March 18, 2011 |
Reporting from Tampa, Fla. The first time it happened, the tears were so fresh and unexpected, Ryan Hollins draped a towel over his face to hide them. "It hurts," he said, his words muffled by the cloth. "I can't really explain it. " The second time it happened, the pain had become so familiar, Arron Afflalo didn't even try to mask it, standing in front of his locker as tears trickled down his cheeks. "It's not enough," he said. "It's just not enough. " Actually, it's almost too much, the UCLA basketball family wracked by the reality that their two best recent hopes for a national championship were stopped by one team in consecutive Final Fours.
January 18, 2011 |
On a wall in Ben Howland's UCLA office, there is a photo collage that makes even the toughest face in college basketball melt. "Look at those guys," he says softly Tuesday afternoon, spinning in his chair and pointing to melded images of players who once led his team to three consecutive Final Fours. "They were something, weren't they?" There's Russell Westbrook throwing down a dunk, Kevin Love rolling out a smile, Jordan Farmar flying on a break, Arron Afflalo slapping at a pass, Darren Collison dribbling through a screen, memory after memory, snipped nets and hoisted trophies and winning.
November 30, 2010 |
Reporting from Memphis, Tenn. It's like a broken record. Another point guard got into the teeth of the Lakers' defense and created problems. That has been the case for three consecutive games now, this time Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley doing the damage. He scored a season-high 28 points. He was 10-for-13 from the field, four-for-five from three-point range in leading the Grizzlies past the Lakers Tuesday night. He had just three assists and just two turnovers.
November 18, 2010 |
Randy Foye was an especially busy man Thursday night. He played seven minutes in the first half against the Indiana Pacers. When he wasn't playing, he put heat on his left leg and rode the exercise bicycle to keep the leg loose. In all, he played 13-plus minutes and had four points and two assists. And the left hamstring seemed to survive. He is the first of the three injured Clippers to return ? the other two are center Chris Kaman (sprained left ankle) and point guard Baron Davis (swollen left knee.
August 12, 2010
The New Orleans Hornets traded for forward Trevor Ariza on Wednesday, part of a four-team deal that involved the New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Indiana Pacers. In exchange for Ariza, who signed a five-year, $34-million contract with Houston last year, the Hornets shipped second-year point guard Darren Collison and forward James Posey to the Pacers. Troy Murphy left the Pacers for the Nets, who sent guard Courtney Lee to Houston. Ariza was a starting forward for the Lakers in 2009 when they won the NBA championship.
June 24, 2010 |
Landon Donovan and the still-standing, still-kicking U.S. soccer team are nothing if not implacable. … Says Donovan of Team USA's resilience in the World Cup despite head-scratching calls that have twice disallowed crucial goals: "We embody what Americans are about; we can moan about it or we can get on with it, and we kept going." … Tweeted Andy Roddick during Wednesday's record-breaking Wimbledon marathon between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut: "Seriously … doesn't anyone have to pee?"
April 21, 2010 |
Looks like he was ready after all, huh? UCLA fans grimaced when freshman Kevin Love entered the NBA draft in the spring of 2008, even though they knew all along he would. They were aghast when sophomore Russell Westbrook, then known as Russell He's Not Ready Westbrook, did it. Now, it's more like the NBA isn't ready for Russell Westbrook. Watching him drive, cock the ball behind his ear and prepare to tomahawk one on the Lakers, it's hard to believe that he didn't dunk until his senior year at Leuzinger High.
April 12, 2010
Chicago 104, at Toronto 88: Derrick Rose scored 26 points, Joakim Noah had 18 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists and the Bulls took a one-game lead over the Raptors for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Luol Deng scored 14 points, Taj Gibson had 11 and Ronald Murray and Hakim Warrick each scored 10 points for Chicago, which led by 25 points. Sonny Weems and Andrea Bargnani each scored 18 points for injury-riddled Toronto, which lost its fifth straight. at Golden State 120, Oklahoma City 117: Monta Ellis scored 27 points in his return following a two-week absence, Stephen Curry added 25 and the Warriors overcame a 20-point deficit to beat the Thunder.
March 30, 2010 |
Kobe Bryant has a reason to punch chairs. The Lakers, even though they've had annual opportunities to get it right, always seem to underestimate how long it might take Andrew Bynum to return from injury. … LeBron James is heavily favored to repeat as most valuable player in the NBA, according to odds posted at BetUS.com, with Rolling Stone-backed Kevin Durant the No. 2 pick. … Bryant is the third choice. … Speaking of James, he presumably was kidding when he said of teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas' return, "It's the biggest comeback since Michael Jordan came out of retirement."
March 29, 2010 |
The Lakers faced another team with quality point guards Monday night, the New Orleans Hornets. Seeing All-Star point guard Chris Paul and rookie Darren Collison was another opportunity for the Lakers to deal with the type of quick point guards that have given them problems all season, an opportunity to close a little bit of what many consider a hole in their defense. It didn't turn out well for the Lakers. Paul and Collison penetrated and got to the basket too frequently in helping the Hornets to a 108-100 victory at New Orleans Arena.