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.


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

NBA – ‘Renaissance man’ Gasol happy to control his own destiny

NBA - 'Renaissance man' Gasol happy to control his own destiny

Considered by many to be the ‘Renaissance man’ in the National Basketball Association (NBA), Spanish forward Pau Gasol is delighted finally to be the sole architect of his ‘revival’ as he eyes his playing future.

 The 33-year-old from Barcelona has faced more than his fair share of trade rumors since joining the Los Angeles Lakers in February 2008 but now he can plot his own way forward with free agency looming in July.

 Gasol has long been regarded as one of the most skilled and versatile players in the league but he endured a frustrating 2013-14 campaign during which he and Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni repeatedly disagreed on team strategy.

 “I’m in charge of my future and destiny and I will listen to the possibilities on the table,” double NBA champion Gasol, who had his Lakers exit interview at the team’s El Segundo practice facility on Thursday, told reporters.

 “I look at this as an opportunity, probably for the first and last time I’ll be a free agent where I can choose. It’s nothing like I’ve experienced before in the NBA.

“I’m still going to listen to the Lakers and what they have to offer and what they’ll say about the team’s situation and position at the time. We know what it is today, but we don’t know what it’ll be on July 1.”

The 16-time NBA champion Lakers suffered a nightmare season, failing to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2005, and only the sixth time ever, as player injuries piled up and they finished with a dismal 27-55 record.

Gasol, a four-time All-Star with a deft touch and surprisingly agile movement, was one of their few bright spots, averaging 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game despite his differences with D’Antoni, who insisted on a small-ball offense.

“The last few years I kept on my mind it could be my last day here so I tried to enjoy it,” Gasol, who is one of the most eloquent and cerebral players in the league, said of his attitude going into every game he has played for the Lakers.

The Spaniard produced one of the best stretches of his career in January, scoring at least 20 points in 10 straight games while recording 11 double-doubles but he missed the last eight games of the season due to vertigo.

Gasol’s final appearance in a Lakers uniform may well turn out to be the April 1 home game against the Portland Trail Blazers where he contributed nine points and four rebounds in a 124-112 loss.

“It’s been on my mind quite often,” he said, referring to what might be his last appearance for the Lakers. “I try not to think about it. Whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best.

“I’ve had an amazing career until this point and I want to try and prolong it at a high level.”

The seven-foot (2.13 metres) Gasol, who turns 34 in July, knows he will not come close to matching his salary this season of $19.3 million wherever he ends up playing, with so many winning teams now over the salary cap.

Should he end up leaving Los Angeles, the ever popular Spaniard, who played for the Memphis Grizzles before joining the Lakers, says he will retain only happy memories of his six-and-a-bit seasons on the Californian West Coast.

“I’m thankful and I appreciate our fans support I received over the years, not when things were going great and we were winning but also when people recognize my efforts and commitment and loyalty to the team despite everything,” he said.

“That’s when you most appreciate the support. I think it’s been amazing for the most part. All things considered, it’s been extremely great for me.

“I am glad I got to be a part of this franchise and this city,” said Gasol, who aspired to be a doctor and spent a year at the University of Barcelona’s medical school until he was lured away by professional basketball.


April 22, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Durant equals Jordan but Rockets hang on for win

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant notched his 40th straight NBA game with 25 points or more on Friday, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Houston Rockets.


Houston’s James Harden scored 39 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out seven assists to lead the Rockets to a 111-107 victory that secured their post-season berth.


Durant scored 28 points for the playoff-bound Thunder, matching Michael Jordan’s streak of 40 straight games of 25 points or more in the 1986-87 season.


Durant also pulled down 12 rebounds and passed out six assists, but he missed a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final minute.


The Thunder forward, who will certainly figure in Most Valuable Player voting, can surpass Jordan’s streak on Sunday, when the Thunder face Phoenix.


Durant last failed to score at least 25 points on January 5 against Boston, when he settled for 21 points.


His rare run has included a 54-point game against the Golden State Warriors on January 17, and over the course of the steak has averaged 36.3 points per game.



April 9, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

NBA – Miami’s ‘big three’ to meet and discuss future

Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat

 Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James will meet to discuss their collective future as the core of the Miami Heat.

Wade, in his 11th season with the franchise that drafted him in the first round, continues to be slowed by injuries but is owed $42 million for the next two seasons.

He said the Heat will focus on the task at hand – a bid to three-peat in what would be a fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance – before sitting down as a trio to talk about what’s next.

James, who along with Bosh joined Miami in July 2010, did not receive a maximum contract but is in the running for his fifth Most Valuable Player award. He said there is an appeal to being a free agent.

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The NBA acknowledged Wednesday that a goaltending call should have been made against Golden State Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal on a blocked shot against Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis on Tuesday night.

O’Neal’s block with 16 seconds left denied the Mavs a chance to take the lead near the end of overtime. Warriors guard Stephen Curry then hit a shot to give the Golden State a 122-120 win.

The loss could end up hurting the Mavericks’ playoff chances. They were in ninth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns. A win would have elevated Dallas to the seventh spot.

April 5, 2014 By : Category : English featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment

Basketball – Durant leads Thunder to Cavs win, Rockets beat Timberwolves

Basketball - Durant leads Thunder to Cavs win, Rockets beat Timberwolves

Kevin Durant finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 102-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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Thunder 102, Cavaliers 95

MVP candidate Kevin Durant finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 102-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Durant, the forward who is the league’s leading scorer at 31.9 points per game, scored 25 of more points for the 33rd consecutive game.

It is the longest streak of its kind since Michael Jordan had a 40-game run in 1986-87. Power forward Serge Ibaka added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder (50-18).

Shooting guard Dion Waiters matched his season high with 30 points and added four assists for Cleveland (26-43).

The Cavaliers’ postseason hopes are almost dead, as they fell 6 1/2 games behind No. 8 Atlanta for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland used a late 21-2 run to pull within 97-92 with 1:12 to play but Durant sealed the game for Oklahoma City my sinking five of six foul shots in the last minute.

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Rockets 129, Timberwolves 106

Guard James Harden rebounded from a sluggish first quarter with an eruptive second quarter, pacing the Houston Rockets to a 20-point turnaround and a 129-106 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Harden finished with 28 points and eight assists as the Rockets (46-22) extended their home winning streak to 10 games. With the Timberwolves (34-33) leading 41-31, Harden scored 10 points during a 17-0 Houston run and scored 17 points in the second quarter.

The Rockets pushed their lead to 21 points in the third quarter in applying the knockout blow.

They did so despite exceptional performances from Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (29 points) and center Gorgui Dieng, who posted his third consecutive double-double and career highs in points (22) and rebounds (21).

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

Basketball – Jackson officially named as Knicks president


Phil Jackson was officially named as the new president of the New York Knicks, the National Basketball Association team said on Tuesday.

James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks, announced the appointment at Madison Square Garden after a week of speculation that Jackson, who won a record 11 NBA titles as a head coach, would take over in charge of the team’s basketball operations.

“There is only one Phil Jackson, and he is synonymous with winning basketball teams,” Dolan said.

“His history of success in the NBA is unrivaled, and he is the ideal executive to lead our team and develop short and long term plans that build a successful franchise and result in an NBA championship.”

Jackson began his playing career with the Knicks, winning two titles in the early 1970s, before turning to coaching.

He led the Chicago Bulls to six championships then won five more with the Los Angeles Lakers.


March 20, 2014 By : Category : featured inthespotlight Players 0 Comment