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YONG KIM/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

David Murphy: A max contract is a non-starter for the Sixers and James Harden, but so is parting ways

Sports / Basketball /

The biggest question facing the Sixers this summer is how difficult James Harden is going to make it on them. Everything else is going to be some derivative of three obvious truths.

1) The old version of Harden might have been worth $270 million over five years.

2) The elder version most definitely is not.

3) The Sixers need to keep Harden in...Read more

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America/TNS

Scott Fowler: Steph Curry's Davidson graduation is 'remarkable.' Now it's time to retire his number

Sports / Basketball /

It took 13 years, but Steph Curry made good on his promise.

Curry was a baby-faced 21-year-old in 2009 when he decided to skip his senior year at Davidson College in favor of entering the NBA draft a year early.

When he did that, Curry vowed he would return to school and earn the seven courses he needed at the time to earn his degree — one ...Read more

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images North America/TNS

In football-first world of college athletics, where does that leave ACC basketball?

Sports / Basketball /

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — Almost five months after he became the fifth commissioner in ACC history, Jim Phillips stood in front of a crowded hotel banquet room in Charlotte and emphasized the single priority most critical to the league’s future. It was Phillips’ first major public appearance in his new role, and he was speaking at the ACC�...Read more

Dieter Kurtenbach: Five reasons why the Warriors will beat the Mavericks in five games

Sports / Basketball /

These Western Conference Finals are brought to you by the number five.

Five, as in five-out basketball.

Five, as the Fantastic Five. (Yes, I finally came up with a decent nickname for that lineup that helped the Warriors win in the first round.)

Five, as in the number of games it will take Golden State to dispatch the Dallas Mavericks and ...Read more

Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America/TNS

Kristian Winfield: Luka Doncic is undeniable. Chris Paul ... not so much

Sports / Basketball /

I remember when it happened. March 2, when the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s when I realized Luka Doncic was a top-5 player.

But Sunday night, after Luka Magic’s Mavericks ran up a 47-point lead to dismiss the league-best Suns in Game 7 — in Phoenix — I realized top-5 might not do him justice.

Doncic repeatedly...Read more

Heat find their dream scenario vs. Celtics in East finals, as higher-seeded underdog

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI — This is exactly what the Miami Heat wanted, the very type of thing that brought a smile to the face of forward Jimmy Butler after Monday’s practice at FTX Arena.

No, not mere homecourt advantage, which will be the case against the Boston Celtics in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals that open Tuesday at 8:30 p.m.

No, not ...Read more

Nancy Lane/Boston Herald/Nancy Lane

Celtics' Marcus Smart questionable for Game 1 at Miami with mid-foot sprain

Sports / Basketball /

Celtics guard Marcus Smart will be listed as questionable for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Miami with a mid-foot sprain, coach Ime Udoka announced Monday.

Smart underwent an MRI on Monday and the imaging returned clean, according to ESPN, which has given the team hope he can start Tuesday night. He played 37 minutes in Sunday’s ...Read more

YONG KIM/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Can James Harden still be an elite scorer? Or is the Sixer now just a facilitator? Daryl Morey won't say

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — Daryl Morey used the word “unlocked” a couple of times when referring to 76ers point guard James Harden.

That led to the Sixers’ president of basketball operations being asked if there’s multiple levels Harden can elevate to than what he’s shown the past couple of months with his new team or should people adjust their...Read more

Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America/TNS

Western Conference finals preview: A quick look at the Warriors-Mavericks matchup

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — The Dallas Mavericks’s dominant performance in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals series Sunday against the Phoenix Suns was a look at what’s to come for the Warriors.

The Mavericks, behind superstar Luka Doncic, sent the Suns packing for their end-of-season vacations much sooner than anticipated with a Game 7 ...Read more

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images North America/TNS

William 'Worldwide' Wesley tabbed to change the Knicks dreary lottery luck

Sports / Basketball /

After a career of operating in the shadows, William ‘Worldwide’ Wesley is stepping into the spotlight.

The Knicks executive and backroom basketball operator will represent the team at the draft lottery Tuesday in Chicago, where James Dolan’s squad will face long odds to move into the top-4.

Wesley, nicknamed ‘Worldwide Wes,’ had been...Read more

Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Warriors 'hopeful' Otto Porter Jr. will play Game 1 of Western Conference finals

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — Coach Steve Kerr on Sunday said he’s “hopeful” that Otto Porter Jr. will be cleared to play at the start of the Western Conference finals.

Porter has missed the last game and a half due to soreness in his right foot that flared up during the Golden State Warriors’ Game 5 blowout loss Wednesday night. Porter had done ...Read more

Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images North America/TNS

Heat to face Celtics in Eastern Conference finals after Boston routs defending champion Bucks

Sports / Basketball /

The Miami Heat finally know who stands between them and a trip to the NBA Finals.

With a 109-81 decimation of the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday, the Boston Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. Boston will face Miami in Game 1 on Tuesday at FTX Arena in Miami at 8:30 p.m...Read more

Adam Glanzman/Getty Images North America/TNS

Celtics smash defending champion Bucks 109-81 in Game 7, reach Eastern Conference Finals

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — Over seven games, 15 nights and 336 minutes, the Bucks tried to frame their second-round series with the Celtics as a bet.

That they could successfully isolate Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown against Giannis Antetokounmpo, the greatest player in the world, and Jrue Holiday in a tilted contest of stars.

That Boston’s role players ...Read more

Heat to face Celtics in Eastern Conference finals after Boston routs defending champion Bucks

Sports / Basketball /

The Miami Heat finally know who stands between them and a trip to the NBA Finals.

With a 109-81 decimation of the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday, the Boston Celtics advanced to the Eastern Conference finals. Boston will face Miami in Game 1 on Tuesday at FTX Arena in Miami at 8:30 p.m...Read more

JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Steve Kerr returns to Warriors after testing positive for COVID-19 last week

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO – Steve Kerr returned to coach the Warriors Sunday after he tested positive for the coronavirus last week.

Kerr cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols this weekend after he missed the Warriors’ last three games due to COVID-19. During that span, Golden State went 2-1 with Mike Brown at the helm and advanced to the ...Read more

Carlos Gonzalez/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Report: Wolves' Towns undergoes treatment for multiple injuries

Sports / Basketball /

MINNEAPOLIS — Karl-Anthony Towns' girlfriend, Jordyn Woods, posted a photo Saturday of Towns on her Instagram story that set off some concern among Minnesota Timberwolves fans on social media.

The photo was of Towns on a couch but with what appeared to be a brace on his right leg.

It turns out Towns has multiple injuries he is trying to heal...Read more

JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO/Bay Area News Group/TNS

After 13 years in NBA, Warriors' Steph Curry graduates from Davidson College

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — Steph Curry has a mantle full of trophies earned through his Warriors career. He can add a college diploma to his collection.

Thirteen years after leaving Davidson College for the NBA, Curry will graduate with the class of 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Curry won’t be at his alma mater’s graduation ceremony...Read more

Michael Reaves/Getty Images North America/TNS

Ira Winderman: Heat's Udonis Haslem getting NHL playoff chills from Panthers

Sports / Basketball /

These have been tense times for Udonis Haslem, sweating out these playoffs, stakes raised, clock ticking.

Oh, and he’s been involved with the Miami Heat’s championship chase, as well.

Consider it playoffs squared for the South Florida icon, because the veteran Heat captain also can’t get enough of his Florida Panthers.

“It’s ...Read more

Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Mike Bianchi: It's an injustice Kirk Speraw is not retiring from UCF

Sports / Basketball /

Kirk Speraw announced his retirement earlier this week as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa.

If life were fair, he would be retiring after nearly three decades as the head basketball coach at UCF.

In hindsight, the firing of Speraw as UCF’s longtime basketball coach a dozen years ago turned out to be one of the biggest injustices ...Read more

Dieter Kurtenbach: The Warriors are old, grouchy and here to put the NBA's young guns in their place

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — These NBA playoffs have been about the next generation.

LeBron James, 37, is at home, tweeting through his boredom. Kevin Durant, 33, was swept in the first round. (He always finds time for social media.) James Harden’s hard living on and off the court has zapped him of his superpowers at 32 and played a huge role in the ...Read more