The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers will face each other for the fourth year in a row at this year’s NBA Finals.
The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cavaliers with a 129-120 win last season, snagging the NBA championship in one of the greatest post-season runs in the history of the league.
As the Warriors and Cavaliers gear up for the 2018 NBA Finals, many are wondering if fans will be bored of the matchup.
Those people should rest assured that nothing lasts forever, Golden State’s general manager Bob Myers said at media day before Game 1, according to NBA.com.
“I definitely know this is ending, I don’t need any reminders,” Myers said. “I know a lot of people in the Bay Area think this is going to go on forever. On the record, it won’t.”
Golden State’s Kevin Durant said that even with some fan fatigue it’ll be a great game.
“It may not be as suspenseful as a lot of people want it to be or as drama-filled, but that's what you've got movies and music for,” Durant said during Wednesday’s press conference. “I think this is a great display of basketball on the court from both sides, and if you're a real lover of the game, you can enjoy how both teams play it, even though it may be different.”
Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James had a more pointed message for fans and teams complaining they are not represented in the 2018 NBA Finals.
“Teams have had their opportunities to beat the Cavs over the last four years, and teams have had the opportunities to beat the Warriors over the last four years,” James told reporters. “If you want to see somebody else in the postseason, then you got to beat them. Or in the Finals, in that case.”
The Warriors and Cavaliers are the first teams in any of the four major American sports leagues to play each other in four consecutive championship games or series.
While some are concerned about fan fatigue, the data shows they keep coming back for more.
The league’s average attendance for the 2017-18 season was at an all-time high and the most recently completed conference finals were the NBA’s most-watched games in the last six years, according to Nielson data shared with the NBA.
Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell confirmed on Twitter he was released after an overnight stay in the hospital for dehydration.
According to TMZ, the 84-year-old Boston Celtics great was taken by ambulance from his Seattle-area home to a nearby hospital Friday night.
Russell also dismissed earlier reports by TMZ about being admitted to the hospital because of heart problems, tweeting “As most of my friends know, I don’t have a heart to give me trouble.”
Russell later posted a tweet that included a photo of him holding a glass of water.
The Celtics legend was also hospitalized in 2014 after collapsing at a speaking engagement.
Russell made it home in time Saturday to watch the Celtics lose 116-86 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics lead the series 2-1.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens told ESPN that he was relieved to hear that Russell was all right.
"Yeah, that was obviously scary news, and happy to hear that he's doing better and he's been released from the hospital,'' Stevens said in Cleveland before Game 3. "He's the ultimate basketball winner. The way he impacted winning, the unselfishness of a teammate, what he stood for off the floor -- everything about him.”
Russell won 11 titles with the Celtics and was named the NBA’s most valuable player five times. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.
ESPN Films and Netflix have joined together to create a 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series, called “The Last Dance,” will look at Jordan’s rise to NBA stardom during the 1990s. Jordan will fully participate in the documentary, THR reported.
According to a Tuesday news release, more than 500 hours of never before seen footage will be used in the series, which will include footage of Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-1998 championship. The series is directed by Jason Hehir, who has previously worked with ESPN Films on its successful 30 for 30 series “The Fab Five” and “The ‘85 Bears.”
“The Last Dance” will air on Netflix and ESPN in 2019. Watch the trailer below or at ESPN.com.
The City of Boston has voted to change the name of Yawkey Way.
After multiple delays, the commission voted unanimously Thursday to change the name of Yawkey Way back to its original Jersey Street.
The Red Sox organization initially petitioned the city to change the name of the street outside the ballpark from Yawkey Way back to the previous name of Jersey Street weeks ago.
The late Tom Yawkey, former team owner, has been called racist by some, in part over the long delayed racial integration of the ball club.
Defenders of the Yawkey name believe the name change would harm the reputation of the philanthropic Yawkey Foundation.
Yawkey Foundation issued a statement shortly after the vote.
The City of Boston Public Improvement Commission has the final say over street names.
About a month ago, the commission took about two hours of heated opinions from both sides, tabling the issue for two weeks.
Just last week, team president Sam Kennedy told sports radio station WEEI the Sox still want the street name changed.
Basketball superstar LeBron James has made a habit of buying his teammates gifts during the NBA playoffs.
Previous gifts have included Beats by Dre headphones, Apple watches, Samsung Edge phones and even personalized shields. This year, James wanted his teammates to look sharp when they arrived for Game 3 of the Cavaliers’ first-round series, which shifted to Indianapolis on Friday. So, he bought matching suits for all 15 players, ESPN reported.
The Cavaliers arrived at Bankers Life Fieldhouse wearing gray suits, a white oxford shirt, a gray tie and a gray cashmere cardigan sweater, ESPN reported. Players also received black leather boots, overcoats and bags.
The Cavs looked good before the tip-off, but Indiana’s players were not impressed. The Pacers won 92-90, sending Cleveland to a 2-1 deficit in the series.
Villanova has its second national championship in three years after a 79-62 victory over Michigan.
Donte DiVincenzo came off the bench to pour in 31 points to lead Villanova to a 79-62 win over Michigan in the 2018 National Championship Game and claim the game’s Most Outstanding Player award.
Michigan’s defense was its biggest strength. KenPom’s analytics ranked the Wolverines’ defense as third best in the country, but DiVincenzo split them up all night. Villanova brought home its second title in three years, and he’s a big reason why.
DiVincenzo hit 5 of his 7 shots from beyond the arc. His teammates were 5 for 22. Michigan’s perimeter defense is one of the best in the country, but the Wolverines were no match for Villanova’s red-headed marksman.
DiVincenzo usually shoots a perfectly respectable 39 percent on threes. He was outstanding on Monday when it mattered most.
The Wolverines were up as many as seven points over Villanova in the first half, and it looked like they’d have a shot at pulling off an upset over the favored Wildcats.
DiVincenzo’s 3-pointer in the second half is when we all knew Villanova had this game for sure.
But his 25th, 26th and 27th points were perhaps the biggest. DiVincenzo knocked down a 3 to make it 62-44 with under 8 minutes to go and virtually put the game and the national title away for the Wildcats.
Arike Ogunbowale, are you serious?
The Fighting Irish came back from double digits in both of their Final Four games and are the first women’s national champion to ever do so. Mississippi State was 37-1 coming into the game.
Ogunbowale scored 18 points for Notre Dame. Jessica Shepard led the way with 19, while Marina Mabrey chipped in 10.
The Fighting Irish were the runners-up four of the last seven years; Ogunbowale pushed them over the hump. It’s the second national title in program history, and a dramatic one at that.
Michigan’s first Final Four appearance since 2013 will come against Loyola-Chicago, the feel-good story of the 2018 NCAA Tournament playing in its first Final Four in 55 years.
The Wolverines (32-7) and Ramblers (32-5) advanced to the national semifinals next weekend in San Antonio with Elite Eight victories on Saturday. Missouri Valley Conference champion Loyola-Chicago continued its improbable run by beating Kansas State 78-62 in the South Regional final in Atlanta. Michigan won its 13th consecutive game against Florida State in the West Regional final in Los Angeles.
Michigan entered the tournament as a No. 3 seed and has beaten No. 14 seed Montana, No. 6 seed Houston, No. 7 seed Texas A&M and No. 9 seed Florida State. It needed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Houston in the second round. Loyola has played nothing but close games in this tournament, but the No. 11 seed has found a way to win against No. 6 seed Miami, No. 3 seed Tennessee, No. 7 seed Nevada and No. 9 Kansas State.
The Ramblers have hit big shot after big shot with inspirational leader and team chaplain Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt sitting courtside, winning their first three tournament games by a combined 4 points. Senior Donte Ingram made a 3-point shot from the top of the key at the buzzer to nip Miami 64-62. Redshirt junior Clayton Custer hit a jumper with 3.6 seconds left that proved to be the deciding shot in a 63-62 win against Tennessee. Junior guard Marques Townes gave his team a 4-point lead with a 3-pointer as the shot clock was winding down with less than 7 seconds left against Nevada.
This is the first time Loyola-Chicago has been this deep into the tournament since it won the national championship in 1963. The Ramblers have won 14 games in a row and their season résumé includes a win at Florida. Five players are averaging in double figures, led by Custer (13.4 points per game). Ingram (11.3), Townes (11.2), Aundre Jackson (11.2) and Cameron Krutwig (10.4) also are part of Loyola’s balanced offense that will try to limit possessions in a game. The Ramblers are No. 67 in the country in the KenPom.com offensive efficiency rankings, but their 65.1 possessions per game rank No. 319.
Michigan and Loyola-Chicago have played three times previously but not since Feb. 1, 1969, when Loyola took a 112-100 win at old Chicago Stadium. Michigan won the first two meetings, including an 84-80 victory in the first round of the 1964 NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis.
The Wolverines have won 13 straight games since a 61-52 loss at Northwestern on Feb. 6. Loyola-Chicago’s style shouldn’t bother Michigan too much since the Wolverines average fewer possessions per game (64.7), but they have been far more efficient with the ball. The Wolverines rank No. 24 in offensive efficiency, averaging 116.1 points per 100 possessions.
Both teams rank in the top 25 of defensive efficiency, and they are in the top 10 in average points allowed. Michigan is giving up 63.3 points per game, No. 9 in the country, while Loyola-Chicago is No. 5 at 62.4 points per game.
The winner will advance to the national championship game on April 2.
Protesters in Sacramento, California, blocked the entrance to an arena where an NBA game was scheduled Thursday night, CNN reported.
People holding signs such as “Shut it down!” outside the Golden1 Center demonstrated against Sunday’s fatal shooting of Stephon Clark, ESPN reported.
Clark, 22, an unarmed black man, was shot by police in his grandmother’s backyard, CNN reported.
The protesters delayed the start of the game for about 20 minutes, chanting “Black Lives Matter,” ESPN reported.
Police officials said the officers who fired at Clark believed he had a gun, CNN reported. Investigators said they did not find a weapon, only a cell phone.
The Kings defeated the Atlanta Hawks 105-90 in a nearly empty arena, ESPN reported. There were no arrests.
After the game, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive addressed the fans who did make it into the arena, expressing sympathies to Clark’s family.
"We are so very sorry for your loss,'' Ranadive said. "We at the Kings recognize people's abilities to protest peacefully, and we respect that. We here at the Kings realize that we have a big platform. It's a privilege but it's also a responsibility. It's a responsibility that we take very seriously, and we stand here before you, old, young, black, white, brown, and we are all united in our commitment.
"We recognize that it is not just business as usual, and we are going to work really hard to bring everybody together to make the world a better place, starting in our own community. We are going to work really hard to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.''
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