Lakers’ Howard on altercation with AD: ‘We squashed it right then and there’

The Los Angles Lakers added a few pieces to their team in the offseason. They brought in guys like Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan and brought in two guys from their 2020 championship team in Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo, but they have gotten off to a slow start.

On Friday, the Lakers(0-2) dropped their second straight game as they were defeated by the Suns(1-1) 115-105 at Staples Center.

The loss is not too concerning when you consider it’s only the second game of the season. However, what might be more concerning is what transpired on the team’s bench between Howard and Anthony Davis.

The two got into a shoving match in the second quarter after a Suns timeout. 

Watch below:

After the game, both Howard and Davis said it was squashed.

“We squashed it right then and there,” Howard said. “We just had a disagreement about something that was on the floor… We’re grown men, things happen. But we are going to squash this little issue between me and him, and that’s my brother, that’s my teammate.”

Davis, who had 22 points and 14 rebounds on Friday night, added: “After the situation happened, me and DH, we talked about it, and we left it at that.”

According to Davis, the argument started over an issue with their pick-and-roll defense.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel says stuff like this happens when you’re losing:

“When you’re getting your a** kicked, sometimes those conversations get heated,” he said. “They talked it out, and that’s going to happen from time to time.”

Howard did not play in the second half, but Vogel said it had nothing to do with the incident with Davis.

In an 82-game season, stuff like this does happen. This could bring the Lakers closer, and we’ll see the impact this altercation may have on Los Angeles going forward.

Howard talks altercation with Davis:

The Great, The Not so Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ loss to Hornets

The Cleveland Cavaliers(0-2) fell to the Charlotte Hornets(2-0) 123-112 in their home-opener at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Friday night. 

Charlotte’s Miles Bridges had 30 points, Kelly Oubre scored 25 points off the bench, Gordon Hayward had 18 points and nine assists, and LaMelo Ball added 17 and six assists.

The Great for the Cavaliers:

-Collin Sexton had a hot shooting night for Cleveland. “Young Bull” had a game-high 33 points on 13/21 shooting from the field. 

-In his second game as a pro, Evan Mobley had another solid performance with 13 points, five rebounds, and two blocks.

-Ricky Rubio had his second straight double-double as he got the start for an injured Darius Garland(ankle). Rubio had 15 points and 10 assists in 28 minutes. 

-Kevin Love had six points and a team-high 11 rebounds off the bench in 24 minutes of action.

-Jarrett Allen’s incredible dunk on Mason Plumlee in the second dunk. That was nasty!

The Not So Great for the Cavaliers:

-Turnovers: Cleveland has 19 turnovers which led to 34 Hornets’ points. Rubio had six turnovers, including four in the fourth quarter. Rubio took the blame for the loss.

“It was all on me,” he said postgame. “It was bad passes. There’s nothing to blame on them. It was all on me and I take that blame and I take this loss.”

-Fourth-quarter: Cleveland entered the fourth quarter trailing 90-89. However, the Hornets would outscore the Cavaliers 33-23 in the quarter. Charlotte started the fourth on a 19-2 run and pushed the lead to as much as 18 points. In the opener against Memphis, the Grizzlies started the fourth on a 10-0 run, so Cleveland has to fix their fourth-quarter woes

-Rebounding: Cleveland was outrebounded again for the second straight game(46-36). Allen has to do a better job on the glass. Last season, he averaged a double-double for the first time in his career. Against Memphis, he only had four rebounds, and on Friday night, he again, had four rebounds. In addition, Charlotte had 16 second-chance points, while Cleveland only had six.

Rebounding is a part of defense because it ends the possession. Cleveland must improve in that area. 

-Defense: Against Memphis, Cleveland gave up 70 points in the paint and allowed 132 points. On Friday night against the Hornets, they gave up 58 points in the paint and allowed Charlotte to shoot 53% from the field. 

Cleveland has to protect their paint!

Browns DE Myles Garrett was in the building on Friday night, and Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff jokingly said the following about Garrett after the game:

“There were a few moments where I wish he would have protected the paint for us,” Bickerstaff said.

Bottom Line:

It was going to be tough to beat the Hornets without Garland, and hopefully, they can get him back tomorrow against Atlanta. The Cavaliers are a work in progress. Things might get worse before they get better. However, they have to find a way to take care of the basketball and be better on the defensive end.

What’s next:

Cleveland hosts the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. Atlanta routed the Mavericks 113-87 in their season and home opener on Thursday night.

Watch as Sexton and Rubio discuss the loss to the Hornets:

James: ‘I’d like the rematch with Ugas coming off his big win against Pacquiao’

WBA Welterweight Champion Jamal “Shango” James will look to move one step closer to the very top of the welterweight division when he takes on unbeaten contender Radzhab Butaev in a matchup that headlines action live on SHOWTIME Saturday, October 30 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

“I’m looking to make a big statement in this fight,” said James. “This will be my first title defense and my first time fighting on SHOWTIME and in Las Vegas. My whole mindset is to come out and show out, so that everyone knows I’m a major player in this division. I have to prove to everyone why I deserve the biggest fights.”

James continued his ascent up the 147-pound rankings in his last fight in August 2020, when he out-boxed Thomas Dulorme to capture his title. With the title win, James was set to take on his mandatory challenger in Butaev, allowing James ample time knowing who his next foe would be.

“We’ve known that Butaev is the opponent for a while, so we’ve been training for a long time and I’ve been in great shape all camp,” said James. “We’re just working on our different tools and perfecting them for the fight ahead. We know that everyone is coming for us since I have the title now, so I’m just doing whatever I have to do so that I’m ready on October 30.”

The unbeaten Butaev was an amateur standout before turning pro in 2016 and quickly rising up the welterweight rankings. Trained by Joel Diaz, Butaev most recently knocked out Terry Chatwood in December 2020 to officially set up his showdown with James. While James anticipates his opponent trying to negate the height advantage he brings to the ring, he’s confident in his boxing ability making the difference on fight night.

“Like any other fighter, Butaev has two arms, two legs and a head,” said James. “All of these guys are coming with their A-games. He has strengths and weaknesses just like anyone else. I know he’ll come in there strong and try to test me. He’ll probably try to get inside on me. It’s my job to out-box him and beat him.”

The Minneapolis-native has developed a strong following in his hometown, filling up The Armory in downtown Minneapolis four times between 2018 and 2019, a run that included exciting victories over contenders Abel Ramos and Antonio DeMarco. Training out of the Circle of Discipline gym, James has led the charge in a Minneapolis boxing renaissance, which continues to motivate him even as he hits the road and prepares to fight in Las Vegas for the first time.

“Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota in general really has my back,” said James. “They give me a ton of motivation. And the Circle of Discipline is like my extended family. The people here all push me and keep me on task. That’s what makes me bite down a little bit harder in training, because I know all the people that I have behind me and supporting me.”

James is riding a seven-fight winning streak since his lone pro defeat, a decision loss to WBA World Champion Yordenis Ugas in August 2016. He hopes that a victory on October 30 will lead him directly into a rematch against Ugas, or a showdown against one of the other big-name welterweight stars.

“I’d like the rematch with Ugas coming off his big win against Pacquiao,” said James. “He’s fought the top guys and I’ve fought him before, but it was under less-than-ideal circumstances. I’d like to see what a fight between us would look like after both of us have had a full camp. I haven’t been able to get anyone like Errol Spence Jr., Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter yet, and those are the biggest fights in the division. I’d love to face one of those guys that are already considered the best at welterweight so that I can really prove myself.”

Mavs’ Kidd: ‘We gotta get better in that third quarter, and we will’

The Atlanta Hawks came into the 2021-22 season trying to prove that last season’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals wasn’t a fluke, while the Mavericks, with a new coach in Jason Kidd, are hoping to make a deep playoff run of their own. 

After one game, Atlanta looks deeper than they did last season and a team that will definitely be a factor in Eastern Conference. The Hawks had six players in double figures led by Cam Reddish’s 20 points off the bench, Trae Young had 19 points and 14 assists, and John Collins 16 points and nine rebounds as the Hawks routed the Mavericks 113-87 at State Farm Arena on Wednesday night.

The Hawks were big-time on the defensive end; they held the Mavericks to 33% shooting from the field and forced 15 turnovers. Atlanta blew the game open in the third quarter with 22-8 run. The Hawks led by as many as 22 points in the third and had their largest lead of 30 in the fourth. 

Young got off in the third. He scored 12 points and nine assists in the quarter, and Kidd, who knows a lot about excellent point guard play, talked about Young’s passing and Dallas’ struggles in the third.

“He’s improved, and I said that before,” Kidd said about Young. “He’s gotten better each year on the one side of passing the ball and not turning it over… “In the first half, we couldn’t ask for a better defensive performance. We just couldn’t make any shots. You’re talking about an All-Star in Young.. We gotta get better in that third quarter, and we will.”

Doncic, who led the Mavericks with 18 points on 6/17 shooting from the field, added on the third quarter: “They were making shots, and we weren’t making shots. They played great defense, and we weren’t at their level on defense, so that’s it.”

The Mavericks may struggle initially as the team learns to adjust to Kidd’s new offense and style, and it’s only one of 82, so there’s not much to worry about at this point. Plus, Atlanta appears to be a very good team.

Dallas gets back at it on Saturday in Toronto against the Raptors. 

 

 

NBA reveals 75th Anniversary Team

In 75 NBA seasons, there have been a lot of great players. The NBA unveiled the 75th Anniversary Team on Thursday night, selected by a panel of current and former NBA players, coaches, general managers, team and league executives, WNBA legends, and sportswriters and broadcasters.  

As a result of a tie in the voting, the 75th Anniversary Team features 76 players. Team highlights include:

Eleven active players have been named to the 75th Anniversary Team: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Carmelo Anthony, Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, James Harden, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. 

  • All 50 members of the NBA 50th Anniversary Team, which was named in 1996, have been selected to the 75th Anniversary Team.

  • The 75th Anniversary Team includes four players who played in the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951 (Paul Arizin, Bob Cousy, George Mikan and Dolph Schayes), the first winner of the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award (Bob Pettit for the 1955-56 season) and the first winner of the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award (Jerry West for the 1969 NBA Finals).

  • Bill Russell joins Cousy, Mikan and Pettit as the only four players who have been named to all four NBA Anniversary Teams: the 25th Anniversary Team (10 players named), 35th Anniversary Team (11 players named), 50th Anniversary Team and 75th Anniversary Team.  (The 25th Anniversary Team was the only one of the four teams that did not allow for the inclusion of active players at the time.)

  • Six international players from six countries and territories have been selected to the 75th Anniversary Team: Antetokounmpo (Greece), Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands), Patrick Ewing (Jamaica), Steve Nash (Canada), Dirk Nowitzki (Germany) and Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria).

  • The five NBA legends who are serving as ambassadors for the 75th Anniversary Season are part of the 75th Anniversary Team: Clyde Drexler, Magic Johnson, Nowitzki, Pettit and Oscar Robertson.  Representing different eras of the league’s history, the ambassadors will make appearances throughout the 2021-22 season and have a significant presence at NBA All-Star 2022 in Cleveland.

Here is a complete list of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team:

NBA 75TH ANNIVERSARY TEAM

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

 

Clyde Drexler

 

Damian Lillard

 

Scottie Pippen

 

Ray Allen

 

Tim Duncan

 

Jerry Lucas

 

Willis Reed

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

 

Kevin Durant

 

Karl Malone

 

Oscar Robertson

 

Carmelo Anthony

 

Julius Erving

 

Moses Malone

 

David Robinson

 

Nate Archibald

 

Patrick Ewing

 

Pete Maravich

 

Dennis Rodman

 

Paul Arizin

 

Walt Frazier

 

Bob McAdoo

 

Bill Russell

 

Charles Barkley

 

Kevin Garnett

 

Kevin McHale

 

Dolph Schayes

 

Rick Barry

 

George Gervin

 

George Mikan

 

Bill Sharman

 

Elgin Baylor

 

Hal Greer

 

Reggie Miller

 

John Stockton

 

Dave Bing

 

James Harden

 

Earl Monroe

 

Isiah Thomas

 

Larry Bird

 

John Havlicek

 

Steve Nash

 

Nate Thurmond

 

Kobe Bryant

 

Elvin Hayes

 

Dirk Nowitzki

 

Wes Unseld

 

Wilt Chamberlain

 

Allen Iverson

 

Hakeem Olajuwon

 

Dwyane Wade

 

Bob Cousy

 

LeBron James

 

Shaquille O’Neal

 

Bill Walton

 

Dave Cowens

 

Magic Johnson

 

Robert Parish

 

Jerry West

 

Billy Cunningham

 

Sam Jones

 

Chris Paul

 

Russell Westbrook

 

Stephen Curry

 

Michael Jordan

 

Gary Payton

 

Lenny Wilkens

 

Anthony Davis

 

Jason Kidd

 

Bob Pettit

 

Dominique Wilkins

 

Dave DeBusschere

 

Kawhi Leonard

 

Paul Pierce

 

James Worthy

Suns’ Ayton on not getting extension: ‘I’m disappointed, but I’m still trying to get us back to the Finals’

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton got off to a great start on Wednesday night in the season opener against the Nuggets. He was 5/7 from the field and scored 13 of his 15 points tonight in the opening half, including 8 in the first quarter. Ayton added six rebounds for the Suns, and he knocked down one three-pointer on three attempts, tying his career-high for three-point attempts in a game.

However, Ayton would take only three shots the rest of the way as the Suns fell to Denver 110-98.

After the game, Ayton discussed why he did not get many touches in the second half.

“I just believe the ball stopped moving,” Ayton said. “We lost a little bit of rhythm because of our missed shots. Defense is what creates our offense on this team. Fatigue kicks in and not that second effort of getting back on defense and playing the right way. It tends to not come your way sometimes, and just trying to find it, guys on our team trying to find it. It just didn’t happen the way we wanted to make it happen.”

The 23-year-old Ayton was hoping to get a contract extension before Monday’s deadline. The number one overall pick in 2018 was reportedly hoping to get a max contract. However, the two sides could not find common ground, and now, he will be a restricted free agent at the season’s end. 

According to Ayton, he’s disappointed that he did not get the extension.

“One thing about me, throughout my whole life, I’ve always learned to control what I can control,” he said. “At the same time, obviously, I’m disappointed, but I’m still trying to get us back to the Finals. I still have to represent the team and myself as well. I’m just a competitor, man. I just like to compete to the best. Every time I’m in between the lines, that’s what you’re going to see out of me, nothing else.”

Ayton will have to go out and prove he’s a max guy this season. In the end, if he balls out, he will get paid, whether with the Suns or elsewhere. 

Stevenson on fight with Herring: ‘You’re going to see a special night, my coming out party’

They started as acquaintances, but once Jamel Herring acquired the belt Shakur Stevenson wanted, the friendly vibes went out the window. Herring will defend his WBO junior lightweight world title against former featherweight champion Stevenson on Saturday night from State Farm Arena in Atlanta (ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10:30 p.m. ET).

Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) has made three defenses of the title he won from Masayuki Ito in May 2019. Stevenson (16-0, 8 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, is considered by many to be the heir to the pound-for-pound throne. He picked up the interim world title in June with a dominant decision over Jeremiah Nakathila.

When Herring and Stevenson had their final faceoff, the fighters and their teams exchanged verbal barbs, with Stevenson grabbing Herring’s belt on multiple occasions. They were separated and will resume the jawing at Friday’s weigh-in.

The ESPN main card will also feature Puerto Rican star Xander Zayas (10-0, 7 KOs) in a six-round junior middleweight bout against Dan Karpency, and the second pro bout for middleweight Nico Ali Walsh, grandson of “The Greatest.”

The ESPN+ undercard stream (7:30 p.m. ET) will showcase junior middleweight prospect Evan Holyfield (7-0, 5 KOs), son of Atlanta legend and former four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield.

At Thursday’s final press conference, this is what the combatants had to say.

Jamel Herring:

“The odds just play to my story. I’ve always been an underdog, not just in boxing but in life, so I don’t get into the oddsmaker thing. It doesn’t bother me at all.”

“It’s not personal, it’s just business. We’re building a fight is all it means to me. I’ve heard worse and been through worse. We’re just two top competitors in the division trying to prove who is the best.”

“It just feels like another elite level fight in a loaded and talented division, so we just take it one fight at a time. We put all personal feelings to the side and just go to work and do what we have to do.”

“Atlanta is cool. I have family out here. My sons live out here as well. It’s another home and it’s an honor just to be fighting in the State Farm Arena because there’s not a lot of fights coming into town, so whenever you can bring a special fight to a certain city, it’s always a great thing.”

Shakur Stevenson:

“It means everything to me. This is my first time being able to go against a champion and being able to take a champion’s belt will mean a lot to me…. and I can’t wait to hear them say, “AND THE NEW!'”

“It’s definitely not personal, just business at the end of the day. He’s not my friend. I don’t hit him up and say, ‘let’s fight.'” We don’t have any conversations. I don’t talk to Jamel Herring outside of boxing.”

“It’s going to feel real good beating the whole team. I can’t wait to go against {Herring trainers Brian McIntyre and Red Spikes}. It’s not just Jamel that I’m fighting. I’ve got to beat Bomac and Red, and it’ll feel good doing that.”

“You’re going to see a special night, my coming out party. It’s going to be a great night, and he said he’s going to spoil the party, so let’s see if he can do it.”

Canelo: ‘I’m sticking with my prediction of a knockout before round eight’

Mexican superstar, four-division world champion and unified WBC/WBO/WBA Super Middleweight Champion Canelo Álvarez held a virtual workout on Wednesday, as he showed off his skills ahead of his highly anticipated undisputed 168-pound championship showdown against undefeated IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant taking place Saturday, November 6 live on SHOWTIME PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Canelo was joined by his renowned trainer and manager Eddy Reynoso at their gym in San Diego. Canelo and Plant will be looking to make history on November 6, as the winner of their fight will become the first undisputed 168-pound champion of the four-belt era.

See below what Alvarez had to say on Wednesday:

CANELO ÁLVAREZ(Photos: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)

“I feel strong and I’m very excited. I’m just continuing to move forward day by day toward fight night. I’m ready to make history on November 6.

“It’s new for me to have this much bad blood with an opponent. It’s very different from normal and it’s definitely the most animosity I’ve had with an opponent heading into a big fight.

“I’m sticking with my prediction of a knockout before round eight. The first couple of rounds will be difficult, but as the fight progresses, I am going to be able to get him out of there.

“I delivered the message I had to at our press conference. I don’t have to say anything else to Plant. I’m just going to prepare to face him in the ring on November 6.

“The secret to me and Eddy’s relationship is our discipline. My mind is so strong and I’m going to use that to my advantage in this fight.

“I’ve never been involved in anything like what happened at the first press conference between me and Caleb. Whether it sells the fight or not, the most important thing for me is to become undisputed on November 6.

“I’ve been in the ring for huge fights like this a lot of times. For him, it’s going to be a challenge being in there for a fight of this magnitude for the first time. He’s going to have to control his emotions.

“I’m a complete fighter. I can do various things in the ring. I can be aggressive, I can counterpunch, I can move. At the end of the day, I know I have to be a complete fighter. That’s what I’ve learned to be under Eddy Reynoso.

“Caleb is a good boxer, he has a good jab and he moves very well. But it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. I’m just going to use my skills and experience to win the fight.

“This is very important for my country of Mexico. This is one of the most important fights of my life. I’m taking it very seriously and a win means a lot to me.

“I don’t want to compare myself to great Mexican champions of the past. I just want to go out and make my own history. In the end, I want to be considered one of the best along with the legends who came before me.”

Lopez-Kambosos set for 11/27 at Madison Square Garden

Unified Lightweight Champion Teófimo López (16-0, 12 KOs) will finally make his maiden title defence of his WBA, IBF, WBO, and The Ring belts against George Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KOs) at Hulu Theater, Madison Square Garden, New York, on Saturday, November 27 – live worldwide and exclusively on DAZN.

Lopez’s first fight since upsetting former champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in October 2020, the Brooklyn native beat the Ukrainian by unanimous decision, taking with him the prized straps and unified crown. Australian Kambosos Jr. comes into the fight as the mandatory IBF challenger, also boasting a perfect record and coming off the back of a split decision win against former IBF Featherweight Champion Lee Selby.

“The time has finally come!” said López. “It has been a long wait for Team Takeover. We’ve been in the zone for six months and counting but we’re pleased to be able to finally get this fight on DAZN! The Takeover will show the world once again why we are called ‘The People’s Champ’.”

“It has been a long time coming, I have been patient but ready and I have continued to perfect my craft, leaving no stone unturned to be victorious and win all the belts,” said Kambosos Jr. “I’m very excited to be headlining my biggest fight of my life on another great Matchroom card against Teofimo López after earning this opportunity last year by becoming the IBF mandatory and world number 1 on another great Matchroom show. I know they will give this fight the respect it deserves and I will shock the world and be crowned World Champion on November 27 in New York City.”

“I am delighted to be bringing Lopez vs. Kambosas to DAZN and Madison Square Garden,” said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “This rivalry has been cooking for a long time and now we finally get to see them put it to bed in the Big Apple.

“Teofimo is one of the big young stars in the sport but George is a hungry proud Aussie who knows that this is the chance to put his name amongst the elite of the game.

“The Lightweight division will catch fire once again at the end of 2021 with Devin Haney set to defend his WBC crown in December on DAZN after Teofimo and George tangle.

An announcement on tickets will be made soon.

Undercard information will be announced shortly.

Other major matchups this fall on DAZN include:

  • Friday, November 05: Matteo Signani vs. Ruben Diaz – live worldwide on DAZN

  • Saturday, November 13: Jaime Munguia vs Gabriel Rosado – live worldwide on DAZN, excluding Mexico

  • Saturday, November 13: Kid Galahad vs. Kiko Martinez – live worldwide on DAZN, excluding Australia & New Zealand

  • Saturday, November 19: Demetrius Andrade vs Jason Quigley – live worldwide on DAZN

  • Saturday, November 27: Teófimo López v George Kambosos Jr – live worldwide on DAZN

  • Saturday, December 18: Joseph Parker vs Derek Chisora – live worldwide on DAZN, excluding New Zealand & Samoa

Jags’ Wright named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week

Jacksonville Jaguars K Matthew Wright has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, the league announced today.  

Wright is the 12th player in franchise history to win AFC Special Teams Player of the Week and the first to do so since 2019.

In the Jaguars’ Week 6 victory against the Dolphins in London, the 25-year-old Wright connected on both of his extra point attempts and all three of his field goal attempts from 40, 54 and 53 yards in his sixth career game.

With 3:40 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Jaguars trailing by three, Wright drilled a career-long, 54-yard field goal to knot the game at 20. Wright followed with a game-winning, 53-yard field goal as time expired to become the first kicker in NFL history to make multiple field goals of 50-plus yards in the last 4 minutes of the fourth quarter in a single game. 

In addition, he became the first kicker in franchise history to connect on two-50-plus yard field goals in the fourth quarter of a single game.  

Because of Wright’s performance on Sunday, Jacksonville released K Josh Lambo on Tuesday. The 30-year-old Lambo has been with the Jaguars since 2017.