Month: December 2021

Dec 16, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots the ball as Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) defends during the second half at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports Vanderbilt fires back at Tennessee after Music City Bowl loss by Scott Rogust Joel Embiid and Kevin Durant
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11:20 AM ET The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to trade Denzel Valentine to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Rajon Rondo, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday. The Lakers are expected to waive Valentine’s partially guaranteed deal and create an open roster spot. Rondo is eager for the chance to play a bigger
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Nov 7, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio (3) celebrates after scoring a three-pointer against the New York Knicks during the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports The Cleveland Cavaliers will be without guard Ricky Rubio for the remainder of the season with a
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12:33 AM ET San Antonio Spurs assistant Becky Hammon is finalizing a five-year deal with the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces that’ll make her the league’s highest-paid coach, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. Hammon plans to finish the season with the Spurs, sources said. A six-time All-Star during her playing career in the WNBA, Hammon,
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If you’re in the market for an NBA small forward or even a point guard, a peat bog isn’t a bad place to start. Maybe you’re a general manager or a head coach. Maybe you’re just a guy with a couch and a League Pass subscription. Maybe you’re just into playing Fantasy Basketball to kill
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12:44 PM ET Tim BontempsESPN The Brooklyn Nets announced Tuesday that Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and LaMarcus Aldridge had cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Aldridge has been in the protocols for two weeks, while Durant and Irving both entered them 10 days ago. Brooklyn had a massive COVID-19 outbreak across its roster, with
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DALLAS, TEXAS – DECEMBER 15: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks works through pregame warm ups before the Dallas Mavericks take on the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center on December 15, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Bills lose Cole Beasley to COVID, out 10 days at minimum by
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NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar asked LeBron James to make his stance on the COVID-19 vaccine clear due to his influence on the African-American community. As the most popular basketball player on the planet, James has plenty of influence in the sports community, especially the African-American athletics community. James has routinely made his views on police
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9:04 PM ET There’s renewed momentum for the creation of a future in-season NBA tournament among the league’s 30 teams, sources told ESPN. The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have been discussing elements of the tournament, which could become part of the calendar as soon as the 2022-2023 or 2023-2024 seasons, sources said. Negotiations
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10:40 AM ET Amid a dramatic franchise transformation, Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff has agreed on a long-term extension that will keep him under contract through the 2026-27 season, sources told ESPN on Saturday. Bickerstaff and general manager Koby Altman have worked together to reshape the Cavaliers around a young core — including guard Darius
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1:23 PM ET After clearing the NBA’s health and safety protocols, there’s optimism that Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo will be in the lineup against the Boston Celtics on Saturday, sources told ESPN. Antetokounmpo, the reigning NBA Finals MVP, planned to get on the court Friday for a workout. He will make a decision on
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5:20 PM ET Tim BontempsESPN Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger Pinterest Email print The Boston Celtics had another five players officially enter the NBA’s health and safety protocols Friday afternoon, further battering one of the hardest-hit rosters in the league as the omicron variant of COVID-19 sweeps through the NBA. Guard C.J. Miles, forwards Aaron Nesmith
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6:28 PM ET Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols ahead of Minnesota’s game in Utah on Thursday. He joins six Timberwolves players in the protocols, including starters Patrick Beverley, Anthony Edwards and Jarred Vanderbilt. 1 Related In a tweet shortly after the announcement, Towns lamented that he can’t catch a
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3:00 AM ET SAN FRANCISCO — As the Golden State Warriors roll into a Christmas Day showdown with the Phoenix Suns on Saturday, they do so with a little frustration. It’ll mark their second straight year being on the road during the NBA’s biggest regular-season showcase day. “Generally I like playing on Christmas,” Warriors coach
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3:59 PM ET The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are near an agreement to reduce the 10-day quarantine periods for COVID-positive players, sources told ESPN on Thursday. The arrangement — expected to soon be shared with teams — could return some players to active play in six days, based on testing procedures, sources said.
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Philadelphia 76er Joel Embiid revealed his additional sporting aspirations, stating how his “ball-hawk abilities” would make for a perfect NFL cornerback. It’s difficult to imagine Joel Embiid doing anything besides dominating downcourt for the Sixers, but truthfully, it’s something that Embiid himself has pondered over. If Embiid ever did try his hand at American football,
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8:00 AM ET Since it first opened its doors in 1999, Staples Center has played host to seven NBA Finals, five WNBA Finals, four UFC pay-per-view cards, two Stanley Cup Finals and countless championship boxing matches. It was the home of the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament for a decade and has seen multiple All-Star games
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2:42 PM ET Adrian Wojnarowski Close Senior NBA Insider Host of The Woj Pod Joined ESPN in 2017 Tim MacMahon Close ESPN Staff Writer Joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009 Covers the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks Appears regularly on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM Dallas Mavericks All-NBA guard Luka Doncic has entered the league’s health and
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Dec 13, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts to a missed shot in the second half against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports South Carolina football: Will Spencer Rattler take Gamecocks to next level? by Scott Rogust Steph Curry failed to break the
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10:05 AM ET Thursday’s scheduled game between the Nets and Trail Blazers has been postponed, as the NBA announced that coronavirus-struck Brooklyn does not have the required eight players available for the contest. This is the third straight Nets game that has been postponed over the past week. Games against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday
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Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images) Bears victimized by horrendous call on great tackle (Video) by Scott Rogust Steph Curry has pretty clearly been the best shooter ever for some time but the Warriors star is finally now comfortable calling himself that.  It’s certainly been a December to remember for Steph
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12:33 AM ET Tim BontempsESPN The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association came to an agreement Sunday night on rules over allowing additional replacement players for teams dealing with players entering the league’s health and safety protocols, according to a memo obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The amended rules, which were outlined in the
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11:27 AM ET The NBA is postponing Sunday’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Atlanta Hawks, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Five Cavaliers players tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday morning, including center Jarrett Allen, sources told Wojnarowski. Allen is having an All-Star-caliber season with averages of 16.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per
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LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers. (Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports) Packers: Adrian Amos expresses genuine concern over NFL postponing games by Mark Powell PNC Championship TV schedule, live stream, tee times for Tigers Woods’ return by Cody Williams Steph Curry is so popular, even LeBron James’ son Bronny shouts “Steph!” after shooting in recognition of the
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6:23 PM ET Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis will miss at least four weeks with an MCL sprain in his left knee before being re-evaluated, the team announced on Saturday. Davis suffered the injury in the third quarter of Friday’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, when Wolves forward Jaden McDaniels lost his balance and
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11:41 AM ET Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Durant becomes the eighth Nets player to enter the protocols. Forward Paul Millsap entered the protocols Monday, and was followed by forwards LaMarcus Aldridge, James Johnson and DeAndre’ Bembry and guard Jevon Carter on Tuesday morning. They were later
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5:12 PM ET The Brooklyn Nets are bringing back All-Star guard Kyrie Irving as a part-time player for games outside of New York, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The unfolding circumstances of Brooklyn’s season — including injuries, players lost to health and safety protocols and an inordinate minutes load on their superstar players — led
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4:54 PM ET MINNEAPOLIS — Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook tested out of the NBA’s COVID-19 protocols and is available to play against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, the team announced. Westbrook flew from Dallas to Minneapolis Friday after testing out of the protocols, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Westbrook was placed in the
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11:47 PM ET As the NBA tries to fortify itself against waves of positive COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, the league will increase daily testing and face mask use for players and staff through the holiday season, according to a memo obtained by ESPN. The NBA and National Basketball Players Association agreed to elevate testing
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Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images 5 schools that should hire Deion Sanders after he flipped Travis Hunter by John Buhler NBA rumors indicate the Sacramento Kings are uninterested in Indiana Pacers big men on the trading block, instead looking at Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons.  Ranked tenth in the Western Conference, the Sacramento Kings will
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Dec 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (1) reacts after a basket during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports Jared Anderson banishes Oleksandr Teslenko from MSG with big TKO (video) by Jeremy Herriges UFC 269: Kai Kara-France dominates
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Dec 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) looks on from the bench during the third quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports UFC 269: Geoff Neal earns split decision over Santiago Ponzinibbio (Video) by Adam Stocker Steph Curry was on record
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1:04 PM ET Jamal Collier The Chicago Bulls‘ team-wide COVID-19 outbreak continued to spread further on Sunday, when Zach LaVine and Troy Brown Jr. entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Their additions brings the Bulls’ total to nine players in the league’s COVID-19 protocols since the start of the
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The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning. Over the past few seasons, as teams have adopted extreme shot selection patterns and become increasingly intentional about promoting efficiency we’ve seen several historic marks. A team’s offensive efficiency,
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1:12 AM ET Jamal Collier Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo became the franchise leader for career blocked shots on Friday night while leading visiting Milwaukee to a 123-114 victory against the Houston Rockets, snapping their seven-game winning streak. Antetokounmpo filled up the stat sheet with 41 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two
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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – MARCH 01: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers calls to teammates during the third quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Wells Fargo Center on March 01, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the
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Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James made history on Thursday night in the team’s loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Los Angeles Lakers had the odds in their favor on Thursday night, facing a Memphis Grizzlies team without star guard Ja Morant. Coming off a win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, the Lakers
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The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning. The Los Angeles Lakers muddled their way to another loss Thursday night, against the surging Memphis Grizzlies. The final score was 108-95 and the way the Grizzlies rallied while
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1:07 AM ET MEMPHIS — After the Los Angeles Lakers squandered an early lead against an undermanned Grizzlies team in Thursday’s 108-95 loss, Anthony Davis said L.A.’s identity is far from the championship contender it’s supposed to be. “These guys already feel like they’re the underdogs when they’re coming in, especially when they’re without their
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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – NOVEMBER 26: Chris Duarte #3 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball while being guarded by Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors in the third quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on November 26, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this
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Draymond Green, Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors. (Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) Mets add Max Scherzer to continue titanic free agency haul by Cody Williams Draymond Green took the time to praise his Golden State Warriors teammate Steph Curry’s improved play on the defensive end of the floor. While Steph Curry has been an offensive
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Detroit Pistons power forward Isaiah Stewart filed a trademark for “Beef Stew”, a reference to the Stewart-James debacle on Nov. 21.  There’s a beef stewing between Isaiah Stewart and LeBron James — at least, that’s the brand Isaiah is building. According to trademark attorney Josh Gerben, the 20-year-old Pistons power forward has filed a trademark
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10:44 PM ET LA Clippers star swingman Paul George was ruled out before Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Celtics with a right elbow contusion. George was originally listed as questionable and went through pre-game warmups before he was ruled out. Veteran forward Nicolas Batum returned after missing nine straight games and replaced George in
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Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers. (Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) Mets: Max Scherzer makes choice for manager brutally obvious by Braulio Perez With the Indiana Pacers heading towards a rebuild, here are three trade pieces Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers can send to Indianapolis for star big man Myles Turner. Myles Turner could be had off the
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Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers. (Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) Can Lakers make a trade to take advantage of Pacers’ rebuild? by Aryanna Prasad Daryl Morey has plenty of pathways towards striking a deal with the Indiana Pacers to get Ben Simmons off the books for the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey
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10:56 AM ET Any unvaccinated NBA player with temporary visa status who leaves the country will be unable to reenter the United States, according to a memo obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday. For example, a player who is not vaccinated against COVID-19 would be unable to reenter the United States after playing in
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Minnesota sports journalist Jon Krawczynski revealed on his podcast that the Minnesota Timberwolves may be interested in acquiring Myles Turner.  The Minnesota Timberwolves may have a middling 11-12 record in the Western Conference, but they are still faring better than Wolves fans expected this season. Minnesota could strengthen their roster in certain areas, especially by
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Nov 27, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) drives with the ball as Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. (3) defends during overtime at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports Cubs taking swing at former Yankees outfielder by Thomas Erbe Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball shared his thoughts
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The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning. If you are the kind of perverse sports fan who enjoys extreme blowouts, Thursday night must have been an absolute delight. The Grizzlies beat the Thunder 152-79 (a 73-point
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Ty Jerome, Oklahoma City Thunder, Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies. (Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports) Watch: Notre Dame football players react to Marcus Freeman being named Fighting Irish head coach by John Buhler Memphis Grizzlies fans chanting “DE-FENSE” when up 78 points on the Oklahoma City Thunder is the type of inherent pettiness all NBA fans’
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7:12 PM ET Jamal Collier Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo will miss Saturday’s game against the Miami Heat with right calf soreness, coach Mike Budenholzer announced before the game. It’s the second straight game Antetokounmpo has been sidelined because of the injury, which kept him out of the second half of a back-to-back on Thursday
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Dec 3, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) directs teammates during a break in the action against the Phoenix Suns in the second quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports Bellator 272: Sergio Pettis pulls off unreal comeback KO of Kyoji Horiguchi to retain title
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9:57 AM ET ESPN News Services The Charlotte Hornets have had four players — LaMelo Ball, Jalen McDaniels, Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier — enter into the NBA’s health and safety protocols, it was announced Saturday. The Hornets have sent players and staff home from their practice facility as there’s concern of possible positive COVID-19
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Neil Olshey, Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) When is the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game? by Patrick Schmidt Portland Trail Blazers fans are over the moon about former general manager Neil Olshey getting fired. While an inevitable rebuild is coming to the Pacific Northwest, Portland Trail Blazers fans rejoiced over
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Ben Simmons has been excused for mental health-related reasons, but the team is now fining him if he does not cooperate with team doctors.  The Ben Simmons saga rages on in Philadelphia, as the 76ers have once again begun to fine the once-successful 76er. According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the 76ers fined the All-Star
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12:14 PM ET The Portland Trail Blazers have fired general manager and president of basketball operations Neil Olshey following an investigation into workplace misconduct, the team announced Friday. “Following the conclusion of the independent review of concerns and complaints around our workplace environment at the practice facility, the Portland Trail Blazers organization has decided to
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Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Virginia football: 5 replacements for Bronco Mendenhall after surprise resignation by Cody Williams LeBron James tested positive for COVID on Tuesday but the
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Dec 2, 2021; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Ty Jerome (16) goes to the basket against Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (22) during the first half at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports MLB trade grades: Who won Hunter Renfroe-Jackie Bradley Jr. swap? by Scott Rogust The Oklahoma City Thunder were humbled
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Former Celtics and Grizzlies guard Tony Allen. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Watch: Tommy Rees’ speech to Notre Dame players about staying was utterly awesome by Alicia de Artola Former Celtics and Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was arrested and charged with domestic assault after an altercation with his wife near Memphis. Tony Allen’s retirement really isn’t going
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New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas and Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry now share a fascinating statistic unique only to them.  What does towering Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas have in common with prolific Warriors shooter Steph Curry? It’s certainly not height. Curry is listed at 6-foot-2, while Valanciunas is oversized at 6-foot-11. It’s
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The NBA will make the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls forfeit second-round draft picks as penalty for tampering in Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry deals. The long-awaited verdict for the tampering trade charges involving Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry has finally been released. After a four-month investigation, the NBA has determined that the offending
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In a new interview, Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl Anthony-Towns shared a sweet memento he still keeps from his mom, who passed away from COVID in 2020. The focus of The Undefeated’s recent profile on Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns fixates on how the game is coming together for the 26-year-old. “There’s just way more joy in his
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