Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

 

Matt Barnes donned Los Angeles Clippers colors for four seasons (2003-04, 2012-2015), and was a part of the franchise’s three greatest teams in terms of both regular-season winning percentage and playoff success.

Despite possessing one of the league’s most gifted trios in Chris PaulBlake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan, those Clippers squads never managed to get over the hump and advance to the Western Conference finals, let alone capture an NBA title.

Barnes, who announced his retirement in December 2017, feels the Clippers were their own worst enemies during those years.

“We really had one of the most talented teams that never won a championship in L.A. and I think it was our own fault,” said Barnes during a recent appearance on AM 570 LA Sports, according to NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin. “We were in our own way. Just too many egos, young acting. We thought we were going to be the (Golden State) Warriors right up until they won the championship. We knocked them out of the playoffs the year before they came back and won, so we had a very talented team. We just couldn’t get on the same page.

“It was crazy. We were all cool off the court and I was like, ‘how are we cool off the court and can’t get it together on the court?’ That was our … our mental toughness was what kept us from winning championships for the Clippers.”

Barnes was a member of the Warriors from 2006-2008 and made his way back to the organization in 2017 where he’d win the first and only ring of his 14-year career. Playing alongside the likes of Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant provided clarity as to what was lacking on his Clippers teams.

“Egos. Egos. And now looking back on it from my perspective, because I was fortunate enough to go to the Warriors with a whole handful of superstars and there was no egos,” added Barnes. “Everyone left their ego … the only thing that mattered in Golden State was to win and winning the championship. If we had that mentality with the Clippers we would have won a championship.”

None of the four Clippers that Barnes started alongside during his final year in 2015 remain in Los Angeles. Griffin is now with the Detroit Pistons, Paul is a Houston Rocket, Jordan has signed with the Dallas Mavericks, and J.J. Redickhas moved on to the Philadelphia 76ers.

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The Los Angeles Lakers are coming to LeBron James‘ defense after President Donald Trump criticized their offseason signing in a tweet late Friday night.

“We could not be more proud to have LeBron James as part of our Lakers family,” wrote Lakers controlling owner Jeanie Buss in an official statement. “He is an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent leader and clearly appreciates the power that sports has to unite communities and inspire the world to be a better place. Those efforts should be celebrated by all.”

Trump had evidently watched an interview with James conducted by CNN’s Don Lemon from earlier in the week, with the POTUS first attacking Lemon by calling him “the dumbest man on television.” He followed that up by offering how Lemon “made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do” before punctuating his tweet with “I like Mike.”

Several NBA players from across the Association have voiced their support for James – who just recently opened his I Promise School in his hometown – on social media since Trump’s tweet. Even Michael Jordan (Mike) has come forth, saying through an official spokesperson that he supports James, and that “he’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

James signed a four-year contract with the Lakers last month after spending the past four seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

LeBron James equals ratings.

NBA fans will be seeing plenty of the Los Angeles Lakers during nationally televised broadcasts throughout the 2018-19 season. In fact, James and Co. will lead the entire Association with a whopping 43 appearances on ESPN, NBA TV, ABC, and TNT.

The reigning two-time champion Golden State Warriors will be on national television 40 times, while the Boston CelticsHouston Rockets, and Philadelphia 76ers can be seen 39 times each.

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall understands most NBA players are never truly safe and can be traded anytime. But he also believes there’s a right way to go about moving a player, especially one as committed to his organization as DeMar DeRozan recently was north of the border.

The Toronto Raptors, in Wall’s opinion, handled moving their franchise superstar to the San Antonio Spurs extremely poorly.

“It was interesting. In my opinion, I don’t think there was loyalty shown on DeRozan’s part,” said Wall, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports. “This is a business and you understand that. [But], if you talk to me man-to-man, then just be honest with me. We’re all grown men.”

DeRozan complimented Toronto and its fans on his way out as part of a package that brought the Raptors two-time Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard. The four-time All-Star doesn’t think highly of Masai Ujiri, though, saying the Raptors team president wasn’t honest with him about whether he was being made available in trade discussions.

Wall and DeRozan have met as opponents in the postseason on two occasions. They also have an off-court relationship and are close friends.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has no problem wading into the political realm, at least when it comes to President Donald Trump’s involvement in the NFL’s national anthem controversy.

Trump has been vocal about his disdain for any protests during the national anthem, and his criticism of players and the league led to a debate over a new anthem policy. The president’s opinions on league matters get the attention of players, team owners, and league executives – and that’s part of the problem, according to Rodgers.

“I think that the more that we give credence to stuff like that, the more it’s gonna live on,” Rodgers told NFL.com’s Michael Silver.

“I think if we can learn to ignore or not respond to stuff like that – if we can – it takes away the power of statements like that.”

Trump recently turned his attention to LeBron James, questioning the NBA megastar’s intelligence in a tweet last week after James opened his I Promise school in Ohio.

Rodgers called James’ lack of a response “absolutely beautiful.”

He continued, “At a time when he’s putting on display his school, which is changing lives, there’s no need. Because you’re just giving attention to that (tweet), that’s what they want. So just don’t respond.”

Rodgers said tweeting his support of James was unnecessary as the basketball star “knows he has the support of his contemporaries, in his own sports and in other sports.”

Michael Jordan has weighed in on Donald Trump’s inflammatory tweet aimed at LeBron James.

Jordan made it clear he’s not siding with Trump after the president finished his tweet with “I like Mike!”

“I support LJ,” A spokesperson for Jordan told Geoff Bennett of NBC News. “He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

James continues to be one of those most influential figures in both professional sports and his home state of Ohio, where he recently opened his I Promise School, which will provide over 200 students with an abundance of tools to help them progress toward a college education.

The NBA’s slate of Christmas Day games this season will reportedly include an Eastern Conference playoff rematch and the King donning new colors to square off with his fiercest rivals once again.

On Dec. 25, the Boston Celtics will battle the Philadelphia 76ers, the New York Knicks host the Milwaukee Bucks at Madison Square Garden, and LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers visit the Bay Area to take on the reigning champion Golden State Warriors, league sources told the New York Times’ Marc Stein.

The Portland Trail Blazers will also hit the road to face the Utah Jazz, and the Houston Rockets will host the Oklahoma City Thunder, league sources told ESPN’s Chris Haynes and Tim MacMahon.

The league will release its national television schedule for Christmas, the first week of the 2018-19 regular season, and Martin Luther King Day on Wednesday.

Boston had Philadelphia’s number in the second round, taking their best-of-seven series in five games before falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference finals.

New York has played a league-record 52 times on Christmas, with an overall mark of 22-30 (.423). It was in 1977 when Milwaukee last took the floor on Dec. 25 – the longest gap of any team to have played at least once on the holiday.

The Trail Blazers haven’t competed on Christmas since 2010 in a losing effort to the Warriors, while Utah has been held out since 1997.

The Rockets-Thunder matchup is a rematch from last year’s slate, which Oklahoma City took at Chesapeake Energy Arena by five points. Carmelo Anthony switches sides this time around, as the 10-time All-Star reportedly came to a verbal agreement to sign with Houston on Tuesday.

While with Cleveland last season, James came out on the losing end against Golden State in the Finals for the third time in four tries, this time via a clean sweep. 2018 would mark the fourth campaign in a row that a James-led squad will face the Warriors on Dec. 25.

The Charlotte Hornets and Memphis Grizzlies are the only franchises that have yet to play on Christmas.