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Matt Stone/Boston Herald/TNS

Celtics clear favorites to win 2025 NBA title, but path looks tougher

Sports / Basketball /

LAS VEGAS — The Boston Celtics are the clear favorites to become the first team to win back-to-back NBA championships since the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018.

The Celtics won their 18th NBA title Monday with a 106-88 Game 5 win over the Dallas Mavericks. The victory helped Boston break a tie for the most championships in league ...Read more

Michael Reaves/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jeff Van Gundy joins Clippers as lead assistant to coach Tyronn Lue

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy and the Clippers have agreed on a deal for him to become the top assistant on head coach Tyronn Lue's staff, people with knowledge of the situation but not authorized to speak on the matter confirmed to The Los Angeles Times.

Van Gundy's priority will be as the Clippers' defensive coordinator, a ...Read more

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America/TNS

Ex-Laker Darius Morris died of coronary heart disease, L.A. County medical examiner says

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Former Lakers and Clippers guard Darius Morris died at age 33 of coronary artery disease, although the "effects of cocaine, hydrocodone and ethanol" were listed as "other significant conditions," according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner.

Morris, who played for the Lakers alongside his mentor Kobe Bryant...Read more

Dustin Satloff/Getty Images North America/TNS

Everything you need to know about the Nets entering the NBA offseason

Sports / Basketball /

The Boston Celtics hoisted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy at TD Garden on Monday night, officially bringing the 2023-24 NBA season to an end. And now that the offseason is here, it is time for the Brooklyn Nets — and other teams eager to build toward championship contention — to get back to work.

With a new coaching staff in place,...Read more

Jordan Horston finding ways to spark Storm despite inconsistent role

Sports / Basketball /

The Storm’s 2023 season was akin to a dumpster fire, but it wasn’t a total loss.

Yes, they were next-to-last in the WNBA at 11-29 — their most defeats in franchise history.

But the ending of a Big Three partnership that delivered two titles allowed Jewell Loyd to step out of the shadow cast by departing stars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart...Read more

Joe Arruda/Hartford Courant/TNS

Dom Amore: In a region of champions, Dan Hurley's UConn Huskies are the dynasty in residence

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — Through the gates near Pesky’s Pole and up the right field line, the UConn men’s basketball team swaggered into Fenway Park, right into the middle of The Greatest Rivalry in Sports.

In this part of the world, at least in this column, that’s an official title that’s still valid, even if Red Sox-Yankees is currently a rivalry ...Read more

L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

Ken Sugiura: Hawks' apparent interest in Donovan Clingan could be boon for franchise

Sports / Basketball /

ATLANTA — It could be a smoke screen or recycled rumor. Or maybe there’s a nugget of truth.

And that’s that the Hawks, who hold the first overall pick, are leaning toward Connecticut center Donovan Clingan in next week’s draft. Two officials with NBA teams (not the Hawks) told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday that they believe ...Read more

Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

David Murphy: The argument for the Sixers signing Paul George actually makes some sense

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — The argument for handing Paul George a four-year, $216 million-plus contract is a lot of things.

It is compelling. It is sensible. It is rational.

It is also extremely difficult for me to accept.

But I’m getting there.

When the Sixers first floated the idea of making George their primary target this offseason, my reaction ...Read more

Nancy Lane/Boston Herald/TNS

Andrew Callahan: These Celtics will live forever, NBA champions again

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — No more doubts.

No more questions.

No more qualifiers.

The Boston Celtics are NBA champions, the best in all of basketball, once again.

The Celtics completed their quest for basketball immortality Monday night by mauling the Mavericks, 106-88, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals; the final stroke of their season-long masterpiece.

It was ...Read more

Matt Stone/Boston Herald/TNS

Jaylen Brown named NBA Finals MVP after spectacular series vs. Mavs

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — Jaylen Brown said it best. It was a full-team effort for the Celtics to clinch their 18th banner with a 106-88 Game 5 win over the Mavericks in the NBA Finals.

Jayson Tatum led the game with 31 points and 11 assists. Jrue Holiday collected a team-leading 11 rebounds. Sam Hauser buried two first-half 3s with a steal. Payton Pritchard ...Read more

Nancy Lane/Boston Herald/TNS

Mavericks: 'We need to regroup' after Game 5 loss

Sports / Basketball /

The Dallas Mavericks were just a minor distraction to the Boston Celtics in their pursuit of banner 18.

The Celtics opened a 21-point halftime lead Monday and rolled to an 106-88 victory over the Mavericks in the deciding Game 5 of the NBA Finals before a celebratory crowd at the TD Garden.

The Mavericks displayed little of the execution and ...Read more

Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/TNS

An NBA draft freefall could leave Heat with decision similar to Caron Butler, Justise Winslow

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI — Part of NBA draft preparation is being prepared for the unexpected — an element the Miami Heat have had considerable experience with over the years.

This time around, they’re prepared.

Even while holding the No. 15 pick in the first round on June 26, the Heat have worked out a player who at one point was projected as the ...Read more

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America/TNS

WNBA Commissioner's Cup title game between Liberty, Lynx moved to UBS Arena due to NBA draft

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — The Commissioner’s Cup championship game between the Minnesota Lynx and Liberty on June 25 has been moved from Barclays Center to UBS Arena on Long Island, the league announced Monday.

With the NBA draft set to take place at Barclays Center on June 26, the venue is unable to host the WNBA’s Commissioner’s Cup Final a day ...Read more

Knicks offseason priorities: Extending Brunson, retaining Thibodeau, Hartenstein top summertime to-do list

Sports / Basketball /

With the 2024 NBA Finals nearing their close, and the Boston Celtics expected to hang championship banner No. 18, what is expected to be a frenetic and active New York Knicks offseason will shortly be underway.

The Knicks have a number of priorities as they look to build on their second consecutive second-round playoff appearance:

Trade one or...Read more

L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal/TNS

WNBA hires outside law firm as Aces sponsorship investigation continues

Sports / Basketball /

LAS VEGAS — The WNBA’s investigation into the Las Vegas Convention and Vistors Authority’s sponsorship offers to Aces players gained more legs last week.

The league hired an outside firm to conduct the probe: Kobre and Kim LLP. The group specializes in internal investigations, often centered around allegations of misconduct and fraud.

...Read more

Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/TNS

Mark Story: Reed Sheppard is set to achieve some final Kentucky basketball milestones

Sports / Basketball /

LEXINGTON, Ky. — If the emerging consensus among the NBA mock draft talking heads proves accurate, Reed Sheppard will achieve a couple more Kentucky basketball milestones as he traverses his one-and-done path to professional hoops.

Among seven prominent NBA mocks I perused Monday morning, the former North Laurel High School star is projected ...Read more

Emilee Chinn/Getty Images North America/TNS

Angel Reese says Caitlin Clark gets 'special whistle.' It blew after Reese's blow to Clark's head.

Sports / Basketball /

Chicago Sky rookie Angel Reese called it "a basketball play."

Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark said, "It's just part of basketball."

Fever coach Christie Sides said: "The right call was made in that moment."

Former USC and NFL quarterback Matt Leinart posted on X: "Angel Reese should be suspended. Period."

Um, yeah, more on his take in a ...Read more

Emilee Chinn/Getty Images North America/TNS

Angel Reese defends flagrant foul against Caitlin Clark as 'basketball play,' criticizes officiating

Sports / Basketball /

Angel Reese defended her flagrant foul against Caitlin Clark as a “basketball play” and took issue with the officiating after Sunday’s game added another chapter to the rivalry between the touted rookies.

Reese was assessed a flagrant 1 after her swipe struck a driving, airborne Clarke in the head during the third quarter of the Indiana ...Read more

Christopher Evans/Boston Herald/TNS

Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving regrets not doing better by Boston

Sports / Basketball /

Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving never bought into the whole “Celtics Mystique” phenomenon when he played in Boston.

Irving has since seen the light with the Mavericks facing elimination from the NBA Finals in Game 5 against the Boston Celtics on Monday night at the TD Garden.

Irving didn’t go all-in when he was traded to Boston...Read more

HYOSUB SHIN/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Landry Fields says Hawks likely to keep No. 1 overall pick and make selection

Sports / Basketball /

ATLANTA — The big question facing the Hawks as the NBA draft approaches: Will they trade out of the No. 1 spot?

Likely, no.

The team had five weeks to do their homework on how to use the top selection in the upcoming NBA draft. With just a week left, the Hawks are close to finalizing their decision for the pick next Wednesday at the Barclays...Read more