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Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd weighs in on the NBA Finals



BOSTON – Jason Kidd is a hall of fame basketball player, a 10-time NBA All-Star, an NBA champion and a member of the NBA’s seventy fifth Anniversary Team. The Dallas Mavericks coach said he has earned the biggest honor of his profession by leading his team to the 2024 NBA Finals, which begins Thursday in Boston (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC).

Looking back, the only major blemish Kidd experienced was his January 22, 2018 firing as coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. While being fired was quite humiliating for a basketball icon who had known nothing but success, Kidd selected to look to the future reasonably than dwell on his first real loss.

“Coaching is not easy in this industry,” Kidd told Andscape. “There is at all times movement. Only some coaches are established in their place – the distinguished ones, with Pop (Gregg Popovich), Spo (Erik Spoelstra). Then there was numerous traffic. You just hope you may win and do the right thing so long as you may…

“The problem with being fired or laid off was that I didn’t meet their standards. So that’s how I thought about it. Then I thought what is the best way to get better.”

On today in 2018, Kidd received a call from Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who told him he was going to be fired and that he was willing to assist him save his job. Believing such a call was on the horizon, Kidd thanked Antetokounmpo and said there was nothing he could do. Shortly thereafter, Bucks general manager Jon Horst and team president Peter Feigin officially announced the decision to Kidd at a pizzeria.

Kidd was 139-152 overall as coach of the Bucks and led the team to playoff appearances in 2015 and 2017. He also coached the Brooklyn Nets during the 2013-14 season before being traded as coach to Milwaukee. At the time of his firing, the Bucks were 23-22. The 19-year NBA veteran has never resigned as a player, so this was essentially the first firing of his profession.

“I thought I did a really good job of taking a bad organization or a franchise that wasn’t very good and making them respectable,” Kidd said. “It was then that my mind was burned out, let go or rejected. It’s just part of coaching.”

Milwaukee Bucks coach Jason Kidd (right) talks with forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (left) on the sideline during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on February 22, 2016 in Milwaukee.

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

During the 2018–19 season, Kidd was not named to the bench for the first time since he began playing basketball. To develop as a coach, he visited Popovich, the San Antonio Spurs and Mavericks, after which coach Rick Carlisle. Kidd planned to go to then-Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder, but that did not occur.

“Just seeing Rick do his thing and then pop being pop really opened my eyes,” Kidd stated.

While on vacation in Boston, Kidd also had dinner with then-Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving. Kidd had known Irving since the latter’s AAU days with Nike. Irving was a longtime fan of Kidd’s growing up. They were united by their shared concern for the same basketball coach and their March twenty third birthday.

Years later, Kidd became Irving’s coach with the Mavericks. Irving affectionately calls Kidd “Big Brother” out of respect.

“I always heard stories about him from my conditioning coach and he would just tell me about the similarities and also some of the differences that we had, and if I ever got the chance to play for him, that would be the first person I wanted to give my all to everything,” Irving said. “We had some communication behind the scenes. But it was very rare and it was just an enormous brother and little brother sort of thing.

“I knew Ky. So knowing someone always helps in a situation,” Kidd said.

Kidd began his coaching profession instantly as head coach of the Nets during the 2013-14 season. In the 2019-2020 season, he returned to the NBA bench as an assistant to coach Frank Vogel with the Los Angeles Lakers. NBA players LeBron James and Anthony Davis led the way in the NBA bubble during the coronavirus pandemic, and Kidd was on the bench when the Lakers won the 2020 NBA championship.

Though initially humble, Kidd learned so much from Vogel during his two seasons with the Lakers.

“It was one of the best coaching times for me as an assistant coach under Frank,” Kidd said. “And this staff was really good… I at all times gave Frank flowers because they helped me understand higher and see what to fret about and what not to fret about.

“I learned from Frank that stars will remain stars. There are a lot of things going on, but really focus on what you can control. I thought Frank did an amazing job on this.”

Three years after Kidd was fired, Antetokounmpo and the Bucks won the 2021 NBA Championship. Kidd was glad for the Bucks, his other former players and Milwaukee.

“I trained one in every of the best players in the world, if you happen to’re talking about Giannis. That’s how I checked out it,” Kidd said. “There were no injuries. I’m glad that Milwaukee won the championship, but I’m also glad that I may give Giannis that foundation that may help him develop into who he’s.

Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd (left) talks with guard Kyrie Irving (right) during the second quarter of a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals at the Paycom Center on May 15 in Oklahoma City.

Joshua Gateley/Getty Images

On June 28, 2021, Kidd became an NBA coach again when he was hired by the Mavericks, the franchise that drafted him in 1994 and where he won his only championship as a player in 2011. Kidd was hired after Carlisle resigned after 13 seasons and leading the franchise to the 2011 title. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he was persuaded to rent Kidd by former stars akin to forward Dirk Nowitzki and assistant general manager Michael Finley. “Mike Fin (Finley), Dirk and those guys said, ‘That’s the guy,'” Cuban said.

Kidd’s big challenge upon arriving as the latest Mavericks coach was finding a typical bond with All-Star Luka Dončić.

It was no secret that Dončić and Carlisle had disagreements. The Mavericks believed that because Kidd was a former NBA star and had coached Antetokounmpo, James and Davis, he could discover with Dončić. From the starting, Kidd felt it was necessary to seek out a typical bond with Dončić, who is presented on offense, and hoped to get the best out of him on each ends of the floor.

“It was great to have a chance to win here,” Kidd said. “I used to be called here and I attempted to place every thing back where it was. I believed that being with Luka I might have such a probability. Having a young star was no different than what was going on in Milwaukee, but Luka was so much further along than Giannis was after I came.

Kidd and Dončić met at the NBA Cares event in Chicago during the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend, which was attended by President Barack Obama. Kidd and Dončić were coloring bookmarks when Obama walked up and said, “You’re doing great.” Obama approached Dončić and shook his hand. Obama then hugged Kidd and jokingly told Dončić, “Don’t listen to him when it comes to shooting.” Kidd replied that Dončić was already a significantly better scorer than him.

“It was cool,” Kidd said of his first meeting with Dončić. “The key was talking to him” after he was hired by Dallas.

During his first season as coach of Dallas, Kidd led the Mavericks to the 2022 Western Conference Finals. Dallas, nonetheless, did not make the postseason in 2023 after opting to forfeit its final two regular-season contests to prop up its draft hopes. Last season, the Dončić-Irving combination initially didn’t work out. Kidd thought they needed more time. The Mavs’ 38-44 record last season also raised questions on Kidd’s job security.

Kidd’s belief turned out to be correct. The Mavericks finished the 2023–24 season with a greatly improved record of fifty–32. The Dončić-Irving partnership performed significantly better in their second season and so they at the moment are considered one in every of the best backcourt duos in the NBA. What also inspired the Mavericks was the midseason trade of center Daniel Gafford and forward PJ Washington, which improved the defense from one in every of the worst in the NBA to one in every of the best.

The Mavericks entered the NBA postseason as the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Under Kidd’s leadership in Dallas, the team reached the NBA Finals for the third time in history.

Dončić gave much credit to Kidd for the Mavs’ success.

“He understands mine and Kyri’s role because he played in that role,” Dončić said. “He helps us so much. He kept everyone together. We’ve been up and down, especially during the season. There were many ups and downs, but he held us together.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić (left) talks with coach Jason Kidd (right) during the first half of a game against the LA Clippers at the American Airlines Center on November 10, 2023 in Dallas.

Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

A 12 months ago, Kidd’s job was in query. On May 6, the Mavericks signed Kidd to a multi-year contract extension. Mavericks Governor Patrick Dumont said he is happy that Kidd will “continue to lead our team for years to come with this well-deserved contract extension.” Twenty-four days later, Kidd led his first team to the NBA Finals, where the Mavs eliminated the Minnesota Timberwolves in five games in the Conference Finals.

Kidd described this season’s journey as “upsetting at times,” but in addition “fun and surreal to lead these young men.” He also called participating in the finals as a coach the most significant moment in his illustrious profession.

Although money wasn’t a difficulty, perhaps Kidd found justification in making a brand new pact.

“I never worried about money,” Kidd said. “I’ll do what I actually have to do. As a player, I never fearful about this. My contract needed to reflect the way I played, so I went to work. So I used to be lucky to have the ability to make some money as a player and a coach, despite all the negativity from individuals who don’t even know tips on how to coach, saying things like that or whatever it was. It is what it’s.

“Everyone has their own opinion. Some have merit, some don’t, but I truly believe I’m doing what’s best for the team. Often people don’t really see the bigger picture.”

Just five years ago, Kidd was in search of a job for the first time in his skilled basketball profession. Now Kidd, second in the NBA in profession assists, has led the Mavericks to the Finals.

In his third time as an NBA coach, he said the key to success for him was determining tips on how to improve, surrounding himself with good people and having fun with the ride.

“I never go too low. This is the wrong approach,” Kidd said. “Life goes on, life moves too fast for us to lie down. You can only learn from these experiences and that’s what life is all about.”

Marc J. Spears is Andscape’s senior NBA author. He used to have the ability to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been capable of do it for years and his knees still hurt.

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Charles Barkley plans to hang up the mic after the next NBA season




Charles Barkley, TNT, Inside the NBA

With all the discuss TNT losing the NBA broadcast rights, people have been speculating what is going to occur to the “Inside the NBA” team of Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson. Well, Barkley has publicly stated that no matter whether TNT retains the rights or it goes to one other network, he is looking it quits after this season.

According to Barkley got here in went on the air following the final NBA Championship Game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics on June 14 and announced to his co-hosts and the world that the upcoming season could be his last as a broadcaster.

After telling the guys that he had been talking to other networks and that the NBA partnership was nearing its end, no matter the consequence, he hung up the mic after his twenty fifth 12 months as a commentator.

This puts every thing on hold, and the NBA Hall of Famer decides to put it on hold. It is speculated that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will announce the results of various conversations and negotiations between several platforms regarding who will receive what packages the NBA offers.

announced that the league is negotiating further agreements regarding media rights under the contract with TNT ending after the 2024-25 season. Platforms which can be in talks with the NBA include Disney/ABC/ESPN, Amazon, NBC and Warner Bros. Discovery (parent company of TNT).

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‘Lock That Girl Up!’: Fans Demand Justice for Former Illini Star Terrence Shannon Jr. after an alleged rape victim joked “I have…” using a money emoji




Terrence Shannon Jr. #0 of the Illinois Fighting Illini found not guilty.

On June 13, after a week-long trial, former University of Illinois college basketball star Terrence Shannon Jr. was acquitted on charges of rape and sexual battery. Now fans want Shannon’s accuser to face consequences.

Shannon, 23, was charged with sexually assaulting an 18-year-old woman in September on the Martini Room, a bar near the University of Kansas campus.

Shannon attended the Kansas-Illinois football game on September 8. An unidentified woman told police that within the early morning hours of September 9, a man at a bar pulled her towards him and groped her. She accused the suspect of grabbing her buttocks and reaching under her skirt and penetrating her together with his fingers shortly after they met.

A couple of months later, Shannon learned that he would face criminal charges. He was arrested in December after a woman identified him in a photo of the Illinois basketball team that was available online. Shannon was charged with “unlawfully, criminally and knowingly (engaging) in sexual intercourse with a person … who did not consent to sexual intercourse under circumstances where he was overcome by force or fear, which constitutes a first-degree personal offense.”

Terrence Shannon Jr.  No. 0 of the Illinois Fighting Illini found not guilty.
Terrence Shannon Jr. of the Illinois Fighting Illini reacts after the Connecticut Huskies were defeated within the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at TD Garden on March 30, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

“I definitely felt uncomfortable (…) I do not know why I didn’t (leave). But I would love to do it,” the prosecutor said in the course of the trial.

The basketball star consistently denied the allegations against him. “I never touched, grabbed, pulled. (…) That didn’t happen,” Shannon told the jury after the trial began, per published reports.

Shortly after the arrest, the Illinois basketball team decided to suspend Shannon indefinitely and launched its own independent investigation. The university ultimately dropped the investigation attributable to what the college described as insufficient evidence. Shannon was allowed back onto the court after the temporary restraining order was upheld. He’s already missed six games, but he still made it lead Illinois to the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Elite Eight before losing to national champion Connecticut.

Multiple witnesses, including a current Kansas Jayhawks basketball player, corroborated Shannon’s account and said they didn’t see the Illinois player act inappropriately towards the girl that night.

The attorneys also said Shannon’s DNA was not taken from the accuser’s body in the course of the hospital examination, and so they turned over text messages from the alleged victim in the course of the trial. group chat with your mates where she shared a link to the basketball player’s arrest with ESPN and her friends joked that “She’s got his…” together with a money emoji.

After the not guilty verdict, Mark Sutter, one in all Shannon’s lawyers, said: “We are pleased with the final result. Terrence Shannon Jr. he finally got his day in court. In September we denied the allegations and that day we promised that at some point we’d stand trial and we did. And we’re completely happy with the result. And I believe society at large is guilty for Shannon Jr. apology”.

Shannon released a statement saying that he’s now able to move on from this case and give attention to his future.

“Thank you to everyone who has been by my side over the past nine months,” the statement read. “I knew I used to be innocent of those terrible crimes and I had faith in God that at some point everyone else would comprehend it too. I’m very grateful to everyone for believing in me, especially my family, friends and legal team, whose support helped me survive. I’m able to put this chapter of my life behind me and focus fully on my path forward.

The verdict sparked strong reactions on social media from many individuals who believed there ought to be a “punishment” for the false allegations.

“Shannon shouldn’t have left it like that. I would sue her for defamation, and the prosecutor and policemen for malicious prosecution” – one person he suggested.

This was expressed by other social media users similar feelings. “Anyone who falsely accuses someone of rape should be publicly shamed and imprisoned.”

“Now it’s time to lock this girl up and throw away the key.” he tweeted fan.

“People who bring false accusations against innocent people have to be held accountable and serve their very own prison sentences. I’m glad he won, however the accuser must be punished indirectly for what he did,” one other person he tweeted.

NBA star LeBron James also called and offered Shannon’s support.

“To my young (King) Terrance Shannon Jr! I really like you and best regards! Proud of you!!,” James wrote. “God is sweet! The apology ought to be 30 times louder than the hatred he felt, but we know the way it’s. Anyway, back to the regular program. Great days ahead!”

Illinois coach Brad Underwood said he was “excited for Terrence” and praised him for showing “exceptional poise, maturity and focus” within the months following the accusations.

Before the allegations surfaced, Shannon was projected to be a first-round draft pick. However, Shannon’s lawyer confirmed that he shall be working with multiple teams within the lead-up to the draft.

In May, Shannon traveled to Chicago for the NBA draft, where he expressed his desire to clear his name in court. “I can’t wait for (my) day in court,” Shannon told reporters.

The NBA draft will happen on June 26. The Atlanta Hawks have the No. 1 pick.

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NFL expands Africa programs to Nigeria with three-day talent identification camp




The NFL announced Friday that it’ll further expand its efforts in Africa by hosting a talent identification camp in Nigeria, the fourth country on the continent to host league programs.

The three-day camp, which will likely be held this month in Lagos, will likely be attended by 21 potential players from 10 African countries, whose task will likely be to select future participants of two international NFL training programs: the NFL Academy in England and the International Player Pathway (IPP) program.

This camp follows on from initiatives held over the past two years in Ghana and Kenya (2022) and Cape Town, South Africa (2023) because the NFL looks to construct a fan base on the continent.

Although Ghana (34.7 million), Kenya (54 million) and South Africa (59 million) have significant populations, they’re dwarfed by Nigeria (229 million), probably the most populous country on the continent.

This begs the query as to why Nigeria was not the primary African country chosen.

Seattle Seahawks receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba celebrates after a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lumen Field on December 18, 2023 in Seattle.

Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Osi Umenyiora, a two-time Super Bowl champion and the NFL’s chief ambassador for Africa, said that while Nigeria, his parents’ birthplace, would ideally be their first stop on the continent, the league wanted to get its African programs so as first.

“Nigeria will largely focus on what the NFL is doing,” Umenyiora said. “So we wanted to make sure that when we got there, everything would be OK and we would do it the right way.”

On the one hand, expansion is about finding a way to give people outside the United States a possibility that did not exist before: playing within the NFL. But it is also about market expansion. As the NFL moves into more television markets, Umenyiora says it may’t ignore Africa, whose historic economic problems are rooted in colonization.

Nigeria and other African countries have seen economic growth over the past few years, and with the continent having the world’s youngest population, there is a growing fan base right under the league’s nose. Give Nigerians and other Africans opportunities now and they’ll turn out to be consumers later, just as Hollywood and music spread internationally.

“As countries start to get more and more revenue, as they start to get younger, as they start to get more and more technology, they start to consume more and more NFL content,” Umenyiora said.

NFL games were played in England, Germany and Mexico. The Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers will play their first league game on September 6 in São Paulo.

Umenyiora hopes the continent will host its own international match soon.

“The moment we have the infrastructure there that can accommodate an NFL game, wherever that is, the moment we have it, they’re going to have to do it,” he said. “You can’t be a global sport and you can’t go around… the whole world and say no to Africa.”

David Njoku celebrates his first turnover in the primary half against the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns Stadium on December 28, 2023 in Cleveland.

Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

After the camp in Nigeria, Umenyiora hopes to expand into Rwanda, Morocco, Egypt and Angola. For now, nonetheless, the league’s efforts on the continent are starting to bear fruit.

According to the NFL, there are currently greater than 135 players of African descent within the NFL, including Seattle Seahawks receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Cleveland Browns quarterback David Njoku, who will attend the camp in Lagos.

While the IPP program, which provides skilled soccer training to world-class athletes, a lot of whom have never played soccer, is a world initiative, 4 of the 11 participants who took part in 2024 were of African descent. Six Nigerian players from the 2023 IPP class have made NFL rosters this season.

The NFL can also be working with its 32 clubs in countries including Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom as a part of its Global Markets program, which goals to increase the league’s visibility world wide. The Philadelphia Eagles (Ghana) and Cleveland Browns (Nigeria) are the one teams collaborating with African countries.

As a part of Nigeria’s program this month, the NFL can even host a flag football tournament for local under-14 school teams and the primary women’s football training session.

Martenzie Johnson is a senior author at Andscape. His favorite moment within the cinema is when Django asks, “Do you want to see something?”

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