Ricky Rubio & Marc Gasol Lead Spain to FIBA World Cup Gold

While Team USA’s heartbreaking back-to-back loses dominate most Stateside headlines, this morning, Spain topped Argentina to take home their first FIBA World Cup Gold since 2006.

Led by NBA veterans Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol, Spain defeated Argentina 95-75, in a game that was won in the paint, as both teams shot poorly from the perimeter. Rubio led six Spanish players in double-figures with 20 points, while Gasol shot 2-for-9, but finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. What’s more is that Gasol becomes just the second hooper ever to win both the FIBA World Cup and the NBA Finals in the same summer — Lamar Odom did it for the Los Angeles Lakers and USA Basketball in 2010.

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Gasol was among the five players named to the FIBA World Cup 2019 All-Star roster, joining Rubio, Luis Scola of Argentina, Bogdan Bogdanovic of Serbia cheap nba jerseys from china  and Evan Fournier of France. Rubio also earned MVP honors for his dominant tournament run, averaging 16 points, 4 rebound and 6 assists per game.

Seven teams, including Argentina, Australia, France, Iran, Nigeria, Spain and the United States, qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo by finishing as the best, or second-best, teams in their regions at the World Cup. Host nation Japan has also qualified. The other four entrants will be finalized at qualifying tournaments early next summer.

In other basketball news, former Team USA member Dwight Howard delivered a tour of his Atlanta mansion.

Would trading Zion to build a Knicks superteam be a mistake?

Should the New York Knicks consider trading Zion Williamson as part of a deal for Anthony Davis if they’re able to win the NBA draft lottery (May 14 on ESPN)?

Though the Knicks are hoping their logo comes up No. 1 for the first time since winning the inaugural draft lottery in 1985, when they went on to take Patrick Ewing, that wouldn’t necessarily mean keeping Williamson, the Duke freshman all but certain to be the top pick.

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If New York is able to land two max free agents this summer — say, New York Knicks jerseys
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving — trading Williamson’s rights could help the Knicks contend immediately, just as was the case when the Cleveland Cavaliers traded No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins as part of a package for Kevin Love after signing LeBron James in 2014.

Given Williamson’s strong pedigree as a prospect — he has the second-highest

What the hell happened to the Chicago Bulls?

What we’ve done tonight is set a direction,” said Chicago Bulls executive vice president John Paxson on 22 June 2017, the night of the NBA draft, after the team had just traded three-time All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. “We’ve decided to make the change and rebuild this roster. We’re going to do it with young players we believe can play a system [head coach] Fred [Hoiberg] is comfortable with.”

In exchange for Butler, the Bulls acquired guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, as well as Lauri Markkanen, whom the Timberwolves had just selected with the No 7 overall pick. In a sense, the trade provided some much-needed closure to the Tom Thibodeau era, though the coach had moved on cheap nba jerseys
from the club a season earlier. At a point, just before Butler’s arrival in Chicago, the Bulls saw themselves on the verge of returning to the NBA finals for the first time since the 1990s with a team, loaded with potential and helmed by hometown talisman Derrick Rose, that would be undone by in-fighting and injuries. It was time to move on to bigger and better things. A new rebuild had begun.

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Craig Hodges: ‘Jordan didn’t speak out because he didn’t know what to say’
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Eighteen months later, and the Bulls aren’t so much a team as they are a chaos vessel composed of men in their twenties who, at least in theory, are good basketball players.

Earlier this month, Chicago endured an embarrassing 133-77 loss at home to the Boston Celtics. The Bulls struggled on both sides of the ball, shooting an abysmal 38% from the field while allowing the Celtics to rain down 22 three-pointers. The losing margin of 56 points was the worst in the franchise’s 52-year history. Sadly for Bulls players and coaches – as well as basketball fans, generally – the game wasn’t an outlier. Through the season’s first 31 games, the team is an NBA-worst 7-24, with six of those losses decided by more than 25 points.

This was supposed to be year the team started to take shape. Instead, it’s on track to be the Bulls’ worst since the 1999-00 season, a team that happened to include the recently dismissed Hoiberg as a player. After winning just 27 games last season, which included play so bad that the league suspected they were trying to tank in hopes of landing a top draft pick, the team’s front office made a series of surprisingly aggressive off-season moves. In June, they used the seventh and 22nd picks in the draft to land Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr and Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison. The following month they signed Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker to a two-year, $40m deal and matched the four-year, $78m offer sheet LaVine signed with the Sacramento Kings.

March Madness guide: NCAA Tournament top teams, stars, matchups, Cinderellas and more

The NCAA Tournament somehow seems to be getting better every year, almost as if each bracket is extending from the previous one.

Last year was one of the maddest of Marches, starting with Maryland-Baltimore County becoming the first No. 16 seed to beat a 1 — poor Virginia — to Loyola-Chicago’s taking Sister Jean all the way to the Final Four.

Surely it can’t get any better, right? Don’t bet against it.

To get you ready for what’s sure to be another memorable March — well, after the first two First Four games — we’ve got a rundown of some things to look for:

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Top teams
Duke. No. 1 overall seed is knocking down its 3s, everyone else could be playing for second.

Virginia. Still plays great D, has a guy named Guy who’s a star and redemption on its mind after last year’s early flameout.

North Carolina. Ol’ Roy has the type of team that could win another national title.

Gonzaga. The Zags may have more talent than the national title-game team of two years ago. They also have Killian Tillie back.

Michigan State. Sparty won the difficult Big Ten tournament and March is Izzo time.

Zion Williamson, Duke. More powerful than a locomotive, able to leap taller defenders with a single bound.

Markus Howard, Marquette. Like points? He’s got a lot of `em. Had 53 in one game this season, 40 in one half of another.

Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga. Watched the 2017 national title game from the bench. Could be cutting down the nets this year.

The Bulls couldn’t hold onto the ball in Toronto

This game wasn’t fun to watch.

Against one of the best teams in the league in the Toronto Raptors, the Bulls were down down quickly and by halftime you could tell the final result. To make matters worse, after starting the game with no Zach LaVine or Otto Porter (and Kris Dunn also didn’t play), Lauri Markkanen left the game at halftime with an illness.

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There was a desperate run in the 2nd half where Chicago tried to make things interesting at and cut the deficit to ten, but the Raptors just kept making shots. With 4:28 left Serge Ibaka hit Wholesale nba jerseys
a jumper to make it 105-86 Toronto and it felt like the dagger. The final score looked respectable at 112-103 but this was a lopsided loss.

There are very few positives in this one. It was a balanced effort offensively as the Bulls had seven players score double digits. Wayne Selden and Shaq Harrison were the two leaders for the Bulls in terms of points with 20 and 15 respectively. From the field Chicago shot about average with a TS% of 54.3 and had 52 points in the paint. They struggled mightily from three-point land, however, shooting just 8 of 23 (34.8%).

One thing which stood out, and not in a good way, were the turnovers. The Bulls gave possession away 18 times and although Toronto had 15 of their own, Chicago allowed it to turn into points on the other end. The Raptors scored 25 points off the Bulls mistakes and it played a part in the 24-12 advantage in fast break points.


There was plenty of significance to the Bulls impressive 126-116 victory over the Boston Celtics Saturday in the United Center.

There was the obvious retribution for the 133-77 humiliation back in December just after Jim Boylen took over as coach that led to the Bulls being an object of ridicule around the NBA. “We didn’t need any motivation to play these guys,” said Lauri Markkanen. There was the season first three-game winning streak, cheap nba jerseys
a victory over a team considered a title contender, a 37-23 team that was rested with the Bulls flying in from Orlando early in the morning for the second of the back to back. This despite the loss of Otto Porter Jr. to a leg strain in the first quarter, Porter scoreless in 14 minutes. “We’re not somebody you are just going to come here and step over,” insisted Zach LaVine. “We might be a rebuilding team or a team that is up and coming, but you are not just going to have an easy win against us. What happened last time on this court was unacceptable for us and we had to make stand.”

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So there was considerable importance in the win, though perhaps nothing to match the debut of Attack & Finnish.

They might just need one of those nicknames. Zach-L and L-Mark? C’mon, this may have been the beginning.

LaVine attacked; and he did so for a career high 42 points, making five three pointers and scoring 11 fourth quarter points when the Celtics and Kyrie Irving with 37 points kept coming. And when the Celtics smothered him, he also did it with a drive and kick out to Markkanen for a three after the Celtics closed within 94-86 early in the fourth quarter. Then he took over with a drive while wearing Jaylen Brown like a winter coat for a short jumper and a three-point play for a 103-89 lead with 8:42 left. And finally one of those perfect dunk contest 50 power dunks when he ripped off his Zennis and suit and flew down the lane past Horford, Jayson Tatum and Brown for an uncontested dunk so quickly none of the three even was able to react. That made it 107-91 Bulls with 7:05 left. “The team is starting to gel,” said LaVine. “We look like we are having fun out there. I feel right now we are in a good rhythm, so keep building that chemistry. I was locked in.”

Markelle Fultz and the Smaller N.B.A. Deals That Mattered

Stars being added to Eastern Conference powerhouses drew most of the headlines, but there were other moves that could prove significant.
N.B.A. fans can be forgiven for being distracted by shiny objects. And there are few objects shinier than a star who is being added to a playoff contender.

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But even though the powerhouses of the Eastern Conference went to war over which team could add the biggest piece, it is worth taking a look at some under-the-radar Wholesale nba jerseys
moves that could prove significant this season or in the near future.

Amid the flurry of moves this week, these three deals stood out as opportunities for players to thrive in situations far more advantageous to their careers than where they had been, which could end up paying significant dividends to the teams that acquired them.
Markelle Fultz to the Orlando Magic
The Magic are trading Jonathon Simmons, a first-round pick and a second-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Fultz, according to The Athletic.

Why it matters: The very public breakdown of Fultz’s career has made any move involving him relevant. A consensus No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft after a terrific freshman season at Washington, Fultz was viewed by Philadelphia as the endgame of the team’s long-running Process. The Sixers traded the No. 3 pick in that draft (which ended up being Jayson Tatum) and a future first-round pick (likely to be Sacramento’s pick in this year’s draft) to Boston so they could move up two spots to get him.

Houston Rockets Trade Carmelo Anthony to Chicago Bulls

Carmelo Anthony will finally secure his escape from the Houston Rockets on Tuesday when the Rockets complete a trade that sends the former All-Star to the Chicago Bulls, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.

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The Bulls have no intention of playing Anthony but could elect to keep him until the Feb. 7 trade deadline and use him in another potential deal, according to the person, cheap nba jerseys china
who was not authorized to discuss the trade publicly.

The trade with Chicago, which is also expected to include some minor draft compensation, could not be executed Monday because the league office was closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But the Rockets, as first reported by ESPN, offered an undisclosed amount of cash to convince the Bulls to take on the remainder of Anthony’s $2.4 million salary for this season, which will result in a luxury-tax savings of $2.6 million for Houston.

Anthony, 34, has been in search of a new team since Nov. 11, when The New York Times first reported that the former Knick’s time with the Rockets was coming to an end after just 10 games together.

Lakers Vs. Bulls Preview & TV Info: Lineup Change Expected

Looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Los Angeles Lakers conclude their two-game homestand on Tuesday when they host another spiraling Eastern Conference team in the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls enter with a 10-33 record and are one of cheap nba jerseys from china
only four teams this season with a winning percentage below 25 percent. Two of them — the New York Knicks and Cavaliers — have each handed the Lakers a deflating loss at Staples Center over the last two weeks of play.

Mired in the Bulls’ current seven-game losing streak has been drama inside the locker room. Kris Dunn and Robin Lopez were involved in a scuffle on Monday during the team’s practice in Santa Monica.

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Lopez has been vocal about wanting more playing time and is a prime candidate to be moved before the NBA trade deadline.

As for the Lakers, they look to get back on the right track after dropping two consecutive games and seven of their last 10 overall. The team will again be without the services of superstar LeBron James, who recently began running for the first time since injuring his groin on Christmas Day, and was a participant in shootaround.

Thus, the Lakers young core will attempt to carry the load and avoid another slow start. Point guard Lonzo Ball is unsure why the team has lacked energy without James on the court, but is making it a key focus of his to take on an expanded leadership role in his absence.

Kyle Kuzma is averaging 19.6 points per game in January and has tallied a combined 81 points over the last three contests. The Utah product has stepped up offensively sans James, tallying a career-best 41 points in last Wednesday’s win against the Detroit Pistons.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton is expected to make a change in the lineup in effort to solve the team’s woes at the beginning of games.

Bulls News: Robin Lopez Left Practice After Heated Exchange with Kris Dunn

The Chicago Bulls added another chapter to their dismal 2018-19 season—a veteran leaving practice following a heated exchange with a teammate.

According to Malika Andrews of ESPN.com, big man Robin Lopez and guard Kris Dunn exchanged words following an “aggressive play” by the former. Lopez left practice for 15 minutes to “cool off.”

For his part, Dunn pointed to the current seven-game losing streak, saying: “It is frustrating to be on a losing streak. We are trying to figure out ways to get that monkey off our back.”

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This comes after Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported the Bulls “are adamant that they will not negotiate a buyout” with the 30-year-old Lopez even though his representatives cheap nba jerseys
have discussed a way for him to leave the rebuilding club. Haynes noted he would join the Golden State Warriors if Chicago did buy out his contract.
Andrews’ report revealed the Bulls are trying to trade Lopez for at least a second-round pick and will keep him for his veteran leadership if they are unable to find a suitor and make the money work given his $14 million expiring contract.

It would be understandable if Lopez was frustrated with his situation as a veteran who is stuck on a losing team with his future in doubt.

However, head coach Jim Boylen—who assumed the role after the Bulls fired Fred Hoiberg in December—said the buyout conversations are “not wearing on him,” per Andrews.

Chicago is fully in rebuilding mode at 10-33, and playing younger players in the frontcourt more minutes than Lopez. Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr. and Bobby Portis are all seeing more game action, and Lopez’s 16.3 minutes a night would be his lowest mark since the 2011-12 campaign when he was a member of the Phoenix Suns.

He is averaging 5.6 points and 2.5 rebounds per game this season.

This isn’t the first time Bulls practices have made headlines this season, as Vincent Goodwill and Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported in December that players on the team went to the National Basketball Players Association because of the “extreme tactics” Boylen used when he was first promoted to head coach.

Among the things that drew the ire of the players were his choice to hold practice after back-to-back games and two-and-a-half-hour practices that featured military-style pushups and wind sprints.