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Oram: LeBron James steps up to win MVP and spares us another indefensibly sterile All-Star Game

first_img LeBron James rises to occasion to lead his team to NBA All-Star Game victory Paul George just the latest homegrown star to feel Lakers’ love in free agency Adam Silver encouraged by NBA players meeting with referees in effort to ease tension Ninety seconds remained when James hit a 3-pointer to tie the score at 144 and another boring, forgettable All-Star Game turned a corner.James was the MVP, of course, after tallying 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and made the go-ahead layup with 34 seconds left in what was ultimately a 148-145 victory for the aptly named Team LeBron.Following James’ lead, the game turned scrappy, the participants started to care. And after Compton’s DeMar DeRozan pushed Team Stephen ahead by a point with a free throw when just 40 seconds remained, James scored and then his team forced a turnover and James found a streaking Russell Westbrook.The game, then, ended with defense.The speculation that James will come to L.A. as a free agent this summer began years before he took command of Sunday’s game. But it certainly fits nicely into the storyline. Maybe he’ll pull a Doc Rivers and hide his MVP trophy in the ceiling at Staples Center and retrieve it when he comes back to play for the Lakers next fall. VIDEO: NBA All-Stars talk about their music preference during media day in Los Angeles 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend courtside: Celebrity All-Star Game and Rising Stars Challenge updates Heisler: NBA All-Star Game is too broken to fix, too big to drop center_img Putting Kevin Hart on the stage next to Clippers superfan Adam Devine does not make an L.A. event. That would be like calling “Avatar” a quintessential L.A. movie because it was filmed on a soundstage in Playa Vista.Flanking the sides of the stage during player introductions with Laker Girls and members of the Clippers dance team only hammered home the point that the two hosting teams were not represented.All that means is there is plenty of room for James (and George) in L.A. The night’s MVP called it the “perfect place” to host All-Star Weekend, ignoring the soulless nature of any major event in a city with so many distractions.“It’s one of the few cities that we have in our league that can accommodate all of this,” James said. “We know the traffic. We understand that, but traffic is traffic.”But L.A. is more than a swirling mess of freeways and logistical headaches. James sees past those.“It’s built,” he said, “for stars.”Read into that what you will. The new format the league unveiled this year, with James and Steph Curry drafting teams of All-Stars, will take some getting used to. It was hard to remember as the game went on who was on which side after generations of fans raised on East vs. West.But in recent years, the exhibition had lost its soul. There was no defense for it, let alone in it.There had to be a better way to showcase the world’s greatest basketball players in the golden age of the NBA. With players more accessible, relatable and fun than ever, it continues to defy logic that the league’s signature event should be so sterile and corporate.That’s something the league needs to continue to address.Until then, on Sunday the NBA’s greatest stars at least offered more than a steady stream of dunks and 3-pointers.There were plenty of those, make no mistake. By the time the game was over, the sides combined to attempt 123 3-pointers. They made, um, 36.But there were also challenges at the rim! And James picking up full court! And even, gasp, trapping!“The opinions of what the All-Star Game has turned into, I think we all took it kind of personal,” Irving said.The players oversold just how much better the defense actually was – c’mon, really – but it was still progress. After last year’s game in New Orleans featured a combined 374 points, Teams LeBron and Steph managed to stay under 300.Safe to say Mike D’Antoni’s All-Star team played more defense than any of his Lakers teams ever did.After the theme of the weekend was the Lakers’ pursuit of Paul George, the fans on hand didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet for the player many think could collude with James and land in L.A. next summer. The audience barely stirred when George checked into the game in the first quarter and offered only a tepid response when he hit a 3-pointer shortly before halftime.Maybe they were just playing hard to get.Or maybe closer to the truth: the All-Star Game is not actually for the fans. It is for shoe companies and broadcast partners and millionaires. Sunday was no different. All Hollywood without a lick of Los Angeles.Related Articles LOS ANGELES — When the NBA’s All-Star Game needed saving, LeBron James stepped up.Now if he’d only do it for the Lakers. But more on that later.If the goal on Sunday was to see stars, for most of the night banging one’s head against the wall might have been a more enjoyable method.But the NBA and its stars have a funny way of ratcheting up the drama and the intrigue and making you wonder why you had to be so cranky about the whole enterprise in the first place. NBA All-Star LeBron James tells commentator ‘I will not shut up and dribble’ Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Manganti gets revenge; Eagles soar

first_imgFor the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio 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 respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Ivory Coast big man Ange Kouame proved an unstoppable force all game long as Ateneo overwhelmed Far Eastern U, 82-62, Saturday night to keep a share of the lead in UAAP Season 81’s Senior basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal View comments “What you don’t know is they rejected Sean and we got him.”It was the first win in seven tries against the Archers for Manganti, who took his rejection from La Salle as a source of motivation.“This is the one,” said Manganti. “This is the biggest game for me personally. I’m so happy right now. I’m on top of the world. I came here [back when I was] Grade 11, I practiced with them and they didn’t talk to me. They treated me like nobody.”The Falcons held the Archers to just two points in the first period. La Salle’s output is its lowest this season and its 26 percent shooting clip is the worst by any team.“I’ve been stressing to the players that I don’t think we can outscore the other teams but one thing for sure, our calling card for this year is really trying to hold down the other team,” said Pumaren.ADVERTISEMENT The wins proved critical for Ateneo and Adamson, both with 7-2 records, as they gained separation from FEU and La Salle, which dropped to 5-4.The end of the weekend could see three teams tied for the third to fifth spots with University of Santo Tomas gunning for a fifth win in nine games against National U on Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre.“We took advantage of our opportunities,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga. “FEU was locking down on our shooters so that’s why Ange was freed up.”With FEU’s 6-foot-9 Nigerian center, Prince Orizu leaving the game due to an injury, the Tamaraws had no answer for the 6-foot-10 Kouame in the shaded lane.Kouame, who made 15 of 18 shots, grabbed the most rebounds since Season 79 when Adamson’s Papi Sarr snared 25. The Ateneo center also scored the most points by an Ateneo player since Kiefer Ravena poured the same output four seasons ago.Anton Asistio fired 15 points as the Eagles bucked the absence of Thirdy Ravena to suspension and Matt and Mike Nieto.The Tamaraws fell to their second straight loss after a scintillating end to the first round. They were still in the game at 18-all, before Kouame helped Ateneo unleash a 16-4 burst to end the first half. LATEST STORIES Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum MOST READ Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? San Miguel rallies past TNT In one of the most dominant individual performances in recent memory, Kouame notched career-bests of 33 points and 27 rebounds as the Blue Eagles avenged their first round loss to the Tamaraws and remained on top with Adamson.The Falcons drew inspiration from Sean Manganti to end three years of frustration against the La Salle Archers for a gritty 57-50 victory in the first game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissPlaying with extra motivation, Manganti had 19 points and 12 boards against the same school that chose to ignore him after trying out five years ago.“Sean played pretty well,” said Adamson coach Franz Pumaren, whose team avenged a 78-79 loss to La Salle in overtime just a week ago. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

Score goals with the Pasadena YMCA

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Early bird sign-ups for the Pasadena YMCA spring indoor soccer season, open to children ages 3-12, will be accepted through Friday. Feb. 23. Registration hours are from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, at YMCA of Pasadena, 155 N. Lake Ave., Suite 230A. The fee is $75 for Scooter soccer (ages 3-5), and $85 for boys and girls ages 6-12. From Feb. 26 through March 3, the cost will be $100 and $110. The deadline to register is Saturday, March 3. Registration will also be accepted at the YMCA Youth Sports office, 2750 E. New York Drive, Pasadena. For information call (626) 432-5880. last_img read more