Bella Howard
11mPablo S. Torre

From The Mag: The man behind James Harden's beard

James Harden's brand? Deeply off-kilter. His on-court game? Ugly and aggressively weird. And in no way is any of that an accident.

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#NBArank: Closing in on the league's top 50

Which players just missed out on the top 50? Follow along, as #NBArank counts down players Nos. 51-60. Who joined Tony Parker and Kyle Korver on today's list?

Spurs not worries about Aldridge's slow start (2:27)
Working out with Anthony Davis (1:05)
Jemele Hill: Sefolosha's outcome just, but not satisfying (1:00)
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4dPeter Keating

Keating: Buying a sports team? Stay away from the NFL

In ESPN The Magazine's Owners Issue, Peter Keating writes that, while NFL might still rule all, if you were to buy into a league today based on growth potential, the NBA is the game to join.


Rose's status for opener in doubt

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Derrick Rose "most likely" will not play in the preseason and his status for the team's season opener is in doubt. Rose had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone on Sept. 30.

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Frank Kaminsky. Dancing. In China.

The Hornets rookie used every trick in his arsenal to impress the crowd in Shanghai with his dance moves.


Michael C. Wright ESPN Staff Writer 

Boris Diaw will be out for Spurs-Hawks game on Wednesday. He's missed the first two preseason outings as well. Team's official reasoning for Diaw missing is rest and rehabilitation.

The importance of the assist

Kirk Goldsberry writes for Grantland: "[S]hots that immediately follow passes are much more likely to go in the hoop than their unassisted counterparts. The best kinds of shots result from teamwork, and the worst kinds are a result of selfishness." The next shooting revolution

AP Photo/David Goldman

Chris Forsberg ESPN Staff Writer 

Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (illness) is not expected to accompany the team to New York on Tuesday night and will sit out Wednesday’s exhibition game versus the Brooklyn Nets. “He’s got what everybody else had plus fever and everything else,” said Stevens, whose roster has battled illness throughout training camp. “We’ve gone through that a little bit with our roster and hopefully we’re nearing the end of it.”

Curry 'apologizes' for Warriors' title

Stephen Curry said of critics who've implied the Warriors needed luck to win their title last season: "I apologize for us being healthy, I apologize for us playing who was in front of us. I apologize for all the accolades we received as a team and individually. I'm very, truly sorry, and we'll rectify that situation this year."

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LA Clippers @laclippers

Paul Pierce hears it from the fans in Shanghai for his birthday! #ClippersInChina #NBAGlobalGames

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell

Hoiberg still isn't sure Rose will be ready for opener, but admits that it's 'most likely' Rose won't play in preseason.

Spurs are best across sports

The Spurs have never won back-to-back NBA titles, but for the second consecutive year they top ESPN The Magazine's Ultimate Standings, which ranks every franchise in the four major North American professional sports. No. 1 to 122 ranked

ESPN.com Illustration

Spurs rank No. 1 in Ultimate Standings

Said ESPN the Mag's Peter Keating: "They win on the court with a group of hardworking likeable players. Off the court they’re just relentless about being in the community."


For J.R. Smith, game time = cotton candy time

The guard sat out for his 2nd straight preseason game because of a sore hamstring but didn't stay out of the spotlight. Smith flagged down a cotton candy vendor and, unbeknownst to his coach, obtained the snack and munched on it during the game. May have gifted treat

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James Harden: More than a beard

You want to go from obscure to unforgettable? Grow the most famous beard in sports history. When Rockets star goes out, "it's just, like, There's The Beard! There's that guy with The Beard! Mom, Dad, there's The Beard!" The Harden brand

Bella Howard

NBA is doubling down on love of the 3

Kings center DeMarcus Cousins shot just eight 3-pointers all of last season. But he's attempted 10 already this preseason, part of the league's obsession with the shot beyond the arc -- an obsession that's growing beyond record levels. More 3s than ever (Insider)

Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images

Another long season ahead for the Lakers

RPM projects the Lakers to finish 14th in the West with 27 wins, which Amin Elhassan thinks is right on: "It's tough to get wins in the Western Conference ... if it's anything more than 27, I'd be shocked."


Shaq on current state of the Lakers

"When you mean 'turn it around,' do you mean a championship? Because that's done. That's not happening unless they make a miraculous trade and get four new people. Who do they have on the Lakers? I'm not sure. I'm not joking. Do they even have anyone to trade that somebody would want?" Lakers' new reality