Latest Basketball News

Lakers Pick up Lou Williams and Brandon Bass, Trade for Roy Hibbert | NBA Free Agency July 06, 2015 11:28

With the Lakers finally making some moves, and the official date for signing contracts (9th July) fast approaching, here’s what’s been going down in the NBA.

ROY HIBBERT TO BE TRADED TO THE LAKERS

It was reported over the weekend that the Indiana Pacers had told Roy Hibbert to get ready to be shipped to Los Angeles to join the Lakers, after a trade was agreed in principle between the two teams.

The final part of the deal which would need to be ironed out before anything gets signed has to do with the 15% trade kicker that activates with Hibbert on his $15.5 million salary if he moves to the Lakers. The Lakers can afford to bring Hibbert’s salary and bonus in under the salary cap, but they reportedly want to find a more creative way to preserve more cap room in the deal.

The Pacers will receive a future second-round draft pick as part of the deal, as well as being able to unload Hibbert, who doesn’t fit into the newly shaped, sleeker and faster Pacers team.

LAKERS AGREE DEALS WITH WILLIAMS AND BASS

Last seasons’ Sixth Man of the Year, Lou Williams, is set to sign a 3-year deal with the LA Lakers, worth $21 million. Williams will join the second pick from this year’s draft in D’Angelo Russell, and second year point guard Jordan Clarkson in the backcourt for the Lakers.

The Lakers are also bringing Brandon Bass over from the Boston Celtics to join Roy Hibbert in the front court, with Kobe Bryant and Nick Young on the wings.

MAVERICKS SEEKING JEREMY LIN

With the Lakers having picked up Russell in the draft, to sit alongside Clarkson, the front court rotation in LA is getting a little tight, so it’s thought that the Dallas Mavericks are looking to take on Jeremy Lin.

The issue with this at the moment if that the Mavericks would need to sign free agent Lin as part of a sign and trade deal with the Lakers, due to the fact that the Mavs only have an exception of $2.8 million available under the salary cap.

If Lin can make the move, he hopes to pick up his career amongst the new Dallas line-up which includes DeAndre Jordan and Wes Matthews.

CLIPPERS LOOKING FOR A BIG MAN

The LA Clippers are reportedly considering signing either JaVale McGee or Amar’e Stoudemire as they look to fill the gap left by DeAndre Jordan.

McGee, who seems to feature more on Shaqtin a Fool than any other player in the league, has played just 28 games in the last two seasons. Last year he started the season with the Denver Nuggets before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, who ultimately waived him after just 6 games.

Signing McGee could seem a bit desperate, but he’d certainly provide more energy and offensive spark than Stoudemire, who played half of last year with the Dallas Mavericks, after they bought out his contract from the Knicks.

REGGIE JACKSON STICKS WITH DETROIT

Reggie Jackson has agreed a 5-year, $80 million deal with the Detroit Pistons, after being traded there last season from the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jackson happily made the move to Detroit, to take on a role as a starter, instead of playing in the shadow of Russell Westbrook in OKC.

The Pistons are looking to rebuild around Jackson, and Andre Drummond, with the hope that Brandon Jennings will also come back to be an effective piece of the puzzle, after tearing his Achilles last January.

BIYOMBO TO BOLSTER RAPTORS DEFENCE

The Toronto Raptors have signed free agent Bismarck Biyombo to a 2-year, $6 million contract. Biyombo joins DeMarre Carroll as the second free agent to sign with the Raptors in the last week, as they look to piece together a stronger defence.


DeAndre Jordan Agrees to Sign with Mavericks While Rajon Rondo Moves to Sacramento July 04, 2015 12:09

More news and signings from around the league as we dig deeper into free agency.

RAJON RONDO TO THE KINGS

The Sacramento Kings have managed to bag Rajon Rondo for a reported 1-year deal worth $10 million. The report comes just hours after the Kings made an agreement to sign Marco Belinelli as they makes moves to sharpen up their back court.

Rondo made more headlines for arguing with coaching staff and being benched in Dallas, than he did for performing on the court, so the 1-year deal with the Kings is considered to be of minimal risk to both parties.

DERRICK WILLIAMS TO THE KNICKS

The New York Knicks continue to make moves, having reportedly picked up Derrick Williams. The former no. 2 pick, behind Kyrie Irving in the 2011 draft, will look to impress Knicks fans in a way that he hasn’t managed yet in the NBA.

Williams is said to have agreed a 2-year, $10 million deal, having averaged 8.3 points and 2.7 rebounds for the Sacramento Kings last season.

DEANDRE JORDAN TO SIGN WITH DALLAS MAVERICKS

Reports have come through that say DeAndre Jordan has left the LA Clippers to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. Jordan was reportedly more impressed by the fact that Dirk Nowitzki left a family holiday go to Los Angeles to be in talks with him, whereas the Clippers players weren’t around to make the same impact.

The Texas native, who led the NBA in rebounds for the past two seasons, is said to have agreed to sign a $80 million deal for 4 years in Dallas. The signing of Jordan will be considered the biggest free agent move in the 15 years that Mark Cuban has been the team owner, and one that the Mavs are in serious need of.

Earlier this week they lost Tyson Chandler to the Phoenix Suns, Rajon Rondo has moved to the Sacramento Kings and Monta Ellis left to go to the Indiana Pacers after leaving the Mavericks in scoring.

The only starters definitely returning to Dallas next year is 37 year old Nowitzki, who has played his whole career there, and Chandler Parsons, who made a serious effort to recruit Jordan, frequently taking him out in the days running up to the free agency window opening.

HOUSTON RETAIN BREWER AND BEVERLEY

The Houston Rockets have reportedly retained both Corey Brewer and Patrick Beverly, with the former agreeing to a 3-year, $24 million deal, and the latter agreeing to a 4-year, $25 million deal.

Brewer had looked at the Lakers, Kings and Knicks, before coming back to the Rockets, while Beverley was quickly brought back in with an offer sheet before he could explore too many free agency options.

ORLANDO MAGIC RETAIN HARRIS

The Orlando Magic have managed to retain Tobias Harris, on a 4-year, $64 million deal, after missing out on coming to terms with Paul Millsap. The Magic cut the deal quickly, as it was thought that other teams were looking to offer Harris a max contract.


Latest NBA Trades & Free Agency Moves July 03, 2015 16:05

As free agency continues in the NBA, here’s a look at some of the deals that have gone down in the last 24 hours.

DWAYNE WADE STAYS IN MIAMI

After weeks of back and forth, Dwayne Wade has finally agreed to sign a $20 million deal that will keep him in Miami for the next year. Having already spent 12 seasons with the Heat, Wade tested free agency after a season where the Heat didn’t even make it to the playoffs.

Speaking about his decision, Wade said, “Sitting down with Nick [Arison, Heat CEO], sitting down with Micky [Arison, Managing General Partner] and having conversations with them that I’ve never had, that was big for me. I’ve never had a business conversation with one of them… They got to show me how much they really wanted me to be here… I don’t think we would be at this point [without those conversations].

GREG MONROE AGREES MAX CONTRACT WITH BUCKS

After being courted by the struggling New York Knicks, and floundering LA Lakers, Greg Monroe has taken his talents to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he is said to have agreed to sign a 3-year deal, worth $50 million.

Monroe would have the chance to become a free agent again after two years with the Bucks if things didn’t work out, but Monroe was really looking for the opportunity to make it to the play-offs next year, for the first time in his career, and he thinks that the Bucks look like the team to get him there.

SUNS CLEAR SALARY CAP, SPLIT UP MORRIS TWINS

The Phoenix Suns have traded Marcus Morris, Danny Granger and Reggie Bullock to the Detroit Pistons, in return for a future draft pick. Since the Suns didn’t trade for any players, it’s believed that they’re just clearing cap space in order to try and sign free agent LaMarcus Aldridge.

The Suns signed Tyson Chandler from the Dallas mavericks on Wednesday, and brough Brandon Knight back in a bid to build a team that would appeal to Aldridge in his bid for NBA success.

The trade splits up Marcus Morris from his twin brother, Markieff Morris, with the two having spent most of their lives playing together. They played together at Kansas before spending 3 seasons together in Phoenix.

WES MATTHEWS SIGNS WITH MAVERICKS AFTER TURNING DOWN KINGS

Wes Matthews made a bold move to turn down a large offer from the Sacramento Kings, to instead sign with the Dallas Mavericks.

Matthews is coming off a torn Achilles injury, which ended his season in Portland before the play-offs last season, and was reportedly offered $64 million for a 4-year deal with the Kings. Details surrounding the agreement with the Mavericks have yet to be released.

MONTA ELLIS GOES TO PACERS FOR $44 MILLION

Monta Ellis opted out of the last year of his contract with the Dallas Mavericks to see if free agency could see him improve on the $8.7 million that he was due to get in Dallas. His gamble paid off, as he has reportedly agreed to sign a $44 million, 4-year deal with the Indiana Pacers that will also see him be allowed to become a free agent again in the 2017-18 NBA season.

ROBIN LOPEZ TO THE NEW YORK KNICKS

Robin Lopez has reportedly agree to sign with the New York Knicks - on one condition - that the Knicks don’t sign DeAndre Jordan. Lopez is likely to want around $12 million a year from the Knicks, with details likely to come out after the official signing date of the 9th July.


NBA Teams Spend a Collective $1.1 Billion on First Day of Free Agency July 02, 2015 14:54

As the flood gates opened yesterday on the NBA free agency market, a crazy amount of deals started to go down, with even crazier price tags.

As noted on the Hang Time Blog, the market opened for deals to be done at 12:01am Eastern time in the US, and by 7pm NBA teams had already spent $1.1 billion on players contracts.

Kevin Love scored a 5-year, $110 million deal to stay in Cleveland with the Cavaliers, while the New Orleans Pelican’s secured 5 additional years with Anthony Davis for $145 million. Damian Lillard racked up a nice $120 million contract to stick around in Portland for the next 5 years.

While those guys were picking up the biggest contracts on the day, there were plenty of other news-worthy trades that had people speculating about what will be in store for us in the 2015/16 NBA season.

Tyson Chandler was traded from the Dallas Mavericks to the Phoenix Suns on a 4-year, $52 million deal, while DeMarre Carroll made the move from the Atlanta Hawks, to the Toronto Raptors on a $60 million deal for 4 years - making him the highest paid player on the Raptors roster right now.

After some serious back and forth, Draymond Green re-signed with the Golden State Warriors on a 5-year, $85 million deal and Jimmy Butler pleased Bulls fans by re-signing with Chicago on a 5-year max contract worth a reported $90 million.

While news of whether Dwayne Wade will stick it out in Miami or make move to a new team, the Heat announced that they will sign a new contract with Goran Tragic which is likely to be worth between $85 - 90 million over 5 years.

The Cavaliers, as well as retaining Love, also shelled out on Tristan Thompson and Iman Shumpert. Shumpert picked up a 4-year, $40 million deal, while Thompson picked up a 5-year $80 million deal. Notably, LeBron James is also a free agent right now after opting out of his contract with the Cavaliers, but it’s widely known that James plans to stay in Cleveland, with his contract yet to be agreed.

While Davis picked up top dollar from the Pelicans, Omer Asik was also getting in on the action, signing a new contract for 5-years, worth $60 million, with the New Orleans-based franchise.

We have to wait until the 9th July for all contracts to be sealed and there’s no doubt going to be plenty of action between now and then so stay tuned.


Karl-Anthony Towns Selected First in 2015 NBA Draft June 26, 2015 13:36

After all of the hype and speculation, Karl-Anthony Towns was selected first overall in the NBA Draft last night, by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

This being the first time that the Timberwolves have had the first pick, they opted for a big man to take centre court for them.

Towns will join a young, but talented line-up in Minnesota, that includes last years first pick, Andrew Wiggins, who ended up with the Timberwolves after being traded away from Cleveland in the Kevin Love trade.

In New York last night, Towns was sat which is Kentucky college coach, John Calipari said to the press after the draft that “I told Coach Cal before when he first came out that I was trying to drink the water and I was shaking uncontrollably, and I told him, ‘Coach, don’t give me the ball right now for the last second shot. I wouldn’t make it.’”

With the first pick out the way, the Los Angeles Lakers then chose D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State with the second pick. Jahlil Okafor had been considered a higher pick than Russell in the run-up to the draft, but the Lakers went for a backcourt guy to sit under Kobe Bryants wing.

That meant that Okafor went to the Philadelphia 76ers with the 3rd pick. Having played under coach Mike Krzyzewski, Okafor became the 19th lottery selection and 29th first round pick to prosper under coach K, the most in NCAA history.

In fourth spot, the New York Knicks drafted Latvian forward, Kristaps Porsingis, and the fans weren’t happy about it. Loud boos poured out from the Knicks fans in Barclays Center. The fans weren’t appeased until later in the draft when the Knicks picked up the rights to Notre Dame guard, Jerian Grant, from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Tim Hardaway Jr.

Nineteen-year old Porgzinis stormed up the draft ladder during the pre-draft workouts, but Knicks fans haven’t forgiven the franchise for drafting ‘busts’ like Frederic Weis or the underwhelming Andrea Bargnani. It’ll be up to Porgzinis to change their minds when he takes to the court next season.

Another international player went at the 5th pick, with the Orlando Magic selecting Mario Hezonja before the Sacramento Kings drafted Willie Cauley-Stein at 6th.

The full top 10 went like this:

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves - Karl-Anthony Towns - Center
  2. LA Lakers - D’Angelo Russell - Point Guard
  3. Philadelphia 76ers - Jahlil Okafor - Center
  4. New York Knicks - Kristaps Porzingis - Power Forward
  5. Orlando Magic - Mario Hezonja - Shooting Guard
  6. Sacramento Kings - Willie Cauley-Stein - Center
  7. Denver Nuggets - Emmanuel Mudiay - Point Guard
  8. Detroit Pistons - Stanley Johnson - Small Forward
  9. Charlotte Hornets - Frank Kaminsky - Power Forward
  10. Miami Heat - Justise Winslow - Shooting Guard

True to Atlanta - The Hawks Reveal New Uniforms for 2015/16 NBA Season June 24, 2015 16:49

Following in the footsteps of the Milwaukee Bucks, LA Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers, the Atlanta Hawks have stepped up to showcase their brand new uniforms, in a live feed that was broadcast on their website today.

First laying eyes on these uniforms when they were leaked in the run up to the official release, we were pretty skeptical on the design, especially the inclusion of the neon green colour.

Nevertheless, changes to sports uniforms always take some getting used to, and notoriously pull a negative response at first release, so lets take a look at what the Hawks have got to say about their new look. 

First off, the Hawks were really specific in their live unveil about the fact that they're doing 5 new things with the uniforms that haven't been done before. They also repeated over and over about how youthful the new look was, and that it's fitting for a younger audience, playing on the future growth and development of the franchise, where as other teams seem to have taken things back to their roots.

 

First up, they're using new bold colours. The new colours are Torch Red, said to represent being fiery and passionate, while the Georgia Granite Grey represents solidarity and toughness. Then we have the new Green Volt, the most controversial of the colours, which is said to represent a fearlessness and vibrance. 

As well as new bold colours, the Hawks have also introduced an all-over triangle pattern which is said to mimic the feathers of a Hawk in action. Using this kind of pattern is said to be something new to the NBA jersey game.

The Hawks have introduced a-symmetrical shorts. There's piping and the Hawks 'Pac-Man' logo down one side, with a 'Hawks' wordmark down the other.

 The Hawks also plan to mix and match the shorts terms of colourways, so for example the Hawks might be wearing a white jersey, with black shorts, or a black jersey with red shorts. That would be totally different to anything that's happened before in the NBA.

In their live announcement, the Hawks also said that they were the first NBA team to work together with Stance, the new on-court sock supplier, to create a signature sock for next season. 

Hit us up on social media to let us know what you think of the bold move by the Atlanta Hawks.


Michael Jordan's Charlotte Hornets Named as Hosts for 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend June 23, 2015 16:30

The NBA have just announced that Charlotte will be the host city for the 2017 NBA All-Star game.

The All-Star Weekend, and 66th annual All-Star game will take place at the Time Warner Cable Arena, which is the current home of the Charlotte Hornets, who are owned by Michael Jordan.

This will be the second time that Charlotte has hosted the All-Star game, the first being in 1991 when Michael Jordan was the leading scorer in the game at the Charlotte Coliseum.

Speaking in a press conference just earlier today, Jordan said; "It is an honour to bring the NBA All-Star back to Charlotte. I remember the excitement of playing in the 1991 All-Star game, the first one held in my home state and I take pride in being able to host the NBA All-Star 2017 as the owner of the Hornets."

The All-Star weekend will tip-off in Charlotte on Friday 17th February 2017, with various events taking place in the run up to the All-Star game on Sunday night.


Drunk Draymond Trashes the Cavaliers at Warriors Parade June 20, 2015 12:39

There's no questions that the Golden State Warriors are thoroughly  enjoying their time as NBA Champions, but we don't think anyone is enjoying it quite as much as Draymond Green.

The Warriors just completed their victory parade in Oakland, which was attended by pretty much everyone who lives in the Bay Area by the looks of things, and Green who must have had a few drinks, had a few things to say in an interview as part of the celebrations.

Mostly "We did it." "We run this." "We here."

But, he also lay down some trash on the Cavs saying, "Splash Brothers…Yup! Cavaliers…Nope. We won. They suck. We here. They're not."

Check it out in all its glory.


Philadelphia 76ers Reveal New Uniforms for 2015/16 NBA Season June 19, 2015 11:45

After the LA Clippers released their new NBA logo and team kits to mixed reviews yesterday, it's the Philadelphia 76ers turn to grab some of the spotlight.

The Sixers have unveiled their new uniforms for the 2015/16 season, with a theme of paying homage to the classic Sixers teams, while celebrating trying to kick-start a new era for the team (one where they maybe try to go for a winning record??).

As the home of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the US as we know it today, Philadelphia are sticking with the patriotic red, white and blue of the US flag. The home jersey will be white, the road jersey blue, and the alternate will be red.

 The patriotic theme continues as the uniforms feature a set of stars and stripes. There are 7 stars down the right side of the uniform (4 on the jersey and 3 on the shorts), while 6 stars are featured on the left side (3 up top and 3 on the bottom) which is a nod to the team name, 76ers. The stars are also a throwback to the 1976-77 uniforms which had a similar star design.

In the red colourway, the jersey is said to be a throwback to the uniforms worn by legendary Sixer, Julius Erving, and his NBA teammates who won the championship in 1983 with 'SIXERS' across the chest.

The new jerseys also return to having 'PHILA' across the chest, which is directly linked to the iconic jersey design worn by Wilt Chamberlain in 1966-76.

The jersey neckline has been altered to a classic v-cut, with red, white and blue stripes, along with a gold tag showing that the franchise had 3 x NBA Championships.

A new feature to the uniforms is a small tag on the hem of the jersey, which says 'PHILA TOUGH' which is meant to serve as something inspirational that they players can take note of every time they put the uniform on. To make that easier, the tag is stitched upside down, so it's readable by the wearer as they tuck their jersey in to their shorts.

Here's a few of the guys from the Sixers with the new uniforms, Nerlens Noel and Jerami Grant don't seem to mind. Joel Embiid doesn't seem too chuffed. Two out of three ain't bad. 


The LA Clippers New Logo Unveiled | Lets Take A Look June 18, 2015 11:05

After another disastrous playoffs for the LA Clippers, they have now unveiled a new logo and new look for the 2015/16 NBA season.

There have been leaked images and rumours about the impending change by the Clippers, but Steve Ballmer and the Clippers franchise chose the first day after the finals to make their announcement.

Balmer went on the Conan show in the US to show a t-shirt with the brand new logo on, as well as putting together a funny video with Blake Griffin showing the fictional path that they took to create the logo. Including a brief flirt with making it like the Microsoft logo (inside joke for folks who know Ballmers background).

Let's take a look at what the Clippers were going for with their new logo.

First off, the new look is meant to signal a new era for the Clippers (on in which they might actually have a shot at getting past the second round of the playoffs I'm sure). The curved lines below the logo are meant to symbolise the horizon on the ocean, linked to the nautical roots of the franchise.

The 'LA' monogram that they've come up with was based on the shape of a basketball court (a rectangle of course), with the Clippers 'C' wrapped around it, literally hugging the city of LA.

The Clippers are adding the colour black to their brand, which is said to "lend a modern edge" to their palette, while the red, white and blue remains true to Clippers history.

On the Clippers new wordmark, it's a little hard to see, but they've included a thin silver highlight, which is mean to allude to a silver lining and collective optimism of the Clipper Nation.

Here's a look at it on the new jerseys.

We're still undecided about the whole thing - these jerseys don't look that great in our opinion, but then change is always pretty difficult to get used to when it comes to franchise branding. That being said, Brian Truong, a creative services specialist for the Clippers posted a picture to Instagram showing the new logo on a cap, and that actually looks pretty good so, let's wait and see!

 

 


Blake Griffin and Steve Ballmer Unveil Clippers New Logo in Hilarious Video June 18, 2015 10:46

There have been plenty of image leaks and rumours about the LA Clippers new logo, but the Clippers waited until after the NBA Finals to unveil their new masterpiece. 

In true Clippers fashion, this isn't just any old unveil. It's been packaged into the format of Blake Griffin and Steve Ballmer rocking a funny video of how they supposedly came up with the logo. 

Check it out below, and go and view our closer look at the Clippers new branding here.

 


Durham Wildcats Withdraw from the British Basketball League June 17, 2015 15:45

The Durham Wildcats have announced that they are leaving the British Basketball League, effective as of the 2015/16 BBL season.

In a statement on their website, the Wildcats state that they are reluctantly pulling out of the BBL, after recent clarifications by the UK Border Agency have jeopardised their team model, but restricting the ability to include university players on the roster.

"As a club, our playing structure has been built around recruiting athletes who also study at Durham University and this model has served us well in both the Basketball England National Leagues and, more recently, in the British Basketball League.

Unfortunately the recent clarifications from the Border Agency have resulted in this model no longer providing us with the base from which to recruit a competitive team and, with that in mind, it was felt that it was in the interests of both the club and the BBL for the Durham Wildcats to withdraw from the league for the 2015/16 season."

The issue has arisen for the team, and other teams around the BBL, after the Border Agency clarified that overseas students, who are residing in the UK on a Student (Tier 4) visa, are not permitted to play professional sports while they are here.

It remains to be see how this will impact other clubs, but Durham are certainly the first to announce that it effectively ends their eligibility to hold a place in the BBL.

You can read the full statement over on their website.


Newcastle Knights Annual 5v5 Tournament is Back! | Newcastle University 27th June 2015 June 17, 2015 15:14

For the past few years we've had the privilege of being involved as sponsors of the Newcastle Knights 5v5 basketball tournament, and this year it's back, bigger and better!

With plenty of players already signed up, now's a good time to get involved. As well as a full on 5v5 tournament, expect side competitions like a 3-point contest, with prizes handed out from ourselves and Always Ballin throughout the day!

Drop an email to knights.basketball@newcastle.ac.uk to register your team and to get more information. 


Andre Iguodala Crowned 2015 NBA Finals MVP June 17, 2015 11:21

After going 2-1 down against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors hustled to win 3 straight games to be crowned NBA Champions.

The Hang Time blog on NBA.com pointed out that there was one particular stat that seems to really stand out in this series - the fact that the Warriors outscored the Cavaliers by 62 points across the series, while Andre Iguodala was on the floor.

To put a bit of perspective on that, Steph Curry, the reigning league MVP, was next in line, with plus 52 points.

Iguodala started the first two games of the series on the bench, a factor which allowed LeBron James to get going early in the games and make the fight an uphill battle for the Warriors.

Steve Kerr made the choice to take the Warriors line-up small in game 3, starting Iguodala instead of big man Andrew Bogut. That move made all the difference. Iguodala was proven to be the best guy to guard LeBron James, and Kerr's moved proved to be as successful as you can be against James, with Iguodala limiting him to 38 percent shooting while he was guarding him.

As well as having the tough task of guarding James, Iguodala also contributed significantly to the Warriors stat sheet, making big plays that spurred the team on to win.

Iguodala averaged 16.3 points and 4 assists while shooting 40% from 3-point range. His two highest scoring games of the season, out of a total of 98 games, were game 4 (22 points) and game 6 (25 points) of this series. Talk about performing when it matters most.

This, basketball fans, is why Andre Iguodala was named the 2015 NBA Finals MVP. Deservedly so.


Golden State Warriors Are Your 2015 NBA Champions! June 17, 2015 10:57

The Golden State Warriors have won their first NBA Championship since 1975 after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 6 last night.

After going out to a 13 point lead early in the game, the Cavaliers had it back to just 2 points by the half, but the Warriors would continue to hustle in ways that the Cavs just couldn't in the second half to seal a 105 - 97 win in Ohio.

Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala scored 25 points each, while Draymond Green racked up a triple-double of 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to help secure the title after what has been a series for the ages.

Head coach of the Warriors, Steve Kerr, became the first rookie coach to win a championship since Pat Riley did it with the LA Lakers in 1982. He's got to pretty pleased that he chose to take the job in Oakland last Summer instead of taking his option, which was to go and help Phil Jackson fix the New York Knicks...

The Finals MVP was awarded to Iguodala, who really had made a big difference for the Warriors in these finals. He was bumped up to the starting line-up after coming off the bench all season and was tasked with trying to keep a lid on LeBron James, which he did better than anyone else who tried.

The fact that it was effectively the Warriors 6th man who won the MVP, says a lot about the Warriors as a team and the fact that their gameplay is a true team effort. Sure they need Steph Curry to be the star and knock down insane shots, but they wouldn't win in the way that they do without a whole host of guys who make the Warriors very tough to beat.

On the other side of things, the Cavaliers LeBron James looked devastated with an air of utter fatigue about the whole situation. He sat facing his locker with a towel over his head for almost an hour after the game before talking to anyone.

When he did speak about the loss, he said "We ran out of talent… We gave everything we had."

James was speaking about the fact that the Cavaliers have just kept losing players. Anderson Verajao tore his Achilles during the season, Kevin Love dislocated his shoulder in the first round of the playoffs and Kyrie Irving fractured his knee cap in game 1 of the finals.

Love and Irving were the ones that James had specifically gathered around him this season to make the run at the title in his first year back in Cleveland. Throughout these finals, the Cavaliers had a mantra of 'next man up', meaning that they had to play with what they had, and the other guys on the squad had to step up and fill the shoes of those who couldn't play.

Despite glimmers of the right stuff from various members of the Cavs team, none of them could put in a sustained effort, at the right level of skill, to knock off the Warriors.

James was left to do most of the work himself, and that took it's toll. He might be arguably the best player in the world, but he too has his limits.

Throughout the finals, James averaged an insane 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists, while playing a massive 45.8 minutes per game. He literally played until he ran out of steam and on occasion, that was enough to pull his team through the battle. It wasn't enough to win the war.

As a testament of how well James played, he received 4 of the 11 votes for the Finals MVP award, despite being on the losing team. The only time the MVP has ever come from the losing team in a finals before, was when Jerry West won in 1969. James also became the 6th player in NBA history to hit the 5,000 post-season points mark.

When all was said and done, a one man effort was no where near enough to knock out the best team in the NBA this season. The Warriors had their struggles early in this series, but showed character to fight through and take the win.

And hasn't it been massive amounts of fun watching it all unfold!? We'll certainly remember this series for a long time to come.


LA Clippers Trade Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes to Charlotte for Lance Stephenson June 16, 2015 12:51

The LA Clippers, who bowed out of the NBA playoffs in dire fashion last month, have made an early move to update their roster for next season, by trading for Lance Stephenson.

The Clippers blew a 3-1 lead in their second round playoff series against the Houston Rockets and were knocked out, raising lots of questions about how the shape of the team needs to change for them to succeed.

Their first move has been to trade Spencer Hawes and Matt Barnes away to the Charlotte Hornets for Lance Stephenson.

Stephenson joined the Hornets last Summer on a $27 million, 3-year deal, in the hope that his experience could help drive Charlotte to the playoffs.

The Hornets were impressed with Stephenson's work at the Indiana Pacers, where he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He helped the Pacers to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, where they would be knocked out by LeBron James and the Miami Heat.

With Stephenson failing to have the same type of impact in Charlotte, he's now on the move again.

"Sometimes when you make a trade or a free agent signing it just doesn't work out for whatever reason," general manager Rich Cho said of Stephenson in a conference call Monday night with reporters. "He never fit in great. He is very capable of playing a lot better than he did last year but for whatever reason it wasn't a good fit. Sometimes you don't know that until a player actually comes to your team. For whatever reason, he didn't gel."

In Charlotte, Stephenson's averages went down to 8.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists. His 3-point shooting percentage of 17.1% was the worst in NBA history, and his playing time was dramatically decreased overtime.

Stephenson has two years on his contract, but only one of those is guaranteed, so if it also doesn't work out in LA, the Clippers won't be stuck with him for the full two years.

 

For the Clippers, the trade is a chance to off-load Hawes 4-year, $23 million deal which he signed last Summer and to take Barnes, who could make $3.5 million next year, out of the line-up.

Both players struggled with the Clippers last season, with Hawes seeing little playing time in the playoffs, and having his worst season since his rookie year, averaging 5.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists. Barnes had 10.1 points, 4 rebounds and 1.1 assists.

Charlotte have said that they're looking forward to having Hawes as a big man that brings flexibility to the offence with inside presence, as well as outside shooting capabilities. He's also good at spacing the floor and hitting open guys.

Barnes might not be so lucky with the Hornets, who have said that they're still evaluating his worth to the team. They could waive his contract before the 1st July and would only have to pay him $1 million, or they could try to trade him on elsewhere.

We're assuming that the Clippers had to shift Barnes in order to get Stephenson, as there's probably a secret rule about only having so much 'crazy' on any one roster. No doubt we'll find out when the 2015-16 season comes around!


Curry Regains His Spark as Warriors Take 3-2 Lead in NBA Finals | LeBron Gets 2nd Triple-Double June 15, 2015 16:28

The Cleveland Cavaliers were in Oakland last night, on the Golden State Warriors' home floor, as the two teams battled it out to grab that all-important 3-2 lead in these NBA Finals.

Despite and incredibly close game that saw 20 lead changed and 10 ties, it was the Warriors who triumphed, with Steph Curry once again proving his MVP status.

Curry had 37 points, including 17 in the 4th quarter, that finally allowed the Warriors to pull away from the struggling Cavaliers. The reigning league MVP made 7 three-pointers, to go 13-23 overall from the field, helping his team to a 48% field goal percentage for the game.

In that 4th quarter, Curry put up some seriously difficult shots - shots that, if it was anyone else, might have been considered impossible. But once again, a glaring difference between these two teams was that Curry was backed up by a crew of worthy teammates who pitted their own strengths and heart against their opponent.

Draymond Green had 16 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists and what was a very physical game. Green got freight-trained by Cleveland's J.R. Smith early in the game (see more below), as well as getting tangled up with Matthew Dellavedova in a instance that saw double fouls called on the pair, but Green kept his composure and remained solid for the Warriors.

Leandro Barbosa came of the bench to give the Warriors 13 points and a huge boost of energy. Klay Thompson had 12 points on just 5-14 shooting, but despite his struggles, he knocked down a crucial 3 pointer late in the game, when the Warriors were on a roll, that helped bury the Cavaliers.

Harrison Barnes had 8 points and 10 rebounds, and Andre Iguodala once again started the game, as the Warriors played their successfully small line-up, and he did a decent job in bothering LeBron James throughout the game while picking up 14 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for Golden State.

The collective strength of the Warriors was, however, tested by the might LeBron James. For the second time in these finals, James had a triple-double and he had his 3rd 40+ point game.

With a stat line that showed 40 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, James carved a lonely figure during much of the game. The ball was in his hands a lot of the time, on isolation plays from the 3-point line, or on the post-up depending on who was guarding him.

The only other Cavs player to consistently help in terms of scoring and rebounding was Tristan Thompson who had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Matthew Dellavedova has been doing a good job of guarding Steph Curry. He, now famously, seemed to completely stop Curry in his tracks in game 2 of this series, and further cemented his legend in game 3 at in front of his home fans in Ohio, but Curry has since bounced back with confidence from Dellavedova's onslaught.

Dellavedova still stayed close to Curry last night, but Curry had enough tricks up his sleeve to make 'Delly's' efforts redundant by the 4th quarter.

J.R. Smith, who has had a nightmare series, came off the bench and scorched the Warriors for 14 points in the first half. He had 4 three-pointers early on to make Golden State have a serious think about upping their ball denial on him, and their perimeter defence. It worked. Smith went cold and missed the rest of his 14 three-point attempts.

Aside from his little 3-point streak, Smith was making waves in a way that we're more familiar with. With around 4:46 left in the first quarter, he charged at Draymond Green, dropping his shoulder intentionally and picking up a technical foul. Smith is one technical away from an automatic suspension.

In the end, it looked like James (understandably) and the Cavaliers ran out of steam and answers, while the Warriors got fully into their rhythm right when it counted.

The Warriors took the win 104 - 91, and are now 3-2 up in the series. Game 6, where a win for the Warriors would see them crowned NBA Champions, will be on Tuesday night in Ohio.

The Cavaliers will be hoping to win at home to force a game 7, which would then see the series return to Oakland on Friday night. Either way, we're not getting much sleep this week!


Basketball Reigns Supreme: A Manifesto June 12, 2015 20:47

SHOP BASKETBALL REIGNS SUPREME

This weekend sees the launch of the first apparel pieces from new baller brand, Basketball Reigns Supreme. As the new kid on the block, BBRS is quick to establish what they're about putting out a statement that pins down the ethos of the brand. Check it out:

SHOP BASKETBALL REIGNS SUPREME


Warriors Take Commanding Win in Game 4 | Cavaliers Suffer Offensive Collapse June 12, 2015 13:20

The Cleveland Cavaliers dominated game 3 of these NBA Finals, and the Golden State Warriors looked like a shadow of the team that they'd been during the season. In true Finals fashion however, game 4 was a totally different story.

The Cavaliers came out onto their home court last night and went up 7-0, so people were already thinking 'here we go again', but by the midway point of the first quarter, the Warriors started to get things rolling.

Golden State started the game with a smaller line-up than usually, with coach Steve Kerr choosing to sit the struggling Andrew Bogut, in favour of the smaller Andre Iguodala.

It was this smaller line-up that had done some damage to the Cavs late in game 3, and it certainly looked to make the difference here. After a slow start, the Warriors were up to finish the first quarter, and by very early in the second, they were up by 10 points.

During that second quarter, the Warriors confidence continued to grow, and they once again looked like the team we'd come to love during this season. The more shots they were knocking down, the higher they were holding their heads - a total turnaround from game 3.

For the Cavaliers, LeBron James, who had scored an NBA record 123 points over the first 3 games of these finals, put up just 20 points (21 lower than his average in this series) to go with 12 rebounds and 8 assists.

He had a scary moment in the 2nd quarter last night - after a hard foul from Bogut on the drive to the basket, James flew into the line of cameramen on the baseline and hit his head. He would need stitches to close the cut before playing on.

The unlikely hero for the Cavaliers so far this series, Matthew Dellavedova, struggled a little more against Curry in this one. He was hospitalised after the last game with dehydration and leg cramps, and the fatigue showed somewhat, as Curry was able to get past 'Delly' in ways that the hadn't in the previous two game. 

Across the board though, the Cavaliers struggled with their offence. They managed a 12-2 run in the 3rd quarter, to bring the deficit down to 3 points with 5 minutes left, but they collapsed offensively in the 4th.

The Cavaliers shot 2 of 18 from the field in the 4th quarter and LeBron James didn't score a single point. The Warriors would outscore the Cavs 27-12 in the 4th quarter to take a commanding 103 - 82 win.

While James struggled in this one, he was back to not getting much help from his teammates. The Cavaliers bench combined for a total of 7 points, which included J.R. Smith going 2-12 from the field, and 0-8 from three point range. Iman Shumpert was 2-9 from the field including 1-5 from beyond the arc, for a total of 5 points.

At the brighter end of the spectrum, Timofey Mozgov led the Cavs with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Tristan Thompson kept up his barrage on the boards with 13 rebounds and 12 points.

Over all, the Cavaliers shot 33% from the field, and 14.8% from 3-point range - a dire effort by anyones standards.

On the other side, the Warriors shot 46.8 percent from the field, and 40% from 3-point. Confidence was a huge factor in this win, and that can be seen right across the board.

Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala led the team in scoring with 22 points each. Curry added 6 assists to that, while Iguodala had 8 rebounds. Harrison Barnes, who'd had a nightmare shooting performance in game 3, got himself back on track with 14 points and 8 rebounds.

Draymond Green had talked about the fact that the Warriors needed to up their intensity if they wanted to take it to the Cavs, and they certainly did that. Green had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

Now that the Warriors seem to have gotten back into the swing of things, the series returns to Oakland, tied at 2-2. Game 5 will be on Sunday night.


Sport England Reports Huge Increase in People Playing Basketball June 11, 2015 13:59

Image: Little Blues, Love Basketball Academy. Photographer Stephen Wallace

In new figures released by Sport England, Basketball shines as the numbers of people participating in the sport at least once a week, in England, are up from 21,800 to 152,900.

The statistics cover the change in the six month period from October 2014 to March 2015.

Overall in that time period, 15.5 million took part in some kind of sport at least once a week, which is actually an overall decrease of 222,000 from the six months prior.

It's fantastic to hear of the participation in basketball increasing so dramatically, especially with the overall numbers of active people decreasing. The figures show that team sports on the whole have remained quite stable, or increasing, while other activities, like swimming and keepfit, are experiencing a dip in participants.

Demographics from the Sport England report say that the numbers of 16-25 year olds playing sport remains quite consistent at 3.8 million a week, while the numbers of people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds have increased by 37,600 in the last 6 months, to 2.9 million. Growth in those areas have been particularly strong in tennis and basketball.

Sport England also report that the gender gap has been slightly reduced in the last 6 months, with 6.86 million women now taking part in sport at least once a week, with the figure for men standing at 9.15 million. It's hoped that the increase in women in sport can be attributed to the This Girl Can initiative which is encouraging women to get into sport and exercise on their terms, and changing the outlook surrounding women in sport.

Despite a serious lack of funding and support, basketball clubs and coaches are out there succeeding and making these numbers happen. So a massive shout out to anyone who is getting people involved in the game, and persevering regardless of circumstance! 

Lets hope the positive numbers for basketball continue, get out there an play!


Nike Sign 8-Year Kit Deal with the NBA - Starting in 2017-18 Season June 10, 2015 22:02

It has just been announced that Nike will officially take over the NBA apparel deal as of the 2017-18 season.

Darren Rovell, of ESPN, is reporting that the financial terms of the agreement have not been made public, but the partnership is said to be an 8-year deal.

Earlier this year, the current NBA apparel partner, Adidas, announced that they would not be looking to extent its deal with the league, bringing an 11-year partnership to an end.

Adidas took over from Reebok in 2006, a brand which Adidas owns, and one key difference from both of those deals is that the Nike logo will appear on NBA game jerseys.

This partnership with NIKE represents a new paradigm in the structure of our global merchandising business,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver via written statement. “As our exclusive oncourt apparel provider, NIKE will be instrumental in our collective efforts to grow the game globally while applying the latest in technology to the design of our uniforms and oncourt products.”

Nike will be taking on the rights to manufacture swingman jerseys, authentic, warm-ups and shooting shirts. They will also be outfitting the WNBA and the NBA D-League.

Stay tuned for more.


Milwaukee Bucks Unveil New Uniforms for 2015-16 NBA Season June 08, 2015 13:02

We recently took a look at the artwork behind the new Milwaukee Bucks branding, as well as their new logo and colourway, and now we can get a proper look at the brand new Bucks uniforms.

The Bucks unveiled the uniforms last week, showcasing their brand new look at a party in Milwaukee, where the team put up a giant poster featuring Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo wearing the new gear.

The uniforms have a really clean design and include lots of little nods to the Milwaukee area and the history of the franchise, for example, the uniforms feature the new "Great Lakes blue" colouring inside the neck line to emphasis the blue collar, hardworking mindset of the region.

The red of the older uniforms has been dropped in favour of a green, cream and blue colourway and the Bucks have a brand new font that looks great on the front and back of the jerseys.

Notably, for the first time since 1977, the teams road jerseys will feature the work 'Milwaukee' across the chest.

From the Bucks themselves, here's a run down of some of the cool features built into the new uniform design:

BLUE COLLAR – The inside of the collar features a blue stripe, representative of the blue collar work ethic of not only the Bucks, but also of the city and state that the team proudly represents.

M CREST – Detailing on the outside of the collar features the modern “M” that is present in both the primary and secondary logos.

CHAMPIONSHIP TAB – The gold tab on the jerseys commemorates the Bucks’ 1971 World Championship season. Milwaukee is one of only 16 teams to wear the gold championship tab.

CREAM CITY RAINBOW – The unique colour block pattern on the sides of the jerseys showcases the colour palette of the new Bucks and is an homage to the popular “Irish Rainbow” detailing that adorned Bucks uniforms from 1977 through 1993.

MILWAUKEE ROADS – For the first time since 1977, the Bucks’ official road uniforms will proudly display “Milwaukee” across the chest, returning the city to its rightful place on the global stage.

FEAR THE DEER – A custom “Fear the Deer” player tag at the bottom of the jerseys serves as a reminder to the players each time they put on their uniforms of the aggressive attitude and team spirit they are expected to carry with them onto the court.

NEGATIVE SPACE M – Detailing on the sides of the shorts is designed to create an “M” in the negative space, another subtle carryover from our team marks and a representation of our hometown pride.

CUSTOM FONT – Word marks and numerals are created from the Bucks new proprietary font that is featured throughout the new logo set.

The unveil comes in the same week that the Bucks got confirmation of a deal to help the team build a brand new $500 million arena. While the deal still needs legislative approval, it's a big step forward for the Bucks.

After a franchise-worst 15-win season in the 2013-14 NBA season, the Bucks posted a big 41-win season that took them to the playoffs this year. With some talented young-guns at the helm, things are looking bright for the Bucks.


Dellavedova Puts Curry on Ice While LeBron Gets 5th Career Triple-Double | Cavaliers Take Game 2 June 08, 2015 11:47

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Last night, the Cleveland Cavaliers won their first NBA Finals game in franchise history, and they did it in Golden State, becoming only the second team in the whole play-offs to chalk up a win at the Oracle Arena.

How did they do it? Well, where do you start. The fact that LeBron James picked up his 5th career NBA Finals triple-double, with 39 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists had quite a bit to do with it.

James led his team like the trooper that he's been throughout these playoffs, but the difference last night, might have been that he had a little more help.

Matthew Dellavedova got the start with Kyrie Irving out with a fractured knee, and he made a serious impact on the game, even icing 2 free throws near the end of overtime to put the Cavaliers ahead of the Warriors.

That wasn't the thing that made this a performance to remember from Dellavedova. Nor was it his meagre 9 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist.

Dellavedova's biggest impact came when he was defending the Warriors star, and current league MVP, Steph Curry. While Curry was being defended by Dellavedova in last nights game, he scored 0 points, on 0-8 from the field and 0-5 from three-point range. He also committed 4 turnovers.

Check out this tweet from ESPN that shows the difference between when Dellavedova was guarding Curry, and when anyone else was.

Curry had a nightmare night. He shot an uncharacteristic 5 - 23 from the field, including just 2 - 15 from three-point range. He finished the game with 19 points, two of which did tie the game at the end of regulation to at least give the Warriors a chance to go at the Cavaliers in overtime.

However, it wasn't to be for the Warriors. James was too strong, taking the ball to the basket more than in game 1, and despite J.R. Smith throwing in some crazy and unnecessary fouls late in the game that could have given the Warriors the edge, the Cavs held on for a 95-93 win.

The Cavaliers can breathe a tiny bit now, as the series heads to Cleveland where the home fans, who might remember the only other time that the Cavs made the Finals (in 2007 when they were swept by the San Antonio Spurs), will be seeing a different beast entirely.

The Cavs have also avoided staring at a 2-0 series deficit where history says that the team who is 2 games up has gone on to win the series 28 out of 31 times.

Game 3 will be on Tuesday night, where we expect another true Finals battle from these two teams.


Kyrie Irving To Miss NBA Finals with Fractured Knee Cap June 06, 2015 13:27

After having missed, or struggled, in much of the playoffs already, Cleveland Cavaliers point guard, Kyrie Irving, will miss the rest of the NBA Finals after picking up a fractured knee cap in game 1 against the Golden State Warriors.

Irving fractured his knee cap during the overtime period against the Warriors on Thursday night at the Oracle Arena, after a clash with Klay Thompson. The Cavaliers would lose and Irving would show a great amount of frustration, throwing his jersey to the ground as he hobbled back to the locker room.

Posting on Twitter, Irving said "Saddened by the way I had to go out but it doesn't take away from being (a part) of a special playoff run with my brothers."

"Truly means a lot for all the support and love. I gave it everything I had and have no regrets. I love this game no matter what and I'll be back soon."

Irving will likely miss 3-4 months of playing time once he's undergone surgery on the knee cap, meaning he's definitely not going to be trying to play through the pain of the injury, as he had been trying to do thus far in the playoffs.

The Cavaliers were without Irving during parts of the conference finals, and in games earlier in the playoffs. They've also been without Kevin Love since the first round, but they made it to the NBA Finals anyway.

That being said, the Cavaliers are now playing the Warriors - arguably the best team in the league this year - and when Irving did play in game 1, he was very effective against them, even blocking what could have been a game winning layup from Steph Curry at the end of regulation.

Speaking about missing his main man Irving, LeBron James has said that the Cavaliers will be ready for their next game against the Warriors, no matter who was going to be available to play.

"There are a few things that you would love to have going late in the season," he said. "That's being healthy, having a great rhythm, and then you need a little luck as well. We've had a great rhythm. We haven't had much luck and we haven't been healthy [but] I'm excited to be in this moment once again, and I'm going to stay strong for my team, no matter who is or is not in the lineup."

The Cavaliers will face the Warriors again at the Oracle Arena on Sunday for game 2 of the NBA finals.