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Oscar Tshiebwe helping new teammate find his way. Kentucky is going to benefit.

Sports / Basketball /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The announcement that Ugonna Onyenso — a highly touted center from Nigeria — would be joining the University of Kentucky basketball team for the 2022-23 season came on Aug. 1, just a few days before his future teammates were headed to the Bahamas for a series of exhibition games.

Onyenso’s commitment happened after the ...Read more

Jalen Brunson scores 16 points in Knicks preseason debut against Pistons

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — So this is what a real point guard looks like.

Jalen Brunson was impressive in his Knicks debut Tuesday, flashing the playmaking and organizing skills that have long eluded this franchise.

It was only 20 minutes in a 117-96 preseason victory over the Pistons, but the results were nothing but encouraging for Brunson. It started ...Read more

Ahead of Jon Scheyer's first season, here's what we know about 2022-23 Duke team

Sports / Basketball /

DURHAM, N.C. — Two new banners hung from Cameron Indoor Stadium's rafters as Duke went through its fifth preseason practice, preparing for a new basketball season last Saturday morning.

Last year's Blue Devils earned the banners, honoring their ACC regular-season championship and Final Four berth.

The group coach Jon Scheyer is leading ...Read more

Erik Spoelstra voted top coach by NBA GMs, but Heat picked to fall to fifth in East

Sports / Basketball /

Even with Erik Spoelstra voted the top coach in the NBA in the annual survey of league general managers, respect for the Miami Heat continues to wane despite last season’s top seed in the Eastern Conference.

In the coaching section of the survey, Spoelstra received 55% of the votes, with Golden State coach Steve Kerr a distant second with 22%...Read more

Hawks receive favorable votes in latest annual NBA GM survey

Sports / Basketball /

ATLANTA — The Hawks may not be the favorites to win the NBA title this season, but the team has one of the better point guards in the league, according to the NBA’s general managers.

NBA.com released the results of its annual survey of general managers, which included plenty of questions for NBA front-office leaders. One of those questions ...Read more

Pistons' Cade Cunningham enters sophomore season healthy and 'more comfortable'

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — Cade Cunningham is equipped with a couple of things he didn't have around this time last year: health and a full NBA season under his belt.

The Pistons' second-year guard suffered an ankle injury during training camp last season and was forced to miss the entire preseason, along with the first five games of the regular season. ...Read more

David Murphy: What if Tyrese Maxey is actually a superstar? It's worth asking after what we saw against the Nets.

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — Some guys just pop. They demand your attention. Even a casual observer can pick them out. A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a gym and all of them say to each other: Who’s that guy?

Maybe it’s Tyrese Maxey. He sure looked like it on Monday night. The headlines today say that the big story was Ben Simmons versus the ...Read more

Lakers' Russell Westbrook says he will 'focus on competing' and ignore trade rumors

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Even as the Lakers opened their preseason Monday night, questions about Russell Westbrook's future with the organization continued to be asked.

After yet another story detailing a potential Westbrook trade — again about a Buddy Hield and Myles Turner deal — Westbrook and Lakers coach Darvin Ham discussed the former MVP's ...Read more

Carlos Gonzalez/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Towns joins Timberwolves after week of illness

Sports / Basketball /

A noticeably slimmer Karl-Anthony Towns said he couldn't raise his voice much above the hushed tone he used to address the media Monday.

The Timberwolves' All-Star, for the first time, had practiced in some capacity with the team after a non-COVID illness.

"I'm still recovering, I'm still getting better," Towns said. "... I know it sounds ...Read more

Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images North America/TNS

Derrick Rose eager for healthy season and first game in nine months

Sports / Basketball /

Derrick Rose doesn’t need recovery guidelines. Not anymore.

After so many years and so many injuries, the point guard listens to his body and has a reluctant Knicks staff buying into his philosophy of “Trust me, bro.”

“And they’re like, ‘Woah, what the hell you mean just trust you? We can’t just throw you out there,’” Rose ...Read more

David Santiago/Miami Herald/TNS

Big things coming for Heat's Victor Oladipo? 'For me, I think it's about just living in the moment.'

Sports / Basketball /

Victor Oladipo finds himself caught in the middle.

For months, the 30-year-old guard has stressed that he has emerged from the rabbit hole of injury and doubt, again feeling closer to the player who in 2018 was named third-team All-NBA and first-team All-Defensive, as well as a 2019 All-Star.

But the regained confidence also comes in a ...Read more

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS

DeMar DeRozan is tired of questions about his age. 'You just make people eat their words,' the 33-year-old Chicago Bulls forward says.

Sports / Basketball /

DeMar DeRozan is tired of being called old.

He’s tired of a lot of things. Questions about his toughness. About his fit with Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls. About whether he still has enough in the tank to make it another season.

As DeRozan enters his 14th NBA season, he is accustomed to shrugging off those doubts. But that doesn’t mean...Read more

Al Diaz/Miami Herald/TNS

Heat's Herro gets contract extension; now under contract for five seasons

Sports / Basketball /

The Heat made a sizable longterm investment in one of its key young players on Sunday, giving guard Tyler Herro a four-year extension that could be worth as much as $130 million.

The deal will pay him $120 million guaranteed with another $10 million in incentives, according to two sources.

The extension essentially makes Herro untradable for ...Read more

Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS

Erik Spoelstra opens up on family's cancer scare, 'The inspiration of other survivors is what gets you through it'

Sports / Basketball /

There is a moment during the Miami Heat’s annual Red, White & Pink Game when coach Erik Spoelstra typically finds himself welling up.

The embraces of breast-cancer survivors at midcourt during halftime of the intrasquad scrimmage is as heartfelt an instant as any during the course of the season.

Monday’s 6:30 p.m. event at FTX Arena will ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Mike Bianchi: In the wake of Hurricane Ian, here's another million reasons DeVos family is good for the Orlando community

Sports / Basketball /

ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando Magic chairman Dan DeVos and his family started implementing a plan about how they could help even before Hurricane Ian crashed ashore days ago.

And then as he watched the footage of the devastation and the destruction of the homes that were ruined and the lives that were taken by one of the worst storms in history, ...Read more

Michael Reaves/Getty Images North America/TNS

Ira Winderman: Heat's Max Strus now rules the day in a unique way

Sports / Basketball /

NASSAU, Bahamas — Max Strus laughs at the conversation, but not the reality.

Because no matter where his Miami Heat journey takes him after being elevated to starter last season, his NBA legacy is now secure.

Just as Bird Rights stand as homage to Larry Bird and the rule designed to entice free agents to remain in place, and just as the ...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Patrick Williams -- after a summer of 'hell' workouts with DeMar DeRozan -- ready to prove himself in 3rd Bulls season

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — Offseason days with DeMar DeRozan start at 5 a.m.

Patrick Williams learned the lesson the hard way, bleary eyed as he sat shotgun in DeRozan’s car on the short drive to the gym in Los Angeles.

“Five on the dot. Not 5:01, not 4:59 — 5 a.m.,” Williams said. “You can’t be pulling in the parking lot at 5 a.m. We probably ...Read more

Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS

'Competitor' Ayo Dosunmu ready for challenge of winning starting point guard position for Bulls

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — Ayo Dosunmu’s rapid ascension to the starting point guard position came as a surprise in his rookie season.

The plan was to split the second-round draft pick’s time between the Chicago Bulls and the Windy City Bulls, allowing for a more gradual progression into a rotational role. Instead, injuries thrust the rookie into the ...Read more

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images North America/TNS

Ime Udoka reportedly used 'crude language' with female Celtics staffer, contributing to season-long suspension

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — Celtics coach Ime Udoka used “crude language” in his dialogue with a female staff member prior to his improper workplace relationship with her, which was a key finding by the independent law firm the team hired that led to his season-long suspension, according to a report Friday by ESPN.

ESPN’s report said that the findings ...Read more

Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images North America/TNS

Dieter Kurtenbach: James Wiseman's big game in Japan raises a bigger question for the Warriors

Sports / Basketball /

James Wiseman was marvelous, fantastic, and dominant in the Warriors’ preseason win over the Wizards Friday in Japan.

Yes, it was an exhibition, but one could argue that it was the young Warriors center’s best game as a professional.

But Friday’s performance wasn’t revelatory.

Wiseman’s 20-point, nine-rebound game was impressive, ...Read more