Stephen Curry

Stars in NBA Finals say they don’t want White House invite

Stars in NBA Finals say they don’t want White House invite

It doesn’t seem like the NBA is going to have to go through this charade in a few months. 

Neither the Cavaliers nor the Warriors — both are in the NBA Finals now — are going to go the White House for a celebratory visit. 

Some star players from both teams were asked about President Donald Trump’s decision to disinvite the Eagles to the White House, a visit that was supposed to happen today. 

Trump’s disinviting a team to the White House wasn’t a method reserved for the Eagles. In fact, he told the Warriors they weren't invited after Golden State won the NBA championship last year. 

When the president disinvited the Eagles, he claimed the team disagreed with him insisting that “they proudly stand for the National anthem,” although every Eagles player during the 2017 regular season and playoffs stood during the anthem. 

While the NFL recently passed a new rule in the hopes to eliminate protests during the national anthem, the NBA actually has a rule that requires players to stand during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. 

NBA Finals rematch shows Sixers there's no specific way to build contender

NBA Finals rematch shows Sixers there's no specific way to build contender

The NBA Finals are officially set and for a fourth straight year, we’ll see a Golden State Warriors-Cleveland Cavaliers showdown for the title.

While fans of the league let out a collective yawn at yet another championship rematch, the Sixers should be paying close attention to the participants.

Sure, the Sixers know both the Warriors and Cavaliers have all the ingredients that make up true contenders — great players, veteran leadership, strong coaching, positive culture, etc. But the biggest takeaway should be that there is no specific way to climb the NBA mountaintop.

With an important summer ahead of them, the Sixers have the ability to keep adding to their young core with more draft picks to grow organically or shake up their roster with superstar talent through free agency/trade.

Loyal supporters of “the process” would prefer the first model, one perfected by the Warriors. The Dubs have eight players on their current roster drafted by the club, including perennial All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. That group has blossomed together to reach incredible heights and will now go for a third crown in four years.

It’s a prototype the Sixers could definitely continue to follow with young studs Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric already making their mark in the league.

“We have to figure out what’s the best way that we can continue to develop our core, supplement that core with good veteran experience and players that are going to help them grow and develop, and exercise patience along the way,” Sixers president Bryan Colangelo said earlier this month.

Or … the Sixers could throw that patience right out the window and make a splash for big-name talent. The top target, of course, being LeBron James, who stars for a Cavs squad that features 12 players acquired via free agency or a trade.

“With respect to adding — I’m going to say talent, not free agent — because talent comes in many forms,” Colangelo said. “Talent comes in a possible trade, possible free agency. Both options loom with cap space and flexibility. If the right deal comes along, we’ll certainly pursue it. We will explore any and all options to add that talent. 

“But to say that this group can do it now, they obviously proved they couldn’t.”

And proving it is all that matters in the end.

Whether it’s the Warriors or Cavaliers that finish the Finals hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy while splashing champagne all around, neither side will be worrying about how their roster was constructed to reach that point.

If the Sixers want to have that feeling again for the first time since 1983, they won’t concern themselves with what people think about their plan to assemble the best team either.

Warriors rally after star suffers injury

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AP Images

Warriors rally after star suffers injury

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Kevin Durant had 37 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots and almost single-handedly led the undermanned Golden State Warriors' fourth-quarter rally past the San Antonio Spurs for a 110-107 win Thursday night after Stephen Curry went down early.

Durant hit his third straight jumper to tie it with 2:01 remaining before the Warriors went ahead on Draymond Green's putback the following possession. Klay Thompson made two free throws with 15.9 seconds left.

Bryn Forbes' 3-point try from the top to tie it hit the front rim as the final buzzer sounded.

Green had his third triple-double this season with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.

Curry was lost for the night to a rolled right ankle early in the first quarter, but the Warriors responded without their two-time MVP to win their seventh straight since the All-Star break (see full recap).

Irving lifts Celtics over Timberwolves
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyrie Irving returned from a one-game absence to help Boston fend off Minnesota, finishing with 23 points, seven rebounds and eight assists to pace the Celtics in a 117-109 victory over the Timberwolves on Thursday night.

Al Horford added 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists and tough defense on Karl-Anthony Towns for the Celtics, who stayed two games behind Toronto in the Eastern Conference race with their sixth win in seven games. They have three more losses than the Raptors.

Nemanja Bjelica scored a career-high 30 points on 11-for-16 shooting, including 6 for 9 from 3-point range. His first 20-10 game in the NBA was ultimately wasted in the third straight loss for the Timberwolves, who are still trying to find their way without injured All-Star Jimmy Butler. They trailed by as many as 18 points soon after halftime, too much to overcome some second-half surges behind Bjelica and 18 points from Taj Gibson on 8-for-10 shooting.

The Wolves were within five at 88-83 in the fourth quarter, but every other time they were on the verge of cutting the margin to two possessions Irving and the Celtics had an answer on the other end (see full recap).

Thunder dominate ice-cold Suns
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Russell Westbrook had 27 points, eight rebounds and nine assists to help the Oklahoma City Thunder rout the Phoenix Suns 115-87 on Thursday night.

Paul George added 21 points, Corey Brewer had 17, Steven Adams 16, and Carmelo Anthony 11. Brewer, who made his Thunder debut two games ago, replaced Josh Huestis in the starting lineup and responded with a 6-for-11 performance from the floor.

Devin Booker, wearing a headband for the first time in his three-year NBA career, had 30 points for Phoenix. He had 30 last week in Arizona in a loss to the Thunder.

Phoenix shot 33.7 percent from the field and 24.3 percent from 3-point range.

Oklahoma City led 49-38 at halftime, shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and limiting the Suns to just 27.9 percent. Westbrook had a 7-0 run of his own in third to push the lead to 22 points (see full recap).