Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was found dead Wednesday morning at his Southern California home. He was 43 years old. The ex-linebacker's girlfriend found the NFL legend with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that police received a call to 911 at 9:35 a.m. reporting a possible suicide, per Oceanside police Chief Frank McCoy. Officers found Seau in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest, and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. Reports indicate that a gun was found by Seau's side. Seau's death was first reported by TMZ.
The San Diego Chargers issued a statement at approximately noon PT:
Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now...We ask everyone to stop what they're doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family.
"Obviously, it's shocking," Chargers team president Dean Spanos said. "It makes you feel very sad. He's brought so much to this community over the years. A good person, a good friend. He was the fabric — really a part of this community. He was the heart and soul of our team for so many years. Even after he left, his roots and his home were still here. Just people loved him and admired him."
MIAMI — The thumping, bumping, smoke-filled revelry that began 49 weeks ago, sweeping up South Beach in championship fever and transforming the Miami Heat into the most polarizing force in sports, ended in stunned silence Sunday night, in the same place where it all began.
The dancing and preening ceased. The audacity was gone. The Dallas Mavericks, a team of fewer stars, less hype and more humility, stole the Heat’s swagger, then appropriated its arena for a championship party of their own.
With a brilliant shooting night from Jason Terry and a lethal final push from Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks claimed a 105-95 victory at American Airlines Arena on Sunday and clinched the 2011 N.B.A. title in six games.
This was supposed to be Miami’s moment, one that LeBron James forecast last July, when he joined the Heat and giddily predicted a string of titles. But the Mavericks were deeper and steadier, more ready for the opportunity.
“This feeling, to be on the best team of the world, is just undescribable,” Nowitzki said, a championship hat askew on his head, a soaked T-shirt on his chest and medical tape still wrapped around his torn left middle finger, which was injured in Game 2.
In his hands was the box score, which showed Nowitzki with 21 points and 11 rebounds on the biggest night of his 13-year career. He averaged 26 points and 9.7 rebounds in the series, led huge comebacks in Games 2 and 4, dominated fourth quarters and was rewarded with the Most Valuable Player trophy.
The championship is the first for Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, sanctifying their Hall of Fame résumés, and the first for the Mavericks franchise, and its famously passionate owner, Mark Cuban.
It was a victory made all that much sweeter by the location and the opponent. Five years ago, the Heat celebrated its first title on the Mavericks’ home court. That memory seemed ever-present for Nowitzki, Terry and Cuban, the most significant holdovers from 2006.
Appropriately, it was Terry who did the most to guarantee vengeance Sunday, scoring 27 points while going 11 for 16 from the field. In a fourth-quarter timeout, with Dallas leading but the game still in doubt, Terry told Nowitzki: “Keep pushing. Remember ’06.”
“He was phenomenal,” said Nowitzki, who had 10 points in the final period after struggling with his shot in the first half.
Meanwhile, the team that stocked itself with All-Stars last summer and became both a sensation and a lightning rod, fell flat.
Dwyane Wade, who bruised his hip in Game 5, had 17 points Sunday but made just 6 of 16 shots and had five turnovers. Chris Bosh had 19 points and 8 rebounds.
James had one of his better games — 21 points and 6 assists — but it was not enough to save the Heat, or himself from the damage to his reputation after a strangely lackluster series. He averaged a modest 17.8 points and 6.8 assists in the series, with a team-high 4 turnovers per game.
“They did a great job of every time I drove, they brought another extra defender in front of me,” James said, calling the Mavericks “a very underrated defensive team.”
Still, for the sixth straight game, James drifted in and out of the action, carrying himself like anything but a superstar. He had 11 points in the first half, but did not attempt another shot until the 1:49 mark of the third quarter. Dallas closed the period with a 9-point lead. Miami briefly pulled within 4 points early in the fourth but Dallas pulled away and stretched it to 13, its biggest lead of the series.
“There’s certainly an emptiness right now with our group,” Coach Erik Spoelstra said.
James had been dominant in earlier playoff victories over Boston and Chicago, but he shrank on the greatest stage, with few explanations. Spoelstra praised Dallas for its defense and its toughness, praised Nowitzki as “one of the most indefensible players in this league,” and did his best to defend James.
“LeBron has been a lightning rod for a lot of everything, criticism and a lot of the noise that’s been created outside,” Spoelstra said. “I think it’s really unfair. He made a tremendous sacrifice to come here, and he’s been an ultimate team player. He should not be criticized for that.” CONTINUE READING
DALLAS— The Miami Heat won the franchise's only NBA championship on the Dallas Mavericks' home court in 2006. It won't happen again. Down nine early in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks stormed back to an 86-83 victory Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Center, tying these best-of-seven NBA Finals 2-2. Game 5 is Thursday back on the Mavericks' court, with a Game 6 now assured for Sunday night at American Airlines Arena. Tickets for that game in Miami go on sale Wednesday. A Game 7, if necessary, would be next Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
It was a night when a depth of star talent wasn't enough to overcome an uneven performance from LeBron James, who failed to score in double figures for the first time in his playoff career, closing with eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. With Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh unable to sufficiently compensate for James' struggles, the Mavericks won on a night Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki battled a 101-degree fever. Wade led the Heat with 32 points, but missed a key late free throw with 30.1 seconds to play. Bosh added 24 points for the Heat. Nowitzki, whose missed a potential game-tying buzzer at the close of the Mavericks' 88-86 Game 2 loss on Sunday night, finished with 21 points on 6-of-19 shooting.
Having missed a potential tying basket at the close of Sunday's Game 3, Nowitzki this time spun in on Heat forward Udonis Haslem for a layup with 14.4 seconds to play to put Dallas up 84-81.
For the Heat, it was a finish as foul as their Game 2 loss last Thursday at AmericanAirlines Arena, when they blew a 15-point fourth-quarter lead.
A baseline jumper with 10:11 to play by Haslem capped a 6-0 start to the fourth quarter and pushed the Heat to a 75-65 edge, their largest lead of the night.
Dallas fought back from there, closing within 78-77 with 5:40 to play on a Tyson Chandler follow-up basket and moving ahead 79-78 on a fastbreak layup by guard Jason Terry.
At that stage, the Heat was reduced to looking to Wade to do it all on offense against a swarming Dallas defense.
As stagnant on offense as they were when they blew a 15-point fourth-quarter lead in Game 2, the Heat continually bumbled opportunities.
A pair of Nowitzki free throws pushed Dallas to an 82-78 lead with 2:16 to play, with Bosh matching those free throws on the other end to draw the Heat within 82-80.
Both teams then had scoreless possessions, and after Dallas again came up scoreless, Wade worked his way to the line with 30.1 seconds to play. At 5 of 7 from the line to that stage, Wade rimmed in the first attempt, but rimmed out the second, leaving the Heat down 82-81 with 29.3 seconds to play.
Nowitzki then scored his layup against Haslem, with the Heat, down three, getting a funk by Wade with 9 seconds to play that pulled the Heat within 84-83. The Mavericks followed with their final timeout of the night.
Terry then was fouled with 6.7 seconds to play, making both for an 86-83 Dallas lead, forcing the Heat to burn their final timeout of the night.
In need of a 3-pointer, the Heat bumbled the inbounds pass and could get nothing more than a wayward, desperation 3-point attempt by Mike Miller just before the buzzer.
Dallas shook up its lineup and active roster, with J.J. Barea opening in the backcourt alongside Jason Kidd, and Stevenson moved to the bench. Backup center Brendan Haywood also was active, after spending Game 3 on the inactive list due to a hip problem. Tuesday's switch had reserve guard Roddy Beaubois back on the Mavericks' inactive list.
It was just the third start for Barea, regular season and playoffs.
The Mavericks entered aware that while eight teams have been able to overcome 3-1 deficits in NBA playoff series, none have done so in the Finals.
With Games 2 and 3 each decided by two points, it marked the first time consecutive Finals games had been decided by two or fewer points since the 1998 Finals.
The Heat entered having won their previous two playoff games in Dallas, despite losing their last nine regular-season visits to Dallas.
The Mavericks entered 7-2 at home this postseason.
Games 6 and 7, if necessary, would be Sunday and next Tuesday in Miami. SOURCE:LATTIMES
DALLAS – The Miami Heat didn't blow this one. Now they're just two wins from being crowned NBA champions.
Chris Bosh made a 16-foot, go-ahead jumper from the baseline with 39.6 seconds left and the Heat held on for an 88-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the NBA finals.
Recent history says this is a huge win for the Heat. The Game 3 winner in a tied finals has won the championship all 11 times since the 2-3-2 format began in 1985.
Miami got into this tight of a series by blowing a 15-point lead in the last quarter of Game 2. The Heat already had wasted a 14-point lead in this game when they went back ahead 81-75 with 6:31 left. They knew Dirk Nowitzki would drive Dallas' rally, but he burned them anyway for 12 straight points — six free throws, a layup, a dunk and a tough jumper.
But after Bosh's clutch shot, Nowitzki's streak ran out. He tried passing out of a double team and threw the ball away, then hit the back iron on a jumper at the buzzer.
"This is a total win," said Dwyane Wade, who led Miami with 29 points and 11 rebounds. "You want to win the game on the defensive end of the floor and we got a stop."
The Heat go into Game 4 on Tuesday night with a chance to do what they did in 2006: win it all on Dallas' floor. They'll need to win that game and the next, on Thursday night.
Bosh, a Dallas native who'd been 0-8 in his hometown, overcame a swollen left eyelid caused by a poke during the first quarter to scored 18 points. He had seven in the fourth quarter.
LeBron James added 17 points and nine assists. But he also had four turnovers, including a pair during the fourth quarter that helped bring Dallas back. Mario Chalmers added 12.
Udonis Haslem had only six points, but his tough defense on the final two possessions saved the Heat. When Nowitzki's final shot from the top of the key missed, Haslem swung his arms and screamed in delight.
Nowitzki finished with 34 points, but didn't get much help. Jason Terry scored 15 and Shawn Marion had 10, but both were shut out in the fourth quarter.
Wade was at his dynamic best from the start, looking like the guy who soared and scored the Heat past Dallas and to the title in '06.
Most of his baskets came in the paint — where the Heat outscored the Mavs, 40-22 — and many of them were spectacular. But he also stemmed Dallas' rally by hitting a go-ahead jumper over Jason Kidd for Miami's second-to-last basket.
James came in talking about being more aggressive, but wasn't. He went more than 6 minutes before taking his first shot, but certainly made it worth the wait — a drive through the teeth of the defense for a powerful dunk. He also had a two-handed jam in the second half that put Miami up by 13.
The Heat just couldn't put the Mavs away. Dallas would surge close or ahead, then Miami would turn it up again. The final 18 minutes played out with both teams realizing any possession could change the game and the series.
Miami shoots only 39% but limits Dallas to 37%. LeBron James (24 points) and Dwyane Wade (22 points) lead the Heat to its fifth straight postseason win.
After five grueling games against the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals, the Miami Heat thought it was done with ground-and-pound basketball.
Instead, these NBA Finals, even against the previously high-scoring Dallas Mavericks, well could prove to be more of the same.That certainly was the case Tuesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena, when the lowest-scoring first quarter in a Finals opening game in the shot-clock era yielded a grueling 92-84 Heat victory.
"It was a grind. It's tough," Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's a very skilled offensive team. We didn't get into much of an offensive flow the entire game."
But with Dwyane Wade rekindling memories of his effort against the Mavericks in the 2006 Finals that gave the Heat the franchise's lone NBA title, and with LeBron James again working as the perfect complement, the Heat moved to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
"That's kind of the way we've been winning games lately," Wade said. "We've just got to stay with it, can't get frustrated when not it's going in. Just have to keep going at it."
Persevere the Heat did.
What started with Dallas closing the opening period with a 17-16 lead ended with the Heat at 39% shooting and the Mavericks at 37%.
"For a while there," Spoelstra said, "it was tough for us to put points on the board."
Through it all, the Heat gained the initial advantage in a series that continues Thursday at AmericanAirlines Arena, before shifting to Dallas for the middle three games of the series.
Game 1 winners have gone on to win 11 of the last 14 NBA Finals, that .786 winning percentage identical to the series win percentage of Game 1 winners in the playoffs overall since 1996-97.
"Shots are going to be hard to come by," Mavericks CoachRick Carlisle said. "Both teams are really locked in."
Rebounds also were hard to come by for Dallas, which was outrebounded 46-36, allowing 16 Heat offensive rebounds.
"They were more opportunistic than we were," Carlisle said.
Little came easily in this one for extended stretches, not for Wade in the first half, not for Heat power forward Chris Boshfor most of the game, and not for Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki to the degree he thrived in the Western Conference finals.
Wade, who shot three for 10 in the first half, eventually came around to close nine for 19 for 22 points. Bosh, whose best work came on the boards, with his nine rebounds helping the Heat close with its sizable edge, shot five for 18. And Nowitzki, while closing with 27 points, shot seven for 18.
The truest shooting stroke of the night was offered from distance by James, who converted three third-quarter three-point shots on as many attempts on the way to 24 points.
"We're two playmakers," Wade said of himself and James, "Guys that can get shots for ourselves and get them for our teammates.
"But this was a total team win; we got one."
Ultimately, a gritty game required a gritty performance by a gritty performer. Heat forward Udonis Haslem, having gone 2 1/2 games without a basket, came through on that front, with seven points and six rebounds.
A three-point play by Haslem with 6:36 to play staked the Heat to a 76-69 lead. Wade, who singlehandedly lifted the Heat to the 2006 championship over the Mavericks by averaging 34.7 points, then converted a jumper for a 77-70 Heat lead. Wade made a three-pointer with 3:06 to play for an 82-73 Heat lead. A driving dunk by James followed, effectively ending it.
The Mavericks led 44-43 at halftime.
The good news? The Heat entered 5-0 when trailing at halftime this postseason.
Both teams entered 12-3 in the postseason. At 8-0, the Heat entered as the league's only undefeated team at home this postseason. The Mavericks entered 5-2 on the road this postseason.
The Heat won the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday at United Center with an 83-80 victory against the Bulls. Miami now plays an old foe, the Mavericks, in the NBA Finals, which will begin Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Heat ended the Bulls’ season in dramatic fashion Thursday, clinching the best-of-7 series 4-1. A wild comeback in the final minutes lifted Miami to its first NBA Finals series since breaking the Mavericks’ hearts in six games in 2006. Miami broke the hearts of thousands in Chicago on Thursday, outscoring the Bulls 18-3 in the final three minutes. The Heat trailed by 12 points with 3:03 left in the game before Wade made four consecutive points to begin the rally. Favoring his left shoulder, Wade struggled mightily for the majority of Thursday’s game but, along with LeBron James, was spectacular in the clutch.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called the Heat’s comeback “pretty emblematic” of his team’s entire season.
“We’ve been through a lot together, and we had to go through the fire again tonight,” Spoelstra said. “The majority of the game was not going our way but this team has built up a lot of resiliency and toughness to be able to still hang in there.”
The United Center crowd deflated with 25 seconds left when Bulls guard Derrick Rose, the youngest MVP in NBA history, missed the second of two free throws to tie the score at 81. James’ midrange jumper with 29.5 seconds left gave the Heat its lead.
Heat forward Chris Bosh made a pair of free throws with 16.8 seconds left, and James blocked Rose’s desperation three-point attempt to tie the score at the buzzer. James and Udonis Haslem, who doubled-teamed Rose on the play, hugged after capping the unlikely finish.
“We don’t even know what happened,” Wade said. “I’m not going to lie to you and say we do.”
Added James: “We want to watch the final four minutes of the game to see exactly what happened.”
For the majority of Thursday’s game, the Heat played some of its worst basketball of the season. Wade played poorly for three quarters but came alive at the end.
Wade, who was taken out of the game midway through the third quarter, received treatment on his shoulder before reentering the game with 10 minutes left in the fourth. He finished with 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting but perked up with the game on the line. His four-point play with 1:30 left cut the Bulls’ lead to three points. Rose fouled Wade in the act of shooting just his second three-point attempt of the game.
“He’s got something different — a different makeup inside,” Spoelstra said of Wade. “He’s able to rise up to the occasion no matter what’s happened. When it’s winning time, there’s no one better than him.”
Wade’s brilliance was sandwiched by a pair of three-pointers by James. His second three tied the score at 79 with 1:01 left. His midrange jumper gave the Heat the lead for good. James finished with a game-high 28 points on 8-of-19 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists. Bosh finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The United Center was a cauldron of noise with 3:53 left in the fourth quarter after Ronnie Brewer’s three-pointer to give the Bulls a 12-point lead but was silent in the final seconds as the Heat took a moment to celebrate before refocusing for the Finals.
The Heat shot just 33.3 percent in the third quarter but managed to outscore Chicago 19-17. The period highlighted the physical nature of the series. Carlos Boozer clotheslined James during the quarter and was whistled for a flagrant foul. The Bulls shot just 23.8 percent in the period but managed to hold onto their lead with an inspired defensive effort.
Wade was called for a traveling violation with 6:20 left in the first half. The turnover was the Heat’s fifth of the game and led to a midrange jumper from Boozer that gave Chicago a 12-point lead. On the Heat’s next possession, Wade again was whistled for traveling. The turnovers highlighted a difficult three quarters for Wade. He had nine turnovers, which tied a franchise record in the postseason.
The Heat defeated Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago in five games to advance to the NBA Finals..
TODAY'S HIGHLIGHTS CIA to search bin Laden compound The arrangement would allow the CIA for the first time to enter a complex that it had previously scrutinized only from a distance. (By Greg Miller and Karen DeYoung)
Serbia arrests Ratko Mladic on war crimes charges Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb general charged with orchestrating the largest mass killing of civilians in Europe since World War II, was arrested Thursday in Serbia, ending a nearly 16-year manhunt. (By Colum Lynch)
Online letters claim innocence in Md. slaying An interest in yoga brought a businessman-poet and AU professor together. Now he’s accused in her death. In online letters, the man — believed to be in Mexico — says he’s not guilty. (By Dan Morse)
Mitt Romney launching campaign on June 2 Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will formally announce his presidential campaign next Thursday, June 2, in New Hampshire. (By Chris Cillizza and Rachel Weiner)
POLITICS Obama signs Patriot Act extension; will continue anti-terror surveillance powers WASHINGTON — Congress on Thursday passed a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists. Votes taken in rapid succession in the Senate and House came after lawmakers rejected attempts to temper the law enforcement powers to ensure that individual liberties are not abused. ( Associated Press Associated Press , AP)
Congress approves extension of Patriot Act provisions Racing against the clock, Congress passed an extension to key provisions of the USA Patriot Act that allow investigators to keep using aggressive surveillance tactics. ( by Paul Kane and Felicia Sonmez , The Washington Post)
Gingrich casts self as ‘comeback kid’ The roughly 600 people who came to see Newt Gingrich during his two-day campaign swing through New Hampshire were largely uninterested in his purchases at Tiffany & Co. ( by Nia-Malika Henderson and Dan Eggen , The Washington Post)
Paul and the Other Paul The most memorable moment of Paul Simon’s concert comes with the star attraction happily observing. ( by David Malitz , The Washington Post)
SPORTS Tillman’s tactics help Terps The Final Four-bound Maryland men’s lacrosse team has responded to first-year Coach John Tillman’s team-building techniques. ( by Christian Swezey , The Washington Post)
AL Capsules DETROIT — Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer in a five-run second inning, and the hot-hitting Boston Red Sox went on to rout the Detroit Tigers 14-1 in an eight-inning, rain-shortened game Thursday. ( Associated Press Associated Press , AP)
Lisa de Moraes on the TV Column Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes is back and ready to chat about all the drama, comedy and heartbreak of the world of television -- both onscreen and behind-the-scenes! (, vForum)
Competing plans on job growth President Obama and Congressional Republicans unveil competing plans to reduce the cost of doing business for U.S. companies. ( by Zachary A. Goldfarb , The Washington Post)
Ex-Nasdaq exec pleads guilty to fraud Former executive traded on confidential information about companies listed on the Nasdaq, reaping more than $755,000 from 2006 to 2009. ( by David S. Hilzenrath , The Washington Post)
Looking to break out of a shooting funk, Heat guard Dwyane Wade drove to American Airlines Arena on Sunday night for a late-night workout.
Wade shot 41 percent from the field in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals one game after going 8 for 16. He said Monday morning that he “was just trying to work on some kinks in my offensively flow — just trying to work on things I normally get in a game.”
Late-night workouts are common among NBA players. Many view them as a necessary practice sessions. Heat forward LeBron James said he worked out until 4 a.m. before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant put in extra work at night long after team practices have been completed.
While Nowitzki was crushing the hearts of thousands in Oklahoma City on Sunday night, Wade was in AmericanAirlines Arena running through one of his exhaustive shooting workouts. Wade said he left his house while Oklahoma City still had a 15-point lead on Dallas. He was shocked to see the score after his drill work was completed. The Mavericks defeated the Thunder in overtime.
“I was like, ‘What?’ ” Wade said after seeing the score. “So, I was here long enough to see a total different outcome of the game when I got off the court.”
Wade has put in late-night work during each round of the playoffs. He emphasized that he wasn’t frustrated with his offensive game but only because the Heat had a 2-1 series lead against the Bulls going into Tuesday night’s game. His feelings would be different under other circumstances, he said.
“I don’t have to be frustrated with my offensive game because I have a team, I have help,” Wade said. “So, [if] you [asked] me this last year, yes, I would have been frustrated at this point. But now I’m just trying to do what I can to make sure this team wins.”
Wade wasn’t the only Heat player shocked by Sunday night’s outcome between the Mavericks and Thunder. James and Udonis Haslem said they felt badly for the Thunder, considering the way the team blew such a large lead on its home court.
“I wouldn’t have never thought Dallas would have been able to come back,” Haslem said. “I almost felt bad for Oklahoma City, but Dirk was unbelievable. But it just goes to show you that it’s a 48-minute game and you got to play until the last buzzer.”
James shared Haslem’s disbelief but also questioned the Thunder’s late-game execution.
“I think it’s unfortunate for [Oklahoma City] to be up 15 on their home floor with less than five minutes to go to lose that game in overtime,” James said. “I don’t want to sit here and be the coach of [the Thunder,] but [I’ve] seen a lot of things that could have been done better.”
Spoelstra said Tuesday that forward James Jones was “dealing with some toe and foot issues,” but indicated that wasn’t the reason why he isn’t playing. With Haslem and Mike Miller back in the fold, the Heat has gone to an eight-man rotation and Jones is the odd man out.
“Right now, it’s circumstantial with who we’re playing more than anything,” Spoelstra said.
Essentially, Spoelstra has chosen Miller’s defense over Jones’ shooting. But Spoelstra said his rotation could change.
NBA players get a lot of negative press but there are those who do the right thing. Shawn Marion of the Dallas Mavericks is known for his philantropic work via the Shawn Marion Foundation. The 12-year NBA veteran typically assists single-parent families through vocational training and adult scholarships but his next community endeavor is helping to spread HIV/AIDS awareness.
Shawn has partnered with Until There’s A Cure® (UTAC) to help spread awareness and educate people to get more involved in HIV/AIDS testing regardless of age. Until There's A Cure is a national organization dedicated to eradicating HIV/AIDS by raising awareness and funds to combat the pandemic.
“I am very excited to partner with UTAC and lend my hand in the fight to help inform our nation about HIV/AIDS,” said Shawn in a press release. “I encourage everyone to go out and get tested, purchase a bracelet and help spread the word.”
Marion joins a long list of celebrities who have endorsed Until There’s A Cure by wearing The Bracelet in the campaign ad, including Jessica Alba, Kim Kardashian, Laila Ali, Tony Hawk, Carmelo Anthony and many others.
In other news, Shawn will be honored alongside Magic Johnson and Jamie Foxx next month, for his philanthropic efforts.
While Chicago's defense focuses on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Bosh, the third element in Heat's Big Three, burns Bulls for 34 points as Miami wins, 96-85, to take 2-1 lead in Eastern finals.You still here? Everyone knows the Miami Heat's Big Three — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and . . . uh . . .Whatever he is, third of the Big Three, or King of the Other Guys, Bosh scored 34 points Sunday night, leading the Heat to victory in the battle of supporting casts as Miami beat the Bulls, 96-85, to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals."There's absolutely nothing easy in this series," Miami Coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It's a battle, it's a scrap, it's a fight every single possession."Now, it's win Game 4 on Tuesday or go home in a hole for the young Bulls, getting a crash course in life in the fast lane.Derrick Rose, their star and the NBA's MVP, was bottled up for the second game in a row.Joakim Noah, their unofficial MVP, was caught on camera appearing to say something to a fan like what Kobe Bryant was caught on camera saying to a referee.Noah later apologized. The NBA had no comment but will surely fine him.Oh, and Rose had been quoted as saying steroids are a "huge" issue in the NBA, then recanted before Sunday's game.As for the Heat, fame isn't all it's cracked up to be.Showing what this series has degenerated into — er, become — this turned into a shootout between Bosh and the Bulls' Carlos Boozer (26 points) as both defenses continued to load up for Rose, James and Wade.James (22 points) and Wade (17) combined for 39 points, shooting 12 for 30.Unfortunately for the Bulls, who would gladly concede those numbers and take their chances, they have only one superstar for Miami to contain, or as Spoelstra put it, "Try to get your chest in front of that tornado."Rose was held to 20 points, shooting eight for 19, taking only two shots in the fourth quarter."I thought Bosh was terrific from the start of the game," Chicago Coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought we allowed him to get his confidence early. And then he's hard to slow down when he gets going like that."Of course, that's what happens when you try to load up for two superstars, not just one.Since Bosh isn't chopped liver, himself, he's the hole in Thibodeau's theory. He made 13 of 18 shots Sunday."Obviously you have to commit to Wade and James, but that doesn't absolve you of covering the others," Thibodeau said. "You have to have the ability to do both. You have to go in with a multiple-effort mind-set." SOURCE:LATIMES.COM
The Los Angeles Lakers were used to playing with their backs against the wall. Nearly every year since Kobe Bryant joined the franchise in 1996, the Lakers have bickered among each other, played below their potential and created internal drama that was on par with an award-winning Hollywood script.
But similar to most Hollywood comeback stories, the Lakers usually found ways to overcome their adversities to advance in the playoffs and win championships. In 2010, the Lakers lost 13 games in the playoffs and still put forth enough effort to win the title.
However, the Lakers were undone by the arrogant notion that they could play awful and always win because they possess more talent than 95 percent of the NBA. The Dallas Mavericks made the Lakers pay for their overconfidence by eliminating them in four games and defeating them by 36 points on Mother’s Day.
During the waning moments of Phil Jackson’s last game coaching, the Lakers conducted themselves like sore losers who wanted to pick a street fight because they didn’t have enough fight on the court. Lamar Odom and Will Bynum were ejected after two hard and unnecessary fouls. It was a disgraceful end to Jackson’s illustrious career and marked the beginning of a puzzling new era for the Lakers franchise.
Another perplexing NBA team continued with their topsy-turvy play. The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Bulls in game 4 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals to even the series at 2-2. When the Hawks have taken advantage of obvious mismatches against the Bulls, they appear to be a team of championship quality.
But they often lose confidence and tend to give up if their opponents attack first. NBA MVP Derrick Rose has been the only consistent Bulls player in the series and will have a difficult time advancing without more offensive help from his teammates.
NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony is getting his wish, and the New York Knicks are getting a second superstar.
The Knicks have agreed to a trade with the Denver Nuggets for Anthony, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Monday night.
The deal that would end the season-long trade saga involving Denver's All-Star forward and send him to his desired destination can't be finalized until Tuesday during a conference call with the NBA office. Assuming it goes through, it puts Anthony alongside Amare Stoudemire in a potentially explosive frontcourt - at a heavy cost to the Knicks.
The person provided no other details of who was in the deal, which was first reported Monday by the Denver Post. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly on the trade.
The Post, citing a league source, said the Knicks would send Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov and a 2014 first-round draft pick to the Nuggets, who would get additional picks and cash.
Along with Anthony, New York would acquire Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Anthony Carter and Renaldo Balkman, according to the Post.
ESPN later reported it was a three-way deal with Minnesota, which would acquire Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph from the Knicks for Corey Brewer.
The Nuggets have explored an Anthony trade since he refused to sign the three-year contract extension worth nearly $65 million they offered him last summer. They appeared on the verge of sending him to the New Jersey Nets on multiple occasions, but the Knicks increased their offer enough to land Anthony, who was believed to prefer New York all along.
The Knicks would hope he could be in uniform Wednesday when they host the Milwaukee Bucks.
Denver coach George Karl said there was ``some sadness'' to the deal, which sends away not only Anthony but Billups, the popular Denver native. But he added it was ``time to move on, reinvent.''
Anthony led the Nuggets to the playoffs in each of his first seven seasons in Denver after winning a national title at Syracuse as a freshman and had them positioned for another playoff run this year. But Denver advanced out of the first round just once in that time.
He stood to become the headliner of the 2011 free agent class, but didn't want to risk free agency knowing a new collective bargaining agreement could cost him millions. But once he refused the extension with the Nuggets - plus put his Denver mansion on the market last year - the Nuggets' new front office team of general manager Masai Ujiri and team president Josh Kroenke had to begin trade talks so they wouldn't risk losing him and getting nothing in return as the Cavaliers did with LeBron James and the Toronto Raptors did with Chris Bosh last year. CONTINUE READING..
Last Saturday, while you were enjoying bratwursts and s'mores, Carmelo
marrying LaLa Vasquez, an MTV VJ. Cool weekend plans, I suppose.
And since Melo is a big-time NBA baller, he attracted more than a few
celebrities to his New York City nuptials. In attendance were Kim
Kardashian, Spike Lee, Justin Timberlake and Ludacris, who hopefully
provided entertainment during the reception. Oh, and LeBron
whom you may have heard of.
That's right — LeBron James was in
New York City just two days after choosing the Miami
Heat in his highly rated one-hour ESPN special. You can imagine how
well that went over with Knick fans. From
[LeBron] James was greeted by a round
of loud boos from angry New Yorkers outside the wedding in Cipriani
42nd Street when he arrived with his girlfriend Savannah Brinson,
LeBron. Way to almost ruin your friend's wedding by choosing to play in
Miami. It's like that old saying: "You made your multi-millon dollar
free-agency bed, now get booed by Knick fans in it." Or something like
that. LBJ might as well hear the jeers now, since he'll be getting
heckled basically everywhere but Miami-Wade County. Better to start with
a few scattered New Yorkers than 20,000 rabid Clevelanders who hate his
Carmelo Anthony's wedding Saturday night at Cipriani's on 42nd Street,
Chris Paul, the superstar New Orleans point guard, predicted a future
Knicks Dream Team. [...]
According to a person who spoke with
wedding attendee Amar'e
Paul made the reference during a speech of a potential union of
himself, Stoudemire and Anthony, saying, "We'll form our own Big 3,"
Paul allegedly said.
I'm sure that won't get New
York fans' hopes up for the summer of 2012. Surely they'll take this
potential joining of forces in stride and not get too upset if it never
comes to fruition. At least I hope that's the case because VJs don't
grow on trees these days. If things change, it'd be unfortunate for
Knicks fans to have to boo Chris Paul for passing Jesse
Camp on the street.
Pau Gasol, struggling from the line all night, made two free throws to push the Lakers' lead to 70-64 with 4 1/2 minutes to play and the chants of "Defense, Defense" could result in hearing loss. Paul Pierce answered that with a fadeaway to make it a four-point game.Kobe Bryant, usually automatic in these situations, then missed the first of two free throws before making the second. Kevin Garnett, on a pass from Rasheed Wallace, put down one of the few dunks in this game on the next possession.
The Lakers continue to push the ball inside and draw fouls, and Gasol returned to the line with 2:47 to play. He made both to get the lead back to five.
After swarming defense led to a miss by Wallace, the Celtics fouled again and sent Gasol back to the line. He made one of two, 74-68.
Boston's turn at the line, Pierce this time.
Two free throws later, the lead was down to four.
Gasol then backed down Wallace and dropped in a bucket to give the Lakers a 76-70 lead and produce a Boston timeout. The Lakers are feeling a second straight NBA title.
Kobe Bryant went to the line for three free throws after being fouled by Ray Allen. At that point, the Lakers were only nine for 17 from the line, but Bryant made all three to cut Boston's lead to one, 59-58.
Allen then came right back and sank a baseline jumper. The Lakers' offensive juggernaut, Ron Artest, then drove across the lane for a bucket and a foul with 7:29 to play and he tied the score. The Lakers' crowed sounded like it had been transplanted from Oklahoma City.
Allen briefly quieted things by drawing a foul, but enlivened things when he missed the first of two free throws. He made the second and Boston was back on top by one.
Both teams are playing with a lot of emotion, diving for loose balls and playing tight defense inside.
The Lakers' free-throw problems continued when Gasol missed two free throws for the second time tonight, failing to give the Lakers a lead when he had the chance. He is two for seven from the line.
Allen had no such problem, making two with 6:29 to play to push the tentative lead to 64-61.
But Derek Fisher, who had just returned to the game, canned a three-pointer shortly thereafter and the score was suddenly tied.
Reporting from Boston -- Paul Pierce was wrong. The Boston Celtics
weren't going to win the NBA Finals amid a blizzard of green and white
confetti … if at all.
The Lakers made sure of it Tuesday with a pointed defensive declaration
in Game 3, beating back Boston in a 91-84 victory with unlikely star
Derek Fisher, a stunning reversal by Game 2 protagonist Ray Allen and,
near the end, a rare smile from Kobe Bryant, as telling a sign as any
that the series had tilted in the Lakers' direction.
The noise level at TD Garden was nonexistent, if that's ever possible,
after the Lakers took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 on
Thursday and Game 5 on Sunday are also in Boston, but the Lakers
regained home-court advantage despite Pierce's late proclamation in Game
2 that the Celtics "ain't coming back to L.A."Of course, the Lakers could now finish the series in Boston, but that's
another story for a different day.
There's also a stat Lakers followers can tuck in next to them at night:
Since the Finals went to the 2-3-2 format 25 years ago, the Game 3
winner has taken the championship 10 out of 10 times when the series was
tied at 1-1.
Fisher had 11 fourth-quarter points, including the play of the season
for the Lakers, taking a defensive rebound, dribbling past a sleepy
Celtics defense and getting fouled after making a layup. He made the
free throw, giving the Lakers an 87-80 lead with 48.3 seconds to play on
their way to their first playoff victory in Boston since Magic
Johnson's "junior skyhook" in 1987.
The series was suddenly in the Lakers' control, the play leading to a
quick celebration from Bryant, an all-business type these days. There
was also an emotional catch in Fisher's voice in a TV interview
immediately after the game. CONTINUE READING...
Said Fisher, a while later: "I love what I do and I love helping my team
LOS ANGELES — This was the type of game Lakers Coach Phil Jackson relishes, in which Kobe Bryant is not employed as an escape valve with the ball in his hands and the outcome on his shoulders. Bryant picked his spots — a free throw here, a layup there, 3-pointers everywhere and even a couple of dunks from his 31-year-old legs — as if he were leisurely leafing through a magazine while his teammates steadily bludgeoned the Boston Celtics, 102-89, in Game 1 of the N.B.A. finals Thursday at Staples Center.
In the span of two years and on the heels of one game, the more aggressive team in this matchup was decked in gold, not green, thanks to the addition of Ron Artest, the inclusion of Andrew Bynum and two years of Pau Gasol’s bad memories.
Bryant finished with 30 points and emptied 14 of them in the third quarter, as the Lakers outscored the Celtics, 34-23, in that quarter to break the game open. Entering the fourth, the Lakers enjoyed an 84-64 lead and four of their starters had scored in double digits. Derek Fisher, the other starter, had 9 points.
“We got it from different places,” Jackson said. “Guys chipped in at different times, helped us out.”
Redemption weighed heavily on both teams before momentum swayed strongly in the Lakers’ favor. Even the Hollywood fans got up out of their seats whenever Bryant finished off an alley-oop or Gasol topped off a fast break.
“Just being aggressive and tonight I got the benefit of the whistle,” said Bryant, who also had seven rebounds and six assists, while making 9 of 10 free throws.
The performance served notice to a Celtics team that had beaten the Lakers in 2008 to win their 17th N.B.A. championship. In those finals, the Lakers never held a series lead. Gasol was deemed soft in the interior against Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins.
On Thursday, Gasol amassed 23 points and 14 rebounds.
“I knew it was going to be physical, that’s a given,” Gasol said. “This being our third consecutive finals, we understand the nature of the game.”
In one telling sequence in the third quarter, Gasol turned around for a hook shot and bumped into Perkins, while the ball careered off the rim. Gasol grabbed the rebound and gained his composure before missing again and scooping up the shot and elegantly laying it in.
“If you heard what you couldn’t do for two years, you’re probably going to come in and try to prove that,” Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said.
Bynum did not participate in the 2008 finals because of an injury but was effective Thursday, three days after having fluid drained from his right knee. He and Gasol outrebounded Garnett and Perkins, 20-7. CONTINUE READING
LOS ANGELES (AP) — When
Kobe Bryant joined the Lakers and Paul Pierce landed with the Celtics in
the late 1990s, they both learned most of what they needed to know
about their franchises' histories and expectations simply by looking at
the forests of fabric high above the court.
These teams only hang
banners for championships, and they're usually in big groups.
titles are the only metric of success, the only validation still
interesting to Bryant and Pierce. Bryant is trying to accomplish the
rarest of NBA feats for the second time in his career, while Pierce's
Celtics get their first chance when the NBA finals begin Thursday night
at Staples Center.
``It's going to mean everything for my career,
because a lot of guys have won one, and not many have won a couple,''
Pierce said Wednesday before Boston practiced at Staples Center.
basketball's most successful franchises are together in the NBA finals
for the second time in three years and the 12th time overall. These
teams will have won 33 of the league's 64 titles when they finish a
potentially fascinating series with plenty of modern subplots.
always focused on winning a championship,'' Bryant said. ``And when you
do it, you want to do it again and again.''
Bryant is enjoying a
dynamic postseason despite hobbling through injuries during a third
straight finals run by his remarkably steady Lakers, who are 8-0 at home
in the playoffs and haven't even trailed in a series.
swift rise from a 50-win regular season as a No. 4 seed has been even
more surprising, with Rajon Rondo making a quantum leap into stardom
during what might be the last stand for Boston's Big Three of Pierce,
Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
But on the biggest scoreboard of
all, the one these players claim they seldom check, it's Celtics 17,
Lakers 15. Don't expect fans in either basketball-crazy city to forget
that score when their team takes it all again.
And just in case
the Staples Center fans didn't have enough reason to go crazy in Game 1,
Pierce threw out the first volley against his own hometown.
fans are, I want to say, a little bit more knowledgeable to the game,''
said Pierce, a Lakers fan growing up in Inglewood. ``I think a lot of
celebrities come here to get out of the house (rather) than to watch a
game - to see the other celebrities. It's an interesting crowd, whereas I
think our fans really come to watch the actual game.''
should be fully focused on this historic matchup, however. Most players
on both teams already have jewelry after Boston beat Los Angeles in six
games in 2008, and the Lakers routed Orlando last season. But just one
ring isn't enough now - not for the veterans who appreciate the rare
opportunity to go for two.
``If you look at the great players in
Celtic history, the great teams, they've all won a couple of
championships at least,'' said Pierce, who dumped his baseball dreams
for basketball mostly because of this rivalry's irresistible pull in the
1980s. ``I want to be mentioned up there with the great Celtics of all
time, cement my name in history with the group by winning more than one
championship. ... To win another one, and to come close to it, is pretty
Celtics coach Doc Rivers subtly emphasized this
point all season at Boston's training complex with a blank banner
hanging above their practice court, right next to the 2008 banner.
Rivers claimed it was put there by the late Red Auerbach, whose coaching
record for NBA titles was broken by Lakers coach Phil Jackson last
year. CONTINUE READING..