James Harden to make long-awaited Nets comeback

By Sports Desk May 12, 2021

Brooklyn Nets superstar James Harden will make his long-awaited return against the San Antonio Spurs, the NBA franchise announced.

Harden has not played since April 5 due to a hamstring injury, though the former MVP had been "very confident" that he would return before the playoffs.

After missing more than a month of action, Harden will suit up to face the Spurs at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday.

The Nets, however, will not be with their 'big three' after star Kyrie Irving was ruled out with a facial contusion.

Harden – who arrived from the Houston Rockets in a blockbuster trade in January – is averaging 25.2 points, 10.9 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game this season.

Harden's assists per game – second only to Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook (11.6) in 2020-21 – is his best mark since averaging 11.2 in 2015-16, while he only averaged more rebounds in 2016-17 (8.1).

The star-studded Nets (45-24) – eyeing their maiden championship – are second in the Eastern Conference, two games behind the Philadelphia 76ers (47-22) following back-to-back victories.

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    Judge Anna Sotnikova reached her verdict quickly, which also included a fine of 1million rubles, rejecting Griner's apology and plea for leniency for bringing less than a gram of cannabis oil into the country more than five months ago.

    United States president Joe Biden called the sentence "unacceptable".

    While the war in Ukraine continues to cause tension between the US government and Moscow, the US State Department is now expected to negotiate a prisoner exchange with Russia, and a conviction was necessary before the process of organising a swap could begin.

    An eight-time All-Star with the Phoenix Mercury and widely considered one of the greatest players in WNBA history, the 31-year-old Griner was arrested in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport on February 17 for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She was returning to Russia, where she has played since 2014 during the WNBA offseason.

    The WNBA and NBA issued a joint statement after the sentence was handed down.

    "Today's verdict and sentencing is unjustified and unfortunate but not unexpected, and Brittney Griner remains wrongly detained," the statement read.

    "The WNBA and NBA's commitment to her safe return has not wavered, and it is our hope that we are near the end of this process of finally bringing BG home to the United States."

    At her trail on July 7, her lawyers argued that Griner was using the cannabis for medicinal purposes to treat chronic pain sustained over the course of her career.

    While on the stand, the two-time Olympic champion said she accidentally packed the cartridges and was unaware cannabis oil was outlawed in Russia.

    "Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney," Biden said in a statement.

    "It's unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately, so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and team-mates."

  • Tom Brady pays fond tribute after death of NBA legend Bill Russell Tom Brady pays fond tribute after death of NBA legend Bill Russell

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    NFL superstar Brady told a news conference about his sorrow at hearing of Russell's death at the age of 88.

    He had come to know the basketball hero when living in the Boston area, while spending 20 seasons as quarterback with the New England Patriots.

    Russell was drafted by the Celtics in 1956 and went on to win 11 NBA titles. He was a five-time NBA MVP and is one of only four players to have been named to all four NBA anniversary teams (25th, 35th, 50th and 75th).

    He became the first black head coach of any North American professional sports team, leading the Celtics to back-to-back NBA championships in 1968 and 1969 when he served as a player-coach.

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    Roman Parks of Lignum Vitae was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Other sectional prizes went to: Rebounds - Roman Parks (Lignum Vitae), Top Scorer - Alex Levy (Blue Mahoe), Most Steals - Maliek McCarthy (Blue Mahoe) & Anthony White (P.h.a.s.e 1), Most Free Throws - Roman Parks (Lignum Vitae) and Most Blocks - Nicholai Brown (P.h.a.s.e. 1).

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    This was the first competition since March 2020 and JaBA president, Paulton Gordon was complimentary to Sports Innovators Group (SIG), organizers of the event; while CEO of SIG, Paul Campbell, is looking forward for this event to be on the calendar. 

    The tournament featured 75 players, 15 team officials, 6 referees, four table officials and a list of volunteers supported by GC Foster College. 

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    Tournament information may be found https://sportsinnovatorsgroup.com/jbs2022/ 

     

     

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