A high-profile incident involving Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and a heckling fan highlights the sometimes overly-close physical proximity between NBA fans and the targets of their derision.,On Monday night, Westbrook and 45-year-old Shane Kiesel exchanged insults during the second quarter of the Thunder’s game with the Jazz in Vivint Smart Home Arena.,Westbrook explained after the game that Kiesel’s insult is the latest in a series of disdainful remarks by fans aimed at him and other NBA players when playing in road arenas.,First, Kiesel and several other fans in Vivint Smart Home Arena were issued co-called “warning cards” pursuant to the NBA’s Fan Code of Conduct.,In addition to the Fan Code of Conduct, the uniform player contract signed by every NBA player contains provisions that empower commissioner Adam Silver to punish Westbrook.

No team in the NBA has lost more games over the past six seasons than the Lakers, but whatever infects basketball operations has graciously spared game operations, which are still the league's best.,The team plays in the most appealing market in the league; their local broadcast deal pays them in excess of $150 million per season; they employ LeBron James; and they have picked second overall in three of the past four drafts.,Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAYRather than assign blame to unfavorable news reports that embarrassed her franchise, Buss could have taken a page from Robert Sarver, the owner of a Suns team with the fifth-most losses over these six seasons.,At some point, the Lakers must recognize that running an NBA team is far more than an exercise in brand management and talent recruitment.,A front office is a managerial project like any other business -- NBA teams make widgets, only they're wins (or, more commonly for the Lakers, losses).

PITTSBURG, Kansas — Ashland University redshirt freshman shot putter Lindsay Baker was the runner-up at the 2019 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field National Championships on Saturday afternoon.,Greene won her second straight NCAA Division II indoor national title in the shot put and has won four straight Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championships.,The Ashland men won its first Division II national indoor title with 38 points, one more than Adams State (Colo.)

BOSTON, Mass. — The University of Mount Union men’s track team finished second at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships on Saturday.,North Central (Ill.), which Mount Union edged out by a point last season, won its sixth indoor team championship with 55 points.,James had 30 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds in his seventh triple-double for the Lakers, who have lost five straight in a playoff chase that looks futile at this point. read more

USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — LeBron James’ team won the All-Star Game, but that’s not the only reason why he had a ton of fun over the past few days.,READ MORE: NBA commentary from columnist Martin Rogers CLICK ROLL: Get exclusive content with our NBA newsletter He just spent a nice little break with a group of elite players, especially those he selected for his own team to take on Team Giannis (Antetokounmpo), that he’d love to be playing with every night.,And there's plenty to suggest that the closest James will get to his preferred Dream Team just passed by over the weekend, or will once again come and go at next year’s All-Star break.,Autoplay Show Thumbnails Show Captions read more

Most of the drama centered around Anthony Davis, whose agent tried his damnedest to force a trade from New Orleans to Los Angeles ahead of last Thursday’s deadline.,But despite Rich Paul’s best efforts to bully the Pelicans into making a move, Davis is still in New Orleans, where he’ll remain until the trade frenzy really kicks up this summer.,But Davis’ camp really didn’t want to wait until this summer, and really wanted their player to join forces with LeBron James in L.A. Paul just so happens to represent the Lakers’ superstar/NBA commissioner.,According to Sean Deveney of the Sports News, the Celtics were none-too-pleased with Paul’s antics during the Davis drama, accusing him of planting the story that Kyrie Irving was no longer set on signing a long-term deal with the Celtics in the summer, and wanted to join the Knicks instead:

The Celtics were annoyed by the story of Irving having eyes for New York, not because of Irving, but because they felt the story was planted by Davis’ agent, Rich Paul, in order to scare the Pelicans into thinking Boston would back off making a trade offer for Davis in July if Irving left.,After Irving declared his intentions to re-up with Boston at an October season ticket holder event, we hadn’t heard anything about his future until Davis let the world know he wanted out of New Orleans. read more

By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The fact that the Pelicans could trade Anthony Davis without the Celtics being able to make an offer is hard enough for Boston fans to handle at the moment.,While the news since last summer has been largely about stars not interested in being LeBron’s sidekick—George’s decision to re-sign with the Thunder, Jimmy Butler not having the Lakers on his reported preferred list and Kawhi Leonard reportedly favoring the Clippers—a source close to the Celtics confirmed that Kyrie Irving is genuinely interested in reuniting with his former Cavaliers teammate.,What’s odd is that Kyrie nugget was buried at the bottom of Bucher’s column on the Davis trade request.,Davis demanded a trade from New Orleans on Monday, and if the Pelicans deal him before the Feb. 7 trade deadline, the Celtics would have to sit out the sweepstakes if Irving isn’t part of the deal due to the NBA’s “Rose Rule.”,Boston has been long-enamored by Davis and Danny Ainge has the young talent and future draft picks to make an enticing offer this summer, but they may not even get a shot at adding the franchise-altering talent of Davis. read more

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a career-high 56 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame Russell Westbrook's triple-double with 24 points, 24 rebounds and 13 assists and outlasted the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 154-147 victory in double-overtime on Thursday night.,Aldridge had seven points in the second overtime and Derrick White added four points, a steal and a block of Jerami Grant at the rim with San Antonio up 148-144 with less than 2 minutes remaining.,Paul George scored 30 points and Grant added 25 points and 12 rebounds, but fouled out with 25 seconds remaining in the second overtime.,NUGGETS 121, CLIPPERS 100

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his 21st career triple-double and the Nuggets extended their home winning streak to 11 with a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.,KINGS 112, PISTONS 102 read more

LaMarcus Aldridge scored a career-high 56 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame Russell Westbrook's triple-double with 24 points, 24 rebounds and 13 assists and outlasted the Oklahoma City Thunder for a 154-147 victory in double-overtime on Thursday night.,Aldridge had seven points in the second overtime and Derrick White added four points, a steal and a block of Jerami Grant at the rim with San Antonio up 148-144 with less than 2 minutes remaining.,Paul George scored 30 points and Grant added 25 points and 12 rebounds, but fouled out with 25 seconds remaining in the second overtime.,NUGGETS 121, CLIPPERS 100

DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his 21st career triple-double and the Nuggets extended their home winning streak to 11 with a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.,KINGS 112, PISTONS 102 read more

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers lost LeBron James in the third quarter to a strained left groin then went out and beat the two-time defending champions without him Tuesday night, getting King James' 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists before the injury in a surprising 127-101 rout of the Golden State Warriors.,Kuzma contributed 19 points with a pretty baseline 3 late, Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Rajon Rondo 15 points and 10 assists off the bench as the Lakers snapped an 11-game losing streak on the Warriors' home floor since a 118-115 overtime win Dec. 22, 2012.,HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 41 points and the Rockets beat the Thunder for their seventh win in the last eight games.,Harden has scored 30 points or more in a career-high seven games in a row, marking the first time a player has done that since Russell Westbrook had eight consecutive 30-point games in November 2016.,Joe Ingles chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Jazz (17-18), who won for the fifth time in their last six home games while shooting 55 percent from the floor.

On Tuesday, at 11 a.m. in Milwaukee, noon in New York and 7 p.m. in Greece — one of the 215 countries that will be seeing the NBA’s Christmas games, and a basketball-crazed nation where fans will watch in droves to see their brightest star — that will all change, when Antetokounmpo and the Bucks visit the Knicks.,But no team has been waiting longer for an invite to the NBA’s on-court holiday party than the Bucks, who haven’t appeared in any of the last 120 games played on Dec. 25.,“Christmas games always stand out,” said LeBron James, who’ll be wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform on the holiday for the first time.,Like Antetokounmpo, this Christmas will be Mitchell’s first game as an NBA player.,We’re happy the NBA chose us to be one of those teams and hopefully we can put on a good show for all of the people who are going to watch the game and enjoy the game and enjoy Christmas also.”