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  1. Matt Barnes to opt-out, become a free agent

    May 31, 2010, 1:16 PM EST

    Matt Barnes had a rough conference finals, as he was asked to chase around Paul Pierce and Ray Allen with a sore back, but all in all he had a fairly successful season as a role player for the Magic. So much so that Barnes himself apparently thinks he’ll be able to make more than…

  2. NBA finals, Lakers Celtics: L.A. Times writer crosses all kinds of lines in mocking Paul Pierce's stabbing

    May 31, 2010, 1:10 PM EST

    UPDATE 1:10 pm: The LA Times has pulled the piece in question from its site. Of course, things in the Internet age do not disapear so easily, you can find it here. 12:14 pm: One of the things that’s so unique about this year’s NBA finals is that the teams love and respect each other.…

  3. Team USA may go younger

    May 31, 2010, 12:45 PM EST

    The veterans are on the fence. And the Team USA roster is in flux. This summer isn’t the Olympics, this is the FIBA World Basketball Championships (which some countries see as the bigger deal, but we don’t). It’s in Turkey, which is a great place to visit but, again, not sexy to the American audience.…

  4. Ron Artest regrets "bailing out" on Pacers; now in place of redemption

    May 31, 2010, 10:45 AM EST

    Ron Artest is a complex person. We tend to try to fit players into simple two-dimensional pictures, but some players burst outside those lines. Ron Artest is one of those. He is also a person and player who has matured, but we often dismiss that maturation process in players. Now Artest, dismissed by so many,…

  5. Hornets enter negotiations with Tom Thibodeau to become head coach

    May 31, 2010, 9:40 AM EST

    Right now Tom Thibodeau may be the prettiest girl in the bar, and the Hornets are stepping up to make their move. New Orleans has entered negotiations with Thibodeau to become their new head coach, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. This means that Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower has exchanged offers with CAA, the firm…

  6. Getting to know LeBron James inner circle

    May 30, 2010, 6:05 PM EST

    Virtually every player in the NBA seems to have a posse, his boys, his friends. They are the guys hanging around the player at clubs, the guys who do his driving and run his errands and are supposed to take care of life’s little annoyances. Sometimes, they even get real responsibility. But no inner circle…

  7. Lakers/Celtics: Which franchise reigns supreme?

    May 30, 2010, 4:25 PM EST

    Lakers fans and Celtics fans do not like each other. True rivals. Some grudging respect through the hate, but both want to take each other out. And both know they are the best franchise in the NBA. PBT’s Kurt Helin (taking the Lakers side)  and Matt Moore ( Celtics) hash the franchise debate out.Kurt Helin:…

  8. The five best NBA finals. Ever.

    May 30, 2010, 3:35 PM EST

    We are staring at another great one. Potentially. These 2010 Lakers and Celtics match up pretty evenly, both are championship tested; both have big stars and thrilling role players. This is going to be fun. But can it match up to the all-time greats? The best finals series ever? That is one tall mountain to…

  9. Grizzlies not changing plans — including a Zach Randolph extension

    May 30, 2010, 1:41 PM EST

    The Memphis Grizzlies have their plan and they are sticking to it. Come hell or high water or drug dealing accusations or strip club beat downs. That plan includes keeping Rudy Gay in Memphis. Keeping Ronnie Brewer in Memphis. Getting another quality player in the draft. And signing Zach Randolph to an extension. Yes he…

  10. NBA finals, Celtics Lakers: Five keys for both teams to win it all

    May 30, 2010, 12:24 PM EST

    David Stern is smiling. As always, the Midas touch commissioner got what he wanted. Two years ago the Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals was a ratings bonanza. The two most storied franchises in the NBA. Two large and passionate fan bases (based in large markets). A genuine rivalry renewed on the league’s biggest stage. Plus don’t forget…

  11. Amare Stoudemire is still a beast

    May 30, 2010, 11:45 AM EST

    Given space, given simple one-on-one coverage, nobody is stopping Amar’e Stoudemire. He is too strong. He is too quick. The man is a beast and if it is just you between him and the basket you are about to be in a poster. Pau Gasol was the victim Sunday. Just watch. The only question: When…

  12. Lakers looking ahead to Celtics, Suns wonder what is next

    May 30, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

    Phil Jackson told Paul Pierce this is the matchup he wanted. Kobe just sees another hurdle in his way. Alvin Gentry only sees Kobe Bryant. Steve Nash tries to see the future.  

  13. NBA finals, Celtics Lakers: 2010 ain't 2008

    May 30, 2010, 9:59 AM EST

    The players are mostly the same. The franchises, the mascots, the colors, the pageantry, the history, the bad blood. All that’s still there. But this finals matchup is uniquely different from 2008 for five reasons. 1. The Lakers are better: When last these two teams met in the finals, the Lakers were less than a…

  14. NBA Playoffs Suns Lakers Game 6: Where do the Suns go from here?

    May 30, 2010, 4:56 AM EST

    The thing about the Phoenix mythology? The bird does die again. The Phoenix Suns rose from the ashes this year, returning to the playoffs and not only advancing to the Western Conference Finals, but pushing the Lakers in a competitive series despite their numerous mismatches. So the natural question to ask is “What’s next?” The…

  15. NBA Playoffs, Lakers Suns Game 6: Slovenian feud almost forced a Game 7

    May 30, 2010, 3:22 AM EST

    “I’m going to kill him.” That was Kobe Bryant’s comment about teammate Sasha Vujacic to TNT’s Craig Sager after the game. He was kidding. Probably. But I would not have wanted to be Vujacic on the plane ride back to Los Angleles — it was Vujacic who made the play that swung the momentum to…

  16. NBA Playoffs: Artest, Fisher came up big when they needed to

    May 30, 2010, 12:59 AM EST

    Coming into this year’s playoffs, a lot of people would have pointed to Ron Artest and Derek Fisher as potential weaknesses for the Lakers. Both players are battle-tested veterans who bring hustle and toughness to the floor every time they play. However, Artest and Fisher are also a step or three slow for their positions…

  17. NBA Finals, Lakers Suns Game 6: When the going got tough, Kobe got going

    May 30, 2010, 12:13 AM EST

    When asked “Kobe or LeBron?” my answer the last year has been “LeBron for the first 42 minutes of the game, Kobe for the last six.” Saturday night is exactly why. Kobe is the best closer in the NBA. Kobe is better at making tough shots than anyone in the NBA. Kobe thrives in pressure…

  18. NBA Playoffs Suns Lakers Game 6: Is everything else for the Suns gravy?

    May 29, 2010, 5:08 PM EST

    The Suns take the floor tonight for Game 6 versus the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers an underdog. They are considered out-sized, out-talented, and outmatched. But the Suns have shown resiliency in this series, coming back from a dour 0-2 deficit to even the series, then pushing the Lakers to the very wire. The Lakers…

  19. Mike Brown to be interviewed by the Nets

    May 29, 2010, 4:10 PM EST

    Mike Brown has coached a team to the best record in the East two consecutive years. Critics can point to the playoff flameouts, the simplistic offenses, the heavy reliance on LeBron James. (That last one makes no sense — if you have LeBron James you better use him a lot. Who should shoot more on…

  20. NBA Playoffs, Lakers Suns Game 6: In this Wild West saloon game the cards are on the table, it's about the faster draw

    May 29, 2010, 2:41 PM EST

    Think of the Suns/Lakers series as a poker game in an old Wild West saloon somewhere outside Phoenix. By Game 6, the cards are on the table. Both teams have gone all-in and flipped their two cards over. All that’s left to do is flip over the turn and river cards. Meaning the strategy is…

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