NBA star Enes Kanter wins WWE’s 24/7 title before RAW went on the air in Madison Square Garden

10 Sep

You know the old saying anything can happen in the WWE? Well, that proved true before Raw even kicked off in Madison Square Garden last night.

Main Event is always taped in the hour before Raw gets going and yesterday we saw WWE’s 24/7 champion R-Truth appear.

NBA star Enes Kanter with Brock Lesnar
Twitter - @EnesKanter

However, NBA star Enes Kanter would defeat him to win the 24/7 championship in a fun shock.

Unfortunately for the seven-foot Turk, Truth would win the belt back ensuring the Boston Celtics man did not leave MSG with WWE gold.

Kanter is a big personality in the NBA and once played for the New York Knicks in MSG. Still, wearing a Celtics jersey in MSG is a quick way for fans to forget that!

It’s believed the centre is dating WWE superstar Dana Brooke right now, too, which makes it easy to imagine how that scenario came to pass.

Kanter will suit up for a re-built Celtics this year after superstar guard Kyrie Irving decided to walk to the Brooklyn Nets in free agency.

He’ll do so as a former WWE champion, though!

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr fears his whole NBA team could be murdered unless America sorts out gun control

7 Aug

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is worried his team could be gunned down at a moments notice unless America makes a change.

The issue of gun control has reached new heights now with 246 people killed and 979 wounded this year alone in the U.S.

Steve Kerr as the head coach of the Golden State Warriors

Recently, a gunman in Texas killed 22 people at a Walmart and another shot dead nine at a bar in Dayton, Ohio.

Kerr, a three-time NBA champion as a coach and a member of the legendary Chicago Bulls with Michael Jordan as a player, says everyone is vulnerable right now.

He said: “I think about it all the time.

“Somebody could walk in the door in the gym right now and start spraying us with an AR-15.

Steve Kerr with superstar Warriors man Stephen Curry

“They could. It might happen because we’re all vulnerable. Whether we go to a concert, a church, the mall or go to the movie theatre or a school.”

After being asked what Americans can do in the face of such turmoil, Kerr said: “Demand change from the gutless leadership that continues to allow this to happen.”

Kerr is not the first voice in American sports to speak out since the horrific tragedies last week. MLS star and Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya pleaded for change after scoring a goal at the weekend.

Bedoya vented his frustration at Congress into a pitch-side microphone

American gun laws hinge on the second amendment, which states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Kerr added: “The only thing that second amendment is doing is leading to mass murder right now. This is all just insanity

“People are more and more frustrated in our country.

“I think at this point, the vast majority of people in this country have had it. Now it’s a matter of taking action.”

Liverpool players meet 7ft 7in NBA rookie Tacko Fall and he makes Virgil van Dijk look like a child

23 Jul

Liverpool are in the U.S at the moment getting themselves prepared for another crack at the Premier League title this season.

Although tensions ran high when they played Sevilla at Fenway Park a couple of nights ago, the red half of Merseyside have found time to relax in the States, too.

Rhian Brewster of Liverpool celebrates his goal against Tranmere Rovers

Before heading to New York, Jurgen Klopp’s men had a chance meeting with new Boston Celtics center Tacko Fall.

What’s so special about that? The 23-year-old rookie star is 7ft 7in and has set all-time NBA records for his height, largest wingspan at 8ft 2.25in and highest standing reach at 10ft 2.5in.

As you can see from the video below, he makes the commanding Virgil van Dijk look like a little child in comparison, while Klopp joked he had found a new striker.

Jurgen Klopp meet 7ft 7in Celtics man Tacko Fall
Twitter @LFC
Tacko Fall towered over the Liverpool squad
Twitter @LFC

At 6ft 4in, the Dutchman is no small man, but he gives way to 1ft and 3in against the Boston Celtics’ new man.

On his day, Fall was a double-double threat in college with shot-blocking ability.

The Senegalese-born star went undrafted in this summer’s NBA draft, but the Celtics have picked him up to give him a chance. He’ll likely serve as a reserve center.

As for Liverpool, the Reds are continuing to mix and match their sides as they play their preseason friendlies and Klopp is yet to make a significant signing this summer.

NBA free agency: A complete list of every move made, including Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan to Brooklyn Nets

1 Jul

The free agency period in the NBA is wild and it’s safe to say 90 per cent of all deals to be done were verbally agreed on the very first day.

There is what is known as the moratorium period where teams, starting at 6pm on June 30, may negotiate deals with free agents but cannot officially sign them until July 6.

Kawhi Leonard can’t contain himself at the final buzzer

However, the only real top agent really left on the board is Kawhi Leonard; arguably the biggest fish of them all this year.

Below is a round-up of all the biggest moves that have been made so far. As you can see, the Brooklyn Nets have been the major winners thus far:

• Kyrie Irving agrees to four-year, $141 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets

• Kevin Durant agrees to four-year, $141 million deal with the Nets

• DeAndre Jordan signs four-year, $40 million deal with the Nets

• Kemba Walker agrees to four-year, $141 million deal with the Boston Celtics

• Golden State Warriors agree to sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell, sending Andre Iguodala to the Grizzlies to clear cap room, who is likely to be waived

• Klay Thompson has agreed to a five-year, $190 million deal with the Warriors

• Heat finalize sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler with the 76ers and Mavericks

• Sharpshooter JJ Redick agrees to two-year, $26.5 million deal with the New Orleans Pelicans

• Nikola Vucevic agrees to four-year, $100 million deal with the Orlando Magic

• Terry Rozier agrees to three-year, $58 million deal with the Charlotte Hornets

• Khris Middleton agrees to a five-year, $178 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks

• Garrett Temple agrees to two-year, $10 million deal with the Sacrmento Kings

• Rudy Gay agrees to two-year, $32 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs

• Harrison Barnes agrees to a four-year, $85 million deal with the Kings

• Former MVP Derrick Rose agrees to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Detroit Pistons

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will team up for Brooklyn

• Trevor Ariza agrees to two-year, $25 million deal with the Kings

• Dewayne Dedmon agrees to three-year, $41 million deal with the Kings

• Jonas Valanciunas agrees to a three-year, $45 million deal with the Memphis Grizzlies

• Gerald Green agrees to return to the Houston Rockets on a one-year deal

• Terrence Ross agrees to a four-year, $54 million deal with the Magic

• EuroLeague forward Nicole Melli agrees to a two-year, $8 million deal with the Pelicans

• Al-Farouq Aminu agrees to a three-year, $29 million deal with the Magic

• Brook Lopez agrees to four-year, $52 million deal to remain with the Bucks

• Danuel House Jr. agrees to a three-year, $11.1 million deal with the Rockets

• Bojan Bogdanovic agrees to a four-year, $73 million deal with the Utah Jazz

• Malcolm Brogdon traded to the Indiana Pacers for a first-round pick and two future second-round picks. Brogdon agrees to a four-year, $85 million deal with the Pacers

• Jeremy Lamb agrees to three-year, $31 million deal with the Pacers

• Mike Scott agrees to two-year, $9.8 million deal with the Philadelphia 76ers

• Thomas Bryant agrees to three-year, $25 million deal with Washington Wizards

• Kristaps Porzingis agrees to fully guaranteed five-year, $158 million deal to extend his stay with the Dallas Mavericks

Kristaps Porzingis following his move to Dallas

• George Hill agrees to three-year, $29 million deal with the Bucks

• Rodney Hood agrees to two-year, $16 million deal with the Portland Trail Blazers

• Ricky Rubio agrees to three-year, $51 million deal with the Phoenix Suns

• Tobias Harris agrees to five-year, $180 million deal with the 76ers

• Julius Randle agrees to three-year, $63 million deal with the New York Knicks

• Taj Gibson agrees to two-year, $20 million deal with the Knicks

• Al Horford agrees to four-year, $109 million deal with the 76ers

• Thaddeus Young agrees to three-year, $41 million deal with the Chicago Bulls

• Ed Davis agrees to two-year, $10 million deal with the Jazz

• Mike Muscala has agreed to a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder

• DeMarre Carroll agres to two-year, $12 million deal with the Spurs

• Mario Hezonja has agreed to a one-year minimum deal with Blazers

• Robin Lopez has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Bucks

• Patrick Beverley agrees to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers on a three-year, $40 million deal

The biggest names left on the board at present include DeMarcus Cousins, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol, Isaiah Thomas and, of course, Leonard.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo named most valuable player at NBA awards – LeBron James not in the top 10

25 Jun

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the NBA’s most valuable player.

Antetokounmpo averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists a night through the season and 25.5 points and 12.3 rebounds per game during the postseason where they lost in the Eastern Conference finals to the Toronto Raptors.

Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo with his MVP trophy
Getty Images - Getty

He was voted a 2019 All-Star team captain alongside James and at just 24 years old, Antetokounmpo becames the third-youngest player to win MVP over the past 40 seasons, only behind Derrick Rose and LeBron James.

Elsewhere, Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams won the Sixth Man of the Year award again, tying Jamal Crawford as the leading victor in that field of all-time. Rudy Gobert also retained his Defensive Player of the Year award becoming the first man since Kawhi Leonard two years ago to do so.

Dallas Mavericks man Luka Doncic won the Rookie of the Year award, NBA champion Pascal Siakam won the Most Improved award while Antetokounmpo’s coach Mike Budenholzer won the Coach of the Year award.

The Greek Freak received 78 of the 101 possible first-place votes to win his MVP award. Houston’s James Harden came in second with the other 23 first-place votes and, naturally, the Rockets disagreed with his second place slot.

Oklahoma City’s Paul George came in third – where he also finished in the Defensive Player of the Year voting – followed by Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Golden State’s Stephen Curry.

“MVP is not about stats and numbers. It is all about winning and all about making sure you go out there and do everything you can to win,” Antetokounmpo said Monday night. “I think that is what we did as a team.”

MVP to 10

Antetokounmpo was the league’s most consistently brilliant performer and here's who else made the list

1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

2. James Harden, Houston Rockets

3. Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder

4. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

5. Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

6. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

7. Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors

8. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

9. Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors

10. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

L.A. Lakers agree blockbuster NBA trade for Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans

16 Jun

Back in late February, All-NBA big man Anthony Davis made it clear to the New Orleans Pelicans that he would not be signing a contract extension and wanted to be traded.

It was rumoured the Los Angeles Lakers were a preferred destination for him back then, along with the New York Knicks, LA Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks.

Anthony David in between Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James last season

On Saturday night, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN confirmed that the Lakers and the Pelicans had reached an agreement for a trade of the 26-year-old.

The Lakers will send Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart along with three first-round picks – including this year’s number four pick – to acquire Davis.

The salaries more or less match up so the Lakers still have room to chase a max free agent this summer. According to various reports, Jimmy Butler, Kemba Walker and NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard ae their top priorities.

Although the news can’t be made official until July 6 when the new salary cap year begins in the NBA, the deal has been agreed.

The Purple and Gold were desperate to make the deal and given that LeBron James is 34-years-old, they now they need to maximise what he has left of his prime.

James posted a welcome message for his new teammate on Instagram, too.

The Lakers have gutted their young core of two number two draft picks, but they have retained elite scoring forward Kyle Kuzma.

As for the Pelicans, they have Ball, Hart, Ingram, former teammate Julius Randle, Jrue Holiday and are almost certain to pick generational talent Zion Williamson at number one in the draft. It’s not looking bad for them at all.

NBA Finals: ‘Drake curse’ lifted as Toronto Raptors beat Golden State Warriors to win first championship and spark fan party

14 Jun

The Toronto Raptors won their first ever NBA championship by defeating the Golden State Warriors, ending their chance at a three-peat in the process.

The injury-ravaged Dubs have had issues with all-stars DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson during the Finals and the trio couldn’t find their best form or fitness in time to save their dreams of a third successive title.

Durant suffered a horror ankle injury on his return to action
Getty Images - Getty

It was thought Durant’s ruptured Achilles might rally the side to perform at the Oracle, but, instead, Toronto had four players score 22 points or more to secure a 114-110 win and become the first Canadian franchise in history to win an NBA title, winning the series 4-2.

Kawhi Leonard capped off a great series with 22 points while Pascal Siakam (26), Kyle Lowry (26) and Fred VanVleet (22) did their own damage, too.

For Golden State, Draymond Green had a triple-double that featured 19 rebounds while Klay Thompson led all scorers with 30 points before exiting the contest with a knee injury in the fourth quarter.

Kawhi Leonard can’t contain himself at the final buzzer

The Raptors only picked up their first conference title this season and now the Canadians – founded in 1995 – have become the 20th team in history to win an NBA championship.

Kawhi Leonard justifiably picked up the Finals MVP award and if his regular season stats of 26.6 points a night and 7.3 rebounds – both career highs – along with his world-class defence were impressive, he took things to another level in the postseason.

Leonard became just the sixth player in league history to score 700 points in a single postseason with his 30 points and the Scotiabank Arena in Game Three.

Also, since the NBA adopted the 16-team playoff format in 1984, only four individuals have averaged more than Leonard has during an NBA Finals run and those four men are bonafide legends: Hakeem Olajuwon, Alen Iverson, LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

Kawhi Leonard drives past Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson

The Raptors took a big gamble trading for Leonard last year and giving up premier scorer DeMar DeRozan among other things for a man that could walk away in free agency this summer.

And amongst the celebrations, fans pointed out the ‘Drake curse’ has now been lifted.

In the past, the Canadian rapper has been blamed for the losses of some of sport’s top athletes, as he posed for pictures days, hours and sometimes minutes before they lose – Roma even joked they had banned players from selfies.

Drake celebrating the fact the Drake curse is no more (and that the Raptors are champions)
Getty Images - Getty

And Raptors’ fans certainly painted the town red.

Raptors fans have been waiting a lifetime to see their team win an NBA championship
Getty Images - Getty
The Toronto Raptors won their first NBA championship in franchise’s history
Getty Images - Getty
They are the first non-US team to win an NBA championship
Getty Images - Getty

Kyle Lowry: Billionaire Golden State Warriors co-owner Mark Stevens banned and fined $500k for pushing Toronto Raptors star in NBA finals

6 Jun

Golden State Warriors’ co-owner Mark Stevens has been barred by the NBA for a year and fined $500,000 for pushing and directing obscene language at Toronto Raptors player Kyle Lowry.

The incident happened in Game 3 of the NBA finals at Golden State.

Lowry ran for a loose ball in the fourth quarter and ended up landed on a group of fans who were sitting courtside.

Kyle Lowry reacts after being shoved by a fan

As he was getting up, Stevens reached over and shoved him in the shoulder.

Lowry got up and complained to the officials while also shaking his head.

After the game he said: “There’s no place for that. He had no reason to touch me.

“He had no reason to reach over two seats and then say some vulgar language to me. There’s no place for people like that in our league.

“Hopefully he never comes back to an NBA game.”

A Warriors spokesman and security officials confirmed Stevens was ejected from the Oracle Arena.

His punishment did not end there as he has been banned from all games and other team activities for a year and fined $500,000.

Stevens is a minority owner in the Warriors and is has an estimated net worth of $2.3billion.

Lowry scored 23 points as the Raptors won 123-109 on Wednesday night to take a 2-1 series lead over Golden State.

“He controls a lot of the pace for them,” said Warriors guard Stephen Curry of Lowry.

“He made shots tonight. Tip your cap to him. He was willing to take them. Historically when he plays well in the playoffs they usually go.”

L.A. Lakers legend Magic Johnson shockingly resigns as president hours BEFORE their final game of NBA season

10 Apr

The Los Angeles Lakers have had one of the most disappointing seasons in the franchise’s history, considering they landed one of the greatest players in the history of basketball in LeBron James last summer.

Then, prior to their 104-101 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers last night that finished their season, Lakers legend Magic Johnson stepped down as the team’s president.

Magic Johnson explaining his decision

In a stunning hour-long press conference prior to the game, Johnson spoke about how he just wasn’t happy operating in the cut-throat world of NBA executives.

“I was happier when I wasn’t the president,” Johnson said. “When you gotta make trades, you’re not happy.

“The backstabbing, the whispering. I don’t like that. I don’t like a lot of things that went on that didn’t have to go on.”

Johnson was often reprimanded and fined for speaking his mind and commenting on players which led to accusations of tampering.

The 12-time All-Star point guard became so beloved in the first place because of how affable he is and there’s literally an NBA award named after him – the Magic Johnson Award – which is given to the player who has the best cooperation with the media.

He couldn’t be that man anymore in his current role and it began to suffocate him.

“The fines and the tampering and the this and the that, I can’t help young men who want me to help them, or I can’t tweet out. Like Russell Westbrook, that was a great feat the other day. I couldn’t even tweet it out to say, ‘Hey, congratulations.’ If I had did that, everyone would have said he’s tampering. I don’t like that. I like to be free.”

Johnson admitted he did not tell Lakers owner Jeanie Buss the news prior to the press conference because he said he would have cried and he couldn’t face her.

Magic Johnson becoming Lakers president alongside owner Jeanie Buss

Given that the Lakers season ended without them even close to the playoffs, it seemed written on the wall that Johnson would fire head coach Luke Walton in the morning. He did not have the propensity to do so.

Instead, he chose to step down himself and, once again, avoid the situation.

“She [Buss] gave me the power, that is the same page. I could have done anything I wanted to, tomorrow. But I decided to step down,” he said.

It seems like Johnson has walked away when the job was at it’s toughest. He didn’t want the power he thought he did and by his very nature, he never should have had it. It was his stature that was the allure.

That same stature that helped lure Lebron James to L.A. No doubt the King had eyes on the west coast for business/family reasons anyway, but he was still very vocal about Magic’s influence on getting him to sign.

Things haven’t gone according to plan for LeBron James in L.A.

“And now being able to partner with Magic Johnson, someone I kind of like looked up to when I was younger, you know, and wanted to make no-look passes like Magic, wanted to get on the break and be ‘Showtime’ like Magic, and then for it to all come to fruition at this point, I think timing is everything,” James said last July.

Now, Johnson is no more and Rob Pelinka is left to scramble with Buss ahead of a historic free agency class that the Lakers have positioned themselves – at least financially – to shoot for.

With such internal disarray and no clear-cut infrastructure, the Lakers will flop this summer no question. More than that, Johnson didn’t exactly give Pelinka a ringing endorsement on the way out.

Magic Johnson with general manager Rob Pelinka

“Do I think Rob is the right GM?” Johnson said. “That’s a decision Jeanie has to make. I worked well with him. I had no problems with him. Now they say he had some bad, I don’t know about that. A lot of my agent friends had called, but Jeanie has to make all the calls, that’s not calls for me to make. This is her organisation.”

It’s worth pointing out that when Johnson contracted HIV back in 1991, many thought it was a death sentence. Johnson said he would fight it and win – he did that.

Since then, he has chosen to live his life exactly as he pleases and do whatever makes him happy. No one can fault the man for that. The only problem with that endearing sentiment is that it appears to be at his beloved Lakers’ expense this time.

Jusuf Nurkic injury: NBA referee kicks Portland Trail Blazers star’s broken leg seconds after suffering horror injury against Brooklyn Nets

26 Mar

The NBA has seen too many serious injuries in the past couple of years with Julius Randle, Paul George and Gordon Hayward all suffering nasty broken legs.

Portland Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic was the latest to join that list as a sickening broken leg left NBA fans in a state of shock on Monday night.

The 24-year-old center scored 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds before breaking his left leg in the second overtime of a 148-144 win over the Brooklyn Nets.

As horrifying as the sight of his leg was, a careless referee tripping over the Bosnian’s broken leg is beyond belief.

NBA official Tyler Ford appeared to kick Nurkic’s leg as the player writhed in agony on the floor and fans were quick to jump on the referee on Twitter. We warn you, the footage you’re about to watch is graphic.

While you have to think it was an accident, how could someone actually be that careless during a situation like that?

Star point guard Damian Lillard said after the win: “It made me sick to my stomach,” Blazers guard Damian Lillard added. “As I was walking over there, I saw everyone else turn around real quick and walk away, and then I look and I saw his leg.”

Portland secured their spot in the postseason with the win, but the loss of Nurkic soured any celebrations.