Chicago done, Texas next up on the Carmelo Anthony tour

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NBA

For a Tuesday afternoon in which nothing much happened on the Carmelo Anthony front, there were at least a few things happening on the Carmelo Anthony front.

First, Anthony arrived in Chicago for his meeting with the Bulls, finding the United Center decked out with welcoming messages and photos of him in a Bulls uniform. There was also some star power present, beginning with Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen and All-Star big man Joakim Noah, who has been slyly working on Anthony for months now.

MORE: Lakers see Gasol, Hill as part of future | Pistons to sign MeeksBut the big surprise was the presence of Derrick Rose, who had created a bit of a media bluster point before the free agency period began by saying that recruiting free agents really isn’t his job — which, by the way, is absolutely true. But Rose was there in the Anthony meeting, which lasted much of the afternoon.

The Bulls are still considered the favorites to land Anthony — should he leave the Knicks. New York has the appeal of a longer contract at slightly more money, as well as being the home base for his family.Still, as a source told SN earlier in the year, Anthony is seeking the “Dwight Howard treatment,” which means a full round of schmoozing during this first week of free agency. Keep in mind that Anthony has never had this experience — he was traded to New York in 2011, and signed a three-year extension shortly thereafter. H[……]

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James Harden fails to learn 'Carlton Dance' from Alfonso Ribeiro

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Similar to other USA Basketball players, James Harden has been on a run of press since returning from the FIBA World Cup. He even made a visit to the ‘Beard Guru’ in a commercial.

The latest Harden appearance included Alfonso Ribeiro of “The Fresh Prince” fame. His character on the show, Carlton, is known for a dance, dubbed the “Carlton Dance,” that includes swinging arms and swiveling hips to the sounds of Tom Jones.

Ribero attempted to teach Harden the dance, and the NBA caught it on tape and posted it to its Instagram account. Carlton, who hasn’t done the dance on the show for over 20 years, hadn’t missed a beat. Harden couldn’t find one, on the other hand.[……]

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Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson will sell team following racist email

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Atlanta Hawks controlling owner Bruce Levenson will sell his stake in the team following a racially insensitive email that he sent two years ago, he announced Sunday.

Levenson said in a letter to the league that he self-reported the email to the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver and will seek to sell the team immediately. The email, sent in 2012, was in regard to ticket sales and reaching out to “a more diverse fan base that includes more suburban whites,” Levenson wrote.

MORE: Shelly Sterling offers details on husband, Clippers sale | Scout: Exum ‘not ready for NBA'”I trivialized our fans by making clichéd assumptions about their interests (i.e. hip hop vs. country, white vs. black cheerleaders, etc.) and by stereotyping their perceptions of one another (i.e. that white fans might be afraid of our black fans),” Levenson explained in the letter. “By focusing on race, I also sent the unintentional and hurtful message that our white fans are more valuable than our black fans.

“I have said repeatedly that the NBA should have zero tolerance for racism, and I strongly believe that to be true. That is why I voluntarily reported my inappropriate e-mail to the NBA. After much long and difficult contemplation, I have decided that it is in the best interests of the team, the Atlanta community, and the NBA to sell my controlling interest in the Hawks franchise.”Levenson on Saturday night notified Silv[……]

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LeBron James to become free agent, exercise early termination option

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LeBron James will exercise his early termination option in his contract with the Miami Heat and become a free agent, according to Chris Broussard.

LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul has told Heat LeBron will exercise early termination option
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 24, 2014SN’s Sean Deveney previously reported James was “very likely” to return to the Heat, but the length of the stay was up in the air. James could still opt to re-sign with the Heat as a free agent.

LeBron James will opt-out of deal, source confirms. He’s determined to impose pressure on Miami to improve roster and spend, sources say.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 24, 2014Miami did little to improve its roster following back-to-back titles, jettisoning Mike Miller and Joel Anthony while taking on reclamation projects like Michael Beasley and Greg Oden. James and the Heat were defeated by the Spurs, 4-1, in the NBA Finals. Following the NBA Finals, The Associated Press and others reported James would take a vacation before making any decisions about his future.

Of course, LeBron infamously joined the Heat in 2010 with “The Decision,” a televised spectacle that James has since said he regrets and wouldn’t repeat.[……]

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Jimmy Kimmel unveils 'NBA Mean Tweets 2'

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Not too long after the Spurs defeated the Heat in Game 5 to claim the 2014 NBA championship, Jimmy Kimmel rolled out his latest edition of the popular “Mean Tweets” segment on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

But instead of using famous celebrities, Kimmel used NBA players, as he did last year. This year’s batch of mean tweets was just as funny.

MORE: NBA Finals photos | Tricycle basketball | Mutombo and Kimmel

Wait.You’re saying Dikembe Mutombo ISN’T the cookie monster?[……]

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Sterling trial opens (finally), with tenuous Clippers sale in the balance

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It has been a little more than 10 weeks since Clippers owner Donald Sterling sullied an already mucky reputation with a racist rant that was caught on tape and distributed to the world, forcing new NBA commissioner Adam Silver into the limelight to deal with an unwanted black eye.

Silver handled the problem marvelously, banning Sterling and fining him the maximum amount ($2.5 million) allowed under league rules. Still, even after Sterling’s wife, Shelly, seemed to have locked in a $2 billion sale of the team to Microsoft founder Steve Ballmer, Sterling continues to haunt the league.

MORE: Owners disciplined by leaguesBut all that might be ready to change. That’s because, in a probate court in Los Angeles on Monday, the much-awaited Sterling v. Sterling lawsuit got under way.

Even that, though, came with a Donald-induced delay. Sterling had, in desperation, attempted to have the case moved out of probate court and into federal court, and it was not until late in the afternoon that a federal judge — George H. Wu — shot down that request, allowing the matter to proceed.This is good news for the NBA. Last month, a Los Angeles judge agreed to speed up the matter of whether Shelly Sterling had the right sell the Clippers to Ballmer, scheduling the trial for this week because the NBA’s Board of Governors is slated to meet next Tuesday in New York, and hopes to officially approve the sale to Ballm[……]

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Suns' P.J. Tucker facing 'super extreme' DUI charges in Arizona

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Suns player P.J. Tucker was more 2 1/2 times over the legal limit for alcohol when he was arrested by police in Scottsdale, Ariz., on DUI charges in May, the Arizona Republic reported Monday.

Police said Tucker’s breath test registered .201; Arizona’s limit is .08. A blood test taken later showed Tucker’s BAC at .222.

Both figures fall into the category of super extreme DUI, the most severe DUI charge in Arizona, according to the Republic. If convicted, Tucker could be sentenced to 45 days in jail, the Republic noted. The sentence could be reduced significantly if an ignition lock is installed and Tucker serves a house arrest, the Republic reported.The Republic also reported that the Suns were aware of the arrest before signing Tucker to a three-year, $16.5 million contract ($12.7 million guaranteed) last week. The team had no comment Monday.[……]

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Doctors say Pacers star George faces long rehab process

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INDIANAPOLIS — Doctors say Paul George’s biggest battle is yet to come, and it may take a year or more before he returns to the Pacers lineup.

One day after the two-time All-Star suffered a gruesome open tibia-fibula fracture on his right leg during a USA Basketball intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas, the questions began in earnest about George’s recovery — and whether he’d ever regain the form a that made him one of NBA’s most complete players.

MORE: George to miss 2014-15 season | George suffers broken leg in Team USA gameThe 24-year-old George and said he was resting comfortably Saturday morning following surgery. Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird later issued a statement saying hopes George will return to Indianapolis next week before the long rehab process begins.

“The thing about breaking a bone is that if you get it back in the appropriate position, it can be as good as new,” said Dr. James Gladstone, the co-chief of sports medicine at Icahn School at Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “If the muscle is not involved and the bone and muscle are fully healed, then I think he will get back (to his previous form).”Gladstone, who is not treating George, said it usually takes athletes nine to 12 months to completely recover from this type of injury. If that time table holds up, the earliest possible return for George would be May when the NBA playoffs are in full swin[……]

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Carmelo Anthony predicts free agents will rebuff Hawks

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On the same phone call that Atlanta Hawks GM Danny Ferry made racially insensitive comments about Luol Deng, he also addressed Carmelo Anthony.

Ferry made an honest assessment of Anthony’s game, then turned to Deng and used inappropriate language in reference to his African heritage.

MORE: Ferry takes indefinite leave | Curry family shooting lineage | Rubio loyal to WolvesNow, the Hawks must move forward, find a new majority owner and attract players to Atlanta. When the Los Angeles Clippers found themselves in a similar situation, team president Doc Rivers told Sporting News that ownership uncertainty hurt them in free agency. Anthony predicts that the Hawks will experience a similar rough patch in the wake of Ferry’s comments.

“[There] ain’t nobody [who] would want to go there,” Anthony said Saturday, according to ESPNNewYork.com. “At the end of the day, Atlanta, I think it puts Atlanta back even further now, from that standpoint.”Atlanta is a great city, a great market, great people, great atmosphere. But as far as the comments [that] were made, I think it was uncalled for. From an owner, from a GM, those are not things you play with.”In a conference call with team owners, Ferry paraphrased a scouting report on Deng, stating that he “has a little African in him.”Speaking as a player who recently tested free agency, Anthony said he “wouldn’t look at” the Hawks as a serious option.”As a p[……]

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Ex-Bulls player Rick Brunson charged with criminal sexual assault, battery

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Former Chicago Bulls player Rick Brunson has been indicted on charges of attempted criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse, aggravated battery and domestic battery, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

Brunson plead not guilty to all of the charges, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

MORE: Brunson claimed to be Patrick Ewing | Husband arrested in death of Matt Barnes’ auntThe indictment stems from a June encounter with a massage therapist in a Vernon Hills, Ill., fitness center. Brunson scheduled the massage in the name of former NBA star Patrick Ewing to book a therapist who previously told him she would no longer provide him massages. 

Brunson was arrested at the fitness center and charged with attempted sexual assault and aggravated battery. Prosecutors asked that Brunson no longer be allowed to enter the fitness center. At the moment, he can leave the state of Illinois to travel for events involving his children and job interviews. Brunson’s defense lawyer Dennis Berkson asked that Brunson’s indictment be sealed but was denied. Berkson vowed to clear Brunson of all charges.[……]

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NBA free agency: LeBron-Riley summit reportedly set in Vegas

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Resetting the major plot lines as the NBA’s free-agent drama enters its eighth day:

— LeBron James may meet with Heat president Pat Riley as soon as Tuesday in Las Vegas, according to ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard.

My man @Chris_Broussard just reported on @SportsCenter that LeBron’s meeting w/Pat Riley could take place in Vegas perhaps as soon as TUES
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 8, 2014MORE: Get to know LeBron’s agent | Free-agent tracker Whenever they meet, they’ll be talking after Riley reached agreements with free agents Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts. Those moves were seen as a Riley’s way of assuring James his supporting cast will be satisfactory.

— The Cavaliers, James’ former team, are making it clear that they want the King back.First, word spread Monday that the venomous letter written by owner Dan Gilbert after James’ departure has been scrubbed from the team’s website. Nice try at an olive branch.Later, USA Today’s Sam Amico tweeted that star point guard Kyrie Irving has been giving James the hard sell:
Kyrie Irving has made recruiting pitch to LeBron James, sources say. ESPN reports Kyrie as saying Cavs will get LeBron all the help he needs
— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) July 7, 2014Nice of Irving to make that promise even though he has not been promoted to GM. Then again, it would be unwise for the Cavaliers to not go all out to supplement the roster.— Back to Miami for a m[……]

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Bucks claim point guard Kendall Marshall on waivers

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The Milwaukee Bucks have claimed point guard Kendall Marshall on waivers, general manager John Hammond announced Sunday. 

Marshall was waived by the Lakers on July 18 for salary cap reasons. The Lakers released Marshall as a necessary measure and hoped to sign him if he claimed waivers. 

MORE: Lakers considered run at Bledsoe | Lakers add Boozer | Bucks sign ParkerWhen the Lakers were without a point guard last season, Marshall came up from the D-League and helped fill in. Marshall averaged 8.0 points, 8.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 54 games in Los Angeles. 

Originally drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the No. 13 pick in 2012, Marshall is now on his third team in two years. Marshall addressed his signing on Twitter, where he is popular among basketball fans. 
It’s been a roller coaster these first two years! Learning so much about basketball and business, loving the process.
— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) July 20, 2014
I’d like to thank the entire @Lakers organization for giving me a chance. from management, coaches, to teammates.
— Kendall Marshall (@KButter5) July 20, 2014[……]

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No LeBron decision yet: Can you blame him?

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When it comes to LeBron James, all that’s certain is this: One fan base is about to feel scorned, and other is about to feel absolute joy.

Miami or Cleveland?

MORE: Akron mayor wants to know | Fans at LeBron’s house | Free agent trackerThe same choice he faced four years ago is the one facing the four-time NBA MVP now. He became a champion in Miami. He still calls Ohio home. It’s obviously not an easy decision, and the ramifications of what he’s about to say — it’s still unclear when any announcement will be coming, but it’s more than likely sooner than later — will have a massive impact on the Heat and the Cavaliers.

For the Heat, keeping James is likely the only way they can stay a championship-contending team for a fifth straight season next year. If he stays, it would seem likely that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would re-sign with Miami as well, keeping the “Big 3” that has played in each of the last four NBA Finals intact for at least another season.For the Cavaliers, it’s a chance to welcome home the player who fans — and the team’s owner Dan Gilbert — directed so much scorn toward when he left in 2010 after seven brilliant seasons.James left Las Vegas late Thursday, two people close to the situation told The Associated Press. One of those people said James and Wade were flying together to Miami, and that James would be continuing on from there for his long-planned trip to Brazil for[……]

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Reports: Paul George to miss entire 2014-15 season

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Paul George underwent successful surgery early Saturday to repair the broken leg he suffered during Team USA’s scrimmage Friday night, but the severity of the injury may sideline the Indiana Pacer for the entire 2014-2015 NBA season, according to multiple reports.

Pacers guard Paul George had a “good surgery. No ancillary damage” but likely out for next season, a source told Yahoo Sports.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) August 2, 2014There is optimism that George will be able to return before the end of the year, but considering the value of his long-term health, he may not return to the court until the beginning of the 2015-2016 season.

MORE: Sports’ most gruesome injuries 
Paul George is out of surgery. Word is it went well and there’s hope he could return before end of next year, but probably miss season
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) August 2, 2014George suffered a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula in the fourth quarter of the event at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas when he fell awkwardly into the basket stanchion (WARNING: video extremely graphic). 

Pacers president Larry Bird released a statement following the horrific injury.
Statement from Larry Bird about Paul George: pic.twitter.com/xIRjSqxuwJ
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) August 2, 2014Team USA canceled the remainder of the scrimmage following the incident.[……]

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Grant Hill makes $1.25 million donation to Duke

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Grant Hill, who spent 19 seasons in the NBA after playing at Duke, has donated $1.25 million to his alma mater, according to the Raleigh News and Observer. 

Hill played on national championship teams in 1991 and 1992 at Duke and graduated after four years with a degree in history. His donation will take care of both sectors, with $1 million going to the athletic department and $250,000 to the Duke Annual Fund for the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. 

MORE: How a Duke alum helped Hill succeed | Duke ranked in SN Top 25“Tamia and I are in a fortunate position to be able give back to the university that did so much for me,” Hill said, mentioning his wife. “In the 20 years since my graduation, I am certain that the academic environment, the coaches and staff, and every facet of being a student at Duke contributed to make me a better person.

“We want to help Duke students pursue their dreams in all endeavors and hope that our donation can make it possible for future students to enjoy the same kind of experiences I did at Duke,” Hill said. “We are proud to be a part of the Duke family.”Hill has made previous donations to Duke, giving $1 million back in 2000 to establish a scholarship fund for the Duke men’s basketball team.[……]

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Dwyane Wade says David Stern helped with fashion sense

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NBA

NEW YORK — David Stern might be responsible for the fashionable basketball players in the NBA — well, at least for Dwyane Wade.

The Miami Heat star says while he always was a fan of fine dressing, it wasn’t until the former commissioner of the league instituted a dress code that he started taking more interest in what he would wear off the court.

MORE: NBA wives and girlfriends | Highest-paid players | Overpaid players”It was like, ‘OK, now we got to really dress up and we can’t just throw on a sweat suit,'” he said. “Then it became a competition amongst guys and now you really got into it more and you started to really understand the clothes you put on your body, the materials you’re starting to wear, so then you become even more of a fan of it.”

Now Wade is considered among the more fashion-forward stars in a league where players dress to impress. Wade admits there’s some competition among the league — and sometimes they take it over the top in what they wear in a postgame press conference.”Obviously sometimes we push the envelope, and I think it’s because we’re athletes,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “We’re not looked at as guys who should wear certain things. Being flamboyant is being OK.”Wade unveiled his latest over-the-top fashion statement this week — his new branded watch from Hublot. The Classic Fusion Dwyane Wade is black polished ceramic with 18-karat gold screws on the bez[……]

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Paul George puts on show at Drew League, Nick Young speaks on his behalf

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Indiana Pacers star Paul George stopped in at the renowned Drew League in Los Angeles and teamed up with Nick Young, who recently opted out of his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

You never know who will suit up. @NickSwagyPYoung and @Paul_George24 hit the court. #thedrew pic.twitter.com/AFMlLg9yLc
— Drew League (@DrewLeague) July 6, 2014MORE: Source: Pacers ‘quietly’ shopping Hibbert | Suns not trading Dragic to Pacers | Free-agent tracker

George put on a show, producing 33 points and six rebounds and recreating the 360 windmill dunk he pulled off against the LA Clippers this past season. The dunk was captured and placed on Instagram, and George made the move look even easier this time around.

Once the game was done, George simply let photos and videos of his play do the talking. Young is not the type to pass up on an opportunity to gloat, though. He took to Twitter on George’s behalf.
Easy day at @DrewLeague my @Paul_George24 went to work we about to win it all
— Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) July 6, 2014Asked when he would put on a performance that matched George’s exploits, the free agent had a poignant and honest answer in response.
“@sarthyyy: @NickSwagyPYoung When you gon drop 40 in The Drew?” When I sign to a team
— Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) July 6, 2014[……]

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Wolves' Shabazz Muhammad on path to break down misconceptions

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Shabazz Muhammad isn’t a speed demon. He won’t break you down off the dribble or beat you from the 3-point line. But his numbers, especially in high school and college, may suggest otherwise.

Muhammad has been a productive basketball player for most of his basketball career. His game does not fit the normal mold for a prototypical 6-6 small forward. Muhammad is making a name for himself as a scorer in the NBA, but not on the perimeter.

MORE: Good, ball for all 30 NBA teams | Wesley Matthews’ milestone | Prince Williams, Kate in BrooklynThrough offensive rebounds and a deadly right-shoulder hook, Muhammad is showing signs of what could turn into a breakout season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. In short, he’s dealt with his share of criticism, but he hasn’t seemed to mind.

“I love changing people’s opinions,” Muhammad said back in 2013 after being introduced by his new NBA team. “That gives me a chip on my shoulder.”It took Muhammad some time to get where he is, and it hasn’t always been a pleasant ride to success.Coming out of UCLA, Muhammad’s draft stock had, by most standards, plummeted. At one point, he was in the conversation for the top overall pick. By the time his season had ended, he was fighting to hear his name called in the lottery.Part of that was the misconception of what he did well on the court. In high school, he was strong enough to overpower other players, and had a good[……]

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We meet again: LeBron-Spurs showdown tops night of rematches, reunions

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LeBron James met the Spurs for the first time since last season’s NBA Finals. Unfortunately for James, the result was the same.

Worse for him, James let the game slip from his fingers in the final seconds.

MORE: Get a look at James Harden’s ugly sweater | Swaggy P vs. Larry Legend | Cuban hopes Lakers ‘suck forever’LBJ lost his dribble at midcourt while preparing for a tying/winning shot, and San Antonio held on for a 92-90 win over the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Wednesday. 

“I felt like I could get to the rim probably, or either get a shot for myself or my teammates. Maybe I was thinking too much because I left the ball behind me,” James said, according to Cleveland.com.James’ showdown with the Spurs (who did not rest anyone, by the way) was just one of several games Wednesday that featured players and coaches taking on familiar foes:Bucks at Nets: Bucks coach Jason Kidd came back to Brooklyn months after bailing on the Nets for more power in Milwaukee. The fans at Barclays Center were not in a welcoming mood. They had plenty of time to tell him how they felt, too, because the game went into triple overtime. Why did the game need three OTs? Well, here’s a really big reason. In the end, Kidd got the last word thanks to a 122-118 Milwaukee victory.Lakers at Rockets: Jeremy Lin returned to Houston, and he didn’t even have to worry about Dwight Howard blocking his shot. Howard sat out the game[……]

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Giannis Antetokounmpo launches YouTube channel, does 'Teammate Trivia' with Marshall

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NBA

19-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo is a star in the making for the Milwaukee Bucks, so naturally it was time he launched his new YouTube channel. More videos of the Greek Freak’s life both on and off the court? YUP!

Antetokounmpo kicked things off with a friendly game of “Teammate Trivia” with Bucks point guard Kendall Marshall.

MORE: 2015 NBA All Star jerseys | Steph Curry criminally underpaid | Kevin Durant returns Tuesday

Things we learned about Giannis:1. One single cupcake, really?2. He’s scared of the 3-point line, but when you can Eurostep like this, I think you’ll be fine.3. He is not a fan of the North Carolina Tar Heels (sorry, Kendall).4. Selena Gomez, what’s up?[……]

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