July 22, 2016
It was the start of the 2016 ESPY Awards and there were four superstars onstage - LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul - standing extra tall as they spoke out against police brutality and called on their fellow athletes to do the same. It was a powerful moment. All those multi-millionaire athletes. Each his own mega-brand. Standing up for something besides just getting richer and winning NBA championships. My favorite part was when James, dressed in a classic black tuxedo, gazed into a camera and said, "It's time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, 'what are we doing to bring about change?
June 27, 2016 |
The biggest season of Ben Simmons' career, to date, was doomed from the start. He had left Montverde Academy, where he was the beloved Australian import who led the Florida school to three national titles and a 62-1 record during his three seasons. His next stop was Louisiana State University to join his godfather, David Patrick, a Tigers assistant coach at the time. However, Simmons' one year at LSU was far from enjoyable. The 6-foot-10, 243-pounder was criticized for everything, from not having a good jump shot to not shooting enough three-pointers to not leading a selfish and injured LSU squad to the NCAA tournament.
June 24, 2016 |
NEW YORK - Ben Simmons was five minutes early. Usually, the imminent millionaires who gather for a mass press conference the day before the NBA draft stroll in right on time, if not a few ticks tardy. They're mostly teenagers, after all. Ben Simmons isn't a typical teenager. He was so early the NBA asked him to leave and come back later. He hovered outside the ballroom door, out of sight but unwilling to retreat. Sure enough, the league relented. The session started early.
June 21, 2016 |
Watching a video clip of Ben Simmons will reveal most of the traits that the 76ers want in a power forward. You'll see strength. You'll see athleticism. You'll see great passing. But you won't see the great shooting range the Sixers also covet. But in all fairness, the 6-foot-10, 260-pound former LSU post player only attempted three three-pointers (hitting one) this past season. "He has all the tools," said Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who serves as Simmons' mentor.
June 3, 2016
ED BARKOWITZ It's fun to imagine what Dr. James Naismith would think of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. It'd probably be something along the lines of a caveman trying to figure out an iPhone. As dazzling as the "Splash Brothers" are, this is LeBron James' moment. There are no excuses. The Cavaliers had plenty of rest breezing through the NBA's JV conference while Golden State was pushed to seven games in a wonderful West Finals. James will have help this year from Kevin Love and, more importantly, Kyrie Irving.
June 3, 2016 |
SCHEDULE All games on ABC GOLDEN STATE vs. CLEVELAND 1: Thursday, June 2 @Golden State. . . 9:00 2: Sunday, June 5 @Golden State. . . 8:00 3: Weds., June 8 @Cleveland. . . 9:00 4: Friday, June 10 @Cleveland. . . 9:00 *5: Monday, June 13 @Golden State. . . 9:00 *6: Thursday, June 16 @Cleveland. . . 9:00 *7: Sunday, June 19 @Golden State. . . 8:00 *If Necessary. HISTORY Cleveland: Has never won the NBA title. It's only other appearances in the Finals were last year and in 2007.
May 14, 2016 |
Over salads at a City Avenue chain restaurant back in the fall of 2013, Sam Hinkie revealed his naivete about Philadelphia's sports culture that came to doom him here. He had been the 76ers' president and general manager for just eight months at the time, still early enough in his tenure that he was willing to speak publicly for the sake of persuading everyone that his rebuilding plan could work. So the obvious question was put to him: You're going to tank more than one season in a town that doesn't abide anything less than maximum effort from its teams and players.
April 11, 2016 |
Yes, he was blessed with blue-ribbon bloodlines. And yes, he was born a child of privilege, wanting for nothing. And yes, his DNA flows hot and heavy. But this is the difference, this is what set him apart: He hasn't squandered his gifts, he hasn't been content to skate his way through life, not content to being pretty good, and not just the star. Kobe Bryant leaves the stage now and he leaves, it says here, as one of the four best basketball players ever. Ever.
March 20, 2016 |
This was an August 2014 afternoon inside the Competitive Edge Sports Complex, a training center set amid the sprawling suburbia of King of Prussia, 20 miles west of the Southwest Center City neighborhood that made Dion Waiters the person and basketball player he had since become. In truth, though, the complex was a world away from those streets. Waiters had just finished a lengthy workout there, hours of jump-shooting drills and pickup games, and it had left him sopping with sweat, with so much still possible for him, with seemingly so much left for him to lose.
January 12, 2016 |
King James came calling at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, and a great many of his loyal subjects followed. The often half-empty Wells Fargo Center was awfully full for LeBron James' evening visit. Hundreds of No. 23 Cavaliers jerseys far outnumbered any of the home team's jerseys in the stands. The attendance was listed as 19,226. "It's just a mutual respect," James said of Philly fans after the Cavs beat the 76ers, 95-85, in a game in which he finished with 37 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds.