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All-Time NBA Draft: The best pick from every slot

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press There’s a definitive answer every year to the question of who is No. 1 in the NBA draft. But who is the No. 1 pick of all No. 1 draft picks ever? Or No. 1 among the list of No. 2 draft picks? Those are questions that have no definitive answer, except perhaps in a handful of rare cases. Here’s a look at The Best of The Best — the top all-time NBA picks in each of the top 30 draft spots. The best No. 1 overall pick, the best No. 2 overall pick ... and so on. One note: This doesn’t include the territorial selections that were used through 1965, which ruled out Wilt Chamberlain. The list of top picks in each of the 30 draft slots: 1. KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR Arguments for the best-ever overall pick could and should be made for LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson, among others. When in doubt, give it to the man who has more points than anyone who ever played the game and who mastered perhaps the most difficult shot to guard in NBA history. 2. BILL RUSSELL You didn’t know Bill Russell was a No. 2 overall pick? Jerry West was too, and he’s The Logo for goodness sake, but the 11 rings make Russell the call here. Also, it’s time to lay off Portland. Sam Bowie wasn’t the biggest “oops” pick of all time. Si Green was picked before Russell in 1956. 3. MICHAEL JORDAN The easiest pick of them all. Except for Portland in 1984, when the Trail Blazers took Bowie No. 2 ahead of MJ. OK, now it’s really time to lay off Portland. 4. CHRIS PAUL Dikembe Mutombo, Chris Bosh and Russell Westbrook were all No. 4s as well, but Paul’s body of work over 13 seasons and counting can’t be overlooked. 5. DWYANE WADE Charles Barkley will think this pick is terrible. So will fellow No. 5s Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Scottie Pippen and Vince Carter. Wade’s scoring wins out. 6. LARRY BIRD Second-easiest pick of this process. Only Adrian Dantley comes close, and he absolutely doesn’t come close. 7. STEPHEN CURRY He will be the leader in 3-pointers, by a ton, when his career is over. Fellow No. 7s John Havlicek and Chris Mullin merit consideration, but why wait? 8. ROBERT PARISH As time goes on, people might forget how vital The Chief was to those Celtics teams of the 1980s. That shouldn’t happen. 9. DIRK NOWITZKI Jordan was the only true candidate at No. 3, Bird was the same at No. 6, and Nowitzki stands alone at No. 9 as well. 10. PAUL PIERCE Pierce and Nowitzki have haunted those who made the decisions at the top of the 1998 draft — where Michael Olowokandi, Mike Bibby and Raef LaFrentz went 1-2-3 — for 20 years and counting. 11. REGGIE MILLER Kiki VanDeWeghe was a No. 11 pick and so was Klay Thompson, but Miller is the deserving call here. His shot was art. 12. JULIUS ERVING Drafted in 1972 and didn’t come to the NBA until 1976, Doctor J ekes out the pick here over Chet Walker — a seven-time All-Star. 13. KOBE BRYANT This could easily have been Karl Malone. But Kobe has five rings and an Oscar. 14. CLYDE DREXLER The Glide was automatic for 20 points a night for basically his entire career. Apologies to Tim Hardaway. 15. STEVE NASH Someday, this spot might go to Giannis Antetokounmpo or Kawhi Leonard. But Steve Nash going this low in 1996 should remind everyone how good that draft was. 16. JOHN STOCKTON This is yet another reminder that Sam Bowie wasn’t the only mistake made in 1984. 17. DON NELSON This was a difficult group, and Shawn Kemp was probably the better player. Nellie gets the call on total body of NBA work. 18. JOE DUMARS There are some really good players at No. 18, including Calvin Murphy and the vastly underrated Ricky Pierce. Dumars’ role on the Bad Boys was invaluable. 19. TINY ARCHIBALD When looking at No. 19 picks, two things stand out: Rod Strickland should have been an All-Star, and that Tiny was better than many remember. 20. LARRY NANCE So consistent for so long, and now with his son in the league that means more people will get educated about Sr.’s game. 21. RAJON RONDO Michael Finley and Ricky Davis also went this far down in the draft. Rondo was an absolute steal in 2006 — except he wasn’t a steal for Phoenix, which drafted him and then traded him to Boston for cash. 22. REGGIE LEWIS Still sad. Still missed. 23. ALEX ENGLISH Tayshaun Prince was so good and World B. Free was as much fun as anyone, but English had about a 10-year run where he hardly ever missed a game and dropped about 25 every time he was out there. 24. ARVYDAS SABONIS Officially, the hardest of all 30 picks. Don’t just look at his NBA numbers. Look at his whole career. He did things no big man was doing 20 years ago. Terry Porter, Andrei Kirilenko, Kyle Lowry, Sam Cassell, Derek Fisher, Latrell Sprewell all went No. 24 as well ... good luck to whoever is No. 24 is this year. There’s a legacy to follow. 25. MARK PRICE Jeff Ruland was known as “McFilthy” and became a good college coach, Tony Allen was a true defensive star, but Price’s game is too solid to miss here. 26. VLADE DIVAC Now running the Sacramento Kings, Divac gets to pick No. 2 in this year’s draft. The guy he takes there would be well-served to learn from Vlade. 27. DENNIS RODMAN Before he became a political operative, Rodman was as good at rebounding and defense as anyone in the game. 28. TONY PARKER If he had grown up in the U.S. and played college basketball, there was no chance he would have gone this low in 2001. 29. DENNIS JOHNSON Hall of Famer, five-time All-Star and someone who was as good as there was in the NBA down the stretch of big games. 30. SPENCER HAYWOOD Another Hall of Famer, and every underclassman who gets drafted this year needs to thank Haywood. His suit vs. the NBA paved the way for them. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 20th, 2018

All-Time NBA Draft: The best pick from every slot

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press There’s a definitive answer every year to the question of who is No. 1 in the NBA draft. But who is the No. 1 pick of all No. 1 draft picks ever? Or No. 1 among the list of No. 2 draft picks? Those are questions that have no definitive answer, except perhaps in a handful of rare cases. Here’s a look at The Best of The Best — the top all-time NBA picks in each of the top 30 draft spots. The best No. 1 overall pick, the best No. 2 overall pick ... and so on. One note: This doesn’t include the territorial selections that were used through 1965, which ruled out Wilt Chamberlain. The list of top picks in each of the 30 draft slots: 1. KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR Arguments for the best-ever overall pick could and should be made for LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson, among others. When in doubt, give it to the man who has more points than anyone who ever played the game and who mastered perhaps the most difficult shot to guard in NBA history. 2. BILL RUSSELL You didn’t know Bill Russell was a No. 2 overall pick? Jerry West was too, and he’s The Logo for goodness sake, but the 11 rings make Russell the call here. Also, it’s time to lay off Portland. Sam Bowie wasn’t the biggest “oops” pick of all time. Si Green was picked before Russell in 1956. 3. MICHAEL JORDAN The easiest pick of them all. Except for Portland in 1984, when the Trail Blazers took Bowie No. 2 ahead of MJ. OK, now it’s really time to lay off Portland. 4. CHRIS PAUL Dikembe Mutombo, Chris Bosh and Russell Westbrook were all No. 4s as well, but Paul’s body of work over 13 seasons and counting can’t be overlooked. 5. DWYANE WADE Charles Barkley will think this pick is terrible. So will fellow No. 5s Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Scottie Pippen and Vince Carter. Wade’s scoring wins out. 6. LARRY BIRD Second-easiest pick of this process. Only Adrian Dantley comes close, and he absolutely doesn’t come close. 7. STEPHEN CURRY He will be the leader in 3-pointers, by a ton, when his career is over. Fellow No. 7s John Havlicek and Chris Mullin merit consideration, but why wait? 8. ROBERT PARISH As time goes on, people might forget how vital The Chief was to those Celtics teams of the 1980s. That shouldn’t happen. 9. DIRK NOWITZKI Jordan was the only true candidate at No. 3, Bird was the same at No. 6, and Nowitzki stands alone at No. 9 as well. 10. PAUL PIERCE Pierce and Nowitzki have haunted those who made the decisions at the top of the 1998 draft — where Michael Olowokandi, Mike Bibby and Raef LaFrentz went 1-2-3 — for 20 years and counting. 11. REGGIE MILLER Kiki VanDeWeghe was a No. 11 pick and so was Klay Thompson, but Miller is the deserving call here. His shot was art. 12. JULIUS ERVING Drafted in 1972 and didn’t come to the NBA until 1976, Doctor J ekes out the pick here over Chet Walker — a seven-time All-Star. 13. KOBE BRYANT This could easily have been Karl Malone. But Kobe has five rings and an Oscar. 14. CLYDE DREXLER The Glide was automatic for 20 points a night for basically his entire career. Apologies to Tim Hardaway. 15. STEVE NASH Someday, this spot might go to Giannis Antetokounmpo or Kawhi Leonard. But Steve Nash going this low in 1996 should remind everyone how good that draft was. 16. JOHN STOCKTON This is yet another reminder that Sam Bowie wasn’t the only mistake made in 1984. 17. DON NELSON This was a difficult group, and Shawn Kemp was probably the better player. Nellie gets the call on total body of NBA work. 18. JOE DUMARS There are some really good players at No. 18, including Calvin Murphy and the vastly underrated Ricky Pierce. Dumars’ role on the Bad Boys was invaluable. 19. TINY ARCHIBALD When looking at No. 19 picks, two things stand out: Rod Strickland should have been an All-Star, and that Tiny was better than many remember. 20. LARRY NANCE So consistent for so long, and now with his son in the league that means more people will get educated about Sr.’s game. 21. RAJON RONDO Michael Finley and Ricky Davis also went this far down in the draft. Rondo was an absolute steal in 2006 — except he wasn’t a steal for Phoenix, which drafted him and then traded him to Boston for cash. 22. REGGIE LEWIS Still sad. Still missed. 23. ALEX ENGLISH Tayshaun Prince was so good and World B. Free was as much fun as anyone, but English had about a 10-year run where he hardly ever missed a game and dropped about 25 every time he was out there. 24. ARVYDAS SABONIS Officially, the hardest of all 30 picks. Don’t just look at his NBA numbers. Look at his whole career. He did things no big man was doing 20 years ago. Terry Porter, Andrei Kirilenko, Kyle Lowry, Sam Cassell, Derek Fisher, Latrell Sprewell all went No. 24 as well ... good luck to whoever is No. 24 is this year. There’s a legacy to follow. 25. MARK PRICE Jeff Ruland was known as “McFilthy” and became a good college coach, Tony Allen was a true defensive star, but Price’s game is too solid to miss here. 26. VLADE DIVAC Now running the Sacramento Kings, Divac gets to pick No. 2 in this year’s draft. The guy he takes there would be well-served to learn from Vlade. 27. DENNIS RODMAN Before he became a political operative, Rodman was as good at rebounding and defense as anyone in the game. 28. TONY PARKER If he had grown up in the U.S. and played college basketball, there was no chance he would have gone this low in 2001. 29. DENNIS JOHNSON Hall of Famer, five-time All-Star and someone who was as good as there was in the NBA down the stretch of big games. 30. SPENCER HAYWOOD Another Hall of Famer, and every underclassman who gets drafted this year needs to thank Haywood. His suit vs. the NBA paved the way for them. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds@ap.org.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 20th, 2018

Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CHARLOTTE -- Unlike Mark Cuban and James Dolan, the host of the 2019 NBA All-Star Game was voted in 14 times to participate and played in 13. Quite different from Micky Arison and Glen Taylor, the team owner whose arena and city will be the center of All-Star 2019 averaged 20.2 points in those 13 All-Star appearances, was named MVP three times and posted the first triple-double in the game’s history (1997). And not at all like Steve Ballmer and Joe Lacob, the guy most often credited with making Charlotte All-Star worthy this weekend ignited the annual Slam Dunk Contest with his takeoff from the foul line in 1988. He also regularly irritated former NBA commissioner David Stern into a series of fines for golfing when he should have been sitting through mandatory Friday media sessions. With a level of celebrity as arguably the game’s greatest player ever, morphed now into an off-radar role as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, Michael Jordan remains as famous, as popular and as successful as any or all the active All-Star participants who’ll cavort at the Spectrum Center in the city’s Uptown business district. Ain’t no other NBA owner who can say that. “You think about all these wealthy, successful owners in our league,” said Hornets president Fred Whitfield, “no one knew who any of them were, really, until they bought their team. Everybody in the world knew who Michael Jordan was before he bought his team.” Jordan’s place in the All-Star galaxy in the coming days is reflective of his unique position among those who oversee the NBA’s 29 other franchises. His impact on the team, on its fans, on their city and on the state in returning to his native North Carolina -- he grew up in coastal Wilmington before attending college in Chapel Hill -- to anchor and lend stability to the Hornets will be on full display, even if he’s hard to spot this weekend. It’s all a reminder, too, of the old movie line from a remarkably blessed character, wondering “What do you do when your real life exceeds your dreams?” Most don’t dare to imagine playing in an All-Star Game, never mind hosting one as the owner of the local team. “No,” Jordan told some Charlotte reporters Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time), coming forward for one of his few appearances of the week. “As a kid growing up here in North Carolina, the first thing [was] playing basketball. And then things evolved from there -- from the University of North Carolina to Chicago. Obviously you know the history from that. “[The] opportunity to represent North Carolina in an All-Star Game from a different seat is truly amazing. It tells the path that I have taken. It gives me great pleasure to give that back to the community. It’s been a long-traveled road.” The celebration of the league’s brightest stars, and the ubiquitous banners and signage devoted to it will make it even harder than usual to visibly spot signs of Jordan’s ownership of the Hornets. For a typical regular season game, you might spy a flag emblazoned with his well-known “Jumpman” logo. Occasionally he’ll watch part of the game, rarely all, from seats at the end of his team’s bench, though he’s as likely to retreat to his suite atop the arena’s lower bowl. An in-game, timeout scoreboard video meant to stoke the crowd includes shots of GM Mitch Kupchak (“Architect of Champions”) and coach James Borrego (“Elite Pedigree”) but ends right about the time you expect some dramatic silhouette of His Airness to appear. It’s as if Jordan is as protective of his brand in running the Hornets as he is in maintaining its exclusivity in the marketplace. Doesn’t matter, though. His fingerprints are all over the franchise, as a basketball team, as a business enterprise and as a member of the community. On court, Jordan trusts his team Jordan’s greatest notoriety as an owner in a basketball setting may have come in December, when he was courtside for a tense game against Detroit. Guard Jeremy Lamb drained a 22-foot jumper with 0.3 seconds left, sending reserves Malik Monk and Bismack Biyombo onto the floor in celebration of what would be a 108-107 home victory. Trouble was, that sliver of time on the clock. Too many men. The Hornets were whistled for a one-shot technical foul and Jordan impulsively smacked Monk lightly, twice, on the back of the head. Any other owner does that, the player’s agent might file a grievance with the players union. Jordan does it and, thanks to his in-the-trenches, in-the-fraternity credibility, it comes across as a goof. “A tap of endearment,” Jordan called it later in a statement. “It was like a big brother and little brother tap. No negative intent. Only love!" Said Monk: “Big, big, big brother. But it was nothing. He was just playing.” The arc of Jordan’s career and his reputation as a stone-cold competitor make it OK if he wants to vent -- or swipe -- when things don’t go the Hornets’ way. Doesn’t matter that Jordan, who will turn 56 on All-Star Sunday, is old enough to be any of his players' dad. He still carries himself like an athlete, and their frame of reference remains, “That’s Mike.” “I’ve seen kids come up through camps,” said Buzz Peterson, Charlotte’s assistant general manager under Kupchak. “You could say Julius Erving, you could say Larry Johnson, Karl Malone, whatever, and the kids’ eyes are like, ‘Who?’ But you say Michael Jordan, they’re gonna know. That’s the separation there.” Peterson is among Jordan’s closest friends -- he beat him out as North Carolina’s prep player of the year in 1981, won an NCAA title with him as a Tar Heels teammate and is described by those who know both as someone who can disagree with the boss while staying comfortably in the inner circle. For Borrego, Charlotte’s first-year coach, interviewing to run Jordan’s team could have been intimidating. “We’re all human beings -- there’s a presence that comes with ‘Michael Jordan’ when he’s around,” Borrego told NBA.com in January. “But it’s healthy. He comes with a competitive spirit that you feel. “Michael was straight with me from Day 1. When I interviewed, he said, ‘I’m going to give you space to do your job. Whatever you need, you come to me. I’ll give you the resources you need.’ He has not tried to interfere one time. I feel his full support. … We’re starting to speak each other’s language, which is pretty healthy for us now.” Jordan keeps the coach apprised of his interactions with players, Borrego said. Other coaches should have such a resource at the ready. Hornets guard and 2019 All-Star starter Kemba Walker probably has benefited most from Jordan’s counsel. They text frequently, a pinch-me arrangement to this day for Walker. “I grew up wearing Jordans, grew up wanting to be like Jordan,” Walker said recently. “So for me to get this opportunity to be on his team means the world to me. He’s the one who believed in me -- I had no idea where I was going to go on draft night and he traded up for me. I’ve always heard the story, he was the one who actually drafted me. So it’s unbelievable. “He’s such a good dude. He understands what it is to be good. His delivery is always good. Only in a positive way, honestly.” Said rookie wing Miles Bridges: “You think there’ll be a lot of pressure having MJ as an owner. I’d seen how he got on his teammates when he played. So I was nervous, thinking if I had a bad game, he’d go at me like, ‘What’re you doing?’ But after meeting him and bonding with him, I feel like he’s the coolest owner out there. I don’t feel any pressure, I feel like he wants the best for us.” Big man Frank Kaminsky typically sits at the end of the bench, which puts him cheek to cheek with Jordan when he’s courtside. “He’s talking about what he’s seeing out on the court. Talking to the refs,” Kaminsky said. “Things other players don’t necessarily see. He still thinks the game. “You see things on the court that he sees. One game, the roll, pocket-pass, skip to the corner was open. He was saying that. We made an adjustment in a timeout, but he saw it a couple plays before that. At the end of that game, we had a big play that was a roll, pocket-pass, into the corner that put the game away. It worked the way he’d seen it.” The Hornets’ struggles during Jordan’s tenure as owner wouldn’t suggest it -- the last time this organization won a playoff series (2002), Jordan still was a player -- but there is a prestige to playing for his team. It’s not unlike being welcomed onto the list of elite athletes who endorse Jordan Brand. “I’m one of the lucky ones who’s in both,” Kaminsky said. “You’re talking about the most iconic player in sports history -- I might be biased because I grew up in Chicago -- but when you have his approval, it means a lot. You have it in the back of your mind that he wants you here.” Head smack or no head smack. Jordan grows as owner, businessman Basketball is a zero-sum game and the NBA is full of stars, even if none shines quite as brightly as Jordan. But business has room for negotiation and compromise, and deals get struck daily that leave both sides happy. There, Jordan has been beyond clutch. Funnel down everything he’s accomplished -- six NBA championships, the league’s highest career scoring average (30.1), five MVP awards, six Finals MVP, 10 scoring titles, nine All-Defensive team nods -- and it invariably ends with clammy hands. The “wow” factor is real and the Hornets are extremely careful about leveraging it. “It gives our organization a certain cachet,” said Whitfield, another longtime friend who goes back more than 35 years with Jordan. “For him to be majority owner, for him to do it in his home state as a local hometown hero, and to be able to come back and not just lead the team and the rebranding from the Bobcats to the Hornets, but his commitment to the community in giving back, it’s something that’s so special.” That’s a lot to unpack. When Jordan initially signed on with the Hornets, he did so as head of its basketball operations in 2006, purchasing a small minority stake in the team. The team was bad, the business was worse and trending down. “Back in ’08-09, the economy was in the tank and I was mandated to ‘displace’ 42 of our executives here on the business side,” Whitfield said. “When Michael bought the team, we were losing $30 million a year.’ Brought back into the league in 2004 two years after the original Hornets (1988-2002) were moved to New Orleans by reviled owner George Shinn, the Charlotte expansion team was owned -- and nicknamed -- by Bob Johnson, a co-founder of the BET television network. The Bobcats excelled only at losing and were 122 games under .500 in their first five seasons. The front office was understaffed, Spectrum Center (then known as Time Warner Cable Arena) needed renovations almost from its inception and there was a real sense that, if a buyer with deep pockets and a commitment to the area weren’t found, the franchise could be moved. In March 2010, Jordan ponied up the cash to become majority owner. But it says something that the deal stands as one of the few, if ever, instances of an NBA franchise being sold at a discount. Johnson paid $300 million for the team; Jordan purchased it for $275 million. Forbes.com recently had Charlotte worth $1.25 billion -- which ranks 28th. And Jordan reportedly has one of the biggest stakes of all NBA owners, with his share estimated at upwards of 90 percent, possibly as high as 98 percent. That’s a lot of success in nine years, despite the basketball team’s mostly middling performance. “With MJ being with the team, you got instant credibility in the marketplace,” said Pete Guelli, the chief operating officer who started on the job about 10 months before Jordan took ownership. “There had been a lot of uncertainty previously, but with his brand and his resources and his commitment, that just dissipated immediately. It was much, much easier to walk in the door and tell people about our vision for this franchise.” Rebranding the team as “Hornets” gave the franchise an existential boost -- it suddenly had a history again, complete with records, archives and true alumni. The arena got a makeover and, per Guelli, is credited for events there that generate an alleged $1 billion in revenues for local businesses. “Fortunately, we’ve been profitable pretty much since [Jordan took over],” Whitfield said. “That’s huge, especially since we haven’t gotten where we want to be on the basketball side.” Closing a new kind of game now It’s hard to overstate Jordan’s added value, not so much as some corporate or financial whiz but as a presence who brought instant motivation and energy to the staff. He imported executives with whom he had developed relationships at Nike or in other ventures and, after taking early criticism for an uncertain level of involvement, has been more diligent in recent years. “I love seeing him sitting at the end of the bench encouraging his players when he attends a game” said Charles F. Bowman, Bank of America’s market president for Charlotte and North Carolina. “And as a business person what impresses me is that he has empowered his management team to focus not only on the court but also on building bridges with the community. “He had a vision for where he was taking the team and a clear plan to get there. He has hired good people, gives them latitude to make decisions and he expects them to perform. Michael is unique -- the best player ever who is determined to keep getting better year over year as an owner.” The NBA has gotten a taste of Jordan’s growth and transition at some pivotal times. This is the legendary voice of the players who, during rancorous negotiations in the 1998 lockout, countered Washington owner Abe Pollin’s gripes about losing money by telling Pollin to sell his team. By the lockout of 2011, Jordan had moved to the other side of the table. But several members of the National Basketball Players Association’s executive committee saw him not as an opponent or turncoat but as a role model: someone who had transformed himself from employee to employer at the game’s highest level. “The players understood, he had been in their shoes,” Whitfield said. “He’s not forgetting what it meant to be a player. He was in the process of learning what it meant to be an owner.” When the current collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with commissioner Adam Silver and union director Michele Roberts leading the talks, Jordan was an active, powerful voice. He is an influential member of the NBA’s labor relations and competition committees. One Charlotte insider spoke to Jordan’s clout with his fellow owners in getting this weekend’s showcase -- jeopardized by a political squabble in 2017 -- back onto the league’s short list. “There’s no All-Star Game here in Charlotte if it’s not for MJ,” the person said. Last summer in Las Vegas, Silver lauded Jordan for his ability to straddle the basketball and business worlds. “He brings unique credibility to the table when we're having discussions [with the players],” he said, “and even just among the owners, he's able to represent a player point of view… Michael can say, 'Well, look, this is how I looked at it when I was a player, and these are the kind of issues we need to address if we're going to convince players that something is in everyone's interest.’ ” Jordan’s powers of persuasion apparently have been even more impressive in Charlotte and North Carolina. The executives are careful about relying on him too often -- Jordan’s most precious commodity, now that his net worth is estimated to be upwards of $1.7 billion -- is his time. But when they need Mariano Rivera to walk in from the bullpen, he is lights out. “We’ve had corporate sponsors at a golf outing, and he’s been there, maybe stayed at one hole to tell off with everybody,” Whitfield said. Or they’ll invite certain corporate sponsors to one of a few games each season in which “Club 23” is up and running at the Spectrum Center, a private club built for such purposes. They get a chance to visit, talk with and pick Jordan’s brain on the Hornets and much more. “We’ve closed all those deals,” Whitfield said. Then there was the time a local CEO wanted to finalize a sizeable sponsorship deal with the team, and had his No. 2 invite Jordan over to their headquarters for the meetings. Whitfield told the tale: “This guy says, 'You have to come to our office. Our CEO is the man in our business.' But we’re like, 'Nah, typically, CEOs come and meet in Michael’s office or in ‘Club 23’ over here.' He said no, that wasn’t going to work for them. “So Pete Guelli said, 'Let’s make a deal: We’ll take your CEO and drop him off in Beijing. And we’ll drop off Michael in Beijing. Then we’ll see who more people gravitate to. Whoever gets the least people, he has to come to the other guy’s office.'” Point made. Point taken. Said Whitfield: “The guy says, ‘You know what, I got it. We’ll be over 10 o’clock Friday morning.’” A community he calls home The Michael Jordan who once seemed determined to float above cultural and political frays as the most prudent way to serve commerce has not held back in recent years from making his presence felt. He has been more philanthropist than activist and, let’s face it, in times of the most dire need, cash beats talk every time. Charity and investing in the community can be good for business, sure. Making that a priority after Guelli’s arrival and Jordan’s purchase helped the Hornets build bridges with fans and merchants that Shinn and the original franchise’s departure had torched. More than that, though, giving back for Jordan and his team at this point in his life was the right thing to do. And do, and do, and do. The list of charitable and civic efforts Jordan and the Hornets have undertaken is long, with few outside the region or state aware of most of it. Among the highlights: - Donating $2 million to relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence, particularly meaningful because of the damage it did in Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington. - Dedicated $7 million in partnership with Novant Health to fund two Michael Jordan Family Clinics, set to open in Charlotte in 2020. - Serving as Make-A-Wish’s Chief Wish Ambassador since 2008, while donating more than $5 million to the organization. His relationship with Make-A-Wish began more than 30 years ago. - Contributing $5 million as a founding donor of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. - Addressing the issue of police shootings and community policing in 2016 by donating $1 million each to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. After the hurricane in September devastated so many homes and businesses in and near Jordan’s roots, he wanted to do more than to stroke a fat check. In a meeting covered by The Associated Press, he met with Stephanie Parker and her family, including four young children, after they lost their apartment in two feet of flooding. A call from the director of the Cape Fear chapter of the Red Cross brought them together. The meeting took place at a Lowe’s home improvement store. “I look around the corner, and it’s Michael Jordan. ‘Oh my God!’" Parker said. “I look at my kids, ‘It’s Michael Jordan!’ I’m not going to lie, some tears came in my eyes, because the first thing that went through my mind was when I was younger, his last game when he was on the Chicago Bulls team, and that flashback just came right in my mind.” Afterward, Jordan was coaxed by the Charlotte Observer to talk about why that disaster resonated so deeply for him. “You gotta take care of home,” he said. “Wilmington truly is my home. Kept thinking about all those places I grew up going to … You don’t want to see any of that anywhere, but when it’s home, that’s tough to swallow.” There’s basketball, there’s business and then there’s real life, which sometimes intrudes in the most desperate ways. “We didn’t know how many people in our community were hungry,” Whitfield said. “There are people in dire need, and it’s special to have that hometown hero have in his heart that ‘This is where I can help.’ “It gives not only him as a person but our organization a platform to really speak out. That commitment is what has made him a special owner, and why he’s even more beloved in our community.” Winning title No. 7 drives Jordan now To date, Jordan’s greatest achievements have come elsewhere, at least since his baseline shot as a freshman propelled North Carolina to the 1982 NCAA championship. Those Bulls championships, the “Dream Team” magnificence, his partnership with that sneaker company in Beaverton, Ore., his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction, shooting “Space Jam,” all of it -- his legacy has been crafted with others, for others, mostly far from home. (For the record, Jordan, his wife Yvette and their two daughters own a mansion outside Charlotte and an estate in south Florida). “Look, this has always been home for him,” Whitfield said. “Even though he was drafted by Chicago, WGN became a very popular station. And he just continued to elevate, so people in this state were proud to say, even though he’s a Bull, we love him. When the Bulls would come here and play at the old Coliseum, these fans who were avid Hornets fans were all pulling for Michael Jordan. “He’d score, they’d cheer loudly. The Hornets would score, they’d cheer loudly. North Carolina always felt like he was their native son who went off and achieved greatness.” Coming back first to head the franchise’s basketball operations and then as owner, Jordan’s role -- in light of the modest results on the court -- has been custodial. Yes, the club’s improved financial stability is important. But for this driven winner and NBA owner unlike all others, custodial isn’t going to cut it for long. “He did an interview with Cigar Aficionado magazine a while back,” Peterson said, “and the question was asked, ‘What would you like to do?’ And he said, ‘Win a seventh championship. Win as an owner.’ So for me, every day, I’m thinking, here’s a close friend and you want to make your friends happy, right? So each day I think, do the best you can to reach this goal for him.” Said Hornets wing Nicolas Batum: “I understand. He wants to win. He wants to compete since he was born.” It hasn’t been for lack of trying, although Jordan has made sure to keep fiscal responsibility high on every agenda. The team’s payroll for 2018-19 is approximately $122.3 million, which ranks near the middle of the NBA pack. “That Michael Jordan is one cheap dude,” said an impassioned cab driver on a recent airport run. “He’s only going to spend so much and the players they get shows it.” The Hornets never have spent into the league’s luxury-tax, and if Walker is retained when he hits free agency this summer, he’ll likely become the first Charlotte player to sign a full maximum-salary contract (though the five-year, $120 million deal Batum landed in 2016 came awfully close). Injuries and dubious moves have taken a toll, a situation that Kupchak, Borrego and their staffs have been tasked with fixing. Jordan, by all accounts, is engaged yet patient, with a playoff berth and potentially a record above .500 within reach. “I’m sure he feels like,” Whitfield said, “if he were still 30 years old and could lace ‘em up and get out there, he’d help us get over the hump. I think he would cherish it as much or more than the first six. Because I think he realizes how hard it is to get it done. “But it doesn’t bother us if the fans see his frustration sitting next to our bench. It’s important to us that they see he’s not only invested, he’s vested in what our team is trying to do. They can relate to him because they’re feeling that same frustration.” Jordan is theirs again and that’s what matters. For basketball, for business, for community and in time, just maybe, in championship. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2019

Pistons sign Ellington, waive Ellenson

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Pistons have signed guard Wayne Ellington and waived 2016 first-round draft pick Henry Ellenson. The Pistons announced the moves Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). The 6'5" Ellington is in his 10th NBA season. He averaged 8.4 points with Miami this season before he was traded to Phoenix and then waived. The Pistons needed outside shooting after trading Reggie Bullock. Ellenson, who was drafted with the 18th pick in 2016, has averaged just 3.8 points in 59 NBA games. The Pistons traded Stanley Johnson, their 2015 first-round pick, earlier in the week. Ellington is the Heat record holder for three-pointers made in a season. He also won the national championship at North Carolina in 2009, when the Final Four was played in Detroit. The Pistons traded Bullock and Johnson before the deadline, but Detroit still has its formidable frontcourt tandem of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond. The Pistons made it clear they’re still hoping to make the playoffs, and team executive Ed Stefanski said Detroit would still be looking to add players......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 10th, 2019

Markkanen leads Bulls to 125-106 rout of Nets

By DENIS P. GORMAN,  ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK (AP) — Lauri Markkanen scored 31 points and grabbed 18 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 125-106 rout of the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time). Markkanen scored at least 30 points in his third straight game, while Chicago scored more than 100 points for the 17th straight game. Zach Levine added 23 points, Otto Porter Jr. had 18 in his first game with the Bulls, Robin Lopez and Kris Dunn each had 12, and Wayne Selden Jr. finished with 11. The win snapped a two-game skid for the Bulls. Chicago has still lost three of five, seven of nine, and 16 of 19 dating to Dec. 30. D'Angelo Russell, named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team earlier in the week, led the Nets with 23 points but Brooklyn dropped to 29-28 with its third loss in five games. Allen Crabbe and Joe Harris each finished with 19 points. At first glance, the game seemed liked a mismatch. The Nets have been one of the NBA's surprise stories as they find themselves in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, while the Bulls are in a heated race with Atlanta, Cleveland, Phoenix and the New York Knicks to be in the best position to win the NBA draft lottery and potentially select Duke power forward Zion Williamson. But, the Bulls led 55-48 at halftime. Chicago's biggest lead in the first half was 10 at 40-30, but the Nets used 17-6 run spanning 6:28 to go up by 1 at 47-46, before the Bulls ended the first half by outscoring Brooklyn 9-1. Chicago made 21 of 44 shots from the field in the first half, including 6 of 11 from 3-point range, while the Nets struggled at 16 for 43 overall, and 5 of 17 from beyond the arc. Chicago extended its lead to as many as 14 in the third quarter, and had a 93-80 advantage going into the fourth. Among the keys to the Bulls strong third quarter was the play of their starting front court of Robin Lopez, Markkanen and Porter, who combined for 25 of the Bulls' 38 third-quarter points. The lead grew to 18 in the fourth after Timothe Luwauw-Cabarrot made two free throws with 8:09 left. TIP-INS: BULLS: The win snapped Chicago's six-game losing streak to Brooklyn, and its four-game losing streak at Barclays Center. The Bulls had lost the three previous meetings this season. NETS: About 45 minutes before the opening tip-off, Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks spoke to reporters about the state of the team. While he spoke cautiously, Marks was unquestionably proud of how his team has played through the first 56 games. "I give our players a heck of a lot of credit for how they've handled this first, you know, over half of the season," he said. "It's really been led by them. They took the reins of this thing and they've been pushing and believing." COMEBACK CARIS Third-year guard Caris LeVert played for the first time since suffering a subtalar dislocation of the right foot in the Nets' 120-113 loss to the Timberwolves in Minnesota on November 12. He had missed 42 games. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson announced after Thursday's practice LeVert would play, and the third year guard finished with 11 points in 14:56. LeVert checked in for the first time 1:21 into the second quarter and received a nice ovation from the 15,267 in attendance, and he scored his first basket on a floater with 5:15 left before halftime, which prompted chants of "Welcome back!" from the crowd. BULLS CALLED ON PORTER: The Nets weren't the only team welcoming a fresh body. Friday's game was Chicago's first since trading Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis and a 2023 protected second round pick to Washington for Porter on Wednesday. Porter started at small forward. "I think we'll have a limited package when he's in there," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said before the game. "We're not going to add anything for him. I met with him last night (when) we got in and met with him at our walkthrough. We'll try to get him up to speed as fast as we can." UP NEXT: Bulls: Host Washington on Saturday night. Nets: Visits Toronto on Monday night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 9th, 2019

2019 NBA Trade Deadline roundup

NBA.com staff report Here's a recap of all the deals done immediately before the 2019 NBA Trade Deadline. Sixers add Ennis for pick swap Sixers receive: F James Ennis Rockets receive: Rights to 2021 second-round pick swap Official Release: Sixers Instant Analysis: After trading several rotation pieces while bulking their starting lineup, the Sixers began to add depth behind the star-laden openers. The well-traveled Ennis has proven able to contribute effectively as a starter or off the bench through four-plus NBA seasons in Houston, Memphis, Detroit, Miami and New Orleans. * * * Three-team deal ends with Mirotic to Bucks Pistons receive: F Thon Maker Bucks receive: F Nikola Mirotic Pelicans receive: F/C Jason Smith F Stanley Johnson Four future second-round picks (via Detroit) Official Release: Bucks | Pistons | Pelicans Instant Analysis: The Bucks completed a two-stage, three-team deal heading into the deadline. First, discontented big man Maker went to Detroit for Johnson ... who was then redirected with veteran Smith and four second-round picks to the Pelicans for Mirotic. Adding yet another sharpshooting big around Giannis Antetokounmpo should only heighten the matchup nightmares Milwaukee presents. * * * Third move for backcourt duo Pacers receive: G Nik Stauskas G Wade Baldwin IV Rights to Maarty Leunen 2021 second-round pick Rockets receive: Cash considerations Official Release: Pacers Instant Analysis: This marks the fourth team in as many days for the backcourt duo, who began the week playing for Portland and have made stops in Cleveland (for Rodney Hood) and Houston (in a three-teamer with Sacramento) on the way to Indiana. Neither have earned much in the way of playing time, though Stauskas still carries the weight of a 3-point threat in the making. * * * Grizzlies trade Memphis stalwart Gasol to Toronto Raptors receive: C Marc Gasol Grizzlies receive: C Jonas Valanciunas G Delon Wright F/G CJ Miles 2024 second-round pick Official Release: Raptors Instant Analysis: With their fellow Eastern Conference contenders making moves, Toronto didn't sit still, adding a talented veteran center to their formidable mix. The transition should be eased since Gasol played with Kyle Lowry (2008-09, in Memphis), albeit before the point guard elevated above his current All-Star plateau. The Grizzlies gain a solid pivot in Valanciunas, a prospective wing piece in Wright and the satisfaction of sending Gasol on to a winning situation. * * * Bradley headed to Memphis Grizzlies receive: G Avery Bradley Clippers receive: G/F Garrett Temple F JaMychal Green Official Release: Clippers | Grizzlies Instant Analysis: Once the Clippers unloaded Tobias Harris to Philly, the focus became clearing further cap space, with flyers on Temple and Green, both expiring contracts. Bradley, a hard-nosed defender in the Memphis mold, should fit in nicely wherever deployed by the Grizzlies. * * * Zubac locker room reshuffled in LA Lakers receive: C Mike Muscala Clippers receive: F Michael Beasley C Ivica Zubac Official Release: Clippers | Lakers Instant Analysis: The deal clears a cap hold off the Lakers' offseason books, as Zubac was set to enter restricted free agency. With no major moves prior to the deadline, the Lakers have apparently lasered in on the summer options. * * * Fultz finally redirected, to Orlando Magic receive: G Markelle Fultz Sixers receive: F Jonathon Simmons Protected 2019 first-round pick 2019 second-round pick Official Release: Magic | Sixers Instant Analysis: After an injury-marred season-plus with the Sixers, 2017 No. 1 overall pick Fultz will attempt to find his footing in Orlando, where he's headed in exchange for Simmons and a pair of 2019 draft picks. Simmons helps flesh out the rotation depth in Philly, while the picks begin the asset rebuild after this week's trade for Tobias Harris. * * * Blazers acquire Labissiere Trail Blazers receive: F Skal Labissiere Kings receive: F Caleb Swanigan Official release: Kings | Blazers Instant Analysis: Two West coast teams swap young forwards in the hopes that a change of scenery will more fully unearth their respective talent. * * * Guard swap in the South Hawks receive: G Shelvin Mack Grizzlies receive: G Tyler Dorsey Official Release: Hawks | Grizzlies Instant Analysis: It's a return trip to Atlanta for Mack, who played 172 games for the Hawks from 2012-16. He will help soak up minutes behind and mentor rookie guard Trae Young. The Grizzlies get younger with Dorsey, who is reunited with former Oregon teammate Dillon Brooks. * * * Greg Monroe to Nets, then waived Nets receive: C Greg Monroe 2021 second-round pick Raptors receive: Cash considerations Official Release: Nets Instant Analysis: The Nets gain a second-round pick in order to help the Raptors save dollars against the cap and luxury tax. Monroe, however, was waived after being acquired. * * * Hawks acquire Jabari Bird Hawks receive: G Jabari Bird Cash considerations Celtics receive: Conditional 2020 second-round pick Official Release: Hawks Instant Analysis: Bird hasn't played in a game this season, and was expected to be waived by Atlanta. * * * Shumpert to Rockets in three-team trade Rockets receive: G Iman Shumpert G Nik Stauskas G Wade Baldwin IV 2021 second-round pick Kings receive: G Alec Burks 2020 second-round pick Cavaliers receive: G Brandon Knight F Marquese Chriss 2019 first-round pick 2022 second-round pick Official release: Cavaliers Instant Analysis: The Rockets reshuffled their bench depth with this three-team trade. Shumpert help bolster the Rockets' guard rotation as they battle for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Shortly after this deal was announced, the Rockets dealt Stauskas and Baldwin IV to the Indiana Pacers (see above). For the Kings, Shumpert was less necessary to their team after acquiring Harrison Barnes from the Mavericks in a separate deal on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 8th, 2019

Wizards, Bulls complete Otto Porter Jr. trade

Chicago Bulls press release The Chicago Bulls have acquired forward Otto Porter Jr. from the Washington Wizards in exchange for forwards Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis, and a protected 2023 second-round draft pick. Otto Porter Jr. (6-8, 198) was selected third overall by the Washington Wizards in the 2013 NBA Draft. Over his six seasons in the league, he has put up career averages of 10.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.18 steals in 384 games (271 starts) while shooting .483 from the field, .399 from three (17th among active players) and .786 from the free throw line. He has played in 31 career postseason games and put up averages of 10.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.26 steals per game while shooting .490 from the field, .333 from three and .719 from the free throw line. In both 2016-17 and 2017-18, he averaged over 13.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting above .400 from three. If Porter were to hit those benchmarks again in a season, he would be the fifth NBA player ever to post such numbers in at least three seasons. Porter’s true shooting numbers over those two years were .628 and .602, respectively. The .628 mark in 2016-17 ranked seventh in the NBA. This season, Porter is averaging 12.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and a career-high 1.56 steals (tied-14th) in 41 games (28 starts). Over his last 15 games, he has posted 14.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.80 steals on .418 shooting from the field, .372 from three and .750 from the free throw line. Porter’s steal-to-turnover ratio of 1.60 ranks fourth in the NBA. The Wizards’ offensive rating improved by 2.9 points per 100 possessions when he was on rather than off the court. “We are excited to add Otto Porter to our team. During his time in the NBA, Otto has proven to be a terrific three-point shooter., while also being very efficient. While in his sixth pro season, he is only 25 years old and is someone who will be a good fit for our team moving forward,” said Gar Forman, General Manager of the Chicago Bulls. Parker (6-8, 250) signed with the Bulls as a free agent on July 14, 2018. He is averaging 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 26.7 minutes per game this season and is shooting .474 from the field, .325 from three-point range and .731 from the free-throw line. Portis (6-11, 250) was drafted by Chicago in the first round (22nd selection) of the 2015 NBA Draft. He is averaging 14.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 24.1 minutes per game this season and is shooting .450 from the field, .375 from three-point range and .780 from the free-throw line. In 221 career games (27 starts) with the Bulls, Portis held averages of 9.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 19.3 minutes and shot .461 from the field, .350 from long range and .743 from the foul line. He appeared in six playoff games for Chicago and averaged 6.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.50 steals in 20.1 minutes per game and shot .515 from the field and .462 from three-point range. +++ Washington Wizards press release WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Wizards announced today that they have acquired forwards Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker as well as a 2023 second round pick from the Bulls in exchange for Otto Porter Jr. “We are bringing in two former first round picks who will give us frontcourt depth with their ability to play multiple positions,” said Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld. “The trade also provides us with an opportunity to continue to develop two promising young players while giving us future flexibility.” Portis (6-11, 250) has averaged career highs of 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting a career-high .375 from three-point range and .780 from the free throw line in 22 games (six starts) with the Bulls this season. Over 221 career games with the Bulls, he has averaged 9.7 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting .461 from the field over four seasons. He is coming off one of his best weeks as a pro, putting up a season-high 33 points on Feb. 2 at Charlotte, scoring 26 points on Jan. 30 at Miami and posting 18 points and a season-high 15 rebounds on Jan. 25 at the L.A. Clippers. Originally selected with the 22nd overall pick by the Bulls in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Arkansas, Portis averaged 17.5 points and 8.9 rebounds as a sophomore to earn SEC Player of the Year honors. Parker (6-8, 245) has averaged 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds (tying his career high) and 2.2 assists in 39 games with the Bulls this season, posting five double-doubles while recording 20+ points nine times. He has put up 15.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting .487 from the field in 222 career games (167 starts) over five total seasons with Milwaukee and Chicago. Parker’s best season as a pro came in 2016-17 with the Bucks when he had career-high averages in points (20.1), rebounds (6.2) and assists (2.8) while shooting .490 from the field and .365 from three-point range over 51 games. He was originally selected with the second overall pick by the Bucks in the 2014 NBA Draft out of Duke, where he played one season with the Blue Devils and averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds to earn First Team All-America, First Team All-ACC and ACC Rookie of the Year honors. Porter Jr. was originally selected by the Wizards with the third overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He averaged 10.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 384 games (271 starts) over his career with the team. “Otto was always a team-first player and a positive presence for us both on and off the court,” said Grunfeld. “He worked to develop into a very good player during his time here and we wish him the best in this new chapter in his career.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 7th, 2019

With trade talks heating up, young Lakers want answers

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com If it was LeBron James’ intention to change the mood in the Lakers’ locker room here in his first season in L.A., consider it a resounding success. The morale for a team that went 35-47 last season and missed the playoffs is indeed different. It’s more somber. After speaking with a number of players, their agents and other sources, the general consensus paint a picture of little joy, plenty of confusion and uncertainty, along with some anger and sense of betrayal. It’s all caused by the Lakers’ obvious and public pursuit of Anthony Davis and the players who unquestionably will be shipped out to New Orleans in exchange for the All-NBA forward if a trade happens before Thursday’s (early Friday, PHL time) deadline. None will speak on the record but it’s obvious the Davis issue is sensitive and weighing on most of the roster, especially the young core of Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball. They wonder if their days in L.A. are numbered and also wonder what, if any, role LeBron has in determining who goes and who stays. Various reports have the Lakers offering up virtually everyone on the roster for Davis, along with multiple No. 1 picks. Clearly, the pace has changed for the Lakers. After saying last summer the Lakers are intent on building a team that will be a contender for years and not just in the short term, team president Magic Johnson’s timeline has accelerated if the proposed packages for Davis are true. And how can they not be? New Orleans wants a combination of young players and picks for a game-changing player such as Davis. The Lakers own no other assets. In the meantime, the Lakers, currently on a road trip, are dealing with turbulence and not necessarily while thousands of feet in the air. Michael Beasley and JaVale McGee had a verbal post-game exchange with coach Luke Walton two nights ago in Oakland after a loss to the Warriors, and although it wasn’t sparked by the Davis issue directly, the trade rumors are causing stress and perhaps pushing tempers as well. In the center of it all is LeBron. Davis has been represented since last fall by Klutch Sports, the agency created by LeBron and run by his business partner and close friend, Rich Paul. The LeBron link to a player agency has caused a degree of concern among other NBA general managers, who wonder if there’s a conflict of interest and if it’s a good look for the league. It also has rival agents suspecting that LeBron is involved in talks for Davis and at the very least serving as a sounding board for Magic and Laker executive Rob Pelinka. It wouldn’t be unreasonable for the Lakers to get LeBron’s hot take on this or any major decision involving personnel; that’s a perk enjoyed by a number of star players throughout the NBA, and has been for years. But: Following the Lakers’ victory over the Clippers last week when LeBron made his return after missing 17 games with a groin injury, he repeatedly expressed how thrilled he was to be back on the floor with "my guys” and that didn’t sit well with some of his teammates, according to their agents. Essentially, they’re not sure where they stand with LeBron in the Davis situation. And the young players appear too intimidated to confront LeBron and get clarity. There’s another issue at play here: Are the Lakers planning to surrender too much for Davis by gutting the team? If the Lakers are willing to part with their young core and at least two veterans to make the salaries match, who’s left to make them competitive with Davis and LeBron? The Pelicans, according to league sources, are insisting that any team wanting Davis must also take guard E’Twaun Moore and his contract in return. This will allow the Pelicans to get young players, multiple picks and salary cap flexibility in a single transaction. In a sense, Davis is indeed a franchise player — trading him might allow the Pelicans to remake their entire franchise. Davis reportedly gave the Pelicans other teams on a wish-list, yet those teams’ options appear limited. One is the Bucks, who lack promising young players, and given that Milwaukee is leading the East, their first-round pick won’t be attractive. Another is the Knicks, who won’t have defined assets until after the draft lottery in May when their place in the June draft will be revealed. If the Pelicans decide to wait until summer, that means they believe there’s a better deal waiting after the draft and free agency. That places urgency on the Lakers to get something done before Thursday. One way or another, whether he comes to the Lakers or stays in New Orleans at least for the next five months, Davis will bring some relief and help clear the air to a Lakers team that desperately needs it. Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2019

Miami Heat to retire Chris Bosh’s No. 1 jersey next month

Two-time NBA champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Chris Bosh will have his No. 1 jersey retired next month by the Miami Heat, the team announced Monday. The 34-year-old forward who teamed with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to form Miami's "Big Three" and lead the Heat to four NBA Finals in as many seasons will receive the tribute in a half-time ceremony when Orlando visits Miami on March 26. Bosh, selected by Toronto with the fourth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, will become the fourth Heat player to have his number retired following Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway. In 13 NBA seasons, seven with Toronto and six more with Miami, Bosh was an 11-time NBA All-S...Keep on reading: Miami Heat to retire Chris Bosh’s No. 1 jersey next month.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2019

Slam dunk: Gonzalez makes Hall, along with Bailey, Reed, Law

By Eddie Pells, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — For towering tight end Tony Gonzalez, this was a slam dunk. The 6-foot-5 Gonzalez, who turned the celebratory post-TD dunk over the crossbar into an art form, was voted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. Joining him will be two more first-time nominees, Champ Bailey and Ed Reed, along with another defensive back, Ty Law, and center Kevin Mawae; Law and Mawae were both in their third year as finalists. The contributor nominees, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and Cowboys and NFL executive Gil Brandt , each made it, as did senior Johnny Robinson, the defensive back who helped the Chiefs win Super Bowl 4. Gonzalez started in Kansas City and finished in Atlanta, where voters met on the eve of the Super Bowl to select the Class of 2019; they didn't need much time to debate his worthiness. In short, Gonzalez had more than his fair share of chances to jam. (Maybe not by accident, the NFL banned the practice in 2014, the year after he retired.) The most prolific pass catcher at his position over a 17-year career, Gonzalez caught 1,325 passes (second in NFL history) for 15,127 yards (sixth) and 111 touchdowns. He was a six-time All-Pro, made 14 Pro Bowls, and his 916 catches with the Chiefs set one of 22 franchise records he held upon his retirement. "I knew I had a good chance, I'm not going to lie about that," he said. "Still, when you hear the knock, your heart drops." As it turns out, Gonzalez isn't the only one who can get good air. "Threw my phone across the room," Mawae said, of his reaction upon learning he was in. "I had a higher vertical than at the combine." He'll be donning the yellow jacket this summer alongside Gonzalez, and three players who spent part of their careers trying to stop the groundbreaking tight end. This marks the first time more than two defensive backs have made it in the same class. Bailey played 15 years — five with Washington, then 10 more with Denver after the Redskins swapped him for Clinton Portis. Like so many great cornerbacks, Bailey did not rewrite the record book, in part because he was, for a huge chunk of his career, considered the best cover guy in the league. So most quarterbacks simply avoided him. Still, he made three All-Pro teams, 12 Pro Bowls and a none-too-shabby 52 interceptions. His best-remembered pick was a 103-yard return against Tom Brady in the 2006 playoffs that did not go for a touchdown. Denver did score shortly afterward, though, on the way to the win. Eight years later, Bailey made his only Super Bowl. "This is home and timing was just right for it," said Bailey, who grew up in Folkston and played college ball at Georgia. "Having Pat Bowlen go in, I never expected it to be like this." Reed won his only title in the 2012 season, his last with the Ravens. Running the defense from his safety position, he was a standout playmaker on a roster full of them — including Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs and Peter Boulware. Reed finished his career with 64 interceptions, and led the league in picks three times. "Smartest player I ever coached," said Reed's former coach, Brian Billick. Law was a lot like Bailey — a rock at the corner who quarterbacks avoided. He finished with 53 interceptions and three Super Bowl rings, all with the Patriots. When New England beat the Rams for its first title in 2002, Law returned a pick 47 yards for a score that gave the Patriots the lead in the second quarter; they didn't trail after that. Law was one of the many high-profile players Bill Belichick was willing to cycle out, and his final five years were spent with Kansas City, Denver and two stints with the Jets, including 2005, when he made a career-high 10 interceptions. "It's surreal to get this honor while my former team is playing," said Law, who will be on hand when the Patriots play the Rams for the title Sunday. Mawae, a second-round draft pick in 1994, played 16 seasons for the Seahawks, Jets and Titans. He made three All-Pro teams and joins Mike Webster, Dwight Stevenson and Jim Otto among the few true centers in Canton. He earned a spot some thought might go instead to Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli. But for Boselli, Edgerrin James, John Lynch, Richard Seymour and six others, it's wait 'til next year. Bowlen goes in after what some believe was a longer-than-necessary wait. He is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, which has put the future of the Broncos' franchise on uncertain ground. His youngest daughter, Annabel, said they face-timed their dad when the family received the news. "A lot of tears in the room," she said. Bowlen was key in securing the NFL's future via a number of multibillion-dollar TV contracts. The Broncos have largely prospered during his tenure, winning more than 60 percent of their games. That included the 1998 Super Bowl, when the owner famously shouted "This one's for John" — a tribute to John Elway winning his first title. Brandt spent 29 years with the Cowboys, where his keen eye for talent helped turn Dallas into "America's Team." He chose eight future Hall of Famers, including Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly and Bob Hayes. He employed computers for evaluating talent and came up with psychological tests for draft prospects, two tools no NFL team could do without in the modern game. Brandt also was elected for his role as the NFL's resident draft guru. Robinson was chosen by the Dallas Texans in the first AFL draft. The Texans became the Chiefs, and the Chiefs became Super Bowl champions. A teammate of his, Hall of Fame linebacker Willie Lanier, said Robinson was the key to a defense that helped Kansas City to two AFL titles, each of which landed the Chiefs in the Super Bowl......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 3rd, 2019

LOOK: Here are the 2019 NBA All-Star Game reserves

NBA press release NEW YORK – Two-time Kia NBA All-Star MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and four first-time All-Stars lead the list of 14 players selected by the NBA’s head coaches as reserves for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. The 68th NBA All-Star Game, featuring Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis, will take place on Sunday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. ET at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. (Feb. 18, PHL time). NBA All-Star 2019 will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. Joining Westbrook as reserves in the Western Conference player pool are San Antonio Spurs forward-center LaMarcus Aldridge, New Orleans Pelicans forward-center Anthony Davis, Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson and Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns.  Jokić has been named an NBA All-Star for the first time. The Eastern Conference reserve pool includes three first-time NBA All-Star selections: Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, Philadelphia 76ers guard-forward Ben Simmons and Orlando Magic center Nikola Vučević.  They are joined by Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry and Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo. Team captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks will draft the NBA All-Star Game rosters from the pool of players voted as starters and reserves in each conference. The team rosters will be revealed on TNT in a special NBA All-Star Draft Show on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET (Feb. 8, PHL time). James and Antetokounmpo will make their picks without regard for a player’s conference affiliation or position.  Each captain will choose 11 players to complete a 12-man roster. The 2019 NBA All-Star Draft rules include: - The eight starters (aside from James and Antetokounmpo) will be drafted in the First Round. - The 14 reserves will be drafted in the Second Round. - As the top overall vote-getter among fans, James will have the first pick in the First Round (Starters).  Antetokounmpo will have the first pick in the Second Round (Reserves). - The captains will alternate picks in each round until all players in that round have been selected. The 10 All-Star Game starters, unveiled last week, were selected by fans, current NBA players and a media panel.  The Eastern Conference starter pool consists of Antetokounmpo, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard, the Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving and the Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker. The Western Conference starter pool is James, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City’s Paul George and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden. The 14 All-Star Game reserves were selected by the NBA’s 30 head coaches. The coaches voted for seven players in their respective conferences – two guards, three frontcourt players and two additional players at either position group. They were not permitted to vote for players from their own team. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select the replacement for any player unable to participate in the All-Star Game, choosing a player from the same conference as the player who is being replaced. Team LeBron will be coached by the head coach from the Western Conference team with the best record through games played on Sunday, Feb. 3 (Feb. 4, PHL time). Team Giannis will be led by the head coach from the Eastern Conference team with the best record through games played on Feb. 3 (Feb. 4, PHL time). Below is a closer look at the NBA All-Star Game reserves: 2019 NBA ALL-STAR GAME RESERVES Western Conference Player Pool The Western Conference @NBAAllStar Reserve Pool!@aldridge_12 @AntDavis23 Nikola Jokic@Dame_Lillard @KlayThompson @KarlTowns @russwest44 #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/BHu2JnxiHg — NBA (@NBA) February 1, 2019 • LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs (7th All-Star selection): Aldridge is an All-Star for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. The Spurs have now had at least one player selected to 21 consecutive All-Star Games, the NBA’s longest active streak. • Anthony Davis, Pelicans (6th All-Star selection): An All-Star for the sixth year in a row, Davis scored a record 52 points in the 2017 All-Star Game. • Nikola Jokić, Nuggets (1st All-Star selection): Selected with the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Serbian center is Denver’s first All-Star since the 2010-11 season (Carmelo Anthony).   • Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers (4th All-Star selection): Lillard is the fourth player to earn at least four All-Star nods with Portland, joining Clyde Drexler (eight), Aldridge (four) and Sidney Wicks (four). • Klay Thompson, Warriors (5th All-Star selection): This marks the fifth consecutive All-Star selection for Thompson, who made a game-high five three-pointers and scored 15 points in the 2018 All-Star Game. • Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves (2nd All-Star selection): Towns is the third player to be named an All-Star multiple times with Minnesota, along with Kevin Garnett (10) and Kevin Love (three). • Russell Westbrook, Thunder (8th All-Star selection): An All-Star for the eighth time in the last nine seasons, Westbrook is the only player to win the Kia NBA All-Star MVP Award outright in back-to-back years (2015 and 2016). Eastern Conference Player Pool The Eastern Conference @NBAAllStar Reserve Pool!@RealDealBeal23 @blakegriffin23 @Klow7 @Khris22m @VicOladipo @BenSimmons25 @NikolaVucevic #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/LfwuSBvA1P — NBA (@NBA) February 1, 2019 • Bradley Beal, Wizards (2nd All-Star selection): This is the second straight All-Star selection for Beal, who scored 14 points in his All-Star Game debut last year. • Blake Griffin (6th All-Star selection): Griffin is set to appear in the All-Star Game for the first time since 2014, when he scored 38 points as a member of the LA Clippers. • Kyle Lowry, Raptors (5th All-Star selection): With his fifth consecutive All-Star nod, Lowry becomes the second player to be named to at least five All-Star teams after not being selected in any of his first eight seasons, joining Chauncey Billups. • Khris Middleton, Bucks (1st All-Star selection): The 39th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft joins Antetokounmpo to give Milwaukee multiple All-Stars in the same season for the first time since 2000-01 (Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson). • Victor Oladipo, Pacers (2nd All-Star selection): Oladipo has been named an All-Star in each of his two seasons with Indiana. He sustained a season-ending ruptured quad tendon in his right knee on Jan. 23 (Jan. 24, PHL time). • Ben Simmons, 76ers (1st All-Star selection): The reigning Kia NBA Rookie of the Year makes his All-Star debut in his second season – just as Philadelphia teammate Embiid did last year. • Nikola Vučević, Magic (1st All-Star selection): The eight-year NBA veteran from Montenegro is Orlando’s first All-Star selection since the 2011-12 season (Dwight Howard).  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsFeb 1st, 2019

Rookie CJ steers Dyip past mighty Beermen

Columbian Dyip, featuring top draft pick CJ Perez and its gritty old bunch led by Jackson Corpuz, scored a huge upset right in its first game in PBA Season 44 with a 124-118 humbling of reigning all-Filipino four-time champ San Miguel Beer at the Cuneta Astrodome last night......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 18th, 2019

Dodgers reacquire catcher Martin in trade with Blue Jays

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers reacquired catcher Russell Martin on Friday in a trade with Toronto, days after Yasmani Grandal left for a deal with Milwaukee. Los Angeles obtained the 35-year-old Canadian from the Blue Jays for minor leaguers Andrew Sopko, a right-hander, and Ronny Brito, an infielder. Toronto is sending cash to offset some of the $20 million Martin is owed in the final season of his contract. A four-time All-Star, Martin was with the Dodgers from 2006-10 and helped lead Los Angeles to three playoff appearances. He signed with the New York Yankees as a free agent after the 2010 season and spent two seasons in the Bronx before playing two seasons with Pittsburgh and four with Toronto. He started 71 games at catcher and 21 at third base last year, hitting .194 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs. Martin was a 17th-round pick by the Dodgers in the 2002 amateur draft. Overall, Martin's teams have made the postseason nine times in 13 years. He has caught 1,519 games, including 1,455 starts, which ranks third among active players behind Yadier Molina (1,836) and Brian McCann (1,529). Sopko, 24, is 27-17 with a 3.61 ERA in four seasons. Brito, 19, signed with the Dodgers as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic on July 2, 2015. In three seasons, he has hit .259 with 15 homers and 104 RBIs......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 12th, 2019

PBA: June Mar Fajardo thankful for winning San Miguel as he is set to bag 5th MVP

San Miguel Beermen star center June Mar Fajardo shares that he is in a gratified mood as he is set to be awarded his fifth straight PBA MVP at the Leo Awards this Sunday at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. No other person in the 43-year history of the first professional basketball league in Asia has won the prestigious award five straight times, as the 6'10 center is set to make history once more, besting the previous record shared with Alvin Patrimonio and Ramon Fernandez.  Fajardo credited his success to the smashing performance of his team, which added another title to their hardware, their 25th overall, also a PBA record. "Hindi ko talaga akalain na mananalo ako ng MVP. Ang ine-expect ko na mag-i-improve lang ako pero yung mga awards, hindi talaga, hindi ko inisip. And kung maipanalao ko yun, lima na. Sobrang blessed," the Pinamungajan, Cebu native said. June Mar Fajardo, who is expected to run away with his 5th straight MVP is thankful for a winning culture in the San Miguel Beermen. "Sobrang suwerte ko na nandito ako sa San Miguel, suwerte ako na magagaling yung teammates ko."#PBA2019 • @abscbnsports pic.twitter.com/EREsOd0F60 — Philip Martin Matel (@philipptionary) January 10, 2019 The #1 overall pick of the 2012 PBA Rookie Draft had another stellar season in the books, posting averages of 20.6 ppg, 12.4 rpg, and 1.2 bpg in 47 outings. He also had a career-high 42 points, which went along with a cool 20 rebounds in San Miguel's championship clincher over Magnolia in Game 5 of the Philippine Cup Finals at the MOA Arena last May, earning him his second Finals MVP overall. The amiable center won two Best Player of the Conference awards in the recently-concluded season, and possibly could have swept it, if he had not gone down with a stress fracture after the Commissioner's Cup Finals series loss against Ginebra last August. Despite all that, his figures were dominant enough to earn him another individual award, which reflected to another successful campaign for the Beermen the past season.  "Sobrang swerte talaga na nasa San Miguel ako kasi malakas yung San Miguel, lagi kami nasa playoffs so malaki yung chance na manalo ako kasi nasa playoffs," shared Fajardo.  "Siguro kung nasa ibang team ako, siguro hindi ako mananalo ng MVP. Sobrang swerte ko na nandito ako sa San Miguel, swerte ako na magagaling yung teammates ko." He also showered praise to runner-up Stanley Pringle, who had dazzled the league with his stellar play as one of the most, if not the most skilled guard in the 12-team association. With targets in their backs, especially with the way how the team retooled themselves as they gear up for another season, Fajardo hopes they could ward off every major challenge and win another Philippine Cup title. "Yun yung goal namin pero alam naman namin na hndi ganoon kadali maipanalo yung championshio kasi yung ibang teams, palakas na ng palakas. Naghahanda sila before Christmas, nag-start na sila sa practice," bared the beanpole.  "Kailangan lang namin na pagbutihin one game at a time. Goal namin muna makapasok sa playoffs hanggang sa umabot kami sa finals." __   Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 10th, 2019

PBA: Marcial to look at previous decisions in Parks case

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial says that the league will use decisions in the past to shed some light on the situation of Bobby Ray Parks. Parks, the son of Ray Parks Sr., a former PBA standout, is still under contract with San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, which just began its campaign in the ninth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL). The 6’4” guard is also a two-time reigning Local MVP of the multi-country league, and will remain with the team until the end of the season. It is similar to the situation of last seasons number one overall pick Christian Standhardinger, who honored his commitment with the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions until their elimination in the ABL semifinals against Alab. "Titignan namin kung may precedent yun, tapos apply natin kay Parks. Pinapa-check ko sa legal natin, kay Atty. Melvin Mendoza, kung napagusapan sa Board yun," Marcial said. "Ang rights niya na kay Blackwater, nagbigay ng tender offer. Kailangan anuhin yun ni Parks, paguusapan na lang kung paano yung laro niya sa ABL." Though Blackwater Gov. Silliman Sy would have wanted the second overall pick in this year's PBA Rookie Draft to suit up in the Philippine Cup, he is bracing for the worst-case scenario, waiting for the guard to see action later during the Commissioner's Cup. However, if San Miguel decides to release Parks early, the team will just have to let Marcial's office to decide on the matter. "I did talk with Ray and he will also respect the commissioner's decision. Lahat naman doon. Ang statement lang niya very clearly is, "Boss, when I applied for the rookie draft, sa page 2 nakalagay doon yung 'Do you have any existing commitment?' 'Yes, I have an existing contract with Alab in the ABL league to end sometime in May.'" Malinaw din siya, nakasaad naman yun to be fair with the boy," Sy said.   "We wait and see the next coming days kung ano ang decision ni commissioner. Pero Blackwater, with open arms, we would like him to play lalo ngayong kulang kami sa height." __ Follow this writer on Twitter, @philipptionary......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2019

PBA: Finally, Columbian has a point guard to drive the Dyip

Columbian’s first overall pick in the 2018 PBA Draft was a no-brainer – of course, they were going with former NCAA MVP and do-it-all swingman CJ Perez. However, the Dyip’s second selection in the first round took just about everybody by surprise as they went with pint-sized playmaker JP Calvo. This, with the likes of more heralded Colegio de San Juan de Letran teammate Bong Quinto still on the board. For head coach Johnedel Cardel, though, Calvo’s drafting was a no-brainer as well. “Alam ko kung anong kulang sa team. I have all the scorers so what I need is the one pure point guard who can carry the team,” he said. He then continued, “Kelangan ko yung nag-iisip kung paano ma-run yung team. That’s Calvo.” And in his first game for Columbian, tuneup as it was, the former court general of the Knights wasted no time proving his worth. He scored six points all while spearheading the attack that also allowed teammates such as Perez to shine as they routed Northport, 97-83, at The Hardcourt on Monday. “Calvo nga is a pure point guard so I give all the confidence to him. Sabi ko nga sa kanya, point guard is the problem of the team before,” coach Johnedel said. He then continued, “Walang problema if you’re small, basta you have a big heart.” Indeed, there’s reason for the Dyip to hope that Calvo is the pure point guard they have been missing ever since the days of LA Revilla and Nico Elorde. With the 11th overall pick in the fold, natural off-guards Rashawn Mccarthy and Jerramy King, and even Perez, will no longer be forced to play the point. Even better, Calvo is nothing but ready and raring to take his place as Columbian’s starting point guard. “Ako naman, ready ako lagi. Gagawin ko lang talaga yung best ko para makatulong sa team,” he said. —— Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2019

Curry scores 42 points, Warriors hold off Kings 127-123

By Michael Wagaman, Associated Press SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 42 points in the fourth quarter and had 10 3-pointers, and the Golden State Warriors held on to beat the Sacramento Kings 127-123 on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). Kevin Durant added 29 points, nine assists and five rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 20 points to help the Warriors complete a three-game sweep of the season series. The three games were decided by a total of 10 points. Coming off a 135-134 overtime loss to Houston on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) when they let a 20-point lead slip away, the Warriors blew another big lead in the third quarter before storming past the Kings over the final 12 minutes. Curry led the way with five of his triples in the fourth, and had a pair of key three-point plays. Curry also closed out the quarter with a pair of free throws with 9.4 seconds left. Buddy Hield scored 32 points on a career-high eight 3s for Sacramento. The teams combined for an NBA-record 41 three-pointers, and the Kings set a franchise record with 20. Justin Jackson added a career-high 28 points, and Willie Cauley-Stein had 14 points and 13 rebounds. The teams exchanged 15-0 runs in the first half. Golden State made four consecutive three-pointers, including a four-point play by Quinn Cook, and Durant soared through the key for an emphatic two-handed dunk that put the Warriors up 37-22 in the first quarter. The Kings made their surge in the second behind three's. Sacramento trailed by 16, but pulled to 70-69 in the first half. TIP-INS Warriors: Durant needs two blocks to reach 900 for his career. ... Golden State shot 8-of-11 beyond the arc in the first quarter. ... Cook scored 10 points in 9.5 minutes off the bench. Kings: Hield had five three's in the third when Sacramento turned an 81-73 deficit into a 103-96 lead. ... Marvin Bagley III is expected to resume basketball activities within the next 10-14 days. The second overall pick in the draft, Bagley has been out since Dec. 14 (Dec. 15, PHL time) with a bruised bone in his left knee. ... Iman Shumpert was held out with a sprained right index finger. UP NEXT Warriors: Host New York on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Kings: Host Orlando on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time)......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 6th, 2019

Paul Lee reflects on career, bares the secret to success in the PBA

When Paul Lee was drafted by Rain or Shine as the second overall pick in the 2011 PBA Draft, he had no time to celebrate. Right after getting selected, the 6'0" shooter out of UE recalled the moment the late Roehl Nadurata, the then-top deputy of Rain or Shine, tapped him and immediately asked: "Condition ka ba?" The question was immediately followed up by a stern command. "Oh, bukas shooting na tayo ha." Lee, of course, obliged. But he was left asking himself "Wala ba kong time na makapagcelebrate muna sa family ko naman?"  The 29-year-old guard from Tondo reflected on his PBA career, and his journey so far during an interview with Mico Halili in The Score. Now entering his eighth season in the PBA, Lee looked back at that conversation and the lessons it carried as one of the defining moments in his career.   "Sobrang laking bagay na nakuha ako ng Rain or Shine tsaka yung nahandle ako ni Coach Yeng [Guiao] at Coach Roehl Nadurata so doon ko natutunan lahat ng sinasabi nilang hard work," he said. Seven years and three championships later, Lee is just thankful for being taught the secret to playing the game within the game, the right way.  "Blessed din ako na umabot ako sa point na nakapag seven years ako sa PBA, then still kicking pa rin habang nasa gitna ng career natin, just continue to work hard, 'yun lang naman sikreto dun," he said. Lee also bared that skill alone cannot guarantee a long and successful career. "Stay humble lang, then marunong kang makisama sa mga teammates mo, coaching staff at sa management. Kasi hindi enough yung magaling ka lang eh," he said. With all of his accomplishments, including that sensational 2018 PBA Governors' Cup championship run with the Magnolia Hotshots and the conference's Best Player award, Lee has one more thing to learn.  "Sana marami pa kong matutunan kila kuya Ping and PJ, kung pano makarating sa ganun kahaba yung career talaga," he said. Check out more from Paul Lee's insightful interview:   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2019

Bucks roll 144-112 in Budenholzer s 1st game vs Hawks

By CHARLES F GARDNER,  Associated Press MILWAUKEE (AP) — Mike Budenholzer's first game against the team he coached for five seasons was no contest. Budenholzer's Milwaukee Bucks rolled to a 33-point halftime lead and coasted to a 144-112 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) for their fifth straight victory. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists, and Khris Middleton scored 19 points while hitting all four of his 3-point attempts. Malcolm Brogdon also scored 19 and point guard Eric Bledsoe added 14 points and eight assists. Milwaukee (27-10) improved its NBA-best record and won for the ninth time in 10 games. The Bucks tied a season high for points in a game, equaling their total points against Sacramento on Nov. 4. Antetokounmpo and the rest of the Milwaukee starters did not play in the fourth quarter and got some rest before the Bucks' showdown with Toronto on Saturday night. The Bucks shot 55 percent from the field and were 14 of 40 from 3-point range. Budenholzer led the Hawks to the playoffs in four of his five seasons with the team and his 2014-15 squad won 60 games and reached the Eastern Conference finals. The rebuilding Hawks (11-27) were no match for the Bucks, who led by as many as 38 points in the first half and held a 43-14 lead after the first quarter. Milwaukee took a 76-43 halftime lead. Milwaukee extended the lead to 46 points in the fourth quarter. DeAndre Bembry led Atlanta with 19 points and Dewayne Dedmon had 14 while hitting 4 of 9 3-pointers. TIP-INS Hawks: Atlanta has two rookies making major contributions: fifth overall pick Trae Young, acquired in a draft-night deal with Dallas; and 19th overall pick Kevin Huerter. Young, the former Oklahoma star and 6-foot-2 guard, entered Friday averaging 15.4 points and 7.4 assists. He had only two points in the first three quarters but finished with 13 points in 31 minutes. Huerter, who played at Maryland, scored a personal-best 22 points at Indiana on Dec. 31 and had 12 points in 44 minutes against Washington on Wednesday. "We played him 40 minutes in Indiana and he gets a career high," Pierce said. "It was kind of a lesson to me. Play him more. Get him more shots and his shot attempts have gone up in every month, so we're finding more productivity with more opportunity. So, it's my job to get him more opportunity." Huerter scored 10 points Friday. ... Former Bucks forward Miles Plumlee (left knee pain) was unavailable for the Hawks after being ruled out following the team's morning shootaround. Bucks: Veteran forward Ersan Ilyasova returned to the lineup for the first time since breaking his nose in practice on Dec. 16. Second-year forward D.J. Wilson has played well in Ilyasova's absence, and Budenholzer said he wasn't sure how he would distribute playing time. "It's the hard part about our league," Budenholzer said. "When you have a roster with a lot of depth and a lot of good players, sometimes you have to make hard decisions. Sometimes you play a little bigger rotation. But we've certainly been happy with D.J., happy with Thon (Maker). Ersan is a veteran guy and we're happy to have him back. This league is amazing how opportunity is always right around the corner if someone isn't playing." Ilyasova drew a charge — his specialty — just 13 seconds after entering the game in the first quarter. He finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes. UP NEXT Hawks: Host Miami on Sunday. Bucks: Host Toronto on Saturday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2019

PBA 43 Review: Suspended surge at NLEX

The PBA's 43rd season was a loooooong one. Seriously, it started December of 2017 and it ended December of 2018. That's 12 months of almost non-stop basketball. But with the current PBA season finally drawing to a close, it's time we look back at how each team fared in 2018. Today, we take on the NLEX Road Warriors.   SUSPENDED SURGE After a problematic first season under new head coach Yeng Guiao, NLEX hit the jackpot in the 2017 PBA Draft. Armed with the no. 2 pick, the Road Warriors made the obvious choice and took guard Kiefer Ravena, arguably the most PBA ready prospect to make the jump in forever. He was PBA ready alright. Kief wasted little time in helping NLEX turn things around. With Ravena at the lead, the Road Warriors had their best tournament in the PBA so far and made the semifinals of the Philippine Cup, pushing the Magnolia Hotshots to six games. That’s pretty much the best part of NLEX’s season though. The Road Warriors failed to have a strong finish in the semis series against the Hotshots after Kevin Alas tore his ACL early in Game 5. With Alas out, NLEX’s emerging K&K backcourt tandem was decimated. And after Ravena’s shock suspension from FIBA, the K&K, and in essence NLEX’s whole season, was lost. Ravena was slapped with an 18-month ban by FIBA for doping. Ravena took a protein drink with prohibited ingredients prior Gilas Pilipinas’ home win over Japan in the 2019 FIBA Asia Qualifiers in February. The suspension covers all basketball activities, including the PBA. With that development, NLEX naturally spiraled out of control in the Commissioner’s Cup, leading to an early elimination. The Road Warriors did well enough in the Asia League Summer Super 8 in Macau, finishing in the semifinals, to help set up a strong run in the Governors’ Cup. But with most of its key pieces gone, NLEX flamed out in the quarterfinals and a season that started with so much promise ended in bitter defeat. Patience will be a virtue for NLEX moving forward, but once the Road Warriors finally feature a complete lineup, the team’s suspended surge can hopefully continue in 2019 and beyond.   NLEX ROAD WARRIORS in the 2017-2018 PBA Season Philippine Cup: 6-5 (6th place) Commissioner’s Cup: 2-9 (11th place) Governors’ Cup: 5-6 (8th place) Overall: 13 wins and 20 losses. Two playoff appearances, 1 Semifinals.   POST DRAFT NOTE: NLEX used two first round picks to select Paul Desiderio and Abu Tratter. Both rookies didn’t play one game for the Road Warriors. NLEX used the two rookies as trade bait and eventually nabbed center Poy Erram from Blackwater. Erram certainly gives the Road Warriors a top center and he should be instrumental in NLEX as the team waits to feature a complete lineup with the K&K tandem.   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 1st, 2019

Ravens squeeze past Browns 26-24 to earn AFC North title

By David Ginsburg, Associated Press BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens squeezed past the Browns and into the playoffs, using two rushing touchdowns by rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and a late defensive stand to beat Cleveland 26-24 Sunday and claim the AFC North title. Kenneth Dixon accounted for 117 of Baltimore's season-high 296 yards on the ground, Jackson had 90 and the rejuvenated Ravens (10-6) ended a three-year playoff drought with their sixth win in seven games. Fourth-seed Baltimore will open the postseason next weekend at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. A year ago, Baltimore missed the playoffs by losing its finale at home to the Bengals, who rallied with a last-minute touchdown. Remembering that disappointing finish quite well, most of the announced crowd of 70,925 was on its feet as the Browns moved closer to field-goal range with the clock winding down. A 19-yard completion from Baker Mayfield to former Ravens top draft pick Breshad Perriman and a 16-yarder to Jarvis Landry pushed the ball to the Baltimore 39 with 1:30 left. Following three straight incompletions, the Ravens blitzed Mayfield on fourth down and linebacker C.J. Mosley picked off a pass to clinch it. Baltimore finished a half-game ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat Cincinnati 16-13. It's been quite a turnaround for the Ravens, who were 4-5 before Jackson took over for injured Joe Flacco, the team's starting quarterback since 2008. Flacco was behind center in 2012, when Baltimore captured its last division crown and ultimately won the Super Bowl. The Jackson-led running attack was too much for Cleveland (7-8-1), which was denied its first winning season since 2007. After trailing 20-7 at halftime and 26-17 with 7:20 left, the Browns could not recover against the franchise that left Cleveland after the 1995 season. Mayfield threw three touchdown passes to finish with 27, an NFL record for a rookie. Although he pierced the NFL's top-ranked defense for 376 yards, he was intercepted three times. Jackson gave Baltimore a 17-7 lead with touchdown runs of 25 yards and 8 yards, his first multi-score game in the NFL. Late in the first half, however, the former Louisville star lost a fumble when trying to reach over the goal line. Jackson ran 20 times overall. As a passer, he went 14 of 24 for 179 yards. MILESTONES LB Terrell Suggs set a Ravens record for games played with 229, breaking a tie with Ray Lewis. It's also the sixth-most by a linebacker in NFL history. ... Mayfield has thrown a TD pass in 13 straight starts, the first Browns QB do so in a single season since Frank Ryan in 1966. ... Baltimore earned its 200th regular-season win and capped its sixth 10-win season in 11 years under coach John Harbaugh. INJURIES Browns: DL Larry Ogunjobi was evaluated for a concussion and cleared to return in fourth quarter. ... DB Damarious Randall missed time in the third quarter with cramps. Ravens: OL Alex Lewis missed a fourth straight game with a shoulder injury. UP NEXT Browns: First priority during the offseason is to decide whether Gregg Williams sheds the interim label as head coach or if someone else gets the job. Ravens: Face the Chargers, a team they beat 22-10 last weekend......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2018