Spurs, Heat meet in game 7
June 20th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

Spurs, Heat meet in game 7

Game 7 of the NBA Finals will be all about heart, Miami Heat superstar LeBron James said.

The four-time MVP is seeking his second NBA crown when his Heat hosts the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.

Both teams are well-prepared, he said, and they know each other well. They know what will work on offense, what to do on defense. What gives a team an edge will be each player's mental makeup.

"I think it's about heart and determination at this point," he said Wednesday.

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James leads Heat to NBA title
LeBron James hugs Dywane Wade Thursday night as the finals seconds tick off the clock.
June 22nd, 2012
12:18 AM ET

James leads Heat to NBA title

The Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 Thursday night in Miami to win the NBA championship in five games.

League MVP LeBron James scored 26 points, and had 11 rebounds and 13 assists for Miami. Chris Bosh scored 24 points and Dwyane Wade 20 for the Heat.

Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant led all scorers with 32 points.

Photos: NBA Finals Game 5

It was James' first title since signing with the Heat as a free agent in 2010. James won two MVP awards over seven seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers but no NBA titles. James was drafted by Cleveland out of high school in nearby Akron, Ohio.

SI: LeBron earns validation, place in history with first championship

"This is a dream come true for me. This is definitely when it pays off," James said after the game. James was named the series MVP.

The Heat lost last year's finals to the Dallas Mavericks.

"We had to go through last year," Wade said after the game, according to NBA.com. "As much as it hurt, we had to experience it to get here, this season."

The Heat, who won four games straight to win the best-of-seven series, took a lead early in the game and never let up, leading by 25 points in the final minutes of the third quarter.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said his young team will learn from the finals experience.

"I think when you play against the best, you learn. You don't get better by playing bad teams," Brooks said. "We've played against the best three teams in the last few years and we've learned."

Durant had a game-high 32 points but said losing in the finals is the hardest thing he and his team have been through.

SI: Finals failure will prove necessary for Durant, Thunder's development

"It's tough, that's the only way to explain it. As a whole I'm proud of the guys for how we've fought all season," Durant said. "I wouldn't want to play for anyone else or any other city."

LeBron James planning exhibition game back in Ohio
LeBron James, from left, Carmello Anthony and Dwayne Wade joke around on the sidelines of the USC-Oregon college football game on Saturday night.
November 21st, 2011
01:03 PM ET

LeBron James planning exhibition game back in Ohio

LeBron James is taking his talents back to northeastern Ohio for one night in December.

James  who grew up in Akron and left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat before the 2010-2011 NBA season  will lead a group of NBA players in an exhibition game at the University of Akron's Rhodes Arena on December 1, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Joining James will be fellow superstars Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade and Carmello Anthony, plus two of the college draftees who the Cavaliers hope will return them to the NBA heights they enjoyed during James' reign in Cleveland, No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, the Beacon Journal reported.

Akron will be the first stop in the group's "Homecoming Tour," which also includes New Orleans on December 4, Chicago on December 7 and East Rutherford, New Jersey, on December 11, according to the report.

The games will be streamed live on Google+, which is sponsoring the tour, according to Business Insider. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to charity.

The tour will fill some of the free time the four NBA superstars have because of the current lockout, which has delayed the start of the season and may force its cancellation.

They seem to be spending plenty of time together recently, including attending Saturday night's big USC-Oregon college football game in Eugene, Oregon, according to a report in The Oregonian.

And Anthony, at least, plans to get involved with some presidential politics in December. He'll be among a number of current and former NBA players appearing in the "First Ever Obama Classic," a fundraiser game for the president's re-election bid, to be held December 12 in Washington.

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On the Radar: Waves threaten chemical plant, excessive heat, LeBron biking
Waves from Tropical Storm Muifa cover the coastline in China's Shandong province on Monday.
August 8th, 2011
06:36 AM ET

On the Radar: Waves threaten chemical plant, excessive heat, LeBron biking

Three things you need to know today.

Waves threaten plant: Workers in China were repairing a dike damaged by huge waves from Tropical Storm Muifa in an effort to protect a petrochemical plant, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Waves as high as 65 feet (20 meters) broke through the dike in Dailan, Xinhua reported, citing military personnel working on the repair. Officials fear a toxic spill could occur if sea water reaches the plant.

The Fujia chemical plant produces paraxylene, a carcinogenic chemical used in making polyester film and fabrics, Xinhua reported.

Dangerous heat: Most of Oklahoma and parts of Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi are under excessive heat warnings Monday as the heat indices in those areas could reach 110 degrees.

The National Weather Service warned against most outdoor activities, saying life-threatening situations could develop, especially if proper hydration isn't practiced.

Some areas may get limited relief from thunderstorms, forecasters said, but they also warned the dangerous heat may not break until midweek for other areas.

LeBron's bikeathon: Miami Heat star LeBron James is headed back to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, on Monday, this time to lead a 2.6-mile bike ride through the city’s streets as part of his “Wheels for Education” initiative.

James and 20 high school students will pedal from the University of Akron to East High School where hundreds of students in the program will await them.

The bike ride will be the first event since the program underwent a name change from the King for Kids Bike-A-Thon. The initiative strives to improve the academic success of third-graders from single-parent households.

“We felt it was time to change the Bikeathon to something that could be more educational at the same time,” James told the Akron Beacon Journal. “We feel great about it.”

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On the Radar: U.S. Open begins, Mavs parade, LeBron night
Phil Mickelson tees off Tuesday during a practice round for the U.S. Open.
June 16th, 2011
06:16 AM ET

On the Radar: U.S. Open begins, Mavs parade, LeBron night

Three things you need to know today (special all-sports edition).

U.S. Open golf: The U.S. Open, the second of golf's four major tournaments for 2011, tees off Thursday morning at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

With Tiger Woods, a three-time winner of the Open, not playing because of injury, determining a favorite is difficult, writes GOLF magazine's Cameron Morfit.

Much of the focus will be on Phil Mickelson, who has four victories in major tournaments but has yet to win a U.S. Open. Mickelson has finished second five times in the U.S. Open. But Mickelson has never fared well at Congressional, Morfit writes.

Other players to watch include Briton Luke Donald, the world's No. 1-ranked player; Steve Stricker, currently the highest-ranked American in the world and a winner at last weekend's Memorial Tournament in Ohio; defending champion Graeme McDowell, and Hunter Mahan, who shot 62 in the last competitive round he played at Congressional, Morfit writes.

Follow the action on the GOLF.com leaderboard and Round 1 live blog.

Mavericks' parade: The NBA champion Dallas Mavericks have their official victory parade in downtown Dallas on Thursday. The Mavericks finished off the Miami Heat on Sunday night in the best-of-seven NBA Finals, 4-2.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. and takes a 1.6-mile route through downtown Dallas, CNN affiliate WFAA reports.

Police are warning the expected crowds could create gridlock in Dallas, with as many as a quarter-million people turning out to salute the NBA champions.

Officials are also warning parade-goers to be ready for the summertime Dallas heat and bring plenty of water to the event, WFAA reports. The forecast is for 85 degrees and sunny when the parade begins.

Salute to LeBron?: While Dallas salutes its champions, a minor-league baseball team is acknowledging the Heat's LeBron James on Thursday.

The Peoria Chiefs, a Class A minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, will give every fan attending Thursday night's game a replica of James' NBA championship ring. That means as each fan passes through the turnstiles of O'Brien Field, he or she will be handed ... nothing.

The Chiefs said in a press release they'd also like to skip the fourth inning in Thursday's game, a jab at James' NBA Finals performance in which he scored a total of 21 points in the fourth quarters of all six games combined.

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Minor-league baseball team to give fans rings like LeBron's
LeBron James has gone eight seasons without winning an NBA title.
June 15th, 2011
12:59 PM ET

Minor-league baseball team to give fans rings like LeBron's

The Peoria Chiefs, a Class A minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, will give every fan attending Thursday night's game a replica of LeBron James' NBA championship ring. That means as each fan passes through the turnstiles of O'Brien Field, he or she will be handed ... nothing.

James' Miami Heat team fell to the Dallas Mavericks four games to two in the NBA finals, which ended Sunday night. James, who promised Heat fans multiple championships when he bolted Cleveland for South Beach last summer, has now gone eight seasons without being able to wear a championship ring.

James' performance in the NBA Finals was widely panned. A two-time regular season Most Valuable Player, James scored only 21 points in the fourth quarters of all six finals games combined.

Which gave the Chiefs a chance to pile on the promotions Thursday, when they take on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

"The Chiefs are looking into whether or not the game can skip the fourth inning to honor King James who took off the fourth quarter of every finals game," the team said in a press release.

No word on whether the umpires will allow that, but these two promotions are beyond the league's control:

"One lucky fan will win a replica of James' 2011 Finals MVP Award which he earned with his clutch fourth quarter play. Fans will also have the opportunity to learn how to perform the Heimlich to prevent themselves or their colleagues from choking in a big situation," the Chiefs press release said.

But before they pile on James, the Chiefs may want to take a look at the Midwest League standings. The team is fifth place in the league's West Division.

Looks like the James replica rings are perfect for the Chiefs, too.

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Clevelanders laughing as LeBron loses
LeBron James reacts during Sunday night's NBA Finals game against the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki is at rear.
June 13th, 2011
08:02 AM ET

Clevelanders laughing as LeBron loses

When the Dallas Mavericks finished off the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, the happiness in Dallas may have been eclipsed in only one place, Cleveland, the city that Heat star LeBron James left to take his talents to South Beach.

CNN affiliate WOIO-TV in Cleveland had a one-word headline on its sports page under a picture of James holding up his Heat jersey: "LOSER!"

"LeBron James still has no rings,"  the site's story began.

Cleveland.com quickly jumped on James' failure to bring a championship to Miami, something he promised would happen multiple times when he and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh joined Heat superstar Dwayne Wade in Miami.

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On the Radar: NBA Finals; shuttle returns; no tobacco day
The Heat's Dwayne Wade, left, and the Mavs' Jason Kidd square off during a regular-season game in December.
May 31st, 2011
06:20 AM ET

On the Radar: NBA Finals; shuttle returns; no tobacco day

Three things you need to know Tuesday.

NBA Finals: The NBA Finals tip off  at 9 Tuesday night in Miami as the Heat take on the Dallas Mavericks.

A key storyline of the best-of-seven series will be the battle of two NBA Most Valuable Players who aren't wearing title rings - LeBron James of the Heat and the Mavs' Dirk Nowitzki, writes SI.com's Dan Shaughnessy.

"Both are championship-starved. Both need a ring to solidify their place in the list of NBA all-time greats," Shaughnessy writes.

SI.com's Zack Lowe tells you what to look for when Miami has the ball and when Dallas has the ball.

Finally, see how five SI.com NBA writers pick the series. And weigh in with your own pick.

Shuttle returning: The space shuttle Endeavour is preparing for its final landing early Wednesday at 2:35 a.m. at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Endeavour is ending a 16-day mission, more than 11 of which were spent docked at the international space station.

Once it is decommissioned by NASA, Endeavour will go on display at the California Science Center is Los Angeles.

Atlantis is scheduled to make the final shuttle mission with liftoff targeted for July 8.

World No Tobacco Day: The World Health Organization has made May 31 World No Tobacco Day. The organization uses the day to educate the public on the dangers of using tobacco and what they can do to stop it.

Tobacco use kills 6 million people a year, or one every six seconds, the WHO says, including 600,000 deaths a year from second-hand smoke. As many as half of all tobacco users will eventually die from a disease related to its use, the WHO says.

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SI.com: Can Boston stand the Heat?
One of only a few Celtic highlights: Boston's Jeff Green blocks Miami's Mario Chalmers' shot Sunday in the NBA playoffs.
May 2nd, 2011
04:03 PM ET

SI.com: Can Boston stand the Heat?

By the end of Sunday night's game against the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics were left in tatters, facing a 99-90 Game 1 loss. While Boston suffered a significant blow when Paul Pierce was ejected from the game after receiving two technicals in a span of less than one minute, that was the lesser of the Celtics' problems. As SI.com's Ian Thomsen explains, the Celtics crumbled under the pressure and lacked cohesiveness, all while the Heat found its stride atop an impressive 38-point showing by Dwyane Wade.

"Wade and Jones (25 efficient points) had dumped the Celtics in a deep 87-74 hole at the time of Pierce's ensuing run-in with Wade, which makes Pierce's ejection less the cause and more a symptom of Boston's opening-game downfall," writes Thomsen. "Wade was running the baseline defensively when he bore through a Pierce screen. Referee Ed Malloy instantly called double technicals on both stars, and then pointed Pierce to the locker room."

Having lost to the Heat twice within the last month, the Celtics will enter Tuesday's Game 2 match-up with something to prove. Their lackluster performance Sunday may light the fire the team and Pierce needs to avoid rookie mistakes and charge back into this series. Or could Game 1 be just a sign of things to come?

Up tonight:

Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls (8:00 p.m., TNT)

Dallas Mavericks vs. L.A. Lakers (10:30 p.m., TNT)

By The Numbers

13 - Number of consecutive games the Cleveland Indians have won at home. Their 13th victory came against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday.

5 - Number of titles tennis star Novak Djokovic has won this season. His fifth title at the Serbia Open also marked his 27th straight victory.

76 - Number of first place votes NBA Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau received this year.

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LeBron loses on Cavs' court, in Cavs' garage
Cavaliers' fans booed LeBron James every time he touched the ball Tuesday night.
March 30th, 2011
08:04 AM ET

LeBron loses on Cavs' court, in Cavs' garage

On his second visit to Cleveland Tuesday since he took his talents to South Beach, the Miami Heat's LeBron James found no place to park and no victory on the court.

The former Cavaliers star and reigning NBA MVP was booed every time he touched the ball in Quicken Loans Arena, and though he posted a triple-double - 27 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds - it was not enough to bring down the Cavs, who posted a 102-90 win.

Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert, who pilloried James for deserting the Cavs and Cleveland last summer, saluted the hometown fans after Tuesday's game.

"I'm in awe of the fans of Cleveland," The Plain Dealer quoted Gilbert as saying on his way out of the building. "They stood behind this team all year."

While the Cavs game James' team fits on the court, Gilbert's staff gave James fits on his way into the arena Tuesday, ESPN.com reported.

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Si.com: Cinderella vs. Cinderella, women's Elite Eight, marathon baseball
Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart celebrates after his team knocked off the No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks.
March 28th, 2011
12:52 PM ET

Si.com: Cinderella vs. Cinderella, women's Elite Eight, marathon baseball

With every No. 1 and No. 2 seed knocked out of this year’s NCAA college basketball tournament, it’ll be Cinderella battling Cinderella next weekend in the Final Four.

It’s safe to say that few, if any, saw this coming. This year’s season was marked by the fact that there was not the traditional powerhouse that all other teams were chasing. This year’s tournament was arguably one of the more wide open in recent memory.

But this wide open?

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On the Radar: Pro-union protest, Lohan's plea, NATO's plan, Heat's struggles
LeBron James and the Miami heat are mired in a five-game losing streak.
March 10th, 2011
05:41 AM ET

On the Radar: Pro-union protest, Lohan's plea, NATO's plan, Heat's struggles

Public unions -- Pro-union demonstrators plan to rally outside the Wisconsin capitol Thursday - the morning after the state's Republican-led Senate passed Gov. Scott Walker's proposed restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees. Senate Republicans got around a long-running Democratic walkout on Wednesday evening by stripping financial provisions from the bill.

Lohan plea - Actress Lindsay Lohan heads back to court Thursday to say if she will accept a plea deal on a felony charge of stealing a $2,500 necklace. At her last appearance in February, the judge warned Lohan that any plea deal would involve jail time.

NATO and Libya - NATO officials scheduled a meeting Thursday to discuss a response to Libya's civil war. Alliance defense ministers gathering in Brussels, Belgium, will discuss whether to implement a no-fly zone over Libya to minimize civilian casualties from the Libyan air force attacks.

Miami Heat – The NBA franchise that added league MVP LeBron James and Chris Bosh last summer finds itself in a five-game losing streak. Breaking that skid may be a tough task as Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers come to Miami for a 7 p.m. ET game. SI's Zach Lowe looks at what might be behind the Heat's problems.

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Sports update: Heat stars flub game's last minutes, Danica makes history
The Heat's LeBron James and Dwyane Wade missed crucial points in a game against the Bulls.
March 7th, 2011
12:42 PM ET

Sports update: Heat stars flub game's last minutes, Danica makes history

This is starting to become a habit for the Miami Heat. The team saw another close game slip out of their hands Sunday in the final seconds when stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade missed shots that could have tipped the match-up in the team's favor. The Chicago Bulls won with a 87-86 victory, making them No. 3 in the Big East. Those missed opportunities by James and Wade were the 12th and 13th consecutive shots that could have tied the game or put the Heat on top in the final seconds of the game or overtime. While few would contest the talent on the Heat roster or their scoring ability but when it comes to actually sealing the deal in crucial moments of games, the team has struggled.

"I told my team, I'm not going to continue to fail late in games," James recently said. "I put a lot of blame on myself tonight. I told the guys that I just keep failing them late in games and I won't continue to do that."

The players' performance against the Bulls marked the Heat's fourth-straight loss. A three-pointer and lay up courtesy of Mario Chalmers put the Heat up 86-84 with just 25 seconds left. A foul called against Mike Miller turned the ball over to the Bulls and Luol Deng made two free throws to push Chicago ahead. When the ball made its way back to the Heat, James missed a lay up, which was rebounded by Wade. Unfortunately for the Heat, Wade missed the shot as time expired.

"The Miami Heat are exactly what everyone wanted, losing games," Wade remarked sarcastically. "The world is better now because the Heat is losing."

So what exactly is going on with the Heat? While it may not be time to panic just yet, the team's closing troubles will come back to bite them if their star players are unable to step up their clutch playing.

There is plenty more NBA action tonight: Utah Jazz vs. New York Knicks - Knicks fans will be waiting to see if Carmelo Anthony takes the court after getting knocked around during New York's game against Atlanta. If he does, look for the Knicks to give Utah quite a challenge.

By The Numbers

18.5 - Ben Hansbrough scoring average this season, that helped the Fighting Irish to finish in second-place behind Pittsburgh. Hansbrough was the sole unanimous selection for the All-Big East team.

4th - Finish that driver Danica Patrick notched at this weekend's Nationwide stop in Las Vegas. Patrick made history by earning the highest NASCAR finish by a woman in a national series race. Tim Tuttle takes a look at Patrick's NASCAR future.

$15 million – Amount of Matt Thornton's contract with the White Sox. The left hander signed the three-year contract Sunday.

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SI.com: Cavaliers' horrible night didn't escape LeBron
LeBron James apparently is not one to forget what Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said on James' way out last summer.
January 12th, 2011
01:59 PM ET

SI.com: Cavaliers' horrible night didn't escape LeBron

When LeBron James made "The Decision" on national television over the summer, it was met with an uproar, was deemed a public relations nightmare and alienated a city that once adored him.

Six months later, LeBron's made-for-TV special is long gone, but the NBA superstar is still publicly making ill-advised decisions that are turning plenty of heads.

Shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers annihilated the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-57 last night, LeBron took to Twitter to vent a little frustration and kick his former team while it was down.

"Crazy. Karma is a b****. Gets you every time. Its (sic) not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!" he tweeted.

The tweet was pointed at the Cavaliers and his doubters, particularly Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, who infamously penned a ranting letter to Cavs season-ticket holders badmouthing LeBron shortly after he bolted for Miami last summer. Among the many insults and promises Gilbert launched at LeBron was the claim that "bad karma" would catch up to the star.

If that's true, it has yet to take effect. After a slow start, Miami has won 21 of its past 22 games and owns the Eastern Conference's best record at 30-9. The Cavs, on the other side of the spectrum, have lost 21 of their past 22 games and 11 straight, including last night's embarrassment in Los Angeles. Cleveland coach Byron Scott said his team looked "scared to death" in the 55-point blowout, and his team's 57 points marked the fewest scored against the Lakers in the shot clock era.

The game caught most of the league's attention, including LeBron's. SI.com's Zach Lowe breaks down the tweet and gives his take on LeBron's latest public relations nightmare.

Here's what to watch tonight (all times Eastern):

No. 5 Pittsburgh at No. 22 Georgetown (7 p.m., ESPN): Georgetown looks to avoid its third consecutive loss. Pittsburgh has won five straight since losing to Tennessee on Dec. 11.

No. 18 Louisville at No. 7 Villanova (7 p.m., ESPN2): Another ranked Big East battle pits the Wildcats, winners of 10 in a row, against the Cardinals, whom they defeated 92-84 in last season's lone matchup.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets (8:30 p.m., NBATV): Coming off a 40-point performance, Kevin Durant and the Thunder look to avenge an early season loss to the Rockets tonight in Houston.

BY THE NUMBERS

601: Games saved by retiring closer Trevor Hoffman, 43, the most in baseball history. SI.com's Joe Lemire recalls the future Hall of Famer's 18-year career.

50-50: Chances Carmelo Anthony ends up a New York Knick, according to a source in the New York Daily News. Last night, 'Melo guaranteed he would still be with the Nuggets come Thursday, when the Miami Heat come to play.

113: Hits Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was exposed to in just his final two games of the season, according to SI.com's Peter King.

Thursday's intriguing people
December 16th, 2010
02:02 PM ET

Thursday's intriguing people

Grace Mugabe

The first lady of Zimbabwe has filed a defamation suit demanding $15 million from a newspaper that quoted a 2008 diplomatic cable alleging she profited from the illegal diamond trade.

The Standard, a Harare-based Sunday newspaper, this week quoted WikiLeaks-released U.S. cables saying rumors that Mugabe and Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank governor, were profiting off of the diamonds are true.

In short, the paper alleged the cables show that Gono made thousands of dollars each month off diamond dealing and funneled money to Mugabe, her sister-in-law and members of Zimbabwe’s ruling party.

“The diamonds that are sold to regime members and elites are sold for freshly printed Zimbabwean notes issued by the (Reserve Bank),” The Standard quoted British mining executive Andrew Cranswick as saying in a 2008 document.

According to Britain’s The Guardian, the Marange district of Zimbabwe has been the “scene of a frenzied diamond rush in recent years.”

In court papers, Mugabe called the allegations printed in The Standard false and malicious and said they damaged her credibility, Al-Jazeera reported.

“Whatever it prints is regarded as gospel truth by those people in Zimbabwe and abroad,” the network quoted court documents as saying.

Mugabe, in the past, has been the subject of media reports questioning her lavish tastes as first lady of a country where inflation has soared and a majority of citizens live below the poverty line.

FULL POST

SI.com: The day after LeBron James' return to Cleveland
December 3rd, 2010
07:30 PM ET

SI.com: The day after LeBron James' return to Cleveland

It’s been five months since LeBron James made his infamous “Decision,” and no one can deny the Heat’s young season is exactly going as planned. especially after Thursday night.

In the most anticipated game of the NBA season, the Heat played arguably its most sound game so far this year, cruising to a 118-90 victory over the Cavaliers.

LeBron’s return to Cleveland was greeted by Cavaliers fans with enough angst to warm the bitter-cold city. Unfortunately for them, LeBron’s night couldn’t have gone much better. From his pre-game rituatl chalk routine – to which he did to no avail – to his season-high 38 points, LeBron shook off the boos and the chants. He played so well he was able to sit out the entire fourth quarter, victory in hand.

Though the superstar could not have asked for a better homecoming given the circumstances, SI.com’s Michael Rosenberg wonders if LeBron realizes what he's missing by having gone to South Beach in chase of titles.

“The Heat may win championships, but their fans will never pack their arena simply to boo,” writes Rosenberg. “The team will never be ingrained in the city's fabric like every Cleveland team is. There are passionate fans in Miami, of course, but not as many... Any town can celebrate championships. Cleveland celebrates heartache.”

FULL POST

Friday's intriguing people
December 3rd, 2010
12:56 PM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Sarah Palin

The former Alaska governor lost her bid for vice president but continues to blaze a trail for other ultraconservatives to follow.

Palin wrote a book after her election loss, and now fellow Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell is doing likewise.

O'Donnell will write a book to be published next year by St. Martin's Press, the company announced Thursday.

"It's time to set the record straight & move forward," O'Donnell wrote in announcing the deal on Twitter.

FULL POST

McHale wonders if LeBron and Miami Heat are tough enough
December 2nd, 2010
10:04 AM ET

McHale wonders if LeBron and Miami Heat are tough enough

NBA hall-of-famer Kevin McHale played 13 years for the Boston Celtics and made the all-star team six times. He played on three championship teams and is currently an analyst on NBA TV. He spoke to CNN about LeBron James’ return to Cleveland tonight. Below is an edited transcript of that interview. The game can be seen on TNT at 8pm ET.

CNN: What’s the most hostile crowd you ever played in front of?

McHale: Probably the Philadelphia crowds in the 1980’s when we were playing for the conference championships. It was entertaining they would curse you out in ways that you never heard before. There was so much venom but the combinations of the cursing were really interesting. It never bothered me, I never felt in danger. It made me ready to play. FULL POST

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November 12th, 2010
01:21 PM ET

SI.com: To dominate, Heat need to be bad guys

Boston's Paul Pierce did a little trash-tweeting after Thursday night's game in Miami.

If the Miami Heat want to be good, they'll have to go bad first.

The uber-talented yet underachieving team lost its second game in a row, and its third in four games,  falling 112-107 last night at home to the Boston Celtics. It was the second loss the Celtics have handed their rivals this season and dropped the Heat to a 5-4 record.

Once thought to have a chance at winning 70 games, the Heat are now struggling to stay over .500. They've yet to find a reliable point guard or post presence, and the Big Three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh is not playing at the level most expected by this point.

With no identity and so few wins, SI.com's Lee Jenkins suggests the Heat channel their inner bad guy and follow the blueprint of classic championship-winning bad boy teams like the Pistons and NFL Raiders. Rather than trying to be the heroes everyone wants them to be, Jenkins says the Heat should adopt an "us-against-the-world" mentality and start playing like the villains whom teams can't stand off the floor and can't beat on it.

Although the Heat are just nine games into the season, they do need to mix things up if they want to live up to expectations. As Jenkins points out, they've given up 184 points over their last six quarters and have lost two games this season with Eddie House taking the last shot, not one of the team's three superstars. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is preaching patience, but the team has little cap flexibility or tradeable assets to bolster the team.

So they'll have to improve from within, Jenkins says. Be the bad guys. Embrace the anger. Wear the black hat.

Following the Heat-Celtics game last night, Celtics star Paul Pierce took to his Twitter account to deliver the final blow. "It's been a pleasure to take my talents to South Beach," he tweeted, taking a jab at James' line from this summer.

Maybe that's enough to get them mad.

Here is some of the action going on around the sports world today (all times Eastern):

Portland Trailblazers at Oklahoma City Thunder (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

The Northwest Division-leading Blazers (6-3) hit the road to take on reigning scoring champ Kevin Durant (28.1 ppg) and the Thunder (4-3).

No. 4 Boise State Broncos at Idaho Vandals (9 p.m., ESPN2)

After racking up a school-record 732 yards of offense last Saturday, undefeated Boise State travels to take on Idaho, which gave up 844 yards of their own in a 63-17 loss to Nevada last week.

BY THE NUMBERS

$33,000 - Amount Kentucky freshman center Enes Kanter received from a Turkish club during the 2008-09 season. The NCAA ruled Kanter permanently ineligible to play for the Wildcats on Thursday, but Kentucky is expected to appeal the decision.

18-1 - Record of the Atlanta Falcons at home with quarterback Matt Ryan as the team's starter. The Falcons defeated the Baltimore Ravens at home Thursday night, 26-21.

2011 - Year action sports star Travis Pastrana will compete in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide series. Pastrana, who has won 16 gold medals in the X games, will run seven Nationwide races next season and 20 in 2012.

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Filed under: Basketball • College football • LeBron James • Pro football • Sports
November 4th, 2010
11:37 AM ET

'South Park' lampoons Nike, BP and LeBron

"South Park" spoofed the LeBron James ad -- this time with the help of a cartoon Tony Hayward.

You know you're on the right path when the makers of "South Park" have their sights squarely on you.

And they did that last night with the talk of the NBA season, LeBron James, who has taken the Heat, so to speak, in Miami and from the media after his lengthy and drawn-out decision process following his free agency.

And the hits didn't stop there. They kept on coming when James and Nike teamed up for an ad now famously known as "What Should I Do."

"What should I do?" James says in the ad. "Should I admit that I made mistakes?"

So leave it to Matt Stone and Trey Parker to kick it up a notch and spoof the ad in their latest episode of the Comedy Central animated series. And who better to be the new face of the "What Should I Do?" ad in their opinion - BP's Tony Hayward, of course.

SouthParkStudios.com: Watch the clip here

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