December 2019 Basketball Wiretap

LeBron James Named The Associated Press Male Athlete Of The Decade

Dec 29, 2019 3:46 PM

The Associated Press named LeBron James as its Male Athlete of the Decade. James joins Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, and Arnold Palmer as other recipients for the honor.

"You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences. A decade ago, I just turned 25. I'm about to be 35, and I'm just in a better [place] in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life," said James, who turns 35 on Monday.

Tom Brady and Usain Bolt took second and third in the voting.

James, who is close to passing Kobe Bryant for 3rd in all-time scoring, admitted that passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for first place is within reach. 

"I would be lying if I said I don't see it. Obviously I'm not trying to say, 'OK, well if I play this amount of time, if I average this' ... I'm not doing that because I've never done that with my career. I've always just kind of let it happen. Whatever happens, happens. But I see it. I do see it."

ESPN

Tags: LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Draymond Green Credits Defense For Warriors' 4-Game Win Streak

Dec 28, 2019 12:41 PM

Draymond Green gave credit to the Golden State Warriors' defense for setting the tone following their 105-96 win over the Phoenix Suns.

The Warriors have now won 4 straight games.

"One thing about defense is you're always going to give up something, so then it becomes what is it that you're willing to give up? And I think the things that we've been willing to give up, we've been giving those up, and it's been working out for us," said Green.

The Warriors have the best defensive rating in the league since December 19th with 97.6 points allowed per 100 possessions.

Green added that he's focused on the team's improvement despite having just 9 wins on the season. 

"We still got nine wins. Ain't no pressure. We still go out there and swing for the fences. This team is just really getting better, and it's exciting."


Nick Friedell/ESPN

Tags: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Zach Randolph Announces Retirement From NBA

Dec 28, 2019 11:51 AM

Zach Randolph officially announced his retirement from the NBA, ending a 17-year career.

"I gave this game my all, and it gave everything back and more. Basketball will always be a part of me," wrote Randolph in a tweet.

The 38-year-old Randolph was a two-time All-Star. He last played for the Kings in 2018.

Zach Randolph

Tags: Zach Randolph, Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Lakers Versus Bucks Was Most-Watched Regular Season Game On TNT Since 2018

Dec 22, 2019 12:07 PM

The Thursday night game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks averaged 2.8 million viewers on TNT, reported Turner Sports.

It was the most-watched NBA regular-season game on TNT since January 2018, which featured the Warriors playing the Cavs.

The Bucks-Lakers game also represented a 150% increase from last year's game in the same slot between the Rockets and Heat.

The NBA makes $2.6 billion annually from their current television rights between ESPN and Turner. 

Jabari Young/CNBC

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Luka Doncic Expected To Sign 5-Year Endorsement Deal With Jordan Brand

Dec 21, 2019 5:48 PM

Luka Doncic is reportedly close to signing a multi-year endorsement deal with Jordan Brand, league sources told Shams Charania and Tim Cato of The Athletic.

Nick DePaula and Tim MacMahon of ESPN added that the deal will be 5-years.

The deal will not begin as a signature endorsement deal, but Doncic can work his way up to getting a signature sneaker through achievements such as winning MVP.

Doncic will likely have a player-exclusive Jordan model available by February.

Nick DePaula & Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Tags: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Joel Embiid After Loss To Mavs: Sixers Are 'Playing Scared' Against Zone Defenses

Dec 21, 2019 12:19 PM

Joel Embiid criticized the Philadelphia 76ers' mentality after their 117-98 loss to the Dallas Mavericks at home, saying they are scared to shoot against zone defenses.

"I feel like, especially tonight, we were playing scared. Basketball is easy. You just shoot it, pass it, move it. If you don't got a shot just pass it. ... I felt like tonight we had a few open looks, [and] you just got to shoot it," said Embiid following the game.

The Mavs played a zone defense on 35 possessions against the Sixers on Friday night. The Heat played zone on 38 possessions on Wednesday, the most for any team on the season.

Brett Brown admitted that zone defenses are affecting his team's mentality.

"I think that the influence that our inability lately, to, like, be put on our back heels against the zone has crept into our defense, our psyche, our spirit. And I can't stand it. This is not who we are. It's not who we are. ... I love coaching these guys, because I respect them. And I feel like our competitive spirit has taken a dent because of our inability to score, and I think that any time you get into a mood swing that affects your defense because your offense is doing something, it needs to be addressed."


Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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NBA Proposes 78-Game Regular Season Starting In 2021-22

Dec 20, 2019 11:26 PM

The NBA sent out a proposal to teams featuring potential changes for the 2021-22 season, including a 78-game schedule, league sources told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Other proposed changes include an in-season tournament featuring a $1 million player bonus, a play-in tournament for the 7-8th seeds, and a reseeding of the final 4 of the playoffs based on regular-season record.

Charania added that the in-season tournament would feature all 30 teams and include the following: 4 home and away divisional games for the group stage, and 6 divisional stage winners and 2 wildcards moving onto the knockout stage.

The quarterfinals would then be played at home, with the semifinals and finals played at a neutral site. 

The tournament would run from late November to mid-December. 

Shams Charania/The Athletic

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett Headline Potential 2020 Basketball Hall Of Fame Inductees

Dec 20, 2019 12:05 AM

50 potential inductees for the Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2020 were unveiled on Thursday, lead by first-time nominees Kobe BryantTim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Chris Bosh.

Shawn Marion, Michael Finley, Mark Eaton and Buck Williams were also first-time nominees on the men's side. 

Swin Cash, Tamika Catchings, and Becky Hammon were first-time nominees from the women's side.

Rick Adelman and George Karl were included in the coach's list this year.

The finalists will be unveiled during the February All-Star Game, with the inductees revealed during the Final Four in April.


Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Tags: NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Dwane Casey Admits He Didn't Expect Pascal Siakam To Become Superstar

Dec 19, 2019 10:51 AM

Pascal Siakam was the 27th overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft and has evolved from role player to key rotation player to legitimate superstar this season. 

“I didn’t see that he would be a superstar and he is a superstar in our league right now,” Dwane Casey said before Wednesday’s game against the Raptors. “He started 38 games in his first year and he was for us like (Pistons guard) Bruce Brown. He was that rabbit that comes out and guards the best player. Shooting was his last resort; it was his last offensive option.”

Casey also touted Siakam's work ethic.

“For those kids out there that want to see how good you can be, go watch him in the summertime. He is not worried about load management; the kid worked three times a day,” Casey said. “He and Rico (Hines) are out there in Los Angeles and they did a great job of developing his offensive game — and it’s on him. He did that all himself to develop his individual game, and his mom and dad did a great job with the DNA with the elite motor he has.

 “I saw that he was going to be a good starter in our league and the trade for Serge (Ibaka) took place, but the rest of it, he did on his own.”

Rod Beard/Detroit News

Tags: Pascal Siakam, Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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ESPN Will Not Televise Warriors Vs. Pelicans Game On Friday

Dec 18, 2019 1:54 AM

ESPN will not longer televise Friday's game between the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans. 

The game was considered a marquee matchup due to a potential meeting between Steph Curry and Zion Williamson.

ESPN are also adding a game between the Lakers and the Mavs on December 29th. 

Mark Medina/USA Today

Tags: Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Damian Lillard: Deeper Three-Pointers Aren't By Accident

Kirk Goldsberry/ESPN

Banned Fan Sues Jazz, Russell Westbrook For $100 Million Worth Of Damages

Benjamin Wood & Andy Larsen/The Salt Lake Tribune

John Paxson Says He Remains 'Committed' To Jim Boylen

K.C. Johnson/NBC Sports Chicago

Jimmy Butler Fouled Twice By Lakers On Last Possession, According To NBA L2M Report

Ira Winderman/South Florida Sun Sentinel

James Harden After 54 Point Game Against Magic: 'Whatever It Takes' To Win

ESPN

Kings, Bucks To Participate In Basketball Games Held At Correctional Facilities

Marc J. Spears/The Undefeated

Knicks Members Expect Steve Mills To Be Replaced At End Of Season

Ian Begley/SNY

Brett Brown Wants Ben Simmons To Shoot 'A 3-Point Shot A Game, Minimum'

Tim Bontemps/ESPN

Steve Kerr Says He's 'Really Enjoying' Developing Young Players This Season

Shaun Powell/NBA.com

Keith Bogans To Join Knicks Staff As Assistant

Ian Begley/SNY

Doc Rivers On Clippers Offense: 'It's Fool's Gold'

Ohm Youngmisuk & Eric Woodyard/ESPN

Terry Stotts On Carmelo Anthony: 'He's Been A Breath Of Fresh Air For Us'

Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN

LeBron James On Uncalled Travel: 'One Of The Worst Things I've Ever Done In My Career'

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Pau Gasol To Join Blazers Coaching Staff As Assistant

NBA.com

Rockets Likely To File Official Protest Regarding Missed James Harden Dunk During Loss To Spurs

Tim MacMahon/ESPN

Knicks Expected To Fire David Fizdale 'Soon', According To Source

Ian Begley/SNY

NBA Takes Two Upcoming Warriors Games Off National TV

ESPN

Paul George On Carmelo Anthony: He's 'Been A Great Player, He's Going To Be A Great Player'

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Doc Rivers Says Kawhi Leonard, Paul George 'Have Yet To Have A Practice Together'

Ohm Youngmisuk/ESPN

Austin Rivers On James Harden's 60 Points In 3 Quarters: 'Name Another Player Who Could Do That'

ESPN