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Weakened KPK may face hurdles in probing social aid graft: Activists

first_imgHe warned that, with so much aid being distributed during the current national health crisis, corruption could occur, much like the corruption practices that marred the government’s village fund program that provided Rp 800 million (US$56,200) to Rp 1 billion to each of the archipelago’s 73,670 villages.“If large-scale corruption were to occur that involved regional leaders across all the provinces, regencies and cities in Indonesia, the President would never approve those investigations,” Jasin said.“The KPK will be powerless, even if they previously warned that corruption is punishable by death during times of crisis,” he added.Read also: KPK wants death for corruption convicts during COVID-19 outbreak Under the new law, which sparked massive protests last year, a supervisory council set up by the President will oversee the KPK’s operations, including giving approval for wiretapping, confiscation and search warrants.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo previously announced that the government would expand state spending by up to Rp 405.1 trillion in the wake of the outbreak, including Rp 110 trillion for social safety net programs that would aid people affected by the outbreak.Antigraft activists have warned that those relief budgets could be a hotbed of graft, such as corruption in medical equipment procurement or the misappropriation of social benefits.Bivitri Susanti of the Jentera School of Law said that any indication of graft in social aid distribution should also be reported to other institutions, such as Indonesian Ombudsman regional representatives and the illegal levy eradication central task force (Saber Pungli).“We will still need to report them to the KPK,” she said. “I’m sure they would still respond [to the reports], but I’m not sure that the follow up will be as expected when [the case involves] parties with conflicting interests that also have a strong grip on the KPK, such as law enforcement and governmental institutions,” she said in the same online discussion.Read also: Activists warn of potential graft as govt sets aside billions for COVID-19 reliefKPK chairman Firli Bahuri issued a circular on Monday on the procedure to use the Social Affairs Ministry’s Data of Social Welfare (DTKS) database and non-DTKS data in distributing the social assistance to residents to cushion the impact of COVID-19. In the circular aimed at the national and regional COVID-19 task forces, the antigraft body urged all related parties to ensure the data was accurate and upheld transparency. “We know that DTKS is always undergoing improvements, we urge the government to continue to ensure its accuracy so that [the social aid] is on target,” Firli said in a written statement on Wednesday.Topics : The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) may face an uphill battle in any corruption cases linked to COVID-19 aid distribution, as the agency now works under tight bureaucratic arrangements, activists have said.The concerns were raised by antigraft activists over funds funneled to regions for social aid to weather the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the new KPK Law enacted in October last year could hamper the investigation process.“If the COVID-19 aid funds are misused by state officials, such as regents, mayors, governors or ministers and their respective deputies, it will be difficult because [the KPK] is very procedural it needs to report to the President in handling those cases,” Former KPK deputy chief Mochammad Jasin said during a virtual discussion held by Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) on Wednesday.last_img read more

Update on the latest in sports:

first_img Associated Press The Big East Conference school announced the death Tuesday without identifying a cause. The New York Post quoted former teammate and friend Lamont Middleton, linking Green’s death to the coronavirus.Green was with St. John’s from 1991 to 1994. He played his first season under Lou Carnesecca and his final two for Brian Mahoney.Green was from New York City. He was 49 years old.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 COLLEGE BASKETBALL-PLAYER AND COACH OF THE YEARToppin, Grant bring top honors to DaytonUNDATED (AP) — Dayton’s Obi Toppin and Anthony Grant have claimed top honors from The Associated Press after leading the Flyers to a No. 3 final ranking.Toppin was voted the AP men’s college basketball player of the year. Grant is the AP coach of the year. They led the Flyers to a program-record 29 victories.Toppin won the player award with 34 votes from AP Top 25 poll voters. Iowa’s Luka Garza was runner-up with 24 votes. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditTOKYO OLYMPICS POSTPONEDVirus forces postponement of Summer OlympicsTOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021. The International Olympic Committee has decided that the Tokyo Games cannot go ahead as scheduled this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. The IOC says the games will be held “not later than summer 2021” but they will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  The announcement was a nod to the reality that training and qualifying schedules have been ruptured beyond repair as the coronavirus spreads.Next up for the organizers is picking a date when it might be safe again to hold such a massive event. They’ll also have to rearrange the 2021 global sports calendar.SPORTS-VIRUS OUTBREAKTrack world championships could be delayed a year — NASCAR has informed its staff that pay cuts will be imposed across the company until the series returns to racing. NASCAR President Steve Phelps announced the moves in a memo to employees, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press from a person who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. The memo said series executives, including the presidents of NASCAR-owned tracks, will see a 25% reduction in salary. All other employees will have their salary reduced by 20%.NFL-BUCCANEERS-BRADYSix-time Super Bowl champ Brady looking forward, not behindTAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady says one day he’ll have time to reflect on a historic 20-year run with the New England Patriots.Right now the six-time Super Bowl champion and newest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is focused on the challenge of helping the Bucs end the NFL’s second-longest playoff drought. March 24, 2020 The 42-year-old quarterback declined during a conference call to discuss specifics about his decision to leave the Patriots. Instead he reiterated that while he cherishes what he accomplished in New England, he’s just as committed to helping Tampa Bay be successful.NFL-NEWSAs expected, Panthers release NewtonUNDATED (AP) — The Cam Newton era is officially over in Carolina. The Panthers have released the quarterback after nine seasons.The move became a formality after the Panthers made it clear last week they were moving on from Newton, giving him permission to seek a trade before agreeing to a three-year, $63 million contract with free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Chancellor Doug Girard and Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a joint statement that investigators also found an athletic trainer was aware of at least some of the alleged incidents involving Shawn P. O’Brien but failed to appropriately report the conduct.The school says O’Brien provided free massages on campus to the general student population through the university’s Alumni Association’s finals dinner beginning in 2011 and as recently as last fall.COLLEGE BASKETBALL-OBIT-GREENEx-Red Storm player diesNEW YORK (AP) — A former St. John’s basketball player has died, reportedly of the coronavirus. Lee Green was a defensive standout who played on two NCAA Tournament teams. — Case Keenum has reunited in Cleveland with the coach who brought out the best in him. The veteran quarterback signed a three-year, $18 million free agent contract with the Browns. He’ll again be working with coach Kevin Stefanski. The pair spent 2017 together in Minnesota.— The Chargers have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent linebacker Nick Vigil. He spent the last four seasons with the Bengals and started every game last year, finishing second on the team with 111 tackles.— Receiver Isaiah McKenzie has reached an agreement to re-sign with the Bills.— The Cardinals have agreed to terms on one-year deals with offensive lineman Max Garcia and safety Charles Washington.MLB-METS-SYNDERGAARD Syndergaard needs Tommy John surgeryNEW YORK (AP) — If the New York Mets ever start their season, they’ll do it without Noah Syndergaard (SIHN’-dur-gahrd).The flame-throwing right-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery Thursday after being diagnosed with a torn elbow ligament. General manager Brodie Van Wagenen says Syndergaard underwent an MRI after experiencing discomfort in his elbow before spring training was suspended due to the pandemic.The right-hander received a second opinion on the damaged ulnar collateral ligament from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ head team physician.The 27-year-old Syndergaard is coming off his worst major league season, going 10-8 with a 4.28 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 197 2/3 innings. The Forum has been owned by Madison Square Garden Company, which had been in litigation to block Balmer and Wong from building a new arena nearby.The purchase abruptly wraps up the litigation fight and allows the Clippers to move ahead on their goal to open a new arena when their Staples Center lease expires in 2024. The Clippers currently share the downtown arena with the Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings.COLLEGE SPORTS-KANSAS-MASSAGE THERAPISTKansas massage therapist accused of misconduct with athletesWICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A massage therapist charged with a sex crime involving a girl also engaged in inappropriate behavior toward at least six female athletes at the University of Kansas, including unwanted touching during massages. Update on the latest in sports: Grant won the coaching honor with 30 votes in his third season at his alma mater. Baylor’s Scott Drew was second with 13 votes.NBA-CLIPPERS-FORUMClippers own buying L.A. ForumLOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for $400 million. That clears the way for the billionaire to build a new arena down the street in Inglewood, California.Ballmer, the former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the cash purchase through a newly formed corporation that will continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. In other NFL moves:— A person familiar with the situation says free agent wide receiver Robby Anderson has agreed to a two-year contract worth $20 million with the Panthers. He scored five touchdowns last season and finished with 52 catches for 779 yards, both second-best totals for his career.— The Falcons have agreed to a contract with free-agent linebacker LaRoy Reynolds. Reynolds played in 15 games with Cincinnati in 2019. He is expected to add depth and contribute on special teams.— The Lions have agreed to terms with offensive lineman Oday Aboushi to add depth. Aboushi started two games and was a backup in five other games last season in Detroit.— The Seahawks have made a significant addition to their wide receiver group by agreeing to a one-year deal with Phillip Dorsett. Dorsett addresses another need for Seattle, providing depth and additional speed on the outside for quarterback Russell Wilson.  UNDATED (AP) — The track world championships in Eugene, Oregon, could be moved from 2021 to 2022 after the Olympics were postponed.World Athletics says it is talking with organizers about “alternative dates, including dates in 2022.”The championships in Eugene are due to run from Aug. 6-15, 2021. That would conflict with the Olympics if the same July-August slot as originally planned for 2020 is used next year.In other news concerning the outbreak:— The NHL is extending its recommendation for players and staff to self-isolate and stay away from team practice facilities until at least April 6. Multiple people with knowledge of the update say the NHL has recommended players and staff extend their self-quarantine 10 days beyond the original March 27 timeline. The decision further pushes back the earliest date team facilities can reopen. — The 49ers have officially announced a deal to re-sign safety Jimmie Ward to a three-year contract. The sides came to an agreement on the deal worth a reported $28.5 million last week but the team had to wait until Ward passed a physical before announcing. The 49ers also have agreed to a one-year deal with free agent receiver Travis Benjamin, according to a person familiar with the contract.— Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst says he’s signed tight end Marcedes Lewis, who is back for a third year in Green Bay. The 35-year-old Lewis caught 15 passes for 156 yards and one touchdown last season.— Journeyman cornerback Rashaan Melvin and the Jaguars have agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $2.25 million. Melvin had 68 tackles and 11 pass breakups in 13 games for Detroit last season.— Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the club has agreed to free-agent contracts with defensive end Noah Spence and XFL interception leader Deatrick Nichols. Spence was a 2016 second-round draft choice by Tampa Bay and returns to the Saints after joining New Orleans for three regular season games and one playoff game last season.— The Chiefs have agreed to a one-year contract with Jordan Ta’amu, the highest-rated quarterback during the abbreviated XFL season. He will compete with veteran Chad Henne for a backup job next season.last_img read more

Fitness Fridays: Overcome Thanksgiving Woes With a Few Healthy Tips

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Enjoy Thanksgiving without the fears of overeating, and dieting. Here’s a few tips to help you survive the one day of eating all you can. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Two-Day Investigation Determines Trailer FireNext Alpena Senior Citizens Learn Hands-On CPR Traininglast_img

NBA seeks answers to fans’ ugly mistreatment of players

first_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Still there are divergent views: Draymond Green said the NBA was wrong to also fine Westbrook $25,000 for his explicit language in his retort, and that it undermined the NBA’s ability to empower players. He insisted such incidents will continue as long as the league punishes players for lashing back.In the meantime, the NBA has added new warnings to its pregame routine, advising fans they can be punished for racist, homophobic and other hate-speech-related comments at games. And with some added bite to those guidelines, players hope that keeps trending in the right direction.“There comes a point where it’s about respect,” James said. “And the only thing we got in life is respect at the end of the day.”Mirjam Swanson contributed reporting for this story.center_img Even though they don’t boil over often, there is a fairly long lineage of clashes between players and fans, which typically amplify when there’s history involved. Westbrook, for example, got into it with Jazz fans last spring when the Thunder faced them in a first-round playoff series, saying then he felt the crowd had disrespected his family.This time around, even opposing players on the Jazz understood Westbrook’s hot-blooded reaction. Utah stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert expressed public support for Westbrook and lauded the team for taking his side. Thabo Sefolosha, a former teammate of Westbrook’s, said he knew the former MVP must have been provoked.“When somebody insults you, you’re gonna tell somebody how to react to that?” Sefolosha said. “I don’t think it’s right. He got insulted, somebody was wrong. It’s something that resonated deeply to him and a lot of people, and he answered the way he did. Maybe he was wrong for that, but I don’t think nobody should point fingers.”The Lakers have dealt with such incidents in Utah, too, which might be a consequence of power tussles in the Western Conference over the course of the past few decades. Perhaps most memorably, former Laker Derek Fisher has always been booed since the Jazz granted him an early exit from his contract to help him get better medical care for his daughter. Once he returned in purple and gold, the crowds were unrelenting.Fisher said he did his best to “tune out” what fans were saying to him. He thinks the discussion that has come out of the recent incidents is a good one for the NBA to be having.“I think conversations are good, personally,” he said. “It allows for everybody in the room to hear everybody in a way that, if you don’t have the conversation, you never really quite know.”What the players want fans to understand is that they’re people, too. Kuzma said he thinks fans expect players to have a stony bearing, to be bloodless and emotionless. They’re not.He understands the mentality that can lead to fans saying things to players. Seats cost money, and that gives some fans a certain sense of entitlement to behave in ways they otherwise might not.“It’s like, ‘I paid for these seats, I should be able to do whatever, say whatever,’ ” he said. “That’s not how it works.”Social media and camera phones have made these moments easier to capture and share, and in that sense, players are relieved it will make fans more accountable for ugly comments. That helped the Jazz investigate Shane Keisel, the fan who yelled at Westbrook, and the Celtics review the Cousins incident two months after it happened.The fact that both fans received bans seemed encouraging to at least a few players.“As bad as social media is,” James said, “the good thing about social media came out when they went through everything (Keisel) said about Russ and about other people in his little timeline.”Related Articles Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed There are times when it’s just the soundtrack of a game – fans shouting at NBA players to look at them, or to miss a shot, or even telling them they stink.It can blend into the music blasted through the arena’s sound system, to the sound of the ball bouncing, or the squeak of sneakers. Then sometimes, someone says something that stands out in the wrong kind of way.It happens too often, players say, and that’s leading to a reckoning in the league that is sweeping from Boston to Salt Lake City. Incidents captured on video between fans and players have led to renewed discussion and soul-searching about how the two should interact – and how to deal with it when the line is crossed.“It’s not a fine line,” Lakers forward LeBron James said earlier this month. “That line is very bold.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersA few weeks ago, the issue was dragged to the forefront of the league when a fan in Utah had an exchange with Oklahoma City star Russell Westbrook, provoking him by allegedly telling him to “get on your knees like you’re used to.” Westbrook responded with an ugly tirade, threatening to “(expletive) you up.”That led to a comprehensive review by the NBA and the Utah Jazz, who ended up banning the fan for life and taking the side of Westbrook. Team owner Gail Miller addressed the crowd at the next home game, saying “This should never happen: We are not a racist community.”But it doesn’t seem to be an isolated problem. Just this week, a fan received a two-year ban from Celtics games for abusive language directed at Warriors forward DeMarcus Cousins, who said he saw the fan mouth a racial epithet at him.The race-based insults resonate particularly deeply for a league that is roughly three-fourths black.“It’s just unfortunate that the society we live in still uses racist remarks, racist terms,” said Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma, who spent his college years in Salt Lake City. “Slavery ended a long time ago, and we’re still trying to deal with the same stigmas that African Americans go through. It’s sort of sad to see that come alive.”last_img read more

Dwight Howard and supporting cast help Lakers edge Spurs for fifth straight win

first_imgPreviousLos Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, right, collides with San Antonio Spurs’ Trey Lyles during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard (39) dunks as San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)San Antonio Spurs mascot The Coyote, right, presents a team jersey to rapper Snoop Dogg, center, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (39) dunks over San Antonio Spurs center Jakob Poeltl during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. Los Angeles won 103-96. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) attempts to shoot against San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) shoots as he is defended by San Antonio Spurs’ DeMarre Carroll during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard celebrates a dunk as he runs up the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. Los Angeles won 103-96. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, right, collides with San Antonio Spurs’ Trey Lyles during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) attempts to shoot against San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) shoots as he is defended by San Antonio Spurs’ DeMarre Carroll during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)San Antonio Spurs’ Rudy Gay (22) collides with Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. Los Angeles won 103-96. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, right, collides with San Antonio Spurs’ Trey Lyles during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard (39) dunks as San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis dunks during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) shoots as he is defended by San Antonio Spurs’ DeMarre Carroll during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James (23) attempts to shoot against San Antonio Spurs’ Jakob Poeltl (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma, right, collides with San Antonio Spurs’ Trey Lyles during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard (39) dunks as San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)NextShow Caption1 of 18Los Angeles Lakers’ Dwight Howard (39) dunks as San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)ExpandSAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — Snoop Dogg was making himself at home.Dressed in purple sweats and donning a purple Lakers jacket, the Long Beach native lounged while sipping a water bottle courtside — a scene that could’ve unfolded in Staples Center instead of San Antonio. By the third quarter, he was comfortable enough to slip into the Spectrum broadcasting table, joining Bill MacDonald and Stu Lantz as a light-hearted guest color commentator.In the same way, the Lakers seemed perfectly at ease early on Sunday night in the AT&T Center, cruising with 19-point advantage in the third quarter. But none of the previous five games they’ve played so far have been easy affairs from wire to wire, and against Gregg Popovich and the Spurs, a run could always be coming.So the Lakers were feeling some heat on their winning streak when Dejounte Murray hit the game-tying finger roll with just 4:10 left on the clock. They may be winning, but there’s no cruise control for this season. How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“They just keep coming after you,” Frank Vogel said. “They’ve got a great culture. Coach Pop’s the best, and he made it hard for us.”It took two unlikely heroes — Dwight Howard and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — to seal a 103-96 win, the fifth straight of a hope-restoring 5-1 start for a franchise that’s spent the past few years in purgatory.Making an unlikely encore with the Lakers, Howard summoned vintage physical force, finishing 7 for 7 for 14 points and 13 rebounds, and adding volleyball-spike blocks to a forceful 13-6 closing run. And after starting the season 0 for 9, Caldwell-Pope hit back-to-back jumpers to stem the Spurs tide.It’s a cliche every team spouts, but for the Lakers, it’s proving true early on: At some point, they’re going to need everybody to chip in. LeBron James, who finished with his second consecutive triple-double (21 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds) said the game ball unquestionably went to Howard.“We know who we signed and we’re extremely humbled and happy to have him here from the day we signed him,” James said. “He’s given us everything that he’s got in the minutes that he’s playing.” James was more orchestrator than finisher, becoming the first Laker to record back-to-back triple-doubles since Lamar Odom in 2006. He struggled from the floor, shooting just 8 for 23 and capsizing on a number of rim attempts — most notably failing to finish an attempted alley-oop to himself off the backboard.But at the command of the offense, James had double-digit assists by the third quarter and the Lakers were cruising. Anthony Davis, who finished with 25 points, scored 21 of them in the first three quarters.The Spurs’ youth upended the path to a blowout, led by Murray who scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. After Avery Bradley went out with a knee injury (later diagnosed by X-ray as a bruise that the Lakers will monitor day-to-day), Murray attacked the paint, helping lead the 24 for 29 Spurs effort at the free throw line.Howard’s physical play gave the Lakers an edge, particularly on the glass as the wide-shouldered center feasted on second-chance points (the Lakers had 16 to the Spurs’ 3). A powerful dunk that sent Jakob Poeltl sprawling was a signature offensive moment, but it was more critical that he also got both of his blocks — including one against a driving Murray — in the last four minutes.Howard playfully tried to coin a nickname for the Lakers bench, The Bad News Bears, as he celebrated his best game since sitting out almost all of last year with an injury that required season-ending surgery.“I think it’s my purpose to go out every single night and play hard defense, trying to block every shot, trying to be in the paint, get a lot of steals, go for loose balls,” he said. “Whatever I can do for this team, be of service, that’s my mission.”The Lakers only shot 25 percent from the 3-point line, but Bradley (7 for 9 from the field) and Caldwell-Pope (5 for 9) gave an outside threat that kept the defense honest. Davis said it was critical to getting late baskets down the stretch as the Spurs were fearful of double-teaming.“They’re very hesitant and when they don’t, we try to make them pay as much as possible on the inside,” Davis said. “And if they do, we kick it out to our guys to hit some big shots.”Related Articles Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs center_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Kyle Kuzma’s minutes inched higher on Sunday night (16) and while the forward still had signs of rust, he nailed the toughest shot of the night: a 40-foot bank to beat the first-half buzzer.The defensive effort was consistent throughout the evening, helping reverse a creeping trend of slow starts. The Lakers held San Antonio stars LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan to a combined 7 for 24 from the field in the first half, and Davis’ swooping wingspan caught the end of four blocks as he played the most center minutes that he’s gotten so far.But if Howard’s strong surge continues, Vogel’s open to more Howard minutes at center — there’s room on the main stage for everybody, too.“We know he’s capable of playing that way,” Vogel said. “What I love is that he’s really bought into his role on this team. It’s very different than any role that he’s had in the past. So he’s being a star in his role.”last_img read more

NBA free agency rumors: Pacers reach 1-year deal with Justin Holiday

first_imgThe Indiana Pacers have reached a deal with free-agent shooting guard Justin Holiday, according to multiple reports.ESPN reported it’s a one-year deal worth $4.8 million. Holiday, 30, already has someone to bond with on the team – his younger brother, Aaron, the Pacers’ point guard and a first-round pick last year. Older brother Jrue plays with the Pelicans.According to the Indianapolis Star, the 6-6 Holiday “had been of particular interest to the Pacers” when free agency opened. He’s a good wing defender who averaged 10.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in 2018-19, opening the season with the Bulls before being traded to the Grizzlies in early January.After beginning his career mostly as a reserve, Holiday has averaged 75 starts the past two seasons and had reportedly been seeking a bigger role, according to the Star. However, he’s expected to fill a backup role with the Pacers, who earlier in free agency signed Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb.last_img read more

Max Falkenstein, beloved Kansas announcer, dies at 95

first_imgFalkenstein’s last basketball broadcast was the last game of the 2005-06 men’s basketball season, which marked his 60th season. His last football broadcast was the 2005 Fort Worth Bowl, which saw the Jayhawks defeat Houston.“It saddens me to hear of the passing of Max,” former football coach Mark Mangino said. “He served as a loyal and dedicated broadcaster for the Jayhawks for six decades. He was beloved by the football team and staff because he truly cared about winning. I feel privileged to have served as head coach with one of the greatest college broadcast teams ever – Max Falkenstien and Bob Davis.”Falkenstein is survived by his wife of 70 years, Isobel, their two children, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Kansas athletics lost one of its most recognizable voices Monday.Max Falkenstein, who called Kansas football and basketball, has died at age 95, the school announced Tuesday. No cause of death was given. Falkenstein was the “voice of the Jayhawks” for 60 years and called more than 1,750 men’s basketball games and 650 football games.A World War II veteran, Falkenstein’s career began when he returned to the U.S. and covered the 1946 NCAA Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri, where the Jayhawks played Oklahoma A&M.He became the play-by-play caller the next season, a position he held until 1984, when he switched to the commentator’s role.“Max was a member of the greatest generation,” said Bob Davis, who was Falkenstein’s broadcast partner for more than 20 years. “A pioneer sports play-by-play broadcaster in Lawrence and Topeka, and just a fun guy to be around.”In the years we worked and traveled together we spent much of our time laughing. He once said we should have been married. In all these years I don’t think we’d ever had an argument, so I guess we couldn’t have been married! We had some great times together. I loved him.”The school loved Falkenstein, as well — he is the only non-athlete to have a jersey (No. 60) hanging in the rafters at Allen Fieldhouse.”I’ve known Max since 1985, and back then, even being young in the profession, I quickly realized that Max was as big a part of the great history of KU basketball and football as the players and coaches were,” Jayhawks basketball coach Bill Self said. “He was an absolute joy to be around, and he will be remembered as an absolute treasure. He was loved by everyone.”last_img read more

Kings’ Drew Doughty on NHL: ‘Honestly, I don’t see how the season is going to return’

first_imgOn a conference call with reporters Monday, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty became the first star player to publicly come forward and express pessimism that the 2019-20 season will resume.”Honestly, I don’t see how the season is going to return. I really don’t,” he said pointedly. “We have no idea when this virus is going to be over. We’re all kind of just sitting at home, obviously hoping to return to the season or hope to watch the playoffs return. “I would think the NHL or whoever would make the decision would have to make some kind of decision on that soon, and it seems like it’s going to be pretty tough to resume the season or playoffs. I really don’t know what’s going to happen. Obviously the players would want to play, the fans want to see us playing, we want to play in front of the fans, but it seems like it’s going to be pretty tough to do that.”Doughty readily admitted his opinion was clouded and would be different if the Kings were in playoff contention; at the season’s pause, Los Angeles had the league’s fourth-worst record. He also added that, in his opinion, if the Stanely Cup playoffs were to happen, it wouldn’t hold the same weight.”I know they so badly want to give out the Stanley Cup this year, but in all seriousness, it’s not going to be like winning a real Stanley Cup because the [regular] season wasn’t finished,” the two-time Stanley Cup champion said. “There’s teams that couldn’t get in the playoffs and then I’m assuming they’d have to come up with a different playoff format. … I’m not a huge fan of it, as much as I want to play. I just don’t want things to go into next season and affecting those. But whatever happens is kind of out of my control, and I’m ready for whatever happens.”On the flip side, how would Doughty feel about a tournament to decide who gets the top pick, something the Kings have a better chance of winning than the Stanley Cup right now?”That’s dumb. Yeah, that’s dumb,” he said.No one knows what will happen, not even commissioner Gary Bettman who told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday afternoon, “we don’t know when we can come back but it’s something we’re monitoring on a daily basis.” TSN’s Pierre LeBrun did report that the league is willing to delay the start of the next season until November, which would also involve canceling the All-Star Game and bye weeks, and the playoffs running until late-June.A reminder that the NHL is willing to delay the start of next season until November in order to finish off this season if possible with summer hockey. NHL believes they can play a full season next year starting in November, cancel ASG/bye week, play playoffs into late June ’21— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 13, 2020If the summer scenario does come to fruition, Doughty said it would be difficult to play following a long layoff, using the 2016 World Cup as an example. “We had to play that World Cup thing kind of out of nowhere, and that was so hard to go into games like that just after one or two exhibition games, coming right out of the summer,” he recalled. “I never recovered from that World Cup for the rest of the season — I was sore after that, I was sore for the first few exhibition games.”I was in absolute pain that whole season.”Now that I think about it, as much as I could mentally be in game mode, your body’s not ready for it if you don’t get a full offseason of training and if you don’t get to play a long training camp with like seven exhibition games. If you only get a week training camp with a couple of exhibition games, you’re going to ruin your body.”last_img read more