Advertisements


Lakers coach Walton confident of management support

    LOS ANGELES. USA – Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton said he is confident of the support of team management on Friday, November 2, after a report suggested his position was at risk following a stormy meeting with Magic Johnson. An ESPN report on Friday said Walton had come under fire ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsNov 3rd, 2018Related News

Philippines well-represented in 2018 Global Martial Arts Awards

SINGAPORE - The Global Martial Arts Awards 2018, set to take place at the JW Marriott Hotel, South Beach in Singapore on 8 November, will bestow distinctive recognition onto superstar athletes, gifted coaches, innovative industry leaders, and media personalities that have left an indelible mark on the competitive world of martial arts in the past year. Honoring people that, on a daily basis, are playing pivotal roles in contributing to the growth and influence of martial arts around the globe, the Awards gives credit to outstanding individuals or entities in 16 categories: Martial Arts Hero of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Muay Thai Athlete of the Year, Kickboxing Athlete of the Year, Breakthrough Athlete of the Year, Bout of the Year, Knockout of the Year, Submission of the Year, Walkout of the Year, Event of the Year, Gym of the Year, Referee of the Year, Coach of the Year, Ring Girl of the Year, and Martial Arts Journalist of the Year. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; text-align: center; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #454545} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; color: #454545; min-height: 14.0px} span.s1 {text-decoration: underline}     Global Martial Arts Award – Nominees     Martial Arts Hero of the Year   Angela Lee Aung La N Sang Daniel Cormier Eduard Folayang Henry Cejudo Martin Nguyen Tenshin Nasukawa     Male Athlete of the Year   Aung La N Sang Gegard Mousasi Henry Cejudo Joshua Pacio Kevin Belingon Kyoji Horiguchi Tenshin Nasukawa     Female Athlete of the Year   Angela Lee Ayaka Hamasaki Kanna Asakura Rose Namajunas Seo Hee Ham Stamp Fairtex Xiong Jing Nan     Muay Thai Athlete of the Year   Kulabdam Kulabdam Sor Jor PiekuThai Muangthai PKSaenchaimuaythaigym Nong-O Gaiyanghadao Petchdam Kaiyanghadao Rodtang Jitmuangnon Sam-A Gaiyanghadao Yodlekpet TDed-99     Kickboxing Athlete of the Year   Giorgio Petrosyan Petpanomrung Kiatmuu9 Sittichai Sitsongpeenong Stamp Fairtex Takeru Segawa Tenshin Nasukawa Tiffany Van Soest     Breakthrough Athlete of the Year   Brian Ortega Derrick Lewis Kevin Belingon Kyoji Horiguchi Saygid Guseyn Arsanaliev Stamp Fairtex Xiong Jing Nan     Bout of the Year   Aung La N Sang vs. Ken Hasegawa Angela Lee vs. Mei Yamaguchi II Eddie Alvarez vs. Dustin Poirier Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Jo Nattawut Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirier Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Tenshin Nasukawa Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero II     Knockout of the Year   Aaron Pico vs. Shane Kruchten Aung La N Sang vs. Ken Hasegawa Brian Ortega vs. Frankie Edgar Li Kai Wen vs. Rodian Menchavez Petchdam Kaiyanghadao vs. Josh Tonna Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev vs. Timofey Nastyukhin Yoel Romero vs. Luke Rockhold     Submission of the Year   Joshua Pacio vs. Pongsiri Mitsatit Ariel Sexton vs. Kota Shimoishi Shinya Aoki vs. Rasul Yakhyaev Renzo Gracie vs. Yuki Kondo Paul Craig vs. Magomed Ankalaev Adam Wieczorek vs. Arjan Bhullar Paddy Pimblett vs. Alexis Savvidis     Walkout of the Year   Andy Nguyen Aung La N Sang Eduard Folayang Heo Jae-Hyeok Rika Ishige Shannon Wiratchai Stamp Fairtex     Event of the Year   Bellator 192 ONE: Kingdom of Heroes ONE: Reign of Kings ONE: Unstoppable Dreams Rizin 13 UFC 220 UFC 223     Gym of the Year   American Kickboxing Academy American Top Team Evolve MMA Team Lakay Tiger Muay Thai Tribe Tokyo MMA Tristar   Referee of the Year   Atsushi Onari Jason Herzog Kemp Cheng Mark Goddard Mike Beltran Olivier Coste Yuji Shimada   Coach of the Year   Duane “Bang” Ludwig (Bang Muay Thai) Firas Zihabi (Tristar) George Hickson (Tiger Muay Thai) Javier Mendez (AKA) Mark Sangiao (Team Lakay) Matt Brown (ATT) Ryo Chonan (Tribe Tokyo)     Ring Girl of the Year   Arianny Celeste Camila Oliveira Lee Bom Yi Lee Ji Na Nithima Attasophonwatthana Red Dela Cruz Siena     Martial Arts Journalist of the Year   Ariel Helwani (ESPN/MMA Fighting) Chris Mohan (Malay Mail) Haider Yutim (Astro Awani) JM Siasat (GMA) Manabu Takashima (MMA Planet) Mike Bohn (MMA Junkie) Mike Murillo (Business World) Santino Honasan (ABS-CBN).....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsNov 1st, 2018Related News

Cavaliers fire head coach Ty Lue after 0-6 start

    MANILA, Philippines – The Cleveland Cavaliers in the post-LeBron James era (part two) have been off to a woeful start.  After 6 straight losses to open the season, Cavs' management has fired head coach Tyronn Lue and will be replaced by assistant Larry Drew, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.   {source}.....»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 28th, 2018Related News

Nowitzki says LeBron can catch Kareem

German NBA star Dirk Nowitzki says he sees no reason why LeBron James can't finish up as the greatest scorer in NBA history. "If he stays healthy, the way he's looking and moving, he has a chance at Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar)," Nowitzki told American sports broadcaster ESPN. "His numbers have been unbelievable. He doesn't seem to slow down. The stuff he was doing last year in year 15 was incredible. If he keeps this up, he can pass Kareem." Abdul-Jabbar scored a total of 38,387 points. James finished with 35 points against the San Antonio Spurs to pass Nowitzki for sixth place on the all-time scoring list Saturday and became the game's active overall points leader. He needed 21 points t...Keep on reading: Nowitzki says LeBron can catch Kareem.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 28th, 2018Related News

Finding a way to bring the NBA to the Philippines

via ESPN.com – Valenzuela City, Philippines, is a world away from TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics. But a Celtics fan walking into The Shamrock Garden would feel right at home. The Shamrock Garden in Barangay Ugong is one of several NBA-inspired basketball courts scattered across a number of Read more ».....»»

Source: Thepinoy ThepinoyCategory: NewsOct 26th, 2018Related News

Still top draw

The planned January fight between Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner is being lined up for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and could air as a pay-per-view event, according to US-based sports network ESPN. Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KO) will be defending his World Boxing Association world welterweight title, and making his return to the United States for the first time since his November 2016 win over Jessie Vargas. In his last two outings, the Filipino lawmaker fought in Australia and Malaysia, losing a controversial decision to Jeff Horn and thrashing Lucas Matthysse for his first stoppage win since 2009. Those fights aired on ESPN and ESPN+, and Pacquiao-Broner may be worth enough money to ...Keep on reading: Still top draw.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 22nd, 2018Related News

Floyd-Khabib fight crashes

Don’t pay attention to it LOS ANGELES — Floyd Mayweather has not contacted Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) about a boxing match with Khabib Nurmagomedov despite both sides hyping the prospect, UFC president Dana White told ESPN in a website posting Friday. “Don’t pay attention to it,” White said. “The Mayweather team has not approached us […].....»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsOct 21st, 2018Related News

Ignore Mayweather-Khabib talk, says UFC boss

    LOS ANGELES, USA – Floyd Mayweather has not contacted UFC about a boxing match with Khabib Nurmagomedov despite both sides hyping the prospect, UFC president Dana White told ESPN in a website posting Friday, October 19. "Don't pay attention to it," White said. "The Mayweather team has not approached us at ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 20th, 2018Related News

Pacers keep key piece in place by giving Turner new deal

INDIANAPOLIS --- The Indiana Pacers have signed 22-year-old Myles Turner to a contract extension. Team officials made the announcement Monday but declined to provide details of the deal. It is a four-year deal worth $72 million, espn.com reported. A message was left by The Associated Press with Turner's listed agent. The signing means Indiana will have two key players --- Turner and All-Star guard Victor Oladipo --- under contract for the next three seasons. Turner was taken No. 11 overall in the 2015 NBA draft and finished third in the league with 1.82 blocks last season. He also averaged 12.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. In a statement issued by the team, Tur...Keep on reading: Pacers keep key piece in place by giving Turner new deal.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Oct 16th, 2018Related News

Lakers-Warriors most-watched NBA preseason game ever on ESPN

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant drives against Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Ph.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsOct 12th, 2018Related News

Fireworks in Butler’s return

Minneapolis — Jimmy Butler is back with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and his first practice of the season had a lot of fireworks. He caused them — with his words and his play. Butler, who asked for a trade more than three weeks ago, practiced with the Timberwolves for the first time this season Wednesday. ESPN […].....»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsOct 11th, 2018Related News

Lakers to ease Ball in at start of training camp

NBA.com staff report The Los Angles Lakers seem as if they aren't about rush second-year point guard Lonzo Ball back into the mix at training camp. In an interview with Spectrum SportsNet, Lakers coach Luke Walton said Ball will not participate in full-contact practice when the Lakers open training camp next week. Ball had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in mid-July. Here's more from ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk on what Walton had to say: "He will be in camp participating. He won't be doing full 5-on-5 contact at camp, at the start of camp," Walton said. "So we're starting to ease him into it again, play some one-on-one, things like that, half-court stuff." "But with a player of his ability, and how much he's gonna be a part of our future, the conversation is ... take as much time as you need to make sure he's healthy. We won't rush him back at all." When Ball had his surgery on July 13, the Lakers' official statement said: "Ball is expected to make a full recovery by the start of the 2018-19 training camp." However, that appears to not be the case come the open of camp next Monday. The Lakers posted video on Sept. 8 on their website of Ball taking part in various summer workout drills, but he has not appeared in videos the team has produced from team scrimmages. ☄️ pic.twitter.com/GPp8NazbCF — Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 7, 2018 Ball played in just 52 games during his rookie season, but was back on the court in early June and said he was feeling "100 percent" following a knee procedure. Per reports, the former No. 2 overall pick received a platelet-rich plasma shot for the ailing left knee that kept him out of the final portion of the regular season. In the 2017-18 season, Ball averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds per contest while shooting 36 percent en route to earning NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors. Over the summer, the Lakers added veteran guard Rajon Rondo to a training camp point guard rotation that also includes Alex Caruso, Issac Bonga and Joel Berry II. Marquee free-agent addition LeBron James is a more than skilled NBA playmaker as well. He could easily initiate and direct some of the Lakers' offense in 2018-19. In the ZOne pic.twitter.com/5VIcrw1Y3v— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 8, 2018.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsSep 19th, 2018Related News

Report: 76ers to promote ex-center Brand to GM role

The Philadelphia 76ers will name former on-court star Elton Brand to fill the team’s vacant general manager role, ESPN reported Tuesday. NBA sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Brand, who had two separate stints for the Sixers in his 17-year playing career, will be promoted from his current position as the team’s vice president of basketball operations. […].....»»

Source: Interaksyon InteraksyonCategory: TopSep 19th, 2018Related News

Manny Pacquiao taking legal action against Top Rank Boxing

Eight-division boxing world champion and reigning WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao is taking legal action against former long-time promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank Boxing.  In an Instagram post Monday evening, Pacquiao, 39, congratulated Top Rank Boxing and ESPN for their recently-announced seven-year partnership.  The boxer-turned-statesman then proceeded to take a jab at Top Rank, citing non-payment for the US rights of his recent WBA world title bout against Argentinian Lucas "La Maquina" Matthysse last July 15th in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.         View this post on Instagram                   Congratulations and good luck to @TRboxing and @ESPN on your 7-year partnership agreement. I know both of you have been very busy finalizing the deal. However, I have not received the US rights payment for my July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse that was broadcast on ESPN plus. Therefore, I am initiating legal proceedings against Top Rank and all other parties based on the non-payment and attempt to restrict my future rights. Thank you. A post shared by Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) on Sep 10, 2018 at 5:57am PDT "Congratulations and good luck to @TRboxing and @ESPN on your 7-year partnership agreement." the Instagram post read.  "However, I have not received the US rights payment for my July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse that was broadcast on ESPN plus. Therefore, I am initiating legal proceedings against Top Rank and all other parties based on the non-payment and attempt to restrict my future rights. Thank you." it continued.  Pacquiao defeated Matthysse via TKO in the seventh round in Kuala Lumpur to capture the WBA title.  The event, dubbed as "Fight of Champions" was a joint promotion between Pacquiao's MP Promotions outfit and former in-ring rival Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, who handled Matthysse.  It was also Pacquiao's first fight not under the Top Rank Boxing banner since signing with them more than a decade ago.  Top Rank was still involved with the Pacquiao-Mattyhsse bout however, as they, along with ESPN were responsible for broadcasting the bout in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  The unpaid broadcast fees are reportedly worth around $1.7 million, with Pacquiao expected to 85 percent of the revenue for the US rights. .....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsSep 10th, 2018Related News

First Filipino table tennis Olympian Ian “Yanyan” Lariba dies at 23

By Chuck Araneta/espn.com – Ian “Yanyan” Lariba, a Filipino athlete who represented the country at the 2016 Olympics in Rio passed away after a lengthy battle with leukemia. The Twitter account of the Philippine Sports Commission broke the news. She was 23. Born in Cagayan De Oro on October 13, Read more ».....»»

Source: Thepinoy ThepinoyCategory: NewsSep 4th, 2018Related News

Report: Ginobili strongly considering retirement

After 16 seasons and four titles with the San Antonio Spurs, Manu Ginobili is seriously considering calling it a career, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Ginobili, 41, is expected to meet with Gregg Popovich after the coach returns to San Antonio from Europe, where he was participating in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders initiative. Ginobili, who is […].....»»

Source: Interaksyon InteraksyonCategory: TopAug 23rd, 2018Related News

Ancajas stakes IBF belt against Mexican Sept. 29

Jerwin Ancajas will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight crown against dangerous Mexican Alejandro Santiago Barrios on Sept. 29 in California. According to his manager Joven Jimenez, the tentative venue is in Oakland, instead of Fresno, and will be shown on ESPN+ which also carried Manny Pacquiao's July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse. It will be the sixth title defense for the 26-year-old Ancajas, whose latest conquest was compatriot Jonas Sultan last May, the first time in nearly a century that Filipinos vied for a world title. Jimenez said they have yet to sign the dotted line, although it was already confirmed by international match maker Sean Gi...Keep on reading: Ancajas stakes IBF belt against Mexican Sept. 29.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Aug 13th, 2018Related News

DA s 2018 NBA Offseason Rankings: The Top 10

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst Wonder what the rental market is like in San Luis Obispo, Calif. San Luis Obispo is, give or take a few miles, one of the closest cities that is near the midway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Given the events of the NBA’s offseason, it’s not hare to imagine national reporters are going to be spending a lot of time in California next season, bouncing back and forth between the Bay and L.A. Catch LeBron James and the Lakers on Wednesday and then, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors on Thursday. The Western Conference only got stronger and deeper with James leaving Cleveland for a second time, this time to go to the Lakers. Add four of the top five Draft picks -- including No. 1 overall selection Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns), No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings) and international phenom Luka Doncic (No. 3 pick, acquired by Dallas Mavericks) -- going to Western Conference teams, and the talent disparity between conferences only seems greater. But did Eastern Conference teams take advantage of Cleveland deflating to make their teams better? And how effective were West teams in making their teams better prepared to at least compete with the Warriors? That’s where this year’s Offseason Rankings come in -- big, bold, definitive. You love them, if the amount of hate tweets and e-mails I get after they’re published are any indication. Every year, we rank how all 30 teams have done since the end of their respective seasons. We look at everything -- how they drafted, what trades they made, what players they signed in free agency, and for how much -- or if they didn’t participate in free agency much at all. We look at if they’ve changed coaches, executives, owners, or if they’re moving into a new building that can generate big revenues. And you have to decide which ones you liked the most. Here's what these rankings ARE NOT: A predicted order of finish for next season. It's an opinion that seeks to answer a question: is the team better now than at the end of last season? The ranking reflects the belief on whether, and how much, that is so. (I liked certain guys who were in the Draft more than others, so if your team took them, I probably weighed it more positively. Doesn't mean I'm right.) I do not expect the Suns, for example, to have a better record than the Celtics, just because they had a better summer. It is not a ranking of the teams in order from 1 through 30 right now; I do not believe the Mavericks are now a better team than Rockets. This is just one person’s opinion about offseason moves -- offseason moves only. Is your team better now than it was before? - If your team is ranked in the top 10, it doesn't mean I love your team.       - If your team is ranked in the bottom 10, it doesn't mean I hate your team. It's an opinion that seeks to answer a question: is the team better now than at the end of last season? The ranking reflects the belief on whether, and how much, that is so. (I liked certain guys who were in the Draft more than others, so if your team took them, I probably weighed it more positively. Doesn't mean I'm right.) What plays into the rankings: - This isn’t science. It’s an educated guess, weighing the impact both of the Draft and free agency, but also assessing whether teams got value in their free-agent signings. Overpaying the right player is as much a sin as signing the wrong player. A good new coach can coax some more wins out of a roster. But if a team’s players don’t believe in the system their team uses, the best Xs and Os on earth don’t matter.       - Teams that are rebuilding obviously have different priorities than teams making a championship push. That's factored in. So Chicago, for example, gets credit for adding young, affordable players as it stockpiles its talent -- but that talent has to fit together, as Wendell Carter Jr. does with Lauri Markannen. And a team like the Warriors that shows it’s willing to go deep into the luxury tax -- which most teams try to avoid -- in order to keep winning has to be commended, and its rankings reflect that commendation.       - Continuity matters here as well. The most successful teams usually not only identify a core group of players, they keep them together for a while, finding that sweet spot: everyone doesn’t get a max contract, but most get paid well enough to keep the train moving down the tracks. That reflects both good roster construction and good financial management -- and, again, is rewarded. The explosion in the cap means everyone has to spend; keeping your powder dry for another day doesn’t have as much cache as it used to. But you still have to manage your money wisely. Salary numbers, with a couple of exceptions, come from Basketball Insiders, whose Eric Pincus does the best job of anyone in the game of keeping track of all the moving financial parts, quickly and accurately -- which is why we use him at NBA TV during the Draft and free agency to tell us what the hell this all means. The Top 10 * * * 1. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER 2017-18 RECORD: 48-34; lost in first round ADDED: G/F Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (acquired from Sixers); G Hamidou Diallo (No. 45 pick, 2018 Draft); G Devon Hall (No. 53 pick, 2018 Draft); F Kevin Hervey (No. 57 pick, 2018 Draft); F Abdel Nader (acquired from Celtics); C Nerlens Noel (two years, $3.7 million); G Dennis Schröder (acquired from Hawks) LOST: F Carmelo Anthony (traded to Hawks); F Nick Collison (retired); C Dakari Johnson (traded to Magic); G Rodney Purvis (traded to Celtics) RETAINED: G Raymond Felton (one year, $2.3 million); F Paul George (four years, $136.9 million); F Jerami Grant (three years, $27.3 million) THE KEY MAN: G Andre Roberson. This is real simple: with Roberson on the court last year, OKC’s opponent offensive rating was 99.2; when he was off, it was 110.7. The Thunder was a near-elite defensive unit when Roberson played and was awful when he didn’t. His Real Defensive Plus-Minus, per ESPN.com, was 4.34, second only to Utah’s Rudy Gobert (5.06). So when Roberson ruptured his patellar tendon in late January, the Thunder’s ability to use George as a weakside defender who could freelance and use his length to create deflections and turnovers (because Roberson had the strong side absolutely locked down) went away. Any chance the Thunder has next season to compete at the highest levels in the West will depend on the 26-year-old Roberson’s recovery and return to the lineup. THE SKINNY: None of us -- none -- thought George was going to stay in OKC. And we all thought Sam Presti and the Thunder were crazy for trading for him last year, because it was just going to be a one-year rental and he was going to be off to the Lakers in 12 months, and OKC would have nothing to show for its deal. But George’s presence helped convince Russell Westbrook -- also long rumored to eventually head back to Cali -- to sign a long-term deal with the Thunder. And OKC’s acquisition of Carmelo Anthony helped convince George that the Thunder was all in on competing. And even though OKC went out in the first round of the playoffs to Utah, its year-long courtship of George and his family paid off when PG-13 spurned L.A. once and for all to stay in the 405. Anthony ultimately wasn’t a good fit, but he brought back Schroder, who will give Billy Donovan a dynamic scorer off the bench that can give Westbrook a blow and keep OKC’s offense from immolating when Westbrook is on the bench, a common malady the last two years. The Thunder has been relevant in an incredibly small market now for almost a decade. With George and Westbrook and Steven Adams and, now, Schroder, all signed up through 2021, that remarkable run will continue for some time. 2. LOS ANGELES LAKERS 2017-18 RECORD: 35-47; missed playoffs ADDED: F Michael Beasley (one year, $3.5 million); F Joel Berry II; F Issac Bonga (No. 39 pick, 2018 Draft); G Jeffrey Carroll; F LeBron James (four years, $153 million); C JaVale McGee (one year, $1.4 million); G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (No. 47 pick, 2018 Draft); G Rajon Rondo (one year, $9 million); G Lance Stephenson; F Mo Wagner (No. 25 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: C Thomas Bryant (waived); G Tyler Ennis (waived); F/C Channing Frye (signed with Cavs); C Brook Lopez (signed with Bucks); F Julius Randle (signed with Pelicans); G Isaiah Thomas (signed with Nuggets) RETAINED: G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (one year, $12 million); G Travis Wear THE KEY MAN: F Brandon Ingram. The third-year man should be the major beneficiary of James’ presence going forward. Driving lanes previously clogged with defenders should now be runway clear. Opponents who previously could close out strong on Ingram will now have their attention elsewhere. Ingram need only look at James’ last stop: per NBA.com/Stats, among players leaguewide who appeared in at least 60 games last season, three Cavaliers -- Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith and Cedi Osman -- were among the top 20 in the league in lowest frequency of having their closest defenders within two feet of them, meaning James created many wide open looks for teammates all season. Ingram vastly improved his range last season over his rookie one, shooting 39 percent on 3-pointers. But he only attempted 1.8 threes per game last season. That number will surely skyrocket in 2018. Ingram must ready to take advantage. That will make him that much more deadly as a driver. THE SKINNY: Team president Magic Johnson was tasked with landing a whale in free agency, and he and GM Rob Pelinka bagged Moby Dick in James. Their subsequent free agent moves once Paul George opted to stay in Oklahoma City were all short-term plays with an eye toward the promising 2019 free agent class, which include the likes of All-Stars Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker and DeMarcus Cousins. But that doesn’t mean Lake Show ’18 isn’t going to be the rip-roaringest circus this side of your standard Ozzy Ozbourne tour. What’s the over-under on the first time Rondo cusses out coach Luke Walton, or when we hear of a “spirited practice” that is code for “Lance ‘bowed ‘Bron in the neck and Walton sent everyone home”? The Lakers could be in The Finals or out in the first round, but what they decidedly will not be is boring. 3. DENVER NUGGETS 2017-18 RECORD: 46-36; missed playoffs ADDED: F Michael Porter Jr. (No. 14 pick, 2018 Draft); G Isaiah Thomas (one year, $2 million); F Jarred Vanderbilt (No. 41 pick, 2018 Draft); C Thomas Welsh (No. 58 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: F Darrell Arthur (traded to Nets); F Wilson Chandler (traded to 76ers); F Kenneth Faried (traded to Nets); G Isaiah Whitehead (waived) RETAINED: G Will Barton (four years, $53 million); G/F Torrey Craig (two years, $4 million); C Nikola Jokic (five-year, $147.7 million contract extension) THE KEY MAN: G Jamal Murray. Denver ended all pretense that the full-time point guard job wasn’t his last season and his second-year numbers were very encouraging. Among regularly playing (60+ games) floor generals, per NBA.com/Stats, Murray’s .577 True Shooting Percentage ranked only behind D.J. Augustin, Kyrie Irving, Darren Collison and Kyle Lowry. No one doubts the still-just-21-year-old Murray can fill it up, and that the Nuggets don’t need a classic ball distributor to light up the Pepsi Center scoreboard. But they do need to get more credible defensively. So does he. THE SKINNY: A great offseason for the Nuggets, who did what they said they would -- keep Jokic off the market next summer -- while clearing roster spots and minutes with two trades, and simultaneously reducing their luxury tax bill for 2019. (The Chandler trade to the Sixers also created an enormous $12.8 million trade exception for Denver through August of 2019.) Jokic should anchor one of the most athletic starting quintets in the game -- along with Jamal Murray, Gary Harris, the re-signed Barton (penciled in for now as the starting three) and Paul Millsap. the Nuggets didn’t add much at the defensive end, which was their Achilles’ heel the last couple of seasons and the main reason they didn’t make the playoffs in 2017-18. Denver opted to strengthen a strength by bringing in Thomas, who’ll be in prove-it mode next season on a short deal with a coach that he knows from their Sacramento days in Mike Malone. Look for Malone to unleash Thomas on second units throughout the West. Porter Jr. was worth a flier at 14; he was the consensus likely first pick in the Draft a year ago, before his back injury took him out of all but a couple of games in his one season at Missouri. Denver can give him the entire year to rehab from two surgeries, the latest last week, and reset his clock for 2019-20. 4. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS 2017-18 RECORD: 58-24; won NBA Finals ADDED: C DeMarcus Cousins (one year, $5.3 million); F Jacob Evans (No. 28 pick, 2018 Draft); F Jonas Jerebko (one year, $2.1 million); G Damion Lee LOST: C JaVale McGee (signed with Lakers); C Zaza Pachulia (signed with Pistons); Head of Physical Performance and Sports Medicine Chelsea Lane (went to Hawks) RETAINED: F Kevin Durant (two years, $61.5 million); F Kevon Looney THE KEY MAN: Brett Yamaguchi, Director of Game Operations/Entertainment, Oracle Arena. One doesn’t envy Yamaguchi, whose tasks will be twofold next season: create lifetime memories for the loudest and most loyal fanbase in the league, as the Warriors play their final season at Oracle Arena (aka Roaracle) -- they’re moving into the Chase Center, their tony new digs across the Bay in downtown San Francisco, come 2019-20. And, provide atmosphere and sizzle that will help coach Steve Kerr keep his veteran core from being bored out of its collective mind during the regular season while it waits for the playoffs and a chance at a three-peat. THE SKINNY: So, sure, the best team in the league adds one of the top two or three big men in the game in Cousins. But that’s the ancillary benefit of having such a dominant organization; everyone wants to figure out a way to get to the Bay. Cousins took less money to do so; now he can take his time rehabbing his torn Achilles tendon. If that means he’s not all the way back until All-Star, who cares? The Warriors will roll Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and Jonas Jerebko out at the five in non-Death lineups until Cousins is ready. Meanwhile, Kerr has to keep his vets, but especially Andre Iguodala and Shawn Livingston, off their feet as much as possible during the regular season so they’ll be good to go from April through June. Losing Iguodala for the bulk of the 2018 Western finals was almost the Warriors’ downfall. 5. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES 2017-18 RECORD: 22-60; missed playoffs ADDED: F Kyle Anderson (four years, $37 million); G Jevon Carter (No. 32 pick, 2018 Draft); F Omri Casspi (one year, $2.3 million); F Jaren Jackson Jr. (No. 4 pick, 2018 Draft); C Dakari Johnson (acquired from Magic); G Garrett Temple (acquired from Kings) LOST: C/F Deyonta Davis (traded to Kings); G Tyreke Evans (signed with Pacers); F Jarell Martin (traded to Magic); G Ben McLemore (traded to Kings) RETAINED: Coach J.B. Bickerstaff THE KEY MAN: G Mike Conley. It’s no secret how vital Conley is to the franchise, so a return to form is vital for the veteran point, who’ll be 31 on opening night and who missed 70 games last season with a heel injury. Next season will be the third of Conley’s five-year, $150 million deal signed in 2016; remember when so many people thought the world would end when a small market like Memphis invested so much in him? Well, Conley has already dropped to fifth in the league in salary among point guards, behind Stephen Curry Curry, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Kyle Lowry. He’ll fall even further down the list next season, when John Wall’s massive extension kicks in, and Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker each get new contracts that could leap his. THE SKINNY: Memphis couldn’t have had a worse 2017-18 if it tried, and the Grizzlies compounded their on-court implosion by not trading Evans when everyone in the league -- seemingly, except for them -- knew he was going to walk in the summer if they didn’t. But, the Grizzlies’ front office recovered in a big way, selling the 18-year-old Jackson that he would fit right in despite not working out for the Grizz before the Draft, then doubling up on “Grit And Grind 2.0” by taking Carter, college basketball’s fiercest on-ball defender, in the second. Ownership was willing to let the front office use the full mid-level exception on Anderson, who isn’t the sexiest pickup to many fans but whose defensive numbers in San Antonio were outstanding. Temple is the ultimate good vet and locker room guy who will get a chance to play for Bickerstaff after the Kings opted to go with their young guys and he was likely out of the rotation. GM Chris Wallace was adamant that the Grizzlies could rebuild again around the aging Conley and Marc Gasol and that they wouldn’t trade Gasol after the latter’s difficult relationship with former coach David Fizdale. They did, and they didn’t. 6. PHOENIX SUNS 2017-18 RECORD: 21-61; missed playoffs ADDED: Coach Igor Kokoskov; F Trevor Ariza (one year, $15 million); F Darrell Arthur (acquired from Nets); C Deandre Ayton (No. 1 pick, 2018 Draft); F Mikal Bridges (No. 10 pick, 2018 Draft); F Richaun Holmes (acquired from 76ers); G George King (No. 59 pick, 2018 Draft); G Elie Okobo (No. 31 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: Former interim coach Jay Triano; F Jared Dudley (traded to Nets); C Alex Len (signed with Hawks); G Elfrid Payton (signed with Pelicans); G Tyler Ulis (waived); F/C Alan Williams (waived) RETAINED: G Devin Booker (contract extension) THE KEY MAN: Ayton. Let’s not bury the lead here: he was the first pick overall for a reason, because he has franchise-turning capability. The Suns don’t need singles or the occasional double any more; they need someone to put them back on the map with big, sweaty, nasty four-baggers, night after night. (cc: mixed metaphor police.) It’s been a minute since Amar’e Stoudemire was at his destructive best, and the list of impactful bigs in franchise history is thin: Connie Hawkins, Alvan Adams, Tom Chambers, Charles Barkley, Stoudemire. Ayton has a chance to be as good as any of them, and better, and he’s a potential stash of Kryptonite down the pike to the Warriors dynasty. THE SKINNY: There’s the makings of a Jazz-like reimaging of the franchise in short order. Kokoskov not only comes from Utah’s staff, but has significant coaching chops outside of Salt Lake City. He’s been coaching since he was 24, and that was 22 years ago. He’s coached both around the world and around the NBA as an assistant and development maven, and he’ll be great at bolstering the confidence of the Suns’ young guys -- including Bridges, a mature and solid rook with collegiate titles from Villianova who’ll be able to grow quietly outside the huge media shadow cast on Ayton. Kokoskov will also make things a lot easier for Devin Booker offensively. But GM Ryan McDonough was also smart enough to surround the kids with some solid vets, starting with Ariza, who will help the Suns again become acquainted with a long-honored NBA concept called “defense.” 7. DALLAS MAVERICKS 2017-18 RECORD: 24-58; missed playoffs ADDED: F Kostas Antetokounmpo (No. 60 pick, 2018 Draft); G Jalen Brunson (No. 33 pick, 2018 Draft); G Luka Doncic (No. 3 pick, 2018 Draft); C DeAndre Jordan (one year, $22 million); C Chinanu Onuaku (acquired from Rockets); F Ray Spalding (No. 56 pick, 2018 Draft); F Ding Yanyuhang; LOST: G Kyle Collinsworth (waived); G Seth Curry (signed with Blazers); G Yogi Ferrell (signed with Kings); F Doug McDermott (signed with Pacers); F Jonathan Motley (traded to Clippers); C Nerlens Noel (signed with Thunder) RETAINED: G/F Wesley Matthews (picked up player option); F Dirk Nowitzki (one year, $5 million) THE KEY MAN: CEO Cynthia Marshall. The former AT&T executive was put in charge after Sports Illustrated’s explosive story last February detailing a toxic workplace for female employees on the team’s business side, with sexual harassment rampant and no relief forthcoming from the supervisors who should have provided it. Marshall has been fast at work changing the business side culture, as separate investigations of who was responsible for allowing the previous environment to fester wind down. After their results are made public, it will be Marshall who will have to both enact their recommendations and sell the public that owner Mark Cuban’s organization has been fumigated for good. THE SKINNY: Dallas is banking that the 19-year-old Doncic is not only the real deal, but that he can come out of the gate in the NBA after starring in Europe and immediately give the Mavs a boost. There’s a large body of work suggesting Doncic will do just that, and accelerate the Mavs’ rebuild. Second-year guard Dennis Smith Jr.’s improvements should also speed up, and Jordan’s presence should start to close the sieve that has plagued Dallas’s defense the last couple of years. Losing both Curry and Ferrell will hurt the Mavs’ guard depth, though, and Brunson won’t be able to work in slowly. 8. INDIANA PACERS 2017-18 RECORD: 48-34; lost in first round ADDED: G/F Tyreke Evans (one year, $12 million); G Aaron Holiday (No. 23 pick, 2018 Draft); F Alize Johnson (No. 50 pick, 2018 Draft); F Doug McDermott; C/F Kyle O'Quinn LOST: C Al Jefferson (waived); G/F Glenn Robinson III (signed with Pistons); G Lance Stephenson (signed with Lakers) RETAINED: G Cory Joseph (picked up player option); F Thaddeus Young (picked up player option) THE KEY MAN: Kevin Pritchard, president of basketball operations. He’s been instrumental in putting this team together -- first as Larry Bird’s assistant, but on his own the last year-plus since Bird left. Now Pritchard will have to deal with not just the expectations last season’s surprising turnaround season will create with fans, but with the incessant calls and texts one receives when one has a team in which six players among the team’s core are on one-year deals and free agents next summer. It is extremely difficult for a team so constituted to stay unified and keep pulling on the rope together. Human nature is human nature, and players (and their families, and their agents) need reassurances they’re part of the organization’s future, just like any drone from Sector 7G would. It’s hard to think about sacrificing minutes and shots when almost players are judged by are their numbers. Nate McMillan, meanwhile, is only concerned, as any coach is, with the game in front of him, tonight. Pritchard’s phone will rarely have an hour off next season. THE SKINNY: What does a team that surprised so many last season need? More depth, because there aren’t going to be a lot of nights off going forward. The Pacers filled in nicely with a bunch of under-the-radar players, getting Evans after a bounce-back season in Memphis and O’Quinn after good years in New York. McBuckets is running out of stops to show he can be a key contributor in the NBA, but everything is tailor made for him to succeed here: he’ll have all the space in the world playing alongside Victor Oladipo, Bogdanovic and/or Myles Turner, depending on the lineup. Holiday was very good value at 23 in the first round. And Oladipo is on his grind. The Pacers are as big a threat as anyone to Boston’s assumed ascension in the post-LeBron East. 9. NEW YORK KNICKS 2017-18 RECORD: 29-53; missed playoffs ADDED: Coach David Fizdale; G Mario Hezonja (one year, $6.5 million); G Kevin Knox (No. 9 pick, 2018 Draft); C Mitchell Robinson (No. 36 pick, 2018 Draft); F Noah Vonleh (one year) LOST: Former coach Jeff Hornacek; F Michael Beasley (signed with Lakers); C/F Kyle O'Quinn (signed with Pacers); F Troy Williams (waived) RETAINED: G Ron Baker (picked up player option); F/C Luke Kornet; C Enes Kanter (picked up player option); THE KEY MAN: F Kristaps Porzingis. It’s unlikely Porzingis will play much, if at all, next season, as he rehabs his torn ACL suffered in February. New York will be extremely cautious with a timeline, and in Porzingis’ absence, if more losing brings more figurative ping pong balls the Knicks’ way … well, they won’t complain about that, either. None if it matters if “The Unicorn” doesn’t regain his form, though. So much of the Knicks’ 2018-19 improvement, or regression, will take place off camera. THE SKINNY: Fizdale won’t have a mandate to try and win with a veteran team in his first season in New York, as was the case in his year-plus in Memphis. So he can implement his position-less/fitness regimen with the young Knicks without looking over his shoulder. New York’s planning for 2019, when it hopes to strike in a big way in free agency, but that doesn’t mean next season won’t be important. Knox will have a lot of light on him, especially after playing well during NBA Summer League, but the Knicks truly believe Robinson will make some contributions this season with his significant physical gifts. Both must continue changing the narrative in Gotham that the team’s new braintrust is rebuilding the brand the right way -- slowly, and correctly. Hezonja was a good low-cost flier for New York who’ll give Fizdale some small ball options. Hezonja came on strong the second half of last season for the Magic, who hadn’t picked up his third-year option and were hamstrung in what they could offer him as a result. 10. SAN ANTONIO SPURS 2017-18 RECORD: 47-35; lost in first round ADDED: G Marco Belinelli (two years, $12 million); F Dante Cunningham (one year, $2.5 million); G DeMar DeRozan (acquired from Raptors); C Jakob Poeltl (acquired from Raptors); G Lonnie Walker IV (No. 18 pick, 2018 Draft); F Chimezie Metu (No. 49 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: F Kyle Anderson (signed with Grizzlies); G Danny Green (traded to Raptors); F Kawhi Leonard (traded to Raptors); F Joffrey Lauvergne (signed with Fenerbahce); G Tony Parker (signed with Hornets); G Brandon Paul (waived) RETAINED: C/F Davis Bertans (two years, $14.5 million); G Bryn Forbes (two years, $6 million); F Rudy Gay (one year, $10 million) THE KEY MAN: Coach Gregg Popovich. There is no way to tell, nor is it really anyone’s business, how Pop will cope with the loss of his wife Erin, who died in April during the Spurs’ first-round series with Golden State. But the NBA grind is an unforgiving one, and Popovich is adding Olympic team coach duties to an already taxing schedule. He knows best how he’s doing and you can only hope he listens to himself when or if he needs time away. THE SKINNY: Backed up against it with Leonard’s still-murky insistence for a divorce, the Spurs did as well as could be expected in getting a four-time All-Star who’ll play with a huge chip on his shoulder next season. DeRozan will certainly help San Antonio extinguish the offensive droughts that came when teams loaded up on LaMarcus Aldridge defensively. LA was sensational for long stretches last season, making second team All-NBA for the second time in his career. Belinelli, rookie Walker and Poeltl should lengthen San Antonio’s bench significantly and reduce the Spurs’ dependence on nightly brilliance from 40-year-old Manu Ginobili, if he comes back for a 17th season. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. 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......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 8th, 2018Related News

Dodgeball, Quidditch, mini golf go pro

  NEW YORK --- Dodgeball is not just a Ben Stiller movie or anxiety-inducing gym class activity. It's a professional sport. That's no Vince Vaughn joke. The World Dodgeball Association , founded in 2013, is holding its second World Cup --- this weekend in New York. Thirteen countries, including the U.S., will be represented at Madison Square Garden on Saturday for the biennial tournament. And no, it won't be on the "Ocho," the fictional ESPN channel featured in "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," the 2004 movie. Instead, ESPN2 will broadcast a program on the competition Aug. 8 at 8 p.m. EDT. At the first cup, in 2016, host England won men's and mixed doubles champ...Keep on reading: Dodgeball, Quidditch, mini golf go pro.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Aug 3rd, 2018Related News

Reports: Carmelo Anthony clears waivers, set to join Rockets

NBA.com staff report Carmelo Anthony is one step closer to joining the Houston Rockets, according to reports from Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Sources: Carmelo Anthony has cleared waivers, setting up the 10-time All-Star to sign free-agent deal with the Houston Rockets. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 1, 2018 Carmelo Anthony passes through waivers at 5 PM ET, clearing way for him to inform Houston that he will sign a one-year, $2.4M deal with Rockets. — Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 1, 2018 Anthony was waived by the Atlanta Hawks on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) after being traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder on July 19 (July 20, PHL time). Per various reports, the veteran forward is expected to join Chris Paul, James Harden and the Rockets now that he has officially entered the free-agent player pool. According to Wojnarowski, the contract is expected to be a one-year deal worth $2.4 million. Anthony’s lone season in Oklahoma City was largely a bust. He averaged 16.2 points and struggled at times in his new role alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George. The 10-time All-Star posted career lows in scoring average and field goal percentage, and the Thunder were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Utah. The 34-year-old Anthony had been the headliner his entire career — he’s 19th in NBA history with 25,417 points — but he was more of a catch-and-shoot scorer last season instead of the isolation specialist he had always been. His playing time dwindled in the playoffs. In Game 6 of the first-round series against Utah that ended Oklahoma City’s season, he played fewer minutes than reserve Jerami Grant. After the season, he said he prefers to play with the ball in his hands more and said coming off the bench is “out of the question.” Anthony opted in earlier this summer to accept the $28 million he was due next season. The Thunder re-signed Grant, then it was reported that Anthony and the Thunder would eventually part ways, though it was unclear how it would happen. Anthony would help the Rockets fill their void at forward after the team lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute during free agency. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsAug 2nd, 2018Related News