Basketball

  • The referees were a disaster in Game 4 of the NBA Finals

    Game 4 sometimes became a sideshow because of its officiating.

    Game 4 of the NBA Finals was great fun. The Cavaliers got off the mat and avoided a sweep at the hands of the juggernaut Warriors, and they scored 137 points in doing it in front of their home crowd. It was a really unique sports scene.

    But the officiating crew of Mike Callahan, John Goble, and Marc Davis did not have a good night. They let the game get bogged down and slide off the rails at the same time, turning it into an occasional sideshow and not the pure basketball game it could’ve been.

  • The return of the bad NBA contract

    The cap spike has major long-term ramifications.

    Bad NBA contracts were everywhere in the 2000s. Some were at relatively low numbers (hello, Brian Cardinal and Jerome James). And others were at eye-popping numbers: Stephon Marbury, Larry Hughes, Erick Dampier, Steve Francis, Eddy Curry, and Raef LaFrentz were all good players who were paid like superstars.

  • The Rockets missing 27 straight 3-pointers went beyond bad luck

    There is failure at the worst possible time, and then there is missing 27 in a row from the three-point line in Game 7.

    The Houston Rockets missed 27 straight three-point attempts in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals last night and we need to appreciate that. All of it, for so many reasons, because there is failure at the worst possible time, and then there is missing 27 in a row from the three-point line.

  • The San Antonio Spurs sign Tyler Self

    The Spurs extend a unique deal to Kansas' Tyler Self.

    Tyler Self is likely better known for his father, Bill Self – head coach of the University of Kansas basketball team – than his own basketball prowess. This past season, Tyler averaged just 0.8 points, 0.2 rebounds and 0.4 assists per game for the Jayhawks. Despite these stats, Self is headed to the NBA, where he will act as the Spurs’ Basketball Operations Quality Assurance Assistant for next season.

  • The Spurs ride another stellar second half to put away the Clippers

    For the second game in a row, the Spurs came out strong after halftime, combining unselfish play and hot shooting from deep to take down the Clippers.

    Following their 120-107 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, a round of applause could be heard escaping from the Spurs locker room. It could’ve been celebrating the 33 assists (a season-high) they collected as the ball moved around with purpose, stretching their opponents’ ranks. Or maybe it was for their dominant third-quarter performance, in which they outscored LA, 40-21. Either way, it’s the kind of showing the team, now on a three-game winning streak, will be happy to build on in the coming weeks.

  • The Spurs will retire Tim Duncan’s jersey on December 18

    There will be a ceremony after the Sunday night game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

    Per the official Spurs press release:

    The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they will retire Tim Duncan’s No. 21 jersey on Sunday, Dec. 18 when the Silver and Black host the New Orleans Pelicans at 6 p.m. CST. A special postgame ceremony honoring Duncan will take place on the AT&T Center floor and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Southwest (also streamed live on FOX Sports GO).

  • The Spurs’ mystique is dead

    Kawhi Leonard is not special, and thus, neither is San Antonio.

    As Kawhi Leonard’s camp works to get their man traded out of San Antonio, something has become painfully clear: the Spurs’ mystique is dead.

  • The story behind the powerful appearance by LeBron, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, and Carmelo Anthony at the ESPY Awards

    The poignant opener of the ESPY Awards that featured Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade speaking about the recent turmoil in America began with an Instagram post.

  • The Suns are a blank canvas. Here's their plan to paint a masterpiece

    The Suns’ kiddie core is unproven, but the organization has high hopes it can turn into a three-pronged foundation for long-term success.

    LAS VEGAS — Ryan McDonough grew up in Hingham, Mass., just a half-hour outside of Boston. He went to Celtics games as a child and spent 10 years working in the franchise’s front office.

    But McDonough can only count on one hand the number of times he’s heard the Boston crowd cheer an opposing player the way it did when Devin Booker scored 70 points in late March.

  • The Thunder built a superteam to make up for the one they squandered

    The new-look Thunder should be very good, and very expensive.

    The Oklahoma City Thunder traded for Carmelo Anthony on Saturday. But this story starts five years ago.

    Coming off of an appearance in the 2012 NBA Finals, the Thunder traded James Harden, drowning a potential superteam in its baptismal water. The Thunder, locked in a tiny NBA market by choice, couldn’t afford to pay the luxury tax for a decade, even if it meant competing for and even winning championships. GM Sam Presti was unable to convince Harden, a budding star, to take less than his value and make the numbers work. He flipped Harden for a cheaper option and picks.

  • The Timberwolves stole Jimmy Butler

    Minnesota grabbed Butler from Chicago and now they’re set up to win now.

    The argument for the Minnesota Timberwolves not making a trade for Jimmy Butler, or any other superstar, was simple: you’re young as hell. Don’t rush this.

    But for this price? Why the hell not.

  • The Trail Blazers are good, but let’s not get carried away with expectations

    FLANNERY: Like everyone else, we undersold the Blazers last season. I don't feel bad about that because no one this side of Damian Lillard thought they were going to be a second-round playoff team last season. But now I get the sense that people are overrating the Rip City crew just a tad.

  • The UAAP is back.

    The 79th season of the collegiate sports league opens on Saturday, September 3, with an opening ceremony at the campus of host school UST.

  • The unwritten rules of Shaun Livingston shooting the ball with a big lead

    The Warriors didn’t need more points. Livingston didn’t want a turnover. What to do, what to do?

    In the final seconds of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, there was a kerfuffle that almost escalated into a rhubarb. Tristan Thompson was ejected, but before he left the court, he lived the dream of millions of people, pushing a basketball into Draymond Green’s face. It was the only possible ending to a game that was so exhausting and bizarre, and it’s at least going to cost Thompson some money.

  • The Warriors and Cavaliers played 384 combined minutes in the 2nd round and only trailed for 38

    My goodness.

    The Warriors and the Cavaliers are both looking at back-to-back sweeps. It’s the first time in history two teams have started 8-0 in the playoffs. Sure, the sweeps in the first round were to be expected, but both teams did it in the second round as well. And those sweeps may have been more dominant than you realized.

  • The Warriors are champions!!!

    WE CHAMPIONSHIP, BABY!!!!!!!!!!

    The Golden State Warriors are, once again, champions. They reign supreme in the NBA, and have firmly solidified their place in NBA history.

  • The Warriors are lucky to have such a stacked team. So is LeBron James

    Good fortune is inextricable from success in the NBA. BOTH teams in the 2017 NBA Finals prove that.

    The Warriors had several breaks in putting this remarkable collection of talent together. You know them well. Stephen Curry signed a discount extension after an injury-riddled 2012 season. Draymond Green took less than the max as a restricted free agent. An unprecedented spike in the salary cap aligned perfectly with the free agency of Kevin Durant, coming one year before Curry became an expensive free agent himself.

  • THE WARRIORS ARE NBA CHAMPIONS!

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    The Golden State Warriors just won their second title in three years.

    F yes.

    Let’s celebrate. Let’s rocknroll. Let’s roll around in a vat of celebration. Let’s throw up flames into the night sky. Let’s high step over Tyronn Lue. Let’s jump up and down in joy.

  • The Warriors at their best might be impossible to beat

    Golden State probably won’t play like this all series, but their Game 1 showing might not be beatable.

    Of the 30 NBA teams, the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are the best two. This isn’t something up for debate — their pedigrees, their players, and their nearly immaculate playoff runs make it clear that these two teams facing each other in the finals are the very, very best that this sport can offer us.

  • The Warriors can still be unstoppable

    We have that and more in Monday’s NBA newsletter.

    One of the biggest revelations of the 2018 NBA playoffs has been that the Warriors aren’t necessarily unstoppable. The Rockets darn near stopped them cold in the West finals, and the Cavaliers almost peeled off Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Oakland.