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  • Sunday, May 3, 2015
    Clippers' Paul questionable for Game 1 vs. Houston
    By The Sports Xchange

    Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was able to limp through Saturday's Game 7 and help his team beat the San Antonio Spurs, but he may not be able to play in Game 1 of the series against the Houston Rockets.

    • Paul is officially listed as questionable for Monday's game against Houston because of a left hamstring strain, but multiple media outlets report that he is unlikely to play in the opener.

      Coach Doc Rivers said in his post-game press conference on Saturday that Paul is "just a tough kid. He's a street fighter. I mean, he really is. I love him to death because of his will."

      But Rivers then said he doubted that Paul could play on Monday.

      "Yeah, I'm going to get with our training staff," Paul said after the game. "I know my grandmother back in North Carolina is praying right now. She's praying, and she'll let my mom pray over it and all that, too, and it will be all right."

      Paul, who turns 30 on Wednesday, averaged 19.1 points and 10.2 assists per game this season. He averaged 22.7 points and 7.9 assists in the series against San Antonio.

  • Saturday, May 2, 2015
    Paul returns after straining hamstring in Game 7
    By The Sports Xchange

    LOS ANGELES --- Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul sustained a strained left hamstring in the first quarter of Game 7 of the Western Conference first-round playoff matchup with the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday.

    • Paul returned to the game with 6:27 left in the second quarter after spending an extended amount of time in the locker room but clearly favored his left leg. Paul finished the first half with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and five assists. He scored four points and had an assist after suffering the injury.

      Paul played in all 82 games during the regular season for the first time in his career in 2014-15.

  • Saturday, May 2, 2015
    NBA notebook: League won't suspend Bulls' Dunleavy
    By The Sports Xchange

    Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy has escaped a suspension for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • The best-of-seven series gets underway Monday night in Cleveland.

      Dunleavy made contact with Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams' jaw during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night in the Bulls' 120-66 rout to close out the series.

      The NBA announced Saturday that Dunleavy's contact with Carter-Williams, at 11.05 of the first period, has been upgraded to a Flagrant-1 foul. No foul was originally called on the play.

      "I'm not surprised," Dunleavy said after Chicago's practice Saturday. "I wasn't expecting anything to happen so for that reason, no surprise on my end."

      ---Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins, in his season-ending comments after his team was eliminated from the playoffs, admits point guard Deron Williams is no longer a franchise player.

      The Atlanta Hawks finished off the Nets in six games with a 111-87 victory Friday night to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

      "He's not a franchise player anymore," Hollins said of Williams on Saturday morning during break-up day, according to ESPN.com. "He's a good player, he's a solid player, but I don't think he's a franchise player anymore. That's just my opinion. He's a good player."

      In 2010, NBA general managers voted Williams the best point guard in the NBA. With the Nets, his tenure has been marred by injuries and inconsistency. He averaged just 11.8 points and 5.5 assists while shooting 39.1 percent from the field in his team's first-round series loss to the Hawks. He averaged 13.0 points and 6.6 assists in 68 regular-season games. During his 10-year career, Williams has averaged 17.0 points and 8.5 assists.

      ---Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen Davis was expected to play as the team hosted the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 on Saturday night.

      Coach Doc Rivers said Davis will not be restricted and was expected to play his normal amount of minutes.

      Davis had been listed as questionable after spraining his left ankle in Thursday night's Game 6 victory when he landed awkwardly on his foot.

  • Saturday, May 2, 2015
    NBA won't suspend Bulls' Dunleavy
    By The Sports Xchange

    Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy has escaped a suspension for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    • The best-of-seven series gets underway Monday night in Cleveland.

      Dunleavy made contact with Milwaukee Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams' jaw during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Thursday night in the Bulls' 120-66 rout to close out the series.

      The NBA announced Saturday that Dunleavy's contact with Carter-Williams, at 11.05 of the first period, has been upgraded to a Flagrant-1 foul. No foul was originally called on the play.

      "I'm not surprised," Dunleavy said after Chicago's practice Saturday. "I wasn't expecting anything to happen so for that reason, no surprise on my end."

      Dunleavy said he spoke to league personnel about the incident and agreed with the decision.

      "Yeah, I guess so," Dunleavy said. "Because after seeing the replay, there was some contact above the neck, so in those situations that's what it mandates."

      The Game 6 margin on Thursday night was the largest ever in an NBA playoff-series clincher, and it was the fourth largest in postseason history. Dunleavy had his best game of the playoffs in Game 6, scoring 20 points in 28 minutes.

      Dunleavy sent Carter-Williams to the locker room with a shove that went unnoticed by the officials. Carter-Williams returned late in the second quarter and finished with three points.

      The Bucks took their frustration out on Dunleavy throughout the game. Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo was ejected after picking up a Flagrant-2 foul late in the second quarter when he tackled Dunleavy after he hit a 3-point shot.

      The NBA announced that Antetokounmpo has been suspended one game without pay for running over Dunleavy. The incident occurred with 1:34 remaining in the second quarter.

      Antetokounmpo will be suspended for the first game of the 2015-16 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

      Carter-Williams was called for a Flagrant-1 foul in the third quarter after hitting Dunleavy in the groin and near the face.

  • Saturday, May 2, 2015
    Nets' Hollins says PG Williams no longer a franchise player
    By The Sports Xchange

    Brooklyn Nets head coach Lionel Hollins, in his season-ending comments after his team was eliminated from the playoffs, admits point guard Deron Williams is no longer a franchise player.

    • The Atlanta Hawks finished off the Nets in six games with a 111-87 victory Friday night to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.

      "He's not a franchise player anymore," Hollins said of Williams on Saturday morning during break-up day, according to ESPN.com. "He's a good player, he's a solid player, but I don't think he's a franchise player anymore. That's just my opinion. He's a good player."

      In 2010, NBA general managers voted Williams the best point guard in the NBA. With the Nets, his tenure has been marred by injuries and inconsistency. He averaged just 11.8 points and 5.5 assists while shooting 39.1 percent from the field in his team's first-round series loss to the Hawks. He averaged 13.0 points and 6.6 assists in 68 regular-season games. During his 10-year career, Williams has averaged 17.0 points and 8.5 assists.

      "I'm proud of the way he's bounced back and played, and there's so much pressure on him to be a franchise player, and everybody talks about a franchise player, but we need to have a franchise team," Hollins said. "That means we have everybody going out there and playing hard, playing together, sharing the ball.

      "If a guy is open, he makes a shot. If a guy is not open, he passes to another guy and he makes the shot. To me, that's what basketball is about. It's not about a franchise player. I mean, those guys come along once in a lifetime, and everybody doesn't get a chance to coach one. When you don't have one, you can't say you can't win. There are teams that have won championships without franchise players, what everyone considers a franchise player.

      "I'm not worried about that. That's something you guys talk about and worry about. I worry about us going out there and playing hard, playing together and trying to scratch and claw to win a game. That's what it's all about."

      Williams, 30, did not address the media on Saturday morning. According to ESPN, he is owed $21 million next season and $22.3 million in 2016-17, assuming he does not opt out of the final year of his contract.

  • Friday, May 1, 2015
    NBA notebook: Mavs F Parsons undergoes knee surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons underwent arthroscopic surgery Friday to address a cartilage injury to his right knee.

    • The team said the surgery was performed by Dr. T.O. Souryal at Texas Sports Medicine. A timetable for his return to basketball activities will be determined at a later date.

      The 6-foot-10, 230-pound Parsons played in 66 games (all starts) in his first season with the Mavericks and averaged of 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 33.1 minutes per game.

      Parsons sat out the final six games of the season with soreness and swelling in the knee. He returned for Game 1 of Dallas' first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets but sat out Game 2 and then was shut down for the rest of the postseason. The Rockets won the best-of-seven series 4-1.

      --- Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis will be a game-time decision for the series finale on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs with a left ankle sprain.

      The Clippers are hoping that Davis will recover in time for the deciding Game 7 in the first-round Western Conference series. The team did not have a practice or shootaround planned before the matchup.

      Davis suffered the injury with 11:07 left in the fourth quarter of the Clippers' Game 6 win on Thursday night in San Antonio when he landed awkwardly after fouling Tiago Splitter. Davis was helped off the court and into the locker room while sitting in a wheelchair.

      ---Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley will accompany the team for its first two games against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals, but the team is unsure when he might be able to play.

      Conley had surgery to repair facial fractures Monday in Memphis and is waiting for the swelling to subside.

      Conley left Saturday's game with 3:04 left in the third quarter after he was inadvertently hit in the head by an elbow from Portland guard C.J. McCollum.

      ---Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers has been named the 2014-15 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year, the league announced Friday.

      Myers, in his third season as general manager, presided over a roster that produced the NBA's best record (67-15) and the most successful regular season in franchise history. The Warriors earned both a Pacific Division title and the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs for the first time since the 1975-76 season.

      The Warriors swept the New Orleans Pelicans in the conference quarterfinals series and now face the Memphis Grizzles in the conference semifinals starting Sunday.

  • Friday, May 1, 2015
    Conley will accompany Grizzlies
    By The Sports Xchange

    Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley will accompany the team for its first two games against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals, but the team is unsure when he might be able to play.

    • Conley had surgery to repair facial fractures Monday in Memphis and is waiting for the swelling to subside.

      Conley left Saturday's game with 3:04 left in the third quarter after he was inadvertently hit in the head by an elbow from Portland guard C.J. McCollum. Conley was hit in the area between his cheekbone and eye and the blow knocked him to the floor. He remained motionless for several seconds as play continued at the opposite end of the court before play was stopped moments later.

      Conley was eventually helped off the court by coaches and trainers while holding a towel over his face. His left eye was swollen as he was taken to the medical facility for further evaluations.

  • Friday, May 1, 2015
    Clippers' Davis questionable for Game 7
    By The Sports Xchange

    Los Angeles Clippers forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis will be a game-time decision for the series finale on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs with a left ankle sprain.

    • The Clippers are hoping that Davis will recover in time for the deciding Game 7 in the first-round Western Conference series. The team did not have a practice or shootaround planned before the matchup.

      Davis suffered the injury with 11:07 left in the fourth quarter of the Clippers' Game 6 win on Thursday night in San Antonio when he landed awkwardly after fouling Tiago Splitter. Davis was helped off the court and into the locker room while sitting in a wheelchair.

      His status is listed as day to day by the team.

      "It's an ankle sprain, and we'll find out more (Saturday)," Rivers said Friday. "We won't know much today."

      If Davis is absent, Hedo Turkoglu and Spencer Hawes are likely to see more playing time off the bench.

      "We got Turk, we got Spencer, we can go small, we basically did that last night," Rivers said. "The game will dictate that."

      Davis is averaging 3.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game in the playoffs.

  • Friday, May 1, 2015
    Mavs F Parsons undergoes knee surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons underwent arthroscopic surgery Friday to address a cartilage injury to his right knee.

    • The team said the surgery was performed by Dr. T.O. Souryal at Texas Sports Medicine. A timetable for his return to basketball activities will be determined at a later date.

      The 6-foot-10, 230-pound Parsons played in 66 games (all starts) in his first season with the Mavericks and averaged of 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 33.1 minutes per game.

      Parsons sat out the final six games of the season with soreness and swelling in the knee. He returned for Game 1 of Dallas' first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets but sat out Game 2 and then was shut down for the rest of the postseason. The Rockets won the best-of-seven series 4-1.

      Parsons, a second-round pick of the Rockets in 2011, signed a three-year, $46 million contract with Dallas last summer.

      When Parsons comes back, he plans to take a bigger step next season.

      "I'm going into my prime," Parsons said this week before his surgery. "I think I'm ready. I feel like this year was more of a year to get comfortable and get my feet wet. I had some big games. Next year I hope for a much bigger role. I want the ball in my hands. I want good players around me."

      Parsons said he plans to spend the summer recruiting free agents to play for the Mavericks.

      "I'm officially shifting into GM mode," he said. "I have great relationships with a lot of guys that are out there. I have a great relationship with a lot of guys that are currently on our team, so as a guy that will be here for a while and as one of the key guys going forward I will definitely be talking to management. Anything I can do to help I'll obviously do."

  • Friday, May 1, 2015
    Warriors GM Myers named NBA Executive of the Year
    By The Sports Xchange

    Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers has been named the 2014-15 NBA Basketball Executive of the Year, the league announced Friday.

    • Myers, in his third season as general manager, presided over a roster that produced the NBA's best record (67-15) and the most successful regular season in franchise history. The Warriors earned both a Pacific Division title and the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs for the first time since the 1975-76 season.

      The Warriors swept the New Orleans Pelicans in the conference quarterfinals series and now face the Memphis Grizzles in the conference semifinals starting Sunday.

      Myers totaled 82 points and received 13 of 30 first-place votes from a panel of fellow team basketball executives throughout the NBA.

      Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin finished second with 69 points (eight first-place votes), and Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer was third with 36 points (four first-place votes). Budenholzer previously was named NBA Coach of the Year for this season.

      After the Warriors went 51-31 in 2013-14 and made the playoffs for the second consecutive season, Myers hired a head coach with no previous coaching experience in Steve Kerr. Golden State improved by 16 games, the highest increase in league history for a team that won at least 50 games the previous season, and Kerr set a record for victories by a first-year coach.

      Myers' moves since the end of last season also included a long-term contract extension for guard Klay Thompson, who made his first All-Star team and averaged a career-high 21.7 points, and the free agent signing of guard Shaun Livingston, who added depth to the Warriors' backcourt.

      Myers originally joined the Warriors on April 14, 2011, as assistant general manager/vice president of basketball operations and was named general manager on April 24, 2012.

      In his first draft as the club's GM in 2012, Myers selected Harrison Barnes (seventh overall), Festus Ezeli (30th overall), Draymond Green (35th overall) and Ognjen Kuzmic (52nd overall), all of whom remain on the team's roster, including a pair of starters in Barnes and Green.

      During his tenure, the Warriors have retained many of their top talents, signing starters Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut and Thompson to multi-year contract extensions.

  • Thursday, April 30, 2015
    NBA notebook: Thunder hire Donovan as coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Oklahoma City Thunder named Billy Donovan as the new coach on Thursday.

    • Donovan becomes the third coach in Thunder history after spending the past 19 years at the University of Florida, where he led the Gators to two national championships and four trips to the Final Four while amassing a record of 467-186 (.715).

      Donovan and Thunder general manager Sam Presti began talks Wednesday about the position to replace Scott Brooks, who was fired last week after seven seasons and five postseason appearances. The Thunder missed the playoffs this season.

      Donovan's top priorities with Oklahoma City will be to help convince star forward Kevin Durant to sign a long-term extension and push the Thunder toward their first championship.

      Durant, the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player, can become a free agent in the summer of 2016. Point guard Russell Westbrook can become a free agent in 2017.

      ---Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, who led all first-year players in scoring, was named the 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year on Thursday.

      The NBA officially announced Wiggins as the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy. He is the first Canadian-born winner of the award and the first player in the Timberwolves' 26-year history to earn the honor.

      Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers last year as the top overall pick, Wiggins was quickly dealt to Minnesota in the trade that sent forward Kevin Love to Cleveland.

      While playing all 82 games for the Timberwolves, Wiggins averaged 16.9 points and 4.6 rebounds. He was a four-time Western Conference Rookie of the Month.

      ---Boston forward Kelly Olynyk didn't intentionally try to hurt Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love during Sunday's playoff game when their arms became entangled, Celtics president Danny Ainge said.

      Ainge defended Olynyk and argued that a one-game suspension handed to Olynyk after the incident was unfair. Love suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery Wednesday and will sideline him for four to six months.

      The Cavs eliminated the Celtics from the first round of the playoffs in four games, leaving Olynyk to likely serve the suspension during the opening game of the 2015-16 season.

      "I don't even think that that play would have been reviewed more than a foul had Kevin not gotten hurt," Ainge said. "But because Kevin did get hurt, the league does evaluate those situations, and I understand a little bit why they did it. There was a lot of pressure on Cleveland. They were losing J.R. Smith in the first couple of games of the next round, and they have Kevin out for the playoffs now. So I'm sure there was a lot of frustration in Cleveland and they wanted some justice, and they scrutinized it and felt like Kelly gave a little bit too much at the very end of that arm tangling."

      ---The Orlando Magic extended the contract of general manager Rob Hennigan through the 2017-18 season.

      Hennigan was named general manager of the Magic on June 20, 2012. The Magic have compiled a 68-178 record during Hennigan's three years, including a disappointing 25-57 record this season.

      "Under the leadership of Rob, we feel that we are positioning ourselves to be able to contend in a long-term, sustainable fashion," Magic chief executive officer Alex Martins said. "We are proud of the work that Rob and our basketball operations department has done to this point and we look forward to taking the next steps in the process."

      ---Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 68, was treated and released from a Los Angeles hospital following a 911 call Wednesday.

      According to a statement from the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Abdul-Jabbar was experiencing dizziness as he recovers from April 16 quadruple coronary bypass surgery.

      After a series of tests, his surgeon, Dr. Richard Shemin, concluded it was a normal part of the recovery process, although "Abdul-Jabbar did the right thing by coming in to see his doctors. ...

      "He was evaluated by his surgeon and cardiologist. After a battery of tests, they found no complications. Abdul-Jabbar was discharged from the emergency department and is back home continuing his recovery."

  • Thursday, April 30, 2015
    Ainge defends Celtics F Olynyk in Love incident
    By The Sports Xchange

    Boston forward Kelly Olynyk didn't intentionally try to hurt Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love during Sunday's playoff game when their arms became entangled, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday.

    • Ainge defended Olynyk and argued that a one-game suspension handed to Olynyk after the incident was unfair. Love suffered a season-ending shoulder injury that required surgery on Wednesday and will sideline him for four to six months.

      The Cavs eliminated the Celtics from the first round of the playoffs in four games, leaving Olynyk to likely serve the suspension during the opening game of the 2015-16 season.

      "I don't even think that that play would have been reviewed more than a foul had Kevin not gotten hurt," Ainge said. "But because Kevin did get hurt, the league does evaluate those situations, and I understand a little bit why they did it.

      "There was a lot of pressure on Cleveland. They were losing J.R. Smith in the first couple of games of the next round, and they have Kevin out for the playoffs now. So I'm sure there was a lot of frustration in Cleveland and they wanted some justice, and they scrutinized it and felt like Kelly gave a little bit too much at the very end of that arm tangling.

      "When someone gets hurt, you're just under a little bit more scrutiny. But I thought it was just a foul -- two guys going for a loose ball."

      Olynyk also said earlier that there was on malicious intent on his part. But Love begged to differ after the game, calling the move "bush league."

      "I think that that's a little bit over the top," Ainge said. "It's understandable in the heat of the battle. I feel bad for Kevin Love because he's waited a long time to get where their team is right now, and now he doesn't get a chance to play. But I certainly don't think that Kelly did it on purpose."

      The Cavaliers will face the winner of the Chicago Bulls-Milwaukee Bucks series in the next round without Love.

  • Thursday, April 30, 2015
    Timberwolves' Wiggins named Rookie of the Year
    By The Sports Xchange

    Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, who led all first-year players in scoring, was named the 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year on Thursday.

    • The NBA officially announced Wiggins as the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy. He is the first Canadian-born winner of the award and the first player in the Timberwolves' 26-year history to earn the honor.

      Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers last year as the top overall pick, Wiggins was quickly dealt to Minnesota in the trade that sent forward Kevin Love to Cleveland.

      While playing all 82 games for the Timberwolves, Wiggins averaged 16.9 points and 4.6 rebounds. He was a four-time Western Conference Rookie of the Month.

      "It's a tough league. It's hard to play every game," Wiggins said at season's end. "I feel proud of that."

      Wiggins, 20, received 110 of 130 first-place votes and 604 total points from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada.

      The 6-foot-8 Wiggins led or tied for the Minnesota lead in scoring a team-high 25 times and reached the 20-point mark in 31 games. The Timberwolves finished last in the NBA with a 16-66 record.

      "If you look at the teams that are successful right now ... they all have a player who can create, who can create plays out of nothing," Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. "They get to the free-throw line. For the first time, pretty much in this organization, we have a player who can do that.

      "To be point-blank, (Wiggins) can make something happen out of nothing. He got to the free-throw line, in the last two months, second (in the league only) to (Houston guard James) Harden. He scored at a high level. He attacked the basket."

      Chicago Bulls forward ' Nikola Mirotic finished second with 335 points (14 first-place votes), and center Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers was third with 141 points (three first-place votes).

      The rookie honor is part of the series of Kia NBA Performance Awards.

  • Thursday, April 30, 2015
    Thunder hire Donovan as new coach
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Oklahoma City Thunder named Billy Donovan as the team's new head coach on Thursday.

    • Donovan received a five-year, $30 million contract that is on par with recent coaching hires in the NBA, Yahoo Sports reported. His deal at Florida was worth $3.7 million per year.

      Donovan becomes the third head coach in Thunder history after spending the past 19 years at the University of Florida, where he led the Gators to two national championships and four trips to the Final Four while amassing a record of 467-186 (.715).

      Donovan and Thunder general manager Sam Presti began talks Wednesday about the position to replace Scott Brooks, who was fired last week after seven seasons and five postseason appearances. The Thunder missed the playoffs this season.

      Donovan's top priorities with Oklahoma City will be to help convince star forward Kevin Durant to sign a long-term extension and push the Thunder toward their first championship.

      Durant, the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player, can become a free agent in the summer of 2016. Point guard Russell Westbrook can become a free agent in 2017.

      "We are thrilled to welcome Billy and his family to the Oklahoma City Thunder organization," Presti said in a statement. "When we began the process of identifying the next head coach of the Thunder, we started with a vision and the identifiable qualities that we felt were necessary for our organization as well as the ever-evolving role of the head coach in today's NBA.

      "While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future. Billy has achieved an incredible level of success and experience within his 21 years as a head coach and has shown the unique ability to not only create but sustain an elite program."

      During his tenure at Florida, Donovan led the program to 16 straight 20-win seasons, three 30-win seasons, 17 consecutive trips to the postseason and six SEC championships. Under Donovan, Florida has advanced to the Elite Eight in six of the past 10 seasons.

      After winning back-to-back national championships (2006 and 2007), Donovan led Florida to 18 straight postseason wins, the longest run for any program since John Wooden led UCLA to 28 straight postseason wins. This season, the Gators finished 16-17 and failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. Donovan is 502-206 in 21 seasons at Marshall and Florida.

      "I am honored and humbled to be named the head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder," Donovan said in a statement released by the team. "I knew that it would take a unique opportunity to leave the University of Florida and that is clearly how I look at this situation. The Thunder represent so many of the values that I embrace as a head coach. ... To have the ability to work with such a talented and high character group of players is also rare, and I am excited to forge ahead creating those relationships.

      "It is, of course, bittersweet as the University of Florida will always hold a very special place in my heart and in my family's. I've had the good fortune of working with the best athletic director in the country in Jeremy Foley over the last 19 years, and I'll be forever grateful and thankful for the opportunity and his friendship. ... I have a deep appreciation for what the University of Florida will always mean to me and I'll forever be a Gator."

      Donavan, who turns 50 on May 30, started his career in 1989 where he served as a graduate assistant coach at Kentucky. After five years with the Wildcats, Donovan was hired as head coach at Marshall where he spent two years before leaving for Florida.

      "While we are certainly extremely sad to see Billy go, the primary feeling I have is one of gratitude for what he has done here," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "Billy and Florida basketball have been synonymous for a long time now, and our program would not have reached the heights it has without him. The legacy he leaves here is one of personal and professional excellence. ... There is no better person than Billy Donovan. He will truly be missed."

      Foley said Florida would not put a timeline on hiring a replacement for Donovan. A search committee will help find a successor, Foley said.

      Florida recently had extended Donovan's contract through the 2020 season, and he was set to make about $4 million next season for the Gators. His buyout for an NBA job is $500,000.

      In 2007, Donovan agreed to take the coaching job with the Orlando Magic after winning his second national championship but changed his mind and decided to return to Florida.

      Donovan has a close relationship with Presti, who has hired two members of Donovan's Florida staff -- Mark Daigneault as coach of the Thunder's Development League team and Oliver Winterbone as a data analyst -- within the past 12 months.

      "We warmly welcome Billy and his family to Oklahoma City," said Clayton I. Bennett, Thunder chairman. "He is the perfect fit for our organization and for our community and we look forward to a long and successful relationship."

  • Thursday, April 30, 2015
    Magic extend GM Hennigan's contract
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Orlando Magic extended the contract of general manager Rob Hennigan through the 2017-18 season.

    • Hennigan was named general manager of the Magic on June 20, 2012. The Magic have compiled a 68-178 record during Hennigan's three years, including a disappointing 25-57 record this season.

      "Under the leadership of Rob, we feel that we are positioning ourselves to be able to contend in a long-term, sustainable fashion," Magic chief executive officer Alex Martins said in a statement Thursday. "We are proud of the work that Rob and our basketball operations department has done to this point and we look forward to taking the next steps in the process."

      Before joining the Magic, Hennigan spent the previous four seasons (2008-12) with Oklahoma City, including his last two seasons as the Thunder's assistant general manager/player personnel. Prior to joining the Thunder, he spent four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs.

      "It's an honor to be a member of this organization and a privilege to work for the DeVos Family under Dan and Alex's leadership," Hennigan said. "I am extremely grateful for the unwavering trust and support that our entire organization demonstrates as we continue building our team for competitive longevity and one in which all of Central Florida can be proud."

  • Thursday, April 30, 2015
    Abdul-Jabbar home after hospital visit
    By The Sports Xchange

    Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 68, was treated and released from a Los Angeles hospital following a 911 call Wednesday.

    • According to a statement from the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Abdul-Jabbar was experiencing dizziness as he recovers from April 16 quadruple coronary bypass surgery.

      After a series of tests, his surgeon, Dr. Richard Shemin, concluded it was a normal part of the recovery process, although "Abdul-Jabbar did the right thing by coming in to see his doctors. ...

      "He was evaluated by his surgeon and cardiologist. After a battery of tests, they found no complications. Abdul-Jabbar was discharged from the emergency department and is back home continuing his recovery."

      The 7-foot-2 Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading scorer. He played 20 seasons in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers, retiring in 1989. Abdul-Jabbar, a 19-time All-Star and six-time league MVP, won six NBA championships -- five with the Lakers and one with the Bucks.

  • Thursday, April 30, 2015
    Cavs' Love to miss 4-6 months after surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love underwent season-ending surgery Wednesday to repair a dislocated left shoulder, the team announced.

    • The timetable for Love's return is four to six months. The 2015-16 season is to start in exactly six months.

      The operation was performed by New York Mets medical director David Altchek, and Love is expected to rehab in Cleveland under the guidance of Cavaliers team doctor Richard D. Parker.

      Love was hurt Sunday when he became entangled with Boston Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk in Game 4 of Cleveland's first-round series sweep. Love was initially projected to miss two to three weeks, but a second opinion revealed significant damage to the shoulder.

      Love, who was in his first season with the Cavaliers after an offseason trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, can become a free agent in July. He was playing in his first-ever playoff series.

      Olynyk denied intent to injure Love.

      Love, 26, averaged 16.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 75 regular-season games for Cleveland. During the previous six seasons for Minnesota, he averaged 19.2 points, 12.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

      The Cavaliers are the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They await the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks-Chicago Bulls series currently led 3-2 by Chicago entering Game 6 on Thursday.

      Cleveland will play host to Milwaukee or Chicago in Game 1 on Monday.

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    Report: Wiggins wins NBA Rookie of the Year
    By The Sports Xchange

    Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, the top overall pick in last year's NBA Draft, will be announced as the Rookie of the Year on Thursday, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday night.

    • Drafted by the Cavaliers last year, Wiggins was quickly dealt to Minnesota in the trade that sent forward Kevin Love to Cleveland. While playing all 82 games for the Timberwolves, Wiggins averaged 16.9 points and 4.6 rebounds. He was a four-time Western Conference Rookie of the Month.

      Wiggins, 20, was the leading rookie in scoring, minutes (36.2 per game), field goals (497), free throws made (354) and free throws attempted (466). He compiled four games of 30-plus points and 31 games of 20-plus points.

      "If you look at the teams that are successful right now ... they all have a player who can create, who can create plays out of nothing," Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "They get to the free-throw line. For the first time, pretty much in this organization, we have a player who can do that. ...

      "To be point-blank, he can make something happen out of nothing. He got to the free-throw line, in the last two months, second (in the league only) to (Houston guard James) Harden. He scored at a high level. He attacked the basket."

      Other contenders for Rookie of the Year include Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic (10.2 points, 4.9 rebounds per game), Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton (8.9 points, 6.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds) and Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel (9.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.9 blocks).

      Wiggins, a native of Toronto, played one season for the University of Kansas, averaging 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    Report: No playoff share for Rondo
    By The Sports Xchange

    Point guard Rajon Rondo will leave the Dallas Mavericks without a playoff share.

    • After the Mavericks were eliminated in five games by the Houston Rockets, the team was left to divide the $208,940 that goes to losing teams in best-of-seven first round series. Rondo apparently will get none of that.

      According to reports, the other 14 players on the roster didn't vote him out of a share, but he wasn't included on the list and no one raised objections.

      A back injury sidelined the 29-year-old Rondo during Game 2 for the remainder of the series against the Rockets, limiting his contribution.

      Last week, the Mavericks and Rondo, who joined the team from the Boston Celtics after a December trade, agreed on a mutual parting. He becomes a free agent this summer.

      In 68 games this season for the Celtics and Mavericks, Rondo averaged 8.9 points, 7.9 assists and 5.5 rebounds.

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    NBA notebook: Thunder, Donovan reportedly in talks
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Oklahoma City Thunder have started discussions about their coaching vacancy with Florida coach Billy Donovan, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.

    • Donovan is leaning strongly toward taking the job, according to ESPN sources in both the pro and college game.

      Donovan and Thunder general manager Sam Presti began talks about the position to replace Scott Brooks, who was fired one week ago after seven seasons and five postseason appearances. The Thunder missed the playoffs this season.

      Donovan has a close relationship with Presti, who has hired two members of Donovan's staff -- Mark Daigneault as coach of the Thunder's Development League team and Oliver Winterbone as a data analyst -- within the past 12 months.

      San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina is also reportedly on Presti's short list of candidates. Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie withdrew his name from consideration.

      ---Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers was docked $25,000 by the NBA for his criticism of officials after a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.

      Rod Thorn, the NBA president of basketball operations, announced the fine on Wednesday.

      Rivers was upset about several calls after the Clippers' 111-107 loss at the Staples Center.

      "I don't complain much," he said. "I thought we got some really tough calls tonight, some brutal calls."

      ---Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2014-15 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, the NBA announced.

      Korver becomes the first Hawks player to receive the honor.

      Korver (Southeast) was one of six divisional winners, joining Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson (Atlantic), Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol (Central), Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison (Northwest), Los Angeles Lakers guard Jeremy Lin (Pacific) and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (Southwest).

      The NBA will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Korver to his charity of choice, Helping Hand Rescue Mission. The league will also donate $5,000 each to charity of choice for the other five divisional winners.

      ---Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 2011 shooting death of an Atlanta woman.

      Crittenton, 27, was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

      Crittenton pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a weapon and aggravated assault with a firearm. Prosecutors dropped the murder charge he had faced with the plea agreement.

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    Clippers' Rivers fined $25,000 for comments
    By The Sports Xchange

    Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers was docked $25,000 by the NBA for his criticism of officials after a loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.

    • Rod Thorn, the NBA president of basketball operations, announced the fine on Wednesday.

      Rivers was upset about several calls after the Clippers' 111-107 loss at the Staples Center.

      "I don't complain much," he said. "I thought we got some really tough calls tonight, some brutal calls. The travel on Blake (Griffin), the goaltend on Matt (Barnes), which wasn't a goaltend.

      "You think about the playoffs, and they're single-possession games. Those possessions, those were crucial. J.J. (Redick)'s foul that got him out, J.J. didn't touch anyone. It's not why we lost, but those were big plays for us."

      Rivers added, "I don't know. It's just -- listen, the refs are trying hard, too, but God darn. Even Chris (Paul)'s tech, I still don't have the explanation for that, and I want to find that out because when they make a shot, you have to throw it to the ref to get the ball back, and he got a tech for it. I'm just not sure of some things."

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    Ex-NBA player Crittenton takes plea in murder case
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former NBA player Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday in the 2011 shooting death of an Atlanta woman.

    • Crittenton, 27, was sentenced to serve 23 years in prison.

      Crittenton pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a weapon and aggravated assault with a firearm. Prosecutors dropped the murder charge he had faced with the plea agreement.

      Crittenton was involved in two August 2011 Atlanta-area shootings, the second of which left 22-year-old Julian Jones, a mother of four, dead. According to prosecutors, Crittenton was aiming for the man who allegedly robbed him days earlier when he shot Jones.

      Jury selection for Crittenton's murder trial wrapped up Tuesday. Opening arguments were scheduled to begin Wednesday before Crittenton decided to plead guilty.

      Crittenton played with the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards during his two-year career.

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    Hawks' Korver wins NBA Sportsmanship Award
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver is the recipient of the Joe Dumars Trophy presented to the 2014-15 NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, the NBA announced Wednesday.

    • Korver becomes the first Hawks player to receive the honor.

      Korver (Southeast) was one of six divisional winners, joining Toronto Raptors forward Amir Johnson (Atlantic), Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol (Central), Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison (Northwest), Los Angeles Lakers guard Jeremy Lin (Pacific) and New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (Southwest).

      The NBA will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Korver to his charity of choice, Helping Hand Rescue Mission. The league will also donate $5,000 each to charity of choice for the other five divisional winners.

      Korver received 87 of 317 first-place votes and 2,351 total points from NBA players, who voted on the award for the 11th consecutive year. Davis finished second with 56 first-place votes and 2,171 points.

      Korver averaged 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and shot 49 percent from the 3-point line during the regular season for the Hawks, who had the Eastern Conference's best record. Korver is averaging 14 points in the four games of the team's first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets. The best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece heading to Game 5 on Wednesday night in Atlanta.

      The annual award reflects the ideals of sportsmanship -- ethical behavior, fair play and integrity -- in amateur and professional basketball, a key focus of the league's NBA Cares program. The trophy is named for former Detroit Pistons guard and Hall of Famer Joe Dumars, the award's first recipient, in 1995-96.

  • Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    Report: Thunder, Florida's Donovan begin talks
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Oklahoma City Thunder have started discussions about their coaching vacancy with Florida head coach Billy Donovan, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.

    • Donovan is leaning strongly toward taking the job, according to ESPN sources in both the pro and college game, and could be announced as the new Oklahoma City coach as early as Thursday or Friday as he nears a multiyear agreement with the Thunder.

      Donovan and Thunder general manager Sam Presti began talks about the position to replace Scott Brooks, who was fired one week ago after seven seasons and five postseason appearances. The Thunder missed the playoffs this season.

      Donovan has a close relationship with Presti, who has hired two members of Donovan's staff -- Mark Daigneault as coach of the Thunder's Development League team and Oliver Winterbone as a data analyst -- within the past 12 months.

      San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina is also reportedly on Presti's short list of candidates after Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie withdrew his name from consideration.

      Donovan, who turns 50 on May 30, has a 467-186 record in 19 seasons with the Gators, winning back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. He has won six regular-season Southeastern Conference titles and four conference tournament titles. This season, the Gators finished 16-17 and failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2009. Donovan is 502-206 in 21 seasons at Marshall and Florida.

      Florida recently extended Donovan's contract through the 2020 season, and he is set to make about $4 million next season. His buyout for an NBA job is $500,000.

      In 2007, Donovan agreed to take the coaching job with the Orlando Magic after winning his second national championship but changed his mind and decided to return to Florida.

  • Tuesday, April 28, 2015
    NBA Draft includes 91 early entrants
    By The Sports Xchange

    Players from 48 U.S. colleges and 43 from abroad make up the list of 91 entry entrants for the 2015 NBA Draft.

    • The list was announced Tuesday and includes players who requested early admission status before Sunday's deadline. Among the American college players are seven from Kentucky and three from national champion Duke.

      Those who applied for early entry could withdraw their names from consideration for the draft by June 15.

      The NBA Draft will take place June 25.