Archive for the ‘NBA’ Category

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Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball is expected to miss four-to-six weeks after an MRI revealed he suffered a Grade 3 left ankle sprain in Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets, the team announced.

The 21-year-old had to be carried off the court by his teammates after colliding with Rockets forward James Ennis in the third quarter.

Ball is averaging 9.9 points, 5.4 assists, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game in his second season, but has increased his production with Lakers superstar LeBron James out of the lineup with a groin injury. Since James’ most recent appearance on Dec. 25, Ball has put up 12.5 points and 7.2 assists in 13 outings.

The Lakers boast a 25-22 record, but occupy the ninth-seed in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. For the sake of their playoff aspirations, the team will hope to see James return to the fold in the near future. The four-time MVP has been cleared to return to practice this coming week, though the exact date of return to the Lakers’ lineup has yet to be announced.

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The Milwaukee Bucks will retire the No. 8 jersey worn by former forward Marques Johnson during halftime of their Mar. 24 game against the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, the team announced Saturday.

“I am moved beyond words by such a gesture,” said Johnson, who is currently a Bucks analyst for Fox Sports Wisconsin. “I have always held a special place in my heart for the fans who supported the Bucks during my time there. For the organization to honor me this way, means more than words can express.”

Johnson, the third overall pick in the 1977 draft, averaged 21 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game with Milwaukee from 1977-84. During his time with the Bucks, Johnson was selected to three All-NBA teams and three All-Star Games.

“Sometimes it takes being away from a situation to really appreciate what you had,” Johnson continued. “I had long felt a sense of disappointment for falling short of the NBA Finals. What I have come to realize is that the fans of Milwaukee only ask that you play hard and give your best.”

Johnson, 62, will also be inducted into the Wisconsin Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, further cementing his place in the state’s basketball history.

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Banished Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony has multiple options and will likely select one ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline, sources told The Athletic’s Sam Amick.

It’s unknown if the Rockets will settle on a trade for Anthony or outright release the 2013 NBA scoring champion.

Anthony played in just 10 games this season before the organization parted ways with the veteran forward, listing him as inactive since his last appearance – an atrocious outing where he scored two points on 11 shots in a 98-80 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 8.

The Rockets (25-19) have since improved thanks to the constant heroics of superstar guard James Harden. However, they’ve struggled to stay healthy and remain without Chris Paul (hamstring) and Clint Capela (thumb).

James Ennis, Gary Clark, and Danuel House – who remains on a two-way deal – have soaked up the majority of Anthony’s minutes.

Anthony accepted a bench role with the Rockets for the first time in his 16-year career after he was criticized for refusing to become the sixth man with the Thunder.

The experiment quickly failed as the Rockets lost six of their first 10 with Anthony averaging a career-low 13.4 points in 29.4 minutes.

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Commissioner Adam Silver believes the NBA’s next foray overseas could include a new host nation.

Prior to the Washington Wizards’ victory over the New York Knicks in London, Silver said the NBA’s regular-season European showcase for the 2019-20 campaign will likely remain a one-off and could go to Paris, with the Bercy Arena as a likely candidate.

“We’ve played many exhibition games in Paris over the years,” Silver told reporters, including ESPN’s Mark Woods. “I remember being there with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. There was tremendous excitement around that team, and I think it will continue to be an important market.

“We took a number of years off because, of course, the arena was being renovated. I haven’t yet been to the new Bercy Arena, but I hear it’s fantastic. I’m looking forward to going back to Paris.”

India will host its first NBA games in October when the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings square off in a pair of preseason meetings. But Silver was less optimistic about the country’s chances of hosting a regular-season game, considering the travel requirements.

With the results meaning nothing in the standings, Silver believes preseason contests in India and China provide opportunities to build in outreach activities.

“In a market like India, where we’ve never really played a preseason game, there isn’t really an issue where people are saying to us, ‘This has really got to be a (regular-season) fixture,'” Silver said. “They accept that this is a unique experience for two NBA teams to be making the trip.

“In China, it’s essentially been the same. It’s not that they wouldn’t prefer that we come with regular-season games. There is recognition that we have a very long season and if we were to change the formula from preseason to regular season, it would significantly shorten the trips because there wouldn’t be as much time on the ground.”

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The NBA and the National Basketball Players’ Association have signed a multi-year licensing agreement extension with Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., creators of the NBA 2K video game series, the league announced Tuesday.

The new deal is worth as much as $1.1 billion over seven years, Sarah E. Needleman of the Wall Street Journal reports.

The extension will allow Take-Two to continue using players’ likenesses for its NBA 2K games. The NBA also has a licensing agreement with Electronic Arts Inc. for its NBA Live series.

“An entire generation of basketball fans engage and connect with NBA teams and players through NBA 2K,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “We are grateful to extend our partnership with Take-Two and the NBPA to build on the enormous popularity of the NBA 2K franchise and the continued global growth of basketball.”

NBA 2K19 was the top-selling sports video game in the United States last year as of November, according to NPD Group. The previous installment, NBA 2K18, set a series record with 10 million units sold.

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San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has a Hall of Fame resume after 22 successful seasons with the organization.

The 69-year-old bench boss has led the Spurs to five NBA championships and 19 50-plus win seasons, but could be close to calling it quits.

“I don’t know the answer,” Popovich said when asked about his decision to return next season, according to The New York Times’ Marc Stein.

Popovich is still flourishing in his role despite losing Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard this past summer. He has surrounded LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan with a group of young shooters and aging veterans, winning 15 of the Spurs’ last 21 games.

If this is Popovich’s last season in the NBA, the legendary bench boss will still be on the sidelines for USA Basketball after committing to coach during the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China and 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. He was named as Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s replacement in 2015.

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Kyrie Irving has apparently learned some lessons about leadership over the past week, and as a result, he called an old teammate to make amends.

Irving said that he called LeBron James after last Saturday’s loss to the Orlando Magic and apologized for once being a young player who didn’t properly comprehend the role of a veteran leader, according to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

“It’s good to reach out for help,” he told the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy.

Irving publicly criticized his younger teammates after the Orlando loss, saying many of them “don’t know what it takes to be a championship-level team.”

“I should have kept it in house,” he said, according to Goodman.

Irving and James had one of the NBA’s more public player divorces in 2017. However, both have said they hold no ill will towards each other.

Irving got the Celtics back on track Wednesday, leading them with 27 points in a 117-108 win over the Toronto Raptors.