As Giannis Antetokounmpo goes, so do the Bucks

Sports / Basketball /

Giannis Antetokounmpo officially arrived as a star in the NBA sky last season.

He established himself as one of the top players in the league, led the Milwaukee Bucks in every major statistical category and became both an All-Star and the league's most improved player in his fourth season.

At just 22 years old, Antetokounmpo has become the ...Read more

Dwight Howard is still a big kid at heart, with a big vision for the Hornets

Sports / Basketball /

If you want to make Dwight Howard glow, put him amidst kids -- pretty much any kids anywhere.

Howard, the Hornets' new starting center, has adopted Charlotte's Starmount Academy, an elementary school. Howard is contributing $100,000 to the operation of a Boys and Girls Club there, and this is about more than writing a check and doing a photo-op...Read more

Lopez hopes to create winning atmosphere with Lakers

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES--Twin brothers Brook and Robin Lopez were always up to something, even when they were 5 years old in the back seat of their mom's car on the way to their older brothers' basketball games.

They created their own little world, drawing pictures or plotting stories they invented with fictional characters from their vibrant imaginations....Read more

New-look Clippers at a crossroads to see if they are still a top team in West

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES--For six years, the Los Angeles Clippers stood among the best of the NBA, a team listed in the company of the championship contenders despite their constant playoff failures.

They are no longer seen in the same light.

As the Clippers prepare to launch their 2017-18 season, they now are regarded as a team at the crossroads.

No one ...Read more

LeBron James leads Cavs to season-opening victory in Kyrie Irving's return to Cleveland

Sports / Basketball /

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James did LeBron James things Tuesday night at Quicken Loans Arena to overshadow Kyrie Irving's return to Cleveland.

James, who missed all but one preseason game with an ankle injury, dazzled fans with his usual assortment of skills and led the Cavaliers to a 102-99 victory over the Boston Celtics in the season opener for ...Read more

Celtics' Kyrie Irving stays quiet about reasons for trade

Sports / Basketball /

CLEVELAND -- Former Cavaliers teammates and fans who want Kyrie Irving to reveal the real reasons he wanted to leave Cleveland might forever remain unsatisfied.

Because, according to Irving, "that's not what real grown-ups do."

As the four-time All-Star guard returned to Quicken Loans Arena with the Boston Celtics for Tuesday night's season ...Read more

Sixers' Embiid unhappy with minutes restriction

Sports / Basketball /

Joel Embiid is not afraid to share how he feels.

Using a string of expletives, the 76ers center voiced his displeasure with the coaching and medical staffs' decision to keep him on a minutes restriction.

"I always think I have a voice, and that they're listening to what I have to say, too. They're making the decision based on what they think, ...Read more

Bulls' Nikola Mirotic out indefinitely after altercation with teammate Bobby Portis

Sports / Basketball /

Starting power forward Nikola Mirotic will miss Thursday's season opener and be sidelined indefinitely after getting punched in the face by Bobby Portis during a practice altercation, a source said.

One source said Mirotic suffered two broken bones in his face and was evaluated for a concussion at the hospital. He has since been released.

The ...Read more

Sixers embark on era of their Big Three

Sports / Basketball /

You look at the 76ers' version of "The Big Three."

There's Joel Embiid, the towering best player on the team, and perhaps the most intriguing player in the NBA.

Then there's a confident costar in Ben Simmons, who just might reinvent the point guard position.

And there's multitalented youngster Markelle Fultz. While his time with the Sixers ...Read more

Sixers' Dario Saric is tirelessly improving his game

Sports / Basketball /

Sixers coach Brett Brown said it was a fight getting Dario Saric to sit out the first two preseason games.

"He hates it. He can't stand it," Brown said of Saric's reaction to forced rest. "He doesn't want to let people down, and he wants to fight through things."

Saric loves playing basketball. His attitude toward not wanting to take a break ...Read more

Clippers hope to have new point guard Patrick Beverley back by season opener

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES -- During the one season he played under Mike D'Antoni, Patrick Beverley became accustomed to one of the things that the coach is known for.

"With D'Antoni, we didn't practice a lot," Beverley said this week, smiling.

Now Beverley is with the Los Angeles Clippers and coach Doc Rivers has his team practicing, practicing and ...Read more

Sixers' Brett Brown expects Embiid's minutes to be 'in the teens' early

Sports / Basketball /

The extent of Joel Embiid's availability is perhaps the biggest 76ers story line entering the regular season.

It was obvious that, as of Monday afternoon, the Sixers hadn't discussed a minutes restriction with their franchise center. That's when Sixers coach Brett Brown was asked how many minutes a game Embiid is expected to play at the start ...Read more

Is a Warriors repeat a slamdunk? Five things that must go right

Sports / Basketball /

Most NBA conversations these days end with the same foregone conclusion: Just hand the Warriors another championship trophy already.

After all, that's probably what people should say when a team has the experience and talent to reach a familiar destination seemingly on autopilot.

But any would-be foregone conclusion begs for a devil's advocate...Read more

Louisville athletics board fires Rick Pitino

Sports / Basketball /

The University of Louisville Athletics Association voted unanimously to fire men's basketball coach Rick Pitino for cause Monday afternoon following revelations from an FBI investigation into alleged corruption in college basketball.

The determination came after Pitino's lawyers presented their case for why he should not be fired for cause ...Read more

Cavs' Smith expects James to keep opening night streak alive despite sprained ankle

Sports / Basketball /

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- LeBron James told J.R. Smith he hasn't missed an opening game since he began playing basketball as an eight-year-old.

Based on that conversation, Smith seemed sure Monday that James will be ready Tuesday night when the Cavaliers tip off the season against Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena.

James ...Read more

Kyrie Irving trade, words in its wake add to emotion of Cavaliers-Celtics opener

Sports / Basketball /

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Kevin Love loved playing with Kyrie Irving for three seasons and hated going against him in practice.

Love doesn't expect that to change Tuesday when the Cavaliers host Irving and the Boston Celtics in the season opener at Quicken Loans Arena.

"We all know Kyrie is a gamer," Love said Sunday. "Between the lines it's going...Read more

Rick Bonnell's NBA predictions

Sports / Basketball /

Charlotte Observer NBA writer Rick Bonnell takes a stab at predicting 2017-18 champions, superlatives and awards:

Outcome of NBA Finals

The Golden State Warriors repeat in five games over the Cleveland Cavaliers. This will likely end LeBron James' second coming with the Cavs.

Who will be season's MVP?

-- James Harden, Houston Rockets: Just a...Read more

What we learned from the Clippers' preseason, despite all the injuries

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES--Evaluating any measure of progress the Los Angeles Clippers may have made during the preseason cannot tell the entire story because they were an incomplete group for the majority of the time.

A deluge of injuries that started in Hawaii set the Clippers on a bad course the rest of training camp. They recovered enough to have plenty ...Read more

What we learned from the Lakers' preseason: The team is a work in progress

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES--After the hype and excitement of a productive offseason receded this month, the mundane business of training camp commenced.

Officially, training camp was short. In an effort to alleviate the strain of an NBA schedule and allow for more rest, the NBA season starts more than a week earlier than it did last year. So the Los Angeles ...Read more

Border War back on: Kansas-Missouri to play charity exhibition

Sports / Basketball /

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One of the most historic rivalries in college sports will return after a five-year hiatus.

Well, sort of.

Kansas and Missouri announced Friday that the Tigers and Jayhawks will play an exhibition men's basketball game on Sunday, Oct. 22 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Proceeds from the game will go to hurricane relief ...Read more