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Marcus Hayes: Traitors return: Ben Simmons, Carson Wentz return to Philadelphia 8 days apart to face 76ers, Eagles

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — Like a bad penny, they keep turning up.

Like a pebble in the back of your shoe, they’re beyond irritating. They’re painful. Ben and Carson. Carson and Ben.

Ugh.

Ben Simmons provided the most recent reminder of the disastrous 2021-22 edition of Philadelphia sports. The Sixers on Monday settled Simmons’ grievance that ...Read more

John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS

Schedule breakdown: 10 moments in time that could define the Heat's 2022-23 season

Sports / Basketball /

As last season’s NBA Eastern Conference playoff race showed, some games matter more than others, with the Miami Heat closing two games ahead of the rest of the field and the next three teams tying for second, requiring head-to-head tiebreakers to sort seedings.

Against that backdrop, and with the release of the Heat’s 2022-23 schedule, a ...Read more

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS

10 key games on Bulls' schedule, including January matchup against Pistons in Paris

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls open their 2022-23 season Oct. 19 against the Heat in Miami and take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Oct. 22 in the home opener at the United Center.

Whether point guard Lonzo Ball will be ready to go is yet to be determined.

Last we heard from Artūras Karnišovas, the Bulls executive vice president of basketball ...Read more

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Sky lose Game 1 of 1st-round series, 98-91, as Liberty close with 13-0 run

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — Minutes away from their first win of the 2022 WNBA playoffs, the Chicago Sky fell completely out of rhythm.

Nothing seemed to work for the reigning league champions. Kahleah Copper and Candace Parker fumbled passes at the top of the key. Allie Quigley — the most surefire shooter on the Sky — air-balled a 3-pointer with less than...Read more

YONG KIM / Staff Photographer/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

David Murphy: Sixers back on short list of NBA commodities as schedule bets big on Joel Embiid, James Harden

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — The NBA is betting big on James Harden, Joel Embiid, and the 76ers.

That’s the story of Schedule Day.

There aren’t a whole lot of uncontrived insights that one can glean from the slate of games that the NBA released on Wednesday afternoon. We already knew the identity of the Sixers’ 82 opponents. The only question was ...Read more

JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Dieter Kurtenbach: The 9 games I'm circling on the Warriors' 2022-23 schedule

Sports / Basketball /

The NBA schedule is out, and while we can’t go contest-by-contest and pick who wins, we can circle a few dates on the Warriors’ calendar of 82 games.

We could start with opening night, but I won’t. Enjoy the banner raising and ring ceremony, but I’m not actually looking forward to a game against the Western Conference’s 11th seed from...Read more

Steph Chambers/Getty Images North America/TNS

A healthy Breanna Stewart is back in the playoffs ready to do what she always does: Dominate.

Sports / Basketball /

SEATTLE — Nearly 30 minutes after practice, Breanna Stewart was delivering a scouting report on the Storm’s upcoming WNBA playoff matchup against the Washington Mystics when she got distracted and lost her train of thought.

“Oh, my goodness,” she said. “I don’t know what that is.”

At the opposite end of the court, Stewart spotted...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Bill Plaschke: LeBron James' new contract guarantees one thing -- more Lakers mediocrity

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Two more guaranteed years of LeBron James?

Two more years of history, two more years of glamour, two more years of buzz.

Two more years of injury reports, two more years of bad drama, two more years of embarrassing mediocrity.

So, Lakers fans, how are you looking at this?

If you like your basketball with bells and whistles, ...Read more

Fred Williams won't return to Sparks, follows through with Auburn job

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — He hoped to stay. Instead, Fred Williams, the Sparks' interim head coach, will fly south for the winter.

The Sparks announced Williams will follow through on a previously announced position as the associate head coach at Auburn on Wednesday instead of staying on as the franchise's full-time head coach. The announcement prompts a...Read more

John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Underdogs no more, Sky carry confidence into WNBA playoffs as they seek 2nd straight title

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — The Chicago Sky entered this season with a neon target on their backs.

It’s a burden for any team that wins a title in the WNBA, a league in which teams rarely repeat — and often struggle to get back to the Finals in consecutive seasons.

Winning back-to-back titles hasn’t been accomplished in two decades since the Los Angeles...Read more

Sarah Stier/Getty Images North America/TNS

Kristian Winfield: Why Kevin Durant and the Nets need each other

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — As Kevin Durant and the Nets enter the next stage of their stalemate, there’s one important detail to keep in mind.

As much as both sides would hate to admit it, they need each other and would be worse off in the aftermath of a messy divorce.

If Durant gets his wish and is traded, that means a team gave Brooklyn a package beyond...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Lakers to retire Pau Gasol's jersey No. 16 during ceremony in March

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — All 10 Lakers whose jersey numbers are retired have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Pau Gasol stands an excellent chance of being included in a strong 2023 Hall of Fame class.

And whether he's inducted in his first year of eligibility or later on, his No. 16 will already have been retired by the...Read more

Larry Stone: Can second-year coach Noelle Quinn lead the Storm to another WNBA title?

Sports / Basketball /

As the Seattle Storm enter the playoffs Thursday in pursuit of their fifth WNBA championship, numerous poignant story lines are percolating.

Can they end Sue Bird's career with yet another ring, a scenario that coach Noelle Quinn said would be "amazing — like a storybook ending"?

And while everyone knows this is the final run for Bird, could...Read more

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Clippers schedule unveiled, includes opener against Lakers; 32 national TV games

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — With their stars on track to all be healthy for the first time since 2021, will this be the NBA season the Clippers and Lakers meet in the postseason for the first time?

That tantalizing possibility hinges on how each navigates their 82-game regular-season schedule announced Wednesday by the NBA.

The Lakers’ season opens Oct....Read more

Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images North America/TNS

Breaking down the Clippers' 2022-23 schedule: The good, the bad and the fatiguing

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — The Clippers were none too pleased last season that they played five games in seven nights five different times, tied for the most in the NBA. In 2022-23, they will have none of that — a significant change for an older roster that aims to keeps its players as fresh as possible ahead of the postseason.

Another potential plus: ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

LeBron James agrees to contract extension with Lakers

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James has agreed to an extension with the Lakers, a two-year contract with a player option, according to reports.

The deal keeps him from free agency until at least 2024, when he could exercise his option.

The contract is worth the max that could be offered — $97.1 million. It also includes a 15% trade kicker. The deal...Read more

Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America/TNS

Mike Bianchi: These playoff-bound Magic gamers are literally 'Unguardable'

Sports / Basketball /

You probably think the Orlando Magic’s most important acquisition of the summer was drafting 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward Paolo Banchero No. 1 overall out of Duke.

Think again.

The Magic’s biggest addition is another rookie who stands just 5-foot-10 and weighs 150 pounds but is quickly gaining the reputation as the most lethal weapon...Read more

Sam Gordon: Hammon says Aces poised for postseason run

Sports / Basketball /

The Aces won 12 of their final 15 games — including the Commissioner’s Cup championship — to clinch the No. 1 seed in the WNBA playoffs. Their offense (111.9 points per 100 possessions) is the best in the league, and they’re defending better than ever after a stretch of apathy ignited a mid-season swoon.

But Becky Hammon still isn’t ...Read more

Elizabeth Flores/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Michelle Kaufman: Miami's Sylvia Fowles underappreciated as she retires from WNBA to become mom, mortician

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI — One of America’s greatest, kindest, and most intriguing athletes retired on Sunday after a stellar career, and chances are, unless you follow the WNBA, you probably don’t realize just how special Sylvia Fowles is.

That is truly a pity, and a reminder that despite all the advances in women’s sports, many female athletes — ...Read more

NBA won't hold games on Election Day, urges fans to vote during midterm elections

Sports / Basketball /

DETROIT — In an effort to prioritize civic engagement, the NBA announced Tuesday that it will not schedule any games on Election Day.

The announcement comes on the same day the league teased the release of the full regular-season schedule for next season, which will be unveiled on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

The NBA's decision to not hold any games ...Read more