Players

Hail the king! LeBron James still rules jersey sales

LeBron James' Number 23 Cleveland Cavaliers jersey is once again the NBA's top seller among US fans.

LeBron James’ Number 23 Cleveland Cavaliers jersey is once again the NBA’s top seller among US fans.

Without releasing sales figures, the NBA said Monday that the four-time Most Valuable Player’s wine and gold jersey was the biggest-seller from adidas and NBAStore.com from October 2014 through December 2014 — the period including the holiday shopping rush.

James had topped the list for the four prior reporting periods, but at that time he was wearing number six for the Miami Heat.

James returned this season to his home state and his first NBA club, the Cavaliers, after winning two NBA titles with the Heat.

His Cavs jersey had also topped the popularity list back in 2004, in his rookie season.

His homecoming has also sparked a surge in Cavaliers merchandise sales that has brought the club to the top of the list for the first time, despite their erratic start to the season.

Golden State Warriors sensation Stephen Curry’s jersey is the second-best seller, up from number seven on the previous list issued last June.

Oklahoma City’s NBA MVP Kevin Durant, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and Chicago’s Derrick Rose round out the top five.

January 14, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Lowry, Harden named players of the month

 

  Lowry, Harden named players of the month

Kyle Lowry

The Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden were on Monday named the Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in December.

Lowry ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference in scoring (22.3 ppg) and second assists (8.9 apg), as the Raptors went 11-4 to remain comfortably atop the Atlantic Division.

He posted six point-assist double-doubles, the third most in the NBA in December. He scored at least 30 points in three contests, and averaged 25.8 points in nine road games.

He was named the Eastern Conference’s Player of the Week after averaging 29.3 points and 8.7 assists over three games from December 1-7. He also scored a career-high 39 points in a 123-104 win at Utah on December 3.

Harden led the NBA in scoring (30.6 ppg) for the month, as the Rockets went 9-5, while dealing with injuries to key players and some roster changes. He led the NBA with eight 30-point games and three 40-point games.

He was twice named the Western Conference’s Player of the Week (weeks ending December 14 and December 28). He hit eight three-pointers against Charlotte on December 31, and dished out 14 assists against Atlanta on December 20.

Harden ranked 11th in the NBA in assists (7.1 apg) for the month and ninth in the West in steals (1.9 spg).

Here is a closer look at the month for Lowry and Harden:

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

December 3 @ Utah: Scored a career-high 39 points and added five rebounds and four assists in a 123-104 win over the Jazz.

December 27 @ L.A. Clippers: Finished with 25 points, seven assists and three steals in a 110-98 win over the L.A. Clippers.

December 28 @ Denver: Tallied 30 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in a 116-102 win over the Nuggets.

James Harden, Houston Rockets

December 11 @ Sacramento: Scored 44 points and added eight assists and three steals in a 113-109 win over the Kings.

December 17 @ Denver: Went 18-for-21 from the free throw line en route to 41 points in a 115-111 win over the Nuggets.

December 22 @ Portland: Finished with 44 points, seven assists and five steals in only 32 minutes in a 110-95 win over the Trail Blazers.

Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Memphis’ Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, and Washington’s John Wall.

January 8, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:
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Hawks keep rolling on road with win

Paul Millsap

Paul Millsap

Paul Millsap scored 27 points to lead a balanced attack on Saturday night and the red-hot Atlanta Hawks won their sixth straight road game with a 115-107 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jeff Teague added 22 points for the Hawks (25-8), who have won four in a row and 18 of 20 overall to surge to the top of the Eastern Conference. Atlanta has lost once on the road since November 15.

Millsap and Teague scored 10 points each in the third quarter as the Hawks widened a three-point halftime lead to as much as 20 points before taking an 83-75 advantage into the final period.

A jumper by Kyle Korver extended the margin to 104-89 with 4:16 to play before Atlanta held off a late rally by Portland.

Korver scored 14 points and Al Horford of the Dominican Republic and Thabo Sefolosha of Switzerland added 13 apiece for the Hawks, who shot 51 percent (43-of-84) from the field and had seven players in double figures.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 12 rebounds and Wesley Matthews scored 19 points for the Trail Blazers (26-8), who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Portland lost at home for the first time since November 28.

Elsewhere:

San Antonio Spurs 101, Washington Wizards 92: Canada’s Cory Joseph scored 19 points to lead a balanced attack as the host Spurs beat the Wizards for the 17th straight time. John Wall and Bradley Beal scored 15 points apiece for the Wizards, who have lost a season-high three in a row.

In other games, the host Chicago Bulls edged the Boston Celtics, 109-104 in overtime; the Houston Rockets clobbered the visiting Miami Heat, 115-79; the host Los Angeles Clippers trounced the Philadelphia 76ers, 127-91; the Denver Nuggets routed the visiting Memphis Grizzlies, 114-85; the Charlotte Hornets trimmed the host Orlando Magic, 98-90: and the visiting Utah Jazz defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves, 101-89.

Supersport

January 5, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

The Heat is on as King LeBron James returns to Miami

LeBron James

LeBron James

 LeBron James plays in Miami for the first time since leaving the Heat for Cleveland when the Cavaliers visit Thursday to highlight five Christmas holiday NBA clashes being televised globally.

The schedule opens with Washington at New York followed by Oklahoma City at defending NBA champion San Antonio before the latest episode in James’ city-switching saga plays out in Miami, where he led the Heat to the past four NBA Finals and brought the city two NBA crowns.

Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose, two injury-prone stars, could be the focus when the Los Angeles Lakers visit Chicago in the penultimate contest, with the Golden State Warriors, who have the best record in the NBA, visiting the Los Angeles Clippers in the final game of the 67th NBA Christmas calendar.

James spurned his home-region Cavaliers for the Heat in 2010 but after winning his long-sought after first NBA titles with Miami, he returned to Cleveland vowing to bring the city a major sports title, something not seen there since the NFL’s Cleveland Browns in 1964.

“The schedule came out after I had decided to come back. The NBA knew something,” James said. “They knew that I was going to go home or stay in Miami, so they knew I would have to play my home team or my old teammates.”

James, who ranks second in NBA scoring with 25.2 points a game and fifth in assists with 7.8 a contest, has sparked the Cavaliers to a 16-10 record, fifth in the Eastern Conference.

The Heat, who brought in Luol Deng to try and ease the sting of losing James, are 13-15, seventh in the East. Miami fans could greet James with boos when he takes to the court, or cheers to acknowledge his success with the Heat. Either way, James is looking ahead not back.

“I live in the present,” James said. “Yesterday is over with. The future is unknown.”

Miami’s remaining “Big Three” members are holding their own, with guard Dwyane Wade scoring 22.8 points a game and forward Chris Bosh averaging 21.6.

James’ new “Big Three” partners in Cleveland are faring well also, with Australian guard Kyrie Irving netting 19.7 points a game and big man Kevin Love averaging 16.8 points and 10.5 rebounds a night.

KOBE’S 16TH CHRISTMAS GAME

Washington has become a contender behind guard John Wall, who averages 17.8 points and an NBA second-best 10.5 assists a game. The Wizards visit a Knicks squad in a five-game losing slump and a 5-25 record.

Despite 23.7 points a game from Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks — making a 50th Christmas start — are saved from the humiliation of the NBA’s worst record only by Philadelphia 3-23 start.

Bryant, making a record 16th Christmas Day appearance, ranks fourth in the NBA with 24.6 points a game but the Lakers start 8-19 while the Bulls, still easing Rose back into the lineup after knee injuries that kept him out for almost all of the past two seasons, are 18-9 with Spanish star Pau Gasol, who averages 18.0 points and 11.5 rebounds a game preparing to face his former Laker teammates.

Golden State has the best record in the NBA at 23-3 thanks largely to the NBA’s top-scoring backcourt duo of Stephen Curry, with 23.5 points a game, and Klay Thompson, with 21.7 a contest.

But the Clippers, 19-9 for sixth-best in the West, counter with forward Blake Griffin, averaging 23.1 points a game, and guard Chris Paul, who has 18.1 points and 9.8 assists a game.

The reigning champion Spurs, 18-11, provide a balanced attack that is difficult to silence, ignited by French guard Tony Parker with 16.5 points and 5.3 assists a game, both team highs.

Tim Duncan provides 16 points and a club-best 11 rebounds a game while Kawhi Leonard averages 15.2 points and 7.6 rebounds and both Manu Ginobili and Danny Green average more than 12 points a game.

AFP

December 25, 2014 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Horford, Aldridge named players of the week

Al Horford

Al Horford

 The Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford and the Portland Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge on Monday were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played December 15-21.

Horford led the Hawks to a 3-0 record, which included a home win over the Chicago Bulls and road wins over the Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets. He led the Hawks in scoring at 18.3 ppg and stuffed the stat sheet with 6.7 rpg, 5.0 apg, 1.67 bpg and 1.0 spg.

Horford’s .605 field goal percentage ranked eighth in the conference. On December 15, he posted 21 points on 10-of-19 shooting, and added 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals as the Hawks topped the Bulls 93-86. Winners of 9-of-10 and with a 19-7 (.731) overall mark, the Hawks are tied for the Eastern Conference’s second best record.

Aldridge helped the Trail Blazers to a 4-0 mark on the week, which included two wins over the San Antonio Spurs and wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans. Aldridge, who posted point-rebound double-doubles in all four games, ranked sixth in the West in scoring (26.3 ppg), second in rebounding (14.3 rpg), and eighth in steals (2.25 spg).

On December 19, Aldridge collected 32 points, 16 rebounds, five steals and two blocks during a 129-119 triple-overtime win over the Spurs in San Antonio. At 22-6 (.786), Portland owns the second best record in the West.

Here is a recap of the week for Horford and Aldridge:

AL HORFORD, ATLANTA HAWKS

December 15 v Chicago: Tallied 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a 93-86 win over the Bulls.

December 17 @ Cleveland: Scored 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field, and added four assists and two blocks in a 127-98 win over the Cavaliers.

December 20 @ Houston: Scored 14 points and added eight rebounds, five assists, three blocks and one steal during a 104-97 win over the Rockets.

LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE, PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS

December 15 v San Antonio: Collected 23 points and 14 rebounds during a 108-95 win over the Spurs.

December 19 @ San Antonio: Posted 32 points, 16 boards, five steals and two blocks in a 129-119 triple-overtime win over the Spurs.

December 20 @ New Orleans: Tallied 27 points, 12 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists during a 114-88 win over the Pelicans.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Boston’s Kelly Olynyk, Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Dallas’ Monta Ellis, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Portland’s Damian Lillard, and Toronto’s Kyle Lowry.

Supersport

December 24, 2014 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

NBA suspends Taylor for domestic violence

Jeff Taylor

Jeff Taylor

Charlotte Hornets forward Jeff Taylor was suspended 24 games without pay by the NBA on Wednesday after pleading guilty last month to misdemeanor domestic violence assault and malicious destruction of hotel property.

Taylor had been on paid leave since the start of the National Basketball Association season, missing 11 games, and he will have to sit out the next 13 games.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the 25-year-old Taylor, in his third season in the league, will suffer a financial penalty equal to 24 games.

“This suspension is necessary to protect the interests of the NBA and the public’s confidence in it,” Silver said in a statement. “Mr. Taylor’s conduct violates applicable law and, in my opinion, does not conform to standards of morality and is prejudicial and detrimental to the NBA.”

During an argument at an East Lansing, Michigan, hotel room in September, Taylor pushed a woman into the hallway, where she fell to the ground and slammed her head on a door, the player said.

The woman had marks on her upper arm and a bump on her head but declined medical treatment, police said, adding that there was also damage to a wall near the hotel room.

Taylor, who pleaded guilty last month, was sentenced to 18 months of probation. As part of his probation, he must complete 26 weeks in a domestic violence intervention program.

A second-round pick by Charlotte in the 2012 NBA Draft, Taylor has averaged 6.6 points a game during his two seasons with the Hornets.

Reuters

November 21, 2014 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

Buzangu brothers end Espoir’s unbeaten run

m_Buzangu brothers end Espoir’s unbeaten r

Bienvenu Ngandu of Espoir, right, goes up for a defence rebound against CSK in game 1

Twin brothers Mike and Patrick Buzangu played a pivotal role as CercleSportiff de Kigali (CSK) ended Espoir’s unbeaten run this season with a 73-64 in Game 3 of the men’s basketball playoffs finals on Sunday at Amahoro indoor stadium court.

 Defending champions Espoir BC had won Games 1 and 2 and were just one win away from retaining the title for the third year running but their opponents had other ideas.

Mike Buzangu of CSK BC scored the game high 25 points with his elder brother Patrick Buzangu adding 23 points in a game which CSK needed to win. Espoir players struggled to get points on board with Olivier Shyaka Olivier, their highest scorer, managing just 12 points and EliaKaze scoring 11.

Patrick Buzangu said: “It was a very tough game for us but we were determined to stop Espoir from winning the trophy today. We corrected the mistakes we had done before and followed the coach’s advice.”

Both clubs will meet again in Game 4 which has now been shifted to September 6-7 after Espoir have returned from taking part in a Zone 5 tournament to be held in Mombasa, Kenya.

Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Ubumwe added the playoffs title to their recent league crown by winning Game 3 of their contest against RAPP 63-39. They had also won Games 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Priscilla Doudou of Ubumwe scored a game high 12 points while Clementine Mugwaneza scored eight points.

August 19, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Basketball – Durant a unanimous selection for All-Star team

Basketball - Durant a unanimous selection for All-Star team

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, the Most Valuable Player and winner of four scoring titles in five seasons, highlights the 2013-14 All-NBA first team.jpg 

Durant was the lone unanimous selection, appearing on all 125 ballots as a first-team pick. Miami Heat forward LeBron James garnered 124 first-team votes. Joining Durant and James on the first team are Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul, Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah.

The second team consisted of guards Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, forwards Blake Griffin of the Clippers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves and center Dwight Howard of the Rockets.

June 6, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Big wins for rivals APR and Espoir

Lionel Hakizimana. 

Archrivals, Espoir and APR registered big wins in this year’s basketball league over the weekend, as the league reaches an exciting round.

Two-time reigning champions Espoir beat 30-Plus 81-54 at Amahoro indoor stadium, while three-time Fiba/Africa zone V champions APR won 70-59 over University of Rwanda College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR-Huye).

Espoir’s forward Lionnel Hakizimana scored the game high 18 points a day after top scoring with 24 points in the 90-52 win against IPRC-Kicukiro.

Other big contributors to Espoir’s win on Sunday were, Bienvenu Ngandu with 17 points and upcoming youngster Jean Philippe Kubanatubane, who chipped in with 14.

“Winning both matches against IPRC and 30-Plus is what mattered most to us and we have managed to do that. It keeps our target of retaining the title on track,” noted Espoir’s Jean Bahufite.

Espoir lead the Men’s table with 30 points from 15 matches, one ahead of second-placed APR, who have played two games more.

June 4, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Kevin Durant deserves MVP award, concedes LeBron James

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

 

As reports spread that Kevin Durant will this week be named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player, Miami Heat superstar LeBron James said Monday the Oklahoma City Thunder star deserves it.

“If the reports are correct, kudos to him,” James, a four-time MVP said. “Much respect to him, and he deserves it. He had a big-time MVP season.”

James has won the award the past two seasons with Miami and in four of the past five — winning it twice with former club Cleveland Cavaliers.

Chicago’s Derrick Rose interrupted James’s reign as MVP when he won the award in the 2010-11 season.

Durant averaged 32.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists this year, leading the Thunder to the second seed in the Western Conference playoffs.

Durant is the first player to average at least 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists since Michael Jordan in 1988-89.

During the regular season, Durant put together a streak of 41 straight games scoring 25 points or more, surpassing Michael Jordan for the third-longest such streak in NBA history — and the longest since the three-point shot was introduced in the league more than 30 years ago.

“You can’t win them all,” Miami’s Chris Bosh said of James apparently ceding the MVP crown to Durant. “He is the best player in the world, but geesh you can’t win it every year.”

 

May 8, 2014 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment