Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki confirms he’ll be back for 20th season

The Lakers have always had a superstar, Johnson told AM 570 LA Sports with Roggin and Rodney. That is what we are going to try to bring in here.

And who might that superstar be? Johnson pretty much admitted he’ll be going after Paul George on Jimmy Kimmel Live! when he was asked what he would do if he saw George on vacation.

No, we gonna say ‘hi’ because we know each other, Johnson said. You just can’t say, ‘Hey, I want you to come to the Lakers,’ even though I’ll be wink winking like, ‘you know what that means right?’

A day after his 19th NBA season ended, the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki put a quick end to speculation over whether there would be a 20th.

I’m definitely playing next season, he told reporters.

At the end of the day, I can’t imagine myself in another uniform, he said (via The Dallas Morning News).

Nowitzki, 38, is coming off a Mavs season torpedoed by a 4-17 start in which they missed the playoffs for only the second time in 17 seasons.

In an injury-marred campaign in which he played only 54 games, Nowitzki averaged 14.2 points per game, his lowest average since his rookie year in 1998-99.

His career totals: 1,394 games (1,363 starts), 30,260 points, 10,894 rebounds, 3,496 assists, 1,218 blocks and 1,158 steals.

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Kyle Lowry ruled out Game 4 with sprained ankle

As expected, Kyle Lowry will be forced to watch his team from the sidelines for the second straight game.

The Raptors’ All-Star point guard has been ruled out for Sunday’s Game 4 showdown against the Cavs with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

I was actually trying to talk, and spit it out, Curry said after the game.

If you’ve watched any Golden State game in recent years, you know that Curry loves his mouthguard. He chomps on it like he’s eating a tender steak, and it bothers a lot of people on social media. So without his chew toy, Curry noted that he does feel weird without it.

A reporter told him that he made a 3-pointer without it, to which Curry responded, Maybe I should get rid of it.

Curry was joking when he said that, because it’s pretty clear he will never get rid of his mouthguard. As he revealed in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, the oral accessory is a key component to Curry’s game, mostly as a mental aspect because, as he says, it calms me down.

X-factor: Welcome to the spotlight, Norman Powell. The second-year shooting guard, who was inserted into the starting lineup by Dwane Casey in Game 4, had quite possibly the best game of his young career, scoring 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Powell was a perfect 4 of 4 from beyond the arc and 5 of 5 at the free-throw line. He came into Game 5 averaging 9.7 points per game for the series, but he blew away any previous expectations and provided plenty of evidence for why he should continue to start.

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Charles Barkley says Draymond Green wouldn’t have been able to do this against him

Warriors forward Draymond Green says he’s not the modern version of Charles Barkley. Conversely, Sir Charles sure doesn’t think he’s the ’80s version of Green.

Monday night on TNT’s Inside the NBA, the conversation got around to the Green-Barkley comp that Green pooh-poohed Sunday. Barkley did not disappoint.

Three of the Spurs’ most used lineups in this series have pulled down at least 33.3 percent of available offensive rebounds, according to, which would’ve led the NBA in the regular season by a significant margin. They’ve also had success on the glass when playing only one big as opposed to two. With Aldridge on the court surrounded by four wings, for example, the Spurs have a rebounding rate of 25.0 percent or better — again, a number comparable to the best offensive rebounding teams during the regular season.

It was a big factor in Game 5, when the Spurs recorded a pair of offensive rebounds in overtime even though they had the much smaller Jonathon Simmons playing power forward.

That’s one of the downsides for the Rockets of playing smaller lineups. When the Rockets are making 3-pointers at a decent rate, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with them. But when they make 26.1 percent of their 3-pointers like they did in the second half of Game 5, it gives teams like the Spurs an opportunity to exploit their weaknesses. As cliche as it may be to say the NBA is a make-or-miss league, it’s more applicable to the Rockets than most teams.

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Nuggets’ Will Barton won’t sign extension, eyes 2018 free agency, report says

Nuggets small forward Will Barton will not agree to a contract extension this offseason, thus officially joining the 2018 free-agent class, first reported.

Barton, 26, has been one of the NBA’s best sixth men for the last few seasons. He’s entering the final year of his three-year, $11 million contract. He has averaged 14.4 points and 13.7 points game during the last two seasons, respectively.

Johnson might be of the belief, as several NBA executives are, that the Pacers’ failure to surround George with better teammates has accounted for his unhappiness and public flogging of teammates during tough times. The theory goes that George’s mood will be vastly improved if he finds himself playing with better players, or returns to his native California to star for the team he grew up rooting for.

X-factor: In clutch time, can the Jazz turn to someone other than Johnson? At one point in the fourth quarter, Utah went more than six minutes without a bucket after being stuck with 96 points from 8:00 to 1:54 on the clock. The guy who finally broke that scoreless streak? Joe Johnson. Hayward and George Hill scored 66 of Utah’s 106 points for the game, so it feels odd to criticize those two, but they do need offer Johnson some sort of assistance in the final minutes.

Hill’s performance also highlighted the backup point guard issue on the Jazz bench. Quin Snyder may need to hand Raul Neto some of Shelvin Mack’s minutes because Mack isn’t producing much. The former Butler star has five points in 33 minutes for the entire series, while Neto scored five points in three minutes in Game 3 after not playing in Games 1 or 2. There at least needs to be a threat at the position, and right now, it’s not Mack.

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Magic Johnson should steer clear of Paul George in search for next Lakers superstar

It didn’t take long for Magic Johnson to come to the realization that what he’s got in Laker-land isn’t enough to challenge for an NBA title. Anybody can see what he’s up against.

D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Julius Randle aren’t going to take the Lakers where Magic wants them to go. Who knows if any of the three will turn into so much as All-Stars, at this stage? What everyone can see, including the Lakers legend now running the show, is that none is going to be that transcendent superstar that can carry the franchise and turn it into a championship contender. There’s no Magic or Kobe in this group.

Pachulia admits that he didn’t handle those early weeks the right way. You’ve heard plenty of athletes shrug off the notion of outside noise by saying they don’t read the paper or check the media. Not Pachulia. He was on the internet. He read the negative stuff. He listened to the chatter. It was hard on him.

In the beginning, I was reading a lot, my ears were kind of open and hearing a lot, Pachulia said. I think that was not the right thing for me to do. It was affecting me in a negative way after I was reading so much of these critics. But I am thankful to my coaches for telling me and reminding me not to listen to that stuff. The most important thing for me is to listen to my coaches and my teammates, are they comfortable with me being part of this team? They were, and that’s what motivated me, changed my approach.

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Jim Caldwell: ‘Important’ for Lions to repair relationship with Calvin Johnson

Jim Caldwell does not want Calvin Johnson to remain disgruntled with the Lions organization.

The Lions coach said Wednesday he hopes the team can repair its relationship with the franchise’s all-time leading receiver. Caldwell wants Lions alumni at team events and hopes to include Johnson for future events.

“Our practices are open to all of our alumni. They can come any time, any day,” Caldwell told reporters. “I think you can see from the Taste of the Lions that a lot of the guys still come back and participate. Lomas Brown is always around doing something for us or helping us out with something. Barry (Sanders) was here during the Taste of the Lions. Billy Sims was here.

“There’s so many of the guys that have been such an important part of the organization were involved. That is important to us.”

Caldwell said team owner Martha Ford, president Rod Wood and general manager Bob Quinn are all “concerned” about a possible rift between Johnson and the Lions.

Should Murray suffer an injury, Cook would be a prime candidate to handle a heavy workload. He could develop into a three-down back at some point during the season.

Jerick McKinnon is also on the roster, but Cheap Jerseys From China NBA he did not take advantage of his opportunity last season when he averaged just 3.4 yards per carry.

Last year, Elliott was a sure-fire first-round pick in Cheap Jerseys MLB fantasy drafts because he was virtually assured a huge workload behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Cook does not have the same upside heading into the season, but he could payoff for a fantasy owner willing to gamble on a rookie with explosive talent.

Manny Machado hits ball out of Fenway Park, takes leisurely stroll around the bases

Revenge is a dish best served with ridiculous exit velocity.

Orioles third baseman Manny Machado, who has been targeted by Red Sox pitchers on more than one occasion over the past few weeks, exacted payback with a mammoth home run Thursday night at Fenway Park.

The home run traveled an estimated 466 feet, which is good for Machado’s second-longest home run of the season. His longest was a 470-foot blast to dead center field at Yankee Stadium. Thursday’s dinger exited his bat at 113.6 mph.

Not only did Machado announce his presence with authority, but he mimicked former Red Sox great David Ortiz with a leisurely stroll around the bags. Statcast marked the trot at 29.8 seconds.

Machado’s bomb was good for three runs, and the Orioles tacked on a few more Cheap NFL Jerseys USA in an 8-3 win.

Scherzer’s absence leaves Chris Archer and Marcus Stroman as the top starting options for Team USA.

Fulms was part of something special in college. His Vanderbilt squad won the 2014 College World Series, and Fulmer started the winner-take-all championship game against Virginia — he struck out five in 5 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and two runs (one unearned). Vanderbilt made it back to the CWS final again in 2015, but that time Virginia took home the title.

NHL draft lottery 2017: How does it work, and what are the odds for each team?

The 2017 NHL Entry Draft lottery takes place on Saturday night, and you might be asking yourself a simple question.

Lottery surprises are not unheard of in the NHL. Winnipeg won second overall in 2016 despite the sixth-best odds (7.8 percent) to jump that high. They picked Patrik Laine, who is a Mitchell And Ness Cheap Jerseys Calder Trophy finalist.

When the Grizzlies seemed to have the game in the bag in overtime, Leonard activated Terminator level 5,000.

First, Leonard hit a triple to bring the game within two points:

Then after Conley missed a free throw on the other end, the MVP candidate hit a corner three to tie the game.

Leonard became the first player in NBA history with more than 40 points, more than five steals and more than five threes made in a playoff game.

And the Spurs lost.

That’s how good Game 4 was. It was an all-out war between two teams that find a way to meet each other almost every season in the playoffs. The series is now tied at two games apiece and it’s headed back to San Antonio, where the Spurs won the first two matches.

But the Grizzlies proved they can beat the Spurs in a variety of ways. And if both Conley and Leonard show up like they did for Game 4, regardless of who wins, the fans will come out on top yet again.

Hockey media may wring its hands over injuries like Crosby’s, but the ranting and fury of men (and, it has to be said, they are always male) reporting hockey is the worst kind of hypocrisy and crocodile tears. These reporters write not out of concern for players health, nor do they write out of a sense of right. These pearl-clutching articles are often written as much to try and expiate their guilt at the damage their promotion of hyper-masculine aggression as an ideal and constant need to compare sport to warfare creates as to report it – even as they say “well, it’s the game, not my bastardized view of it”.

The stand-off could make for an interesting summer in New York.

Anthony is also the best player on a Knicks team that has underperformed in each of the past four seasons. The Knicks failed to make the playoffs this year, finishing 31-51 despite a well-documented roster revamp that included deals for Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee, and Brandon Jennings. That’s worse than the year before, when the team won 32 games despite having two fewer All-Stars.

Those two seasons pale in comparison to the Knicks’ 2014-15 campaign that ended with a 17-65 record, worst in franchise history.

It was also Jackson’s close friend and former assistant Website For Cheap Jerseys coach, Charley Rosen, who authored two scathing columns critical of Anthony’s on-court deficiencies, including a propensity to hold onto the ball and lack of effort on the defensive end. In February, Jackson came out of his social media hiatus to publicly agree with a column written by Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding that questioned Anthony’s desire to win.

Jackson and Knicks owner James Dolan jointly opted into the final two years of Jackson’s five-year contract as team president. But Anthony also controls his own fate, holding a no-trade clause.

The stand-off could make for an interesting summer in New York. But then again, when is summer in New York ever dull?

You become a coach, maybe in your specialty position (defense or offense) or if you’re really lucky, a desperate team takes a chance on you as a head coach and you’re given overall control of a franchise. You learn the art of coaching, have success or otherwise, spend ten, twenty or maybe even 30 years doing that job, and then you get moved upstairs, to the big offices and the rarified air of GMship.

The Worst NBA Dunk Contest: 1997

Michael Jordan from the free throw line, Spud Webb soaring through the air at 5-foot-7, and Vince Carter with the Honey Dip are all iconic slam dunks. This year’s Slam Dunk Contest didn’t have anything close to those legendary moments, but it still doesn’t take the title of Worst Dunk Contest Ever.

The date: February 8th, 1997. The dunkers: Darvin Ham, Chris Carr, Bob Sura, Michael Finley, Ray Allen, and Kobe Bryant, the only hint of personality in the event.

Wizards-Hawks is the first Game 6 on the schedule after Washington pushed through for a win on Wednesday. As great as John Wall has played, Bradley Beal has been Cheap Giants Jerseys Cheap Girls Softball Jerseys just as consistent while averaging 39 minutes per game. In Game 5, he shot only 1-of-9 from behind the arc and still scored 27 points on an efficient 50 percent shooting from the floor, showing how far his game has advanced from where he started his career.

Boston can’t prove it’s worthy of a No. 1 seed by winning Game 6 — it has already garnered questions by dropping the opening two games of this series. But that’s not something it should really care about, with only one win separating the Celtics from the conference semifinals, where everyone will pay closer attention to them. For Chicago, it must be hoping Rajon Rondo will be ready to play and can make a difference in the game, keeping its season alive.

For the nightcap, we mostly just want Utah to finish off the Clippers. It’s not that this series hasn’t been great — front to back, it has probably been the best one — but ever since they lost Blake Griffin, it’s just hard to see them putting up much of a fight in the next round against Golden State. Can the Jazz? Probably not, but there’s at least some uncertainty there.