ‘Truth’ About MJ ‘Experience’

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Florida Officer Under Investigation After Video Shows Him Punching, Slamming Black Teen’s Head Into Ground

Florida Officer Under Investigation After Video Shows Him Punching, Slamming Black Teen’s Head Into Ground

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Ad render call ad id “.concat(e,” was prevented from writing to the main document.”);u(U,l,n)}else if(a)t.open(“text/html”,”replace”),t.write(a),t.close(),o(t,i,r),x.callBurl(n);else if(c){var p=x.createInvisibleIframe();p.height=r,p.width=i,p.style.display=”inline”,p.style.overflow=”hidden”,p.src=c,x.insertElement(p,t,”body”),o(t,i,r),x.callBurl(n)}else{var h=”Error trying to write ad. No ad for bid response id: “.concat(e);u(M,h,n)}}else{var v=”Error trying to write ad. Cannot find ad by given id : “.concat(e);u(q,v)}}catch(t){var b=”Error trying to write ad Id :”.concat(e,” to the page:”).concat(t.message);u(z,b)}else{var y=”Error trying to write ad Id :”.concat(e,” to the page. Missing document or adId”);u(L,y)}},T.removeAdUnit=function(t){x.logInfo(“Invoking pbjs.removeAdUnit”,arguments),t?(x.isArray(t)?t:[t]).forEach(function(t){for(var e=0;eObject(u.timestamp)()},_=function(t){return t&&(t.status&&!h()([v.BID_STATUS.BID_TAR

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LeBron James Spotted Wearing Nike Air Yeezy-Inspired LeBron 15

LeBron James Spotted Wearing Nike Air Yeezy-Inspired LeBron 15

LeBron James and Nike released the superstar’s 16th signature sneaker this past NBA season, however, it’s a special colorway of the LeBron 15 that made headlines over the weekend. James made an appearance at the Nike Elite Youth Basketball session wearing a pair of Nike LeBron 15s that are directly inspired by the “Net” Nike Air Yeezy 1 from 2009.

The pair, which you can take a detailed look at above, features the same color scheme that Kanye West’s original Nike collaboration did, with a tan upper, pink sock liner, grey detailing, and a midfoot strap.

West’s Nike colorways have been appropriated and remixed multiple times on a number of different Swoosh-clad sneakers. There is no word on whether LeBron was wearing a pe

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LeBron James In Offseason Training Mode, Even At Son’s Game

LeBron James In Offseason Training Mode, Even At Son’s Game

LeBron James

Gettin’ Shots Up At Son’s Game

… In Offseason Training Mode

4/29/2019 7:20 AM PDT

More proof LeBron James is a lifetime member of the #GetBetterGang (shout-out Stephen Jackson) ’cause here’s video of the King getting a little shooting practice in at his son’s hoops game.

Bronny ha

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LeBron James Sports Unreleased Air Yeezy-Inspired Nike LeBron 15 Collaboration

LeBron James Sports Unreleased Air Yeezy-Inspired Nike LeBron 15 Collaboration
Ralph Steadman x Vans: The Full Collaborative Collection

Ralph Steadman x Vans: The Full Collaborative Collection

Every paint-splattered sneaker and illustrative T-shirt from the release.

'Avengers: Endgame' Breaks Box Office Records With Billion Dollar Opening Weekend

‘Avengers: Endgame’ Breaks Box Office Records With Billion Dollar Opening Weekend

Beating the record set by ‘Infinity War.’

Muhammad Ali's 1976 Alfa Romeo is For Sale on eBay

Muhammad Ali’s 1976 Alfa Romeo is For Sale on eBay

It could be yours for $40,000 USD.

KAWS Takes His 'HOLIDAY' Inflatable Sculpture to Something in the Water Festival

KAWS Takes His ‘HOLIDAY’ Inflatable Sculpture to Something in the Water Festival

A Virginia Beach vacation.

ZOZO Abruptly Closes Its Online International Shop

ZOZO Abruptly Closes Its Online International Shop

The Japanese e-commerce giant scales back its operations.

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LeBron James, The Rock, Tiger Woods Make 2019 Time 100 Most Influential List

LeBron James, The Rock, Tiger Woods Make 2019 Time 100 Most Influential List
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James wears a T-shirt with the likeness of slain rapper Nipsey Hussle during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Several athletes were included on the Time 100 most influential people of 2019 list, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and reigning Masters champion Tiger Woods.

Former professional wrestler and current Hollywood star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was among those chosen for the cover, and he expressed his gratitude on Instagram:

“I’m boundlessly humbled and honored to grace the cover of @TIME. I’ve been quite the lucky man over the decades to have such a successful career, but it’s only due to the deep connection I have with the fans, the audience – the people. To have success at something is one thing, but to have global positive influence on people’s lives is the greatest and most powerful strength one could ever have. Thank you TIME Magazine for this exceptional honor. And most importantly, thank you to my one and only boss – the people. Our connection will always remind me that it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

Other athletes included tennis player Naomi Osaka, track athlete Caster Semenya, soccer stars Mohamed Salah and Alex Morgan, and gamer Ninja.

Like The Rock, Salah was also chosen as one of the cover figures for the issue:

James has

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Lakers Rumors: Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Will Meet with LA in Free Agency

Lakers Rumors: Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Will Meet with LA in Free Agency
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right, and Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving chat with their mouths covered during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James already won a championship together on the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the former is reportedly leaving open the possibility of attempting to do the same on the Los Angeles Lakers

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on his radio show that Irving—who has a player option for 2019-20 and can become a free agent this offseason—will interview with the Purple and Gold even if he may not ultimately sign with them (h/t Ryan Ward of Clutch Points).

The King and Irving played together from 2014-15 through 2016-17 in Cleveland, reaching the NBA Finals in each of those three seasons. Thanks to their combined excellence, they memorably overcame a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 Finals against the 73-win Golden State Warriors.

Irving and James each scored 41 points in Game 5. James followed with 41 more points in Game 6 and a triple-double in Game 7, while Irving drilled the winning shot in the decisive battle.

However, the run ended when Irving requested a trade.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN reported in July 2017 the point guard wanted to be more of a

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LeBron James Drops 27 as Lakers Cruise to Win over Kemba Walker, Hornets

LeBron James Drops 27 as Lakers Cruise to Win over Kemba Walker, Hornets
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 29: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers is congratulated by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 after scoring a basket and getting fouled during the game against Charlotte Hornets at Staples Center on March 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

LeBron James posted 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting and nine assists as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Charlotte Hornets 129-115 on Friday at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including six three-pointers. Rajon Rondo added 17 assists and five steals, Lance Stephenson contributed a 14-point, 13-rebound double-double and Kyle Kuzma scored 20.

Kemba Walker pitched in a team-leading 24 points for the 35-40 Hornets, who fell two games behind the eighth-place Miami Heat for the Eastern Conference’s final postseason spot. The ninth-place Orlando Magic sit between the two teams at 37-39.

The Lakers improved to 34-42.
     

Hornets’ Season All But Over After Lakers Loss

The Hornets emerged as one of the NBA‘s best stories over the past few weeks thanks to a four-game win streak buoyed by an unbelievable Jeremy Lamb half-court buzzer-beater in an upset win over the Toronto Raptors:        

Charlotte beat three teams (the Raptors, Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs) headed to the playoffs during that stretch, and it seemed as though the Hornets could ride that magic and momentum into a postseason berth. At 35-39, the Hornets were just 1.5 games behind the Miami Heat for the eighth and final playoff spot entering Friday.

However, any good will generated over the last two weeks has been co


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This Interview With John Oliver From 2011 Will Make You… Want To Watch ‘The Smurfs’?

This Interview With John Oliver From 2011 Will Make You… Want To Watch ‘The Smurfs’?

Put yourself in a real turn-of-the-decade headspace for this one. The Romney campaign. Heatles-era LeBron James. Everyone wearing those TOMS shoes. Got it? Okay, cool. Now press play.
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LeBron Season Over…

LeBron Season Over…

That “thud” sound you hear is the Lakers season coming to an abrupt end.

The Los Angeles Lakers announced on Saturday that superstar LeBron James would miss the remainder of the season in order to ensure his left groin strain, suffered on Christmas Day, will fully heal.

Sure, there’re only six games left in the season, and the Lakers were eliminated from the postseason over a week ago. But James has played in three of the team’s last four games—all victories—and still appears to be as dominant as ever, and at the very least fans across the country were still coming out to see him play.

After an atrocious month of February, the Lakers opted to place James on a minutes restriction for the remainder of the season, and not play him on the second night of back-to-backs.

Earlier, when asked if he would sit for the remainder of the season, James stated that he would have a discussion between his team and the Lakers’ front office, but added that

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Dwayne Johnson, Taylor Swift, Gayle King, more cover Time’s 100 most influential people issue

Dwayne Johnson, Taylor Swift, Gayle King, more cover Time’s 100 most influential people issue

Entertainers, an athlete, the speaker of the House of Representatives and one impressively calm journalist cover Time’s issue honoring the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” 

USA TODAY can exclusively reveal that Dwayne Johnson, Taylor Swift, Sandra Oh, Gayle King, soccer star Mohamed Salah and Nancy Pelosi are depicted on the covers. 

Inside the issue, the newsmakers are written about by their colleagues, friends and other famous admirers.

Gal Godot wrote of her “Red Notice” and “Fast and Furious” co-star, “There is no one in Hollywood quite like” the wrestler-turned-action star. She lauded his work ethic and praised him for establishing “an environment on set filled with warmth and positivity.”

Singer Shawn Mendes, who profiled Swift, marveled, “Taylor makes anyone older feel young again and anyone young feel they can do anything. It’s so rare and so special. If there is one thing I want to achieve in my career and life, it’s that.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes said it was a career highlight to write for Sandra Oh, who spent 10 years on the medical drama playing Dr. Cristina Yang before taking on a new Emmy-nominated lead role in “Killing Eve.”

Oh, she wrote, “treats dialogue like notes of music – every word must be played, every syllable correctly toned.” 

Rhimes also recognized her as a trailblazer with regards to diversity on TV. 

“With her nuanced characters, Sandra Oh has chosen to fearlessly take up space in a universe that has not always made space for her,” the producer added. “Now, the power of her talented presence makes space for others.”

Director Ava DuVernay expressed satisfaction that “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King is finally getting her due, thanks to high-profile interviews like her two-part R. Kelly exclusive in March.

“The fact that this year she is being lauded as one of the all-time great broadcast interviewers is simply the perfect signifier,” the director wrote

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Sources: Kings, Walton progressing on deal

Sources: Kings, Walton progressing on deal

Luke Walton and the Sacramento Kings have agreed to a deal in principle to make him the team’s new head coach, league sources told ESPN on Saturday.

A formal announcement is expected as soon as this weekend, sources told ESPN, as Walton is meeting with Kings general manager Vlade Divac.

Walton mutually parted ways with the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday after going 98-148 in his three seasons as head coach of the team. He still had two years remaining on his five-year deal.

He finished his third season

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LeBron Should Fight For Luke Walton To Stay W/ Lakers, Says Damon Stoudemire

LeBron Should Fight For Luke Walton To Stay W/ Lakers, Says Damon Stoudemire

LeBron James

Should Fight For Walton To Stay

… Says Ex-NBA Star

4/9/2019 11:50 AM PDT

EXCLUSIVE

LeBron James should walk into Magic Johnson‘s office and FIGHT for Luke Walton to stay as Lakers coach … so says Damon Stoudamire, who tells TMZ Sports Luke deserves more time in L.A.

“LeBron, go in there and fight for my man,” the ex-Trai

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2006’s Nike Zoom LeBron 3 “Houston Oilers” Gets a Quickstrike Release

2006’s Nike Zoom LeBron 3 “Houston Oilers” Gets a Quickstrike Release

Nike continues to dive back into LeBron‘s vault as the two are slated to retro the coveted Zoom LeBron 3 “Houston Oilers” at the start of next month.

We first saw this pair way back in 2006 when then 21-year-old LeBron James became the youngest player in history to take home the All Star Game MVP, tallying 29 points,?

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Beyonce and ‘Black Panther’ Honored at the 50th NAACP Image Awards

Beyonce and ‘Black Panther’ Honored at the 50th NAACP Image Awards

LOS ANGELES — Beyonce was named entertainer of the year at the 50th annual NAACP Image Awards that highlighted works by entertainers and writers of color.

After Beyonce accepted the award Saturday night, the superstar paid homage to the people who were nominated in the same category as her. She beat out Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, Regina King, Chadwick Boseman and director Ryan Coogler.

“Regina King, I love you so much. You taught us patience, persistence and how to be masterful in your craft,” she said. “Chadwick Boseman is teaching children to dream and to be seen as kings. LeBron James has taught us the strength of all forms, leading by example and providing education to our kids. Ryan Coogler tells our stories in a way that celebrates our history and proves we do have power.”

Beyonce added: “I’m honored to be included among all of you, and to be a part of a vital and thriving community. Thank you to the NAACP.”

Beyonce released a joint album last year with her husband, Jay-Z, called “Everything is Love.” The prolific singer also paid tribute to historically black colleges and universities, as well as the dance troupes and step teams during her groundbreaking two-hour Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival performance. She also performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is known as the national black anthem, at the festival and donated $100,000 to four black universities shortly after her perfo

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TIME 100 Most Influential People 2019: Ariana Grande, LeBron James, Tiger Woods and More

TIME 100 Most Influential People 2019: Ariana Grande, LeBron James, Tiger Woods and More

TIME magazine has released its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People for 2019, naming celebrities and athletes including Ariana Grande, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Spike Lee and more. The line-up is sectioned into five categories — Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Icons and Titans — with each influencer having been interviewed by fellow industry leaders.

In addition to James and Woods, notable sports figures include Japanese-American tennis sensation Naomi Osaka and Egyptian soccer star Mohamed Salah. Osaka’s last year has been defined by breakout moments, including becoming the first Asian player to hold the WTA’s No. 1 ranking and recently signing an endorsement deal with Nike. Salah, considered one of the best football pl

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Sonequa Martin-Green in talks to join the cast of Space Jam 2

Sonequa Martin-Green in talks to join the cast of Space Jam 2
Photo: Dia Dipasupil (Getty Images)

We are now in the casting stage of incoming updates that continue to nudge us closer and closer to the reality that will soon be a real, honest-to-goodness Space Jam sequel. Up first: zombie slayer turned space renegade Sonequa Martin-Green , who is currently in negotiation to play LeBron James’ wife in Warner Bros.’ Space Jam 2, per a report from Variety.

There are no additional details about the character or how hefty of a role Martin-Green would play at this time; however, production will start this summer during James’ off-season. As of now, the film is slated for a July 16, 2021 release.

Terence Nance of HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness will be on directorial duty while Ryan Coogler will produce. Jeremy Lin was once tapped to direct in 2016 before eventually dropping out to play with Aquaman. This w

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Alex Caruso’s Putback Dunk Forces LeBron To Learn Another Teammate’s Name

Alex Caruso’s Putback Dunk Forces LeBron To Learn Another Teammate’s Name

Since the Lakers were eliminated from playoff contention and have shelved LeBron James, there’s nothing left for the healthy part of the team’s roster to do but maybe show off and hopefully convince the unofficial player-GM to keep them around next season. (Or, alternately, they could show off then escape to a more functional organization.) Lakers guard Alex Caruso took Thursday’s game against the Warriors to throw down a sweet dunk—off an ill-advised Rondo three, naturally—and baffle the rest of his teammates.

Even Kevin Durant wasn’t sure what the hell had just happened:

Just for reference, Caruso is listed as 6-foot-5, 186 pounds, and he was able to get this high:

Caruso finished the game 4-for-14 and the

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‘Space Jam 2’ to Get Rewrite by Ryan Coogler as LeBron James Struggles to Cast Sequel

‘Space Jam 2’ to Get Rewrite by Ryan Coogler as LeBron James Struggles to Cast Sequel

Space Jam 2

After years of development, it looked like Space Jam 2 was gaining steam once NBA superstar LeBron James officially signed on last year to star in and produce the sequel to the 1996 film. However, it seems like Space Jam 2 will be sidelined for a little longer as producer Ryan Coogler teams up with Searching co-writer Sev Ohanian to pen a Space Jam 2 rewrite while James negotiates a sneaker contract that may prevent NBA stars from showing up in the film entirely.

A new report from The Hollywood Reporter spells out some troubles for Space Jam 2, and it all has to do with sneaker contracts. LeBron James is having trouble recruiting fellow NBA stars for his team on Space Jam 2 thanks to a sneaker contract rivalry, which hinders the L.A. Lakers star from enacting his plan to use part of this NBA offseason to begin shoo

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NBA Playoffs 2019: Postseason Schedule, Bracket Format and Odds

Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Milwaukee Bucks into the playoffs as the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed.

Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Milwaukee Bucks into the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Even if the final outcome stays the same, this year’s NBA postseason contains fresh faces ushering in a new era.

For the first time since the 2004-2005 campaign, LeBron James will not partake in the playoffs. That also means he won’t represent the Eastern Conference in the Finals for the first time in nine years.

Since both of his former squads (Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat) failed to qualify, fans no longer need to watch two months of postseason basketball just to see the same closing matchup. Of course, that may merely mean the Golden State Warriors conquer a different club to hoist their third straight title.

Although the Warriors didn’t dominate throughout the season, the oddsmakers aren’t expecting a new script. Per Caesars Palace, they are the overwhelming favorite to three-peat as champions:

That’s still months away, though, as each round follows a best-of-seven format. The action commences this weekend, featuring five franchises that watched last year’s proceedings from home. Luckily the NBA no longer awards preferential treatment to division winners, as the 42-40 Orlando Magic are seeded No. 7 despite claiming the Southeast.

Let’s take a look at the opening schedule before surveying the East’s post-James landscape.

      

Schedule

No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 Detroit Pistons

Game 1 at Milwaukee, April 14 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2 at Milwaukee, April 17 at 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Game 3 at Detroit, April 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4 at Detroit, April 22 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5 at Milwaukee, April 24 at TBD on TBD

*Game 6 at Detroit, April 26 at TBD on TBD

*Game 7 at Milwaukee, April 28 at TBD on TBD

          

No. 2 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 7 Orlando Magic

Game 1 at Toronto, April 13 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2 at Toronto, April 16 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3 at Orlando, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4 at Orlando, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5 at Toronto, April 23 at TBD on TBD

*Game 6 at Orlando, April 25 at TBD on TBD

*Game 7 at Toronto, April 27 at TBD on TNT

          

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6 Brooklyn Nets

Game 1 at Philadelphia, April 13 at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2 at Philadelphia, April 15 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3 at Brooklyn, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 4 at Brooklyn, April 20 at 3 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5 at Philadelphia, April 23 at TBD on TBD

*Game 6 at Brooklyn, April 25 at TBD on TBD

*Game 7 at Philadelphia, April 27 at TBD on TNT

           

No. 4 Boston Celtics vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers

Game 1 at Boston, April 14 at 1 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2 at Boston, April 17 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3 at Indiana, April 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 4 at Indiana, April 21 at 1 p.m. ET on ABC

*Game 5 at Boston, April 24 at TBD on TBD

*Game 6 at Indiana, April 26 at TBD on TBD

*Game 7 at Boston, April 28 at TBD on TBD

          

No. 1 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers

Game 1 at Golden State, April 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 2 at Golden State, April 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3 at Los Angeles, April 18 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 4 at Los Ange

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LeBron James to Produce ’40 Days’ Series on Alvarez, More Boxers

LeBron James to Produce ’40 Days’ Series on  Alvarez, More Boxers
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter will reportedly serve as executive producers on the upcoming DAZN series 40 Days, which is going to follow boxers as they prepare for marquee fights.

On Wednesday, TMZ Sports reported the first installment of the documentary series will feature canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs as they prepare for their middleweight championship bout in Las Vegas on May 4. The series is scheduled to premiere April 23.

James has taken on several projects away from the basketball court as part of his media company Uninterrupted, and he’s also slated to star in the highly anticipated S

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Where Every NBA Playoff Team Stands Heading into the Postseason

Where Every NBA Playoff Team Stands Heading into the Postseason

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    For the first time since 2005, LeBron James will not be participating in the NBA playoffs. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other intriguing storylines throughout the eight first-round matchups.

    The Golden State Warriors are once again heavy favorites, but with the Kevin Durant era possibly coming to an end this summer, there’s been more uncertainty around the two-time defending champions than ever and no shortage of teams looking to challenge them.

    Out East, the James-less playoff landscape is fascinating. The Milwaukee Bucks were the league’s best team, but will their lack of playoff experience hurt them? Can the Philadelphia 76ers overcome their lack of depth? Will the Boston Celtics put it together after a wildly inconsistent and disappointing regular season?

    Until the games tip off Saturday, every team has the same record.

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    Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    Since Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016, they haven’t lost a postseason series. They have only been taken beyond five games once, in last year’s seven-game victory over the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals.

    This season’s Warriors have had more drama and dysfunction than in previous years, from the contentious relationship between Durant and Draymond Green to the endless rumors that Durant could be headed elsewhere in free agency to the at-times bumpy midseason integration of DeMarcus Cousins into the rotation.

    The Warriors look more vulnerable and human than they have at any point in this five-year dynasty, barring the 2016 Finals.

    With that said, as long as they’re healthy, no team comes close in talent. Whatever happens beyond this season, the Warriors are still the clear favorites to win their third straight title and fourth in five years.

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    Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

    The Nuggets were the Western Conference’s biggest surprise, winning 54 games en route to their first postseason appearance since 2013 and earning the second seed.

    Nikola Jokic is a likely All-NBA selection and fringe down-ballot MVP candidate, and young guard Jamal Murray made strides in his third year to make up for injuries to Gary Harris and Will Barton.

    Denver’s performance has tailed off heading into the postseason—the Nuggets went just 12-9 in March and April. And if there’s one drawback to their chances of making a deep run, it’s their inexperience.

    Only Paul Millsap and Isaiah Thomas have significant postseason experience. It’s not often that a team goes from out of the playoffs to seriously contending for a championship overnight without adding a superstar.

    The Nuggets’ success this season was due to the development and improvement of their young core and smart coaching by Michael Malone. On paper, they’re talented enough to hang with anyone in the playoffs, but do they have enough experience?

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Blazers’ chances of making a deep postseason run took a major hit in late March when starting center Jusuf Nurkic suffered a devastating leg injury that will sideline him well into next season. They went 7-2 down the stretch without him, but they’ll be at a disadvantage in their first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Portland’s hope of overcoming Nurkic’s injury rests with one man: Damian Lillard. The four-time All-Star had a disappointing playoffs last year, shooting just 36.1 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point range in a four-game sweep at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round.

    Lillard has a chance to redeem himself this year and lift the Blazers out of also-ran status. This team is deep and well-coached, with role players who know their jobs. If the clock strikes Lillard Time, that could be enough to make a surprise run.

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    Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

    Thanks to James Harden‘s superhuman offensive performance, the Rockets overcame a disastrous start to finish with 53 wins.

    This is the same team, minus role players Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, that took Golden State to seven games in the Western Conference Finals last season and likely would have knocked off the eventual champions if Chris Paul hadn’t suffered a hamstring injury during the series.

    Paul’s health is the Rockets’ biggest X-factor. He’s looked more like himself in recent months after a slow, injury-plagued start, but at 33, there’s no guarantee his body won’t break down again as the playoffs wear on. Harden has also dealt with burnout in past years from the load he’s had to carry.

    However, if they’re healthy, Houston is probably the best bet in the West to seriously challenge the Warriors and maybe even prevent them from reaching their fifth straight Finals. They almost did it last year.

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    A year ago, the Jazz faced the Rockets in the second round and lost in five games. But things are different now.

    For one, point guard Ricky Rubio is healthy heading into this postseason. Second-year guard Donovan Mitchell put together a terrific finish to the season after a slow start. The Jazz also added sharpshooter Kyle Korver early in the season, giving them some added punch off the bench.

    Led by likely Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, the Jazz have the tools to slow down Houston this year. Unfortunately, as the fifth seed, they would be set up to face the Warriors in the second round.

    Although the Jazz have played the Warriors tough over the past few years, the idea of facing them in a postseason series is likely too big an ask. But they could make the series interesting, and there’s just enough history between these two teams that Utah could get under Golden State’s skin.

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Both of the Thunder’s superstars will be facing pressure in the playoffs. Paul George‘s production tailed off toward the end of the regular season as he battled a sore shoulder, which has him listed as day-to-day heading into the first-round series against the Blazers.

    Russell Westbrook has not led the Thunder out of the first round since Kevin Durant’s departure for Golden State in 2016. This year, his poor shooting has been under more scrutiny than ever, even as he averaged a triple-double for the third straight year and made himself into an effective defender. After a disappointing first-round exit against Utah last year, they’ll be highly motivated to prove doubters wrong.

    Oklahoma City’s matchup against Portland will be contentious, but the absence of Jusuf Nurkic should give the Thunder an advantage inside. Steven Adams, who’s also been banged up toward the end of the season, will be hugely important.

    The Thunder have the talent to go deep and maybe even challenge Golden State. It’s the consistency that’s been a problem for them.

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Spurs just won’t die.

    After they traded Kawhi Leonard over the summer and lost promising young point guard Dejounte Murray to a season-e

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Lakers Rumors: Kyrie Irving Buzz, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Talks Future, More

Lakers Rumors: Kyrie Irving Buzz, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Talks Future, More
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right, and Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving chat with their mouths covered during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

As the Los Angeles Lakers close out their sixth consecutive losing season, attention has shifted to what lies ahead.

Finding four-time MVP LeBron James a co-star is the top priority.

Kyrie Irving Will Reportedly Give Lakers a Meeting in Free Agency

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Less than two years after forcing his way out of Cleveland, Irving appears willing to at least consider reuniting with James.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on his radio show that Irving, who holds a player option for 2019-20, will grant the Lakers a meeting this summer:

Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher reported in January that Irving was “genuinely interested” in reuniting with James.

James and Irving played together with the Cavaliers from 2014 to 2017 and led the franchise to three consecutive Finals appearances and pulled off the greatest comeback in league history by rallying from 3-1 down against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Finals. James’ block and Irving’s shot will live on in basketball lore.

However, Irving wanted a change, reportedly because he no longer wanted to play with his high-profile teammate. James later told The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd in November 2018 that it was “not my problem” if Irving didn’t want to play with him.

Their relationship has since recovered, with Irving revealing earlier this year that he called James to apologize for the way he acted when the two were teammates. James told The Athletic’s Joe Vardon that the two were “in a good place right now.”

Irving told Boston fans last October that he planned on re-signing “if you guys will have me back.” However, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported in January that there is a “growing belief of uncertainty” that he will re-sign with the Celtics. 

While there continues to be no shortage of speculation surrounding the possibility of Irving teaming up with Kevin Durant in New York, Los Angeles appears to be in position to at least meet with Irving.

         

Caldwell-Pope Auditioning for Next Contract

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Caldwell-Pope understands that the end of the regular season holds value for him. After s

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Knicks News: David Fizdale Says LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Have Talked with Team

Knicks News: David Fizdale Says LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Have Talked with Team
New York Knicks coach David Fizdale gestures during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale appeared on ESPN’s The Jump on Monday and said NBA stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have consulted the team’s young players.

“LeBron and D-Wade having been talking to our young guys,” Fizdale said.

Those young players—namely Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox—are a big part of New York’s rebuilding plans going forward. But the Knicks are also intending on being major players this summer, with players like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Tobias Harris, among others, expected to hit free agency.

And Fizdale believes the Knicks have a lot to offer those players when they make their free-agency pitch:

“[We’re having] a lot of conversations, a lot of angles that we’re trying to make sure that we show guys when they come in. I think we’ve got a lot of positive things to show. Scott Perry and Steve Mills have done a heck of a job laying this thing out. We’ve got the most cap space. We have seven picks over five years, which means whoever we do get, we can continue to build around them, and

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Bill Laimbeer: LeBron James Is GOAT over Michael Jordan ‘Every Day of the Week’

Bill Laimbeer: LeBron James Is GOAT over Michael Jordan ‘Every Day of the Week’
FILE - At left, in a July 30, 2018, file photo, LeBron James speaks at a news conference after the opening ceremony for the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. At right, in a Feb. 12, 2019, file photo, Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan speaks to the media about hosting the NBA All-Star basketball game during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C. LeBron James is finally going to pass Michael Jordan. In scoring, at least. While the debate will rage forever about which player is better, James will soon have scored more points than Jordan. James is 211 points shy of passing Jordan (32,292) for the No. 4 spot in NBA history. (AP Photo/File)

Uncredited/Associated Press

Although LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers missed the playoffs this season, that didn’t change former Detroit Pistons big man Bill Laimbeer’s mind when it comes to the greatest-of-all-time debate.

“I’ll take LeBron James every day of the week,” he said when comparing the King to Michael Jordan during his appearance this week on The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker of Fox Sports Radio.

Laimbeer said the same thing in 2017 when James was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, pointing to his overall game beyond just scoring.

The former Pistons enforcer is the furthest thing from an objective source, though. The showdowns between his Detroit teams and Jordan’s Chicago Bulls defined the Eastern Conference playoffs in the la

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The Trade That Could Land Both Anthony Davis, LeBron James with the Celtics

The Trade That Could Land Both Anthony Davis, LeBron James with the Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) after an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, March 31, 2019. The Lakers won 130-102. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

It may sound improbable in a vacuum, but trading LeBron James to a longtime rival on the East Coast may be the Los Angeles Lakers’ best path toward rediscovering their glory years.

His star power alone seemingly increases the value of any organization by hundreds of millions, but 2018-19 was nothing other than an unmitigated disaster. Now, a reset could be in order, especially in the wake of Magic Johnson’s sudden exit and the firing of Luke Walton.

Armed with the best player in the league and a core of developing contributors, the Lakers failed to contend for playoff seeding once again—their sixth consecutive lottery campaign during a stretch in which they’ve posted a 162-328 record. For context, the Lakers’ previous record for longest playoff drought was just two seasons (1974-76).

Growing pains may be acceptable to a degree, but how the season was lost remains disconcerting. While many may point to LeBron’s Christmas Day groin injury as the catalyst, the trade speculation involving Anthony Davis stands as the larger culprit for the team’s disappointment. President Jeanie Buss distanced herself from the speculation by deeming it “fake news” and even sought to blame the national media for destroying the Lakers’ season.

Buss has reportedly flirted with the idea of trading LeBron, according to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, and his value seems to have lessened demonstrably in the past six months.

“He’s not good enough anymore to take four cadavers and get to the Finals,” an anonymous GM told Bucher. “Not in the West.” 

But would the Lakers have the courage to accept the difficulties of marquee free-agency pursuits, acknowledge the limitations of their young core and pull the trigger on a trade centered around James?

The deal wouldn’t come without a degree of difficulty. James and his camp possess arguably more power than any current athlete and could look to stonewall a potential deal. But terms under the collective bargaining agreement kept him from earning a no-trade clause, and his maximum salary makes his 15 percent trade kicker less of a power play. 

On paper, the Celtics seem likely to jump on a potential league-shifting blockbuster.

Kyrie Irving‘s discontent with the young players on the Boston Celtics roster has made headlines, and everyone remembers the parallel he drew to his time with James in Cleveland. Add the Irving situation to the Anthony Davis speculation, and we’ve got a partner that should be more than willing to unload everything possible in pursuit of both superstars.

The question then becomes: Do the Celtics have enough to satisfy both the Lakers and Pelicans?

           

The Trade

New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams III, Sacramento Kings’ 2019 first-round pick (from Boston), Los Angeles Clippers’ 2019 first-round pick (from Boston), Boston Celtics’ 2022 first-round pick

Boston Celtics Receive: Anthony Davis, LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Memphis Grizzlies’ 2019 first-round pick (from Boston, top-six protected), Boston Celtics’ 2019 first-round pick

             

The Pelicans’ Motivation

The Pelicans have long been tied to Tatum. The 21-year-old forward even acknowledged the rumors himself“Yeah, I’d trade me too for Anthony Davis.”

Tatum and Smart would join Jrue Holiday in what would become a dynamic defensive backcourt. Smart carries the NBA‘s second-best defensive real plus-minus among point guards, while Holiday sits fourth at the position in real plus-minus.

No longer would Holiday always have to spend his nights chasing opposing teams’ best perimeter scorers. Smart is one of the game’s best in that regard, and Tatum possesses the length to challenge the longer wings who have given Holiday and the Pelicans so much trouble in the past. 

Williams remains a project, but New Orleans has seen firsthand just how effective a rim protector he can be:

The Pelicans would then use the Kings’ and Clippers’ first-round picks to acquire young talent late in the lottery and in the early 20s. Two names to keep an eye on in those respective spots are Oregon’s Bol Bol and Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker. 

Also worth noting: The Pelicans keep their own top-10 selection in this trade scenario. Should Texas’ Jaxson Hayes declare, he becomes a name worth watching.

While Bol Bol’s Greg Oden-esque nagging foot injuries remain a scary proposition, his extensive length (7’3″, 7’8″ reach), coordination and range make for an elite-level prospect if an organization has confidence in its medical staff.

Having Hayes as a fallback option in the top 10 won’t hurt matt

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Lakers News: LeBron James out vs. Jazz Because of Load Management

Lakers News: LeBron James out vs. Jazz Because of Load Management
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Sunday, March 17, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers announced star LeBron James will miss Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz as part of his load management. 

This will be another missed game in a season full of them for the King. He missed all but one game in January with a groin injury and has sat out various contests throughout the year for rest.

This will be his third missed contest in a span of seven games.

His health is one reason he will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season, which was his second in the league.

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LeBron James’ media company is partnering with No. 1 NFL draft pick Kyler Murray to make video, including a feature documentary

LeBron James’ media company is partnering with No. 1 NFL draft pick Kyler Murray to make video, including a feature documentary

Rising star quarterback Kyler Murray entered the professional football arena on Thursday when he was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals as the No. 1 pick in the first round of the NFL draft. The keen observer may have spotted the words, “I am more than an athlete,” on the inside of Murray’s unbuttoned, blush-colored suit jacket as he took the stage in Nashville, Tennessee.

The words and the logo for LeBron James’ media brand, Uninterrupted, adorned the inside of Murray’s pin-striped, “The Great Gatsby”-inspired suit jacket, in honor of a new content partnership between the two.

Murray entered a two-year partnership to develop content with Uninterrupted, which may include short- and medium-length video for social media as well as a feature-length documentary.

“Kyler obviously is focused on being the bes

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The 10 best books written by NBA players, from a fan who’s read them all

The 10 best books written by NBA players, from a fan who’s read them all

Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

As a full-throttle NBA mega-fan, I started reading books about the game as a child with the hope of picking up a few pointers that could one day propel me to similar athletic feats.

That didn’t turn out the way I pla

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2006’s Nike Zoom LeBron 3 “Houston Oilers” Gets a Quickstrike Release

2006’s Nike Zoom LeBron 3 “Houston Oilers” Gets a Quickstrike Release

Nike continues to dive back into LeBron‘s vault as the two are slated to retro the coveted Zoom LeBron 3 “Houston Oilers” at the start of next month.

We first saw this pair way back in 2006 when then 21-year-old LeBron James became the youngest player in history to take home the All Star Game MVP, tallying 29 points,?

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LeBron’s new LA jersey supplants Curry’s as NBA’s top seller

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LeBron’s new LA jersey supplants Curry’s as NBA’s top seller

LeBron James’ new LA jersey supplants Stephen Curry’s as NBA’s top seller

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NEW YORK (AP) — Though LeBron James didn’t make the playoffs in his first season in Los Angeles, his move to the Lakers paid off in jersey sales.

The NBA announced Thursday that James had the most popular individual jersey during the regular season and that the Lakers sold the most team merchandise. They knocked off Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, who had been the most popular player and team for three consecutive seasons.

The top five players for jersey sales were James and Curry followed by Giannis Antetokounmpo at No. 3, Kyrie Irving at No. 4 and Joel Embiid at No. 5. Antetokounmpo and Embiid both reached their highest rankings. Dwyane Wade, who retired at the end of the season, concluded his career at No. 11.

The top five teams for merchandise sales were the Lakers, Golden State, Boston, Philadelphia and Milwaukee.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Adidas, Nike, and the Fight for Cool

Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Adidas, Nike, and the Fight for Cool

Recently, in a group chat, I expressed excitement over an unlikely piece of work: a new short film from Adidas. The sportswear corporation, which now also counts Beyoncé as a “creative partner,” had teamed up with Donald Glover to make a series of vignettes featuring him and the actress Mo’Nique trading comic tête-à-têtes. Directed by longtime collaborator Ibra Ake, the film embodies Glover’s typical patchwork: It’s wonky, narratively indeterminate, and crammed with wit and the occasional inside joke.

The film, of course, wasn’t just creativity for creativity’s sake; it is essentially one long conceptual ad for Glover’s Adidas Original line of sneakers, which release Friday. Still, the vignettes are far more engaging than the average shoe-shilling spot. As a cultural worker, Glover’s art stings. Whether as the creator-star of Atlanta or as his music-making alter ego Childish Gambino, his aesthetic practice strives to awaken and unnerve (just look to the video for “This Is America”, his berserk trap-gospel from last May). It’s always felt countercultural in that sense. Glover’s work lives outside the mainstream, as critique. With Adidas, his art becomes the mainstream. This, coupled with Beyoncé’s just-announced partnership—which includes a collaboration on a signature Adidas collection in addition to expanding her athleisure line, Ivy Park—suggests Adidas is jockeying for a larger cultural footprint. But it registers as more than that, too. It’s the megabrand’s attempt to define culture, not simply contribute to it.

Today, especially so, sportswear companies are no longer just looking to athletes as brand emissaries, but for social-media-savvy cultural figures of all sorts. Puma’s famously worked with Rihanna and Solange. Converse has tapped Millie Bobby Brown and Vince Staples for campaigns. Back in 2016, Complex declared Jay-Z’s 2003 Reebok collaboration, the S. Carter, an industry-shifting release. Early rap stalwarts Run-DMC fashioned the Adidas shell-toe into an emblem of cool and were ultimately given their own line. A fundamental partnership like that one opened a pathway for cross-branding deals between the sportsworld and the larger culture. Adidas has since partnered with basketball star

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Magic Johnson’s shocking resignation from the Lakers might have been triggered by emails critical of his performance that were accidentally CC’d to him by his boss

Magic Johnson’s shocking resignation from the Lakers might have been triggered by emails critical of his performance that were accidentally CC’d to him by his boss

Magic Johnson’s resignation from his position as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers came in sudden and shocking fashion, but according to Bleacher Report senior writer Ric Bucher, Magic might have had good reason to leave the franchise.

Bucher was a guest on “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd and revealed that Johnson may have accidentally been CC’d on emails between Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka that were critical of Magic’s performance.

Read more: Magic Johnson steps down as Lakers president without telling team owner Jeannie Buss in bizarre and shocking move

“My understanding is that there were some emails that were exchanged between Rob and Jeanie … about Magic and about what Magic was and wasn’t doing. They were critical emails,” Bucher said. “And somehow,

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Nurse on facing 76ers: ‘They’re big all over’ – TSN

Nurse on facing 76ers: ‘They’re big all over’ – TSN

The Toronto Raptors advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs on Tuesday when they dispatched the Orlando Magic in five games with a 115-96 victory.

The Raptors will now face the Philadelphia 76ers, who likewise advanced on Tuesday with their Game 5 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Toronto went 3-1 against the 76ers in the regular season, with a combined score of 462-447.

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said Tuesday the size of Philadelphia’s roster stands out ahead of the matchup.

“Should be a great series, man,” Nurse said. “Obviously, it’s a team with tremendous size, starting right o

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Bill Laimbeer: LeBron James Is GOAT over Michael Jordan ‘Every Day of the Week’

Bill Laimbeer: LeBron James Is GOAT over Michael Jordan ‘Every Day of the Week’
FILE - At left, in a July 30, 2018, file photo, LeBron James speaks at a news conference after the opening ceremony for the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio. At right, in a Feb. 12, 2019, file photo, Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan speaks to the media about hosting the NBA All-Star basketball game during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C. LeBron James is finally going to pass Michael Jordan. In scoring, at least. While the debate will rage forever about which player is better, James will soon have scored more points than Jordan. James is 211 points shy of passing Jordan (32,292) for the No. 4 spot in NBA history. (AP Photo/File)

Uncredited/Associated Press

Although LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers missed the playoffs this season, that didn’t change former Detroit Pistons big man Bill Laimbeer’s mind when it comes to the greatest-of-all-time debate.

“I’ll take LeBron James every day of the week,” he said when comparing the King to Michael Jordan during his appearance this week on The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard and Rob Parker of Fox Sports Radio.

Laimbeer said the same thing in 2017 when James was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, pointing to his overall game beyond just scoring.

The former Pistons enforcer is the furthest thing from an objective source, though. The showdowns between his Detroit teams and Jordan’s Chicago Bulls defined the Eastern Conference playoffs in the la

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Kidd interviewed for Lakers’ vacancy, sources say

Kidd interviewed for Lakers’ vacancy, sources say

Jason Kidd interviewed for the Los Angeles Lakers‘ head-coaching vacancy Monday, multiple sources told ESPN.

Kidd becomes the third candidate to meet with the Lakers, following Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams and former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, who both interviewed last week. Miami Heat assistant coach Juwan Howard is also scheduled to interview for the job, sources told ESPN, and Williams and Lue are expected to have follow-up sessions.

Kidd’s interview was with general manager Rob Pelinka and team executive Kurt Rambis and was conducted at the team’s practice facility

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Where Every NBA Playoff Team Stands Heading into the Postseason

Where Every NBA Playoff Team Stands Heading into the Postseason

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    For the first time since 2005, LeBron James will not be participating in the NBA playoffs. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other intriguing storylines throughout the eight first-round matchups.

    The Golden State Warriors are once again heavy favorites, but with the Kevin Durant era possibly coming to an end this summer, there’s been more uncertainty around the two-time defending champions than ever and no shortage of teams looking to challenge them.

    Out East, the James-less playoff landscape is fascinating. The Milwaukee Bucks were the league’s best team, but will their lack of playoff experience hurt them? Can the Philadelphia 76ers overcome their lack of depth? Will the Boston Celtics put it together after a wildly inconsistent and disappointing regular season?

    Until the games tip off Saturday, every team has the same record.

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    Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    Since Kevin Durant joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016, they haven’t lost a postseason series. They have only been taken beyond five games once, in last year’s seven-game victory over the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals.

    This season’s Warriors have had more drama and dysfunction than in previous years, from the contentious relationship between Durant and Draymond Green to the endless rumors that Durant could be headed elsewhere in free agency to the at-times bumpy midseason integration of DeMarcus Cousins into the rotation.

    The Warriors look more vulnerable and human than they have at any point in this five-year dynasty, barring the 2016 Finals.

    With that said, as long as they’re healthy, no team comes close in talent. Whatever happens beyond this season, the Warriors are still the clear favorites to win their third straight title and fourth in five years.

2 of 16

    Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

    The Nuggets were the Western Conference’s biggest surprise, winning 54 games en route to their first postseason appearance since 2013 and earning the second seed.

    Nikola Jokic is a likely All-NBA selection and fringe down-ballot MVP candidate, and young guard Jamal Murray made strides in his third year to make up for injuries to Gary Harris and Will Barton.

    Denver’s performance has tailed off heading into the postseason—the Nuggets went just 12-9 in March and April. And if there’s one drawback to their chances of making a deep run, it’s their inexperience.

    Only Paul Millsap and Isaiah Thomas have significant postseason experience. It’s not often that a team goes from out of the playoffs to seriously contending for a championship overnight without adding a superstar.

    The Nuggets’ success this season was due to the development and improvement of their young core and smart coaching by Michael Malone. On paper, they’re talented enough to hang with anyone in the playoffs, but do they have enough experience?

3 of 16

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Blazers’ chances of making a deep postseason run took a major hit in late March when starting center Jusuf Nurkic suffered a devastating leg injury that will sideline him well into next season. They went 7-2 down the stretch without him, but they’ll be at a disadvantage in their first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Portland’s hope of overcoming Nurkic’s injury rests with one man: Damian Lillard. The four-time All-Star had a disappointing playoffs last year, shooting just 36.1 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point range in a four-game sweep at the hands of the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round.

    Lillard has a chance to redeem himself this year and lift the Blazers out of also-ran status. This team is deep and well-coached, with role players who know their jobs. If the clock strikes Lillard Time, that could be enough to make a surprise run.

4 of 16

    Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

    Thanks to James Harden‘s superhuman offensive performance, the Rockets overcame a disastrous start to finish with 53 wins.

    This is the same team, minus role players Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, that took Golden State to seven games in the Western Conference Finals last season and likely would have knocked off the eventual champions if Chris Paul hadn’t suffered a hamstring injury during the series.

    Paul’s health is the Rockets’ biggest X-factor. He’s looked more like himself in recent months after a slow, injury-plagued start, but at 33, there’s no guarantee his body won’t break down again as the playoffs wear on. Harden has also dealt with burnout in past years from the load he’s had to carry.

    However, if they’re healthy, Houston is probably the best bet in the West to seriously challenge the Warriors and maybe even prevent them from reaching their fifth straight Finals. They almost did it last year.

5 of 16

    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    A year ago, the Jazz faced the Rockets in the second round and lost in five games. But things are different now.

    For one, point guard Ricky Rubio is healthy heading into this postseason. Second-year guard Donovan Mitchell put together a terrific finish to the season after a slow start. The Jazz also added sharpshooter Kyle Korver early in the season, giving them some added punch off the bench.

    Led by likely Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, the Jazz have the tools to slow down Houston this year. Unfortunately, as the fifth seed, they would be set up to face the Warriors in the second round.

    Although the Jazz have played the Warriors tough over the past few years, the idea of facing them in a postseason series is likely too big an ask. But they could make the series interesting, and there’s just enough history between these two teams that Utah could get under Golden State’s skin.

6 of 16

    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Both of the Thunder’s superstars will be facing pressure in the playoffs. Paul George‘s production tailed off toward the end of the regular season as he battled a sore shoulder, which has him listed as day-to-day heading into the first-round series against the Blazers.

    Russell Westbrook has not led the Thunder out of the first round since Kevin Durant’s departure for Golden State in 2016. This year, his poor shooting has been under more scrutiny than ever, even as he averaged a triple-double for the third straight year and made himself into an effective defender. After a disappointing first-round exit against Utah last year, they’ll be highly motivated to prove doubters wrong.

    Oklahoma City’s matchup against Portland will be contentious, but the absence of Jusuf Nurkic should give the Thunder an advantage inside. Steven Adams, who’s also been banged up toward the end of the season, will be hugely important.

    The Thunder have the talent to go deep and maybe even challenge Golden State. It’s the consistency that’s been a problem for them.

7 of 16

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The Spurs just won’t die.

    After they traded Kawhi Leonard over the summer and lost promising young point guard Dejounte Murray to a season-e

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LeBron James to Produce ’40 Days’ Series on Alvarez, More Boxers

LeBron James to Produce ’40 Days’ Series on  Alvarez, More Boxers
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter will reportedly serve as executive producers on the upcoming DAZN series 40 Days, which is going to follow boxers as they prepare for marquee fights.

On Wednesday, TMZ Sports reported the first installment of the documentary series will feature canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs as they prepare for their middleweight championship bout in Las Vegas on May 4. The series is scheduled to premiere April 23.

James has taken on several projects away from the basketball court as part of his media company Uninterrupted, and he’s also slated to star in the highly anticipated S

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Lakers Rumors: Kyrie Irving Buzz, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Talks Future, More

Lakers Rumors: Kyrie Irving Buzz, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Talks Future, More
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James, right, and Boston Celtics' Kyrie Irving chat with their mouths covered during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

As the Los Angeles Lakers close out their sixth consecutive losing season, attention has shifted to what lies ahead.

Finding four-time MVP LeBron James a co-star is the top priority.

Kyrie Irving Will Reportedly Give Lakers a Meeting in Free Agency

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Less than two years after forcing his way out of Cleveland, Irving appears willing to at least consider reuniting with James.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on his radio show that Irving, who holds a player option for 2019-20, will grant the Lakers a meeting this summer:

Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher reported in January that Irving was “genuinely interested” in reuniting with James.

James and Irving played together with the Cavaliers from 2014 to 2017 and led the franchise to three consecutive Finals appearances and pulled off the greatest comeback in league history by rallying from 3-1 down against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Finals. James’ block and Irving’s shot will live on in basketball lore.

However, Irving wanted a change, reportedly because he no longer wanted to play with his high-profile teammate. James later told The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd in November 2018 that it was “not my problem” if Irving didn’t want to play with him.

Their relationship has since recovered, with Irving revealing earlier this year that he called James to apologize for the way he acted when the two were teammates. James told The Athletic’s Joe Vardon that the two were “in a good place right now.”

Irving told Boston fans last October that he planned on re-signing “if you guys will have me back.” However, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported in January that there is a “growing belief of uncertainty” that he will re-sign with the Celtics. 

While there continues to be no shortage of speculation surrounding the possibility of Irving teaming up with Kevin Durant in New York, Los Angeles appears to be in position to at least meet with Irving.

         

Caldwell-Pope Auditioning for Next Contract

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Caldwell-Pope understands that the end of the regular season holds value for him. After s

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Knicks News: David Fizdale Says LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Have Talked with Team

Knicks News: David Fizdale Says LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Have Talked with Team
New York Knicks coach David Fizdale gestures during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale appeared on ESPN’s The Jump on Monday and said NBA stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have consulted the team’s young players.

“LeBron and D-Wade having been talking to our young guys,” Fizdale said.

Those young players—namely Mitchell Robinson, Dennis Smith Jr. and Kevin Knox—are a big part of New York’s rebuilding plans going forward. But the Knicks are also intending on being major players this summer, with players like Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and Tobias Harris, among others, expected to hit free agency.

And Fizdale believes the Knicks have a lot to offer those players when they make their free-agency pitch:

“[We’re having] a lot of conversations, a lot of angles that we’re trying to make sure that we show guys when they come in. I think we’ve got a lot of positive things to show. Scott Perry and Steve Mills have done a heck of a job laying this thing out. We’ve got the most cap space. We have seven picks over five years, which means whoever we do get, we can continue to build around them, and

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The Trade That Could Land Both Anthony Davis, LeBron James with the Celtics

The Trade That Could Land Both Anthony Davis, LeBron James with the Celtics
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) after an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Sunday, March 31, 2019. The Lakers won 130-102. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)

Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

It may sound improbable in a vacuum, but trading LeBron James to a longtime rival on the East Coast may be the Los Angeles Lakers’ best path toward rediscovering their glory years.

His star power alone seemingly increases the value of any organization by hundreds of millions, but 2018-19 was nothing other than an unmitigated disaster. Now, a reset could be in order, especially in the wake of Magic Johnson’s sudden exit and the firing of Luke Walton.

Armed with the best player in the league and a core of developing contributors, the Lakers failed to contend for playoff seeding once again—their sixth consecutive lottery campaign during a stretch in which they’ve posted a 162-328 record. For context, the Lakers’ previous record for longest playoff drought was just two seasons (1974-76).

Growing pains may be acceptable to a degree, but how the season was lost remains disconcerting. While many may point to LeBron’s Christmas Day groin injury as the catalyst, the trade speculation involving Anthony Davis stands as the larger culprit for the team’s disappointment. President Jeanie Buss distanced herself from the speculation by deeming it “fake news” and even sought to blame the national media for destroying the Lakers’ season.

Buss has reportedly flirted with the idea of trading LeBron, according to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, and his value seems to have lessened demonstrably in the past six months.

“He’s not good enough anymore to take four cadavers and get to the Finals,” an anonymous GM told Bucher. “Not in the West.” 

But would the Lakers have the courage to accept the difficulties of marquee free-agency pursuits, acknowledge the limitations of their young core and pull the trigger on a trade centered around James?

The deal wouldn’t come without a degree of difficulty. James and his camp possess arguably more power than any current athlete and could look to stonewall a potential deal. But terms under the collective bargaining agreement kept him from earning a no-trade clause, and his maximum salary makes his 15 percent trade kicker less of a power play. 

On paper, the Celtics seem likely to jump on a potential league-shifting blockbuster.

Kyrie Irving‘s discontent with the young players on the Boston Celtics roster has made headlines, and everyone remembers the parallel he drew to his time with James in Cleveland. Add the Irving situation to the Anthony Davis speculation, and we’ve got a partner that should be more than willing to unload everything possible in pursuit of both superstars.

The question then becomes: Do the Celtics have enough to satisfy both the Lakers and Pelicans?

           

The Trade

New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams III, Sacramento Kings’ 2019 first-round pick (from Boston), Los Angeles Clippers’ 2019 first-round pick (from Boston), Boston Celtics’ 2022 first-round pick

Boston Celtics Receive: Anthony Davis, LeBron James

Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, Memphis Grizzlies’ 2019 first-round pick (from Boston, top-six protected), Boston Celtics’ 2019 first-round pick

             

The Pelicans’ Motivation

The Pelicans have long been tied to Tatum. The 21-year-old forward even acknowledged the rumors himself“Yeah, I’d trade me too for Anthony Davis.”

Tatum and Smart would join Jrue Holiday in what would become a dynamic defensive backcourt. Smart carries the NBA‘s second-best defensive real plus-minus among point guards, while Holiday sits fourth at the position in real plus-minus.

No longer would Holiday always have to spend his nights chasing opposing teams’ best perimeter scorers. Smart is one of the game’s best in that regard, and Tatum possesses the length to challenge the longer wings who have given Holiday and the Pelicans so much trouble in the past. 

Williams remains a project, but New Orleans has seen firsthand just how effective a rim protector he can be:

The Pelicans would then use the Kings’ and Clippers’ first-round picks to acquire young talent late in the lottery and in the early 20s. Two names to keep an eye on in those respective spots are Oregon’s Bol Bol and Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker. 

Also worth noting: The Pelicans keep their own top-10 selection in this trade scenario. Should Texas’ Jaxson Hayes declare, he becomes a name worth watching.

While Bol Bol’s Greg Oden-esque nagging foot injuries remain a scary proposition, his extensive length (7’3″, 7’8″ reach), coordination and range make for an elite-level prospect if an organization has confidence in its medical staff.

Having Hayes as a fallback option in the top 10 won’t hurt matt

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Lakers News: LeBron James out vs. Jazz Because of Load Management

Lakers News: LeBron James out vs. Jazz Because of Load Management
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James reacts during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Sunday, March 17, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers announced star LeBron James will miss Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz as part of his load management. 

This will be another missed game in a season full of them for the King. He missed all but one game in January with a groin injury and has sat out various contests throughout the year for rest.

This will be his third missed contest in a span of seven games.

His health is one reason he will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 season, which was his second in the league.

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atmos Rejoins Nike for Exclusive LeBron 16 Low “Clear Jade”

atmos Rejoins Nike for Exclusive LeBron 16 Low “Clear Jade”

In February, atmos crafted a “Safari”-inspired take on the LeBron 16 Low, a nod to a classic atmos design. Now, another atmos favorite informs James’ signature, with the basketball shoe reimagined in “Clear Jade.”

A nod to atmos’ beloved “Jade” hue, which appeared on both an Air Max 95 and 1 in the past, the LeBron 16 Low “Clear Jade” sports pale grey and blue

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NBA Playoffs 2019: Postseason Schedule, Bracket Format and Odds

Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Milwaukee Bucks into the playoffs as the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed.

Giannis Antetokounmpo leads the Milwaukee Bucks into the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Even if the final outcome stays the same, this year’s NBA postseason contains fresh faces ushering in a new era.

For the first time since the 2004-2005 campaign, LeBron James will not partake in the playoffs. That also means he won’t represent the Eastern Conference in the Finals for the first time in nine years.

Since both of his former squads (Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat) failed to qualify, fans no longer need to watch two months of postseason basketball just to see the same closing matchup. Of course, that may merely mean the Golden State Warriors conquer a different club to hoist their third straight title.

Although the Warriors didn’t dominate throughout the season, the oddsmakers aren’t expecting a new script. Per Caesars Palace, they are the overwhelming favorite to three-peat as champions:

That’s still months away, though, as each round follows a best-of-seven format. The action commences this weekend, featuring five franchises that watched last year’s proceedings from home. Luckily the NBA no longer awards preferential treatment to division winners, as the 42-40 Orlando Magic are seeded No. 7 despite claiming the Southeast.

Let’s take a look at the opening schedule before surveying the East’s post-James landscape.

      

Schedule

No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 Detroit Pistons

Game 1 at Milwaukee, April 14 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2 at Milwaukee, April 17 at 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV

Game 3 at Detroit, April 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4 at Detroit, April 22 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5 at Milwaukee, April 24 at TBD on TBD

*Game 6 at Detroit, April 26 at TBD on TBD

*Game 7 at Milwaukee, April 28 at TBD on TBD

          

No. 2 Toronto Raptors vs. No. 7 Orlando Magic

Game 1 at Toronto, April 13 at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2 at Toronto, April 16 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3 at Orlando, April 19 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 4 at Orlando, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5 at Toronto, April 23 at TBD on TBD

*Game 6 at Orlando, April 25 at TBD on TBD

*Game 7 at Toronto, April 27 at TBD on TNT

          

No. 3 Philadelphia 76ers vs. No. 6 Brooklyn Nets

Game 1 at Philadelphia, April 13 at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

Game 2 at Philadelphia, April 15 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3 at Brooklyn, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 4 at Brooklyn, April 20 at 3 p.m. ET on TNT

*Game 5 at Philadelphia, April 23 at TBD on TBD

*Game 6 at Brooklyn, April 25 at TBD on TBD

*Game 7 at Philadelphia, April 27 at TBD on TNT

           

No. 4 Boston Celtics vs. No. 5 Indiana Pacers

Game 1 at Boston, April 14 at 1 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 2 at Boston, April 17 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3 at Indiana, April 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 4 at Indiana, April 21 at 1 p.m. ET on ABC

*Game 5 at Boston, April 24 at TBD on TBD

*Game 6 at Indiana, April 26 at TBD on TBD

*Game 7 at Boston, April 28 at TBD on TBD

          

No. 1 Golden State Warriors vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Clippers

Game 1 at Golden State, April 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC

Game 2 at Golden State, April 15 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 3 at Los Angeles, April 18 at 10:30 p.m. ET on TNT

Game 4 at Los Ange

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‘Space Jam 2’ to Get Rewrite by Ryan Coogler as LeBron James Struggles to Cast Sequel

‘Space Jam 2’ to Get Rewrite by Ryan Coogler as LeBron James Struggles to Cast Sequel

Space Jam 2

After years of development, it looked like Space Jam 2 was gaining steam once NBA superstar LeBron James officially signed on last year to star in and produce the sequel to the 1996 film. However, it seems like Space Jam 2 will be sidelined for a little longer as producer Ryan Coogler teams up with Searching co-writer Sev Ohanian to pen a Space Jam 2 rewrite while James negotiates a sneaker contract that may prevent NBA stars from showing up in the film entirely.

A new report from The Hollywood Reporter spells out some troubles for Space Jam 2, and it all has to do with sneaker contracts. LeBron James is having trouble recruiting fellow NBA stars for his team on Space Jam 2 thanks to a sneaker contract rivalry, which hinders the L.A. Lakers star from enacting his plan to use part of this NBA offseason to begin shoo

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TIME 100 Most Influential People 2019: Ariana Grande, LeBron James, Tiger Woods and More

TIME 100 Most Influential People 2019: Ariana Grande, LeBron James, Tiger Woods and More

TIME magazine has released its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People for 2019, naming celebrities and athletes including Ariana Grande, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Spike Lee and more. The line-up is sectioned into five categories — Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, Icons and Titans — with each influencer having been interviewed by fellow industry leaders.

In addition to James and Woods, notable sports figures include Japanese-American tennis sensation Naomi Osaka and Egyptian soccer star Mohamed Salah. Osaka’s last year has been defined by breakout moments, including becoming the first Asian player to hold the WTA’s No. 1 ranking and recently signing an endorsement deal with Nike. Salah, considered one of the best football pl

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How This Croatian Basketball Player Made His NBA Dream Come True

How This Croatian Basketball Player Made His NBA Dream Come True

Ivica Zubac, center for the Los Angeles Clippers, talks about his path from Croatia to the NBA.


1 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Ivica Zubac has played for the Los Ang

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Dwayne Johnson, Taylor Swift, Gayle King, more cover Time’s 100 most influential people issue

Dwayne Johnson, Taylor Swift, Gayle King, more cover Time’s 100 most influential people issue

Entertainers, an athlete, the speaker of the House of Representatives and one impressively calm journalist cover Time’s issue honoring the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” 

USA TODAY can exclusively reveal that Dwayne Johnson, Taylor Swift, Sandra Oh, Gayle King, soccer star Mohamed Salah and Nancy Pelosi are depicted on the covers. 

Inside the issue, the newsmakers are written about by their colleagues, friends and other famous admirers.

Gal Godot wrote of her “Red Notice” and “Fast and Furious” co-star, “There is no one in Hollywood quite like” the wrestler-turned-action star. She lauded his work ethic and praised him for establishing “an environment on set filled with warmth and positivity.”

Singer Shawn Mendes, who profiled Swift, marveled, “Taylor makes anyone older feel young again and anyone young feel they can do anything. It’s so rare and so special. If there is one thing I want to achieve in my career and life, it’s that.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes said it was a career highlight to write for Sandra Oh, who spent 10 years on the medical drama playing Dr. Cristina Yang before taking on a new Emmy-nominated lead role in “Killing Eve.”

Oh, she wrote, “treats dialogue like notes of music – every word must be played, every syllable correctly toned.” 

Rhimes also recognized her as a trailblazer with regards to diversity on TV. 

“With her nuanced characters, Sandra Oh has chosen to fearlessly take up space in a universe that has not always made space for her,” the producer added. “Now, the power of her talented presence makes space for others.”

Director Ava DuVernay expressed satisfaction that “CBS This Morning” anchor Gayle King is finally getting her due, thanks to high-profile interviews like her two-part R. Kelly exclusive in March.

“The fact that this year she is being lauded as one of the all-time great broadcast interviewers is simply the perfect signifier,” the director wrote

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Sources: Kings, Walton progressing on deal

Sources: Kings, Walton progressing on deal

Luke Walton and the Sacramento Kings have agreed to a deal in principle to make him the team’s new head coach, league sources told ESPN on Saturday.

A formal announcement is expected as soon as this weekend, sources told ESPN, as Walton is meeting with Kings general manager Vlade Divac.

Walton mutually parted ways with the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday after going 98-148 in his three seasons as head coach of the team. He still had two years remaining on his five-year deal.

He finished his third season

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LeBron James’ STEM-Based School Is Showing Promise

LeBron James’ STEM-Based School Is Showing Promise

Last year, NBA superstar LeBron James
opened an experimental school that focuses on teaching a STEM curriculum to students who have a higher probability of failing academically or dropping out of school. The New York Times is now reporting that “the inaugural classes of third and fourth graders at [the
I PROMISE School] posted extraordinary results in their first set of district assessments.
Ninety percent met or exceeded individual growth goals in reading and math
(Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source), outpacing their peers acros

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Windhorst’s handbook for coaching LeBron James

Windhorst’s handbook for coaching LeBron James

WHEN THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS interview candidates for head coach this week, how to manage LeBron James will be a major topic. It always is.

It’s a challenging, complicated, stressful, public and often embarrassing experience. It’s also enriching, fulfilling and an often wonderful experience.

It can be hard to get your arms around it. It can be even harder to define. It’s one of the reasons the early candidates — Ty Lue, Monty Williams and Juwan Howard — all have histories of coaching James. Lue and Howard in the NBA, Williams with Team USA.

So based on the past 16 years, here’s the best we have. The handbook for coaching LeBron James:

Understand the art of influence without ownership

Often it seems observers of James want to classify his acts in clear-cut terms. He traded this player. He got that coach fired. He signed this other guy. It gave rise to the concept, for example, that James was the “GM” in Cleveland.

Oh, how often this is so far from the truth. In perfect irony, despite what the world assumes, sometimes James’ teams wish he would be so declarative. It’s that frequently he isn’t willing to make clear requests that can often be a problem. Sometimes teams would love a black-and-white answer while James usually operates in a world of gray.

James has mastered the art of influencing decisions without taking ownership of them. If he were to issue a hard-and-fast edict, then the team would know he was fully willing to stand behind it and take blame, or credit, when it works or fails.

James doesn’t want to do this. He has long operated where his teammates, coaches and strategies change massively from opening night to the last game of any season. He has changed entire franchises three times.

This isn’t to say he has never given a strong opinion. Or said he wanted to sign or trade for a certain player. Or even led recruitment efforts and closed the deal on an acquisition. But don’t ever count on him doing so; be prepared for him to take a position but not marry it.

This is a man who enjoys flexibility and whose greatness allows him to have great power along with it. He’s not giving it up. And, frankly, why should he? In a player-driven league, why not have it both ways? Any coach who takes the job needs to understand this at all times.

Have his respect when you walk in the room

This is absolutely vital. Although it’s possible to win James’ respect, it’s much harder that way than if you carry it with you from the start. If you don’t have James’ respect, you have no chance.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra earned it, but it was an all-encompassing multiyear battle. David Blatt, who arrived in Cleveland as one of the most respected coaches in Europe, never did. They both had limited currency when James started playing for them, and it created a much tougher task.

It was a struggle for Luke Walton, too, to say the least.

Meanwhile Ty Lue, who played against James, and Paul Silas, his first NBA coach and a legendary tough guy who had won multiple championships, were able to win over James much quicker. That doesn’t mean they didn’t butt heads — James cursed Lue to his face and walked out of the locker room after an argument at halftime of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals — but they held James’ respect.

James’ first summer playing for Mike Krzyzewski with Team USA was rocky, but they got through it beca



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Warner Bros has been struggling to recruit other star NBA players to join LeBron James in ‘Space Jam 2,’ and shoe deals could be to blame

Warner Bros has been struggling to recruit other star NBA players to join LeBron James in ‘Space Jam 2,’ and shoe deals could be to blame

LeBron James’ sequel to “Space Jam” is set to begin production this summer, but so far, the Lakers superstar has faced a somewhat surprising challenge with the film — finding other players to join the Toon Squad.

In early April, NBA insider Brian Windhorst said while appearing on ESPN’s “The Jump” that James’ recruiting pitch for the movie was not going as well as he had planned.

While there are numerous reasons players might be averse to joining the film, according to the Hollywood Reporter, sneaker contracts from some of the league’s top superstars might be the source of some of James’ struggles.

According to the report, stars such as Stephen Curry and James Harden are unlikely to join the cast, and their non-Nike shoe deals are an important factor in their reasoning.

Per THR:

“As to why shoes matter, Nike is essential to the Space Jam fra

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On Pro Basketball: A Hunger Artist Off the Bench, Lou Williams Helps the Clippers Feast

On Pro Basketball: A Hunger Artist Off the Bench, Lou Williams Helps the Clippers Feast

Atkinson, now the head coach of the Nets, imbued Williams with the importance of routine.

“Kenny is one of my all-time favorite people in the world,” Williams said. “I give him a lot of credit for getting me back on my feet when I was down and out.”

By 2015, Williams was the N.B.A.’s sixth man of the year with the Toronto Raptors. But he has never been better, more efficient or more dynamic than he has been in his last two seasons with the Clippers, all at an age — early 30s — when most players see their production begin to erode.

Instead, Williams, who has scored

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Tiger Woods’s Masters win gives Nike investors another reason to cheer – The Globe and Mail

Tiger Woods’s Masters win gives Nike investors another reason to cheer – The Globe and Mail

Nike Inc’s long-time brand ambassador Tiger Woods gave investors another reason to cheer on Monday, after the world’s biggest name in golf won the Masters, pushing the company’s stock higher.

In his signature red shirt and black shoes with the Nike “swoosh” logo, the 43-year-old came back from a series of setbacks to claim his fifth Green Jacket on Sunday, ending an 11-year major title drought.

“A win for a high profile endorser is a clear win for the brand,” Nomura Instinet analyst Simeon Siegel said.

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Nike celebrated his vict

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The Jazz used a radical defensive strategy on James Harden that backfired, and it showed how unguardable he has become

The Jazz used a radical defensive strategy on James Harden that backfired, and it showed how unguardable he has become

How unstoppable is James Harden? The Utah Jazz tried to slow him down by only letting him score in one way. Unfortunately, for the Jazz, it didn’t work.

The Houston Rockets beat the Jazz in Game 1 of the playoffs on Sunday. One big takeaway from the matchup was that the Jazz will need to find a new way to guard Harden.

Harden had a modest game by his standards, with 29 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists, but it was the way he shredded the Jazz’s radical defensive strategy that ought to concern Utah.

The Jazz borrowed a defensive strategy a few other teams have used this season: giving Harden open drives to the right.

The logic is multi-faceted. The Rockets try to score on shots at the rim or on three-pointers, with nothing in between. Their offense is based around Harden running the pick-and-roll, driving to the basket, pulling up for three, or spraying the ball out to shooters when help comes.

The Jazz’s strategy was to take away Harden’s left hand (his dominant hand) force him right, with a defender on his hip to corral him to center Rudy Gobert in the paint. The strategy is supposed to prevent Harden from pulling up for three or getting all the way to the rim, instead, forcing him into awkward, contested shots from middle distances.

As TNT’s Kenny Smith said on “Inside the NBA” on Sunday, the Jazz weren’t “forcing” Harden right — they were just “allowing” him to go right.

via AT&T SportsNet/NBA

But Harden is so good that he navigated it quite easily, sinking floaters or finding his big men for lobs.

O

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Charles Barkley is ‘begging’ LeBron James to join ‘NBA on TNT’ for the playoffs because he ‘ain’t got nothing to do’

Charles Barkley is ‘begging’ LeBron James to join ‘NBA on TNT’ for the playoffs because he ‘ain’t got nothing to do’

The NBA playoffs are underway, and for the first time since 2005, LeBron James will not be in them.

James’ Los Angeles Lakers, of course, missed the playoffs this year, ending James’ season earlier than usual.

With the extra time on his hands, NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley wants James to join them on the set of “Inside the NBA” for the postseason.

“LeBron James, come into the studio,” Barkley said on Sunday. “You ain’t got nothing to do. The playoffs star

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Michelle Obama On Breaking Royal Protocol With Queen Elizabeth

Michelle Obama On Breaking Royal Protocol With Queen Elizabeth

Michelle Obama is still answering for the time she supposedly breached royal protocol by hugging Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in 2009. 

The former first lady spoke about the amusing incident on Sunday in London while on the European book tour for her memoir, “Becoming.” 

“Yikes! Sorry, guys,” she joked during her talk, adding that for subsequent events as first lady, she learned to hold her hands together so that she wouldn’t make the same “human” mistake again.

“I don’t know that I could have done anything differently because it was a natural human reaction,” she said on Sunday.

Writing about the impromptu hug in her memoir, Obama noted that the queen had seemed fine with the moment. 

First lady Michelle Obama walks with Queen Elizabeth at a reception at Buckingham Palace on April 1, 2009.



First lady Michelle Obama walks with Queen Elizabeth at a reception at Buckingham Palace on April 1, 2009.

“I then did what’s instinctive to me anytime I feel connected to a new person, which is to express my feelings outwardly. I laid a hand affectionately across her shoulder,” Obama wrote. 

She added, “I daresay that the Queen was okay with it, too, because when I touched her, she only pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back.”

At the time, an anonymous spokesperson for Buckingham Palace insisted that the moment was perfectly fine with Her Majesty and not a breach of royal protocol. 

“It was a mutual and spontaneous display of affection,” the spokesperson said at the time. “We don’t issue instructions on not touching the queen.”

President Barack Obama and the first lady pose with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip during an audience at Buckingham Palace



President Barack Obama and the first lady pose with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip during an audience at Buckingham Palace on April 1, 2009

LeBron James was similarly accused of breaching royal protocol when he met with Prince William and Kate Middleton at a basketball game in

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Beats promotes upcoming Powerbeats Pro totally wireless earphones in action-packed athlete teaser

Beats promotes upcoming Powerbeats Pro totally wireless earphones in action-packed athlete teaser

Powerbeats Pro were officially announced earlier this month as the first real competitor to AirPods. Now, Beats is hyping the launch of its truly wireless earphones with a star-studded advertisement entitled “Unleashed.”

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

In the ad, countless athletes can be seen wearing Powerbeats Pro – offering a great look at the truly wireless earbuds in action. The ad is set to “Saw Lightning,” a new track by Beck. The ad showcases the sporty design of Powerbeats Pro, physical controls on the side, and more.

Here are the athletes featured in the ad, including LeBron James, Simon Biles, and more:

Simone Biles, Anthony Joshua, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Eden Hazard, Owen Farrell, Ramla Ali, Zoe Smith, Ben Simmons, Odell Beckham Jr., Kevin Rolland, Leticia Bufoni, Miho Nonaka, Shaun White, Alex Morgan, Ruddy Trobillant, and Jasmine Perry

The video focuses on the Powerbeats Pro in white, but they will also be available in black, navy, and moss. Powerbeats Pro feature 9 hours of battery life per charge, but the included charging case increases that to 24 hours. They are rated for sweat and water resistance, include four sizes of ear tips, an adjustable ear hook, and improved noise isolation technology. You also get Apple’s H1 chip and Hey Siri support.

Powerbeats Pro will be available next month from Apple․com, A

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Space, Julian Assange, the Masters: Your Weekend Briefing

Space, Julian Assange, the Masters: Your Weekend Briefing

Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

3. A more complete picture of the events leading up to Julian Assange’s arrest is beginning to emerge.

The Ecuadorean Embassy in London protected the WikiLeaks founder from prosecution for years, but its tolerance wore thin. There were disputes over his behavior, his cat and his personal hygiene.

When embarrassing photos of Ecuador’s president were published last month, he blamed WikiLeaks. After his vice president vowed to take action against Mr. Assange, the country made good on its threat on Thursday, when it opened the door to London police officers who carted Mr. Assange away, above. “Saturday Night Live” drew on the arrest for its opening sketch.

The U.S. requested the extradition of Mr. Assange, who is charged with conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer in 2010. But the extradition process promises to be long, and complicated.

____

4. President Trump urged an official to close the border. He said his administration was “strongly” considering releasing migrants into mostly Democratic “sanctuary cities.” And now part of Mr. Trump’s immigration strategy has the backing of the courts.

A federal appeals court said on Friday that the Trump administration could temporarily continue to force migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico while their cases are decided. The dispute will roll into next week with new arguments scheduled. One new reason for a surge in migration: climate change. Above, the border in El Paso.

5. There are (currently) 18 presidential hopefuls in the Democratic field. Only one can be the nominee. What do the others stand to gain?

A lot, it turns out. There are book deals and TV contracts and maybe even a cabinet position if your side wins. Recent history suggests there is almost no downside to giving it a shot. Above, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey officially kicked off his campaign in Newark on Saturday.

And there’s a new way Democrats will be selecting their nominee: Fewer states will have caucuses in 2020.

Meanwhile, Republicans are poll-testing ways to portray Democrats as too extreme on issues like health care, abortion and the environment. Democrats worry that the messaging is working.

6. From the U.S. election to international elections:

The biggest election in history is underway in India. The country has 900 million voters (over 10 percent of the world’s population) and is committed to polling every one of them, no matter how isolated. Voting began on Thursday and lasts for several weeks. Here’s a short guide. Above, a woman voting in Muzaffarnagar, India.

Separately, Israelis re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a fourth term, cementing a conservative bend toward power. Mr. Netanyahu may benefit from an effort by his right-wing coalition to protect him from prosecution on possible corruption charges.

____

8. And now for some words fans thought they’d never h

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Arike Ogunbowale Is Ready for Her Next Shot, in the W.N.B.A.

Arike Ogunbowale Is Ready for Her Next Shot, in the W.N.B.A.

For Arike Ogunbowale, the trip to the top of the Empire State Building on Wednesday was unusually fast.

It had been arranged for her to bypass the lines and take express elevators to the observatory on the morning she was to become a professional basketball player. In the hours leading to the 2019 W.N.B.A. draft, these kinds of experiences did not faze Ogunbowale. Not after she had become one of the most recognizable faces in college basketball after hitting a pair of buzzer-beaters for Notre Dame in last year’s Final Four — one to slay Connecticut, the other to best Mississippi State and win the national championship.

“Nah, I’m used to life throwing new things at me now,” Ogunbowale said with a smile as she looked out over the New York skyline.

Even for the relentless Ogunbowale, the past week has brought a particular kind of whiplash.

On Wednesday night, the Dallas Wings selected her fifth in the draft, after the Las Vegas Aces took her college teammate Jackie Young with the top pick.

“You know, Dallas is a great place, and they have a great coach there, so I’m really excited,” Ogunbowale said, referring to Brian Agler, who has won the league title with teams in Seattle and Los Angeles. “I’m ready to get started.”

The draft followed her vintage set of performances in this season’s Final Four: 23 points in another win over Connecticut, and a game-high 31 points in the national title game against Baylor. Ogunbowale’s final shots came after a drive to the basket that yielded two free throws in the waning seconds, her team trailing by 2 points.

Then, the unthinkable: a miss. And a championship lost. Ogunbowale’s painful moment played out on the national stage, too, amplified in part by her previous success. Her mother, Yolanda, r

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Luke Walton couldn’t outcoach the Lakers’ dysfunction

Luke Walton couldn’t outcoach the Lakers’ dysfunction

BEFORE LUKE WALTON could finish the brisk, three-minute walk from the team hotel to StellaNova café for his morning coffee on a lazy Tuesday in Oklahoma City, the Los Angeles Lakers coach was spotted by a couple on the street.

It was the Lakers’ final road trip of their season. And this couple had flown in from Australia to see the Lakers face the Thunder.

Walton, hardly incognito with a Lakers cap covering his wavy hair and a sweat suit on his 6-foot-8 frame, stopped to pose for a photo before ducking into the shop for his caffeine fix: medium, black.

“They didn’t think they were seeing Alex Caruso and Johnathan Williams when they bought those plane tickets,” Walton said with a laugh.

Rather than fighting for playoff seeding in the final games, L.A. was officially eliminated from postseason contention with 10 games left on the schedule. Six straight years with no playoff basketball for the once-proud franchise.

LeBron James was shut down with six games remaining; Brandon Ingram missed the final 19 games; Lonzo Ball missed the final 35 games; Josh Hart missed the final 11. Kyle Kuzma and Tyson Chandler also played sparingly because of injuries.

“It’s easy to work hard when things are going well, but to show up and continue to work hard when times are tough, that’s what this group has done,” Walton said as the season wound down. “And it makes it enjoyable to coach.”

That enjoyment will have to come elsewhere now.

The Lakers announced Friday afternoon that the team and Walton had “mutually agreed to part ways.” But make no mistake, no matter what the media release said: Walton was fired.

Despite whatever challenges existed, Walton wanted to remain the coach of the Lakers, sources said.


WALTON HAD A sense that the Lakers’ final road trip of the season could also end up being his final road trip as the head coach, sources close to him said. He spent some time before L.A.’s season finale hugging staffers and chatting with his parents, presumably there to see their son’s final game and sendoff.

But he had no clue that his final days would play out in such a dramatic manner.

Moments after Walton’s pregame availability, after he left the dais outside the Lakers’ locker room and returned to the coaches room, Magic Johnson stood in to take his place.

“Make sure that door is closed,” Johnson said, referring to the locker room entrance, before shocking the basketball world by resigning as the president of basketball operations.

He cited all sorts of reasons for his decision in an impromptu 45-minute news conference (which was followed by separate 10-minute and 15-minute breakout sessions, as if he hadn’t already said enough). Included on that list was his desire to avoid conflict with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss — whom he didn’t inform of his decision to step down in advance — because of their differing opinion on Walton. Johnson wanted to fire him; Buss supported her young coach.

“Tomorrow, I would have to affect someone’s livelihood and life,” Johnson said of his plans to dismiss Walton as soon as the season ended. “I thought about that and said, ‘That’s not fun for me. That’s not who I am.’ Then I don’t want to put her in the middle of us. Even though, she said, ‘Hey, you do what you want to do.’ I know she has great love for him and great love for me.”

Walton learned that Johnson was resigning via text while preparing for the Trail Blazers game with his staff, sources said.

Even with Johnson out of the picture, Walton’s fate was sealed.

There wasn’t much to love in Laker Land in 2018-19. All the excitement generated from LeBron James’ decision to come to L.A. was sapped almost instantaneously once the games began. A series of missteps leaves L.A. searching for answers heading into the offseason.

Walton went 98-148 (.398) in three seasons on the sidelines, overseeing a regime change from former vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss and former general manager Mitch Kupchak to Johnson and Rob Pelinka, and expectations that went into warp speed upon James’


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Los Angeles Lakers ‘Mutually’ Part Ways With Coach Luke Walton

Los Angeles Lakers ‘Mutually’ Part Ways With Coach Luke Walton

Then there was James, who had been incredibly durable in his 16-year career. But during the Lakers’ Christmas Day game against the Golden State Warriors, he limped off the court with a strained groin and missed the next 17 games. Without him, the Lakers struggled. The hope was that they could regain their footing once he returned, but he was not the cure-all anyone imagined. The Lakers continued to lose with James back in the lineup, even though he said he had “activated” himself for a playoff push.

It had become clear by then, however, that the Lakers lacked any discernible chemistry or cohesion, especially after Johnson and Rob Pelinka, their general manager, tried and failed to acquire the All-Star center Anthony

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Students at LeBron James’ I Promise School generating ‘extraordinary’ results

Students at LeBron James’ I Promise School generating ‘extraordinary’ results

The most meaningful result for LeBron James this season wasn’t on the court.

It came in the classrooms of his I Promise School, the public school he founded for at-risk students in conjunction with Akron Public Schools and the LeBron James Family Foundation.

The I Promise School opened in August for 240 third- and fourth-graders, and it has seen tangible results.

MAP (measures of academic progress) testing from the fall to the winter period at the school showed improvement, according to the Akron Public Schools Office of School Improvement:

  • 90% of students – who started the school year at least one year behind grade level – met or exceeded their expected growth in math and reading.
  • Test scores increased at a rate higher than 99 out of 100 schools, per Northwest Evaluation (NWEA) school norms.
  • Third-graders went from the first percentile to the 18th percentile in math, moving from intensive tier of support to targeted levels of support.
  • Fourth-graders went from the second percentile to the 30th percentile in math, going from intensive tier of support to low universal tier of support.
  • All IPS students were below grade level in reading, and in the latest testing scores, 23% of students scored at or above the 25th percentile in reading, putting them at or near grade level.

What do the testing scores mean? IPS students are closing the achievement gap.

“We are going to be that groundbreaking school that will be a nationally recognized model for urban and public school excellence,

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‘Space Jam 2′: 538 Casts LeBron James’ Teammates Using Math

‘Space Jam 2′: 538 Casts LeBron James’ Teammates Using Math

It also finds that, statistically, LeBron isn’t the best replacement for Michael Jordan.

Just as “Space Jam” didn’t star Michael Jordan by himself, neither can “Space Jam 2” focus exclusively on LeBron James. Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues all had their talents stolen by the Monstars, too, and so fans have been waiting to hear who will round out the starting five of this long-awaited sequel. FiveThirtyEight has thrown its hat into the ring, attempting to help LeBron and the filmmakers by using math to cast the rest of the film.

“We’re not casting the five best players in the NBA right now, or even the five best actors,” the narrator informs us, but rather using their patented CARMELO (Career-Arc Regressio

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LeBron James Honors Nipsey Hussle on Instagram After Late Rapper’s Funeral

LeBron James Honors Nipsey Hussle on Instagram After Late Rapper’s Funeral
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) stands on the court in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Brandon Dill/Associated Press

As Nipsey Hussle’s memorial service was held in Los Angeles on Thursday, Lakers superstar LeBron James took to social media to pay his respects.

James used Instagram to post a photo of an encounter he had with the late rapper and wrote:

“Today we celebrated you bro!! Man It was beautiful! I couldn’t help but to think you would walk out on to that stage with your mic in your hand and rock that crowd that was there for you! I know you’re in a better place now but I can even lie man s–t don’t seem right here without you! We was just about to get started out west together in the communities. Both two of our favorite things to do(giving back to our own/youth). Anyways I don’t want to hold u up cause I know there’s better things going on up there, so just know LA showed MAD love inside and out the Staples Center as well as around the [world]. Until we meet again @nipseyhussle continue to stay 10 toes down. #TheMarathonContinues Long.Live.Nip”

James also retweeted a video that showed a mural dedicated to Hussle: 

He was not alone in honoring Hussle’s memory:

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Lakers announce Walton is out after 3 seasons

Lakers announce Walton is out after 3 seasons

LOS ANGELES — A tumultuous week continued for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team announced that it has mutually parted ways with head coach Luke Walton on Friday.

The move comes just three days after Magic Johnson left the franchise reeling by shockingly deciding to step down as president of basketball operations on Tuesday night. Walton finished his third season as head coach with a frustrating and disappointing 37-45 record in a season that began with massive expectations after LeBron James‘ arrival. Walton leaves the team with two years remaining on his five-year deal.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is a strong front-runner to replace Walton and that Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams joins Lue as the central candidates in the Lakers’ search, according to league sources. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will run the coaching search, a source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

“We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years,” Pelinka said in a team statement. “We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward.”

Walton, who went 98-148 in his three seasons as head coach, thanked the franchise and controlling owner Jeanie Buss, who was a staunch supporter of Walton’s.

“I want to thank Jeanie Buss and the Buss family for giving me the opportunity to coach the Lakers,” Walton said. “This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family.”

The Lakers had cursory discussions with Walton’s representatives on Wednesday in which they discussed whether there was a way forward, multiple sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. The conversations didn’t go very far, however, as it was obvious to both sides that the Lakers had planned to fire Walton before Johnson abruptly stepped down on Tuesday night.

When James and his age

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Lakers announce Walton is out after 2 seasons

Lakers announce Walton is out after 2 seasons

LOS ANGELES — A tumultuous week continued for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team announced that it has mutually parted ways with head coach Luke Walton on Friday.

The move comes just three days after Magic Johnson left the franchise reeling by shockingly deciding to step down as president of basketball operations on Tuesday night. Walton finished his third season as head coach with a frustrating and disappointing 37-45 record in a season that began with massive expectations after LeBron James‘ arrival. Walton leaves the team with two years remaining on his five-year deal.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is a strong front-runner to replace Walton and that Philadelphia 76ers assistant coach Monty Williams joins Lue as the central candidates in the Lakers’ search, according to league sources. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will run the coaching search, a source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

“We would like to thank Luke for his dedicated service over the last three years,” Pelinka said in a team statement. “We wish Luke and his family the best of luck moving forward.”

Walton, who went 98-148 in his three seasons as head coach, thanked the franchise and controlling owner Jeanie Buss, who was a staunch supporter of Walton’s.

“I want to thank Jeanie Buss and the Buss family for giving me the opportunity to coach the Lakers,” Walton said. “This franchise and the city will always be special to me and my family.”

The Lakers had cursory discussions with Walton’s representatives on Wednesday in which they discussed whether there was a way forward, multiple sources told ESPN’s Ramona

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Out of playoffs, Cavs begin thorough search for next coach

Out of playoffs, Cavs begin thorough search for next coach

AP
Published 1:04 p.m. ET April 12, 2019 | Updated 4:57 p.m. ET April 12, 2019

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — The Cavaliers aren’t chasing a championship this spring. They’re pursuing a coach.

This time, methodically.

No longer NBA title contenders, Cleveland is in the initial stages of an expansive, open-minded search general manager Koby Altman hopes will lead to finding the right coach for his young team, which is coming off a 63-loss season.

“We have to preach patience and we have to continue to grow this thing and we have to find a leader that’s obsessed with that process of growing,” Altman said Friday while outlining the type of candidates he’ll interview. “We’re tasked with doing that. We’re excited about the next steps. We’re done in April for the first time in four years, so we have a lot of time.”

At this time a year ago, the Cavs were preparing to make another deep playoff run. They made the Finals for the fourth straight year, but fell short in June against Golden State and then suffered a more devastating blow when LeBron James left a month later. The team endured severe growing pains this past season, which included a coaching change and countless injuries, but Altman believes better days lie ahead.

“The future is bright,” he said.

His task is finding the right coach to lead the Cavs into it.

Altman plans to cast a “wide net” in his search for the fifth coach since 2013. He and his staff are paring down a list of potential candidates that will includ

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Analyzing the Relationship Between LeBron James and Luke Walton

Analyzing the Relationship Between LeBron James and Luke Walton

What should we make of LeBron James going to bat Luke Walton as Lakers head coach?

The Lakers have hit rock bottom. Magic Johnson’s surprising exit stole the spotlight from Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzski’s final home games. With Johnson gone, the focus now moves on to what the organization will do with head coach Luke Walton. Should Jeanie Buss fire him? Or will LeBron James push to keep him?

On the latest edition of The Crossover podcast, Chris Mannix and Rohan Nadkarni debate whether it is too late for LeBron to defend Walton and more.

(Listen to the latest Crossover podcast here. The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity.)


Chris Mannix: The Lakers just ended their disappointing season—one that will most likely result in the firing of Luke Walton. But Walton got himself some support from none other than LeBron James. In an interview with Spectrum SportsNet, he said:

“(You have to) control what you can control, and you’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt. “I think (Walton) played the hand as well as he could. “Nobody expects for injuries to happen the way they did with our franchise this year. … I’m not talking two or three games here, everyone’s back in the lineup. We’re talking 15, 20, 25 games. I saw something the other day where myself, B.I. (Ingram), Zo (Ball) and Kuz (Kyle Kuzma) only played 23 games together this year. 15-8. We had a defensive rating of fourth in the NBA, and we were like seventh in offense when we played together in 23 games. As good as that is, it’s not enough for Luke to even be able to know what h

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The ESPN Daily: How to summon your Sasquatch

The ESPN Daily: How to summon your Sasquatch

SAY WHAT?

Call of the Sasquatch: Bigfoot does not exist … OR DOES HE?!? At the world’s premier Sasquatch calling contest, which is not at all fake, contestants try to summon the legendary creature — and some of them claim to have met the beast himself. David Fleming has the full story of perhaps the most bizarre competition you’ve ever heard of. Read More


THINGS TO CARE ABOUT

What did Magic Johnson want? … He had the power to remake the Lakers around LeBron James, with a title he always desired and carte blanche from a friendly owner. But in the end, writes Ramona Shelburne, Magic Johnson valued something else over all of that — the ability to just be Magic Johnson. Read More

Quest for the green jacket … Buckle up, y’all, it’s time for the Masters. The world’s best male golfers are set to tee off today and play until a champion is crowned Sunday. We have everything you need to know leading into golf’s biggest tournament. Read More

A record in Jeopardy … See what we did there? OK, so, a professional sports bettor just won the most money ever ($110,914) for a single episode of “Jeopardy!” He shattered the previous record by more than $30,000. James Holzhauer’s brief run of dominance has the “Jeopardy!” community wondering if he can challenge Ken Jennings’ all-time record of more than $2.5 million. Remember when Jennings’ run ended against a woman named Nancy Zerg? If that happened today, the Starcraft memes would go on for weeks. Read More


THINGS TO WATCH

play

0:47

From rookies to seasoned vets, Dwyane Wade explains how the phenomenon of his jersey exchange has taken an unexpected turn in his final season.

play

1:28

Stephen A. Smith, Adrian Woj

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Magic Johnson Steps Down as Lakers’ Team President

Magic Johnson Steps Down as Lakers’ Team President

LOS ANGELES — At the end of a disastrous season in which the Los Angeles Lakers failed to make the playoffs, despite having added LeBron James via free agency, Magic Johnson made the stunning announcement on Tuesday that he was stepping down as the team’s president of basketball operations.

Johnson delivered the news at an impromptu news conference before the Lakers’ regular-season finale, against the Portland Trail Blazers, and he said he had not yet informed Jeanie Buss, the team’s controlling owner. In fact, he had told nearly no one before he addressed a mass of hastily assembled reporters.

“I couldn’t face her to tell her,” he said, referring to Buss. He later added that he would find her at Staples Center to address her in person.

“There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson,” the statement read, using Johnson’s formal name. “We are deeply grateful to Magic for all that he has done for our franchise — as a player, an ambassador and an executive.”

The statement continued, “As we begin the process of moving forward, we will work in a measured and methodical fashion to make the right moves for the future of our organization.”

“Measured” and “methodical” would be an about-face from the way Johnson stepped down. It was a surreal scene as he fielded questions for nearly 45 minutes after he made his announcement, appearing to hold back tears at times, and repeatedly said that he loved Buss like a sister. He then posed for pictures with team employees, former teammates and a local news anchor.

“I want to go back to

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Magic Johnson Steps Down as Lakers’ Team President

Magic Johnson Steps Down as Lakers’ Team President

LOS ANGELES — At the end of a disastrous season in which the Los Angeles Lakers failed to make the playoffs, despite having added LeBron James via free agency, Magic Johnson made the stunning announcement on Tuesday that he was stepping down as the team’s president of basketball operations.

Johnson delivered the news at an impromptu news conference before the Lakers’ regular-season finale, against the Portland Trail Blazers, and he said he had not yet informed Jeanie Buss, the team’s controlling owner. In fact, he had told nearly no one before he addressed a mass of hastily assembled reporters.

“I couldn’t face her to tell her,” he said, referring to Buss. He later added that he would find her at Staples Center to address her in person.

“There is no greater Los Angeles Laker than Earvin Johnson,” the statement read, using Johnson’s formal name. “We are deeply grateful to Magic for all that he has done for our franchise — as a player, an ambassador and an executive.”

The statement continued, “As we begin the process of moving forward, we will work in a measured and methodical fashion to make the right moves for the future of our organization.”

“Measured” and “methodical” would be an about-face from the way Johnson stepped down. It was a surreal scene as he fielded questions for nearly 45 minutes after he made his announcement, appearing to hold back tears at times, and repeatedly said that he loved Buss like a sister. He then posed for pictures with team employees, former teammates and a local news anchor.

“I want to go back to

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No Playoffs for LeBron James, No Job for Magic Johnson. Why the Lakers Fell Apart

No Playoffs for LeBron James, No Job for Magic Johnson. Why the Lakers Fell Apart

LOS ANGELES — Hours after Magic Johnson abruptly resigned as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations, and mere minutes after LeBron James’s first season as the franchise cornerstone ended with a buzzer-beating loss, James left Staples Center on Tuesday night without speaking to reporters, trailed only by security officers and questions about the team’s future.

It was not the season anyone envisioned for the Lakers, who had upended the N.B.A. by signing James last summer with the hype and expectation of returning the franchise to its glory years. One of the most storied teams in the league, the Lakers have not won a championship in nine years, and Los Angeles is frustrated, hungry and impatient.

Instead, the team collected nearly as many injuries as losses. James, who will miss the N.B.A. playoffs beginning Saturday for the first time in 14 years, watched the final six games of the season from the bench as the team looked to preserve him for next season. His next buzzy stop is a studio lot as the star of “Space Jam 2,” which he has said is set to begin filming this summer.

For the Lakers (37-45), all the drama was off the court, right up to the end, with Johnson’s abrupt announcement so out-of-the-blue that he had not even told his boss, the team owner Jeanie Buss, before wading into a gaggle of reporters.

[Here is a look at Magic Johnson’s biggest moments as team president.]

On Wednesday morning, Johnson, 59, wrote on Twitter that he considers himself a “Laker for life.”

He announced in 1991 that he was H.I.V. positive but said Tuesday that he was in good health and it was not a factor in his decision.

Johnson had sealed a $154 million, four-year deal for James — two greats fulfilling their needs: Johnson to restore luster to a glamorous team; James to close out his career as a Laker and develop his business and entertainment interests centered on Hollywood.

And now they both left Staples Center with a losing record and a team in chaos.

In some ways, it was the perfect finale to a season that trafficked in dysfunction.

So there was the coach, Luke Walton, saying what losing coaches always say: essentially, wait until next year. His job may have been saved when Johnson quit, but he would not talk about that.

“We have a lot of time to work and get better,” Walton said late Tuesday after the Lakers’ loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. “Let’s organize and prioritize what we need to do so we can give ourselves a better chance next season.”

It was a wasted season for everyone involved, and James is as polarizing as ever, even in Los Angeles, where as much as fans banked on him, they also retained a degree of skepticism that this was all real.

Jonas Never, a prominent Los Angeles-based street artist, found that out the hard way.

“Honestly,” Never said in a telephone interview, “Lakers fans are the trickiest

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Source: LeBron shocked by Magic’s sudden exit

Source: LeBron shocked by Magic’s sudden exit

LeBron James was stunned to learn of Magic Johnson’s decision to step down as the Los Angeles Lakers‘ president of basketball operations, a source with knowledge of James’ thinking told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne on Wednesday.

But despite Johnson’s abrupt resignation, James stands behind Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and the organization, the source told Shelburne.

The team is still assessing Johnson’s decision, but general manager Rob Pelinka will stay in his job, and, if anything, his power will grow, sources told Shelburne.

Johnson sent shockwaves through the Lakers franchise Tuesday night when, in a teary-eyed announcement before the team’s season finale, he announced his “difficult decision.”

Johnson said he had not informed Buss or Pelinka of his decision before talking to reporters. He later told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he didn’t tell Buss first because he was afraid she would have talked him out of it.

Johnson took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to thank Buss, Pelinka, coach Luke Walton and the rest of the Lakers franchise.