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.
Long-time Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss has died, the team said in a statement Monday.
Buss, 80, had been suffering from an undisclosed form of cancer. He died at Cedars-Sinai hospital after being hospitalized for much of the past 18 months, the team said.
The team will remain under the ownership of the Buss family, the statement said.
[Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET] The Los Angeles Lakers' 0-8 preseason and 1-4 start to the regular season were too much for the front office to take.
The NBA team on Friday fired second-year head coach Mike Brown, whose efforts to implement a new offense and mesh free-agent signings with stars who won a title two years ago didn't turn into wins.
"Really, it came down to ownership and management looking at the record, looking at the improvement level, and wondering a month or two or three down the road, will we be in the same spot," General Manager Mitch Kupchak told reporters.
[Updated at 2:10 a.m. ET Wednesday] Seven months after dropping him from their team, the Houston Rockets signed Jeremy Lin when the New York Knicks failed to match Houston's three-year, $25-million offer for the point guard.
"We are thrilled to have Jeremy back as part of the Rockets family," Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said in a statement Tuesday night. "In his limited opportunity last season, Jeremy showed that he has all the skills to be a great player in this league for many years to come."
The Harvard-educated basketball phenom captured worldwide attention by leading the Knicks to a string of victories last year.
Jonathan Supranowitz, the Knicks' vice president of public relations, announced Tuesday night that the Knicks would not match Houston's offer.FULL STORY
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.
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.
"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.
"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."
The New Orleans Hornets hit the jackpot Wednesday night, winning the top pick in the NBA Draft Lottery.
The worst teams in the NBA went into the evening hoping for the best of luck in the lottery, which determines the order of the league's June 28 draft of college (and a few high school) players. The lottery was held at ABC's "Good Morning America" studio in New York.
The lottery is weighted, so the team with this season's worst record, the Charlotte Bobcats, had the best chance of getting the coveted No. 1 pick. But it's not a sure thing, as the Hornets' prize illustrates. The Hornets had the fourth-worst record this season but will select first; the Bobcats will choose second. Last year, the league's eighth-worst team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, won the lottery and were able to grab top-rated Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. The Cavaliers were in the lottery again this year, as they failed to reach the playoffs despite having Irving. FULL POST
As the NBA ends its regular season Thursday night, one team has a chance to join its owner, Michael Jordan, in the league record books.
The only problem is, while Jordan is at the top of those records, his team could be at the bottom.
If the Charlotte Bobcats lose to the New York Knicks at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday night, they will finish the regular season with the worst winning percentage in league history: .106 on a record of 7 wins, 59 losses. That would be worse than the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished at .110 (9-73). There is a difference in the number games because this NBA season was shortened by a labor dispute between the league and its players.
The Bobcats are also on a 22-game losing streak. With a loss Thursday night, they'll tie the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets and the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies for the second-longest losing streak in NBA history. Only the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers have strung more losses in a row, 26.
When the New Jersey Nets game ended Monday night, Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" blared over the loudspeakers at the Prudential Center in Newark.
When the Nets play their next home game, expect "Brooklyn (Go Hard)" - from Nets co-owner Jay-Z - to be the song of choice.
That's because the NBA team ended their 35-year run in New Jersey on Monday night with a 105-87 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Come fall, the team will become the Brooklyn Nets and play their games in the brand-new Barclays Center in the New York borough.
"Linsanity," the worldwide craze over the exploits of New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin, has flamed out quicker than the lifespan of a firefly.
"R.I.P. Linsanity" read a headline emblazoned on a tombstone pictured on the back page of the New York Post on Friday. "Briefly beloved Broadway smash hit, February 4, 2012, to March 14, 2012," the remaining inscription said.
Lin, a 23-year-old Harvard graduate, burst onto the basketball scene in early February when then-Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni called him off the bench as the Knicks struggled against the New Jersey Nets. Lin responded with 25 points, leading the Knicks to victory. A seven-game winning streak, including a victory over All-Star Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, followed, with Lin coming up with clutch plays to lead the way.
The winning streak lifted the Knicks from also-rans to playoff contenders. Lin jerseys sold out in sporting goods stores. Lin got a special invite to participate in an All-Star weekend game for the league's future stars. International attention spiked, and Lin had to ask that reporters in Taiwan leave his grandmother alone. Even President Obama took notice.
And everywhere were the puns using the Asian-American's last name: Linsational. Linspiration. Linderella. And, of course, Linsanity.
But like a Wall Street stock, it's performance over time that establishes equity, and that's where Lin's value has withered.
The Knicks have lost eight of their past 11 games, and Wednesday, D'Antoni resigned, replaced in the interim by NBA veteran coach Mike Woodson.
Woodson emphasizes defense and ball control on the court, the opposite of the fast-paced style that was favored by D'Antoni and suited to Lin's game, according to New York media reports.
[Updated at 4:13 p.m. ET] Concerns about disturbances among large crowds waiting to buy special-edition Nike shoes tied to this weekendâ€™s NBA All-Star Game prompted stores in several states to cancel the releases, media reports say.
Of particular interest among many would-be shoppers, according to the reports, was the $220 Nike Foamposite One Galaxy, a space-themed, glow-in-the dark shoe that nods to the space legacy of Florida, where this weekendâ€™s game is happening in Orlando.
In Orlando on Thursday night, a Foot Locker House of Hoops store at Florida Mall cancelled a special 11 p.m. opening after police were called to handle a crowd of about 1,200 people,Â CNN affiliates Bay News 9 and WFTV reported.
The crowd outside the mall was moved across the street before the late-night opening. But at one point, people rushed toward the store, which was to sell the Foamposite One and other All-Star-related releases, the affiliates reported.
â€śPeople tried running over the cops. People tried just getting into that line,â€ť witness Youssef Abounouadar told WFTV. â€śEveryone ran to the door, and it started getting really hectic.â€ť
Editor's note: This post is part of theÂ Overheard on CNN.comÂ series, a regular featureÂ that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
Sports anchor Rick Quan wrote a commentary on CNN.com saying he believes the so-called "Linsanity" over New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin isn't just about race, but isn't completely devoid of it either. Our readers had a bit to say about the way race is discussed.
This was the most-liked comment:
cesarchavez:Â "Saying race plays a factor doesn't make one racist. It is simply stating facts. The same publicity Lin is getting because he's succeeding in a sport in which members of his race don't typically succeed is what Tiger Woods experienced with golf. If you have a black hockey player or a white basketball player having Lin-type success he would probably get more publicity than if you had a white hockey player or black basketball player doing the same thing. Race can matter without it being racist. People say all the time that we have our first black president. In that instance, bringing up President Obama's race matters, but one isn't necessarily racist for bringing it up."
That comment received several replies. Quan and readers were referencing a remark by famed boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.Â FULL POST
Poor New Orleans Hornets fans. The NBA team started the season miserably at 4-21, and ticket holders entered the New Orleans Arena on Wednesday night for what was probably going to be a beatdown by the 21-6 Chicago Bulls.
At least the Hornets faithful got some smiles on their faces before the drubbing, thanks to extended-stay visitor and actor/comedian Will Ferrell.
Ferrell, in New Orleans to shoot the movie "Dog Fight," introduced the starting lineups Wednesday night. And as Ferrell told it, Chicago Bulls star Carlos Boozer was not only a 6-foot-9 forward but also someone who "still stays with his mother."
Ferrell took biographic license with all 10 starters, sprinkling their introductions with presumably not-exactly-true nuggets and aspirations, such as Hornets guard Jarrett Jack wanting to become a rodeo clown, Bulls forwardÂ Luol Deng owning a pet dolphin named Chachi, Bulls guard Derrick Rose claiming "The Notebook" as his favorite movie, and Bulls centerÂ Joakim Noah being a horrible dancer.
(Well, he may have gotten that last one right.)
The players seemed to go along with the ribbing by Ferrell, who played an ABA player/team owner in the 2008 movie "Semi-Pro." Hornets center Emeka Okafor looked like he was amused after hearing that at the University of Connecticut, he "majored in econ, but he minored in love."
After the game, which the Bulls won in a 90-67 blowout, Deng claimed he didn't hear his intro. But having learned about it later, he said he felt the Funny or Die co-creator let him off easy.
The NBA players and owners have reached a tentative deal to end the league's months-long lockout and begin play by Christmas Day, but a few hurdles still remain to be cleared.
Both sides need to endorse the tentative agreement, leading to an official collective bargaining agreement and its eventual ratification. Both sides say they expect a resolution to come officially within the week.
"We've reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals. ... We're optimistic that will all come to pass and that the NBA season will begin on December 25 - Christmas Day - a triple-header," NBA Commissioner David Stern said Saturday. He didn't say which teams would play in the holiday games but added that it's expected there will be 66 games this season.
Derek Fisher, president of the National Basketball Players Association, thanked fans for their role during the 149-day lockout.
"Our fans and the support from the people and (their) patience through a large part of this process - that's where a lot of this credit goes to," Fisher said. "The efforts that have been made have been largely with them in mind."
And fans will certainly get their share of makeup games.
It will come in the form of some teams playing back-to-back games to fit their schedules in to the season. At least one pair of back-to-back games will be set for each team, the NBA said in a releaseÂ breakingÂ down the schedule. But no team will play more than three back-to-back-to-back games scheduled for the season, the league said. This frantic pace of quick turnarounds could also occur during the second round of the playoffs, the NBA said. And it could mean that some teams will have to stretch and make the most of their benches.
But whether some like that schedule setup or not, Â having players on the bench ready to jump into the game and onto the courtÂ to play after all these months seems to be all that matters to the teams, players and fans.
LeBron James is taking his talents back to northeastern Ohio - for one night in December.
James -Â who grew up in Akron and left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat before the 2010-2011 NBA season -Â 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.
It appears to be a whine-off between warring clans of out-of-touch rich guys. With the NBA owners and players both opting for bombast over balance in their overtures, itâ€™s difficult to see exactly what happened Monday afternoon.
This much is certain: The NBA offered players a deal and threatened that if they didnâ€™t bite, the deal would get worse. The National Basketball Playerâ€™s Association didnâ€™t vote on the proposal, disclaimed interest in its union (ending collective bargain negotiations) and is threatening to file a class-action antitrust suit against the NBA. The chance of a 2011-2012 season is now slimmer than your likelihood of hitting a full-court sky hook blindfolded.
This much is uncertain: everything.
The players and owners lose a great deal of control in the courts. The range of possibilities is now vast. It could be as simple as a judge ordering both sides back to the bargaining table, or it could result in billions in damages that owners say could bankrupt the league and play out in the courts for years.
Remember, this isnâ€™t a strike, and the players will make the case in court that the league lockout prevented them from playing, i.e. earning a paycheck. They will be represented, in part, by David Boies, an attorney with some lofty antitrust credentials.
Move past NBA Commissioner David Sternâ€™s talk of â€śnuclear winterâ€ť and the playersâ€™ and NBPA ex-executive director Billy Hunterâ€™s chatter about strong-arming and ultimatums, and it appears both sides played hardball a little too well.
The NBA players have rejected the league's latest offer and are beginning the process to disband the union.
The decision likely jeopardizes the season, according to the NBA Players Association.
The â€ścollective bargaining process has completely broken down,â€ť NBA Players Association Executive Director Billy Hunter said.
Hunter added that the players were not willing to accept any "ultimatums" from NBA Commissioner David Stern and felt things were not going to get any better.
"We're prepared to file this antitrust action against the NBA," Hunter said. "That's the best situation where players can get their due process."
Hunter announced that the group was moving to disband the union, which would beÂ converted to a trade association. This move would mean that all of the players would now be represented by legal counsel in a class action suit against the NBA. Hunter said the players will be represented by David Boies, who is known for his work during the NFL and Microsoft anti-trust lawsuits.
According to NBA.com, while the players have decided to disband the union, they are not de-certifying it - a point they say is a major difference.
"The players are filing a disclaimer of interest, an antitrust action against the league within the next two days," the post on NBA.com says. "In basic terms, they are taking the league to court."
The process could mean drawing out an already lengthy bargaining process, and could dash all hopes the NBA had that players would accept their latest offer and start a shortened 72-game season in about a month.
It's a day that shocked the sports world and changed the course of NBA history.Â Nov. 7, 1991, 20 years ago today, NBA superstar Earvin "Magic" Johnson told the world that he contracted the HIVÂ virus and was retiring from basketball.Â At the time, Magic's announcement seemed like a death sentence, especially because people had so many misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. Â In the years following his diagnosis, Johnson has become the face of HIV and an advocate for safe sex.Â Â Today we look back at the day that changed Magic Johnson's career and the way the world viewed HIV.
The NBA is giving the players' association until Wednesday to accept a deal over a new collective bargaining agreement after the two sides met for eight hours over the weekend.
The Saturday meeting was the first in eight days for the NBA and the National Basketball Players' Association after discussions broke off last month.
NBA Commissioner David Stern said the new proposal gives players between 49% and 51% of revenues. But the players' association rejected it.
"I think it's fair to say that, speaking on behalf of the union, (players' association lawyer Jeffrey) Kessler rejected the mediator's recommendations and our proposal," Stern told reporters early Sunday morning. "But hope springs eternal and we would love to see the union accept the proposal which is now on the table."
If the players' association does not change its mind by Wednesday, the NBA will offer up another proposal - one that offers players 47% of basketball revenues.
"We hope that this juxtaposition will cause the union to recess its position and accept the deal," Stern said.FULL STORY