Review KFC Star Search - Youth basketball takes the spotlight

By George Davis July 23, 2019

Talented youth get the opportunity to showcase their skills as the KFC Star Search basketball camp gets underway.

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  • Silver over 'cowardly' Trump for Spurs coach Popovich Silver over 'cowardly' Trump for Spurs coach Popovich

    San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said he prefers Adam Silver's leadership to that of United States president Donald Trump.

    Popovich was responding to criticism from Trump, who blasted the Spurs coach and Golden State Warriors counterpart Steve Kerr last week for their responses to questions about the NBA-China controversy.

    Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey issued an apology for a now-deleted tweet, that read "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong" amid the ongoing protests in the region.

    While Popovich and Kerr unwilling to discuss the matter, NBA president Silver drew praise for his response after saying the league was "apologetic" but added that "we are not apologising for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression".

    Popovich – who has been critical of Trump in the past – told reporters prior to the Spurs' 123-114 preseason loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday: "[Silver] stood by our nation and its principles. That's pretty huge in these days.

    "Sometimes, it's kind of Orwellian. You think we're living in a place where, 'Is this really happening?' But that comparison was pretty stark when you put our president up against those leaders when he's with them or talking to him and how he reacts compared to the way Adam Silver reacted. I was proud of him. It was great."

    Asked about Trump's comments, Popovich added: "All I did was make a comparison between Adam Silver's show of principle and courage in a tough situation, as opposed to how our president reacts when in the company of authoritarian figures, whether it's Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Russia or Turkey, whatever it is.

    "It comes off as really feckless, impotent, cowardly by comparison."

  • Warriors star Curry is at his peak – Kerr Warriors star Curry is at his peak – Kerr

    Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said superstar Stephen Curry is ready to have a great season in the NBA.

    Following the departure of Kevin Durant in free agency and Klay Thompson's knee injury in the NBA Finals in June, all eyes are on Curry for the 2019-20 campaign.

    Kerr spoke with media after Golden State's practice on Sunday and was asked if Curry will be tasked to do more this season in the wake of Durant's departure and Thompson's injury.

    "Just the usual," Kerr said. "I'm not looking for anything different than what he's done for five years, but what he's done is pretty special: two MVPs and a perennial top-five player."

    Kerr went on to say Curry's had an "incredible camp" so far and thinks the two-time MVP is in position for a special season.

    "To me, he's at his peak physically, mentally," Kerr said. "He's seen every defense that people have thrown at him now during his career, and he's ready to have a great year.

    "He's in his prime age-wise, strength and conditioning-wise and defensively he's seen everything that's come his way... So he's kind of in his sweet spot right now, and he has been the last couple years. And hopefully that continues for the next few years."

    While Thompson is not expected to return to the team until at least February or March, Curry will not need to bear too much of a burden as the Warriors signed former Brooklyn Nets guard D'Angelo Russell to a four-year, $117million contract during free agency.

    "It's just the natural way of our offense and how we play," Curry said. "I'm going to have the ball in my hands a lot more. Just got to make the right plays, be confident, aggressive, assertive every possession." 

    "Steph's smart," Kerr added. "And he realises what we've lost in the last couple of years from a veteran leadership standpoint. So he understands he's got more responsibility in that regard now."

    The Warriors visit the Los Angeles Lakers for a preseason matchup on Monday, before Golden State open the regular season against the Los Angeles Clippers on October 24.

  • Anthony Davis sprains thumb as Nets top Lakers again in China Anthony Davis sprains thumb as Nets top Lakers again in China

    Anthony Davis became the latest star to suffer an injury during NBA preseason as the Brooklyn Nets eased to a 91-77 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in China.

    Davis suffered a sprained thumb midway through the first quarter, joining the Nets' Kyrie Irving on the sidelines after he aggravated a facial injury in the sides' previous meeting on Thursday.

    Star Lakers signing Davis tweaked his thumb while going up to block a shot at the rim, staying in the game for a short period before heading to the locker room for further evaluation.

    He came back to the sidelines with an ice pack taped to his right hand and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

    Davis served as the starting center, finishing the game with six points while shooting 2-of-7 from the field - both buckets coming off assists from LeBron James.

    The former New Orleans Pelicans superstar added three rebounds and two blocks in 12 minutes before leaving due to the injury.

    Los Angeles were able to keep it close through the first half but saw the Nets pull clear in the third quarter as Caris LeVert shone in Irving's absence.

    LeVert left the previous clash early with a knock, but he scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed four rebounds. Taurean Prince also played a big role off the bench with 14 points.

    The game brought to an end a trip to China that has been clouded in controversy stemming from a since-deleted tweet by Daryl Morey earlier this week, with the Houston Rockets GM supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.

    The two scheduled fixtures went ahead but all media availability was cancelled, overshadowing what had been expected to be a celebration of the NBA in one of its key international markets.

    As the teams return to the United States, the Lakers' next preseason game is set for Monday against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center.

    The Nets host the Toronto Raptors next on Friday at Barclays Center.

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