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Adidas trial: Text messages from KU's Bill Self, Kurtis Townsend shown as evidence

Sports / Basketball /

Text messages from Kansas Jayhawks basketball coaches Bill Self and Kurtis Townsend to former Adidas consultant Thomas "T.J." Gassnola took center stage Monday as a federal court case into college basketball corruption winds down.

Gassnola reiterated Monday that KU's basketball coaches had no knowledge of his payments to families of two KU ...Read more

Heat's James Johnson completes first full practice since May hernia surgery, opener unlikely

Sports / Basketball /

James Johnson, who was projected as the Miami Heat's opening-night starting power forward, Monday went through his first contact practice since his May surgery for a sports hernia, but still appears unlikely to make his 2018-19 debut with the rest of his teammates Wednesday against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center.

"J.J. was able to go through...Read more

Joe Lacob maintains confidence in Kevin Durant re-signing with Warriors

Sports / Basketball /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Warriors think and talk about long-term plans that cover every best-case and worst-case scenario.

As the Warriors enter the 2018-19 season, Kevin Durant's pending free agency next season serves as the most vivid example. Will he re-sign with the Warriors as he has done every summer for the past two years? Or will he ...Read more

Ten NBA storylines, including the labor pains, Love pains and Lakers' pains

Sports / Basketball /

Observer NBA writer Rick Bonnell projects 10 intriguing storylines for the upcoming season, which starts Tuesday:

-- Will they stay or will they go? How well the New Orleans Pelicans and Milwaukee Bucks perform this season could have serious bearing on how interested their respective superstars -- Giannis Antetokoumpo with the Bucks and Anthony...Read more

NBA superlatives: Utah Jazz may be well-represented at awards show

Sports / Basketball /

Observer NBA writer Rick Bonnell projects awards for the 2018-19 season, which starts Tuesday:

Rookie of the Year: Cleveland's Collin Sexton. Lots of strong candidates here, including the Hornets' Miles Bridges. My thinking is the Cavs can only be good if point guard Sexton has major impact.

Coach of the Year: Utah's Quin Snyder. Innovative in...Read more

Sixers dealing with lofty expectations for first time in six seasons

Sports / Basketball /

Will the 76ers live up to the lofty expectations?

That's the biggest questions heading into this season. Despite several key roster changes, oddsmakers have the Sixers winning around 54 regular-season games and being the Eastern Conference's second-best team behind the Boston Celtics.

The team boasts two of the league's best young stars in All...Read more

Jimmy Butler practices with Wolves, looks on track to play Wednesday

Sports / Basketball /

On Sunday, for a second time since requesting a trade, Jimmy Butler practiced with the Timberwolves. It was, he claimed, just as intense an experience as his much-reported workout with the team Wednesday, sans the swear words. After it was over, after a lengthy post-practice session of putting up shots, Butler shared his thoughts with the media....Read more

Lakers need to pass mesh test

Sports / Basketball /

1. How will the Los Angeles Lakers' young players mesh with LeBron James?

The team LeBron James joined this summer is filled with second-year (Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart) and third-year (Brandon Ingram) players who will have important roles. Those young players have never had a teammate like James. And James has never had a team quite...Read more

With LeBron James and a mix of youth and experience, Lakers are thinking about playoffs

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES -- Last week, when former Los Angeles Lakers great Shaquille O'Neal thought back to the legacies of Phil Jackson and the late Tex Winter, he remembered the routine.

"We did the same thing every day, came in, yoga, stretching, meditation, walk through triangle offense, practice, talk about it afterward," O'Neal said recently.

The ...Read more

Ben Simmons' roadmap to improving on his historic rookie season with Sixers

Sports / Basketball /

PHILADELPHIA -- After a dominant rookie-of-the-year campaign, Ben Simmons cemented himself as one of the brightest rising stars in the NBA. In just one year in the league, his skill-set and limitations, and the expectations for his future, quickly came into focus.

There is no doubt that Simmons' historic rookie season exceeded expectations. ...Read more

LeBron James is able to relate to his younger teammates, but he wants to be strong, serious mentor

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES -- It takes LeBron James only 20 minutes to get from his home in Brentwood to the Los Angeles Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo each morning, a feat that might be more impressive than his eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances given Los Angeles traffic patterns.

He doesn't actually drive, which might be responsible for ...Read more

For Clippers, winning without the glitz is the mode of operation

Sports / Basketball /

LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Beverley wasn't searching for anything specific when he walked into the bookstore this summer.

A trainer in his hometown of Chicago had suggested he read more in order to "open up my mind," and it was with an open mind that Beverley browsed the shelves.

That's when he saw the paperback.

"I think it chose me," he said.

...Read more

Eastern Conference is going green

Sports / Basketball /

Dan Woike looks at how the Eastern Conference teams stack up (with predicted order of finish)

1. BOSTON CELTICS

2017-18: 55-27, second

Coming: F-C Robert Williams III (draft). Going: N/A.

The Celtics made the conference finals and went toe-to-toe with LeBron James despite playing without Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. Both are expected to ...Read more

Golden standard resides in Bay Area

Sports / Basketball /

Dan Woike looks at how the Western Conference teams stack up (with predicted order of finish)

PLAYOFF-BOUND

1. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

2017-18 finish: 58-24, second

Coming: DeMarcus Cousins (FA), Jonas Jerebko (FA)

Going: JaVale McGee (FA), Zaza Pachulia (FA)

The NBA's defending champions added another offensive weapon in Cousins, one of the...Read more

Health is the biggest issue for Clippers

Sports / Basketball /

1. Can the Los Angeles Clippers stay healthy?

Injuries crippled the team last season to the point that G-League players were occasionally flown in the morning of their NBA call-ups for games they would start hours later. Coach Doc Rivers used a league-high 37 different starting lineups. So health is the caveat in any discussion regarding the ...Read more

Mike Muscala, Sixers' GM Elton Brand apologize for 'inappropriate' tweets from Muscala's father

Sports / Basketball /

It turns out that the 76ers had another bout with a Twitter scandal. This time, however, the team squashed it with a quick response.

On Saturday, general manager Elton Brand responded in a press release to what he deemed as "inappropriate and offensive media posts" by Bob Muscala, the father of Sixers reserve power forward, Mike Muscala.

In ...Read more

Lakers take final preseason game over Warriors as starters rest

Sports / Basketball /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Maybe the equilibrium of the state of California depends on it, but the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors are typically at opposite ends of the NBA spectrum.

When the Lakers had championship caliber teams, the Warriors were bottom dwellers, lucky to upset a higher seeded opponent if they made the playoffs at all. ...Read more

Justise Winslow agrees to three-year, $39 million Heat extension

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI -- The Miami Heat have agreed to a three-year, $39 million extension with forward Justise Winslow that will begin with the 2019-20 season.

The agreement, confirmed by an NBA source to the Sun Sentinel, now makes if difficult, if not impossible, for the Heat to trade the 2015 first-round draft pick until July 1 due to the "poison pill" ...Read more

Statement from Pat Riley: No F-bomb in Heat-Timberwolves Butler talks

Sports / Basketball /

MIAMI -- On a sharp about face from his team's typical approach, Miami Heat President Pat Riley issued a statement Friday denying the use of pointed profanity in trade negotiation with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In issuing the statement, Riley, for the rare time, acknowledged trade negotiations, with Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler having ...Read more

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg keeping Jabari Parker in bench role vs. Nuggets

Sports / Basketball /

As expected, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg is keeping Jabari Parker with the second group for Friday's final preseason game against the Nuggets.

Not only did Hoiberg say Thursday that he liked what he saw from both the first and second units in Wednesday's victory over the Pacers -- the first game featuring the change -- but Parker also worked with ...Read more