Marreese Speights, who suffered a sprained calf muscle in the fourth quarter and limped to the locker room, will underdog an MRI, but a Warriors source said that it looks unlikely that Speights will play in Monday’s Game 4.
August 31, 2015 | 5:00 am EDT Update
Nick Young wasn’t joking around about wanting to compete for Australia’s Olympic basketball team — ’cause the NBA star’s camp has formally contacted Aussie officials to get the ball rolling … TMZ Sports has learned. Young — who’s famously engaged to Australian superstar Iggy Azalea — has recently been floating out the idea to compete with Australia, but everyone thought he was just goofing around.
The official told us Nick would have to become an Australian citizen to be eligible for the team — and the process was thoroughly explained to Young’s camp. For the record, it’s not an easy process — according to the official, Young would have to start by living in Australia for “an extended period of time.”
Orazio Cauchi: According to @Ismail Senol, Marcelinho Huertas has agreed to a deal with a Western Conference team. #NBA
Eric Pincus: As I understand it, the Lakers hope to have Robert Upshaw in training camp, but he has some private personal steps he needs to achieve. As I hear it, the Lakers have given a goal along with tremendous support to Robert Upshaw, an open door, but he has to walk through it
Nigeria beat Angola 74-65 in the Final of AfroBasket 2015 in Rades, Tunisia on Sunday to claim their first-ever continental championship. In being crowned African champions, the Nigerians also qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Meanwhile, second-place Angola joined third- and fourth-place Tunisia and Senegal in booking their places for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs).
Westbrook and Earl, who met while at UCLA playing for the school’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, respectively, tied the knot in an outdoor ceremony at the famed Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday. The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard and Earl were married in front of friends and family, and several of Westbrook’s current and former teammates – including, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Serge Ibaka, Dorrell Wright and James Harden (who brought along Khloé Kardashian as his date).
Former MVP Kevin Durant goes from 95 last year to 91 this one. Andre Drummond sees no progress in his rating, which makes sense coming off a ho-hum season with the Pistons. Those are some takeaways from the few NBA2K ratings we know so far courtesy of @Ronnie2K. This is the updated full list with the numbers from years past included.
August 30, 2015 | 6:11 pm EDT Update
Dwight still will command a $100 million contract or more from someone as the salary cap climbs to dizzying heights. As much as the Rockets might want Howard to sign a short-term deal, they probably have no choice but to pay up to avoid putting him in play.
When he went on O’Neal’s “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” which will be available Monday, Bryant recalled how vicious some of their attacks were against each other. “When you say it at the time, you actually mean it,” Bryant said. “And then when you get older, you have more perspective, you’re like, ‘Holy . . . I was an idiot as a kid.’ To me, the most important thing is you keep your mouth shut. There’s no need to go to the press. You keep it internal. “We have our arguments and our disagreements. But I think . . . having our debates within the press was something I wished would been avoided.”
O’Neal, 43, began the podcast by saying it was “time to clear the air” about their relationship. “I just want people to know that I don’t hate you, I know you don’t hate me. I call it today a ‘work beef,’ is what we had,” said O’Neal, who retired after the 2010-11 season. “I was young, you was young. But then as I look at it, we won three [championships] out of four so I don’t really think a lot was done wrong. So I just wanted to clear the air and let everybody know that, no, I don’t hate you. We had a lot of disagreements, we had a lot of arguments. But I think it fueled us both.”
Bryant was 21 at the time, but he wasn’t going to back down to the 7-foot-1, 330-pound O’Neal. “In ’99, I think Shaq realized that this kid is really competitive and he’s a little crazy,” said Bryant, who is heading into what could be his final NBA season. “And I realized that I probably had a couple of screws loose because I nearly got into a fistfight and I actually was willing to get into a fight with this man. I went home and I was like, ‘Dude, I’ve either got to be the dumbest or the most courageous kid on the face of the Earth.'”
“That just showed me, ‘You know what, this kid ain’t going to back down to nobody,'” O’Neal said. “Kobe seen me punk everybody in the league. So when this kid would stand up every day [to me], I’m like, ‘This kid ain’t going to back down.’ I knew then, if I’m down by one and I kick it out to someone, he’s going to shoot it and he’s going to make it.” Both Bryant and O’Neal laughed. “He was either going to beat the . . . out of me or I was going to get it done,” Bryant said. “I was comfortable with either one.”
O’Neal said Lakers coach Phil Jackson “never” played favorites between the two players. “He was really fair,” O’Neal said. “He only got fed up one time and he came in and said, ‘Both of ya’ll need to cut it out.’ And that’s the only thing he said.”
Congratulations are in order for NBA player Russell Westbrook and his college sweetheart Nina Earl – the couple has officially wed, his rep exclusively confirms to PEOPLE. Westbrook and Earl, who met while at UCLA playing for the school’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, respectively, tied the knot in an outdoor ceremony at the famed Beverly Hills Hotel on Saturday.
August 30, 2015 | 2:15 pm EDT Update
The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings are strong under consideration for Moreland, sources said, and their front offices expect the 6-foot-10 forward to settle upon a destination once the final offers are presented. The Kings waived Moreland on July 29 before his contract guarantee date for the 2015-16 season.
The Clippers are dangling former Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford but want the right return. Crawford’s shooting dropped off last season and he missed a significant amount of time with a calf injury. But at age 35, Crawford could still help a contending team. He is still among the league’s more prolific scorers.
Of note is that Upshaw does strongly imply he will go to camp with the Lakers. Also of note is his confirmation there is no deal with the team as of yet though he does “know (he) will be a Laker” if he “does the right things; does what (he) needs to do.”
It’s ironic that Olshey fired assistant coach Kim Hughes for intimating in an interview before free agency began that Aldridge was leaving Portland, when it appeared the Trail Blazers were preparing for that possibility all along. As last season progressed, it became apparent Aldridge was leaving after nine years with the team. “We had a lot of veteran free agents, [but our offseason plan] was all based on LaMarcus’s decision,” Olshey said. “We had brought some guys in prior to July 3 when LaMarcus informed us he wasn’t coming back, that we felt could play either way — they could be really good additions to our current group or they could be guys we could move in another direction. We were preparing for this opportunity. We were kind of trying to play both ends against the middle and then LaMarcus informed us he wasn’t coming back, so we went full bore with guys in the same career arc as Damian Lillard.
So essentially, the Magic gave Harkless to the Blazers for nothing. The former 15th overall pick is looking to atone for a pair of disappointing seasons as he joins a team that’s rebuilding with youth after the departure of LaMarcus Aldridge. “Mo was very high on our board a few years ago in the draft,” Portland general manager Neil Olshey said. “We were excited about him. He has a lot of potential. He fits our model right now; he’s an emerging young player. He’s got a lot of talent. “We have a lot of faith in our player development staff and our coaches that guys hit their ceilings, and we know Mo’s not even close to his ceiling at this point. He’s going to get a great opportunity with us to be the player we loved coming out of the draft.”
Colangelo said he received e-mails and text messages from Team USA players thanking him for the August camp in Las Vegas. “What we’re experiencing is something very, very special,” Colangelo said. “It’s a good position to be in, but there’s a responsibility to maintain and keep it going in the right direction. For now, things couldn’t be better. We’re in a countdown and the variable for us will be before the selection process — we hope and pray there aren’t injuries to take people out of it automatically. “These guys all want to be a part of it and they understand there’s going to be a certain amount of turnover each competition. It’s a very elite group who eventually gets selected.”
“We are going to select our 12 members of the squad probably in June, before we even go to camp. We don’t want players to feel embarrassed that they were cut or weren’t one of the final selections. “Some guys have said to me, ‘What do I have to do to make this team?’ I said, ‘All you’ve got to do is have the best year you’ve ever had with your team. That’s what you need to do.’ So it’s incentive for all the players on our national team roster to have great years. That’s good for the [NBA].”
August 30, 2015 | 12:10 pm EDT Update
How does it feel to have your contract settled and the security of knowing where you’re going to be? Anthony Davis: It feels real good. I knew I was going back to New Orleans. I love the city, love what the team is doing and I have faith in the coaching staff and my teammates. It was an easy decision for me.