Allen Iverson issues apology over skipping BIG3 game

Former NBA star Allen Iverson issued a formal apology Tuesday for skipping a BIG3 game Sunday in Dallas.

First and foremost, I apologize to Ice Cube and my BIG3 family, my fans and everyone disappointed by my absence in Dallas this past weekend, Iverson said, via social media. I have spoke with Ice Cube directly regarding the details of my absence. I will do my best to make up for this moving forward on the BIG3 tour.

The BIG3 made an official announcement Sunday stating they received no advanced warning of Iverson’s absence. The league then launched an investigation.

According to TMZ Sports, Iverson was gambling at a casino in Chicago hours before Sunday’s game.

While Iverson presented fans with no exact reason for his absence, it appears he’s cleared everything up with Ice Cube and the league.

Let’s be clear about this. Any move the Cavs make happens with the Warriors in mind. Despite the Celtics adding Gordon Hayward in free agency, the Cavs are still kings of the Eastern Conference until LeBron says otherwise. So the real question is: Does signing Rose close the gap on Golden State?

No, it doesn’t. While Rose showed signs of his former self last season, his style of play doesn’t improve Cleveland’s chances to win a title — in fact, it hurts the Cavs in that specific matchup.

Rose has never been a consistent outside shooter, but with the Knicks, he essentially eliminated the threat of a 3-point shot altogether. He averaged less than one 3-point attempt per game for the 2016-17 season and hit at a 21.7 percent rate, the worst of his career. He shot 5 of 11 on corner 3-pointers (45.4 percent) but an abysmal 8 of 44 above the break (18.2 percent). Rose was also one of the worst Knicks players in spot-up situations, scoring 0.80 points per possession (19.7 percentile in the league).

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NBA trade rumors: Carmelo Anthony, Thunder may have mutual interest, but is trade realistic?

Another team may be ready to jump into the fray for Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.

The 10-time All-Star has been the subject of NBA trade rumors for what feels like the last decade. Just this offseason, Anthony has been linked to the Rockets, Trail Blazers and Cavs in light of Kyrie Irving’s trade request. Now, the Thunder could crash the Carmelo party.

I understand it’s a business, but if I don’t hear anything from (Pelicans general manager) Dell (Demps) or my agent, I don’t pay attention to it, Davis said. Once I first heard (the rumors), then I heard it again, then I heard it again, I just wanted to make sure.

I found out it wasn’t (true), and that was the beginning of the summer, so I haven’t paid attention to it since.

Davis will get his first chance to team up with newly acquired DeMarcus Cousins for a full season starting in November. He also shed some light on his practice habits this summer noting he was working with teammates Cousins and Jrue Holiday.

Anthony Davis explaining why he doesn’t work out with players from other #NBA teams: Why would you? They’ll know what you’re going to do.

Davis would love to make a super team with Cousins, but he’s not going to go out and work out with opponents like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, who often train together in the offseason.

Most guys don’t have the courage to do what he did. That’s not ‘youth’ and ‘ignorance.’ That’s a little bit more courage than people give him credit for.

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LaMelo Ball-Zion Williamson matchup causes Vegas chaos

LaMelo Ball vs. Zion Williamson is kind of a big deal.

In fact, a matchup between two of basketball’s elite prospects caused what ESPN.com described as a chaotic scene Wednesday, as police capped entry to the Las Vegas gym where the pair’s AAU teams faced off at the Adidas Uprising Summer Championships.

None of these are acceptable angles to take when it comes to digesting his comments. It’s such a tired narrative that the NBA today has gone soft and that the players of today’s game would never survive in Oakley’s era. The game has changed, but that doesn’t mean the product is worse, and it certainly doesn’t mean the masculinity of the players should be a topic of conversation, and a topic of derision.

The NBA has been progressive in some regards when it comes to the inclusion of women. The San Antonio Spurs hired former WNBA star Becky Hammon as an assistant coach in 2014, making her the first full-time assistant coach in any of the major four North American sports leagues. In 1997, Violet Palmer became the first female referee to call a game at the professional level in a major U.S. sport.

But these comments from Oakley shouldn’t be glossed over, and they shouldn’t be tolerated because of his persona as a tough guy. There’s nothing tough or acceptable about the words he chose, and they shouldn’t be welcomed as part of the lexicon of how we talk about the modern game of basketball.

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Cavs’ Dan Gilbert, Koby Altman dance around Kyrie Irving trade talks

Kyrie Irving met with Cavaliers brass after the season was over and something was said. It has been widely reported that Irving asked for a trade, and what may be more telling than anything is the Cavaliers are not denying that.

In Koby Altman’s introduction as the Cavs general manager Wednesday, the very first question asked was about Irving’s reported request for a trade. The answer was veiled but telling and it certainly appears that Irving asked for a trade. Neither Altman nor owner Dan Gilbert denied it.

One referee either didn’t get the message or ignored it, as she slapped Ball with a technical foul Friday. After he threatened to pull his team off the court, she was removed from the game.

Adidas acknowledged it was the company’s decision to take the ref off the game.

There was some miscommunication, said Chris Rivers, Adidas director of global basketball sports marketing, per ESPN. The NBA don’t put certain people with certain guys, either. If there’s a history or miscommunication, that happens.

During his team’s win Thursday, Ball told a different ref, You’re the worst (expletive) ref who ever lived.

Said the source, Under normal circumstances, the sideline behavior, including profanity and sideline antics, would have demanded a technical foul under the category of disrespecting the game.

But, the source added, Due to strong messaging (from Adidas) to extend those guidelines in an effort to keep (LaVar Ball) in the gym, the officiating crew felt uncomfortable enforcing the technical foul rule for actions that clearly warranted (action).

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Former first-round pick Shane Larkin signing with Celtics, report says

The Celtics’ roster continues to evolve.

Boston reportedly is making moves to sign Shane Larkin, ESPN.com reported Thursday.

The free agent point guard spent last season in Spain playing for Saski Baskonia, where he averaged 13.8 points, 5.4 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game.

By trying to compete for a spot on Boston’s starting lineup, Larkin bypassed a $6.3 million contract with Saski Baskonia.

A first-round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Larkin played one season for the Mavericks, one with the Knicks and one with the Nets before going overseas.

The Celtics on Friday made their four-year, $128 million signing of Gordon Hayward official after juggling their roster to fit him under the salary cap.

Only Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown were on the team last season.

Alas, there is ego to consider. Gilbert was not much fond of the accolades Griffin got for the Cavs’ success. He is the owner. He wanted his glory, but that went to Griffin all too often. Gilbert, who signs the luxury-tax checks and does get involved in personnel matters, perhaps deserved more credit than he got for the Cavs’ recent run.

But so what? That’s part of being an owner. You’re better off behind the scenes, and when your name is in the media, it’s probably not for good reasons. I’m reminded of former Jets owner Leon Hess, who was so publicity-shy that one confidante said of him, Leon Hess pays people to keep his name out of the papers.

And so Griffin was shuttled out, followed by a half-baked plan to bring in popular former player Chauncey Billups to run the basketball outfit on a cheap contract. Billups turned that down, and the Cavaliers — the envy of the league a year ago — have looked to be short on competence since.

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Nets eye Chinese buyers, hoping for $2B sale, report says

The Nets are hoping to squeeze $2 billion out of a Chinese buyer of the NBA team, the New York Post reported.

The investment bank representing team owner and Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov already has heard from several interested parties, according to the report, which said one has been trying to box out others in the sale process.

Irving, of course, blindsided LeBron James and Co. when the news broke late Friday he had asked the team to trade him in a meeting last week. The No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 draft and four-time All-Star has averaged 21.6 points, 5.5. assists and 3.4 rebounds in six seasons for Cleveland. Anthony, a member of the infamous Banana Boat crew alongside James, has averaged 24.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game in his seven years in New York.

The Cavs’ latest trade talks are indicative of an organization in flux: They made it to their third consecutive NBA Finals against the Warriors, but were manhandled in five games in a 4-1 series loss this year. The Cavs have since tried to make several moves to close the gap between them and Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the rest of the superteam in Oakland.

They nearly pulled the trigger on a deal that would have sent Paul George to Cleveland. They also low-balled Chauncey Billups in the team’s search for a new GM. The team has reportedly agreed to terms with Koby Altman to fill that role. He’s got a big mess to clean up.

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