ESPN The Jump • Amin Elhassan says comments made by Boston Celtics president Danny Ainge comparing fellow Rich Paul client LeBron James to Donald Trump, calling them similar to Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments that took New York off the free agency list for LeBron.
Drew Shiller • NBCSports
On Sunday, the Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl in the last 18 seasons.
Since 2001, New England has also lost in the Super Bowl three times and fell in the AFC Championship Game on four occasions.
So yes, the Patriots have reached the “final four” 13 times in the last 18 years. That is absolutely insane.
“It just gets old watching the same team win the whole thing,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr joked to reporters following practice on Monday. “That was really arrogant wasn’t it? It was kind of fun to say that.”
Well played, Steve. Well played.
Golden State has won three of the last four titles and is the frontrunner to accomplish a three-peat in June. And in the year the Warriors didn’t capture the Larry O’Brien Trophy, they won a single-season record 73 games and dropped Game 7 of the NBA Finals at home.
“I told our team today to look at the Patriots — they just never make a mistake,” Kerr added. “So on a game when they don’t have it clicking offensively, they can still win because they’re just on point, they’re buttoned up, they’re just rock solid week after week after week.
“That’s the point we want to get to.”
Come on Warriors. Stop slacking so much.
Plus several other great stories from the era…
Adrian Wojnarowski • ESPN
Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson made a more robust bid for New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis on Monday, offering multiple young players, including Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma, as well as draft picks and salary-cap relief to the Pelicans, league sources told ESPN.
Johnson and Pelicans general manager Dell Demps had multiple conversations on Monday, league sources said.
The details were not immediately clear on the Lakers’ latest offer, but it was an attempt to start moving closer to satisfying the several elements that New Orleans would want in a deal for Davis. The Lakers want to strike a deal before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, but it is still unclear whether the Lakers possess the full complement of assets to make New Orleans act before opening up the process to a broader array of teams, players and draft pick possibilities after the season.
Davis, who is seeking a trade, prefers a move to the Lakers, league sources said.
The Pelicans learned on Monday of a new extended list of teams that Davis is willing to stay with long-term upon a trade, including the Milwaukee Bucks and LA Clippers, league sources said. Those teams have yet to make offers for Davis and may not possess the assets to make a trade happen, sources said. The New York Knicks were already on that list, although they were rejected in their offer of a package centered on Kristaps Porzingis before his trade to Dallas, league sources said.
The list doesn’t include the Boston Celtics, league sources said. The Celtics are unable to trade for Davis until July 1 as long as Kyrie Irving is on the team’s roster. Nevertheless, the Celtics remain determined to acquire Davis after the season and have encouraged the Pelicans to wait until the offseason to engage them on a deal, league sources said.
There appears to be an effort on the part of Davis and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, to facilitate a deal before Thursday’s trade deadline, and spare a prolonged stay into the offseason for Davis with the franchise. Davis, who requested a trade a week ago, can’t become a free agent until July 2020.
Joe Lacob on Warriors’ pending free agents: ‘Nobody’s going to outspend us’
Brian Witt • NBCSports
It’s a potential reality that has become impossible for the Warriors and their fans to ignore, given recent developments: At least one of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson — both scheduled to become free agents at season’s end — could be wearing a different jersey next season.
The Knicks have opened up massive salary-cap space and are rumored to be making a run at Durant. Lakers fans were chanting ‘WE WANT THOMPSON’ from the upper deck of Oracle Arena on Saturday night, although Klay said he didn’t hear them.
The fact that both All-Stars would be attractive targets for other teams comes as no surprise, both because of their individual talent level and the general collective desire to bring an end to Golden State’s hegemony. However, if either Durant or Thompson plays somewhere other than Golden State, it won’t be because the Warriors were unwilling to pay enough to keep them.
In a conversation with The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami, Warriors owner Joe Lacob said cost wouldn’t be a prohibitive factor in keeping the team’s current trajectory going.
“We can do whatever we want (financially),” Lacob said. “And you should expect that that’s not going to be a reason this team … doesn’t stay great going forward. We have the capital to pay our players what they deserve. And we will.”
As Kawakami notes, that’s a slightly different tone than Lacob has struck in the past, when he’s at times indicated there might come a point when cost outgrows resources. The fact that the opening of Chase Center — and the immense resulting cash flow — are imminent likely is part of the reason why.
Even if the Warriors lose Durant or Thompson despite their best efforts, it won’t change their approach to roster building.
“I think we’ll continue to have a good team, if not a great team, and try to hopefully be a title-contending team for as long as we can,” Lacob told Kawakami. “We’ll be aggressive. Nobody’s going to outspend us. Nobody’s going to outwork us.”
While it’s a fun exercise to postulate who the Warriors’ backup plans might involve, perhaps even years down the road — Kawakami offers up names such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns — Lacob and the Warriors remain fully intent on keeping this current group together.
“All I can say right now is I think we love our roster with all our players, the coaching staff,” Lacob said. “I think we’re in a really good spot. I can only say, we’ll evaluate at the end of the season and sort of see if anything’s changed from where we are today. Right now, it looks pretty good.
“This is probably our best roster ever.”
Big game for Giannis helps NBA-best Bucks beat Nets 113-94
The injury-depleted Nets missed 19 of their first 20 3-point attempts, making it another easy night for the team with the NBA’s best record. Brooklyn finished 5 for 42 (11.9 percent) behind the arc.
D’Angelo Russell scored 18 points for the Nets, who have been forced to go deep down their roster because of injuries and lost their third in a row.
ROCKETS 118, SUNS 110
PHOENIX — James Harden scored 44 points, his 20th 40-point game of the season, and Houston handed Phoenix its 11th straight loss.
Harden, who also had eight rebounds and six assists, extended his streak of games with at least 30 points to 27, third-longest in NBA history.
Josh Jackson scored 25 points for the Suns.
PISTONS 129, NUGGETS 103
DETROIT — Andre Drummond scored 14 of his season-high 27 points in the third quarter and Detroit snapped Denver’s six-game winning streak.
Trey Lyles had 20 points for the Nuggets, who dropped out of a tie with Golden State for the best record in the Western Conference.
KINGS 127, SPURS 112
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Rookie forward Marvin Bagley III had a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds for his third straight double-double, leading Sacramento past San Antonio for its seventh straight home win.
De’Aaron Fox added 20 points and Buddy Hield scored 18 to extend Sacramento’s longest home winning streak since a 14-gamer in 2005-06. That was the last time the Kings made the playoffs, but Sacramento (28-25) is positioned to make a run at a postseason spot this season. The Kings trail the Los Angeles Clippers by a half-game for eighth place in the Western Conference.
HAWKS 137, WIZARDS 129
WASHINGTON — Taurean Prince scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and hit five of Atlanta’s 20 3-pointers against Washington.
Rookie guard Kevin Huerter added 19 points and also hit five 3s in his return to the region where he played college ball at Maryland. Two of those 3s came during an early 16-2 run that put the Hawks up 28-16 late in the first quarter, a lead they did not give back.
Trae Young added 10 points and 10 assists as nine Hawks reached double figures. Atlanta finished 20 of 41 from beyond the arc to close a 4-3 road trip.
Bradley Beal had 18 of his 27 points in the fourth for the Wizards, who slipped into a 10th-place tie with Orlando in the Eastern Conference playoff race, three games back of eighth-place Miami.
PACERS 109, PELICANS 107
NEW ORLEANS — Darren Collison capped a 22-point performance with a 3-pointer, a 20-foot jumper with the shot clock winding down and a free throw during the final two minutes as Indiana held off depleted New Orleans.
The Pelicans, playing without five of their most productive players — including disgruntled All-Star Anthony Davis — have lost three straight. Each loss has been by six or fewer points to teams currently occupying playoff positions in the standings.
Andrew Joseph • Yahoo Sports
So, of course, leave it to LeBron James to step right in and completely upend everyone’s Super Bowl Sunday.
Midway through the third quarter, LeBron took to Twitter and apparently called out notable NBA reporters who had been breaking news on the Lakers’ turmoil.
What in the world could this mean? Does LeBron know something we don’t? Is Anthony Davis going to the Lakers? Is LeBron just messing with us? So many questions. He could easily just be joking because … this game. Ugh.
NBA Twitter went into overdrive from the moment the tweet appeared on everyone’s timeline.
The NBA waits for no one — not even the Super Bowl.
Original Article: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/02/lebron-super-bowl-lakers-tweet
What is load management? That’s what basketball fans were asking after that was given as the reason Lakers’ star LeBron James skipped the game against the Lakers. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) –What the heck is load management? That’s what basketball fans were asking after that was given as the reason Lakers’ star LeBron James skipped the game against the Warriors.
The Warriors found out shortly before tip off that James would not play in the prime time game for “load management” reasons. That’s a technical term for he’s sore.
But it set the internet buzzing about what exactly that could mean. And many people have been cracking jokes.
Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said after the game, when talking about how the the Dubs are taking five days off, “I’m going to get plenty of load management those five days.”