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Suns Trade Goran Dragic to Heat

Suns Trade Goran Dragic to Heat

Christopher Trottman/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- According to ESPN.com's Marc Stein, the Phoenix Suns have shipped point guard Goran Dragic to the Miami Heat.

The deal consisted of Dragic and his brother Zoran in return for Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton, and two first-round picks from the Heat. However, it is still unknown if there are other pieces involved in the deal.

Dragic went on the trading block earlier this week because he wasn't happy with the Suns' crowded backcourt, which also featured Isaiah Thomas and Eric Bledsoe.  Now Dragic will have a much bigger role in Miami, pairing him up with superstars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.

 

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Durant Explains His Critical Comments of the Media

Durant Explains His Critical Comments of the Media

Oklahoma City Thunder/NBA(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant explained Tuesday why he made critical comments about the media over the past weekend.Durant was asked Saturday about the job security of his head coach Scott Brooks. That prompted the reigning league MVP to snap saying, "You guys really don't know s---." That response created a negative storm of attention toward Durant who had previously, for the most part, been very mild-mannered when talking with the press. Durant met with reporters Tuesday to try and clear the air."I had a moment," Durant said. "Everybody in life has moments. You had one for sure before, but it's not broadcasted like mine. I was more so trying to take up for my teammates, my coach and other guys in the league that gets scrutinized and I don't like. Maybe I should shut up about it. I had one moment. What made me more mad than anything I was told I bite the hand that feeds me. I don't know what that means. I really don't know what that means. I wish someone would explain it to me. But I don't remember none of you guys being there when I was 8 years old and putting in that work, the nights when I'm in here putting in that work in. So I don't really understand what that one means. But, hey, I gotta roll with it. That's a part of it. I was told I shouldn't cry 'cause everybody been through it. So I'm going to shut up."The 26-year-old Durant has played in 26 games this season averaging 25.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, four assists, and one block per game.

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Former Trail Blazers Forward Jerome Kersey Dead at 52

Former Trail Blazers Forward Jerome Kersey Dead at 52

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Former Portland Trail Blazers forward Jerome Kersey passed away Wednesday at the age of 52. The cause of death is unknown.

Kersey played 17 NBA seasons, 11 with the Trail Blazers, and was a starter on Portland's 1990 and 1992 teams that made the NBA Finals. He also won a championship as a member of the 1999 San Antonio Spurs team.

“Today we lost an incredible person and one of the most beloved players to ever wear a Trail Blazers uniform,” Trail Blazers Owner Paul Allen said in a press release. “My thoughts and condolences are with the Kersey family. He will be missed by all of us. It’s a terrible loss.”

Kersey ranks fifth on the Trail Blazers all-time scoring list (10,067) and third in rebounds (5,078). He also played for Golden State, the Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle, and San Antonio before retiring in 1991. 

Kersey finished his NBA career averaging 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

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Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Seeking Career ‘Rebirth’

Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Seeking Career ‘Rebirth’

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For the third-straight season, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has suffered a season-ending injury. With no plans to walk away from basketball, Bryant has a vision for how he'd like his career to go going forward.

"I can't say it is the end," Bryant said during an interview with NBA TV. "I thought the Spurs were done 20 years ago. Those guys are still winning."

"So, to answer the question, I can't say this is the end of my era because I thought their [era] was done, and they're still there. So I'm hoping I can have the same rebirth," he added.

Bryant is recovering from season-ending surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff that he suffered in his right shoulder.

After appearing in six games last season, the 36-year-old Bryant played in 35 games this season and averaged 22.3 points on .373% shooting.

He has spent his entire 19-year career wit the Lakers, and has one more year left on his current contract.

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Jermaine O’Neal Ends Comeback Attempt

Jermaine O’Neal Ends Comeback Attempt

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images Sport(DALLAS) -- Despite initial plans to return for a 19th NBA season, veteran forward Jermaine O'Neal will not play this season.

O'Neal was coveted by the Dallas Mavericks among other teams, and despite training to prepare for the grind of the NBA season, O'Neal decided it wasn't the right time to return.

"I don't feel like I'm at that position now with just seven weeks of training, and I'm not comfortable making that commitment at this point," O'Neal wrote in an Instagram post. "The issue for me is timing and things feeling right. I'm a true believer of signs and listening and understanding life."

ESPN reports that the Mavericks are still interested in signing O'Neal if he changes his mind. The Mavericks will also be signing former New York Knicks power forward Amare Stoudemire once or if he clears waivers, ESPN adds.

A former All-Star during his time with the Indiana Pacers from 2000-2008, O'Neal transformed himself into a reliable bench player capable of playing good defense. During his career, O'Neal has averaged 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

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Report: Stoudemire Joining Mavericks

Report: Stoudemire Joining Mavericks

NBA via New York Knicks(DALLAS, Tx.) -- The Dallas Mavericks are on the brink of signing Amar'e Stoudemire after his recent contract buyout from the New York Knicks.

Stoudemire cleared waivers Monday night and has committed to joining the Mavericks, according to RealGM.com.

After acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Celtics earlier this season, Dallas has been intent on adding size to its front court. The Mavericks were also interested in signing Jermaine O'Neal, who has been rehabbing a knee injury, but the 6'11" O'Neal announced on his Instagram page that he suffered a setback and would not return this season.

Stoudemire, 32 is currently averaging 12 points and 6.8 rebounds in 26 games this season. 

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ESPN: Bucks Talking Buyout with Center Larry Sanders

ESPN: Bucks Talking Buyout with Center Larry Sanders

Chris Chambers/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The fallout between the Milwaukee Bucks and Larry Sanders could result in the two sides parting ways. ESPN is reporting that the Bucks and Sanders have began discussion regarding a buyout that would make Sanders a free agent.

A talented player, Sanders hasn't played since Dec. 23, when he was suspended by the team for 10 games for violating the league's anti-drug program. He's since been listed out for "personal reasons."

"Soon you all will know the truth," Sanders tweeted last week.

In the summer of 2013, Sanders signed a four-year extension with the Bucks worth $44 million. Since signing that deal, he's only appeared in 50 games as a result of suspensions and injuries.

When he plays, Sanders is still a valuable basketball player. Still just 26 years old, Sanders is averaging 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 26 games while averaging 21.7 points per game.

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Jhalil Okafor Considering Staying at Duke for Another Year

Jhalil Okafor Considering Staying at Duke for Another Year

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While many have Duke freshman center Jahlil Okafor penciled in as the top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, Okafor says jumping to the NBA after this season is no sure thing.

By all accounts, Okafor has been one of the most dominant players in college basketball this season. In his first collegiate season, Okafor is averaging 18.2 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.

Okafor has been so impressive, he's considered by many as the top collegiate prospect.

“I know I’ll be in position to live my dream in the NBA or live my dream and stay here at Duke with people who truly love me,” Okafor said via Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I totally feel comfortable with staying here in college, and my family wouldn’t care one bit as long as I’m happy. They know how much I love being here.

“I love everything about Duke. I wish I could just stop time and be able to enjoy this as much as I can.”

Around this time last season, former Duke freshman sensation Jabari Parker said he was also considering staying for his sophomore season, but wound up declaring and was the second pick in the draft.

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Knicks Agree To Buyout of Stoudemire’s Contract

Knicks Agree To Buyout of Stoudemire’s Contract

NBA via New York Knicks(NEW YORK) -- The New York Knicks and Amar'e Stoudemire have agreed to a contractual buyout.

Stoudemire was in the final year of a five-year, $99.7 million contact and after clearing waivers will be free to sign with any team. He was scheduled to make $23.4 million this season.

ESPN's Marc Stein reports that the Dallas Mavericks appear to be the front-runner to sign the 6'10," 32-year-old power forward.  Other suitors include the Golden State Warriors -- Stoudemire has a relationship with head coach Steve Kerr -- and the Phoenix Suns.

Stoudemire earned his sixth All-Star appearance during the 2010-2011 season with the Knicks, but since that season a change in offensive philosophy and injuries have limited his effectiveness.

In 36 games this season, Stoudemire is averaging 12 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

 

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Russell Westbrook Named All-Star Game MVP

Russell Westbrook Named All-Star Game MVP

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was named NBA All-Star Game MVP.

The electric Westbrook posted 41 points for the West in a 163-158 victory in Madison Square Garden.

More than 17,000 people witnessed a display of incredible offense as the 6'3" point guard put up 27 points in the first half, an NBA record, and fell one point short of breaking Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star Game record of 42, set in 1962.

"Moments like this [are] what you dream about as a kid growing up," Westbrook said. "Especially in the Garden, in the Mecca of basketball."

For the East, LeBron James led a valiant effort with a 30-point performance, but Westbrook's night would prove to be too much.

"He's an unbelievable talent in our league," James said. "His motor, his athleticism, his demeanor about how he approaches the game - it's all great. He showcased that on a big stage."

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Kevin Durant Defends Scott Brooks, Not a Fan of the Media

Kevin Durant Defends Scott Brooks, Not a Fan of the Media

Oklahoma City Thunder/NBA(NEW YORK) -- Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant is tired of people asking about his head coach Scott Brooks job security.

Durant told reporters in New York on Saturday that they don't know what they're talking about in regards to that situation and even told them what questions they should ask instead.

"You guys really don't know s---," Durant told reporters when asked about Scott.

Brooks is in his seventh year coaching in Oklahoma City and has a 321-195 record, but the Thunder only have one NBA Finals appearance to show for it.

"To be honest, man, I'm only here talking to y'all because I have to," Durant continued. "So I really don't care. Y'all not my friends. You're going to write what you want to write. You're going to love us one day and hate us the next. That's a part of it. So I just learn how to deal with y'all."

Durant was voted the MVP last year and beat out LeBron James, but said on Friday that the media has too much power when it comes to voting.

"Yeah, I think media and guys get too much power to vote on stuff that quite frankly I don't think you really know a lot about [or] as much as we know about it," Durant said. "So, yeah, we play against these guys every single night. We battle against these guys. We know what they say on the court. We know how they handle their teammates. We know how they approach the game and our vote should count. Our opinions should count. Like I said, I don't think you guys know as much as we do, and I don't see why you have more power than we do."

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Commissioner Adam Silver Open to Tweaking the NBA Schedule

Commissioner Adam Silver Open to Tweaking the NBA Schedule

Christopher Trottman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants to make changes in the NBA schedule which will allow players to have more rest, reduce preseason games, and readdress the lottery system.

Silver also stated that he is interested in changing the playoff format so that the best teams in the entire NBA are eligible to play in May and June.

"We'll come as close as we can to eliminating the four-in-five formula. We think we can make a dramatic reduction," Silver said. "We hear everyone loud and clearly. It's a function of number of days in the schedule."

Silver hinted at a reduction in preseason games, an extension of the NBA regular season, and he stated that the league is in contact with ESPN and TNT to allow more games on Thursdays and Sundays for national television purposes.

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DeMarcus Cousins: ‘I Don’t Respect’ Charles Barkley

DeMarcus Cousins: ‘I Don’t Respect’ Charles Barkley

Sacramento Kings/NBA(NEW YORK) -- Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is not a fan of hall of famer Charles Barkley's recent comments.

Cousins, who was voted onto the All-Star team, fired back at Barkley this weekend for questioning Cousins' being consulted for the hiring of head coach George Karl this week.

"It ain't personal," Cousins said when asked about Barkley, who is also an analyst on TNT. "I mean, I don't really respect the guy, but at the same time, I don't really care what he thinks either.  I don't respect him, and I don't care what he thinks."

Barkley wasn't happy when discussing this topic earlier this week.

"Why are they discussing it with him?" Barkley said during a TNT telecast. "Yeah, I am totally disgusted with that. ... He hasn't done enough to deserve that type of power. [The Kings] stink. Why would you give a guy that young that type of power?

"If you're a Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O'Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon or somebody like that, yeah, you deserved that type of power after you have earned it," Barkley continued.  "Let me just say this either way, that's just total bulls---. That's ridiculous."

The Kings are 18-34 and sit in 13th in the Western Conference.

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Aldridge Will Start in Place of Davis in Sunday’s All-Star Game

Aldridge Will Start in Place of Davis in Sunday’s All-Star Game

Steve Dykes/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In a surprise move, the head coach of the Western Conference All-Stars, Steve Kerr, named Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge a starter for Sunday's All-Star Game instead of the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant.Kerr originally said Durant would start in place of the injured Anthony Davis but changed his mind on Saturday.Durant wasn't going to play much anyways because of nagging injuries. The reigning MVP has missed 27 games this season due to injury. In the 26 games he has played, Durant is averaging 25.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and four assists per game.Earlier this season, Aldridge tore a ligament in his thumb and was supposed to have surgery, but instead he missed only two games before deciding to put off the operation and play out the rest of the season.Aldridge has played in 47 games this season, averaging 23.6 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. The All-Star Game will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

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Steph Curry Wins NBA Three Point Contest

Steph Curry Wins NBA Three Point Contest

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- With a flurry of treys, the hottest shooter in the NBA destroyed the three point contest in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry won Saturday's Three Point Crown with a score of 27.

Fellow Warrior Klay Thompson gave a valiant effort in the final round but fell well short with only 14 conversions from beyond the arc. 

Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was the third finals contestant and managed second place with 17 threes. 

Curry is tied with the Atlanta Hawks' Kyle Korver and Portland Trailblazers Wesley Matthews for the NBA lead in three point conversions with 161.

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Report: LeBron James Elected VP of NBA Players Association

Report: LeBron James Elected VP of NBA Players AssociationChristian Petersen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- According to Adrian Wojnarowski, LeBron James has been named the first Vice President of the NBA Players Association.   Chris Paul was elected the President of the NBPA back in August, overtaking now Kn...

Walt “Clyde” Frazier: If Melo’s Shut Down Other Knicks Will Get Opportunity

Walt “Clyde” Frazier: If Melo’s Shut Down Other Knicks Will Get Opportunity

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier believes that other Knicks players will step up and do their best to compete if Carmelo Anthony is shut down after the All-Star break.

Frazier, who is a member of the Knicks MSG broadcast, knows it will be a tough decision for Anthony, but is confident the rest of the team won't pack it in for first-year head coach Derek Fisher.

"Once they know that [Anthony] is done, it's going to dawn on the players, this is an opportunity for me," Frazier told ABC Sports Radio on Friday. "These guys get paid too, just like Melo. I think the players are really going to be galvanized by that."

"When Melo has been out sometimes the team has played better without him," Frazier continued. "Everybody thinks now I have a better chance to score."

Frazier will also be a judge in the Sprite NBA All-Star dunk contest on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

"Everyone likes to come here because this is the stage," Frazier said of the bright lights of New York. "It always brings out the best in players."

So what is Frazier looking for in crowning the best dunker? "You've got to be very creative," he said. "The wow factor has to be the captivating thing."

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Karl Reaches Will Become Kings Head Coach

Karl Reaches Will Become Kings Head Coach

Helen H. Richardson/Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- The Sacramento Kings reached an agreement with George Karl for him to become the team's new head coach, Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro announced Thursday.ESPN.com reports it's a four-year deal worth an estimated $15 million. The arrangement should be finalized after All-Star Weekend.Karl, who is the sixth winningest coach in NBA history with 1,131 wins, takes over for Tyrone Corbin, who will stay with the Kings as an advisor."I have the utmost respect for Tyrone as a coach and person," D'Alessandro said in a statement. "He's a man of great integrity, a consummate professional that managed a difficult situation with class and professionalism. I look forward to continuing to work with Tyrone moving forward."Karl, 63, last coached in the NBA during the 2012-13 season with the Denver Nuggets. He won NBA Coach of the Year that season and then was subsequently fired.Since his firing, Karl has served as an NBA analyst for ESPN.

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Carmelo Anthony Says He Will Likely Shut It Down After All-Star Game

Carmelo Anthony Says He Will Likely Shut It Down After All-Star Game

NBA via New York Knicks(NEW YORK) -- New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony said in an interview with ESPN Radio Thursday that it is "very likely" he will shut it down for the season after the All-Star Game."It's very likely. It's very likely. Now I've got to start thinking about the future," Anthony said to Marc Stein, Marc Kestecher and P.J. Carlesimo on ESPN Radio. "This season is this season. So I really want to just sit down with my team and sit down with the proper people to just kind of plan this thing out and see exactly what I have to do to get done and just to fix it."Anthony has been dealing with soreness in his left knee for months, and is playing for a Knicks team that has the worst record in the NBA.Although he is hurt, Anthony expects to play in Sunday's All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden. It's the first time New York City has hosted the game since 1998."Even if I come out and just play a couple minutes and just wave," Anthony said. "I don't think the fans deserve (seeing me miss the game). They voted me in for a reason, so at least I can show them that I appreciate that by just participating in the game."The 30-year-old Anthony has played in 40 games this season, averaging 24.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game. The Knicks are 0-13 with Anthony out of the lineup.

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Former NBA Player Anthony Mason ‘Fighting for His Life’

Former NBA Player Anthony Mason ‘Fighting for His Life’

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former NBA forward Anthony Mason is "literally fighting for his life" due to a serious heart ailment, ESPN.com reports.

Mason suffered a heart attack a couple days ago and has had multiple surgeries at a New York hospital, sources told ESPN.com.

Mason was a part of the New York Knicks team that went to the 1994 NBA Finals. He played for five other teams, including the Miami Heat, who were coached by Pat Riley.

"Praying for my former teammate Anthony Mason!!!" former Knicks teammate Mark Jackson tweeted on Wednesday.

Mason made one All-Star team, in 2001, and finished his career with the Bucks.

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