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Mac Engel: Mavericks would be better if Luka Doncic was more fit, stopped whining

Sports / Basketball /

FORT WORTH, Texas — Luka Doncic is 23, blessed with the footwork of a ballerina and the 3-point shot of Larry Bird. But he also has a body full of baby fat and the post-shot antics of a pouting child.

The Dallas Mavericks’ first-team NBA player is beyond what the team could have hoped for when they traded Trae Young and a first-round draft ...Read more

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Darvin Ham: Five things to know about the new Lakers coach

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — He took a championship away from the Los Angeles Lakers as a player. Now Darvin Ham will try to bring the storied franchise its 18th title.

The Lakers hired the 48-year-old former Milwaukee Bucks assistant Friday as its new head coach, sources told the Los Angeles Times, two months after firing Frank Vogel. Ham, who got the job ...Read more

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Bill Plaschke: Lakers hiring of Darvin Ham is nuts -- and maybe perfect

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — Darvin who?

At first glance, the hiring of former bench warmer and anonymous assistant Darvin Ham as the Lakers’ new head coach Friday appears to be nuts.

He’s never been an NBA head coach or associate head coach, yet he’s suddenly supposed to command the respect of LeBron James?

He’s been an assistant coach for a ...Read more

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Jimmy Butler conjures his LeBron James with 47 points as Heat force Game 7 with 111-103 win in Boston

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — The Miami Heat did not want it to end, and certainly not in a sea of green.

More to the point, Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry did not want it to end, even when it seemed their bodies were getting the best of their 30-something selves.

So make it a Game 7 Sunday at 8:30 p.m. at FTX Arena to settle these Eastern Conference finals.

...Read more

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Lakers hire Bucks assistant Darvin Ham as coach

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Darvin Ham to be their next head coach, sources have told the Los Angeles Times.

Ham, a first-time head coach, has been a longtime NBA assistant following his eight-year NBA playing career, which included a championship in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons against the Lakers.

He began his NBA ...Read more

Tracy McGrady's new 1-on-1 basketball league is a good excuse to talk dream matchups

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — There is, as Tracy McGrady explains, a difference between the best player in basketball and the best basketball player.

In his era, for instance, LeBron James was widely viewed as the greatest because of his all-around game. But presented with a hypothetical one-on-one contest against another contemporary, McGrady doesn’t ...Read more

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Dieter Kurtenbach: Steph Curry's Warriors 'ruined the league.' They bucked their own trend to reach the NBA Finals.

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State’s ascent to the top of the NBA was fueled by the three.

Yes, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green were the anchors of this dynasty, but we’re not talking about that triumvirate.

We’re talking about the 3-point shot.

The Warriors, led by the Splash Brothers — and I guess Green made a few, too —...Read more

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Mark Cuban hints at big Jalen Brunson offer: 'We can pay him more than anybody'

Sports / Basketball /

NEW YORK — The Jalen Brunson sweepstakes started with more confidence from the Mavericks.

Not long after his team was eliminated in the Western Conference finals, owner Mark Cuban said Brunson, a free agent this summer, “wants to stay” and noted Dallas holds the financial advantage.

“We can pay him more than anybody,” Cuban told NBA ...Read more

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Entering next season, NC State basketball coach Kevin Keatts expects to have critics

Sports / Basketball /

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kevin Keatts knows he will be under a huge microscope next season.

His N.C. State basketball team won just four ACC games last season, finishing last in the league. As he enters his fifth year leading the Wolfpack, he expects people to be critical of the job he does.

"I'll be honest with you, that comes with the territory, ...Read more

Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Warriors beat Mavericks to advance to NBA Finals

Sports / Basketball /

SAN FRANCISCO — After a two-year playoff absence, the Warriors are back in the NBA Finals.

This marks Golden State’s sixth trip to the title series in eight years, making the Warriors one of four NBA teams to accomplish such a feat and the first franchise to do it since the Michael Jordan-led Bulls in the 90s.

A 4-1 series victory over the...Read more

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Heat's Herro, Lowry, Strus, Tucker, Vincent all questionable for Game 6 vs. Celtics; Butler not on injury report

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — The Miami Heat apparently will play it close to the vest until their season is over.

The team on Thursday listed five players as questionable for Friday’s 8:30 p.m. Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden, a best-of-seven series they trail 3-2.

That left no delineation between a player who ...Read more

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Tatum wants to get it right in Game 6

Sports / Basketball /

Jayson Tatum’s initial whiff of what’s about to commence in Game 6 Friday night is almost too intoxicating.

The Celtics star has played in three Eastern Conference Finals at the age of 24, and following his 31-point Game 4 performance against Miami, he ended up tied with Larry Bird for the most career playoff points by a Celtic after his ...Read more

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Marco Rubio slams Miami Heat's call for fans to demand 'common sense' gun reforms after Texas school shooting

Sports / Basketball /

In the aftermath of the elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, the Miami Heat used a pre-game moment to urge fans to contact U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, both Florida Republicans, “demanding their support for common sense gun laws” — and telling them they can “make change at the ballot box.”

Rubio, who is up for re-...Read more

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Mark Story: One thing keeps crushing John Calipari and Kentucky in recruiting

Sports / Basketball /

It is a script with which Kentucky Wildcats basketball fans have become all too familiar.

On Tuesday, Kenny Payne, the new Louisville men’s basketball coach and ex-Kentucky assistant, announced that he was hiring former Cardinals star Milt Wagner as U of L’s new director of player development and alumni relations.

Subsequently, momentum ...Read more

Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS

Heat's only option on brink of elimination vs. Celtics? 'Make a memory.'

Sports / Basketball /

BOSTON — There was a time when the Miami Heat were relaxed, confident, with enough leeway to exhale and savor.

That time was Sunday, when coach Erik Spoelstra and players Max Strus and Victor Oladipo met with the media in a ballroom at a swank hotel across from Boston Common.

It all was coming together, the franchise’s sixth visit to the ...Read more

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Terry Stotts, Darvin Ham, Kenny Atkinson: What to know about Lakers coaching candidates

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES — It’s been more than six weeks since the Lakers fired coach Frank Vogel, and the picture for hiring his replacement is probably murkier than anyone involved would’ve hoped.

Three candidates — Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and former Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry ...Read more

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NBA mock draft: Who will Magic take with No. 1 pick?

Sports / Basketball /

ORLANDO, Fla. — With the NBA draft combine and lottery in the rearview mirror, teams around the league have a better idea of where they stand ahead of the June 23 draft.

The draft will kick off with the Orlando Magic, who secured the top pick by winning the lottery on May 17 for the fourth time in franchise history. The Magic also have two ...Read more

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Celtics take 3-2 series edge with 93-80 Game 5 win

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI — With attrition taking its toll on both sides – any team that makes it this far is festooned with injuries – the night started at a drudging, groggy pace.

All it was going to take was even a merely above-average night from someone to steal this one, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, both after slow starts, raised their respective ...Read more

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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra pauses to issue statement on Uvalde school shooting

Sports / Basketball /

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra opened his pregame press conference on Wednesday with a statement on Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

“Before I start, I would like to just say something,” Spoelstra said after sitting down at the podium at FTX Arena on Wednesday night prior to Game 5 of the Eastern ...Read more

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Patrick Reusse: So you're taking over the Timberwolves, Tim Connelly? Good luck with that.

Sports / Basketball /

The Timberwolves were 15 months from their first training camp as an NBA expansion team when Billy McKinney was their first basketball hire in July 1988 as director of player personnel.

Then, on Aug. 28, Bill Musselman was hired as head coach. He would share personnel decisions with McKinney, and CEO Bob Stein would represent ownership in such ...Read more