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NBA Will Move 2017 All-Star Game From Charlotte

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The NBA issued the following statement today regarding the 2017 NBA All-Star Game:

“The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019.

“Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent, the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets have been working diligently to foster constructive dialogue and try to effect positive change.  We have been guided in these discussions by the long-standing core values of our league.  These include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.

“Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community – current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans.  While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2.

“We are particularly mindful of the impact of this decision on our fans in North Carolina, who are among the most passionate in our league.  It is also important to stress that the City of Charlotte and the Hornets organization have sought to provide an inclusive environment and that the Hornets will continue to ensure that all patrons – including members of the LGBT community – feel welcome while attending games and events in their arena.

“We look forward to re-starting plans for our All-Star festivities in Charlotte for 2019 provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.

“The NBA will make an announcement on the new location of the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in the coming weeks.”

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Sources: Bulls Hire Billy Donovan as Head Coach

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The Chicago Bulls have hired former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan as their new head coach, the team announced Tuesday.

Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls’ executive vice president of basketball operations, aggressively pursued Donovan after the coach left the Oklahoma City Thunder, sources said, selling Donovan on a partnership and vision for a talented young roster and a chance to lead one of the league’s anchor franchises.

In an official statement, Donovan thanked the team’s ownership “for the opportunity to coach the Chicago Bulls” and said he is looking forward to working with Karnisovas.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo Named NBA Most Valuable Player

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the 2019-20 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today.

This is the second straight Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award for Antetokounmpo, who becomes the 12th player to earn the honor in consecutive seasons. A native of Greece, Antetokounmpo is the first player from Europe to be selected as the NBA MVP more than once. Antetokounmpo, 25, also joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players to win multiple NBA MVP awards by the age of 25.

Source: NBA

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Report: Nick Nurse, Raptors Agree to Extension

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The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed head coach Nick Nurse to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This past season, Nurse guided the Raptors to a 53-19 record during the regular season (second best in the NBA) and set a franchise-record with a .736 winning percentage. Toronto also reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the fifth straight year.

Source: Toronto Raptors

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