Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

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LiAngelo Ball’s shoplifting scandal has made it all the way up to President Donald Trump, and now older brother Lonzo Ball is reacting to the news.

The L.A. Lakers rookie responded Monday to reports that Trump had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about resolving the case of LiAngelo and fellow UCLA basketball players Cody Riley and Jalen Hill. Here’s what he had to say, according to Bill Oram of the Orange County Register

Father LaVar recently advised Lonzo to focus on the Lakers, assuring him that the family was taking care of the matter. Now that the commander-in-chief is on his brother’s side as well, it should indeed be a lot easier for Lonzo to stay focused on the game and on helping the 5-8 Lakers get back on track.

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When the Chicago Bulls take on the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night, forward Bobby Portis will take his spot on the bench and play back-up to Lauri Markkanen, possibly even see some reserve minutes throughout the game.

It will be Portis’ first action of the season after serving a team-issued eight-game suspension following an altercation with teammate Nikola Mirotic on October 17, which resulted in Mirotic suffering a concussion and facial fractures.

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Although he is no longer experiencing any concussion symptoms, the timetable for Mirotic’s return is not nearly as close at hand. In fact, he’s expected to miss several more weeks and that, understandably, does not sit well.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports that Mirotic remains both upset about the altercation and distant from his teammates and the organization.

Though he is free of his concussion symptoms, Nikola Mirotic remains weeks away from returning from the two facial fractures that Portis caused with a punch to the face during an Oct. 17 altercation between the forwards in practice. Mirotic remains upset enough over the disparity in time of absences that he has had little contact with teammates, and his camp has made clear to management that, for now, it doesn’t see a way the two forwards can coexist.

Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg supports the return of Portis despite Mirotic’s continued frustration.

“This is something that, unfortunately, it happened,” Hoiberg said. “There was an altercation. And Bobby served the eight-game suspension. It was something that was thought a lot about as far as what the punishment would be, in collaboration with the league. They felt that this was the right punishment. He sat out his games and was able to stay active and practice with us. Now we’ll put him back on the floor. And we welcome him back.”

To this point, Portis and Mirotic have not spoken since the altercation, although Portis has reportedly attempted to reach out. Ultimately, it’s going to be very tricky for the Bulls to keep both players on their roster despite continued efforts to do exactly that.

Although Dwyane Wade was not part of the Cleveland Cavaliers‘ run of three straight NBA Finals appearances, he’s here for the run at a fourth. And he’s observed some familiar struggles.
Wade referenced the 2013-14 Miami Heat team — the last of the Big Three coalitions — when discussing the current Cavs’ plight. Where that might scare some northeast Ohioans given that team’s fate, he provided some contrast as well.

“That last year in Miami when we went to the Finals, I don’t know how we made it,” Wade said Thursday, via ESPN. “As a team, we were kind of like this. It was worse, because it wasn’t new guys; it was guys who had been around each other four years in a row. Your jokes weren’t funny anymore to other guys, when you walked in it wasn’t a big smile any more. Guys were just over you. It’s like being in a bad marriage.”
LeBron James and Wade led the Heat to their fourth straight Finals appearance, but the San Antonio Spurs dominated the top-heavy team on what turned out to be its last legs. James left for Cleveland a month later, taking his unprecedented finals-qualifying talents (excepting the 1960s Boston Celtics in an eight-team NBA for much of that span) to his hometown and using a collection of new teammates as sidekicks.
Several sidekicks remain from all three finals teams — like Kevin Love, J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert — but the Cavs are breaking in plenty of new players this season. And they’ve lost four in a row to plummet to 3-5. Only two East teams are worse.


The Cavs are not averse to drama during the James-2.0 stretch, but they are entering some oddly key regular-season games in November. James’ final Heat team started 4-3 before reeling off 10 straight wins. Wade didn’t guarantee that, but the 35-year-old guard believes the Cavs are better than what they’ve shown.
“With the new guys here, you’ve got guys that have never been [to the Finals], guys who are hungry,” Wade said. “Obviously, Isaiah (Thomas) is one of them, who’s out. [And there’s] Derrick (Rose) and guys who have never been. Hopefully we can eventually pull from that and everybody wants to see the other guys succeed and get to that pinnacle they got to.
“… We have to continue to understand that we’re going to get out of this together and this is going to be a distant memory at one point, but right now we’re in it. We have to figure it out, and I think we will.”