World Cup Day 2: Team USA looks awful in first half of win over Turkey

Davis

You probably know by now that Kevin Durant isn’t playing for Team USA. They could have used him Sunday, when his absence exposed virtually all of the warts of this American squad. On the same day ESPN reported that Nike will match Under Armour’s offer of nearly $300 million to Durant, Team USA showed how much it really missed its true alpha dog in an unconvincing 98-77 win over Turkey, which gave every medal contender a blueprint for beating the Americans. In a

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Three-Man Weave: Burning Questions for Team USA

Derrick Rose

The 2014 Basketball World Cup is finally here. And you need to take it seriously, because everyone else does. Thanks to NBC and the other fall-in-line media outlets, most Americans believe the Olympics is the premier international basketball event. Globally, nothing could be further from the truth. With 24 teams and no automatic bid for the host, the World Cup is twice the size of the Olympics. It doesn’t share the spotlight with track or swimming. And most of the players will

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NBA Referee Dick Bavetta Calls It Quits

bavetta kobe

Dick Bavetta’s first game as an NBA referee was a Celtics-Knicks game at Madison Square Garden was Dec. 2, 1975. The first game I covered as a writer with Dick Bavetta as an NBA referee also was a Celtics-Knicks game, almost 14 years later. The once-mighty Celtics were fighting to make the playoffs. Larry Bird had missed most of the season with a back injury. His replacement was Kevin Gamble, a second-year player already on his second team. Early on, there was

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ABC Rolls Ratings Dice With Durant, Small-Market Thunder

Thunder jersey sleeves

Kevin Durant and the small-market Oklahoma City Thunder are the darlings of ABC, according to the NBA national TV schedule. Durant and the Thunder will appear on ABC six times this season, more than any other team. The games are against six different opponents, with three at home and three on the road. Among the NBA’s multiple TV partners, ABC is the only network available in every American home with a TV. It is the home of the NBA Finals but not the

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Bernucca: Contract Extension Scoreboard for 2011 Draft Class

Kawhi Leonard

There are about a dozen players from the 2011 NBA draft whom you could argue deserve contract extensions. But thus far, only one has been extended – Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, the guy at the head of the class. Does that mean teams are holding out? Not necessarily. A year ago at this time, it was the same story for the 2010 draft class. Only top pick John Wall had gotten an extension. And even in a truly bad

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Clippers Sale Goes Through; New Owner Ballmer is “Hardcore”

Ballmer_LAC

The record $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers was completed Tuesday, with new owner Steve Ballmer saying he will be “hardcore.” The NBA announced the completion of the sale following disgraced former owner Donald Sterling’s failed attempt in a California court to block the the authority of his estranged wife Shelly Sterling to sell the team on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust.   Sterling still has legal recourse, and given his history will probably use it. However, he cannot reclaim the

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Report: Cavs, Wolves Reach Agreement on Kevin Love Trade

wiggins-love

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement in principle that would send All-Star forward Kevin Love to the Cavs, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports. According to the report, the Timberwolves receive Andrew Wiggins, the top pick in this year’s draft; Anthony Bennett, the top pick in last year’s draft who struggled as a rookie; and a 2015 protected first-round pick. Love joins LeBron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, forming arguably the best trio in the NBA

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Durant Heads 2016 Free Agency Class That Will Be Best Ever

durantUSAB

In an interview in April 2013, Kevin Durant told Sports Illustrated he was tired of finishing second. Durant was the second player taken in the 2007 draft. He lost in the NBA Finals in 2012. He finished second in MVP voting four times. This past season, Durant took a huge step forward when he won his first MVP award, finally emerging from the shadow cast by LeBron James. But if he doesn’t win an NBA championship in the next two years with

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