The Spurs were simply better: James

admin   •   June 16, 2014   •   1950

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Miami Heat’s LeBron James (R) comes up against the defense of San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker of France during the second half in Game 5 of their NBA Finals basketball series in San Antonio, Texas, June 15, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/MIKE STONE

(Reuters) – Minutes after the Miami Heat were beaten in the NBA Finals in a Game Five rout, LeBron James conceded the San Antonio Spurs were simply a better team.

“That’s how team basketball should be played,” James told reporters after the 104-87 drubbing on Sunday that closed out the series and gave the Spurs their fifth championship.

“You know, it’s selfless. Guys move, cut, pass, you’ve got a shot, you take it, but it’s all for the team and it’s never about the individual. That’s the brand of basketball.

“They were the much better team.”

No one disputes that James is the best player in the world but the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player had little help against San Antonio.

He scored 31 points, had 10 rebounds and five assists on Sunday, leading the Heat in each category while the other components of the Heat’s ‘Big Three’, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, were ineffective.

Wade scored 11 points on four of 12 shooting, while Bosh totaled 13 points on six of 14.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra even had James play point guard because Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole were unproductive though the move failed to generate any heat and even created some chaos at times.

“When you’re in a series like this and it’s not going your way, we all get frustrated,” said Spoelstra.

“But L.J. and I communicated the entire game because he had to play the point guard for us.

“So we were trying to get on the same page about play calls and making sure everybody was organized. We just came up short.”

James said the Heat will need to get better to keep pace with the Spurs.

San Antonio and Miami split the first two games of the series but the Spurs blitzed the Heat in each of the next three to claim the title.

“Obviously we would need to get better from every facet, every position,” he said. “It’s just how the league works. The Spurs continue to get better.

“They kept those three guys intact, but they continue to put guys around them, high-basketball-IQ guys around them, high-energy guys around them that fit into the system of what Pop (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) wanted to do.”

James scored 17 points in the opening quarter on Sunday, more than any of his team mates scored the entire game. Miami also held a 16-point first quarter lead at one point but it soon fizzled.

“Started off very well as a team,” he said. “We had a great first quarter.

But from that point on, they were the better team, and that’s why they’re the champions in 2014.”

(Reporting By Steve Ginsburg; editing by xxx)

Vince Carter retires after NBA record 22-season career

UNTV News   •   June 26, 2020

Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter officially announced his retirement from professional basketball on Thursday (June 25) after an NBA record 22-season career during which his high-flying dunks made him one of the game’s top players in his prime.

Carter, widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all time, had previously said the 2019-20 NBA campaign would be his last but had not addressed his playing status since the NBA suspended its season in mid-March due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I am officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter, 43, told the “Winging It” podcast.

Carter, the first NBA player to feature in four different decades, signed a one-year deal with the Hawks last August.

However, their season is over as they did not qualify for the NBA’s 22-team format for restarting action in late July at Disney World amid the novel coronavirus.

Carter played for eight teams during his career but will be most remembered for his time with the Toronto Raptors, where he put the Canadian city on the basketball map and earned the nickname “Air Canada” for his feats above the rim.

After his first season in Toronto, Carter was named the NBA’s rookie of the year in 1999. He was then named an All-Star for each of the following eight seasons.

In his second season, Carter won the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend with a dazzling display that further increased his stardom and helped ignite basketball’s popularity in what had otherwise been an ice hockey-mad country.

Carter, who ranks 22nd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during a career that also included stops in New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta.

He also helped USA Basketball win gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2003 FIBA Americas tournament. (Reuters)

(Production; David Grip)

League approves plan to resume NBA season in July at Disney World

UNTV News   •   June 5, 2020

REUTERS – The National Basketball Association (NBA) Board of Governors have approved a plan to restart the suspended season with a tentative July 31 start at Disney World, Florida amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the league said on Thursday (June 4).

The plan would see 22 of the NBA’s 30 teams play eight games to determine a 16-team playoff field that would follow the traditional post-season format with four best-of-seven series that would crown a champion no later than October 12.

The league said approval from its Board of Governors, which came on the day originally scheduled for the start of the NBA Finals, is the first formal step among the many required to resume the season.

According to ESPN, the vote on the format was 29-1, with the Portland Trail Blazes voting against the proposal.

All games, practices and housing would be at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex which is inside the Orlando resort and has multiple hotels and arenas, and would allow the league to limit outside exposure.

The NBA was the first North American sports league to suspend its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic after one of its players tested positive for the new coronavirus in mid-March.

The 22 returning teams would be comprised of the eight teams from each of the two conferences currently in playoff positions plus the six clubs that are six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences.

If everything goes according to plan, the NBA said the 2020-21 season would begin on Dec. 1.

The league also said it plans to hold its 2020 NBA Draft Lottery to determine the order of the first 14 selections on Aug. 25. Lottery teams would be comprised of the eight clubs that do not participate in the restart and the six that go to Florida but do not qualify for the playoffs.

The actual NBA Draft, typically held in June, is now scheduled for Oct. 15.

(Production: Kurt Michael Hall)

Jordan’s autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season sold for record $560,000

UNTV News   •   May 18, 2020

NBA great Michael Jordan’s autographed game-worn sneakers from his rookie season fetched a record $560,000 (463,380 pounds) in an online auction, Sotheby’s said on Sunday (May 17).

The Air Jordan 1s, designed for Jordan in 1985 and the first ever signature sneakers, were expected to sell for between $100,000 and $150,000 in the auction.

Known for selling multimillion-dollar art, Sotheby’s held its first auction dedicated entirely to sneakers last year and had then set a world record of $437,500 for a pair of 1972 Nike running shoes known as the “Moon Shoe.”

“We saw tremendous bidding up until the moment the sale closed, with the value more than doubling in the final hour alone,” said Brahm Wachter, Sotheby’s director of eCommerce development.

“That coupled with strong international bidding from six countries on four continents shows not only the incredible appeal of Michael Jordan… but also that sneaker collecting is truly a global and growing market.”

Like most of Jordan’s basketball shoes, they are a mismatched pair in a size 13 (left) and size 13.5 (right).

The auction coincided with the 35th anniversary of the Air Jordan brand and the screening of the 10-part ESPN documentary “The Last Dance” about the Chicago Bulls and Jordan. The final two episodes of the show are set to air later on Sunday.

The shoes were sold by collector Jordan Geller, the founder of the sneaker museum Shoezeum in Las Vegas. (Reuters)

(Production: David Grip)

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