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Jordan s weight reaches farther than court in NC

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

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

2019 NBA All-Star Diary: Day 1

5:20 A.M. – For some reason, I woke up 10 minutes before the alarm on my cellphone was scheduled to ring. Maybe it was jetlag. Maybe it was excitement. It didn’t matter, I had to get up from bed to prepare for the 2 hour and 30 minute drive from Durham to Charlotte. Me and my colleague, TJ Manotoc had taken a detour from our planned schedule to visit Duke University. Now, that we were done with that, it was time to revert back to our primary task of covering the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. During our drive back to Charlotte, I looked out the window to the sight of clear skies telling me that it was going to be a good day. 8:50 A.M. – The first task for journalists covering the NBA’s mid-season event is to secure a media pass. This is basically an ID that gives one clearance to all events that are happening throughout All-Star Weekend. After parking our rented car and walking to the designated hotel for the media credentials pick-up, we were ready to head to our first activity of the day. 9:35 A.M. – Hosting the best young players in the league was the Bojangles Coliseum where the first media availability session was about to take place. The Mountain Dew Rising Stars is first major event of All-Star weekend and we were given the opportunity to see the players from Team U.S. and Team World up-close to field in questions. Rookie sensation Luka Dončić drew the biggest crowd of reporters from all over the world. Because it would be tough for me to ask the Slovenian a question, I decided to go to another podium where this year’s number on overall pick, Deandre Ayton was sitting. “Deandre! Who’s the toughest center you’ve played against so far in your rookie season?” I asked. “Uuuhhh… nobody. Not yet. All the centers I’ve played against so far haven’t really went at me yet. I think they were just playing though the rhythm and not really going at me,” replied Deandre. I saw another player drawing a huge crowd and realized it was Ben Simmons, who is currently my second favorite NBA player behind Blake Griffin. After waiting for a little while, I pounced on the opportunity to field in a question. “Ben, with the current Sixers lineup, what do you think are the weaknesses that you guys need to improve on so that you can win the championship this year?” The 6’10” point guard from Australia looked right at me and said, “Offense. Defense.” Honestly, I was a little bit disappointed because I was expecting a more thorough answer but I guess that’s how it is sometimes. These athletes are asked a million questions and it might be a struggle for them to stay consistent with regards to being accommodating to people. Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young and LA Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma were two other players I visited. With so many players on both rosters, it would be extremely difficult to get to converse with all. But, seeing them right in front of you and having an opportunity to talk to them was an amazing experience. 11:00 A.M. – All media had been requested by the organizers to clear the court so we could witness Team World practice for the night’s event. Even though I got a very short answer from Simmons, I still observed him. Watching him dribble the ball up the floor and make long strides to the basket for dunks was a sight to behold. He could even knock down three-pointers. 11:45 A.M. – It was now the turn of Team U.S. to take the floor for practice. Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum looked like they could be the best players on the squad but I was particularly looking at Young and his ability to shoot the ball and handle it exceptionally well. Kuzma was also taking every drill seriously. Just like he would the Rising Stars. 1:06 P.M. – After gathering content, TJ and I decided to have a late lunch at Denny’s. We looked at the schedule and realized that our next activity would not be happening until nine in the evening. More time to sleep, I thought. 2:23 P.M. – TJ dropped me and our luggage off at Springhill Suites, our hotel for the next three days. He left me there to check-in while he returned the rental car to the airport. But, as I went to the counter, I was told by the front desk that our room would not be available until 3:00 P.M.. That’s when I decided to look around. 2:45 P.M. – I went to the Hornets Fan Shop to look at the NBA All-Star merchandise and saw an interesting selection of hats, jerseys and all kinds of memorabilia. And then, I noticed a man carrying a box which contained a pair of Nike Adapt BBs, the shoes I tested last month in New York. I asked him where he got them and told me to check out the “Jordan pop-up shop” across the Spectrum Center. 2:55 P.M. – While walking on the street, I saw a long line outside a building. It turns out, this was where that man got his Nike Adapt BBs. It was a Foot Locker – House of Hoops pop-up shop which sold various sneakers that were scheduled to be released specifically during the NBA All-Star weekend. Because of my unforgettable experience in Manhattan, I decided to join the line for a chance to get my own pair of the most futuristic basketball shoes Nike has ever made. Thankfully, I was given a wristband with a number, allowing me to leave the line to check into the hotel. 3:15 P.M. – I checked into our hotel room and felt thankful that it had such a great location. Springhill Suites was right across the Spectrum Center, the venue of NBA All-Star weekend and of course, just down the block from the pop-up shop. As soon as TJ arrived, I left to resume my quest to buy the shoes. 4:46 P.M. – Finally, I was a proud owner of my very own Nike Adapt BB. I felt like my trip to the New York was given more meaning now. Also, I felt like this was one of the reasons my journey has taken me to Charlotte. But, there was still more work to be done. 8:30 P.M. – Less than an hour before tip-off of the Rising Stars game, TJ and I did a Facebook Live discussion right outside the Spectrum Center to update fans back at home about what has happened so far at the All-Star event and what we should look forward to. 8:55 P.M. – We couldn’t believe it. Our assigned seats were located high up in the bleachers. On the very last row. I was breathing heavily after making the climb up the arena. All of a sudden, the players looked more like ants compared to the giants that they were during our morning sessions with them. 10:54 P.M. – Team U.S. defeated Team World behind the 35 points and 6 rebounds of Kuzma, who was named MVP of the Rising Stars. Kuzma was also one of the easiest players to talk to among his peers. 11:05 P.M. – Just when I thought we were given a lot of access to the players, we were given more. There was another media session which commenced right after the game! 12:11 A.M. – Another thing the NBA is very generous with is food. TJ and I ended our long day at a restaurant and bar that the league booked for us international journalists. As we chomped down our food, we talked about how the NBA All-Star weekend would take a lot of our time from us, including our sleeping hours. TJ has been covering this annual event since 2011. He’s used to the grueling schedule. Me, I’m just soaking it all in. I have a few hours left before I have to get up and work again. As always, I’m going to try to have as much fun as possible. After all, it’s the NBA All-Star. It’s supposed to be fun......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 16th, 2019Related News

James Harden s 42 down the drain as Timberwolves nab win over Rockets - Inquirer Sports

MINNEAPOLIS James Harden was Josh Okogies responsibility for much of Wednesday night. Even though Harden piled up 42 points, Okogies teammates were full of praise for the Nigerian rookie. It wasnt a.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsFeb 15th, 2019Related News

10 things to know about NBA All-Star 2019

By Tim Reynolds, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — With All-Star festivities set to officially begin Friday (Saturday, PHL time), here are 10 things to know going into the weekend: BACK TO CHARLOTTE Charlotte hosted NBA All-Star weekend in 1991, and now gets it back a second time to join 14 other cities that can say it hosted the league’s showcase midseason event on multiple occasions. Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis, Los Angeles and the L.A. suburb of Inglewood, California, are the other previous multi-hosting All-Star cities. The Bay Area, the Detroit area and the Dallas area are also two-time hosts, though never technically twice in the same city. LEBRON’S RECORDS LeBron James now has the record for most All-Star captaincies: Two. He and Stephen Curry had the jobs last year when the captain’s format was first introduced to the All-Star weekend, and he and Giannis Antetokounmpo have the jobs this year. But James’ records revolving around this game hardly stop there. By starting on Sunday (Monday, PHL time), James will tie Kobe Bryant with 15 starts in the All-Star Game. James will also extend his record of consecutive starts, which will also rise to 15. Some of the other All-Star records James already holds include total points (343), field goals (141) and three-pointers (35). And by playing two minutes, James will increase his All-Star total in that stat to 416 — one more than Bryant for No. 2 on the all-time list. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has played the most All-Star minutes, 449. FOULING OUT Bold prediction: No one will foul out on Sunday (Monday, PHL time). The last player to foul out of an All-Star Game was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1987. Chris Paul was the most recent to come close, when he was whistled for five fouls in the 2008 game. There have been only 14 instances of someone fouling out of an All-Star Game. Rick Barry and Bob Cousy each fouled out twice; 10 others, including Olajuwon, have done so once. MVPs AT HOME Kemba Walker, the lone Charlotte player in this year’s All-Star Game, has suggested that he’s hoping he can wow the home crowd with an MVP-worthy performance. There’s a history of that sort of thing happening. There have been 14 players who have won All-Star MVP honors in their home cities, spanning a total of 15 games. The list of hometown All-Star MVPs: Anthony Davis (New Orleans, 2017), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles, 2011), Shaquille O’Neal (Phoenix, 2009 and Los Angeles, 2004), Karl Malone and John Stockton (Utah, 1993), Michael Jordan (Chicago, 1988), Tom Chambers (Seattle, 1987), Jerry West (Los Angeles, 1972), Rick Barry (the San Francisco area, 1967), Adrian Smith (Cincinnati, 1966), Bob Pettit (St. Louis, 1958 and 1962), Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia, 1960), Bob Cousy (Boston, 1957) and Ed Macauley (Boston, 1951). AGE MARK Assuming he plays, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki — one of the special additions to the rosters by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who also added Miami’s Dwyane Wade to the list — will become the second 40-something to appear in the All-Star Game. Nowitzki is 40; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in the game when he was 40 and 41. Michael Jordan almost pulled off the feat; he was eight days shy of turning 40 when he last played in the All-Star Game in 2003. Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets and the unofficial host of the weekend, will turn 56 on Sunday. Wade, also assuming he gets into the game, will become the 12th player to be an All-Star at 37 or older. Wade turned 37 last month. HEROES Jason Weinmann and James Shaw Jr. might not be “celebrities,” at least not in the classic sense. But the NBA rightly believes they should be celebrated. Weinmann and Shaw were invited to play in Friday’s All-Star Celebrity Game to commemorate heroic acts. Weinmann, a retired Marine, used a military transport vehicle — which he bought at a government auction years ago — during Hurricane Florence last September to help rescue flood victims in North Carolina and bring them to safety. Shaw disarmed a man who had opened fire at a Waffle House restaurant near Nashville last April and has been heralded as a life-saving hero since for wrestling the AR-15 out of the alleged shooter’s hands by the barrel. G LEAGUE FIRST Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks is the first member of a new club. He’s the first G League alum to become an NBA All-Star. Middleton spent a short time during the 2012-13 season in the G League, before blossoming into one of the league’s best players and a key to Milwaukee going into the break with an NBA-best 43-14 record. There will be plenty of G League graduates participating on All-Star Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) as well — Middleton, Seth Curry, Danny Green and Joe Harris are all slated to be in the 3-point contest. CASH MATTERS There is some money at stake during All-Star Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) events, and everybody gets something. Everyone in the dunk contest will receive at least $20,000, everyone in the skills challenge gets at least $15,000 and all participants in the 3-point shootout take home at least $10,000. From there, prize money varies by finish — the skills challenge winner gets $55,000, the 3-point shootout champion wins $60,000 and the dunk contest winner takes home $105,000. In all, the Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) participants will split $610,000. EASTBOUND This All-Star weekend is the first of four straight in Eastern Conference cities. Chicago gets it next year, Indianapolis in 2021 and Cleveland in 2022. The site for the 2023 game remains unknown; Salt Lake City and Sacramento are two sites often mentioned as candidates for that year, and Orlando is a likely suitor for the 2024 game. THE REFS Sunday’s (Monday, PHL time) All-Star Game will be officiated by Scott Foster, Curtis Blair and David Guthrie. It’s a home game of sorts for Guthrie, who resides in Charlotte. Foster worked the 2010 All-Star Game in Dallas. It’s the first All-Star Game for Blair and Guthrie. The Friday and Saturday (Saturday and Sunday, PHL time) events will be worked by a crew of newer refs — third-year official Aaron Smith and fourth-year officials Mitchell Ervin and Gediminas Petraitis......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 15th, 2019Related News

Currys excited for mini family reunion at All-Star weekend

By Steve Reed, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Dell Curry looks forward to those nights when he can open a bottle of wine, take a seat on his recliner in front of the fireplace alongside wife Sonya and watch their NBA sons play basketball simultaneously on two large-screen television sets in his living room. Those are the nights he has to pinch himself realizing how blessed his family is. Everyone in the Curry clan has been pinching themselves lately; the family has been downright giddy about NBA All-Star Weekend. “It’s going to be incredible,” said Curry, a former NBA player and color commentator for the Hornets TV network who still lives in Charlotte. “It’s going to be a mini family reunion.” There will be plenty of fellowshipping in Charlotte, including family dinners and group outings. Of course there also will be a little basketball. Stephen and Seth Curry will be returning to their hometown for the festivities. Stephen, a two-time league MVP, will join younger brother Seth in the 3-point shootout Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) at the Spectrum Center and then play in his sixth straight All-Star game Sunday (Monday, PHL time). “This just has the feel of the Curry family All-Star weekend,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. The fact that Seth is involved makes it extra special. Stephen said that the family group text was “buzzing” when everyone learned Seth was invited to compete in the 3-point contest. The Currys have been prepping for this weekend for months. Sonya is taking care of the family’s logistics, including tickets, travel plans and hotel reservations. On top of the invite list are the boys’ grandmothers, who haven’t been to an All-Star weekend since Dell competed in the 3-point shootout in Orlando in 1992. “It was very important to us that they were here to see this,” Dell said. Former coaches including Davidson’s Bob McKillop and other family friends will be there, too. The NBA is accommodating the Currys with extra tickets, knowing how big of a weekend it is for the family. Stephen has his own guest list — separate from the rest of the family — and hopes to limit it to 30 people. “I want you to write that loud and clear so you can help me keep the list small,” Stephen said with a laugh. Most of the out-of-towners will be staying in a downtown Charlotte hotel, and Dell and Sonya are considering bunking there, too, so they can be close to everyone and not miss a minute. “I want to see my grandchildren as much as possible,” Dell said. Stephen and Seth arrived Thursday (Friday, PHL time) together in Charlotte after Seth’s Trail Blazers hosted Stephen’s Warriors on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time) in Portland, Oregon. Their families came here, too. Stephen is married to Ayesha and the couple has three children. Seth has a child with Callie Rivers, the daughter of NBA coach Doc Rivers. And the players’ sister, Sydell, who recently married Stephen’s Warriors’ teammate Damion Lee, a two-way player with Golden State, will be in town, too. The Curry family has a community event planned in Charlotte in association with Stephen’s partnership with Under Armour. “We want to give back and remind people, hey, this is where they were raised,” Dell said. “We want to make this a special weekend.” One of the highlights of the Curry family reunion weekend might be the 3-point shootout where the highly competitive brothers will square off against each other on a national stage. Trash talking is almost sure to be part of the event. Dell doesn’t know what to expect once his sons take the floor. He said both are equally competitive, whether it’s on the golf course or at family get-togethers. “At my daughter’s wedding we played Liar’s Dice for about two hours and that was the most competitive thing I have seen in a long time,” Dell said with a laugh. “Anytime there is a game that somebody has to win or lose, you can’t give anyone the edge as to who is more competitive. We all are competitive.” Added Seth: “I’m trying to win it, so I’m going to target everybody. It should be very entertaining to watch us both shoot out there. But I gotta beat everybody, not just him, to win it.” Warriors All-Star guard Klay Thompson said he decided not to participate in the 3-point shootout this year simply so he could just sit back and “be a fan” and watch the Currys go at it. For Stephen, the whole idea of the amped-up circus-like atmosphere that is looming has him excited about the weekend. “It will be a packed house with our family supporting us for sure,” Stephen said. “It’s rare when we are all together during basketball season,” Seth said. “So to have everyone there, it’s always fun. It’ll be a good weekend.” ___ AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco, California, and Anne Peterson in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 15th, 2019Related News

Timberwolves hound Rockets

Jeff Teague scored 27 points, Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 and the Minnesota Timberwolves overcame James Harden’s 42 points to beat the Houston Rockets 121-111 on Wednesday night......»»

Source: Philstar PhilstarCategory: NewsFeb 14th, 2019Related News

Jordan: 6 NBA titles tougher than Harden, Westbrook streaks

By Steve Reed, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Michael Jordan says James Harden’s streak of 30 straight 30-point games and Russell Westbrook’s 10 straight triple-doubles are both impressive and tough to accomplish. But the Charlotte Hornets owner said Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) — flashing a big grin — that there is one accomplishment tougher than both those feats: “Which is harder from the player’s standpoint? Six championships by all means.” Michael Jordan’s response to what is tougher to achieve - James Harden’s streak of 30 straight 30-point games OR Russell Westbrook’s 10 straight triple doubles... Classic Jordan. pic.twitter.com/upR8Xj1g07 — Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) February 12, 2019 Jordan praised both players for what they’re doing, noting that both streaks are hard to accomplish. Jordan said the milestones show “the talent that we have within the league.” “It shows progression in the league,” Jordan said during an interview at his Hornets facility while discussing the upcoming All-Star weekend . “I am very proud of how both guys have done because they are making a mark for the league and I think it really helps grow the league.” Harden needed a late scoring spree on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time) to extend his streak to 30 games, scoring 11 points in the final 100 seconds as the Rockets defeated the Dallas Mavericks 120-104. Harden, who is playing with a strained left shoulder, reached the 30-point mark by swishing a 30-foot pull-up jumper. Westbrook finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists to notch his 10th straight triple-double in the Thunder’s 120-111 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers, breaking a tie with Wilt Chamberlain for the most consecutive triple doubles. Both players will be in Charlotte this weekend for the All-Star game......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 13th, 2019Related News

Healthy Rose, Teague lead Timberwolves past Clippers 130-120

By Joe Ziemer, Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague gave a beleaguered backcourt a needed boost and lifted the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 130-120 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time). Rose scored 22 points and Teague added 19 for the Timberwolves, who played without the ill Andrew Wiggins. Rose and Teague both have missed significant time with injuries recently. Karl-Anthony Towns had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, while Dario Saric had 19 points. Lou Williams scored a season-high 45 points off the bench for the Clippers, making a season-best 16 free throws while going perfect from the line. Montrezl Harrell added 18 points off the bench for Los Angeles, part of an 89-point effort from the reserves. The Clippers came in leading the league in bench scoring at 51.6 points per game. Minnesota had lost its previous four games and six of its previous seven while struggling with injuries at the point guard position. On Monday night (Tuesday, PHL time), the Timberwolves had both Rose and Teague on the court at the same time for the first time since Jan. 20 (Jan. 21, PHL time) against the Phoenix Suns. Teague returned to the lineup Friday (Saturday, PHL time) in New Orleans. He had missed the previous eight games with soreness in his left foot. Rose played Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) after missing six of the previous seven games with soreness in his right ankle. The Timberwolves had played nine games without having both Teague and Rose available. Neither team led by more than eight points in the first half. The Timberwolves closed the half on a 10-2 run to take a 63-55 lead into the locker room. Rose scored 12 of his 22 points in the first half, including a difficult layup just before the halftime buzzer. Minnesota then scored the first 10 points of the third quarter to open up a double-figure lead. The Timberwolves would go on to lead by as many as 23 points. TIP-INS Clippers: Williams scored a team-high 11 points in the first half and made only one field goal. His first nine points came from the free-throw line, where he was 9-for-9. Coach Doc Rivers remains close friends with former Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who was fired on Jan. 6 (Jan. 7, PHL time). "We talk a lot," Rivers said. "I tried to get him today a lot to get the scouting report, but he wouldn't give it to me." ... Los Angeles is currently on a 12-day, six-game roadtrip that will cover 6,659 miles. It's the fifth-longest road trip in the NBA this season. ... F Wilson Chandler (right quad strain) and F Luc Mbah a Moute (sore left knee) were sidelined. Timberwolves: Luol Deng started in Wiggins' place. It was Deng's first start since Oct. 19, 2017, the first game of last season, when he was a member of the Lakers. That was his only appearance of the season. ... The Timberwolves were still without F Robert Covington (bone bruise in right knee) and G Tyus Jones (sprained left ankle). ... G Isaiah Canaan was signed to a second 10-day contract Sunday (Monday, PHL time). UP NEXT Clippers: Host Phoenix on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time). Timberwolves: Host Houston on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 12th, 2019Related News

Kemba Walker Enters 3rd All-Star Game with Uncertain Future

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) --- Kemba Walker is preparing for his third NBA All-Star game --- and his first as a starter --- this weekend on his home court in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he once shouted "This is my city!" after a game-winning shot. The big question is how many more he'll play in as a member of the Hornets. The eight-year NBA veteran is set to become one of several All-Star free agents in July and will surely be an attractive option for more than a few teams. On the surface, it seems like Walker re-signing a long-term deal is a no-brainer --- he has repeatedly stated his desire to continue playing for the Hornets, and the organization wants him back. But there a...Keep on reading: Kemba Walker Enters 3rd All-Star Game with Uncertain Future.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 12th, 2019Related News

Pelicans balancing Anthony Davis’ playing time with future concerns

NEW ORLEANS --- Even with one foot out the door, Anthony Davis is showing he can still produce prolific statistics for the New Orleans Pelicans. He only needed 25 minutes to score 32-points in his first game for New Orleans since requesting a trade nearly two weeks ago. Davis also had nine rebounds and three blocks in a 122-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Whether his presence in the lineup is sustainable for a club that is trying to move on without him --- and protect his trade value by keeping him healthy --- remains to be seen. But for now, coach Alvin Gentry and other Pelicans veterans sound inclined to try to make it work. "He's obviously made it...Keep on reading: Pelicans balancing Anthony Davis’ playing time with future concerns.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 10th, 2019Related News

Markkanen leads Bulls to 125-106 rout of Nets

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

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

Untraded Davis scores 32, Pelicans beat Wolves, 122-117

By BRETT MARTEL,  AP Sports Writer NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis didn't need long to win back the crowd after being booed during his pregame introduction and the first few chances he had to handle the ball. But the Pelicans sought to close out a close game without Davis on the court anyway — and narrowly pulled it off. Playing for first time since asking to be traded, Davis had 32 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 25 minutes, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 122-117 on Friday night. Jrue Holiday had 27 points and nine assists and Kenrich Williams had 19 points — and they led the Pelicans offense in the fourth quarter, when Davis was kept on the bench despite the fact that the teams were separated by as little as one basket several times in the waning minutes. Instead of playing Davis, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry sent in Julius Randle, who came through with a pair of inside baskets and clutch free throws in the final minutes. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 32 points for Minnesota, and his driving dunk pulled the Timberwolves as close as 114-112 in the final minute. But Randle responded with one of his late baskets inside and then rebounded Towns' missed jump hook with 16 seconds left. Davis looked determined from the outset to justify his continued presence on the court, however awkward it may be for a franchise that had seemed inclined to move on without him. Pressured by the NBA not to sit a healthy star they had refused to unload by Thursday's trading deadline for this season, the Pelicans announced that Davis would return to the starting lineup. He scored 10 points in the first seven minutes. In the opening minutes, he went strong to the rim while being booed and dunked, at which point a segment of the crowd cheering largely drowned out the boo-birds. Later, as Davis stood on the foul line taking free throws, part of the crowd booed while others chanted, "A-D, A-D!" By halftime, Davis had 24 points and his highlights included a reverse alley-oop tip at the front of the rim while being foul and crashing to the floor on his back. Davis was fine, and reached the 30-point mark before the middle of the third quarter. Andrew Wiggins had 23 points for Minnesota, which shot and rebounded marginally better than New Orleans, but was outscored 27-16 at the free throw line. Randle and Time Frazier each scored 12 points for New Orleans, which has won two straight. TIP-INS Timberwolves: Jerryd Bayless sat out with soreness in the big toe on his right foot. ... Jeff Teague was available coming off the bench after missing eight games with a left foot injury. He played x minutes and had 12 points, five assists and four rebounds in 17 minutes. Pelicans: Randle finished with 12 points. Center Jahlil Okafor sat out with a left ankle sprain that occurred late in New Orleans' victory at Chicago on Wednesday night. ... Guard E'Twaun Moore also was ruled out shortly before tipoff with a left thigh bruise that also had sidelined him the previous five games. UP NEXT Timberwolves: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night. Pelicans: At Memphis on Saturday night......»»

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

Terrence Ross stays in Orlando, carries Magic past Timberwolves

ORLANDO, Florida--- The trade deadline came and went and Terrence Ross remained in Orlando, comfortable in his routine. Ross, whose expiring contract and big scoring production had set him up as a potential trade asset, scored 32 points and came up with a big defensive play to help the Magic to a 122-112 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night. "Right now is not the time to change anything you're doing," said Ross, who was relieved when the deadline passed. "You've got to stay in your routine as much as possible." Ross, who is averaging 19.7 points off the bench over his last 15 games, made six 3-pointers and shot 13 of 23 overall. "There are nights in t...Keep on reading: Terrence Ross stays in Orlando, carries Magic past Timberwolves.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 8th, 2019Related News

Siakam, VanVleet set career highs to lead Raptors past Hawks

By Charles Odum, Associated Press ATLANTA (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored a career-high 33 points, Fred VanVleet added a career-best 30 and the Toronto Raptors rallied after trailing by 17 points in the first half to beat the Atlanta Hawks 119-101 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). The Raptors were short-handed after trading four players in two deals before the trade deadline. They used only nine players and relied heavily on Siakam, who also had 13 rebounds, and VanVleet with All-Star Kawhi Leonard resting. Rookie Trae Young and Taurean Price each had 19 points for Atlanta. Toronto, which began the night two games behind Eastern Conference leader Milwaukee, acquired center Marc Gasol from Memphis before Thursday's (Friday, PHL time) trade deadline for Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles and Delon Wright. The Raptors also traded center Greg Monroe to the Nets for cash considerations. Atlanta led 66-49 in the second quarter before the Raptors used an 11-0 run to launch their comeback. Danny Green sank three free throws to cap the run. Toronto kept the momentum in the third quarter and led 88-85 entering the final period. The Raptors opened the fourth quarter with a 13-3 run to extend the lead in their third straight win. Kyle Lowry had 13 points while making only 3-of-13 shots from the field. He had 13 assists. The Hawks are expected to release two players acquired in separate deals, Shelvin Mack and Jabari Bird. The Hawks traded Tyler Dorsey to Memphis for Mack and acquired Bird and cash from the Celtics. Bird hasn't played this season after being charged with beating up his girlfriend. TIP-INS Raptors: Leonard was held out with a sore left knee. ... Siakam scored 17 points in the second quarter. ... Siakam had 30 points at Milwaukee on Jan. 5 (Jan. 6, PHL time). VanVleet's previous high was 25 points. Hawks: John Collins had 12 points and 12 rebounds. ... With his sixth point, Vince Carter tied Jerry West for 21st on the NBA's career scoring list (25,192). Carter finished with nine points. ... The Hawks were forced to waive G Daniel Hamilton, who had averaged 3.0 points in 19 games, to accommodate the trades. ... Atlanta's modest two-game winning streak ended. UP NEXT Raptors: Visit Knicks on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time). Hawks: Host Hornets on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time)......»»

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

Mavericks top Hornets 99-93 as Dallas deals Barnes to Kings

By Schuyler Dixon, Associated Press DALLAS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 19 points in his third triple-double, Dorian Finney-Smith had 15 points and 10 rebounds and the new-look Dallas Mavericks made another move by trading Harrison Barnes while beating the Charlotte Hornets 99-93 on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time). Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 12 points in his Dallas debut after the blockbuster deal that brought Kristaps Porzingis from the New York Knicks. Porzingis isn't playing this season as he recovers from a knee injury. Barnes played into the third quarter before reports of a trade with Sacramento surfaced. He was on the bench but didn't play in the fourth quarter. Barnes scored seven of his 10 points in the third. Two people with knowledge of the deal said the Mavericks sent Barnes to the Kings for Zach Randolph and Justin Jackson. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade hadn't been announced. Kemba Walker had 30 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, who got swept by Dallas after losing to the Mavericks by 38 points at home about a month ago. With NBA Commissioner Adam Silver watching from not far behind the Mavericks bench, Doncic had a spinning layup for a three-point play with Dallas leading by two. The first teenager with multiple triple-doubles, Doncic had 11 assists and 10 rebounds on a rough shooting night (5-of-20, including 2-of-10 from three-point range). After Nicolas Batum scored two of his 14 points to get Charlotte within three, Finney-Smith hit a three-pointer for a 97-91 lead in his second career double-double. TIP-INS Hornets: G Tony Parker was out with a back strain in what would have been his first appearance in Dallas since leaving San Antonio after 17 seasons with the rival Spurs. ... Jeremy Lamb scored 15 points, and Cody Zeller had 13 rebounds with nine points. Mavericks: After setting franchise record for three's in a quarter by going 10-of-17 from long range in the first quarter of the meeting in Charlotte, the Mavericks missed their first 10 before Hardaway and Doncic hit consecutive three's in the final 1:11 of the first. ... Trey Burke was scoreless in four minutes in his Dallas debut. Courtney Lee, also part of the New York trade, didn't play. UP NEXT Hornets: Second stop on a four-game trip at Atlanta on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time). Mavericks: Second of three straight at home against Milwaukee on Friday (Saturday, PHL time)......»»

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

Grizzlies Marc Gasol out against Timberwolves amid trade talk - Inquirer Sports

MEMPHIS, Tennessee Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol was a late scratch for Tuesday nights home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves as trade chatter for the veteran accelerated. Gasol was not li.....»»

Source: Philippinetimes PhilippinetimesCategory: NewsFeb 6th, 2019Related News

Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol out against Timberwolves amid trade talk

MEMPHIS, Tennessee--- Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol was a late scratch for Tuesday night's home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves as trade chatter for the veteran accelerated. Gasol was not listed on Memphis' injured list earlier in the day, but coach J.B. Bickerstaff announced he would not play. Asked to elaborate on the reason for Gasol's absence, Bickerstaff declined. But shortly before Bickerstaff addressed the media in his pregame availability, The Athletic reported that the Grizzlies were in talks with the Charlotte Hornets regarding a possible trade involving Gasol. The Grizzlies told Gasol and point guard Mike Conley two weeks ago that the organization wo...Keep on reading: Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol out against Timberwolves amid trade talk.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 6th, 2019Related News

Tobias Harris’ big night lifts Clippers past Hornets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Still not quite healed from a shoulder strain he suffered last week, Tobias Harris came up big for the Los Angeles Clippers. Harris scored 34 points, including a running jumper in the lane with 4.3 seconds remaining, and the Clippers rallied from 20 points down to beat the Charlotte Hornets 117-115 on Tuesday night. "It's as good as it's going to be," Harris said of his injured shoulder. "It's not any better or worse. It's about pushing myself and battling through it, keeping my mental state at a high level to go into a game and be effective." Lou Williams scored 31 points for the Clippers, Montrezl Harrell added 16 and Patrick Beverley 15. Los Angeles, p...Keep on reading: Tobias Harris’ big night lifts Clippers past Hornets.....»»

Source: Inquirer InquirerCategory: Feb 6th, 2019Related News

Harris jumper gives Clippers 117-115 win over Hornets

By Eli Pacheco, Associated Press CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Tobias Harris scored 34 points, including a running jumper in the lane with 4.3 seconds remaining, and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied from 20 points down to beat the Charlotte Hornets 117-115 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Charlotte had a chance to tie or take the lead on its last possession, but Marvin Williams’ three-point attempt was short at the buzzer. Lou Williams scored 31 points for the Clippers, Montrezl Harrell added 16 and Patrick Beverley 15. Los Angeles was playing its third road game in four days. Kemba Walker scored 32 points and Jeremy Lamb added 22 for the Hornets. Marvin Williams finished with 13 points and Malik Monk had 12. It was the second time this season Charlotte lost a game after leading by 20. Beverly’s loose-ball foul with 21.1 seconds left put Marvin Williams on the line for Charlotte. Williams hit both to tie it at 115. The Clippers shot 75 percent (18-for-24) on three-pointers. TIP-INS Clippers: Los Angeles held Kemba Walker to 13 points in their first matchup this season, a 128-109 win. Walker scored 25 on 8-of-15 shooting (4-for-6 on three's) in the first half Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time). ... Danilo Gallinari (back) did not play. ... The Clippers’ third-period woes continued as they were outscored 34-31. Hornets: Center Cody Zeller, who missed 16 games after surgery on his right hand, entered the game at the 6:43 mark of the first period with a small brace on his hand, but didn’t wear it in the second half. ... Charlotte entered the game 2-8 in its past 10 against Los Angeles, and 1-4 in its past five. ... Tony Parker left after nine minutes on the court with a back injury and didn’t return. UP NEXT Clippers: Visit Indiana on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time). Hornets: Visit Dallas on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 6th, 2019Related News

Westbrook’s 7th straight triple-double leads OKC past Magic

By Cliff Brunt, Associated Press OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook posted his seventh straight triple-double, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Orlando Magic 132-122 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). Westbrook finished with 16 points, 16 assists and 15 rebounds to match the longest triple-double streak of his career. It was his 20th of the season and No. 124 for his career. Paul George scored 39 points to help the Thunder win for the eighth time in nine games. Dennis Schroder had 20 points, and Jerami Grant had 19. Evan Fournier scored 25 points for the Magic, and Aaron Gordon added 18 points and 10 assists. Orlando led 69-62 at halftime behind 15 points from Gordon and 58 percent shooting as a team. George scored 18 in the first half for the Thunder. Orlando stretched its lead to 79-67 early in the third quarter, causing the Thunder to call a timeout. Oklahoma City came back strong in a two-minute span. A lob from George to Grant for a two-handed jam cut Orlando’s lead to 81-78, and the Magic called a timeout. Westbrook clinched his triple-double on a rebound with 3:33 left in the third quarter. His overall play sparked a 29-10 run that put the Thunder back in front for good. Oklahoma City led 98-92 at the end of the third quarter after making 15 of 24 shots in the period. A steal and three-pointer by Terrence Ross cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 128-122 with 31 seconds to play, but the Thunder held on. TIP-INS Magic: Reserve center Mo Bamba is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his left leg. ... Gordon was called for a technical in the fourth quarter. ... Gordon fouled out with 36.6 seconds left. ... Fournier fouled out with 29.6 seconds to play. Thunder: Westbrook was called for a technical foul in the first quarter. Coach Billy Donovan was called for one in the second. ... Oklahoma City is 14-6 this season when Westbrook gets a triple-double. UP NEXT The Magic play at the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday (Friday, PHL time). The Thunder host the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday (Friday, PHL time)......»»

Source: Abscbn AbscbnCategory: SportsFeb 6th, 2019Related News