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Mark Kiszla: Jamal Murray, strawberry Starburst and why the Nuggets don't care if the Bucks traded for Damian Lillard

Sports / Basketball /

DENVER — They’re all out to get the Juggernuggets. But anyone who thinks the defending champs are worried about Damian Lillard joining the Bucks or the Suns acquiring Bradley Beal has never seen Jamal Murray devour a Starburst.

While they’re assembling super teams in Milwaukee and Phoenix to stop the Nuggets from repeating, I say a bigger...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Magic Johnson 'just giddy' that Rob Pelinka has made Lakers a title contender

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — His voice would rise throughout the conversation because he was unable to hide his excitement, each sentence from Magic Johnson about his beloved Lakers and the job executive Rob Pelinka did in constructing the team leaving the Hall of Famer and Lakers legend "giddy" about what they can accomplish.

Johnson sees the Lakers as a ...Read more

Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Lakers name two starters, and LeBron James 'is preparing for 21 like a rookie'

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — The music coming through the speakers inside the Lakers' facility was upbeat. The men about to sit in front of the team backdrop, Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham, were smiling and joking as they sat down to unofficially start their team's upcoming season.

Questions about their roster were minimal. There was no foundational trade on ...Read more

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Nia Long slams Boston Celtics for making ex-fiance Ime Udoka's infidelity public last year

Sports / Basketball /

Nia Long channeled activist Yaba Blay's words to criticize the Boston Celtics a year after she split with the team's former coach, Ime Udoka.

On Tuesday the "Best Man" and "You People" actor shared a snippet from Blay's 2022 appearance on the "We Can Do Hard Things" podcast. In the clip Blay tells hosts Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach why she ...Read more

How the Warriors could be surprisingly impacted by the Damian Lillard trade

Sports / Basketball /

The NBA had at least one more blockbuster trade to complete before the 2023 season began. Golden State wasn’t directly involved, but the big swap will surely impact the team this year and beyond.

All-Star Damian Lillard will join forces with former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in a three-team trade featuring Milwaukee, the Portland...Read more

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Greg Cote: Damian Lillard trade to rival Bucks is colossal defeat for Heat and Pat Riley

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI — Most everybody loses in the weird, protracted drama that was Damian Lillard’s monthslong maneuvering to get out of Portland.

But nobody loses in all this quite like the Miami Heat lose, and by extension that giant L on the Heat is borne on the neck of team president Pat Riley like a heavy yoke.

The degrees of perception to reality ...Read more

Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

How Damian Lillard's blockbuster trade to Milwaukee shapes the Eastern Conference race

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — The Damian Lillard domino finally toppled Wednesday, when the Milwaukee Bucks pulled off a stunning move to acquire the superstar guard less than a week before training camp opens.

The three-team blockbuster — which also sent Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara and draft picks to the Portland Trail Blazers, along with...Read more

Alika Jenner/Getty Images North America/TNS

How NBA championship odds have shifted after Damian Lillard's trade to Bucks

Sports / Basketball /

DENVER — The defending NBA champion's odds to repeat have improved, but they are no longer the favorites to bring home the Larry O’Brien trophy.

Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets have +475 odds — meaning a $100 bet would win $475 — to win the title next season, according to both BetMGM and DraftKings Sportsbook, as of Monday afternoon...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Clippers say they aren't sending messages, but Paul George and Kawhi Leonard need to play

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Kawhi Leonard and Paul George were injured when the last Clippers season ended in April. When the new one begins next week, the stars — whose arrival four years ago heralded championship aspirations not yet realized because of injuries — will be in uniform and healthy to play.

When the team holds its first practice of ...Read more

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Kristian Winfield: Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard create a Bucks dynasty with an expiration date

Sports / Basketball /

The beauty in the Damian Lillard mega trade to the Bucks is it works whether or not Giannis Antetokounmpo decides to stay in Milwaukee when his free agency arrives in 2025.

Antetokounmpo’s future in Milwaukee has been the elephant in NBA room — that he will do some version of what Lillard, 33, attempted and flee small-market Milwaukee for a...Read more

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Damian Lillard isn't coming to the Sixers -- but Jrue Holiday might

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA — The already hazardous potholes complicating what the 76ers hope is a road to win an NBA title this season just turned into gigantic craters.

The Milwaukee Bucks are now overwhelming favorites to win their second title in four seasons after acquiring All-NBA point guard Damian Lillard.

Milwaukee agreed to acquire the ...Read more

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DeMar DeRozan says he wants to 'end my career' as a Bull. But would a 4-year extension be the right move for the team?

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — Less than a week before the Bulls gather in Nashville, Tenn., for training camp, DeMar DeRozan reiterated his commitment to remain in Chicago — potentially for the rest of his career.

In an interview with Sportskeeda’s Mark Medina this week, DeRozan said he hopes to retire as a Bull.

“That’s a place I want to be and end my ...Read more

WNBA reportedly finalizing Bay Area expansion; Warriors confirm 'productive' talks

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The Bay Area may soon be awarded a WNBA expansion team.

The league is “finalizing” a deal to add a team in the region, according to The Athletic, which reported Tuesday night that the team would be owned by Warriors owner Joe Lacob.

A team spokesperson said Tuesday evening that the Warriors have had “productive conversations” with the ...Read more

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Superstar guard Damian Lillard traded to Bucks -- not the Heat

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI — What began in June with Damian Lillard requesting a trade to the Miami Heat has ended on the eve of training camp with the All-Star point guard being dealt Wednesday by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks.

With Heat President Pat Riley and his front office apparently drawing a line with their willingness to dramatically ...Read more

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Breanna Stewart, Liberty hold off Alyssa Thomas, Sun to even semifinals at 1

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — The Liberty tied up their semifinal series against the Connecticut Sun after getting an 84-77 victory on Tuesday.

The win sets up Sandy Brondello’s team for two games at Mohegan Sun Arena, beginning with Game 3 on Friday night.

The theme of Game 1 was the Liberty’s lack of energy and inability to create any momentum. That wasn...Read more

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The complete UNC men's basketball schedule is set. Here's when the Tar Heels will play.

Sports / Basketball /

North Carolina has long gone into the men’s basketball season with a simple goal: win the national championship.

As one former UNC player famously put it, the ceiling is the roof.

There’s a new twist to the Tar Heels’ goal this season: return to the NCAA Tournament and have a chance to win the national championship.

Missing the NCAAs ...Read more

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Duke's basketball schedule is complete. Here's a look at key games, toughest stretch.

Sports / Basketball /

DURHAM, N.C. — Jon Scheyer’s second season as Duke’s basketball coach will require him getting the Blue Devils ready for elite competition in a hurry.

The full schedule, released Tuesday night, features games with Arizona and Michigan State, two teams expected to be ranked among the nation’s top 15, in the second and third games of the ...Read more

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As Hornets training camp looms, uncertainty surrounds Kai Jones' future with Charlotte

Sports / Basketball /

Kai Jones’ immediate status with the Charlotte Hornets is a bit murky.

Jones hasn’t participated in any of the players’ optional sessions and it’s unclear if he’ll be among the Hornets’ contingent to hit the floor for the start of training camp next Tuesday. The third-year big man has made some very curious social media posts during...Read more

Who's the point guard? Will DeMar DeRozan get extended? 4 questions Bulls need to answer in 2023-24 season.

Sports / Basketball /

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls head to training camp in a week, which means the NBA season is just around the corner for a roster that has remained relatively untouched in the offseason.

Ahead of media day and the team’s trip to Nashville for preseason camp, here are four questions the Bulls need to answer in the 2023-24 season.

1. Who is the...Read more

Warriors: Digging deeper into Dunleavy and Kerr comments ahead of training camp

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — Steve Kerr and Mike Dunleavy Jr. spoke with reporters a week before Warriors training camp is set to open on Oct. 2. The Warriors are intent on proving the dynasty has plenty left in the tank.

Here are some takeaways from their comments.

Open roster spots

Around 40-to-50 players came through Chase Center for workouts ...Read more