Trade deadline passes, and Kyle Lowry remains with Raptors
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) celebrates a three-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)Kyle Lowry wound up staying with Toronto after all. The trade deadline has come and gone. “Anytime you trade a player like Nikola, it is a tough decision to make," Magic President Jeff Weltman said. But Lowry — a free-agent-to-be and considered perhaps the biggest prize on this year's trade market — did not get traded, the Raptors apparently unable to find enough assets to their liking. Questions swirled around Lowry all the way to the 3 p.m. EST deadline, and there were signs that the Raptors were positioning themselves to make the move.
Butler scores 29 as Heat beat Magic for 4th straight win
ORLANDO, Fla. – Jimmy Butler started Sunday night’s game against Orlando by winning the opening tip and ended it with a steal and win-sealing layup as the Miami Heat topped the Magic 102-97. In between, the standout guard was pretty good, too, helping the Heat win their fourth straight and for a 10th time in 11 games. Butler’s defense led to 23 Orlando turnovers and 26 points off those mistakes for the Heat. The Magic, who are 1-2 this season against the rival Heat, haven’t won since Feb. 21. … GM Anthony Parker and head coach Stan Heath of the G League champion Lakeland Magic attended Sunday’s game.
Pelicans say some players, staff received COVID-19 vaccine
They are the first NBA team to acknowledge a widescale receipt of the vaccine by members of a club. “In my opinion, the more people we can encourage to get vaccinated, the better off all of us are going to be," Van Gundy said. AdMany of the Pelicans’ players fall into that category, despite being NBA players and elite athletes. The NBA has been holding Zoom calls with teams for the past several weeks, educating players and staffers on the vaccine. “We need to understand where that comes from,” Van Gundy said.
The Latest: Big West hoops tournaments banning spectators
(AP Photo/Aaron Doster, File)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Big West Conference will hold its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments without spectators, including family and guests of the teams. The Big West’s board of directors decided to start the season without fans in attendance. AdPelicans officials say they are hoping to allow as many as 4,000 fans per game later this season. The Cleveland Browns and Cavaliers have been permitted to have a limited number of fans at games during the pandemic. AdThe governor said about 1,700 to 1,800 fans should be allowed to attend Devils games under the new rules.
LaVine scores 46 points, Bulls hit 25 3s to beat Pelicans
Chicago Bulls' Zach LaVine dunks past New Orleans Pelicans' Lonzo Ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Chicago. LaVine scored a season-high 46 points, hitting nine of Chicago's franchise-record 25 3-pointers, and the Bulls cooled off the New Orleans Pelicans with a 129-116 victory Wednesday. LaVine and White became the first duo in NBA history to make at least eight 3s apiece in the same game, according to STATS. “We (were) due for a good team shooting night,” White said. Zion Williamson had 29 points for New Orleans, and Brandon Ingram finished with 21 points on 6-for-19 shooting.
NBA says national anthem will be played after Mark Cuban bucks tradition
A United States flag is displayed as the national anthem is sung before an NBA basketball game between the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks, Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban relented Wednesday and the national anthem will be played before home games this season after the NBA reiterated its “longstanding league policy” to include the song. “With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” the league said. “We have no problem playing the national anthem at all,” Cuban said. Patrick said he intends to introduce a bill in the Texas Senate that will ensure the national anthem is played at all events that receive public funding.
76ers-Thunder called off as virus concerns still trouble NBA
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)Another NBA game was called off Sunday because of coronavirus concerns, and the Memphis Grizzlies said center Jonas Valanciunas will not play Monday because of the league’s health and safety protocols. The 76ers played in Memphis on Saturday night, losing 106-104 in a game where Valanciunas played 20 minutes. He was pulled at halftime of Memphis’ game against Brooklyn on Jan. 8 because of some sort of virus-related issue, but was back on the court for the Grizzlies’ next game Jan. 11 against Cleveland. Minnesota, which had a game Friday called off after Karl-Anthony Towns revealed he tested positive, is scheduled to play Monday in Atlanta. Cleveland’s game in Washington on Sunday also was called off, as was the planned rematch between the clubs on Monday.
Another 3 NBA games called off amid virus, 16 test positive
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)Contact tracing issues involving the Phoenix Suns and Washington Wizards forced the NBA to postpone three more games Wednesday, raising the leaguewide total from this week alone to eight. With 497 players tested, that reflects a positivity rate of 3.2%. Phoenix's home game Wednesday against Atlanta was called off, as was the Suns' home game with Golden State on Friday. In the previous five weeks combined, only 15 players tested positive. But even the current week's rate is well below what the league dealt with going into training camps, when 48 players tested positive in the week before practices could formally begin leaguewide.
Ball brothers Lonzo, LaMelo set to square off in NBA matchup
New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) shoots past Oklahoma City Thunder center Al Horford (42) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)CHARLOTTE, N.C. – LaMelo Ball grew up playing 3-on-3 games against his older brother Lonzo on a concrete court in the backyard of their parents’ home in Chino Hills, California. It was something you had to witness for real.”That is where the Ball brothers learned to compete — and first dreamed of playing in the NBA. But the battle of the Ball brothers is one of the most high-profile sibling matchups ever. While they took different paths — Lonzo went to play at UCLA while LaMelo went overseas to play professionally — Lonzo was the No.
Practice time will be in short supply in NBA this season
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra watches during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)The Miami Heat just wrapped up two consecutive days of practice, which is significant for this reason: It might not happen again for a while. Practice time is something that will be in short supply around the NBA this season; teams are basically playing every other day, and that — along with travel and mandated days off — realistically leaves time for no more than two practices per week. “I think you need to adjust and at least we’re all on an even playing field, so it’s all relative,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Every team in the NBA will have similar practice quandaries, which comes with the territory of having plenty of four-game weeks.
Pelicans' Van Gundy talks teaching, commitment to defense
Van Gundy agreed to a four-year contract, according to one of the people who spoke Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the hiring has not been announced. Van Gundy has a track record of bridging that gap between knowledge and talent with younger players in his previous coaching stops. “There is a lot of teaching to do to bring these guys along,” Van Gundy said Tuesday during a formal introduction via video conference because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the Pelicans, Van Gundy said, he saw ownership that had won a championship in a major professional sport, even if it was the NFL. Van Gundy called Williamson and Ingram “two of the most unique young guys in the entire league.”“There's just a lot to build around there,” he added.
Stan Van Gundy agrees to become New Orleans Pelicans' coach
Two people with knowledge of the situation say Stan Van Gundy has agreed to become the next coach of the New Orleans Pelicans, where hell get the chance to work with No. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)Stan Van Gundy is headed to the New Orleans Pelicans, where he'll take over a promising team that includes 2019 No. “It will be an honor to work with our players and to work for Mrs. Benson and David Griffin, Trajan Langdon, their staff and the great people of New Orleans," Van Gundy wrote. Redick has readily credited Van Gundy for helping him develop into a reliable double-digit scorer. Van Gundy, 61, is a seasoned coach with a more traditional and direct style of communicating with players.