LEGENDARY WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH PAT SUMMITT DEAD AT 64

Pat Summitt, the legendary University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach, died today in Tennessee, the Pat Summitt Foundation announced this morning. She was 64.

Her son, Tyler Summitt, said in a statement, “She died peacefully this morning at Sherrill Hill Senior Living in Knoxville surrounded by those who loved her most.”

Pat is survived by her mother, Hazel Albright Head; son, Ross “Tyler” Summitt (AnDe); sister, Linda; brothers, Tommy (Deloris), Charles (Mitzi) and Kenneth (Debbie).

Tyler’s statement continued, “She’ll be remembered as the all-time winningest D-1 basketball coach in NCAA history, but she was more than a coach to so many – she was a hero and a mentor, especially to me, her family, her friends, her Tennessee Lady Volunteer staff and the 161 Lady Vol student-athletes she coached during her 38-year tenure.”

The obituary on the Pat Summitt Foundation website, read, “A private service and burial for family and friends will be held in Middle Tennessee. A public service to celebrate her life will take place at Thompson-Boling Arena, on the campus of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Details for the celebration of life will be shared at a later date.”

The obituary read, “On Tuesday, June 28 2016, Pat passed away peacefully, following a courageous battle with early onset dementia, “Alzheimer’s Type.” This disease attacked a lifetime of precious memories, memories that she has now won back as she rests in her eternal home. Memories that will live on in each and every relationship she developed throughout her life.”

The obituary continued, “This is one simple statement that Patricia Sue Head Summitt embodied, lived by and passed on to so many throughout her 64 years of life. She ‘won’ every day of her life because of the relationships she developed, nurtured and cherished. Relationships with her family and friends. Relationships with players, coaches, and fans. And most importantly, a strong relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Summitt stepped down as Tennessee’s coach in 2012, one year after announcing her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Even after stepping down, Summitt remained involved with the Lady Vols, holding the position of head coach emeritus.

Summitt coached the Lady Vols to eight national championships in her 38 seasons and notched 1,098 career victories, more than any other Division I basketball coach. She was named NCAA coach of the year seven times. She also played for the U.S. Olympic team in 1976, the first year there was an Olympic women’s basketball tournament, and took home a silver medal.

Summitt was widely know for her stare — an icy look she would flash to players after a bad play.

In 2012, Summit was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards.

Summit was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, on June 14, 1952. She grew up on a dairy farm in Henrietta, Tenn., where she planted tobacco and milked cows.

“I look back now and I think that just made me who I am, in terms of my drive and my work ethic,” she said in an interview with ABC News’ Peter Jennings in 2005.

She and her three older brothers learned to play basketball using a hoop her father put up in the hay barn.

“When you grow up on a dairy farm, cows don’t take a day off. So you work every day and my dad always said, ‘No one can outwork you,'” Summitt told ABC News’ Robin Roberts in a 2011 interview.

When she was named head coach of the University of Tennessee women’s team in 1974, Summitt was just 22, barely older than her players. The university had originally offered Summitt an assistant coaching job but promptly promoted her when the team’s head coach announced she was taking a sabbatical.

In those early days under Title IX — the landmark federal law that led schools and colleges to dramatically increase access to sports and other programs for women — women’s basketball games weren’t televised and attendance was poor. The Lady Vols were so strapped for cash that Summitt washed her players’ uniforms at home and drove the team to games.

“I remember nights I was driving the van and I’m about to go to sleep, and I’d just roll down the window and stick my head out,” Summitt told Roberts.

DERRICK ROSE TRADED TO THE KNICKS

The Knicks acquired Derrick Rose from the Bulls on Wednesday, hoping the former NBA MVP can be their answer at point guard.

New York traded center Robin Lopez, guard Jose Calderon and guard Jerian Grant to Chicago, which shipped guard Justin Holiday, Rose and a 2017 second-round pick back to the Knicks.

A Chicago native, Rose was drafted by the Bulls with the No. 1 overall pick out of Memphis in 2008. A source close to Rose said he was very emotional about leaving Chicago because of all his great memories there but that he wanted the big stage of New York.

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Once Rose got word the Bulls were looking to trade him, the source said, he hoped it would be to the Knicks.

“His first choice was New York,” the source said. “He wants the spotlight.”

Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf called the trade a “hard one” to make.

“Everyone knows him as the local kid who became MVP for his hometown team, but not everyone got to know him like I did,” Reinsdorf said in a statement. “While he is a terrific basketball player, he is an even better person with a tremendous heart.”

ESPN reported last week that the Knicks had internal discussions recently about trading for Rose. Both Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek and general manager Steve Mills had said that the team was interested in upgrading its point-guard position in the offseason.

End of An Era for Rose in Chicago
• 1st overall pick in 2008 NBA draft
• 2008-09 Rookie of the Year
• 2010-11 NBA MVP
• 1 conference finals appearance (lost to Heat in 2011)
• Signed 5-yr/$94M extension in Dec. 2011
• Tore ACL in 2012 first round vs. 76ers
• Missed entire 2012-13 season; played 10 games in 2013-14
• Played in 39 percent of possible games since 2012-13 season
— ESPN Stats & Information
Rose has battled injuries since he was named NBA MVP in the 2010-11 season. However, he did show improvement in 2016, averaging 17.7 points (including 8.4 in the paint), 45.3 percent shooting from the field and 55.3 percent shooting on drives to the basket during the new year. That should help the Knicks, whose starting point guards averaged a league-low 7.6 points per game in 2015-16 and shot just 44.7 percent on drives to the hoop.

“This is an exciting day for New York and our fans,” Hornacek said in a statement. “Derrick is one of the top point guards in the NBA who is playoff-battle-tested. He adds a whole new dynamic to our roster and immediately elevates our backcourt.”

Rose, 27, is owed $21.3 million in the final year of his contract. He will be a free agent after the 2016-17 season.

A six-year veteran, Rose seemed like the perfect fit for Chicago after it drafted him.

He led the Bulls to the top of the Eastern Conference in the 2010-11 regular season, leading the franchise to success it hadn’t enjoyed since the Michael Jordan era. But he wrecked his knee for the first time in the playoffs the following year, and since then, he hasn’t had the speed that once made him one of the league’s most dazzling young stars and a seemingly perennial All-Star.

Rose In Decline
A look at Derrick Rose’s performance in the four years after he was drafted and since shows numbers that have dropped off.
1ST 4 YRS SINCE
PPG 21.0 16.9
FG pct 46.4 41.2
APG 6.8 4.8
Pct games played 89.4 38.7
— ESPN Stats & Information
Rose hasn’t been back to the All-Star Game since 2012 and has often had trouble just playing in the real games. He sat out all of the 2012-13 season, made it back for 10 games in 2013-14 and appeared in a little more than half the Bulls’ games in 2014-15.

But he did play in 66 games last season, his most in five years, and averaged 16.4 points.

A source said Knicks star Carmelo Anthony reached out to Rose’s camp in the days leading up to the trade but the sides were unable to connect.

Former Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler thanked Rose in an Instagram post.
Lopez, an eight-year veteran, started all 82 games for the Knicks last season, averaging 10.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.57 blocks.

Calderon, another NBA veteran, started 72 games in 2015-16, posting averages of 7.6 points and 4.2 assists.

Grant was selected 19th overall out of Notre Dame in the 2015 NBA draft. He played in 76 games as a rookie, averaging 5.6 points and 2.3 assists, which ranked eighth among first-year players.

Lopez ($13.5 million), Calderon ($7.7M) and Grant ($1.6M) are owed a total of $22.8 million next season. Trading all three players cleared up more than $13 million in guaranteed money from the Knicks’ books for the summer of 2017.

The Knicks will need to replace Lopez this offseason, and some members of the organization would like to target Bulls center Joakim Noah, sources say. Noah is close with Rose and also has a good relationship with Anthony.
Another potential option for New York is free-agent center Dwight Howard. The Knicks are one of several teams that Howard would consider in free agency, league sources say, but their interest in Howard is unclear at this point.

The club will have at least $30 million to spend in free agency.

Bulls general manager Gar Forman said the club was eager to add Lopez, who he said adds “toughness” to Chicago’s roster.

“As we said at the end of last season, we are committed to exploring every option to improve this team,” Forman said. “This trade is a significant step in that process. Our goal is to get younger and more athletic, and this trade moves us in that direction and allows us to start changing the structure of our team. In Robin Lopez, we are acquiring a starting center who is a good defender, good rebounder, and brings a toughness to our team. Jose Calderon is a proven veteran who can run an offense and knock down threes. Jerian Grant was high on our draft board last year as someone with a great skill set and positional size. All three players are great teammates and have tremendous work ethic, and we are excited to welcome them to the Chicago Bulls organization.”

The Knicks will have a news conference Thursday at 6 p.m. ET.

The Chicago Tribune first reported the deal.

LEBRON HAS NO PLANS TO LEAVE CLEVELAND! WILL DEFEND TITLE!!

It’s been a while since LeBron James was an outcast in Cleveland, and he doesn’t intend to go back to those days.

James, who can opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent this summer, said Wednesday that he wants to stay with the Cavaliers.
LeBron James arrives at the Quicken Loans Arena before the Cavaliers’ championship parade. AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
“I love it here in Cleveland. I have no intentions of leaving,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin during the Cavaliers’ championship parade. “There are some technicalities to take care of I’ll leave up to my agent. That’s right from the horse’s mouth.”

James, who turns 32 at the end of December, completed the second season of his return to Cleveland by leading the Cavaliers to an NBA title. He was voted unanimous MVP of the Finals after averaging 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists with an effective field goal percentage of 53.3. He became the third player to record a triple-double in Game 7 of the Finals, joining Jerry West in 1969 and James Worthy in ’88.

James will almost certainly turn down the $24 million option to try to get a long-term, more lucrative deal in Cleveland.

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He became a free agent after the 2009-10 season and took “his talents to South Beach” and the Miami Heat. Some Cavaliers fans burned his jersey in the streets and owner Dan Gilbert called James’ move a “cowardly betrayal.”

But the Akron native returned last season and led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, losing to the Warriors. Cleveland returned this season and beat the Warriors, bringing the city its first title since the Browns won the NFL Championship in 1964.

LEBRON JAMES WINS UNANIMOUS FINALS MVP AFTER CAVS WIN GAME 7

OAKLAND, Calif. — LeBron James was unanimously named MVP of the NBA Finals for the third time following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 93-89 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 on Sunday.

Over the seven-game series, James averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists with an effective field goal percentage of 53.3. He became the third player to record a triple-double in Game 7 of the Finals, joining Jerry West in 1969 and James Worthy in 1988.

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“Best player on the planet,” Cavs teammate Kyrie Irving said.

Later, Irving compared James to Ludwig van Beethoven: “I’m very thankful that I have a guy like that that’s leading our team that I can continue to learn from. And when my time does come of being able to lead a franchise and see the landscape of how it’s supposed to be composed, I watched Beethoven right now of LeBron James compose a game.

“He had a freakin’ triple-double in Game 7 of an NBA Finals game. There will still be naysayers, but I know it doesn’t matter to him. It doesn’t matter to me. All that matters is we’re champions, and our whole team is etched in history.”

James won consecutive Finals MVPs in 2012 and 2013, when he notched his first two titles with the Miami Heat. He returned to Cleveland as a free agent in July 2014. In addition to delivering the city its first major sports championship since 1964, James led the Cavs in becoming the first team in NBA history to rally from a 3-1 series deficit to win the Finals.

“I came back for a reason,” James said. “I came back to bring a championship to our city. I knew what I was capable of doing. I knew what I learned in the last couple years that I was gone, and I knew if I had to — when I came back — I knew I had the right ingredients and the right blueprint to help this franchise get back to a place that we’ve never been. That’s what it was all about.”

James punctuated his historic Finals performance with a dramatic final two minutes of Game 7. With the game tied 89-89, James pursued the reigning Finals MVP, Andre Iguodala, on a Warriors fast break and recorded one of his trademark “chasedown” blocks as he rejected Iguodala’s layup attempt.
LeBron James became the third player to record a triple-double in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, joining Jerry West in 1969 and James Worthy in 1988. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Moments later, with the Cavaliers leading 92-89, James took a hard spill to the floor after being fouled by Draymond Green. He writhed in pain and held his right wrist before returning to his feet. Then he drained one of two foul shots to extend Cleveland’s lead to four with 10 seconds remaining.

“You see his basketball talent, the way he can control a game,” Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. “But the reason why he deserves this is because he has a great heart … and great things happen to great people.”

James is now 4-2 all time in Game 7s and 2-0 when the ultimate game comes in the NBA Finals.

Leading Everyone In Everything

LeBron James is the first player in NBA history in any series of any length — regardless of round — to lead outright or tie for the lead among all players from both teams in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks for an entire series.
LeBron James in 2016 NBA Finals
FINALS RANK*
Points 208 1st
Rebounds 79 1st
Assists 62 1st
Steals 18 1st
Blocks 16 1st
*Among players from both teams
— Elias Sports Bureau

LEBRON JAMES PERFORMANCE DRIVES CAVS TO GAME 7

CLEVELAND — This was the version of LeBron James that Mike Miller had seen before, a mode that has been activated just frequently enough for Miller to give it a name: “Ain’t gonna lose.”

“He ain’t gonna lose,” LeBron’s friend and former teammate repeated as he walked out of Quicken Loans Arena, where James had just put together his second consecutive 41-point game — with 11 assists, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots to boot — to send his Cleveland Cavaliers back to Oakland for a championship-deciding Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors.

Miller was along for the ride as James’ teammate for these kinds of performances in the Miami Heat’s first championship run in 2012. Forty-five points and 15 rebounds in Game 6 at Boston in the Eastern Conference finals. Forty points, 18 rebounds and nine assists in Game 4 in Indianapolis after the Heat fell behind 2-1 in the previous series. James did not allow his team to lose those games on his watch, and now he has barred the Warriors from stepping through the door for their second consecutive championship.

“He ain’t gonna lose Game 7, either,” Miller said.

This is the latest and the greatest challenge for the Warriors. They battled historical standards all season and kept prevailing. Now they’re up against an all-time great player who is very much in the present, who is trying to make history of his own by making his team the first to come all the way back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. (Only two of the previous 33 teams to fall behind 3-1 even forced a Game 7.)
Will LeBron James block Stephen Curry’s bid for a second straight NBA title? Ron Schwane/Pool Photo/USA TODAY Sports
James’ performance also dwarfed a stellar effort from Stephen Curry, who scored 30 points in what became only the Warriors’ third loss in the 20 playoff games in which he has reached that plateau. But LeBron’s greatness meant that for all of Curry’s shot-making the Warriors were still outscored by 11 points while he was on the court. James, meanwhile, was plus-26.

“He’s playing great,” Curry said. “He’s doing things that are game-changing and helping his team win. He’s been more aggressive shooting the ball.”

LeBron also seemed to have some extra zeal in blocking a Curry layup attempt, then turned over his shoulder to mouth some words at Curry.

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It wasn’t the most frustrating moment for Curry, who picked up his sixth foul while trying to steal a pass intended for LeBron, then threw his mouthpiece in anger, striking a fan with it. It drew a superfluous ejection after the foul out, and certainly will draw a fine. A suspension for Game 7 is theoretically possible, but would the NBA really deprive fans of the reigning MVP without a history of misbehavior in a winner-take-all game?

Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s bank account will be at least $25,000 lighter as well after he pointedly critiqued three of the fouls called on Curry in addition to griping that the Cavaliers are constantly holding his players when they cut through the lane. He didn’t go so far as to hang the loss on the officiating. He knew the real culprit was the Warriors’ dismal first quarter, in which they shot 23 percent overall (1-for-9 on 3s) and scored only 11 points. They fell behind by 22 points, too big a hole for Curry plus a 15-point third quarter from Klay Thompson to overcome.

Every time the Warriors had a glimmer of hope, reducing their deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter, LeBron snuffed it out. He scored or assisted on 27 consecutive Cavaliers points during a stretch in the second half. And he addressed his only flaw in Game 5 — his shot faltered when the minutes accumulated — with a 17-point fourth quarter, featuring 6-for-9 shooting, four assists and two blocked shots.
He looked tired — he could barely get the ball over the rim after one pass from Kyrie Irving gifted him a layup — but refused to sit down until the outcome was assured with a 21-point lead and two minutes remaining.

“With our season on the line, at the end of the third quarter, he said, ‘I’m not coming out,’ ” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “I didn’t have any intention of taking him out anyway. I don’t care what y’all say.”

Leaving LeBron in while he’s at peak levels is a rare coaching decision that not even the social media age could shred.

LeBron himself should be beyond any shade at this point, after the way he kept the injury-riddled team competitive in last year’s Finals, and the way he has tilted this series. When ranking NBA players, the question you should ask is which one would you pick first if you had to win a playoff game? No one in this decade comes ahead of LeBron.

The Warriors get to head home, which at the moment is their greatest benefit from winning a record 73 games during the regular season. Home teams have won 15 of the previous 18 Game 7s in the NBA Finals. Decades of NBA history against the man of the moment.

“I’ll take it,” James said.

Seems like a fair enough fight.

LEBRON JAMES, KYRIE IRVING BOTH SCORE 41 TO FORCE A GAME 6 IN THE NBA FINALS

OAKLAND, Calif — On the campus of the Old School, they will pass out mimeographed copies of the box score from Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals and point to this as a moment that the tried-and-true ways prevailed, that inside beat outside and that the star system stayed intact.

The Golden State Warriors spent most of the past two years subverting all of those steadfast NBA truths, raining in 3-pointers and sending LeBron James to defeat after defeat on many nights when he was the best player on the court. Not in Game 5. Not when James controlled the floor with 41 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and three blocked shots — owning or sharing the game-high totals in each of those categories. And not when Kyrie Irving was the next-best player — more valuable in the fourth quarter, actually — with 41 points of his own.

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James called Irving’s game “probably one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen live.” LeBron’s visual history would have to include his own 45-point, 15-rebound, 73 percent shooting Game 6 in Boston in 2012 to keep his first championship run in Miami alive. That one still ranks higher for its singular majesty; Dwyane Wade was the Heat’s next-highest scorer that night with 17 points.

Monday night was the first time a pair of teammates went for 40-plus points in the same NBA Finals game. And now the Cavaliers still have hopes of another historic achievement: becoming the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the Finals.

It helped that this wasn’t exactly the same Warriors team that won three of the first four games in this series. Draymond Green served his one-game suspension for exceeding the flagrant foul points threshold in the playoffs for his whack at James near the end of Game 4. Without him, the Warriors were lost on defense and couldn’t go to the lineup configuration featuring him at center that had wreaked havoc on the league since last year’s Finals.

Their roster was further depleted by a left knee strain suffered by center Andrew Bogut early in the third quarter. With none of their backup centers making contributions, the Warriors went supersmall by sending Shaun Livingston in with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes. They couldn’t provide enough offense to make up for their defensive shortcomings.
LeBron James and Kyrie Irving kept Cleveland’s season alive with an unprecedented performance. Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The Warriors were exploited inside throughout the game. Cleveland scored 46 points in the paint, topping the Warriors’ 42 points scored on 3-pointers. Golden State clearly missed Green’s ability to provide rim protection and even his yelling, with Warriors coach Steve Kerr lamenting several defensive communication breakdowns. Curry called Green the “center fielder” on defense.

As long as we’re making cross-sport comparisons, let’s discuss the quarterbacking job LeBron did. He surveyed the defense in the third quarter, found the mismatches against the small lineup and used the Warriors’ overcompensation to his advantage.

Six of his assists came in the third quarter. He might fake the pass inside, draw the defenders and pass back to a trailing Irving for a wide-open 3-pointer. Or throw a lob to Tristan Thompson against the overmatched James Michael McAdoo for a foul and free throw.

James’ jump shot was the most surprising. The Warriors left him to shoot, and he found a rhythm, to the point he even made a fallaway, contested 3-pointer. At that point, he had as many 3-point baskets as Curry at four, which was quadruple James’ average for the playoffs.
Curry was below average, missing 13 of his 21 shots and 9 of 14 3-pointers. Klay Thompson made 6 of 18 3-pointers in the first half but went 0-for-5 in the second half.

James cooled off too in the fourth quarter, but that’s when Irving took over, hitting 5 of 9 shots to put the Warriors away.

When the Warriors hoped to rely on their superior depth, they didn’t have in mind playing Brandon Rush, Anderson Varejao, McAdoo, Leandro Barbosa and Marreese Speights to close out a game in which they’d fallen hopelessly behind.

The Warriors didn’t get to treat their fans to a championship celebration at home. They didn’t bail out Green for his costly lapse in judgment. They didn’t avoid their privately feared scenario of suffering an injury in a now-extended series.

Every downside of the Warriors came into play in this game, from Green’s occasional foray past the emotional boundary to careless ballhandling to defensive lapses.

And the feature that the old professors kept insisting would get them — the reliance on the 3-point shot — came to the fore, as well. The party was canceled, the revolution was paused and the future remained there.

This was a tribute to the past, right down to the pair of vintage LeBron chase-down blocks. The Cavaliers reverted, and thus, their season remains in the present tense.

CAVS GO COLD IN THE FOURTH, DROP GAME 4 TO WARRIORS

CLEVELAND -– After three blowouts to open the series, Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors was shaping up to be a classic, until a late surge by the defending champions put the game -– and perhaps the championship -– out of reach for the Cavs.

For the first time in nine playoff games on their home floor, the Cavs lost, seeing an eight-point lead in the third quarter turn into a deciding 11-point final margin, 108-97.

By the end of it, what was already a bad loss turned truly bizarre. LeBron James scrapped with Draymond Green after stepping over him, a la Allen Iverson, who once stepped over James’ coach, Tyronn Lue. James and Steph Curry talked trash at center court during a stoppage in play. And a shirtless fan ran onto the court with “Trump Sucks” painted across his chest and was summarily tackled by security and escorted out.

A Cleveland fan came up to press row late in the fourth quarter and announced, “This crushes our soul.”
Kevin Love was initially effective coming off the bench, but Love, LeBron James and the rest of the Cavs made too many mistakes down the stretch to hold off a resurgent Warriors offense. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
The Cavs, down 3-1 with Game 5 this Monday at Oracle Arena, will need to win three straight games (two on the road) for a chance to snap a 52-year title drought in the city of Cleveland.

The Cavs, up by five at halftime, were outscored 58-42 in the second half as the Warriors repeatedly hit timely 3-pointers (17-for-36 from downtown as opposed to 6-for-25 for the Cavs) and shut down Cleveland in the final quarter, save for a final flurry of buckets by James with the game already all but over.

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Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 63 points to claim a 108-97 Game 4 victory to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the 2016 NBA Finals.
Box score »
Game highlights »
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Game HQ »
2016 NBA playoffs coverage »
Kevin Love came off the bench for the first time in his Cavaliers career after being cleared from his concussion and mustered 11 points and five rebounds in 25 minutes.

James’ final numbers –- 25 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and two steals -– looked OK until you consider that he had seven of the Cavs’ 11 turnovers.

So many preconceived notions about the series were dispelled -– that Curry was too hurt to be his old MVP self (38 points, six assists), that Kyrie Irving’s over-dribbling leads to nothing but all sizzle and no steak (34 points on 14-for-28 shooting), that James Michael McAdoo was nothing but a bench player (did anyone have him playing in the fourth quarter in their office pool?).

But the end result was the same notion most people had coming into the series: The Warriors are the better team and the Cavs would have to defy the odds to make it a series.

KIMBO SLICE DEAD AT 42

The MMA fighter — whose real name is Kevin Ferguson — was hospitalized in Florida Monday for undisclosed reasons. TMZ later reported that he was in “dire” condition, and several sources on Twitter now claim he has died of heart failure.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/06/06/kimbo-slice-dead-at-42/#ixzz4ArPBJSWu

WILL SMITH AND LENNOX LEWIS TO SERVE AS PALLBEARERS FOR MUHAMMAD ALI FUNERAL

Actor Will Smith and former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis will be among eight pallbearers in services held Friday for Muhammad Ali.

The services for Ali in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, will include a procession and private burial and, later in the day, a public memorial at the KFC Yum! Center. It will be held at 2 p.m. ET, with 15,000 tickets available.

Ali died Friday night at the age of 74.

Smith was nominated for Best Actor by the Academy Awards for his portrayal of Ali in Michael Mann’s 2001 biopic “Ali.”

Lewis, like Ali, was both a former heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist.

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Smith and Lewis will be joined as pallbearers by John Grady, Ali’s cousin; Ibn Ali, Ali’s nephew; Komawi Ali, Ali’s former brother-in-law; Jerry Ellis, brother of Jimmy Ellis, who was Ali’s former sparring partner and also a former heavyweight champion; Jan Wadell, Ali’s first cousin; and John Ramsey, Ali’s family friend.

Friday’s memorial service will be open to the general public with tickets available at the arena’s box office starting Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Friday’s services will follow a Thursday prayer service at Louisville’s Freedom Hall arena, which starts at noon ET. The Freedom Hall box office will open Tuesday at 10 a.m., with a maximum of four tickets per request.

Ali died June 3 from septic shock due to unspecified natural causes.

Ali spent the final hour of his life surrounded by his family after initially being hospitalized in the Phoenix area on May 30.