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Mark Cuban says DeAndre Jordan ‘gave us the best chance to win now’

It took Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and DeAndre Jordan a matter of seconds to make up a few years after the big man left the franchise at the altar in free agency.

“There’s like four guys I hold grudges with, and three of them are from grade school, maybe even before,” Cuban told ESPN hours after Jordan officially signed with the Mavericks on Friday. “I just want to win. Look, only Dirk [Nowitzki] and J.J. [Barea] were there from that period anyway. All of our guys were like, ‘Go get him! Go get him!’

“I talked to him on the phone, and he’s like, ‘Everything behind us?’ I’m like, ‘Let’s go win.’ He goes, ‘Let’s go to war.’ Done.”cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

Jordan, who infamously reneged on his verbal commitment to the Mavs to re-sign with the Clippers in the summer of 2015, signed a one-year deal with Dallas. His salary will be $22.9 million, sources told ESPN. That’s less than the $24.1 million Jordan could have made if he exercised the player option for the final season of his contract with the Clippers, but the lack of state income taxes in Texas makes up the difference.

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said he didn’t have any discussion with Jordan about burying the hatchet.57

“There was no need. There just wasn’t,” Carlisle told ESPN. “Sometimes things take a while to happen. Sometimes you have obstacles, you work through them and figure it out. That’s what we did.

“He’s a good fit for any team that’s trying to get better. He gives us a great rim presence on both ends of the floor.”

Cuban believes Jordan, a dominant finisher who averaged 12.0 points and 15.2 rebounds per game last season, will aid the development of young franchise cornerstones Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic by providing them a lob threat to go along with reserve center Dwight Powell.

“Hopefully it’s just the start of something and they play together so well that we just add to it,” Cuban said.

Cuban said the parties mutually agreed that a one-year deal was the best way to go because they want to test the fit before committing to each other long term. The Mavs offered Jordan a four-year maximum contract in 2015.cheap new nike nfl jerseys

“It’s not like it was a few years back when we had a veteran team and we were trying to make it all work together,” Cuban said. “We have a relatively young team. We wanted to get a chance to see how he fits, he wanted to see how he fits, and if we make it work and we get to where we think we can be, we keep it all together.

“It was really just making us both comfortable. There’s no question about his skill set. There’s no question about his abilities. There’s no question about any of it. It’s just that he wanted to check us out too, and I think he was just done with where he was.”

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Kings make bold move in extending $78M offer sheet to Zach LaVine

The Sacramento Kings on Friday made a bold offseason move by signing Chicago Bulls restricted free agent guard Zach LaVine to a four-year, $78 million offer sheet, sources told The Undefeated.

The Bulls, who have two days to match it if they want to retain him, have made LaVine a contract offer, but sources say it’s not nearly as strong as the Kings’.

“I’m disappointed that I had to get an offer sheet from another team,” LaVine, 23, told The Undefeated. “But Sacramento stepped up and made a strong impression. It appears that Sacramento wants me more than Chicago.“cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The Kings would be the first team this offseason to sign a restricted free agent to an offer sheet.46

LaVine averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 34.1 percent shooting from 3-point range in 24 games last season. He loved the City of Chicago, his teammates, and the fan base in his short time since arriving from Minnesota in the Jimmy Butler trade and enjoyed playing for the Bulls.

However, the athletic 6-foot-5, 205-pound guard was disappointed that the Bulls did not step up in the same fashion that the Kings did and believed his parent team was trying to take advantage of him in a tight free agent market.

If the Bulls do not match Sacramento’s offer sheet, LaVine would join a franchise that is attempting to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. However, Sacramento is loaded with young talent in the rookie forward Marvin Bagley III, the No. 2 pick in the June draft, guards De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic and frontcourt players Harry Giles, Willie Callie-Stein, Skal Labissiere and Justin Jackson. The Kings believe that this young core is part of a new brand that includes “exciting, up-tempo, versatile and position-less players,” a source said.

LaVine visited the Kings’ offices and practice facility in downtown Sacramento on Wednesday on Wednesday. He had a conversation with Kings general manager Vlade Divac and assistant general managers Brandon Williams and Peja Stojakovic during the visit. LaVine also spoke with Kings owner Vivek Ranadive. LaVine could be the biggest free agent signing for the Kings since Divac signed a six-year, $60 million contract in 1999. There was a “mutual expression that it was a good fit” from LaVine and the Kings’ brass, a source said.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

A source said LaVine will take up the remaining Kings salary cap space available if his signing becomes official, but the franchise will still have flexibility to make more free agency moves next summer. The Seattle native debuted with the Bulls last season after recovering from left ACL surgery. The Kings are confident that LaVine is fully healthy and recovered him his knee injury, a source said.

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Hornets land Miles Bridges after trade with Clippers; also draft Devonte’ Graham

Charlotte initially selected point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander from Kentucky with the 11th overall pick, but traded him to the Clippers for the 12th overall pick and second-round picks in 2020 and 2021. The Clippers then selected Bridges for the Hornets.

“He’s one of the highest character players in the draft, very athletic, plays hard, and he’s very versatile,” Kupchak said. “… There is not much to not like about Miles Bridges.”

Charlotte later traded up to No. 34 overall with Atlanta to draft Kansas point guard Devonte Graham, a consensus All-American who averaged 17.3 points and 7.2 assists per game last season. Graham, who is from Raleigh, North Carolina, is expected to backup two-time All-Star Kemba Walker, providing the team doesn’t trade him. The Hornets surrendered second round picks in 2019 and 2023 to get him.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

Charlotte initially took shooting guard Hamiduo Diallo from Kentucky at No. 45 as part of the impending trade that will send Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets, but then sent his rights to Oklahoma City.

The Hornets drafted Arnoldas Kulboka from Lithunia at No. 55.92

Kupchak said Bridges can play both the three and four position on offense at the NBA level just as he did at Michigan State, and also has the size and athleticism to guard four positions on defense.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Bridges was a unanimous All-Big 10 first team choice after averaging 17 points and seven rebounds last season for the Spartans. He ranked sixth in the Big Ten in scoring last season, 11th in rebounding and fourth in free throw percentage (85.3 percent).

Bridges is expected to be a better offensive option at small forward than starter Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who is considered a strong defender but not a great scorer. Bridges has an NBA ready body and is one of the most explosive leapers in the draft. He scored frequently on perimeter spot ups and off screens while with the Spartans as well as on pick and roll opportunities.

“I want to get better at ballhandling so I can create my own shot and just be a threat everywhere on the floor from the 3 to midrange to getting to the basket,” Bridges said. “I definitely want to be more aggressive. I felt like in my college career I could have been more aggressive.”new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

Bridges did not work out for the Hornets despite the team’s repeated attempts to bring him in. Bridges said he had planned to visit after working out in Los Angeles, but “something popped up.”

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GM Mitch Kupchak calls Kemba Walker ‘focal point’ of Hornets

General manager Mitch Kupchak wants point guard Kemba Walker to end his NBA career right where it started — with the Charlotte Hornets.

Kupchak said Friday that Walker is “revered” in the Charlotte community, and that he and owner Michael Jordan look at the two-time All-Star as “the focal point of this franchise going forward.”cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

The 28-year-old Walker has been the subject of possible NBA trade talks as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract with the Hornets. That speculation has amped up recently because it is a practical impossibility for Charlotte to sign Walker to an extension before he becomes a free agent in July 2019 since the Hornets are so tight under the salary cap.

“I think everybody is aware of the situation, if you follow basketball a little bit, it is unique that he is on an extension that may make it a challenge going forward to figure out before he becomes a free agent,” Kupchak said.

At $12 million per year, Walker is well underpaid when compared to the other top point guards in the league.

But that doesn’t mean Kupchak is giving up hope the team can keep Walker in Charlotte.91

“I don’t think it is anybody’s goal to lose him in free agency,” Kupchak said. “But going forward, in the community, in the franchise, this is a player that we hope is with us — not only for the next couple of years, but ends his career here.”

The Hornets don’t have much experience behind Walker at point guard.

They have last year’s first-round draft pick, Malik Monk, and drafted Devonte Graham from Kansas in the second round on Thursday night.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

Graham said he is excited to pick Walker’s brain when it comes to basketball.

“I have never met him, but I remember watching him play when he was at UConn, though,” Graham said. “I’m just excited, man, to learn from someone like that and just be around someone like that who is a winner, and knows how to win and compete. I am looking forward to being able to learn from him.”

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Autopsy of ex-NBA player Butler reveals drugs, alcohol at time of crash

Former NBA player Rasual Butler had drugs and alcohol in his system when he and his wife died in a one-car accident in January in California.

Butler had alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine and oxycodone in his system at the time of the crash, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.nfl authentic jerseys cheap

According to Los Angeles police, Butler was speeding before jumping a curb, and his vehicle hit three parking meters and a concrete wall before flipping over twice and coming to rest in a shopping mall parking lot. Butler, 38, and his wife, Leah LaBelle Vladowski, 31, were pronounced dead at the scene..

The coroner’s report says both died from “multiple traumatic injuries” in the crash.22

Butler played 13 seasons in the NBA with eight different franchises as a swingman after being drafted out of La Salle by the Miami Heat in 2002.

Butler’s wife was an R&B singer who appeared on “American Idol” in 2004.

Butler played his final NBA games with the San Antonio Spurs in the 2015-16 season and attended training camp with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2016. He played in Ice Cube’s BIG3 basketball league last summer.nfl jerseys cheap china

He averaged 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 809 career NBA games. Butler appeared in all 82 games for the 2009-10 Los Angeles Clippers and averaged a career-best 11.9 points per game.

21

NBA: Warriors reportedly irked at Perkins for Curry run-in

The moment that might have sparked Stephen Curry to a dominant fourth quarter in Game 2 of the NBA Finals included a man in a suit on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench.

Kendrick Perkins, in street clothes seated on Cleveland’s bench Sunday night, failed to move his feet or legs as Curry backpedaled after missing a 3-point attempt at the end of the third quarter.

Curry, all of 6 feet 3 inches and 190 pounds, turned quickly and barked in the face of the 6-10 Perkins. While Curry said immediately after the game the incident was “much ado about nothing,” and teammate Klay Thompson said it was a “great movie,” forward Draymond Green said it was more than that.nfl football jerseys china

“He went off after that,” Green said of Curry.21

According to ESPN, several players said they were concerned for Curry because of his history of ankle and knee injuries.

Curry told ESPN he wouldn’t get into his thoughts on the sideline run-in, but his play might have done the talking. Curry went for 16 of his game-high 33 points and was 5-of-5 from 3-point range in just eight minutes played in the fourth. Golden State won the game 122-103 to take a 2-0 series lead.official nike nfl jerseys

Perkins, 33, is an interior enforcer for the Cavaliers. He’s recognized as a tough guy, and has been in his share of physical confrontations during his career.

What he hasn’t done this postseason is appear in a game. Perkins last played April 11 against the New York Knicks — his only appearance in a game this season — and has zero minutes played in 20 playoff games against Indiana, Toronto, Boston and Golden State.

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Klay Thompson catches fire beyond arc in Game 6 win: ‘I was born for it’

Klay Thompson had another big Game 6 outing in the Western Conference finals, and this time, the Houston Rockets were on the receiving end of a 115-86 beatdown Saturday night.

With the Golden State Warriors facing elimination, Thompson erupted for a game-high 35 points on 13-of-23 shooting and 9-of-14 from 3-point range. He splashed in seven of his triples in the second half to help his team outscore the Houston Rockets 64-25 in the final two quarters.nfl jersey for cheap

“The guy’s a machine,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s just so fit physically. He seems to thrive in these situations. But he was fantastic.”

In 2016, in another Game 6 elimination scenario against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thompson exploded for 41 points and drained 11 of 18 3-pointers.

“I don’t know if I was born for it, but I definitely worked my butt off to get to this point. I mean, I guess you could say I was born for it,” Thompson said while laughing. “I guess everything happens for a reason. That felt good, to be honest. I just wanted to play with as much passion as I could tonight. Probably sounded more vocal than I usually am. When your back’s against the wall, if your shot’s not falling, you can always control your passion and how hard you play. Usually when I do that, it trickles over to other aspects of my game.”

Thompson, who displayed several raw-emotion moments seldom seen from him, also contributed six rebounds and four steals. He hadn’t registered four steals in a game since December 2016, and it was the most he has ever accumulated in a postseason game.334

“The most important thing I think Klay did tonight was his defense,” Draymond Green told ESPN. “He changed the game for us definitely, getting into the ball and which in turn allowed us to get loose offensively. It’s ironic how that happens. Play some defense, get out in transition, get some easy looks, and all of a sudden the dam breaks and we can really get into our offense. I think the most important thing he did tonight was what he did defensively.”

On this night, there was no hesitation on Thompson’s part. According to Second Spectrum, on seven of his made 3-pointers, he released the ball within one second of touching it. That’s the most such instances in a game over the past five postseasons.customized nfl jerseys cheap

“I think Klay doesn’t worry too much about repercussions. He doesn’t worry about judgment and results. I think he just loves to play,” Kerr said. “He’s so comfortable in his own skin. I just think he wants to go out there and hoop, and he doesn’t worry about much else. So the pressure doesn’t seem to bother him much. He just competes and plays. As I said, the two-way ability of this guy hounding the MVP of the league, most likely [Rockets guard James Harden], all game, and continuing to rain down 3-pointers, he’s amazing.”

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LeBron James’ eighth straight NBA Finals berth deserves to be appreciated

There are those who place legacy in columns, draw the bottom-line report in simple accounting fashion.

And there are those who are willing to work in areas of gray, in terms of nuance and circumstance.nfl authentic jerseys cheap

Some will say that Michael Jordan won six titles and Kobe Bryant won five (Bill Russell won 11 but is somehow usually not included in the counting discussion), and LeBron James has three, and that’s that.

Perhaps so, in the column, that is that.333

But for those who entertain perspective, James did something in this postseason that deserves to be recognized and revered. The Cleveland Cavaliers’ 87-79 Game 7 victory in Boston on Sunday night earned James a silver trophy and not a gold one. It doesn’t feel right to put this accomplishment next to the titles.

That’s what Jerry West said in 2011 when James called him after he lost his second Finals in his eighth season looking for a shoulder to cry on. West told James he’d wanted to quit several times after losing the first eight Finals he played in. That once when he was jogging in Los Angeles he was heckled by a passerby and he was driven to the edge of considering homicide. West is bitter about the history to this day; he frowns at the mere mention.

As he turns 80 on Monday, though, the historians have done him so much better. He was known as “Mr. Clutch,” and more recently, “The Logo.” Nuance, grainy highlights and oral history have made West’s legacy ironclad. He was done right.nfl jersey for cheap

The same respect is due for James. The trials of this season, the details surrounding the weakening of his team and the weekly challenges that he had to navigate while shouldering an incredible burden brought him to Game 7 in a preposterous position. The Cavs had no business being there; by all rights they should’ve lost to the Pacers a month ago.

The Cavs had a long celebration in their locker room after the game. Teams haven’t gotten to celebrate much on this patch of land, be it TD Garden or in the adjacent lot where the Boston Garden once stood. James has had a few of his darkest moments in that locker room.

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Harden carries early, CP3 leads late as Rockets withstand frenetic Warriors

Finally, the basketball world got to witness the kind of classic it has been waiting all season to see in the highly anticipated Western Conference finals.

After the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets alternated double-digit wins in the first three games, with the margin of victory soaring each time, Game 4 went down to the wire. The teams will head back to Houston with the series tied after the Rockets scrapped their way to a 95-92 comeback win to stun the sellout Oracle Arena crowd and end the Warriors’ 16-game postseason win streak in Oakland.nike nfl jerseys for sale

The fourth quarter was far from the beautiful basketball expected from two of the best offensive teams in the history of the game. It was more like the 15th round of a fight between heavyweights gassed from throwing haymakers at each other all night.260

The Warriors, a potential dynasty featuring three of the NBA’s premier scorers, managed to score a grand total of 12 points in the final frame. It ended with Stephen Curry, arguably the best shooter ever, missing a good look at a 3-pointer — a shot he failed to get off before the buzzer sounded, anyway.

It was a shocking dud down the stretch for the Warriors, particularly Curry, who was 1-of-8 from the floor in the final frame after carrying Golden State in the third quarter.

That Curry scoring flurry started with a wide-open 29-footer from the left wing midway through the third quarter. He swished a lead-changing, step-back 3 over Clint Capela on the Warriors’ next possession, with the Oracle Arena crowd buzzing throughout the dazzling dribbling display and roaring when the ball splashed through the net. Draymond Green passed up an open look to feed Curry for a corner 3 the next trip. Then Curry sliced through the Rockets’ dizzied defense for a finger roll.

Just like that, the Warriors’ point guard uncorked 11 points in the span of 96 seconds. Curry had 17 in the quarter, matching the Rockets’ total and falling one point shy of his slump-busting, sizzling Game 3 third quarter. As a result, Golden State held a double-digit lead, seemingly putting Houston on the canvas. But the Rockets’ defense, which general manager Daryl Morey made a priority over the summer, came through.cheap official nfl jerseys

It wasn’t the first time in this game that Houston needed to rely on its defense, as the Rockets proved they could fight back after an awful first five minutes. It took 5:18 for Houston’s historically high-powered offense to put any points on the board, as the defending champion Warriors roared out of the gates with a 12-0 run while the Rockets sputtered to eight shots and a couple of turnovers in their first 10 possessions.

259

Kevin Durant, Warriors turn page to Game 5 after frustrating finish

Kevin Durant said, “I wish I had that last play back,” referring to the Golden State Warriors’ final transition possession with less than 12 seconds remaining in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Tuesday.

The Houston Rockets were up by two points when Draymond Green pulled down a defensive board to initiate the break. He passed it to Durant, who dribbled the ball up the court. Instead of taking a shot, Durant found a cutting Klay Thompson along the baseline.nfl jerseys authentic cheap

Trevor Ariza closed hard on Thompson, forcing Thompson to put the ball on the floor before firing up an ill-advised turnaround air ball. Durant was seen demanding a kickout, and with 5 seconds on the clock, Green was calling for a timeout that went unnoticed by the officials.259

“I raced it down. I was trying to see if I had some options. I saw Klay running along the baseline and maybe should have waited until he set his feet, but I just threw a bounce pass and tried to relocate for it,” he explained. “But, man, that’s not the reason we lost the game. I wish it could have been a better possession at the end, but, you know, we’ve got to live with that and move on and be better next game.”

Stephen Curry (39), Thompson (39), Durant (43) and Green (45) all played 39 or more minutes. Andre Iguodala was sidelined with a left leg contusion. The Warriors outscored the Rockets 34-17 in the third quarter, but due to an even further shortened rotation without Iguodala, Kerr said fatigue played a factor down the stretch.

“It’s the Western Conference finals,” Green said. “When you’re battling getting to the Finals, no one is worried about fatigue. We’re just trying to do what you got to do to win the game.”

Thompson suffered a knee contusion in the second quarter after he banged it on the hardwood. He headed to the locker room for treatment, then re-entered the game soon after. Team officials said his injury is of no concern moving forward.

“It’s sore, but it’s early,” Thompson said. “I’m anticipating feeling much better tomorrow.”

The Warriors dropped a golden opportunity to end the series in Houston on Thursday, but the locker room was surprisingly in good spirits following Tuesday’s contest. Durant told ESPN they “just have to get another one” on the road.nike nfl jerseys for sale

As a team, the Warriors expressed disappointment in not sustaining a high level of play rather than focusing on one possession. Durant said that’s what they need to fix going into Game 5.

“It’s the whole game that we’ve got to get better at, especially in the fourth,” he said. “I think going up 10 going into the fourth, it was a good opportunity for us to kind of take control, and we didn’t. So I definitely wish I had that last play back. So I’m going to watch film and see what my options were and just hopefully if I’m in that position again I’ll be better.”