Dieter Kurtenbach: Warriors have a secret weapon in their quest to repeat

Sports / Basketball /

It’s hard to remember a time when the NBA had this much quality and this much parity.

Last year, the Warriors won the title despite having 11-to-1 odds to win it all at the start of the season. But right now, six teams have 10-to-1 odds or shorter to win the NBA title at Fanduel sportsbook. There’s another group of five not-so-far-fetched ...Read more

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Overtime Elite league makes big changes. Will they entice young basketball recruits?

Sports / Basketball /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The second season of the upstart Overtime Elite (OTE) professional basketball league is set to boast several mouthwatering matchups between some of the best high school basketball players in the country.

In addition to Amen and Ausar Thompson, who are projected top picks in next year’s NBA draft, the OTE league features ...Read more

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Mac Engel: Kim Mulkey's callous words about her former 'baby' Brittney Griner sad, not a surprise

Sports / Basketball /

FORT WORTH, Texas — With the sincerity of a parent, and the conviction of a preacher, Kim Mulkey looked at me and said of her Brittney Griner, “That’s someone’s child. That’s someone’s baby.”

She still is.

Even if you disagree with her.

This exchange happened in 2013, after Baylor beat TCU in Fort Worth when I asked the then ...Read more

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Jayson Tatum becoming louder vocal leader for Celtics: 'He took a huge step'

Sports / Basketball /

Jayson Tatum gets plenty of credit for his basketball ability, now an All-NBA player and considered one of the game’s best after he led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season.

But the Celtics star may not be getting enough credit for his leadership.

As the C’s marched toward the NBA Finals last spring, Al Horford noticed a shift in ...Read more

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Kawhi Leonard, Paul George among veterans sitting out Clippers preseason opener

Sports / Basketball /

LAS VEGAS — The Clippers have promised in training camp to take a cautious approach with the workload of their over-30 headliners, a process that began Thursday in the team's final day of workouts in Las Vegas.

After practicing without limitations through two days of camp, including five-on-five play, Kawhi Leonard was given the day off ...Read more

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Live microphone catches Doc Rivers' frank conversation with James Harden at Sixers camp

Sports / Basketball /

CHARLESTON, S.C. — At one point during Thursday’s televised practice at The Citadel, 76ers coach Doc Rivers told his team, “Our spirit is [B.S.]!”

Part of the problem had to do with the Sixers standing around and not feeding Joel Embiid the ball. Later, Rivers, still wearing a live microphone after the NBA TV telecast, chatted with ...Read more

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Jalen Brunson prepared for 'whatever it takes' with Knicks

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — Jalen Brunson puts it in air quotes. “Added pressure.”

It’s not something he’s giving much credence to as he enters his first season with the Knicks, strapped with the type of contract that implies he’ll end the franchise’s long point-guard drought.

“For one, it’s not really pressure to me. I’ve played a long ...Read more

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Set to begin first season leading Duke basketball, Jon Scheyer's already winning with players

Sports / Basketball /

Jon Scheyer is a rarity among college head coaches.

Only three of the 68 head coaches who made the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last season were McDonald’s All-Americans as players.

A 2006 McDonald’s All-American and four-year player at Duke, Scheyer’s ability to relate to the players he recruits and coaches helps him on the job.

...Read more

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Bulls voice optimism following Lonzo Ball's latest surgery -- but point guard's road to recovery is still lengthy

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls are optimistic after Lonzo Ball’s latest knee procedure, but expectations are still tempered as the point guard continues a nine-month rehabilitation.

Ball underwent an arthroscopic debridement in his left knee Wednesday in Los Angeles to assess and remove the previously unidentified source of lingering pain ...Read more

Nets coach Steve Nash: Ben Simmons is a 'special, special player without taking jump shots'

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — Nets coach Steve Nash says All-Star forward Ben Simmons doesn’t need to shoot jump shots to be effective on the court.

“I’m not one of those people who thinks Ben has to shoot the ball,” he said. “I don’t. He’s a special, special player without taking any jump shots. There’s other solutions for that. There’s so ...Read more

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Mike Sielski: The Sixers hated playing against P.J. Tucker. That's why they signed him.

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — You know P.J. Tucker. If you’ve played any basketball in your life, you’ve played against P.J. Tucker, and you likely hated it. Or you’ve played with P.J. Tucker, and you loved it. P.J. Tucker is 37, which makes him an old man by NBA standards, and more to the point, P.J. Tucker has an old man’s game, in the best and the...Read more

Christina House/Los Angeles Times/TNS

For Lakers' Anthony Davis the goal is simple: 'Play all 82'

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Two of the best defenders of the last two decades of the NBA met Wednesday inside the Lakers’ practice facility, with Ben Wallace and Anthony Davis meeting up to … talk haircuts?

“He told me he liked my hair,” Davis said, pointing to his afro. “A headband, couple of wristbands and maybe I can win defensive player of ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Paul George says Clippers should have 'Team USA approach' in playing time

Sports / Basketball /

LOS VEGAS — Perhaps it was force of habit that when Paul George discussed how the Clippers could manage their deep roster's looming crunch for playing time Monday, the star forward called on using "the Team USA approach."

A decade ago when Paul visited UNLV's Mendenhall Center, it was to practice against a loaded USA Basketball roster working...Read more

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Malcolm Brogdon embracing 'unselfish' role with Celtics: 'My goal is to win'

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — When Malcolm Brogdon was on the verge of being traded this summer, the Pacers gave the guard a few options to pick from before he ultimately decided on the Celtics.

The choice was relatively easy for Brogdon, who’s made it as far as the conference finals once — in 2019 with the Bucks — in his first six seasons.

“I picked ...Read more

Alex Slitz/Charlotte Observer/TNS

Steve Clifford thinks one tweak can be game-changer for LaMelo Ball in new NBA season

Sports / Basketball /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kelly Oubre was describing the nuances of drawing contact on drives to the basket when he took a peek to his right and noticed LaMelo Ball waiting nearby.

“I think it’s just that refs see how we look, you know what I mean?” the Charlotte Hornets swingman said with a smile Tuesday while looking slyly in Ball’s ...Read more

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Jaden Ivey's athleticism is key, but passing, shooting can benefit Pistons even more

Sports / Basketball /

DETROIT — Jaden Ivey showed glimpses of his ability to use his athleticism in transition during the Pistons' Summer League stint in Las Vegas in July.

In the first game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Ivey found himself in a two-on-one fast-break situation alongside forward Braxton Key. In most transition scenarios, the wing receives the ...Read more

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Finding playing time for Knicks fan favorite Obi Toppin will again be a challenge

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — For the fans, the appeal of Obi Toppin is understandable.

He’s the homegrown draft pick from New York City who grew up a Knicks fan, who lights up Madison Square Garden with his under-the-legs dunks and positive energy.

Toppin’s play last season suggested vast improvement and plus impact, while the player eating up minutes ...Read more

Heather Khalifa/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

James Harden looks trim and ready. Can he be the Harden of old?

Sports / Basketball /

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Can James Harden get back to being his old self?

That’s undoubtedly the biggest question surrounding the 76ers this preseason. Folks want to know if last season’s shooting woes and his lack of explosiveness were the result of his hamstring injury or simply Father Time.

People want to know if Harden has elevated his ...Read more

Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee/TNS

Coach Mike Brown winning hearts and minds in first training camp with Sacramento Kings

Sports / Basketball /

Kings coach Mike Brown didn’t win the footrace, but he seemed to be winning hearts and minds on the first day of training camp Tuesday at the team’s Golden 1 Center practice facility.

Several players have cited Brown’s championship experience, wisdom, attention to detail and the way he has fostered relationships within the walls of Kings ...Read more

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No minutes restriction expected for Nets' Ben Simmons: 'I'm good to go'

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — After missing the entire 2021-22 NBA season and undergoing a procedure on his lower back this summer, Nets star Ben Simmons says there are no limitations to his game.

Simmons, who missed all of last season due to both mental health issues and a herniated disk in his lower back, was a full participant in Nets practice for the second...Read more