Lakers slump to their fourth successive defeat as Warriors continued winning
(Basketball news) Lakers slumped to their fourth successive defeat of the season as they lost 139-117 against the San Antonio Spurs. For the Spurs, Keita Bates-Diop scored a career-high 30 points while making all 11 of his shots as Derrick White had 23 points and Lonnie Walker added 21 in the third victory on a four-game road trip for the Spurs. For the Lakers, James had 36 points and nine rebounds and Russell Westbrook scored 30 points for Los Angeles, which has lost four straight for the first time this season amid COVID-19 roster chaos. Los Angeles (16-17) is back under .500 for the first time since Nov. 26 as they are missing some key players through the Covid outbreak. With this result the Lakers still managed to stay 6th with a record of 16-17.
''I was playing the game, reading the defense, moving around,'' Bates-Diop said. ''I don't think I dribbled that much. My teammates just found me (James) is a great player, but you've got to guard him and just not get star-struck by him.”
''We have no chemistry with any lineup from the simple fact that we haven't logged any minutes,'' James said. ''All of our defensive guys are in health and safety protocols. ... We don't need a full roster. We just need some of our guys back.''
''Keita was ridiculous,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ''Did a fine job at both ends of the court. We could hardly guard LeBron, but he did his best. Really was a team effort, because I thought some of the (bench) guys outplayed the starters.''
''Nothing you can do but figure it out,'' Westbrook said. ''Find ways. Get guys back in shape. We have a bunch of guys in that locker room that don't quit and don't give in to what's happening. We've got to turn the page and find a way to win a ballgame.''
The Golden State Warriors continued their golden run as they won 113-104 against the Memphis Grizzlies. Stephen Curry scored 46 points and made eight 3-pointers, Gary Payton Jr. added a clutch 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter and the Golden State Warriors held off the Memphis Grizzlies. For the Warriors, Payton finished with 22 points and Draymond Green had nine assists to help the Warriors improve an NBA-best 16-2 record at home. For the Grizzlies, Ja Morant had 21 points but it wasn’t enough as Curry made 13 of 22 shots (8 of 14 beyond the arc) and was 12 for 12 on free throws to top the 30-point mark for the 12th time this season and the 225th of his career. With this result Warriors improved their record to 26-6 and currently stand second in the Western Conference standings.
''That's about as good as it gets against a very physical defense with great size,'' Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. ''Over the last 10-12 games, Memphis had the best defensive rating in the league. For Steph to go out and get 46, he showed every bit of his talent tonight. This was his most efficient game in a couple weeks, for sure.''
“Definitely wanted this one,'' said Curry, who twisted his ankle in the fourth quarter but noted he was OK. ''Definitely felt like it was one (we) can't let slip by because of the history but also because knowing what it's going to take to win a game like this. You carry that chip on your shoulder and understand this is our home court.''
'He had a great offensive night,'' Green said. ''He found space tonight. Guys did a good job of trying to get him the ball and not forcing it. You let a guy like that get clean looks, it starts an avalanche.''
''Greatest shooter of all time,'' Morant said. ''We know he's going to make shots. We just have to make it very tough for him to get it off. We had some mental lapses during the game and he made us pay for it.''
The other results were:
- 76ers 96 - 98 Hawks
- Pacers 118 - 106 Rockets
- Magic 104 - 110 Pelicans
- Knicks 117 - 124 Wizards
- Heat 115 - 112 Pistons
- Mavericks 95 - 102 Bucks
- Jazz 128 - 116 Timberwolves
- Suns 113 - 101 Thunder
- Nuggets 107 - 115 Hornets
NBA: Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors became the first teams to win 20 matches this season
(Basketball news) Phoenix Suns became the first team to reach 20 wins as they won 108-104 against San Antonio Spurs. Paul had a few clutch plays late in the fourth and finished with 21 points and 10 assists, Jae Crowder added a season-high 19 points for the Spurs all five San Antonio starters scored in double figures, led by Murray's 17 points. Bryn Forbes added 15 points off the bench. Phoenix was playing its first game since having its franchise-record 18-game winning streak snapped against Golden State on Friday. The Suns didn't appear fazed by the setback and won for the 19th time in 20 games which meant that they improved their record to 20-4 and are joint first in the Western Conference with the Warriors.
''He's real crafty,'' Suns forward Cam Johnson said. ''There's a reason he's one of the all-time steals leader. ... He's smart, quick with his hands and when you watch him do it, it's pretty impressive.''
'We still fought and made it a game,'' McDermott said. ''We had a chance to win against one of the best teams in the league. Unfortunately, we lost, but I think we will learn a lot from this one.''
The Golden State Warriors continued their marvellous start to the season with a comprehensive 126-95 victory over the Orlando Magic. Steph Curry had seven more 3s on the way to his 31 points and eight assists, Andrew Wiggins hit a career-high eight 3s and finished with 28 points as they both combined for 59 points. Curry swished a half-court shot to beat the first-quarter buzzer and wound up shooting 8 of 16 as now he has 2,958 career regular-season 3s, 15 from tying the great Ray Allen's 2,973. For the Magic Gary Harris scored 17 points to lead the Magic, Wendell Carter Jr. added 14 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando. With this result the Warriors improved their record to 20-4.
''I know what the situation is, yeah,'' Curry said, smiling. ''I always just play the game but obviously know I'm closing in. But try not to let it creep in to how you play and just enjoy the journey to get there `cause it does mean a lot to me as I do get closer. ... I'll talk about it when it happens.''
''He's Steph Curry, so anything's possible,'' Kerr said. ''He made half-court shots in back-to-back games.''
The Milwaukee Bucks won their 10th match out of a possible 11 as they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-107. Giannis Antetokounmpo came back from a two-game absence and scored 27 points on his 27th birthday, the two-time MVP made all three of his 3-point attempts and also had 12 rebounds in his return from injury, he also scored 15 points in the fourth quarter to take his team to victory. The Bucks had more contributions as Holiday had 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Khris Middleton provided 21 points and eight assists. Pat Connaughton scored 12, and Bobby Portis had 10 points and 16 rebounds. Jarrett Allen led the Cavaliers with 25 points and nine rebounds while shooting 10 of 12. Lauri Markkanen scored 20, Kevin Love 15, Evan Mobley 12 and Darius Garland 10. With this result the Bucks improved their record to 16-9 and are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
“Guys are playing with confidence, playing together,'' said Antetokounmpo, who went 6 of 7 on free throws. ''We're guarding together. We're in a very, very good spot right now.''
''I thought that pass and that shot might have been the biggest kind of swing because it was hanging there at two for a while,'' Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. ''We needed a play from somebody.''
''We're going to fight till the end,'' Allen said. ''That's the main thing I learned about this team, about the guys. No matter how we start the game, no matter who's in front of us, big or small, we're going to go out there and fight till the end. You look at these last two games, we came out flat in both of them. We could have just rolled over and gave the game up easily, but we came back and tried to stay in it till the end.''
The other results were :
- Pistons 103 - 114 Thunders
- Pacers 116 - 110 Wizards
- Hornets 124 - 127 76ers
- Heat 90 - 105 Grizzlies
- Bulls 109 - 97 Nuggets
- Timberwolves 110 - 121 Hawks
- Trail Blazers 90 - 102 Clippers
The fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Mavericks vs Nets
- Spurs vs Knicks
- Lakers vs Celtics
NBA: The New York Knicks defeated the Lakers and Mavericks needed overtime to defeat the Clippers
(Basketball news) The Knicks defeated the Lakers 106-100 as LeBron James was suspended for this match and although Anthony Davis played, he wasn’t 100% fit. With one superstar suspended and another sick, the Los Angeles Lakers already had big problems after that they created a hole for themselves by falling into a 25-point hole. Julius Randle added 20 points, 16 rebounds and five assists for the Knicks and Evan Fonier scored 26 points, Immanuel Quickley adding 12 of his 14 in the fourth quarter. Westbrook had 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, with 18 points in a sensational third quarter, Davis, who woke up with a fever, had 20 points on 7-for-17 shooting. He said he arrived only about 45 minutes before the game and didn't have his usual warm up. With this result the Lakers record fell to 9-10 as they moved down one place to 9th in the Western Conference.
'We weren't playing hard enough. Simple No team wants to come out down 10-0, but it's a long game and we fought back and gave ourselves a chance,'' Russell Westbrook said.
“So I definitely think that he was a little bit drained and we used him differently,'' coach Frank Vogel said. ''We tried to keep him in seven-minute runs and he did not play in his normal rotation, so it probably had an impact.
''We were just trying to buy some time there and that group ended up going on a little bit of a run, so it allowed us to go a little bit longer (without Randle),'' Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Miami Heat defeated the Pistons 100-92 as they improved their record to 12-6, Tyler Herro had 31 points and eight rebounds as they rallied home to beat them. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo each added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Heat, who won for the fifth time in six games. Kyle Lowry had 15 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Jerami Grant had 21 points and seven rebounds for Detroit as they were without center Isaiah Stewart, who served the first of a two-game suspension for Sunday's altercation with Lakers star LeBron James.
''It wasn't just Tyler. Our whole second unit turned the game around in the third quarter,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''We really didn't have any offensive rhythm in the first three quarters - and Detroit had a lot to do with that - but we put together some stops and that helped us get going offensively.''
“The game is different in the fourth quarter and we're still learning how to handle that,'' Pistons coach Dwane Casey said. ''You can be up 10 or up 15, but it doesn't matter because of the 3-pointer and the way teams turn it up late.''
The Dallas Maverick stopped a late surge as they won 112-104 in overtime against the LA Clippers. The Dallas Mavericks folded in overtime against the Los Angeles Clippers after blowing a 10-point lead but Porzingis scored 30 points, including six in overtime, and Doncic had 26 in his return to the lineup as the Mavericks as they improved their record to 10-7 in the Western Conference. The Mavericks were up 102-92 late in the fourth quarter before the Clippers scored 11 of the final 12 points to force overtime, including a 3-pointer by Paul George at the buzzer. For the Clippers Reggie Jackson led the Clippers with 31 points, his most in 2 1/2 seasons with the team. George scored 26. With this result the Clippers record stands at 10-8 as they fall down to 5th in the Western Conference.
“For a second you are disappointed because we should have finished them off (in regulation), but I think we are growing mentally as a team,'' said Porzingis, who has scored 20 or more points in a career-high seven straight games. “We realized it was five more minutes and we went out there and proved we are the superior team”.
''That second felt like it was forever. Guess I just got free and let it fly,'' George said after his buzzer beater.
“He's playing at a very high level. He didn't force anything. Sometimes when a star player comes back others might change their game but he didn't,'' Kidd said. ''Luca's prep work the past two days was at a high level. He has a great feel and there's a big trust that the other guys were going to make plays”.
Tomorrow's fixtures are:
- Pacers vs Lakers
- Magic vs Hornets
- Cavaliers vs Suns
- Celtics vs Nets
- Pelicans vs Wizards
- Rockets vs Bulls
- Timberwolves vs Heat
- Thunder vs Jazz
- Bucks vs Pistons
- Grizzlies vs Raptors
- Spurs vs Hawks
- Warriors vs 76ers
- Kings vs Trail Blazers
NBA: Phoenix Suns make it 13 straight wins with a victory over San Antonio Spurs as Nets move to the top of the Eastern Conference
(Basketball news) Suns recorded their 13th straight with a 115-111 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The Suns matched the third-longest winning streak in franchise history. It's their longest since a franchise-record 17 straight victories from Dec. 28, 2006, to Jan. 29, 2007. Devin Booker scored 23 points, Deandre Ayton had 21 points and 14 rebounds as they had a clutch fourth quarter performance to guide their team to deserved victory. Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray had 18 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his seventh career triple-double as they (4-12) have lost eight of 10 for its second-worst start in franchise history. Payne added 20 points off the bench for Phoenix, which had six players finish in double figures. Phoenix finished with 25 assists and went 45 for 87 from the field. With this result Suns improve their record to 14-3, they currently are 2nd in the Western Conference.
''People have to find ways to get (3-pointers),'' Popovich said. ''We have to try to help them. But I would be very disappointed if we weren't getting assists or we were getting murdered on the board or turning it over constantly.''
'I always say the best available shot down every time,'' Booker said. ''I think the dynamic of our team with (Ayton) being a rim threat and he can play out the pocket is also surrounded by a lot of shooters and playmakers. We have the ability to get good shots every time downcourt.We just have to be more sound in just with what works,'' Booker said. ''A team has nothing to lose when they're down 15. They were desperate. They were getting steals and they were getting turnovers. When you're shooting the ball down 15, it's a lot easier.''
The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-112 as they improved their record to 13-5 which is the best in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Durant returned to the lineup and scored 27 points, James Harden added 14 points and a season-high 14 assists, and Thomas gave Brooklyn a needed second-half lift, scoring eight of his 11 in the third quarter. For the Cavs Darius Garland scored 24 and Jaret Allen had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Lauri Markkanen added 22 points in his first game since Nov. 1 for the still short-handed Cavs. Durant (24,367) moved within one point of tying Allen Iverson (24,368) for 25th on the career scoring list.
'Sometimes, it takes a little while for them to get going. I wish it didn't,'' coach Steve Nash said ''They found themselves in a hole, but they're proud and they responded.''
'What's right is right and I thought there were definitely some calls that were missed and that is wrong,'' a hoarse Bickerstaff said. ''Our guys deserve better than that. People need to change the perceived notion of who the Cavaliers are.
The other results were:
- Wizards 103 - 109 Hornets
- Hawks 113 - 101 Thunder
- Celtics 108 - 90 Rockets
- Pelicans 96 - 110 Timberwolves
- Bulls 77 - 109 Pacers
- Bucks 123 - 92 Magic
- Jazz 118 - 119 Grizzlies
- 76ers 102 - 94 Kings
Tomorrow's fixtures are:
- Pistons vs Heat
- Knicks vs Lakers
- Trail Blazers vs Nuggets
- Clippers vs Mavericks
NBA: Lakers win against Spurs as Warriors only lose their second game of the season
(Basketball news) The Charlotte Hornets only inflicted the Warriors their second loss of the season as they lost 106-102. Terry Roizer finished with 20 points which he scored all in the second half, Miles Bridges added 22 and LaMelo Ball added 21 in what was a total team performance from the Hornets. For the Warriors, Andrew Wiggins scored 28 points on 12 of 19 shooting and Steph Curry added 24 points and 10 assists in his annual homecoming game, the contest was tense as the lead changed hands 25 times but in the end the effort came up short. With this result Warriors stay on top of the Western Conference with a record of 11-2 and as for the Hornets they improve their record to 8-7.
Rozier said “This says a lot for our team and where we are headed, We are trying to go places and get our organization like theirs. This is a great step to where we think we want to go. I think it is more like the timing of the ball, I definitely wanted it because I had just turned the ball over and it was like everybody in the whole gym was looking at No. 3. I just wanted to try to make a play for our team and it worked out.''
The Lakers rallied back from an embarrassing loss against the Timberwolves to bounce back and win 114-106 against the San Antonio Spurs. Anthony Davis top scored with 34 points and 15 rebounds, Talen Horton Tucker making his season debut scored 17 points as Carmelo Anthony and Wayne Ellington both had 15 points each. The Lakers have improved their record to 3-3 since LeBron James was sidelined on Nov 4 because of an abdominal strain. Dejounte Murray had a triple-double for the Spurs with 22 points with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Keldon Johnson scored 24 points. Murray's other triple-double came in the previous meeting against the Lakers. San Antonio lost for the fifth time in its last seven games and fell in the opener of consecutive games at Los Angeles.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, “I was really happy with their effort. Too many turnovers tonight against those guys, but we never gave in. They kept playing, they're getting better. They've got to keep their energy up.''
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said about Horton-Tucker “We have a strong belief in that young man and what he can do on both sides of the ball. Obviously, when we get whole, we have a log of good choices, but he's going to be a big part of it”
Brooklyn Nets beat the Thunders 120-96 as Kevin Durant made himself at home again in Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant top scored with 33 points as the league's scoring leader made 9 out of 17 shots and had 8 rebounds, James Harden also chipped into the act with 16 points and 13 assists but the actual star of the show was Patty Mills scoring 29 points and a career high nine 3 pointers for the Nets. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 23 points for the Thunder, and Lu Dort added 20. Oklahoma City had won four straight before losing today. With this result Nets improve their record to 10-4 in the Eastern Conference and are in second position behind the Wizards.
Durant enjoyed his return and said, ''You think about the foundation and how you built yourself up as a pro, and this is definitely the spot for me. It taught me all about what it means to be a pro. The people here and the organization really guided me as a young player. That set the foundation for where I am today. There are a lot of great memories coming back, seeing a lot of people. It's good to see folks here and play in front of the crowd . I had a good time”
Durant added by saying, 'It's crazy how stuff happens. “You never thought when James got traded - I didn't know what the future would hold. For us to come back around on the same team as we got older is pretty sweet ... We helped build this thing. It's good to come in here and see what it is today”
The other results were:
- Hawks 120 - 100 Bucks
- Rockets 89 - 115 Suns
- Nuggets 124 - 95 Trail Blazers
- Clippers 90 - 100 Bulls
The fixtures for tomorrow are:
- Wizards vs Pelicans
- Cavaliers vs Celtics
- Knicks vs Pacers
- Hawks vs Magic
- Mavericks vs Nuggets
- Thunder vs Heat
- Lakers vs Bulls
- Trail Blazers vs Raptors
NBA: Lakers win back to back games as Warriors maintain their perfect start to the season
(Basketball news) Lakers won their second match in a row over Spurs 124-121, Lebron James opted to sit out this game after he suffered a minor injury against the Grizzlies. Anthony Davis had 35 points and Russell Westbrook added 33 points and 10 rebounds to help the Lakers get an overtime win over San Antonio Spurs. Dejounte Murry recorded his fifth career triple double as it wasn’t enough for them to get over the line. Westbrook arguably had his best in a Laker uniform as he got the freedom to run the offence in the absence of Lebron James, Malik Monk also had a fine performance as he hit the game tying three with 58.6 seconds remaining, he finished the night with 17 points scoring 4 three pointers.
With this result the Lakers have two wins and two losses as the team finally looks to be playing to its full potential. Westbrook said post match, ”One thing the coach always emphasizes to us is togetherness. When [the Spurs] made a run, we stuck together. We locked in on our defensive principles, got some stops and made a run of our own and it made the ballgame.”
Frank Vogel commented after the match saying, “We just got more determined on the defensive end. I thought Dwight had some really great possessions, impacted plays at the rim, and getting some deflections and obviously, Russ was, I think huge during that stretch attacking the rim. He and AD both just had monster nights and we never lost belief, even when we were down, that we were going to win the game. We persevered and got a huge road win.”
The New York Knicks continued their fine start to the season by 112-99 against the Philadelphia 76ers, new boys Kemba Walker and Evan Fouriner again lit up Madison square garden with 19 and 18 points respectively and in doing so they also helped snap out of a 15 game losing streak against the 76ers. The 76ers were again without Ben Simmons who is still looking to find a new franchise as Tobias Harris top scored in the game with 23 points. With this result Knicks improved their record with 3 wins and 1 loss and as for the 76ers they stayed on 2-2
Warriors continued their unbeaten start to the season by winning 106-98 against OKC as Curry top scored with 23 points but had to rally in the second half to get the victory. Steve Kerr’s side have been super clinical over the past week, winning comprehensively against good oppositions as Curry has been averaging close to 30 points a game. For OKC Shai Gilgeous Alexander top scored with 30 points on 11 of 19 shooting but it still wasn’t enough to get the much needed victory the franchise needs. With this result Warriors sit on top of the Western Conference with 4 wins out of 4, as for OKC they have lost all four matches.
Kerr after the match said. “We knew we were going to take him out midfirst, buy him a few minutes, hopefully do the same in the third, but I didn't feel comfortable doing that, we were still climbing uphill a little bit. We talked to the team in our meeting today at the hotel about exactly what to expect. This is a team that came in 0-3, they played Philly pretty tough in the fourth quarter (on Sunday) and the crowd was into it. They're NBA players. They're all great players or they wouldn't be in the league.''
The other significant results were:
- Mavericks 116 - 106 Rockets
- Jazz 122 - 110 Nuggets
- Clippers 116 - 86 Trail Blazers
- Bulls 111- 108 Raptors
The fixtures to look forward to tomorrow are:
- Magic vs Hornets
- Nets vs Heat
- Pelicans vs Hawks
- Raptors vs Pacers
- Celtics vs Wizards
- Bucks vs Timberwolves
- Thunder vs Lakers
- Clippers vs Cavaliers
Everything to know about the 75th NBA season as Lakers and Nets start as favourites for the Championship
(Basketball news) The 75th NBA season is starting with the new trend of super teams in fashion as the likes of Lakers and Nets just added more superstars to become outright favourites to go all the way to the final. This year, teams will be back to playing a full 82 game season with full capacity stadiums as 30 teams will be participating, divided into the Western and Eastern Conferences.
A lot of historical records can be broken this season as Golden State Warriors star player Stephen Curry is set to become NBA’s all time leading three point shooter, he needs only 143 threes to overtake the legendary Ray Allen. Gregg Popvich, the manager of San Antonio Spurs begins his 26th year as a coach, needing only 26 wins to pass Don Nelson for the most victories in NBA history. LeBron James keeps on breaking records as he is going to start in his 19th season, with a total of 35,367 points as he's on the cusp of breaking Karl Malone (36,928) to become the second highest scorer in NBA history.
The Eastern Conference this season is packed with talent and will be an interesting watch to see how teams will adjust to their relatively new roster. Last season's champions Milwaukee Bucks will again win the Conference as well as the Championship this season but their task won't be easy especially teams like Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Miami Heat all having improved significantly this season. Some of the dark horses from last year like the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks also added all star calibre players in their roster to make the Eastern Conference even more competitive than last season.
The Western Conference was full of surprises last season as the Phoenix Suns made the NBA playoffs after 11 years and shocked everyone when they reached the finals. This gives an indication on how tough the Eastern Conference is, at least 12 teams are eyeing the 8 spots in the NBA playoffs. This season again Lakers will be favourites to come out of the Western Conference as they probably have the best roster on paper but the likes of LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trailblazers, Dallas Mavericks can cause an upset and go to the NBA final. The unpredictability and the world class players present in the Western Conference tends to be more in the limelight and this season with each roster stacked the competition is going to be tougher.
The race for this year's MVP will be an intriguing watch as last year's winner Nikola Jokic will be looking to make it 4 consecutive MVPs for players from Europe. The likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry and LeBron James will all be looking to retain the trophy this season. Some new aged superstars like Luka Doncic, Trae Young and Ja Morant can also be in the MVP reckoning as they have consistently been their franchise cornerstone in the recent years.
The 75th NBA season tips off tomorrow with two mouthwatering fixtures between Brooklyn Nets vs Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers vs Golden State Warriors at 5 am and 7.30 am respectively. The two championship favourites will battle it out with two former champions is quite a first day matchup for basketball fans. Brooklyn Nets arguably have the best offensive players in Kevin Durant and James Harden in their ranks and will be looking to avenge their loss they had in the Eastern Conference final last season. For the Milwaukee Bucks, their roster remains the same and will be looking to repeat last year's feat by beating the mighty Brooklyn Nets as Ginnas and Khris Middleton will be the key players to look out for if they are to cause an upset.
The LA Lakers are coming off a pretty terrible preseason having lost all their six matches as they will be looking to start the season fresh with their new big three of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook who will be playing for the first time together against the Golden State Warriors. As for GSW all eyes will be on Steph Curry as he will have to wait 2 or more months for his partner in crime Klay Thompson to return to the court after a 2 year long injury. Lakers have mostly got their 2020 winning squad back as LeBron looks to equal Michaell Jordan's six championship rings.
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.”
‘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