NBA

New York Knicks Sign Lamar Odom To 2-Year Deal

Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers
First on Zen Master’s agenda is bringing in NYC-based veteran player and friend, Lamar Odom.

RELATED: The 2014 NBA First Round Playoff Matchups

Phil Jacksons first transaction as head of basketball operation for the New York Knicks was bringing in his long-time former player, Lamar Odom. The Knicks inked Lamar on the eve of their final game for the 2014 season, signing the veteran to a 2-year deal. While exact numbers weren’t leaked to the public, Odom’s contract is guaranteed for 2014, with an option for 2015.

Under Phil Jackson’s tenure, Odom won two championships and even a sixth man award a few months before his personal and professional life starting seeing a few road blocks after a Lakers trade attempt. Odom had a short stint with the Los Angeles Clippers last season, as well as Spain to stay active; but this move was done strictly to bring leadership and a locker room presence missing from the Knicks. The Lakers and Clippers expressed mutual interest in the 34-year-old point-forward, but would ultimately get passed on due to lack of roster space and not wasting his last years. More on the the Knicks story in video conversation after the jump.

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The 2014 NBA First Round Playoff Matchups

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The East gets more balance, while Western Conference looks to have most competitive 8 teams in recent memory.

At last, the 2014 NBA Playoffs are set to begin in less than 72 hours from now. After a long enduring season of witnessing Kobe Bryant not return to form, Derrick Rose suffering a repeat torn meniscus to miss his second consecutive and the demise of the three biggest franchises in the history of the NBA. For the first time ever, the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers will not be in this year’s playoffs. Heading into the playoffs, the two favorites to win it all are the San Antonio Spurs and then the Miami Heat.

Coincidentally, those two teams played in a classic 7 game series last year where LeBron and company won their second consecutive title. In the final week of regular season play, the East played playoff positioning tanking for proper seeding, while the entire West had aspirations for home court advantage and/or hopes to avoid the San Antonio Spurs.

Continue after the jump for an official match-up preview, then look for the schedule of games to surface before the road to the finals begins this Saturday.

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Doc Rivers’ “Face-to-Face” ESPN Interview

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Doc Rivers looking to turn the city of Los Angeles around with potential NBA title this June.

Before the NBA season began, we picked the Los Angeles Clippers to win the Western Conference this May. While the team struggled early on with finding themselves collectively, a new coach and added role players; they’ve went on to have the 3rd best overall record in a very competitive conference. Los Angeles also still has a chance to finish ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder if they win their final two back-to-back games, due to having a better overall conference record (season series 2-2). ESPN’s Hannah Storm made her way over to Doc River’s Los Angeles pad, where the two took an initial brief tour of his house.

Arriving in Los Angeles, Doc’s first agenda was hiding the Lakers banners to motivate the team in having their own. In comparison to his tenure in Boston, Rivers reveals giving complete trust to Chris Paul’s on-court decision making, learning from past experiences. Things closed out with Doc having an initial questionable impression on Blake Griffin’s work ethic, seeing him in various commercials and media appearances every week. Upon arriving in SoCal, Doc soon gained an immediate respect for Blake seeing him in the practice gym every day of the summer, which has enabled him to be part of the discussions this year with LeBron James and Kevin Durant for league MVP candidacy. Continue below to watch more of the conversation.

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Jordan Farmar Breaks Trey Burke’s Ankles

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Trey Burke’s mind tells him yes, but his BODY says no!

While the Lakers have been battling injuries all season and are a lock to have a top 10 pick in this year’s upcoming draft, they had a little more to be smiling about last night. With Chris Kaman (sleeping on a bench somewhere), Pau Gasol, and Steve Nash all out with injuries for the final week of their year, the Lakers young boys decided to show out with Nick Young scoring 41 points off the bench and their most consistent player all year Jodie Meeks netting 23.

Jordan Farmar only scored 4 points, but had the sexiest play last night when he broke Trey Burke’s ankles in a routine inbound bringing the ball up. With only a few minutes left in the game, Burke was aggressively playing defense against the veteran but became victim of a sick crossover in which he fell to floor. Check to below to watch the play.

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Allen Iverson Documentary Set To Debut At Tribeca Film Festival

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Allen Iverson has officially retired from the NBA, and now his story is ready to be told. Later this month at the Tribeca Film Festival, the documentary, Iverson, will debut for the world. The film is set to document A.I.’s journey through life, and will be a must-see for any fan of him or the game of basketball. We can only hope that the documentary gets a full release sooner than later, because according to reports, the premiere at Tribeca is already sold out.

Check out the official poster for the premiere after the jump, and stay tuned for more details.

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Knicks, Lakers & Celtics All Miss Playoffs Together For First Time In NBA History

New York Knicks v Los Angeles Lakers

This has been a very strange NBA season to say the least. The regular season will wrap up this week, and then the playoffs will kick off this upcoming weekend. When the playoffs do kick off though, they will be without the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, which marks the first time in NBA history that all of these teams missed the playoffs in one season. Crazy, right? All three of these teams have had their fare share of problems this year, and not seeing any of the three in the playoffs will be very hard to adjust too.

For the Celtics and Lakers, they will now look towards the NBA draft, where both teams look to land a favorable spot, and possibly in play for a very high caliber player. The Knicks situation is a little less optimistic, as they don’t own a first round pick, and they will have to deal with the possibility of Carmelo Anthony leaving this summer. The good news is that they have Phil Jackson running the ship, and nobody can really do it better.

UPDATE: A hilarious Knicks “One Shining Moment” video has been added after the jump.

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Joel Embiid Declares For NBA Draft

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Another one bites the dust. As expected, Kansas center Joel Embiid has officially declared for the NBA draft today. This was fully expected by experts and there is a strong possibility that Embiid may go #1 overall in the June festivities. By declaring, Embiid joins his Kansas teammate Andrew Wiggins, both who are expected to be selected very high in the lottery.

the major question mark with Embiid will be his nagging back issues, which forced him to miss a good portion of the season for Kansas, including the entire NCAA tournament. Despite that, Embiid may be the most intriguing player in the draft, as you rarely see a player come around with his impressive skill set. All eyes now turn to Duke’s Jabari Parker, making him the last major underclassmen that has not disclosed his decision for next season.

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LeBron James Blocked At The Rim By Mason Plumlee To Secure Nets Win

iClick image to watch LeBron James get blocked at the rim by Mason Plumlee to preserve the Nets win.

It was all good just a week ago, huh LeBron? With the NBA playoffs rapidly approaching, most teams are just coasting to the end of the year, either getting ready for the off-season or the playoffs. Tonight’s Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat game was not like that at all though, with both teams going all out for the victory. Miami is currently in a fight with the Pacers for the #1 seed in the East, so every game is very crucial for them. For the Nets, they are also are in a tough fight for playoff seeding and must win every game possible. This game also boils down to a deeper rivalry between the two squads, that we can only hope culminates in an upcoming playoff series.

As for tonight’s game, the Nets were able to secure a rare feat, beating the Heat 88-87. This game also capped their season sweep of the Heat, as they have totally had their number the entire year. The major point in this one came in the final seconds when LeBron James found himself with the ball and an opportunity to give the Heat the lead in the final moments. What LeBron didn’t anticipate was Nets center Mason Plumlee meeting him at the peek and denying him the bucket. ‘Bron and the Heat called for a foul, while the Nets celebrated the victory. The animosity between the two teams right now is at a pretty high level, and anything short of a seven game playoff series would be a crime.

Watch the block and highlights after the jump, and let us know if you think there should have been a foul called on the last play.

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ESPN Films: 30 for 30 “Bad Boys” Trailer

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Click image to watch ESPN Films: 30 for 30 “Bad Boys” trailer video

One of the most underrated teams in the modern era of basketball is the 89-90 Detroit Pistons, known as the Bad Boys. ESPN Films 30 for 30 series will be returning after a month to bless the world with an official “Bad Boys” episode, chronicling the history between head coach Chuck Daly, Thomas, Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman and John Salley.

Speaking of Michael Jordan (see last name for sarcasm), the Detroit Pistons were on their way to becoming a dynasty before Isiah Thomas became plagued with injuries in the final 6 years of his career, which would eventually lead to early retirment. The Bad Boys can be credited for leading to the evolution of Mike Jordan, after eliminating him from the playoffs 3 consecutive years and creating “The Jordan Rules”; which the entire team would solely target Michael. Get a preview of the upcoming episode, then look for its premiere April 17th at 8pm ET on ESPN.

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LeBron James Posterizes Ekpe Udoh

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 10.05.44 PMClick image to watch LeBron James posterize Ekpe Udoh.

At this point in the NBA season, the Milwaukee Bucks just want it to be over. Luckily for them there is only a handful of games left. On the other side of the coin, tonight they had to play against LeBron James and the Miami Heat. You might have guessed, but yes, the game was a total blowout by the Heat from start to finish. Despite the boring game, LeBron James at least made it entertaining on one play.

Late in the first quarter, Bron drove down the middle of the lane and absolutely pulverized the rim, soaring over poor Bucks defender Ekpe Udoh in the process. This is just one of the many times that Bron has done this in his career, but they sure don’t get old to see. Watch the ferocious slam after the jump.

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Steph Curry Drills Buzzer-Beater To Defeat Dallas Mavericks

iClick image to watch Steph Curry hit a buzzer-beater to beat the Dallas Mavericks.

The NBA playoffs are right around the corner, and we are already seeing madness go down before they even start. Last night we saw Golden State battle against the Dallas Mavericks, in a game which both teams were fighting to secure a playoff spot. Fight they did, as the game ended up going to overtime after both squads continually hit clutch shots back and forth.

Dirk Nowitzki was as magical as ever, dropping 33 points with ease and hitting shot after shot down the stretch. For Golden State, it was a combination of everyone chipping in, as both Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala hit big shots down the stretch. Then it was Steph Curry time, as with just seconds left in OT, he found himself with the ball and a chance to win it.

You already know what happens when you give Stephlon Don a little space to shoot it, and last night the Mavs found out first hand. Curry drifted to the left wing and unloaded an off-balanced jumper that did nothing but hit the bottom of the net and send Dallas home crying.

Watch the incredible game-winner after the jump.

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Andrew Wiggins Declares For NBA Draft

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After a very disappointing early exit in this year’s NCAA Tournament, Kansas SF Andrew Wiggins is ready to take his talents to the NBA after announcing his decision to declare for the draft at a press conference today. It is no surprise that the Canadian Jayhawk freshman is leaving for the big leagues, because ever since he committed to Kansas, he has been thought of as the top prospect for the NBA Draft. He is likely to be one of the first three players selected when the draft rolls around this June and the overall #1 pick in some mock drafts already.

Wiggins had his ups and downs while at Kansas, but did turn it up once conference play got underway for the Jayhawks. Over the course of the entire season Wiggins was able to notch just over 17 ppg, while reeling in 5.9 rebounds per contest.

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Playing With Passion: Joakim Noah

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Click image to watch Joakim Noah’s “Playing With Passion” video.

With Derrick Rose being out for the second straight season due to injuries, Joakim Noah in some eyes has become the franchise of the Chicago Bulls. Playing with a limited roster following the departure of Loul Deng, Noah’s led Chicago to obtaining the 4th best record in the eastern conference; highlighted by wins this month over both Indiana and Miami.

It’s no secret that Joakim’s one of the most passionate players in the league, but ESPN took time to shed light on the third-generation athlete. Network reporter Lisa Salters is a fan of Noah’s father and former French Open champion, Yannick Noah, which she takes time to draw the parallel between the father-and-son’s high passion while playing professionally.

After the jump, you can view the brief clip where Noah discusses previous traits passed down from his dad and beyond to help better his career in Chicago.

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Dion Waiters Sinks Buzzer-Beater To Knock Off Detroit Pistons

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 8.50.48 AMClick image to watch Dion Waiters buzzer-beater against the Detroit Pistons.

While most of the NBA community was locked into the Pacers and Heat battle last night, Dion Waiters of the Cleveland Cavaliers was doing Dion Waiters things last night too. After a furious 4th quarter comeback from down 16 points, the Cavs found themselves down one with three seconds on the clock and awaiting an inbound play. Off of that play, the Cavs got it into Waiters on the wing and he calmly adjusted himself before launching a shot that smoothly swished through the basket as time expired.

This game was sort of significant in the East playoff race, simply because the Hawks lost again and the Cavs somehow still remain only three games back. The Knicks were also able to notch a victory last night, as they continue to try and fight to get into the eight seed. With teams only having around ten games left in the regular season, the final stretch in both conferences is sure to be exciting.

Watch the buzzer-beater after the jump.

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Magic Johnson Talks State Of The Lakers & Phil Jackson’s Knicks Hiring

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Click image to watch Magic Johnson’s interview on ESPN talking Lakers future & Phil Jackson’s #Knickstape arrival.

Last week, Phil Jackson was formally introduced as the president of the New York Knicks. Magic Johnson opens up with venting on his former Los Angeles Laker family members Pat Riley being in Miami, Jerry West serving as a consultant and now Phil Jackson taking charge now at Penn Plaza. In the brief conversation with ESPN, Magic also touched on Jim and Jeanie Buss now both being on the same page regarding the future of the organization; which he’s decided to remain a close consultant with the organization in comparison to joining another franchise.

After the jump, you can watch the full interview with Magic Johnson, as he looks into not only this year’s free agency class of players, but 2015’s as well.

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