Magic fans boo team's selection of Aaron Gordon

NBA

Many people expressed surprise when the Orlando Magic selected Aaron Gordon with the fourth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft -- including Magic fans.

The team's fans who had gathered at Orlando's Amway Center on draft night expressed their displeasure with the team's first selection of the night.

Most of the fan reactions stemmed from the belief that the Magic front office was going to select Dante Exum at that slot.

Instead, Orlando chose Gordon and Utah grabbed Exum with the next pick -- fifth overall.

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ATL mayor: At least 6 Hawks suitors; Turner Field sale will aid new owners

NBA

ATLANTA — Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday he has already talked with six potential buyers of the AtlantaHawks and expects a sale of the team to move quickly after racially charged comments by owner Bruce Levenson and general manager Danny Ferry.

Flanked by Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins and other city leaders, Reed said the crisis engulfing the NBA team would be solved "the Atlanta way" and predicted the franchise would come out stronger in the end.

The Hawks have been under fire since it was revealed Levenson sent an email two years ago theorizing that many suburban whites would not attend NBA games because of the team's African-American fans. He agreed to sale his share of the team, but it also emerged that Ferry had disparaged then-free agent Luol Deng on a conference call with team owners this past summer, saying he "has a little African in him."

Reed, who did not identify the prospective buyers, said whoever buys the team would have majority ownership. While Levenson owns 24 percent of the team, his Washington partner Ed Peskowitz has also agreed to sale his share, meaning that 50.1 percent of the team is available, according to the mayor.

For now, the Atlanta-based owners — including Michael Gearon Jr. and Rutherford Seydel (the son-in-law of former owner Ted Turner) — want to keep their shares of the team.

"I have had conversations with no less than six prospective buyers," Reed said. "All six of those pr[......]

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Kristaps Porzingis hammers down putback slam over LaMarcus Aldridge

NBA

First-round pick, meet big offseason acquisition. Big offseason acquisition, meet first-round pick.

Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis introduced himself to Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge with a ferocious putback dunk Monday night. Who could have predicted this one?

MORE: Best Knicks of all time | Nerlens Noel forgets the ball on fast break

And a little pose for the camera? He is a bad man.

Everyone sing it now... PORZINGISSSSS!

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Change in voting process could put Shaq, Iverson, Yao in '16 Hall class

NBA Basketball

An expected major change in the Hall of Fame election process could result in Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming being enshrined in 2016, NBA.com reported.

According to the report, which cited unidentified people with knowledge of the plans, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has finalized an adjustment that shortens the wait time from five seasons in retirement to four before a player can be nominated. The official announcement is expected this week.

PHOTOS: Yao Ming making people look tiny | Shaq's Sporting News covers | O'Neal's many characters

Under the new plan, voting and potential enshrinement would come after five calendar years, rather than five NBA seasons, thereby avoiding what becomes a sixth year by the time voting is completed near the end of the NBA regular season. 

The immediate impact is that not only will O'Neal and Yao, among others, be eligible to be nominated for the Class of 2016, joining Iverson from the previous timeline, but also holdover nominees such as Tim Hardaway, Kevin Johnson and Chris Webber now face a tougher road to election than they would've faced had Iverson been the only new nominee with strong potential to be elected.

According to NBA.com, the previous calendar benchmarks will remain. The 2016 class of former NBA players will be announced April 4, the[......]

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The Fifth Quarter: Cavs cling to No. 1 seed in East after trainwreck loss to Nets

NBA Basketball

The Cavaliers watched the wheels fall off in the fourth quarter Thursday in a brutal 104-95 loss to the 20-win Nets in Brooklyn. 

Cleveland, which is clinging to a two-game lead over Toronto for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, were outscored 24-12 in the final quarter. The Nets went on a 14-0 run after LeBron James subbed back into the game with 5:41 remaining in regulation.

MORE: Classic photos of LeBron James | LeBron gets earful from coach, GM

While James was scoreless and a minus-14 in the fourth — his worst plus-minus since returning to the Cavaliers last season — the rest of the "Big Three" did little to right the Cavaliers' sinking ship. James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love shot just 1 for 11 from the field in the period. 

Despite the terrible final frame, James finished with 30 points, six rebounds and five assists. He hit his first 10 shots and had a highlight-reel, two-handed reverse dunk in the second quarter.

RAFFERTY: James running over people to compensate for faulty jumper

Irving (13 points) and J.R. Smith (eight points) epitomized the Cavs' poor shooting; the duo combined to go 9 for 32 and accounted for 13 of the team's 28 missed 3-point tries. 

Stud of the Night

Myles Turner became the first Pacers rookie with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a game since Chuck Person in the 1986-87 se[......]

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The NBA salary cap loophole that Heat and others should exploit this offseason

NBA

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement has a series of nuances that can be confusing and vague, but one of the biggest potential loopholes has not been used to major effect … yet.

The NBA created the exception known as Bird rights to keep teams together; the initial use was to allow the Celtics to exceed the salary cap on Larry Bird’s contract. The exception, which kicks in after a player has been on his team (or on an unabridged contract) for three years, is fundamental to the NBA’s “soft” salary cap and the ability to keep great players on one team for their entire careers, if desired. Those rules get interesting, however, when a veteran player is willing to take a pay cut.

MORE: Ranking 23 best available NBA free agents

Last summer, the Spurs got Tim Duncan to agree to take a little more than $5 million this season in order to clear enough salary cap space for LaMarcus Aldridge, but the team did not lose the ability to pay Duncan his maximum for any future season by doing so. Given that Duncan is 40 years old, that may seem irrelevant. It is not.

The untapped potential of this marriage of Bird rights and low salary comes if a star player were willing to take a minimum contract for a single season, with an understanding or an expectation of a larger contract later. The team gets to pay a good player his lowest-possible salary for a year, yes, but the biggest value is seen in the following season: The play[......]

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Free agency rumors: Warriors sign Klay to max contract

NBA null Basketball

Klay Thompson has moved closer to being a Warrior for life.

According to multiple reports, including the New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle, the Golden State sharp shooter agreed to a 5-year, $190 million deal with the team Sunday.

The 29-year-old star has been planning to stay with the organization but was ready to explore other options if Golden State did not offer him a max contract.

Thompson was reportedly open to meeting with other teams, including the Lakers and Clippers. But, he didn't need to with the max deal in place.

The five-time All-Star finished the season averaging 21.5 points and 3.8 rebounds in 78 games. He's been a consistent offensive presence for the Warriors, knocking down 41.9 percent of his 3-point attempts over his eight-year career.

However, Thompson's 2018-19 season came to a disastrous end when he suffered a torn ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors. He is expected to miss most, if not all, of next season.

"I've said for a long time I want Klay to be a Warrior for life, and so (the injury) doesn't cha[......]

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Stephen Curry defends Ayesha after the internet mocks his wife's dancing video

NBA null Basketball

Stephen Curry is defending his wife, Ayesha, after she was criticized on social media for doing the "Milly Rock" dance at the opening of International Smoke, her fourth restaurant, in Del Mar, Calif.

The cookbook author and TV host's dance moves were heavily mocked on Twitter:

Steph responded to the hate in a video on his Instagram Stories on Wednesday:

"Slow news day today, I see, huh?" the two-time NBA MVP said. "Just make sure y’all send me the video of you dancing at your own restaurant opening. And we’re going to keep 'Milly Rocking' until that happens."

MORE: Stephen Curry talks K[......]

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Chris Paul, Trae Young already play HORSE in real NBA games

NBA Basketball Atlanta Hawks Oklahoma City Thunder

When Chris Paul and Trae Young compete in Sunday's NBA HORSE Challenge, they will be expected to show off the same magic they've delivered throughout their NBA careers.

Their styles of play are quite different, but Paul and Young are both considered among the most gifted improvisers in the NBA. Paul carries immense technical skill with the basketball and far more accolades, but Young can swish shots from the parking lot. Their special traits are apparent even in live NBA competition.

Here are some of our favorite HORSE-like moves Paul and Young have pulled off in the NBA:

MORE: Workout rules crush unheralded NBA Draft prospects

CP3 hits insane series-winning shot vs. Spurs

Show any casual fan who takes aim at Paul's playoff performance level this ridiculous Game 7 bucket with Danny Green and Tim Duncan all over him.

CP3 beats Game 2 buzzer vs. Grizzlies

This shot was eerily similar to the one against the Spurs. Again, Paul converts an off-balanced attempt under extreme pressure.

CP3 floats shot off top of the backboard

This would be considered lucky if it were almost any other player. For someone as ski[......]

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How long is Ben Simmons out? Injury timeline, return date, latest updates on 76ers star

NBA Philadelphia 76ers Basketball

The 76ers had already been struggling to find consistency within the NBA's "bubble," and now they will be missing one of their top players for an extended period.

Ben Simmons is out indefinitely after suffering a knee injury during an Aug. 5 game between the Sixers and Wizards. With Simmons likely unavailable to play until later rounds (if at all), a season that began with championship aspirations may end earlier than expected.

What's next for the two-time All-Star? Here's everything we know about Simmons' injury and the latest news on when he may return to the court.

NBA PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS:
Series-by-series breakdowns and picks

What is Ben Simmons' injury?

Simmons suffered a subluxation, or partial dislocation, of his left patella, which is different than a full kneecap dislocation.

From injury expert Jeff Stotts of InStreetClothes.com:

If the patella quickly returns to alignment the injury is diagnosed as a subluxation. If the kneecap stays displaced for an extended period of time, it is classified as a dislocation and often requires medical care to return it to its normal positioning.

The biggest issue following these types of injuries usually depends on the amount of damage sustained by the stabilizing[......]

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