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    Getty Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant. Everyone in Philadelphia is over Ben Simmons, right? The diva point guard is Brooklyn’s problem, one of the many muddled messes going on up the New Jersey Turnpike. The Nets are a ticking timebomb with no clock. Or maybe that bomb is already being diffused. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reported that he recently spoke with Simmons and the three-time All-Star intends to play this season. The plugged-in TV personality didn’t say if Simmons would suit up for preseason games – remember, the Sixers travel to Brooklyn on October 3 – or wait to make his debut in the regular season. Either way, it will mark Simmons’ first dose of competitive basketball since June 20, 2021. “Newsflash here, I ran into Ben Simmons. He and I had a nice conversation,” Smith said on First Take. “You understand? His personal business is his personal business. I support the brother. I had a problem with him not playing. That’s the past. He’s ready to go. He swears he’s ready to go. I’m rooting for the...
    Tiwian Kendley has plenty of memories of his time with the Morgan State men’s basketball program. There was his 40-point, 10-rebound performance in an 85-82 double overtime win against Manhattan on Dec. 7, 2016, that made him only the fourth player in school history to touch the 40-point benchmark. Kendley one-upped himself with a stat line of 41 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals in a 96-95 overtime loss to Bethune-Cookman on Feb. 19, 2018. In addition to dropping 30 points or more seven times, he also recorded a putback dunk when he took off from the wing in front of the Bears bench, grabbed a rebound in mid-air, and put it down for two of his 26 points in a 78-72 loss against Towson on Nov. 15, 2016. But the one play that stood out to Kendley was a thunderous windmill dunk in a 61-47 victory over Delaware State on Jan. 23, 2018, in which he took off just two steps inside the free-throw line before hammering home the ball. “I didn’t even know I was going...
    The US and Russia have indicated they are ready to hold talks over a prisoner swap, a day after basketball star Brittney Griner was convicted of drug smuggling and sentenced to nine years in prison for carrying less than a gram of cannabis oil through a Moscow airport. Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Cambodia that the Kremlin is “ready to discuss this topic, but within the framework of the channel that has been agreed by the presidents,” state news agency RIA Novosti reported. “There is a specified channel that has been agreed upon by [Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden], and no matter what anyone says publicly, this channel will remain in effect,” Lavrov reportedly said Friday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit. Shortly later, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the same summit that the US will “pursue” talks with Russia. “We put forward, as you know, a substantial proposal that Russia should engage with us on. And what Foreign Minister Lavrov said this morning and said publicly is...
    Getty Georges Niang #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts in front of Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Chicago Bulls. During the 2021 offseason, the Philadelphia 76ers made an under-the-radar move that proved to pay huge dividends for them. In an attempt to put more spacing around Joel Embiid, Daryl Morey went out and signed three-point specialist Georges Niang. Upon arrival, the addition of Niang proved to be a huge win in the margins for the Sixers. He posted a career-high in points per game (9.2) and shot over 40% from beyond the arc for the fourth-straight season. Niang even proved to be a good complement to James Harden as the two became partners in the pick-and-pop. The 29-year-old has proven to be a solid role player in his career, but things were not always this easy for Niang. During a recent appearance on ‘Pardon My Take,’ he opened up on the struggles for a second-round pick trying to find their footing in the NBA. After playing just 23 games for the Indiana Pacers in 2017, Niang was...
    Getty Javante McCoy (middle) of the Lakers It is not the NBA blockbuster move many Lakers fans have been hoping to see the team go through with. But there were transactions coming from L.A. on Sunday, and that has to count for something. The Lakers announced they’d agreed to Exhibit 10 contracts with two players who’d been on their summer league teams, 6-foot-5 combo guard Javante McCoy out of Boston University and 6-foot-8 forward Fabian White Jr. from Houston. Exhibit 10 contracts allow the Lakers to keep the players through training camp without a firm commitment, and allow L.A. to keep relations with the two players on their G-League team. McCoy, who is 24, appeared in five games for the Lakers during the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 10.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while playing 20.4 minutes per game. White, who is 23, appeared in three games, averaging 2.3 points and 2.7 rebounds. OFFICIAL: The Lakers have signed Javante McCoy and Fabian White Jr. to Exhibit-10 contracts pic.twitter.com/Ie41wPXW8m — Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 24,...
    Getty Puerto Rico's Gian Clavell (R) fights for the ball with Serbia's Filip Petrusev during the FIBA Mens Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Late in the second round of the 2021 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers took a flier on Serbian big man Filip Petrusev. After spending two years at Gonzaga, he went back overseas to play in the ABA Adriatic league before going pro in the states. While Petrusev wanted to play in the NBA from the start, the Sixers have opted to stash him overseas to continue polishing his game. He most recently played in the Turkish Super League, where he averaged 15.2 PPG and 6.2 RPG. Recently, Heavy’s NBA insider Sean Deveney caught up with an Eastern Conference scout to talk about the Sixers’ overseas prospect. When dissecting Petrusev and his game, one of the main drawbacks mentioned was him not being ready for the NBA from a physical standpoint. “He overestimated where he was in his career.” The scout told Deveney. “He was so good in Serbia two years ago, he thought he was ready for...
    Getty Chicago Bulls forward Marko Simonovic celebrates a game-winning foul shot against the Dallas Mavericks during summer league play. Marko Simonovic continues to be a curiosity for Chicago Bulls fans, even as he failed to make an impact for the club last season. It was difficult to predict how he would perform from game to game during summer league, too, but he still provided some excitement in capping off his Las Vegas experience. Simonovic dropped 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting in Chicago’s Sin City finale against the Sixers. And that game came hot off the heels of a 17-point, 13-rebound, four-assist effort versus Charlotte. Whether or not those performances mean that the Bulls will be able to depend more on the 22-year-old in the season ahead remains to be seen, however. He may have ignited Bulls Nation with some standout games and a highlight reel moment or two, but Simonovic’s inconsistency throughout the summer slate did little to erase the doubt that existed last season when he failed to crack Billy Donovan’s rotation. More Seasoning Required Play Marko...
    Getty Dalen Terry #4 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts The Chicago Bulls begin summer league play on July 8 and all eyes will be on first-round rookie Dalen Terry, the 18th-overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. And it won’t just be eyes within the Bulls organization, either. Bulls’ summer league head coach John Bryant said Terry, along with second-year forward Marko Simonovic, would be featured in Las Vegas, per NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer. Simonovic has also received attention for noticeably bulking up over the offseason. But Terry, whose energy has been raved about since draft night, might have a better chance to make an immediate impact than expected. As one rival executive told Heavy’s Sean Deveney, Terry has an “NBA-ready” skill right out of the box.Terry Already Has Fans Around the LeagueThe 6-foot-7 athlete played guard in college. But Bulls general manager Marc Eversley has already said he projects Terry will be more of a wing at the NBA level. His versatility was intriguing to Bulls vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas. Even if he...
    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Will Hardy knew some of the inner workings of the Utah Jazz before being named the league’s youngest current head coach. Sure, it was in 2009, and he was just an intern. Ahead of his final year at Williams College, he put in eight weeks in the business operations department, spending his mornings with the Jazz, afternoons helping the Salt Lake Bees — a Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels — and evenings at the gym rehabbing from hip surgery. One of Hardy’s initial assignments was to give tours of Vivint Arena, a building he had never entered before his internship. That didn’t hold him back — and his ability to adapt on the fly could now serve the Jazz well. “Those (tours) were adventurous for sure,” Hardy said. “I was kind of learning the building as I went.” Utah introduced Hardy as its coach Tuesday. The 34-year-old, who was an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics, will steer the ship as the team sails into a rebuilding process with...
    Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson is reportedly expected to leave in free agency and sign with the New York Knicks for huge money. The New York Knicks were the focus of the 2022 NBA Draft after they made three trades in the first round. They managed to dump Kemba Walker’s contract off to the Detroit Pistons, but they did not have a single first-round player selected. Why was that? To free up money to make a run at Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson this offseason. As it turns out, that is the expectation as free agency approaches on Thursday, June 30. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, it is “widely anticipated” that Brunson signs a four-year deal worth excess of $100 million with the Knicks. MacMahon points out that the Knicks still need to free up additional cap space and if the Mavericks will try to negotiate a sign-and-trade with New York. At this point, its widely anticipated that Jalen Brunson will go to the Knicks on a four-year deal in excess of $100M. It remains to be seen how New...
    According to ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst, the Brooklyn Nets are prepared to move on from both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant this offseason. There is a lot of attention being focused on the Brooklyn Nets this offseason, and for good reason. Kyrie Irving and the Nets are nowhere near close to agreeing on a new deal, and things are leaning towards the guard exiting and joining a new team this offseason. That then opens up the door for Kevin Durant to potentially leave, as reports indicate that he is considering his options for the future. According to ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst, the Nets are putting it out there that they would rather lose Irving and Durant “than go through what they went through last season.” Video of @WindhorstESPN talking about the Nets pic.twitter.com/pHYUW4bLKn — Cody Mallory (@RealCodyMallory) June 27, 2022 The Nets are prepared to lose both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, per @WindhorstESPN Brooklyn would rather lose both stars than go through what they went through last season’ pic.twitter.com/xetUG4Tk1V — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 27, 2022...
    JEREMY SOCHAN is the next British baller to be drafted into the NBA. The defensive juggernaut has a 7ft wingspan, with both skills and dyed hair to match Dennis Rodman. 4Sochan was selected in the first round of the 2022 NBA draftCredit: Getty 4The versatile forward started playing basketball in the UK where he grew upCredit: Getty Sochan was projected in the top 15 at Thursday night’s showcase and his dreams were realised. He was selected No 9 overall by San Antonio Spurs, making him the highest drafted British player ever. The 19-year-old was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Milton Keynes, a mid-sized town 50 miles north of London. He turns out for the Polish national team, following in the footsteps of his ball playing mum Aneta. READ MORE NBA STORIESSTEPH SCHOOLED Watch draft prospect Chet Holmgren demolish Steph Curry with star's OWN moveBALL OUT Warriors stars joined by Neymar in Las Vegas club as they celebrate NBA title And this multinational 6ft 9in power forward is looking forward to representing both England and Poland in the big...
    (CBS4) – Former CSU star David Roddy expects to hear his name called in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. “It was, to be honest, the hardest decision of my life,” Roddy said of forgoing his eligibility at Colorado State and staying in the NBA Draft. Roddy is the reigning Mountain West Player of the Year after averaging better than 19 points and 7 rebounds last season in Fort Collins. Roddy, who was “Mr. Everything” at CSU, led the Rams in scoring, rebounds and was second in assists, but will likely play a much different role at the next level. David Roddy of the Colorado State Rams shoots against the Utah State Aggies during the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament semifinals at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 12, 2021 in Las Vegas. Utah State won 62-50. (credit:David Becker/Getty Images) “A lot of teams covet people like me,” he said following a recent workout with the Denver Nuggets. “(A guy that) brings physicality, and can knock down shots, and set great screens and do the glue guy and dirty...
    Workout after workout in city after city, Justin Lewis has welcomed the grind as he gets closer to realizing his dream. In preparation of the 2022 NBA draft, set to take place Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, the former Poly and Marquette basketball star attended the NBA scouting combine last month in Chicago and has since worked out for more than a dozen franchises. For the 20-year-old Lewis, who declared for the draft after his sensational sophomore season at Marquette, this demanding time has been a labor of love. “My approach has just been to attack each workout as they come and just get better and have fun when I do them,” he said. “My love for the game helps me attack each and every day. It’s a tough process and my joy for the game helps me get better and I just keep trying to reach different goals in my life.” One of his biggest goals going back to his childhood days is playing in the NBA, and he’s on the verge of making...
    JEREMY SOCHAN is preparing to be the next British baller drafted into the NBA. The defensive juggernaut has a 7ft wingspan, with both skills and dyed hair to match Dennis Rodman. 4Sochan is due to be selected in the first round of the 2022 NBA draftCredit: Getty 4The versatile forward started playing basketball in the UK where he grew upCredit: Getty Sochan is projected in the top 15 at Thursday night’s showcase and is using his Euro upbringing as inspiration. The 19-year-old was born in Oklahoma but grew up in Milton Keynes, a mid-sized town 50 miles north of London. He turns out for the Polish national team, following in the footsteps of his ball playing mum Aneta. And this multinational 6ft 9in power forward is looking forward to representing both England and Poland in the big league. READ MORE NBA STORIESSTEPH SCHOOLED Watch draft prospect Chet Holmgren demolish Steph Curry with star's OWN moveBALL OUT Warriors stars joined by Neymar in Las Vegas club as they celebrate NBA title Sochan spoke to the US Sun and others on Tuesday...
    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The NBA Finals come back to Chase Center for Game 5 on Monday with the series tied 2-2 between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics. Dub Nation is hoping for a win at the Chase Center, and many fans have been getting ready all weekend.Aastha Goyal, who lives in Dublin, did some shopping with her family at the Warriors Shop at Thrive City on Sunday. She showed off a "Poole Party" t-shirt that she bought.She says despite the win, Game 4 was rough."It was a nail-biter! I sat there the whole time (thinking), '(Do I) have a drink? Watch?'" says Goyal. She is confident the Warriors will win Game 5.Mehul Goyal is season ticket holder, and will be at Game 5. He praises Golden State's shooting king, Steph Curry. But adds that Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole need to step up.RELATED: Warriors vs. Celtics: Watch NBA Finals on ABC7"After Game 4, there is so much excitement," says Mehul, who bought a pair of the Curry Flow 9, the latest Steph Curry basketball shoes.Xander Stankoski, 14,...
    SAN FRANCISCO — How do you become an elite rebounder when two of your teammates are among the NBA’s best shooters ever? Kevon Looney is showing how in these playoffs and now the NBA Finals. “I’ve kind of got it down to a science,” Looney said ahead of Monday’s Game 5 against the Celtics. Thanks to years of up-close viewing when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson shoot, Looney’s learned how to position his body, use his strengths and anticipate how the ball might bounce his way. “It’s from getting used to where Steph’s going to shoot it from, where Klay’s going to shoot it from, and how their misses are going to come off (the rim),” Looney said. “It definitely comes from experience, just playing with them for such a long time, knowing what spots they like to get to.” How Curry and Thompson shoot likely will determine if the Warriors will win their fourth NBA championship. How Looney rebounds their misses — and those of the Celtics and other Warriors — is also greatly factoring into the equation. Looney...
    BOSTON — Stephen Curry looked normal as he drained 3-point baskets to the tune of New Edition at shootaround Friday afternoon. The Warriors superstar’s status for Game 4 of the NBA Finals remains unchanged, coach Steve Kerr said. Curry wasn’t wearing a brace at shootaround and is “feeling well” and “ready to go,” Kerr said. Curry’s health had been a concern after he injured his foot while diving for a loose ball late in Game 3. Curry said Thursday he was “confident” he would be available Friday night even if it means he’ll have to play through pain. “I’m going to play. That’s all I know right now,” Curry said. “It’s just a pain tolerance thing that you’ve got to deal with. Obviously, at this point in the series, if you are good enough to play, play.” Celtics center Al Horford rolled on Curry’s left leg as the two dived for a loose ball late in the closing minutes of the Warriors’ 116-100 loss to the Celtics Wednesday night. After the fourth-quarter pile-up, Curry laid on the court tapping his...
    Feb 25, 2022; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Bryce McGowens (5) shoots over Iowa Hawkeyes forward Filip Rebraca (0) in the first half at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports Mining underrated talent is a great way for an NBA team to improve its fortunes. Here are five players who can really pay off for enterprising GMs.  It’s relatively easy for good NBA front offices to find quality players with high draft picks. The real trick is to secure meaningful contributors with non-premium draft assets. That’s why mining the Draft for sleepers is so important for any team looking to improve its fortunes. Sometimes those prospects aren’t ready to play meaningful minutes right away, but they do have the long-term ability to become high-level players for title contenders. Fans looking for sleepers who can turn into impact players need look no further than this list. The following five guys have a chance to drastically outperform their draft position.5. Bryce McGowensMcGowens had a bit of a tumultuous collegiate career, but one thing the big Nebraska guard can...
    To view the live updates on your mobile device click here. GAME ESSENTIALS: Celtics (51-31) vs. Warriors (53-29), at 6 p.m. (PT). TV: ABC ODDS: Warriors -3.5. OVER/UNDER: 213.5. SEASON SERIES: Warriors and Celtics split, 1-1. LAST PLAYOFF MEETING: Celtics won 1964 NBA Finals 4-1. The Warriors are back in the NBA Finals — and for their main players, it’s a return to the familiar perch under the league’s brightest lights. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are playing in their sixth NBA Finals in eight seasons for Golden State. And once tonight’s game starts, head coach Steve Kerr will have now coached in more series (six) than he played in them during his career (five). But the supporting cast around the core has changed dramatically even since 2019, with only Kevon Looney still even on the roster from then. Younger emerging stars Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole will be counted on heavily in their first showcase in the Finals — and the first Finals in Chase Center, too. Related Articles Golden State Warriors | Warriors-Celtics...
    Getty Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics As the NBA Finals approach, a lot is being said about the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors guards facing off for a seven-game series. On one side, you have the Celtics Defensive Player of the Year in Marcus Smart, and on the other, you have the greatest shooter to ever grace an NBA floor, so it’s fair to assume we’re about to witness an epic battle between the pair. However, throughout his career, Smart has consistently matched up well against Curry, and of their 10 games against each other, the Celtics have won six. Marcus Smart spoke candidly to @YahooSports upon landing in SF on the Steph Curry task, how he’ll be greeted for inadvertently injuring the star, why Boston’s ready and why he’s a target that’ll never alter his style: ‘First one on the floor gets the ball’ https://t.co/Zdlx6TRbJl — Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 1, 2022 As such, it’s no wonder people are labeling the guard matchup as one of the most integral aspects of the upcoming series, especially with an...
    Getty Ime Udoka looks on during a Boston Celtics game. Ime Udoka may be a rookie head coach leading a young team, but he has the Boston Celtics ready to compete on the NBA’s biggest stage against one of the league’s most experienced and battle-tested teams. The Celtics head coach spoke out on Sunday after his team defeated the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, earning a spot in the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Udoka said he knows there will be a big challenge ahead, but believes his team is ready to take on the Warriors. The latest Warriors news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Warriors newsletter here! Join Heavy on Warriors! Celtics Coach Speaks OutAfter his team withstood a furious comeback attempt in the fourth quarter of Game 7, Udoka said there wasn’t much time to savor the victory against the top-seeded Heat. “We’re quick to flip the page and say, ‘We’ve got four more,’” Udoka said after Sunday’s game, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “We...
    NBA Twitter users reacted to the Boston Celtics destroying the Miami Heat in Game 2 by the score of 127-102. The Conference Finals round of the NBA Playoffs began earlier this week, with Jimmy Butler’s huge performance giving the Miami Heat the Game 1 win over the Boston Celtics. Prior to that game, the Celtics announced that they would be without Al Horford and Marcus Smart. Ahead of Game 2 on May 19, it was revealed that Boston would be getting both players back. As it turns out, their returns were pivotal, as Boston blew out Miami 127-102 to even the series up at one game apiece. Twitter users shared their thoughts after watching the Celtics dismantle the Heat on the road in Game 2.NBA Twitter reacts to Celtics destroying Heat in Game 2The Celtics have only been outscored in 1 out of 8 quarters this series — Taylor Snow (@taylorcsnow) May 20, 2022 Celtics fans in the Heat arena pic.twitter.com/CnXfzDht7Y — Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) May 20, 2022 The Celtics are up big in Game 2 at halftime...
    To view the live updates on your mobile device click here. GAME ESSENTIALS: Mavericks (52-30) vs. Warriors (53-29), at 6 p.m. (PT). TV: TNT ODDS: Warriors -5.5. OVER/UNDER: 214.5. SEASON SERIES: Mavericks won 3-1. LAST PLAYOFF MEETING: Warriors won 2007 first-round series 4-2. The Warriors are back in the Western Conference Finals, their first trip to the penultimate playoff round after a two-year hiatus and their sixth in the last eight seasons, which starts Wednesday night at San Francisco’s Chase Center. Golden State will face the Dallas Mavericks, who pulled off a thorough-yet-stunning blowout of the Phoenix Suns, the NBA’s top team, in Game 7 of their semifinal series. Dallas led by as many as 46 points at one point in Game 7, with superstar guard Luka Dončić scoring 35 points and Spencer Dinwiddie adding 30 off the bench in the 123-90 win. The Mavericks come into the start of the West finals against a pretty rested Warriors team, who hasn’t played since Friday, when they eliminated the Grizzlies at Chase Center. Golden State’s undefeated on their home floor in...
    SAN FRANCISCO -- Many months ago and well before he returned to the court from an injury absence of more than 2 1/2 years, Klay Thompson made a bold proclamation: "It's championship or bust."Thompson, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are one step closer to having a chance to make good on those words as they prepare to tip off Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night."I love the moments. I love the pressure. I love playing basketball at the highest level," Thompson said.He certainly looks like his old self this postseason after returning in January. Thompson had been sidelined since the 2019 NBA Finals, when he tore the ACL in his left knee during the deciding Game 6 against champion Toronto and had surgery. He was working his way back when he tore his right Achilles tendon and underwent another operation.Thompson can't wait to lead the Warriors into the best-of-seven series against the surprising fourth-seeded Mavericks, who took down top-seeded Phoenix 123-90 in the deciding seventh game of their series Sunday."They're...
    MIAMI (AP) — He grew up in Portland, basketball in his blood. Wasn’t exactly a big-time recruit before eventually playing some college ball in the West Coast Conference. Took a circuitous route into coaching, guided along the way by one of the game’s legendary sideline bosses. And last summer, he was part of the brain trust that helped USA Basketball win Olympic gold. That is Erik Spoelstra’s story. READ MORE: 'Toughest Job Of My Life': Potential Jurors Questioned In Second Phase Of Jury Selection Process For Parkland School Shooter Nikolas Cruz Penalty TrialThat is also Ime Udoka’s story. There is enormous respect between those men, who have known one another for decades and have deep ties. Spoelstra coaches the Miami Heat, Udoka is in his first season coaching the Boston Celtics, and one of them will be representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Game 1 of the East title series is Tuesday night, the top-seeded Heat playing host to the second-seeded Celtics. “We have great respect for what they’ve done during the regular season, to develop the right...
    MIAMI (AP) — He grew up in Portland, basketball in his blood. Wasn’t exactly a big-time recruit before eventually playing some college ball in the West Coast Conference. Took a circuitous route into coaching, guided along the way by one of the game’s legendary sideline bosses. And last summer, he was part of the brain trust that helped USA Basketball win Olympic gold. That is Erik Spoelstra’s story. That is also Ime Udoka’s story. There is enormous respect between those men, who have known one another for decades and have deep ties. Spoelstra coaches the Miami Heat, Udoka is in his first season coaching the Boston Celtics, and one of them will be representing the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Game 1 of the East title series is Tuesday night, the top-seeded Heat playing host to the second-seeded Celtics. “We have great respect for what they’ve done during the regular season, to develop the right habits,” said Spoelstra, now in his 14th season after taking over as Miami coach for Hall of Famer Pat Riley. “And like I said,...
    The rotation focus with the Miami Heat at this stage of the NBA playoffs mostly has been the shrinking role of former starting guard Duncan Robinson. But also cut down to size have been the minutes of backup center Dewayne Dedmon. As the Heat turned their attention to Friday night’s Game 3 against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series, Dedmon had played only 21 minutes the previous four games, four or fewer in three of those four. While foul trouble has had an impact, the primary determinant has been the opposition going smaller, particularly with the 76ers opening this series in the absence of ailing center Joel Embiid. “We’ve got crazy versatility on this team,” Dedmon said. “So being able to go small and match up with whatever lineup the other team might throw at us, that’s our talent.” Dedmon said the staff has been candid with the approach, including assistant coach Malik Allen telling him his minutes likely would be down in what turned into the series-clinching fifth game against the...
    Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy is ready for the big chair. In an appearance on the May 4 episode of the “Certified Buckets” podcast, Handy — an assistant coach on three separate championship teams — said he is ready to take the next step in his coaching career. “I am definitely at that point now to where I know I’m ready to be a head coach,” the Lakers’ assistant said in his podcast appearance. “I’m ready to take on my own team and direct the ship in that fashion.” Handy, who has a player development background, also said he would prefer not to inherit a losing situation. “One, I’m not interested in losing, that’s for sure. I’m not interested in so-to-speak, quote-unquote rebuilding,” he said. “Being a head coach, you don’t always get the opportunity to pick and choose what you want, but I do want a team that has the ability to compete. That’s important to me. So being able to take some young talent and putting that talent on the floor and put yourself in position...
    Getty Images The reconfiguration of the Boston Celtics’ personnel over the past two years has reshifted the team’s trajectory toward winning an NBA title. It also eradicated the colossal concerns looming over the Celtics’ backcourt after losing Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals, 4-2 of its best-of-7 series to the Miami Heat. Boston has come a long way since the days of the 2020 NBA Bubble. Brad Stevens was the head coach, Gordon Hayward was a featured player, and Kemba Walker was still an All-Star point guard. The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here! Join Heavy on Celtics! Now, all three are no longer on the Celtics’ bench. Still, Boston bounced back nicely due to many moves, including shifting Stevens to the front office, bringing in a new head coach in Ime Udoka while handing over the proverbial keys to the team’s offense to 2022’s Defensive Player of the Year in Marcus Smart. However, before all of that took place, former Celtics president of basketball operations Danny...
    MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have the Golden State Warriors in their seventh Western Conference semifinal in 10 seasons, and both finally are as healthy as they've been since reaching five straight NBA Finals from 2015-19.Watch the Warriors vs. Grizzlies game on ABC7 at 12:30 p.m. PSTThat remarkable run started when the Warriors rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the second round against Memphis in 2015, marking a big switch in the direction for both franchises.Ja Morant has the rebuilt Grizzlies back in the West semis for the first time in seven years. The dynamic guard leads a young, brash and deep roster that edged out Golden State for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with the NBA's best record behind only Phoenix.And Memphis can't wait to see how it matches up with the veteran-led, playoff-tested Warriors."We feel like we are one of the best backcourts in the league as well," Morant said. "So, going into any matchup, we're taking ourselves over anybody. We're very confident. We put in the work."The third-seeded Warriors,...
    MEMPHIS (AP) — Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have the Golden State Warriors in their seventh Western Conference semifinal in 10 seasons and both finally are as healthy as they’ve been since reaching five straight NBA Finals from 2015-19. That remarkable run started when the Warriors rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the second round against Memphis in 2015, marking a big switch in the direction for both franchises. Ja Morant has the rebuilt Grizzlies back in the West semis for the first time in seven years. The dynamic guard leads a young, brash and deep roster that edged out Golden State for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with the NBA’s best record behind only Phoenix. And Memphis can’t wait to see how it matches up with the veteran-led, playoff-tested Warriors. “We feel like we are one of the best backcourts in the league as well,” Morant said. “So, going into any matchup, we’re taking ourselves over anybody. We’re very confident. We put in the work.” The third-seeded Warriors, rested with three days off since...
    MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Splash Brothers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have the Golden State Warriors in their seventh Western Conference semifinal in 10 seasons, and both finally are as healthy as they’ve been since reaching five straight NBA Finals from 2015-19. That remarkable run started when the Warriors rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the second round against Memphis in 2015, marking a big switch in the direction for both franchises. Ja Morant has the rebuilt Grizzlies back in the West semis for the first time in seven years. The dynamic guard leads a young, brash and deep roster that edged out Golden State for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with the NBA’s best record behind only Phoenix. And Memphis can’t wait to see how it matches up with the veteran-led, playoff-tested Warriors. “We feel like we are one of the best backcourts in the league as well,” Morant said. “So, going into any matchup, we’re taking ourselves over anybody. We’re very confident. We put in the work.” The third-seeded Warriors, rested with...
    SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson has always forged his own path away from the thundering crowds of San Francisco’s Chase Center or the tidal wave of chatter on social media. On Wednesday night, Thompson will be a deciding factor in whether the Warriors will advance to the next round of the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2019. READ MORE: Suspect Arrested In SF Tenderloin Carjacking Following Chase, Crash in Bayview DistrictIronically, it was in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Championship that Thompson tore his ACL, the first of two devastating injuries that sidelined him for more than 2 1/2 years. And like his teammates, he admits, there will be a rush of excitement before tip-off against the Denver Nuggets. “It’s amazing,” he told reporters. “I’m sure everyone in the lockerroom has dreamt of this moment. First close-out game ever at Chase Center. Incredibly exciting.” Thompson has averaged 24.5 points and 50 percent shooting from the third-point line as Golden State rolled to a 3-1 advantage in the best-of-7 series....
    PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns have several reasons to be confident they can make another deep playoff run. They have the No. 1 overall seed, they’re talented, they’re healthy and their roster has loads of continuity and postseason experience after advancing to the Finals last season. Confident, but not cocky as they’ve pegged one trait they believe could knock them off track in pursuit of their first NBA title — hubris. “I am not like some old, wise playoff sage that I can sit up here and wax eloquently the step-by-step process,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “I have a level of humility for the process.” The Suns are trying to follow a brilliant regular season by finally bringing a championship to the desert. The franchise has been to the Finals three times — in 1976, 1993 and last season — but never won it all. It’s easy to see why the Suns are optimistic this team could end the streak. They just finished a 64-win season that was eight wins better than any other team in the league...
    A developer is preparing to build a $1 billion 'NBA-ready' arena in Las Vegas to bolster a budding sports scene that has added NFL, NHL, and WNBA teams in recent years. The Oak View Group, an international stadium developer, has announced plans to build a $3 billion sports and entertainment district just south of the Strip after acquiring 25 acres from Las Vegas. The proposed 20,000-seat arena will cost $1 billion and is expected to be privately funded, an OVG spokesman told DailyMail.com. For comparison, the city's T-Mobile arena was finished for the NHL's Vegas Golden Knights in 2016 at a cost of $375 million in private funding. Meanwhile Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL's Raiders, was finished for $1.9 billion in 2020, thanks to $750 million in public funds from municipal bonds and hotel taxes. Las Vegas (pictured) is preparing to build an 'NBA-ready' arena to bolster a budding sports scene that has added NFL, NHL, and WNBA teams in recent years The Oak View Group, an international stadium developer, has announced plans to build a $3 billion sports and...
    LEBRON JAMES knows what it takes to stay at the very top. The LA Lakers star, 37, continues to thrive in the NBA despite entering the twilight years of his basketball career. 7James is still wowing NBA fans at the age of 37Credit: AP 7The Akron-born star has been at the top for nearly two decadesCredit: AP 7James was the overall No1 pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, taken by Cleveland CavaliersCredit: AP:Associated Press 7 And like any good athlete, LeBron knows that diet is essential to back up all that hard work in the gym. The No1 pick in the 2003 Draft, James has enjoyed two stints at the Cleveland Cavaliers and is an 18x NBA All-Star. He's still turning on the style for the Lakers despite their disappointing campaign so far, recently scoring 56 points in a stunning performance to down the Warriors. LeBron's uses high-interval training to prepare himself for the energy-sapping process of running up and down a 94-foot court nightly. Read More on The US SunNO KHLUTTER! Inside Khloe's perfect pantry with $2K JARS in...
    CHICAGO (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez is ready to participate in contact drills and five-on-five scrimmages after being sidelined since the season opener because of a back injury that required surgery. “It’s another good, positive step for him on his return to play,” coach Mike Budenholzer said before the Bucks’ game Friday night in Chicago. The 33-year-old Lopez played 28 minutes and had eight points, five rebounds and three blocks in a season-opening victory over the Brooklyn Nets. The 7-footer averaged 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks last season while helping the Bucks win the NBA title. Budenholzer also said Milwaukee hopes to get guard George Hill (sore neck) back in the next week. He has been sidelined since Jan. 28. Guard Pat Connaughton, meanwhile, “still has a ways to go” in his recovery from surgery on his right finger, Budenholzer said. Connaughton was hurt fouling Chris Paul on a drive to the basket in a 131-107 loss at Phoenix on Feb. 10. Connaughton was expected to miss four weeks. ___ More AP NBA:...
    The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning. The Los Angeles Lakers have been slowly rolling towards chaos since fairly early in the season but the intensity has definitely picked up. Per 538, their odds of making the playoffs have dropped to 20 percent. Russell Westbrook has been pushed out of the crunch time rotation and has been actively sniping at coach Frank Vogel over his minutes. The Lakers opted not to trade Westbrook at the deadline for John Wall, a that was probably just as short-sighted as the original Westbrook trade but was, reportedly, what LeBron was hoping for and led to a public explanation by Rob Pelinka that may have included lies about how involved and informed Anthony Davis and LeBron were. Things were tense enough that leaked reports were necessary to affirm Pelinka’s job security. Oh, and LeBron seemed awfully affectionate towards his former home at this weekend’s All-Star Game and his wife is on Instagram sharing suspiciously timed photos...
    Getty Ben Simmons is getting ready to debut with the Nets. The Brooklyn Nets pulled off a blockbuster trade at the NBA trade deadline that saw James Harden get shipped out of town in exchange for Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond and Seth Curry. Before the trade, Brooklyn was floundering with Kevin Durant out with an injury, but with Drummond and Curry available immediately, the Nets were able to get some wins going into the break. Simmons hasn’t played at all this season, but he’s nearing a return for the Nets after flaming out with the 76ers in last year’s playoffs. One constant critique of Simmons throughout his career has been his shooting. He’s always put up good percentages, but he’s not a threat at all when he’s not near the basket, but it looks like the Nets might be working on changing that.Could Simmons Become a Shooter? Kyle Korver (who's now a player development coach for the Nets) working with Ben Simmons after practice. ???? (????️: @NickFriedell)pic.twitter.com/fAblIUgj3n — theScore (@theScore) February 23, 2022 In a video posted from...
    As soon as the news broke on the blockbuster trade involving Ben Simmons and James Harden, Joel Embiid went straight to Twitter to post an epic reaction.  Goodness, what a crazy end to the NBA trade deadline. On Thursday, everyone was waiting for the news to drop as to whether or not Ben Simmons would be traded for James Harden and it looks like Joel Embiid was sitting close to his phone as well. Things ended up getting over the line, with Shams Charania reporting the major trade went down. With NBA Twitter, as a whole, going nuts, Embiid just stole the show with an unreal tweet of his own. pic.twitter.com/OzKxG4HRlO — Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) February 10, 2022 Joel Embiid’s tweet from the Ben Simmons for James Harden tweet is unreal People are going wild after seeing this tweet from Embiid and rightfully so. It’s no secret that he and Simmons haven’t been on the best of terms. Things went from bad to worse following the loss to the Atlanta Hawks that knocked Philadelphia out of the postseason last...
    The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning. The NBA All-Starters will be announced tonight, with reserves to follow on Feb. 3. There are sure to be some surprises as the rosters are filled out but one thing seems all but assured — there are going to be some new faces. By my count, there are seven players from last year’s roster who almost certainly won’t make it this year because of extended absences or dramatic regression — Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Zion Williamson, Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic, Ben Simmons, Damian Lillard and Paul George. A few others — Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum — could be in serious jeopardy for the same reasons. That could open as many as 10 of the 24 slots to players who didn’t make the team last year. At least some of those slots will be filled by former All-Stars who just didn’t make the team last year, players like Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan and...
    The Golden State Warriors are a well-oiled machine right now as they sit atop the Western Conference at 28-7 and they’re about to get a lot better. CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, right, looks to pass as Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul defends during the first half of Game 3 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Saturday, May 4, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) His name is Klay Thompson, and if netting 24-straight threes in practice doesn’t scream "I’m ready for my long-awaited return, coach", we don’t know what does. WATCH: WARRIORS RALLY IN THE 4TH QUARTER FOR WIN OVER JAZZ Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, right, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Some basketball fans will brush this off because Thompson rips jumpers in an open gym with no defense, however I’ll explain why this matters. With a previously torn...
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — LaMelo Ball will rejoin the Charlotte Hornets in Portland for their game Friday night against the Trail Blazers. Ball has missed the team’s last six games while in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. The NBA Rookie of the Year last season, he’s listed as questionable on the team’s injury report for the game. Ball has been working out with the G League’s Greensboro Swarm to improve his conditioning while preparing for his return. The team officially recalled the guard from the Swarm on Thursday night. The team also recalled point guard Ish Smith from the Swarm after he was in the league’s health and safety protocols as well. He will also join the Hornets in Portland. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Isaiah Thomas isn’t ready to call it a career just yet, as the Los Angeles Lakers have just signed him to a new deal.  It’s been a big day of breaking news for the Los Angeles Lakers. On the unfortunate side, it was announced that Russell Westbrook has been placed in COVID protocols and he’ll be away from the team until he’s cleared. On the other side of things, though, what if we told you that veteran guard Isaiah Thomas is ready to return to the team? According to NBA insiders Shams Charania, that’s exactly what’s about to happen. Isaiah Thomas is signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Thomas scored 42 points in his NBA G League debut on Wednesday night. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 16, 2021 Lakers COVID protocol: Isaiah Thomas signed to fill void Who had Thomas re-joining the Lakers on their bingo card? It’s been a rough recent stretch of seasons for Thomas, who hasn’t been able to find a long-lasting home. Last year, he appeared in just three games for the...
    Getty Langston Galloway Due to an outbreak of the coronavirus that has seen seven of their players land in health and safety protocols over the last week – along with the continued absence of Kyrie Irving, and an ankle injury for starting wing Joe Harris that has reduced their available roster to only nine players – the Brooklyn Nets have been granted five ‘hardship exceptions’ by the NBA, allowing them to sign up to five extra players beyond the usual maximum roster size. And the first of those exceptions has been used, with Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reporting that the team will be calling up veteran shooting guard Langston Galloway from the College Park SkyHawks of the G League. Nets are signing guard Langston Galloway to a hardship exception, sources tell ESPN. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 15, 2021 Galloway had only joined the G League earlier this week, looking to restart a career that had seen him spend the previous six and a half seasons in the NBA. After initially breaking through with the New York Knicks...
    The Bulls have been forced to postpone their next two games with 10 players out with COVID-19 but White Sox star Tim Anderson is ready to fill in. The Chicago Bulls have been absolutely ravaged by a COVID-19 outbreak within the organization. 10 players have now been ruled out due to the virus and, as a result, the NBA postponed the team’s next two games this week in hopes of Chicago being able to return at full health soon. In the meantime, though, a fellow star athlete in Chicago is ready to step in for if they give him a call — especially since his own sport is currently locked out with no end in sight. After news broke about the Bulls adding Alize Johnson, the 10th player, to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, Chicago White Sox infielder Tim Anderson took to Twitter to let his crosstown NBA team that he’s ready to take the floor at the United Center during the MLB lockout. @chicagobulls ???? you know we locked out right.. holla at me gang! #imready???? — S...