UMass Basketball Player Says He's Gay: "I am the first Division 1 male basketball player to come out and not the last. I AM gay. I'm not afraid. I'm not alone. -- sophomore Derrick Gordon of the University of Massachusetts on Twitter today
UConn Wins National Championship: Led by 22 points from Shabazz Napier, 14 points from Ryan Boatright and strong defensive games from both, the Connecticut Huskies defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 in the NCAA college basketball championship. UConn entered the tournament as a seventh seed but left with the school's fourth national title since 1999. They never trailed in the game, but Kentucky narrowed the lead to one point with 8:13 left. They are the highest seed to win it all since eight seed Villanova in 1985.
UCSB Fan Runs Onto Court, Yells at Coach: A fan wearing a "UCSB Class of 2014" T-shirt ran onto the court and screamed at Hawaii coach Gib Arnold during a stoppage in play at Thursday night's game against UC-Santa Barbara. "I'm so embarrassed by that kid," UCSB coach Bob Williams said. "This kid had no right to be on the floor. He was an idiot." The fan was arrested by campus police.
Nets Sign First Openly Gay NBA Player: Journeyman center Jason Collins has signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets and will make history as the first openly gay player for an NBA team when he takes the court in a game. The Nets play the Lakers tonight at 9 p.m Eastern. Collins came out in a Sports Illustrated cover story last April, but was not signed by a team until now.
76ers Sign Teen with Down Syndrome: The Philadelphia 76ers have given a two-day contract to an 18-year-old high school student with Down syndrome after his on-court exploits in a game went viral. Senior Kevin Grow, the longtime manager of his Bensalem High School basketball team in Pennsylvania, got to suit up and play the final two minutes of his final two games. He scored 14 points in the finale, burying four three-pointers including a buzzer beater. Grow shared a meal with the 76ers, took part in shooting drills and got his own locker and No. 33 jersey.
Sacre Bleu! Los Angeles Lakers Run Out of Players: In last night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Lakers ran out of players. Robert Sacre fouled out with 3:31 left in the game, leaving only four players on the team capable of taking the floor -- they had fielded eight, two were injured and another fouled out). Shahan Ahmed of the Los Angeles Times explains what happened next: "Under rules seemingly no one had heard before, the Lakers were allowed to keep Sacre in the game after the Cavs shot a technical free throw. From that point forward, any foul Sacre committed would count as a personal foul and a technical foul. Luckily, that never happened." ProBasketballTalk has more on the excellent weirdness.
Dennis Rodman is the third best player in NBA history: The multi-year, multi-part series has reached a finale. Includes a cool visualizer.
Jason Kidd fined $50,000 for intentionally spilling drink: The NBA fined Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd $50,000 for his spilled-drink shenanigans that took place in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's 99-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the league announced Thursday.
Bulls Lose Derrick Rose to Another Knee Injury: Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose suffered a torn medial meniscus in his right knee that will require surgery, the team announced Saturday. Rose, the 2010-11 NBA MBP, missed the last season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his other knee. He's out indefinitely.
Contrary to popular opinion, African-American NBA players are less likely to come from impoverished backgrounds: "Growing up in a wealthier neighborhood is a major, positive predictor of reaching the N.B.A. for both black and white men. ..... Putting all the information together, my best guess is that black N.B.A. players are about 30 percent less likely than the average black male to be born to an unmarried mother and a teenage mother." Infographic. NYTimes link
Celtics Guard, Lakers Exec Bill Sharman Dies: Bill Sharman, high-scoring guard for the Boston Celtics, and later coach and executive with the Los Angeles Lakers has died at age 87. In the championship years with the Celtics, the mantra "Russell to Cousy to Sharman", describing the Boston fast break, was the equivalent of baseball's "Tinker to Evers to Chance".
Magic Johnson Leaving ESPN to Pursue Other Commitments : According to sources Magic left ESPN because of Bill Simmons however Bill Simmons denies pushing Magic out
NBA Finals Likely to Adopt 2-2-1-1-1 Format: The NBA's competition committee has recommended that the NBA Finals return to the home/road 2-2-1-1-1 format abandoned by new NBA Commissioner David Stern in 1984, dumping the 2-3-2 format that gives the second-seeded team a home-court advantage through the first five games. The league's Board of Governors is expected to approve the change in October in time for the upcoming season's championship series.
Guard on Knicks' Last Champion Team Dies: Dean Meminger, a point guard who played on the last New York Knicks team to win an NBA Championship, died in an upper Manhattan hotel room Friday at age 65. In that celebrated 1973 season, Meminger defended Boston Celtics guard Jo Jo White in game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. "Dean went out and shut Jo Jo down, and we won that game," said former teammate Phil Jackson. "It was a signature performance in our history." Meminger struggled with cocaine addiction and had this to say about his failure to raise son Dean Jr. and daughter Maisha: "If I wanted to say somebody was my son, Dean is my son. Understands what values are, a loyal, family guy. I don't know where he learned it from."
Seattle Investor Spends $80K Fighting Sacramento Arena: A leader of the effort to bring the Sacramento Kings to Seattle donated $80,000 to Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, a political group trying to block a new basketball arena in the California city. Chris Hansen supported the group's effort to collect enough signatures to bring the arena to a public vote. "I made a mistake I regret," he said. "I would also just point out that the contribution was made in my personal capacity and not on behalf of our ownership group or my partners."
Dwight Howard Will Bounce to Houston: Dwight Howard has decided to sign with the Houston Rockets, USA Today first reported. His representatives told the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers he wouldn't be choosing those teams.
Celtics Hire Brad Stevens as Head Coach: The Boston Celtics announced today that they have come to an agreement with Brad Stevens to be the 17th head coach of the team. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.
For Celtics, trade of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce is end of era: Six years ago, the fans here celebrated the Celtics' steal of Kevin Garnett. A half-dozen years later, they were experiencing the other end of the era, and the sad feeling that they were the victim now, instead of the lucky thieves.
Dwight Howard Likely to Leave Los Angeles: Dwight Howard has little chance of re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, unnamed "sources close to the situation" told ESPN. He plans to meet with Dallas, Houston and Atlanta along with LA once teams can talk to him beginning July 1. This ESPN report leans towards Dallas: "Howard likes the idea of being the top superstar of a franchise and with Dirk Nowitzki aging, Dallas would be viewed as Howard's team."
Hello, Larry: Heat Repeat as NBA Champs: Powered by LeBron James' 37 points, 12 rebounds and five three pointers, the Miami Heat repeated as NBA champions with a 95-88 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the Finals Thursday night. Dwyane Wade added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Shane Battier scored 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range. Tim Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebound for the Spurs but was denied his fifth chance to hoist the Larry O'Brien as NBA champ.
Late Comeback Keeps Heat Alive: Down by 5 with 28 seconds left, the Miami Heat accomplished an amazing comeback to force overtime and defeated the San Antonio Spurs 103-100 in game 6 of the NBA Finals. LeBron James had 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, scoring a late three-pointer in regulation and a go-ahead shot in OT. "We were a few seconds away from winning the championship and we let it go,'' Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili said. A deciding game 7 occurs Thursday night.
Spurs One Game from Title: The San Antonio Spurs dominated game 5 of the NBA Finals, defeating the Miami Heat 114-104 to take a 3-2 series lead. Manu Ginobili started for the Spurs and had a season-high 24 points and 10 assists. Spurs guard Danny Green's six three-pointers pushed him into record territory for the most threes in a playoff series. "I can't believe he's still open at this point in the series," said teammate Tony Parker. Miami's big three played well -- LeBron James scored 25 points, Dwyane Wade 25 with 10 assists and Chris Bosh 16 points -- but now must win both games in Miami to repeat as NBA champions.
Heat's Big Three Lead Game 4 Win Over Spurs: Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, LeBron James 33, and Chris Bosh 20 in the Miami Heat's 109-93 road win over the San Antonio Spurs to even the NBA Finals at 2-2. The Spurs may want to rethink assigning center Tiago Splitter at the start to guard Wade, who shot 14-for-25 and was 4-4 from the charity stripe. During the game, a waterfront deck collapsed in Miami's North Bay Village as people gathered to watch the game, sending 100 people down five feet into Biscayne Bay. Two dozen were injured, two seriously. "There was just a crack, and then we were in the water," said Crystal Infante.
Jason Kidd hired as Brooklyn Nets head coach: The Brooklyn Nets named Kidd their coach Wednesday in a rare and speedy transition from uniform to suit. Jason Kidd getting Brooklyn Nets job irks Patrick Ewing Jr.
Spurs Crush Heat in Game 3: In the third-largest rout in NBA Finals history, the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Miami Heat 113-77 and took a 2-1 series lead. The Spurs had 16 three pointers -- 13 from Danny Green and Gary Neal -- as Green scored 27 points and Neal 24, both personal playoff highs. LeBron James scored 15 points on 7-for-21 shooting and failed to reach the foul line for the first time in his Heat career. "He missed a lot of shots he normally makes," Green said of James. "LeBron is not just us stopping him. He's kind of stopped himself out there and we're getting a little lucky."
'The Doctor' a vivid recollection, but Julius Erving's not done yet: Julius Erving enjoys the game and what it has become, and he relishes the global success that's on display during the NBA Finals. More than anything, though, he loves to hear the players speak, because sometimes he can hear a little bit of his own voice.
Heat Beat Spurs to Even Series: In perhaps the biggest game of his career, Mario Chalmers led all scorers with 19 points in the Miami Heat's 103-84 victory against the San Antonio Spurs. Tied 1-1, the best-of-seven NBA Finals now shifts to Texas for three consecutive games. LeBron James finished with 17 points, a postseason low, but other Heat players stepped up in a 30-5 run.
Spurs Take Game 1 Over Heat: The San Antonio Spurs began the NBA Finals with a 92-88 road win over the Miami Heat. Tony Parker scored 21 points, none more important than a desperate heave with time running out on the shot clock in the final 8 seconds. LeBron James had a triple-double with 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. Tim Duncan had 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Pacers' Roy Hibbert Fined for Gay Joke: The NBA fined Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert $75,000 on Sunday for using the phrase "no homo" and calling the media an expletive during his postgame press conference after Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday. Hibbert used the phrase as a joke. Asked about defending LeBron James, Hibbert referred to teammate Paul George and said, "I really felt that I let Paul down in terms of having his back when LeBron was scoring in the post or getting to the paint, because they stretched me out so much. No homo."
The story behind Jason Collins' story: How it happened: I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.....
Russell Westbrook to have meniscus repair.: Westbrook injured his knee during the second quarter of the Thunder's Game 2 win over the Rockets Wednesday night but continued to play in that game. No timetable is set for his return. To date, Westbrook has never missed a game in his professional, college, or high school career.
Golden State Warriors' David Lee shaken by timing of injury: Sunday morning, MRI results revealed exactly what Lee feared when he felt a pop in his right hip in the fourth quarter of Game 1 Saturday. He sustained a complete tear of his right hip flexor, ending his first trip to the playoffs in eight NBA seasons.
Was the Flu Game a Poisoning?: Michael Jordan's "flu game" in the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz, one of the most iconic moments in his career, was caused by intentional food poisoning, his trainer Tim Grover alleges. Jordan was the only player to eat a pizza that had been delivered to their hotel, he said. "Five guys came to deliver this pizza," Grover said. "I take the pizza, and I tell them: 'I've got a bad feeling about this.' ... Out of everybody in the room, [Jordan] was the only one who ate. Nobody else had it. And then, at 2 o'clock in the morning, I get a call to my room. I come to the room, and he's curled up in the fetal position."
UConn wins NCAA Women's Championship: A dominant UConn team wins its 8th national championship with a 33 point margin of victory. Coach Geno Auriemma tied legendary Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt for most titles. Freshman Breanna Stewart looks like a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Louisville Wins NCAA Championship: Louisville rallied from a 12-point deficit to beat Michigan 82-76 in the NCAA championship basketball game Monday night. Luke Hancock scored 22 off the bench to lead the scoring for the Cardinals. Rick Pitino becomes the first coach to win the title with two schools. He also won it with Kentucky in 1996. Kevin Ware, the guard who broke his leg in gruesome fashion in the regional final, watched from his seat at the end of the bench.
Spencer Haywood finds out he was elected to Hall of Fame ... then not: On Friday, Fox Sports Florida reported Spencer Haywood had been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. One problem. Turns out it wasn't true
The man behind One Shining Moment: One Shining Moment
There Is No Leo G. Hershberger: Forty years ago, the National Association of Collegiate Basketball Writers released their All-America team naming the top 15 rookie players in the nation. All 15 received certificates congratulating them on winning the Leo G. Hershberger award, named for a sportswriter, and the achievement was noted by Associated Press and several major newspapers. The whole thing was a hoax concocted by four William & Mary alumni to ensure that their school's guard Mike Arizin was somebody's All-American.
Rutgers' coach Mike Rice Berates Players at Practice: In several dozen hours of video of Rutgers men's basketball practices obtained by "Outside the Lines," coach Mike Rice is seen hurling basketballs from close range at his players' heads, legs and feet; shoving and grabbing his players; feigning punching them; kicking them; and screaming obscenities and homophobic slurs.
USC Hires Andy Enfield Away from Florida Gulf Coast: Andy Enfield, fresh off taking 15-seed Florida Gulf Coast to the sweet 16, has been hired to coach USC. FGCU played an up-tempo style that averaged 73.5 points a game this season, but it was in the Atlantic Sun. He's a former NBA and Florida State assistant known for his "shot doctor" videos who also owns a stake in a medical software company worth millions and is married to former model Amanda Marcum. "Andy has been successful in every area of his life," said USC athletic director Pat Haden.