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  • Rockets PG Paul to miss Game 6 with hamstring strain
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 25, 2018

    The Houston Rockets announced Friday that point guard Chris Paul will miss Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday with a strained right hamstring.

    • Paul is scheduled to be re-evaluated when the team returns to Houston. The only question now is if the Rockets will return home as Western Conference champs, or with a Game 7 against Golden State on deck.

      On Friday, James Harden said he and Paul stayed together and "just talking and chopping it up, laughing and talking about life. We're not here to be down and moping around and sad. We'll be good."

      Head coach Mike D'Antoni said Eric Gordon would be called upon to fill more of a playmaking role with Paul out.

      Paul left in the final 30 seconds of the Rockets' 98-94 victory in Houston on Thursday night and received treatment on the hamstring after the game.

      Paul was in good spirits on Friday, laughing and smiling as he entered the team's shootaround.

      According to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears, Paul said "I will be all right" as he left the arena. When he was asked about his readiness for Game 6, Paul reportedly said, "Oh, yeah."

      A source told ESPN on Friday that the status of Paul's hamstring was "not good."

      The Rockets lead the best-of-seven series with the Warriors 3-2. Paul, a nine-time All-Star, has never been to an NBA Finals in his 13 seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors' Kerr: Iguodala remains iffy for Game 6
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 25, 2018

    Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr claims he likes where the team is at entering Game 6 with a 3-2 deficit in the Western Conference finals series with the Houston Rockets. He might really like where his team stands if Andre Iguodala returns from a two-game absence to play Saturday.

    • The Warriors need a win at home to stave off elimination and force a Memorial Day Game 7 matchup at Houston after they lost for the second consecutive game Thursday with Iguodala sidelined due to a knee contusion.

      Kerr said Friday that Iguodala keeps improving incrementally. Now he and the Warriors are just waiting on the team's head performance therapist Chelsea Lane to clear Iguodala.

      "Chelsea just needs to tell me that he can play," Kerr said. "That's it. Other than that, he's either healthy enough to play or he's not."

      Kerr cautioned that the Warriors are not counting on Iguodala. He wants to avoid the mental letdown of not having the player he often refers to as the team's top defender and decision maker. The could be particularly true after Kerr said following Game 5 that the Warriors will be in great position for the final two games if they can simply "calm down."

      "It would be great," Kerr said. "He's a great player. He's one of our keys and we've missed him the last two games. But we can't count on it. Injuries happen and we've just got to play with whoever is out there. So we're hoping he's back, we'll see what happens."

      --Field Level Media

  • Bucks' Brown says he felt 'defenseless' during arrest
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 25, 2018

    Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown says he felt "pretty much defenseless" during a controversial arrest over a parking infraction in January.

    • Speaking to "Good Morning America" on Friday, Brown said he gets angry every time he watches body-cam video of the arrest, which the police released to the public on Wednesday.

      "I get mad every time I watch it, you know, because I was defenseless, pretty much," said Brown.

      In the video, Brown is seen surrounded by several officers outside his car. He is told by an officer to take his hands out of his pockets, and when he doesn't immediately, the officers wrestle him to the ground and tase him.

      A handful of squad cars were at the scene by the end of the situation, which began with Brown calmly cooperating with the first officer to approach him.

      "I am sorry this incident escalated to this level," Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said in a statement. Morales did not take questions from reporters in attendance.

      Morales said the officers "acted inappropriately" and have been disciplined following an internal investigation into the incident. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported that three officers were suspended between 2-15 days.

      Brown plans to file a lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department as a result of the incident, he said as part of a lengthy statement he released Wednesday.

      "My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn't happen to anybody," Brown said. "What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased, and then unlawfully booked. This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future.

      "Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community," the statement continued, in part. "... The common denominator in all of these situations has been racism towards the minority community, the abuse of power, and the lack of accountability for officers involved. The lack of repercussions for the police officers involved in so many of these cases is offensive. This is a slap in the face to the victims' families and communities.

      "This is bigger than me. My family, friends, legal team, Priority Sports, Milwaukee Bucks, the black community and the communities of all who stand against injustice plan to continue the fight. Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond. I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it. I will take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department to continue forcing change in our community."

      The Bucks also released a statement supporting Brown: "The abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable. Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability.

      "Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated case. It shouldn't require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment.

      "We are grateful for the service of many good police officers that courageously protect us, our fans and our city, but racial biases and abuses of power must not be ignored. There needs to be more accountability."

      --Field Level Media

  • Rockets' Paul on hamstring injury: 'I will be all right'
    By Field Level Media / Friday, May 25, 2018

    Rockets point guard Chris Paul, who sat out the final seconds of Houston's win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday because of a right hamstring injury, is optimistic that he won't miss additional action.

    • Paul told Marc J. Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated late Thursday night, "I will be all right," adding that he expects to play in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday in Oakland, Calif.

      Coach Mike D'Antoni said to reporters postgame that Paul is "worried" about his status. The Rockets beat the Warriors 98-94 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.

      "We'll see (if he can play Saturday)," D'Antoni added. "He'll be evaluated (Friday). They'll do whatever they can do. If he's there, great. If he isn't, we have enough guys. ... We'll be all right."

      Should Paul be unavailable, Eric Gordon would inherit the point guard role, D'Antoni said. Gordon scored a team-high 24 points off the bench Thursday.

      Paul was hurt while driving the lane with just under one minute to play. He didn't head back on defense on the subsequent possession, and he was limping as he came out of the game with 22.4 seconds to go.

      Paul missed all seven of his first-half field-goal attempts but went 6-for-12 after halftime to finish with 20 points. He added seven rebounds and six assists.

      The 33-year-old veteran is averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists in the playoffs. Paul produced 18.6 points, 5.4 boards and 7.9 assists per game in the regular season.

      --Field Level Media

  • James, Harden unanimously selected to All-NBA First-Team
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 24, 2018

    Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and Houston Rockets standout James Harden were unanimous selections to the All-NBA First Team, announced Thursday by the NBA.

    • Both players received all 100 first-place votes in balloting conducted by a panel of broadcasters and sportswriters. James is a first-team choice for a record 12th time, while MVP favorite Harden was a unanimous selection for the second straight season.

      Also earning first-team honors were New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis (96 first-team votes), Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (71) and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (63).

      James, Harden and Davis are the three finalists for NBA MVP, which will be announced at the 2018 NBA Awards on June 25 on TNT.

      The All-NBA Second Team consists of Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge and Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan.

      Named to the All-NBA Third Team were Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, the Minnesota Timberwolves duo of Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler and Oklahoma City forward Paul George.

      James was tied with Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone with 11 first-team selections before averaging 27.5 points and recording a career-best 18 triple-doubles in his latest stellar campaign. Harden led the NBA with a 30.4 scoring average and recorded the first 60-point triple-double in league history.

      Davis finished second in scoring (28.1) and fifth in rebounding (11.1), Lillard averaged 26.9 points while energizing Portland to the third-best record (49-33) in the Western Conference, and Durant averaged 26.4 points in his latest strong season.

      Antetokounmpo averaged 26.9 points per game, while Westbrook became the first player to average a triple-double in two straight seasons with marks of 25.4 points, 10.3 assists and 10.1 rebounds.

      Embiid averaged 22.9 points and 11.0 rebounds while leading Philadelphia's rise, Aldridge averaged 23.1 points for a San Antonio team missing Kawhi Leonard for most of the season, and DeRozan (23.0) guided Toronto to a franchise-best 59 victories.

      Curry averaged 26.4 points, and Oladipo (23.1) blossomed with Indiana after being acquired in the deal for George, who averaged 21.9 points for the Thunder. Towns led the NBA with 68 double-doubles while teammate Butler averaged 22.2 points.

      Among the notable omissions are Houston point guard Chris Paul, Utah center Rudy Gobert and Boston guard Kyrie Irving.

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors' Thompson expected to play Game 5
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 24, 2018

    Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson is expected to be on the floor when the team hosts the Houston Rockets in Thursday night's Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

    • Thompson injured his left knee during Tuesday's Game 4. Swingman Andre Iguodala, who missed Game 4 with a leg injury, is rated as a game-time decision.

      Golden State coach Steve Kerr was optimistic about Thompson

      "I believe Klay will play," Kerr told reporters at the midday shootaround. "We're still listing him as questionable. We've got to see how he feels in pregame."

      Kerr isn't so positive when it comes to Iguodala's possible return.

      "Incremental progress and we'll see a game-time decision," Kerr said of Iguodala. "He needs more treatment. He will probably warm up tonight and we'll see what happens."

      Thompson is averaging just 10.3 points over the past three games and missed a key tying attempt late in the Game 4 loss. He scored 28 points in Game 1.

      Iguodala is averaging 8.7 points in the series.

      The series is tied at two games apiece.

      --Field Level Media

  • Pistons hire Stefanski, reportedly eyeing Casey as coach
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 24, 2018

    The Detroit Pistons announced the hiring of Memphis Grizzlies executive Ed Stefanski as a senior adviser on Thursday.

    • Stefanski, 64, signed a three-year contract and will report to owner Tom Gores.

      Stefanski's role includes overhauling basketball operations and overseeing the process of hiring a new general manager and coach. The Pistons have their eyes set on former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey for their vacancy at the position, according to a report by ESPN.

      The Pistons shook up their structure by parting ways with Stan Van Gundy as both head coach and president of basketball operations on May 7. Van Gundy led the team to a 152-176 record and only one playoff appearance during his four-year tenure.

      Casey was dismissed by the Raptors after seven seasons and five consecutive playoff appearances with the team. The Raptors won a franchise-record 59 games this season to earn the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, but were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason for the second consecutive season.

      Casey left Toronto as the winningest coach in franchise history, with the team going 320-238 under his watch. He was named Coach of the Year by his peers in the NBA.

      Stefanski was a member of the Raptors' front office when Casey was hired in 2011.

      Under Stefanski, who served as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers from 2007-11, the Pistons will look to create a separation between basketball operations and the coaching staff, according to ESPN. Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon has been mentioned as a serious candidate for the GM opening while television analyst Brent Barry and former Piston Tayshaun Prince may also land roles with Detroit.

      --Field Level Media

  • Former star Stoudemire considering NBA return
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, May 24, 2018

    Former Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks star Amar'e Stoudemire said during a radio appearance Wednesday that he is considering making a return to the NBA.

    • Stoudemire, 35, retired from the NBA in 2016 after a down season with the Miami Heat. He returned to the Knicks on a one-day contract before announcing his retirement.

      He continued his career overseas in Israel, playing the 2016-17 season for Hapoel Jerusalem, a team he co-owned.

      When asked during an interview on "The Michael Kay Show" on ESPN 98.7 FM if he was considering an NBA comeback, Stoudemire replied, "That would be reality."

      Stoudemire, a six-time NBA All-Star, averaged 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds in 846 career games across his 14-year NBA career. He played for the Suns (2002-10), Knicks (2010-15), Dallas Mavericks (2015) and Heat (2015-16).

      Stoudemire was the 2003 NBA Rookie of the Year after being selected ninth in the 2002 draft by the Suns out of an Orlando, Fla., high school.

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors' Thompson, Iguodala questionable for Game 5
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    The Golden State Warriors have listed two starters -- guard Klay Thompson and forward Andre Iguodala -- as questionable for Game 5 of their Western Conference finals series against the Houston Rockets on Thursday.

    • The best-of-seven series returns to Houston tied two games apiece.

      Thompson strained his left knee in Game 4 on Tuesday when he tumbled to the floor on a drive to the basket in the second quarter. He left the game briefly and ended up scoring 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting in 39 minutes, well below his 19.4 points per game average this postseason.

      Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters Thompson "is moving around really well. I think Klay is going to be fine."

      Kerr said Iguodala, who sat out Tuesday's game with a sore left knee after banging knees with the Rockets' James Harden in the Warriors' blowout win in Game 3 on Sunday, is feeling better and making progress.

      Iguodala is averaging 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in the postseason.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Police apologize for arrest, tasing of Bucks' Brown
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized Wednesday for the actions of the officers who tased and arrested Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown in January.

    • Morales said the officers "acted inappropriately" and have been disciplined following an internal investigation into the incident. Body-cam video of what happened was released Wednesday. In the video, Brown is seen surrounded by several officers outside his car. He is told by an officer to take his hands out of his pockets, and when he doesn't immediately, the officers wrestle him to the ground and tase him.

      "I am sorry this incident escalated to this level," Morales said in a statement. Morales did not take questions from reporters in attendance.

      Brown plans to file a lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department as a result of the incident, he said as part of a lengthy statement he released Wednesday. The Bucks also released a statement supporting Brown.

      --The Los Angeles Clippers and coach Doc Rivers agreed to a contract extension, the team announced.

      Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rivers was entering the final season of his contract.

      Rivers has a 259-151 record in five seasons as Los Angeles' coach. The team has reached the playoffs four times during his tenure, though it missed the cut this season with a 42-40 mark and a constant stream of injuries that led to an NBA-high 37 different starting lineups.

      --The Houston Rockets will don a patch on their jerseys to memorialize the 10 people killed by a gunman at nearby Santa Fe High School last week for Thursday night's Game 5 against the Golden State Warriors.

      The patches will be emblazoned with the words "Santa Fe HS."

      The team also plans to honor first responders during the game, and the school's choir will perform the national anthem. A video tribute will also be played before the game. Team owner Tilman Fertitta invited school staff and the senior class to attend the game as well.

      --Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis highlight the NBA All-Defensive team.

      Gobert received 94 first-team votes and 192 total points while Davis had 73 and 163, respectively, in balloting from a select group of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.

      Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (58 first-team votes, 136 points), Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (39, 105) and Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (27, 90) round out the first team. Named to the second team were Philadelphia center Joel Embiid (90 points), Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (86), Boston Celtics big man Al Horford (85), San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (80) and Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Jimmy Butler (79).

      --Field Level Media

  • Milwaukee Police Chief apologizes for Brown arrest, tasing
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales apologized Wednesday for the actions of the officers who tased and arrested Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown in January.

    • Morales said the officers "acted inappropriately" and have been disciplined following an internal investigation into the incident. Body-cam video of what happened was released Wednesday.

      In the video, Brown is seen surrounded by several officers outside his car. He is told by an officer to take his hands out of his pockets, and when he doesn't immediately, the officers wrestle him to the ground and tase him.

      A handful of squad cars were at the scene by the end of the situation, which began with Brown calmly cooperating with the first officer to approach him.

      "I am sorry this incident escalated to this level," Morales said in a statement. Morales did not take questions from reporters in attendance.

      Brown plans to file a lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department as a result of the incident, he said as part of a lengthy statement he released Wednesday.

      "My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn't happen to anybody," Brown said. "What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased, and then unlawfully booked. This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future.

      "Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community," the statement continued, in part. "... The common denominator in all of these situations has been racism towards the minority community, the abuse of power, and the lack of accountability for officers involved. The lack of repercussions for the police officers involved in so many of these cases is offensive. This is a slap in the face to the victims' families and communities.

      "This is bigger than me. My family, friends, legal team, Priority Sports, Milwaukee Bucks, the black community and the communities of all who stand against injustice plan to continue the fight. Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond. I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it. I will take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department to continue forcing change in our community."

      The Bucks also released a statement supporting Brown: "The abuse and intimidation that Sterling experienced at the hands of Milwaukee Police was shameful and inexcusable. Sterling has our full support as he shares his story and takes action to provide accountability.

      "Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated case. It shouldn't require an incident involving a professional athlete to draw attention to the fact that vulnerable people in our communities have experienced similar, and even worse, treatment.

      "We are grateful for the service of many good police officers that courageously protect us, our fans and our city, but racial biases and abuses of power must not be ignored. There needs to be more accountability."

      Brown, then 22 and now 23, was arrested on Jan. 26 after police used a taser while Brown was being questioned by officers over a parking violation in a Walgreens parking lot. Brown was cited for a parking violation but not charged following his arrest.

      The news of the suit came after Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett said Monday he was concerned about public backlash that could emerge when the video of the incident was released to the public.

      "I'm going to let the release of that speak for itself, but yes, I definitely have concerns after watching that video," Barrett told reporters Monday, adding that Morales felt similarly.

      In a "Message to the Community" video Tuesday, Morales said he will support officers who make the right decision but won't hesitate to admit when officers are in the wrong.

      "So if there's ever an incident where one of our members makes a mistake, unnecessarily escalating a situation, I'm going to be honest and transparent about it," Morales said.

      "In those instances where we have made mistakes and are wrong, I'm sorry."

      Brown signed with the Bucks last summer out of SMU as part of a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, who took him with the 46th overall pick in the 2017 draft. He averaged 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds this season in 54 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rockets' Paul playing with sore foot
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    The biggest question for the Houston Rockets in their Western Conference final series with the Golden State Warriors could come down to a foot -- Chris Paul's foot.

    • The point guard is acknowledging what some observers had expected, that he is trying to play through an injury. Paul said after Tuesday night's win by the Rockets, 95-92, to tie the best-of-seven series at two games apiece, that he has been dealing with a sore leg since late in Game 2, the Rockets' other win in the series.

      Paul said his foot felt better Tuesday night than it did Sunday, when the Warriors handed the Rockets their worst loss in postseason history as a franchise, 126-85.

      The injury is "about as good as it's going to be right now," Paul said. "But for us, it's not about that. It's about going out there and getting stops and making big plays when we needed to."

      Paul, who scored 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting in Game 4 after hitting only 5 of 16 shots in scoring 13 points on Sunday, had a hand in the Rockets' dominant defense in the fourth quarter Tuesday. Golden State had its worst shooting quarter of the season, being held to 12 points on 3-of-18 shooting.

      "Chris felt better. His foot felt better," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said after Tuesday's win. "I called him after Game 3, and he said, 'Coach, I'm telling you, if I can get my foot right, we'll beat these guys.' Lo and behold, he got his foot right. And just like I said, we're back to even."

      Paul is averaging 21.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game in the postseason. In the regular season, he averaged 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Gobert, Davis head NBA All-Defensive team
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis highlight the NBA All-Defensive team that was announced on Wednesday.

    • Gobert received 94 first-team votes and 192 total points while Davis had 73 and 163, respectively, in balloting from a select group of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters.

      Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (58 first-team votes, 136 points), Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (39, 105) and Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington (27, 90) round out the first team.

      Named to the second team were Philadelphia center Joel Embiid (90 points), Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (86), Boston Celtics big man Al Horford (85), San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray (80) and Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Jimmy Butler (79).

      Green didn't make the first team after winning the defensive player of the year last season.

      Gobert, Davis and Embiid are the three finalists for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. The winner will be announced at the 2018 NBA Awards on June 25, televised by TNT.

      Gobert was fourth in the NBA in blocked shots with 129 despite in only 56 games while Davis led the league with 193 rejections. Oladipo led the league with 177 steals, an average of 2.36 per game.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rockets to honor Santa Fe victims during Game 5
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    The Houston Rockets will don a patch on their jerseys to memorialize the 10 people killed by a gunman at nearby Santa Fe High School last week for Thursday night's Game 5 against the Golden State Warriors.

    • The patches will be emblazoned with the words "Santa Fe HS."

      Eight students and two teachers were killed, and 10 others were wounded, during the attack.

      The alleged shooter, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, is in custody and has been charged with capital murder.

      The team also plans to honor first responders during the game and the school's high school choir will perform the national anthem. A video tribute will also be played before the game. Team owner Tilman Fertitta invited school staff and the senior class to attend the game as well.

      Proceeds from a charity raffle will be given to the Santa Fe Strong Memorial Fund.

      It was announced on Saturday that Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt will pay for the funerals of the 10 people killed.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rivers receives contract extension from Clippers
    By Field Level Media / Wednesday, May 23, 2018

    The Los Angeles Clippers and coach Doc Rivers agreed to a contract extension on Wednesday, the team announced.

    • Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Rivers was entering the final season of his contract.

      Rivers has a 259-151 record in five seasons as Los Angeles coach. The team has reached the playoff four times during his tenure.

      "Doc is one of the top coaches in the NBA, coming off one of his finest seasons since joining the Clippers," Clippers chairman Steve Ballmer said in a statement. "We trust Doc to lead a competitive, tough, hard-working team while upholding a culture of accountability expected to resonate throughout the organization."

      Rivers is the winningest coach in franchise history by both victories (259) and winning percentage (.632).

      The Clippers missed the playoffs this season with a 42-40 mark and a constant stream of injuries led to an NBA-high 37 different starting lineups.

      The Clippers also were in reshaping mode after the departure of point guard Chris Paul in the offseason and the midseason trade of Blake Griffin.

      "I am proud of the success we have had here over the last five seasons, but there is more work to be done," Rivers said in a statement. "We are coming off a year where our team battled through many challenges and much adversity, proving deep talent and even greater potential. I am looking forward to getting back to work on the court to develop our players and compete with the NBA's elite."

      Overall, Rivers has an 846-624 record in 18-plus seasons as an NBA coach. He is one of two active coaches (San Antonio's Gregg Popovich) to win at least 800 games.

      Rivers coached the Boston Celtics to the 2008 NBA title during nine seasons (2004-13) at the helm of that franchise and also spent four-plus seasons as coach of the Orlando Magic from 1999-2003.

      Rivers also played 13 NBA seasons from 1973-86.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Mitchell, Simmons headline All-Rookie Team
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons were unanimously selected to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie Team, the league announced Tuesday.

    • Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum fell one vote shy of being a unanimous selection. Also making the first team were Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kumza (93 of 100 first-team votes) and Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen (76).

      Mitchell, Simmons and Tatum are the three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award, which will be revealed June 25 during the 2018 NBA Awards on TNT.

      Named to the second team were Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr., Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic and Phoenix Suns swingman Josh Jackson.

      --Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala will not play in the team's Game 4 against the Houston Rockets due to a left knee injury, coach Steve Kerr announced pregame.

      Earlier in the day, the team had upgraded Iguodala, who has a lateral left knee contusion, from doubtful to questionable for the contest.

      Second-seeded Golden State holds a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference showdown against the top-seeded Rockets. The 34-year-old Iguodala is averaging 8.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists over the first three games of the series.

      --The attorney for Milwaukee Bucks guard Sterling Brown told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his client plans to file a civil rights lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department as a result of being tased and arrested by officers in January.

      The news of the suit comes after Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett said he is concerned about public backlash that could emerge when a video of the incident is released, which is expected to happen Wednesday.

      In the body-camera video from the incident, Brown "isn't provocative, isn't threatening" before officers use a stun gun on him, a source told the Journal Sentinel, calling the video "very bad." Brown was cited for a parking violation but not charged following his arrest. The officers involved are currently under internal investigation, the status of which is unclear.

      --Field Level Media

  • Warriors' Iguodala (knee) will miss Game 4
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala will not play Tuesday night due to a left knee injury, coach Steve Kerr announced pregame.

    • Earlier in the day, the team had upgraded Iguodala to questionable for Game 4 of the Western Conference final against the Houston Rockets.

      Iguodala, who has a lateral left knee contusion, initially was listed as doubtful for the contest.

      Second-seeded Golden State holds a 2-1 series lead in the Western Conference showdown against the top-seeded Rockets.

      Iguodala sustained the injury when he banged knees with Houston guard James Harden during Game 3 on Sunday. He underwent X-rays and an MRI exam on Monday, and no structural damage was detected.

      The 34-year-old veteran is averaging 8.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists over the first three games of the series.

      After Iguodala had made five consecutive starts, possibilities to replace him in the starting lineup include center Kevon Looney and small forward Nick Young.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mitchell, Simmons are unanimous choices to All-Rookie Team
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons were unanimously selected to the 2017-18 NBA All-Rookie Team, the league announced Tuesday.

    • Mitchell and Simmons each received first-team votes on all 100 ballots from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

      Boston Celtics small forward Jayson Tatum fell one vote shy of being a unanimous selection. Also making the first team were Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kumza (93 first-team votes) and Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen (76).

      Mitchell, Simmons and Tatum are the three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award, which will be revealed June 25 during the 2018 NBA Awards on TNT.

      Named to the second team were Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr., Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, Sacramento Kings guard Bogdan Bogdanovic and Phoenix Suns swingman Josh Jackson.

      Mitchell averaged 20.5 points per game and set a rookie record with 187 3-pointers. Simmons averaged 15.8 points, 8.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds to join Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only rookies to average at least 15 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

      Tatum averaged 13.9 points and 5.0 rebounds, Kuzma averaged 16.1 points and became the first rookie to post at least 1,200 points, 450 rebounds and 150 3-pointers in a season, and Markkanen averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds.

      Smith averaged 15.2 points and 5.2 assists, Ball averaged 10.2 points, 7.2 assists and 6.9 rebounds, Collins shot a franchise rookie record 57.6 percent while averaging 10.5 points and 7.3 rebounds, Bogdanovic made 129 3-pointers while scoring 11.8 points per game and Jackson averaged 13.1 points.

      --Field Level Media

  • Video of stun gun on Bucks' G Brown worries Milwaukee mayor
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett said he is concerned about public backlash that could emerge when a video of police officers tasing Bucks guard Sterling Brown is released to the public this week.

    • "I'm going to let the release of that speak for itself, but yes, I definitely have concerns after watching that video," Barrett told reporters Monday, adding that Police Chief Alfonso Morales felt similarly.

      In the body-camera video, which could be released as soon as Wednesday, Brown "doesn't appear to be provocative at all" before officers use a stun gun on him, a source told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The source added, "this could be bad."

      Brown, then 22 and now 23, was arrested on Jan. 26 after police used a taser while Brown was being questioned by officers over a parking violation in a Walgreens parking lot. Brown was cited for a parking violation but not charged following his arrest. The officers involved are currently under internal investigation, the status of which is unclear.

      The video has been shown to a few local officials and Bucks team officials, though the team declined comment to the Journal Sentinel. According to WITI-TV, Assistant Police Chief Michael Brunson Sr. referenced the video during a speech at a church on Sunday during the city's Ceasefire Sabbath.

      "There's going to be a video that's going to come out soon, in the next couple of weeks, involving the department," he said, "and I'm going to honest with you: We're going to need your support during the challenges."

      Brown signed with the Bucks last summer out of SMU as part of a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, who took him with the 46th overall pick in the 2017 draft. He averaged 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds this season in 54 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • LeBron sets playoff FG record in Game 4 win
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    On his way to 44 points in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 111-102 victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday night, LeBron James passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time mark for postseason field goals made.

    • With a 22-foot jump shot off a feed from JR Smith with 3:11 remaining in the second quarter, James registered his 2,357th made field goal in the playoffs to surpass Abdul-Jabbar's record that has stood since he retired in 1989. Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan is third on the all-time list at 2,188.

      "Anytime I'm in the same breath with the greats ... it's just humbling," James told reporters postgame.

      James passed Jordan for No. 1 on the all-time postseason scoring list during last year's playoffs.

      James sunk 17 of his 28 shots in the Cavaliers' win, sending the teams back to Boston tied 2-2 in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals.

      The 33-year-old James entered Monday averaging 32.9 points in 14 games during the playoffs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Funds being raised for LeBron statue in Akron
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    There might soon be a statue to immortalize King James in his hometown.

    • A GoFundMe account has been created with a goal of raising $1 million to commission a life-size statue of Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James in Akron, Ohio. The fundraiser is organized by fellow St. Vincent-St. Mary High School grad Aaron Carey.

      "We want to do this with the fans," Carey told the Akron Beacon-Journal. "We want fans to be able to thank LeBron for what he has done for Akron and the Cavs."

      For his part, James was flattered by the gesture.

      "First of all, thank you," James said of the fundraiser at the team's shootaround Monday morning. "It would be cool, not only for myself, but for my family and all the people that had anything to do with this journey thus far. I'm appreciative even of the thought."

      Carey told the Beacon-Journal he has contacted artist Omri Amrany, who has built several Los Angeles Lakers statues outside Staples Center, to potentially design the statue and has already met with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert regarding the idea.

      A site for the statue has not yet been finalized, and an initial design by Amrany depicts James soaring toward the basket to deliver a dunk while wearing a headband, his No. 23 high school jersey and his first signature Nike shoe.

      "I don't have a particular pose in mind," James said when asked how he'd like to be depicted. "Like I said, I think it's the thought that counts. It's pretty cool."

      James is trying to lead the Cavaliers back to the NBA Finals for a fourth straight season. Entering Monday, his Cavaliers trailed the Boston Celtics in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals two games to one.

      --Field Level Media

  • Report: Warriors' appeal of Green technical denied
    By Field Level Media / Tuesday, May 22, 2018

    Despite the Golden State Warriors' desire for the NBA to rescind a technical foul assessed on Draymond Green in Game 3, the league will not change the ruling, ESPN's Chris Haynes reports.

    • The technical foul, committed during the fourth quarter of Golden State's 126-85 win over the Houston Rockets on Sunday, marked the third for Green during this postseason.

      The incident occurred about midway through the final quarter in Game 3 as Green fouled Houston's Trevor Ariza on a layup attempt. Ariza seemingly reacted to the hard contact on the play, and after a minor altercation, a double technical was called.

      "I thought it was unfair, but we'll take it up with the league," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "He (Green) committed a hard foul, but he held Ariza up and didn't allow him to get hurt. And then Ariza shoved him.

      "It didn't seem like a double-technical to me. So we'll take it up with the league and we'll see what happens."

      The technical was Green's third of this year's playoffs, which will cost him a $3,000 fine per league rules. Any player being called for a total of seven technical fouls during one postseason will be suspended for one game.

      --Field Level Media

  • NBA notebook: Iguodala (knee) doubtful for Game 4
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 21, 2018

    Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala is listed as doubtful for Tuesday's Game 4 against the Houston Rockets with a left knee contusion.

    • Iguodala banged knees with Rockets guard James Harden in Game 3 on Sunday.

      ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that Iguodala is undergoing X-rays Monday afternoon, which are expected to give the team a better idea of his status. According to Shelburne, the injury Iguodala sustained on the play "got a little worse overnight," forcing him to miss practice Monday.

      The Athletic's Anthony Slater stated it's "unlikely" Iguodala plays, meaning Kevon Looney could get the start with Nick Young and Quinn Cook potentially seeing more playing time.

      --Julius Randle's agent told the Los Angeles Times he is unsure about the Los Angeles Lakers' desire to retain the restricted free agent, despite general manager's Rob Pelinka's comments about mutual interest between the two sides.

      Pelinka told the Times over the weekend that the Lakers and Randle have "a mutual exchange of interest and hoping that we can work something out for both sides."

      Los Angeles is expected to make Randle a qualifying offer, keeping his rights and allowing it to match any offer sheet he signs with an opposing team. However, it's unclear how much the Lakers would be willing to pay to retain the big man, particularly as the team tries to keep its salary cap clear as it courts big-name free agents over the next few offseasons.

      --New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry made it very clear that the team would like to re-sign pending free agent center DeMarcus Cousins, saying from the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame Golf Classic "there's not one single person, player or coach or in the basketball ops department or ownership that doesn't want him back."

      Cousins, 27, is recovering from a torn left Achilles tendon suffered Jan. 26 in the final seconds of a win over the Houston Rockets. He told The Undefeated last week that he is "for sure" open to re-signing with the Pelicans, but he also acknowledged the uncertainty of his situation as he prepares to hit free agency for the first time.

      Some have suggested the Pelicans, who won their first playoff series in a decade after winning 20 of their final 26 regular-season games without Cousins, were better off without the big man. Cousins called the idea "silly," and Gentry also argued against that viewpoint.

      --Stephen Curry says he "blacked out" when he turned to the crowd after a layup, removed his mouthpiece and screamed, "This is my (expletive) house," during the Golden State Warriors' 126-85 blowout win over the Houston Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals Sunday in Oakland, Calif.

      His mother, Sonya Curry, was alert, however, and she wasn't happy with her son's display on national television.

      "She already sent me two home videos, showing me the clip and playing it back," Stephen Curry said, per ESPN. "She was telling me how I need to wash my mouth out, saying to wash it out with soap. It's a message I've heard before ... She's right. I gotta do better. I can't talk like that."

      --Donte DiVincenzo's momentous rise from relative unknown as Villanova's sixth man to national championship hero and NBA prospect spiked again last week at the NBA scouting combine.

      DiVincenzo shot the lights out from NBA 3-point range, tied for the best vertical jump (42 inches) at the event and showed pro-level lateral quickness and speed with a 10.72-second lane-agility drill and 3.31-second three-quarter court sprint.

      The proving ground, DiVincenzo said, is ongoing and he wasn't ready to announce a decision about the 2018 NBA Draft. One clear sign he remains truly undecided in the face of positive buzz and building momentum: he has not signed with an agent.

      --Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie will keep his name in the 2018 NBA Draft pool and forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility, Okogie and the school announced.

      The 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard finished with the fastest three-quarter court sprint (3.04 seconds) and equaled the best max vertical leap (42.0 inches) of any participant at last week's combine in Chicago. Okogie also tied for fourth in the standing vertical (33.0 inches) and finished fifth in the shuttle run (3.03 seconds).

      Okogie finished fourth in the ACC with 18.2 points per game last season. Most outlets have pegged him as a second-round prospect over the last few months, but his performance at the combine could lead to first-round consideration.

      --The San Antonio Spurs reportedly disbanded their all-female cheerleading squad, choosing instead to create a coed hype team that focuses on more "family friendly" entertainment.

      The move to end its longtime cheerleader team, confirmed by Spurs Sports and Entertainment in a call to MySanAntonio.com, comes amid news of several controversies and lawsuits regarding other cheerleader teams such as the NFL's Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals in which former performers have lodged complaints over sexual harassment, sexism and unfair pay practices.

      The Spurs did not reveal their reasons for ending the all-woman squad, a staple at Spurs home games since 1992. According to the release, auditions will be held over the summer for stunt artists, tumblers, acrobats and cheerleaders as part of the new group.

      --Field Level Media

  • Spurs replace female dance team with coed 'hype' squad
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 21, 2018

    The San Antonio Spurs reportedly disbanded their all-female cheerleading squad, choosing instead to create a coed hype team that focuses on more "family friendly" entertainment.

    • The move to end its longtime cheerleader team, confirmed by Spurs Sports and Entertainment in a call to MySanAntonio.com, comes amid news of several controversies and lawsuits regarding other cheerleader teams such as the NFL's Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and Cincinnati Bengals in which former performers have lodged complaints over sexual harassment, sexism and unfair pay practices.

      The Spurs did not reveal their reasons for ending the all-woman squad.

      The Spurs had released a statement last week announcing the team's new official 35-member entertainment team, but did not specify how that affected the Silver Dancers -- a staple at Spurs home games since 1992. According to the release, auditions will be held over the summer for stunt artists, tumblers, acrobats and cheerleaders as part of the new group.

      Rumors about the decision started circulating on social media over the weekend after ESPN San Antonio radio host Jason Mannix posted a tweet saying the dancers "are no more" because of "lack of fan interest."

      Fans have seemingly not wholeheartedly endorsed the change, as #bringbackthechaps began making the rounds on social media. One former Silver Dancer, Michelle Vogel, posted a reply to Mannix's tweet and post on Facebook, debunking any "lack of fan interest" and instead questioning the team for cracking in the face of the #MeToo movement.

      "Does 'lack of interest' really mean 'we don't want to deal with it,'" she posted.

      --Field Level Media

  • Agent: Unsure of Lakers' interest in keeping Randle
    By Field Level Media / Monday, May 21, 2018

    Julius Randle's agent told the Los Angeles Times he is unsure about the Los Angeles Lakers' desire to retain the restricted free agent, despite general manager's Rob Pelinka's comments about mutual interest between the two sides.

    • "We still have no indication of where Julius stands among the Lakers' priorities, or if he is a priority at all," Aaron Mintz, Randle's agent, told the Times. "We are looking forward to the marketplace in July, when we will get a clear picture of Julius' future."

      Pelinka told the Times over the weekend that the Lakers and Randle have "a mutual exchange of interest and hoping that we can work something out for both sides."

      Los Angeles is expected to make Randle a qualifying offer, keeping his rights and allowing it to match any offer sheet he signs with an opposing team. However, it's unclear how much the Lakers would be willing to pay to retain the big man, particularly as the team tries to keep its salary cap clear as it courts big-name free agents over the next few offseasons.

      Pelinka indicated that the Lakers don't yet have a specific figure in mind for Randle.

      "I think going into a process with kind of a position of entrenchment or here's the thin red line that we will not cross isn't necessarily the best way to approach something with an open-mindedness," he said. "I think any negotiation is between two sides. Ultimately you're hoping to find a partnership."

      Randle, 23, averaged a career-high 16.1 points last season despite being moved to a reserve role midway through the campaign. He chipped in 8.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 26.7 minutes per game, playing in all 82 games for the first time in his four-year NBA career. He missed all but one game of his rookie campaign with a broken leg and sat out eight games in 2016-17.

      The seventh overall pick in 2014, Randle was not offered an extension by the Lakers before the October deadline, and he wore a sweatshirt with the words "PAY ME" on the back to a game in mid-November.

      The deadline for L.A. to extend Randle a qualifying offer is June 30, a day before the NBA league year officially begins. Teams can officially begin signing players or completing trades July 6.

      --Field Level Media