NBA Announces NBA All-Star Game Starters, February 19th, New Orleans

Jimmy Butler, Anthony Davis & DeMar DeRozan named All-Star starters for 1st time as NBA officially names ASW starting lineups:

Via NBA dot com:

East Starters: DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler
West Starters: Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, James Harden

Russell Westbrook might be the most dynamic player in the NBA this season, scoring a league-best 30.6 points and averaging a triple-double through his first 44 games. But unless an injury occurs, Westbrook will not be a starter in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.

The starting lineups were revealed Thursday for the 66th NBA All-Star Game, which will be played Sunday, Feb. 19, in New Orleans at the Smoothie King Center. And apparently Westbrook’s first-half performance wasn’t impressive enough to crack the Western Conference’s top five.

Then again, the West’s starting guards each have a pretty good case for inclusion. Golden State’s reigning two-time MVP Stephen Curry will make his fourth All-Star appearance. Alongside Curry will be Houston’s James Harden, who is second in the NBA in points (28.9) and first in assists (11.6) in his role as point guard for the Rockets.

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Clemson Edges Alabama In Thrilling Rematch To Win 2017 National Title

Deshaun Watson and the Clemson Tigers avenge last year’s title loss to beat Alabama on final play to win College Football Playoff:

Clemson's Deshaun Watson and Shaq Smith (5) celebrate a last second touchdown during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Via Bloomberg Sports:

Tampa, Fla. (AP) — Deshaun Watson took the snap, rolled right and with one of the easiest throws he had to make all night, completed Clemson’s journey to the top of college football.

A frantic fourth quarter and a championship rematch between Clemson and Alabama was decided with 1 second left on a 2-yard touchdown toss to Hunter Renfrow.

“I couldn’t hear the crowd,” Watson said. “I just felt at peace.”

Watson and the Tigers dethroned the defending champs and became the first team to beat Nick Saban’s Alabama dynasty in a national title game, taking down the top-ranked Crimson Tide 35-31 Monday night in the College Football Playoff.

A 35-year title drought for Clemson is over. The Tigers are national champions for the first time since 1981.

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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Talks NBA & Social Issues w/ The Undefeated

ESPN’s The Undefeated talks to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about hoops, race, social issues & NBA demographics in new interview:

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Of all America’s professional sports leagues, none are feeling the aftershocks of the Obama-to-Trump transition like the NBA. Commissioner Adam Silver went from leading an organization whose employees dapped up and played with the current president to one in which players are questioning whether its 2017 champion will even show up for the traditional visit to the White House.

The head of North America’s most racially-conscious league listened as NBA players and coaches vented publicly about the election of Donald Trump and a possible boycott by an entire team. Now, he weighs in:

“To me, if a player were to choose not to go to the White House, whether they were choosing not to go to the current White House or a future White House, my response would be: ‘That’s a lost opportunity,’ ” Read the rest of this entry

Jimmy Butler, Blake Griffin Star in New Jordan Brand Monstars Commercial

Chicago Cubs Beat Cleveland Indians To End 108 Year World Series Misery

Chicago Cubs defeat the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 classic to finally win a World Series ending franchise’s 108 year drought:

The Chicago Cubs celebrate after Game 7 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Cleveland Indians Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, in Cleveland. The Cubs won 8-7 in 10 innings to win the series 4-3. Gene J. Puskar, The Associated Press

Via The New York Times:

CLEVELAND — If you are going to endure years — no, generations — of futility and heartbreak, when you do finally win a World Series championship, it may as well be a memorable one.

The Chicago Cubs did just that, shattering their 108-year championship drought in epic fashion: with an 8-7, 10-inning victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7, which began on Wednesday night, carried into Thursday morning and seemed to end all too soon.

When the Indians rallied with three runs in the eighth inning — including a two-out, two-strike, two-run thunderbolt of a home run by Rajai Davis off closer Aroldis Chapman — the Cubs found a way to beat back the ghosts of playoffs past.

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Cleveland Cavs Ready To Defend Their Title As The New NBA Season Begins

With the new NBA season now underway, LeBron, Kyrie and the Cleveland Cavs look to defend their throne as NBA’s best team:

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Via NBA dot com:

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ comeback from a 3-1 Finals deficit last June stands on its own: a moment of joy for a city and area that identifies so strongly with the success — and, more often, failure — of its local sports teams. Winning the city’s first major sports title since 1964 ended that narrative: what is Cleveland if not the city that fails?

But now, the Cavs are the NBA champions, and the Indians are two wins away from the World Series — they haven’t won it since 1948. There is a new tale to be told. (Though it still excludes the Browns, at least for a while.)

“I think for a long time, people just felt that Cleveland players really didn’t care about the legacy, and that the players never really embodied or embraced that burden. And we did,” forward James Jones said. “This team, that’s all we talked about. That’s all we talk about, being the group to change that narrative, being the group that redefines Cleveland professional sports history.”

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NBA: MIN Timberwolves Kevin Garnett Retires From The NBA After 21 Seasons

15-Time NBA All-Star Kevin Garnett joins Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as current NBA legends retiring from the NBA this season:

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Via The AP:

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — No fire burned hotter, no mouth was fouler, no opponent was in for a longer night than Kevin Garnett’s.

In more than two decades in the NBA, Garnett opened the door for a new wave of young talent to enter the league, was partly responsible for a rewriting of the collective bargaining agreement and nearly singlehandedly redefined what the game’s tallest players were allowed to do on the court.

Fittingly, and maybe a little reluctantly, No. 21 is calling it a career after 21 years, leaving a legacy as one of the best defensive players in league history and one of the game’s most influential and intense competitors.

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Rio Olympics: USA Basketball Wins The Gold Medal At Rio Summer Olympics

The NBA Stars of Team USA Basketball claim their third straight Olympic Gold Medal beating Serbia in Rio Summer Games Finale:

Via USA Basketball:

Led by 30 points and four assists from two-time Olympic gold medalist Kevin Durant and dominating on both ends of the court to outscore Serbia (4-4) 33-14 in the second quarter, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team (8-0) claimed a third straight Olympic gold medal on Sunday afternoon at Carioca Arena 1 in Rio de Janeiro.

The USA now has a 25-game Olympic win streak and a 53-game win streak in major competition, including Olympic, FIBA World Cup and FIBA Americas games.

Spain (5-3) edged out Australia (5-3) 89-88 for the bronze medal.

“This team kept getting better and even those three games in pool play, we had not played that type of game against that type of level,” said USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “We said it was a learning experience and our guys did learn. We put it to good practice. We kept getting better even though it didn’t necessarily reflect in the differential in the score, but we were getting better and more knowledgeable. That’s where I commend the leadership of our veterans for keeping us on course for that.”

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Team USA Basketball Prepares For Another Olympic Gold Medal In Rio

NBA stars of USA Basketball conclude Vegas training camp with eye on another Olympic gold medal at Rio Summer Olympics:

Free Agent Kevin Durant Leaves OKC Thunder; Joins Rival Golden State Warriors Creating New Super Team

NBA Free Agency: Kevin Durant shocks the NBA by leaving the OKC Thunder, signs with Western rival Golden State Warriors:

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Via The New York Times:

The biggest question of the N.B.A. off-season was answered Monday when Kevin Durant, one of the best players ever to hit unrestricted free agency in any sport, agreed to join the Golden State Warriors.

Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors, who won an N.B.A-record 73 games in the regular season, lets the rich get richer. Although Durant nearly led the Thunder to a stunning upset of the Warriors in the Western Conference finals this spring, the Warriors ultimately prevailed before losing to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the N.B.A. finals.

Now the Warriors, regrouping, have added the 27-year-old Durant, creating a virtual Dream Team out of a starting unit that also includes the All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The Warriors now become the overwhelming favorites to win next season’s N.B.A. championship, which would be their second in three years.

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