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Updated: 16 weeks 6 days ago
A former assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors reportedly recorded conversations of coaches and players without their knowledge before being fired by the team earlier this month. ESPN, citing anonymous sources, reported Tuesday that Darren Erman secretly recorded coaches' meetings, conversations between coaches and players, and informal discussions. It's unclear what Erman did with the alleged recordings. Golden State fired Erman on April 5 for what the team called a ''violation of company policy.'' The Warriors neither confirmed nor denied the report Tuesday, saying only that they ''were unaware of the violation, and when made aware, we took immediate action.'' Erman already has landed a job with another team.
The Toronto Raptors act like a team that doesn't get any respect. Toronto likes it that way, thank you very much, thriving in the underdog environment fostered by coach Dwane Casey. The Raptors host the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of their first round series on Wednesday night, having regained home-court advantage with an 87-79 victory on Sunday. Charles Barkley, the former NBA All-Star turned TV analyst, has said the Raptors were ''underrated all year'' and picked them to eliminate the Nets.
The Pacers reached the top of the Eastern Conference by relying on hard-nosed defense and a power offense. The eighth-seeded Hawks are on the brink of pulling a stunning upset thanks largely to Indiana's ineptitude to get it right in the playoffs. ''We didn't play as well to end the year off, but I just knew at playoff time, this team would come together,'' All-Star starter Paul George said. ''But you know this team (Atlanta) is a tough matchup.
Memphis forward Zach Randolph usually imposes his will on opponents with his strong, aggressive play. Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka have more than met the challenge. The Thunder say Perkins' strength and Ibaka's athletic ability have been a tough combination for Randolph to handle.
The NBA is planning a Tuesday news conference to discuss the investigation into embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who is alleged to have made racist comments in a taped conversation. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said additional details will be announced, though it's unclear when that may happen. The news conference is a clear sign NBA Commissioner Adam Silver - in the first real crisis of his short tenure - is both following through on his plan to move quickly on this matter and adhering to a request from the players' union for some sort of resolution in short order. ''He should not continue owning the clippers,'' Lakers star Kobe Bryant wrote Monday on Twitter.
Boris Diaw's big third quarter wasn't enough to hold off a Dallas comeback. The San Antonio veteran's decisive shot in the final minute was. Diaw hit a go-ahead 3-pointer for the last of his 17 points, Manu Ginobili scored 23 and the top-seeded Spurs held on to beat the Mavericks 93-89 in Game 4 on Monday night, pulling even in their first-round playoff series. ''You've got to give up something,'' said Dirk Nowitzki, who was running at Diaw as the shot was released.
Atlanta's Mike Scott hit Indiana with the first 3-point barrage Monday night. The Hawks' defense staggered the Pacers with some late stops. Now Atlanta is heading home with a chance to deliver the knockout punch to the Eastern Conference's top seed. Scott scored all 17 of his points during the Hawks' incredible second-quarter run, and the defense fended off the Pacers' frantic fourth-quarter charge to hold on for a 107-97 victory and a stunning 3-2 lead in the first-round series.
LeBron James heard the cheers from the crowd as he lay on the court holding his right thigh and writhing in pain. James scored 19 of his game-high 31 points after sustaining a thigh bruise early in the third quarter, helping the Miami Heat earn a first-round sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats with a 109-98 victory Monday night. ''It's definitely sore,'' James said. James said playing Charlotte was a good first test and Miami is headed in the right direction as it looks to win its third straight NBA championship.
Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he declined a chance to speak with owner Donald Sterling, who is alleged to have made racist comments in a recorded conversation. ''I was asked, do I need to talk with Donald, and I passed, quite honestly,'' Rivers said Monday. But I still want to make sure,'' Rivers said during a conference call. I want to wait for that further judgment.'' The coach canceled practice Monday, a day after a 118-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors that evened their playoff series at 2-2.
- Advertisers are backing away from the Los Angeles Clippers after racist comments attributed to the NBA team's owner. Mercedes-Benz USA said Monday its dealerships are ending their sponsorship of the Clippers in the wake of comments allegedly made by the team's owner, Donald Sterling. Used car dealership chain CarMax, airline Virgin America, and the Chumash Casino Resort are doing the same. Four other sponsors, Kia Motors America, energy drink maker Red Bull, hardwood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators and Yokohama Tire, said they are suspending their advertising and sponsorship activities with the team.
Jack Ramsay served his country in World War II, coached Portland to the NBA title, was enshrined in the basketball Hall of Fame and became one of the game's most respected and revered broadcasters. ''Our father led the greatest life that one could lead,'' the Ramsay family said in a statement released Monday, hours after the man that just about everyone in basketball called ''Dr. Jack'' died in Naples, Fla., at the age of 89. No cause of death was announced, but Ramsay had fought several forms of cancer for many years and more recently was diagnosed with a marrow syndrome. Ramsay ended his broadcasting career with ESPN last year because of health problems and word came last week that he had been placed into hospice care.
Bobcats coach Steve Clifford says center Al Jefferson will not play Monday night in Game 4 against the Miami Heat because of a foot injury. Clifford had listed Jefferson as doubtful earlier in the day. Miami leads the series 3-0 and can close out the Bobcats with a win. Clifford says if the series goes to a Game 5 Wednesday night Jefferson would be available.
Drew Gooden knows what it's like to play for a team that blew a 3-1 lead, so he won't breathe easy until the Washington Wizards finish off the Chicago Bulls. Game 5 is in Chicago, and if the Wizards prevail, they'll move on in the playoffs for just the third time since the 1970s. The veteran forward was a rookie with Orlando in 2003 when the Magic went up 3-1 on Detroit, only to drop the next three to the Pistons and bow out in the first round. ''We had a chance to put 'em down and finish them and we didn't - and then they started a dynasty in the Eastern Conference for the next five, six years,'' Gooden said Monday.
After a fast start to the season, the Trail Blazers went through a lull after the All-Star break. Wins became harder to come by, and there was concern Portland might have to fight to even make the playoffs. The team says that experience is helping Portland now in a hard-fought first-round with the Houston Rockets. The Blazers are up 3-1 as the series heads back to Houston for Game 5 on Wednesday night.
The NAACP has decided not to honor Donald Sterling with a lifetime achievement award from its Los Angeles chapter after the Clippers owner allegedly made racially charged comments in a recorded conversation. Donations made by Sterling, who has owned the team since 1981, will be returned, Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles NAACP, said at a news conference Monday. ''There is a personal, economic, and social price that Mr. Sterling must pay for his attempt to turn back the clock on race relations,'' he said. Sterling, 80, had been slated to receive the honor on May 15 as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Los Angeles branch of the nation's oldest civil rights organization.
There was some shouting going on in the Trail Blazers' locker room after they fell behind by 10 points at halftime to the Rockets. Up 2-1 in their first playoff series since 2011, the Blazers didn't want to mess up Game 4, especially in front of their hometown fans. ''In the words of Chuck - Charles Barkley - we were playing like wussies,'' Portland guard Wesley Matthews said. ''That was the message to each other.'' Whatever was said, the Trail Blazers pulled out of their funk and went on to defeat the Rockets 123-120 in overtime Sunday night to take a 3-1 advantage in the series that moves to Houston on Wednesday.