NBA cancels media availability for rest of China trip

SHENZHEN, China — Saturday’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets is still scheduled to be played to conclude the 2019 China Games. However, the teams involved won’t be talking about it. The Nets’ 114-111 victory over the Lakers in Shanghai on Thursday was able to happen only with a stipulation by the Chinese government mandating that no media availability of any kind be held at the game and that NBA commissioner Adam Silver cancel his pregame news conference. The league is adopting the same temporary policy for…

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Trae Young admits hanging on to old tweets for motivation

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young is soaking up the negativity ahead of what he wants to be his first All-Star season. Young told Yahoo Sports in a story published Thursday that he goes so far as to keep negative tweets on his phone as motivation. Whether it’s shots at his 6-foot-2 stature or the 2018 draft-day trade that brought him to Atlanta, it’s all fuel for the 21-year-old. “I remember coming into high school, coming into college, they were saying, ‘He’s too small.’ Coming into the league, ‘He’s too…

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President Donald Trump critical of Warriors’ Steve Kerr, Spurs’ Gregg Popovich for response to China controversy

President Donald Trump, in his first public comments about the NBA’s relationship with China, criticized Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich for their response to questions about the controversy. Trump weighed in on the topic Wednesday afternoon, saying NBA officials have to “work out their own situation” with China, while he was critical of Kerr and Popovich, saying they “were pandering to China.” Kerr, who has been publicly critical of Trump and vocal on several social issues in the United States, said Monday that he had no…

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Lakers’ NBA Cares event in Shanghai canceled amid China rift

The NBA Cares event in Shanghai involving the Los Angeles Lakers was canceled Wednesday just hours before it was scheduled to begin, adding to the fallout from a recent tweet by Rockets GM Daryl Morey that showed support for anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. The NBA would only say that calling off the event, which was supposed to benefit the Special Olympics, was not its decision. A fan event that was scheduled for Wednesday was also canceled. On Tuesday, an NBA Cares event with the Nets at an education center…

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‘There’s opportunity for us to chart a new path’

OKLAHOMA CITY — The hand was raised for the first question on OKC’s first media day without Russell Westbrook. At the podium on Sept. 30 was Chris Paul, and as the microphone landed in a reporter’s hand and he began to identify himself, Paul interrupted. “Berry Tramel,” Paul said with a smile. “What’s going on? You didn’t have to say your name. Long time no see.” Tramel, The Oklahoman columnist and long-standing presumed adversary of Westbrook who was routinely on the other end of the “next question” shtick, replied sharply:…

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Keeping Andre Drummond a top priority

DETROIT — Pistons owner Tom Gores says keeping Andre Drummond in the fold is a top priority, and that Detroit needs to take another step forward after making the playoffs a season ago. Gores was on hand Monday at the opening of the team’s new training center and corporate headquarters in midtown Detroit. The new facility completes the team’s move to the city from suburban Auburn Hills. The Pistons are entering their third season playing their games at Little Caesars Arena in downtown. The $90 million Henry Ford Detroit Pistons…

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Tacko Fall thrills Celtics fans in preseason opener

10:28 PM ET Tim BontempsESPN BOSTON — Celtics rookie Tacko Fall sat on the bench for the first three quarters of Sunday’s preseason opener at TD Garden against the Charlotte Hornets hearing fans repeatedly chant his name. But when the 7-foot-7 center finally got a chance to check into an NBA game for the first time early in the fourth quarter, he said feeling any pressure to deliver was the last thing on his mind. “Pressure?” Fall asked afterward. “I feel like I’m in a dream. “I’m in the Garden,…

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Steph Curry ‘christens’ Warriors’ new Chase Center with 30-foot airball

SAN FRANCISCO — Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry knew exactly how he wanted to christen Chase Center on Saturday night. After moving out of Oracle Arena in Oakland after 47 years and moving across the Bay to San Francisco, Curry made it clear to his teammates that he wanted to take the Warriors’ first shot in the building’s history. So after just 22 seconds ran off the clock in Saturday’s 123-101 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Curry unleashed a heave from over 30 feet that fell well short…

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Danny Ainge on new-look Celtics — ‘Are we good enough?’

2:02 PM ET Tim BontempsESPN BOSTON — A year ago, the Celtics entered training camp with championship expectations. This year, it remains to be seen just how good Boston can actually be. “There are different kinds of questions,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Saturday, before the team’s annual open practice at TD Garden. “I think that last year’s questions were more based on, you know, how is it going to jell? There was not a question of how much talent we had. “This year the question is,…

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NBA’s six most intriguing players

It’s time for our first fall tradition: picking the six most intriguing players of the season. As usual, we (mostly) steer clear of superstars and rookies. Jonathan Isaac, Orlando Magic Orlando’s offseason plan for Isaac led him to a startling discovery. “I did not know I could eat this much,” Isaac says. “My mind is blown. Eating is almost not enjoyable anymore.” Isaac says he has eaten five or six “real meals” every day to add heft to his string-bean frame — without compromising the quickness and switchability that hold…

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