NBA

Giannis & Bucks bounce back, Doncic makes Mavs history

By Sports Desk March 05, 2020

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  • LeBron: We don't care if Trump turns off when we take a knee LeBron: We don't care if Trump turns off when we take a knee

    LeBron James says the basketball community "couldn't care less" if president Donald Trump refuses to watch the NBA because players take a knee during the national anthem.

    Trump on Wednesday told Fox News he thinks it is "disgraceful" that players do not stand for the Star-Spangled Banner before matches.

    Players have repeatedly stated they take a knee to protest against police brutality and social injustice and have no intention of causing insult to the flag, military or nation.

    Yet Trump said: "I think it's disgraceful. We work with [the NBA]. We work very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing them to get open. And then I see everyone kneeling during the anthem. It's not acceptable to me.

    "When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game. When I see people kneeling during the playing and disrespecting our flag and disrespecting our national anthem, what I do, personally, is turn off the game."

    Trump also said he has done more for the black community than any other president, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.

    That comment brought a smile from James, who replied when asked about that particular statement: "Trying to make me laugh right now? I appreciate it."

    Los Angeles Lakers star James said it will be no loss to the basketball world if Trump is not watching and hopes Americans do their talking in the November elections.

    "I really don't think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership," he added after the Lakers were beaten 105-86 by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

    "That's all I really want to say because I already know where this could go and where it could lead to for me. I'm not going to get into it, but I think our game is in a beautiful position.

    "We have fans all over the world and our fans not only love the way we play the game. We try to give it back to them with our commitment to the game, but also respect what else we bring to the game with knowledge of what's right and what's wrong.

    "I hope everyone – no matter their race, colour, size – would see what leadership we have at the top of our country and understand that November is right around the corner and it's a big moment for us as Americans.

    "We talk about 'we want better, we want change', and we will have an opportunity to do that.

    "But the game will go on with his eyes on [or] without his eyes on it. I can speak for everyone who loves the game of basketball: we couldn't care less."

  • Popovich likens Jokic to a 'reincarnation of Larry Bird' Popovich likens Jokic to a 'reincarnation of Larry Bird'

    Gregg Popovich likened Nikola Jokic to a "reincarnation of Larry Bird" after he played a huge part in the Denver Nuggets' 132-126 win over the San Antonio Spurs.

    Michael Porter Jr became the first Nuggets rookie to score 30 points or more and at least 10 rebounds in back-to-back games as his side move to 45-23 on Wednesday, hot on the heels of the second-placed LA Clippers in the West.

    Porter poured in 30 points and provided 15 assists, but it was the performance of giant center Jokic that stood out for Spurs coach Popovich.

    The Serbian landed 25 points, laid on 11 assists and grabbed four rebounds – three on offensive glass – and Popovich drew comparisons with Boston Celtics legend Bird.

    He said: "Porter is a fine young talent. And Jokic, he's like a reincarnation of Larry Bird. He does everything. He's amazing. They were great."

    Popovich said there was little his younger Spurs players could have done to stop Jokic from being so influential.

    He added: "They've never seen anything like that,.

    "He's stepping out and making threes. He's rebounding the ball, there should be an NBA rule, you can't tap it to yourself. He's Moses Malone.

    "He's down there and he jumps about a quarter of an inch, then he taps it two or three times and then he gets it and he lays it back in.

    "It's not just luck. He does it all the time. He is great on the board, he's obviously maybe the best big man passer in the league. If not, then close to it. He's a pretty special player."

  • Philadelphia 76ers awaiting news on Simmons knee injury Philadelphia 76ers awaiting news on Simmons knee injury

    The Philadelphia 76ers are waiting to discover the extent of a knee injury Ben Simmons suffered in a 107-98 NBA victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

    Simmons left the court in the third quarter, having appeared to tweak his knee after taking a rebound.

    The two-time All-Star limped to the locker room and was unable to return.

    Philadelphia coach Brett Brown was unsure over how much damage the Australian point guard has done after the game.

    "We don't know," Brown said. "I'm sure the club will make some announcement.

    "But as far as knowing more than that, I don't. Obviously I'm very curious."

    The 76ers are back in action against the Orlando Magic on Friday.

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