video

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The fascinating thing about the the NBA Finals rematch is that while this is a healthier, stronger version of the Cleveland Cavaliers, it's also a better Golden State Warriors team than we've ever seen before.

Better than when they beat the Cavaliers for the championship last year, better than when they won their record-setting 73rd game in April. They emerged more confident and resilient than ever after overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference finals against an Oklahoma City Thunder team that seemed to be finally maximizing its potential.

Oh, these Warriors are smarter, too.

One piece of evidence of their increased savviness could be found cradled in the arms of Stephen Curry's brother Seth as he walked through the Oracle Arena hallways not long after the Warriors finished off the Thunder in Game 7. Seth Curry held the game ball, entrusted to him for safekeeping after Stephen Curry secured and handed it to their father, Dell. This one will stay in the family, perhaps passed down to Riley one day, unlike the ball from the 2015 NBA Finals.

"He learned his lesson last year," Seth Curry said. "He threw the ball up in the air and Andre got it."


(Read full post)


Phil Jackson and Jeanie BussDominic DiSaia for ESPN"He has a mission, he's on that journey to get the team back to where he believes it can be and it will be. ... no, there's no plans for Phil to come back here," Jeanie Buss, right, said of the possibility of Phil Jackson returning to the Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss says that Phil Jackson, her fiancé and the president of the Knicks, will not be leaving New York to rejoin the Lakers.

"No. To visit, yes ... but in terms of basketball, he's committed to New York for many years," Buss said Monday on ESPN Radio's Beadle and Shelburne Show. "He's building something there. He has a mission, he's on that journey to get the team back to where he believes it can be and it will be. He's a former Knick ... he loves New York, he loves the fans, he wants to make them proud.

"In terms of the Lakers, we have a front office. They're putting together a team ... they have a vision. I'm excited to see what the future holds for us. So, to answer your question ... no, there's no plans for Phil to come back here."

Jackson has three seasons remaining on his five-year deal with the Knicks. Speculation about Jackson's potential return to Los Angeles will likely continue because his contract contains an opt-out clause after the 2016-17 season, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard.


(Read full post)


video

3-time NBA champion Byron Scott tells Rachel Nichols what his most memorable Game 7 experience is.
video

TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan expressed a desire to stay with the Toronto Raptors one day after his team was eliminated from the playoffs.

DeRozan, who will become an unrestricted free agent July 1, has been with the Raptors for his entire career. He was asked specifically if he can find a better situation than Toronto

"I don't think so," DeRozan said Saturday. "My mindset has always been Toronto. I've always preached it. I was passionate about it when we were losing, when we were terrible. I said I was going to stick through this whole thing, and I want to be that guy who brings this organization to where it is now. I definitely don't want to switch that up after we win."

DeRozan, a two-time All-Star who averaged 23.5 points per game during the regular season, has been linked to his hometown Los Angeles Lakers, who could be one of several teams to offer him a maximum contract starting at $25 million annually.

Per collective bargaining rules, the Raptors will be able to offer DeRozan up to five years at around $145 million, whereas other teams will be able to offer him up to four years at around $107 million. Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri will address the media early next week.

"I grew up in L.A. That's my home. There's not a part of L.A. I haven't seen," said DeRozan, who attended Compton High School and USC before being selected No. 9 overall by Toronto in the 2009 NBA draft. "I don't get caught up into it. I let whoever comes up with that say what they want to say.

"The only thing appealing to me is the things I've done in this organization and the things that can be done here. And that's always been my mindset since I've been here."

This is not the first time DeRozan has made his hopes known.


(Read full post)


Every year ESPN attends individual workouts for prospects as they prepare for the NBA draft. 

Last Friday I filed a report from Chicago and New York on Brandon Ingram, Jamal Murray, Thon Maker, Wade Baldwin and others.

This week, I saw Buddy Hield, Kris Dunn, Marquese Chriss, Henry Ellenson, Jakob Poeltl and Tyler Ulis and talked to NBA scouts and GMs.

Here's what I've learned so far.


Buddy Hield, SG, Sr., Oklahoma

LOS ANGELES -- Khloe Kardashian is once again seeking to end her marriage to former NBA player Lamar Odom.

Court records in Los Angeles show Kardashian filed for divorce Thursday, citing irreconcilable differences.

The reality TV star and Odom married in September 2009, and she filed to divorce him in December 2013, which she still lists as their date of separation. The divorce was never finalized, and Kardashian withdrew the petition after Odom was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel last year. She cited Odom's medical condition as one reason to withdraw the divorce.

Odom was hospitalized in critical condition in Las Vegas in October 2015 after he was found unconscious with cocaine and other drugs in his system. After months of recovery, he returned to the public eye in February at a Kanye West fashion show.

The divorce filing states Kardashian and Odom have a prenuptial agreement. They have no children together.

Odom played most of his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers.


(Read full post)


video

Tony Kanaan shares with ESPN's Scoop Jackson why he wears custom Kobe Bryant sneakers when he races.

LOS ANGELES -- Kermit Washington, a former NBA player who notoriously gave a bone-breaking face punch to the Houston Rockets' Rudy Tomjanovich during a 1977 Lakers game, has been arrested by federal agents.

Washington was arrested on a warrant Tuesday in Los Angeles. It's unknown if he has a lawyer.

Officials would not discuss the arrest, but they have set a news conference for Wednesday in Kansas City, Missouri.

That's where football Hall of Famer Ron Mix pleaded guilty Monday to filing false tax returns.

Authorities say Mix, a San Diego-area lawyer, paid someone to refer clients to him in return for donations to the charity Contact Project Africa.

Prosecutors say Mix paid $155,000, but the money went into his associate's pocket.

Washington founded the charity, which is no longer functioning.


(Read full post)


video

Take a look back at some of the signature moves from current and past NBA greats.

Brian ShawHyoung Chang/The Denver Post/Getty ImagesThe last time Brian Shaw was on an NBA bench, he was the head coach of the Nuggets.

Brian Shaw will join the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff as Luke Walton's associate head coach, sources told ESPN.

A former Lakers assistant under Phil Jackson, Shaw previously was the head coach of the Denver Nuggets, but he was fired in the middle of the past season. He compiled a 56-85 record in less than two seasons at the helm.

Like Walton, Shaw is a former Lakers player who moved to the bench following his playing career. Walton played for the Lakers during Shaw's time as an assistant with the franchise, and the team won two titles during that span.

Shaw has also served as an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers.


(Read full post)


video

With Shaq now in the rearview, three all-time NBA greats stand in LeBron's way.

Kobe BryantRuss Isabella/USA TODAY SportsKobe Bryant joked that he has "unfair advantages" in his newfound career running a publishing and production company because he "can pick up the phone" and get advice from Hollywood icons like Steven Spielberg.

BEVERLY HILLS, California -- Kobe Bryant is getting advice from Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams and Jerry Bruckheimer as he redirects his competitive drive from professional basketball to his publishing and production company.

One month after retiring from the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers star has a new daily routine. "I get up early and I train and I work out. Then I go to the office," Bryant said in an interview.

He spends much of his day "kicking around ideas" with his staff of 10 full-time employees at Newport Beach, California-based Kobe Inc. -- and calls up those Hollywood heavyweights for guidance.

"I mean those are like unfair advantages," Bryant said, laughing. "I can pick up the phone and speak to them and ask them questions: `What do you think about the story? What is this missing?' And they'll nitpick every single detail and I love it."


(Read full post)


Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps PorzingisMike Stobe/Getty ImagesTimberwolves forward and NBA Rookie of the Year, Karl-Anthony Towns (32), and Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) were unanimous selections to the NBA's All-Rookie first team.

NEW YORK -- Minnesota Timberwolves forward Karl-Anthony Towns and New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis have been unanimously selected to the NBA All-Rookie first team.

Both players received all 130 first-team votes from a panel of sports writers and broadcasters in the United States and Canada.

Towns was the rookie of the year and led all rookies in scoring (18.3 points per game) and rebounding (10.5 per game). Porzingis was third among rookies in scoring (14.3), second in rebounding (7.3) and first in blocks (1.86). He was the first Knicks rookie to score at least 1,000 points in a season since Mark Jackson in 1987-88.


(Read full post)


Every year ESPN attends individual workouts for prospects as they prepare for the NBA draft.

This week, I saw Brandon Ingram, Jamal Murray and Thon Maker, and talked to NBA scouts and GMs.

Here's what I've learned so far.


Brandon Ingram, F, Fr., Duke


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Thursday's Lakers Links: Shaw may join Walton's staff

May, 19, 2016
May 19
6:58
AM PT
By ESPN.com
ESPNLosAngeles.com

Brian Shaw considering offer to join Luke Walton's Lakers coaching staff: Brian Shaw has been offered a spot on Luke Walton’s Lakers coaching staff, but the former Phil Jackson lieutenant and Denver Nuggets head coach said he is still weighing his next move. -- The Orange County Register

What will Lakers do with No. 2 pick?: The anxiety finally melted away. The Los Angeles Lakers no longer have to worry if they will have to trade their lottery pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. For the second consecutive year, the Lakers both landed at No. 2 and delayed experiencing another consequence of the ill-fated Steve Nash deal. -- Los Angeles Daily News

Metta World Peace to speak at free mental health event in El Monte: Fans will have a chance to meet and hear Metta World Peace speak, and the issues will prove far more important than his stint with the Lakers that included a significant role in winning the 2010 NBA Finals. World Peace plans to speak about mental health issues at an event open to the public for free at El Monte airport on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. -- Los Angeles Daily News

Lakers' draft decision should be easy: Take who's left between Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons: The Lakers probably won't have much to decide in next month's draft. They'll likely take whoever Philadelphia passes up, be it Duke's Brandon Ingram or Louisiana State's Ben Simmons, freshman forwards who couldn't be any more different, causing much more work for Philadelphia with the top pick than the Lakers at No. 2. -- Los Angeles Times

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
17.6 2.8 0.9 28.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Randle 10.2
AssistsM. Huertas 3.4
StealsD. Russell 1.2
BlocksR. Hibbert 1.4