Will superstars save Team USA next summer?

Sep 14, 2019

BEIJING — From the minute Team USA lost to France in the quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup earlier this week, USA Basketball had to begin preparing itself for 10 months from now and the Olympics in Tokyo.

Fair or not, that is shaping up to be a referendum on the state of the national team.

The modern era of Olympic basketball started in 1992 in Barcelona. And for all the Olympics since, the Americans have sent a team loaded with All-Stars and high-level role players who represented the birthplace of the game at the highest level. Even when they were beaten, it was not because of talent issues.

But that model is a bit on the line now. Players are pulling back on summer commitments as rest and recovery methods become more of a focus. And a new calendar where the World Cup and

Team USA hits historic low at FIBA World Cup

Sep 12, 2019

DONGGUAN, China — Sometimes the worst insult can be apathy.

Wednesday night, when France beat Team USA, some French players had tears in their eyes and star Rudy Gobert said he’d fulfilled a lifelong dream. Thursday night, when Serbia jumped out to a 25-point lead in the first quarter and went on to beat the Americans for the first time, 94-89, avenging a 30-point loss in the Olympic gold-medal game in 2016, there was … nothing.

No emotion. The Serbian players just walked off the floor.

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It’s true the game had no material stakes. Team USA had already qualified for the Olympics and Serbia couldn’t qualify and was just playing for pride. But when Australia beat Team USA in a friendly last month in Melbourne, the victors celebrated it as one of the great achievements in the country’s basketball history.

Nikola Jokic, the

NBA is China's favorite sport, but when will the next Yao Ming arrive?

Sep 11, 2019

David Stern looked like a lost American tourist standing outside of the Chinese Central Television offices in Beijing for hours in 1989. Three years before the Dream Team made the world fall in love with basketball, the then-NBA commissioner actually helped light the spark that led to China falling in love with his league.

“I was following what was going on in the media industry, particularly movies that were making their entrance into China,” Stern recently told ESPN. “And so, in the late ’80s, I went to Beijing. There is a story they tell about me being stood up by [China’s] head of sport. I said, ‘I’ll wait in the lobby until he accepts us.’ And he came and met us, and we agreed to give him tapes of NBA games, and we would sell the [advertising] time, and share the revenue with [CCTV, China’s

Kevin Durant hates the NBA circus he created

Kevin Durant is right about one thing: the NBA is definitely a circus. A weird kind of circus, to be sure, but a circus nevertheless.

That was the description of the league used by the Brooklyn Nets’ new frontman in a Wall Street Journal Magazine interview released on Tuesday, in which he revealed that he is not always enamored with the “game beyond the game“ hoopla that comes with being a truly elite basketball player.

“Some days I hate the circus of the NBA,” Durant said. “Some days I hate that the players let the NBA business, the fame that comes with the business, alter their minds about the game. Sometimes I don’t like being around the executives and politics that come with it. I hate that.”

In some ways, Durant’s point taps into the reality that the NBA is a very different kind of league, one that is far

Fred McLeod, broadcaster who called Cavs' title, dies at 67

CLEVELAND (AP) — Fred McLeod’s passion poured through the TV no matter what game he was covering.

The longtime sportscaster and announcer, who called Cleveland’s NBA championship in 2016 and told his cameraman to keep rolling when Stanford’s band was on the field in 1982, died Monday. He was 67.

The Cavaliers said McLeod died suddenly but did not elaborate.

A popular play-by-play man because of his fervor and his rapport with commentator and former Cavs guard Austin Carr, McLeod did play-by play of the Cavs for 15 years following a long stint with the Pistons.

McLeod grew up in the Cleveland area, the city’s sports teams in his blood. After LeBron James and the Cavs stormed back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors for the title three years ago, McLeod called the game’s final seconds and then broke down in tears.

It was the first

Jordan pledges $1 million for hurricane relief in Bahamas

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Hornets owner and six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan is pledging $1 million to organizations assisting with Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas.

Jordan said in a statement Tuesday on Twitter through his spokeswoman Estee Portnoy that he’s “devastated” at the destruction in the Bahamas, adding “my heart goes out to everyone who is suffering and to those who have lost loved ones.”

Jordan, who owns property and frequently visits the Bahamas, says as the recovery and relief efforts continue he will be tracking the situation closely and working to identify nonprofit agencies where the funds will have the most impact.

Jordan added that “the Bahamian people are strong and resilient and I hope that my donation will be of help as they work to recover from this catastrophic storm.”

Dennis Rodman: 'Isiah Thomas pretty much saved my career'

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By: | September 10, 2019

NBA legend Dennis Rodman now has his own ESPN ’30 for 30′ documentary: For Better Or Worse. The film, narrated by Jamie Foxx, chronicles Rodman’s career and his rockstar life off the court. The Worm talked with HoopsHype about the documentary, his time with the Lakers and many other topics.

First of all, how did you feel when you watched the documentary?

Dennis Rodman: It’s going to be an enlightenment. All my life’s story, that’s pretty much a part of my life. I think people are going to hear a lot of emotion, a lot of enjoyment, just watching it. All the ups and downs, the trials and tribulations, and just the adventure. That’s cool, just the adventure is cool as hell. I think people are going to look at me as more like a

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Parker stays with Turner Sports, but WNBA playoffs are next

Candace Parker knows what she’ll be doing after the WNBA season.

The Los Angeles Sparks star is remaining with Turner Sports after signing a multiyear deal. She will remain part of the network’s NBA and NCAA Tournament coverage as well as contributing analysis to NBA TV, a Turner property.

Parker joined Turner for NCAA Tournament coverage in 2018 before expanding into NBA commentary last season. She had some interest from ESPN, but decided to remain with the network in an expanded role. She will be an integral part of TNT’s Tuesday night telecasts and will co-host a new podcast with Kristen Ledlow.

“It is great to be back,” Parker said. “It was a great process going through negotiations.”

Her main concern now though is leading the Los Angeles Sparks in the WNBA playoffs. She is averaging 11.2 points for the third-seeded Sparks.

Parker has improved during her two seasons in