• Basketball

    Andrew Bogut says retirement decision could come by mid-May

    After 15 years in professional basketball, Andrew Bogut is close to making a decision on when to end his career. The coronavirus and subsequent postponement of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo isn’t making it any easier. The 35-year-old Bogut, who was the 2005 No. 1 draft pick by the Milwaukee Bucks and later won an NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, was planning to retire after playing for Australia at the Tokyo Games in three months. Those games have been delayed until July 2021. But Bogut, who has played for Sydney in the National Basketball League the past two seasons, isn’t sure he can take the training…

  • Basketball

    Source — Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie trying to join Nigerian national team

    Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie is in the process of acquiring a Nigerian passport to be eligible to play for the Nigerian national team, a source told ESPN on Saturday. The Athletic first reported Dinwiddie’s pursuit. Dinwiddie appeared to confirm his intention Saturday, writing in response to the report on Twitter: “Well now y’all know lol.” Despite finishing 10th in All-Star voting for Eastern Conference guards and recording a career-high 41 points in December, Dinwiddie was not on the list of Team USA finalists. By obtaining a Nigerian passport, Dinwiddie would become eligible to compete with the country in the 2021 Summer Olympics. The Tokyo Olympics were scheduled to be…

  • Basketball

    Pistons’ Sekou Doumbouya returns to France to be near family

    DETROIT — The Detroit Pistons confirmed Saturday that rookie Sekou Doumbouya is back in France while NBA play is on hold because of the coronavirus crisis. The league recommended players avoid non-essential travel, but players — in concert with their team — could choose to go to another city and stay there. International travel could lead to logistical concerns if play resumes and a player faces hurdles returning to the U.S. A Pistons spokesman said the team is aware that the 19-year-old Doumbouya is in France, and that he left to be closer to family during this pandemic. Detroit drafted Doumbouya in the first round last year. A native of…

  • Basketball

    An all-access Michael Jordan documentary? How ‘The Last Dance’ was made possible

    THE PITCH WAS as audacious in 1997 as it would be today. A producer for NBA Entertainment wanted to do an all-access, season-long documentary with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls as they headed into what was likely to be their final season together. In the huddles as Phil Jackson coached. Behind closed doors as Michael Jordan barked instructions and four-letter words. In the training room as Scottie Pippen vented about general manager Jerry Krause’s publicly humiliating trade discussions involving him. Off the court — or Atlantic City, in the case of Dennis Rodman, who escaped there in the middle of the Finals to wrestle Hulk Hogan. Asking for this…

  • Basketball

    NBA players to receive 25% less in paychecks starting May 15

    The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have agreed to a plan to withhold 25% of each player’s paycheck beginning May 15, the league and players’ union announced Friday. The agreement clears the way for a gradual reduction in player salaries should the force majeure provision in the collective bargaining agreement be enacted with the cancellation of regular-season games. Players will receive their full paychecks on May 1. The plan would serve as something of an escrow account that would return money to the players should all the remaining regular-season games be played in a resumption of the season. Otherwise, teams would keep a percentage of the money based…

  • Basketball

    Adam Silver — Still too much uncertainty for clear path to NBA’s possible return

    Commissioner Adam Silver said the NBA remains committed to resuming the season but that there is still no timetable for a possible return or even a deadline for canceling the 2019-20 suspended season. Following the NBA’s board of governors meeting held via video conference Friday, Silver said the league is still not in position to make any decisions. “Based on the reports that we got from varied outside officials, current public health officials … we are not in a position to make any decisions,” Silver said in a conference call with reporters. “And it’s unclear when we will be.” Silver outlined several factors that the NBA would need to be…

  • Basketball

    Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli, Payton Chester to be honorary picks at WNBA draft

    5:24 PM ET Graham HaysESPN.com Close Graham Hays covers college sports for espnW, including softball and soccer. Hays began with ESPN in 1999. Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who were among nine killed in a January helicopter crash that also claimed the life of Kobe Bryant, will be honorary selections in Friday’s WNBA draft, according to Gianna’s mother, Vanessa. Vanessa Bryant posted a message on Instagram on Friday listing the three girls as the “class of 2024.” The girls, all 13 years old at the time, were passengers on the helicopter as it traveled to a basketball game at Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Sports Academy in California on Jan.…

  • Basketball

    CEO Leonsis pays part-timers for Wizards, Mystics and Capitals through April

    Ted Leonsis — the CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, which owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, WNBA’s Mystics and NHL’s Capitals — said he’s committed to paying his 1,500 part-time employees through April. “I felt that it was the right thing to do, to pay our part-time employees that signed up to work in March and April,” said Leonsis, who estimated that the payments totaled $1.2 million. “It’s not an advance to them. When they come back, they’ll sign up to staff the new games and we’ll pay them there.” Leonsis, speaking at a webinar with the Economics Club of Washington D.C., said it was payment that part-time employees —…

  • Basketball

    Jazz’s Mike Conley beats Bulls’ Zach LaVine for HORSE title

    Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley‘s ability to use both hands propelled him to the win in the NBA’s first HORSE competition as he beat Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine for the title. Conley took the title “H-O” to “H-O-R-S-E” in the championship round, which aired Thursday night. With the sports world halted by the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA, National Basketball Players Association and ESPN teamed up to create the single-elimination NBA HORSE Challenge to provide fans with entertainment. And State Farm, the title sponsor, will donate more than $200,000 in support of coronavirus response efforts. As the only one out of the eight contestants to play on an indoor…

  • Basketball

    NBA Horse Challenge – Grading the final four as a champion is crowned

    The NBA HORSE Challenge began with eight players with unique skill sets. Two NBA All-Star point guards (Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks, Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder) didn’t make it past the quarterfinals. Ditto for Hall-of-Famer Tamika Catchings and future Hall-of-Famer Paul Pierce. Ultimately, Utah Jazz point guard Mike Conley Jr. was the trickiest of them all, outlasting Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine to win the HORSE Challenge. Semifinalists Allie Quigley of the Chicago Sky and 2004 Finals MVP Chauncey Billups also put up valiant efforts after making it past the first round. Here are grades from every semifinalist: MORE: Grading the upset-filled opening round of…