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Sports - NBA stars to play in Johannesburg in first Africa game


The NBA announced plans Wednesday for its first game in Africa, an August exhibition that will feature basketball players from the continent in the latest effort to develop the league`s global fan base. The August 1 match in Johannesburg will pit `Team Africa` consisting of first- and second-generation NBA stars from Africa against `Team World,` composed of players from other regions. Two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng of the Miami Heat, who was born in what is now South Sudan, will lead Team Africa, while eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers will captain Team World.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015  10:05

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Sports - NBA`s Atlanta Hawks to be sold to businessman Ressler


By Rich McKay ATLANTA (Reuters) - The NBA`s Atlanta Hawks are set to be sold to a group led by businessman Tony Ressler, the team announced on Wednesday, in a deal precipitated by the release last year of a racially charged email by the team`s current owner. The deal, which must be approved by the NBA Board of Governors, comes after the team`s majority owner, Bruce Levenson, put it on the market after an email he sent to team officials complaining of black fans driving down white attendance at games became public. `We are honored and thrilled to have been chosen to become the new stewards of the Hawks,` Ressler said in a statement. Former NBA All-Star Grant Hill and Spanx founder Sara Blakely are among the minority shareholders in Ressler`s ownership group.


Thursday, April 23, 2015  02:45

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Sports - Steals-leader Leonard of Spurs voted top defender


San Antonio`s Kawhi Leonard, only the sixth forward to lead the NBA in steals, was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year on Thursday. Leonard, who became the first Spurs player since David Robinson in 1992 to win the award, took 37 first-place votes and 333 total points from a media panel to edge Golden State`s Draymond Green, who had 45 first-place nods but only 317 total points. DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers was third with 261 points after 32 first-place ballots.


Thursday, April 23, 2015  18:44

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Sports - Thunder fire coach Brooks after missing playoffs


(Reuters) - The Oklahoma City Thunder fired head coach Scott Brooks on Wednesday after the injury-hit team failed to reach the playoffs for the first time in six years. Brooks, 49, had guided Oklahoma City to three appearances in the Western Conference Finals and a trip to the 2012 NBA Finals but they missed out on this postseason after finishing ninth in the highly competitive West with a 45-37 record. `This is an extremely difficult decision on many levels,` Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti said in a statement. `Scott helped establish the identity of the Thunder and has earned his rightful place in the history of our organization through his seven years as a valued leader and team member.` The Thunder missed reigning NBA most valuable player Kevin Durant for most of the season due to ongoing problems with his surgically repaired right foot.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015  20:06

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Sports - Paul, Deng to headline first NBA exhibition game in Africa


(Reuters) - The National Basketball Association will stage its first ever exhibition game in Africa later this year as part on an ongoing effort to grow the game on a global scale, the league said on Wednesday. Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul will captain Team World while Miami Heat forward Luol Deng, who was born in South Sudan, will take charge of Team Africa in the Aug. 1 game to be played at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015  18:39

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Sports - NBA makes inroads to Cuba with first-ever workshop


By Nelson Acosta HAVANA (Reuters) - Retired NBA stars Steve Nash and Dikembe Mutombo turned into basketball ambassadors on Thursday in the first outreach by a U.S. professional sports league to Cuba since the thaw in U.S. relations with the communist-ruled island. Mutombo took charge of a practice for aspirants to the Cuban women`s national team and Nash showed off his shooting, passing and ballhandling skills in the first day of a four-day workshop that will include playing street ball with kids. The National Basketball Association conducts such workshops around the globe but this was the first in Cuba, which had been cut off for more than half a century by the antagonism between Washington and Havana.


Friday, April 24, 2015  00:28

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Sports - Engaged US Women`s NBA stars arrested


Women`s NBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson, who announced their engagement last August, were arrested and booked into jail after fighting in an apparent domestic dispute at their Arizona home. Police said Griner, a star center for the Phoenix Mercury, and Johnson, a forward who plays for the Tulsa Shock, were arrested Wednesday on charges of disorderly conduct fighting and assault with intent to injure. Griner, 24, led Phoenix to last year`s WNBA crown and was named the league`s top defensive player. `The Mercury organization is aware of an alleged incident involving Brittney Griner.


Thursday, April 23, 2015  19:40

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Sports - Cavaliers, Clippers cruise to NBA series opening wins


Kyrie Irving made the most of his playoff debut, scoring 30 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics 113-100 in the opening game of their first round series. Guard Irving played with the poise of an NBA veteran as he drained his first five shots from beyond the arc. He was backed up by LeBron James 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Kevin Love`s 19 point and 12 rebound performance as Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series. In other playoff action Sunday, Kyle Korver finished with a game-high 21 points to lift the Atlanta Hawks to a 99-92 win over the Brooklyn Nets in game one of their East series.


Monday, April 20, 2015  07:31

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Sports - Cavaliers` Irving shines in NBA playoff debut


Kyrie Irving made the most of his playoff debut, scoring 30 points as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Boston Celtics 113-100 in the opening game of their first round series. Guard Irving played with the poise of an NBA veteran as he drained his first five shots from beyond the arc. He was backed up by LeBron James 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Kevin Love`s 19 point and 12 rebound performance as Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series. `Having four days of preparation and being with my brothers in the war room going over film, going into the game, you feel prepared,` Irving said.


Monday, April 20, 2015  04:15

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Sports - Leonard nets career-high 32 in Spurs` win over Clippers


Kawhi Leonard showed why he is worthy of being named the defensive player of the year, putting his complete game on display for the San Antonio Spurs. Leonard scored a career-high 32 points to carry the Spurs to a 100-73 win over the Los Angeles Clippers and a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference playoff series. In the other playoff contests Friday, the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards also won to take commanding 3-0 series leads. Leonard not only anchored the Spurs` defense but he wasted no time putting his stamp on the game offensively.


Saturday, April 25, 2015  06:35

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