• Kevin Love: ‘The organization has my back’

    And yet, on Thursday, Love validated James' belief in him. He buried Boston on a 3-pointer with 26 seconds remaining on a kick-out pass from James, and he picked up the slack for Kyrie Irving (13 points, 3-for-11 shooting).

    "People have focused my whole career on what I couldn't do rather than what I could," Love said, sounding resigned rather than defiant. "I know my teammates and coaching staff have my back. The organization has my back. I'm sending love right back to them. I think tonight was one of those times my numbers was called to step up and hit a big shot."

    via Tom Westerholm of MassLive.com
  • Kevin Ollie Telling People He’s Staying at UConn?

    UConn men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie has told those close to him on campus that he is staying at the school despite the current vacancy with the Oklahoma City Thunder, sources told ESPN's Andy Katz on Thursday.

    via Andy Katz of ESPN
  • Spurs’ Tony Parker Questionable for Game 3

    The San Antonio Spurs listed point guard Tony Parker as questionable Thursday for Friday's Game 3 matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference playoffs due to tightness in his right Achilles tendon.

    Parker entered the club's Game 2 victory over the Clippers already nursing a twisted left ankle and a bruised left quadriceps, but left Wednesday's game with a little more than five minutes left to play after suffering the Achilles injury.

    via Michael C. Wright of ESPN
  • Carlisle on Rondo: ‘We all did what we could do’

    Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joined "The Afternoon Show with Cowlishaw and Mosley" on KESN-FM 103.3 on Thursday to talk all things basketball.

    On what he would have done differently with (Rajon) Rondo situation:

    Carlisle: “Nothing. I think we all did what we could do. And I think he did what he could do, so now it’s over and we got to move our attention to Game 3. It’s just the way that it went.

    via The Dallas Morning News
  • Source: Moussa Diagne Declares for NBA Draft

    Moussa Diagne -- 6-11 prospect out of Senegal -- has declared for the 2015 NBA Draft, source tells RealGM. Diagne, 21, played in ACB league.

    via Shams Charania of Real GM on Twitter
  • Sixers’ CEO: Market Buzzing About Next Season

    (Sixers CEO Scott) O'Neil learned at last week's NBA Board of Governors meeting that the Sixers rank fourth in the league in new full season-ticket packages with roughly 1,000.

    “The market continues to be excited,” said  O'Neil in a Thursday telephone conversation. “Is some of that the high lottery picks we could get? I hope so. Is some of it Joel (Embiid)? Of course. Is some of it Nerlens' (Noel) progress? Probably. Maybe some of it is Dario (Saric).”

    via Tom Moore of The Intelligencer
  • LeBron on Love: ‘He’s played an unbelievable series’

    And it was a prompt for (LeBron) James to speak up in support of the Big Three's most maligned member (Kevin Love).

    "He's played an unbelievable series," James said of Love, who is averaging 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds through the Cavs' 3-0 start to the playoffs.

    "He's been highly criticized this year, and I don't know why," he continued before correcting himself. "I know why. I know why. I know."

    So what has been the cause of all the scrutiny Love has faced?"For a team that finally gets together, when you have a Big Three, they got to find something," James said.

    via Dave McMenamin of ESPN
  • Agent: Barcelona’s Mario Hezonja to Declare for Draft

    FC Barcelona wing Mario Hezonja will declare for the 2015 NBA draft, his agent, Arn Tellem, told ESPN.com on Thursday.

    Hezonja is ranked No. 8 on ESPN's latest Big Board. The Croatian averaged 7.7 points and shot 38 percent from 3 in 17 minutes per game in Euroleague play this season.

    via Chad Ford of ESPN
  • Silver ‘On The Fence’ About Intentional Fouling

    NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Thursday he is ''on the fence'' about intentional fouling away from the ball and expects the league to be ''very engaged'' about the tactic over the coming months.

    via Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press
  • Mutombo, Nash Run Basketball Training Camp in Cuba

    Basketball great Dikembe Mutombo sank baskets from seemingly every position on the court Thursday as a half-dozen Cuban players watched admiringly on the first day of an NBA training camp aimed at boosting the game's popularity on the communist-run island following the declaration of detente between Washington and Havana.

    The flags of Cuba and the United States flew at the Havana university where the four-day camp began Thursday. Steve Nash, a former MVP, and Mutumbo, a Hall of Fame inductee, were joined by former WNBA player Ticha Penicheiro and NBA coaches in teaching the more than 100 athletes in attendance.

    via The Associated Press
  • Tennessee Tech’s Charles Jackson Headed to Draft?

    Tennessee Tech junior center Charles Jackson has declared for the 2015 NBA Draft and signed representation with agent Scott Nichols to turn pro, sources told RealGM.

    As a rapidly rising fringe prospect, Jackson is expected to entice NBA teams in the second round of the draft with his youth and raw abilities at 6-foot-10. In 30 games this past season, Jackson ranked eighth in the NCAA in double-doubles with 18 -- tied with UNLV's Christian Wood and ahead of UCLA big man Kevon Looney.

    via Shams Charania of Real GM
  • Agent Says Dimitrios Agravanis to Enter Draft

    6-10 Greek PF Dimitrios Agravanis (1994) from Olympiacos will declare for the 2015 NBA Draft, according to his agent.

    via Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress on Twitter
  • Kawhi Leonard Wins DPOY in Close Race

    The San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard, who became only the sixth forward to lead the NBA in steals per game since the league started tracking the statistic 42 years ago, is the recipient of the 2014-15 Kia NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. He becomes the first Spurs player to win the award since David Robinson in 1991-92.

    Leonard garnered 37 first-place votes and 333 total points from a panel of 129 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. He edged the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, who tallied 45 first-place votes and 317 points. The Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan finished third with 261 points (32 first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.

    The 6-7 Leonard averaged career highs of 2.31 steals and 5.9 defensive rebounds to help anchor a Spurs defense that held opponents under 100 points per game (97.0) for the 20th consecutive season. According to NBA.com/Stats, San Antonio ranked third in the NBA in defensive rating, allowing 99.6 points per 100 possessions. The Spurs gave up only 97.1 points per 100 possessions when Leonard was on the court, a defensive rating that would have led the league over the entire season. When Leonard was off the court, though, San Antonio permitted 102.2 points per 100 possessions, a league-average defensive rating.

    via NBA press release
  • Carlisle: Rondo Played His Last Game With Mavs

    Well, that escalated quickly. (Mavericks) Coach Rick Carlisle says he doesn't expect Rajon Rondo to wear a Mavs uniform again.

    via NBA on ESPN on Twitter
  • Durant Extends Hearfelt Message to Scott Brooks

    Kevin Durant: Today was tough for me. While I support our team's decision 100 percent and look forward to the upcoming season and the future in OKC, (Scott Brooks) Scotty was my coach and a friend for the past 7 seasons. We accomplished a lot together, and those times will never be taken away from us. I grew as both a man and a ball player under his guidance and for that I will forever be grateful. I wish nothing but the best for him and his family who have also been such a big part of this city and organization. I know he will be very successful in wherever his next steps in life are.

    via Kevin Durant on Instagram