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Archive for April, 2012

Clippers rally from 27-point deficit


Chris Paul begged coach Vinny Del Negro to put him back into the game for the fourth quarter and not give up despite being down 21 points.

Hawks vs. Celtics


The result was another Clippers comeback — one of the greatest in NBA playoff history.

Paul hit a pair of free throws with 23.7 seconds left, and the Clippers rallied from a deficit that had been as much as 27 to stun the Memphis Grizzlies 99-98 Sunday night in the opening game of their Western Conference series.

The key, Paul said, is to keep believing.

”Unfortunately, that’s how we play,” he said. ”We get killed in the first three quarters and in the fourth quarter we like to try to stand up for ourselves, and we found a way to win tonight.”

The Clippers tied the NBA playoff record for largest deficit overcome at the end of three quarters, when they trailed by 21.

”I don’t think I’ve been part of a game like that ever,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said. ”It was unbelievable.”

Rudy Gay missed a 15-footer with 0.9 seconds left after the Grizzlies squandered a lead they held for the first 47 minutes, with a 24-point cushion disappearing in about nine minutes.



So you think you can dance? Don’t. Leave it to the pro dancers.

”Obviously, we gave it away, and everybody’s kind of down,” Gay said. ”We’re still into it. It’s a long series, and we’re ready to fight. That’s all this means. We’ve got to fight hard.”

The Clippers lost Caron Butler to a broken left hand, and he said he thinks he caught his hand in Gay’s jersey on a screen. Del Negro said other players will have to step up.

Nick Young did just that, scoring 19 points off the bench with three 3-pointers in the midst of the Clippers’ 26-1 run. Paul finished with 14 points while playing a team-high 38 minutes despite a groin injury that kept him out of the regular season finale against the Knicks. Griffin had 17 and Butler 12 before leaving the game.

Young said he didn’t even see the score, being on the court down the stretch for a change. He said he looked up late and saw they had a game when he started hitting his shots.

”It’s crazy. It’s a blessing,” Young said. ”It shows how hard we fought. How we rallied together as a team, and just made stops down the end.”

Gay finished with 19 for Memphis. Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo had 17, and Marc Gasol scored 14.

Game 2 is Wednesday night.



See the latest NBA playoff photos.

The Clippers outscored the Grizzlies 35-13 in the fourth quarter, the most points in the final period by a Memphis opponent this season. Los Angeles also hit 13 of 17 from the floor, including 5 of 6 beyond the arc after hitting only one the first three quarters.

The Grizzlies looked ready to roll as they ran out to a 20-point lead in the first quarter and were up by 27 twice in the third, the last on a pair of free throws by Mayo with 1:34 left.

The Clippers finally got going in the fourth, as the Grizzlies looked like they shut it down way too soon. They had five turnovers in the fourth. Even though the Clippers had seven themselves, the Grizzlies looked lost as they just lost the ball going into the lane or put up shots that had no chance of going in.

”We just got careless,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. ”We just lost a little bit of our discipline from a defensive perspective. But offensively, we just started walking it up and trying to throw it into the post instead of running it in. We ran earlier. We attacked. We were in transition earlier. We just stopped doing that and got conservative and it cost us.”

Reggie Evans gave the Clippers their first lead at 97-96 when he scored inside with 58 seconds left.

Gay answered with 28 seconds to go with a 10-foot jumper on the right baseline over Paul, ending a drought where the Grizzlies went nearly 9 minutes without a field goal.

celebrities at nba games


Celebrities like to see and be seen at NBA games.

Tony Allen fouled Paul, sending him to the line for the clinching free throws.

Boston came back from 21 down after three quarters against New Jersey on May 25, 2002.

The Grizzlies had won six straight overall and the last 11 on their home floor to grab the No. 4 seed and start this series at home. Mayo said there would be no sleep until they fix what went wrong.

”We turned something that we worked so hard for — home-court advantage — to an ugly loss in Game 1,” Mayo said. ”We’ve got to come back Game 2 with the attitude we can’t quit.”

The Grizzlies seemed to be clicking all across the board. They even hit 11 of 16 from 3-point range after ranking 25th in the NBA this season beyond the arc at 34.5 percent. Against the Clippers, they opened by hitting their four. So did Conley, and he hit three straight, the last with 7:19 left in the third, putting the Grizzlies up 69-48.

Memphis fans couldn’t have been more ready for this chance to start the postseason at home with a sellout crowd on hand. With a good luck charm in a St. Jude patient singing the national anthem, fans had their free T-shirts on and waving the free towels before tipoff.



Sam Amico hands out his awards, and top rookie is an easy call.

The Grizzlies were ready too. They opened the game hitting their first five shots and seven of the first 10 in jumping out 15-6, forcing Del Negro to take a timeout. They quickly led by as much as 20 and had a 34-16 lead by the end of the first quarter, tying the most points scored this season in that period.

This is the Clippers’ first trip to the postseason since 2006. Paul has plenty of playoff experience with 23 games while in New Orleans, but this was the postseason debut for three starters — Griffin, Randy Foye and DeAndre Jordan — along with four of their teammates.

Paul looked a little rusty in the first half with only one point and three assists, all in the first quarter. He sat out the Clippers’ final game of the season with a strained groin, and Los Angeles lost that game to the Knicks along with the chance to start this series at home. Paul picked up his third foul with 6.5 seconds left in the first half.

The Clippers made a run in the second quarter and got within 50-39. But after Gay missed a pull-up jumper, the Clippers had a shot clock violation. The Grizzlies scored the final eight points, the last on a dunk by Gasol just before the buzzer for a 58-39 halftime lead.

NOTES: The Grizzlies scored 34 in a quarter three other times. … The Grizzlies went 17-1 when leading after the first and 16-1 when leading at halftime. The lone loss came in double overtime March 13 to the Lakers. … The Grizzlies made nine 3-pointers twice during the season, the last on April 3 against Golden State.

Kobe, Lakers handle Nuggets in Game 1


A day before Andrew Bynum produced one of the most eye-popping defensive performances in NBA playoff history, he spoke up to his Lakers teammates about the importance of getting off to a good start in their championship quest.

Heat vs. Knicks


With an NBA record-tying 10 blocked shots, the 7-foot All-Star center put the Lakers on the good foot — and the Denver Nuggets on their heels.

Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, Bynum posted the Lakers’ first playoff triple-double in 21 years, and Los Angeles thoroughly controlled the tempo in a playoff-opening 103-88 victory Sunday.

Despite a few well-chronicled fluctuations in his motivation and discipline this year, the seventh-year pro had perfect focus in Game 1, capping his utter dominance in the paint with his record-tying block of Timofey Mozgov with 3:02 to play. Bynum also had 10 points and 13 rebounds before checking out to an ovation.

”It’s the only way really possible for me to get a triple-double — through blocked shots,” Bynum said of his first career triple-double. ”If I play good D, we’ll win games. I think I’m just going to be as aggressively as I can defensively to contest their shots. … You’ve got to win Game 1. Statistics are against the teams that lose Game 1, especially on the home court.”

Game 2 is Tuesday night.

Just how dominant were Bynum and his tall teammates against the NBA’s highest-scoring team? Bynum blocked 11 percent of the Nuggets’ 90 shots, and with 15 total blocks, Lakers swatted one of every six Denver shots, separating the Nuggets from any hope of a late rally.



”His timing was impeccable today,” Bryant said of Bynum. ”He really understood the rhythm of their offensive players. He was just there at the exact moment, either to change or block the shot.”

While Bynum had the Lakers’ first playoff triple-double since Magic Johnson in the 1991 NBA finals, fellow 7-footer Pau Gasol added 13 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the playoff-tested Lakers, who never trailed while forcing Denver to play Los Angeles’ preferred half-court style.

Bynum blocked eight shots in the first three quarters before surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s franchise-record nine blocks in the fourth. He eventually equaled the NBA record set by Utah’s Mark Eaton on April 26, 1985, and matched by Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon on April 29, 1990.

”We’ve got to find a way to score before he gets in the paint, because he’s impressive,” said Danilo Gallinari, who led Denver with 19 points.

For coach Mike Brown, who has mostly enjoyed his first year riding the roller coaster of Bynum’s emotions and motivation, the game showed why these Lakers could go deep into June.



The Clippers are challenging the Lakers for supremacy in the City of Angels.

”He can control a game without shooting a single shot,” Brown said. ”He has 10 blocks, but I’d be curious to know how many (shots) he changed. He changed a gazillion shots in the paint, and that’s what Denver is very good at. He was phenomenal tonight, and if he continues to play like he did, being the type of monster he was tonight patrolling that paint, we’ll be playing a long time.”

But Denver coach George Karl got a jump start on lobbying the officials for help against Bynum in Game 2.

”(Bynum) was playing a nice illegal defense,” Karl said. ”He was zoned up good. I think we got one illegal defense (call against Los Angeles). I saw about 30 of them. … The shot-blocker probably beat us.”

The sixth-seeded Nuggets won eight of 10 to reach the postseason, but most of their fears about this playoff matchup were realized. Andre Miller had 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while helping out Ty Lawson, Denver’s leading scorer, who managed just seven points while failing to make a shot in the first three quarters for the NBA’s second-youngest playoff roster.

Ramon Sessions had 14 points and five assists in his first career playoff game for the third-seeded Lakers, who lost last year’s postseason opener to New Orleans.

Devin Ebanks even scored 12 points in the first half while starting his first career playoff game in place of suspended Metta World Peace. The Lakers didn’t miss their defensive stopper while forcing most of Denver’s key contributors into poor games.



See the latest NBA playoff photos.

”I don’t think we were intimidated,” Gallinari said. ”They played their game plan better than we played our game plan. … This first game, we were overthinking too much. One of the best things we do is just be aggressive and don’t think too much.”

Bryant scored 23 points in the second half to open the 15th playoff campaign of his 16-year career. The third-leading scorer in NBA playoff history hadn’t played in a week, sitting out the Lakers’ last game alongside Gasol and Bynum to keep his high-mileage legs fresh.

Sessions and Ebanks both made their playoff debuts, while Brown coached the Lakers in their first playoff game at Staples Center, which opened in 1999, without Phil Jackson commanding their bench from his oversized chair.

NOTES: Jordan Hill had another surprisingly strong game off the bench, contributing 10 points and 10 rebounds to the Lakers. … Bynum blocked seven shots on June 6, 2010, in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against Boston in his previous playoff high. … The Lakers handed out white T-shirts reading ”One at a Time,” but in a Staples Center tradition, most of the crowd declined to wear them. … Fans in attendance included Megan Fox, David Beckham, Meagan Good and Brian Austin Green.

Nike designer mocks Rose over injury?

The man behind LeBron James’ Nike sneakers sparked outrage after mocking Adidas rival Derrick Rose following his season-ending ACL tear Saturday.

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls


See how Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose suffered a season-ending knee injury in the playoff opener vs. the 76ers.

Senior footwear designer Jason Petrie tweeted Rose “chose poorly” and “#shouldasignedwithNIKE” after the superstar Bulls guard suffered the injury in his team’s playoffs opener against the Philadelphia 76ers in Chicago.

Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP, signed a career deal with Adidas in February worth a minimum of $185 million over 13 years.

Petrie, who designed the sneakers worn and endorsed by Heat star James, made a comparison between his man and Rose, who he referred to by his family nickname, “Pooh.”

“You got one guy only getting stronger, and one guy breaking down before our very eyes. You chose poorly Pooh… #shouldasignedwithNIKE #GWS [get well soon],” he tweeted.

Petrie received an angry response for his comments, which followers branded in “bad taste” and “classless.”

Another tweeted, “Damn, you’re an embarrassment to Nike tweeting that.”

Bulls vs. Sixers


The designer attempted to draw back from the criticism, tweeting, “Y’all take sh#t too serious! Never want to see anyone get hurt- I hope DRose comes back stronger than ever, he’s too good…”

But as more and more people expressed their disgust at his original ill-judged comment, he went back on the offensive, tweeting, “Just to set the record straight- if you ain’t with me you against me, and if that’s the case I don’t give a F about you!”

DJ Paul – Bout Dat Life Video YouTube

Do you remember Dj Paul from 3-6 Mafia? I know its been a long time since you heard of him, but he’s back. This time he’s solo with a new mixtape called “For I Have Sinned”. Hosted by DJ Scream and DJ Black, this mixtape might be official. I haven’t listened to it yet but I am feeling this new single “Bout Dat Life”. What do you think?

Bulls’ Rose tears ACL, done for playoffs


Derrick Rose crumbled to the floor, clutching his left knee. His season is over and the Bulls’ title hopes just might be finished, too.



Rose will miss the rest of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee late in Chicago’s 103-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in Saturday’s playoff opener, casting big cloud over a team eyeing a championship run.

He scored 23 points and was playing more like the league’s reigning MVP after missing 27 games because of injuries during the regular season, but his injury-plagued season came to an end as the Bulls were wrapping up an impressive victory.

Rose crumbled to the ground after he drove the lane with about 1:20 left and the Bulls leading by 12. He was going for a layup when he came to a jump-stop and seemed to change his mind as the 76ers’ Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen rotated over, passing off to a teammate before an awkward landing.

Team medical personnel immediately rushed out and tended to Rose for several minutes as he was writhing in pain near the baseline before helping him to the locker room. Rose was taken to the hospital, and the results of the MRI were not good.

Whether Rose should have been in the game at that point figures to be debated for a long time around Chicago. He checked back in with just under eight minutes left and the lead got as high as 20 shortly after that before the Sixers chipped away at it.

With Philadelphia making a push, coach Tom Thibodeau decided to stay with Rose.

”I don’t work backward like you guys do,” Thibodeau said. ”The score was going the other way.”

Veteran guard Richard Hamilton defended the decision, saying, ”Philly was making a run. In playoff basketball, you never want to give a team confidence. … When you have a team down, you have to try to keep them down. They made a little run so we needed guys that could put the ball in the basket.”

Sixers coach Doug Collins also had Thibodeau’s back.

”He knows what he’s doing coaching his team,” Collins said. ”Thibs is my buddy. I have the ultimate respect for him. From his standpoint he wanted to finish that game for what he did. It’s awful that Derrick got hurt.”

Chicago Bulls photos
See the best Chicago Bulls action, or check out your favorite NBA team here.

Losing Rose is obviously a huge blow for a team that made the conference finals last year and captured the top overall seed for the second straight season.

He was finally performing more like the reigning MVP after being out of the lineup so often during the regular season with various injuries and mostly struggling the few times he did play late in the regular season.

Heat guard Dwyane Wade said he found out during the Miami-New York matchup later Saturday that Rose’s season, and his hopes of playing in the Olympics, was over.

”I said a prayer for him and his family,” Wade said. ”You never want to see anyone get injured, especially a player of his caliber. Very unfortunate. You hope he does his best to rehab and gets back to being the D-Rose that everyone loves.”

Rose found his touch after a slow start in this game and also contributed nine rebounds and nine assists. Hamilton added 19 points, Luol Deng scored 17 and Joakim Noah (12 points, 13 rebounds) had a double-double for Chicago.

Elton Brand led Philadelphia with 19 points. Jrue Holiday scored 16, and Thaddeus Young had 13 points. Chicago product Evan Turner scored 12 and was booed mercilessly after acknowledging he thought the Miami Heat would be a tougher first-round matchup.

Well, he might be right now that Rose is out. Then again, the Bulls grabbed home-court advantage throughout the playoffs despite a run of injuries that would have ruined most teams.

They were 18-9 without Rose during the regular season and had their projected starting five available for just 15 games. Hamilton was out much of the year because of injuries, and Deng has been dealing with a torn ligament in his left wrist.

Before Rose went down on Saturday, the Bulls simply overwhelmed the Sixers and looked like a team gearing up for another big run after losing to Miami in the conference finals last season.

Philadelphia 76ers photos
See the best Philadelphia 76ers action, or check out your favorite NBA team here.

”Your heart goes out to him,” Kyle Korver said. ”It’s been a hard year. With all the work that he puts in and the kind of person he is, to see this happen stinks. It’s a sad win.”

Young felt for Rose, too.

”It’s an unfortunate situation,” he said. ”You don’t want to see him go down like that in the first game of the first round of the playoffs.”

Rose hit just 1 of 7 shots in the first quarter but went on a tear late in the second as the Bulls took a 53-42 lead to the locker room. He then scored eight in the third and hit two 3-pointers to help Chicago stay in control, even though things did get a little heated.

That happened when Noah got fouled by Turner trying to put back Deng’s miss with 4:36 left in the quarter. Hamilton started jawing with Turner. Rose and Brand got involved, too.

Fans, meanwhile, started chanting ”MVP! MVP!” in a nod to the rivalry between Rose and Turner that dates to their high school days. When the dust cleared, Hamilton, Brand and Rose all got technicals, and Noah hit 1 of 2 foul shots to make it 69-55.

Hamilton added two more free throws on the next possession to boost the lead to 16. After the Sixers pulled within eight, Korver nailed a 3 to start a 12-2 run that stretched into the fourth and made it 84-66. But now, the Bulls will have to make do without Rose.

”He’s had a lot of injuries this year,” Thibodeau said. ”It’s been unfortunate. But we do have more than enough to win with. Whatever the circumstances are, we’ll deal with it.”

Notes: The Sixers’ Lavoy Allen sprained his right thumb but is expected to play Tuesday. … This is the third playoff series between Chicago and Philadelphia, with the Bulls beating the Sixers in the 1990 and 1991 conference semifinals. … Chicago took two of three from Philadelphia in the regular season. .. The Sixers have dropped five straight playoff series. … Collins never earned a championship ring when he coached the Bulls. He does have some jewelry, though. ”Jerry has given me six championship watches,” he said of owner Jerry Reinsdorf. Collins coached the Bulls before their championship run in the 1990s.

Chandler might sit out Game 1 with flu

Whether it was playoff gamesmanship or not, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said there was “a strong possibility” center Tyson Chandler could sit out Saturday’s Game 1 vs. the Heat with the flu.



Chandler was back at the team’s hotel with the flu and fever and missed Friday’s practice ahead of the first-round playoff series. Chandler had already sat out Thursday night’s game vs. Charlotte and stayed back at the hotel.

Not having Chandler would be a devastating blow and it would seem difficult to imagine him not suiting up. But having him at less than 100 percent is a very likely scenario.

“We’re isolating him a bit from his teammates, so it doesn’t spread amongst the players,” Woodson said. “We’ll know more tomorrow. He didn’t eat much. We’re trying to keep fluids in him.”

Chandler, a key to Dallas beating Miami in the NBA Finals last June, missed three games this season and the Knicks gave up 112, 118 and 119 points.

He is a favorite to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year with LeBron James as his toughest competitor.

Feds investigating NBA players union


The federal government is investigating the business practices of the NBA players association.



The union confirmed Friday it has received a subpoena for documents from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and says it will cooperate with the investigation.

The NBPA also said in a statement that it has appointed a special committee to oversee an internal inquiry, including a financial audit.

Recent reports have questioned the NBPA’s finances and spending practices, largely having to do with the hiring of family members and firms that employ relatives of executive director Billy Hunter. Hunter says he will cooperate with the internal inquiry, but will not be in involved in the effort so it remains independent.

The special committee, consisting of members of the NBPA executive committee and other player representatives. The special committee has retained Theodore V. Wells, Jr. and the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton Garrison LLP to conduct the inquiry.

The NBPA said in the statement it looks forward to putting the matters to rest.

Carly Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the US attorney’s office in Manhattan, said: ”We have no comment. We don’t confirm or deny investigations.”

Jadakiss Drops Consignment Mixtape

Jadakiss released his Consignment mixtape this week, hosted by DJ Drama. HipHopDX caught up with Kiss and he explained how the collaboration came about. “I did The Champ Is Here Part 3 as a partnership- Gangsta Grillz/Invasion – which had [DJ] Green Lantern and DJ Drama, but this is actually my first Gangsta Grillz with just me and Drama,” The Lox rapper explained. “It was kinda like a mutual thing, but I reached out to him because I had a lot of “Down South” features and it just seemed like it coincided to have the hottest mixtape deejay from the South. ” 

At the time when I reached out to him, I was like, “Yo, I just need you to do this Gangsta Grillz. What’s going on?,” he’s like, “No doubt, I just need you to do this 16 for this song for me…,” so I did that and it was just like, you know, a swap out. That’s basically how everything gets accomplished in the industry, ‘cause everybody got a couple dollars, but it goes off your relationship.

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2012 NBA Playoff Central: Round 1

All times Eastern, * if necessary

East: 1 Bulls vs. 8 Sixers

East: 2 Heat vs. 7 Knicks

East: 3 Pacers vs. 6 Magic

East: 4 Hawks vs. 5 Celtics

West: 1 Spurs vs. 8 Jazz

West: 2 Thunder vs. 7 Mavericks

West: 3 Lakers vs. 6 Nuggets

West: 4 Grizzlies vs. 5 Clippers

2 Chainz & Friends Live – Center Stage

2 Chainz has a serious movement. I’m happy to see he’s on top of the game and haven’t dropped the album yet. 2 Chainz come along way from being a artist from Ludacris’s DTP crew. Now he has own brand and campaign. Check out this short trailer about “2 Chainz & Friends Live”

Hunter-Fisher feud stunts NBA’s growth

OK, let me get this straight. Billy Hunter is Jimmy Hoffa and Derek Fisher is Bobby Kennedy, and we’re in the middle of the NBA’s reenactment of “Blood Feud,” the 1983 TV miniseries that explored the apoplectic battle between the corrupt Teamsters president and an anti-corruption attorney general.

Got it.

As a bizarre, disappointing, strike-shortened NBA regular season draws to a close, there are agents, journalists and Fisher supporters who want us to believe Hunter’s nepotistic silver-spooning of family members and a failed 2009 business proposal that never cost the players union a dime are the key reasons the NBPA got run over in the lockout.

We’re also supposed to believe Hunter and Fisher are at war because Fisher wants to clean up all the corruption.

OK. Got it. I like fairy tales. I just don’t tell them.

Hunter, the executive director of the union, and Fisher, the president of the union, are at war primarily for the same reason the NFL’s Gene Upshaw and some ex-players and the NHL’s Bob Goodenow and Trevor Linden tangled just as viciously, albeit less publicly.

As the active players have become more wealthy, they’ve grown in their belief that their business acumen matches their athletic acumen and they should exercise more control over the union than the executive directors do.

Multiple media outlets, including Bloomberg, The New York Times, Yahoo!, SBJ and ESPN, are reporting the latest goings-on in the Fisher-Hunter blood bath. The focus now is on the Fisher-friendly narrative that, in an effort to stop Hunter from funneling jobs and business opportunities to his grown children, the Oklahoma City Thunder backup is calling for an independent audit of union business practices. The Fisher-friendly narrative emerged in the immediate aftermath of the union executive committee voting 8-0 for Fisher to resign as president.



LeBron or Durant? Who tops our final ranking of 10 MVP candidates?

I’m not going to referee this dispute. From my vantage point, there are no “good guys” in this war. I wrote in October that Fisher was in over his head trying to moonlight as a labor negotiator against David Stern. Several sources told me then what the executive committee has made public now: that Fisher was at odds with Hunter and members of the executive committee because of Fisher’s penchant for solo decision-making and the perception he had been co-opted by David Stern. And while Hunter’s nepotism might not have damaged the union’s bargaining against the owners, I find the practice grossly immature, embarrassingly greedy, indefensible and — as the son of a former union leader — sadly predictable.

I get why the executive committee has sided with Hunter: Helping your family is easier to defend than the perception you helped David Stern.

Having said that, Hunter and Fisher both need to go. And so do Stern and his sidekick, Adam Silver.

The Hunter-Fisher feud is a symptom of a much larger problem for the NBA. The league lacks viable leadership, and I say that with all due respect to David Stern, one of the great sports commissioners. Stern, like Hunter, has stayed in power way too long. Stern has been commissioner since 1984. Hunter has been leading the players union since 1996. Left in the hands of the same person year after year, power corrupts, creates a sense of entitlement and stifles intellectual evolution.

Hunter doesn’t believe he’s done anything wrong. In his mind, he made the players union extremely wealthy. Why shouldn’t his children benefit from all he did for the union? Stern can no longer build enough consensus among ownership to push the league in a new direction. Despite a league overflowing with talent and good kids, Stern can’t grow the game. Record numbers are watching the NBA (and other sports) on TV because we have record numbers of people in the United States and record numbers of people with access to televisions.

With LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki and Jeremy Lin, the NBA should be gaining ground on the NFL in terms of relevance.

Rather than an argument about the basketball-related-income split, the lockout should’ve been about fixing the game of basketball. The NFL’s most important advantage over the NBA is that football fans don’t choose between college football and pro football. Football fans are football fans. They like high school, college and pro. Hell, they like Arena Football. Basketball fans are segregated. Too many choose between the NBA and the college game. Too many college fans hate the NBA because the league “steals” its best players.

New NBA leadership — from the commissioner’s office to the NBPA — should aggressively figure out a way to financially incentivize young players to stay in college so that they bring an actual fan base with them when they join the NBA. The NBA, in conjunction with the college game’s television partners, can force the NCAA to massage its amateur rules.

American basketball can be fixed. But not by the current leaders. They’re stale. Too much of their energy is spent holding on to their power rather than trying to figure out how to take the game in a new, exciting direction.

When Hunter and Fisher are done killing each other in the media, let’s hope they — or someone — start in on Stern and Silver.

Rose, Lin rank 1-2 in jersey sales

Jeremy Lin outsold Kobe Bryant in official jersey sales in the past year, the NBA revealed Thursday, even though the New York Knicks phenom emerged to prominence only in February.



So you think you can dance? Don’t. Leave it to the pro dancers.

Fans rushed to get the former undrafted D-Leaguer’s name on their backs at an unprecedented rate when “Linsanity” took hold little more than two months ago as his breakthrough performances captured global attention.

The mass demand meant only Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose sold more jerseys than Lin last year. It is the first time the Chicago star, who was boosted by last season’s MVP title, has topped the annual list.

The fact that the figures were based on sales from April 2011 to the present day at the NBA Store in Manhattan, along with the NBAStore.com, will have helped boost Lin’s place given the added interest in jerseys in New York.

Yet his dominance of Lakers superstar Bryant still came as a big surprise, given Lin’s limited time in the spotlight and the dampening of the hysteria amid his dip in form and subsequent injury.

Bryant, who has topped the NBA jersey rankings six times including in three of the past five years, was demoted to third, ahead of LeBron James and Lin’s Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony.

Dwyane Wade sold the sixth-most jerseys, ahead of Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Rajon Rondo.

Magic hand Bobcats 22nd straight loss


With a roster that has seemingly gotten thinner by the game over the past month, no wins have come easy for the Orlando Magic down the stretch.

It’s why the Magic expected to get a strong effort from a woeful Charlotte Bobcats team that came in battling against all-time NBA futility.

The Bobcats hung tough, but the Magic made just shots from beyond the arc to hold on for a 102-95 victory Wednesday night, Charlotte’s 22nd consecutive loss.

J.J. Redick had six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points as the Magic snapped a three-game losing streak and more importantly secured the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Ryan Anderson added 24 points and 13 rebounds and Jason Richardson had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Magic, who lost forward Glen Davis to a sprained right ankle. He is the latest injury to strike the Magic’s roster and drain an already shallow pool of Orlando big men following Dwight Howard’s season-ending back surgery last week. Davis limped off the court, though initial X-rays taken on the ankle in the locker room were negative. His status is day-to-day.

”Obviously, it was good for us,” Redick said. ”There was definitely some worry (about Davis). You immediately think to yourself `How are we going to go forward if he’s out for an extended period of time?’ But it sounds like he’ll be back this weekend. Hopefully he’ll have a great recovery.”

Richardson said while it was nice to lock up a first-round matchup with Indiana, it wasn’t at all their focus going into the game.

”We just wanted to play and wanted to win a game,” Richardson said. ”We haven’t won in a while, had some tough games and a tough road trip. I don’t think anybody was thinking about what was going on with the playoffs. We just wanted to win.”

D.J. Augustin led the Bobcats with 23 points, while Gerald Henderson had 17 and Derrick Brown 16.



Sam Amico hands out his awards, and top rookie is an easy call.

Charlotte (7-58) heads into its season finale on Thursday needing to beat New York to avoid the worst winning percentage in NBA history. The longest losing streak in NBA history was the 26 games by Cleveland last season. Should the Bobcats lose their finale against the Knicks, their 7-59 record and .106 winning percentage would eclipse the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers and their mark at .110, when they went 9-73.

”Nobody in here is used to losing like we have lost this year,” Henderson said. ”It just kind of humbles you and teaches you a lot about what it takes to be successful in this game. It also teaches you what it takes to have a good team in the NBA. It’s a learning process and hopefully we will come out with a win tomorrow.”

Bobcats coach Paul Silas said he was proud of his team’s effort.

”I was really happy with the way we played,” he said. ”We just came up a little short, but we gave it our all.”

The Magic were active early offensively and beginning to cruise late in the first quarter when Davis stepped on Byron Mullens’ foot and rolled his ankle.

The injury couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time for Orlando, which has seen starters Hedo Turkoglu (facial fracture) and Howard both undergo surgery in the past month.

Howard, of course, is gone for the rest of the season as he continues rehabilitation in California. Turkoglu may return as early as Thursday’s regular-season finale against Memphis and be ready for the postseason, but that is still to be determined.

The Bobcats used the moment as a spark and rallied after Davis’ injury to cut what was a 17-point first-half deficit to 67-66 late in the third quarter.

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Orlando got it back up to 10 points entering the fourth quarter before seeing one final push by Charlotte.

It was 89-84 when Henderson was whistled for his fifth personal foul and forced to the bench with just over 6 minutes to play. That was immediately followed by Richardson’s third 3-pointer of the game to give the Magic a little more breathing room.

A 3 a few possessions later by Redick made it 95-86 and following a Charlotte miss Redick nailed his final 3 of the game to push the lead back to 12 points with 4:26 to go.

The Magic kept around a 15-point lead throughout the first half before seeing the Bobcats close the gap to 10 at the break.

Orlando pulled away early by connecting on 10 of its 22 3-point attempts in the half, led by Redick’s five 3s and 16 points. Anderson added 14 points and Jameer Nelson eight points and seven assists.

”Basketball is a game of runs. They made their run and we made ours,” Nelson said. ”We’re very fortunate to come out with a victory.”

Said Magic coach Stan Van Gundy: ”It just keeps getting crazier by the day. … It was a good win even though the team you’re playing is 50 games under .500.”

Notes: The loss was Charlotte’s 11th straight on the road. … Brown left the game with a sprained right ankle in the fourth quarter. … The Magic improved to 25-5 when scoring 100 or more points. … Turkoglu has been cleared for contact by doctors after three weeks of rehab following surgery to repair facial fractures. He wore a new protective mask during the Magic’s morning walkthrough, but said it bothered him and needed to be adjusted before his return to action.

Thunder focused on team, Harden recovery

THE ENFORCERS: Here are 10 of the biggest, toughest, most ornery NBA defenders in the league.

OKLAHOMA CITY – James Harden was not inside Chesapeake Energy Arena on Tuesday night when the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Sacramento Kings.

That was to be expected.

Past that, the Thunder don’t know what to expect.

Harden suffered a concussion Sunday when he was elbowed by Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace. The NBA suspended World Peace for seven games Tuesday.

“If the league did it, you have to live with it,” OKC’s Kevin Durant said of the suspension. “We can move past it now. We’re just worried about getting James back in the locker room.”

Harden was absent from the locker room Tuesday evening, but he tweeted Tuesday morning that he’s “Feeling good.” Harden was not cleared to play and still is being evaluated. He will have to pass a series of league-mandated concussion tests before he is cleared to play.

That could happen Wednesday or it might not happen until much later. No one knows for sure, which is why Harden is listed officially as day to day.

“We will see him tomorrow morning,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Tuesday. “He’s doing good, but he still has to pass the tests and evaluation that the NBA has on concussions. We’ll see how he does tomorrow, and we’ll go from there.”

Tuesday, the Thunder beat Sacramento 118-110. The Thunder will wrap up the regular season with a home game Wednesday against Denver. Brooks said it was a possibility Harden could play against the Nuggets, but with the Thunder guaranteed to be the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, there’s no urgency on the team’s part to play Harden.

However, when the playoffs start — either Saturday or Sunday — the need to have Harden back will become more urgent.

“It’s important to be healthy,” Brooks said. “It doesn’t matter how you’re playing if you’re not healthy and you’re going to have a tough time winning in this league. There’s eight very good teams in each conference in the playoffs. You’re not guaranteed a win because you have a higher seed.”

Harden’s absence would be significant, considering he was a leading candidate to win the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award. Harden is averaging 16.8 points per game — tops among all reserves in the league — and is shooting 49.1 percent from the field.

He was at the team’s Tuesday morning shootaround and seemed OK, forward Kevin Durant said.

“He looked fine,” Durant said. “Hopefully everything is fine.”

He’ll have to be better than that if the Thunder are going to challenge in the Western Conference. Harden’s scoring average, third on the team behind Durant and Russell Westbrook, will be nearly impossible to replace. No one else on the Thunder bench averages more than Daequan Cook’s 5.1 points. Harden is also averaging more than 31 minutes per game.

Tuesday also seemed to be an evaluation for the Thunder bench players. The starters didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter, leaving the game to Cook and reserves Derek Fisher and Royal Ivey. The Thunder bench came through with 48 points.

But Cook made his case for the one to take over Harden’s minutes. He was sensational Tuesday against the Kings, going for 19 points, all of which he scored in the fourth quarter as the Thunder outscored rallied. But reliance on Cook could be dangerous. He was great Tuesday, but he has been shaky of late, making more than one field goal in a game just once in the past eight games. He played 21 minutes against the Kings, but has played more than 13 just once in the past eight games as well. In that same span, Cook is 7-for-26 shooting.

“Daequan was phenomenal in the fourth and it was good for us to get that confidence,” Durant said. “Tonight going to him in the fourth, like we usually do James, Dequan was that guy, and he was able to come through for us.”

If Harden misses playoff time, look for Ivey, Fisher and possibly Reggie Jackson to take to play if the minutes are granted to Cook. Or consider, Brooks might just go with Westbrook for the entirety and keep the bench players on the bench.

“Whatever role Coach has me in, that’s what it is,” Ivey said. “I’m going out there to compete and do what I do.”

The only problem is that no one really does what Harden does. But Thunder players and Brooks weren’t talking playoffs Tuesday or worried about the World Peace suspension. They were more concerned about Harden’s health and when he could return.

“I’m focused on James and our team,” Brooks said. “You’re only concerned with James and our team. That’s the only thing I’m focused on. We’re moving on and going forward. I I was just made aware at halftime (of the suspension). That’s a league issue. We’re focused on making sure James comes back healthy and our team finishes out strong. I have nothing else to say about it.”

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World Peace suspended seven games


The NBA responded to Metta World Peace’s latest act of aggression with a seven-game suspension that will lighten the Los Angeles Lakers troublemaker’s wallet and playoff schedule.



How many times has Metta World Peace/ Ron Artest been suspended? Let’s count.

World Peace was suspended Tuesday for throwing a vicious elbow at Oklahoma City’s James Harden, keeping the Lakers’ starting small forward sidelined for most of the first postseason round.

World Peace was ejected from Sunday’s game against the Thunder for striking Harden in the head with the back of his elbow, giving Oklahoma City’s top reserve a concussion. The former Ron Artest claimed the blow was an accidental, overzealous celebration of a dunk, yet even Kobe Bryant and his Lakers teammates weren’t defending his inexplicable actions.

”It’s hard to get into a guy’s head and know exactly what happened in that situation,” Bryant said. ”I haven’t really spoken to him about it. You’ve really got to ask him.”

World Peace will miss the Lakers’ season finale on Thursday at Sacramento and the Lakers’ next six games. The playoffs open Saturday, and Los Angeles is likely to be the Western Conference’s third seed – and Oklahoma City is locked into the No. 2 seed, meaning the clubs could meet right after World Peace’s suspension ends in the second round.

He will lose nearly $348,000 in salary if he serves the entire suspension this year. If the Lakers exit the playoffs swiftly, the remainder of the suspension must be served next season.

World Peace still hasn’t answered media questions about his actions, but he issued a brief statement on his website, promising to follow up with a podcast.

”I apologize to the Oklahoma City Thunder fans and the OKC organization,” World Peace wrote on ronartest.com. ”I look foward (sic) to getting back on the floor with my teammates and competing for the Lakers fans.”

Commissioner David Stern alluded to Artest’s lengthy history of on-court altercations and strange behavior in announcing the penalty in a statement. Although Harden appears to be recovering well, he hasn’t been cleared to return to the Thunder.

”The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area,” Stern said in a statement. ”We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations.”

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said the team accepted the latest suspension for World Peace, who has two years left on his contract with Los Angeles.

”His most recent lapse in judgment is not to be condoned or accepted,” Kupchak said after praising World Peace as largely a model citizen with the Lakers.



Metta World Peace floored James Harden on Sunday with an elbow to the head. Watch the video.

”His actions could have seriously injured another player, and his absence during this suspension will hurt our team as well,” Kupchak added. ”While we accept the league’s decision, we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court.”

The suspension is the third career ban of at least seven games for Artest, whose rap sheet might not fit on a basketball card at this point.

He got an 86-game suspension in 2004 – the longest ban for an on-court incident in NBA history – for jumping into the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills in the Detroit suburbs to fight fans, and he served a seven-game suspension in 2007 for his no-contest plea on a domestic violence charge.

Even before his odd decision to change his name to promote peace last year, he had largely rehabilitated his image during three seasons with the Lakers, winning the NBA’s top citizenship award last spring for his charity work in mental-health awareness. Yet World Peace also slammed his forearm into the face of Dallas guard J.J. Barea in the closing minutes of a home playoff loss to the Mavericks last season, earning a one-game postseason suspension.

World Peace leveled Harden moments after dunking over Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant in the second quarter of the Lakers’ double-overtime victory over the Thunder. While pounding his chest with his right arm, World Peace cocked his elbow and threw it at the back and side of Harden’s head.

He claimed the elbow was completely accidental in a brief postgame statement, but later acknowledged on Twitter that the blow ”looks bad.”

World Peace didn’t speak to the media after the Lakers’ practice Tuesday, heading to the locker room at the moment media members entered the gym at the Lakers’ training complex. But Bryant acknowledged the obvious problem for the Lakers, who lose a starter and their defensive stopper right before the postseason.

”It’s an unfortunate situation,” Bryant said. ”James, from what I hear, is OK. As far as Metta goes, he has to focus on himself, and however many games they give him, they give him. He just has to be prepared, and when he comes back, just step right in and be ready to go.”

Bryant and the Lakers are clearly torn between supporting a teammate and recoiling from World Peace’s actions. Harden and Bryant are friends.

Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks declined to make a significant comment about World Peace before the Thunder hosted Sacramento on Tuesday night. Brooks didn’t weigh in on the possibility World Peace could return from suspension for a second-round matchup with the Thunder.



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”I’m not concerned with who we play, as long as we play as hard as we can and play to the best of our abilities,” Brooks said. ”You can’t focus on matchups. You can’t focus on individual players.”

Lakers coach Mike Brown, who professed ignorance of what happened after the game, said he finally viewed a replay and spoke with World Peace about it briefly, but said he didn’t attempt an in-depth evaluation of what World Peace was thinking.

”You’re concerned about it,” said Brown, an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers when Artest precipitated that infamous brawl in the stands. ”He’s a starter for us, and he’s important to what we do. … What was going through his mind, I haven’t talked to him. What Metta said is he shouldn’t have done it. He’s got to keep his cool.”

Brown said World Peace gave him the same explanation of the elbow as an excited accident.

”What am I supposed to do, call him a liar?” Brown asked. ”He said it was accidental. Now was it accidental or not? I don’t know.”

The Lakers will be further depleted in Thursday’s finale without Matt Barnes. The Sacramento native and backup swingman is out with a sprained right ankle, but the team is optimistic he’ll be back for the playoffs.

With World Peace and Barnes both out, second-year pro Devin Ebanks will get more playing time. Ebanks, who should be fine after dropping a 55-pound weight on his hand Tuesday, played extensive minutes against the Thunder, contributing little offensively but making two big defensive plays in the final minute of the second overtime.

Bryant realizes the Lakers will miss World Peace, who entered perhaps the best stretch of his up-and-down season when Bryant sat down for seven games to rest his bruised shin earlier this month. World Peace is averaging 7.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while regularly matching up against the Lakers’ opponents’ top scorer.

”He was playing extremely well,” Bryant said. ”It happened. When he comes back, he’s going to be playing the same way he was playing before he left, if not better. He’ll have time off. He’ll have a chance to get in even better shape. He might be better when he comes back.”

Goodie Mob – Fight To Win

Goodie Mob is back!!! It’s good to see T-Mo, Khujo, Big Gipp and Ceelo on stage again!! Check out there new single “Fight To Win” and live performance on The Voice. ATL Stand Up!!!

Thunder’s Harden undergoes tests




Metta World Peace floored James Harden on Sunday with an elbow to the head. Watch the video.

Thunder forward James Harden underwent tests Monday after his concussion in the previous day’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.

Harden participated in limited activities on Monday but must go through additional steps under the NBA’s concussion policy before he is cleared to play again.

Harden dropped to the ground after taking a vicious backward elbow to the head from Metta World Peace after the Lakers’ forward had dunked over two Thunder players late in the second quarter of Los Angeles’ double-overtime win Sunday.

World Peace, who claims he accidentally clipped Harden while celebrating the dunk, faces discipline from the NBA as the regular season winds down and the Lakers prepare to open the playoffs this weekend.

Florida Police Chief Denied Resignation In Trayvon Martin Case


It’s been less than a month since Sanford, Fla. Police Chief Bill Lee decided to step down, but the city commissioner officially denied his request Monday (April 23).  Lee announced in late March that he would be taking a leave of absence in light of the controversial shooting death of Trayvon Martin, however after the city announced that an agreement had been reached in his resignation, a 3-2 vote opted to deny his proposal.

If accepted Lee would have been released from his position and received a severance package.  While one voter, Mayor Jeff Triplett, moved to wait until the outcome of the Martin case, two other voters questioned the fairness of Lee’s request. “I’m not ready to have him come back and run the Police Department, but I don’t know if I’m ready for this either,” noted Triplett, who elicited criticism from the Martin family.

According to the family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, Lee should be allowed to resign.  “Sanford residents deserve quality leadership in law enforcement who will handle investigations fairly for all people,” he said. “If Chief Bill Lee recognized that his resignation would help start the healing process in Sanford, city leadership should have accepted it in an effort to move the city forward.”

Lee came under fire for his handling of the Martin case, and for releasing George Zimmerman following an investigation into the shooting. It wasn’t until the story caught local and national attention that special prosecutor, Angela Corey, found probable cause to bring second-degree murder charges against the 28-year-old. Zimmerman later turned himself in to authorities, and after spending just over a week behind bars, he was released on $150,000 bond.

Court documents filed by his lawyer, Mike O’Mara, revealed that Zimmerman entered a hand-written not guilty plea, and waved his right to appear at his arraignment scheduled for May 29, but has been moved up for unreleased reasons.


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Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace awaits discipline for blow



Video: World Peace ejected
Gallery: Metta’s suspensions
More from Battle for LA

The NBA did not determine Monday the length of a likely suspension for Lakers forward Metta World Peace, according to a league official familiar with the situation.

The Lakers do not play again until Thursday, lessening the need for an immediate ruling, though a decision Tuesday seems to be a strong possibility.

World Peace was ejected from Sunday’s game against Oklahoma City after throwing an elbow at Thunder guard James Harden, who stayed on the court for a few minutes before leaving because of a concussion.

World Peace had just completed a fast-break dunk against Kevin Durant and was pounding his chest when he elbowed Harden in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 114-106 double-overtime victory.

World Peace offered a brief explanation after the game, saying it was “unfortunate” and “unintentional.”

Thunder players and coach Scott Brooks disagreed, with Brooks calling the play “unacceptable.”

The Lakers complete the regular season at Sacramento before beginning the playoffs this weekend at Staples Center against an opponent to be determined.

In other small-forward news for the Lakers, Matt Barnes went to the team training facility Monday for treatment on a sprained right ankle that was called “very tender” by a team spokesman. An update on his condition will be available Tuesday.

— Mike Bresnahan

Lamborghini Debuts New SUV Called URUS [PHOTOS]

A Lamborghini SUV? If you got the coin, one can be yours in 2015. Lamborghini unveiled the Urus, its first SUV in 20 years. The concept vehicle was revealed at the Beijing Motor Show. When the production model drops, expect high-end accoutrements worthy of its luxury manufacturer and 600hp.

Any chance these whips will come with a copy of Kanye West’s “Mercy”? Just saying. Also, not to be outdone, Bentley is dropping an SUV, too.

Check out photos of the Lamborghini Urus in the photo gallery.


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That boy Cedric ‘The Entertainer’ is a fool. And that’s why he’s consider one of ‘The Original Kings of Comedy’. Ced. is back with his new spoof video entitled ‘Sex Witchoo’, reprising his role as R&B singer-turned-preacher Boyce ‘The Voice’ Ballentine from Hot in Cleveland (TV Land)

Check out the spoof video of “Sex Wichoo” below, starring Cedric ‘The Entertainer’ as Boyce ‘The Voice’ Ballentine.

Dr. Dre ‘kills’ Tupac hologram tour rumors

In most recent news concerning the Good ‘Doctor’, he alongside Bigg Snoop Dogg has been rocking the Coachella 2012 Festival. It’s quite befitting being that it’s the 20 yr. anniversary for the original Chronic album, to which both Dr. Dre and at the time named, ‘Snoop Doggy Dogg’ introduced the world to that West Coast G-Funk sound on their past Deathrow Records label, which Dre co-founded with Suge Knight. Dre and Snoop has been rocking Coachella. Of course the one time Deathrow Records signee, the late Tupac Shakur was resurrected from his ashes for the festival as well. Yet Dre promised that the usage of the Tupac hologram is ‘only’ for Coachella.

Check out Dr. Dre speaking on the Tupac’s Hologram.

Metta World Peace (Ron Artest From Queensbridge) Viciously Elbows James Harden [VIDEO]

Today, Metta World Peace once again became crazy Ron Artest from Queensbridge. During the Lakers vs. Thunder game, World Peace threw down a dunk and while celebrating James Harden made the mistake of being in the vicinity of the Tru Warier Records rapper/basketball player. After pounding his chest, World Peace sent a vicious elbow toward Harden’s dome. The versatile Thunder player was layed out on the court while World Peace was ejected from the game after being hit with a flagrant 2 foul.

See the video of the incident below for yourself, props to Jose3030. Was Harden the victim of an accidental elbow or was World Peace out there throwing bows?

Also, pray that James Harden is okay.

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