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.

Even though the Thunder narrowly ended their 4-game skid last night @ Portland, they are still 1 loss away from losing 5 of 6 and 6 of 8 games.,Next up for the Hawks was a 6 game Western Conference road trip against average to good teams, all of which would be underdogs to them.,Proposed bet#3: .3 units on LA Lakers ML +200 ~ Potential Profit = .6 units -(Subtracted by the .1 from Denver Bet & the .2 units from Phoenix bet) =+0.3 units

Regardless of which game they loss, my friend Jay would profit between .1 and .6 units as long as they lost one game.,Although I haven't employed such an ambitious strategy, I have always thought about the ways in which Jay would manufacture value by betting against a team multiple times - knowing that if he was wrong on the first game, he would get better value betting against them the next game.,If the true value of the Hawks against OKC, the 6th game of their trip, was an even money proposition, by the time the Hawks won their next 5 games the market would make them significantly more expensive, and the Thunder would obtain more value, around at +130 or better. 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.

Now, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft faces misdemeanor charges of soliciting a prostitute after police said he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at a massage parlor in Florida amid a crackdown on sex trafficking.,Last year, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson sold the team after allegations surfaced of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace.,Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott was sued by former employees during the days of the Big Red Machine for being a racist and, at one point, was quoted in The New York Times as saying Adolf Hitler initially was good for Germany; that her use of racially inappropriate words was in jest; and that she didn't understand why certain ethnically insulting words were offensive.,Last year, NASCAR's Brian France , whose family owns the stock car racing circuit and many of the tracks where it competes, was arrested in New York on charges of aggravated driving while intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance.,Perhaps the most documented misbehavior by a franchise owner occurred with George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees.

FILE - In this June 7, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks with reporters following an NFL football minicamp practice, in Foxborough, Mass.,less

FILE - In this June 7, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft speaks with reporters following an NFL football minicamp practice, in Foxborough, Mass.,Police in Florida have charged New ... more read more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on NBA All-Star Weekend (all times local): 10:55 p.m. Kyle Kuzma of the Los Angeles Lakers scored 35 points, Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics added 30 and the U.S. beat the World team 161-144 in the Rising Stars game for first- and second-year players at All-Star Weekend.,___ 9:05 p.m. Famous Los scored 22 points to win MVP honors, and the Home team held on to beat the Away team 82-80 in the All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday night.,At a Hall of Fame event Friday at All-Star weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina, Abdul-Jabbar said Kaepernick "had a statement that he had to make through his demonstrations, but he's a quarterback and I think he should be working.",The mother of Stephen and Seth Curry sank a one-handed, half-court shot — that she took underhanded — to help her three-person team beat teams led by her NBA sons and one by her daughter to win a family shootout at a newly refurbished at a community center in Charlotte, North Carolina.,Jones was a four-time NBA All-Star, a huge part of Philadelphia's 1983 NBA-title-winning team and the league's sixth man award winner that season.

ESPN, along with other media outlets, reported Thursday afternoon that the Pelicans sent forward Nikola Mirotic to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Jason Smith, Stanley Johnson and four second-round draft picks.,Mirotic, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, is averaging 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, both of which are career highs.,The Pelicans also officially announced Thursday that the team had acquired forward Markieff Morris, as well as a 2023 second round draft pick, from the Washington Wizards in exchange for forward Wesley Johnson.,Morris is a former lottery pick was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 13th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, one spot before his twin brother and Kansas University teammate Marcus.,In 26 games (13 starts), the former lottery pick out of Syracuse averaged 3.7 points and 2.1 rebounds.

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.

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LOS ANGELES — LeBron James’ return to action definitely wasn’t "back in no time," as he promised post-Christmas, but it was worth the wait for the Los Angeles Lakers.,In a thrilling 123-120 overtime victory over the local rival Los Angeles Clippers, James put his team ahead for the final time on a nerveless jump shot with just over a minute remaining to set up the win.,So much for the Lakers watching James’ playing time carefully as he came back from a groin strain sustained against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day.,At the time of the injury, James seemed mightily relieved that the groin strain he sustained was not more serious.,Back when James got hurt while reaching for a loose ball against the Warriors, a partnership with Davis was nothing more than a mere possibility, and one far more likely to happen later than sooner. read more