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[SPORTS] NBA is Back…

 

It seems like just yesterday Lebron finally brought a title to Cleveland and here we are at the beginning of the 2016-2017 season!!!

 

I have to admit this year has a buzz unlike many in recent memory. Everyone and their Mama is talking about KD joining Golden State creating the “Super Team” and they have gone from NBA darlings to the villians. Though they have 4 all stars it may take time to create the chemistry needed to become champs.

 

While many think it’s a cakewalk for the Warriors, others believe the aforementioned Cavs who return all their core players are lined up to breeze through the east to a third consecutive match up with Steph Curry’s squad for the NBA Finals Trophy. Fans everywhere would love to see that.

 

One team that has been awful the past two years that have playoff aspirations is the NY Knicks. Off-season moves include Free Agent signings of Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings and Courtney Lee while also trading for Derrick Rose on paper giving them a crew to contend with. I’m sure no one is happier than Melo.

 

My favorite story line is what will Russell Westbrook do w/o Durant. Many predict this team will be lucky to make the playoffs and I would say anything better than an 7th seed would surprise me considering how tough the Western Conf. is. However, I am anxious to see if Westbrook can average a triple double for a season and win MVP. I think he is going to be a man possessed this season. Watch out NBA.

 

After a storied career in Miami, D. Wade the Chicago native returns home to play for the Bulls joining Rajon Rando who replaces Rose at the Point joining Jimmy Butler for an intriguing Big 3. This could be a boom or bust scenario.

 

With Duncan aka “The Big Fundamental” retired can Leonard distinguish himself as the new leader and front man taking the torch? Spurs are the team to never count out this we have learned…

 

Another legend joining Duncan in the hall of fame in 5 years, Kobe also retired leaving the Lake show in decent hands actually. Rookie; Ingram joins Randle and Nance on the front line with Russell and Clarkson in the back-court giving hopes of a return to showtime in the near future.

 

Rookie Ben Simmons had us ultra excited from his summer league play but an injury will keep him out until around the mid season and keep Philly in contention for worse record this year along with the Brooklyn Nets.

 

Can’t wait for this season to kick off…

 

#allabooooaaard

 

 

 

 

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[News] Anthem singer at 76ers-Heat game kneels during performance

MIAMI — A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami on Friday night did so while kneeling at midcourt, and she opened her jacket to show a shirt bearing the phrase “Black Lives Matter.”
The singer was identified by the Miami Heat as Denasia Lawrence. It was unclear whether she remained in the arena after the performance, and messages left for her were not immediately returned.

Heat players and coaches stood side by side for the anthem, with their arms linked, as has been their custom during the preseason. Many had their heads down as Lawrence sang, and the team released a statement saying it had no advance knowledge that she planned to kneel.We felt as a basketball team that we would do something united, so that was our focus,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue. We’ve had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action.”
The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for its playing. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports — and many levels, from youth all the way to professional — have followed his lead in various ways.

“All I can say is what we’ve seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in New York earlier Friday, at a news conference after the league’s board of governors meetings. “It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do.”

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though was aware of Lawrence’s actions.

“At the end of the day, to each his own,” Ellington said. “If she feels like that’s the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her.”

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

“I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans,” Tysse wrote on Facebook. “I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability.”

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Ex-Knicks coach Derek Fisher might try comeback as player

Ex-New York Knicks coach Derek Fisher hinted at a possible comeback as a player on Tuesday night when he posted a workout video with the hashtag “Imnotdoneyet.”
Sources told ESPN on Wednesday that Fisher has indeed been “exploring options and expressing interest in playing again.”

It is unclear what those options are, but Fisher’s return to the NBA as a player after coaching in the league would be a rarity.
Fisher signed a multiyear contract in 2014 to coach the Knicks but was fired in February by team president Phil Jackson. Since being let go by the Knicks, Fisher has appeared as a television analyst on NBA TV and TNT.

Fisher will turn 42 on Tuesday and would be the oldest player in the NBA if he returns to the league. Other options for Fisher would conceivably include playing for a team overseas.

A 6-foot-1 guard, Fisher played 18 years in the NBA. He helped the Los Angeles Lakers win five championships, played in an NBA-record 259 playoff games and won a league-record 161.

Fisher was fired as coach of the Knicks on Feb. 8 after a stretch in which the team went 1-9. Some speculated at the time that Fisher’s off-court incident with Matt Barnes — an altercation during a party at the home of Barnes’ ex-wife — also played into his firing. Fisher later denied that in a published essay.

The Knicks were 40-96 during Fisher’s 1½ seasons as head coach.

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Michael Jordan Speaks Out

Many of us including myself have always wondered why MJ has never said anything when it comes down to blacks in America. You have those that will say “we buy his shoes he should care more,” and there are those who feel like he doesn’t have to do anything. In their eyes, he is merely an ex-NBA player and a business person. Whether he cares to be one or not, he is a role model, not only for athletes but anyone striving to do something epic in life and defeat all odds. In a statement today via The Undefeated on Monday morning, MJ not only condemned police who shoot black Americans without cause but the shooters who have decided to target police as retaliation. Jordan stated the following:

 

 

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well.

“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers – who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all – are respected and supported.

“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

“To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Institute for Community-Police Relations’ policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing. My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s oldest civil rights law organization, will support its ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement. Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.

“We are privileged to live in the world’s greatest country – a country that has provided my family and me the greatest of opportunities. The problems we face didn’t happen overnight and they won’t be solved tomorrow, but if we all work together, we can foster greater understanding, positive change and create a more peaceful world for ourselves, our children, our families and our communities.”

Leave your thoughts below in the comment section.

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CARMELO CHALLENGES FELLOW ATHLETES

Following the “tragedy” that occurred in Dallas, Carmelo took to Instagram with a picture of Muhammed Ali, Lee Alcindor and Jim Brown at the Ali Summit held in 1967 in Cleveland, to speak about police brutality.

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First off let me start off by saying ” All Praise Due To The Most High.” Secondly, I’m all about rallying, protesting, fighting for OUR people. Look I’ll even lead the charge, By Any Means Necessary. We have to be smart about what we are doing though. We need to steer our anger in the right direction. The system is Broken. Point blank period. It has been this way forever. Martin Luther King marched. Malcolm X rebelled. Muhammad Ali literally fought for US. Our anger should be towards the system. If the system doesn’t change we will continue to turn on the TVs and see the same thing. We have to put the pressure on the people in charge in order to get this thing we call JUSTICE right. A march doesn’t work. We tried that. I’ve tried that. A couple social media post/tweet doesn’t work. We’ve all tried that. That didn’t work. Shooting 11 cops and killing 5 WILL NOT work. While I don’t have a solution, and I’m pretty sure a lot of people don’t have a solution, we need to come together more than anything at this time. We need each other. These politicians have to step up and fight for change. I’m calling for all my fellow ATHLETES to step up and take charge. Go to your local officials, leaders, congressman, assemblymen/assemblywoman and demand change. There’s NO more sitting back and being afraid of tackling and addressing political issues anymore. Those days are long gone. We have to step up and take charge. We can’t worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or whose going to look at us crazy. I need your voices to be heard. We can demand change. We just have to be willing to. THE TIME IS NOW. IM all in. Take Charge. Take Action. DEMAND CHANGE. Peace7
#StayMe7o

We haven’t heard much from athletes on the deaths of blacks at the hands of the police. Anthony is calling out his fellow sportsmen to use their stature in the community to stand up and come together and speak out on what’s happening to create solutions. Hopefully, we will see more athletes with the courage to take a stand!

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) reacts after hitting a three point shot in the first half of the Knicks NBA basketball game Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in New York. Amthony scored 19 points i the Knicks 113-83 victory over the Nets. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
 (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
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A WINNER WANTS CHECKS AND CHAMPIONSHIPS

My condolences to all of the OKC fans. I am one myself; however I am more a fan of Durant and Westbrook than I am the establishment. I know most of you will say “that’s how women think,” but you wouldn’t be mad about KD leaving if you weren’t a fan. What would you say to someone mad about you quitting one job to start another that may be more rewarding to you? Exactly what I thought! You would congratulate them and keep it moving.

One thing we all know, but some refuse to admit is that the NBA‬ is big business and for those that think otherwise, you are sadly mistaken. It’s probable that ‪#‎KOBE‬ and ‪#‎DUNCAN‬ are the last two players that we will ride with  a team for the entirety of their career.

Kevin Durant made a decision to chase his dreams, and no one can fault him for that! It’s both personal and business. Get ready for a hellova Golden State year!

-DJ Sunflower

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In another step toward history, Steph Curry savors the moment

The fascinating thing about this NBA Finals rematch is that while this year’s is a healthier, stronger version of the Cleveland Cavaliers, it’s also a better Golden State Warriors team than we’ve ever seen before.

This team is better than the one that beat the Cavaliers for the championship last year, better than the one that won a record-setting 73rd game in April. The Warriors emerged more confident and resilient than ever after overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference finals against an Oklahoma City Thunder team that seemed to be finally maximizing its potential.

Oh, these Warriors are smarter too.

Evidence of their increased savviness could be found cradled in the arms of Stephen Curry’s brother, Seth, as he walked through the Oracle Arena hallways not long after the Warriors finished off the Thunder in Game 7. Seth Curry held the game ball, entrusted to him for safekeeping after Stephen Curry secured it and handed it to their father, Dell. This one will stay in the family and perhaps be passed down to Riley one day, unlike the ball from the 2015 NBA Finals.

“He learned his lesson last year,” Seth Curry said. “He threw the ball up in the air, and Andre got it.”

Stephen Curry has learned to grab the souvenirs and bask in the moment, as he did when he hit one last rainbow 3-pointer to put the Warriors up by 10 in the final minute of Monday’s game and then stood, staring into the crowd. He’d gone from yelling, “We’re not going home!” at the end of Game 5 to holding seven fingers aloft at the close of Game 6 to simply standing and savoring.
“You appreciate how tough it is to get back here,” Curry said. “That’s the one thing I’ve learned. You can’t take anything for granted because it’s such a grind, it’s such a battle against a great Thunder team that pushed us to the brink. So you’ve got to be appreciative of this accomplishment. And I look forward to getting four more wins.”

That’s obviously the goal for both sides, though few would put it out there the way Curry did. But that has been his way all season.

It was there with the early eagerness to set the record for the best start to a season.

It was evident in his nonchalant confidence that the Warriors would retain the No. 1 seed against the drafting San Antonio Spurs, even after the lowest loss of the season to the Los Angeles Lakers put that in doubt.

It was seen in his insistence on playing it out and not taking rest days in the final stages of the pursuit of 73 victories — something he’d better have delivered if it cost him chances to rest for the playoffs.

It even manifested in the Western Conference finals, when Curry said the setback in Game 1 would make things more interesting in what he assured would be a long series. He wound up being right, but not before the Thunder threatened to wrap it up early after demolishing the Warriors in Games 3 and 4.

The Warriors have expanded their capabilities. Before, their reference point for adversity was the 2-1 deficit they faced in the second round against the Memphis Grizzlies last year, which they drew upon when they found themselves in the same position against Cleveland. Curry referenced that early in this series against the Thunder, only to find himself in an even deeper hole in these conference finals.
Now the Warriors are the 10th NBA team to come back from down 3-1 in the playoffs. That’s a much better label than being the first team to win 73 games and not reach the NBA Finals. That’s the thing: The Warriors neither fell short in their pursuit of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls nor buckled under the weight of the demands their achievements placed on them.

“We’re the best road team all year, and just think back to what makes you so great,” Klay Thompson said. “You watch some clips of yourself having success against this team. That helps a lot. But I never try to look into the past and think, ‘Oh, if we blow this, what a historical collapse.’ There is no need for that.”

There’s a belief in their greatness, individually and collectively. That’s because the Warriors have lived up to it. Curry and Thompson each made more 3-pointers in this series than anyone had in any series before, and Thompson’s 11 3-pointers in Game 6 set a single-game playoff record. Thompson emerged as a playoff-worthy star, both in Curry’s absence due to injuries and alongside Curry at the end.

“You can’t take anything for granted because it’s such a grind … you’ve got to be appreciative of this accomplishment. And I look forward to getting four more wins.”

Stephen Curry

The Warriors received positive minutes from five bench players in Game 7 and were reminded that Andre Iguodala can still switch to starting late in the season, just as he did midway through the NBA Finals last year. Steve Kerr went with Iguodala in place of Harrison Barnes at the start of the second half of Game 6 and stayed with that lineup at the beginning of Game 7. It meant a completely different rhythm to the game for Iguodala, who found himself winded after the first few possessions and wound up on the court for 42 minutes. Better to make the adjustment now than at the start of the Finals, when Iguodala could be asked to resume his LeBron James defending duties.

But in the end, it came back to Curry — the reigning MVP who looked like the best player on the court for the first time since Game 2 against Oklahoma City — and it set up a battle with LeBron for individual and team supremacy. Curry finished the climactic Game 7 with 36 points, eight assists, five rebounds … and the game ball.

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Sixers to explore trades involving Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel

The Philadelphia 76ers will explore trading Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel in the buildup to the NBA draft on June 23, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that the Sixers are determined to gauge the trade market for both Okafor and Noel and are increasingly likely to move at least one of them in conjunction with the draft, in which Philadelphia holds the No. 1 overall selection for the first time since selecting Allen Iverson in 1996.

In recent weeks, rival executives have been forecasting Philadelphia to be one of the most active teams this offseason in terms of pursuing trades, with new personnel boss Bryan Colangelo known to be aggressive and openly determined to speed Philadelphia’s return to playoff contention.
In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Russillo and Kanell earlier this month, Sixers coach Brett Brown hinted at the club’s desire to be active.

“Think about these types of resources,” Brown said during the interview. “We have the first pick. We have the 24th and 26th pick. On our current roster, we have Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Jerami Grant [and] Robert Covington. We had a [2014] draft class that effectively redshirted in Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.

“For the first time in my four years, we’re going to enter a legitimate approach to free agency.”

Colangelo, for his part, told Bleacher Report Radio last week that “everybody is thinking about winning as opposed to prolonging the rebuilding process.”

‎Sources describe Okafor, at this early juncture, as the most likely of the two to be moved in the wake of his rocky rookie season off the floor.

But the Sixers are known to be considering a wide range of possibilities, given the prospect of fellow lottery picks Embiid and Saric finally making their Philadelphia debuts next season to add to the Sixers’ deep frontcourt and the well-chronicled concerns about whether Okafor and Noel can play together.

After winning the recent draft lottery, Philadelphia is in the process of choosing whether to take LSU’s Ben Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram with the first overall pick.

Among the options the Sixers have is trying to trade Okafor or Noel for another high pick in the looming draft to address their backcourt needs or building a package around either one in a trade for veteran talent, either in June or in July after free agency starts.

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LeBron James says 6th straight trip to Finals ‘means everything’

A jubilant, emotional LeBron James celebrated his sixth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals as if it was one of his first couple of trips. He even got choked up when asked about it Friday night.

Moments after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the Eastern Conference finals with a 113-87 Game 6 victory over the Toronto Raptors, James’ voice began to crack when asked what he is most proud of with his six straight trips to the championship series.

“I don’t know,” James said on the court as he marveled at the remaining Toronto fans chanting their appreciation for the Raptors. “I have heard all the questions, and that right there is a stumper. Um, I am just very humbled and gracious that the man above has given me the opportunity to play the game that I love. And I get to go out here and do it every single night in front of my fans.

“It is very emotional to be a part of something like this. This is my sixth straight. It means everything.”
James immediately set the tone for the Cavs, saving his most aggressive game in the East finals for last with 33 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks.

At the end, he sprinted toward a curtained-off area for the Cavaliers to celebrate their second consecutive trip to the Finals with family and friends. The team then gathered in the locker room, where players doused one another with water.

James and his team have won the Eastern Conference every season since 2011, when he won the first of four straight conference titles with the Miami Heat, followed by the past two with Cleveland.

James said he didn’t fully appreciate last year’s journey to the Finals in his return to Cleveland due to injuries that knocked out Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving in the postseason.

“There’s definitely a different feeling,” James said. “I didn’t appreciate last year myself personally on getting to the Finals. Just so much was going on in my mind, knowing that Kev was out for the rest of the season and knowing that Ky was dealing with injuries all the way from the first round. I just didn’t appreciate it.

“It’s definitely a different feeling,” James continued, discussing this journey to the Finals as he sat next to Love and Irving on the dais. “Having these guys right here at full strength, having our team at full strength, and the way I feel personally, I appreciate this moment, to be able to be a part of it and to be there once again.”\
Love dislocated his shoulder in the first round against Boston last year and was lost for the postseason. Then Irving required season-ending surgery on his left kneecap after injuring it in Game 1 of the Finals. The Cavs went on to lose 4-2 to the Golden State Warriors.

This postseason, though, the Cavaliers enter the Finals with a healthy Love and Irving and have lost only twice in their first 14 playoff games.

“I think it will be totally different compared to last year,” J.R. Smith said. “There is nothing like having a full roster. Kyrie went out Game 1, Kevin was done first round. There is a reason why they get paid the big bucks, so we’ll see.”

While James and his team were extremely giddy about clinching the East again, the Cavaliers know what remains ahead.

“We’re locked in on four more. We are not poppin’ champagne, we are not kissing babies,” said veteran forward Richard Jefferson, who is making his first appearance in the Finals since he went two straight times with the New Jersey Nets in 2002 and 2003. “We are just enjoying this process.”

And perhaps no one is enjoying this more than James, whose Cavaliers are here again despite a coaching change from David Blatt to Tyronn Lue during the season.

“You can see it on LeBron’s face,” Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert told Fox Sports Ohio. “You can tell when he’s happy. He just sort of glows.”

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Heat won’t have Hassan Whiteside for Game 7 against Raptors

MIAMI — Heat center Hassan Whiteside told reporters he will not play in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

Whiteside has been listed as day-to-day by the team, but he has not played since suffering a sprained MCL of his right knee in the second quarter of Game 3. He will travel to Toronto with Miami, but remains out indefinitely.
“I don’t really have a time period for you,” Whiteside said after the Heat’s 103-91 win over the Raptors in Game 6 on Friday night. “I’m just getting better.”

Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas was ruled out for the remainder of the series after he sprained his right ankle in the third quarter of Game 3.

Toronto forward DeMarre Carroll and Miami forward Luol Deng both started Game 6 after exiting Game 5 due to left wrist injuries.

Carroll had five points and six rebounds in 25 minutes, while Deng had two points and eight rebounds in 41 minutes.

“I’m all right,” Carroll responded when asked how his wrist felt.

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