James and his closest friends idolized Michael Jordan while they grew up together on Akron’s competitive playgrounds and tough streets.,As James grew into a tantalizing basketball prospect capable of jumping from high school to the NBA as the No. 1 draft pick, he studied, imitated and drew profound inspiration from Jordan’s tongue-wagging dunks, that fadeaway jumper, his competitive fire — even the little details of the way Jordan wore his sneakers and shorts.,Jordan has also admired James’ game for years.,When James surpassed Jordan’s career points total Wednesday night, he did it in a pair of Nikes with “Thank You M.J.” written neatly on the side.,James moved past Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list with a driving three-point play in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 115-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

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

And at this stage in James' career, with three championships, eight consecutive NBA Finals appearances to his name and an equally burgeoning business and political profile off the court, James is a transcendent star.,Johnson said the Lakers didn't want to make the team like the Cleveland Cavaliers all over again for James.,James was just starting to find his footing with this new cast in Los Angeles.,Since his return from injury, the Lakers have a defensive rating of 109.6 when James is on the floor in four wins; the Lakers have a defensive rating of 113.1 when James is on the floor in the eight losses.,Most of the roster wasn't going to be back next year anyway, given the team's insistence on signing players to only one-year contracts to preserve salary-cap space for a second star this summer.

YOUNGSTOWN — Senior guard Melinda Trimmer scored in double figures for a seventh straight game in leading Youngstown State past Milwaukee, 64-58, in a Horizon League quarterfinal Wednesday night in front of 1,382 fans at the Beeghly Center.,LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James moved past Michael Jordan into fourth place on the NBA’s career scoring list Wednesday night.,James, who entered the NBA at 18 years old compared to 21 for Jordan, began the night averaging 27.1 points per game in 1,189 games over 16 seasons with Cleveland, Miami and the Lakers.,Just eight days ago, James moved into 10th place on the assists list, becoming the first player in league history to make the top 10 in points and assists.,James began the night averaging 27.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 8.0 assists while hitting 51 percent of his shots and playing 35.7 minutes per game for the Lakers.

They cheered him, but only after booing him.They stood, but not all of them, and not immediately, and not for long.He surely heard them, but never acknowledged them.LeBron James passed Michael Jordan to move into fourth place on the NBAs all-time scoring list Wednesday night, leaping over the legend in a monumental accomplishment that felt like an enormous dud.Epitomizing this embarrassment of a season, the history-rich Lakers couldnt even enjoy making history.It wasnt the franchises fault.,The NBA wouldnt let them stop the game immediately, so at the first stoppage of play after James layup against the Denver Nuggets with 5 minutes 38 seconds to play in the second quarter gave him 32,294 points two more than Jordan an attempted celebration ensued.The scoreboard displayed a video.,The fans stood and cheered, but it was mostly politely, and somewhat uncertainly, as if they were applauding an impromptu speech given by a distant uncle at an acquaintances wedding.Lakers' LeBron James, left, is congratulated by Rajon Rondo after his basket against the Denver Nuggets passing Michael Jordan on the all-time scoring list on Wednesday at Staples Center.James was never given the game ball.,From his initial decision to forgo an introductory news conference last summer to his Culver City prank pizza tweet to his pregame announcements of movie releases in the middle of playoff pushes, he has never really reached out to the fans, and now they are holding him accountable for the Lakers failure.On probably the most unusual milestone night in Lakers history, so much felt different, so much was lost.This passing of Jordan should have been another brick in the foundation of a local debate that James is the greatest player ever.,But even with this monumental history looming, Lakers fans are focused on a different, more uncomfortable milestone.At his current rate, James will easily pass Bryant next season for third place on the all-time list with 32,311 points, hes 1,332 points behind, and he has averaged 2,042 points in the previous three seasons.On the night he passes Bryant, if the Lakers are still struggling, can you imagine how conflicted fans will be?

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

Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, with all due respect to local football fans following the Rams' Super Bowl defeat, thinks his team has some similarities to the NFL champion New England Patriots.,"I think early on they were facing a ton of adversity," Pelinka said on a conference call with reporters Friday to discuss his team's NBA trade deadline deals.,The Clippers' deal opened a roster spot, and Pelinka said the team is evaluating "a handful" of players to fill it -- either now or closer to the March 1 deadline to add a player and have him be playoff eligible.,Continuing the Patriots' parallel, Pelinka compared Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman to the players the Lakers added, noting how New England found its rhythm after the slot receiver returned from a four-game suspension, much the same way he hopes the Lakers find their stride now.,Pelinka confirmed a Los Angeles Times report that detailed Johnson's plan to meet the team in Philadelphia -- Pelinka said Johnson is attending a reunion celebrating Michigan State's 1979 NCAA championship as he makes his way west to east.

The Clippers completed a surprise trade with Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week.,The brave deal means the playoff chasing Clippers, without Harris, now face a difficult ask to make the playoffs.,And the Clippers' hierarchy are being touted to make a move for Davis, who handed in a trade request last week.,The trade deadline slams shut at 8pm (GMT) on Thursday so all deals must be concluded by then or else they will have to wait until the summer.,The latest offer included six players and two first-round picks.

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