Over the Hill: The late career decline of Steve Nash, a review essay covering The Finish Line and 7 Seconds or Less. “If you ever see a child move,” [Nash] says in the first episode of the series, “they’re totally uninhibited. They just move freely, they don’t think about it, they’re not straining or protecting, they just are. You know, at my best, I am childlike out there.” It may be the most tragic line in the whole series; in capturing precisely what he once had, we also understand what he’s lost.
LeBron James Returning to Cleveland: LeBron James stunned the NBA on Friday when he announced he's returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers and leaving the Miami Heat. James made the announcement on Sports Illustrated's website in a letter. He wrote: "Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. ... In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have. I'm ready to accept the challenge. I'm coming home. ... My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn't realize that four years ago. I do now."
Jason Kidd joins Bucks as head coach: The Milwaukee Bucks have finalized a deal to break Jason Kidd away from his contract with the Brooklyn Nets.
Mavericks, Knicks shuffle up players.: And the Summer of fun for the NBA begins. Dallas sends Jose Calderon, Sam Dalembert, Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington in exchange for Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton. Naturally, both media markets are trying to figure out how this positions their respective teams to (re)sign certain free agents. (Dallas; New York)
LeBron Taking His Talents Out of South Beach: LeBron James will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent, his agent Richie Paul has informed the Miami Heat. He was scheduled to make $20 million next season. In James' four seasons with the team, the Heat went to four straight NBA Finals and won two championships.
Baylor Center and NBA prospect Isaiah Austin has been diagnosed with a career-ending genetic disorder.: Austin has been diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome, meaning the connective tissues in his body are weakened and he likely has an enlarged aorta. Austin, a 7'1" Center also has a detached retina in his right eye. He was pegged as a late first/early second round draft pick and would have been the first partially-blind NBA player.
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat 4-1 to win the NBA championship.: Amidst all the drama (and great basketball) in the early rounds of the playoffs we were left with a repeat of 2013, Spurs versus the Heat. However, this year the results were markedly different as the Spurs dominated the last 3 games of the series in an unquestionable way. Kawhi Leonard is my new hero; a young man whose father was murdered 6 years ago and on Father's Day carried his team to a championship and won the MVP award. Oh, and he doesn't really want to talk to the press.
UNC's McCants: 'Just show up, play': Former North Carolina guard Rashad McCants told ESPN that while he was in school he barely went to class, tutors wrote his term papers and that he took bogus classes in order to stay eligible.
CNN: Steve Ballmer Reaches Deal to Buy Clippers for $2 Billion: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has signed a binding agreement to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion from the Sterling family trust, CNN reports. Ballmer, who attended several Clippers playoff games, told the Wall Street Journal this month he would not move the team from Los Angeles.
Kansas State denies player the right to transfer away: "With a release, Romero could go to another Division I school and receive scholarship money while sitting out the required year to transfer. But without the release, she would have to pay all her own expenses for that year, which she says she's not in a financial position to do as a foreign student."
Warriors fire coach Mark Jackson: Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson has been fired following a meeting with the team’s ownership group.
Report: Clippers Owner Donald Sterling Has Prostate Cancer: Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, 80, has been battling prostate cancer, the New York Post reports. The newspaper provides this tasteless quote from an unnamed source: "They thought he would die two years ago. People have been predicting his imminent demise." A decade ago Sterling wouldn't pay for the prostate cancer treatment of then-assistant coach Kim Hughes. "I contacted the Clippers about medical coverage and they said the surgery wouldn't be covered," Hughes said in 2011. "They said if they did it for one person, they'd have to do it for everybody else."
NBA Bans Donald Sterling for Life: Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA for his racist comments. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday that he will try to force the controversial owner to sell his franchise. Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million, and Silver made no effort to hide his outrage over the comments. "We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling's views," Silver said. "They simply have no place in the NBA."
Audio: Racist Tirade by Clippers Owner: Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been caught on audio making racist comments to his girlfriend V. Stiviano, the gossip site TMZ revealed. Sterling, angered by a photo of his girlfriend and Magic Johnson on Instagram, said to Stiviano, "You can sleep with them (black people). You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that ... and not to bring them to my games." He added, "I'm just saying, in your lousy ------- Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with, walking with black people."
Who You Gonna Call? NBA Teams Afraid of Ghost: NBA teams that visit Oklahoma City typically stay at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel, a 103-year-old building that by legend has its own ghost, Effie the housekeeper. "The place is haunted," Jared Jeffries told the New York Daily News. "It's scary."
Craig Sager Has Leukemia, According To His Son: If Craig Sager's son's Twitter is to be believed, the sideline reporter will be starting a treatment for acute leukemia Friday.
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.