Basketball News

  • After an offseason of waiting, Carmelo Anthony got his wish. The New York Knicks traded Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, and a second-round pick, ending the polarizing star’s tenure with the struggling franchise. Anthony was on the trading block for months, which diminished the value of his return, but the deal should leave both sides satisfied, even if the Knicks and Anthony are just happy to be rid of one another.
  • The NBA took a long look at jump shooting in the offseason and came up with two important rule changes that should have a positive impact on the safety and flow of the game. Starting this season, a flagrant foul can be assessed when a defending player impedes a jump shooter’s landing space, and a foul on the perimeter will no longer be a shooting foul if the player is simply gathering the ball to shoot instead of already in a shooting motion.
  • Tilman Fertitta has achieved his dream of owning the Houston Rockets, and all it took was an apparently record-breaking sum of money. Fertitta agreed to purchase the franchise from Leslie Alexander for $2.2 billion according to ESPN, which is more than anyone has ever paid for an NBA team.
  • The long saga of the NBA offseason’s biggest trade is finally over. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics have agreed to terms that will send Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for a package including Isaiah Thomas, whose injured hip originally put the deal in jeopardy.
  • The biggest trade of the NBA offseason might not happen. A deal between the two best teams in the Eastern Conference that would see Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving move to the Boston Celtics in exchange for a package including Isaiah Thomas is now in danger of falling apart due to questions about Thomas’ health.
  • Just when everyone thought the frenzy of summer moves had wound down in the NBA, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers pulled the trigger on the biggest deal of all, swapping superstar point guards and drastically altering the trajectories of their respective franchises.
  • If the Golden State Warriors are invited to the White House to celebrate their NBA championship like many NBA champions before them, they will be without at least one of their stars. Finals MVP Kevin Durant has no interest in visiting the White House as long as Donald Trump is president—a stance he felt the need to publicly express following the tragic events last weekend in Charlottesville, West Virginia.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers are still the best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, but they might not be for much longer. Their demoralizing Finals loss was only the beginning of an offseason filled with turmoil and missed opportunities, and the long-term losses for Cleveland could include its two best players.
  • While most of the NBA’s stars seem to be moving to the crowded Western Conference, Gordon Hayward decided to do the opposite, leaving the Utah Jazz to sign with the Boston Celtics in a move that could disrupt the balance of power in the Eastern Conference.
  • The Toronto Raptors are paying a steep price to keep their window of contention open, re-signing Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka amid the chaos of the NBA offseason. The futures of both Lowry, who opted out of the final year of his previous deal with Toronto, and Ibaka, who was acquired last season, did not appear tied to the Raptors, but the team reportedly offered them a combined $165 million over the next three years.
  • The Houston Rockets do not appear satisfied with finishing a respectable third in the Western Conference behind the eventual champion Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs. Houston made its intention to compete for a title clear by acquiring Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, forming the backcourt of another potential superteam.
  • The Phil Jackson era is apparently about to come to an end in New York.
  • Turns out the MVP debate between Russell Westbrook and James Harden was slightly overblown. Westbrook’s historic triple-double season was too much to ignore, and he was named the 2016-17 NBA MVP on Monday in a vote that wasn’t close.
  • The Chicago Bulls provided some draft day entertainment on Thursday, dealing Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Butler, who was reportedly on the trading block heading into the draft, became the centerpiece of a trade that also featured Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine heading to Chicago and the Bulls and Timberwolves swapping first-round picks.
  • The Philadelphia 76ers will select first overall once again at the NBA draft on Thursday following an announced trade with the Boston Celtics.
  • LeBron James did everything he could, but this was Kevin Durant’s year. Durant and the Golden State Warriors overcame James’ triple-double average in the NBA Finals through sheer force of will, coming within a game of posting the first perfect playoff run in league history and capping their second title in three years with a 129-120 win in Game 5 on Monday.
  • For most of Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers seemed to have a chance at winning. Energized by their home crowd, the Cavaliers had avoided falling into a massive hole against the Golden State Warriors like they did in the first two games, and they even held onto a lead for most of the fourth quarter.
  • It will be difficult to top the drama of last year’s NBA Finals rematch between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but a third meeting between the basketball juggernauts has the ingredients to do it. Golden State won the first Finals against Cleveland and was about to take the second before LeBron James dragged the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit, but the Warriors now have Kevin Durant, making the rubber match the most star-laden title series in league history.
  • The NBA conference finals were unfolding in a mostly predictable manner before Sunday’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Golden State Warriors need one more win against the San Antonio Spurs to reach the finals with a perfect 12-0 postseason record, while Cleveland was set to do the same with two road wins already in the bag and Boston’s main playmaker Isaiah Thomas sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs.
  • The subject of the most buzz heading into June’s NBA draft isn’t a team, or a prospect, or even a professional basketball player. LaVar Ball, 48-year-old father of draft prospect Lonzo Ball, has done everything in his power to make himself the focal point of his son’s draft candidacy. But much of what he’s said and done recently could come back to haunt him, especially if Lonzo can’t to live up to LaVar’s endless hype.
  • The Boston Celtics may have earned home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference with their performance in the regular season, but they enter the conference finals as underdogs to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Boston almost fell to the Washington Wizards, requiring seven games to get past the second round while LeBron James and the Cavaliers enjoyed a week of recuperation they earned by dominating their first two opponents.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge picked the perfect time to have arguably his best game as a member of the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday in the decisive Game 6 of their second-round series against the Houston Rockets. Aldridge made up for the injury absences of Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker with 34 points and 12 rebounds, and he got plenty of help from his Spurs teammates to not just eliminate the Rockets but humiliate them on their court in a 114-75 blowout.
  • The NBA postseason is beginning to look like a formality for the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are on course to meet in the NBA Finals for the third year in a row. Golden State dismantled the Utah Jazz 121-95 on Monday to improve to 8-0 in the playoffs—sweeping two straight rounds for the first time in franchise history.
  • The second-round series between the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards is turning into a point guard duel, and Isaiah Thomas is winning. Thomas was unguardable Tuesday in arguably the best performance of his NBA career, overcoming a strong game from his Washington counterpart John Wall to prevail 129-119 in overtime and keep Boston’s winning streak alive.
  • Not many NBA teams can climb out of a 2-0 hole in a playoff series, but the Boston Celtics are an unusual team, and their first-round series against the Chicago Bulls has been anything but predictable. Boston won its third straight game—and first at home—in the series Wednesday, moving within a game of advancing and avoiding the embarrassment of a top seed losing in the opening round.
  • Playoff LeBron is back. LeBron James put the Cleveland Cavaliers on his back Thursday, rallying them from a 25-point halftime deficit to take a 3-0 series lead over the Indiana Pacers. James scored 28 of his 41 points in the second half, adding 13 rebounds and 12 assists in a signature performance that served notice to the rest of the Eastern Conference.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers wrested control of the Eastern Conference away from the Boston Celtics on Wednesday with relative ease, leading by 15 at halftime and cruising to a 114-91 road victory. Top spot in the conference appeared within the Celtics’ reach after they defeated Cleveland a month ago and the follow-up meeting was their best opportunity to secure home court through to the NBA Finals, but the Cavaliers turned it into a statement game of their own.
  • After all the upsets and surprises of March Madness, two very different No. 1 seeds will play for the NCAA championship in Phoenix on Monday. Gonzaga is finally on the biggest stage in college basketball after years of disappointment, while North Carolina, a frequent championship game participant over the years, is making a second consecutive appearance.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t played like defending champions in March. They are on a three-game losing skid, ensuring they will finish the month with a losing record. Thursday’s 99-93 loss to the Chicago Bulls bumped them a half-game behind the Boston Celtics for the Eastern Conference lead, which is not where they wanted to be heading into the final weeks of the season.
  • Wednesday’s game between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs started like their other two meetings had finished: with the Spurs in control and holding a huge lead. But the Warriors rallied for one of their best wins of the season, made all the more impressive by their victory over the Houston Rockets the previous night.
  • Once a highly regarded high school prospect, Sindarius Thornwell wasn’t expected to choose a school like South Carolina. Now, thanks to Thornwell, the Gamecocks are somewhere they’ve never been: the Final Four.