This page will provide you with the most up-to-date information about league happenings.
Golden State Warriors Fire Mark Jackson; Hire Steve Kerr
After losing in the first round of the NBA playoffs to the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games, the Golden State Warriors made the decision to fire head coach Mark Jackson.
Jackson, a former NBA Point Guard, led the Warriors to the playoffs twice in his three years with Golden State. In 2013-14, the Warriors posted their first 50-win season since 1993-94.
The decision to fire Jackson came as a shock to the NBA community, as the organization was proving itself to be a young contender. As head coach, Jackson had received his fair share of criticism due to a lack of an offensive game plan at times.
Shortly after firing Jackson, the Golden State Warriors elected to hire NBA analyst Steve Kerr as their new head coach. Kerr, a former NBA Point Guard, won four championships in his career and served as the Phoenix Suns’ General Manager from 2007-10.
Kerr was recently considered a candidate to become the New York Knicks’ head coach, due to his ties to Knicks president Phil Jackson.
Game Winning Three Pointer Sends Portland to Second Round
Damian Lillard made 218 three-pointers this season. Last Friday, Lillard made another three-pointer, but this one carried a little extra meaning.
With 0.9 seconds left in the game and his team down 98-96, Damian shot a three-pointer over the outstretched hand of Rockets’ small forward Chandler Parsons.
The ball barely tickled the net.
Lillard’s game-winning shot gave Portland a 3-2 series win over Houston, their first playoff series win since 2000.
The stakes couldn’t have been higher for the Trailblazers at the end of game six. Parsons, the player guarding Lillard on the final play, had just made a lay-up to give Houston their 98-96 lead.
And with game six taking place at the Rose Garden in Portland, had the Rockets held on, game seven would have taken place at the Toyota Center in Houston.
The Rockets were one of the most formidable opponents on their home court this season, winning 33 and losing only 8 games, good for the fourth best home court record. Portland played two highly competitive games in the regular season at the Toyota Center.
They lost both.
Damian Lillard is no stranger to important shots, however. During the 2013-14 season, the second year point guard out of Weber State University made game-winning shots against the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
The last one on that list, against Cleveland, was also a game-winning three. Like this past Friday, Lillard didn’t hesitate at all, and there was no doubt that the ball was going in the hoop after it left his hands.
Appearing in his first career playoff series, Damian exhibited his heroics at the first opportunity available. In game one, trailing by three, Lillard made another three-pointer to tie the game at 114-114 at the end of regulation.
The Trailblazers would go on to win game one in overtime by a score of 123-120.
With his growing reputation for big shots, Portland had reason to trust Damian with the all-important shot at the end of game six.
Lillard had previously made 22 out of 46 three-pointers in the series against Houston, good for an astounding 48%.
With his 23rd, Damian eliminated the Houston Rockets and added another notch to his belt—a belt that will no doubt be much longer by the end of his NBA career.
Sources: Sports Illustrated
Los Angeles Clippers Owner Banned for Life
The whole world has its eyes on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling after his racist remarks recorded in a conversation with his girlfriend. Here’s the skinny on how Sterling’s comments have blown up on the web and in real life.
Sterling initially made his racist comments in a conversation with girlfriend V. Stiviano. TMZ.com released an audio recording of these remarks, but no one knows who recorded the conversation.
The audio recording captured Sterling scolding Stiviano for bringing African-Americans to Clippers games and posting photos of her guests to Instagram. The guest in question was Hall of Fame Point Guard Magic Johnson, who responded by asserting he would never attend another Clippers game as long as Sterling was the owner.
Last Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference to address Sterling’s racist remarks.
In this conference, Silver banned Sterling for life from NBA operations and issued a fine of $2.5 million.
In his press conference, Silver addressed the audio recording and confirmed the identity of Donald Sterling as the speaker. Silver further labeled Sterling’s comments as “deeply offensive and hateful.”
The NBA Commissioner went on to say, “Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league.”
The fine of $2.5 million is the maximum allowed under the NBA constitution. Sterling’s fine is the largest issued to an NBA owner. The next largest fines were $500,000 issued to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Miami Heat owner Mickey Arison on separate occasions.
As for Sterling’s further involvement as owner of the Clippers, Silver said he would urge the Board of Governors, comprised of the other NBA owners, to vote unanimously to make Sterling sell the Clippers. To force this sale, the Board of Governors vote would have to be three to four, effectively coming down to 23 votes in favor of removing Donald Sterling.
According to the press release from Silver’s conference, the process to force Sterling to sell the team will begin immediately.
Sources: CBS Sports