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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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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.”
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Antetokounmpo was the league’s most consistently brilliant performer and here's who else made the list
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
Can we talk about the ref kicking Jusuf Nurkic as he's laying on the ground? What the hell are you doing my guy? pic.twitter.com/AExS0cWKJt
The horrific injury to #Nurkic is highlighted by the complete disrespect and carelessness from the #ref. Not only does the ref kick his broken leg, but he continues to walk away from the helpless star after inflicting more pain on him. The @NBA needs to do something about this
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.
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