Video: Terrell Owens Starts Driveway Sit-Up Challenge, Tags LeBron James, More

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 01: 2018 Hall of Fame inductee Terrell Owens speaks during a ceremony at halftime of the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders at Levi's Stadium on November 1, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Like many across the country and world, Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens is attempting to find ways to pass the time while social distancing. 

As a result, Owens launched the “COVID-19 Driveway Challenge” and tagged a number of stars including LeBron James, Chris Paul, The Rock and Chad Johnson:

Apparently former teammate Donovan McNabb isn’t invited, as Owens referenced McNabb allegedly vomiting during Super Bowl XXXIX:

The five-time All-Pro famously gave a press conference while perf

Read More

Report: ESPN Moves Up Michael Jordan ‘The Last Dance’ Documentary Release Date

Former basketball superstar Michael Jordan speaks during a press conference ahead of NBA basketball game between Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks in Paris, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus))

Thibault Camus)/Associated Press

ABC’s and ESPN’s debut of The Last Dance is being moved from June to April 19, ESPN confirmed Tuesday morning.

The New York Post‘s Andrew Marchand first reported the news Monday night. After the announcement, Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press shared the full broadcast schedule for the documentary:

The 10-part Michael Jordan documentary was originally teased in December:

Fans have been clamoring for an early release amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has halted sports globally. LeBron James joined the chorus last week:

As of March 17, The Last Dance was not completed and therefore was not under consideration to have its debut hurried.

“I know some have as

Read More

LeBron James Sued by Photographer for Copyright Theft

This happens so often that you’d think celebrities would talk to one another and warn each other off of this kind of thing but here we are again.

LeBron James apparently posted a photographer’s picture of himself to social media and he’s now getting sued because, of course, he didn’t own the rights to the photo.

The lawsuit totals some $USD 150,000 and was filed by photographer Steve Miller. Interestingly enough, the photograph in question is still up on LeBron’s social media and you can only imagine what kinds of comments it is generating.

Some of the choicer statements revolve around questions of whether or not the photographer h

Read More

Former Knicks guard Stephon Marbury is working to bring 10M N95 masks to New York amidst the coronavirus pandemic – msnNOW

Former Knicks guard Stephon Marbury is working to set up a deal to bring 10 million N95 masks to New York amidst the coronavirus pandemic, Rich Calder of the New York Post writes.

Marbury has arrangements with a company in China that’s willing to supply New York with the masks for $2.75 each, Calder notes, roughly five dollars below what many retailers have been quoting around the state.

“At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn,” Marbury said. “This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.

“I have family there in Coney Island, a lot of family … who are affected by this, so I know how important it is for people to have masks during this time.”

Read More

Drake Shares First Photo Of ‘Beautiful’ 2-Year-Old Son Adonis

Fatherhood just hits differently in quarantine apparently, because Drake is opening up about his son Adonis like never before. 

The Toronto-born rapper shared his first photo of his 2-year-old on Monday in a touching post on Instagram about his family. 

The photos show Drake holding the adorable curly-haired, blonde and blue-eyed toddler he shares with French artist and former adult film star Sophie Brussaux. She gave birth to the baby boy back in 2017.

In one snap, the trio pose together like one happy family, even though the rapper has in the past candidly referred to their hardships. He also shared a photo of his own parents, Dennis Graham and Sandi Graham, to spread the intergenerational love. 

“Remember that you are never alone, and if you need to be reminded of that ask for support and it will show up,” Drake wrote alongside the photos. “I love and miss my beautiful family and friends and I can’t wait for the joyful day when we are all able to reunite. Until then please keep your lights on.”

The rapper, who spent the weekend trying to flirt with Rihanna over Instagram Live, seemed to suggest he isn’t with his son in isolation amid the coronavirus outbreak, which likely prompted the heartfelt post. 

Drake, in his lengthy caption, encouraged his fans to “connect to your own inner light” and surround themselves with “people and things that bring you a lot of joy.” 

He added: “It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past or what is happening around us now, you can always make the choice to break free of the wheel

Read More

NBA 2K Tattoo Lawsuit Rules In Favor Of Developers

When NBA 2K16 depicted the tattoos of LeBron James, Kenyon Martin, and Eric Bledsoe on its in-game models, it led to a lawsuit from the original tattoo artists. Tattoo company Solid Oak Sketches filed a lawsuit against Take-Two Interactive and Visual Concepts, claiming the companies didn’t license the tattoo designs owned by Solid Oak.

A federal judge has now ruled in favor of the developers, saying that the tattoos make such a minor appearance in the game that copyright can’t be claimed, and that an implied license was granted via the players, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

After a judge refused to dismiss the case initially, James himself testified. “My understanding is that [my] tattoos are a part of my body and my likeness, and I have the right to have my tattoos visible when people or companies depict what I look like. I always thought that I had the right to license what I look like to other people for various merchandise, television appearances, and other types of creative works, like video games,” James said, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain has agreed with this statement, writing “the undisputed factual record clearly supports the reasonable inference that the tattooists necessarily granted the Players nonexclusive licenses to use the tattoos as part of their likenesses, and did so prior to any grant of rights in the tattoos to Plaintiff.”

Also taken into account is the degree to which the tattoo designs appear in the game. “The tattoos only appear on the players upon whom they are inked, which is just three out of over 400 available players,” Judge Swain wrote. “The undisputed factual record shows that average game play is unlikely to include the players with the Tattoos and that, even when such players are included, the display of the tattoos is small and indistinct, appearing as rapidly moving visual features of rapidly moving figures in groups of player figures. Furthermore, the tattoos are not featured on any of the game’s marketing materials.”

Ultimately the ruling has declared this use of the tattoo designs to constitute fair use as a transformative work. “Here, the undisputed evidence demonstrates that Defendants’ use of the tattoos is transformative,” Swain wrote. “First, while NBA 2K features exact copies of the tattoo designs, its purpose in displaying the tattoos is entirely different from the purpose for which the tattoos were originally created. The tattoos were originally created as a means for the Players to express themselves through body art. Defendants reproduced the tattoos in the video game in order to most accurately depict the Players, and the particulars of the tattoos are not observable.”

This ruling will have an impact on other cases of the same kind–such as a lawsuit also involving Take-Two Interactive and Visual Concepts regarding the depiction of tattoos in WWE 2K16, 2K17, and 2K18. While a judge refused to dismiss this case on March 18, the NBA 2K16 ruling now provides a strong precedent for the defendants.

NBA games have continued to depict the tattoos in contention in installments since NBA 2K16, and NBA 2K18 even offered players the ability to give custom characters their own tattoos.

some trouble at sea that could have turned deadly if it weren’t for LeBron James.’ data-reactid=”16″>The Banana Boat Crew ran into some trouble at sea that could have turned deadly if it weren’t for LeBron James.

like h

Read More

Lakers News: LeBron James Discusses His Basketball IQ, Photographic Memory

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 10: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at the Staples Center on March 10, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. 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 Credit: 2020 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)

Chris Elise/Getty Images

LeBron James is undeniably one of the greatest basketball players in NBA history, and one of the reasons why is his genius basketball IQ. But what, exactly, does that mean? And how is the King able to consistently translate intellectual understanding into flawless practical action over and over again?

Thanks to the NBA’s recent hiatus, LeBron’s had some time to think and talk, and recently he and numerous current and former colleagues spoke to Melissa Rohlin of Sports Illustrated about how James perceives basketball.

Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said “there’s nobody in the NBA with his brain,” while Los Angeles Lakers teammate Quinn Cook stated that “[James] knows everybody…he could be last guy on the bench on the team, but he knows he’s left-handed, he’s a shooter, don’t go under him, he’s a driver, stuff like that.”

As for LeBron himself? Interestingly enough, he doesn’t have a ton of insight into why he’s so

Read More

Video: Carmelo Anthony Explains How LeBron Saved Him from Drowning in Bahamas

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 28: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers dribbles the ball while guarded by Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers on December 28, 2019 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. 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 Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cameron Browne/Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony revealed in an Instagram Live video chat with Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union that Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward LeBron James once saved him from drowning in the Bahamas.

Union asked Anthony to relay the story for viewers at home, and husband Wade encouraged it as well.

Anthony obliged, noting that the group jumped off the boat and swam to a grotto. Melo held back a bit to watch barracudas in action, but a current

Read More

Lakers’ Anthony Davis Matching Donations to Give LA Hospital Workers Meals

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) looks to pass during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers superstar big man Anthony Davis is making a significant donation to benefit L.A.-area hospital workers who are aiding in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Davis is teaming up with Lineage Logistics and has pledged to match up to $250,000 in donations in order to provide hospital workers with meals from local restaurants.

McMenamin added that Lineage Logistics is looking to fill 260 jobs with Staples Center workers who are currently out of work because of the NBA and NHL season suspensions.

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to the 2019-20 season being put on hold, and it isn’t yet known when or if it will resume. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that NBA owners and executives are bracing for the po

Read More

House of Highlights’ Top Plays of the Week for Feb. 28

Heading into the home stretch of the 2019-20 NBA regular season, the intensity on the court is heating up every single night. 

Alex Caruso was the highlight-reel star for his performance in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 118

Read More

LeBron James Is Being Sued By Photographer For Posting Pictures of Himself Social Media

In a previous article I discussed how supermodel, Bella Hadid, was being sued for posting pictures of herself on Instagram. I also talked about how this is seemingly becoming quite a frequent occurrence. I believe this is mostly due to the fact that most people don’t seem to understand how copyright laws work. 

NBA superstar LeBron James is facing a $150,000 lawsuit for posting a picture of himself on his social media sites. Photographer Steve Miller fill

Read More

Charles Barkley: ‘Impossible’ for NBA to play in front of empty arenas, talks Lakers | THE HERD – The Herd with Colin Cowherd

Charles Barkley joins Colin Cowherd to discuss the postponed NBA season. Hear why he thinks the prospect of playing NBA games without fans is ‘impossible.’

#TheHerd #NBA #Lakers #CharlesBarkley

SUBSCRIBE to get all the latest content from The Herd: http://foxs.pt/SubscribeTHEHERD

►Watch the latest content from The Herd: http://foxs.pt/LatestOnTheHerd
►Watch our favorite content on “Best of The Herd”: http://foxs.pt/BestOnTheHerd

▶First Things First’s YouTube channel: http://foxs.pt/SubscribeFIRSTTHINGSFIRST
►UNDISPUTED’s YouTube channel: http://foxs.pt/SubscribeUNDISPUTED
►Speak for Yourself’s YouTube channel: http://foxs.pt/SubscribeSPEAKFORYOURSELF
▶Fair Game with Kristine Leahy’s YouTube channel: http://foxs.pt/SubscribeFAIRGAME

See more from THE HERD: http://foxs.pt/THEHERDFoxSports
Like THE HERD on Facebook: http://foxs.pt/THEHERDFacebook
Follow THE HERD on Twitter: http://foxs.pt/THEHERDTwitter
Follow THE HERD on Instagram: http://foxs.pt/THEHERDInstagram

Follow Colin Cowherd on Twitter: http://foxs.pt/ColinCowherdTwitter

About The Herd with Colin Cowherd:
The Herd with Colin Cowherd is a three-hour sports television and radio show on FS1 and iHeartRadio. Every day, Colin will give you his authentic, unfiltered opinion on the day’s biggest sports topics.

Charles Barkley: ‘Impossible’ for NBA to play in front of empty arenas, talks Lakers | THE HERD
https://youtu.be/ZqOIujpl_7E

The Herd with Colin Cowherd
https://www.youtube.com/c/colincowherd










Read More

Lakers’ LeBron James Talks COVID-19’s Impact on NBA on ‘Road Trippin” Podcast

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) plays in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Brandon Dill/Associated Press

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James spoke about some of the issues facing the NBA if it tries to resume the 2019-20 season later this year. 

Appearing on the Road Trippin’ podcast (h/t ESPN’s Dave McMenamin), James expressed practical concerns for players going up against someone who was diagnosed with the coronavirus: “So what happens when a guy who is tested positive for corona and you’re out there on the floor with him and it’s a loose ball?” 

James also addressed the idea of potentially having to play games without fans in the stands:

“What is the word ‘sport’ without ‘fan’? There’s no excitement. There’s no crying. There’s no joy. There’s no back-and-forth. There’s no rhyme or reason that you want to go on the road and just dethrone the home team because of their fans and vice versa.

“Like, that’s what also brings out the competitive side of the players to know that you’re going on the road in a hostile environment and yes, you’re playing against that opponent in front of you, but you really want to kick the fans’ ass too.

Read More

Nike athletes celebrate Air Max Day

In the spirit of social media-focused holidays throughout the course of the year, Nike’s “Air Max Day” on Thursday saw a host of its highest-profile endorsers and sneakerheads sharing their pairs across Instagram and Twitter, honoring the original March 26, 1987, release date of the company’s first Air Max sneaker.

Originally designed in the mid-1980s by Nike campus architect Tinker Hatfield, the premise of exposing the company’s decade-old Air cushioning technology became a turning point for the Swoosh.

Hatfield was inspired during a trip to Paris, where he encountered the controversial Centre Georges Pompidou, a massive museum highlighted by its inside-out design, fully exposing its structure in varying colors.

“To see this large, almost machinelike building, sort of spilling its guts out into the world, you could just see everything,” Hatfield said.

Once back in Beaverton, Oregon, Hatfield sketched up the Air Max 1 sneaker, boasting a visible heel window to highlight the brand’s Nike Air system for the very first time.

Slated for release in 1987, the running shoe would go on to help turn the tide for Nike, which had posted less than $10 million in profits amid a slowing stretch just before Hatfield penned the Air Max 1.

“The Air Max, Air Revolution, Air Safari and Air Sock were done under that same time, and oh by the way, the third Air Jordan, too,” he said years ago, with a laugh.

By 1989, company profits topped $167 million, with the turn of the decade and launch of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign taking the brand to another stratosphere during the 1990s. The Air Max franchise became an annual launch of new editions ever since, with the series now dwarfing that 1989 company profit figure all on its own.

“That entire Air pack of shoes, including the Air Max, was probably pretty pivotal in changing around Nike’s direction,” Hatfield said.

To celebrate the iconic series Thursday, Nike athletes took to Instagram to show off their favorite pairs.

With an “Atmos” edition of the Air Max 1 on his feet, LeBron James hosted an Instagram Live session for his 62 million followers on his @KingJames account, guiding fans through a handful of Air Max 1, 90, 95 and 97s in his sneaker closet. At one point, the tour included the 6-foot-9 small forward stepping onto a ladder to reach up for even more pairs.

“Air Max 90s is

Read More

LeBron James’ ‘I Promise’ & Will Arnett’s ‘Memory Hole’ Added To Quibi’s Launch Slate

Quibi is adding even more shows to its launch slate with LeBron James documentary I Promise and Will Arnett’s comedy series Memory Hole joining the list.

The short-form service, which launches on April 6, recently unveiled around 50 shows for its launch including Liam Hemsworth’s Most Dangerous Game and Sophie Turner’s Survive.

I Promise and Memory Hole will also launch April 6. I Promise, which is produced by SpringHill Entertainment, in association with RYOT Films and Blowback Productions, follows James’ I Promise School, a partnership between the James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools.

Memory Hole, featuring the Arrested Development star, is an archive show that looks at the most cringe-worthy events in pop culture. It was created by Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj writer Scott Vrooman and is produced by Shout! Studios, Vrooman’s Do Things! Inc and Arnett?

Read More

LeBron James Doubles Down on Not Wanting to Play Basketball Without Attendees

LeBron James Doesn’t Want to Play Without Fans | PEOPLE.com























this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Read More

No fans and no media access — how sports leagues are being affected by the coronavirus

The latest coronavirus information shows that, as of March 11, the virus has infected over 121,000 people and killed more than 4,300 worldwide. Many cities and organizations are canceling events that call for a lot of people to gather in person. Here’s how the major sports leagues and organizations are handling the ongoing coronavirus situation.

The NCAA released a statement outlining that the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments, aka March Madness, will take place without fans. Only “essential staff and limited family” will be permitted at games, according to NCAA president Mark Emmert.

So far, the Ivy League canceled its conference basketball tournaments over coronavirus fears. The Mid-American Conference and the Big West Conference have banned fans from attending their men’s and women’s basketball end-of-season tournaments.

Many colleges across the U.S. have moved classes online, and in some cases, canceled classes altogether.

NBA

“If I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing.”

Those were the words of Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James on March 6 when asked if he would play in an empty stadium if the NBA banned fans from attending games over fear of COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus. James has since re-addressed the issue, saying he would “listen to the people that’s keeping track of what’s going on.”

The NBA has had multiple league-wide conference calls where teams were told to prepare for the possibility of playing games this season in empty arenas, or neutral site locations where there is less of a coronavirus threat, according to ESPN
DIS,
-6.28%

.

The NBA also sent out a memo stating that the league will curb locker room access to all non-essential personnel, including media. It’s unclear how long such policies will be in place.

Also in the memo, the league informed players to limit signing autographs, and give fist bum

Read More

LeBron James sued for posting a photo of himself without permission; fans mad at the photographer

After Gigi and Bella Hadid, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Ariana Grande – NBA superstar LeBron James is also being sued for posting a photo of himself to Instagram. One would think that it was an expected move from the photographer, right? Well, comments from LeBron’s fans, are angry with the photographer, show that this isn’t really the case.

As The Blast writes, the photographer who filed the lawsuit is Steven Mitchell. He is a photojournalist who licenses his images, and his lawsuit claims “unauthorized use” of his image of LeBron dunking in a game against the Miami Heat. So, Mitchell reportedly suing LeBron James and his companies Uninterrupted Digital Ventures and LRMR Ventures, LLC. for $150,000. The photo was posted to LeBron’s Instagram and Facebook back in December 2019, and surprisingly enough – it’s still there.

Since the photo is still on Instagram, you can see how LeBron’s fans have reacted to the news that he was sued over it. As I mentioned, it seems expected to get sued if you use a copyrighted photo with

Read More

The Nike LeBron 17 Low “Lakers Home” Is Dressed in Purple & Gold

AMBUSH & BAIT Collaborate On 'ASTRO BOY AMBUSH' Figure

AMBUSH & BAIT Collaborate On ‘ASTRO BOY AMBUSH’ Figure

Limited to 55 units per color.

Junya Watanabe MAN & New Balance Drop Mustard Yellow COMP100

Junya Watanabe MAN & New Balance Drop Mustard Yellow COMP100

A warm-weather colorway for the retro silhouette.

A 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Prototipo by Pininfarina is Up for Sale

A 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Prototipo by Pininfarina is Up for Sale

Originally made for Enzo Ferrari’s good friend Guido Cantelli.

HUMAN MADE Unveils "STYLE UP" Pop-Up at Isetan Shinjuku

HUMAN MADE Unveils “STYLE UP” Pop-Up at Isetan Shinjuku

Tweaking traditional Japanese silhouettes.

Hot Toys Crafts Armor-Clad Batgirl from 'Arkham Knight'

Hot Toys Crafts Armor-Clad Batgirl from ‘Arkham Knight’

The 1/6th figure stands almost 12 inches tall.

Read More

LeBron James Releases Powerful Trailer for Series About the First Year of His I Promise School

Trailer for LeBron James’ I Promise School Documentary Series | PEOPLE.com























this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Read More

LeBron James Says ‘We Really Need to Cancel’ 2020 After NBA Suspends Season Over Coronavirus

LeBron James Says ‘We Really Need to Cancel’ 2020 | PEOPLE.com























this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Read More

Medicom Toy Honors LeBron James With MAFEX Figure

Medicom Toy is paying homage to LeBron James with a detailed new MAFEX figure of the NBA star.

Standing at approximately 17 cm tall, the figure sees James dressed in the classic gold and purple Los Angeles Lakers jersey, matched with a monochromatic pair of LeBron 17s on his feet. The set also includes two intercha

Read More

Video: Quavo, Lakers Dominate Ronnie 2K, Raptors in NBA 2K20’s Latest #2KSim

Quavo, of Migos, arrives at the ESPY Awards on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers, controlled by rapper Quavo, scored a 128-108 victory over the Ronnie 2K-controlled Toronto Raptors on Tuesday in the latest NBA 2K20 “#2KSim” matchup.

Quavo leaned heavily on the Lakers’ superstar tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who combined to score 88 points, to get the win.

James recorded 44 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals in 25 minutes. Davis tallied 44 points, four boards and one assist, steal and block apiece in 28 minutes.

Rapto

Read More

Meet the Two Female Filmmakers Who Teamed Up with LeBron James to Fight for College Athletes

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy & Trish Dalton on Plight of College Athletes | PEOPLE.com























this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Read More

Blue Ivy Carter Sweetly Asks LeBron James for a Signed Basketball After Lakers Defeat the Clippers

Blue Ivy Carter Sweetly Asks LeBron James for a Signed Basketball | PEOPLE.com























this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Read More

Best Of Giannis Antetokounmpo | 2019-20 NBA Season – NBA

Check out the best of Giannis Antetokounmpo 2019-20 season so far!

Subscribe to the NBA: https://on.nba.com/2JX5gSN

Full Game Highlights Playlist: https://on.nba.com/2rjGMge

For news, stories, highlights and more, go to our official website at https://nba_webonly.app.link/nbasite

Get NBA LEAGUE PASS: https://nba.app.link/nbaleaguepass5

Read More

Trae Young Ranks LeBron James over Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant in All-Time Top 5

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 09: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts during the second half of an NBA game against the Charlotte Hornets at State Farm Arena on March 9, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. 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 Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The next generation has spoken.

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who is 21 years old, was asked on Twitter to rank his top five NBA players of all time, and LeBron James came in at No. 1:

For reference, James’ NBA debut on Oct. 29, 2003, came when Young was just five years old.

Young’s admiration for James is evident in his game. The 2018 fifth overall pick mimicked a King James celebration after sinking a game-winner last year:

However, Young placing James at No. 1 shouldn’t necessarily be taken as a slight toward the other four players on the list.

After Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant died alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people on Jan. 26, Young was one of countless people in and around the league to show his deep respect for the five-time NBA champion:

Read More

If The NBA Season Is Over, Who Should Win MVP?

We don’t know yet whether the 2019-20 NBA season is over. But if this is it, I thought it might be nice to take a minute to acknowledge the best of what we watched. This has been a chaotic and challenging campaign, one that began with an international incident over advocacy for free speech in China, saw the deaths of titans David Stern and Kobe Bryant, and now has been derailed by an unprecedented global health crisis. But some pretty great and entertaining shit happened in there, too, thanks to the talent and showmanship of the world’s greatest basketball players.

I don’t have a ballot for the NBA’s year-end awards. If I did, though—and if we had to vote based on the roughly 80 percent of the season that we actually got to see—here’s how I’d have filled it out. We’ll run through all of the awards, one post at a time this week, because we all must do our part right now, and the least I can do is give all of you the opportunity to roast me for my choices.

So, without further ado, let’s hand out some hypothetical hardware. (For reference, here’s my first-, second-, and third-quarter awards this season.) First up: the big one.

Most Valuable Player

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks
2. LeBron James, Lakers
3. James Harden, Rockets
4. Anthony Davis, Lakers
5. Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

What LeBron did this season has no precedent in the annals of NBA history. No one in Year 17 or beyond has ever posted a higher value over replacement player—even though James played only 60 games—or more win shares per 48 minutes. No player age 35 or older has ever turned in a better box plus-minus. Only five players ever have averaged at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists per game past 35; James topped them all in scoring (25.7 points per game) and assists (10.6), leading the league in dimes for the first time in his career while propelling the Lakers to the top of the Western Conference.

James has been the best player on the best team in his conference, and renewed his commitment to defense to help spark the Lakers’ transformation into one of the league’s toughest units. And as he showed on more than one occasion—most notably during a four-game stretch just before the shutdown in which he powered signature wins over Zion Williamson’s Pelicans, Antetokounmpo’s Bucks, and Leonard’s Clippers—his best can still be better than anyone else’s. (I’m not sure I’d have picked anybody over a healthy LeBron-AD combo in a seven-game series.) He absolutely deserves to be in the MVP conversation; it’s just that, as I wrote a couple of weeks back, that conversation is going to be pretty short.

Antetokounmpo has been the best player on the best team in the league—best by winning percentage, and best by a mile in net rating. (The gap in point differential between the first-place Bucks and second-place Lakers is the same as the difference between L.A. and the no. 10 Nuggets, according to Cleaning the Glass.) Giannis’s 2019-20 ranks fifth all time in player efficiency rating and ninth in BPM. He followed up last season’s MVP run by cranking his usage up to Hardenian levels while maintaining Hardenian scoring efficiency, which seems pretty good for a guy who allegedly lacks skill and only scores because he’s big. And oh, by the way, he’s also the multipositional defensive menace at the heart of one of the best defenses in NBA history. He began his MVP encore by playing even better than he did last season, and he never stopped; he’s been the most consistent superstar in the NBA all year long.

Only 11 players have won back-to-back MVP awards, and all of them are or will be Hall of Famers; it is a mark of all-time excellence. Giannis earned his place on that list this season. LeBron’s performance was historically good for a player his age and at this stage in his career; Giannis was historically great, period. It’s absolutely crushing to consider that he won’t get the chance to put a cherry on top with his first championship. Alas.

It’s funny: I spent way more time thinking about the back half of this vote than the top of it. I considered a bunch of players for the final three spots on the ballot—about 25 or so; I have a stat-diving sickness and addiction to due diligence—and there were, as ever, a ton of worthy candidates.

Chris Paul served as the cool-as-a-cucumber pulse of a Thunder team that wa




Read More

Hiro Clark Wash Up T-Shirt

It shouldn’t take a pandemic to remind

Read More

Meyers Leonard, Bronny James and Winners from NBA Call of Duty Tournament

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 4: Meyers Leonard #0 of the Miami Heat celebrates during the game against the Orlando Magic on March 4, 2020 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. 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 2020 NBAE (Photo by Oscar Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Oscar Baldizon/Getty Images

Even with the NBA on hiatus, Miami Heat big man Meyers Leonard is finding ways to rack up wins. 

The latest came via one of the more unconventional team-ups as Slam set up a six-on-six Call of Duty tournament that streamed live on Twitch. 

Leonard led a team featuring Donovan Mitchell, Zach LaVine, Mario Hezonja, pro gamer Fatality and Bronny James—son of LeBron James. They went head-to-head with Ben Simmons, Royce O’Neale, Josh Hart, Kentucky basketball recruit Terrence Clarke, and gamers Zeno and Tahj. 

In a five-match series, this one went the distance, with Leonard and Simmons providing the best matchup between the basketball stars. Ultimately, Leonard’s team notched the series-clinching victory. The tournament used multiple formats, switching from Search and Destroy to Domination, Headquarters, Capture the Flag and a custom round. 

The Heat center led his team in kills in each match, finishing with a 9-5 kill-death ratio. Leonard has been a member of FaZe Clan since 2019 and has honed his skills as a streaming gamer as muc

Read More

Best draft picks in Los Angeles Lakers history – ClutchPoints

The Los Angeles Lakers are the most glamorous franchise in the NBA. As such, L.A. has become a prime destination for free agents over the years. Karl Malone, Shaquille O’Neal, and LeBron James are just some of the biggest names to come to the Lakers via free agency, and it is indeed understandable why players are so attracted to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.

Nonetheless, the Lakers have also had their fair share of great players coming via the draft. After all, even if you’re the Los Angeles Lakers, you still can’t build your entire team via trades (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was acquired in a trade) and free agency.

Before we get started, though, we will need to make it clear that Kobe Bryant won’t be part of this brief list due to a technicality. Although L.A. acquired him during the 1996 NBA Draft, it was actually the Charlotte Hornets that officially drafted him before trading him to the Lakers.

With that out of the way, let’s proceed with the Lakers’ best draft picks in franchise history.

Jerry West

The fact that the NBA’s logo was literally crafted out of his own image speaks volumes of the greatness of Jerry West. The 6-

Read More

Had LeBron closed the gap on Giannis in the MVP race?

Before the NBA suspended its season due to the coronavirus pandemic, LeBron James posted his best weekend of the 2019-20 season. He put up 37 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks and reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, and followed that with a 28-point, 8-rebound, 9-assist game in a win over the LA Clippers and reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. It was enough to raise the question: Could James, a four-time MVP winner himself, overcome Antetokounmpo in this season’s MVP race?

The answer, as of now, appears to be no.

In a survey of 70 media members who cover the league, Antetokounmpo was the clear leader in MVP balloting, earning 60 of the 70 possible first-place votes to open a commanding lead over James, who had an equally commanding lead over the rest of the field.

To make the balloting process realistic, ESPN sought to mimic the league’s official voting process as closely as possible. Our MVP voting panel includes a mixture of local beat writers from across the league, as well as national and international reporters, just as the NBA’s does at the conclusion of the regular season. And, to conform to the NBA’s voting system, every first-place vote is worth 10 points, followed by seven for second place, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.

Using that rubric, Antetokounmpo led the way with 670 of a possible 700 points, as he was listed in second place behind James on the 10 ballots where he wasn’t listed first. James, meanwhile, was second with 514 points, and was either first or second on 68 of the 70 submitted ballots, finishing third on one and fourth on another.

They also were the only players named on every ballot.

Hot starts for Antetokounmpo and James, as well as Dallas Mavericks prodigy Luka

Read More

After 60 Games, There Is No ‘Race’ For The NBA MVP

Sometimes in the NBA award landscape, there is simply no need for debate. When one preeminent superstar soars above his contemporaries in such a convincing manner, those covering the league aren’t required to spend March and April fabricating a close battle.

The talking point of an “MVP race” appeals to the audience that’s tuning into national broadcasts, such as Lakers-Pelicans on Sunday night primetime or the countless debate shows with journalists and former players. So, it’s at least understandable why the discussion is squeezed into a segment on the air, with millions of fans watching.

In reality, the last five years have shown how rare it is to have a down-to-the-wire campaign for MVP.

Looking back to 2016, the only argument worth having was determining second-place. Stephen Curry completed an unprecedented season, winning 89.9% of the games he appeared in (71-8) while averaging 30 points and joining the 50-40-90 club. It led to the first unanimous decision. This was after Curry already breezed through the 2014-15 season, capturing his first MVP in another blowout vote.

What followed in 2017 was actually the closest battle in recent memory, as three players had legitimate cases over each other. Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Kawhi Leonard were all deserving choices, but Westbrook still took it by a significant margin. He received over 68% of the first-place votes, leaving 22% for Harden and 10% for Leonard.

The next two years were clear-cut victories by the general logic of “best player on the best regular season team,” which is often the most accurate guideline for handing out the award. James Harden had his most complete year in 2017-18 while leading the Rockets to the No. 1 offense and playing acceptable defense (Houston was No. 6). He collected 85% of the first-place votes. Then, in 2018-19, Giannis Antetokounmpo used the most aggressive two-way impact since Miami’s version of LeBron James to cruise to his first MVP. It was another landslide, as he earned 77% of the top votes.

Overall, the outside perception of a close race hasn’t mattered in the end. There is usually one candidate that separates himself, whether that’s in January or during a late-season push. Take a look at the voting breakdown since 2013-14:

  • 2013-14: Kevin Durant earned 119 of 125 first-place votes, winning by 341 total points over LeBron James
  • 2014-15: Stephen Curry earned 100 of the 125 first-place votes, winning by 262 total points over James Harden
  • 2015-16: Stephen Curry earned 131 of the 131 first-place votes, winning by 676 total points over Kawhi Leonard
  • 2016-17: Russell Westbrook earned 69 of the 101 first-place votes, winning by 135 total points over James Harden
  • 2017-18: James Harden earned 86 o

Read More

Vanessa Bryant leads memorial for Kobe, Gianna

LOS ANGELES — Vanessa Bryant offered a poignant portrait of her NBA superstar husband and their daughter Monday at a sold-out memorial service for the two, who were among nine people killed last month in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles.

Speaking at times through tears, Vanessa praised Kobe Bryant’s devotion — calling him “the MVP of girl dads” — as she addressed the 20,0000 fans gathered at Staples Center to remember Bryant and Gianna, who was 13.

“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other,” she said. “He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi.”

The service took place at the downtown arena where Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 17 seasons of his two-decade NBA career.

The ceremony began with Beyonce performing her songs “XO” and “Halo.”

After Jimmy Kimmel welcomed the crowd, Vanessa Bryant remembered the family’s life with Gianna, describing her as a sweet, thoughtful soul who loved always kissing her mother good morning and goodnight.

“Her smile was like sunshine,” Vanessa said. “Her smile took up her entire face. Like me. Kobe always said she was like me. She had my fire, my personality and sarcasm. She was tender and loving on the inside. She had the best laugh. She had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine.”

Vanessa said Gianna loved swimming, singing along with hit songs, baking cookies, and watching “Survivor” and NBA games with her father. She says her daughter loved basketball so much she even offered her school’s boys’ team advice.

Vanessa predicted that Gianna could have become “the best player in the WNBA.”

She then eulogized the man she had been with since 1999, saying they had planned to renew their vows and often talked about how they looked forward to becoming the “cool grandparents” after their kids have

Read More

NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS Issue Statement, Limit Locker Room Access Amid Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 11: A detail view of official Spalding NBA logo basketball on the floor during a preseason game between the Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on October 11, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers defeated the Bulls 105-87. 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 Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League issued a joint statement Monday afternoon announcing all four leagues are limiting access to clubhouses and locker rooms as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread. 

The full statement can be read below: 

“After consultation with infectious disease and public health experts, and given the issues that can be associated with close contact in pre- and post-game settings, all team locker rooms and clubhouses will be open only to players and essential employees of teams and team facilities until further notice. Media access will be maintained in designated locations outside of the locker room and clubhouse setting. 

“These temporary changes will be effective beginning with [Tuesday’s] games and practices. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and take any further steps necessary to maintain a safe and welcoming environment.”

This development in American sports was preceded by Japan’s top baseball league and Italy’s top soccer league suspending play earlier Monday:

Read More

LeBron James Declares Jayson Tatum as an ‘Absolute Problem’ – Celtics.com

LOS ANGELES – Jayson Tatum shared a court Sunday afternoon with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The thing is, Tatum was the best player who touched it.

Tatum was a dominant force while matching his career high of 41 points during a 114-112 defeat to the Lakers in LA. He took over during the second and third quarters, scoring 36 combined points during those periods despite the long list of defenders and defensive tactics the Lakers threw at him.

Tatum was so impressive that James, who scored 29 points himself, held a long embrace with Tatum after the game, and then publicly endorsed Tatum in his postgame comments and in an Instagram post.

“The kid is special,” James said after the contest. “Obviously that’s a reason he’s a first-time All-Star, and he’s been special all year.”

Within a few hours of the game ending, James then took to Instagram to show the world the respect he has for Boston’s budding superstar.

“That boi to the left of me is an ABSOLUTE PROBLEM!!” James wrote in his post.

Tatum posted the same photo shortly thereafter, along with the caption, “Moments you live for! Just a kid from St. Louis.”

Tatum chose not to reveal what James said to him during their postgame embrace on the court, which lasted 13 seconds, when he was asked about it in the locker room.

Most likely,

Read More

Biggest NBA Questions as Season Hangs in the Balance

0 of 6

    Harry How/Getty Images

    Thinking about basketball never stops.

    As the world copes with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA has suspended the 2019-20 season for a minimum of one month. That was always going to be the right call, and it became unavoidable once Rudy Gobert, followed by Utah Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell, tested positive for COVID-19.

    Resuming play at some point, in some form, remains the goal. But basketball operations will invariably take a backseat to more pressing concerns, most of all the safety and well-being of people around the globe, not just players, coaches, league employees and anyone tangentially linked to the Association.

    Still, sports matter. They are, if nothing else, a temporary escape from harsh realities for many. That much is clear during times of crisis, including now.

    Bigger things are at stake, but the prospect of losing what remains of this season is both real and a shame. It doesn’t matter that more than three-quarters of the schedule is in the books, or that so much about this year, and how it will end, is already known.

    Plenty about this season has yet to be written—questions that remain unanswered, storylines and races left unfinished. The hope should be that the league is already navigating the worst-case scenario and that life outside the margins sniffs the sense of normalcy required to redeem what can still be salvaged from the 2019-20 campaign.

    But if this is it, if the NBA has played its last game until the 2020-21 season tips off, we’ll be left wondering what could have been. That sense of incompleteness would begin here, with the biggest, most important matters still awaiting resolution.

1 of 6

    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Would the Philadelphia 76ers Be Scarier in the Playoffs?

    Philly’s 10-24 record on the road and 8-18 showing against teams above .500 implies “no.” Ben Simmons’ timetable for recovery from a pinched nerve in his lower back wouldn’t help matters—though the season’s suspension could.

    Even then, the Sixers would have to navigate a clumpy offense and Al Horford’s (potentially injury-related) decline. They don’t have the look or feel of a team that can get through the first round, let alone beat the Milwaukee Bucks four times in seven tries.

    And yet!

    This group has the bandwidth to turn a series (or four) into a painful slog. Opponents are mustering just 97.5 points per 100 possessions (99th percentile) when the Sixers’ five best players are on the court. The ceiling on their defense alone is enough to elevate their collective peak. No team in the league would have a higher variance of possible postseason outcomes.

               

    Who’d Get the Eastern Conference No. 8 Seed?

    The Washington Wizards have almost no time to make up the 5.5-game chasm separating them from the East’s final playoff spot. They’ll have even less if the NBA plays out a partial version of the remaining schedule.

    But Bradley Beal is terrifying. And both the Brooklyn Nets (injuries, no more Kenny Atkinson) and Orlando Magic (is their recent offensive uptick for real?) are weird. Anything is possible.

                  

    Would There Be Any Tanking Shenanigans?

    Bottoming out for a better draft spot isn’t as interesting anymore. The three worst teams have the same odds of landing the No. 1 pick, and the squads that come after them have a better chance at slingshotting up the draft order.

    Perhaps the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks would get into a tank-off for two of those top three lottery slots. (The Golden State Warriors have one of them on lock.) Big whoop.

    Tanking—or angling—for postseason matchups is more interesting. At least one team is bound to pull some shenanigans to get a better head-to-head in the first round. And that squad is most definitely coming from the Western Conference.

    The race for sixth and seventh place figures to invite some funny business. Facing the Los Angeles Clippers is a lot different than sparring with the Denver Nuggets, who are very good but don’t have postseason slayer Kawhi Leonard.

    If some combination of the Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks decide they’re better off going up against the Nuggets than the Clippers, there could be a mad dash for sixth or seventh place, depending on how the race for No. 2 unfolds.

2 of 6

    Layne Murdoch Jr./Getty Images

    There won’t be a lot of awards and All-NBA talk in this space. Enough of the regular season was played to hand out all the necessary distinctions (this take is subject to self-destruct if the league decides to suspend year-end awards and All-NBA selections).

    Rookie of the Year is different. It has turned into a head-to-head race. Everything else either includes a wider field or is already decided. (Giannis Antetokounmpo is the MVP. Let’s move on.)

    Ja Morant vs. Zion Williamson has turned into a debate. This is not to be confused with an easy one. It is hard enough working Zion’s name into the conversation when he’s on course to play no more than 37 games. It becomes near impossible to argue in his favor if the rest of the season gets kiboshed and he finishes with fewer than 20 appearances and doesn’t have the added boost of potentially spearheading a New Orleans Pelicans playoff surge.

    Make no mistake, this is more about Morant. People have conflated Williamson’s rise with his surrender. Morant hasn’t waived the white flag. He has slumped neither hard nor long enough to forfeit any ground.

    Voting for Williamson would be tough in the first place. Rookie of the Year isn’t supposed to be a reflection of the best career arc. It is, as its name in

Read More

Giannis Says Winning Back-to-Back NBA MVP Awards Is ‘Not Important at All’

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 02:  Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts against the Miami Heat during the first half at American Airlines Arena on March 02, 2020 in Miami, Florida. 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 Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Milwaukee Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo downplayed the significance of defending his 2018-19 NBA Most Valuable Player Award during the final stages of the current campaign.

“It’s not important at all,” Antetokounmpo told reporters Monday.

He was then asked whether he cared about the award and replied, “I really don’t.”

Antetokounmpo is having another terrific season. He’s averaging 29.6 points, 13.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.5 threes, 1.1 blocks and 1.0 steals per game across 55 appearances. He leads all NBA players in both player efficiency rating (31.92) and ESPN’s real plus-minus (7.87).

In turn, the 25-year-old Greece native is a massive favorite (-3,000; bet $3,000 to win $100) in the MVP race, per Caesars Palace. He’s followed by the Los Angeles Lakers‘ LeBron James (+1000), Houston RocketsJames Harden (+2000) and Dallas Mavericks‘ Luka Doncic (+2000).

So the battle for

Read More

LeBron Makes the Lakers the Favorites in the West Despite Their Flaws

The Los Angeles Lakers are on a losing streak and did not make any major deadline moves. But they are still the favorites in the West because they have The King.

Watch above to find out why Howard Beck says LeBron James makes the Lakers contenders despite their flaws.

       

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.

Read More

1st coronavirus case confirmed in Utah, NBA tells teams to prepare for empty arenas

More than 105,000 people in at least 100 countries have been infected with novel coronavirus amid an outbreak that has sent countries and states scrambling to respond.

At least 3,559 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The majority of the cases and deaths have been in China, where the virus was first detected in Wuhan in December before spreading to every continent except Antarctica. The outbreak of the virus, known officially as COVID-19, has been declared global health emergency by the World Health Organization.

South Korea, Italy and Iran have the highest national totals of confirmed cases behind China.

Tune into ABC News Live at noon ET every weekday for the latest news, context and analysis on the novel coronavirus, with the full ABC News team where we will try to answer your questions about the virus.

The number of Americans diagnosed with novel coronavirus is now at least 424, according to a case count by Johns Hopkins. At least 19 people have died in the U.S. in Washington state, California and Florida, per ABC News’ count.

Globally, more than 58,000 have totally recovered from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins.

Today’s biggest developments:

  • Death toll in US rises to 19
  • New York declares state of emergency
  • Italy announces one-quarter of population to be quarantined
  • Quarantine hotel in China collapses
  • Utah, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, Virginia, District of Columbia confirm 1st cases
  • Pope cancels Sunday prayer gathering
  • Here is how the situation is unfolded on Saturday. All times eastern.

    10:48 p.m. Italy announces massive quarantine

    Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced early Sunday local time that people in Lombardy region in northern Italy will be restricted in their travel through April 3.

    The Lombardy region, whose biggest city is Milan, and 15 provinces (Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Reggio nell’Emilia, Rimini, Pesaro e Urbino, Alessandrio, Asti, Novara, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, Vercelli, Padova, Treviso e Venezia) account for about one-quarter of the country’s population.

    “For Lombardy and for the other northern provinces that I have listed there will be a ban for everybody to move in and out of these territories and also within the same territory,” Conte said in Italian, according to The Associated Press. “Exceptions will be allowed only for proven professional needs, exceptional cases and health issues.”

    Italy has been the hardest hit country by the disease outside of China. There have been 233 deaths, the most outside China, and 5,883 cases, third-most behind China and South Korea, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    8:20 p.m. 1,000 elderly passengers on Grand Princess

    There are more than 1,000 passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship, located just off the coast of San Francisco, who are over the age of 70, a source told ABC News.

    That would mark nearly one-third of the 3,800 on board. People who are advanced in age or have underlying medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to novel coronavirus.

    Cruise line officials are also managing 1,100 separate prescriptions, according to the source.

    Twenty-one people tested positive for the virus in limited early testing — those who were considered the most at-risk — with 19 of them crew members.

    8:16 p.m. Missouri records 1st case

    Marking now 31 states to have a positive coronavirus case, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson held a press conference to announce his state’s first infected individual.

    The 30th state to have a case — Virginia — was announced in a U.S. serviceman minutes earlier.

    8:01 p.m. 1st US serviceman tests positive stateside

    An American service member has now tested positive for novel coronavirus in the U.S. for the first time.

    “A U.S. Marine assigned to Fort Belvoir, VA tested positive today for COVID-19 and is currently being treated at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “The Marine recently returned from overseas where he was on official business.”

    Two American military members previously tested positive for coronavirus, but both were serving overseas. An Army member tested positive in South Korea and a Navy sailor tested positive in Naples, Italy.

    6:24 p.m. 2 more 1st-time positives

    Kansas and the District of Columbia both announced their first cases of coronavirus on Saturday.

    Both cases are counted as presumptive positive cases, done with local testing, and will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

    Cases have now been found in 29 states and the nation’s capital.

    5:37 p.m. CPAC attendee tests positive

    The American Conservative Union group said in a statement that one of its attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) just outside Washington, D.C., last week has tested positive for COVID-19.

    President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were among the top officials who spoke at CPAC, but the ACU says the attendee “had no interaction with the President or the Vice President and never attended the events in the main hall.”

    The ACU said the Trump administration is “aware of the situation.”

    That person is now in New Jersey, according to the group.

    5:04 p.m. CDC, Pence update on test kits

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shipped out enough tests for at least 75,000 people, according to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

    Of the tests the CDC has shipped, public health labs have been able to test more than 3,500 specimens from 1,583 patients, according to Hahn.

    An additional 1.1 million tests have been shipped to nonpublic health labs. The manufacturer, IDT, is distributing them nationwide, but California and Washington, which have reported the highest number of cases, received the tests first.

    Hahn noted that there were “manufacturing problems with the CDC test” that “created complications for expanding access for public health laboratories” who would have otherwise used the test. Those issues have since been resolved, he said, and the CDC now has “a test that the American people can trust.”

    Vice President Mike Pence said after meeting with cruise ship officials that more than 1 million tests have been distributed and that “we’ll be expanding access to tests in the weeks ahead to every American.”

    Read More

    The NBA’s Financial Future Is Incredibly Complicated – Sports Illustrated

    There are seemingly a million ripple effects from the NBA’s decision to suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s not just the arena workers, or players’ health, or how players will work out, or what a late finish to the season could mean for the league schedule moving forward. It’s all of those things plus several other logistical concerns. One unifying force undeniably keeping Adam Silver, the players, and the owners up at night is also money. While the league unequivocally did the right thing in suspending its season, the financial penalties will be severe. And figuring out a roadmap for the future is just as painful.

    If the NBA does try to put together some kind of tournament or faux-playoffs in the late summer, it will in large part probably be to recoup some of the massive losses everyone is taking during the hiatus. Let’s start with the players. First, 10% of their salary is withheld every season to ensure the players’ share of basketball-related income doesn’t exceed 51% of the pie. Typically this isn’t an issue, because revenue meets expectations, and that 10% goes back to the players. But with the league already (projected to be) losing hundreds of millions because of the China situation, and now taking an even bigger hit with the pandemic, that 10% is not getting back to the players.

    On top of that, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the league has not committed to sending players their full chec

    Read More

    AT&T Taps LeBron James To Promote Its New Streaming Service

    LeBron James’ move to the Los Angeles Lakers in free agency in July 2018 brought star power back to the NBA’s glamour franchise. AT&T hopes James can bring that same star power, and his millions of fans, to its latest offering.

    Today, the world’s largest telecom company fully launches its new streaming service, AT&T TV (not to be confused with AT&T TV Now), with a national campaign featuring James and others celebrities like Missy Elliott, Tracy Morgan and Cookie Monster in a series of ads based on “TV Famous Mouths.”

    James has dominated the NBA action on the court this season. He leads the league in assists and has the Lakers five and a half games ahead of the rest of the Western Conference in his 17th year in the NBA. Yet King James might be enjoying an even better year off the court, with a handful of new lucrative endorsement partners and the continued growth of his I Promise community.

    The four-time NBA MVP’s sponsorship prowess and commitment to Akron schoolchildren converge with the multiyear AT&T agreement. As part of the partnership, AT&T’s technology and other resources will be allocated to the I Promise Village, which serves as transitional housing for families with students at the nearby I Promise School opened by James, his namesake foundation and the Akron school district in 2018.

    “To have one of the biggest communications companies in the world believe in my kids and the work we’re doing to uplift families is incredible,” James said in a release announcing the agreement.

    James already has a deep relationship with AT&T through the company’s Warner Bros. Entertainment and HBO divisions. His production company, SpringHill Entertainment, partnered with Warner Bros. to develop the Space Jam 2 film, which stars James and is set for a 2021 summer r

    Read More

    LeBron James vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo: Lakers best Bucks, clinch playoff spot in showdown of MVP favorites – CBSSports.com

    If Friday’s battle between the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks truly was a preview of the NBA Finals, then the basketball world should start gearing up for a 17th Lakers championship in June. While the two juggernauts traded blows on their way to a 48-48 halftime tie, the Lakers took control with a commanding 39-28 advantage in the third quarter that pushed their lead up to 11. The Bucks made things interesting in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit down to four midway through, but the Lakers pulled away late to not only win the game, but clinch a playoff spot. 

    Leading the way for the Lakers was, as expected, LeBron James. While Giannis Antetokounmpo remains the heavy MVP favorite, it was James that dominated this game with a stellar line of 37 points, seven assists and eight rebounds en route to the victory. 

    While he started slow thanks to foul trouble, Anthony Davis wasn’t far behind. He finished the game with 30 points of his own, including 10 in the fourth quarter. James needed some help from his teammates down the stretch, and Davis provided it. 

    Antetokounmpo put up numbers for the Bucks, but not nearly as efficiently as usual. His 32 points came on 10-of-21 shooting as the Lakers effectively walled off the paint for much of the game. He didn’t help matters by making only one of his six 3-point attempts, a far cry from his 5-of-8 explosion in the first matchup between these teams. 

    His teammates did

    Read More

    Bronny James, Sierra Canyon Beat Etiwanda 73-62 to Reach Open Division Final

    Sierra Canyon's Ziaire Williams #1 is seen against Paul VI during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Monday, January 20, 2020, in Springfield, MA. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Ziaire Williams scored 24 points, BJ Boston posted 19 and Amari Bailey added 18 as the high-scoring trio led Sierra Canyon School to a 73-62 win over Etiwanda High School on Friday in the CIF Southern Section Open Division boys basketball final.

    The Trailblazers moved to 27-4 on the year after their second win this season over Etiwanda, which was led by Jaylen Clark’s 32 points. Sierra Canyon beat the Eagles 57-53 on Dec. 28.

    Etiwanda has only lost three times overall and entered Friday on a 17-game winning streak. Sierra Canyon has won eight of nine.

    The two teams went back and forth in a first half characterized as “intense” by the Los Angeles Times‘ Eric Sondheimer. Sierra Canyon’s Shy Odom threw down this dunk to pare Etiwanda’s lead down to 27-24:

    Sierra Canyon freshman guard Bronny James, the son of Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward LeBron James, scored two points on a second-quarter bucket to close Etiwanda’s lead to 30-27.

    Etiwanda opened a 34-29 lead a

    Read More

    10 Tuesday AM Reads

    My Two-for-Tuesday morning train reads:

    • I’m here, to remind you (Reformed Broker) see also Don’t Panic! (The Big Picture)
    • Downside-Protected Funds Go From Hard Sells to Must-Haves (Institutional Investor)
    • The Dow Will Bounce Back. History Tells Us When. (Barron’s) see also Four Charts That Show How Erratic the Stock Market Has Become (Bloomberg)
    • The Mental Mistakes That Active Investors Make (Wall Street Journal)
    • The World Catches a Dangerous Virus of the Mind (Businessweek) see also World Health Organization Fights an ‘Infodemic’ (New York Times)
    • We’ll Get Through This (Collaborative Fund)
    • How the drug industry got its way on the coronavirus (Politico) see also The Rules of Contagion — a study of how a virus spreads (Financial Times)
    • Why Amazon can’t stop price gougers (Vox)
    • How to politely decline a handshake (Quartz) see also Trump, Germaphobe-in-Chief, Struggles with Pandemic Story (Vanity Fair)
    • LeBron James Is Reminding Everyone He’s the King (New York Times)

    Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Jan van Eyck, CEO of Van Eck Associates, which manages about $








    Read More

    Rams release former All-Pro RB Gurley – TSN

    Todd Gurley’s days with the Los Angeles Rams are over.

    The club announced the release of the 25-year-old running back on Thursday.

    The Georgia product was set to have a cap hit of $17.25 million this season, but with the release, t

    Read More

    LeBron James Thought Heat’s Big 3 Run Might End with 2012 ECF Loss to Celtics

    Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, center Chris Bosh and forward LeBron James sit on the bench during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Friday, April 12, 2013, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    The Miami Heat‘s run with the big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh may have come to an end two years before the group eventually broke up in the summer of 2014. 

    In an Instagram Live chat with fans (h/t ESPN’s Brian Windhorst), James felt the Heat would have broken up the roster if they lost the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals to the Boston Celtics

    “My mentality was if we lose, [Heat president] Pat Riley may break us all up,” he said. “And I [didn’t] want that,” James said. “It might be the quickest breakup in basketball history. … Not only might they break it all up, but my legacy is going to take a huge, huge hit if I don’t go out here and perform at an all-time high.”

    The Heat lost 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks in the first season with the big three. James was roundly criticized for his performance late in that series, including in 2018 when former teammate Eddie House accused the four-time NBA M

    Read More

    The NFL and NBA are offering fans complimentary access to their streaming services

    Both the NFL and the NBA and Turner Sports are offering fans complimentary access to their respective direct-to-consumer subscription streaming offerings, NFL Game Pass and NBA League Pass — giving fans on-demand access to hundreds of past games and other archival league content, per The Wall Street Journal.

    Game Pass



    Business Insider Intelligence


    NFL Game Pass will be free in the US until May 31 and internationally until July 31, while NBA League Pass will be free until April 22. The decision comes as major sports leagues deal with or prepare for the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic: Although the NFL is currently in the off-season, the NBA has suspended its current season indefinitely — but for at least 30 days — as of last Wednesday. 

    Here’s what the services typically offer:

    • NFL Game Pass. Normally $100 per year, NFL Game Pass offers fans on-demand, ad-free streaming access to any NFL game dating back to 2009, although in the US most current-season games are only available as replays after the live game telecast ends. International subscribers have live access to every game via Game Pass. The service also offers additional football programming, including series like “Hard Knocks,” produced by HBO and NFL Films.
    • NBA League Pass. Offered by the NBA and Turner Sports, NBA League Pass offers fans on-demand access to live out-of-market NBA games and replays of archived games, either as a full or condensed version. That archive will include every current-season game up to the suspension as well as access to classic games featuring LeBron James or the late Kobe Bryant. League Pass offers multiple subscription tiers, including an ad-supported version with games from all teams at $200 a year (or $29 a month) or $250 ad-free (or $40 a month).

    The leagues are likely using this unprecedented dearth of live sports as an opportunity to both gauge demand for their direct-to-consumer services and convert more fans into paid subscribers. By making these services free for a limited window, the leagues can expose and familiarize fans who might not otherwise have subscribed, since these offerings typically cater to a base of superfans interested in having access to a large, on-demand supply of game content.

    Under normal circumstances, that interest is likely to be somewhat more limited because sports games have a relatively short shelf life. And while these services do offer fans some live game access, a meaningful part of their value prop is access to game archives. To that end, since making NFL Game Pass free, interest has already surged: In the three hours after m

    Read More

    LeBron feared loss in ’12 would end Heat’s Big 3

    LeBron James held a 45-minute Instagram Live video chat with fans Thursday night and made a revelation about one of his greatest performances.

    James did not mention the Los Angeles Lakers‘ announcement that two players had tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the day, and he did not say if he was one of the players who had been tested. He was relaxed and close with his family throughout the video, mostly playing cards. It was the first time James had held such a live video session on social media.

    James did speak about his Game 6 performance for the Miami Heat against the Boston Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals, which stands as one of his greatest games. Facing elimination on the road and a second consecutive season with no title for the heralded “Big 3” in Miami, James scored 45 points with 15 rebounds to turn the tide and begin a streak that led him to his first title.

    James said if Miami had lost the game, he believed the Heat could have traded him or teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

    “My mentality was if we lose, [Heat president] Pat Riley may break us all up. And I [didn’t] want that,” James said. “It might be the quickest breakup in basketball history.”

    The Heat never seriously considered such action and, in fact, added to the team by signing Ray Allen that summer.

    Read More

    The Golden State Warriors won’t test healthy players for coronavirus after other symptom-free sports stars and celebrities have found easy access to test kits

    • The San Francisco-based Golden State Warriors aren’t testing healthy players for the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19.
    • The announcement comes after it was revealed that celebrities and NBA stars were quickly being tested for the virus amid a national shortage of COVID-19 test kits.
    • After a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the disease, the team obtained 58 tests for its athletes and staff.
    • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

    The San Francisco-based Golden State Warriors aren’t testing healthy players for the coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, the team’s general manager, Bob Myers, said in a conference call Tuesday. 

    “We’re treating ourselves like people, which is what we are. We’re not better than anybody. We’re not worse. We’re just a basketball team, like any company. Right now, we’re not interacting with anybody. I’ve been told by our doctors that we shouldn’t be testing asymptomatic people in California,” Myers said on the call according to USA Today. The team will, however, test players if they start exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

    The announcement comes after celebrities like Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Idris Elba, and professional athletes — some asymptomatic — were so quickly tested and diagnosed amid a national shortage of COVID-19 test kits, as Insider’s Julia

    Read More

    Reece James Talks Dream Chelsea Starting XI, LeBron, Lakers, More in B/R AMA

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: Reece James of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on March 8, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

    James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

    Chelsea full-back Reece James spoke to Bleacher Report in an exclusive AMA, discussing his dream starting XI for the Blues as well as his admiration for L.A. Lakers star LeBron James.

    The 20-year-old also revealed the toughest wingers he has come up against in the Premier League and named the one Chelsea player he would like to bring back to Stamford Bridge the most.

    Here are the best parts of the chat.

    @gingergoat8: Your chelsea dream team starting 11:

    Cech

    Azpilicueta, Terry, Luiz, Cole

    Willian, Kante, Lampard, Hazard

    Drogba, Costa

         

    @ModricHazard: What’s the hardest game you’ve played in? And what players, past or present, would you have in your all-time XI?

    Toughest game was Bayern at home not too long ago. It was really difficult and we wanted to win but didn’t get the result we wanted.

           

    @oroz20: If you could bring one ex-Chelsea player back, who would it be?

    Eden Hazard. I just loved the way he played. I still love him. He’ll go down as one of Chelsea’s best players ever.

           

    @JShoots: Who was your biggest inspiration growing up playing football?

    Growing up it was Drogba. I was a striker and he was scoring all the goals at Chelsea.

              

    @JDizzle9: Who’s been the toughest winger to defend this season?

    Raheem Sterling or Zaha. Both are skilful and quick.

       

    @Mturnington: De Bruyne or Salah – who would you rather have return to Chelsea?

    I’d probably have De Bruyne. Both are great at their position. There’s no major reason for De Bruyne over Salah. Just like his style of play.

         

    @Romithehomie: Who is your favourite non-football athlete?

    LeBron James…I’ve always liked him since I was young because we have the same surname.

          

    @Imnotabandwagon3: What’s your favourite NBA team?

    Lakers.

          

    @MarshawnsChicken: How are you spending your time right now?

    I’m just chillin. Not much to do. Just trying to stay fit and playing For

    Read More

    How an NBA Season Cancellation Could Impact Record Books

    0 of 8

      Chris Elise/Getty Images

      As the NBA continues to assess how to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and its effects on the 2019-20 season, an outright cancellation doesn’t seem impossible.

      “CDC recommendation of no events of 50-plus people for next two months comes as a number of NBA owners and executives increasingly believe a best case scenario is a mid-to-late June return to play—with no fans,” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. “League’s scouting for possible arena dates all the way thru August.”

      As ESPN’s Zach Lowe pointed out, “Add up players, coaches, training staff, referees, etc., and you get toward 50 people for an NBA game with 0 fans pretty fast.”

      If the league isn’t able to solve the logistical Rubik’s Cube that would be necessary to complete the 2019-20 campaign, history would be affected in a number of ways. Record chases would be delayed or cut off. One streak would be preserved. And one that has been around as long as the league itself would end.

      Below are a number of ways basketball’s record books would be impacted by a lost 2019-20.

    1 of 8

      Tim Warner/Getty Images

      James Harden is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. There’s little debate about that.

      Among players with at least 5,000 career minutes, his 27.1 points per 75 possessions rank fifth all-time, trailing only Michael Jordan (30.3), Joel Embiid (28.3), Kevin Durant (27.6) and LeBron James (27.5). He has three of the top 15 (including No. 1 overall) individual seasons for points per 75 possessions.

      But even when you understand what an integral part the three-pointer plays in Harden’s attack, it’s difficult not to gawk at the number of misses he piles up each season.

      Right now, the top five for most threes missed in a single season reads, per StatMuse:

      1. James Harden (650 in 2018-19)
      2. James Harden (498 in 2019-20)
      3. James Harden (494 in 2016-17)
      4. Stephen Curry (484 in 2015-16)
      5. Kemba Walker (471 in 2018-19)

      Had this season played out as expected with Harden appearing in each remaining game, he was on pace for around 645 misses.

      Of course, that’s five off his record-setting pace from 2018-19. But you never know when Harden will get on one of those stretches during which he misses more threes than entire teams would take in years past. In January, he had a seven-game stretch in which he missed a whopping 10 triples per game.

      At this rate, there’s almost no chance Harden doesn’t finish his career as the all-time leader in missed threes.

      Of course, he’ll also likely trail only Stephen Curry in makes at that point.

    2 of 8

      Brian Sevald/Getty Images

      The Milwaukee Bucks’ shot at 70 wins was likely doomed when they suddenly went from 52-8 to 53-12 in the span of five games.

      They did have an 18-game winning streak earlier in the season, but it’s difficult to imagine them closing out with 17 straight victories, especially when the home stretch included a three-game road trip against the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers.

      Still, Milwaukee’s current winning percentage ranks 15th all-time. At that pace, the Bucks would’ve finished an 82-game season with 67 wins. Only six teams in NBA history have topped that lofty mark.

      They still had an outside shot at 70, but even 68 or 69 wins would have been a historic mark.

      Milwaukee was also in hot pursuit of the all-time record for point differential. Losing four of five took it from first all-time to fifth, but another hot streak would’ve put it back in the hunt.

      If 2019-20 is over, the Bucks will go down as a great team. But their season will always be known more for the cancellation than whatever accomplishments they may have been headed toward.

    3 of 8

      Chris Elise/Getty Images

      The San Antonio Spurs are in the midst of one of the greatest runs any team has ever put together in professional sports. Allow Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz to explain:

      The playoff streak is the longest current run in professional sports and is tied for the greatest in NBA history with the Syracuse Nationals/Philadelphia 76ers from 1950 to 1971. In those 22 years, the Nationals/Sixers won 58.9 percent of their games and two titles, while the Spurs have come away victorious 69.9 percent of the time, claiming five championships, per Land of Basketball. The Spurs have won 170 total playoff games in that time, an average of 7.7 playoff wins per year over the past 22 seasons.

      From 1950 to 1971, the NBA had an average of 10.2 teams per season. San Antonio has spent the entirety of its run in a 30-team league. And given the relatively recent influx of international players, the talent pool has never been deeper.

      This level of sustained success in this era should be nearly impossible.

      Had 2019-20 proceeded normally, the streak was almost certainly going to end. Basketball Reference’s playoff probabilities report gave the 27-36 Spurs a 4.6 percent chance to get in. FiveThirtyEight’s projection system pegged them at an even bleaker 2 percent.

      If the league ends up foregoing a postseason, the 22-year playoff streak will technically remain in place.

      Of course, 2020-21 could offer many of the same on-court challenges as this season. The DeMar DeRozan-LaMarcus Aldridge pairing doesn’t work, the team doesn’t make enough threes, Dejounte Murray and Derrick White haven’t played together nearly enough, the defense is awful and so on. But at least they’d have a year to try figuring all that out.

    4 of 8

      John McCoy/Getty Images

      Basketball Reference’s MVP tracker, which “ranks candidates based on a model built using previous voting results,” thinks this season’s race is pretty much over:

      1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (50.7 percent)
      2. LeBron James (17.3 percent)
      3. James Harden (10.5 percent)
      4. Anthony Davis (9.8 percent)
      5. Luka Doncic (4.0 percent)
      6. Kawhi Leonard (2.1 percent)
      7. Nikola Jokic (1.8 percent)
      8. Khris Middleton (1.5 percent)
      9. Kyle Lowry (1.1 percent)
      10. Jimmy Butler (1.1 percent)

      If the season were hypothetically called off today, Giannis would win. Even if the full 82-game slate played out, he was likely to repeat.

      However, after a weekend in which LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers beat both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Clippers

    Read More

    Schefter: Tom Brady Is NFL’s ‘LeBron Effect,’ Free Agents Want to Join Bucs

    New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady warms up before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    The reported signing of quarterback Tom Brady is apparently already paying dividends for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, news of Brady agreeing to join the Bucs has led to an “unexpected high number of players” reaching out to the Buccaneers to express interest in playing alongside TB12.

    Schefter called it the “NFL version of the LeBron effect” since NBA players often want the opportunity to be teammates with LeBron James because of his penchant for making those around him better.

    The Bucs went just 7-9 last season and haven’t reached the playoffs since 2007, but with Brady in the fold, they are suddenly viewed as a legitimate threat in the NFC.

    The 42-year-old Brady is set to join the Buccaneers after 20 remarkable seasons in New England. During that time, Brady was a 14-time Pro Bowler, six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Super Bowl MVP and three-time NFL MVP.

    Brady wasn’t his dominant self last season, completing 60.8 p

    Read More

    The NBA Must Host a Gigantic Dunk Contest to Entertain Us During the Coronavirus Pandemic

    ‘) : “”;
    }, t.getDefinedParams = function (n, e) {
    return e.filter(function (e) {
    return n[e];
    }).reduce(function (e, t) {
    return p(e, function (e, t, n) {
    t in e ? Object.defineProperty(e, t, {
    value: n,
    enumerable: !0,
    configurable: !0,
    writable: !0
    }) : e[t] = n;
    return e;
    }({}, t, n[t]));
    }, {});
    }, t.isValidMediaTypes = function (e) {
    var t = [“banner”, “native”, “video”];
    if (!Object.keys(e).every(function (e) {
    return s()(t, e);
    })) return !1;
    if (e.video && e.video.context) return s()([“instream”, “outstream”, “adpod”], e.video.context);
    return !0;
    }, t.getBidderRequest = function (e, t, n) {
    return c()(e, function (e) {
    return 0 t[n] ? -1 : 0;
    };
    };
    var r = n(3),
    i = n(115),
    o = n.n(i),
    a = n(12),
    c = n.n(a),
    u = n(10),
    s = n.n(u),
    d = n(116);
    n.d(t, “deepAccess”, function () {
    return d.a;
    });
    var f = n(117);

    function l(e) {
    return function (e) {
    if (Array.isArray(e)) {
    for (var t = 0, n = new Array(e.length); t n ‘)) : “”;
    }

    function ae(e, t, n) {
    return null == t ? n : J(t) ? t : Q(t) ? t.toString() : void j.logWarn(“Unsuported type for param: ” + e + ” required type: String”);
    }

    function ce(e, t, n) {
    return n.indexOf(e) === t;
    }

    function ue(e, t) {
    return e.concat(t);
    }

    function se(e) {
    return Object.keys(e);
    }

    function de(e, t) {
    return e[t];
    }

    var fe = ge(“timeToRespond”, function (e, t) {
    return t = e.length ? (this._t = void 0, i(1)) : i(0, “keys” == t ? n : “values” == t ? e[n] : [n, e[n]]);
    }, “values”), o.Arguments = o.Array, r(“keys”), r(“values”), r(“entries”);
    },
    101: function _(e, t, n) {
    “use strict”;

    var r = n(102),
    i = n(72);
    e.exports = n(104)(“Set”, function (t) {
    return function (e) {
    return t(this, 0 >> 0,
    o = 0;
    if (t) n = t;else {
    for (; o = b.syncsPerBidder ? a.logWarn(‘Number of user syncs exceeded for “‘.concat(t, ‘”‘)) : d.canBidderRegisterSync(e, t) ? (f[e].push([t, n]), (r = p)[i = t] ? r[i] += 1 : r[i] = 1, void (p = r)) : a.logWarn(‘Bidder “‘.concat(t, ‘” not permitted to register their “‘).concat(e, ‘” userSync pixels.’)) : a.logWarn(“Bidder is required for registering sync”) : a.logWarn(‘User sync type “‘.concat(e, ‘” not supported’));
    var r, i;
    }, d.syncUsers = function () {
    var e = 0 Object(y.timestamp)();
    },
    s = function s(e) {
    return e && (e.status && !S()([O.BID_STATUS.RENDERED], e.status) || !e.status);
    };

    function w(e, r, t) {
    var i = 2 i && (r = !1)), !r;
    }), r && e.run(), r;
    }

    function g(e, t) {
    void 0 === e[t] ? e[t] = 1 : e[t]++;
    }
    },
    addWinningBid: function addWinningBid(e) {
    g = g.concat(e), x.callBidWonBidder(e.bidder, e, o);
    },
    setBidTargeting: function setBidTargeting(e) {
    x.callSetTargetingBidder(e.bidder, e);
    },
    getWinningBids: function getWinningBids(

    Read More

    Ninja’s ‘It’s Just a Game’ Comment Sparks Heated Debate

    Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of the most prominent Fortnite

    streamers and professional eSports players, made comments on social media about the competitive nature of professional gaming. His opinions quickly sparked heated debates across the Internet on how seriously games should be taken.Ninja tweeted yesterday afternoon, saying that having an “it’s just a game” mindset towards competitive gaming is weak and that players shouldn’t settle for underperforming.

    These comments follow a notable outburst from Ninja towards his squadmates earlier this month after he fell victim to four stream snipers. Once he saw a comment suggesting he shouldn’t get upset when it’s “just a game,” Ninja had this to say:

    “If anyone ever uses the excuse ‘it’s just a game’ I’m gonna lose my mind! Imagine telling Lebron James, Tom Brady, that when they’re pissed off after losing a game that it’s just a game. Are you kidding me? You’re so stupid. It’s the competitive nature, bro. It’s about respect bro, it’s about pride. It’s so much bigger than a f*cking video game. And anyone that ever uses the excuse ‘it’s just a game’ is a horrible human being, and is lazy. You’re a lazy human being.”

    It is notable that soon after, Ninja said on this same stream, “And everyone that thinks I’m being so serious right now, this is like 90% a joke, 10% serious.”

    Maybe It Really Is Just a Game?

    Several people were quick to criticize Ninja for his comments on the “weak mindset” of thinking professional gamers are just playing a game. Some felt there were better ways to handle loss than resorting to anger, while others noted that most play games just for fun rather than competitively.

    Competition Drives Greatness

    Some reacted to Ninja’s comments positively, noting his views line up with a healthy competitive drive, and that the “it’s just a game” line really is just an excuse for failure.

    Just Some Ninja Jokes

    While there were plenty of serious reactions to Ninja’s comments, there were also countless jokes poking fun at his apparent seriousness on the matter.

    Fortnite Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Skins

    Tyler “Ninja” Blevins

    Last year, Ninja revealed he was leaving Twitch to stream exclusively for Mixer after he became the first streamer to hit 10 million followers in 2018.

    Ninja received his own Fortnite skin last month, not long after he streamed Fortnite’s The Rise of Skywalker update with Mark Hamill.


    Colin Stevens is IGN’s video game social coordinator. Follow him on Twitter.


    Read More

    A Closer Look at the Bugs Bunny-Themed Air Jordan 6 “Hare”

    Jordan Brand is revisiting its fan-favorite Bugs Bunny theme with the Air Jordan 6 “Hare,” celebrating the forthcoming Space Jam 2 sequel starring LeBron James. Heavily similar to the Air Jordan 1 Mid of the same name released in 2015, the silhouette

    Read More

    LeBron out vs. Warriors Thurs. with sore groin

    LOS ANGELES — Lakers superstar LeBron James will miss Thursday’s game against the Golden State Warriors because of a sore groin, the team announced Wednesday.

    James, 35, is coming off a season-high 40 points in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

    In December 2018, he suffered a torn left groin against the Warriors, which was the first major injury of his career. It submarined both his and his team’s season.

    T

    Read More

    The Lakers will look to improve the non-LeBron offense

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Los Angeles Lakers hardly ever practice, and shootarounds are even rarer for the veteran squad. So getting Markieff Morris, who signed with the team this week after receiving a buyout from the Detroit Pistons, up to speed takes some creativity.

    “We’ve kind of beefed up our film sessions,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said before playing the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. “They’re part directed to tightening the screws for us and part directed towards Kieff in terms of, ‘This is what we call this, this is what we call that. This is what level we want you up on pick-and-rolls, and here’s the switching lines.'”

    Morris, who played 15 minutes in his Lakers debut Tuesday, extended his run to 19 minutes in the Lakers’ 116-86 win against the Warriors, with the extra burn on the board because LeBron James was sitting out because of a sore groin.

    As much as the Golden State game was an opportunity for Morris, James’ absence also provided a chance for the team to practice playing without him.

    Sure, common sense suggests that Los Angeles’ title hopes are directly tied to how well James can turn it on in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean the Lakers can’t aspire to improve upon the precipitous drop-off that happens when James sits — even if it’s just for rest, instead of an entire game like on Thursday.

    Coming into the Warriors game, the Lakers’ net efficiency with James on the court was plus 10.7 points per 100 possessions, which would rank second in the league, according to data compiled by ESPN Stats & Information. With James off the court, that production plummets to a net efficiency of minus-2.6 points, which would rank 22nd.

    “I don’t really pay attention to those kind of stats. I think when everybody’s best player leaves the floor, they might go down a little bit,” Lakers backup guard Quinn Cook said when presented with the numbers illustrating James’ impact.

    Cook cited ancillary reasons why the Lakers struggle without James — “We get everybody’s best shot … You’re going to get crowds that want to see us lose … We have a big target on our back” — before spelling out just what James brings to the table that they have to replicate.

    “His presence. His IQ. Everything,” Cook said. “His scoring. He’s the best distributor in the league. So, we get easier shots when he’s out the

    Read More

    Bronny James, Sierra Canyon Beat Mater Dei to Win CIF-SS Open Division Title

    MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - JANUARY 04: Bronny James #0 of Sierra Canyon Trailblazers looks on during the second half of the game against the Minnehaha Academy Red Hawks at Target Center on January 04, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

    Ziaire Williams scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers to a 59-48 win over Mater Dei Monarchs in the CIF Southern Section Open Division Final title game on Friday.

    Sierra Canyon never trailed, leading 16-13 after one and 33-27 at halftime. The Trailblazers led by five or more for the entire second half.     

    Williams, a 6’7″ small forward, led Sierra Canyon to the title and delivered the highlight of the night with this windmill dunk:

    The fifth-ranked player in 247Sports’ composite rankings for the class of 2020 was a force on both ends:

    BJ Boston added 14 points for the Trailblazers, whose next stop is the California state tournament:

    The Kentucky commit also brought it on the defensive end, with this steal leading to a Williams hoo

    Read More

    Kevin Durant among four Nets players to test positive for COVID-19 – Sportsnet.ca

    NEW YORK — Four Brooklyn Nets players, including Kevin Durant, have tested positive for the new coronavirus, bringing the total to seven known players in the NBA.

    The Nets did not name the players Tuesday, but Durant told The Athletic he was one of them, saying: “Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this.”

    The Nets announced that one player is exhibiting symptoms, while the other three are asymptomatic. All four players have been isolated and are under the care of team physicians.

    “The health of our players and staff is of the highest priority to the organization and the team is doing everything within its power to ensure that those affected receive the best care possible,” the Nets said in a statement.

    Brooklyn’s most recent game was March 10 in Los Angeles against the Lakers. After the Nets announced their test results, the Lakers — who have the NBA’s second-best record this season and two of the game’s biggest stars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis — indicated that their team will now be tested.

    “Given the exposure risks from our game against the Nets on March 10th, we are following the next steps of our COVID-19 procedures and protocol that are established in consultation with various health officials, the NBA and our UCLA Health doctors,” the Lakers said. “The health and well-being of our players, staff, fans, and society in general, is of paramount importance to us, and will

    Read More

    Brooks Koepka called out Patrick Reed for cheating on the golf course, and he’s not the only one

    • Brooks Koepka called out Patrick Reed for cheating at the Hero World Challenge in December during an interview with Sirius XM.
    • Reed was given a two-stroke penalty after improving his lie in a bunker.
    • “If you play the game, you understand the rules,” Koepka said. “You understand the integrity that goes on. I mean, there’s no room for it.”
    • Koepka wasn’t the only one who called out Reed for bending the rules in his favor, as former CBS Sports reporter Peter Kostis said that he’d seen Reed improve his lie “up close and personal four times,” while appearing as a guest on the podcast “No Laying Up.”
    • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

    Golfer Patrick Reed is once again receiving scrutiny for his behavior on the course.

    The criticism began with a shot fired from Brooks Koepka, who played as Reed’s teammate at the Ryder Cup.

    “I mean, I don’t know what he was doing, building sandcastles in the sand, but you know where your club is,” Koepka told Sirius XM’s Sway Callaway. “It’s one of those things where you know if you look at the video obviously, he grazes the sand twice and then he still chops down on it.”

     

    Koepka was referring to an incident that took place in December at the Hero World Challenge when Reed could be seen improving his lie while lining up a shot out of the bunker.

    Reed was ultimately given a two-stroke penalty for his infraction.

    Koepka wasn’t the only one sounding off against Reed. Former CBS Sports reporter Peter Kostis added fuel to the fire on Wednesday while appearing as a g

    Read More

    Giannis: LeBron’s elite ability at 35 ‘amazing’

    MILWAUKEE — Although they’re fierce competitors on the court, both being All-Star Game captains, Giannis Antetokounmpo said he is inspired by LeBron James‘ ability to perform at an elite level at age 35.

    Before they previously tipped off, 11 days ahead of James’ December birthday, Antetokounmpo even referred to James as an “alien” to be playing so well.

    “It’s amazing. He’s 35 and playing at a high level,” Antetokounmpo said Wednesday as his Milwaukee Bucks prepared to face James’ Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. “He just leads the path for us.

    “A lot of times we think that, ‘OK, we’re going to retire at 35,’ but seeing a guy at 35 being still top-three best player in the world, that makes us want to be there. Makes me want to be there one day, so I’ve got to keep taking care of my body, eating the right way, being healthy, and as I said — he paved the way, and hopefully we can just follow.”

    Antetokounmpo, 25, has adopted a meticulous pregame ritual, which starts six hours before tipoff and includes zipping his legs in NormaTec recovery boots before games. Afterward, he doesn’t leave the arena until he ices his legs before showering.

    Those behind-the-scenes efforts are helping Antetokounmpo average career numbers following his MVP season. He posted 29 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists in 28 minutes Wednesday as Milwaukee rebounded from a loss Monday at Miami with a 119-100 rout of Indiana.

    Antetokounmpo is

    Read More

    ‘It’s hard to post linebackers’: Houston is daring teams to outmuscle its micro-ball defense

    THE TORONTO RAPTORS needed a bucket. Time to target James Harden, right?

    Down six points against the Houston Rockets in the closing minutes of a Dec. 5 game at Scotiabank Arena, the Raptors cleared out on the left side of the court and tossed the ball to their go-to guy, Pascal Siakam. He caught the pass a couple of steps above the block and went to work, a skilled 6-foot-9 scorer eager to exploit Harden with his 4-inch height advantage.

    Siakam faced up and took one left-handed dribble before turning his back to the basket again. But Harden didn’t budge.

    Siakam pounded his dribble once, twice, three times with his right hand. It was an old-school, Charles Barkley-esque approach, but Siakam was the one getting bullied.

    Harden muscled him farther and farther away from the hoop.

    After Siakam finally picked up his dribble just inside the elbow, back still to the basket, he pivoted as though he was going to shoot a turnaround over his right shoulder. Harden forced an awkward air ball when Siakam attempted that shot on a post-up in the third quarter, and Siakam was hoping to create some space by getting him to bite on the fake this time. Harden wasn’t fooled.

    With Harden still within whiskers’ distance, Siakam settled for a tightly contested jump hook from just inside the free throw line that never had hope of going in. The ball clanked off the front of the rim, too low to even have a chance at a lucky bounce.

    “We switch so much that they’ve got to target somebody,” Harden recently told ESPN. “I play so many minutes that they feel like they can just exploit me. I mean, it hasn’t worked.”

    Giannis Antetokounmpo eagerly reminded people of Harden’s defensive reputation after the All-Star Game, blurting out after his team’s come-from-ahead loss that their strategy during the fourth quarter was “just trying to find whoever James Harden was guarding.”

    Harden has been a defensive punch line for the majority of his career, a label attached to him years ago in large part because of moments of embarrassing indifference. The reality: Harden holds up remarkably well when opposing offenses target him in isolations, which happens more often than with any other player in the league.

    He’s one big reason the Rockets have gotten away with exclusively playing small ball, daring offenses to choose one of two paths: Try to push them around or go small themselves and play right into Houston’s hand.

    During a 9-3 February that included double-digit wins over the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz, the 6-foot-7-and-less Rockets remarkably generated a top-seven defense. Even if they regress closer to league average on that end, this small but powerful defensive unit might be enough to sustain a contender with a relentless offensive machine.

    “You can’t try to play matchup basketball,” a Western Conference head coach said. “That’s what they want. You have to beat them with [ball] movement.”

    Harden hopes teams take Antetokounmpo’s advice and make picking on him the focal point of their game plan.

    “Come try it,” Harden said, “and the s— won’t work.”

    MORE: Which teams will win the big NBA playoff races?


    THE BIG QUESTION in Houston: Can the Rockets survive defensively playing so small?

    It seems that opponents ought to be able to beat up on Houston with a simple game plan. Just dump the ball to your big guys on the block and let them be bullies.

    The problem, as Celtics coach Brad Stevens put it: “It’s hard to post linebackers.”

    That starts with P.J. Tucker. He’s officially the shortest starting center the NBA has seen in ages, packing 245 pounds and a ton of attitude on his 6-foot-5 frame. Like a middle linebacker, he’s also the loudest voice on the defense, as Tucker’s baritone is constantly barking instructions, communication that is critical in a switch-everything scheme.

    Whether Tucker actually plays center in the Rockets’ defense depends on the matchup. It’s more accurate to refer to Tucker as the Rockets’ defensive stopper, as he typically takes the toughest frontcourt assignment. The Rockets coveted Robert Covington — coughing up a first-round pick in addition to center Clint Capela to get him — because they considered him a perfect fit for the style they planned to play, a forward who spaces the floor as a 3-point threat and is capable of defending multiple positions.

    The 6-foot-7, 211-pound Covington is more volleyball player than linebacker, a term that Golden State coach Steve Kerr has also used to describe the Rockets. With a 7-foot-1 wingspan and 36-inch vertical leap, Covington is the closest thing to a rim protector in the Rockets’ rotatio

    Read More

    LeBron group sued over ‘More Than An Athlete’

    The media company owned by Lakers All-Star LeBron James is being sued by a Maryland youth group over its use of the “More Than An Athlete” phrase.

    The suit, filed in federal court on Tuesday, also names ESPN, Nike and the maker of the NBA 2K video game for using the phrase in material produced by James. The group is seeking $33 million and injunctive relief, which would require Uninterrupted, his media company, to stop using the phrase.

    Game Plan Inc., a youth development nonprofit, says it applied

    Read More

    Streetsnaps: Frankie Walker Jr.

    UNKNWN has maintained a dominant position in Miami’s retail culture since its launch in 2011. That’s thanks in part to its smart selection of goods as well as its celebrity shoppers, like Fabolous, Timbaland and J Balvin‘s stylist, Julian Ríos. “If you’re in that world, playing sports or a concert, you have to make that stop in Miami,” says co-founder Frankie Walker Jr. “We try to take care of them like they want to be treated, just normal people looking to shop.”

    Walker co-founded the store with LeBron James and Jaron Kanfer, two childhood friends who remain especially invested in the UNKNWN brand. “Working with LeBron is simple,” Walker explains. “He’s got a great eye for what he likes and he’s very open-minded. It’s organic, because everything in this store is a representat

    Read More

    How LeBron FLEXED On The NBA: Lakers Over Bucks & Clippers – BBALLBREAKDOWN

    When the Lakers soundly beat the Bucks and Clippers within 48 hours, LeBron James and company put the NBA on notice that not only are they the favorites to win the NBA title, but that LeBron himself deserves to be right at the very top of the MVP discussion.
    SUBSCRIBE HERE FOR MORE: http://bit.ly/BBallSub
    MUSIC: Fighting For Freedom by Anno Domini
    ABOUT BBALLBREAKDOWN
    BBallBreakdown is devoted t



    Read More

    10 Weekend Reads

    The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Alto Grande coffee, grab a seat all by your lonesome and get ready for our longer form weekend reads:

    • Key Missteps at the CDC Have Set Back Its Ability to Detect the Potential Spread of Coronavirus (ProPublica)
    • Singapore: Challenges and Pitfalls of the Technocratic Art (The American Interest)
    • How suspect gold reached brands like Apple and Tiffany (Reuters)
    • Is Zero Hedge a Russian Trojan Horse? The father of the founder of the conspiratorial site filed a criminal complaint against me in Bulgaria. Then things got weird. (New Republic)
    • The Business Case for Saving Democracy (Harvard Business Review)
    • Information bubbles and echo chambers: Why we are all just talking to ourselves (Independent)
    • Will the millennial aesthetic ever end? (The Cut)
    • Why All the Warby Parker Clones Are Now Imploding (Medium)
    • ‘It will go away’: A timeline of Trump playing down the coronavirus threat (Washington Post)
    • James Harden and Russell Westbrook








    Read More

    Beverley credits Lakers; James ‘not hard’ to guard

    LOS ANGELES — Patrick Beverley was effusive in giving credit to the Los Angeles Lakers for coming out “with a lot more juice” in their first win over the LA Clippers this season.

    “We gotta give them a lot of credit,” Beverley said after Sunday’s 112-103 defeat. “… They took it personal … It’s one game. Of course, living in L.A., man, it’s hard to deal with this loss, but we have to wash it down the shower, keep getting better, and we will.”

    Beverley’s competitiveness was still churning when a reporter tried to ask the Clippers’ proud two-time All-Defensive performer what kind of challenge LeBron James presented defensively. Beverley repeatedly interrupted with the same answer.

    “No challenge,” he scoffed twice.

    When the reporter reframed his question by asking Beverley to describe what it’s like as a defender when James is trying to force a switch — as he did a few times late in the fourth quarter, when he scored 12 of his 28 points — Beverley quickly replied, “Not hard at all.”

    James made seven of 17 shots

    Read More

    It’s hard to ignore the importance of Lakers-Clippers III

    There is no such thing as a must-win NBA game in March — but if the Los Angeles Lakers are going to reach their championship goals this season, they are going to have to start beating the LA Clippers.

    It’s why Sunday’s centerpiece game at Staples Center (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC) — officially a Clippers home game, but the Lakers have had few true road games anywhere — is one of the more compelling left on the regular-season schedule. The cotenants play again April 9 in a rescheduled game, but it’s the third night of a rare back-to-back-to-back for the Lakers, so don’t count on that being representative.

    With that in mind, it’s important to note that the Clippers have been compiling victories of one kind or another against the Lakers since July. The list includes: Kawhi Leonard choosing the Clippers in free agency; a 112-102 win on opening night without Paul George, as Leonard scored 30 points and outplayed both LeBron James and Anthony Davis; and the Clippers collecting a 111-106 win on Christmas when George did play. Leonard scored 35 points on that outing, again outplaying James and Davis.

    At the February trade deadline, the Clippers acquired Marcus Morris when both L.A. teams presented offers to the New York Knicks. That was quickly followed by Reggie Jackson securing a buyout from the Detroit Pistons. Both L.A. teams were again in competition for Jackson’s services, and the Clippers were again the winners.

    These victories don’t earn the Clippers anything on the actual scoreboard on Sunday. They don’t carry over to a potential hallway playoff series in May.

    “One win doesn’t mean an L.A. championship,” Leonard said on Christmas. “Both teams got their eyes on the biggest prize.”

    But to say it doesn’t matter isn’t accurate either.

    MORE: LeBron’s different approach to this season

    For example, there is a story that has gained some notoriety in league circles. Late in the evening on July 5, when Clippers lead agitator Patrick Beverley learned at Las Vegas Summer League that his team had landed Leonard and George, he went to a private dining room where James was eating. To gloat.

    “It’s pretty much over for you guys now,” Beverley said to James, rete

    Read More

    LeBron has approached this Lakers season differently

    HE WILL LIKELY have his number retired in Miami, deserves a statue in Cleveland and has left an indelible mark on Team USA. But now, 17 years in and past his 35th birthday, the word “Lakers” across LeBron James‘ chest seems to have inspired a transformation.

    James has embraced playing a position, point guard, he’d previously shunned. He has reversed an in-season strategy of a slow, and sometimes sluggish, buildup to the postseason — a technique developed during an eight-year run of Finals appearances — to one complete with postseason-level defensive effort well before Christmas. And he has done it with public and full support of his team, abandoning past approaches of occasionally bullying his way to roster moves.

    James, the Laker, has become bonded to his team’s front office and ownership like never before in his career.

    Simply, this is not the James we’ve come to know.

    MORE: NBA playoff and lottery races


    THE BUSS FAMILY has a long history of deep connections with star players. Perhaps no owner and star were closer than Magic Johnson and Dr. Jerry Buss. The family’s relationship with Kobe Bryant, even with its rough patches, was a 20-year success story.

    And the same talent has been passed down to current controlling owner Jeanie Buss. Those close to James describe his relationship with Jeanie and her lead executive, Linda Rambis, as the most connected he has been with ownership in his career. Though he has been with the team for less than two years, unexpected turbulence has brought them together — a diametric shift from situations in James’ past.

    In October, when the Lakers found themselves in the midst of a geopolitical quagmire between the NBA and China, franchise leadership and James leaned on each other. He served not only as a guiding voice with his teammates as they holed up in their Shanghai hotel but also with Adam Silver when the commissioner arrived. In a crucial meeting with players and Silver, James advocated for players to be protected from having to speak for the league on the sensitive situation while working toward a path to save two Lakers-Nets preseason games.

    Then, in the wake of Bryant’s death, James worked alongside Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka to help manage his teammates in the emotional days. While Buss and Pelinka provided support to the Bryant family, James connected with team members, and then Silver directly, as he pushed for the postponement of a game against the LA Clippers because he didn’t believe the team was emotionally ready to play.

    Some of the roots of this alignment can be traced back to last season, when Johnson’s resignation shook the franchise. The Lakers subsequently failed to land their top head-coaching choice to replace Luke Walton — including an inability to close a deal with Tyronn Lue, whom James later said he would have been “ecstatic” to play for again. And that followed Johnson ripping Pelinka on national television just days before the start of a vital free-agency period.

    Through all of the Lakers’ self-inflicted drama, James remained silent — not even a passive-aggressive grumble on social media — as he gave the team space to wo

    Read More

    A Nike Air Jordan 6 “Hare” Could Be Dropping This Year

    Highsnobiety aims to provide our readers with the latest updates in the sneaker world. However, we cannot verify the reliability of any unauthorized leaks or rumors unless this information is provided directly by the brands themselves.

    Though the LeBron James-led Space Jam 2 movie is not scheduled to premiere until July 2021, leaked images suggest that Jordan Brand will be releasing a Nike Air Jordan 6 inspired the original “Hare” Nike Air Jordan 7.

    The Nike Air Jordan 7 “Hare” was introduced via a commercial that starred both Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. Jordan’s agent, David Falk, pushed for the commercial to be expanded and a young generation of basketball was presented with one of the most famous basketball movies of all time.

    Now, rumors suggest that t

    Read More

    It’s hard to ignore the importance of Lakers-Clippers III

    There is no such thing as a must-win NBA game in March — but if the Los Angeles Lakers are going to reach their championship goals this season, they are going to have to start beating the LA Clippers.

    It’s why Sunday’s centerpiece game at Staples Center (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC) — officially a Clippers home game, but the Lakers have had few true road games anywhere — is one of the more compelling left on the regular-season schedule. The cotenants play again April 9 in a rescheduled game, but it’s the third night of a rare back-to-back-to-back for the Lakers, so don’t count on that being representative.

    With that in mind, it’s important to note that the Clippers have been compiling victories of one kind or another against the Lakers since July. The list includes: Kawhi Leonard choosing the Clippers in free agency; a 112-102 win on opening night without Paul George, as Leonard scored 30 points and outplayed both LeBron James and Anthony Davis; and the Clippers collecting a 111-106 win on Christmas when George did play. Leonard scored 35 points on that outing, again outplaying James and Davis.

    At the February trade deadline, the Clippers acquired Marcus Morris when both L.A. teams presented offers to the New York Knicks. That was quickly followed by Reggie Jackson securing a buyout from the Detroit Pistons. Both L.A. teams were again in competition for Jackson’s services, and the Clippers were again the winners.

    These victories don’t earn the Clippers anything on the actual scoreboard on Sunday. They don’t carry over to a potential hallway playoff series in May.

    “One win doesn’t mean an L.A. championship,” Leonard said on Christmas. “Both teams got their eyes on the biggest prize.”

    But to say it doesn’t matter isn’t accurate either.

    MORE: LeBron’s different approach to this season

    For example, there is a story that has gained some notoriety in league circles. Late in the evening on July 5, when Clippers lead agitator Patrick Beverley learned at Las Vegas Summer League that his team had landed Leonard and George, he went to a private dining room where James was eating. To gloat.

    “It’s pretty much over for you guys now,” Beverley said to James, rete

    Read More

    NBA Power Rankings: The Lakers are coming for the Bucks’ throne

    After Sunday’s win over the LA Clippers, center JaVale McGee dubbed the Los Angeles Lakers the “best team in the world right now.” The Lakers beat the Clippers two days after beating Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center, a win that clinched the Lakers a playoff berth. The Bucks maintained their spot at the top, even after a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, but how will they fare this week while Antetokounmpo recovers from a knee injury? Can LeBron James lead the Lakers into the No. 1 spot?

    Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics continued to slide as the Toronto Raptors clinched a playoff berth. Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry both returned from injuries last week, with Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers teammate Jusuf Nurkic expected to make his season debut in the coming week.

    Our panel (ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Bobby Marks, Kevin Pelton and Royce Young and The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears) is ranking all 30 teams from top to bottom, taking stock of which teams are playing the best basketball now and which teams are looking most like title contenders.

    Previous rankings: Week 20 |19 |18 | 17 | 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1 | Training camp | Free agency | Post-Finals

    1. Milwaukee Bucks
    Record: 53-11
    Week 20 ranking: 1

    The Bucks lost three of four games this week — two tough road games against high-quality opponents and another without the reigning MVP — but they remain easily on pace for the top seed throughout the playoffs. The bigger concern for the team is the health of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will miss time after spraining his knee in a hard fall Friday. For the rest of the season, the Bucks’ mantra is health over everything, especially for their dominant MVP candidate. — Snellings

    This week: @DEN, BOS, GSW


    2. Los Angeles Lakers
    Record: 49-13
    Week 20 ranking: 2

    In defeating the Bucks and Clippers in consecutive games over the weekend, the Lakers defeated two of the top four teams in the NBA in back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 5, 2009, when they beat the Celtics and Cavaliers, according to Elias Sports Bureau. That bodes well for LeBron James and the Lakers, as the 2009 Lakers went on to win the title. — Spears

    This week: BKN, HOU, DEN


    3. LA Clippers
    Record: 43-20
    Week 20 ranking: 3

    Ahead of Sunday’s game against the Lakers, many players tried to downplay the matchup as “just another game.” Obviously, it wasn’t; that much was clear in the first five minutes. But that doesn’t mean you should overreact to the outcome. Going in, the Clippers were 10-0 at full strength. That lineup is what they’ve been working toward. That doesn’t mean just getting Paul George back; it means getting him back to a high level. Sunday’s game was a positive sign in that direction. — Young

    This week: @GSW, BKN, NOP


    4. Toronto Raptors
    Record: 45-18
    Week 20 ranking: 4

    The Raptors snapped their three-game losing streak with wins over the Suns and Warriors that allowed them to become the second team in the NBA this season to clinch a playoff berth. Despite all of the injuries they have dealt with this season, head coach Nick Nurse has kept them on the winning path, and they maintain a 2.5-game lead over the Celtics with a month left in the regular season. — Snellings

    This week: @UTAH, DET


    5. Boston Celtics
    Record: 42-21
    Week 20 ranking: 5

    The Celtics had a week to forget. Aside from a six-point win in Cleveland, Boston lost three home games to Brooklyn, Utah and Oklahoma City. The losses to the Nets and Thunder saw the Celtics fail to protect leads late in the fourth quarter. Boston blew a 13-point lead with just over four minutes left against Brooklyn and turned the ball over with eight seconds remaining against the Thunder. After shooting 49.4% from the field in the month of February, Jayson Tatum has dropped to 40% so far in March. — Marks

    This week: @IND, @MIL, WAS, @CHI


    6. Denver Nuggets
    Record: 42-21
    Week 20 ranking: 7

    There’s a small identity crisis happening with the Nuggets right now. Coach Mike Malone is unafraid to rip his team when it plays poorly, so it isn’t outside the norm to feel the anxiety coming out of Denver. But Malone was on-point with his criticism after Saturday’s loss to the Cavaliers:

    “Who are we? And who are we going to be? That’s a decision that we have to really think long and hard about and make that decision because we are not playing as well as we’re capable of, and that’s kind of scary for it to be this time of the season.” — Young

    This week: MIL, @DAL, @SAS, @LAL


    7. Utah Jazz
    Record: 41-22
    Week 20 ranking: 12

    A soft stretch of games arrived just in time for Utah. After losing their first four games after the All-Star break, the Jazz have won five in a row, feasting on lottery-bound Eastern Conference competition. (The exception during that stretch: the injury-depleted Celtics.) Joe Ingles has adjusted well during his second stint as the Jazz’s sixth man. Utah is plus-62 in the 91 minutes Ingles and Jordan Clarkson have played together during the winning streak. — MacMahon

    This week: TOR, @OKC, NOP, MEM


    8. Miami Heat
    Record: 41-23
    Week 20 ranking: 9

    Jimmy Butler didn’t seem too concerned about his nagging left toe, even though it sidelined him for most of the second half Sunday. The Heat were able to turn it around without him — largely thanks to seven 3s from Duncan Robinson — but as the stretch run approaches and the postseason nears, Butler needs to be 100 percent if the Heat want to make good on their dark-horse contender status. — Young

    This week: CHA, NYK, CHI


    9. Houston Rockets
    Record: 39-24
    Week 20 ranking: 6

    Coach Mike D’Antoni referred to Sunday’s blowout loss at home to the Magic as “rock-bottom” for the Rockets. It wasn’t that long ago that Houston was as hot as any team in the league, reeling off six straight wins. The Rockets followed that run with a four-game losing streak that included three losses to sub-.500 East teams and an embarrassing home outing against the Clippers.

    “We’re not really worried. Just frustrating,” James Harden told reporters Sunday. “Seems like we’re just all going bad, but the only way to get out of it is keep pushing through. Keep fighting. We’ll make a turnaround.” — MacMahon

    This week: MIN, @LAL, @POR


    10. Oklahoma City Thunder
    Record: 40-24
    Week 20 ranking: 8

    The Thunder were put in their place in back-to-back games by two of the league’s elites last week, so they had something to prove Sunday in Boston. Without their leading scorer, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder trailed by as many as 18 points. Then they did what they know how to do better than anybody: win a close game. Dennis Schroder added to his Sixth Man of the Year campaign by picking Kemba Walker‘s pocket and scoring the go-ahead bucket with 8.5 seconds left to steal a win against the Celtics. — Young

    This week: UTAH, MIN, @WAS


    11. Dallas Mavericks
    Record: 39-26
    Week 20 ranking: 11

    The best stretch of Kristaps Porzingis‘s career was interrupted when the Pacers held him to nine points on 3-of-17 shooting Sunday. That ended a career-best streak of five 20-point, 10-rebound performances. In the previous 13 games, Porzingis had eight 25-point double-doubles, including five with at least 30 points. In 222 career games before that stretch, Porzingis had a total of eight 25-point double-doubles, including only three with 30 points. — MacMahon

    This week: @SAS, DEN, PHX


    12. Indiana Pacers
    Record: 38-25
    Week 20 ranking: 13

    The Pacers have quietly found their level in recent weeks, winning eight of their past 10 games with their only losses in Milwaukee and in Toronto. Victor Oladipo has played well when healthy, averaging 14.5 points per game on 47.6% from the field in his past four outings, but he has missed four of the past eight games because of knee soreness. Point guard Malcolm Brogdon is also week-to-week with a muscle tear in his leg, as injuries threaten to derail the team’s recent success. — Snellings

    This week: BOS, @PHI


    13. Philadelphia 76ers
    Record: 38-26
    Week 20 ranking: 10

    For a team without Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson and Joel Embiid, winning the back end of the West Coast trip to finish 2-2 would have been an accomplishment, especially after the Sixers lost the first two games to the Clippers and Lakers. Instead, Philadelphia was outscored 36-24 in the fourth quarter by a Golden State team missing Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. If there is a positive takeaway from the trip (besides Shake Milton vs. the Clippers), it is the play of Glenn Robinson III. In the losses to the Lakers and Warriors, Robinson III averaged 20 points on 14-of-20 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3. — Marks

    This week: DET, IND

























    Read More

    LeBron James makes a statement with ‘best weekend in a Lakers uniform’

    LOS ANGELES — It started most mornings over the summer around 3:30 a.m.

    No matter if he was at the gym he had built on the set of “Space Jam 2” at the Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank, California, or at the Los Angeles Lakers‘ practice facility in El Segundo, LeBron James was up early to work out. His first season in Los Angeles wasn’t a good one, with injuries and insults derailing his and the Lakers’ hopes of reclaiming their place atop the NBA hierarchy.

    He posted those workouts on social media, for his own accountability as much as anything else. But it was a statement to the rest of the league, too.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo might be the league’s reigning MVP. The LA Clippers might have beaten the Lakers for Kawhi Leonard in free agency.

    But James wasn’t giving up his place atop the league without a fight.

    This weekend, James made his loudest statements yet as he led the Lakers to hard-fought wins over Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday and Leonard’s Clippers on Sunday with stout defense on the two men who have made the most direct challenges to his throne in recent years.

    “LeBron was unbelievable,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “This was his best weekend in a Lakers uniform. He really dominated both games and helped close them out.”

    James finished with 28 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds in Sunday’s 112-103 win over the Clippers, giving the Lakers a win over the only team in the league that has defeated them twice this season.

    The Clippers threatened to rally against the Lakers in the fourth quarter, just as they did in their win on Christmas Day. But James’ defense and hustle plays set the tone for the Lakers down the stretch.

    With 2:21 remaining in the game, James dove on the floor and out-wrestled 240-pound LA center Montrezl Harrell for a reb

    Read More

    House of Highlights’ Top Plays of the Week for March 6

    The Los Angeles Lakers capped off their week with 112-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, their fourth straight win.

    As the Lakers fortify their position atop the Western Conference, LeBron James is gaining ground on Giannis Antetokounmpo in the MVP race. James had 37

    Read More

    Giannis Antetokounmpo Says He Will Not Participate in NBA Dunk Contest in Future

    Giannis Antetokounmpo, of the Milwaukee Bucks, attends the NBA All-Star basketball game media day, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, in Chicago.(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    No matter what happens from here, Giannis Antetokounmpo will forever have one void in his trophy cabinet.

    Following a 157-155 defeat to Team LeBron in the NBA All-Star Game, the Milwaukee Bucks star ruled out a return to the Slam Dunk Contest. He cited the quality of the participants who take part and how high the bar has been raised in the event.

    Antetokounmpo competed in the 2015 edition, finishing last with a total score of 65 for his two dunks. A

    Read More

    LeBron James, Frank Vogel say Lakers won’t rush DeMarcus Cousins back – Silver Screen and Roll

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — If one didn’t know that the video they were watching was recorded last night, and not last summer, DeMarcus Cousins could have been talking about his fit on the Los Angeles Lakers heading into the season.

    “Man, we got so many guys with different abilities,” Cousins said during a recent appearance on the “All the Smoke” podcast. “I can spot up, ‘Bron (LeBron James) is going to draw everybody. I’m pretty confident I can knock down a shot. We got shooters all over the floor. I can playmake. It’s like pick your poison.”

    But Cousins wasn’t talking about some theoretical fit during the preseason. He missed all of that — along with training camp and every game the Lakers have played this year — with a torn ACL he suffered in an August pick-up game. The team has never gotten to see how Cousins would help them, so all he was left to talk about was how he might fit during a theoretical postseason comeback.

    Could he actually come back, though? Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel once again said that Cousins was “on track” for a return by the playoffs this weekend, continuing a trend of him offering optimism that the seven-footer might suit up for the Lakers this year.

    But when asked at practice on Thursday if there is anything he’s seen from Cousins that gives him such hope that he could be back this year, Vogel offered what might have been the first slight bit of pushback he’s given regarding Cousins’ status.

    “There is no date (he’d have to return by in order to play),” Vogel said. “And there is really no specific signs. I’m not even sure where he’s at with exactly what he’s doing day-to-day. I just still know he’s a long way away, but they’ve said they’re not ruling out him returning. That’s really all I can give you.”

    When pressed on what his dialogue has been like with the training staff regarding Cousins, Vogel said that he won’t hear much from them until Cousins is closer to action than he is right now.

    “I just know he’s not close. As he starts getting close and able to do things, they’ll come to me and let me know,” Vogel said.

    Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors

    For now, the only times the Lakers have really seen DeMarcus Cousins on the floor is when he’s shooting around after practice or during the team’s warm-ups for games. It’s not clear if he’ll ever get closer to actual minutes this year.
    Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Vogel admitted that the Lakers were planni

    Read More

    LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment Seeking Big New Overall Content Deal (EXCLUSIVE)

    LeBron James is looking for a slam dunk of a new overall deal for his content company SpringHill Entertainment, insiders familiar with the talks told Variety. Thanks to a wide field of potential suitors, the production entity is currently considering separate deals in film and television at different studios, sources said.

    Disney Television Studios, Universal Pictures, Amazon Studios, Netflix and other companies had meetings with James and his team in recent months to discuss coming in-house to produce features, series and more in a first-look or exclusive engagement, said the insiders.

    The NBA champion and his creative team, led by CEO Maverick Carter, have called Warner Bros. Entertainment home since 2015. That deal expired last July, according to three people familiar with the terms, though the AT&T-owned shop is still in the running to keep James on the lot. They are now competing against the aforementioned majors, infused with cash to win digital subscribers, as well as the free-spending streamers.

    SpringHill has been quietly building credits since 2008, and made th

    Read More

    Lakers Star LeBron James Won’t Play If NBA Bans Fans From Games Over Coronavirus

    Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James said he won’t play any games if the NBA bans fans from attending due to fears over the coronavirus.

    On Friday, the NBA sent memos to teams saying they should prepare for the possibility that they may need to play games without fans in attendance in order to not spread the virus. Several sports leagues in countries where the coronavirus infection is worse have already taken similar precautions. Italy’s government mandated that all sporting events be held without fans, and the Switzerland government has banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people, leaving some hockey games to be nearly empty in the stands.

    “No, that’s impossible. I ain’t playing if I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates, I play for the fans, that’s what it’s all abo

    Read More

    Nike LeBron 17 Low Offered Classic Black and Red Style

    Los Angeles Lakers superstar forward LeBron James may be concerned about potentially playing in front of empty stadiums due to the novel coronavirus, but it’s business as usual for his Nike Basketball line, which has just presented the LeBron 17 Low in a classic “Black/University Red” colorway. Much like its high-cut counterpart, the LeBron 17 Low uses an advanced cushioning setup and equips kingly details. However, it also offers a more minimal style for hoops fans who’d prefer to pledge their fealty to the King in subtle fashion.

    Two materials are present on the blacked-out upper: a textured knit that aims to replicate the look of the high-top LeBron 17‘s Battleknit construction and a perforated black nubuck. The former coats the entirety of the one

    Read More

    Bronny James, Zaire Wade, Sierra Canyon Use Wild Comeback to Beat Etiwanda

    Sierra Canyon's Ziaire Williams #1 is seen against Paul VI during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Monday, January 20, 2020, in Springfield, MA. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Ziaire Williams’ knocked down a mid-range buzzer-beater to help Sierra Canyon overcome a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit and defeat Etiwanda 63-61 in the semifinals of the California state boys basketball championship Tuesday.

    Sierra Canyon, which trailed by 11 with fewer than three minutes remaining, closed the game on a 13-0 run. BJ Boston scored seven of his game-high 26 points during that stretch.

    Per freelance prep writer Jack Pollon, Williams scored 17, Amari Bailey and Harold Yu each had seven, and Shy Odom scored six.

    As for Williams, he spoke about the shot postgame.

    “That shot is my go-to,” Williams said per Tarek Fattal of the Los Angeles Daily News. “My dribble pull up, going to my left. I just let it fly.”

    Sierra Canyon had

    Read More

    Enes Kanter: The Athletes of the WNBA Are Fighting for Equality. We in the NBA Need to Fight Beside Them

    A dream came true When I was drafted into the NBA a decade ago. I never thought of anything more than putting in my best work and helping my team win. For the talented athletes of the WNBA, it is a different story. After making it professionally, they continue to battle for equitable pay, balanced media portrayal and fair treatment. They have to fight two battles—one on the court, and the other off court.

    This is about more than pay; it’s about recognition for their hard work as athletes. One of the reasons we’re even talking about equal pay in sports today is because of the courageous fight of the U.S. women’s national soccer team. It took winning the world cup for their voices to be heard. As former WNBA president Lisa Borders has said, sexism is behind this problem, as “people do not believe that women can be superb professional athletes.”

    The conversation about pay equality in the WNBA got a jolt in 2018 when star player A’ja Wilson tweeted that LeBron James’ salary “must be nice.” I remember her catching so much heat from that tweet. For speaking up, she was criticized. But in January, less than two years later, the WNBA and its players’ union reached a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with improvements in pay and benefits. Before the CBA, female athletes received less than 30% of revenue-sharing and lost half of their salaries if they went on maternity leave during the season. During the off-seasons, many players went overseas to China and Russia, where the pay is six to 12 times more than WNBA salaries. These women are leaving their homes, their country, their friends, their families, working twice as hard and still getting paid less than male players do.

    Read More: These 16 People and Groups Are Fighting for a More Equal America

    Michael Jordan’s “flu game” is famous for so many reasons, yet Skylar Diggins-Smith’s playing her entire 2018 season pregnant only led to her getting flak for taking the 2019 season off, because of postpartum depression, so she could return mentally and physically. In the NBA, we adopted a rule in the 2019–2020 season to have a mental-health professional on staff. The WNBA doesn’t have thi

    Read More

    Nicholas Braun: Tall Man, Tiny Suit

    Nicholas Braun spends most of his time in the public eye as Succession’s poorly dressed pawn Cousin Greg. His costumes mostly consist of ill-fitting suits and limp, sad windbreakers perfect for squirreling away a bag of “Park Coke” he bought for Kendall. But off-screen Braun is coasting down a more stylish path, and it seems he’s finally discovered that first bit of menswear nirvana: a Thom Browne

    Read More

    LeBron James Refuses to Play if NBA Bans Fans Amid Coronavirus Fears

    The NBA has reportedly advised teams to plan for playing games in front of empty arenas due to concerns over the coronavirus. However, LeBron James says he will not play games to arenas with no fans.

    After the Los Angeles Lakers’ win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, the Lakers superstar was asked about his stance on the NBA’s plans to protect fans and players from the coronavirus.

    “We play games without the fans? Nah, that’s impossible,” James told The Associated Press. “I ain’t playing if I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for. I play for my teammates, and I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. So if I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.”

    Read More

    Bronny James, Zaire Wade, Sierra Canyon Advance with Win vs. Harvard-Westlake

    Sierra Canyon's Ziaire Williams #1 in action against Paul VI during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Monday, January 20, 2020, in Springfield, MA. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    In front of a sold-out crowd at Pepperdine’s Firestone Fieldhouse near Malibu, California, No. 1 seed Sierra Canyon continued its march to the CIF Open Division State Championship with a 75-65 victory over Harvard-Westlake on Saturday.

    Amari Bailey led the way for the Blazers with 22 points, while Ziaire Williams added another 18 himself, including 11 points over a crucial stretch late in the fourth quarter. With Sierra Canyon down 53-50, Williams helped spark a 15-4 run that locked up the 10-point victory.

    Neither James nor Zaire Wade factored much into this one, yet the full team effort on display by the Blazers was crucial to pulling off the victory. James, a freshman, made his playoff debut in the win.

    Read More

    LeBron: Being the best, not MVP, is motivation

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — LeBron James was named the NBA’s MVP four times through his first 16 seasons in the league; however, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar claims he never set out to acquire a pile of Maurice Podoloff Trophies.

    “It’s never motivated me,” James said Thursday on the eve of the Lakers’ matchup with reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. “Regular-season MVP has never motivated me. To be the best — to be the best to ever play the game has motivated me and has resulted in me being able to be league MVP a couple times.

    “But I’ve never gone into the season saying, ‘OK, league MVP is what I want to be.’ I’ve gone into the season saying, ‘OK, I want to be the MVP of this team; I want to be the best player in the world,’ and how I approach my game every day, how I take care of my body every day has resulted in that [award].”

    James’ four MVPs ties him with Wilt Chamberlain for fourth in league history, trailing Michael Jordan and Bill Russell (five) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six).

    Should James, 35, win the award this season, he would become the oldest league MVP since Karl Malone in 1998-99. He is averaging 25.4 points, a league-leading 10.7 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game in his 17th season. If it was up to his Lakers brethren, the “L-e-B …” on his name would already be engraved on this season’s trophy.

    “The body of work he’s put forth for our team I don’t really think it compares to anybody else,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “A lot of great performances throughout the year with other players, so I don’t want to take anything away from anyone else,

    Read More

    Nike LeBron 7 Nods to LA Hub and High School With “Fairfax”

    LeBron James has only been a member of the Los Angeles Lakers for a season and change, but he’s supported LA’s Fairfax High School with PE makeups of his signature Nike footwear since 2007 — and now his famed LeBron 7 “Fairfax” PE is set for a full retail release. Although the Fairfax area is mostly known as a hub for street culture thanks to retail outposts like Supreme, The Hundreds and Flight Club, its high school has produced notable alumni from Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to actress Mila Kunis and NBA players Solomon Hill and Craig Sm

    Read More

    Key Words: LeBron James, Stephen Curry react to the NBA season being canceled

    Basketball stars have been just as stunned by the NBA’s call to suspend the 2020 season over coronavirus concerns as the fans.

    The league’s unprecedented announcement to halt all game play “until further notice” on Wednesday came just hours after the NCAA decided to ban fans from attending March Madness tournaments — so those players will be making any buzzer beaters before empty stands.

    “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic,” the league said in a statement. It was also revealed that a Utah Jazz player, believed to be Rudy Robert, has tested positive for the coronavirus. His Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell was also reported to have tested positive for COVID-19, ESPN reported.

    Read More

    NBA Suspends Season After Player Tests Positive for Coronavirus

    The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced Wednesday night that it was suspending its season after a player tested positive for COVID-19.

    The NBA said the Utah Jazz player “preliminarily tested positive” for COVID-19 before a game. The statement said Wednesday’s game between the Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder was canceled before it began and that the player who tested positive was not in the arena. The Associated Press, citing a source, identified the player as Rudy Gobert.

    “The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice,” a statement read. “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

    Read More

    LeBron James Reacts to NBA Suspension

    The NBA announced it would suspend its season until further notice amid the spread of coronavirus. This move follows reports that a Utah Jazz player — reported to be Rudy Gobert — had contracted the virus prior to tip-off of last night’s game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder. The game was subsequently cancelled, though the NBA statement confirmed that the affected player was not in the arena.

    The statement goes on to read: “The NBA is suspending game play following the conclusion of tonight’s schedule of games until further notice. The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

    According to ESPN reporter Brian Windhorst, teams that have recently played the Jazz have been told to self-quarantine. Those teams include the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Boston Celt

    Read More

    LeBron James After NBA Suspends Season: ‘What We Need to Cancel Is 2020!’

    Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Tuesday, March 10, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    The NBA suspended its season Wednesday night after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. After the NBA’s announcement, Los Angeles Lakers center LeBron James tweeted that 2020 should be canceled:

    It has been a difficult year in the NBA and Los Angeles community with the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, along with seven others, in February, likely a part of wha

    Read More

    Jay-Z assists as daughter Blue Ivy Carter gets starstruck during sweet encounter with LeBron James



    CLOSE


    Blue Ivy Carter wore an $1800 Gucci dress to the NBA All Star game. You can get this look for less. Elizabeth Keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more.

    Even Blue Ivy Carter gets starstruck. 

    The fashionable 8-year-old may have superstars Beyoncé and Jay-Z as parents, but it was basketball star LeBron James who had her adorably lost for words. 

    Blue Ivy enjoyed some quality father-daughter time with Jay-Z courtside at Sunday’s match-up between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.

    Following the Lakers’ 112-103 win over their in-town rivals, James personally greeted Jay-Z and Blue Ivy, who initially hid behind her dad as the all-star player approached. 

    It turns out she had a simple request: an autographed basketball. But Blue Ivy was too shy to muster up the words to ask at first. 

    More: Blue Ivy proves she is growing up so fast in adorable birthday photo from Beyonce’s dad

    “If you want it, you gotta tell him,” Jay-Z can be heard telling his daughter during the sweet encounter. “You almost got it out. Yeah, just do it.”

    James responded: “You want a ball from me?… By the time you get out of school on Monday, you’ll have it.”

    Blue, who was born on Jan. 7, 2012, is the first child of Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z. The couple also share twins Rumi and Sir, who are 2.

    Blue Ivy is proving to be somewhat of a sports savant.

    Last month, the pint size star attended the Super Bowl alongside her parents in Miami Gardens, Florida. Ahead of the game, she tossed a ball on the fi

    Read More

    LeBron will ‘listen’ if NBA bars fans over virus

    EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — With the situation and safety measures concerning the coronavirus outbreak changing rapidly, LeBron James said he’d be disappointed if the NBA plays games without fans but that he would listen to whatever the league decides is the safest thing to do.

    Last Friday, when initially asked about the idea, the Los Angeles Lakers star said he would not play if there were no fans at NBA games.

    “Well it’s funny, because when I was asked the question of would you play without no fans, I had no idea that there was actually a conversation going behind closed doors about the particular virus,” James said Tuesday. “Obviously, I would be very disappointed not having the fans, because that is what I play for — I play f

    Read More

    Blue Ivy Got Starstruck Meeting LeBron James And It’s The Cutest Thing I’ve Seen Today

    Blue Ivy loves basketball as much as her parents. View Entire Post ›
    Read More

    Predicting the Next Wave of NBA MVP Candidates

    0 of 5

      Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

      Believe it or not, there will come a time when the NBA MVP race doesn’t include the usual suspects. LeBron James, James Harden, Kawhi Leonard and a healthy Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, among others, can dominate the ballot for only so long.

      Luckily, though, the league will be in great hands once it transitions into a new era of MVP mainstays.

      Giannis Antetokounmpo has already proved as much. He burst onto the MVP scene and never left, and now a second consecutive Maurice Podoloff Trophy is all but in the bag.

      Other newish secondary MVP candidates invite the same amount of confidence in the NBA’s future. Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic aren’t going anywhere. Karl-Anthony Towns’ case will be ironclad if the Minnesota Timberwolves are ever good.

      Our crystal ball helped us peer even further down the line. We wanted to identify the players who stand to shape the MVP discourse for the next decade-plus—and who haven’t yet routinely contended for the Association’s highest individual honor.

      Anyone in their age-21 season or younger was eligible for consideration. This ensured the maximum number of fresh faces, even if Luka Doncic is already getting his share of MVP talk.

      Not every could-be or established young star made the cut. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is really good and going to be great. This conversation is reserved for those who are better—players with clear paths to becoming, and remaining, one of the league’s seven to 10 best players for a long, long time.

    1 of 5

      Ray Carlin/Associated Press

      Luka Doncic’s inclusion didn’t take much thought. He is already on the periphery of the MVP discussion.

      Giannis Antetokounmpo remains this year’s heavy, inarguable favorite. LeBron James is right behind him. Things get more interesting after them. Doncic, James Harden, Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard and Damian Lillard will jockey for bronze. Anthony Davis should get some love, too.

      Securing a top-five finish on the MVP ladder is not an official achievement. It is an anecdotal victory more than anything else. But when you’re a 21-year-old sophomore, that moral W is a big frigging deal.

      It says just as much about Doncic’s long-term viability that he’s played himself into the Most Improved Player conversation. Not only is the stigma against second-year leaps real, but he’s working from a position of entrenched stardom.

      Doncic’s runaway Rookie of the Year campaign fast-tracked him for top-25-or-better status before his sophomore season ever tipped off. He has obliterated expectations even by that measure. His 28.5 points and 8.7 assists per game are gigantic increases over last year’s averages (21.2 and 6.0, respectively), and they’ve come on a less-than-marginal uptick in playing time.

      Compacted volume is more responsible for Doncic’s statistical jumps. His usage rate has skyrocketed from 30.5, a top-10 mark last season, to 37.0, the second-highest in the league, behind only Antetokounmpo’s.

      Dramatic increases in workload tend to come at the expense of efficiency. Not in Doncic’s case. His true shooting percentage sits at 58.3, nearly four points higher than last year’s and comfortably above the league average of 56.3.

      People will eventually turn on Doncic’s three-point clip. That’s how this works. Youthful stardom is a honeymoon. The harping and hating comes later.

      Let them. Doncic is launching almost 10 triples per 36 minutes, the vast majority of which are intensely difficult looks. Only Harden, Lillard and Trae Young have scored more points on unassisted treys, according to PBP Stats.

      Sub-32 percent shooting from beyond the arc isn’t something Doncic needs to overcome or anyone must forgive. Twenty-one-year-olds aren’t finished products. And even if Doncic never parallels Harden’s or Lillard’s efficiency from deep, he’s still one of the league’s most transcendent offensive players.

      Few others boast his vision off the dribble, and he’s become an expert at keeping defenses on tilt inside the arc. He’s shooting 57.5 percent on his two-pointers and 72 percent at the rim (94th percentile). It is on his back that the Dallas Mavericks have moved into the outskirts of the title picture. Many more years of serious MVP contention are a given.

    2 of 5

      Joe Murphy/Getty Images

      Ja Morant’s rookie season is nothing if not proof he has the ceiling of a player who belongs on this list.

      A loosening grip on Rookie of the Year ownership doesn’t change his trajectory. For one, he’s not even giving up ground in that “race.” Zion Williamson’s dominance has made it seem like Morant’s stock has dropped. But he hasn’t slumped long enough or hard enough to be anything other than the consensus favorite.

      Oscar Robertson and Trae Young are the only other rookies to clear 20 points and eight assists per 36 minutes. That Morant’s true shooting percentage (56.9) checks in a hair above the league average (56.3) is comparably impressive. He has one of the Association’s 30 highest usage rates and has scored more points on unassisted twos than Devin Booker, according to PBP Stats.

      Ferrying that type of workload is one thing. Shouldering it as a 20-year-old is another. Carrying it as a rookie on above-average efficiency is ridiculous.

      Morant does need to expand his three-point volume if he’s going to expedite and solidify his future-MVP position. He’s canning 35.7 percent of his pull-up triples but attempting only 1.4 such looks per game—and fewer than three per 36 minutes overall.

      Creating anarchy inside the arc has its limits. Morant will push them even if he remains a conservative outside shooter. He is both slippery and explosive, like if an RDX compound was given legs. Only a handful of players can make the passing reads he does after leaving his feet, and his handle equates to an open-ended ticket to shows at the rim. He gets to the line enough to prop up his shot profile.

      If you’re worried about the Memphis Grizzlies’ better offensive rating with Morant off the floor, try to stop. Rebuilding teams have high variance baked into their lineups. Even the best rookies cannot always solve them.

      The Grizzlies’ net rating is still better with Morant on the court. They wouldn’t be in the Western Conference’s final postseason spot without him. That he’s making such a huge imprint as an unfinished product speaks volumes about what he will do at the height of his powers.

    3 of 5

      Tony Dejak/Associated Press

      Emerging as the best player on a ch

    Read More

    Nike LeBron 17 Readies for Olympics With “RED/WHITE/BLUE” Colorway

    Nike‘s LeBron 17 has just been updated with some American flair for the “RED/WHITE/BLUE” colorway. The knitposite uppers arrive predominantly in a navy color but gradually transition to swirls of red, white and blue the closer you get to the heel. The red, white and blue theme co

    Read More

    Patrick Beverley Drops One of the Most Laughable Quotes Ever About LeBron James: TRAINA THOUGHTS – Sports Illustrated

    1. Clippers guard Patrick Beverley scored two points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out an assist in his team’s 112-103 loss to the Lakers on Sunday.

    The man he guarded, LeBron James, poured in 28 points, recorded nine assists, pulled down seven rebounds and had two blocks.

    Obviously, there’s no shame in this because LeBron is one of the top athletes in the history of sports, he might be the best NBA player ever, and he’s still the greatest show on earth.

    However, after the game, Beverley said it was “no challenge at all” to guard the King. He doubled down on his delusion by saying, “it’s not hard at all.” 

    Fans and media want honesty from athletes. We hate standard, generic quotes. So we can appreciate Beverley giving us some good fodder here, but we also need their quotes to be based in reality.

    Come back to us, Patrick.

    2. A couple of Mets fans were able to spot a garbage can just in time for one of Alex Bregman’s at-bats Sunday. Naturally, they put it to good use.

    3. Tom Brady has launched a new production company called “199 Productions” in honor of the future Hall of Famer being the 199th pick in the 2000 draft.

    4. J.J. Watt just got married, so this photo shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    5. If you missed it on Friday, one day after Traina Thoughts strongly advocated

    Read More

    How NBA Jam Helped Stephen Curry Change the NBA

    ‘) : “”;
    }, t.getDefinedParams = function (n, e) {
    return e.filter(function (e) {
    return n[e];
    }).reduce(function (e, t) {
    return p(e, function (e, t, n) {
    t in e ? Object.defineProperty(e, t, {
    value: n,
    enumerable: !0,
    configurable: !0,
    writable: !0
    }) : e[t] = n;
    return e;
    }({}, t, n[t]));
    }, {});
    }, t.isValidMediaTypes = function (e) {
    var t = [“banner”, “native”, “video”];
    if (!Object.keys(e).every(function (e) {
    return s()(t, e);
    })) return !1;
    if (e.video && e.video.context) return s()([“instream”, “outstream”, “adpod”], e.video.context);
    return !0;
    }, t.getBidderRequest = function (e, t, n) {
    return c()(e, function (e) {
    return 0 t[n] ? -1 : 0;
    };
    };
    var r = n(3),
    i = n(115),
    o = n.n(i),
    a = n(12),
    c = n.n(a),
    u = n(10),
    s = n.n(u),
    d = n(116);
    n.d(t, “deepAccess”, function () {
    return d.a;
    });
    var f = n(117);

    function l(e) {
    return function (e) {
    if (Array.isArray(e)) {
    for (var t = 0, n = new Array(e.length); t n ‘)) : “”;
    }

    function ae(e, t, n) {
    return null == t ? n : J(t) ? t : Q(t) ? t.toString() : void j.logWarn(“Unsuported type for param: ” + e + ” required type: String”);
    }

    function ce(e, t, n) {
    return n.indexOf(e) === t;
    }

    function ue(e, t) {
    return e.concat(t);
    }

    function se(e) {
    return Object.keys(e);
    }

    function de(e, t) {
    return e[t];
    }

    var fe = ge(“timeToRespond”, function (e, t) {
    return t = e.length ? (this._t = void 0, i(1)) : i(0, “keys” == t ? n : “values” == t ? e[n] : [n, e[n]]);
    }, “values”), o.Arguments = o.Array, r(“keys”), r(“values”), r(“entries”);
    },
    101: function _(e, t, n) {
    “use strict”;

    var r = n(102),
    i = n(72);
    e.exports = n(104)(“Set”, function (t) {
    return function (e) {
    return t(this, 0 >> 0,
    o = 0;
    if (t) n = t;else {
    for (; o = b.syncsPerBidder ? a.logWarn(‘Number of user syncs exceeded for “‘.concat(t, ‘”‘)) : d.canBidderRegisterSync(e, t) ? (f[e].push([t, n]), (r = p)[i = t] ? r[i] += 1 : r[i] = 1, void (p = r)) : a.logWarn(‘Bidder “‘.concat(t, ‘” not permitted to register their “‘).concat(e, ‘” userSync pixels.’)) : a.logWarn(“Bidder is required for registering sync”) : a.logWarn(‘User sync type “‘.concat(e, ‘” not supported’));
    var r, i;
    }, d.syncUsers = function () {
    var e = 0 Object(y.timestamp)();
    },
    s = function s(e) {
    return e && (e.status && !S()([O.BID_STATUS.RENDERED], e.status) || !e.status);
    };

    function w(e, r, t) {
    var i = 2 i && (r = !1)), !r;
    }), r && e.run(), r;
    }

    function g(e, t) {
    void 0 === e[t] ? e[t] = 1 : e[t]++;
    }
    },
    addWinningBid: function addWinningBid(e) {
    g = g.concat(e), x.callBidWonBidder(e.bidder, e, o);
    },
    setBidTargeting: function setBidTargeting(e) {
    x.callSetTargetingBidder(e.bidder, e);
    },
    getWinningBids: function getWinningBids(

    Read More

    McGee: Lakers ‘best team in the world right now’

    LOS ANGELES — Wearing a jet-black Deion Sanders Atlanta Falcons jersey after a 112-103 win over the LA Clippers on Sunday, Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee made a declaration that would have made the boastful “Prime Time” proud.

    “It was very important,” McGee said when asked to put the Lakers’ win over their Staples Center cohabitants into perspective. “Just to quiet the doubters.

    “The Lake Show [is] the best team in the world right now.”

    After the weekend the Lakers had, it’s hard to argue with him.

    They beat the Milwaukee Bucks, owners of the best record in the league and featuring the reigning MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo, on Friday. Then they dispatched the Clippers, owners of the fourth-best record in the league and featuring the reigning Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard, two days later.

    The last time the Lakers defeated two of the top four teams in the NBA in consecutive games was February 2009, when they took down the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. They won the title that season.

    “There’s a lot of factors that go into these games that really don’t matter come playoff time, whether you win or lose,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “But to measure some habits we’re trying to build, it’s very encouraging to see our guys perform at this level against two of the best teams in the league.”

    After LeBron James pumped in 28 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks, he had his teammates, again, making the case for him as the best player in the league.

    “They need to watch the last two games,” Anthony Davis, who had 30 points and eight boards, said when as

    Read More

    NBA Power Rankings: LeBron James, Lakers Finally Break Through

    Sam Forencich/Getty Images

    20. San Antonio Spurs (21)

    Tim Duncan should retire again, this time from coaching. Or, less drastically, he should refuse to occupy the big boy chair ever again. That way, he’d preserve his perfect 1-0 record.

    The Spurs fell by 17 points to the lowly Hornets in Duncan’s fill-in effort for Gregg Popovich but rallied back and held on for a 104-103 victory behind Dejounte Murray’s 21 points.

    Said Duncan of Murray, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News: “His confidence and aggression are going up. They are going in the right direction, and he’s big for us. He’s going to have to be big for us. He needs experience, he needs time on the floor, and he needs situational experience. He’s going to be a good one.”

    That means a lot coming from the coach with the highest winning percentage in league history.

    The Duncan-as-head coach experience distracted from an otherwise unimpressive week for the Spurs, who dropped a 139-120 contest to a Brooklyn Nets team mere hours from firing its head coach Friday night.

           

    19. Orlando Magic (15)

    When you’re the worst offense currently in position to make the playoffs, you’ll take scoring however you can get it—even if nothing else comes with it. So you won’t be hearing any complaints about Terrence Ross’s 35-point, zero-assist, zero-rebound, zero-block, zero-steal effort in Wednesday’s 116-113 loss to the Miami Heat.

    Bojan Bogdanovic also had a “35 points and nothing else” game earlier this year, but including Ross’, there have only been three such stat lines since 1983-84. 

    Remarkably, the Magic found some scoring punch late in the week, putting up 132 points in Friday’s win over the Wolves and 126 in Sunday’s unexpected victory at Houston. With the Nets’ coaching change potentially causing strife in Brooklyn, there’s still an opportunity for the Magic to grab that No. 7 spot and build a cushion.

    That’d get them out of the Bucks’ first-round crosshairs.

            

    18. Portland Trail Blazers (22)

    Portland went 2-2 this past week (1-2 in the three games since

    Read More

    Watch Blue Ivy Get Completely Starstruck Meeting LeBron James

    Yesterday, JAY-Z and Blue Ivy Carter went to LA’s Staples Center for the Lakers vs. Clippers NBA game. After the Lakers’ win, star player LeBron James walked over to greet them, and Blue Ivy’s reaction to meeting him is melting everyone’s heart.

    As soon as the eight-year-old saw James walking over, she began jumping in excitement and hiding behind her father. James then greeted both JAY-Z and Blue Ivy with a handshake, before exchanging a few words with the child.

    In the video below, JAY can be seen encouraging his daughter to speak up, who timidly asked James for an autographed basketball. “You’ll have it by Monday,” James promised.

    Blue Ivy might be the daughter of two of the world’s biggest superstars, but that didn’t stop her from being starstruck by James. Everyone on the internet agreed that her reaction was the cutest thing ever. “Too stinking cute,” one fan tweeted. “This the first tim

    Read More

    If Defense Wins Championships, Lakers Earning Edge over LA Clippers

    LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 8: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers high five during the game against the LA Clippers on March 8, 2020 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 2020 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Take Avery Bradley’s outlier performance Sunday afternoon out of the equation and the Los Angeles Lakers not named LeBron James or Anthony Davis combined for 30 points on 12-of-34 shooting (35.3 percent).

    And yet, despite a couple of second-half mini-runs, the Lakers largely cruised to a 112-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

    In a game that felt like a Western Conference Finals preview, the Lakers’ roster felt more like the one tailored to the playoffs. That supporting cast didn’t offer much help in the scoring column, but that was just fine when its defense was connected, focused and steady.

    I thought they were the more physical team tonight,” Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told reporters after the game. “I thought they were into their game plan more tonight.”

    Kawhi Leonard and Paul George got theirs, combining for 58 points on 18-of-34 shooting (52.9 percent), but they had to work for it. And the outstretched, contesting hands over which they had to shoot more than bothered the rest of the Clippers, who shot just 30.8 percent from the field.

    All told, the 103 points mustered by the Clips was their fourth-lowest total in a game that featured both Kawhi and PG. The 43.6 effective field-goal percentage allowed by the Lakers was LAC’s third-lowest among games in which the two stars played.

    And this lockdown performance came on the heels of the Lakers holding the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks to 103 points Friday.

    There were plenty of questions about the Lakers’ non-stars coming into this season. Most of them were fair. But games like Sunday’s demonstrate their value.

    According to FiveThirtyEight’s all-in-one RAPTOR metric, Alex Caruso, JaVale McGee, Danny Green, Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard have all been above-average on the defensive end this season. Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope aren’t far off that distinction.

    Even when they aren’t scoring, they can have an impact on the outcome, especially in a playoff-like atmosphere in which things slow down and each possession becomes a grind.

    Last season, 15 teams had an average pace of over 100 possessions per 48 minutes during the regular season. Just four of the 16 playoff participants had a 100-plus pace in the postseason, and three were eliminated in the first round.

    To the credit of general manager Rob Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers’ front office, this is a roster that appears tailor-made for the slog the playoffs can often become. And, of course, there are still two stars in place who can take over at

    Read More

    LeBron James Weighs In on Coronavirus NBA Fan Ban

    Due to the growing global concerns of the Coronavirus and its impact on social gatherings, the NBA has announced that it is potentially looking to ban fans from attending live games.

    With the enforcement of prohibiting fans from attending live events already in effect in some countries in Asia and Europe, the United States is experiencing growing pre

    Read More

    Players from Liverpool and Bournemouth had a no-touch pre-game greeting in a Premier League effort to address the coronavirus outbreak

    • The Premier League announced it was stopping the pre-game handshake in an effort to prevent players from spreading the coronavirus.
    • However, the league didn’t announce any other amendments for the rest of the game, in which players spend in very close contact. 
    • Players from England’s Liverpool and Bournemouth soccer clubs sparked online reactions for the awkward contact-free greeting at the beginning of Saturday’s game.
    • The move is a minor example of decisions made by sports authorities in countries across the world trying to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus among the public.
    • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

    Players on England’s Liverpool and Bournemouth soccer clubs sparked some humorous reactions when they skipped the customary pre-game handshake before their Saturday game.  

    The Premier League had announced before the game that the players would line up alongside their teammates to greet their opponents per usual, but would not physically shake hands. 

    Most players abided by the no-touch decision, but some, like Nathan Ake and Giorginio Wijnaldum, came up with friendly alternatives, like bumping elbows. 

    In a statement released ahead of the game, the league cited the infectious nature of the novel coronavirus as the basis of its decision, saying it was taking precautions against the “spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake.”

    Despite the decision to skip the pre-game ritual, the league did not make any other amendments to the 90-minute game, which players spent in

    Read More

    LeBron James, Anthony Davis Power Lakers to Win over Kawhi Leonard, Clippers

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 08:  LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket on Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers during the first half at Staples Center on March 08, 2020 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 Harry How/Getty Images)

    Harry How/Getty Images

    The one notable thing missing from the Los Angeles Lakers’ memorable season to this point was a victory over the L.A. Clippers.

    That changed Sunday.

    The Lakers prevailed 112-103 at Staples Center in a potential Western Conference Finals preview with star power galore, giving them their first win in three tries against their city rivals this season. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Avery Bradley led the way, helping the Purple and Gold improve to 49-13 on the campaign with a fourth win in a row.

    The Clippers are still an impressive 43-20 even though their six-game winning streak came to an end.

              

    Notable Player Stats

    • LAL F LeBron James: 28 points, nine assists and seven rebounds
    • LAL F Anthony Davis: 30 points, eight rebounds and two steals
    • LAL G Avery Bradley: 24 points and six three-pointers
    • LAC G Paul George: 31 points, six rebounds and three steals
    • LAC F Kawhi Leonard: 27 points
    • LAC F Montrezl Harrell: 20 points, eight rebounds and two blocks

               

    Avery Bradley Helps Lakers Stars Overcome Clippers Road Bump

    In theory, there wasn’t much at stake in this contest.

    After all, the Lakers were 5.5 games ahead of the Clippers entering play, meaning it would take a completely unexpected collapse from one of the league’s best teams to put the No. 1 seed up for grabs. Both teams are in championship-or-bust campaigns, and the playoff games to come will be far more important.

    Still, the split crowd reacting to every play like the game was on the line, defensive intensity from the start and multiple technical fouls as players didn’t back down from each other gave it a feel of one with far more meaning than a routine regular-season battle. Both teams appeared to have an innate understanding the other side was standing directly in the way of its championship pursuit.

    This was particularly important for the Lakers, as confidence could eventually become a question if they didn’t get over the Clippers hump before the playoffs.

    Part of getting over said hump is someone besides James and Davis playing well since the Clippers a

    Read More

    Trae Young Discusses Playing for Kobe, Gianna Bryant on LeBron James’ The Shop

    ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 26: Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks wears a number 8 jersey to honor the passing of Kobe Bryant during a game against the Washington Wizards on January 26, 2020 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  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 2020 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young opened up about what it was like to take the court hours after news broke of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, along with seven others.

    Young dropped 45 points and 14 assists in a 152-133 win over the Washington Wizards on Jan. 26. During an appearance on LeBron James’ HBO show The Shop, the All-Star guard discussed the conflicting emotions he felt in the buildup to that game:

    Young wore a No. 8 jersey to start the game as a nod to Kobe, and his offensive output put him in the same company with Bryant when all was said and done.

    Earlier that day, he had reminisced about meeting Gianna:

    Read More

    ‘I ain’t playing if no fans’ – LeBron James on possibility of NBA matches being staged behind closed doors

    The LA Lakers clinched a spot in the NBA play-offs for the first time since 2013 with victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday

    LeBron James says he would refuse to play if the Los Angeles Lakers had to stage games behind closed doors because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    On Friday, the NBA asked teams to start preparing for the possibility of playing without fans in attendance.

    In a memo obtained by ESPN, the NBA has also asked teams to identify “essential staff” in order to limit attendees.

    “Play games without the fans? No, simple answer,” said James after the Lakers’ win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

    “I ain’t playing if we haven’t got the fans in the crowd, that’s who I play for.

    “I play for my team-mates, I play for the fans, that’s what it’s all about.

    “If I

    Read More

    LeBron James Says He Wouldn’t Play If COVID-19 Led the NBA to Hold Games Without Fans

    LeBron James is not on board with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) reported response to the coronavirus.

    On Friday, The Athletic reported that the NBA sent a memo to its 30 teams telling them to prepare for the possibility of playing games without fans due to the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. The NBA also reportedly told the teams to begin to identify “essential staff” that must be present at those games.

    But after the Los Angeles Lakers’ beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, James criticized the NBA’s plans.

    “We play games without the fans? No, it’s impossible,” he said. “I ain’t playing. If I ain’t got the fans in the crowd, that’s who I play for. I play for my teammates- I play for the fans. That’s what it’s all about. If I show up to an arena and there are no fans in there, I ain’t playing. They can do what they want to do.”

    There are no current plays to postpone any NBA games because of the spread of the coronavirus, according to USA Today. On March 6, San Francisco’s Golden State Warriors released a statement saying they would play against the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night as scheduled, but encouraged “vulnerable populations, including persons with underlying health conditions” not to attend the game.

    As of Saturday morning, at least 340 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with coronavirus and 16 people have died.

    Were the NBA to hold games without the fans, they wouldn’t be the first sports league to do so. Johns Hopkins University announced this week that spectators would not be allowed to attend the first two ro

    Read More

    LeBron James refused NBA proposal for playing games without fans in the stands amid coronavirus concerns: ‘That’s who I play for’

    • Lebron James rejected the NBA’s proposal that teams might play games in arenas with no fans in response to the spread of the coronavirus.
    • “If I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fans in there, I ain’t playing,” James told reporters hours after the NBA released a memo saying it was considering mandating that attendees for the games could be limited to only “essential staff.”
    • The NBA’s move comes as countries including Italy, Japan, and South Korea have canceled major sporting events or athletes have played to empty venues.
    • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

    Lebron James pushed back against the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) newest proposal that could bar fans from attending games in an effort to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

    The organization released a memo on Friday to all of its 30 teams that they were weighing the possibility of playing games in empty arenas, which James flatly rejected when speaking to reporters Friday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

    “We play games without the fans?” James asked a reporter who described the memo. “That’s impossible. I ain’t playing if I ain’t got the fans in the crowd. That’s who I play for.”

    James added: “If I show up to an arena and there ain’t no fa

    Read More

    What we saw from Bucks and Lakers, part II

    LOS ANGELES — Carrying the main card billing of an NBA Finals preview and perhaps the decisive showdown between the league’s top MVP front-runners, Friday’s heavyweight bout between the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks possessed the sort of stakes offered in June, not March.

    And from the opening tip in an electric but on-edge Staples Center, the game itself took on a playoff-like intensity. Possessions transformed into grinding battles, regular-season whistles were put on hold while physicality reigned, and points were hard-won. The season-long dominance of both teams against most everyone else dissipated against each other, and a grinding battle ensued, befitting the caliber of two equally matched contenders.

    In the end, the Lakers clinched a playoff berth by defeating the Bucks 113-103. It marked the final regular-season matchup, and foreshadowed what might unfold should these teams meet again in June, when a championship will be on the line.

    Until that potential reunion, here are the key moments, observations and takeaways:


    All-Star power forward showcase takes a back seat

    On a night when the Bucks played against the team with the second-best record in the NBA, and Giannis Antetokounmpo faced off against another MVP front-runner in LeBron James, Antetokounmpo was focused on another player in his pregame warm-up: Anthony Davis.

    It is two hours before tipoff, and after 15 minutes of work on midrange shots, 3-pointers and free throws, Antetokounmpo is ready for a simulation. He needs Schuyler Rimmer, who works in the Bucks’ video room, to stretch taller, get longer and spread his fingers wider. Antetokounmpo is pushing Rimmer to become a makeshift Anthony Davis. The 2019 MVP has positioned Rimmer’s body the way he has seen Davis guard him on tape. He instructs Rimmer to fan out his arms.

    Opposing coaches often say that Antetokounmpo’s menacing style of play demands to be guarded by committee. Davis would be the Lakers’ primary stopper against Antetokounmpo, and Antetokounmpo wanted to be prepared … to start.

    Ultimately, Davis defended Antetokounmpo only 10 times Friday night, according to Second Spectrum. Six of those matchups were in the first quarter, but Davis drew two early fouls and ceded the matchup to LeBron James, who matched up with Antetokounmpo 35 times in the game.

    On the other end, Antetokounmpo guarded Davis 37 times in the half court, yielding 12 points in those matchups, according to Second Spectrum. Antetokounmpo was preparing for moments like late in the third quarter, when Davis steamrollered toward the basket. Antetokounmpo set his feet and forced Davis to commit an offensive foul. As he ran down the court, Antetokounmpo wagged his left index finger in the style of Dikembe Mutombo.

    In the end, Antetokounmpo had to guard Davis often. The Lakers had the luxury of freeing up Davis on the other end. — Malika Andrews


    Bucks not supporting Antetokounmpo

    play

    0:19

    Anthony Davis hustles up the court to block Khris Middleton’s shot from behind.

    During their December duel in Milwaukee, the Bucks’ reserves outscored the Lakers’ backups by a whopping 34-4 margin throughout a game the Bucks often led by double digits. (Even wilder: Bucks reserve guard Kyle Korver outscored the Lakers’ bench by himself in that game, 6-4.) It was the kind of performance that proved the Bucks’ balance, and that they were far more than just Giannis Antetokounmpo.

    In the rematch, the Lakers’ bench more than rebounded, scoring 33 points to the Bucks’ 32. But the more worrisome aspect for Milwaukee was the lack of production that it received from anyone outside of its reigning MVP, who didn’t even have his best performance as it was.

    Starting small forward Khris Middleton, who was on pace to become the ninth player in NBA history to shoot at least 50% from the field, 40% on 3-pointers and 90% from the free throw line, was off target for most of the night. The All-Star scored just 12 points on 5-of-19 shooting.

    Starting shooting guard Wesley Matthews, who is often a reliable weapon from 3-point range, tallied only three points on 1-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Starting point guard Eric Bledsoe scored only 11 and struggled with foul trouble. And off the bench, the Bucks received little relief beyond 17 points from Donte DiVincenzo.

    And when the Bucks found themselves clanking shots off the iron too often, they predictab

    Read More

    Brooklyn Nets, coach Kenny Atkinson part ways after four seasons

    of

    Powered by

    Read More

    Oklo Aurora Energy Plant

    Far smaller than nearly any other nuclear power plant, Oklo’s Aurora plant is designed to provide single co

    Read More

    LeBron James on Steph Curry’s Return from Hand Injury: ‘The Game Missed You’

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 5: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors dribbles the ball up court against the Toronto Raptors on March 5, 2020 at Chase Center in San Francisco, 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Noah Graham/Getty Images

    Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry returned to the court Thursday after missing four months with a broken left hand suffered Oct. 30.

    He received a warm welcome upon his return from current and former NBA legends, including Los Angeles Lakers guard/forward LeBron James and ex-Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade.

    Curry dropped 23 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in a 26-minute effort against the Toronto Raptors, who won 121-113 at San Francisco’s Chase Center.

    He struggled from beyond the three-point line (3-of-12) but hit a couple of impressive shots, including this one to beat the shot clock:

    Curry also converted on a four-point play af

    Read More

    LeBron James says it’s important for men to cry and ‘be emotional’

    In the wake of Lakers icon Kobe Bryant’s death, LeBron James is encouraging men to show their emotions.

    James opened up about his emotions in an interview with Sports Illustrated, where he spoke about tearing up on live TV as Boyz II Men sang the national anthem at the Lakers’ first game after Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash in January.

    “Men should be emotional when something hits your heart,” James told Sports Illustrated. “When someth

    Read More

    NBA playoff predictions: Most likely seeds and best matchups

    Which teams are going to win the big NBA playoff races?

    There’s a heated race for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, with the winner likely getting a matchup against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. There are also key races for No. 2 and more seeds in each conference.

    How will everything shake out over the final weeks of the regular season? Which potential opponents would give the Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks the most trouble? And which team is the real title favorite?

    The ESPN Forecast panel of NBA experts makes predictions.

    MORE: Latest NBA standings


    Who will get the West No. 2 seed?

    Only two games in the loss column separate the LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets, but our panel likes the Clippers as the overwhelming favorite to earn home court on the opposite side of the bracket from the Lakers.

    ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) and FiveThirtyEight projections also give the Clippers the nod here.

    • Clippers: 81.6%

    • Nuggets: 13.2%

    • Rockets: 5.3%

    MORE: ESPN’s Basketball Power Index

    Who will get the West No. 8 seed?

    With the other seven West playoff spots essentially locked up, No. 8 is the race to watch.

    More than 80% of our panel has one of the NBA’s most exciting rookies facing LeBron in the first round, with Zion Williamson‘s New Orleans Pelicans taking the top spot here. New Orleans has one of the easiest remaining schedules in the league and finally looks healthy.

    FiveThirtyEight also leans toward the Pelicans (43% chance to make the postseason), but BPI has moved Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies nto a slight lead (35.2% chance).

    • Pelicans: 52.6%

    • Grizzlies: 34.2%

    • Trail Blazers: 10.5%

    • Spurs: 2.6%

    MORE: NBA’s best 25 under 25: Ranking future superstars

    Who will get the East No. 2 seed?

    Falling to No. 3 in the Eastern Conference would mean a likely first-round matchup with either the Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers or Miami Heat, so this is a key race for the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors — currently separated by just one loss.

    Our panel likes Toronto and BPI agrees, but FiveThirtyEight prefers Boston.

    • Raptors: 55.3%

    • Celtics: 44.7%

    MORE: How many real title contenders are in the East?

    Who will get the East No. 7 seed?

    The Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets are both overwhelming favorites to grab the last two playoff spots, according to the projection systems …

    Read More

    NBA Top 10 Plays of the Night | March 3, 2020 – NBA

    Check out the top 10 plays of the night from around the league on Mar. 3 featuring LeBron James, Jaylen Brown, Anthony Davis and more!

    Subscribe to the NBA: https://on.nba.com/2JX5gSN

    Full Game Highlights Playlist: https://on.nba.com/2rjGMge

    For news, stories, highlights and more, go to our official website at https://nba_webonly.app.link/nbasite

    Get NBA LEAGUE PASS: https://nba.app.link/nbaleaguepass5

    Read More

    LeBron on AD: ‘Everything I expected and more’

    LOS ANGELES — In an intimate gathering of season-ticket holders Monday, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss shared how excited she feels to have her team break its six-year postseason dry spell next month, thanks in large part to an offseason trade with the New Orleans Pelicans for the next great Lakers big man.

    “In order to get a great talent like Anthony Davis, you have to give up something great,” Buss said. “But to have Anthony Davis as a Laker really is just … he’s even more impressive than I ever thought he would be. And so, it’s exciting what we have.”

    A night later, Davis played one of his best games since joining the purple and gold, filling the box score with 37 points, 13 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 blocks in a 120-107 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

    “AD was going nuts,” LeBron James said. “It was fun.”

    “I think you’ve seen a little bit of a different Anthony Davis this whole season than we’ve seen in his prior stop in New Orleans,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said after Tuesday’s victory extended his team’s Western Conference-leading record to 47-13. “I don’t know if it’s different today than it’s been most of the season. Ultimately, I think we’re going to see it when we get to the playoffs.”

    The playoffs are more than five weeks away, allowing plenty of time for fine-tuning, but Davis showed the Sixers he has a switch that can be flipped that turns him from big man to beast.

    After starting the game 2-for-7 from the fiel

    Read More

    The dream celebration, a Grand Slam first and more must-see photos

    The dream celebration, a Grand Slam first and more must-see photos

    Take a trip around the world to find interesting perspectives of sporting events from Kansas City, Missouri, to Chile and Japan.

    Related: Iconic images from LeBron’s career

    Read More

    NBA All-Star Game 2020: Full Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis Rosters, Predictions

    NBA All-Star Game 2020: Full Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis Rosters, Predictions
    Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) talks to Anthony Davis (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    The NBA All-Star Game may no longer have an Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format, but that won’t be completely evident when the 2020 edition of the game tips off.

    Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo are both serving as All-Star captains for the second consecutive year. And when the two stars drafted their respective teams in a playground-style format Thursday night, they didn’t veer from their conferences at first.

    James drafted all the available starters from the Western Conference, including Lakers teammate Anthony Davis, while Antetokounmpo drafted all the starters from the Eastern Conference. So it will be East vs. West when the starters take the floor to begin this year’s All-Star Game.

    That won’t be the case for the whole game, however, as James and Antetokounmpo chose to draft reserves from both conferences to fill out their rosters.

    Here’s a look at the important information for this year’s All-Star Game, including full rosters for both teams and predictions for what may happen.

                     

    2020 NBA All-Star Game

    When: Sunday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET

    Where: United Center in Chicago

    TV and Live Stream: TNT and TNTDrama.com

                 

    Rosters

    Team LeBron

    Starters

    LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

    Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

    James Harden, Houston Rockets

    Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers

            

    Reserves

    Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

    Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

    Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers

    Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

    Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

    Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets

          

    Team Giannis

    Starters

    Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

    Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

    Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors

    Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics

    Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

           

    Reserves

    Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

    Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat

    Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

    Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans

    Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

    Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks

    Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz

             

    Predictions

    Doncic Makes a Splash in 1st All-Star Game—if Healthy

    Kyle Phillips/Associated Pres

    Read More

    NBA All-Star Game 2020: LeBron vs. Giannis Starters, Reserves, Roster Breakdown

    NBA All-Star Game 2020: LeBron vs. Giannis Starters, Reserves, Roster Breakdown
    CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 17: LeBron James #23 of Team LeBron and Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of Team Giannis pose for a photo after the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on February 17, 2019 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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 2020 NBA All-Star Game features a host of changes—including a new game format with a built-in homage to the late Kobe Bryant—but those in the captain seats are the same.

    For the second straight season, it’s Team Giannis on one side and Team LeBron on the other. Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James already divvied up their rosters during a televised draft, and the sides seem closer than they were a year ago, when Team LeBron rolled to a 178-164 win.

    We’ll examine the two rosters below, then see how they match up in three different areas.

                   

    2020 NBA All-Star Rosters

    Team LeBron

    Starters

    Anthony Davis, F, Los Angeles Lakers

    Luka Doncic, G, Dallas Mavericks

    James Harden, G, Houston Rockets

    LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers

    Kawhi Leonard, F, Los Angeles Clippers

    Reserves

    Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets

    Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers

    Chris Paul, G, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Domantas Sabonis, C, Indiana Pacers

    Ben Simmons, G, Philadelphia 76ers

    Jayson Tatum, F, Boston Celtics

    Russell Westbrook, G, Houston Rockets

                   

    Team Giannis

    Starters

    Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks

    Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers

    Pascal Siakam, F, Toronto Raptors

    Kemba Walker, G, Boston Celtics

    Trae Young, G, Atlanta Hawks

    Reserves

    Bam Adebayo, C, Miami Heat

    Jimmy Butler, G/F, Miami Heat

    Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz

    Brandon Ingram, F, New Orleans Pelicans

    Kyle Lowry, G, Toronto Raptors

    Khris Middleton, F, Milwaukee Bucks

    Donovan Mitchell, G, Utah Jazz

                        

    Roster Breakdown

    Distributing: Advantage Team LeBron

    LeBron James might be one of history’s great scorers, but he’s a table-setter at heart. Never has that been more

    Read More

    LeBron pays Zion props after Pelicans test Lakers

    LeBron pays Zion props after Pelicans test Lakers

    NEW ORLEANS — The Los Angeles Lakers needed every bit of LeBron James‘ 34-point, 13-assist, 12-rebound triple-double Sunday to stave off Zion Williamson‘s career-best 35 points in L.A.’s 122-114 win to sweep the season series against the New Orleans Pelicans.

    After it was all over, James and Williamson met for an embrace at half court, with the 35-year-old in his 17th season passing on some words of encouragement for the 19-year-old taking the NBA by storm in his rookie season.

    After sharing his message with Williamson, James had another message for anyone who would choose to critique his decision to embrace an up-and-coming competitor that he could very well see again in the first round of the playoffs.

    “Anybody that says that, ‘LeBron, why would he do that while he’s playing? It’s a sign of weakness. … He’s buddy-buddy with the guys he’s going against.’ Tell them to kiss my ass,” James said to wrap up his postgame locker room session. “All right? With a smile, too. Appreciate it.”

    James and Williamson gave fans tuning in plenty of moments to appreciate in an encore that managed to top what already was a strong debut matchup between the two stars earlier in the week, when James scored a season-high 40 points to get the best of a 29-point effort from Williamson at Staples Center.

    The two went back and forth late in the first half, with James tossing in a 35-foot 3-pointer to tie the score at 61 with 33.4 seconds left in the second quarter immediately following a powerful dunk by Williamson that shook the rim and shook up the Smoothie King Center.

    “Zion had a hell of a move right before that got the crowd into it,” James said. “I looked up at the clock and seen that we had a great opportunity for a 2-for-1. And nine times out of 10, maybe 10 times out of 10, a lot of guys are not going to contest that shot because th

    Read More

    Twitter Already Decided Who Will Win LeBron vs. Giannis 2020 NBA All-Star Game

    Twitter Already Decided Who Will Win LeBron vs. Giannis 2020 NBA All-Star Game
    CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 17: LeBron James #23 of Team LeBron and Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of Team Giannis pose for a photo after the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on February 17, 2019 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. 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 NBA All-Star Game isn’t until Feb. 16, but fans and experts already have a good idea of who will win it after Thursday’s draft.

    For the second year in a row, team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo picked opposite each other to create the top lineups possible out of the other 22 All-Stars. There is a lot of talent on both squads, but the social media world thinks Team LeBron is better thanks to the additions of Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard, among others.

    Many gave James a lot more credit for the way he put his team together.

    Both captains went with what they knew early, staying in their own conference for each of the starters and first bench spots. Each team only has three players from the opposing conference.

    After pitting the Eastern Conference against the Western Conference since its inception in 1951, the All-Star Game changed formats in 2018 with two captains selecting the

    Read More

    NBA All-Star Game 2020: Format, TV Schedule, Live Stream, Rosters and Prediction

    NBA All-Star Game 2020: Format, TV Schedule, Live Stream, Rosters and Prediction
    Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) in the second half overtime of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Denver. The Lakers won 120-116 in overtime. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend is nearly over. The Celebrity All-Star Game and Slam Dunk Contest are in the past—congratulations to Team Wilbon and Derrick Jones Jr.—and the All-Star Game itself is set to commence.

    On Sunday evening, the best players in the world will face off in an event meant to celebrate both the 2019-20 season and the life of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.

    The two rosters comprise players hand-picked by LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Coverage is set to begin at 6 p.m. ET with an 8 p.m. tip-off.

                  

    2020 NBA All-Star Game

    When: Sunday, February 16 at 8 p.m. ET

    Where: United Center, Chicago

    TV and Live Stream: TNT, TNTDrama.com.

                

    Rosters

    Team LeBron

    LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

    Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

    James Harden, Houston Rockets

    Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers

    Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

    Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

    Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (will not play)

    Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers

    Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

    Jayson Tatum, Boston

    Read More

    Bronny James, Sierra Canyon Beat St. John Bosco 67-39 as BJ Boston Drops 18

    Bronny James, Sierra Canyon Beat St. John Bosco 67-39 as BJ Boston Drops 18
    Sierra Canyon's Brandon Boston #3 is seen against Dominican during a high school basketball game at the Hoophall Classic, Saturday, January 18, 2020, in Springfield, MA. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Terren Frank scored 19 points and BJ Boston added 18 as Sierra Canyon School defeated St. John Bosco 67-39 in the CIF Southern Section playoffs’ Open Division bracket Friday.

    The Chatsworth, California, school outscored its opponents from Bellflower, California, by 27 after the first quarter.

    Frank and Boston both provided highlights during the Trailblazers’ postseason-opening win.

    Frank threw down a poster dunk that got his teammates out of their seats:

    Boston provided a heads-up play after tossing an inbounds pass at his opponent’s back before gathering the ball for an easy two: 

    Sierra Canyon freshman guard LeBron James Jr. (known as Bronny) scored two points on a pair of free throws during a third-quarter run th

    Read More

    The Bucks are cruising to one of the most dominant seasons in recent NBA history, but the biggest test is 2 months away

    The Bucks are cruising to one of the most dominant seasons in recent NBA history, but the biggest test is 2 months away
    • The Milwaukee Bucks are on pace to win 70 games and are having one of the best seasons in NBA history.
    • The Bucks have consistently passed big tests this season by convincingly beating other contenders.
    • The Bucks haven’t garnered as much buzz as a team this dominant usually would, in part because they’ll have to prove themselves in the postseason.
    • Even with 70 wins in sight, the rest of their regular season feels unimportant compared to how they’ll perform in the playoffs.
    • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

    For some NBA teams, the stretch run of the regular season is a race to the playoffs or to lock up specific playoff seeds. For the Milwaukee Bucks, it now looks like a waiting game.

    The Bucks are in the midst of one of the best regular seasons the NBA has ever seen. At 50-8, they’re on pace to win 70 games, a number only two teams have ever reached. That record alone is impressive enough, but since beginning the season 6-3, they’ve gone 44-5, a .897 winning percentage, or 73-win pace. They hold an eight-game lead for first place in the Eastern Conference. 

    They have also handled just about every test thrown at them. The latest came on Tuesday, with a 108-97 win over the second-seeded Toronto Raptors. The Bucks were on the road for the second night of a back-to-back, having flown from Washington DC after a double-overtime win over the Wizards to Toronto.

    giannis antetokounmpo wesley matthews

    Giannis Antetokounmpo and Wesley Matthews celebrate a win.

    Morry Gash/AP Images


    Many in the NBA would have called this a “schedule loss” — unfortunate circumstances that wouldn’t put the Bucks in the best position to win. Instead, after falling behind by as much as 12, the Bucks stormed back and took the win, holding the Raptors to just 35% shooting for the night.

    Two things seem to be happening simultaneously with these Bucks. There is intrigue about how the Bucks will handle each test this season. The Bucks are a relatively new contender. Many thought the Bucks would be a middling playoff contender last season; instead, the

    Read More

    Opinion: Cheating makes the Astros, for better or worse, America’s team

    Opinion: Cheating makes the Astros, for better or worse, America’s team

    ‘);$vidEndSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–active’);}};CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;var configObj = {thumb: ‘none’,video: ‘us/2019/11/13/houston-astros-accused-sign-stealing-orig-mg.cnn’,width: ‘100%’,height: ‘100%’,section: ‘domestic’,profile: ‘expansion’,network: ‘cnn’,markupId: ‘large-media_0’,adsection: ‘const-article-pagetop’,frameWidth: ‘100%’,frameHeight: ‘100%’,posterImageOverride: {“mini”:{“width”:220,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191113131820-houston-astros-accused-sign-stealing-orig-mg-00003412-small-169.jpg”,”height”:124},”xsmall”:{“width”:307,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191113131820-houston-astros-accused-sign-stealing-orig-mg-00003412-medium-plus-169.jpg”,”height”:173},”small”:{“width”:460,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191113131820-houston-astros-accused-sign-stealing-orig-mg-00003412-large-169.jpg”,”height”:259},”medium”:{“width”:780,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191113131820-houston-astros-accused-sign-stealing-orig-mg-00003412-exlarge-169.jpg”,”height”:438},”large”:{“width”:1100,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191113131820-houston-astros-accused-sign-stealing-orig-mg-00003412-super-169.jpg”,”height”:619},”full16x9″:{“width”:1600,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191113131820-houston-astros-accused-sign-stealing-orig-mg-00003412-full-169.jpg”,”height”:900},”mini1x1″:{“width”:120,”type”:”jpg”,”uri”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191113131820-houston-astros-accused-sign-stealing-orig-mg-00003412-small-11.jpg”,”height”:120}}},autoStartVideo = false,isVideoReplayClicked = false,callbackObj,containerEl,currentVideoCollection = [],currentVideoCollectionId = ”,isLivePlayer = false,mediaMetadataCallbacks,mobilePinnedView = null,moveToNextTimeout,mutePlayerEnabled = false,nextVideoId = ”,nextVideoUrl = ”,turnOnFlashMessaging = false,videoPinner,videoEndSlateImpl;if (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === false) {autoStartVideo = true;if (autoStartVideo === true) {if (turnOnFlashMessaging === true) {autoStartVideo = false;containerEl = jQuery(document.getElementById(configObj.markupId));CNN.VideoPlayer.showFlashSlate(containerEl);} else {CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = true;}}}configObj

    Read More

    NBA All-Star Weekend 2020: Last-Minute Preview, Predictions for All-Star Game

    NBA All-Star Weekend 2020: Last-Minute Preview, Predictions for All-Star Game
    CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 15: LeBron James of Team LeBron reacts during Practice and Media Availability presented by AT&T as part of 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2020 at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. 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 2020 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Juan Ocampo/Getty Images

    The preceding events are over. The dunks have been thrown down, the celebrities and rising stars have had their turn. Now it’s time for the NBA’s top players to take the stage.

    On Sunday night, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will lead their respective teams into action in the NBA All-Star Game at United Center in Chicago. It’s the second straight year that James and Antetokounmpo are serving as All-Star captains and the third straight season for James.

    With the All-Star Game almost here, let’s take a look at everything you need to know for this year’s contest.

                          

    2020 NBA All-Star Game

    When: Sunday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET

    Where: United Center in Chicago

    TV: TNT

                   

    Rosters

    Team LeBron

    Starters

    LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

    Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

    Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

    James Harden, Houston Rockets

    Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers

            

    Reserves

    Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

    Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

    Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (injured, will not play)

    Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers

    Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

    Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

    Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets

             

    Team Giannis

    Starters

    Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

    Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

    Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors

    Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics

    Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

            

    Reserves

    Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

    Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat

    Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

    Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans

    Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

    Read More

    Lakers’ LeBron James: Critics of My Mentoring Young Players Can ‘Kiss My Ass’

    Lakers’ LeBron James: Critics of My Mentoring Young Players Can ‘Kiss My Ass’
    NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 1: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans hugs LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers after the game on March 1, 2020 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    LeBron James is still on the short list of the best players in the NBA, but he embraces his role as a 35-year-old mentor when it comes to the next generation.

    On Sunday, following his Los Angeles Lakers‘ 122-114 win over Zion Williamson’s New Orleans Pelicans, the future Hall of Famer and the rookie embraced and shared words following the game. James told reporters he understands he has a responsibility to be a mentor and even had a special message for those who think he shouldn’t do so while playing:

    James may see himself as a mentor, but it’s not like he took it easy on Williamson.

    The King accounted for Anthony D

    Read More

    Lakers News: LeBron James Talks DeMarcus Cousins’ Progress in Injury Rehab

    Lakers News: LeBron James Talks DeMarcus Cousins’ Progress in Injury Rehab
    Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, jokes around with center DeMarcus Cousins on the bench during the second half of the team's preseason NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 126-93. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Lakers have come out of the All-Star break with a 41-12 record, good enough for first in the Western Conference by four games.

    They’ve done so despite center DeMarcus Cousins missing the entire season with a torn ACL suffered last August, but guard/forward LeBron James offered an optimistic report on the center’s progression when asked about his potential return, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin

    “Listen, first, his health is the thing we’re mostly engaging in and watching him. And he’s progressed every single day, every single month,” James said at the team’s Thursday practice.

    He continued: 

    To the point where he was limping and now he’s actually shooting and actually jumping on the jump shots, and progressing every single day, every single week. He’s out there right now, getting his work done.

    “We want to continue to stay optimistic about his health. We don’t want no setbacks, as he’s had before in the last couple years. But his health is most important, and if we can get Cuz anywhere back to what he was capable of doing a

    Read More

    Warriors Rumors: Andrew Wiggins to Make GSW Debut vs. LeBron James, Lakers

    Warriors Rumors: Andrew Wiggins to Make GSW Debut vs. LeBron James, Lakers
    MINNEAPOLIS, MN -  FEBRUARY 5:  Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks on February 5, 2020 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 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

    The Golden State Warriors won’t have to wait long to see Andrew Wiggins in action. 

    The newly acquired small forward will make his debut for the Dubs on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, head coach Steve Kerr announced before the game.

    The Minnesota Timberwolves sent Wiggins, a 2021 top-three-protected first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick to the Warriors in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman.

    Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes Wiggins will be a solid fit for the team’s roster, especially once Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson return to the fold, per Nick Friedell of ESPN:

    “I think for most players, this league is about the right fit. There’s some guys who are going to fit no matter what. The very best players in the game, they can go to any team in the league and they’ll fit. But for the vast majority of NBA players, the fit is everything. We feel like the fit here is really good for Andrew. We have a hole at that spot. We’ve lost Kevin DurantAndre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston on the wing the last year. Klay’s been gone all this year.

    “So there’s a position waiting for him. He’s going to be playing next to three All-Stars at different positions—Draymond [Green], Steph and Klay. Guys who he’ll really enjoy playin

    Read More

    LeBron James Calls Jayson Tatum an ‘Absolute Problem’ After 41 Points vs. Lakers

    LeBron James Calls Jayson Tatum an ‘Absolute Problem’ After 41 Points vs. Lakers
    Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum shoots over Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Jayson Tatum was unable to lead his Boston Celtics to a win in Sunday’s 114-112 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, but he can at least take solace knowing he impressed the King.  

    After Tatum finished with 41 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks in the loss, LeBron James posted the following message on his Instagram page with a picture of the Celtics playmaker on his left: “That boi to the left of me is an ABSOLUTE PROBLEM!! Keep going #YoungKing.”

    While Tatum was brilliant, it was James who drilled the go-ahead fadeaway in the final minute to give his team the lead for good on his way to 29 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Tatum was called for an offensive foul as he rose up for what could have been the game-winn

    Read More

    Ja Morant Dazzles with 27 as Grizzlies Blow out LeBron James, Lakers 105-88

    Ja Morant Dazzles with 27 as Grizzlies Blow out LeBron James, Lakers 105-88
    Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts after an assist to center Jonas Valanciunas (17) in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

    Brandon Dill/Associated Press

    The Memphis Grizzlies bounced back in a big way following Friday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers, 105-88, at FedEx Forum. 

    With the top team in the Western Conference in town, the Grizzlies snapped L.A.’s seven-game win streak in epic fashion as Rookie of the Year leader Ja Morant poured in 27 points.

    Los Angeles is currently working through a stretch of three games in four nights that started with LeBron James missing Thursday’s action in Golden State. The King returned to the court on Saturday to no avail as a desperate Grizzlies team continued its push for the postseason. 

    With Memphis and the New Orleans Pelicans battling for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, each game has a bit of heightened intensity at this point. Memphis entered the night holding a two-game lead over a surging Pelicans team led by Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. 

    The Grizzlies needed a victory to snap a five-game slide—especially after New Orleans defeated Cleveland on Friday. 

    Notable Performers

    • Ja Morant, PG, Grizzlies: 27 points, 14 assists, six rebounds
    • Jonas Valanciunas, C, Grizzlies: 22 points, 20 rebounds
    • Anthony Davis, PF, Lakers: 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists
    • LeBron James, SF, Lakers: 19 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds

    Morant’s Signature Rookie of the Year Performance

    The only unfortunate aspect for the Grizzlies on Saturday was that their game against the Lakers somehow wasn’t nationally televised. Had it been, this would be the Morant game league voters would point to when it comes time to name the the Rookie of the Year.

    Morant played as fearlessly as he did flawlessly, routinely attacking the paint and going after Anthony Davis whenever he could.

    The rookie point guard finished with 27-plus points for the third time this season, but it’s the first where he also tallied at least 14 assists, matching his career-high. 

    Of course, there were plenty of plays that defied any statistical quantification:

    Read More