NBA Notes: Nike ditches traditional home, road designation with new uniforms

NBA Notes: Nike ditches traditional home, road designation with new uniforms

NEW YORK -- NBA teams are making a wardrobe change, with the traditional home and road uniforms going back in the closet.

The league said Tuesday it is eliminating the old apparel designations starting with the 2017-18 season, when Nike becomes the official outfitter. Instead, there will be four primary uniforms for each team.

The host team will pick which of its uniforms will be worn for each game and the visitors will select one of the contrasting ones from their collection. Previously, white uniforms were the default for home teams.

The first two editions will debut at the start of the season. The "Association" is formerly the home white uniform and the "Icon" is the previous road jersey, featuring the team's primary color.

The other two primary uniforms will be revealed in the coming months.

Also, eight teams will have a "Classic" uniform available in the fall that they can wear at their discretion.

Nike, which is replacing Adidas, says its uniforms are the NBA's lightest ever and absorb sweat faster, with changes to the neck, back shoulder and armhole to enhance agility. They were tested by members of last summer's gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic basketball team.

Clippers: Beverley bringing defensive mindset to team
LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Beverley was first in line among all the newest Clippers to walk into an introductory news conference.

Then Beverley, who was dealt to the Clippers in a six-player trade that sent Chris Paul to Houston, stopped on a dime and allowed the five others to walk onto the stage first.

He will not, however, take a back seat to Paul, a nine-time All-Star. When Beverley was asked about replacing Paul, his response was short and strong.

"Let me get this out of the way: I'm not Chris Paul," Beverley said. "I reiterate, I am not Chris Paul. Understand, he is not me either" (see full story).

Cavaliers: Former 2nd-round pick Osman signs contract
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed former second-round pick Cedi Osman.

The Cavaliers announced the move Tuesday. Osman has played the last five seasons for Anadolu Efes in the Turkish Basketball League. He gets a three-year deal worth $8.3 million.

Last season, Osman averaged 13.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 35 games. In Euroleague play, Osman averaged 7.1 points and 2.8 rebounds. The 6-foot-8 forward is a defensive-minded player who figures to give Cleveland some depth at the end of the bench in the frontcourt. He was acquired in a draft-night trade with the Timberwolves on 2015.

Osman joins Kyle Korver, Jose Calderon and Jeff Green as signings this summer for the Cavaliers, who have made it to three straight NBA Finals.

Spurs: Veteran big man Lauvergne inks deal
SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Spurs have signed forward/center Joffrey Lauvergne, who has played for three teams in his three-year NBA career.

Terms of the deal were not announced Tuesday.

The 6-foot-11, 260-pound Lauvergne played for Oklahoma City and Chicago last season. He played 50 games for the Thunder, averaging 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds before being dealt to Chicago, where he averaged 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 20 games.

Memphis selected Lauvergne in the second round of the 2013 NBA draft before trading his rights to Denver. In two seasons with the Nuggets, he averaged 6.7 points and 4.4 rebounds.

He played for the French national team at the 2016 Olympics, where he averaged 9.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.5 minutes.

Ben Simmons shrugs off mental fatigue with another triple-double

Ben Simmons shrugs off mental fatigue with another triple-double


Around 6 p.m., Ben Simmons spoke about mental fatigue and the frustrations it can cause. 

An hour later, he hit the court and posted an 11-point, 12-rebound, 15-assist triple-double … with zero turnovers.

“I wish he was more mentally fatigued in the future,” Brett Brown said with a laugh. 

The 21-year-old rookie may be feeling the weight of his first NBA season, but he certainly didn’t show it Monday in the Sixers’ 108-94 win over the Hornets (see observations)

Simmons recorded his third triple-double in the last four games. He exhibited disciplined court vision by finding his teammates with a high level of ease and chemistry that’s been developing over the season (see highlights).

“I was trusting them to knock down shots,” Simmons simply put it. “They make it easy for me.”

Simmons became the first rookie in the NBA to record a triple-double with 15 assists and no turnovers. Only David Robinson and Andre Iguodala had reached a triple-double without an error as rookies. 

Simmons considers his assists and turnovers to be the most meaningful stats of the triple-double, noting his turnovers usually are caused by mental errors. 

"That’s amazing," Joel Embiid said. "To be able to make the right reads and not turn the ball over, there’s a few guys in the league that can do that ... that just shows you that he can be a great point guard."

The 6-foot-10 point guard is averaging 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game over 34 minutes. With each game that passes, Simmons continues to be linked with the feats of Hall of Famers. From joining in the same company as Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson to moving ahead of Allen Iverson for most 10-assist games by a Sixers rookie, his performances are often tied back to historical markers. 

“I think people get caught up in how many points I score every game,” Simmons said. “It’s not about that. It’s a matter of points that we’re getting as a team and how many stops we get … 

"People are always going to say I need to do certain things but I know what I’m capable of and I know what I’m really good at.”

LeBron continues triple-double tour

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LeBron continues triple-double tour

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 40 points as part of his third triple-double in four games and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 124-117 on Monday night as coach Tyronn Lue began his leave of absence to address health issues.

Lue said Monday in a statement he been dealing with chest pains and loss of sleep, and that tests have offered no conclusion about what the issue is. Associate head coach Larry Drew will run the team in Lue's absence.

James scored 17 points in the third quarter and finished with 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his 16th triple-double this season and 71st of his career.

The four-time MVP took over in the third beginning with back-to-back 3-pointers. After not getting a foul called on a third attempt, he finished Cleveland's next possession with a massive dunk. He was fouled attempting another dunk and made both free throws the following time down.

Milwaukee cut a 17-point lead to 117-109, but James drove the length of the floor for a dunk with just over a minute left.

Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love returned after missing six weeks because of a broken left hand and scored 18 points in 25 minutes. He sparked a 10-0 run in the second quarter with two 3-pointers

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 37 points and went 11 for 11 at the foul line for Milwaukee, which is seventh in the Eastern Conference. Khris Middleton had 30 points, making 11 of 16 from the field (see full recap).

Heat set franchise scoring mark in 2OT win
MIAMI -- James Johnson scored a career-high 31 points, Kelly Olynyk added 30 off the bench and the Miami Heat set a franchise single-game scoring record by beating the Denver Nuggets 149-141 in double overtime Monday night.

Miami's total was also an NBA season-high and helped the Heat get back to the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings. Houston and Oklahoma City each scored 148 in games earlier this season.

Wayne Ellington scored 29 points for the Heat. Nikola Jokic had 34 for Denver, while Wilson Chandler added 26 for the Nuggets.

"That was as playoffs as it comes right there," Olynyk said.

The NBA's stat system crashed late in the first overtime, and crews were scrambling to determine the final numbers long after the buzzer. All that ultimately mattered was the score -- one that moved the Heat closer to a playoff berth and left the Nuggets two games back in the Western Conference race.

Neither team was at full strength. For Miami, Dwyane Wade (left hamstring strain) missed his fourth consecutive game, and Hassan Whiteside (left hip pain) sat out his fifth straight contest. Denver was without leading scorer Gary Harris, sidelined again by a strained right knee that could keep him out several more days (see full recap).

Oladipo, Pacers rally past Lakers
INDIANAPOLIS -- Victor Oladipo sparked a decisive run and finished with 20 points, Myles Turner had 21 points and the Indiana Pacers recovered from a poor start for a 110-100 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

The victory snapped Indiana's two-game losing streak.

Los Angeles was led by Kyle Kuzma with 27 points and Brook Lopez with 23, but the Lakers still lost their third straight.

Oladipo and Darren Collison got Indiana going with back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the third quarter for a 77-70 lead. After a layup from Julius Randle, Collison made a 20-footer and Lance Stephenson hit a 10-footer. When the 14-4 flurry ended, Indiana led 85-74 with 3:04 left in the third.

The Lakers never seriously challenged after that.

It was a stark contrast to the Lakers' fast start. Efficient shooting helped them take a 28-19 lead in the first quarter, but when the shooters cooled off, the Pacers charged back and used a 15-6 second-quarter run to make it 51-50 late in the period.

The Pacers still trailed 59-57 at the half -- before Oladipo helped flip things in the second half (see full recap).