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Matt Barnes checks ‘tough’ guy Derek Fisher on Instagram


Derek Fisher pulled Matt Barnes’ ex and the Kings guard/forward is continuing to pull the former NBA player and coach’s card.

Their beef centers around Gloria Govan, Barnes’ now ex-wife and Fisher’s current girlfriend. Back in October 2015, the former Lakers teammates had some sort of an altercation after Barnes’, reportedly responding to a text message from one of his children, showed up at Govan’s home.

Barnes started 2016 with an expletive-laden Instagram rant, recapping the drama of his love life, which according to him, also included a brief stint dating pop star Rihanna.

Needless to say there’s no love lost between him and Fisher. So, when Barnes got wind of a remark Fisher made about him in a Bleacher Report feature, he had to clap back.

“I just want to win, man,” James said. “That’s all that matters to me. I got no personal problems with nobody.”

Of course, Chalmers played alongside James in Miami while hoisting championship banners.

Though Chalmers has not played since suffering an Achilles injury last March, James thinks he’d be a good addition if healthy.

Coach Tyronn Lue would not let anything slip when asked about the status of the players earning a tryout.

“It went well,” Lue said regarding the minicamp. “I’m not going to talk about that. A step in the process as we’re trying to get better. I’m not going to speak about that, but I was at the workout today and that’s all I’m going to speak about.”

It seems unlikely any of these players are going to be the difference in helping the Cavs get past the Warriors should they meet in the Finals.

Kyrie Irving outduels D’Angelo Russell as Cavaliers survive Lakers


The Cavaliers overcame an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit and a career-high 40 points from D’Angelo Russell to prevail 125-120 over the Lakers on Sunday night in Los Angeles.

Russell dazzled, shooting 14 of 22 from the floor (7 of 12 from 3-point range) and adding six assists, but Irving shined brighter in a classic battle of point guards.
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Kids Kevin Shattenkirk Jersey Irving dropped a season-high 47 points on 15 of 21 shooting (6 of 10 from deep), and his 25-foot 3-pointer with just over four minutes left in the game gave the Cavs their first lead of the fourth quarter.

Irving, of course, had more help than Russell did, as his two star teammates contributed excellent performances of their own. LeBron James had 34 points, seven assists and six rebounds; Kevin Love, in his second game since a 13-game absence with a knee injury, had 21 points and 15 rebounds.

More importantly, he’s grown as a playmaker for the offense as a whole. The Warriors have an offensive rating of 113.2, which is higher than last season. They also currently have a 12.1 net rating, which is the highest in the NBA’s database, which goes back to 1996-97.

Curry said it’s unfair to compare some of his numbers from a year ago because he’s doing different things.

With the roster that we have and adding a guy like KD, there’s obviously going to be more of a balanced attack, Curry told Bleacher Report. It’s pretty clear how that’s kind of evolved over the course of the season. My job as the point guard of this team is to balance all the talent that we have, plus at the same time staying aggressive with my own game.

Since March 1st, the Warriors are -2 with Steph off the floor, +16.2 with him on and they have a 100.1 defensive rating.

Wiggins’ improvement has been marked by fits and starts


Lowry has not been definitive in discussing his impending free agency—at the All-Star game, he would only say that staying in Toronto, would be an option. The wrist injury that will keep him out for the rest of the regular season is a tough blow, especially because the Raptors’ future prospects will be part of Lowry’s free-agent decision. If the team stumbles in the early portion of the postseason, Lowry would be more willing to sacrifice the financial advantage the Raptors can offer to explore the market. Lowry was very interested in signing with the Lakers in 2014, but was scared off by the lack of a direction in L.A. That’s changed, and even with D’Angelo Russell in place, Lowry is expected to be a Laker target. Lowry’s hometown Sixers, badly in need of a point guard, figure to be in the mix, too. An outside contender: the Nuggets, who are expected to be aggressive in free agency this summer.

Elite Womens Justin March-Lillard Jersey But he was frustrated from the opening of training camp by the Timberwolves’ lack of defensive discipline. It’s a young team, one that underwent the difficult early passing of Flip Saunders two years ago and the subsequent hiring of short-timer Sam Mitchell last year. Thibodeau’s defensive system is complex, and the Wolves just did not have the veterans or the overall basketball IQ to implement it.

Will Tye Kids Jersey The only significant additions the Timberwolves made this offseason were rookie point guard Kris Dunn and the hiring of Thibodeau himself. There was expected to be improvement from a trio of youngsters, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins. While Towns took a big leap forward, Wiggins’ improvement has been marked by fits and starts, and LaVine’s ACL injury last month halted his progress.

Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez ejected after exchanging punches


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The Raptors and Bulls came to blows when a shoving match broke out during their game Tuesday, resulting in a pair of ejections and multiple technicals as officials attempted to sort through the fracas.

Oakley’s inevitably high-profile visit to his hometown comes just over two weeks after he was arrested at the Garden and subsequently banned from the building by Dolan who owns the team and the arena.

Carson Wentz Authentic Jersey That measure only lasted a few days in the face of withering public criticism, including blowback from a number of current NBA players. One of them was LeBron James, who said he called Oakley after the incident to lend his support.

Oakley wouldn’t tell the Daily News whether he would be in Cleveland as a guest of James, but it would hardly be a surprise to see the Knicks legend 鈥?who was born and raised in Cleveland 鈥?in high-visibility seats Thursday night.

I’m sure ESPN had to do a lot of fast talking with national advertisers who bought commercial time during both Saturday telecasts.

At a time when sports TV ratings are falling nearly across the board, ESPN and TNT want to attract TV viewers to their Saturday and Thursday night NBA showcases, not make them so angry they throw things at the TV screen.

In the middle of March, you said, I don’t know what to expect from this team anymore. We’re in a bad place right now. How do you get back to a good place as a team and playing at that level as the regular season winds down?

What I said was sort of in response to a pretty direct question about expectation going into that specific game against Denver where we had gotten in at 4 a.m. and Blake and DJ (DeAndre Jordan) had stayed behind.

Ice Cube recruiting Dirk Nowitzki for BIG3


Ice Cube, founder of the BIG3 basketball league, sees Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki as a future legend in his organization.

“We hope one day to have Dirk (Nowitzki) in our league if he still wants to hoop out when he finishes (with) the Mavericks,” Ice Cube told SportsDay Dallas.

Nowitzki just signed a two-year deal with Dallas, so Ice Cube is doing a little forward thinking.

BIG3 is a 10-week league in which teams play once a week. Games feature a 14-second shot clock and a unique bonus from really long range.

“I think from the 4-point shot he would be deadly,” Ice Cube added. “No one can stop him when he wants to just shoot it. He can come out and be a specialist. He doesn’t have to get in the paint. He can come out and just gun it from the 4. I think he’d be great.”

Great idea.

Antetokounmpo is unquestionably a star. This season, he has shown that the legends that cropped up about him ahead of the draft were not hyperbole. But he will need work to join the ranks of the league’s elite. And he’s well aware of that.

“I just have to keep pushing myself,” Antetokounmpo said. “I am still trying to learn and mature and take in everything that is going on. But I have to do hard work, I have to be here every day. Work hard, let my teammates help me, let the Bucks help me, let the coaches help me.”

Bucks general manager John Hammond went to Greece early in the spring of 2013, taking along with him assistant Jeff Weltman (now with the Raptors). He’d like to be able to kick back and say he saw from the beginning that Antetokounmpo was destined for greatness, that there was some moment when it all became crystal clear. But instead, when asked if he suspected Antetokounmpo would become what he is now, he’s honest.

Bryce Harper, Mike Trout each homer in first at-bat of rare meeting


While trade winds were blowing on the East Coast Tuesday, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout were attempting to one-up each other in a rare meeting of the faces of baseball.

With three MVPs, a pair of Rookie of the Year awards, and 11 All-Star appearances combined between the two before turning 26, Harper and Trout didn’t disappoint fans, who came to Angel Stadium to see the two play in their first interleague meeting since 2014.

After seeing Harper smack a solo homer over his head in the top of the first inning, Trout evened the score with a homer a half-inning later.

Mens Melvin Ingram Jersey Harper and Trout have only met for a series once prior, in April 2014. Trout went 5 for 14 while Harper struggled to a 1-for-11 showing in a three-game set in Washington. Harper appears ready to show up Trout at Angel Stadium, recording four straight hits to begin the two-game series.

Authentic Mens Jed Collins Jersey This is a number that simply isn’t acceptable for Rob Manfred and his seemingly never-ending quest to improve the pace of play. If the long games continue and the average time stays at 185 minutes (or higher), expect an avalanche of new rules to come crashing down this winter. A pitch clock seems like the most obvious choice, but don’t be surprised if things like limiting the number of mound visits the pitching coach/manager/catcher can make per game, cutting down the number of warm up pitches a reliever can throw when entering the game, and finding a way to speed up replay make their way to the bargaining table, too.

Are the balls juiced? Who knows, but the record number of homers teams are hitting this year certainly won’t quell any conspiracy theories. After the first half, MLB teams are on pace to hit a mind-boggling 6,127 home runs this year, a number which would shatter the previous record of 5,693 set in 2000.

the Yankees designated him for assignment twice this season.


This is a large steal for the Thunder, who continue to clean up despite limited resources this offseason. Last season, the power forward position was a hole for the Thunder. Rookie Domantas Sabonis — now with Indiana — didn’t quite get the job done, forcing a mid-season trade for Taj Gibson. Gibson was solid, but took time to acclimate and is now a member of the Timberwolves, as seen below.

Analysis (Rivera): If you’re reading this, chances are the Nationals’ bullpen is blowing another lead. So, good for them for wanting to reinforce a shoddy, terrible, downright bad bullpen, even though everyone knew this has been an issue dating to last season.

Analysis (Rivera): The Chris Carter experiment was an utter failure; the Yankees designated him for assignment twice this season. Cashman said in his interview with YES that Greg Bird is set to visit a doctor Monday and the team will know more about his status for the remainder of season after that. Still, Cashman said the team is a buyer heading into the trade deadline and is focusing on reinforcing first base and the pitching staff.

But another offer may not be required here. History suggests that the Mavericks, unlike the Bulls, will not force Noel to get another offer, but will instead negotiate a deal with Noel, probably landing in the four-year, $85 million range.
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Tucker’s rise atop his field is among the most unexpected in NFL history. Besides failing to get drafted in 2012 out of the University of Texas, Tucker wasn’t even immediately signed as a free agent until he joined the Ravens a full month after the selection process was completed.
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But it didn’t take long for Tucker to show he was more than the proverbial camp leg added simply to give the starting kicker extra preseason rest. Tucker bested incumbent Billy Cundiff for the job and quickly proved he could handle the pressure that comes with the position at the NFL level by hitting the game-winning field goal in Week 3 against New England with two seconds remaining.

Bryce Harper and Dak Prescott a budding bromance?


The rivalry between the Cowboys and Redskins goes way, way back. All the way back into the 1960s. But one man in Washington does not hold grudges or hate everything about the Cowboys, and he might be the best man in Washington right now.

In fact, he’s a huge Cowboys fan.

Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper took the time during the All-Star game Tuesday night to give a glowing review of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott while he was mic’d up in right field.

And believe us, he spared no compliment in this exchange with fellow Prescott lover, Fox Sports’ Joe Buck, who calls plenty of Cowboys games.
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I called Chris and was like, Chris, what’s going on? Austin Rivers told USA Today. Chris is like, This is the biggest bulls鈥?I’ve ever seen in my life.’ Chris was just like, This is a joke.’ So I asked him, I’m like, You don’t need to come out and say nothing publicly, I don’t need you to do that. It’s just going to make it even more, now they’re going to drag it out two more days. I’ll take it. I don’t care. I’ve been dealing with this (dynamic) since I was six (years old). I really don’t even care.’

Authentic Kids David Backes Jersey Austin Rivers said that during their 40-minute conversation, Paul stressed he chose Houston because of the upside of playing with James Harden.

What do I have to do with someone else’s move? Austin Rivers asked rhetorically. Chris wanted to move because he’d been (with the Clippers) for a while. He’s had great years there, but he wanted something new. A lot of players want that. It’s really that simple.

He’s got all the tools to be a perennial All-Star in this league


It works. The Heat were one of only three teams to win at least 29 games in the second half of the season. Oh, the other two squads? The class of the Western Conference, the Warriors and Spurs. Both of those teams are expected to have deep playoff runs. The Heat will be looking ahead to next season now, but the future is bright with Whiteside at the helm.

“He’s got all the tools to be a perennial All-Star in this league,” longtime Heat forward Udonis Haslem told Sporting News. “The boy is special, he just has to stay focused and it will be all good.”

Considering that Haslem has played with the likes of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, we should take him at his word. Whiteside will have several opportunities to prove the veteran right over the next few years — and there will probably be a few jokes along the way.

Sixth man Lou Williams has been especially important in the playoffs this year, being more careful with his shot selection, and converting more as a result. His average shot was from 12.5 feet in the first round, down from 15.6 with the Rockets this season. Williams averaged 18.8 points in 28.4 minutes, taking nearly 50 percent of his shots from within 10 feet, according to Basketball-Reference, up from 35 percent during the season (he is making about 52 percent of them). Williams was a poor 3-point shooter in 23 games for the Rockets this season (31.8 percent) and a poor shooter in general (38.6 percent), but in his five playoff games, he has made 40.9 percent of his 3s and 47.8 percent overall.

The Rockets have the offensive firepower to put pressure on the middle of the Spurs’ defense and the perimeter shooting to rack up points quickly. But Houston does not have the size or defensive versatility to shut down the Spurs, and while the Harden-Leonard matchup will be key, the Rockets do not have an answer for Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge. These will be tight games, but it is looking like Spurs in 6 from here.

Celtics expect Isaiah Thomas to play in Game 2 vs. Bulls


Isaiah Thomas participated in the Celtics’ afternoon shootaround Monday and coach Brad Stevens says he expects the All-Star guard to play Tuesday against the Bulls in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoff series, ESPN reported.

Thomas, whose sister Chyna, 22, died in a one-car accident near Seattle over the weekend, is expected to join his family in Washington after Game 2 in Boston.

His plan, as of right now, and, again, subject to him changing if he wants, is that he’ll be here [Tuesday] night and then will go to Tacoma after, Stevens said. So either after the game [Tuesday] night or Wednesday morning.
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According to ESPN, Thomas was seen talking with Stevens on the practice court after the team’s afternoon video session.

Game 3 in the series isn’t until 7 p.m. ET Friday in Chicago.

Teammate and fellow Tacoma native Avery Bradley has tried to support Thomas, who scored 33 points in a Game 1 loss before which he was openly emotional about his sister.

Tom Jackson Game Jersey I think y’all misunderstood what I was saying, said Westbrook while holding a basketball. Y’all don’t understand the importance of what I was saying. I think y’all think it’s a joke or some s-.

I knew that you don’t need to [bench-press] to lift a basketball up. And I knew that this wasn’t football, where that stuff matters, Durant told ESPN. I knew as a basketball player I had a lot of skill, more skill than anybody in the draft. And I knew that if I worked as hard as I could, then that s鈥?wouldn’t matter at the end of the day. It still doesn’t matter. I was ranked the last person in camp, drills-wise. I was the worst player, and the first player didn’t get drafted. That tells you a lot about the significance of that s鈥?