Video appears to show Rajon Rondo spitting at Chris Paul – ESPN

4:59 PM ET

Adrian WojnarowskiESPN

The NBA is evaluating a video shot courtside that appears to capture Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo spitting into the face of All-Star Chris Paul on Saturday night at Staples Center, league sources told ESPN.

With 4:13 remaining in the game and the Rockets ahead 109-108, a fight occurred with multiple participants.

The Rockets’ video staff took the video courtside during the game, and it has been shared with the league office, sources said. The NBA is planning to render its discipline on Sunday prior to the Rockets-Los Angeles Clippers game at Staples Center, sources said.

This is one of the pieces of video the Rockets are sending the league office as the NBA investigates last night’s fight at Staples Center and determines discipline.

— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) October 21, 2018

When asked Sunday if Rondo spit on Paul, Lakers head coach Luke Walton said, “No.”

The Lakers met as a team on Sunday in their film room and discussed the brawl. Rondo and Ingram practiced on Sunday but did not talk with reporters.

“We’ve learned from the experience and we’re moving on,” Walton said. “… We learned — everyone learns something differently, but we brought it up, we talked about it, the message was delivered. And now it’s about next man up, moving forward, and keep positive, keep getting better.”

NBA vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe was in attendance for Saturday night’s skirmish that included Rondo, Paul and Lakers forward Brandon Ingram. VanDeWeghe is leading the NBA’s probe into the incident and helping to interview participants and witnesses on Sunday in Los Angeles, league sources said.

Rondo threw a punch at Paul after Paul poked a finger into his face. Rondo has made the case

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Bulls sign Shaquille Harrison –

The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Shaquille Harrison. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. In a preceding move, the Bulls waived center Omer Asik.

Harrison (6-4, 190) was waived by the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 15, 2018. He played in four games (three starts) for the Suns during the 2018 preseason and averaged 7.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.25 steals and 1.25 blocks in 22.4 minutes per game. Harrison first signed with Phoenix on Feb. 21, 2018, and averaged 6.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.13 steals in 23 games last season, his first in the NBA.

In college, Harrison was a four-year letter-winner at the University of Tulsa from 2012-16. He is the only Tulsa player to start every game his team played during his career, averaging 11.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.83 steals over 133 games. Harrison left school ranked second all-time with 461 career assists, third all-time with 244 career steals, and second with his 133 starts. He was the only Tulsa player to ever compile at least 1,300 points, 400 assists and 200 steals, and the only player with 50 or more steals in all four seasons.

Asik came to the Bulls in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans on Feb. 1, 2018. He also played for Chicago in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 NBA seasons. He has career averages of 2.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in 152 games for the Bulls. Asik has not played during the 2018-19 season due to illness.

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What's with the early season 'amped up' NBA scores? Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle say get used to it – Dallas News (blog)

Even before their team went out Saturday night and surrendered a franchise-record 46 first-quarter points to the Jimmy Butler-less Minnesota Timberwolves, of all teams, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle had a message for all NBA fans.

Get used to these video-game-like scores that so far have characterized this season.  

Mavericks 140, Timberwolves 136 on Saturday night at American Airlines Center merely was the latest example of what Carlisle proclaimed “a new age of basketball.” The first five days of the 2018-19 NBA season produced a plethora of scores that remind longtime basketball fans of the wide-open, 3-point shootin’, red-white-and-blue ball American Basketball Association.

The Mavericks attempted a franchise-record 50 3-pointers on Saturday, making 17. Sure, they allowed those franchise-record 46 first-quarter points, but, hey, they scored 43 in the final period.

“You’re going to see all kinds of records set,” Cuban said. “Because more shots mean more rebounds; you’ll see records on rebounds. You’ll see records on assists as all these scores go up. You’ll see all-time lows on defense.”

Through 35 games league-wide after Saturday, NBA teams are averaging 113.1 points. Yes, this is a small sample size, but if the pace continues it would be the ninth-highest scoring average in NBA history and the highest since the 1969-1970 season.

Never mind the early average, though. It’s the scores of numerous early-season games that have been eye-opening:

New Orleans 149, Sacramento 129.

New Orleans 131, Houston 119.

Memphis 131, Atlanta 117

Golden State 124, Utah 123.

The Knicks scoring 126 points in their season opener.

“I’m sure Dick Harter is turning over in his grave right now,” said Carlisle, referring to the coach who, as a New York assistant from 1991 to 1994, oversaw the defensive scheme that in many respects characterized that NBA era. “The days of games in the 80s are probably done.

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Does the NBA still not want to see the Sixers succeed? – Liberty Ballers

In case you missed it Saturday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the following:

It was dropped almost as an aside in a greater piece about the fate and freedom of high school athletes who want to bypass the NCAA experience and declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft.

But some smart local reporters didn’t miss the implication:

I gotta say, this is *complete* bullshit. The possibility of one and done ending in 2021 was specifically cited as part of that pick’s value when the deal was made. There are reasons to push to 2022 for sure but this is nonsense

— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) October 20, 2018

Because it’s not an aside to the Philadelphia 76ers organization, is it? Make no mistake, if true, it would represent a league attempt to thwart or impede an NBA organization who may have been clever enough to place additional value onto a certain unprotected draft pick because of the possibility this rule change might come in 2021. That would have made the 2021 draft class especially deep and talented. And it would represent a direct attempt to thwart a team who was open and honest enough to explain its rationale to a fan base who may have been confused or saddened by the draft day trade of a local hero and NCAA champion, Mikal Bridges.

Brett Brown was forthcoming on draft night:

“That pick might be the key to all of this. That pick might be the thing that links a possible trade…. and then, there’s a 2021 pick, and we all understand, that that could be the year that high school people are allowed into the NBA…we are star hunting….”

Here is more of that press conference.

So what? If the Sixers hadn’t said a word

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Which NBA player had the best kicks in the first week of the season? – ESPN

7:46 AM ET

Nick DePaulaESPN

In the first week alone, the NBA hardwood is looking more colorful than at any time in the league’s 73-season history, thanks to new anything-goes color rules for sneakers.

With a lack of restrictions across the board, players took full advantage of the newfound freedom and broke out confidently clashing pairs from the jump. During the very first game on the schedule, Boston Celtics wing Jaylen Brown‘s latest sneaker tribute to his Hall of Fame mentor and fellow Adidas athlete Tracy McGrady immediately set the tone for the week. The gleaming red and blue, mismatched, patent-leather sneakers worn by McGrady in the 2004 All-Star Game were unmistakable atop the home floor of the Boston parquet.

“He was wearing Sixers colors!” teammate Gordon Hayward said with a laugh.

Shortly after, as the Golden State Warriors received their third championship ring in four years, Stephen Curry donned a celebratory “Ring Night” pair of the model worn during last season’s Finals. His latest special-edition Curry 5 featured a layered graphic highlighting each of his children’s names — Riley, Ryan and Canon — along with a pattern featuring three rings atop a bridge blueprint design.

“Obviously, representing [the] Bay Area, but more so having the blueprint of becoming a champion, what we’ve done as an organization with the Warriors and looking ahead at what’s to come,” said Curry.

Nike debuted the LeBron line in 2003 by putting “King James” on a poster surrounded by lions. That image serves as the inspiration for his sneakers tonight.

In another move aimed at allowing its players to be more expressive on the court, the NBA will allow sneakers of any color at any point during the 2018-19 season, sources said.

1 Related

The following

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