2024 NBA playoffs preview: Play-in predictions, first-round series guide

The Athletic

Are you ready for some NBA postseason? We got a little taster on the season’s final weekend, with a few teams playing high-stakes games that resembled playoff environments. That was particularly true in the jumbled Western Conference standings, where the New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings were … Read more

Boban Marjanović intentionally misses free throw to give Clippers fans free chicken

The final day of the 2023-24 regular season saw a number of playoff teams jockeying for seeding, other teams trying to improve draft lottery odds and a few just hoping to end the campaign on a high note. The Houston Rockets, who had made an unsuccessful late charge for the Play-In Tournament, fell into the … Read more

NBA Pre-Postseason Player Tiers 1 and 2: Wembanyama quickly rising; Giannis, Jokić steady at top

The Athletic

Yesterday, I largely focused on setting the table for the updated NBA Pre-Postseason Players Tiers before revealing Tier 3 (players between the 24th and 42nd spot) and Tier 4 (Nos. 43-80). Today, I’m going to get a little more into some of the more interesting and/or challenging placements, as well as note a few overall … Read more

The ‘humbling experience’ of trying to shoot over Victor Wembanyama

The Athletic

Pat Connaughton knows what an open shot feels like. As a nine-year veteran of the league, he’s taken hundreds of them, developing a sense for space and when there’s enough of it. In early January, when Connaughton’s Milwaukee Bucks played the San Antonio Spurs, Connaughton got that familiar feeling again. With about eight minutes remaining … Read more

New scene at NBA games: Fans screaming at players about their losing bets

NBA players have always gotten an earful from fans, whether at home or on the road. It comes with the job. But this season, it’s getting darker. The recent surge in legalized gambling in every pro league, and throughout college athletics, has impacted American sports in ways thought unimaginable just a few years ago. But … Read more

Lakers’ LeBron James on his NBA future after win over Nets: ‘I don’t have much time left’

NEW YORK — LeBron James isn’t sure when he’s retiring — but he knows it’s approaching soon. After scoring 40 points and tying his career high with nine 3-pointers in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 116-104 win over the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on Sunday, James was asked how long he plans to continue playing … Read more

Nepotism in sports broadcasting: ‘A tremendous advantage,’ but ‘what do you do with it?’

When Jac Collinsworth, at just 27 years old, debuted on the prestigious job as NBC’s play-by-play voice for Notre Dame football in September 2022, he succeeded one of the most decorated announcers in sports, Mike Tirico. To receive such a position suggested he was a sportscasting prodigy, but from his first game — when Marshall … Read more

As LeBron James hits 40,000-point threshold, the age-old GOAT debate has shifted

The Athletic

The story of this author’s childhood obsession with Michael Jordan is not unique. If you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, you couldn’t help but be captivated by the MJ mystique. As a kid from the San Francisco Bay Area, I used to photocopy every article written about the Bulls star and organize them … Read more

On Klay Thompson as a sixth man, boost from a living (Larry) legend and uncertain Warriors future

The Athletic

SAN FRANCISCO — The motivational message, courtesy of the great Larry Bird, came at the perfect time. Klay Thompson was just a few days removed from the unwelcome start of his sixth-man life in Utah, where the 34-year-old Warriors legend had been asked to come off the bench after the previous 12 years as a … Read more