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Bogut breaks leg on Cavs debut, season likely over

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Mar 6, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Andrew Bogut (6) lays on the floor after being injured during the first half against the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Australian center Andrew Bogut suffered a fractured left tibia just 58 seconds into his Cleveland Cavaliers debut on Monday, with the team reporting that he could be out for the rest of the season.

The 32-year-old, a former champion with the Golden State Warriors, signed as a free agent with Cleveland for the remainder of the campaign last week and joined the team before Monday’s game after resolving visa issues.

However, with 11:38 left in the second quarter, Bogut ran out to the perimeter to guard Miami’s Okaro White and the pair made contact, with the Australian landing badly on his left ankle and hobbling before falling to the court.

His new team mates helped carry him to the locker room and the Cavaliers later said X-rays revealed a fracture that could end his season.

“It’s very deflating,” Cleveland forward LeBron James told reporters after the Cavaliers’ 106-98 defeat.

“As soon as the collision happened, I heard a break. When I went over to him and he said it, I already knew, I heard it crack,” he added.

When he was carried off, it was like the air had been sucked out of the building and the Cavs seemed to be distracted by the incident after talking with Bogut in the locker room at halftime before he was sent to the hospital.

“How would you think his spirit’s like? He played 58 seconds,” James added. “And to have an injury like that to take you out for the rest of the season, possibly, and you really, there’s not much you can say.”

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O’Brien)

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NBA – LeBron tempers expectations ahead of first season with Lakers

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Sep 24, 2018; El Segundo, CA, USA; LeBron James answers a question during the Los Angeles Lakers media day at the UCLA Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Reuters) – Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James said on Monday his new team has a long way to go before they can dethrone the reigning champion Golden State Warriors but added that he will be excited to get started when training camp kicks off this week.

Donning the iconic gold and purple Lakers jersey, the 33-year-old told reporters that just because he has been to eight consecutive NBA Finals does not mean his squad was destined to represent the Western Conference in the Finals this year.

“We’ve got a long way to go to catch Golden State,” he said of the Oakland-based Warriors, who have defeated the James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in three of the last four NBA Finals, with the Cavs getting some revenge by winning the 2015-16 title.

“They can pick up right where they left off… we’re picking up from scratch,” the three-time NBA champion told a news conference at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo.

“We can only focus on what we can do to get better every day as a Lakers franchise and hopefully someday we can put ourselves in a position where we can compete for a championship as Golden State has done for the last few years.”

James will join a young core group of players that includes 20-year-old Lonzo Ball and 23-year-olds Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart as well as savvy veterans Javale McGee and Rajon Rondo, who like James signed with the Lakers in the offseason.

James’ left Cleveland in July after signing a four-year, $154 million which gives new life to the Lakers, a storied franchise that dominated for periods of the 1980s and 2000s but missed the playoffs in the last five seasons.

James, who is widely considered the best player of his generation, is expected to take on the role of a player-coach on the court, but also said he was eager to improve his own game.

“No matter where I am at in my career, I’m always at a point where I want to learn and get things from team mates and coaches,” he said.

“So I’m looking forward to seeing what we can all bring to the table and how we can all bounce ideas off one another to better our games.”

James bristled at the suggestion he may be spreading himself too thin with the many entertainment projects his SpringHill Entertainment production company is involved with and his starring role in the long-anticipated Space Jam movie.

“I’m a basketball player first. I play ball. That’s what I do, that’s what I live by,” he said.

“When I do it at the level I do it at everything else will take care of itself. As far as my businesses, those things were taking care of themselves way before I even came out here to be part of the Lakers franchise.”

The Lakers kick off their season on Oct. 18 with a visit to the Portland Trail Blazers before playing their first home game against the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center on Oct. 20.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Ken Ferris

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Jordan backs James after president questions player’s intelligence

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018

FILE PHOTOS: NBA Legend Michael Jordan and NBA player Lebron James (REUTERS)

(Reuters) – NBA legend Michael Jordan and U.S. athletes rallied to LeBron James’ defense on Saturday after U.S. President Donald Trump questioned the star player’s intelligence in a tweet.

“I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community,” Jordan, now owner of the National Basketball Association’s Charlotte Hornets, told NBC News through a spokesperson.

The comment by Jordan and others came after Trump had tweeted:

“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”

Trump was referring to an interview CNN’s Lemon did in the days after James, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his foundation had opened a public school for some of the most disadvantaged children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

The president’s “I like Mike!” comment apparently was Trump stating his opinion on the debate of whether six-time NBA champion Jordan or James, the four-time league most valuable player and three times champion, is the NBA’s best all-time player.

Even the president’s wife was supportive of James’ work with children.

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today,” Melania Trump said in a statement issued by her spokeswoman.

NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns added in a tweet: “So let me get this straight: Flint, MI has dirty water still, but you worried about an interview about a man doing good for education and generations of kids in his hometown?”

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Alistair Bell

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Trump aims tweet at LeBron James, questions his intelligence

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018

FILE PHOTOS: USA President Donald Trump and NBA player Lebron James (REUTERS)

To the sporting world and largely beyond, he’s King James, but to President Trump, LeBron James is no intellectual genius.

In a tweet, Trump took aim at two of his regular critics, James and cable TV news personality Don Lemon. His tweet called Lemon the “the dumbest man on television,” and then said Lemon “made LeBron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”

Trump finished the tweet with “I like Mike!” an apparent reference to favoring NBA legend Michael Jordan in a comparison with James as perhaps the best NBA player ever.

James — who last month announced his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for a second time, this time to come to Los Angeles and play for the Lakers — gave an interview with Lemon on Monday, in large part to tout a new elementary school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

The school, which is a joint effort of the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron Public Schools, will benefit at-risk children.

During the sit-down, James spoke of sports as something that unites people, and added that the president was “using sports to kinda divide us.”

Trump has repeatedly and strongly criticized the NFL in particular for not punishing players who kneel during the national anthem in a form of protest.

“Sports has never been something that divides people,” James said during the interview. “It’s always been something that brings someone together.”

James has previously criticized Trump on several occasions, publicly supporting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election and calling Trump a “bum” in September 2017, after the president rescinded an invitation to the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House after winning the NBA title.

“Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!” James tweeted at the time.

Trump’s first comments about the NFL and players who protest during the anthem came later that month.

—Field Level Media

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