Displaying items by tag: basketball

Warriors' Steve Kerr returns to the bench to coach Game 2

  • Published in Sports

By Janie McCauley (Associated Press)


OAKLAND, California — Steve Kerr received a rousing ovation Sunday night (Monday morning Manila time) as he returned to the bench at last.

Kerr is back coaching the Golden State Warriors after more than six weeks, feeling well enough that he plans to coach the remainder of the NBA Finals.

Smiling, cracking jokes and looking more comfortable than he has in recent weeks, Kerr declared himself ready to be back on the bench for Game 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was the first time he coached the Warriors since April 19.

He waved to the fans who roared when he walked onto the floor shortly before the start.

Kerr said he decided Sunday morning that he was able to return to coaching after being sidelined by constant pain because of complications following a pair of back surgeries nearly two years ago.

"The intention is to coach tonight and the rest of the series," said Kerr, who last coached in Game 2 of the Warriors' first-round playoff series against Portland. "I'm feeling better. I'm feeling more like I did at the end of the regular season. Last couple weeks have been good in terms of running practice, film sessions, coaches meetings, that kind of stuff. I wanted to string together a few good days. I did that, and feeling well enough to coach. ... The intention is to go the rest of the series.

"So, I'm excited and it's good to be back."

The unbeaten Warriors had been 11-0 under acting coach Mike Brown — "My guy did OK while I was gone," Kerr said with a grin. Kerr had his initial procedures in 2015 after guiding the organization's first championship in 40 years as a rookie coach.

"What's our record now without me, like 800-12?" quipped Kerr, who missed the first 43 games during last season's record 73-win campaign.

The 51-year-old Kerr underwent a procedure to repair a spinal fluid leak on May 5 at Duke University but was still experiencing debilitating symptoms such as pain and headaches. He attended the pregame news conference Sunday and said he had not yet told his players that he would be back coaching, though said they knew in recent days that he was improving.

There was a lot of positive reaction to the news of Kerr's return.

"It's awesome," Klay Thompson said. "I'm so excited. Mike did a phenomenal job though."

Former coach and player Al Attles said it was "terrific" news.

"There's an old saying, 'You don't miss the water 'til the well runs dry,'" the 80-year-old Attles said after receiving the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award. "It's not a reflection on who was coaching. He's just a man that we really, really respect and hope that he keeps on doing it."

Cavs coach Tyronn Lue also was thrilled to hear Kerr was back on the opposite bench.

"Steve Kerr's a guy I respected even before he started coaching," Lue said. "I just like who he is as a person, and throughout the course of the playoffs I've checked on him and we text and talk. So it's good to have him back over there."

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LeBron James speaks out against racism after home vandalized

  • Published in Sports

 

-AFP

LOS ANGELES, United States – NBA superstar LeBron James says a racial slur spray-painted on the front gate of his Los Angeles home shows the level of racism in America but hopes it can move people closer to ending such hatred.

“If this can keep the communication going and shine the light and keep us progressing and not regressing, that’s the main thing,” James said.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James spoke Wednesday at Oakland on the eve of the NBA Finals between his defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.

“Being black in America, it’s tough,” James said. “And we’ve got a long way to go as a society for us as African-Americans until we feel equal in America.”

While there was vandalism at his $20 million (17.8 million euros) home, police reported, James said the most important thing was that his family, which was at their home in Ohio at the time of the incident, was safe.

“My family is safe. That’s what’s important,” James said, saying his wife was handling issues arising from the incident with their children.

“She said everything is fine. That’s helps a lot. Time helps a lot. It’ll pass. It’s fine.

“It puts me back in place on what’s most important and basketball is not the most important thing in my life.”

Los Angeles police officer Aareon Jefferson said police were called to the house in the upscale Brentwood neighborhood around 6:45 am, and by the time they arrived the graffiti had been painted over by property management staff.

The case is being investigated by personnel from the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Los Angeles Station.

Public records show that James bought the house in 2015 for just under $21 million.

“On the eve of one of the greatest events we have in sports, race and what’s going on comes again,” James said.

“It just goes to show that racism will always be part of the world, part of America, and that hate, especially for African-Americans, is living every day.”

Even as James vowed the incident would not throw him off as the Cavaliers try to defend their crown in the best-of-seven final, his thoughts were on his sons and him not being able to be there when they came home from school to talk about it face to face instead of over the internet.

“The most unfortunate part is that I can’t be with my kids right now,” James said. “It’s kind of killing me right now.”

James later added, “Hopefully I give them enough life skills that when they get ready to fly, they can fly on their own.”

When it comes to the sting of racism and concern for family, even a championship showdown loses its luster.

“I’ll be focused tomorrow on the game, on all the games,” James vowed.

“I’m at a point where my priorities are in place. Basketball comes second to my family and after what I do for my foundation and youth.” CBB

 

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Star deals Alaska another heartbreaking loss in overtime

  • Published in Sports

-Jane Bracher

HUGE COMEBACK. Paul Lee (L) helps Star complete a 21-point comeback against Alaska. Photo from PBA Images 

MANILA, Philippines – The Star Hotshots fought back from 21 points down and frustrated the Alaska Aces in overtime, 102-98, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Wednesday, May 31, at the Cuneta Astrodome.

The Hotshots made one cold-blooded shot after another in response to the Aces trying to salvage the victory after blowing a 17-point lead entering the fourth period.

Ricardo Ratliffe posted 35 points, grabbed 28 rebounds, and blocked 5 shots in almost 50 minutes of play as Star finished the eliminations with a 9-2 record and on 5-game win streak, still in the running for a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.

Paul Lee displayed his lethal clutch gene once more with 18 points off the bench, including a booming 3-pointer from way out that gave Star a 4-point lead with over a minute left in overtime.

Justin Melton was likewise clutch with a couple of treys in the extra session, the second one proved to be the dagger as the Hotshots regained the 100-98 advantage for good with 26 seconds to go. Ratliffe then iced the game with a pair of free throws.

The Hotshots went on a blistering 21-3 run in the fourth period to make it only a 3-point game with over 3 minutes remaining. They got their first taste of the lead with 5:30 left in regulation on a Jio Jalalon 3-pointer, as Star's guards finally came to life on offense.

It was another heartbreaking loss for the Aces as their tailspin now stretched to 7 straight setbacks after starting the conference at 4-0. The losing skid is now the franchise's longest since at least the era of famed coach Tim Cone, per PBA statistician Fidel Mangonon III.

Calvin Abueva fought tooth and nail, through cramps and hard falls, to save his team from another painful blow. But his 22 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, and two blocks weren't enough as Alaska continues to struggle with closing out games this conference.

Cory Jefferson, whose two free throws forced overtime at 89-all, finished with 21 markers, 13 boards, and 3 blocks.

Chris Banchero added 19 points and 7 assists, while Kevin Racal had 13 points and 8 rebounds.

Scores

Star (102): Ratliffe 35, Lee 18, Melton 12, Sangalang 10, Jalalon 7, Ramos 7, Reavis 4, Simon 4, Maliksi 3, Barroca 2, Abundo 0, Brondial 0.

Alaska (98): Abueva 22, Jefferson 21, Banchero 19, Racal 13, Thoss 9, Manuel 6, Exciminiano 4, Enciso 2, Hontiveros 2, Pascual 0, Galliguez 0. 

Quarter scores: 14-26, 34-47, 56-73, 89-89, 102-98.

– Rappler.com

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