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On this date 24 years ago, three months after testing positive for HIV, Magic Johnson returned for the NBA All-Star Game -- and won MVP. [Credit: Jon Soohoo/NBAE]

All-Time #NBArank: Larry Bird at No. 6

Larry Legend finished his NBA career with three MVP awards, three titles and 12 All-Star Game selections.

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Calvin Watkins ESPN Staff Writer 

The Rockets visit the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night with a two-game losing streak. Rockets interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff was asked was his team in a better place. "I think we're in a better place," he said Tuesday. "I think after the past two performances against Phoenix and against Portland I think our guys are a little pissed off deservedly so. We got to come out and we got to play that way."

Breen: 'Obvious disconnect' for Knicks

Mike Breen said on Russillo & Kanell of the Knicks firing Derek Fisher: "[Phil Jackson] pretty much said he tried to talk to Derek and give him some suggestions, and Derek didn't follow through."

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Magic chooses Kobe over Duncan

Sorry, Kareem, but Magic Johnson disagrees with your opinion.

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Stein: Scrutiny on Kings will increase

Marc Stein says the Kings' non-move with head coach George Karl raises as many questions as it answers.

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Sources: Hawks may break up core

A year after winning 60 games, the Hawks find themselves in the middle of the pack in the East, and are having serious internal discussions about the future direction of the team and their All-Star core of players, sources tell ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz and Brian Windhorst. Story

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30 for 30 Shorts: Friedmans Shoes

Before the Internet, what did you do if you were a six-foot-something athlete in need of some really big (think size 22), really expensive shoes? You did whatever you could to get to Atlanta and see the guys at Friedman's.

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Mike Mazzeo ESPN Staff Writer 

With the Nets in the process of interviewing candidates for GM, add San Antonio executive Sean Marks to the list, sources confirmed. The list also includes Bryan Colangelo, Arturas Karnisovas, Danny Ferry, Gersson Rosas and Frank Zanin.

Kings change mind, will keep Karl as coach

Sacramento will not fire head coach George Karl after a lengthy meeting between Karl and GM Vlade Divac, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. "George is our coach and we're collectively working through our issues," Divac said in a statement. There were reports Karl was set to be fired after the Kings lost eight of their last nine games. Story

Mike Mazzeo ESPN Staff Writer 

The Nets held their final practice in East Rutherford, NJ today. They will move into a $50 million training facility in Brooklyn starting Feb. 17.

All-Time #NBArank: Bill Russell at No. 7

Eleven championships. Of course, Russell has a spot in the top 10 on our all-time countdown. No. 7

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Tom Haberstroh @tomhaberstroh

Ugh. Butler played 47 mins on 2nd night of B2B. Missed next gm w/bad left knee. Then played at DEN and was carted off the floor. Sad stuff.

Best sports photos of the week

Von Miller strips the ball from Cam, President Obama cracks jokes and the Fighting Irish take down the Tar Heels. Photos

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Would Magic's Lakers beat the Warriors?

David Thorpe and Henry Abbott disagree that Magic Johnson's hypothetical Lakers revival strategy would slay the Warriors.

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Jimmy Butler (knee) out 3-4 weeks

The Bulls swingman will miss the All-Star Game with a strained left knee he suffered in last Friday's game. Butler is averaging 22.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season.

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Magic Johnson's top five greatest Lakers

The Lakers legend joins SportsCenter and names the greatest players to don the purple and gold. Cari Champion puts Johnson at No. 1 -- but did he name himself?

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Who has it worse: Knicks or Kings?

Would you rather have Kristaps Porzingis or DeMarcus Cousins as a big man for the future? What about Phil Jackson or Vlade Divac leading basketball operations? Our basketball experts were pretty stumped, too. (Insider)

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Marc Stein ESPN Senior Writer 

In a statement to ESPN, Kings GM Vlade Divac said: "George is our coach and we're collectively working through our issues."

Marc Stein ESPN Senior Writer 

The Kings scrapped plans to fire George Karl after lengthy meeting Tuesday in Philly between Karl and GM Vlade Divac, sources told ESPN

Marc Stein ESPN Senior Writer 

ESPN sources say that the Sacramento Kings, in a dramatic about-face, have decided to keep George Karl in place as coach .

All-Time #NBArank: Tim Duncan at No. 8

The Big Fundamental cracks the top 10 as the countdown rolls on. No. 8

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Can Phil still save the Knicks?

Jemele Hill doesn't think Knicks president Phil Jackson can steer the team in the right direction. Michael Smith is more optimistic.

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