Kyrie decides to exercise $37 million option to stay with the Nets
(Basketball news) Kyrie Irving has decided to exercise his $36.9 million option in his four contract next season and will remain with the Brooklyn Nets for the time being after being linked to join the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign in trade. The seven-time All-Star averaged 27.4 points and 5.8 assists this past season for the Nets, with whom he has already spent the last three seasons. He's about to enter the final season in a four-year of his major $137 million deal with Brooklyn.
Irving had until Wednesday to inform the Nets about his decision but he ultimately opted to stay and take the money. For the time being it closes one element of the ongoing saga regarding his future, which has been one of the biggest stories as the league prepares for Free Agency on Thursday. However, he may not be a free agent but Irving could still have his contract extended before free agency begins. The Nets could still trade him and in fact, many teams might be more interested in a deal now since Irving is on an expiring contract.
He only appeared in 29 regular-season games this past season, largely because of his decision to not be vaccinated. That made him ineligible to play in Brooklyn, until he was allotted an exemption to the New York City's vaccine protocols. Irving, after the Nets were swept by Boston in the first round, said that he planned on remaining in Brooklyn. He even talked about him and Kevin Durant managing the franchise along with general manager Sean Marks and owner Joe Tsai. Marks later made it clear about Irving's future as they would have to involve discussions about being more available to the team, and he also added that he could not come to an agreement on a long-term extension that could have seen Irving paid an additional $185 million over four years.
Last season the Nets looked on track to reach their first Conference Finals before Irving sprained his ankle in Game 4 of the East semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks, who rallied on and went on to win the series in seven games. The Nets returned this past season thinking that their title core of Irving, Durant and James Harden might go on to win the NBA Championship but it didn't work out anywhere near as planned. Irving wasn't with the team for the majority of the season and Harden ultimately got traded to Philadelphia. The Nets needed to play the play-in tournament just to make the playoffs, and Nets then got humiliated by the eventual Eastern Conference champions, Celtics.
Durant and Irving have always been close friends as they came to the Nets together in July 2019. Durant signed his extension last summer, but Irving did not. Durant is also thinking about his future at Brooklyn but with Irving back in the mix, and with Ben Simmons, who hasn’t played at all this season is now set to team up alongside Irving and Durant this coming season, Brooklyn could quickly return to contender status if these three superstars can figure out a way to play. Or else both Kevin Durnat and Kyrie Irving will hand in trade requests.
NBA: John Wall is set to join the Los Angeles Clippers
(Basketball news) John Wall's strange tenure at the Houston Rockets finally comes to an end. The Rockets have agreed to buyout John Wall out of his massive contract, paving the way for the five-time All-Star to resurrect his career and go compete for the NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Clippers. Wall’s agent Rich Paul who’s the CEO of Klutch Sports, is meeting with Rockets general manager Rafael Stone on Tuesday to finalize the terms. It is expected Wall will have to give back approximately $7 million in salary to hit the open market, and pick up his $47.4 million player option before the buyout is confirmed.
Now John Wall will subsequently become one of the top free agents in the 2022 class, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski, John Wall intends to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers upon clearing waivers.The Rockets paid a healthy amount of compensation as Wall got $44.3 million to just sit on the bench for the entire 2021-22 season. Wall has played less than half a season since the 2018 calendar year and clearly looks out of his usual best. Wall, who is a former No. 1 overall draft pick of the Washington Wizards, has a career 43.1% shooting and 32.3% from 3-point range. Over 613 regular NBA season games in his career, he has averaged 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game.
John Wall’s buyout is going to cost the Houston Rockets around $128 million, and will end his Rockets tenure having played only 1,288 minutes for the team. So, that’s roughly $100,000 per minute of basketball played for Houston. If you see the deal closely it might stand as an all-time record. John Wall is now expected to join one of the most stacked rosters in the NBA league, as he will join the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers also have a lot of wing players as they look to win their first championship in franchise history. One position they somewhat lacked was a playmaking point guard, which they somewhat solved by signing the 31-year-old. It will be an interesting watch as to how Ty Lue incorporates Wall into his system as Kawhi Leonard looks to be back from his injury next season.
Magic pick Pablo Banchero as the no 1 pick in the NBA Draft 2022
(Basketball news) The NBA welcomed its newest rookies to the league on Thursday night during the 2022 draft from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. There were some surprising selections with Orlando Magic acquiring Paolo Banchero as the top pick. While Jabari Smith of Auburn, who was widely expected to go as the first pick, but he was picked up at No. 3 spot by the Houston Rockets.
Draft night also experienced some trades as the Oklahoma City Thunder made a trade with the New York Knicks for the No. 11 pick and Ousmane Dieng for three future conditional first-round picks. In another draft-day trade, it saw the Detroit Pistons acquire No. 13 pick Jalen Duren and Knicks veteran point guard Kemba Walker in what was a three-team deal. The 76ers reportedly moved Danny Green and the No. 23 pick to the Grizzlies as part of a trade to acquire De’Anthony Melton, which indirectly strengthened their back court
1. Orlando Magic: Paolo Banchero, Duke
The Magic need some help on the offensive end, their team finished last season 28th in field goal percentage, 28th in free throws, 27th in offensive rebounding percentage and 23rd in turnovers. Paolo Banchero is a player who brings all these skills to the table and he can add versatility to the Magic’s offense with his physical attributes. He can pass, handle the ball, drive to the basket and finish with some solid footwork. In this draft he was easily the most NBA-ready player among the top five projected picks. Banchero stands at 6ft 10, he averaged 17.2 points on 47.8% shooting from the field, in addition to 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals in his only season at Duke and was coached by the legendary Mike Krzyzewski’ in his final season in charge..
2. Oklahoma City Thunder: Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga
Holmgren has immense potential to become an NBA All star with an impressive all-around skill set for a modern NBA big man nowadays. With his elite rim protection and shot-blocking, he fills an immediate deficiency in the Thunder squad; he acts as an interior defender. He has a versatile offensive game and has shown the NBA scouts that he can handle the ball pretty well, and also shoot from the three point line. Holmgren will need to add strength to reach his peak on offense, but the Thunder can give him time to develop behind their franchise players Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey.
3. Houston Rockets: Jabari Smith, Auburn
Jabari Smith was widely expected to be the No. 1 pick but instead was selected by the Houston Rockets at 3. He had only worked out for the Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the recent tryouts. This season at the NCAA tournament, Smith averaged 42% on his 3-pointers (5.5 attempts), which could make him at the Rockets. At his size, he is difficult to defend and was subsequently the best defender at Auburn this season.
4. Sacramento Kings: Keegan Murray, Iowa
With the Sacramento Kings already having a point guard in place with De’Aaron Fox, the Kings bypassed Jaden Ivey and picked up Keegan Murray as he is an efficient wing scorer. Murray, who improved significantly from his freshman to sophomore seasons, averaged 23.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game while shooting 55% from the field and 39.8% on 3-pointers. Murray at the age of 21, is the oldest player to get drafted this year and could have an immediate impact for Sacramento be off the bench or in the playing 5. Like Banchero, Murray is also a NBA-ready player
5. Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey, Purdue
Jaden Ivey only worked out for the Pistons and Magic in the tryouts. He uses his speed to get past the defenders, any NBA defender will have a hard time slowing Ivey down in transition. He can explode into the lane similar to Ja Morant and has a similar playing style like him. He is the son of Niele Ivey, the women’s basketball coach at Notre Dame and a former women’s college champion herself.
The list of first rounds picks are:
1. Magic: Paolo Banchero
2. Thunder: Chet Holmgren
3. Rockets: Jabari Smith Jr.
4. Kings: Keegan Murray
5. Pistons: Jaden Ivey
6. Pacers: Benedict Mathurin
7. Trail Blazers: Shaedon Sharpe
8. Pelicans (from Lakers): Dyson Daniels
9. Spurs: Jeremy Sochan
10. Wizards: Johnny Davis
11. Thunder (from Knicks): Ousmane Dieng
12. Thunder (from Clippers): Jalen Williams
13. Pistons (from Hornets): Jalen Duren
14. Cavaliers: Ochai Agbaji
15. Hornets (from Pelicans): Mark Williams
16. Hawks: AJ Griffin
17. Rockets (from Nets): Tari Eason
18. Bulls: Dalen Terry
19. Grizzlies (from Timberwolves): Jake LaRavia
20. Spurs (from Raptors): Malaki Branham
21. Nuggets: Christian Braun
22. Timberwolves (from Grizzlies): Walker Kessler
23. Grizzlies (from 76ers): David Roddy
24. Bucks: MarJon Beauchamp
25. Spurs (from Celtics): Blake Wesley
26. Timberwolves (from Mavericks): Wendell Moore Jr.
27. Heat: Nikola Jović
28. Warriors: Patrick Baldwin Jr.
29. Rockets (from Grizzlies): TyTy Washington Jr.
30. Nuggets (from Suns): Peyton Watson
Golden State Warriors clinch their 4th NBA Championship in 8 years
(Basketball news) Golden State Warriors clinched their 4th title in 8 years as they beat the Boston Celtics in game 6 103-90. For the Warriors, Stephen Curry scored 34 points and was named the NBA Finals MVP as they claimed their franchise's seventh championship overall. Andrew Wiggins supported Steph Curry by scoring 18 points as Draymond Green had 12 points and 16 rebounds in an outstanding defensive display carried the Warriors to this year's NBA crown. For the Celtics, Jaylen Brown led the scoring with 34 points but Jayson Tatum finished with just 13, shooting just 6 of 18 from the field as Al Horford scored 19 points. They also committed 22 turnovers, dropping to 1-8 this postseason when committing 16 or more.
For the Boston Celtics it was only their fifth defeat in 22 title-series appearances, which turned their season around to have reached the NBA final. Boston was 25-25 after 50 games, then went on a rampage to get into the finals and nearly claim what would have been just the franchise's second championship since 1986. The Celtics came out firing as they were motivated by the energy from a deafening TD Garden crowd as they took an early 14-2 lead. The Warriors weren't rattled and responded with a 35-8 run that stretched into the second quarter on the way to taking a 22-point lead. The Warriors outscored the Celtics 27-17 for the second quarter and carried a 54-39 lead into the second half as some Celtics fans booed the home team as they left the court for the half-time break. Boston did not give up and fought back in the third quarter, but the Warriors found their range from beyond the arc, connecting on six 3 pointers to bury the game in the 4th quarter.
For Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, it was their fourth NBA championship. Their first three championship rings came in 2015, 2017 and 2018 when Golden State made it to five consecutive trips to the finals. For Steve Kerr it was his ninth NBA championship overall after winning five as a player also. He also becomes the sixth coach to capture four titles, joining the likes of Phil Jackson, Red Auerbach, John Kundla, Gregg Popovich and Pat Riley. Steph Curry came into life this final and helped Warriors win a record 7th NBA Championship, at this rate Steph Curry is on to achieve GOAT status but funnily enough this was his first finals MVP in his career.
''We found a way to just get it done,'' Curry said after the Warriors accepted the championship trophy and celebrated on the court.
''It's part of a championship pedigree, our experience,'' he said. ''We built this for 10-11 years. That means a lot when you get to this stage.''
''They're all unique, they're all special,'' coach Steve Kerr said of the multiple titles. ''This one might have been the most unlikely. ... It takes a group effort to get it done and we had a great group.''
''It all paid off,'' Thompson said. ''It was dog days, a lot of tears shed. ... You knew it was a possibility, but to see it in real time. . It's crazy.''
''This one hits differently for sure knowing what the last three years meant, what it's been like,'' Curry said. ''Injuries, the changing of the guard, rosters, the young guys. ... Now, we got four championships. Me, Dray, Klay and Andre.
''Finally got that bad boy,'' Curry added, referring to the MVP trophy. ''It's special. ... Everybody mattered in that process.''
''Just couldn't withstand their runs,'' Celtics center Robert Williams said. ''Messing up. They played harder and won tonight.''
Warriors take the series lead against the Celtics in the NBA Finals
(Basketball news) The Warriors took full advantage of their home support as they took a 3-2 lead against the Boston Celtics in game 5 which they won 104-94. For the Warriors, Wiggins had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Klay Thompson scored 21 points and Curry contributed 16 points and eight assists but was 0 for 9 from 3-point range. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum had 27 points and 10 rebounds for them, who lost consecutive games for the first time in the postseason, Jaylen Brown was 2 for 11 to start the game and finished with 18 points on 5-of-18 shooting and missed all five of his 3-pointers. Now the Warriors have the chance to win the NBA Championship in the next match as they have the first championship point but they will have to travel to the TD Garden in Boston on the 16th of June.
Steph Curry scored 16 points as the career 3-point leader's NBA-record streak of 132 straight postseason games with at least one 3 pointer ended, along with his NBA-best run of 233 consecutive games with a 3 between regular season and playoffs combined all ended yesterday but the main thing is that they got the all important win and are now just a win away from their 4 title in 8 years. For the Boston Celtic,s the task becomes even more difficult as Warriors tend to thrive in situations like this. The Celtics need their big three of Tatum, Brown and Smart to play out of their skins to level the series. In today's match Steve Kerr celebrated his 25th anniversary of his game-winning shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals as the Bulls beat the Jazz to clinch a record Chicago's fifth championship in a row.
''An incredible memory obviously. Something every young basketball player dreams of. So to be able to live that was pretty amazing,'' Kerr said, smiling. ''And then the fact that it's 25 years ago just makes me feel old, of course.''
''It's something I dreamt about for sure, being in the league, and this is the ultimate stage,'' Wiggins said. ''It doesn't get bigger than this.''
''Coming into this year, he was an All-Star starter for a reason,'' Draymond Green said. ''... The bigger the challenge has been that we've thrown in front of him, the bigger he's responded. You want a guy like that. When the stage gets big, they respond and play their best basketball, and that's what he's been doing.''
''Uh, keep shooting, very simple,'' Curry said, grinning. ''I'm not afraid to go 0-fer or whatever because I'm going to keep shooting.''
Green knows how Curry will respond: ''He's going to be livid going into Game 6. That's exactly what we need.''
''Bottom line is he's just having fun playing basketball,'' Curry said.
''Definitely we weren't as sharp as we needed to be during times there. Just tough,'' Horford said. ''Definitely now, our backs are against the wall, and we have to see what we're made of.''
''When we're at our best, it's simple ball movement. I think the third quarter showed that. The drive and kick was beautiful, was working, getting guys wide-open shots,'' coach Ime Udoka said.
''A night that he didn't have it going we found offense elsewhere,'' said Green
NBA: Bucks take the lead in the series, Grizzlies thump the Warriors
(Basketball news) The Milwaukee Bucks bounced back in emphatic fashion to take the series lead as they beat the Boston Celtics 110-107. For the Bucks, Antetokounmpo had 40 points and 11 rebounds, making 16 of 27 shots as Holiday finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and Portis added 14 points and 15 rebounds. For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum scored 34 points and Jaylen Brown had 26. The Bucks trailed Boston by 14 points in a game that could send the defending NBA champions to the brink of elimination but they played some brilliant basketball to take the lead in the series, that's when Jrue Holiday why he was in the top 3 of the Defensive Player of the year. The defending champions are a game away from reaching their second consecutive Eastern Conference final.
''Obviously, in Boston you're down 14 in the fourth quarter, people would say everything's against us. But we came together,'' said Holiday, who also hit the tying 3-pointer with 43 seconds left. ''We live and die like that.''
''Just a great instinctive play by Jrue,'' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''He's a winner. Jrue Holiday's a winner. You ask any player in this league or any coach in this league. He's a winner.''
'If we box out we win that game,'' Smart said. ''They're the defending champs. They made some championship plays. And now we've got to bounce back.''
''Of course, we're gonna be down. Guys are going to be (upset) about the outcome. We outplayed them for 3 1/2 quarters,'' Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. ''We talked about showing our resolve, and we made it tougher on ourselves now. It'll make it sweeter when we bounce back. But we gave up a golden opportunity tonight.''
The Memphis Grizzlies produced an emphatic win to stay alive in the series as they beat the Golden State Warriors 134-94. For the Grizzlies, Dillon Brooks added 12 points for Memphis. Ziaire Williams and Brandon Clarke had 11 apiece and De'Anthony Melton 10. Steven Adams had 13 rebounds, six offensive as Memphis outscored Golden State 24-5 on second-chance points. For the Warriors, Klay Thompson led the scoring with 19 points, Jonathan Kuminga added 17, Curry had 14 and Damion Lee and Moses Moody each had 10. Memphis created history when they scored 77 points in the first half, the most in franchise postseason history. blowouts in NBA history. With this win the Warriors still lead the series 3-2 and again will have the chance to wrap the series on 13th May.
''We've exceeded expectations ever since I've been here,'' Bane said. ''It almost seems like whenever someone thinks we can't do something, we end up doing it. So I never want to put a limit on this team on what we can do because anything's possible.''
'We knew what was at stake,'' Jackson said. ''We didn't change anything, though. We just calmed down, looked at the film, understand what we had to take away from the last game and just went out there and executed.''
''Obviously, this was a very impressive win for our group, great bounce-back for sure,'' Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said.
''When you spew it out, you've got to be willing to take it and not hide from it and not duck from it and not hide from it. Embrace it,'' Green said. ''So, I appreciated the crowd tonight and the energy they brought to the game. If they want to whoop that trick, we're going to whoop it together.''
NBA: Celtics level the series and Warriors win against the Grizzlies
(Basketball news) The Boston Celtics leveled the series as they beat the Milwaukee Bucks 116-108. For the Celtics, Horford and Jayson Tatum scored 30 points. Horford had 16 points and Tatum 12 in the fourth quarter alone to help the Celtics outscore the defending NBA champions 43-28. Both Jaylen Brown and defensive player of the year Marcus Smart had 18 points each. For the Bucks, Antetokounmpo had 34 points, 18 rebounds and five assists as Jrue Holiday scored 16 points but shot 5 of 22. With this result, game 5 becomes very important as both the teams head to Milwaukee on 11th May.
''I usually just kind of go about my business,'' said Horford, who finished with a career playoff-high 30 points. ''I do get excited, but I guess you kind of pick your spots, your moments. This was an emotional game.''
“We love Al,'' said Boston's Marcus Smart. ''Best vet we've ever had. Best vet I've ever had. He comes in, never changes whether things are going bad or good. He's going to be him, and nine times out of 10, it's going to work out in our favor.''
''I played a terrible Game 3 and we almost had a chance to win,'' Tatum said. ''That was really the toughest part, was knowing that. I was really eager to get back and ready to play.''
''I don't really know what he said to me, but the way he was looking at me and the way he was going about it, really didn't sit well with me,'' Horford said. ''At that point, I think something switched with me in the game.''
''We all understood the importance of this game,'' Horford said. ''We felt at the end of Game 3 we were in position to win the game, and we didn't. I was just really locked in. I understood at that moment what we needed to do as a group. I really just did whatever it took tonight. It was one of those types of nights.''
''Down the stretch, they made shots,'' Antetokounmpo said. ''They executed well. They were disciplined.''
The Golden State Warriors are one game away from reaching the Western Conference finals as they beat the Memphis Grizzlies 101-98. For the Warriors, Curry converted eight free throws over the final 45.7 seconds on the way to 32 points as Poole scored 14 off the bench, Andrew Wiggins added 17 points in a well fought victory for them. For the Grizzlies, Tyus Jones had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists as they missed injured All-Star Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks returned from a one-game suspension and struggled mightily, missing a 3-point try with 53 seconds left and finishing 5 for 19 with 12 points, eight assists and five rebounds as Jaren Jackson top scored with 21 points. With this result, the Warriors take a 3-1 lead and have a chance to seal the series on 11th May.
''Obviously there's butterflies, because again you're going into the game with a certain mindset and it's a big game. Every game that we play at this point in the year, it's huge,'' said Brown, who agreed Sunday to become the Sacramento Kings' new coach after this postseason run.
''So to have that kind of thrown at you, you've got to switch gears because I know what my responsibilities are going in as Mike Brown the assistant coach, and it changes.'
''His head coaching record for a Warrior playoff game I think is undefeated,'' Klay Thompson said. ''We did miss Steve a lot, just his voice, his presence, but we've been here before, 2017 when Mike took over and we rolled off a lot of wins, so I reflected on that a lot.''
''Nothing we figured out, it was just don't let the first three quarters influence the fact that we still had a chance to win the game,'' Curry said. ''Shoot the shots you think you can make, play aggressively, and take care of the ball. We did all of those things.''
''It's a tough one. It's a tough pill to swallow. It felt like we were leading the whole game,'' Jones said. ''It felt like we were in a good position. It felt like we put ourselves in a good position to win a ballgame and things didn't go our way down the stretch.''
''He forced a couple. Trying to get his groove back,'' Jenkins said. ''Obviously he's been off for a couple of days. But when he was playing with force under control, I loved the playmaking that he had.''
The regular season is over as Bulls secured the last playoff berth
(Basketball news) The Chicago Bulls clinched the last playoff position as they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 124-120. For the Bulls, Troy Brown Jr. added 17 points and 11 rebounds as Patrick Williams scored a career-high 35 points and Ayo Dosunmu had 26 points in a season-high 45 minutes. For the Wolves, Nathan Knight had 17 points and eight rebounds and Jaylen Nowell added 15 points. With this result the Bulls secured 6th place in the Eastern Conference standings as they will face the No. 3 seed Milwaukee in the first round. Chicago, which has returned to the playoffs after a four-year absence, shared the East's best record with Miami at the All-Star break they fell off the pace and too many inconsistencies in their performances dropped them to 6th in the standings.
''We have to maintain a high level of competitive fight. They're champions for a reason,'' coach Billy Donovan said. ''They're battle-tested.''
''It's a good first step. This needs to be the foundation of what we're trying to build, and regardless of what happens from here, we've got a lot of things that we've learned,'' coach Chris Finch said.
''I was running a lot of things at him tonight to try to get him to be like that,'' Donovan said. ''He took it upon himself to do the things that he did, even randomly.'
The Lakers finished off their season with a consolation victory over the Denver Nuggets 146-141 after overtime. For the Lakers, Malik Monk had a career-best 41 points and Austin Reaves set career highs with 31 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists as Wenyen Gabriel had 14 points and 10 rebounds. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook did not play the last match as this was also Frank Vogel’s last game in charge, he leaves the golden and purple after 3 seasons and won an NBA championship in 2020. For the Nuggets, Markus Howard had a career-high 25 points and Bryn Forbes scored 24 . With this result the Nuggets face the Golden State warriors in the first round of playoff matches.
''My reaction is I haven't been told (anything) and I'm going to enjoy tonight's game,'' Vogel said when asked about the report. ''Celebrate what these young guys did in terms of scratching and clawing and getting back in this game. We'll deal with tomorrow tomorrow.''
''He gave me a chance,'' Monk said. ''This was the only team that called me in the offseason. I have nothing bad to say about him. All praise goes to him. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have a chance to play basketball. I probably wouldn't be here, so kudos to Frank.''
''This is real basketball,'' Denver's DeMarcus Cousins said. ''This is when talent has to come out. The regular season is one thing, you kind of go through the motions to get through it and be successful.''
Season's over, no one got hurt tonight,'' Malone said. ''We'll focus on moving forward and preparing for Golden State.''
The other results were:
- Cavs 133 - 115 Bucks
- Rockets 114 - 130 Hawks
- Nets 134 - 126 Pacers
- Hornets 124 - 108 Wizards
- 76ers 118 - 106 Pistons
- Magic 125 - 111 Heat
- Knicks 105 - Raptors
- Grizzlies 110 - 139 Celtics
- Timberwolves 120 - 124 Bulls
- Pelicans 107 - 128 Warriors
- Suns 109 - 116 Kings
- Trail Blazers 80 - 111 Jazz
- Clippers 138 - 88 Thunder
- Mavericks 130 - 120 Spurs
LA Lakers sack head coach Frank Vogel after missing out on play-offs
(Basketball news) After a disastrous campaign, the LA Lakers have sacked head coach Frank Vogel after missing out on the play-offs. The team won 33 matches but lost 49 and finished 11th in the Western Conference, with Vogel’s final game being a 146-141 overtime win over Denver Nuggets. Lakers' general manager Rob Pelinka said “This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one we feel is necessary at this point. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Frank both on and off the court. Frank is a great coach and a good man. We will forever be grateful to him for his work in guiding us to the 2019-20 NBA championship."
As things stand, the LA Lakers don’t have a frontrunner to succeed Vogel and are looking for a sixth full-time head coach since the legendary Phil Jackson retired in 2011. Besides Jackson, Vogel has been the only coach to have led the LA Lakers to a championship in 30 years. Speaking after the announcement, LA Lakers’ LeBron James said “I respect Frank as a coach, as a man. The partnership that we've had over the past few years has been nothing but just candid, great conversations. He's a guy who gives everything to the game."
Vogel joined the Lakers on a three year deal in 2019 and helped the team win the 2020 title in Orlando, Florida. He was given a contract extension at the end of the 2020/21 season and his side quickly earned the reputation for being one of the best defensive teams in his first two seasons. After finishing third in the 2019/20 season and first in the 2020/21 season, the team ended up in the bottom 10 both offensively and defensively and ranked 21st in the defensive rating.
In what was their seventh straight defeat, the Phoenix Suns defeated LA Lakers 121-110, missing out on the play-offs. The Lakers were considered one of the favourites in the Western Conference but their campaign has been a big disappointment due to various factors, especially injuries. The trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook only played 21 matches and held a record of 11-10 in those games. Following the All-Star break, the Lakers lost 18 of 24 games with only Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers doing worse.
Franck Vogel is expected to find a new job soon, especially considering that he has a good record of winning a championship, representing teams such as Indiana, Orlando Magic and the Lakers and finishing his stint at the team with a 127-98 record.
LeBron James overtakes Karl Malone as the second highest scorer in NBA
(Basketball news) LeBron James overtook the legendary Karl Malone in the all time leading scorers list to move second in that prestigious list. LeBron now has his eyes set on another Lakers legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's current all-time leading scorer. Malone scored 36,928 points. Abdul-Jabbar's record of 38,387 is within reach if James stays healthy as currently LeBron has 36,985 points in 19 seasons.
Abdul-Jabbar has been on top of the career points list since April 5, 1984, that is eight months before James was born and that time, Kareem had just passed Wilt Chamberlain on the list, who had been the all-time leader since the 1965-66 season. For nearly 60 years, Abdul-Jabbar and Chamberlain are the only players to hold one of the NBA's most prestigious records. Now James is on track to add his name to that group at some point next season as he is 1,402 behind Kareem Addul Jabbar and needs to be averaging at least 27.1 if wants to break the record in 52 matches.
LeBron James is looking to beat Abdul-Jabbar on the official career points list, but he's already the NBA's all-time leader when combining regular-season points and postseason points, he is NBA's all-time leading scorer in points scored in the playoffs, as well as points scored in the All-Star Game. LeBron James may not be considered as the “GOAT” because of the amount of NBA Championships he has won, but looking at his stats and the fact that he will very soon lead the scoring charts in the NBA, it shows that he’s one of the greatest sports athletes to play the game of basketball. In his 20th year in the NBA, James is averaging 30 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game for the season and is the only glimmer of hope for the Lakers fans currently this season.
The Los Angeles Lakers got an unpredicted win over the in-form Cleveland Cavaliers 130-121 as LeBron James just stole the show in his hometown. For the Lakers, James scored 38 points, notched another triple-double as he got his 105th career triple-double and sixth for this season, Russell Westbrook had 20 and 11 assists, and D.J. Augustin added 20 points, making all six 3-pointers. For the Cavs, Darius Garland scored 29 and added 17 assists for them. With this result the Lakers improved their record to 31-41 as they are still 10 games below .500 and are currently 9th in the Western Conference table.
''I'm all out of words,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. ''I don't have any more. He was in control, had an all-time dunk on his old teammate - his old friend, which I'm sure they enjoyed and will talk about. What a hell of a night.''
''They've seen pretty much my whole life in basketball,'' LeBron said. ''Either seen me or heard about it, who is this kid from 40 minutes south of here playing ball at age 9, 10, 11 , 12? Who is this LeBron kid? And they either drove down to see me or saw me when I came to Cleveland and played in AAU tournaments and saw me play in high school games in the Cleveland area, so they've seen me for almost 30 years, since I picked up a basketball.”
''That's the difference between this arena and every other arena in the world.''
NBA: Lakers lose to the Timberwolves as Warriors extend their lead
(Basketball news) Lakers suffered an embarrassing loss to Timberwolves as they lost 110-92. For the Wolves, Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Los Angeles Lakers for a second time this season as Malik Beasley and D'Angelo Russell each had 17 points and Jarred Vanderbilt grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds to help them win their third straight game. They played without star Anthony Edwards, who was under NBA's health and safety protocols. For the Lakers, their squad was depleted with Covid protocols as LeBron James had a quiet 18 points and 10 rebounds, Isaiah Thomas made his season debut with 19 points, Russell Westbrook had 14 points and Kent Bazemore had a season high with 11 points. With this result the Lakers stayed 6th in the Western Conference with a record of 16-14.
''I'm going to let people make their assumptions and make their judgment. I just know that every day when I come here I play the game with a tremendous amount of confidence .I wanted to set the standard. I wanted to try to impose myself into the game real quick, understanding Ant's not here,'' Towns said.
“They definitely played a more physical brand of basketball tonight, and we've got to be better,'' Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.
The Golden State Warriors extended their winning run as they won 111-107 against the Boston Celtics. Andrew Wiggins scored 27 and Kevon Looney had 10 rebounds for the Warriors as Steph Curry top scored with 30 points, who won their third straight game on an East Coast road trip. It was Kerr's 400th victory as a coach in 576 games over eight seasons. He is third on the franchise win list, behind Al Attles (557) and Don Nelson (422). For the Celtics, Jayson Tatum scored 27 points, and Jaylen Brown had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics. With this win the Warriors reclaimed their top spot in the Western conference with a record of 24-5.
''We're coming off the emotional roller coaster ... a lot going on around the league,'' Curry said after scoring 30 points in a 111-107 victory over the Celtics on Friday night. ''You try not to get distracted by all the things that are outside the locker room.''
''On a five-game trip, guaranteeing us at least three wins makes this a good trip,'' coach Steve Kerr said. ''Now tomorrow is more of a free swing.''
''It means I'm incredibly lucky to coach a bunch of talented guys,'' said Kerr, who won the NBA championship in his first season and two more in the next three years. ''From my first game coaching in the NBA until now, I've had nothing but talented teams.''
The results of the other matches were:
- Magic 105 - 115 Heat
- Hawks 115 - 133 Nuggets
- Pelicans 116 - 112 Bucks
- Jazz 126 - 128 Spurs
- Kings 105 - 124 Grizzlies
- Trail Blazers 125 - 116 Hornets
The matches for tomorrow are:
- Celtics vs Knicks
- Nets vs Magic
- Raptors vs Warriors
- Thunder vs Clippers
- Bucks vs Cavaliers
- Jazz vs Wizards
NBA: Warriors extended their winning run as the Rockets hand the Brooklyn Nets a shock defeat
(Basketball news) The Golden State Warriors won their 21st match of the season with a 104-94 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. Curry scored 22 points and moved within nine 3s of tying Ray Allen's record, Steph Curry is closing in on Allen's mark of 2,973 regular-season 3s made from 1996-2014. Draymond Green had 10 rebounds, eight assists and five points, and Jordan Poole scored eight of his 20 points in the third quarter as Golden State started to pull away. Otto Porter Jr. contributed 15 points and six rebounds off the bench as the Warriors improved to 21-4. For the Trail Blazers Jusuf Nurkic had 12 points, 13 rebounds and six assists before fouling out late. Nassir Little scored 18 points for the Blazers, Norman Powell scored 26 points but went 1 for 7 from deep, and the Blazers made just 8 of 30 on 3-pointers as the Trail Blazers missed injured allstars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. With this result Warriors move to the top of the Western Conference.
''To make that many 3s in one game obviously has never been done before, so it was just a routine night,'' coach Steve Kerr said of the 16 Curry needed coming into the game to top Allen. ''He made six, which is nothing for him. I don't think I ever did that in my entire career one time.''
''I feel like it will be special no matter what because I'll make it special and it will be an amazing experience for me and my teammates,'' Curry said this week
The Brooklyn Nets suffered a shock 114-104 loss to the Houston Rockets, who subsequently are showing an uprise in form. Eric Gordon scored 21 points before being ejected in the fourth quarter and Garrison Mathews added 19 as the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to seven and one of the in form teams in the NBA. Although James Harden had 25 points for the Nets, NBA leading scorer Kevin Durant and LaMarcus Aldridge both sat out for this match, Cam Thomas had 18 points for Brooklyn and Mills added 12 points. The loss snapped a six-game road winning streak for the Nets, whose nine road wins are tied with the Suns for most in the NBA. With this result Nets still remained on top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 17-8.
“The adversity that we went through prior to this point has made it even sweeter,'' coach Stephen Silas said. ''We're feeling pretty good about ourselves.'
''When you beat a team like that it means something,'' Mathews said. ''This streak's been a huge boost to our confidence. It's been a huge boost to our morale.''
The Miami Heat finally snapped their losing streak with a 113-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Caleb Martin scored a career-high 28 points, he shot 9 of 12 from the field, including 6 for 8 on 3-pointers, as the Heat tied a franchise record with 22 3s against the defending NBA champions. Kyle Lowry had 22 points and 13 assists, and Max Strus scored all 16 of his points in the fourth quarter for Miami, which snapped a three-game home losing streak. For the Bucks Jrue Holiday scored 27 points and Khris Middleton finished with 20 for the Bucks. Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo had 15 points. With this result the Heat’s improved their record to 15-11 and are currently in 4th position and as for the Bucks their record stands at 16-10.
The other results were:
- Pistons 116 - 119 Wizards
- Hornets 106 - 110 76ers
- Cavaliers 115 - 92 Bulls
- Pacers 122- 102 Knicks
- Raptors 109 - 110 Thunder
- Grizzlies 96 - 104 Mavericks
- Timberwolves 104 - 136 Jazz
- Pelicans 114 - 120 Nuggets
- Kings 142 - 130 Magic
- Clippers 114 - 111 Celtics
The fixtures for tomorrow are;
- 76ers vs Jazz
- Grizzlies vs Lakers
- Spurs vs Nuggets
Staples Center to be renamed Crypto.com Arena in an estimate $700 million deal for 20 years
(Basketball news) The iconic Staples Center in Los Angeles, home to the L.A Lakers, LA Clippers, NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and Women’s NBA’s Los Angeles Sparks will be renamed after being in operation for 22 years to Crypto.com Arena, as announced by arena owners Anschutz Entertainment Group last night. According to multiple reports, it is estimated that the deal would cost $700 million with Crypto.com paying the sum over a 20 year period, however, the financial terms of the deal are not yet made public.
Ever since it opened in 1999, the 20,000 seat venue was named the Staples Center after a 20 year naming rights agreement was reached with American office-supplies retail company Staples Inc. That will end when the Lakers take on the Brooklyn Nets at the NBA’s annual Christmas showcase this December. Headquartered in Singapore, Crypto.com is a cryptocurrency platform which was founded in 2016 and has already invested heavily in the sports landscape globally, signing sponsorship deals with the UFC, Formula 1, Paris Saint-Germain, NHL's Montreal Canadiens and also purchasing the Philadelphia 76ers' uniform sponsorship patch.
The future Crypto.com Arena has been the go-to venue for many major events, not just restricted to sports. The venue has hosted 19 Grammy Awards ceremonies, concerts, important public events such as the memorials of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson as well as three NBA All-Star Games and two NHL All-Star Games. In the first three years of operation, the venue saw the Lakers win three successive NBA Championships along with three more in the subsequent years. WNBA team Los Angeles Sparks have also won three WNBA titles at the Staples Center while the Kings have won two Stanley Cup Championships in 2012 and 2014 at the venue.
After being unveiled as the Crypto.com Arena on Christmas Day, owners AEG will spend the next six months swapping the arena’s external signage for the 2022-2023 NBA, WNBA, NHL season. The venue is also said to be used for basketball events at the Olympics 2028 hosted in Los Angeles with Dan Beckerman, CEO of AEG saying “It’s the biggest of stages, we’re in the epicenter of the sports and entertainment world”.
On this day 35 years ago: Sir Alex Ferguson was appointed manager of Manchester United
(Football news) Sir Alex Ferguson’s almost 27 years at Manchester United can only be described as a dynasty, few figures in sport have been as impactful in changing the fortunes of a sporting institution with the only other that immediately springs to my mind is Phil Jackson’s time at Chicago Bulls from 1989 to 1998, winning six NBA Championships during his tenure. However, when it comes to prolonged periods of success, few can match the legendary Scotsman who transformed Manchester United from a sleeping giant to one of the biggest football clubs in the world.
In Sir Alex Ferguson’s book Leading, the legendary manager said “We had a virus that infected everyone at United. It was called winning.” The 79 year old’s achievements speak for themself, Premier League champion (13), FA Cup (5), Football League Cup (4), Community Shield (10), UEFA Champions League (2), European Cup Winners Cup (1), European Super Cup (1), Intercontinental Cup (1) and FIFA Club World Cup (1). His individual accolades are simply so many that it would be pointless to list them all, such was his contribution to Manchester United that the former United Road Stand at Old Trafford was renamed The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand on 5th November 2011 and a 9 foot statue was erected outside the stand on 23 November 2012.
What separated Ferguson compared to his peers was his ability to adapt to different eras of the sport while ensuring the present was not compromised in a rebuilding process. He took over a Manchester United team in disarray from Ron Atkinson and despite not getting instant results, transformed the team into a team of world beaters that could compete for the highest honours year after year. The Manchester United way has traditionally been to promote youth and with the Class of 92 the club had produced the likes of Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville who went on to serve their boyhood club for years if not decades to come. Ferguson was always an authoritative but a father figure at the club and his excellent man management paid dividends in the handling of Eric Cantona, who went on to become one of the most impactful signings in Premier League history.
Sir Alex Ferguson has faced the likes of Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez, all top managers in their own capacity but has come out on top every single time. What marks him as a great manager is that every single opponent who has faced him has never had anything but respect and admiration for the Scotsman. He became a symbol of patience in an era where Premier League owners would fire managers if a few results didn’t go their way and changed the way success was perceived in England to a more long term view. It’s fair to say that Ferguson’s retirement did not just signal an end of a dynasty but also an era where managers remained at a club for decades, enjoying unparalleled levels of success in the process. There won’t be another Sir Alex Ferguson in the top flight of football and the Scotsman legacy will remain stuff of legends for generations to come.
NBA: Last years finalist Phoenix Suns lose to Denver Nuggets as both the Bulls and Knicks win
(Basketball news) The match between the Suns and Nuggets was a story of two halves, ultimately the Denver Nuggets came out on top as they used lockdown defence and clutch 3 point shots to start off their campaign with a 110-98 victory. Last year's MVP Nikola Jokic started off the campaign with 27 points and 13 rebounds on 13 of 22 shooting from the field as he was too much for the Suns defence to handle, on the other hand Mikal Bridges top scored with 16 points as Chris Paul and co couldn’t get themselves in a groove in the second half
Knicks edged out Celtics 138-134 after playing two overtimes, in what was an enthralling game between these two historical franchises. Evan Fournier in his first match for the New York Knicks scored a career high with 32 points and also hit the game winning three pointer with 56 seconds left in the second overtime. Earlier Jaylen Brown scored 46 points to inspire his team to make a comeback in the fourth quarter as they were down by 11 points, subsequently Brown broke the franchise record for the highest number of points scored on the opening night but ultimately his efforts went in vain as they lost by 4 points in the end. Last year’s most improved player Julius Randle top scored for the Knicks with 35 points, 9 assist and 8 rebounds to help inspire them to a historic victory.
The Chicago Bulls won 94-88 against the Detroit Pistons, this season the Bulls have made significant changes to their roster adding the likes of DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball. These players made their debut and did not disappoint as they scored 17 and 12 points respectively but all the headlines were grabbed by their franchise cornerstone for years Zach Lavine who top scored with 34 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assist. Jerami Grant did his best to inspire a comeback but his 24 points wasn’t enough for them as the Bulls defeated the Pistons for the eight consecutive time.
In tomorrow's matches, the two next generation superstars Trae Young and Luka Doncic go head to head as Hawks take on the Mavericks. Last year's surprise package Hawks will be looking to continue from where they left off from last season as they made it to the Eastern Conference finals under coach Nate McMillan in his first full season. For the Mavericks they will be heading into a new era as coach Rick Carlisle will not be in there for the first time since the 2007-08 season as they have appointed former Dallas player Jason Kidd as their new head coach.
The Miami Heat will play their first match against defending champions Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat will have a renewed vigour and passion to make this year's final after a disappointing season last year, this season Miami have added some extra firepower in the form of former NBA champion Kyle Lowry and also Victor Oldapio who was added to their roster last season will come back from a recurring injury. Miami mainstays Jimmy Butler and along with Bam Adebayo will be hoping that they inspire them to go all the way and win a NBA championship together. This season the Heats have been portrayed as the dark horse for the Championship by the former players and experts.
Last year's Western Conference Finalist LA Clippers will take on Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors. The Warriors are coming off good form after beating the Lakers and will hope to repeat the same against their city rivals. For Clippers, the task in hand will be difficult as their talisman Kawhi Leonard will be out for quite some time as he suffered an ACL injury in the Western Conference Finals. All the onus will be on Paul George to lead the franchise before Kawhi Leonard comes back.
The other significant results were:
- Trail Blazers 121 - 124 Kings
- Jazz 107 - 86 Thunder
- Spurs 123 - 97 Magic
- Grizzlies 132 - 121 Cavaliers
- Pelicans 97 - 117 76ers
- Raptors 83 - 98 Wizards
- Hornets 123 - 122 Pacers
- Timberwolves 124 - 106 Rockets
Fans vote Diana Taurasi as greatest ever WNBA player
(Basketball news) Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi has been voted the league's greatest of all time (GOAT) by the fans. The ‘Vote for the GOAT’ was a part of the WNBA’s celebration for it’s landmark 25th season and Taurasi was announced as the greatest player in WNBA history ahead of Game 1 of the WNBA finals 2021.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said “Congratulations to Diana Taurasi on being voted as the Greatest WNBA player of all time by the fans who have followed her illustrious career and saw her rise above the rest. This well-deserved recognition reflects her sustained excellence on the court and her leading role in advancing the WNBA and women's basketball and being a role model for young athletes everywhere. The opportunity to honor Dee is yet another special moment in celebration of our historic 25th season."
Taurasi has achieved many records in the WNBA, most notably, she is the league’s career leader in points, field goals made and three-point field goals in the regular season and playoffs. Nobody in the league's history has as many All WNBA Team selections than Taurasi (14) and she is tied in second place with 10 WNBA All-Star selections.
Taurasi has a legacy at Phoenix Mercury, having spent the entirety of her 17 year long WNBA career and winning three WNBA Championships and two WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards. Since her selection at the 2004 WNBA draft, she has averaged 19.4 points, 4.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 472 games and has earned one regular season WNBA MVP award.
The voting to determine the greatest WNBA player was conducted on WNBA.com, Twitter and WNBA app between September 5th to 19th. It included 10 current players, namely Sue Bird, Tina Charles, Elena Delle Donne, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Angel McCoughtry, Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Breanna Stewart and Diana Taurasi. The list also included 15 retired players such as Seimone Augustus, Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper, Yolanda Griffith, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson, Lisa Leslie, Maya Moore, Ticha Penicheiro, Cappie Pondexter, Katie Smith, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson and Lindsay Whalen.
Taurasi will receive a one-of-a-kind commemorative trophy, a basketball made up of resin and marble with white mamba scales and inscriptions recognizing her achievements for being named the GOAT.
Basketball player Pau Gasol announces retirement after 23 year long playing career
(Basketball news) Spanish basketball player Pau Gasol has retired from the sport after a long and successful career that has spanned 23 years. The 41 year old won two NBA Championships and three Olympic medals in his illustrious career. Speaking from an opera house in Barcelona, Gasol said “I'm going to retire from professional basketball. It's a difficult decision after so many years, but it's a decision that I really thought over." In attendance were his former teammates and family members, including his wife, his brother Marc and his young daughter.
Gasol made his professional debut in 1998 for Barca as a centre after which the 7 foot 1 inch player was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001. The Spaniard was selected in the All-Star team on six occasions and won the NBA title with the L.A Lakers in 2009 and 2010. He has also played for Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks and spent four months at Portland Trail Blazers despite not playing due to injury.
Gasol had a successful playing career for his country, winning the World Championship in 2006 and European titles in 2009, 2011 and 2015. He helped Spain win a silver medal at the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012 and guided his country to a bronze medal in 2016. Despite being injured for almost two years, Pau Gasol made a full recovery to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where Spain was eventually knocked out of the quarter-finals to eventual winners USA.
While announcing his retirement, Gasol spoke about his battle to overcome the stress fracture he suffered on his left foot in 2019. "Not many doctors thought I'd be able to recover but I'm a person who likes challenges and I wanted to fight to do the improbable. I got to the point where I was relaxed about my career ending, I was at peace, but, when things went well, I took the decision to sign for Barcelona, which wasn't in my plans. I managed to win the league with the club where it all began and where I made my debut. It's been very special."
The 41 year old also paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant with whom he won two NBA titles. “I'd have liked him to have been here today but sometimes life is unfair. He taught me to be a better competitor, a real winner, I considered him like an older brother.”
Los Angeles Lakers vs Brooklyn Nets: The battle between two superteams
(Basketball news) As the new NBA season draws closer and the majority of the free agents found respective homes, the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets emerged as the strongest teams without a shadow of a doubt. Even though last year's NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks and finalist Phoenix Suns remain relatively unchanged from last season, both teams don’t possess the historical talent that the Lakers and Nets have.
The Lakers last season got eliminated in the 1st round of the playoff series by the Phoenix Suns but this season Rob Pelinka (General Manager) made sure that the same thing isn't repeated. At the end of last season, Lakers managed to pull off a blockbuster trade where they managed to get 9 times NBA all star and 2016-17 MVP Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards. With Lebron James and Anthony Davis already in the team, adding Westbrook makes them the team to beat in the Western Conference. With the Lakers adding former NBA all stars Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo in free agency their roster looks more dangerous than before.
The Brooklyn Nets last season pulled off the trade of the decade by getting James Harden from Houston Rockets, adding to a roster which already contained Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Last season, according to all experts, the Nets should have the NBA Championship but were beaten by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference final, although injuries hampered the squad which eventually led to their downfall last season. This season Steve Nash (Coach of Nets) will be hoping that his stars remain fit as they have already added former all stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul Milsap to an already staked roster.
With both teams' ambition of winning a NBA championship last year not being fulfilled, the teams will be even more hungry to reach the NBA final this season. The Los Angeles Lakers have got back the championship core which won the NBA 2 years ago but the key advantage that the Lakers have over the Nets is the championship experience they have in their roster. On the other hand, the Nets have arguably the best trio in American sports history as on any given day James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Iriving can beat any team just based on their talent. As the fans eagerly wait for the start of the new season the NBA finals looks destined to be between these two teams unless and until injuries hamper them both. This is a site that not only the basketball fans want to watch but the sports fans in general will also tune in.
Also read: Virtual development program launched by NBA Academy for top female prospects from outside the US
The Los Angeles Roster:
Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Marc Gasol, Trevor Ariza, Rajon Rondo,Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, DeAndre Jordan, Russell Westbrook, Kent Bazemore, Anthony Davis, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Brooklyn Nets Roster:
Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, Patty Mills, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Paul Millsap, Nic Claxton , Bruce Brown, Cam Thomas, James Johnson, DeAndre Bembry, Jevon Carter, Day’Ron Sharpe.
‘The stars aligned’: Ash Barty’s Wimbledon win is an historic moment for Indigenous people and women in sport
Queensland (Australia), Jul 13 (The Conversation) Over the weekend in London, the stars aligned in the most remarkable way. On the 50th anniversary of Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s first Wimbledon win, Ashleigh Barty claimed her first Wimbledon title.
The 25-year old becomes just the second Indigenous women to win Wimbledon and breaks a long drought for Australia at what is widely regarded as the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.
To put it in context, Australia hasn’t won a singles title at the All England Club since 2002, when Lleyton Hewitt became the men’s champion. The last time an Australian woman took out the title was over 40 years ago, when Goolagong Cawley won her second title in 1980 (this time also becoming the first mother to win Wimbledon in 66 years).
But the win is also an historic moment for First Nations people and for Australian women in sport. It presents an opportunity to both celebrate and learn from this achievement.
Barty breaks the mould Barty’s success is a particularly significant one for First Nations Australians. She is one of only a handful of Indigenous women who are both sporting champions and household names — such as Goolagong Cawley, Cathy Freeman and fellow Olympic medallists Nova Peris and Sam Riley.
Australia has always seemed to struggle with celebrating Indigenous sporting success, particularly when it happens overseas. Achievements like Patty Mills’ magic 17 points to help secure the 2014 NBA championship for the San Antonio Spurs, Chad Reed’s legendary status in motocross and Jesse Williams’ 2014 Super Bowl ring have largely flown under the radar.
Also read: Indian-origin tennis players Samir Banerjee lifts Wimbledon boys' singles title
But Barty breaks this mould. She has long cited her Indigenous heritage and relationship with Goolagong Cawley as an inspiration. Yes, it is Barty’s tennis success that has made her famous. But it is her grace negotiating Australia’s uneasiness with its past and present relationship with our Indigenous peoples that makes her a true champion.
Her victory also followed by a significant hip injury in June. Although seeded number one for the tournament, even those in Barty’s camp were nervous about her chances.
As First Nations people would say “the Old People” — her Ancestors — had intervened.
A NAIDOC week victory Apart from the parallels with Goolagong Cawley’s win, the timing is also special as it comes at the end of NAIDOC week. This year’s theme has been “Heal Country”. As Indigenous people continue to be marginalised in so many areas of Australian life, Barty’s success is all the more a powerful testament to her strength and talent.
We know there are high barriers to Indigenous women participating in sport and exercise, at both grassroots and elite levels. These include racism and the high costs of participating. A frequently cited statistic (based on 2012 data) is about 23% of Indigenous women were physically active or played sport in the past 12 months, compared to 67% of non-Indigenous women.
Even in sports with high Indigenous participation, such as netball (where about 4% of participants are Indigenous), this still hasn’t flowed through to the professional level. There have only ever been two Indigenous players to represent the national team — and none since 2000.
Last year, Queensland Firebirds midcourter Jemma Mi Mi, a proud Wakka Wakka woman, sat on the bench during Super Netball’s Indigenous round. Netball Australia says it is working to improve the culture but change is slow.
Sexism and Australian sport Sport is a significant part of our national identity, and we have a deep love for our sporting heroes. Yet for women in sport, we know the road is harder than for men. It wasn’t that long ago that champion race horse Black Caviar was named Australian sportswoman of the year by the Daily Telegraph.
In my recent research with female AFL players, women talked of their gratitude for being included in the sport at a professional level. This is despite low pay and the high pressures and workloads. As I argued, this attitude is a double-edged sword for professional sportswomen, as it can make them vulnerable to exploitation.
Looking at professional elite athletes in Australia, the top earners are predominantly men. For example, in the 2019 AFR sports rich list, Barty ranked eight and was the only woman in the top 20. A top seven rich list compiled by Fox Sports in June 2021 only featured men.
We also know that women in sport also cop abuse, sexism and harassment — as well as discrimination in terms of how seriously their involvement is taken.
Uneven playing field So while we celebrate #YesAsh and enjoy the #BartyParty, we must also be honest about the realities for women in sport, and in particular for Indigenous women in sport.
For those of us who have enjoyed the pride and excitement of Barty’s win, let’s pledge to work harder on removing structural barriers to participation at grassroots and elite levels. It is time to acknowledge how uneven Australian sporting fields can be. (The Conversation) News source: PTI
Top five sports documentaries you must watch on Netflix
Have you ever wondered why sports documentaries are so engaging? It’s because sports is more than the result, it’s more than winners or losers, it’s more than politics, drama and fans. Sports documentaries encompass all these aspects and more. It captures emotions, untold stories, interpersonal relationships, overcoming adversity and everything that’s on stake. It’s all about the journey, it brings fans closer to their idols and portrays a humane figure behind all the glitz, glamour and money. It scratches beneath the image of iconic sports stars to showcase that even the best of the best suffer from self doubt and fear of failure.
If the game itself is the tip of the iceberg, a sports documentary is all the ice hidden from view that is finally showcased to the wider world. Here are our top five picks of sports documentaries that you should stream on Netflix.
The Last Dance
A 10 part documentary about the 1990’s Chicago Bulls, The Last Dance gives rare insight to the life of arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. The documentary explores his journey from Jordan’s rookie years to the height of superstardom, his ultra competitiveness and the complex relationship between the man himself, his sidekick Scottie Pipin, general manager Jerry Krause and team owner Jerry Reinsdorf. ‘The Last Dance’ is a name given by former coach Phil Jackson when the Chicago Bulls attempted to win their sixth NBA Championship in 1997-1998. This sports documentary is a must watch for not just basketball fans but for anyone who enjoys sports.
Directed by Asif Kapadia, Ayrton Senna was a three time Formula One racing champion before his untimely death at the age of 34 in an accident at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. Senna’s documentary was released in 2010 and captures his career right from his debut at the 1984 Brazilian Grand Prix to a decade later and sheds some light on his rivalry with Alain Prost. It features a ton of emotional footage provided by Senna’s family, especially when Senna speaks about the sport’s safety when fellow Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger loses his life a day before Senna tragically suffers the same fate. The documentary has won numerous awards, winning a BAFTA for the best documentary and editing and the Best Documentary Screenplay by the Writers Guild of America among many others.
Diego Maradona (2019)
Diego Maradona is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers to have ever played the sport. The talented Argentinian’s life was far from straightforward, with allegations of cheating, drug use and infidelity that surrounded Maradona throughout his career. This 2019 British documentary gives a rare insight of Maradona’s life and achievements with carefully compiled archival footage from various sources. Asif Kapadia’s handiwork has shone through this documentary which was first featured in the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Icarus is an insightful documentary that delves into the world of illegal doping in sports. Directed by Bryan Fogel, Icarus starts off with Fogel exploring the option of using performance enhancing drugs to win an amateur cycling competition, leading to developing a connection with Russian scientist Grigory Rodchenkov which opens the door to an even bigger scandal, Russia’s state sponsored Olympic doping program.
The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 90th Academy Awards.
The Dawn Wall (2017)
History was made in 2015 when daredevil climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson free climbed the legendary Dawn Wall section of El Capitan, a 3000 foot granite rock formation in Yosemite National Park. What makes this documentary so special is that it gives the viewer a feeling of being right there, amidst all the action, drama and sheer athleticism. Josh Lowell and Peter Mortimer, the co-directors of the documentary are climbers themselves and have done a fantastic job to capture their 19 days climb on an unforgiving piece of rock.
It perfectly encapsulates some essential human qualities such as patience, perseverance, resilience and the bravery to follow your dreams. It’s a beautiful representation of defying all odds to achieve the impossible and the documentary does a great job capturing all these emotions.