• Basketball

    Heat suspend Dion Waiters for season opener over conduct

    MIAMI — Shooting guard Dion Waiters has been suspended by the Miami Heat for their season opener against Memphis on Wednesday night for what was described as “conduct detrimental to the team.” “There were a number of unacceptable incidents this week, culminating with his unprofessional conduct on the bench last night,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a statement Saturday night. “As a consequence, I feel we had to suspend him.” Waiters got into a discussion with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra during Friday night’s game, though the Heat did not specifically address what any of the incidents were. Waiters played only 10 minutes in Friday night’s preseason finale — nine…

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    Utah Jazz give Quin Snyder long-term extension

    Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder has agreed to a long-term contract extension, league sources tell ESPN. Snyder had two years left on his deal, and a new contract extends multiple years beyond that term, sources said. After upgrading the team’s talent base over the summer, locking Snyder into an extension had been a top organizational priority. Snyder, 52, has evolved into one of the NBA’s elite coaches, reaching the Western Conference playoffs in three consecutive seasons, including consecutive trips to the conference semifinals in 2017 and 2018. This is the second time in three years that the Jazz have extended Snyder with two years left on his deal, including in…

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    Shaquille O’Neal provides home to woman whose son was shot at football game

    Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal has donated a home to an Atlanta woman whose 12-year-old son was shot at a football game and paralyzed from the chest down. O’Neal told WXIA-TV that Isaiah Payton’s family was living in a one-bedroom apartment that wasn’t accessible for people with disabilities, but they now have a home in a good neighborhood. He said he is helping to furnish the home and will pay its rent for the next year. “It’s just sad,” O’Neal said. “It could have been any one of us. It could have been my son. It could’ve been your cousin. She was living in a one-bedroom apartment with her…

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    Rockets’ Russell Westbrook aggravates finger injury vs. Heat

    MIAMI — The Houston Rockets‘ final preseason game Friday night didn’t go as smoothly as hoped. Russell Westbrook — who has been dealing with some dislocated fingers on his right hand — left the team’s game against the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter in obvious discomfort. The star point guard lost the ball, immediately grabbed at his right hand, then ran off the court and directly into the tunnel leading to the Rockets’ locker room without stopping. He finished with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists on 6-of-13 shooting in 26 minutes. Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said Westbrook aggravated the finger issue, and will be fine. 1 Related…

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    Kyrie Irving addresses China issues, closed-door meeting with Adam Silver

    NEW YORK — Following a Brooklyn Nets preseason game on Friday that saw two groups of protesters wearing T-shirts that said “Stand with Hong Kong,” guard Kyrie Irving met with reporters and talked about his thoughts on last week’s tense trip to China for the first time. Irving specifically addressed what transpired in a closed-door meeting between players and NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Oct. 9 in Shanghai, saying he intended to keep what he said in the meeting private. “I don’t know whose notes, or who is in there that you can’t really depend on to keep a conversation like that in house — especially when it is about…

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    Wild NBA predictions – Giannis’ big decision, trades to watch for

    It’s time for our last preseason column: 35 random predictions for the season. Not all of these are bold. Any prediction roundup has to include major awards and a championship pick, and there is no way to go totally out of the box on those. But others are designed to be a little out there. There is no fun, no risk, in picking the most likely outcome for everything. If, for whatever reason, something Vegas and various projection systems peg as a 25% likelihood seems like, say, a 35 or 40% proposition to me — well, let’s just go crazy and predict it. Let’s (fake) wager on some long shots.…

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    Sources — Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson (knee) expected to miss weeks

    11:44 AM ET Andrew LopezESPN New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson has avoided a severe injury to his right knee but is expected to miss a period of weeks to start the regular season, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday. Williamson did not travel with the team to New York for Friday’s preseason game against the Knicks and instead stayed back in New Orleans for further testing. The injury puts a damper on what had been an excellent preseason for the No. 1 overall pick. Williamson was averaging 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 71.4 percent overall in the Pelicans’ first four preseason games while averaging 27.3 minutes.…

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    Giannis Antetokounmpo hoping Milwaukee Bucks’ undefeated preseason built good habits

    12:11 AM ET Eric WoodyardESPN MILWAUKEE — Two things stood out to Giannis Antetokounmpo as he glanced at the stat sheet while addressing media members Thursday night following the completion of the Milwaukee Bucks‘ first undefeated preseason since 1997: 3-pointers and turnovers. Despite the Bucks committing 21 turnovers and going 11-for-40 (27.5%) from 3 in a 118-96 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Antetokounmpo called it “scary how good we can be” in the regular season when they’re able to live up to the team’s expectations. “Just the habits that we built these five games, I think defensively the way we played, we were really active as a team covering for…

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    Harrison Barnes, Malik Jackson paying for funeral of woman killed in home by police officer

    Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes and his wife and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson have offered to pay for the funeral of a Fort Worth, Texas, woman killed in her home by a police officer last week. Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was taking care of her 8-year-old nephew Saturday when a police officer making a wellness check fired through the window of her home and killed her. The officer was responding to a call about an open door at the residence. “My wife and I wanted to do something for that family,” Barnes told reporters Thursday. “It was a tragic situation that happened. No one should be killed during a…

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    Zion Williamson of New Orleans Pelicans will miss preseason finale with knee soreness

    5:28 PM ET Andrew LopezESPN The New Orleans Pelicans announced that rookie Zion Williamson will miss the team’s final preseason game because of right knee soreness. The Pelicans traveled to New York to take on the Knicks on Friday, but Williamson did not make the trip. The team said Williamson will stay in New Orleans to undergo further testing. No timetable for a possible return was given. Williamson has appeared in all four Pelicans’ preseason games averaging 23.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while playing 27.3 minutes a night. In summer league, Williamson only played eight minutes for the Pelicans after suffering a minor left knee bruise. The team…