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December 14, 2019 | 7:29 pm UTC Update
December 14, 2019 | 7:22 pm UTC Update

Love, Thompson on the trading block?

The Cavs are open for business, and that’s no surprise. The have seven players with expiring contracts, and they’re trying to recoup assets they lost during the LeBron James-era title chases. If you’ve paid attention, they did the same last season. Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson are veterans who could be on the move if the deal is right.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 214 more rumors
DeMar DeRozan’s name pops up often in possible trade talks with the Magic. DeRozan is owed $27.7 million next season, though it’s a player option. The Spurs don’t normally make in-season trades, but given where they are, this might be the time to move DeRozan. It’s a new era in San Antonio. R.C. Buford has turned over operations to new general manager Brian Wright, who is running the show and thinking about the future for a franchise that has been a playoff mainstay for two-plus decades.
NBA player Khris Middleton and UnitedHealthcare gave every student at a Milwaukee elementary school a brand new coat for the winter. A $22,000 UnitedHealthcare grant was presented to the Dreambuilders Foundation to fund the purchase of the winter items. The coat giveaway was part of Middleton’s 12 days of Khrismas, a holiday initiative to perform 12 different acts of kindness and give back to different communities.
12 mins ago via WTKR
December 14, 2019 | 6:51 pm UTC Update
As Cleveland Cavaliers head coach John Beilein was about to give his view of a heated exchange with Tristan Thompson during the team’s overtime win in San Antonio, Thompson wrapped up his post-shootaround on-court workout session, walked toward the other end of the floor and overheard the line of questioning. Thompson stopped. And then gave his coach a big hug. “You know I love this guy,” Thompson said Saturday morning at Fiserv Forum, his first comments since getting benched in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Storyline: Cleveland Cavaliers Turmoil?
The incident between Beilein and Thompson took place late in the third quarter Thursday night. Following Matthew Dellavedova’s steal, Thompson received a pass and threw down a two-handed breakaway dunk that put the Cavs ahead by nine. But as the Spurs called timeout and players sauntered toward the bench, Thompson was still fuming. Dellavedova, one of Thompson’s longest-tenured teammates, tried to restrain the veteran. But it didn’t work. Thompson was seen on camera shouting something at Beilein.
Was Thompson peeved at Beilein? “No. Not at all,” Thompson said. “I was just frustrated with how the game was going because they were going on a run and I saw the opportunity for us to get a win, especially in San Antonio. Just a little frustrated seeing the lead slip away. But coach did a great job with our second unit. They brought that energy and they were rolling and you have to keep going with those guys, the hot hand.”
Danny Green was mid-sentence in Denver when a thunderous voice howled through the locker room and interrupted his train of thought. It came from LeBron James who was sitting at his locker. He’d finished his postgame interviews but had yet to shower because his eyes were glued to his phone. “Bronny did something good,” said Green, who couldn’t see him but made a correct assumption. It was Sierra Canyon’s boys’ basketball home opener.
On Saturday, he’ll get a chance to see one in person for the first time when Sierra Canyon takes on James’ alma mater of St. Vincent-St. Mary high school in Columbus, Ohio. The game is set to tip off at 5:30 p.m. PST. “If you ask me what’s been the only sucky thing about this season so far is that my son has played like six games into his freshman year and I haven’t seen one,” James said.
James planned to fly to Columbus from Miami on Saturday morning, where the Lakers beat the Heat 113-110 on Friday night. He then planned to fly to Atlanta on Saturday night to meet his team for their Sunday game against the Hawks. “We sacrifice a lot in this profession, in terms of the family time and the things we miss out on with our kids,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “I’m definitely happy for him, that he’ll be able to do that.”
December 14, 2019 | 5:51 pm UTC Update
“It’s funny how everyone talks about these back-to-backs and they’re making it better and then they do this,” Rivers said. “It’s the exact opposite of what everyone said they’re trying to do. And then you have the Doris Burkes of the world complaining about guys’ load management and then the network they work on are the ones that are changing the game times.”
“We’re talking about trying to keep players out of harm’s way, and it’s the exact opposite of what we’re doing,” Rivers said. “If you play at 7 you shouldn’t play before 7 the next [day]. I’ve always said that. This is like a 22-hour time change difference and plus we have to travel. So it’s really a tough one but no one’s going to feel sorry for us tomorrow, I can guarantee you that.”
Jamal Crawford, the NBA’s three-time sixth man of the year, played for the Clippers under both regimes. He sent WUSA9 a video Monday thanking Ballmer for not just his generosity but his social conscience. “You’ve always cared about the right things in life,” Crawford says into his iPad camera. “Even as the years went on, you didn’t just care about things pertaining to what your interests might be. You care about everybody, and that says a lot. Keep doing the work you’re doing and I’m proud to call you a friend.”
In a phone interview with BET on Friday (Dec. 13), Watson, who said he’s “been doing things in the [Kansas City] community since 2001” when he was first drafted to the NBA, confirmed his generous offer to the Lamb family. “It’s the first time I ever came across a situation like this and it moved me because we’ve been seeing this across the country and to have it happen in your own backyard and it gets notoriety [in the media] it moved me because a lot of times you don’t hear about it, you just gotta get word of mouth in the community,” he told BET.
2 hours ago via BET
December 14, 2019 | 5:06 pm UTC Update
TMZ Sports spoke with the ex-NY star about the coaching vacancy … and, while he lists off a number of ex-Knicks who are qualified for the gig, Ewing ain’t one of them. Why?? “Ya gotta be a different type of coach than Patrick,” Oak tells us. “I think he tried before and they didn’t hire him. So, I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
December 14, 2019 | 4:36 pm UTC Update
Chandler, 32, says this has been the most challenging stretch of an 11-year career. Tougher than the adjustments he had to make during his rookie season in 2007-08. More frustrating than missing the entire 2015-16 season with a torn labrum. More trying than being traded. At one point during his suspension, Chandler admits, he contemplated retiring from the NBA altogether. “You start to think about, ‘Is it really worth it?'” Chandler says. “Not because you don’t want to play, but because you’re in a dark place.”
Storyline: Wilson Chandler Suspension
On the phone was the league office, notifying Chandler he had tested positive for Ipamorelin, a growth hormone that has been on the NBA’s list of banned substances since 2016. Chandler had spent the summer rehabbing from a quadriceps injury sustained during the 2018-19 season. During his treatment, Chandler said, his personal physician gave him “small doses” of the drug. He added that neither he nor his doctor was aware he was taking a banned substance. “I was trying to get healthy, and I took something I didn’t know was a bad substance,” Chandler said. “I felt a lot of shame.”
The pass was swatted away, Antetokounmpo fouled out and the Greeks eventually lost 79-76. The man who swatted that alley-oop away and looked over Antetokounmpo as his team’s hopes slipped away that day? That’s right: Bruno Caboclo. After the Bucks’ 127-114 win in Memphis on Friday night, Antetokounmpo recalled a conversation he had with former Kings forward and Greek teammate Georgios Papagiannis after that September game. “Oh, yeah. I marked this game,” Antetokounmpo said. “When we lost to Brazil, (Papagiannis) told me he’s playing for Memphis. And I was like, ‘OK, cool. Watch the game.’”
Besides it being an opportunity to get the bad taste out of his mouth from Thursday’s failures, DeRozan gets to check off another country. “It’s something not everyone gets to experience,” he said of playing outside the United States. “I had a chance to play in London (while with Toronto), so to come here and add Mexico to my résumé is definitely great. I tell all the young guys to just soak it in and enjoy it.”
“The Spurs are very popular here in Mexico, especially with all the times they were here before and all the times Manu was here. Fans loved him. But even if he isn’t here, the fans still follow the Spurs and are loyal to them.” For coach Gregg Popovich, it’s even more than that. “The culture we have in San Antonio is very similar,” he said. “Coming to Mexico City doesn’t feel all that different than home.”
The Suns wear Noches Éne•Bé•A Nike City Edition uniforms with “Los Suns” across the chest and “Somos PHX” near the size tag at the bottom of the jersey. Booker would like to lean into that by learning to speak Spanish. “I have a five-year goal that’s definitely on there,” Booker said. “I’ve talked to my teammate Tyler Johnson about it. We talked about maybe getting a tutor that can be on the planes with us or something like that. It’s definitely something that I want to do. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but that’s the goal.
Melvin Booker got to break a sweat on a few NBA teams but mostly played overseas in Turkey, Russia and Italy. Gutierrez allowed Booker, then 12, to visit his father one spring break in Milan, where the son played one-on-one with a future pro in Danilo Gallinari and showed the potential of being a special player. Eventually, Melvin ended his career to return home to coach his high school team and focus on his son. He convinced Gutierrez and Devin on a move to Mississippi before his sophomore year in high school so that he could be trained and prepared to play at a big-time college. “Letting Devin leave Michigan was by far the hardest decision of my life. I still have mixed feelings about it,” Gutierrez wrote. “Division I colleges were already pursuing him. Since Melvin was playing basketball overseas most of his life, the one-on-one that he got with his father was good for him.”
What’s it like being back on the bench? Williams: I do feel a level of unspeakable gratitude that I can’t put into words that I get a chance to do it again. It’s going to sound weird, but I want to do it again because I know it’s not for me anymore. It’s for others. Like I really want to see Devin [Booker] become an All-Star. I want to see Deandre [Ayton] be consistent and become an All-Star. I want to see Mr. Sarver looked at differently.
You two are now the only black GM-coach duo in the league. What are your thoughts on that? Jones: For me, I know that I’m a role model and I’m blessed to be in this position. And I know that a lot of people look at my opportunity and my success as kind of a light, a positive sign that there is a lot of balance and diversity at every level in the NBA. Not just coaches and players, but also to management. So I’m prideful. I have a lot of pride in the fact that I have accomplished it, but I really don’t think about it much. I think about the team and our unique situation more than the global perspective.
Storyline: Suns Front Office
But behind Ujiri, Webster has watched, learned — and risen to the point of being a key piece of the Raptors NBA championship. Webster will bristle at that description, but it’s true. If Ujiri is the ship captain, Webster is the navigator. “Bobby is making a lot of the decisions in terms of everything they do,” says one NBA player agent who works closely with the Raptors. “Masai is the lead role and the face of the program, and obviously very involved… but Bobby is the driving force, at least for me, for a lot of the decisions they make.”
Even though Ujiri wanted Webster for his experience with the NBA’s new salary cap rules, Webster wasn’t content with that job alone. He could have done that anywhere — back at the league’s head office, he was basically doing it for every team. If Webster was going to leave New York, he wanted more than a job: he wanted an education. He wanted to learn how a team was run on the inside. He wanted to scout, he wanted to deal with coaches, he wanted to interact with the analytics staff. Ujiri agreed. If Webster provided his salary cap insights, Ujiri assured him that he could work on whatever else he wanted. He even let Webster make up his own job title. He settled on “vice president of basketball management and strategy.”
The incoming G League team will test the possibility of establishing a full-time NBA franchise here if the league were to ever expand. “It’s certainly something that we’ve talked about in the past,” Adam Silver said in the press conference. He clarified that the league is not “in expansion mode” right now, and that the G League team would exist on its own merits to first and foremost help further grow basketball in the country. It’s impossible not to think about the possibility, though. “This kind of initiative for us with the G League team always helps all the variables that could be used precisely for this type of analysis,” Raul Zarraga told The Athletic.
Storyline: G League Expansion
“It’s important to understand, in Mexico, that we have a lot of fans of basketball, and we will always be looking for alternatives that will help them enjoy the basketball,” he said. “It’s not all about putting the games on TV. It’s that they need to touch, feel, breathe the basketball. And this is exactly what we are offering them.” Zarraga said there are 20 million NBA fans in Mexico, which could be called a good start for a country that has about 130 million people in total. It’s completely conceivable how this new G League franchise, which is partnering with a local team called Capitanes, could boost the sport and Mexico’s own first league, Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional. The country’s passion for the sport will need to continue before serious talks about putting a franchise here would even make sense.
December 14, 2019 | 2:17 pm UTC Update
Dallas was repeatedly linked to Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, who could’ve become free agents in 2012 but opted in. They finally hit the market in 2013, but once again spurned the Mavericks. Paul re-signed with the Clippers, and Howard left the Lakers for the Rockets. Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated: “I really think that they, Chris and Dwight, basically wink, wink said they were going to Dallas, from what I’ve heard, and that Dwight backed out.” “Word on the street. But we hear a lot of stories. That’s one story I’ve heard.”
After last season, Sexton re-watched tape of all 82 games from beginning to end. Then he watched them again. He took notes on what he did well and what needed to be improved. He got frustrated seeing all his mistakes, whether it was unnecessary turnovers or botched layups. He studied his tendencies on defense and how they could be adjusted. Everything was recorded and stored away to be addressed in the ensuing months. He would get up at 6:30 each morning, eat breakfast and head straight to the gym to hoop. From there, he’d hit the weights and transition into some agility stuff. At night, he’d always return to shoot more. “I had to make sure that I was polished,” Sexton says. “I had to correct the things that I needed to.”
5 hours ago via SLAM