Monday, 17 November 2014

Adidas' new NBA Christmas uniform gimmick does not include sleeves





Daily fantasy basketball: LeBron James, Rajon Rondo solid investments

(Mark L. Baer, USA TODAY Sports)

After a light Sunday slate, the action picks up Monday with nine games on the schedule. However, a few of the top performers draw tough defensive match ups, and a result, fantasy owners have to be careful about which high-priced options are worth the cost. In the end, there are some mid-priced options that may offer more bang for the buck.
– Posterize your friends and take their money by beating them in FantasyScore daily fantasy basketball

Stud of the day

F LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Denver Nuggets
$9,100 salary | 18.2% of cap
James is averaging 31.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.6 assists over his last five games, and he should deliver another big performance Monday against a Denver defense that is allowing the fourth-most points in the NBA

Start ‘em

G Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets
$4,300 salary | 8.6% of cap
Chalmers has averaged 16.5 points and 5.3 assists in 34 minutes of action over his last four games, and he appears to have passed Norris Cole as the top option at point guard. He should post another solid line against a Brooklyn team that struggles to slow down opposing point guards.
G Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics vs. Phoenix Suns
$7,600 salary | 15.2% of cap
He is nearly averaging a triple-double this season, and he should stuff the stat sheet again Monday in what should be a high-scoring game between two teams that rank among the worst in the NBA in points allowed.
F Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Clippers
$5,900 salary | 11.8% of cap
Derrick Rose is questionable, and even if he does play, Butler has a great matchup against a Clippers defense that struggles to defend athletic wings. Butler is averaging 37.6 fantasy points, and his breakout season should continue Monday.
C Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons vs. Orlando Magic
$6,000 salary | 12.0% of cap
Andre Drummond can’t stay out of foul trouble, and Monroe just keeps delivering double-doubles. The matchup against Orlando is favorable, and Monroe should put up numbers on par with the higher-priced centers on the board Monday.

Sit ‘em

G Monta Ellis, Dallas Mavericks at Charlotte Hornets
$5,700 salary | 11.4% of cap
Ellis doesn’t do much other than score, and he draws a rough matchup against Lance Stephenson on Monday. The Hornets are allowing the second-fewest points per game to opposing shooting guards this season.
C Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies
$7,600 salary | 15.2% of cap
The Grizzlies defense is allowing the fewest points per game in the NBA, and thanks to Marc Gasol, they are particularly tough in the paint. Heading into Monday’s matchup, no team has been better at shutting down opposing centers.

Kobe Bryant explains why he shoots so much: 'We can't just sit back and watch crime happen'

Mark J. Terrill/AP
The Los Angeles Lakers are 1-9 – the worst start in team history – but Kobe Bryant is still second in the league in scoring. The 36-year-old dropped 44 points on the Warriors Sunday on 15-of-34 shooting, bringing his field goal percentage to 37%. Bryant broke the NBA record for most missed field goals in NBA history last week, but according to Bryant, he simply can’t sit back and watch crime happen.

After the Lakers lost to Golden State, Bryant compared taking so many shots to fighting crime.
“Obviously I’d rather get guys involved early, but, you know… how many blocks, a purse gets stolen in front of you how many blocks are you going to let the guy run? You can chase him down, keep him in sight yourself and wait for the authorities to get there, or you can decide to let him run and wait for the authorities to get there. It’s a tough thing…. I’m just trying to keep us in the game. I’d rather not have to do that, but we can’t just sit back and watch crime happen.”
Kobe’s probably getting sick of answering the same questions after every game, but he keeps delivering astounding answers.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Phil Jackson calls out NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for criticizing the Knicks

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been getting positive reviews from players and fans alike after taking over for David Stern, but Silver’s comments about the New York Knicks seem to have rubbed Knicks president Phil Jackson the wrong way. After the Knicks lost to the Pistons last week to drop to 2-3, Silver jokingly noted that the Knicks were still getting used to Jackson’s signature triangle offense.

Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

“Clearly, they’re still learning the triangle. I still don’t understand it. But they’re learning it. But that’s what the game is all about.”
Since Silver made that remark, the Knicks have lost three straight. On Monday, Jackson said that he didn’t think Silver’s joke was very funny.
“I wasn’t so humored by the commissioner actually jumping in on top of that, too,” he said. “He doesn’t need to get in on that. There’s enough focus on [the] triangle. It’s not anything. It’s a system. It’s simple basketball. Just play the game. We’re over the triangle; let’s get to business and play the right way.”
Silver and Jackson have a bit of a history. Silver fined the Knicks $25,000 for tampering in June, after Jackson publicly made comments about then-Oklahoma City guard Derek Fisher, who would go on to become the Knicks’ head coach.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi Leonard: 'Pretty sure I'll be in a Spurs jersey' for life

LOS ANGELES — If the day eventually comes when this is a normal night for Kawhi Leonard, all will be well between him and the San Antonio Spurs.
The ball coming his way on offense, this time to the tune of a career-high 28 points (on 10-for-18 shooting) in this 89-85 win Monday against the Los Angeles Clippers that seemed so improbable until he took over. His defense as dominant as ever, never more than the late steal of Chris Paul that epitomized the uniqueness of his two-way talents.
Yes, it's safe to say, whatever ripple effect may have existed after the Spurs chose not to give Leonard an extension by the Oct. 31 deadline was nowhere to be found.
It was not only a case of Leonard proving his worth, but also how Spurs coach Gregg Popovich made it abundantly clear that he fully plans on following through on his long-held claim that the 23-year-old is the future of the franchise. As Popovich shared afterward, San Antonio had never relied on the 2014 NBA Finals MVP quite like this.
"We ran more plays for him tonight than I ever have in his career," Popovich said afterward. "That's the plan. We've got to start giving him the ball. You know, he's the future. I don't think Timmy (Duncan) and Manu (Ginobili) are going to play any more than maybe six or seven more years. So we've got to let somebody else do something."

Friday, 15 August 2014

DeMarcus Cousins injured at USA Basketball practic



CHICAGO -- DeMarcus Cousins is down, not out.
The latest USA Basketball is day to day after injuring his right knee when Anthony Davis fell on him as they dove for a loose ball near the end of a scrimmage Thursday.
Tests showed no structural damage, but USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said even before the results that he didn't expect Cousins to play in Saturday's game against Brazil.

USA Basketball moves forward after Paul George injury



CHICAGO -- When Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay got the call asking him to join USA Basketball, one of the people who pushed hardest for him to go was Vivek Ranadive, the Kings' owner.
"Guys are going to get hurt," Gay said Thursday. "You might as well go out here and play for something."
Paul George's gruesome injury during a scrimmage in Las Vegas was followed a few days later by Kevin Durant's surprise withdrawal.
But one had nothing to do with the other, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo insisted, and players said they never wavered in their commitment for the FIBA World Cup.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Andrew Wiggins told Kansas coach Bill Self he wanted to be traded

Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports
Playing alongside LeBron James seems like it would be any basketball player’s dream, but not for No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins said last week in an awkward SportsCenter interview that he just wants to “play for a team that wants me,” and his wish is being granted now that the Cavaliers and Timberwolves have agreed to a deal that will send Kevin Love to Cleveland and Wiggins to Minnesota. Although Wiggins maintained that he believed the Cavaliers wanted him on the team, his former coach Bill Self revealed that Wiggins told him he wanted to leave Cleveland.
Via the AP:
“When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, “I hope I get traded,” Self said. “And I’m like, ‘No you don’t.’ And he said, “Coach, I do. It’s better for me, knowing my personality and what I need to do, to go somewhere where I’m forced to be something as opposed to going in there where they’re going to be patient with me and I’m going to be a piece.”
According to Self, Wiggins would rather be the No. 1 guy on a rebuilding team than be an asset on a championship contender, or a sidekick to James. Wiggins is moving to an ideal situation in Minnesota — he doesn’t have to be a shooting guard, has a sensational point guard in Ricky Rubio, and won’t face the overwhelming expectations that he would in Cleveland. NBA rookies may not believe Wiggins will be the Rookie of the Year, but he’s bringing a star mentality to Minnesota.

David Stern says world was 'horribly unfair' to LeBron after 'The Decision'

Ed Szczepanski, USA TODAY Sports

In a recent Q&A with, former NBA Commissioner David Stern said that he “thought the world was being horribly unfair” to LeBron James after “The Decision” in 2010, when James revealed he would be leaving the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.
Now that James is heading back to Cleveland, it’s water under the bridge, but Stern still feels people reacted poorly to the last decision.
From the Q&A with’s David Aldridge:
I told LeBron, I thought that regardless of how poorly executed The Decision was, I thought the world was being horribly unfair to him. He was entitled to make that decision and he was entitled to make the decision he made. If it makes him happy, then I’m happy. I think it’s great. The additional dividend being, apparently, he has been much appreciated by the fans of the world for his decision to return to Cleveland. And I think that’s wonderful. And I think that it demonstrates how embedded the NBA is into the psyche of not just America, but maybe even the world.
Stern’s right that the world was a bit unfair to James after “The Decision,” but just dismissing how “poorly executed” it was sort of misses the entire point. The biggest problem with “The Decision” wasn’t that James decided to go to Miami. The biggest problem with “The Decision” was “The Decision.” It was an entertainment spectacle masquerading as a charity event that yanked out the heart of every Cleveland sports fan.
James had every right to go to Miami, and if he had executed the 2010 decision like he did this one, it wouldn’t have gotten the reaction it did. Or, not quite the reaction it did.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Jason Sudeikis returns as NBC's soccer-savvy football coach Ted Lasso

When we last saw Coach Ted Lasso, he was making the transition from American football to the European version. It was all part of NBC’s promotion of its Premier League coverage. In this newest installment, Coach Lasso has been fired from his coaching job in the Premier League and is relegated to doing television work and coaching the St. Katherine’s Fighting Owls — not that he knows what relegated means. Our favorite moments from the new spot are listed below.

1. “I’m LeVar Burton from Star Trek.”

 Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 10.34.30 AM

2. Beers with Timmy Howard.


Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 10.37.08 AM

3. Rebecca Lowe accurately guesses Ted’s nickname.


Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 10.35.14 AM

4. The keys to being a good soccer team “1. Play physical; 2. Give 100%; 3. Be sponsored by a Middle Eastern Airline.”

 Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 10.39.30 AM

Tim Hardaway Jr. thinks a second-round draft pick is a key to the Knicks' success

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
When Carmelo Anthony agreed to come back to the Knicks for the 2014-15 season after exploring his options, his message to his teammates was concise and direct.
“He just said it was time to work,” said Tim Hardaway Jr. “And that’s when everyone knew he was on a mission.”
If there is a way best to define the Knicks 2013-14 season, it might just be in what happened after it was all over. A new coach. The introduction of Phil Jackson. The departure of Tyson Chandler. And the long-running questions about exactly what went wrong last season and how much of it was a lack of chemistry, options, leadership or just plain bad luck.
“It was a lot of injuries that happened last year,” Hardaway Jr. said. “We didn’t really click on all cylinders … I would never say we never played hard, I mean we tried our hardest when we were out there, [but] some nights the ball just wasn’t going in. Some nights just weren’t our night.”
The Knicks also always seemed to be missing something in the team’s chemistry, often resulting in a frustrated Anthony and frustrated Chandler. In addition to working on his own game, Hardaway Jr. pointed to the Knicks second-round draft pick, Cleanthony Early, as a guy that could bring a change to the franchise from his first time on the court. It was a heralded draft pick — at 6-8, Early proved to be a dominating presence on the court in college, helping to lead Wichita State to surprising success especially in the regular season. Hardaway Jr. said he’d watched Early during his college years and thought he was one of the best players in the NCAA last season.
Early might also be the perfect anecdote to some of the effort problems that appeared to plague the Knicks at times last year, when photos of Anthony on the bench shaking his head at defensive lapses seemed at times to define everything about the team.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports Images

“Cleanthony is just the type of ballplayer that we need, that the city of New York needs. He’s from here — he’s from the Bronx — and he’s just ready to go. You could see in the summer league,” Hardaway Jr. said. “[...] He’s got a sense of urgency and grittiness [that he'll bring to] our team to come out and do whatever he can to help us win.”
Hardaway Jr, who spoke to For The Win as part of a Citi Kids program at Citi Field, where he talked to a group of kids from local YMCAs about leadership, drive and determination. It’s three qualities that he’s tried to embody this summer while playing in the summer league, with the USA Basketball select team and on his own. Through USA Basketball, he got to know some of the other young NBA standouts including Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris and Draymond Green. When asked about Paul George’s leg break, he cringed and shook his head.
“That’s really — I wouldn’t say a close friend — but a guy I always talk to when I see him,” he said. “Hopefully he gets a speedy recovery because it’s not going to be the same without him on the court.”

Agent: Ray Allen hasn't decided if he'll play next season



Ray Allen still might return for a 19th season in the NBA. He also might retire. But he has not officially made a decision yet, according to agent Jim Tanner.
Allen has said publicly that he plans to wait until at least September to decide if he'll return for the 2014-15 season, and Tanner reiterated that stance Saturday evening.
"As Ray has previously stated, he is taking this time to make a decision whether or not he will play next season," Tanner said in a statement obtained by NBA SPORT UPDATES. "Any reports otherwise are false."
Earlier Saturday, reported that Allen has privately told those close to him that he will put off retirement and play this coming season.
Allen turned 39 on July 20, but the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers could be a coveted free-agent addition to any title contender.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Paul Walker (1973-2013): ‘Fast & Furious’ Star Dies in Car Crash


Actor Paul Walker, known worldwide for the Fast & Furious franchise, died Saturday after a fiery car crash in Santa Clarita, CA., near Los Angeles. He was 40.
The crash occurred at 3:30 pm, when a Porsche Carrera GT hit a light post and was engulfed by flames. A statement in the actor’s Facebook page said Walker was a passenger in a friend’s car. At the time of the accident, Walker and his friend had left a fundraising event for Walker’s charity, Reach Out Worldwide, which he founded in 2010 to help those affected by natural disasters. In that same year, Walker flew to Chile and Haiti to take part of humanitarian relief efforts after those countries were hit by devastating earthquakes.
On early Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported the police was looking into whether speed had been a factor in the crash.
This was a busy year for Walker, who released Fast & Furious 6 (the franchise’s top-grossing of them all, with almost $800 million at the box office), Pawn Shop Chronicles, and the straight-to-DVD/Blu-ray Vehicle 9, which only opened in Bahrein. His next movie, Hours (opening December 13), deals with a man trapped in a New Orleans hospital when Hurricane Katrina hits, leaving him to care for his newborn after the baby’s mother passed during birth, and in 2014 he’ll be seen on Fast & Furious 7 (still in production) and Brick Mansions, a remake of the 2004 French film District B13. He was reportedly going to appear as Agent 47 in the reboot of 2007′s Hitman.
Social media was inundated by messages from fans and co-workers, but perhaps none more moving than that of Fast & Furious co-star Tyrese Gibson.
“My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real,” Gibson wrote on his Instagram page on Saturday. “Father God I pray that you send clarity over this cause I just don’t understand. My heart hurts it’s broken no one can convince me that this is real…. Prayer warriors please pray real hard for his only child, his daughter and family…#HeartOfAnAngel13YrsFamilyForeverWeJustCelebreatedYour40thBirthday….. My God… My God… I can’t believe I’m writing this”
Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter Meadow.

Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett may be better off with Timberwolves

LeBron James is the ideal teammate, but ...
... Andrew Wiggins has a team that wants him ... Anthony Bennett might start. ... Wiggins won't be forced to play shooting guard. ... Bennett can test himself in different roles at either forward spot. ... Wiggins and Bennett won't face immediate title expectations. ... Wiggins and Bennett can draw their own hype and step out of the shadows.
The Cleveland Cavaliers agreed to trade Wiggins and Bennett along with a future first-round pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for All-Star power Kevin Love, NBASPORTUPDATES reportedThursday. In doing so, they freed the No. 1 picks of the past two NBA drafts (Wiggins in June, Bennett in 2013) to start anew.

USA basketball point guard competition a tight one

LAS VEGAS – Damian Lillard sized up Bradley Beal on the left wing on Wednesday, the shot clock winding down as his jab step rose up.
It came in a flash, the right foot of the Portland Trailblazers point guard lashing out at the Washington Wizards shooting guard and forcing him onto his heels. With Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo just a few feet away – his legs crossed at center court as he sat in his folding chair – Lillard rose up through that space he had created for a 3-pointer that left the many onlookers inside UNLV's Mendenhall Center amazed and entertained. And this, mind you, is the guy who may not even make this star-studded team.
The Team USA roster that currently stands at 18 players will eventually be trimmed down to 12 for the FIBA Basketball World Cup that begins on Aug. 30 in Bilbao, Spain, and no spot is more loaded than the point guard position. From Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) to Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), John Wall (Washington Wizards) and Lillard, this elite competition for limited spots is a necessary evil that comes with having so much talent.

Kevin Durant pulls out of Team USA for FIBA World Cup

Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant will not play for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup later this summer in Spain, citing mental and physical exhaustion.
"This was an extremely difficult decision as I take great pride in representing our country," Durant said in a statement. "I know that I owe it to my USA Basketball teammates to be totally invested in the experience. After going through training camp with USAB, I realized I could not fulfill my responsibilities to the team from both a time and energy standpoint."I need to take a step back and take some time away, both mentally and physically in order to prepare for the upcoming NBA season. I will be rooting for USAB and look forward to future opportunities with them."

Friday, 1 August 2014

Pistons' Drummond thinks Greg Monroe is coming home

LAS VEGAS — Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe had dates in Sin City this week.
Drummond is one of a group of players on the UNLV campus fighting for a roster spot on the U.S. team that will compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup this month in Spain.
Monroe, the Detroit Pistons' union representative, was in attendance when the players' union elected a new executive director this week.
Drummond was there as well, so it really wasn't the time for a sales job. But it wasn't needed — at least not from Drummond.
The second-year center has been vocal about wanting Monroe, a restricted free agent, to return to the Pistons.
And Drummond said Thursday that he is pretty certain that Monroe's contract impasse will be resolved and Monroe will be wearing a Pistons uniform next season.

NBA considering a change in draft lottery

PHILADELPHIA – The NBA Competition Committee has yet to determine whether it will recommend altering the draft lottery as early as next season in an attempt to dissuade teams like the Philadelphia 76ers from deliberately fielding a non-competitive roster in order to acquire a high draft pick, a change reportedly being pursued by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, according to a league source.
But any ultimate decision will be made by the NBA Board of Governors, which could vote to redistribute the odds of landing the top draft pick at their next meeting in October.
The 76ers, entering the second year of a rebuilding program under general manager Sam Hinkie after being mired in mediocrity for most of the last decade, voiced strong opposition to such a change during league meetings in Las Vegas earlier this month, according to an ESPN report.
The 76ers did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday, but a team source said it's "a stretch" to say the club "strongly" opposes changing the lottery odds. "But no team ... that is unlikely to compete for the playoffs would want this. Right?"
The proposal "gives more incentive for mid-level teams ... to not stretch for the playoffs," the source said. That's a "tough message on parity."
Philadelphia blatantly sacrificed last season in an effort to acquire a top draft pick, stripping the roster of veteran talent and keeping rookie center Nerlens Noel, who tore an anterior cruciate ligament in February 2012, sidelined for the duration of the team's 19-63 slog, which included an NBA-record 26-game losing streak and resulted in the second-worst record in the league.
"I think the season has been a huge success for us," 76ers owner Josh Harris said in April. "All these pieces are in place to make this an elite team that will compete consistently for the NBA championship. There are no shortcuts to it. Unfortunately, it takes a long time. I'm really happy with the progress."
Hinkie appeared to double down on the tanking tactic for the upcoming season by using two lottery picks on players unable to immediately compete for the team. The 76ers selected center Joel Embiid, who is likely to miss the season with a stress fracture in his right foot, with the third overall pick and traded the 10th pick to Orlando to acquire a future first-round selection and Croatian forward Dario Saric, who is contractually obligated to play the next two seasons overseas. The 76ers also have nearly $30 million in unused salary cap space.
In March, Silver praised the 76ers' rebuilding strategy.
"It's an insult to the entire league to suggest that these guys are going out on the floor and aren't doing their very best to win games…" Silver said. "You look at any business, you look at short-term results and long-term results. And if you told a business, if somebody told you a business was going to operate on a quarter-by-quarter [basis], you'd say, 'That's not the way to operate a business.' You'd say, 'You need a strategy. You need to look at the long-term.' And I think what this organization is doing is absolutely the right thing. What they're doing is planning for the future and building an organization from the ground level up.
"And so, if you look at what's happened here over the last several years, it's badly needed," he said. "Somebody needs a plan. Somebody needs a vision to win here. And I think that's what's happening."
The lottery system was originally adopted in 1985 in response to tanking accusations and altered to encompass only the top three picks in 1987. A weighted system was instituted in 1990, and the odds have since been modified on a number of occasions.
In its current incarnation, each season the 14 non-playoff teams are given diminishing odds of acquiring one of the top three overall draft picks, with the team with the NBA's worst record receiving a 25 percent chance at landing the No. 1 overall selection.
A number of alterations have been discussed, with one proposed change reportedly providing the six worst teams equal odds of acquiring the top pick.
In May, the Cleveland Cavaliers received the top draft pick for the third time in four seasons, despite finishing with the ninth-worst record in the league and owning just a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery. The team with the worst record last won the lottery in 2004.
The competition committee will meet again in late September, followed by the board's meeting in October.
"As the NBA always does, it is taking a look at certain practices and attempting to see if they are still relevant. The Draft Lottery is one of those," a source said. "No decision has been made at this time to alter it or to leave it as is."

Dwyane Wade knew LeBron was leaving before he told him

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
When LeBron James was making his decision about the Cavaliers, he spent some time in Las Vegas with Dwyane Wade, his teammate who brought him to the Miami Heat and seems to be a close friend.
According to Wade, they made it through the whole trip without James actually telling him he what he had decided.
But in his first interview about James’ departure, Wade told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that he knew from James’ body language he was leaving.
“He called me the next day. But I knew then. Obviously he still had to say the final yay or nay, but I knew. I could tell.”
In the end though, Wade seems to have come to terms with James’ choice — even if it means the end of the Big Three.
Again, from the Sun Sentinel
“As his friend, I’m just supportive,” said Wade, who made no recruiting pitches to James. “As crazy as that might sound, I’m supportive of my friends doing what makes them happy. Obviously, same thing with him in this situation. You’ve gotta do what makes you happy — selfishly do what makes you happy. The decision to go back home was that.”

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Dante Exum thrives as 2014 NBA draft's mystery man


NEW YORK — Dante Exum knows no one knows much about him.
In fact, the Australian recited the two most common requests he's gotten over the past few months from strangers, NBA personnel and reporters alike: Could he describe his game, and could he also compare it to that of a current NBA player?
Welcome to life as the 2014 NBA draft's mystery man.
"It's funny," Exum said Wednesday. "I didn't understand it at first. It's good to be known, but it's good to be a mystery."

A convergence of factors — many unexpectedly fortuitous — have combined to create this aura surrounding a relatively unknown player. And now, many are expecting Exum to be a top-five pick in Thursday's draft.
He said Wednesday he's only worked out for three teams — the Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic, holding the second, third and fourth picks — but his agent also has been in contact with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who hold the draft's top pick. It's almost mind-boggling for an international player not yet 19 years old, someone off most everyone's radars not even 14 months ago.
To understand Exum's dramatic rise and subsequent hype, begin with two basketball events.
In April 2013, the then-17-year-old Exum put on a show at the Nike Hoop Summit in Portland, Ore., scoring 16 points and stealing some of the spotlight from the big-name players also participating in one particular game — which also featured likely top-10 picks Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle.
"(But) not a lot of people were paying attention because it looked like he was going to college," ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said earlier this week.

Jazz match Hornets' offer, bring back Gordon Hayward

The Utah Jazz weren't willing to let Gordon Hayward get away.
Nine months after failing to get an extension done with their young guard, the Jazz matched the Charlotte Hornets' four-year, $63 million offer to their restricted free agent and will now bring him back to their rebuilding team. And while it had seemed as if the 24-year-old Hayward may have been ready for a change of scenery, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, said that – while he was flattered and impressed with the Hornets' group – he's more than happy to return to Utah on this deal.
"Charlotte put a great presentation in front of (Hayward), as far as (owner) Michael Jordan and (general manager) Rich Cho and (coach) Steve Clifford; I mean they really just made a terrific impression," Bartelstein told NBASPORT UPDATES. "And you know, it's great to know the Jazz think so highly of Gordon that they want to match it. So I think it's a win-win, you know? Charlotte made an incredible impression on him, and that's why he signed with them, and it's always great to know that your team values you that they would match an offer like that.
"(Hayward is) very thankful to Charlotte, and appreciate and that won't be forgotten. For the Jazz, I think they made a strong statement about how they feel about Gordon and now he'll come and play his heart out for them as he always has."
Hayward averaged 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game last season, but the Jazz went just 25-57. Yahoo Sports first reported that the Jazz decided to match Charlotte's offer to Hayward.

Dante Exum and all, Jazz trying not to project too far

LAS VEGAS — Utah Jazz rookie guard Dante Exum turned 19 Sunday. Big man Derrick Favors celebrated his 23rd birthday Tuesday.
Point guard Trey Burke and rookie forward Rodney Hood are 21; big men Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert are 22; and guard Alec Burks turns 23 next Sunday.
Swingman Gordon Hayward, who signed a four-year, $63 million deal this month, is 24. Get him in line for an AARP card.
With all that promise on the Jazz roster, it's easy to fast forward two years and project how good they could become. But general manager Dennis Lindsey knows that's impossible.
"I've said this before: We really don't want to skip steps with any of this," Lindsey said.

Cavaliers coach David Blatt can't believe his good fortune

LAS VEGAS – Two months ago, David Blatt was on top of the world when led undermanned Maccabi Tel Aviv to stunning upsets over CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid for the Euroleague championship.
Three weeks ago, he was on top of the world when the Cleveland Cavaliers hired him as head coach, making him the first European-based person to get a head coaching job in the NBA.
CONTRACT: Why LeBron signed two-year deal with Cavaliers
HOMECOMING: LeBron to Cleveland is bigger than basketball
Three days ago, he was on top of the world when NBA superstar LeBron James announced he would return to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers.
"I've been parachuting from mountain top to mountain top in the last two months," Blatt told USA TODAY Sports.
So, who is David Blatt, the man who is going to coach LeBron James?
Blatt, who was born in 1959 in Framingham, Mass., is regarded as one the best basketball minds in the world. His journey from Framingham to Cleveland is remarkable and compelling.
He played at Princeton for legendary coach Pete Carril and embarked on a professional basketball career in Israel and then began his coaching career in Israel in 1993. He remained in Europe to coach in Israel, Russia, Italy, Turkey and Greece until the Cavs hired him.
"The Cavaliers are getting a guy who is one of the most creative coaching minds in the world," ESPN analyst and international basketball expert Fran Fraschilla said. "Most of the things that made him incredibly successful in Europe will translate to the NBA.His styles of play have varied based on the type of talent he has had."
It was that basketball mind that got the Cavaliers' attention. That is what they were looking for to lead a team desperately trying to become competitive again.
"More than anything else, the thing that spoke to us about David is his mind for the game," Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said. "He's unique. People said the hire's outside of the box. Dave is an innovator and he's somebody who's not afraid to try new things and he's somebody who has such a thorough understanding of the game from Xs and Os standpoint and human element, it was a perfect blend for us."
As a teenager, Blatt was an athlete but also participated in the choir and student government in high school. At Princeton, he studied English literature.
"I didn't grow up in a nuclear family but I was always surrounded by really good people who influenced me and then I met and became attached to different situations from different facets of life," Blatt said. "I did a lot of different things and was always finding myself in different environments and it's something I came to be comfortable with and that I liked."

Power ranking the top 5 players in the World Cup

The World Cup has been absolutely thrilling so far, and there have been tons of brilliant performances. Here are my power rankings for top 5 players in the tournament so far.

5. Guillermo Ochoa

AFP Photo

A year ago the Mexican national team was in absolute shambles. They were going through new coaches seemingly every week, and they barely qualified for the World Cup, needing the United States to help them out by beating Panama to get them a play-in game with New Zealand to qualify for Brazil. But now that they’re here…
Mexico has been a revelation, and their best player has been goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Ochoa grabbed headlines when he stonewalled an explosive Brazilian team, making several point blank saves to deny Neymar and the rest of Brazil. Ochoa is out of a contract soon — a lot of teams will be offering him big bucks to come join them.

4. James Rodriguez


James Rodriguez flew a bit under the radar heading in to this tournament. All anyone could talk about in regards to Colombia was the absence of star Radamel Falcao and how much the team would miss him.
Forget that. Colombia has been arguably the most exciting team so far this tournament, led by the playmaking brilliance of Rodriguez. He plays his club football for AS Monaco in France, so it’s rare to catch him on TV in the States. (I’d only see YouTube clips of him before this World Cup.) It’s time to get to know him. He’s been colombia best player, and easily one of the five best players so far this World Cup, logging 3 goals and 2 assists in the first three games.
Oh yeah, he’s also 22 years old.

3. Neymar


All the pressure was on Neymar heading into this World Cup. The star player on Brazil’s most promising team in years, Neymar had to deal with the weight of an excited host nation demanding a deep run.
So far, he’s been totally brilliant, scoring 4 goals  and carrying a sometimes shaky Brazil team to the top spot in Group A. Plus that hair. Oh, the hair.


2. Arjen Robben


Arjen Robben has one move. He starts out on the right, and then he cuts inside to the left. Anyone who’s ever watched Robben knows that it is his move. Every player on the field knows that it is Robben’s move. When you watch him, you scream out at the TV, “HE’S GOING TO CUT INSIDE TO HIS LEFT.”
You know he’s going to do it, the defender knows he’s going to do it, and everyone in the stadium knows he’s going to do it.
And then he does it. No one knows how. But he does it. He’s got three goals and an assist for a Dutch team that looks primed for a deep run. Fear the inside cut. It’s coming.

1. Lionel Messi



Argentina has never *really* warmed up to Lionel Messi. He left at a young age for Spain because his club team in Argentina wouldn’t help him with medical issues and the Spanish club would. He under-performed at last World Cup. Argentina has always been a Maradona nation — think of Maradona as Michael Jordan, and Messi as LeBron James, and you might get an idea what his relationship is like with his country.
Argentina needs to get over themselves. Messi has lived up to any and all hype this World Cup, scoring 4 goals in the group stage, including a stoppage time laser that catapulted them to a 1-0 victory over Iran. He’s scored big goals when he’s needed to, and the best player in the world looks to be at the top of his game.

Honorable Mentions:

Robin Van Persie, Gervinho, Karim Benzema, Enner Valencia

Dwyane Wade will stay with the Miami Heat

Free-agent guard Dwyane Wade will return to the Miami Heat, a person familiar with the deal told NBA SPORT UPDATES Sports on Tuesday.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly after the deal became official.

On Tuesday, Wade posted a photo of himself in a Heat warmup suit during the national anthem and wrote "Home is where the heart is. My Home, My City, My House. .. #HeatLifer."
There wasn't much doubt Wade would return even though his friend LeBron James decided to leave Miami for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

No guarantee Donald Sterling will be out by NBA season

LAS VEGAS -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver continued to express confidence that the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers would eventually go through, but admitted that it might not be by the start of next season.
Silver, speaking after the league's latest Board of Governor's meetings at the Wynn hotel, said the extensive legalities in the Donald Sterling saga could delay the transfer of ownership to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that was agreed upon on May 30 for a league record $2 billion.
The hearing to determine whether Donald's estranged wife, Shelly, was within her right to sell the team is currently on hold, with proceedings scheduled to continue on Monday and closing arguments set for July 28.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

NBA free agency notebook: Who got better, and who didn’t?

( Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)Opening up the remaining doors from the NBA’s Let’s Make A Deal weekend:
– Just in case this green-green-grass-of-home thing doesn’t work out, LeBron James can opt out of his Cleveland contract same time next year, and it’s a 2-year deal regardless. The stated reason for his temporary commitment, which will not quite take him to the end of the Obama administration, is that James can then sign a bigger deal with his beloved Cavaliers when the NBA’s TV contracts get renegotiated. No reason to disbelieve the man. But the last two times James was on the market, he changed markets.
– Provided it signs Dwyane Wade, Miami won’t fall off the map. The Heat kept Chris Bosh and signed Luol Deng, who is useful on many fronts. Deng might not be a King, but he did go to Duke.
– Paul Pierce left the Nets after one year and signed with the Wizards, where he can at least tell, if not show, his teammates where a championship lies. After all, if there’s one town that could use some Truth, it’s Washington, D.C.
– Optimists in Lakerland were originally figuring they would welcome James to Staples Center to join Kobe Bryant in a great renewal. These are the same people who think the Lakers will eventually wind up with Kevin Love and Kevin Durant somehow, with Mike Krzyzewski coaching and Magic Johnson as principal owner. Instead the Lakers became the receptacle for Jeremy Lin so that Houston could chase its dreams. Then they lost Pau Gasol, one of Bryant’s best friends. Their money isn’t any good these days and neither, apparently, is their pedigree.
– The Bulls were already the most likeable team in the NBA because of their commando work ethic and their refusal to acknowledge excuses. They just became more likeable with Gasol. Can you recall a better big-man passing combo than Gasol and Joakim Noah, especially since Gasol has always been at home in the low post?
– The Spurs did nothing and appear to have gained on everybody.
– And with all the talk of legends bringing it all back home, will the Wizards be tampering If they gently start reminding Durant where his district is?

Pistons land D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler

The Detroit Pistons continued their run of low-key free agent acquisitions late Sunday night, when they reached agreements with point guard D.J. Augustin and small forward Caron Butler, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
Augustin will be on the books for two years at $6 million; Butler will make $4.5 million next season with a team option for a second season.

Augustin, 26, is coming off a resurgent season with the Bulls. He excelled off the bench in scoring 14.9 points per game and shot 41.1% from the three-point line.
The six-year NBA veteran started off shaky, being cut loose by the Toronto Raptors early on but caught on with the Bulls and now joins a Pistons backcourt crowded in point guard experience.
He is an 88% free throw shooter.
Butler, 34, is a 12-year veteran and has seen better days since he was a 20-point per game scorer for the Wizards. But he will be expected to provide locker room leadership.
The Pistons are Butler's eighth team and fifth since 2010-11. He is a 43.5% shooter lifetime, with a points-per-game average just over 15 for his career.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Team USA announces training camp roster

With the FIBA World Cup in Spain six weeks away, Team USA announced its training camp roster on Monday.
There is a gold standard again for the group that's headed by national team managing director Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski, who led Team USA to gold medals in the 2008 Olympics, 2010 FIBA World Cup and the 2012 Olympics as well. This list of 19 will meet in Las Vegas for training camp from July 28 to August 1, then be whittled down to 12 for the final roster that will head to Spain. If Team USA wins gold at the World Cup, they'll receive an automatic qualification to the 2016 Olympics and won't have to take part in the 2015 World Cup.
Team USA is somewhat light at the point guard spot, in large part because Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook decided not to play for precautionary health reasons and Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul is not taking part. Both players are expected to be in the mix for 2016, and other players – such as the Washington Wizards' John Wall, as has been reported – could still be added.
Still, the reappearance of the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose will be a major point of attraction. The former MVP has played in just 49 games in the past two seasons because of devastating ACL and meniscus injuries, but appears on track to use the World Cup as the site of his highly-anticipated return. Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant became accustomed to playing without Westbrook for much of the 2013-14 season, and he'll look to lead this group again after setting a Team USA record for total points scored (153) in the 2012 Olympics.
What's more, Kevin Love finally has clarity on which team he'll be playing for in the future – at least in international play. The Minnesota Timberwolves forward is widely expected to be traded, but he'll focus on the national team challenge in these late summer months while the nonstop chatter surrounding his NBA fate surely continues. There are two new additions to this group: small forward Chandler Parsons, who is now a member of the Dallas Mavericks; and Toronto shooting guard DeMar DeRozan.
There are a number of other stars listed in the 28-man group announced in January who are not taking part, from the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James (whose international career is likely over) to the Houston Rockets' Dwight Howard to the Portland Trailblazers' LaMarcus Aldridge and the San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard. That doesn't preclude them from being on the 2016 Olympic team, however, and Leonard specifically is known to still be in that mix.
"This group possesses outstanding individual talents, while also boasting of excellent versatility and varying amounts of USA Basketball experience," said Colangelo, who has seen USA National teams compile a 62-1 record since taking charge of the USA Basketball Men's National Team program in 2005. "I am also pleased about the addition of DeMar DeRozan and Chandler Parsons to the USA National Team and to the 2014 training camp. Both played well in last summer's USA Basketball National Team mini-camp and went on to record outstanding NBA seasons.
"The Las Vegas training camp will be the start of our preparations for the World Cup, so this is a critical time for putting in place the foundation required for this USA Basketball team to be successful like its recent predecessors. This USA team will have a special opportunity to become the first USA team to repeat as world champions."

Point guards: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors; Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers; Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers; Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls.
Shooting guards: James Harden, Houston Rockets; DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors; Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards; Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks; Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors.
Small forwards: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder; Paul George, Indiana Pacers; Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz; Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks.
Power forwards: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans; Kenneth Faried, Denver Nuggets; Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers; Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves.
Centers: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings; Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons; Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans.

Chandler Parsons signs with Dallas Mavericks

The Rockets' decision was somewhat surprising, as they agreed to terms with free agent small forward Trevor Ariza Saturday and were believed to have plans of playing him with Parsons. Ariza was slated to spend most of his time at the small forward spot, with Parsons often playing the "stretch four" position in which the power forward plays on the perimeter and stretches the defense with his deft shooting. Instead, Ariza will be the Rockets' small forward and it appears third-year player Terrence Jones will be the power forward.
In another unforeseen development, Ariza is now expected to come to the Rockets by way of a sign-and-trade with the Washington Wizards that also involves the New Orleans Pelicans. The Rockets will get Ariza on his four-year, $32 million deal, while the Pelicans get center Omer Asik, forward Omri Casspi and cash from Houston and the Wizards get an $8.5 million trade exception and the nonguaranteed deal of Melvin Ely. The Asik deal had been previously agreed upon between Houston and New Orleans, and the Rockets will also receive a future first-round pick from the Pelicans.
The Rockets' summer has certainly not gone as they'd hoped, as they fell short in the pursuits of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh while agreeing to trade point guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik in deals intended to create salary cap space for one of those players.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

LeBron's first public remarks since his big announcement

RIO DE JANEIRO — LeBron James is done making choices.
In his first appearance since announcing he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, James said it's a toss-up between who's better, Lionel Messi or Neymar. He can't say who's going to win the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, either.
"I think Germany has the better overall team. Argentina has one of the best players in the world, if not the best, with Messi," James said Saturday night during an appearance at Nike's "Casa Phenomenal." "That's why they play the game. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
"Hopefully it's a great one," he added.

Carmelo Anthony to stay with Knicks on 5-year contract

The 'Melo Mania is over.
Carmelo Anthony will stay with the New York Knicks.
The free agent small forward who was considering the Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks decided Saturday to sign a five-year contract with the Knicks, a person with knowledge of the situation told NBA Sports. After 11 NBA seasons, with seven All-Star appearances, 10 playoff appearances, one scoring title and zero championships, Anthony will continue his title pursuit alongside first-year Knicks President Phil Jackson.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the contract has not been made official.

Dan Gilbert tells how he and LeBron James mended fences

You shouldn't be known for the worst thing you ever did. As Dan Gilbert flew in a private plane to meet LeBron James last Sunday, he made notes about things to say, things he had been thinking about for four years, since the night James announced on national TV he was leaving Gilbert's Cleveland Cavaliers and taking "my talents to South Beach" and the Miami Heat.
Gilbert had watched this in Sun Valley, Idaho, then dashed to a computer and "in about 45 minutes" banged out an angry letter meant to reassure the fans. In it, he mocked the "King" and his nicknames, referred to his leaving as a "cowardly betrayal" and promised Cleveland would win a championship before James did.

LeBron James only takes 2-year contract with Cavaliers

LeBron James is regarded as the best player in the world and was the No. 1 free agent this summer. Now, he is looking out for No. 1.
James plans to sign a two-year, $42.2 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a person familiar with details of the deal told USA TODAY Sports. That will allow the NBA's biggest star to take advantage of the league's upcoming TV deal, which is expected to increase the value of max contracts.
The person also said this is strictly a business decision. James still is intent on finishing his career with the Cavaliers, as he said in his Sports Illustrated essay about the decision. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the deal.

Rich Paul of Klutch Sports is James' agent, and Mark Termini leads contract negotiations for the Klutch.
James could have taken a four-year contract worth more than $88 million from the Cavs. But he now will be able to negotiate a better contract in two years and also has the choice to opt out after one season to renegotiate next summer. Player options only can come before the final season of a contract, another reason for the two-year deal.
The TV component is important and valuable. The NBA and players share basketball-related income (BRI) at a near 50-50 split, and TV revenue is included in BRI. The higher the BRI, the more money for players.

Chandler Parsons signs with Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks finally landed Chandler Parsons on Sunday, when the Houston Rockets made the decision not to match his three-year, $46 million offer sheet.
A person with knowledge of the decision confirmed it to USA TODAY Sports, but spoke on the condition of anonymity because it had not yet been announced.

The Rockets' decision was somewhat surprising, as they agreed to terms with free agent small forward Trevor Ariza Saturday and were believed to have plans of playing him with Parsons. Ariza was slated to spend most of his time at the small forward spot, with Parsons often playing the "stretch four" position in which the power forward plays on the perimeter and stretches the defense with his deft shooting. Instead, Ariza will be the Rockets' power forward and it appears third-year forward Terrence Jones will be the power forward.
In another unforeseen development, Ariza is now expected to come to the Rockets by way of a sign-and-trade with the Washington Wizards on his four-year, $32 million deal. Houston will give Washington an $8.5 million trade exception in the deal.
The Rockets' summer has certainly not gone as they'd hoped, as they fell short in the pursuits of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh while agreeing to trade point guard Jeremy Lin and center Omer Asik in deals intended to create salary cap space for one of those players.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Pat Riley will keep Heat just fine without LeBron James

Miami Heat President Pat Riley didn't want to resort to Plan B.
But for a guy who just lost LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Plan B doesn't look as disastrous later in the day Friday as it did hours earlier. Riley more than salvaged a tough, disappointing day for the Heat franchise, which won two championship while appearing in four consecutive NBA Finals with James.
He re-signed forward Chris Bosh to a five-year, $118 million deal closed in on re-signing Dwyane Wade and turned his focus on to free agent forward Luol Deng.

"While I am disappointed by LeBron's decision to leave Miami, no one can fault another person for wanting to return home," Riley said in a team release. "The last four years have been an incredible run for South Florida, Heat fans, our organization and for all of the players who were a part of it. LeBron is a fantastic leader, athlete, teammate and person, and we are all sorry to see him go.
"Over the last 19 years, since (Heat owner) Micky (Arison) and I teamed together, The Miami Heat has always been a championship organization. We've won multiple championships and competed for many others. Micky, (coach) Erik (Spoelstra) and I remain committed to doing whatever it takes to win and compete for championships for many years to come. We've proven that we can do it and we'll do it again."

Friday, 11 July 2014

Fans, police are gathering outside of LeBron's house in Ohio

AP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal, Karen SchielyThough LeBron James is in Las Vegas at his skills academy, Cavaliers fans have started gathering outside his house to wait for his announcement about whether he’ll be returning home or elsewhere next season.AP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal, Karen SchielyAP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal, Karen SchielyAP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal, Karen Schiely

Wizards' Marcin Gortat has no idea what happened to the pig on his Instagram

Marcin Gortat posted an Instagram photo with a pig on a leash going into a shopping center in Poland earlier this summer. It seemed like a totally Gortat-thing like to do: He’s hilarious, pro athletes have stranger pets and it was completely believable for those who are familiar with the Wizards player.
But in what we find to be a rather disappointing admission, he told Chad Dukes on Washington radio station 106.7 The Fan that the pig was not his.
And he doesn’t even know what happened to it.
Ok, first of all it wasn’t my pig, it was just picked for the picture,” Gortat said. “It’s kind of unbelievable, because we found the pig in a shopping center. Some people brought a pig to the shopping center. There was some kind of a charity event, raising money for animals, and they brought a pig.
“I couldn’t believe I’m actually looking at a pig. And my friend had to really pinch me and say listen, this is really a pig. So that’s why we decided to take a picture for Instagram. We thought we’re gonna make some noise, and actually, yeah, we really made it.”
Dukes asked: Does he still have the pig?
“No. I don’t know what happened with the pig. I hope she’s still alive. We just took a picture. It was a really strong pig. I had to donate $30 and grabbed the leash with the pig and it was funny because the pig was really pulling me. The trainer that was standing with the pig told me give her a little treat, I was like ‘no no I’ll leave the treats for you, you can do the feeding stuff.’”
Gortat then admitted he doesn’t even know the pig’s name.
The reason this is the most disappointing is that Gortat even said in the Instagram caption that it was his pig. Or implied it at least.
“Right here chilling with my puppy in shoping center in poland!” he wrote.
Next thing we’ll learn he never really drove an army truck.

Shelly Sterling: Donald booted from Barbara Walters show

LOS ANGELES -- The Sterling vs. Sterling probate drama will take a hiatus for a while after Shelly Sterling testified Thursday that Barbara Walters canceled an interview with Donald Sterling because of his erratic behavior at a hotel and that NBA commissioner Adam Silver might have cut a deal to reduce penalties if the disgraced Donald had agreed to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.
The trial, which could clear the way for Shelly, Donald's wife of 58 years, to complete a sale of the Clippers to billionaire former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, won't resume until July 21 because of attorney and judge scheduling issues. Judge Michael Levanas set closing arguments for July 28, and it is unknown how long Levanas will take to make a ruling.
The $2 billion sales agreement between Shelly and Ballmer has a Tuesday deadline, but also a provision to extend it to Aug. 15.
"I think the judge is doing everything he can to make sure we are going to get a decision before the Aug. 15 extension date," said Adam Streisand, Ballmer's lawyer. "I'm confident we're going to get this team sold within that time frame. I'm very excited about how it's going."
Shelly, called "a pig" by Donald at the end of Wednesday's testimony, showed up Thursday in good spirits, escorted by a bailiff. She joked with a couple of reporters outside the courtroom about not being allowed to answer any questions in the hallway.

Bulls still in Carmelo Anthony race with Knicks, Lakers

The 'Melo Mania isn't over just yet. And while the incumbent New York Knicks are considered the likely landing spot for free agent small forward Carmelo Anthony, they may have some reason to be concerned.
A person with knowledge of Anthony's situation confirmed reports that he still is considering the Chicago Bulls, though it's unclear where the Bulls, New York Knicks or Los Angeles Lakers are in the lead in these one-man sweepstakes. The Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets are considered out of the running, though Anthony is not known to have given any formal indication of that. The person spoke to NBASPORTUPDATES on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the situation.