The Pelicans Are Spiraling, But At Least Julius Randle Is Kicking Ass

The Pelicans Are Spiraling, But At Least Julius Randle Is Kicking Ass
Photo: David Zalubowski (AP)

Here is how more or less every Julius Randle possession seems to go this season.

Over the first few years of his career, Randle’s Lakers coaches occasionally tried to mold him into a more complete player, a do-it-all big man worthy of being picked seventh overall by the most storied franchise in the NBA. He flashed a startling ability to overwhelm less athletic dudes, particularly at the end of last season when he was gunning for a new contract, though he also had to fight through a nasty broken leg in his first career game, philosophical disagreements with Luke Walton, and the probability that the Lakers would ditch him for the opportunity to sign LeBron James.

That happened, so he signed with the Pelicans, and thank God, because Alvin Gentry has empowered Randle to be a hammer. Randle’s best NBA skill is wrecking defenders with either his strength or speed, and that’s basically all he does now. Randle is averaging the fewest minutes of his career, coming off the bench to play 24 a night, and yet he is still enjoying his best offensive season, posting 18.2 points per game on 56.5 percent shooting and a team-high usage percentage. His shot selection is largely unchanged from his Laker days, as he shoots at the rack or in the key about 80 percent of the time, he’s just ta

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Nick Wright on AD teaming up with LeBron: ‘If he is availability of course you go get him’

Nick Wright on AD teaming up with LeBron: ‘If he is availability of course you go get him’


















Nick Wright on Anthony Davis teaming up with LeBron: ‘If he is available, of course you go get him’ | FOX Sports






































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Skip Bayless predicts Lakers win total, LeBron will win NBA MVP and scoring title

Skip Bayless predicts Lakers win total, LeBron will win NBA MVP and scoring title


















Skip Bayless predicts the Lakers’ win total and what hardware LeBron will pick up this season | FOX Sports






























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Blazers spoil James’ debut with 128-119 win over the Lakers

Blazers spoil James’ debut with 128-119 win over the Lakers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — LeBron James‘ debut for the Los Angeles Lakers opened with two thunderous dunks and closed with a loss.

He finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, but the Portland Trail Blazers prevailed 128-119 Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.

James insisted the new-look Lakers were going to be a work in progress.

“It’s not instant oatmeal. It’s not that fast,” James said. “It takes some time to get that chemistry where you can just close your eyes and know exactly where guys are.”

Damian Lillard had 28 points and Nik Stauskas came off the bench to score 24 for Portland, which won its 18th straight home opener to extend an NBA record. It was the Blazers’ 16th straight victory over the Lakers.

The opening festivities were tempered by the death this week of Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen. A “Rip City” baseball cap rested in Allen’s courtside seat with a single rose.

The enigmatic co-founder of Microsoft died Monday in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 65. There was moment of silence before the game and tributes to Allen throughout the night.

On the court, the focus was all on James. His monster dunks to start stunned the Moda Center crowd while Nike co-founder Phil Knight looked on from courtside seats.

James signed a four-year, $153 million deal with the Lakers as a free agent in the offseason after winning three NBA championship rings and taking his team — Miami and Cleveland — to the NBA Finals for each of the last eight seasons.

The four-time league MVP joined a revamped group that includes veterans Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson and Mi

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Nick Wright: The Lakers ‘will be a top 5 offense’ because they have LeBron James

Nick Wright: The Lakers ‘will be a top 5 offense’ because they have LeBron James


















Nick Wright: The Lakers ‘will be a top 5 offense’ because they have LeBron James | FOX Sports






























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Skip Bayless examines Aaron Rodgers’ performance on MNF: ‘He is the LeBron James of the NFL’

Skip Bayless examines Aaron Rodgers’ performance on MNF: ‘He is the LeBron James of the NFL’
















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‘I am a voter’: How NBA players from LeBron to KD are making an impact

‘I am a voter’: How NBA players from LeBron to KD are making an impact

TO HIS TEAMMATES, Malcolm Brogdon is known as “The President” for his measured, Barack Obama-like cadence and physical resemblance to the 44th president.

The 25-year-old Milwaukee Bucks guard holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Virginia, and he’s as comfortable debating political issues as he is turning Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s passes into 3-pointers. Conversation can drift from voter ID laws in Wisconsin to the contentious governor’s race in his home state of Georgia to LeBron James‘ influential activism.

“Policy is the way you can change the world,” Brogdon says. “Our politics have become very polarized in the past two elections.”

The history of the NBA is dotted with player activism: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and Craig Hodges were outspoken about civil rights. But perhaps the most popular player in modern history, Michael Jordan, was notably apolitical.

Since the 2016 presidential election, major NBA figures such as LeBron James, Steph Curry, Gregg Popovich and Steve Kerr have made their share of provocative political statements, but the league’s relationship to politics is hardly limited to rhetoric and controversy. Behind the headlines lies a fundamental act: voting.

In the run-up to Election Day on Tuesday, the NBA community has joined the chorus of voices encouraging voter registration and turnout, appearing in public service videos, wearing “I am a voter” T-shirts and pins, and doing television interviews.

Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Steve Nash had voter registration tables at their respective charity events in September and October. The New York Knicks had Hall of Fame player-turned-politician Bill Bradley speak to the team. Rookie Marvin Bagley III brought a group of students into the Sacramento Kings‘ locker room and talked to them about the importance of voting. New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry discussed voting with his players at a practice. Brogdon broached the subject with teammates. Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul partnered with Michelle Obama’s “When We All Vote” campaign to encourage citizens to vote. Some players have even hit the campaign trail, with Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo speaking at a rally for Indiana senator Joe Donnelly.

“I don’t think it’s an overreaction to say there was a little bit of a wake-up call after the last election,” Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez says.

This year, for the first time, the NBA and NBPA partnered with RISE to Vote to bring voter registration tables to the Las Vegas Summer League and the Rookie Transition Program.

“Commissioner Adam Silver has really emphasized that the players should do their social duty, their civic duty to vote and to speak out,” Detroit Pistons coach Dwane Casey says. “I think that’s relatively new — the last five to six years — and I think it’s great for the NBA to do that.”


THE WARRIORS AREN’T just the NBA’s most dominant team on the court. They’re also among the league’s political power brokers. Coach Steve Kerr has voiced his political opinions, particularly on gun-law reform, and Curry has appeared in voter advocacy commercials. President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts, a member of the 2018 Basketball Hall of Fame class, is a well-known proponent of LGBTQ rights. This top-down advocacy has helped shape a thoughtful and engaged locker room.

“Our guys are grown-ups. They understand how much power they wield,” Kerr says. “Maybe the way they can make the biggest impact is encouraging people to vote because that’s the only way things, I think, can really change in this country.”

Golden State’s longtime Finals nemesis — LeBron James — has

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Wolves Fastbreak: LeBron, Lakers up next

Wolves Fastbreak: LeBron, Lakers up next
















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Preview: East wide open with LeBron gone

Preview: East wide open with LeBron gone

The roadblock has been removed. With LeBron James gone, the path to the NBA Finals from the Eastern Conference is open again.

Boston, Philadelphia, Toronto and more are hoping to win the race to it.

James ruled over the East for eight years, making four straight trips to the finals from Miami and then moving back to Cleveland in 2014 and getting there every year since.

From Boston to Indiana, up north in Toronto all the way down to Atlanta, teams would emerge with what they thought was a title contender only to see James send them home for the summer.

Now King James has abdicated his throne and moved to Los Angeles, and there should be rejoicing in the land he left behind.

“It’s a new lease on life in the Eastern Conference,” said Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Reggie Miller, who faced a similar situation when he played in the East during the era of Michael Jordan’s Bulls.

“It’s great that LeBron has taken his talents out West because it opens up the doors for not only a lot of these young players, but these organizations now. Fresh blood, something new to kind of see who can compete for that Eastern crown.”

The Celtics nearly won it last year, falling to the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. They were without the injured Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, and now that the two stars are healthy and have rejoined Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and the rest of a deep team that made a valiant run without them, Boston is probably the favorite in the East.

But there’s intrigue beyond that, which rarely existed during James’ reign. Philadelphia finished strong in its first season with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons playing together, and now might get a full one with 2017 No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz joining them after his shoulder problems last season.

Toronto shook up a 59-win team by firing coach Dwane Casey and shipping DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio in the trade for Kawhi Leonard, and Indiana bols

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Source: Cavs fire coach Lue after 0-6 start

Source: Cavs fire coach Lue after 0-6 start

The Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach Tyronn Lue and named Larry Drew interim coach on Sunday.

Cleveland has started the season with six straight losses.

“My time here in Cleveland was truly special,” Lue said in a statement to The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “I am very grateful for the dedication, sacrifice, and support of all the players on our team, the tremendous coaches I worked with and of course, our incredible fans. Lastly, deep thanks to (owner) Dan Gilbert, (former general manager) David Griffin and (general manager) Koby Altman for the opportunity over the last three years and I only wish the organization success moving forward.”

Drew met with management on Sunday morning to discuss terms of a promotion to interim coach, league sources said. It is possible he’ll seek a more permanent appointment. Drew was 8-1 as the interim coach a year ago when Lue was sidelined with illness. He led Atlanta to the playoffs in each of his three years as head coach of the Hawks and spent one year as Milwaukee’s head coach in 2013-14.

Lue led the Cavaliers to three straight NBA Finals, including the 2016 NBA championship. He was 128-83 on the job. Cleveland’s ownership and management had hoped the team would compete for a playoff spot, although it might not be realistic with the hole that the loss of LeBron James‘ leaving in free agency left on the roster.

This was second time James left Cleveland in free agency. The first time, the Cavaliers went from 61 wins with James in 2009-10 to 19 wins without him the next season.

“This was a very difficult decision. It is especially so, considering Coach Lue’s time with us over the last four years, including four straight trips to the NBA Finals,” Altman said in a statement. “We have respect and great admiration for Ty, not only as a coach, but a person. We thank

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2019 Kia K900 First Drive: Low-Key Luxury

Back in 2014, Kia made its first foray into the luxury segment with the first-generation K900, a full-size rear-drive sedan aimed at the likes of the Lexus LS. Save for some featuring Morpheus from The Matrix and LeBron James, the original K900 had little pub…
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Lil Baby Talks Young Thug, Atlanta Culture, & More on ‘Sneaker Shopping’

Lil Baby Talks Young Thug, Atlanta Culture, & More on ‘Sneaker Shopping’

Fresh from the release of Drip Harder, Lil Baby is the latest celebrity to appear on Complex‘s Sneaker Shopping. The rising Atlanta rapper met up with Joe La Puma at ATL’s A Ma Maniere to browse the shelves and talk footwear.

During the episode, Lil Baby dishes on working with Reebok, the Jordans he prefers, his favorite cities to shop in, and keeping his crew motivated. The 23-year-old artist also talks about his pal Young Thug, his personal style, and keeping his son laced with the freshest kicks.

To hear from Lil Baby, as well as to see what purchases he makes, press play above.

Up next, see Drake

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Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo embraces politics: ‘We’re not just athletes’

Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo embraces politics: ‘We’re not just athletes’


CLOSE


Pacers star Victor Oladipo explains why he decided to “step outside the box” and endorse Sen. Joe Donnelly.
Jim Ayello, jim.ayello@indystar.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Stick to sports? No thanks, says Victor Oladipo. That philosophy is reserved for people who define themselves as athletes and nothing more.  

That’s not Victor Oladipo. Not anymore.

The budding Indiana Pacers superstar vowed to start pushing the envelope, to “play nothing safe now. I used to be conservative but that really didn’t get me anywhere.”

Tim Swarens: Pacers’ Victor Oladipo has future in politics, if he wants it

 

That’s why Oladipo had no problem defending LeBron James when President Donald Trump attacked the face of the NBA on Twitter, and that’s why he was in Hammond, Ind. on Friday. The Pacers star attended a campaign rally last week with former Vice President Joe Biden where he publicly endorsed Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly.

More Pacers:

Cautious thinkers might have warned Oladipo that sticking his hand in the political arena would risk alienating half of his growing fan base. They might have told him that it’s safer to keep his name and developing brand away from politically charged issues, especially during election season. They might have told him to keep his opinions to himself, but Oladipo says he isn’t interested in staying quiet. He says he’s interested in helping change the world, and he’s not sure that can be done quietly from the sidelines.

“I just went out there and hung out with some pretty important people I guess you would say,” Oladipo said after Pacers practice Monday at St. Vincent’s Center. “After that, after leaving there, I was enlightened. Enlightened to continue to change people, change lives in a positive way. That’s what it’s all about, no matter what you believe, no matter what you represent, no matter w

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Fantasy Basketball 2018: 1st-Round Mock Draft and Best Team Names

Fantasy Basketball 2018: 1st-Round Mock Draft and Best Team Names
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 3: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the LA Clippers during a pre-season game on October 3, 2018 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 2018 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The 2018-19 NBA season will tip off Tuesday evening, which means it’s crunch time for hoops fans as they gear up to make another run at fantasy basketball championships.

And if you are an owner who hasn’t entered a live draft room just yet, there’s still time to tweak your first-round strategy and ensure you wind up with the stud who can lead your squad to the virtual promised land.

Below we’ll take a look at an updated first-round mock draft for a 12-team league and break down the players who project as league winners.

               

Updated 1st-Round Mock

1. Anthony Davis, PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans
2. Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves
3. Giannis Antetokounmpo, G/F, Milwaukee Bucks
4. James Harden, G, Houston Rockets
5. LeBron James, SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers
6. Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors
7. Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets
8. Kevin Durant, SF, Golden State Warriors
9. Kawhi Leonard, SF, Toronto Raptors
10. Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
11. Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers
12. Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana Pacers

               

Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves

Last season, Karl-Anthony Towns was one of two qualified players who averaged at least 20 points, 12 rebounds and a block. As if that weren’t impressive enough, he rattled off career-high shooting clips of 54.5 percent from the field and 42.1 percent from three (on 3.5 attempts per night).

And here’s the thing: There’s room for improvement.

While those numbers were undoubtedly gaudy and historically efficient for a player of his size, Towns watched his usage rate dip to a career-low 22.9 percent following Jimmy Butler’s arrival.

However, times are changing for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Butler has requested a trade, and he gets his wish, Towns’ usage figures to go back toward the 27.5 percent mark it hovered at during the 2016-17 campaign.

A certified stat-sheet stuffer and evolving shooting machine, Towns should be a no-brainer top-three pick.

              

Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets

If you want a box score All-Star to anchor your fantasy team, Nikola Jokic is the guy to target.

Although he isn’t a staple of highlight reels in the way Towns and Anthony Davis are, the Denver Nuggets center posted one of the most unique stat lines in the sport last season, averaging 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.

To put those numbers in perspective, the only other players in league history to average at least 18 points, 10 boards and six dimes are Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Kevin Garnett and Russell Westbrook.

What’s more, Jokic was encouraged to show off his polished three-point stroke and drilled 39.6 percent of his 280 attempts from beyond the arc. Factor in his 90 steals, which ranked third among all centers, and Jokic is the kind of do-it-all artist who can safely be penciled in as a mid- to late-first-round selection.

               

Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana Pacers

All it took was one season with the Indiana Pacers for Victor Oladipo to develop into one of the NBA’s most feared two-way threats.

Following three up-and-down years with the Orlando Magic and a 2016-17 campaign with the Oklahoma City Thunder that saw him take a backseat to Westbrook, Oladipo showed why he was coveted at the top of the 2013 draft and erupted for 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and a league-leading 2.6 steals per night.

The story didn’t stop there.

Oladipo also swished a career-high 47.7 percent of his field-goal attempts, including 37.1 percent from three, as he recorded a 30.1 percent usage rate that was by far the highest of his career. In fact, that mark was good enough for 14th among all players last season and ahead of perennial All-Stars like Davis and DeMar DeRozan.

And with the Pacers trending toward 50-win territory following a 48-34 finish last season, Oladipo should be tasked with shouldering a similar, if not a bigger, workload during his second campaign in Indiana.

                 

Team Names to Consider

  • Meme Team
  • Better Call Gasol
  • Mo Bamba No. 5
  • I’m Trying, Jennifer
  • The Gobert Report
  • Everybody Loves Draymond
  • Kawhi Me a River

                     

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference unless noted otherwise.











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LeBron James Gets Introduced To Los Angeles Culture

LeBron James Gets Introduced To Los Angeles Culture

When the king himself, LeBron James, chose to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the sunny shores of California to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, there was much rejoicing from the native Angelenos. But Los Angeles is very different f

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How can small business owners win the holiday season? By playing Steph Curry’s niche game

How can small business owners win the holiday season? By playing Steph Curry’s niche game

Steve Strauss, Special to USA TODAY
Published 8:00 a.m. ET Nov. 1, 2018



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It’s not easy, but it’s possible if you take a grassroots approach to getting customers to notice you.
The Motley Fool

 

So just what does Steph Curry have to do with small business? As it turns out, everything.

Here’s the deal: Curry was not supposed to be this good, this dominant, this amazing. But he is. What he did, how he did it and what he realized, you as a small business owner can do as well.

Curry was long an underdog; a little fish in a pond of much bigger fish (sound familiar?). Even though his dad, Dell Curry, had been a well-regarded NBA player, Steph drew no attention from any major college because of his height (6 feet 3 inches, two inches shorter than Dell) and slender 160-pound frame. In the end, Steph Curry went to little-known Davidson College in North Carolina.

In his first game, he had 15 points and 13 turnovers.

Curry stayed at Davidson for three years and developed into a terrific shooter. But he was once again not all that highly regarded due to the second-tier conference in which he played. Curry was taken by the Golden State Warriors as the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA draft, after such never-to-be-household-names as Hasheem Thabeet and Jonny Flynn.

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Things continued apace in the NBA. A fine guard, but certainly nothing special, by his third year, foot and ankle issues caused Curry to miss much of the season. He verged on being a washout.

But what Curry knew in his heart is that there was something about his business — err, game — that was unique.

He could shoot a 3-pointer better than anyone.

Curry was, at that time, a niche player with a niche skill. But rather than try and be like LeBron James or Kevin Durant, rather than to try and beat them at their game, Curry decided to double down on what he did best and make others try to beat him at his game.

And so began the revolution.

Curry started launching 3s from all over. Nonchalantly walking the ball up past the half-court line, he would let ‘em rip from spots on the floor heretofore reserved for last-second desperation. The incredible thing was, he w

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Meet the team: LeBron and the Lakers

Meet the team: LeBron and the Lakers

The Lakers reshaped their team in the offseason, ending up with an eclectic mix of veterans and youth headlined by one big free-agent acquisition. Learn more about the players and how they play the game. #23 Forward LeBron James Height: 6’8″ Weight: 250 lbs N…
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‘Shut Up and Dribble’ Review: LeBron’s Gift to All the Haters

‘Shut Up and Dribble’ Review: LeBron’s Gift to All the Haters

The new Showtime series is the perfect response to everyone who wishes athletes would “stay out of politics.”

In February of this year, conservative pundit Laura Ingraham had a bone to pick with LeBron James. She had seen an excerpt from the Uninterrupted interview series in which LeBron James criticized Trump, telling Kevin Durant that “the number one job in America is someone who doesn’t understand the people, and really don’t give a fuck about the people.”

“Must they run their mouths like that?” Ingraham asked, signing off with a statement that would spur a massive backlash. “Keep the political commentary to yourself, or, as someone once said: shut up and dribble.”

That went over about as well as you could expect. Ingraham made statement after statement stressing how her racist sentiment was not, in fact, racist, and LeBron continued to be the thoughtful activist he is off the court—which brings us to the Showtime documentary miniseries that takes its name from Ingraham’s statement.

Produced by James, Shut Up and Dribble is Gotham Chopra’s three-part series about the history of the NBA as a political arena, with commentary from former athletes like Isaiah Th

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James scores 28 points, Lakers defeat Blazers 114-110

James scores 28 points, Lakers defeat Blazers 114-110

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It took LeBron James to help the Los Angeles Lakers snap a lengthy losing streak against Portland.

James had 28 points and seven assists and the Lakers defeated the Trail Blazers 114-110 Saturday night.

The Lakers snapped the franchise’s 16-game losing streak against the Blazers. In addition to the streak, Saturday was the Lakers’ first road win this season against a team with a winning record.

“Great to snap that,” James said of the Lakers’ streak of futility against Portland. “They’re a very good team, obviously. To beat Portland, you can’t just come in and win without playing really hard and really well.”

Rajon Rondo gave the Lakers a huge lift off the bench, finishing with 17 points and 10 assists in 25 minutes.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum each scored 30 points for Portland.

The Lakers used a 16-0 run in the third quarter to take a 17-point lead. Josh Hart hit a 3-pointer with 9:44 left that gave the Lakers their biggest lead at 95-75, forcing a Portland timeout.

And the timeout might have been just what Portland needed to get back into the game.

The Blazers went on a 22-8 run, cutting the Lakers’ lead to six points with

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LeBron James and Damian Lillard prepare to see each other a lot more now that James is in the West

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“I mean, why wouldn’t you think it?” Lillard said. “You heard it everywhere: ‘Going

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LeBron James’ Nike LeBron 16 “I Promise” Features The School’s Signature Colors

LeBron James’ Nike LeBron 16 “I Promise” Features The School’s Signature Colors

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On the court, LeBron James is one of the greatest two basketball players in the history of the sport. People will go back and forth between him and Michael Jordan ad nauseam, while honing in on the individual greatness of each player’s legacy. However, one statement that cannot be refuted is the fact that James is the single most philanthropic figure the sport – and quite possibly the world of sports – have ever seen. Supported by his “More Than An Athlete” merchandise, and exemplified by the opening of his “I Promise” school, James’ distinguishable presence will be felt long after he ends his illustrious playing career. In commemoration of this school built for Akron, Ohio’s challenged students, LeBron and the Swoosh are set to release a Nike LeBron 16 sporting I Promise’s signature colors. Constructed primarily of black, this clean take on the King’s 16

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Column: A glimpse of the NBA’s future in Las Vegas

Column: A glimpse of the NBA’s future in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — There was LeBron James, still somewhat of a startling sight in purple and gold. And there were Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, still very much the champions of basketball for now and the foreseeable future.

Playing each other Wednesday night in a game that meant nothing — except for those looking for a glimpse into the future of the NBA.

Basketball’s biggest stars on stage in a city full of stars. An exhibition game, yes, but that didn’t stop fans from packing T-Mobile Arena on the Strip, where in a few years there almost surely will be a team they can call their own.

And maybe the best thing? Anyone in the arena with a betting account could pull out their phone and bet a few dollars during the game.

The gambling stigma is gone, thanks largely to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s progressive attitude and a Supreme Court decision that allowed sports betting in other states. The Vegas Golden Knights showed in their inaugural season that professional sports not only work in Sin City — it seems to be a perfect fit.

And nothing fits the city better than the NBA. The fans love it in Las Vegas, and so do the players.

“There’s a different energy here when you come, whether you’re from here or you’re just visiting,” Cur

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Ted Cruz says current tone of political rhetoric is ‘not good for our country’ – USA TODAY

Ted Cruz says current tone of political rhetoric is ‘not good for our country’ – USA TODAY


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Beto O’Rourke’s nickname “Beto” is Hispanic and he is not. But that’s not the issue. The real issue is the widespread mispronunciation of “Beto.”
Rachel Denny Clow, Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Both Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke denounce violence and the overheated comments that dominates the 2018 midterm elections.

RICHMOND, Texas — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, at a campaign rally near Houston on Saturday, condemned the deadly attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue earlier in the day, saying “there should be no place in our nation” for bigotry and violence. 

And speaking with reporters after those remarks, the Republican locked in a battle for re-election with Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke said the political rhetoric from the White House to the grass roots has become a threat to national civility. 

“The anger, the rage, the personal attacks and nastiness — that’s not good for our country,” Cruz said in response to a question about whether President Donald Trump should tone down his freewheeling attacks on the media and his political adversaries.

The remarks also came one day after an avid Trump supporter whose social media accounts and the van he drives are festooned with vitriolic messages targeting Democrats was arrested in connection with a string of bombs mailed to former President Barack Obama, 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and others.

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“We are right now bitterly divided,” Cruz added. “And I wish everyone would just take a deep breath and calm down.”

Cruz declined to single out Trump for the tone of political discourse as the 2018 midterm campaigns throttles forward to Nov. 6. Instead, he said, “Evil doesn’t have any partisan allegiance.”

“All of us should treat each other with civility, with decency and with respect,” Cruz said.

O’Rourke, campaigning in the Dallas area Saturday, agreed that a civil a tone is needed in politics.

“I think that the country in my lifetime has never been more divided,” O’Rourke said in remarks carried on Facebook Live. “It’s never been so bitter and it’s never been in greater need of our ability, which was shown in the past and we’re showing right now, to transcend that.”

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With the election less than two weeks away and early voting in progress, Cruz and O’Rourke are campaigning almost non-stop. Cruz said it’s natural for candidates and their supporters to draw contrasts with their opponents on issues ranging from tax policy to gun rights to energy policy.

“But we should do so in a way that doesn’t just go into the gutter,” he said.

Cruz’s stump speech was a variation on the remarks he’s been giving since summer: Keep taxes low, cut what he calls “job-killing regulations” by the federal government and enforce immigration laws, which includes providing funding for Trump’s promised border wall.

O’Rourke, too, focused on the themes he’s been sounding all along as well: Universal healthcare, the importance of women being allowed to make their own choice on reproduction decisions and, rewriting immigration laws.

The El Paso Democrat also said he’s optimistic the country can rise above election-season politics.

“Whatever the challenge is, I know that we are up to that challenge,” he said. “I know we are a match for this moment.”

USA Today Network Austin Bureau staff writer Madlin Mekelburg contributed to this report.

John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at John.Moritz@caller.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo.

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Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Odds, Analysis, NBA Betting Pick

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates a basket against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Matt York/Associated Press

The unbeaten Denver Nuggets (4-0) will try to prevent the Los Angeles Lakers (1-3) from winning their second straight game on back-to-back nights Thursday when they visit them as small road favorites at sportsbooks.

The Lakers are coming off a 131-113 rout of the Phoenix Suns on the road Wednesday, their first victory with LeBron James, who totaled 19 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in 28 minutes of action.

         

NBA point spread: The Nuggets opened as 2.5-point favorites; the total is at 239, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)

NBA betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 116.7-105.9, Nuggets (NBA picks on every game)

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

         

Why the Nuggets can cover the spread

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Denver will be returning to the Staples Center for the second time in five games after opening the season there with a 107-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers as 2.5-point road favorites on October 17.

The Nuggets are 16-5 straight up and 15-6 ATS in the past 21 meetings with the Lakers, and they are the lone team in the West giving up less than 100 points per game.

         

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Back in the old days, most pro athletes would sign almost any and every endorsement deal available. Hold the product, smile, cash the check.

Those days weren’t all that long ago (and still not completely gone), but LeBron James says his relationship with Blaze Pizza represents the future, forged in a culture of social media.

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“Social media has totally changed how athletes should think about the companies or products they get behind,” James tells me. “This change has taken shape during my career. Athletes used to just take the endorsement deals to grab the cash. A drink deal, a fast food deal, a shoe deal, whatever other category or thing came your way.  Now, you have to really think about the company. What do they stand for? What’s their marketing strategy?  If I’m going to partner with someone, I need to be comfortable with taking you directly to my fans through my channels. It’s a totally different perspective from when I started.”

James became an investor in Blaze Pizza in 2012, then in 2015 left about $15 million of McDonald’s money on the table to become an official commercial brand ambassador for Blaze. His involvement–and massive fanbase–is a big part of why the company has been able to go from three to 300 restaurants across the U.S. (and a few in Canada) in just six years. That 300th store is set to open in Vancouver in mid-November, and according to research firm Technomic, Blaze’s 2017 sales were up 49%, to $271 million.

But the Los Angeles Lakers’s newest superstar would never have gotten involved if the concept, strategy, and product quality wasn’t there. “From day one, the best thing about Blaze has always been the quality of the product,” he says. “That’s the first thing that drew me to it. When you have a really good product that people enjoy, everything else takes care of its

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ABC to Develop Female-Led Basketball Drama Produced by Michael Seitzman, Christina Davis

ABC to Develop Female-Led Basketball Drama Produced by Michael Seitzman, Christina Davis

Michael Seitzman and Christina Davis are set to produce a basketball drama series currently in development at ABCVariety has learned.

Titled “Trailblazer,” the series follows Jordan Cruz, the gifted men’s basketball coach at a small D3 college in South Dakota. She rises to fame when she’s recruited by UCLA to become the first female coach of a Division 1 men’s team. While she quickly wins over the school’s female President and shares an undeniable spark with the scout who discovered her, Jordan faces more enemies than friends as she disrupts the old boys’ clubhouse of big-time college hoops.

Seitzman and Davis will executive produce via their Maniac Productions banner, which is currently under an overall

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Tyson Chandler Did Tyson Chandler Stuff And The Lakers Won

Tyson Chandler Did Tyson Chandler Stuff And The Lakers Won

When Derrick Rose splashed a step-back three with 1:07 to go in last night’s Timberwolves-Lakers game, it left the Lakers with a one-point lead that felt like a deficit. Rose is a career 30-percent three-point shooter, and that triple was his seventh made three of the game and his third in less than three minutes. He’d been lighting the Lakers up all night, and it seemed inevitable that, at some point in the remaining minute-plus, he’d hit one more to finish them off.

Who knows what the Lakers discussed in the ensuing timeout, or how exactly they planned on protecting or extending their teeny and endangered lead. Whatever they had in mind, I doubt it looked much like this:

That’s a hilarious, nearly minute-long tip-drill of a possession; I urge you to watch it in its entirety. The Lakers miss all three of the shots they get up—and ornery 36-year-old Tyson Chandler, signed literally one day prior after

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Nick Wright responds to Steve Kerr comparing Duke phenom Zion Williamson to LeBron James

Nick Wright responds to Steve Kerr comparing Duke phenom Zion Williamson to LeBron James

Nick Wright and Cris Carter react to Steve Kerr comparing Duke rookie Zion Williamson to LeBron James. Do you agree with Nick?
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Report: 2019 NBA All-Star Draft Will Be Televised in January

Report: 2019 NBA All-Star Draft Will Be Televised in January

The NBA and NBAPA have reportedly reached an agreement on televising the All-Star draft.

The NBA and NBPA have agreed to televise the All-Star draft for the 2019 contest in Charlotte, Marc Stein and Kevin Draper of The New York Times report.

The draft will likely be aired on TNT and Jan. 30 and 31 are looking like potential target dates, depending on the availability of the two captains.

Last season, the league switched the format of the All-Star game from East vs. West to a playground-style in which two captains picked teams among a pool of All-Stars from both conferences.

The leading vote-getter from each conference is named a captain and those two players pick from the other 22 All-Stars (11 from each conference) to create the teams.

The league caught some flack last season for not televising the draft.

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Rose drops 31 in Wolves’ 114-110 loss to Lakers

Rose drops 31 in Wolves’ 114-110 loss to Lakers

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James had 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and Kyle Kuzma scored six of his 21 points in the final minutes of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 114-110 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.

More Timberwolves coverage

Josh Hart scored 21 points and Brandon Ingram added 20 for the Lakers, who avenged a loss at Minnesota nine days earlier with a tenacious finish at Staples Center.

Kuzma’s fourth 3-pointer put the Lakers up 111-104 with 1:51 to play for their biggest lead of the night. Derrick Rose promptly hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Wolves, trimming the lead to one with 1:06 left.

Kuzma hit one of two free throws with 9.5 seconds left after two huge offensive

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B/R Kicks X NBA Nightly: LeBron 16 in Lakers Colorway, Special Kyrie 4 PE, More

B/R Kicks X NBA Nightly: LeBron 16 in Lakers Colorway, Special Kyrie 4 PE, More
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 22: The sneakers worn by Jeff Teague #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves against the Indiana Pacers on October 22, 2018 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 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 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

David Sherman/Getty Images

A crowded slate of nine NBA games on Monday meant players across the league had the opportunity to show off their brightly colored and fashionable kicks.

They didn’t disappoint, as LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant, Jayson Tatum and Jimmy Butler were among those who turned heads with their shoe choices.

          

LeBron Shows His Family Some Love

          

Damian Lillard Wows with Entrance

           

Kevin Durant Arrives in Style

        

Kyrie Irving Rocks the Red

          

Jayson Tatum Pays Homage to Breakfast Cereal

          

Lonzo Ball Dons the BBB ZO2.2019

           

Karl-Anthony Towns Goes with Home Whites

        

Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker and Lance Stephenson Take Flight with Air Jordans

           

Jeff Teague Channels Kobe Bryant

        

Luka Doncic Is Feeling Blue

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Lakers News: Magic Johnson Jokes He’s Going to Sign Another Star

Lakers News: Magic Johnson Jokes He’s Going to Sign Another Star
FILE - In this Tuesday, June 26, 2018 file photo,Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations, Earvin

Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson has big plans for 2019 free agency.

Appearing on the Fox Sports pregame show prior to Game 4 of the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox, Johnson said he’s going to “get another superstar next summer.”

During the 2018 offseason, Johnson lured LeBron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers in free agency, marking the biggest move of the summer.

Johnson was at Dodgers Stadium for Saturday’s World Series game since he has an ownership stake in the Dodgers as well.

In addition to signing James, Johnson brought in several other key players, including guards Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson and center JaVale McGee

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Self: Never used improper benefits in recruiting

Self: Never used improper benefits in recruiting

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Bill Self said he and his staff have never used improper benefits to sway a recruit’s decision, his first in-depth comments since former Adidas consultant T.J. Gassnola testified in federal court to arranging a pay-for-play scheme, with the financial assistance of former Adidas executive James Gatto, to influence players to pick Kansas and other schools.

“At Kansas, we’ve recruited and signed many players who wore athletic brands other than Adidas on their grassroots basketball teams,” Self said in a statement he read on Wednesday, hours after Gatto, Christian Dawkins, a former runner for agent Andy Miller, and Merl Code, a former Adidas consultant, were all found guilty in federal court on felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

“We’ve also recruited many players whose grassroots teams were sponsored by Adidas who signed with other universities that were aligned with other shoe companies,” Self said. “So while these brand relationships can be a factor for some families during the college decision-making process, it is only one of many factors. When recruiting prospective student-athletes, my staff and I have not and do not offer improper inducements to them or their families to influence their college decision, nor are we aware of any third-party involvement to do so.”

At Big 12 media day on Wednesday afternoon, Self told reporters he could not comment on anything related to the trial due to a “mandate.” On Wednesday night, at a news conference called just hours in advance, he said he is still limited in what he can say, but he made it clear that he will not discuss anything related to the trial during the season. He said Wednesday

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Red Sox RP Heath Hembree on White House Visit: ‘I F–k With’ Donald Trump

Red Sox RP Heath Hembree on White House Visit: ‘I F–k With’ Donald Trump
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26:  Heath Hembree #37 of the Boston Red Sox delivers the pitch during the eleventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Harry How/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox won’t have any trouble convincing Heath Hembree to visit the White House.

“Hell, yeah! I f–k with Trump!” the relief pitcher told a TMZ photographer when asked if he’d visit the president.

Hembree refused to answer any other questions from TMZ but said his favorite thing about Donald Trump is “everything.”

A number of athletes have refused to visit Trump’s White House after winning major team championships because of policies and comments he’s made since taking office. Several NBA champions have had a particularly contentious relationship with Trump, as stars Stephen Curry and LeBron Jame

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Kawhi Leonard Rumors: NBA Execs Favor Clippers over Lakers to Sign Raptors Star

Kawhi Leonard Rumors: NBA Execs Favor Clippers over Lakers to Sign Raptors Star
Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots as Utah Jazz's Joe Ingles, bottom, falls and Ricky Rubio (3) defends in the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

NBA executives reportedly believe the Los Angeles Clippers hold an edge over the Los Angeles Lakers in the race to land Toronto Raptors superstar forward Kawhi Leonard during the 2019 free-agency period.

Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com surveyed a number of league executives, who gave the Clippers the edge since Leonard would be able to “have control of his own team” as compared to playing second fiddle to LeBron James with the Lakers.

The San Antonio Spurs traded Leonard to the Raptors in July with one guaranteed season left on his five-year, $94.3 million contract. He can utilize a player option in the deal to become a free agent at season’s end, and speculation has frequently linked the Los Angeles native with a return to L.A.

Leonard, who made just nine appearances for the Spurs last season because of a lingering quad injury, has showcased a return to form early in his Raptors career. He’s averaged 26.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.0 steals across seven games.

In September, Raptors president Masai Ujiri explained on The Woj Pod (via Jack Maloney of CBS Sports) what his pitch to the 2014 NBA Finals MVP will be next summer:

“We are who we are. We are going to be prepared, we are going to make things as smooth … I think you want to be genuine, you want to be real. You know, this is who we are. We might not be the best ones in weather, but we might be the best ones in many other places: the diversity, the city, the uniqueness of a place like [Toronto], fans, the atmosphere. I think those things are so unique, it’s beginning to show everywhere.

“And then you have to put the basketball together. Maybe before the basketball wasn’t a part of it, but I know there’s a part of him that I’m sure thinks this team has a chance. With his teammates and seeing how hard these guys are working. We have to show who we are. There is no fake sales job here—this is what it is.”

Bontemps reported the Raptors maintain a “quiet confidence about their ability to get him to stick around” despite the expected interest from elsewhere in the NBA.

Toronto’s case should improve if it continues to establish itself as one of the league’s top teams, as has been true during the team’s 9-1 start.

That said, both L.A. teams figure to become heavily involved if Leonard does opt out and enter free agency next year.

Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher reported in July the Lakers are “confident” in their ability to attract him in free agency. Meanwhile, 57.6 percent of an ESPN.com panel in August predicted he’ll land with the Lakers compared to 27.3 percent for the Raptors and 15.1 percent for the Clippers.

The uncertainty should make things interesting if he does decide to leave Toronto.


Richard Jefferson was the guest on the latest edition of The Full 48 podcast and spoke about James, the Lakers and much more. To hear the Lakers discussion, jump to 47:46.

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Emmett Till’s Death Could Easily Have Been Forgotten. Here’s How It Became a Civil Rights Turning Point Instead

Emmett Till’s Death Could Easily Have Been Forgotten. Here’s How It Became a Civil Rights Turning Point Instead

There are many startling things about the Emmett Till case. But, 63 years after his death, perhaps the most startling of all is the fact that Americans know his name, even recognize his face.

Back in the summer of 1955, when J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant savagely beat the 14-year-old Chicago kid, shot him in the head, weighted his body down and dumped it in the Tallahatchie River, they thought that was the end of it.

Till had whistled at Bryant’s wife Carolyn, or spoken suggestively to her, or laid hands on her — the story kept changing. It was the classic Southern tale of a black male accused of violating the region’s taboo against interracial intimacy. Literally thousands of African American men were lynched under such accusations.

The civil rights leader Aaron Henry once remarked that the most surprising thing about the Till story was not its horror but the fact that white people even noticed. After all, black boys had been lynched for decades with impunity. African American bodies were not supposed to reemerge, and they certainly were not supposed to stir national and even international outrage.

But this one did. Killing Till and dumping his body did not end the story, quite the contrary. Thirty-eight articles in TIME magazine have discussed Emmett Till since 1955. Daily newspaper databases reveal even more extensive coverage. In the New York Times alone Till appears in 600 articles.

Most of the Till coverage came in the first six months: The discovery of the body; the deeply emotional funeral in Chicago (to which 100,000 South Siders came to pay their last respects); the indictments and trial, when nationally famous reporters swarmed tiny Sumner, Miss., and television cameras caught the scene outside the courthouse. Day after day, Till was headline news.

But then the story disappeared. There were few articles in the press commemorating t

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Steph Curry is the ultimate one-off

Steph Curry is the ultimate one-off

THERE ARE EIGHT players who have won at least three NBA titles and two MVPs. The list reads like the absolute who’s who in league history: Kareem. Russell. MJ. Magic. Bird. Duncan. LeBron.

Even tangential fans don’t need their full names. You shouldn’t for the last one on that list, either: Steph.

At age 30, in his 10th season, Stephen Curry is basking in the prime of his career. If he wins a fourth title or a third MVP — and both appear possible this season — the list narrows even further. If he does both … we’re talking about the rarest of the rare.

“I hate to break it to you, but he’s already an all-time great,” two-time MVP Steve Nash said. “He’s the ultimate one-off. He’s the evolution of basketball. It evolved before our eyes.”

Whenever someone draws boxes around accomplishments — the arbitrary numbers of titles and MVPs — narratives can be created. Come up with a different metric, and the list can change.

That’s not the intention here. Place aside the trophy case for the moment; the point is that Curry has already arrived. He has been a first-ballot Hall of Famer for a while. He’s making a run at Mount Rushmore.

Curry is immensely popular, especially among young fans, but he doesn’t enjoy the respect someone of his stature should demand. There have been many examples, but to take one, there was the pushback to him being the first-ever unanimous MVP in 2016.

Gary Payton said it was disrespectful to greats such as Michael Jordan. Tracy McGrady, my esteemed colleague at ESPN, said it was evidence that the league was watered down. LeBron James endorsed Curry’s victory that season but then questioned the meaning of the term “valuable.” There are plenty more where that came from.

“There’s layers to his place in the Zeitgeist,” Nash said. “People don’t associate him to greatness because he doesn’t dominate the game physically. He dances. He pays a tax for that. He pays a tax for his great teammates.”

Curry’s place in history has two vital pillars, one of which is undeniable and one of which is wrapped in gray. He’s generally recognized as the game’s greatest

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Rich Paul: Darius Bazley’s New Balance Internship Came as the Result of a Broken System

Rich Paul: Darius Bazley’s New Balance Internship Came as the Result of a Broken System

Bazley will work in New Balance’s marketing, digital, footwear and apparel departments.

Former top high school recruit Darius Bazley signed an endorsement contract with New Balance on Monday and agreed to intern with the shoe company from January through March 2019. The former Syracuse commit – who forfeited his NCAA eligibility and plans to enter the NBA draft in June 2019 – will earn at least $1 million during his internship per the New York Times’s Marc Stein

Bazley’s decision has drawn criticism throughout the NCAA and NBA landscape. Syracuse head

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Kevin Love Ruled out for Cavaliers vs. Pistons with Left Foot Injury

Kevin Love Ruled out for Cavaliers vs. Pistons with Left Foot Injury
FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Kevin Love watches from the bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.  Love disclosed in an essay for the Players’ Tribune on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, that he suffered a panic attack on Nov. 5 in a home game against the Atlanta Hawks. He was briefly hospitalized at the Cleveland Clinic and the episode left him shaken. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

Jim Mone/Associated Press

Kevin Love will leave a significant void in the Cleveland Cavaliers roster after being ruled out for Thursday night’s road game against the Detroit Pistons because of left foot soreness. 

The Cavs announced the absence and noted his status will be updated again before Saturday’s clash with the Indiana Pacers.

After LeBron James agreed to join the Los Angeles Lakers, Love became the No. 1 option for the Cavaliers.

The five-time All-Star was excellent in 2017-18 with 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and a 41.5 three-point percentage. 

Cleveland is entering a transition period without James, so the long-term futur

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Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Luke Walton’s Status, Tyson Chandler, More

Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Luke Walton’s Status, Tyson Chandler, More
Lakers head coach Luke Walton is feeling early-season heat from management.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton is feeling early-season heat from management.Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton is feeling some heat as a result of a less-than-stellar start by the team, and it has been reported that team president Magic Johnson has let him know that there needs to be an improvement.

ESPN insiders Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin reported that sources have indicated that Johnson had a curt discussion with Walton after the team started the season by losing five of its first seven games.

Johnson is well-known publicly for his affable personality and happy nature, but he can be aggressive and straightforward behind the scenes.

Since the discussion, the Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers but lost to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

After the road win over the Blazers on Saturday, superstar LeBron James made a point of crediting Walton and the coaching staff for the victory. The 114-110 victory ended a 16-game losing streak to Portland. James said, per ESPN reporter Ohm Youngmisuk:

“I mean, it’s great to win, period. Listen, the coaching staff put us in a position to win, and it’s up to us to go up and execute.

“Luke can care less about what’s going on outside. We could as well. I’m the last person to ask about scrutiny or an

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Knicks News: Kevin Durant Recruited to Join Team with Billboard Outside MSG

Knicks News: Kevin Durant Recruited to Join Team with Billboard Outside MSG
OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 22: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns during a game on October 22, 2018 at Oracle Arena 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Noah Graham/Getty Images

A new billboard outside Madison Square Garden in New York City is the latest effort to entice Kevin Durant to sign with the New York Knicks

Slam Online tweeted a photo of the billboard featuring a cartoon version of KD alongside All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis and the Larry O’Brien Trophy:

The sign also poses a question to Durant, asking, “Can you make NY sports great again?”

According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, the billboard was paid for by NYCADSCO.com, which is the same website that paid for a billboard in the same location last year in an attempt to woo LeBron James.

On FS1’s Undisputed in early October, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports said that the Knicks have a “very go

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Pharrell Williams Sends Donald Trump Cease & Desist for Playing “Happy” at a Rally

Pharrell Williams Sends Donald Trump Cease & Desist for Playing “Happy” at a Rally

Pharrell Williams has sent President Donald Trump a cease and desist letter after the president played his song “Happy” during a Midwest rally that took place just hours after the tragic shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“On the day of the mass murder of 11 human beings at the hands of a deranged ‘nationalist,’ you played his song ‘Happy’ to a crowd at a politic event in Indiana,” Pharrell’s

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Scott Dann: ‘My son saw the marks and asked if I’d been bitten by a shark’

Scott Dann: ‘My son saw the marks and asked if I’d been bitten by a shark’

Scott Dann politely turns down the offer of a lab coat and, with a brief shake of the head, makes clear he wants nothing to do with the proposed pair of goggles either. All of which reinforces the sense that a laboratory on Imperial University’s White City campus is an incongruous venue at which to find a Premier League footballer tantalisingly close to his return from long-term injury.

Yet to the lab technicians at Polymateria, diligently developing a new standard in biodegradable and compostable plastics to help combat global pollution, the visitor is not a seasoned centre-half. Rather, he is a shareholder, one of those investors who helped make all this possible. For Dann, too, this is an unconventional relationship with benefits.

“I’d go in to the training ground at Crystal Palace every day and work hard on my rehabilitation, hitting my targets, staying on track,” he says. “But away from there it was about focusing on something else unconnected with football. So, when I was not with my family, I’d concentrate on finding startup investment projects like this. It was always something I’d wanted to do.

“I’ve tried to be sensible and put something aside, planning for the future, but when you suffer a bad injury it brings home how short this career could be. But it also gave me that distraction. Not once did I ever feel down or frustrated. I was never bored, wondering what to do with myself. And, by being able to switch off from football, I swear it helped in the recovery from the injury.”

To recap, Dann had bodychecked Kevin De Bruyne just after the quarter-hour mark of Palace’s meeting with Manchester City, at Selhurst Park last New Year’s Eve. The Belgian, floored by the foul, had landed on the centre-back’s right leg. Dann “felt something snap” and knew instantly his season was over.

He would retire on a stretcher, the referee, Jon Moss, ushering him on his way with a yellow card, as the initial protective adrenaline rush gave way to excruciating pain. He still managed a wave up to his wife and young son, watching from the stands. “Seeing my family helped put things into perspective,” he says. “Yes, I love football, and I didn’t want to be out injured. But it hit home that whatever happened, I’d be OK.”

It would be a fortnight before the swelling receded sufficiently for him to undergo an operation, the incisions made to repair the cruciate ligament and meniscus on either side of his right knee leaving ugly scars. “My son, who was two at the time, saw the marks and asked if I’d been bitten by a shark. I went along with it obviously. Jaws sounded a lot more dramatic. But now he’s told at least 100 people his dad was bit.”

Life was spent on crutches and in a brace, assisting his wife in trying to control an imaginative toddler and his nine-month-old sister.




Scott Dann sustains a knee injury last New Year’s Day. He is working towards a first-team return.



Scott Dann sustains a knee injury last New Year’s Day. He is working towards a first-team return. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Palace hired a driver to pick up Dann from his home in Surrey, collecting his teammate Jason Puncheon – who had suffered his own knee injury when fouling De Bruyne in stoppage time in the same 0‑0 draw with City – a few junctions

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‘People Are Laughing at Us’: The Reeling Wizards Are in Desperate Need of a Shake-Up

‘People Are Laughing at Us’: The Reeling Wizards Are in Desperate Need of a Shake-Up

LOS ANGELES — Wizards guard Austin Rivers was welcomed back to the Staples Center on Sunday with a thoughtful tribute video, and his new team repaid the gesture by playing like a “Lob City” Clippers tribute band—at their worst and most dysfunctional.

During his three-plus seasons in L.A., Rivers played a complementary role alongside a talented “Big 3” that faced numerous injury issues and chemistry questions while continuously exiting the playoffs before the conference finals. Now, in Washington after an offseason trade, the back-up guard is playing alongside a talented “Big 3” that has faced numerous injury issues and seems perpetually aggravated by never-ending personality conflicts while winning just one playoff series over the past three years.

Despite their many postseason implosions, those Clippers ultimately came undone gradually. Chris Paul forced a trade to Houston. Blake Griffin was re-signed and then shipped to Detroit. DeAndre Jordan left for Dallas. Rivers was traded to Washington for Marcin Gortat. Against the odds, Doc Rivers has survived, losing his GM title but remaining as coach following years of hot-seat talk.

These Wizards, however, appear primed for a more explosive turn, and soon.

Just days after coach Scott Brooks and star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal called out the team’s poor early-season effort, the Wizards lost to the Clippers 136-104 on Sunday. The demoralizing loss marked the franchise’s worst defeat by margin of victory in nearly a year and dropped Washington to 1-5 on the season. The 0-6 Cavaliers are the only NBA team with a worse record.

Cleveland lost LeBron James; Washington has no such excuse.

The Wizards didn’t get blown out by accident on Sunday. Rather, they came by this embarrassment honestly, losing virtually every aspect of the game. Eight L.A. players scored in double figures and all 13 active players scored at least one point. The Clippers shot 54% from the field and 55% on three-pointers, they pounded the Wizards 57-45 on the glass, and they scored a whopping 68 points in the paint. Meanwhile, Washington’s offense slogged through ugly possessions, shooting 39% from the field, hitting just 5-of-27 on threes, and registering only 18 assists.  

GOLLIVER AND SHARP: Is Jimmy Butler really worth four first-round picks?

There were red flags visible before the game and even more popped up after the rout concluded. Small forward Otto Porter, who was specifically called out by Brooks, barely interacted w

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DeAndre Jordan, a career 45 percent shooter from the line, is suddenly making his free throws

DeAndre Jordan, a career 45 percent shooter from the line, is suddenly making his free throws

LOS ANGELES – DeAndre Jordan has turned his most embarrassing weakness into a strength worth celebrating, yet getting him to talk about it is no easy task.

Why not? Because not talking about it means not thinking about it, and not thinking about it was the secret to fixing the problem.

The Dallas Mavericks center’s free throw shooting woes were so entrenched heading into this season that they were almost part of his charm, with a career mark of 45.0 percent spread over a decade.

This season has seen an extraordinary revolution in his productivity from the stripe, with the 6’11 former Los Angeles Clipper firing at a 82.4 percent clip heading into Friday’s home clash with the New York Knicks.

That kind of shift is way beyond a typical level of improvement and doesn’t come close to falling within your standard deviation based on a sample size that is still relatively small. It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder if there isn’t an imposter wearing a Jordan mask suiting up for the Mavs each night, while still retaining all of the big man’s rebounding and defensive skills.

“I’m trying not to think about it as much (as before),” Jordan told USA TODAY Sports, when asked what he had changed. The whole “not thinking” thing might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Jordan, 30, used to think and think and overthink, his mind tortured by the expectation of failure and the potential for humiliation, and it would drive him to distraction.

Opposition crowds knew o

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Luka Doncic: Guarding LeBron James ‘was special’

Luka Doncic: Guarding LeBron James ‘was special’

Luka Doncic shares his thoughts on facing LeBron James on Wednesday following Dallas’ loss.
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Luka Ready To Face His Idol – LeBron James | Mavs Live

Luka Ready To Face His Idol – LeBron James | Mavs Live

Luka Ready To Face His Idol – LeBron James | Mavs Live
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NBA: Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo & Chris Paul banned after punch-up

NBA: Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo & Chris Paul banned after punch-up
LA Lakers’ Rajon Rondo throws a punch in the melee against Houston Rockets

Brandon Ingram, Rajon Rondo and Chris Paul have been suspended by the NBA after a punch-up during the Los Angeles Lakers’ defeat by the Houston Rockets.

Lakers duo Ingram and Rondo have been banned for four and three games respectively, while the Rockets’ Paul has a two-game ban – all without pay.

Paul said Rondo spat in his face, which led

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