Rosario added to Gilas pool

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Luis Manzano jokes about Mikee Morada’s proposal to Alex Gonzaga: ‘Baka nagtali lang ng sintas’ Cruz eager to prove worth in D-League for second chance in PBA Gilas Pilipinas vs New Zealand in a FIBA OQT match at Mall of Asia Arena. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTroy Rosario has been added to the new Gilas Pilipinas pool.Coach Chot Reyes announced Tuesday that the TNT forward will be included to the now 25-man pool on his Twitter account.ADVERTISEMENT READ: Latest Gilas pool ‘young, balanced, versatile,’ says ReyesThe lanky forward’s inclusion to the team, which is said to be the tallest pool ever assembled, gives Reyes a forward who can not only operate down low but is also threat from the outside.Rosario, 25, has been averaging 12.8 points on a 32-percent shooting from three, and 6.9 rebounds so far this 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Anne Curtis talks about renewing faith in God amid the world’s ‘noise and clutter’ MOST READ Bulacan inmates, jail guards raise donations for Taal victims Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member READ: Fajardo, Castro lead latest additions to Gilas |With clearance from “TNT management and the PBA board,” Reyes will have two players from the KaTropa side. Jayson Castro’s inclusion to the pool was announced on Sunday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnThe PBA and SBP initially agreed that each team will lend at least one player for Gilas duties.Rosario is no stranger to Gilas Pilipinas, suiting up in the 2016 Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament. DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal DILG to lock shops in Tagaytay City, other areas near Taal Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Ben&Ben, IV of Spades, SB19 win big at 5th Wish Music Awards Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Westbrook, Durant All-Star reunion off to awkward start

first_imgMarcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board member He used a total of five words to respond to his first question about the opportunity to play with Westbrook again:“I’m excited to be here.”Later, Durant said more directly, “I don’t want to talk about it.”At other times, he became philosophical, minimizing the significance of contract talks, trades or when stars change teams.“It’s not real-life problems,” Durant said, so he prefers to “just block it out.”He added: “Stuff you guys may think is important, I don’t really think is important at all, so when I look at it that way, it’s pretty easy to me.”Ultimately, which five players are on the court at any given time will be up to West coach Steve Kerr.So far, Kerr has been coy about how he’ll handle his rotations. Of course, the Golden State coach used to work in TV, so he knows as well as anyone how to maintain intrigue. LATEST STORIES Tenorio: We were not there mentally View comments Reunited on the Western Conference All-Star team for this weekend’s event, Westbrook and Durant will have to practice together on Saturday and play together on Sunday.If either of them expects it to be awkward — particularly after the way they barked at one another in a recent regular season game — they weren’t discussing it on Friday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnREAD: Durant leads Warriors over Thunder in return to OKCWestbrook smirked and responded to questions about any potential awkward interaction with Durant, who left the Thunder over the summer to join the Golden State Warriors, with thoughts on New York City’s Fashion Week. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In this Nov. 3, 2016, file photo, Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, right, celebrates in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, in Oakland, Calif. The next time Russell Westbrook walks into a locker room for a game, Kevin Durant will be there. Get ready for the perhaps the best subplot of All-Star Weekend. The former Oklahoma City teammates and now rivals play as Western Conference teammates Sunday night, Feb. 19, 2017. AP FILE PHOTONEW ORLEANS — Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant had plenty to say at their first NBA All-Star appearance since splitting up as teammates in Oklahoma City.Just not about one another.ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img Municipal councilor nabbed for indiscriminate firing in Leyte 98% of residents in Taal Volcano’s 14-kilometer danger zone evacuated – DILG MOST READ 15 Taal towns now under total lockdown Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties Poe chides LTFRB exec over termination of motorcycle taxi pilot study Palace: Crisis over ABS-CBN franchise unlikely “Man, you know what? Fashion week has been great. You seen fashion week? You been paying attention to fashion week?” Westbrook responded to a question about Durant. “There’s a lot of great-looking things at fashion week, man. I’m looking forward to new collections.”Later came another, more general question about playing with four members of Golden State on the West team — Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — and Westbrook shot back:“What’s your favorite fashion brand? What you like?”READ: NBA: Westbrook unimpressed with ex-teammate DurantFor his part, Durant was curt, or vague or sometimes critical of the media for obsessing over things that aren’t important. Not to him anyway.ADVERTISEMENT Motorcycle taxis ‘illegal’ starting next week — LTFRB board memberlast_img read more

Ibaka, Lopez get one-game bans for swinging punches

first_img‘It’s not my shame’: Why Filipino women are calling out sexual misconduct on social media View comments Duterte promises to look for funds to establish rail transport in Cebu ‘1917’ takes top honor at the Producers Guild Awards Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite LATEST STORIES Prince Harry: ‘No other option’ but to cut royal ties NBA: Westbrook’s 35th triple double powers Thunder win MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town ‘Bad Boys for Life’ debuts so good with box office top spot Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka (9) lands a strike on Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez (8) during a scuffle during second half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto, Tuesday, March 21, 2017. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)Chicago Bulls center Robin Lopez and Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka were each suspended one game without pay by the NBA on Wednesday for exchanging punches during an altercation.Ibaka, who was born in the Republic of the Congo but plays internationally for Spain, and US 7-footer Lopez were given technical fouls and ejected from the game after swinging blows with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter of Toronto’s 122-120 overtime victory over visiting Chicago on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT Ibaka will miss the Raptors’ game Thursday at Miami while Lopez will serve his ban Wednesday night when the Bulls play host to Detroit.Raptors assistant coach Jamaal Magloire was fined $15,000 for pushing Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic, who was born in Montenegro but also plays globally for Spain, and acting as other than a peacemaker during the same altercation.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnAt 42-29, the Raptors are on a three-game win streak and one-half game behind Washington for third place in the Eastern Conference.The Bulls, 33-38, are two games behind Miami for the eighth and final East playoff berth. Taal Volcano evacuees warned against going home Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcoslast_img read more

Westbrook secures triple-double average, falls short of 42nd

first_imgMOST READ “Get your mind right,” he explained. “You understand how important a game is and you want to make sure I’m playing the best that I need to play for my teammates. Tonight I felt like I let them down.”Westbrook stayed in the game long after the outcome seemed certain. Donovan said he hadn’t given up on being able to win the game.“No, I wasn’t trying for the triple-double,” the coach said. “I’ve seen enough miraculous things this year — at Dallas and Orlando — and I thought about taking him out at the stoppage of play around 3:40, 3:45. I just said, you know what, he gets hot around the 3-point line, we make a couple of shots. … I just wanted to give our team every opportunity.”Westbrook had probably his worst shooting first half of the season and his teammates didn’t show much interest in the contest as the Suns opened a 28-point lead.He missed his first 11 shots before sinking a 17-footer with 50.4 seconds left in the half. He followed that quickly with a three-point play on an acrobatic drive to the basket.But his halftime stats were ugly: 2-for-13 shooting, 0 for 4 on 3s, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 6 turnovers.Phoenix, meanwhile, shot 61 percent in the first half, led by Warren’s 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, to Oklahoma City’s 39 percent and led 71-48 at the half.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte only wants to emulate strong political will of Marcos Smith’s 40 lifts Blackwater past GlobalPort View comments Presidency bid needs ‘deep reflection’ – Sara Duterte Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) spins around Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 7, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)PHOENIX — Russell Westbrook joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average a triple-double for a season.That didn’t make him feel much better about his or his team’s awful Friday night, when Westbrook failed for the second game in a row to break Robertson’s 55-year-old, single-season record for most triple-doubles.ADVERTISEMENT The dynamic Thunder guard fell two assists shy of what would have been his 42nd in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 120-99 loss to the Phoenix Suns.Of averaging a triple-double for the season, Westbrook said, “You could never say in a million years that I would think that was even possible.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSBreak new groundSPORTSMcGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC returnAnd as for not getting 10 assists?“My main goal since I got here, especially this season, is to win a championship,” Westbrook said. “If I wanted to get 10 assists, I could get 10 assists. Everybody wants to see the record broke, but it’s bigger than that for our team and for me.” Dozens wounded as Iraqi protesters up pressure on government On a rough night all around, Westbrook had 23 points (on 6-of-25 shooting, 2 of 12 3-pointers), 12 rebounds and eight assists, along with eight turnovers before coach Billy Donovan pulled him with 2:34 to play.Devin Booker scored 21 of the Suns’ 25 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 37 as Phoenix snapped a 13-game losing streak.“From the start of the game, Russ was chasing history,” Booker said. “… Unbelievable player. I’m sure he’s going to get it. I’m happy it wasn’t here but we locked in defensively.”Westbrook did get the six assists he needed to assure that he’d join Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for a season — breaching double figures for all three categories. Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists for the Cincinnati Royals in the 1961-62 season.After the game, Westbrook went straight to the practice court and stayed there for nearly an hour.ADVERTISEMENT On the edge of America, census begins in a tiny Alaska town LATEST STORIES Marcos monument beside Aquino’s stirs Tarlac town Canadian military mobilized to help Newfoundland dig out Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Palace: Crisis over ABC-CBN franchise unlikely SpaceX launches, destroys rocket in astronaut escape test Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respitelast_img read more

Foster’s Fairplay | Little room for error

first_img Partnership The defeated candidate, Stewart Stephenson, brought to the table, a number of the captains of industry, whom one could wish, expects will be in the forefront of any plans to support the sport through sponsorship. The more fashionable term in current times, is partnership. If they sign up, they must move in concert with the thinking of their shareholders. It will be no easy task to get the signature of these big boys if they are not convinced that the present JFF regime will have their concepts mirrored. Failing this, they will consider that their funds are best invested elsewhere. Interesting days lie ahead for the nation’s football and the group that wears the crown of leadership. Hopefully, they will be up to the challenge. As is being seen coming out of the London World Championships medal shortfall, Jamaicans are intolerant of failures on the field of play. It is hoped that Ricketts and his team recognise, respect and rigorously respond to this. It will be a hard road to travel and not enough time, given the constraints explained. They need to move speedily and smartly to accomplish what the nation demands. Foster’s Fairplay wishes the very best for the new leaders of Jamaica’s football. – Send feedback to [email protected] The die has been cast as far as the medium term future of Jamaica’s football is concerned. The delegates have voted, and the head of the Clarendon Football Association, Michael Ricketts, will lead the charge for another two years. He is only empowered, according to the Constitution of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), to hold the position for that period, as that is what it will take to finish the leg of leadership started by the late Captain Horace Burrell. Burrell took the country to the pinnacle of world football by having its name among the 32 finalists who answered the call for France, 1998. This has set a template which now sees such an elevation in status as a right, to be sustained against all the odds that stand in the way. Unfortunately, football does not work that way. What should be the first order of business is the tackling of a huge debt, said to be in the region of approximately $300 million. The good news, if it can be so described, is that a substantial portion of this is owed to the Government and negotiations to reduce same should not be too much of a difficulty. Cleaning up the image of the nation’s football should be seen as a responsibility for all those who are in a position to benefit from a better look. This includes the Government, as all the national teams who are ambassadors for Brand Jamaica, when they represent the country abroad, deserve the load-shedding of some of the burden which could hamper their progress. There is, however, a major problem that could be in store for the new boss. Jamaica has already faltered in its steps towards the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Moscow next year. The country will not be there, so, as Ricketts stated in pre-elections exchanges with the nation, the focus of his organisation’s initiatives will be the next staging in Qatar in 2022. Thus, the dilemma rests in the fact that last Saturday’s mandate will not carry him that far. How then can Ricketts, in his bid to impress, tackle that? As Ricketts himself has stated, Jamaica’s football is at a crossroads. Foster’s Fairplay strongly supports that view. One of the points raised constantly during the campaign is that the JFF top man is only answerable to the 13 delegates who elected him to office. Nothing could be further from the truth, and if his Federation does not deliver the goods, he will soon find out. The entire country will be yapping at his heels. Ricketts and his organisation will need the support required to achieve the nation’s ambitious aims. The private sector will be called upon to play a major part in any process to advance the level at which the sport now sits. Since he is only assured of holding the reins for the next two years, what message in support of this will he take to them?last_img read more

Del Potro has wrist placed in splint after fall in Shanghai

first_img “I hope for him (del Potro) that it’s nothing serious,” Federer said. “He’s had problems in the past and this is why he’s worried, rightfully so. At the end of the day nothing changes for me, I’ll be ready to come out here to play, and it’s for revenge for the US Open.” Meanwhile, Nadal tied Andre Agassi for sixth place on the list of all-time Open Era wins. Topping Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 was his 870th match win. Nadal also improved his win streak to 15 having won the China Open last week. In Beijing, he defeated Dimitrov in a three-set semi-final. SHANGHAI, China (AP): Juan Martin del Potro’s bruised left wrist was placed in a splint after a nasty fall while winning his quarter-final at the Shanghai Masters yesterday. Del Potro is due to play Roger Federer in the semi-finals today. The other semi-final features top-ranked Rafael Nadal against Marin Cilic. Del Potro tumbled on the court at 2-2 in the third set against Viktor Troicki of Serbia and instinctively tried to break the fall with his left wrist. Del Potro, who has undergone surgery on both wrists, conferred with a trainer as he repeatedly shook his wrist. Del Potro ended up breaking Troicki’s serve in that fifth game and prevailed 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. “I don’t know how my wrist is after I fell down,” del Potro said before leaving for a local hospital. “I felt something wrong in that moment, but I continued to play, just playing (backhand) slices just to finish the match. I’m going to the hospital to see what the MRI says, and what the doctor says. “Then I will take a decision for (today). I would like to play and be 100 per cent.” Jorge Viale, del Potro’s agent, later tweeted that tests revealed a “wrist contusion” but “more serious problems were ruled out.” “The doctors put a splint to immobilise the wrist,” Viale added. “Tomorrow morning, Juan Martin will decide whether he plays the semi-final.” Del Potro beat Federer in the U.S. Open quarter-finals. Federer made another match-up by beating Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-4. Not worriedlast_img read more

Exciting seido open set for UTech this Saturday

first_imgJamaica’s top martial artists get a last chance to sharpen their skills at this Saturday’s Everlast Seido Karate International Tournament ahead of departing the island for the International Sports Karate Association United States Open the following week in Orlando, Florida. The locals are set to go up against overseas fighters starting 9:30 a.m. at the University of Technology as seido karate celebrates its 42nd year in Jamaica. Last year’s grand champion, Ackeem Lawrence, will be back to defend his crown against his taekwondo and Jamaica combined martial arts teammates, Trevor Webb Jr and Akino Lindsay, as well as mixed martial arts practitioner Alrick Wanliss, Richard Touzalin, Oral Rumble of Seido, and Kevin Brown of Rising Sun Karate. The female category will have as its star former grand champion Sheckema Cunningham, who won double gold at the 2017 ISKA Amateur Member Association World Champs in Greece. THRILLING FINISH Meanwhile, the Jamaica Taekwondo McKay Security High School League is set for a thrilling finish. Defending champions Calabar need a win to share the 2018 title with dark horses St George’s, who hold an unbeatable 3-2 lead after scoring a tie-breaking victory over their rivals at last month’s Zendo Open. However, intense rivalry is expected, which could deny Calabar a share of the title as fighters from Kingston College, Jamaica College, Wolmer’s Boys’ and Cornwall are all looking to make an impression ahead of the United States Open. As part of its 42nd anniversary celebrations, Seido Jamaica will be handing out more medals than ever, especially in the children’s divisions, courtesy of sponsors Everlast and the Sports Development Foundation. [email protected]last_img read more

Cavalier to depart for Gothia Cup

first_imgFollowing months of intense preparation, head coach and president of Cavalier SC, Rudolph Speid, said his players are ready to compete in this year’s staging of the Gothia Cup, a preseason youth tournament scheduled for July 15-21 in Gothenburg, Sweden.Speid told The Gleaner yesterday that the team will be leaving tomorrow for a three-day camp in Norway, moving over to the championships in Sweden.Speid said that they are taking the tournament very seriously because it is an opportunity for the young charges to showcase their talents in front of top European scouts.”It is what they dubbed the youth club World Cup and there are 24 team from all over the world taking part, and we are going there to see if we can give a good account of ourselves,” said Speid.”We are also going there to ensure that people realise that Jamaica has good-quality players and good organisation,” he said.”The players are elated about this because most of these players have never travelled before and they are going to be travelling to Europe, which is a dream come true for players looking to play in Europe,” Speid said.Cavalier were invited to compete in tournament after they defeated English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur’s U-15 team in the finals of a preseason tournament in the Cayman Islands last year.Speid added that his players are looking forward to carrying over this feat into this tournament in Norway.”They are looking forward to it and to make their mark. They want to give a good performance for the club and country,” Speid noted.”I think if a couple of the players catch the eyes of the scouts, that will be good for us. But even if they don’t, then the experience of travelling abroad will do a world of good for their careers,” he stated.”This is the only team from this region participating in the Gothia Cup, and we are the first ever team in this region to do so. This is a major accomplishment for us,” Speid added.last_img read more

Windies lose ODI opener

first_imgDHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC): A change of format made little difference to West Indies’ fortunes, as another timid batting display sent them tumbling to a five-wicket defeat in the opening One-Day International (ODI) yesterday. Choosing to bat first at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, the visitors stumbled their way to an uncompetitive 195 for nine off their 50 overs, with opener Shai Hope top-scoring with 43. West Indies were at snail’s pace, as they crawled to 79 for three at the halfway stage of the innings, and they needed busy knocks from Keemo Paul (36) and Roston Chase (32) down the order to lift the tempo. Seamers Mashrafe Mortaza (3-30) and Mustafizur Rahman (3-35) kept the Windies in check, however, limiting them to their fourth-lowest total against Bangladesh. In reply, Bangladesh overcame the lost of two early wickets to coast to their target in the 36th over, with wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim stroking an unbeaten 55 and Liton Das gathering 41. Having suffered a 2-0 whitewash in the preceding Test series, West Indies are now staring at yet another series defeat, with the second ODI scheduled for tomorrow at the same venue. Faced with a slow pitch, the Windies openers struggled from the outset, and Hope and Kieran Powell (10) needed 48 deliveries for their 29-run stand. Frustration ultimately led to Powell’s downfall in the eighth over, the left-hander swinging at left-arm spinner Shakib-al-Hasan and holing out to Rubel Hossain running around to cover point. Darren Bravo, playing his first ODI in two years, also found himself bogged down and his 19 came from a painful 51-ball labour at the crease in a 36-run second wicket stand with Hope, which required 76 balls. Similar exasperation was behind Bravo’s demise, drilling Mashrafe to long off, where Tamim Iqbal took a stunning diving catch in the 21st over. When Hope, who struck three fours, sliced Mashrafe to point in the 25th over, the Windies were 78 for three and in need of momentum, but five wickets tumbled for 62 runs, to leave the innings in further trouble at 127 for six in the 40th over. Shimron Hetmyer (6) made too much room and lost his leg stump to off-spinner Mehidy Hasan, captain Rovman Powell (14) picked out mid-off with Mashrafe, and Marlon Samuels, whose 25 came from 48 deliveries, holed out to long on with pacer Rubel Hossain. The revival came through Chase and Paul, the pair adding a brisk 51 from 48 deliveries for the seventh wicket, as West Indies gathered 66 runs from the last 10 overs. Paul crunched a four and two sixes in a 28-ball cameo, while Chase counted a single four and a six off 38 balls. ANOTHER DEFEATlast_img read more

NBA’s Christmas lineup headlined by LeBron vs Warriors

first_imgLOS ANGELES, AP – There’s no NBA Finals rematch this year on Christmas. Not technically, anyway. It’s LeBron James vs the Golden State Warriors for the fourth consecutive year on December 25, though James will be wearing a Los Angeles Lakers uniform this time. It was a predictable matchup. It isn’t, however, a break from tradition. That’s one of the biggest misnomers about the NBA and the schedule. An NBA Finals rematch is not common, not the norm, not a guarantee for the last two teams that were standing the previous season. The league has crowned a champion every year since 1947, and the tradition of Christmas Day games started later that same year. (They’ve been an annual fixture since, with the exception of 1998, when a lockout didn’t allow that season to begin until February.) But there have been only nine NBA Finals rematches on December 25. The recent Golden State-Cleveland history may make it seem like more. James has been in five Finals rematches on Christmas, all since 2011: Miami vs Dallas that year, Oklahoma City vs Miami the following year, and Cleveland vs Golden State in each of the last three years. The other four rematches on the holiday: Orlando vs Houston in 1995, Philadelphia vs the Lakers in 2001, San Antonio vs Detroit in 2005 and Boston vs the Lakers in 2008. So instead of a Cavs-Warriors rematch, getting Lakers vs Warriors — for the first time in the LeBron LA era — makes perfect sense. “Bron is Bron,” Warriors forward Draymond Green said. “They’re going to be tough, a tough matchup on Christmas Day, but we’re looking forward to it.” Inevitably, so will James. Even with the Lakers having lost four of their last six games, they’re off to a 19-14 start — their best since the 2011-12 season. “We’ve got a long way to go to get to Golden State,” James said in September. He’s about to get his first look at how the Lakers measure up with the champs. CHRISTMAS LINEUP Tuesday’s slate starts with Milwaukee at New York, followed by Oklahoma City at Houston, Philadelphia at Boston, the Lakers at the Warriors and then Portland at Utah. It’s Milwaukee’s first Christmas game since 1977, which will end what was by far the league’s longest December 25 drought. Utah have not played on Christmas since 1997. A look at each of the five games: BUCKS AT KNICKS Congratulations to the schedule-makers, because there’s no way they could have known this Christmas game would be wrapped in animus. Giannis Antetokounmpo was peeved at New York forward Mario Hezonja — who dunked on him, stared at him and then stepped over him when the teams met on December 1. THUNDER AT ROCKETS A rematch of a game from Christmas 2017, which the Thunder won 112-107. Oklahoma City are 6-2 on Christmas since the team moved there; when the franchise was in Seattle, they were 0-11 on the holiday. Rockets star Chris Paul will miss Christmas for the third straight year — with the Clippers, he had a left hamstring strain and missed their game against the Lakers in 2016, he sat out last year’s Houston-OKC game with a groin strain and this year, it’s another left hamstring issue that will keep him out. 76ERS AT CELTICS These are heated, historic rivals, but they’ve met on Christmas only once before — in 1961, when the 76ers were the Syracuse Nationals. Boston, which famously avoided home Christmas games forever (the Celtics played their first 30 such games away from Boston), will be at home on the holiday for the second consecutive season. LAKERS AT WARRIORS It’s the 20th consecutive Christmas appearance for the Lakers, and with James there now, don’t expect that streak to end anytime soon. Warriors star Kevin Durant apparently loves playing on the holiday; he’s averaging 31.1 points in his eight previous Christmas games. TRAIL BLAZERS AT JAZZ Portland are 14-3 all-time on Christmas and could tie Miami (10-2) for the best winning percentage on the holiday if  they top the Jazz. Meanwhile, for Utah, it’s a chance for Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell to get his first — but almost certainly not his last — look at playing on Christmas. CHRISTMAS HISTORY The NBA’s five-game Christmas lineup is back for an 11th consecutive year, and that may seem like a lot of matchups but has been exceeded plenty of times in the past. There were seven games on the holiday in 1949, 1971 and 1977, as well as six in 1970 and 1976. And there were some years where everybody played on Christmas. In 1952, the league had 10 teams, so that meant five Christmas games. In 1956, the league’s eight teams got together for two Christmas doubleheaders — two games at Madison Square Garden, two others at the War Memorial in Rochester, New York. And in 1959, eight teams meant four games on the holiday again. With Milwaukee playing, the league’s longest Christmas drought will belong to the Atlanta Hawks, who haven’t appeared on the holiday since 1989. After the Hawks, the longest droughts will be held by Charlotte (no appearances in 29 seasons), Memphis (no appearances in 24 seasons), Toronto (2001), Sacramento (2003), Indiana (2004) and Detroit (2005). Everyone else has played at least one Christmas game since 2009.last_img read more