NBA Athletes Offer Support For TNT’s Craig Sager

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Craig Sager, often recognized for his quirky suits and ties, has been a staple on NBA sidelines for 17 years.

Thursday afternoon, Craig Sager, Jr. broke the news on Twitter that his father, long-time NBA on TNT sideline reporter, Craig Sager, would be out for 3-4 weeks while receiving treatment for acute leukemia.

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Players congratulate Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki on reaching amazing milestones

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Nash NowitzkiFor Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, Tuesday turned out to be a pretty special night.

The former teammates each accomplished a major milestone during their respective games against Houston and Utah: Nash moved past Mark Jackson for third all-time with 10,335 career assists behind John Stockton (15,806) and Jason Kidd (12,091), while Nowitzki passed Oscar Robertson for 10th all-time with 26,714 career points .

Nash has maybe one more year left in him, so he will stay behind Kidd in the record books, but Nowitzki still has plenty left in the tank. If he can sustain his current level of play for the next two seasons, he should easily be able to pass Shaquille O’Neal, who is sixth all-time with 28,596 points. If the power forward can play three to four more years, he can conceivably move past Wilt Chamberlain, who is just head of O’Neal with 31,419 points. 

Tweet of the Night: Los Angeles Lakers Scorch The New York Knicks, Twitter Reacts

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Tuesday night’s showdown between the Knicks and Lakers was a bit one-sided.

The New York Knicks, who had been surging towards the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with a recent string of eight straight wins, have (seemingly) fallen flat on their faces.

If their recent fourth-quarter collapse against the hapless (and Kyrie Irving-less) Cleveland Cavaliers wasn’t bad enough, they travelled to Los Angeles for a shellacking at the hands of the short-handed Lakers.

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May: The Future of Four Floundering Flagship Franchises


We are about to witness what may be a first in the long history of the NBA. For the first time, four of the JacksonKnicksleague’s flagship franchises could well be out of the playoffs.

OK, the Knicks aren’t technically out of the race in the Hindenburg Conference, but they have a lot of ground to make up on Atlanta – four games in the loss column with 13 to play. The Celtics, Lakers and 76ers all are making plans for the 2014 draft lottery and the riches it may (or may not) provide.

Twenty years ago, the Celtics, Lakers and Sixers all missed the postseason, but the Pat Riley-coached Knicks made it all the way to the NBA Finals, losing in seven games to the Houston Rockets. That remains the best Knicks’ playoff run since the 1973 championship season (moreso than their surprising appearance in the 1999 Finals, where they were decided underdogs to the Spurs and lost in five.)

But at no time since 1949, when the Lakers entered the NBA in Minneapolis, and the 76ers came in as the Syracuse Nationals, have all four of these marquee teams been on the outside looking in when the playoffs arrived. (The Celtics and Knicks started in 1946.)

SH Blog: Jabari Parker uncertain over pro future; will next Knicks coach have to run the Triangle?

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harvardNot that anybody should care, but my bracket is looking pretty good. Not only did I manage to get through the first round without losing a Final Four team (one year I lost two on the first day), but I haven’t even lost an Elite Eight team yet. Of course, four of them still haven’t played their second game yet, but things are looking pretty good. Not as good as last year, when I called Louisville over Michigan in the final, but good enough. This year, I’ve got Arizona over Iowa State. It’s published now. I have proof.

Anyway, the NCAA Tournament is a lot of fun even if you don’t watch college basketball, because the storylines unfold all at once, and you only really need to pay attention to the teams that are winning. Also, it’s pretty much nonstop basketball for four straight days, and who doesn’t love that?

Here’s your latest news from the NBA and NCAA:


275px-Jabari_ParkerI didn’t shed too many tears when Duke lost to 14-seed Mercer, but this could have major implications on the draft this summer.

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune:

So distraught after the Blue Devils’ one-and-done exit from the NCAA tournament, Parker barely could speak.

The South Side native and four-time Simeon state champion said the 78-71 loss to 14th-seeded Mercer would influence his decision whether to turn pro.

Speaking barely over a whisper, Parker twice summarized his feelings with this word: “Incompletion.”

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said.

A few feet away, teammate Amile Jefferson called Parker “a great kid, an amazing person. It was an honor to play with him this year. … (Mercer) did a good job of packing it in on him. He didn’t really see any daylight.”

Parker finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, four turnovers and zero assists. He shot 4-for-14, failed to draw iron on two off-balance shots close to the rim, committed an obvious goaltend and declined to close out on Jakob Gollon’s 3-pointer late in the first half.

This was the first NCAA tournament game for Parker and Duke’s second-best player, Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood, and it showed. They combined to shoot 6-for-24.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski made it sound like both would depart for the NBA. Everyone, it seems, expects Parker to enter the draft and get picked in the top three.

“I’ve loved coaching them and I feel bad for them,” Krzyzewski said. “We all have to live with that (result).”


photo (3)Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News looks at some of the candidates for Phil Jackson’s first hire as coach of the Knicks, and whether or not they run the Zen Master’s famed Triangle offense.

At his welcome-back presser this past week, Jackson did what he had to do and supported Mike Woodson. But Woodson isn’t part of his clique and Jackson is almost guaranteed to have one of his closest allies take over the coaching duties.

Will that person be required to use the Triangle? Jackson said no at his presser — something he has also told associates, privately — but he will demand that his coach installs some kind of offensive system.

We all know what kind of success Jackson had with the Triangle when he coached Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. But it didn’t work for Rambis during his two seasons as head coach in Minnesota; or for another member of Jackson’s circle, Jim Cleamons, when he was coach for 98 games in Dallas; or for Quinn Buckner, when he coached the Mavs for one season, in 1993-94.

Shaw hasn’t used the Triangle in his first season in Denver, but not because the aforementioned coaches all had dismal records employing system. He has told former colleagues with the Indiana Pacers, where he was No. 2 to Frank Vogel, that he would be running it now if the Nuggets had the right personnel.


joel embiidOne of tomorrow’s big NCAA matchups pits 2-seed Kansas vs. 10-seed Stanford, who looked great in their first game. Kansas could boast the top two picks in the NBA’s draft, with Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, but they’ll be without Embiid tomorrow.

Jeff Goodman of

Jayhawks coach Bill Self told on Saturday that Embiid, who is nursing a back injury, has been ruled out of Sunday’s third-round contest against the Cardinal. Embiid sat out the final two regular-season games and Self had maintained it was a “long shot” that he would be able to play in the team’s second game this weekend.

Self also told that Embiid remains questionable for a Sweet 16 matchup, should Kansas get past Stanford. The second-seeded Jayhawks knocked off Eastern Kentucky on Friday night.

The Cameroon native averaged 11.2 points and 8.1 rebounds this season, but suffered a back injury in Big 12 play that he aggravated toward the end of the regular season.


nashDane Carbaugh of SBNation:

Steve Nash took the NBA by surprise on Friday night, not just by returning to action for the Los Angeles Lakers, but by returning to action as the old Steve Nash. No, not that one. The other old Steve Nash. In just 19 minutes off the bench, the former Suns and Mavericks point guard dropped 11 assists, adding five points on 2-of-4 shooting with four rebounds and three steals.

Nash went through non-contact practice on Thursday and joined the Lakers for shootaround before the game on Friday. Coach Mike D’Antoni had previously ruled him out for the rest of the season back on Mar. 13. His career has been in question since ongoing nerve issues in his leg forced him out of action in February, with Nash himself saying that if he isn’t playing for the Lakers next season that he would retire.


Dan Malone is in his fourth year as a journalism student at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and spent last summer as a features intern at the Cape Cod Times. He blogs, edits and learns things on the fly for Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on Twitter.