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1st Olympic gold mula kay Caloy

SA nagdaang 2018-2019 NBA season, nag-forecast ako sa simula pa lang ng naturang liga na magkakampeon ang Toronto Raptors sa pangunguna ni Kawhi Leonard......»»

Source: Abante AbanteCategory: News16 hr. 17 min. ago Related News

All media events before, after Lakers-Nets in Shanghai cancelled

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press In response to the NBA defending Daryl Morey’s freedom of speech, Chinese officials took it away from the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets. All of the usual media sessions surrounding the Lakers-Nets preseason game in Shanghai on Thursday — including a scheduled news conference from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and postgame news conferences with the teams — have been canceled. It’s the latest salvo in the rift between the league and China stemming from a since-deleted tweet posted last week by Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets. “There will be no media availabilities for tonight’s game between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers,” the NBA said in a statement Thursday, released a few hours before the game. The game was to proceed as scheduled. “I understand that there are consequences from that exercise of, in essence, his freedom of speech,” Silver said at a news conference in Tokyo earlier this week. “We will have to live with those consequences.” And this move was one of those consequences. Morey’s tweet expressed support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, and sparked fallout that has completely overshadowed the NBA’s annual trip to China — which typically takes on a celebratory tone. Not this year. Most events in advance of the game, such as NBA Cares events to benefit educational causes and the Special Olympics, were called off, as was a “fan night” where Lakers and Nets players were to interact directly with some Chinese ticketholders. Signage in Shanghai to promote the game — huge photos of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving and other players — was ripped down, and mentions of the game were scrubbed from the arena website. All that comes as many Chinese corporations suspended their business ties to the NBA. China state broadcaster CCTV said it was not going to show the Lakers-Nets games on Thursday or in Shenzhen on Saturday, and NBA broadcast partner Tencent also said it was changing its coverage plans for the league. Silver said earlier this week that Rockets great Yao Ming, a Basketball Hall of Famer and now the president of the Chinese Basketball Association — which has also suspended its ties with Houston as part of the Morey tweet fallout — is angry as well. “I’m not sure he quite accepts sort of how we are operating our business right now, and again, I accept that we have a difference of opinion,” Silver said. “I also think that as part of our core values, tolerance is one of those as well. I think tolerance for differing societies’ approaches, tolerance for differing points of view and the ability to listen. Certainly I don’t come here, either as the commissioner of the NBA or as an American, to tell others how they should run their governments.” In the U.S., there was governmental reaction as well leading up to the game. On Wednesday in Washington, a bipartisan group of lawmakers — including the rare alignment of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — sent a letter to Silver saying the NBA should show the “courage and integrity” to stand up to the Chinese government. They asked the NBA to, among other things, suspend activities in China until what they called the selective treatment against the Rockets ends. “You have more power to take a stand than most of the Chinese government’s targets and should have the courage and integrity to use it,” the lawmakers told Silver. The Rockets were extremely popular in China, largely because of Yao. But the team’s merchandise has been taken off e-commerce sites and out of stores selling NBA apparel in the country, murals featuring the team’s stars and logo were painted over and even the Chinese consulate office in Houston expressed major displeasure with Morey and the Rockets. Morey has been silent on the matter since a tweet Sunday where he attempted to make some sort of amends with the Chinese. “I have always appreciated the significant support our Chinese fans and sponsors have provided and I would hope that those who are upset will know that offending or misunderstanding them was not my intention,” he wrote Sunday. “My tweets are my own and in no way represent the Rockets or the NBA.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 10th, 2019Related News

NBA s sheer dominance could limit damage from China backlash

    SHANGHAI, China – The NBA's lucrative interests in China are under threat, but the league enjoys an important piece of leverage that could carry it through the crisis: it's the only game in town. Tweets last week by a Houston Rockets executive in support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong have ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 10th, 2019Related News

NBA postpones media sessions in Shanghai amid China rift

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday that the league is still expecting them to play as scheduled this week, even while the rift between the league and Chinese officials continued in ways that clearly suggested the two planned games in Shanghai and Shenzhen were anything but guaranteed. The NBA called off scheduled media sessions Wednesday for both teams. At least two other NBA events to be held Wednesday before the start of the China games were canceled as part of the fallout that started after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey posted a since-deleted tweet last week that showed support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. "Given the fluidity of the situation, today's media availability has been postponed," the league said. They were not rescheduled Wednesday, though having them on Thursday — game day in Shanghai — remains possible. Later Wednesday in Washington, a bipartisan group of lawmakers — including the rare alignment of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York — sent a letter to Silver saying the NBA should show the "courage and integrity" to stand up to the Chinese government. They asked the NBA to, among other things, suspend activities in China until what they called the selective treatment against the Rockets ends. "You have more power to take a stand than most of the Chinese government's targets and should have the courage and integrity to use it," the lawmakers told Silver. The NBA did not have any immediate comment on the letter, and it was unclear if Silver had even seen the document. In Shanghai, the mood surrounding the game that — if played — will feature LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and other big NBA names was anything but festive. An NBA Cares event that was to benefit the Special Olympics was called off, as was a "fan night" celebration that was to be highlighted by the league announcing plans to refurbish some outdoor courts in that city. And workers in multiple spots around Shanghai were tearing down large outdoor promotional advertisements for Thursday's Lakers-Nets game. The teams are also supposed to play Saturday in Shenzhen. Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has joined the list of companies that have suspended ties with the NBA for now, only adding to the uncertainty surrounding the China games. Vivo was a presenting sponsor of the Lakers-Nets games, and on Wednesday there was no reference to the game in Shanghai on the list of upcoming events scheduled at Mercedes-Benz Arena. Other firms such as apparel company Li-Ning announced similar moves earlier this week, as the rift was just beginning. Silver said Tuesday in Tokyo that he supports Morey's right to free speech. Several Chinese companies have suspended their partnership with the NBA in recent days, and Chinese state broadcaster CCTV said it will not broadcast the Lakers-Nets games. "I'm sympathetic to our interests here and to our partners who are upset," Silver said. "I don't think it's inconsistent on one hand to be sympathetic to them and at the same time stand by our principles." All around China, stores that sell NBA merchandise were removing Rockets-related apparel from shelves and many murals featuring the Rockets — even ones with Yao Ming, the Chinese great who played for Houston during his NBA career — were being painted over. Effects were even felt in at least one NBA arena Tuesday night. In Philadelphia, where the 76ers were playing a Chinese team — the Guangzhou Loong Lions — two fans were removed by arena security for holding signs and chanting in support of Hong Kong. The signs read "Free Hong Kong" and "Free HK." The sentiment was not different from Morey's since-deleted tweet last week of an image that read, "Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong." The 76ers and Wells Fargo Center, the team's home arena, released statements Wednesday confirming that the fan removal took place and explaining why. "During the second quarter of last night's 76ers game, Wells Fargo Center security responded to a situation that was disrupting the live event experience for our guests," the arena's statement said. "After three separate warnings, the two individuals were escorted out of the arena without incident. The security team employed respectful and standard operating procedures." The NBA is not the first major corporation to deal with criticism from China over political differences. Mercedes-Benz, Delta Air Lines, hotel operator Marriott, fashion brand Zara and others also have found themselves in conflicts with China in recent years. After Morey's tweet was deleted, Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta said Morey does not speak for the organization. Joe Tsai, who recently completed his purchase of the Nets and is a co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has said the damage to the NBA's relationship with China "will take a long time to repair." ___ Reynolds reported from Miami. AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston in Philadelphia and Associated Press writer Yanan Wang in Beijing contributed to this report......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 9th, 2019Related News

Harden-Westbrook duo ready to do something really special

By Michael C. Wright, NBA.com HOUSTON -- Well-dressed men in the Texas heat scurried, snatching keys and pointing directions to the visitors arriving, car after car. On the third floor, down the hall from a mezzanine overlooking a lobby, sparkling with custom Calcutta marble flooring, they all gathered in a quiet, dim room, just steps away from two Rolls-Royces bathing in the sun gushing through floor-to-ceiling glass. Here in Uptown, at Tilman Fertitta’s Post Oak Hotel -- a 38-floor, $350 million property housing a Rolls-Royce showroom and Bentley and Bugatti dealership, below a heliport -- the Houston Rockets' owner has turned the team’s annual media day into a posh, star-studded event. With good reason, too. Houston’s blockbuster July trade that sent Chris Paul off to the Oklahoma City Thunder for picks and pick swaps for Russell Westbrook reunites MVPs and former Thunder stars with James Harden already in the fold for a squad now at the forefront as favorites in a now suddenly wide-open Western Conference. “I think we are a better team,” Fertitta said. “It’s gonna be extremely exciting to have one of the greatest scorers of all time, and one of the most athletic people that has played the game. I know I’m really excited. I hope they don’t let me down.” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey thinks this all-star pairing “could be really special.” “It’s so exciting because James Harden is like the best half-court player I’ve ever seen, honestly,” Morey said. “Then, Russell is maybe the best transition player, one of the best of all time as well. If you put those things together, I think we have a chance. Now, you’ve got something really special.” Searching for same goal The reality is it’s been seven years since Westbrook and Harden last teamed with Oklahoma City in the 2012 NBA Finals, and while both have developed into MVP winners and perennial All-Stars, neither has made it back to The Finals. So, burning hotter than the pomp and glitz at the Post Oak Hotel this hot summer day is the question of whether this will all work for a pair of ball-dominant stars, accustomed to running their own respective shows. They’ve certainly got a believer in former Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins. “They’ve played together in OKC. These two former MVPs still are in their primes. There’s no way that it’s not going to work,” Perkins told NBA.com. “Am I guaranteeing they’re going to win a championship? No, I’m not doing that. But I still believe this might be the most dynamic backcourt we’ve ever seen in NBA history. We probably haven’t seen a point guard and a shooting guard like this on the same team in forever. You can’t really name one going into the season that’s better than these two guys. I just think it’s going to work.” Now retired from the NBA, Perkins joined a 21-year-old Harden and a 22-year-old Westbrook in 2010-11, when he was traded there in the middle of the season from the Boston Celtics to OKC. Perkins describes the childhood friends and former Thunder teammates as “two guys that were still trying to find their identity” back then. Still, both were destined to reach the levels they currently occupy, he says. “When I first got there, those guys were working, man. They turned out to be some beasts, dog,” Perkins told NBA.com. “Gym rats, I’m telling you. It was unreal the amount of work those guys were putting in. Russ was always the heart and soul of the team. There was no debate about it to me. He gave the team swagger. With James, we just knew it was only in due time. People always say they should’ve kept that team together in OKC. But James wouldn’t have been able to be the player he is today if he hadn’t left. Plus, James was deserving of having his own team.” Now that he’s had it since joining the Rockets in 2012-13, Harden welcomes Westbrook, who like himself, began playing the game as a child at the Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles. Interestingly, Westbrook and Harden are the only players over the last five seasons to score more than 10,000 points. Westbrook nodded in agreement with the notion his new uniform provides somewhat of a new lease on life, after spending the first 11 years of his career in Oklahoma City. Harden, meanwhile, pointed out how his new teammate “doesn’t have to stress or worry about the pressure of carrying an entire organization,” because that responsibility now falls on them both. “I think it’s good for both of us because we understand the amount of energy and effort, time and commitment it takes to be able to do that for an entire season,” Westbrook said. “Now, being together on the same team, I think it’s important that we can lean on [one another], sacrifice, and not do as much to still have an impact on the game. I think [what] a lot of people don’t know is we have a friendship first outside of basketball. I think me and him communicate and understand each other. In the games, it’s going to be easy.” 'Sit back and watch the show' Perkins saw signs of maturity from Westbrook last season, when the guard at the detriment of his own stats, deferred to Paul George in crucial situations. But both Westbrook and Harden in 2018-19 ranked in the top 15 in usage rate. So, the phrase uttered most often at media day above the guests clutching cold drinks at the hotel pool was “figure it out.” Everyone, whether Fertitta, Morey, coach Mike D’Antoni or the players, seems confident in the duo’s ability to do so. Harden already said he’s willing to take a backseat to Westbrook. “If Russ has got it going, and Russ is having one of those games that we’ve all seen before, guess what I’m going to do?” Harden asked. “Sit back and watch the show, and vice versa. You can’t sit up here and say, ‘Oh, Russ is going to have the basketball for the first half, and I’m going to have the ball the second half.' No, things happen through the course of the game that you just flow with and go with.” Perkins believes that Harden welcomes the opportunity to defer to someone else, given the physical demands of his playing style. Harden ranked No. 3 last season in minutes per game (36.8), while Westbrook was fourth (36.0). “If you’ve watched James throughout the course of a game, the things he did, he had to do because nobody else was stepping up at the time. James wants somebody else to step up so that he can take a backseat sometimes,” Perkins told NBA.com. “If you watched Russ on the court last year, what a lot of people don’t realize is that he deferred to Paul George a lot. Russ took a backseat. You’ve got to understand, too, that he’s matured, man. He’s starting to show that he can be a better leader. Think about it. When you have kids, man, and you start having a family, sh--, your whole thought process changes. You know what I mean? I just see the maturity in Russ. To me, they have to just get it done. There’s no debate about it. Like, to me, the most pressure is on Mike D’Antoni.” Entering the final year of his contract after extension talks broke down over the summer, D’Antoni will proceed cautiously throughout the preseason implementing Westbrook (who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery). D’Antoni and Morey believe Westbrook, one of the game’s most lethal penetrators, will excel in D'Antoni's wide-open offense (which focuses on keeping shooters posted on the perimeter as guards drive in). Morey mentioned that under D’Antoni, guards have historically produced career years. “You look historically at players that have worked with Mike, guards especially, they always play better,” Morey said. “I think it’s just the way he sets up the team, sets up the offense. He finds ways to get people to do the things they do well more, and again, like he said, we’re not here to change anybody or do anything. Historically like pretty much every guard that’s worked with, Mike has had their career year. That’s gonna be a little tough with Russell, given that he’s had so many.” Wearing a salmon-hued polo shirt, D’Antoni discussed plans to stagger the minutes of Harden and Westbrook throughout the season. The expectation is Harden rests in the neighborhood of 13 minutes per game, while Westbrook sits 16 minutes. In his first preseason game -- a 134-129 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Tokyo -- Westbrook logged 20 minutes, finishing with 13 points, two rebounds and six assists. D’Antoni said the final five minutes of games are “the most important thing” for Westbrook to figure out as the team approaches the regular season. “They both want to do this. So, we’ll just sit down and work it out,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t have to tell someone they have to do this, or they have to do that. We’ll figure it out together. But just the vibe of being able to discuss things, the respect they have [for one another] will translate. We’re in a good spot. Right now, it’s great. All we’re trying right now is to win a title. That’s the only agenda that anybody has, and we’ve just got to figure it out.” When word first spread about Houston’s acquisition of Westbrook, opinions naturally flowed about how he’d fit alongside Harden. Westbrook is a career 30.8% 3-point shooter on a squad that has led the league in 3-point attempts four of the last five seasons. He’s also a ball-dominant, high-usage player just like Harden. Still, everyone, insists they won’t ask Westbrook to change his style of play. That puts the pressure squarely on D’Antoni to tweak what Houston does on the floor. “The system they’ve run, just shooting layups and shooting threes with no in-between game, you have to change that with Russell Westbrook, because one of his main things is his mid-range pull-up,” Perkins explained. “The pressure is on Mike D’Antoni. Does he have to change up his style of play? Yes, he will, in order for Russell Westbrook to be who he is. We all know that Russ is not a three-point shooter. Bottom line is they’ve got two of the top 10 players in the league now, if not top 15. "These guys get it done. Back in the day when they were in OKC, they were trying to find out who they were as players. Now, it’s a whole lot different. Now, they know who they are. They’ve done everything to accomplish all the individual accolades. They only thing they haven’t done is win a championship. It’s not the players. Houston has all the players.” In addition to the glitz, glamour and star power for a franchise starving to add more Larry O'Briens to its trophy case. Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for NBA.com. 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: SportsOct 9th, 2019Related News

Shanghai cancels NBA fan event over inappropriate HK comments

    SHANGHAI, China – Shanghai on Wednesday, October 9 canceled a fan event related to a planned NBA exhibition game in the city over "inappropriate" comments by a Houston Rockets executive in support of protests in Hong Kong, city sports officials announced. The event was scheduled for Wednesday night, the eve of ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 9th, 2019Related News

Vivo, Tencent pulling out of NBA deals over Hong Kong tweet

  MANILA, Philippines – Chinese tech brands, including smartphone firm Vivo and internet juggernaut Tencent, said they are pulling out of the deals they have with the National Basketball Association (NBA) after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey expressed his support for the protests in Hong Kong in a tweet.  According to TechCrunch , ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 9th, 2019Related News

Harden dazzles, then Raptors rally past Rockets in Japan

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press When James Harden's night was over, defense got easier for the Toronto Raptors. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and the Raptors — in their first game since winning the NBA Finals — rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 134-129 in Tokyo on Tuesday to open the NBA Japan Games. The exhibition game at the Saitama Super Arena, a site for basketball at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, was the NBA's first in Japan since 2003. The Rockets and Raptors return there to conclude the two-game series on Thursday. Raptors coach Nick Nurse said he liked the arena and felt energy from the Japanese fans. "We get 'Let's go Raptors' in a lot of cities," Nurse said. "It's nice to see it in Tokyo as well. Lot of Raptors fans around the world. It's great." There were plenty of Rockets fans as well, for good reason. Harden put on yet another dazzling offensive show, making his first six shots and finishing 11 for 14 from the field and scoring 34 points in 27 minutes. His final points were a pair of free throws with 3:40 left in the third quarter that put Houston up 104-87. He checked out shortly afterward, and Toronto outscored Houston 47-25 the rest of the way. "It was amazing," Harden said. "They got an opportunity to see what NBA basketball is about, what Rockets basketball is about. They brought the energy tonight. They were excited from the beginning of the game. They made us want to go out there and put on a show, so hopefully it can be that same kind of atmosphere on Thursday." Russell Westbrook played for Houston for the first time, scoring 13 points in 21 minutes in his preseason debut. "It wasn't bad," said Westbrook, the longtime Oklahoma City star and former MVP now in his first season with Houston. "Unfortunately, we didn't win. That's the main goal. But it was good to get on the floor for the first time, get up and down, try to find a rhythm. We've got a lot of work to do." Serge Ibaka scored 18 points and Fred VanVleet scored 16 for the Raptors, who played without Marc Gasol and Kyle Lowry. There are six games later Tuesday (Wednesday morning, PHL time): Philadelphia plays host to Guangzhou of the Chinese Basketball Association, San Antonio visits Miami, Memphis hosts New Zealand, Dallas goes to Oklahoma City, Minnesota is at Phoenix and Denver plays in Portland......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 8th, 2019Related News

NBA: We are not apologizing on Hong Kong tweet

SAITAMA, Japan – The NBA will not regulate speech and won't apologize for a controversial tweet from a Houston Rockets executive that has sparked a Chinese backlash, the organization's commissioner said Tuesday, October 8.  The tweet by the Rockets' general manager Daryl Morey supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 8th, 2019Related News

Yao Ming extremely hot over NBA s China crisis

SAITAMA, Japan – Chinese basketball chief Yao Ming is "extremely hot" over the controversy sparked by a Houston Rockets executive's pro-democracy tweet, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday, October 8, adding that he hoped to work with him to cool the escalating dispute. The NBA's lucrative Chinese following faces an unprecedented ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 8th, 2019Related News

140,000 migratory birds seek temporary refuge in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 07 October) — Environment personnel in Sarangani province have documented nearly 140,000 migratory raptors taking temporary refuge in the last three weeks in a bird sanctuary in the mountainous areas of Glan town. Dr. Roy Mejorada, in-house veterinarian of the Sarangani Environmental Conservation and Protection Center (ECPC), said Monday the […].....»»

Source: Mindanews MindanewsCategory: NewsOct 8th, 2019Related News

Report: Kyle Lowry, Raptors agree to one-year contract extension

Report: Kyle Lowry, Raptors agree to one-year contract extension.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 7th, 2019Related News

Rockets lose sponsors after GM’s pro-HK tweet

The Houston Rockets were racing Monday to quell a growing storm in China that saw their games yanked from television over a tweet supporting Hong Kong’s democracy protests. The issue has also dragged in the NBA, with the league seeking to distance itself from the comments by Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey. Morey, whose Rockets […] The post Rockets lose sponsors after GM’s pro-HK tweet appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Source: Tribune TribuneCategory: NewsOct 7th, 2019Related News

Houston Rockets owner distances team from exec s Hong Kong comment

LOS ANGELES, USA – Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta has moved to distance the NBA club with a big Chinese fan base from general manager Daryl Morey's tweet about Hong Kong protests. Morey, who is in Japan with the Rockets as they prepare for two exhibition games against the NBA champion ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsOct 6th, 2019Related News

Harden has triple-double as Rockets down Sharks 140-71

By Kristie Rieken, Associated Press HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden had a triple-double with 10 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds in just more than a half as the Houston Rockets opened the NBA preseason with a 140-71 win over the Shanghai Sharks on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). Russell Westbrook, who was acquired in a trade with Oklahoma City this summer, did not play. The Rockets are taking things slow with Westbrook this preseason after he spent most of the offseason recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery he had in May. Clint Capela had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who played most of their starters for a good chunk of the first half as they built a 77-34 lead. Gerald Green added 21 points and made five three-pointers on a night Houston finished with 23. Former Rocket Donatas Motiejunas had 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Sharks and James Nunnally, who briefly played for Houston last season, added 16 points and seven rebounds. Houston now departs for a trip to play the Los Angeles Clippers in Hawaii on Friday followed by two games against the Toronto Raptors in Tokyo on Oct. 8 and Oct. 10......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsOct 1st, 2019Related News

Leonard and George quickly blending in with Clippers

By Beth Harris, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have already passed the chemistry test with the Los Angeles Clippers. The two superstars have been quick to integrate themselves with their new team and the result is an easy, teasing camaraderie. Whether it’s enough to advance the once beleaguered franchise past the second round of the playoffs for the first time — let alone win an NBA championship — remains to be seen. But clearly these guys are already having fun. There was a fishing trip and a paintball outing — yep, Patrick Beverley was so competitive he splattered his own teammates — that made early impressions in a season the Clippers hope will be their most memorable yet. “If we maintain that, we’re going to get through anything,” George said Sunday (Monday, PHL time) at the team’s media day. Leonard and George may be the biggest fish on the roster, but neither caught the largest when several of the Clippers took to the water. That honor belonged to a woman on the boat. And what happened to their fish shown off on social media? “Like anybody else would do,” Leonard replied. “Have someone else fillet it, cook it, and eat it.” But he and George don’t expect to do all the heavy lifting this season. “Everybody on the same page,” George said of the collective mindset, “and we go out as one.” Leonard led Toronto to its first NBA title last season, and he ticked off the characteristics of a championship team: high character, sacrifice and will to win. “Go out there as one unit trying to accomplish that one goal,” he said. “It’s about enjoying the journey and not getting ahead of yourself. You also have to stay healthy as well.” The upcoming season already feels different to Leonard. He’s past the right quad injury from 2017-18 that hastened his departure from San Antonio and subsequent trade to the Raptors. “This year I’m feeling way better than I was at the start of last season,” he said, adding there’s no plan yet for his load management. It’s possible the Clippers will be without George for their season opener Oct. 22 (Oct. 23, PHL time) against LeBron James and the Lakers. He’s still rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery that followed an injury-plagued ending to his time in Oklahoma City. George will be with the team at training camp in Hawaii starting Monday, but won’t participate in contact. Coach Doc Rivers was at the team’s practice facility Sunday (Monday, PHL time), but he didn’t speak to the media. Other things to know about the Clippers: DEFENSE Led by Beverley, the Clippers brought a ferocious attitude on defense last season. His prediction with Leonard and George on the floor? “That scrappiness attitude, but on steroids,” Beverley said. That being said, Beverley is making it a goal to cut down on his technical fouls. Count Lou Williams as a skeptic. “I don’t know if there’s a way to tell Pat Beverley to chill out,” he said. COMING HOME Leonard and George are both glad to be back home. Leonard is from Riverside and George is from the high desert city of Palmdale, located north of Los Angeles. “The fact that I’m unpacking instead of packing at this time is a surreal moment,” George said. Leonard has already reached out to local schools with a large-scale donation of backpacks. Despite his low-key reputation, Leonard wants to be visible in the community and “for them to see me, for them to shake my hand.” THE YOUNG GUYS Leonard and George have been generous in sharing their knowledge with the younger Clippers, including Landry Shamet and Jerome Robinson. Even with George sidelined early, he’s still an influence. “Sometimes guys don’t have to do anything,” Rodney McGruder said. “It’s just their presence.”.....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsSep 30th, 2019Related News

Raptors hungry for another title run, even without Leonard

By Ian Harrison, Associated Press TORONTO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard has moved on and Danny Green is gone, but the Toronto Raptors still have an NBA title to defend. This season, a group led by All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, breakout talent Pascal Siakam and defensive standout Marc Gasol is turning "We the North" into "We Want More." "If I had to express it in one word, I would say 'hungry,'" Gasol said Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) when asked what he expects of the new-look Raptors. "I think it's a very hungry team. We all understand what Kawhi meant to the team and how well he played in the playoffs. But we also understand how good we can be as a team, and we're all going to invest everything in it to be that team." Leonard signed a free-agent deal with the Los Angeles Clippers after leading Toronto to six-game NBA Finals victory over Golden State in his lone season north of the border. Once Leonard passed on returning to the Raptors, Green did the same, signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. General manager Masai Ujiri, who traded franchise icon DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio to acquire Leonard and Green, insisted he had no reason to be upset with the way his big move worked out. "That's just the nature of the business," Ujiri said. "We understand it and we move on as an organization. I think there are many bright spots with our team, whether it's our veteran players, whether it's our players coming up, and the younger group we're developing." Still, even Ujiri couldn't fail to notice what had changed around him since the start of training camp last year, when he sat at the podium in front of a packed crowd, flanked by newcomers Leonard and Green. This year, Ujiri was on stage all by himself. "I'm lonely," he joked. One thing hasn't changed: the Raptors still have talent. Lowry, Toronto's longest-tenured player, has been an All-Star for five straight seasons. Siakam is poised to take another step after running away with the league's Most Improved Player award last season, while Gasol, veteran Serge Ibaka, and youngster OG Anunoby round out an imposing frontcourt. "I think guys are going to step up, I think guys are up for the challenge," Ujiri said. The ultra-competitive Lowry certainly is. His expectation this season? Another title. "It's always the same goal for me," Lowry said. "I'm more motivated than ever." MORE CHANGE COMING? Don't expect this Raptors group to stick together much longer. Lowry, Gasol, Ibaka and guard Fred VanVleet are all eligible for free agency at the end of the season. So is forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who signed with Toronto in free agency. The Raptors will have money to spend next summer and are likely to look at younger players rather than paying to retain veterans. PASCAL'S FUTURE Siakam has two years left on his rookie contract, but the Raptors have already approached the young star about a new deal. "We've had conversations with Pascal's representation and we're excited," Ujiri said. "He's somebody we're definitely going to keep." With Leonard and Green gone, coach Nick Nurse sees room for Siakam to become more of a weapon. "He's going to be given a great chance, a great opportunity here to really expand his role and his game," Nurse said. "There's going to be lots of opportunity for him to have the ball." VanVleet isn't putting a limit on his expectations for Siakam's growth. "There's nothing he can't do," VanVleet said. CONTENDERS TO THE THRONE After another busy summer of free agency, Ujiri sees new balance around the league and no clear-cut challenger to Toronto's title. "If you say who's going to come out of the East, I think it's a question," Ujiri said. "I think, for the first time, it's a question who's going to win the NBA championship. I don't think anybody knows. I don't think anybody knows who's going to come out of the West and there are very, very strong teams there." CHRISTMAS WISH The reigning champs got a Christmas Day game, Toronto's first holiday appearance since visiting the Knicks in 2001. This year, the Raptors are hosting Boston in a noon start. "It means everything," guard Norman Powell said. "I've grown up always looking forward to the Christmas Day games, watching the NBA after opening up gifts and presents. I know everybody's really tied and locked into those games." BANNER MOMENT Toronto opens the season at home to rookie sensation Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 22. The Raptors will raise their championship banner and hand out rings before tipoff. "I think that's when it's going to finally hit me," Lowry said. "I just feel I haven't let it sink in as much. When the banner rises and the rings come on, that's when you really feel it.".....»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsSep 29th, 2019Related News

Harden, Westbrook want to play for USA at Tokyo Olympics

  WASHINGTON, USA – Two-time reigning NBA scoring champion James Harden and fellow Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook said Friday, September 27 they want to play for the United States at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Speaking to reporters a day before the NBA club opens training camp for the 2019-2020 campaign, seven-time ........»»

Source: Rappler RapplerCategory: NewsSep 28th, 2019Related News

Paistaran nina Harden, Westbrook problema

DATING teammates sa Oklahoma City Thunder sina James Harden at Russell Westbrook, reunited sila ngayon sa Houston Rockets......»»

Source: Abante AbanteCategory: NewsSep 28th, 2019Related News

30 Teams in 30 Days: Nuggets to keep rolling with Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray

Like most summers in the NBA, the 2019 edition was chock full of trades, free agent news and player movement. From the defending-champion Toronto Raptors to just about every other team in the league, change was the most applicable word when it came to describing team rosters for the 2019-20 season. With the opening of training camps just around the corner, NBA.com's Shaun Powell will evaluate the state of each franchise as it sits today -- in order of regular-season finish from 2018-19 -- as we look at 30 teams in 30 days. * * * Today's team: Denver Nuggets 2018-19 Record: 54-28, lost in the second round of the playoffs Key additions: Jerami Grant (trade), Bol Bol (draft) Key subtractions: Trey Lyles, Isaiah Thomas The lowdown: The steady growth of the Nuggets was evident in a 50-win season and a first-round victory in the playoffs over the more-experienced Spurs, which was clearly a step forward. Then the journey ended with a sour taste after Denver lost a Game 7 at home to a lower seed, the Blazers. In all, the Nuggets received almost everything they’d hoped for from a developing contender, especially in the form of Nikola Jokic. The multi-skilled Serb established himself as the league’s most talented big man, if not the best period, with a stellar performance that attracted some Kia MVP notice. He averaged 20 points, almost 11 rebounds and seven assists in an offense that ran through him, rare in today’s spread-the-floor league where centers are being phased out or pegged as role players and pick-setters. Jokic reminded many of Bill Walton or maybe Vlade Divac for his precise and sometimes entertaining passing skills from the high post. His co-star was Jamal Murray, who made generous strides as a leader and shot-maker and fit well with Jokic. The Nuggets also played some of the best defense in the league for much of the season and had solid backcourt depth with Monte Morris and Malik Beasley averaging a combined 21 points off the bench. There were mixed reviews, however, for Gary Harris. The starting two-guard didn’t improve and in some areas actually regressed as he struggled with injuries in a 57-game season. Same for Will Barton, who shot 40 percent and played 43 games. But those were nit-picks. The Nuggets finally arrived after going a league-leading 34-7 at home, reaching the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade, and using the draft and trades to remake the roster over the last few years to stay in the attic in the very competitive West, which was no easy task. Summer summary: When an NBA team reaches a critical stage of the developing process and checks all the necessary boxes, it’s time to keep the continuity. Which means, time to pay up, and the Nuggets did just that this summer with two of their important figures: Murray and GM Tim Connelly, and both were easy calls. Murray went from a rookie who played behind Emmanuel Mudiay to a dependable, sometimes clutch-shooting guard in just three seasons. While he’s obviously the starter at the point for the Nuggets, Murray’s value lies in his flexibility. He can play off the ball and be just as valuable whenever Jokic assumes the “point-center” role. He averaged 18.2 points and 4.8 assists and showed growth despite struggling at times in his first postseason. He also doesn’t turn 23 until February. So the Nuggets gave him $170 million over five years, banking on his continued growth, which appears to be a safe investment. Therefore, Denver’s two most important players, Jokic and Murray, are under contract together for the next three seasons. Connelly replaced Masai Ujiri in 2013 and repaid the Nuggets’ faith by overseeing a basketball operation that has run mostly smoothly ever since. He drafted Jokic at No. 41 and hired Mike Malone as coach. The Nuggets have gone from 33 wins in Malone’s first season to 54. Even better, the meat of the roster is trending in the right direction and there’s no dead weight. This summer, the Wizards, after firing Ernie Grunfeld, chased after Connelly, a Baltimore native who attended college in D.C. Connelly broke into the business as an intern for the Wizards and has family ties to the D.C area, so the prospect of leaving Denver was a real threat. Ultimately, Nuggets boss Josh Kroenke was successful in persuading Connelly to stay. Usually that comes with a promise of a significant raise, but more importantly, Connelly saw what he’s building in Denver and couldn’t leave unfinished business. Denver has a solid mix of youth and vets and is coming off a season where it was the No. 2 seed in the West. Hard to walk away from that. Paul Millsap also cashed in when the Nuggets agreed to pick up his 2019-20 option year for $30 million. There was some question whether the Nuggets would tie that much into a soon-to-be 35-year-old forward who, statistically anyway, is coming off his worst season since 2009-10 and his fewest minutes since 2008. But Millsap still brings a solid defensive mindset and experience, and anyway, the Nuggets were all about maintaining the flow this summer. Plus, Denver will remain under the luxury tax with with Millsap’s option. Millsap’s minutes could be reduced this season because the Nuggets traded for a more athletic option in Grant. With the Thunder, Grant improved his 3-point shooting last season and became more of a well-rounded forward. If used correctly by Malone, he can thrive in Denver, which badly needs his physical gifts. Of course, there’s also the wild card: Michael Porter Jr. The club’s first-round pick two summers ago sat all last season while recovering from a back issue, then was scratched from summer league play in July because of a minor knee issue which was more of a precautionary move. In a best-case scenario, Porter stays healthy and gives the Nuggets three options at power forward. Connelly didn’t have a first-round pick this summer but swung a deal to fetch a second-rounder once Bol Bol dropped to No. 44 in the draft. The son of former NBA player Manute Bol, he suffered a foot injury last season at Oregon and NBA teams were wary of his potential for recovery. Well, Connelly and the Nuggets will essentially treat Bol as they did Porter; Bol will be an injury red-shirt and prepare for 2020-21. And so, the Nuggets’ summer wasn’t about making wholesale changes, but keeping the pace they’ve set over the last three seasons and rewarding some of the key personnel responsible for it. Patience has allowed the Nuggets to get this far and so there was no reason to panic or rush the process this offseason. Shaun Powell has covered the NBA for more than 25 years. 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: SportsSep 28th, 2019Related News