Blazers spoil LeBron's Laker debut

Sports / Basketball /

PORTLAND, Ore. --As he took the ball and eyed his path, so did the anticipation in the arena. Fans gasped at the sight of LeBron James dribbling the ball close to mid-court, of nobody between him and the basket. Once he made up his mind to take off full speed, there was no doubting how that sequence would end.

Moments later, James rose in the ...Read more

Olynyk's last-second basket lifts Heat over Wizards, 113-112

Sports / Basketball /

WASHINGTON -- It was down to the wire again for the Miami Heat for the second time in as many nights.

This time, Kelly Olynyk came up big when needed, scoring a put-back basket with two-tenths of a second to play to lift the Heat to a 113-112 victory over the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena.

The only NBA team to open the season with ...Read more

Pat Riley tells Heat players he is 'pulling the plug' on Butler talks

Sports / Basketball /

WASHINGTON -- In another rare confirmation of Miami Heat trade negotiations, a team spokesman confirmed shortly before Thursday night's game that Heat President Pat Riley recently told the team's players he was "pulling the plug" on trade negotiations regarding disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler.

Amid growing speculation of ...Read more

Sixers beat Bulls in home opener behind Ben Simmons' triple-double, Joel Embiid's 30 points

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA -- This was more to the 76ers' liking.

They looked like contenders in the second half of Thursday's 127-108 home-opening victory against the undermanned Chicago Bulls two days after being blown out by the Boston Celtics.

It can be argued that the difference was matter of the opponent. On Tuesday in Boston, the Sixers (1-1) lost to...Read more

Cameron Payne to start Bulls opener vs. 76ers with Kris Dunn excused

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA -- No Lauri Markkanen. No Denzel Valentine. And now, no Kris Dunn.

Welcome to the Bulls season opener, where unavailable bodies are growing in importance.

Coach Fred Hoiberg said Cameron Payne will start Thursday's opener versus the 76ers after Kris Dunn left the team with an excused absence for a personal matter. Hoiberg said it'...Read more

Without a closer, Clippers lose lead and opening game to Nuggets

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES -- Staples Center operations staffers frantically gathered near the court midway through the fourth quarter Wednesday, talking into walkie-talkies and glancing, worried, at the basket on the arena's southern end.

After absorbing three rim-bending dunks by the Los Angeles Clippers 7-foot-3 center Boban Marjanovic in the fourth ...Read more

Late rally falls short as Timberwolves lose opener to Spurs, 112-108

Sports / Basketball /

SAN ANTONIO -- About 75 minutes before their game against the Spurs, the Timberwolves locker room was mostly empty. Just a few players milling about, but in one end of the small black and gray room was Jimmy Butler, wearing headphones, getting dressed and singing a loud version of country singer Chris Young's "Losing Sleep."

"Yeah we're winning...Read more

Lakers' culture has everyone on same page when it comes to communication and strategy

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES -- When Luke Walton started playing for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2003, the plane ride home was for unwinding. He'd play spades against Karl Malone, Gary Payton and Rick Fox. Walton usually fared pretty well in the card games despite being on a rookie's budget.

"They played more reckless," Walton said. "I played the game safe. ... ...Read more

Pistons knock off Nets behind Griffin, Drummond

Sports / Basketball /

DETROIT -- The Dwane Casey era promised to bring ball movement and a barrage of 3-pointers for the Detroit Pistons.

That didn't occur Wednesday night in their home opener against the Brooklyn Nets.

But they did have the inside tandem of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond.

Griffin scored 26 points, grabbed eight rebounds and added six assists in...Read more

DePaul coach Dave Leitao and AD Jean Lenti Ponsetto get orders of protection against former assistant coach

Sports / Basketball /

DePaul basketball coach Dave Leitao and athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto have obtained court orders barring former assistant coach Rick Carter from contacting them, according to court documents.

Leitao accused Carter of threatening to "physically bury him" and Lenti Ponsetto said she was informed that Carter had threatened to "run her over...Read more

Hornets rally late, but can't overcome Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Sports / Basketball /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Small ball found a home Monday night at Spectrum Center.

Down by as many as 20 points, new Charlotte Hornets coach James Borrego went with an unorthodox lineup that had 6-foot-7 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the power forward and 6-8 Nic Batum as the center. It got the Hornets all the way back to a fourth-quarter tie before the ...Read more

Wendell Carter Jr. and young Bulls prepare for 76ers

Sports / Basketball /

If anyone needs a reminder that the 2018-19 Bulls are young, just listen to rookie Wendell Carter Jr.'s reaction to earning the starting center spot and guarding Joel Embiid in the season opener Thursday against the 76ers in Philadelphia.

"Joel Embiid was one of my role models growing up," Carter said.

Embiid is 24.

Carter is 19.

Time to ...Read more

For Clippers, starts get no fresher than this

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES--During his 13 seasons as an NBA guard, Doc Rivers remembers being told by coaches such as Pat Riley and Mike Fratello that he was bound to join them someday. He, in turn, told them he would be a broadcaster.

"I thought I had the face for it," he said.

They were all correct.

Rivers worked as an analyst after his playing days ended...Read more

Sixers lose to Celtics in NBA season opener despite solid outing by Ben Simmons

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON -- It was like Brett Brown already knew what the outcome would be like.

Nine hours before Tuesday night's season opener against the Boston Celtics, the 76ers coach talked about this contest being mostly a "launching pad to the season." He didn't downplay the hype surrounding facing a Celtics squad defeated the Sixers in last season's ...Read more

JaVale McGee impresses teammate with his knowledge of the game

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES--Kyle Kuzma and JaVale McGee have a history, both having grown up in Flint, Mich.

But there was one thing Kuzma didn't know about McGee.

"He's actually a student of the game," Kuzma said. "You see the Shaqtin' A Fool, you see everything like that, but he actually knows basketball and he's always watching film. You talk to him on ...Read more

The Warriors and Oakland: How a community grapples with goodbye

Sports / Basketball /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Mistah FAB's Dope Era store sits in the heart of Oakland's up-and-coming Uptown District.

The clothing shop, nestled near the corner of Broadway and 17th Avenue, is a symbol of the community where the rapper grew up. Fab, born Stanley Cox, like the rest of the Oakland community, is bracing for the Warriors' last season in The...Read more

Timberwolves owner Taylor: Team working to trade Butler; Thibodeau's job safe

Sports / Basketball /

In an expansive interview with Glen Taylor on Tuesday, the Timberwolves owner said he has reached an understanding with four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler and will continue trying to trade him.

Taylor said Butler told him he will play to his full ability, as he did last year when he was healthy, and go all out until that trade is made.

There is ...Read more

'Pass-first guy' Tyler Ulis eager for opportunity with hometown Bulls

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO -- Tyler Ulis has experienced both ends of the NBA spectrum.

The Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights, Ill.) graduate, signed to a two-way contract by his hometown Bulls on Monday, averaged 7.6 points over two seasons with the Suns, who averaged 22.5 victories. And then he went through all of Warriors training camp before the two-time ...Read more

Dwyane Wade: 'No butterflies' as farewell season begins

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI -- "One Last Dance" makes its first official stop Wednesday in Orlando, Dwyane Wade's self-proclaimed Miami Heat farewell tour.

But the 36-yer-old guard said Tuesday that, at least for the moment, this 16th and final season feels like the previous 15 at the outset.

"No butterflies," he said following practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. "...Read more

Butler slated to play for Wolves in opener Wednesday at San Antonio

Sports / Basketball /

After a relatively light practice Tuesday -- one that ended early -- Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said he expects Jimmy Butler to play in Wednesday's season opener in San Antonio. As to how many minutes he will play, and how the team will move forward in terms of working on trading its star player? That isn't so clear.

"We're planning on playing ...Read more