After two nail-biting periods, the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings remained tied 0-0 in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday.
First things first, there's the Andrew Bynum pre-qualifier to deal with.
In January 2006 I was assigned to write a story on the NBA scoring race, which at the time was being contested between Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson, whose teams, the Lakers and the 76ers, were meeting on a Friday night in Los Angeles. Collecting information for that story provided much insight into the killer instinct that has always driven Bryant ... not to mention somewhat of a journalistic comeuppance.
When this table was turned two years ago, the young Thunder falling to the mighty Lakers in six games in the first round of the playoffs, you could feel this coming.
LOS ANGELES -- The fans took their time leaving Lob City on Sunday night, all those raving red shirts standing around to soak in what had been a most memorable Clippers season.
LOS ANGELES -- By the look of the postgame press conference, it was tough to tell that this was all about maturity for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
LOS ANGELES -- Clippers general manager Neil Olshey still had a smile on his face, which tells anyone who was at Staples Center on Saturday afternoon that it was still early.
LOS ANGELES -- The dour mood that had enveloped Lakers Nation was nowhere to be found inside the Lakers locker room early Friday night.
SAN ANTONIO -- Before he reached the modest age of 20, Tony Parker had played in 87 NBA regular-season and playoff games and considered it nothing more than normal. Everything in his life seemed to happen fast -- from a playing career that began professionally in France when he was 17, to the way he approached the game, which was roughly equivalent to the way Usain Bolt approaches a run in the park.
No team handled the shortened season better than the Spurs. After receiving an infusion of athleticism and outside shooting, coach Gregg Popovich played Scrooge with minutes, not allowing anyone to play more than 32.8 a game and letting the team's Big Three -- Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker -- skip selected games in order to keep rested. But unlike many veteran contenders, the Spurs didn't suffer a decline in playoff seeding for the gains of better health. In the process, Popovich developed a roster that doesn't have merely one Sixth Man Award candidate, but an entire lineup of them. That depth was on display in a first-round sweep of Utah, as San Antonio's bench often extended leads.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant's third quarter three-pointer wasn't even through the net when Russell Westbrook started sprinting toward the Thunder bench, neck arched, a primal scream cutting through the deafening crowd. Timeout, Lakers, and there was no coming back. Two years ago, Westbrook walked off this same floor, against this same team, a loser. He played well in that series, but that Thunder group was too raw, too green to go up against an experienced Lakers team that ultimately went on to win the NBA title. This time around the hunted has become the hunter, and this Oklahoma City team isn't just out to beat the Lakers; they want to destroy them.
The Thunder, led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, first announced themselves as future championship contenders by testing the then-top-seeded Lakers in a thrilling six-game series in the first round of the 2010 playoffs. Two years later, the Thunder must get past an enigmatic but experienced and highly talented Lakers team in the throes of transition if Oklahoma City is to live up to its preseason billing as the Western Conference favorite to make the Finals.
LOS ANGELES -- The Lakers blast the song "I Love L.A." after every home win, but given the tastes of a certain 7-foot Spaniard, it sounded more appropriate after this one. Over the past four years, Pau Gasol has developed a deep affection for his adopted hometown. Volleyball at Redondo Beach and opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, musicals at the Pantages and concerts at the El Rey. When the Lakers' trade for Chris Paul was vetoed in December, Gasol recovered easier than Lamar Odom, in part because he ended up right where he wanted: back in L.A.
LOS ANGELES -- The brownies must be perfect.
Denver blitzed the Lakers with big runs at the start of each half to blow Los Angeles out of the Pepsi Center 113-96 in Game 6 on Thursday, forcing a decisive Game 7 at Staples Center on Saturday night. The Nuggets ran out to a 13-0 lead to start the game, finally finding their outside shooting range after bricking their way through the first five games. The Lakers cut the deficit to 54-45 at the half, but couldn't come close to matching the Nuggets' energy after the break. Denver went on a 9-0 run to start the third, and the rout was on. For a team whose biggest advantage is off the bench, the Nuggets dominated Game 6 with the starters on the floor at the beginning of both halves in Game 6.
Feelings of dread had to be welling up in the stomachs of the Grizzlies and their fans Wednesday night as an alarming pattern repeated itself. As in Game 1, the Grizzlies built a huge lead on the Clippers through great defense and crisp offensive execution. And as in 1, they stopped doing those great things, lost both their composure and the greater part of that lead. This time, though, Memphis managed to hold on for an excruciating 92-80 win, closing Los Angeles' series lead to 3-2.
LOS ANGELES -- George Karl tells his team more stories than a father at bedtime, and in the past 10 days, he dug through his mental archive for fresh material. He regaled the Nuggets with memories of the mid-90s Sonics, falling behind the Rockets 3-1 only to force a Game 7, and the Bulls 3-0 only to force a Game 6. He reminisced about the 1996 Western Conference Finals, which essentially came down to four free throws: Shawn Kemp made two for Seattle, Karl Malone missed two for Utah, and the Sonics advanced to the NBA Finals. "You want to celebrate dominance and it's not about dominance," Karl said. "The edge is very, very thin."
LOS ANGELES -- Zach Randolph was the leading per-game scorer in the history of the Los Angeles Clippers when they traded him to Memphis in the summer of 2009. Randolph was averaging 20.9 points, more than Elton Brand or Danny Manning, but the Clippers had just drafted an aerial acrobat from Oklahoma named Blake Griffin and he happened to play the same position. The Clippers billed Griffin as their power forward of the future. They couldn't have Randolph in his way.
The Los Angeles Lakers out-executed the Denver Nuggets down the stretch to claim a 92-88 road win at the Pepsi Center on Sunday, taking a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round series. Game 4 wasn't pretty, but it was a hard-fought, back-and-forth affair that featured 18 lead changes. The Lakers sealed it in the final minute, breaking an 86-86 tie with consecutive threes by a pair of unlikely closers in Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake.
Buoyed by a return to the Mile High City, the Denver Nuggets hustled their way to a 99-84 Game 3 win over the Lakers on Friday, pulling within 2-1 in their first-round series. Ty Lawson led a huge first-half run which knocked the Lakers back on their heels, and the Nuggets' bigs competed hard all night to offset the Lakers' vaunted Pau Gasol-Andrew Bynum combo, after being worked over in the first two games.
LOS ANGELES -- Chris Paul wears two rubber bands around his left wrist, and on his way to the locker room after Saturday's game, he removed one and slipped it to a toddler in the stands. At first, the little boy could not reach the rubber band. Then, he could not grip it. Paul stood in the tunnel for about 30 seconds, silently holding the band aloft, until he coaxed it safely into the child's grasp.
LOS ANGELES -- At 33, Kobe Bryant has already logged more minutes than Michael Jordan, played in more seasons than Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. His 6-foot-6 frame, slender compared to the NBA's modern stars, has absorbed injury-inducing blows to virtually every relevant part. He cracks jokes about his dwindling vertical leap. But on some nights, when the legs are fresh and the back is loose, when there is spring in the knees and juice in the joints, he can appear utterly ageless.
You have to give it to Mike Brown.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The buzzer sounded at the end of the third quarter and Chris Paul was already in Vinny Del Negro's ear. Let me go back in, it's not over. Del Negro was not inclined to leave his prized point guard and his still sore groin out on the floor much longer, not with his team down 21 and playing like the Washington Generals. Let me go back in, it's not over, Paul said, knowing that stinking out the joint for three quarters was "just how we play," knowing his team had a rally left in them. Let me go back in, it's not over, Paul said, and Del Negro listened, opening the door for one of the most improbable comebacks in NBA playoff history.
LOS ANGELES -- With little more than seven minutes remaining in the third quarter at Staples Center on Sunday afternoon, Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried drove around the right flank of Pau Gasol and threw up a running scoop shot. Andrew Bynum, stationed under the basket, leapt at Faried and swatted the shot into the last seat on the first row along the baseline. As Bynum bounced gleefully on the balls of his feet, Gasol patted him on the head. Kobe Bryant pumped a fist. The bench erupted. The crowd rose.
The Lakers knew they would be shorthanded in the first round, after Metta World Peace was suspended for the series' first six games for his misguided elbow, but they only found out Wednesday night they will be facing one of the deepest teams in the NBA. The Nuggets will exhaust the Lakers' starters, expose their flimsy second unit, and throw three different 7-footers at center Andrew Bynum. But teams like the Nuggets, without a proven star, usually falter in the playoffs because they don't have a place to turn for instant offense at the end of games. In other words, they don't have a closer like Kobe Bryant, who is rested and primed for this series. One candidate is Danilo Gallinari, who is healthy again, and could fill the void if he rediscovers the touch he showed in the first six weeks of the season.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace has been suspended for seven games without pay over an elbow blow he delivered to the head of an opposing player, the National Basketball Association said Tuesday.
In the first elimination game of the season, four days before the playoffs are even set to begin, the Utah Jazz have advanced while the Phoenix Suns head home for another long summer.
LOS ANGELES -- As he skulked out of Staples Center on Sunday afternoon, Metta World Peace paused for a moment by the Lakers bench, the look on his face conveying bewilderment more than shame. Kobe Bryant wrapped him in a long hug, strange considering World Peace had just thrown a vicious elbow to James Harden's head that prompted an ejection, but oddly appropriate considering their history together.
This is what April is supposed to feel like: players recklessly diving to the floor for loose balls and a slew of hard fouls. Games clicking down to the final buzzer before a winner walks off the court, one game closer to the playoffs.
LOS ANGELES -- Blake Griffin's curious answer said plenty about his defensive mindset, if only because the question -- "So how do you see the second season so far?" -- was so generic and non-threatening.
LOS ANGELES -- Move along, NBA coaching vultures. Nothing to see here -- for now, anyway.
LOS ANGELES -- Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak sat at a dining room table on Thursday at Staples Center, his salad and chicken going untouched for several minutes while he graciously answered the many questions surrounding his team.
LOS ANGELES -- Homecoming festivities were finished by tipoff, the tribute video and the standing ovation, the thank you notes in the stands and the bear hugs on the bench. When Derek Fisher appeared sufficiently moved, a sentimental night turned serious. The Lakers wanted to honor their former point guard, but more than that, they needed to beat his current team.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Another day, another drama for Lakers coach Mike Brown.
Keith Smart appreciates the advice, even if he won't necessarily be heeding it.
When Derek Fisher was traded to Houston on Thursday, it brought a painful end to his illustrious Lakers career. The five championships won in 13 seasons in were all things of the past, and the team's present needs -- as seen by the Buss family ownership group and general manager Mitch Kupchak -- included getting younger and quicker at the point guard position in an attempt to remain relevant at the NBA's highest levels.
LOS ANGELES -- A little more than one hour before Friday's game, in a hallway on the first floor of Staples Center, Lakers coach Mike Brown summoned Ramon Sessions and gave the new point guard his to-do-list for the next three months: Attack the basket, run the pick-and-roll, create for others and remember defense. Sessions nodded dutifully. But in the middle of what sounded like a routine job description, Brown and Sessions stared hard at each other, a coach who was once fired by the Cavaliers and a point guard who was just traded by them. "You've got the green light to score," Brown said. Even Sessions raised his eyebrows. Here is a 25-year-old career backup, who backed-up lottery picks in Milwaukee, Minnesota and Cleveland, suddenly handed the reins to a contender that includes Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. In 24 hours, he had gone from the bench of an NBA afterthought to the forefront of a signature franchise.
The biggest news of the delayed 2012 trade deadline came from teams that made no trades at all. The Magic held onto Dwight Howard, the Celtics maintained their Big Four for a final run, and the top three championship contenders -- the Bulls, Thunder and Heat -- all stayed quiet. They understood that a major trade six weeks before the playoffs, with little practice time in between, could do more harm than good.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks have agreed in principle to to a deal that will send center Andrew Bogut and small forward Stephen Jackson to the Warriors for shooting guard Monta Ellis, forward Ekpe Udoh and center Kwame Brown to the Bucks, sources confirmed to SI.com.
LOS ANGELES -- The week that was provided the perfect setup for a Kobe Bryant special, one of those vintage performances that serve as a guilty pleasure for anyone who knows how this game needs to be played.
Is it possible that after all these months of chatter, the endless trade talks and media reports about how and when he'll get to the next destination of his choice, that Dwight Howard remains in a Magic jersey past the March 15 trade deadline? Sources close to the process say it is.
A half-century ago, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single game, one of the landmark achievements in sports and a record that seems all but unbreakable.
Kings coach Keith Smart will return next season, according to Sacramento co-owner Joe Maloof.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Will he stay, or will he go?
DALLAS -- Four days after Kobe Bryant defended Pau Gasol, three days after Bryant and Derek Fisher called a players-only meeting and 30 minutes after his Lakers had earned a second impressive win in a row, coach Mike Brown was talking about the furious evolution of his troubled team.
LOS ANGELES -- Who knew Kobe Bryant -- he of the menacing looks, icy veins and killer instinct -- was such a softy?
LOS ANGELES -- No matter how many times Mitch Kupchak sees it, he still gets mesmerized by the dazzling play of Kobe Bryant.
LOS ANGELES -- As the elevator doors opened and Chris Paul walked toward the sunlight in the Staples Center tunnel on Saturday afternoon, the counter-intuitive occurred.
Anyone who wondered how anxious the mood was in Sacramento these days need only be paying attention last Thursday night. During the Kings' game against the Thunder, TNT's only telecast in Sacramento, the announcers all but declared that the city's beloved team was leaving. And sure enough, the fallout ensued.
For most of human existence we've dreamed of flight, carving winged sphinxes onto Babylonian brickwork, imagining Icarus and all manner of flying machines -- many sketched by Leonardo da Vinci -- until somehow over the centuries these miracles came to be: The magnificent Montgolfier Brothers and their hot air balloon, the Wright Brothers, the Spirit of St. Louis, the Golden Age of Travel, Pan Am, TWA, the jet set and all the while Sinatra singing, "Come fly with me, we'll float down to Peru ..."
"Life is funny," says Sidney Moncrief. Only by "funny," he doesn't really mean funny. He means weird. Strange. Quirky. Unpredictable. "One decision -- any decision -- can change everything."
Free-agent guard Gilbert Arenas conducted a workout in the Los Angeles area Sunday that was attended by Lakers officials, the three-time All-Star confirmed to SI.com via text message.
SACRAMENTO -- Steve Nash hopes you can excuse him for his unrefined play.
BOSTON -- When Kobe Bryant came into the Celtics gym, it was like Jack Nicholson walking into that Colorado resort bar in "The Shining." It was as if the old days had been brought back to life and the modern day concerns had receded, as if the young legs of Miami and Chicago and Oklahoma City were no longer in the picture.
Jerry West is convinced Golden State will eventually turn its long-suffering franchise around, isn't convinced that there are any "Super Teams" in today's NBA and wonders why his prized pupil, Kobe Bryant, needs to log so many minutes at 33 years old. As the NBA legend and Warriors consultantreminded us again in his autobiography, "West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life," he is as candid as they come and always worth a listen. Here's what he had to say in a recent discussion with SI.com.
It's 3:15 p.m. in Jerry West's Bel Air, Calif., home, and you can tell by the tone in the Logo's voice that he's already itching to grab the remote.
Basketball fans love L.A., if this year's NBA All-Star ballot results are any indication.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- There was a Portland-bound plane to catch late Monday night, so the proud and blissful Memphis Grizzlies couldn't talk all night about how they found that fighting spirit again. No matter how badly they wanted to.
The way Jared Dudley speaks has much in common with the way he plays. The words run into each other quickly and logically across a variety of topics. His style of play is equally fast and smart and versatile.
LOS ANGELES -- When Chuck Person joined the Lakers as a special assistant in 2009, the widely held assumption around the NBA was that his real title was something else entirely: Ron Artest's life coach.
LOS ANGELES -- After just five games into the season it looked as though a coaching change had already come to the Clippers.
LOS ANGELES -- One month has passed since the Clippers acquired Chris Paul from New Orleans, players rejoiced in the parking lot, and Blake Griffin blurted "Lob City!" into an expectant microphone. Unlike all the contrived nicknames in sports, Lob City was organic, the invention of an excited superstar and not an antiseptic marketing firm. The Clippers were initially amused by the cottage industry of T-shirts and signs that popped up, but they have now transcended the moniker that Griffin gave them. They roll their eyes at the implication they only throw ally oops.
LOS ANGELES -- In the seven months since the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat devised a faster offense, built a deeper roster and dispatched many of the distractions that hounded them last season. They appeared more comfortable, more cohesive, and more stable than their pre-lockout selves. But in the past 48 hours, on a turbulent trip through California, they experienced some disturbing Finals flashbacks.
LOS ANGELES -- A late-night family dinner was just what Chris Paul needed. At least here he knew the support was universal, the love always there as long as his wife, son, parents and brother were on hand on the 11th floor of the downtown Cooper building. The menu would be inspired by his North Carolina upbringing, the chef preparing more than one kind of fried chicken (buttermilk and Southern) to go with homemade macaroni and cheese, pork sandwiches and a variety of other home-cooking delights.
Baron Davis is nobody's savior. That much, Knicks fans, needs to be made clear right at the start.
LOS ANGELES -- In Game 2 of the 2010 NBA Finals, the Lakers lost to the Celtics at Staples Center, relinquished home-court advantage, and watched Ray Allen sink a demoralizing eight three-pointers. "But I never had so much fun," said Lakers center Andrew Bynum. With Kobe Bryant fighting foul trouble for long stretches, Bynum became an unlikely focal point of the offense, and he scored 21 points in 39 minutes. "It was one of the only times in a Laker uniform that I felt the pressure on me," he said.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The Sacramento Kings' already-frustrating season evolved into an utter mess on Sunday, when coach Paul Westphal released a statement saying DeMarcus Cousins has demanded a trade and the agent for the second-year big man quickly denied the claim in an interview with SI.com.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- It had been quite some time since Tyson Chandler avoided anyone in the lane, but this was different.
The Lakers' old dogs weren't happy late Monday night.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Clippers' sequel to the Blake (Griffin) Show of 2010-11 was supposed to start Sunday night, when a Christmas nightcap against Golden State set the stage for CP3 cinema in Chris Paul's Clippers debut.
You would think a league that eternally rests so precariously on the tightrope of popularity would not have risked a public relations disaster, particularly in the wake of a highly successful 2010-11 season. Keep the momentum going -- that should've been the M.O.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The time might come when Jimmer Fredette will need to take a different approach to his local dining.
LOS ANGELES -- Chris Paul wanted to play for the Lakers, was traded to the Lakers, and prepared to sign a long-term contract extension with the Lakers. But when he walked onto the court Monday night at Staples Center, in front of Lakers fans who 10 days ago called him the second coming of Magic Johnson, they booed him like the son of Larry Bird. Such is the strange state of the NBA in Los Angeles, where in the past week-and-a-half Paul was a Laker and then a Clipper, a dramatic swing that has shifted the tectonic plates beneath the city's basketball landscape. As Paul told teammate Chauncey Billups when they emerged from the tunnel: "This is crazy."
The Indiana Pacers have agreed to send shooting guard Brandon Rush to Golden State in exchange for forward Lou Amundson, sources confirmed to SI.com.
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Five minutes before the first practice of his NBA coaching career, Mark Jackson pulled out his phone in the coaches' locker room at the Golden State Warriors' practice facility and made four calls. The first was to Lou Carnesecca, his college coach at St. John's. Jackson thanked him for sewing some of the earliest seeds that led to his pro career. Next, he left a voicemail message for Jeff Van Gundy, his former coach and broadcast partner, and he said thank you for all of the meals filled with basketball conversations they had shared over the years. Then he left another message for Louisville coach Rick Pitino, whom Jackson calls the best coach he ever had, thanking Pitino for helping him get his career established as a young point guard with the Knicks and for being a coaching model for him to study. Finally, he called his wife Desiree. He thanked her for being an incredible wife, mother and partner, and they took a moment to pray together.
LOS ANGELES -- The moment when Mike Brown realized he had to coach the Lakers came shortly after they were swept by Dallas in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals, a spectacular 36-point flameout that saw Phil Jackson pop Pau Gasol in the chest, Andrew Bynum put J.J. Barea on the floor, and then tear off his jersey to protest his ejection. Brown, who detailed in a notepad how the Lakers were eviscerated by the Mavericks' pick-and-roll, wanted to see what Kobe Bryant would say in his exit interview. Bryant was asked what he would take away from the season, and as he rested his chin in his palm, said: "It was a wasted year of my life." Brown felt an onrush of goose bumps. "You know right there what that dude is made of," he said.
On his first day in Lob City, Chris Paul gazed at a basket in the Clippers practice facility, and pondered how high one should throw passes to a man who can jump over cars. "I've got to find the right height," Paul said. "He plays on a goal under 10 feet." Of course, Blake Griffin plays on 10-foot baskets like everybody else, even if he makes them look like mini-hoops. Griffin was the one who coined his adopted hometown "Lob City," moments after the Clippers traded for Paul on Wednesday, and by Thursday entrepreneurs had turned the moniker into a message tee.
Four-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul has been traded from the New Orleans Hornets to join the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal that sends Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and Chris Kaman in the opposite direction.
Free agent guard Jamal Crawford is deciding between the Kings and Trail Blazers after scratching the Knicks off his list on Wednesday, according to a source.
The Chris Paul trade show continued anew on Monday night, when a source confirmed an ESPN.com report that the Hornets and Clippers re-engaged in discussions to send the four-time All-Star point guard to Los Angeles. It was the latest revelation in a wild day for the Clippers, who matched a four-year, $43 million offer sheet from Golden State for center DeAndre Jordan and picked up veteran point guard Chauncey Billups via the league's new amnesty waiver wire.
Chris Paul looked destined to be traded to Los Angeles for the third time in four days on Sunday night, when two SI.com sources confirmed that the Clippers were closing in on a deal to acquire the New Orleans point guard and four-time All-Star.
The three-way trade that would have sent New Orleans point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers died for the second time on Saturday night, sources confirmed to SI.com.
The Lakers, Hornets and Rockets continue to revise their three-way trade proposal that would send Chris Paul to L.A., sources have told SI.com.
More than they need Chris Paul, the New Orleans Hornets need new owners.
A proposed three-team trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers has fallen apart, according to executives involved in the talks.
The Knicks are nearing a deal for free-agent center Tyson Chandler, according to league sources.
No decision has been made by New Orleans about where to send point guard Chris Paul, but a source with a good read on the talks puts the list of leaders for his services as such: the Lakers, Clippers and Warriors. There are other teams making a push, among them Dallas and Houston, but there are no indications that they're being seriously considered by Hornets general manager Dell Demps.
Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss is in a Los Angeles hospital, where he is being treated for blood clots in his leg, a team spokesman said Wednesday night.
Samuel Dalembert is known as the charitable sort.
After years of worrying there may be no season at all, team executives were suddenly opening up their gyms to welcome back their signed players and negotiating with free agents while trying to make sense of a new collective bargaining agreement as it was being finalized. Here are some of the ins and outs to consider as teams, agents and players look forward to the dual Dec. 9 opening of training camp and free agency.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Brian Shaw works and waits thousands of miles from Los Angeles, where he helped the Lakers win five championships, where Phil Jackson taught him to win at the highest level.
DeMarcus Cousins has no reason to hide. That's the worst part about his whole covert operation.
Days after the league announced the elimination of the first two weeks of the regular season, the player-driven talk of possible Plan Bs is growing louder and seemingly more sincere. And while we won't know for some time how seriously to take any of these possible endeavors, they're worth tracking if only because Plan A (otherwise known as the No Basketball Association) isn't looking so good these days.
When Paul Westphal was campaigning for the Kings head coaching position in the summer of 2009, his former point guard-turned Sacramento mayor, Kevin Johnson, was among his most vocal supporters. "I'm rooting for him," Johnson told me back then.
It was March 7, two weeks after the Knicks had acquired Carmelo Anthony and 20 minutes since they'd faced the Utah Jazz. Having recently lost their two best players, Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams, to free agency and trades, the beleaguered Jazz were no match for New York, who rode a 65-point performance from their new dynamic duo of Amar'e Stoudemire and Anthony to a 22-point win. After the easy rout of the Jazz, the Summer of LeBron and a bevy of big trades, Stoudemire was asked what everyone had long been wondering about the NBA: Is it turning into an unbalanced league of big-market haves and small-market have-nots?
Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Javaris Crittenton was arrested in connection with an Atlanta murder. KABC has more.