Adrian Wojnarowski

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Adrian Wojnarowski is the NBA columnist for Yahoo! Sports. His book "The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball's Most Improbable Dynasty"; was a New York Times best-seller. He is a 1991 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, where he considers Butler Gymnasium's rims to be the most giving in the game.

  • Exclusive: LeBron James’ sly campaign to return to Cleveland followed a message to Dan Gilbert

    LeBron James came to Cleveland with an unmistakable mission this week, the beginning of a campaign to soften the fans and ownership on his desire to return to the Cavaliers in 2014. Free agency is forever on his mind, and James is determined to make his hometown want him as much as he wants it again.

    This was no accident, no misspeaking, nothing out of context. Before mentioning Thursday his openness to playing in Cleveland again, James months ago had an emissary or two carry that message to the Cavaliers’ front office, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. His camp wanted the message delivered to owner Dan Gilbert, sources said, but so far, the response has been silence.

    The Heat play the Cavaliers on Friday night in Cleveland, and yes, LeBron has manufactured the drama of his return again. James can’t opt out of his contract until after the 2013-2014 season, but he understands that the Cavaliers would have to make a decision to hold back on their rebuild, preserve cap space, and wait on

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  • Jeremy Lin makes Knicks witnesses to history

    TORONTO – Everyone stood together in the Air Canada Centre, watching the New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin dribble out the clock. Twenty seconds, and the coach didn't dare call a timeout to design a fancy play on his board. The kid's the play now. As the biggest story in sports bounced the ball, he swiveled his head to ask: Hey, can I run an isolation for myself? Mike D'Antoni nodded, but Lin no longer needed permission. Just go, Jeremy. Just go, kid.

    Around him on the floor, Amar'e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert rushed to the corners, wanting to bring defenders with them. "He was going to shoot it," Shumpert said, "and we just needed to get out of his way." They were spectators now, the world waiting on Lin, bouncing the ball 30 feet out. Ten seconds … five, and soon the ball was in the air, and that thunderous sound turned silent for a few fleeting moments.

    This hadn't been Lin's easiest night on this historic run. These Toronto Raptors had gone to great pains to throw defender upon

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  • Team USA to face Spain in Barcelona exhibition

    In what could turn out to be a prelude to a gold-medal matchup in the 2012 London Olympics, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James will lead Team USA against rival Spain in an exhibition on July 24 in Barcelona, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    The game will be played at 3:30 p.m. ET in the Palau Sant Jordi mountainside arena, and promises to be a spectacular, intense scene.

    The exhibition will coincide with the 20th anniversary celebration of Team USA's 1992 Dream Team that transformed international basketball in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. USA Basketball is expected to invite members of that team to Barcelona for its weeklong stay in Spain.

    This will be the final exhibition for the two Olympic favorites before they depart later that week for the London Games. Spain lost to the U.S. 118-107 in the 2008 gold-medal game in Beijing, but the game was tight until the late stages. Spain will return its key players plus far more mature and talented stars like Ricky Rubio and Marc Gasol to join veterans

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  • Jeremy Lin: NBA's new star waited for opportunity

    Long before Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey signed Jeremy Lin to a training camp contract in December, they met on an hotel elevator at the 2010 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. As an MIT graduate, Morey was intrigued with the Harvard star, and the Rockets had a deep scouting profile on Lin and a deeper personal interest.

    Yes, Yao Ming had known all about the Asian-American in the Ivy League, and this had been a natural way to ease into a conversation.

    “Jeremy asked a lot about Yao, and we talked about him,” Morey said. Yet, the discussion shifted into something far more pressing, far heavier on Lin’s mind. This was the spring of his senior year at Harvard, and a question hung heavily on his mind. All these fringe prospects had come to Portsmouth to impress NBA scouts, to maybe get drafted, and Lin confided to Morey a most real fear.

    “He was so unsure,” Morey said. “He wondered if he would even get an invite to a training camp.”

    For fringe prospects at fringe predraft

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  • Gilbert Arenas works out for Lakers

    In a search to find some scoring for their floundering offense, Los Angeles Lakers officials attended a private workout for guard Gilbert Arenas on Sunday in Southern California, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Two sources familiar with the workout said Arenas moved well and made a positive impression, but there was no sense of how quickly – if at all – the Lakers would pursue signing him to a free-agent contract.

    Besides Kupchak, Golden State Warriors consultant Jerry West attended the workout, too, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    West, who worked with Kupchak when he headed the Lakers' front office, hadn’t gone to the workout to evaluate Arenas for the Warriors, Golden State sources said. The Warriors have no use for Arenas, whom they drafted in 2001. West has been working as a consultant for the Warriors for the past year, and recently said he plans to become more involved in basketball decisions in the coming months.

    "He was just watching," one league source said.

    Arenas, 30, was

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  • Jeremy Lin: Even Kobe bows to his star power

    NEW YORK – Somehow, the most improbable story in NBA history found himself in the most improbable place on Friday night: The ball in his hands, Madison Square Garden on its feet, and the fourth quarter genius of Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant determined to obliterate this burgeoning mythology. Out of Bryant, had come a barrage: twisted, contorted fades, a self-pass off the backboard, the A-list arsenal out of the world’s most gifted scorer.

    Somehow, Jeremy Lin never flinched. Somehow, Jeremy Lin never let himself become a spectator, never stopped to wonder what in the world he was doing out here. The ball was so safe, so snug, in his hands. There was such an easy effortlessness to the downright diabolical manner with which he dismantled the Lakers and Bryant. Sheer hysteria had thundered down on the Garden floor, a phenomenon called Linsanity, and the most polished, most poised, presence happened to be Lin.

    This kid out of nowhere – out of Harvard University, out of the Reno

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  • Latest chapter of Lakers-Celtics rivalry nears end

    BOSTON – Pau Gasol reached that long left arm into the air, toward the Garden rafters, the 17 championship banners, and smacked the Boston Celtics' chance for victory far, far from the rim. As the clock bled to 0:00 to end overtime, Ray Allen flicked his wrist, the ball fluttered on a clear, clean trajectory, and somehow Gasol spared these Los Angeles Lakers a most hellacious, heartbreaking loss.

    “I was in the perfect situation,” Allen said later, “and he came out of nowhere.”

    Four years ago, Gasol had come out of nowhere – out of Memphis – to set these Lakers on course to re-engage the Boston Celtics. Allen and Kevin Garnett had come together with Paul Pierce, Gasol with Kobe Bryant, and the greatest rivalry in the history of the NBA had been born again.

    Four years later, they’ve played two excruciating, unforgettable series in the NBA Finals. The Celtics won the 2008 championship; the Lakers won it in 2010. They were dancing the dance one more time Thursday night, and deep down they

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  • Chauncey Billups vows to return from injury

    After a basketball life of comebacks upon comebacks, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups is determined to make the greatest of his career: a full recovery from a torn Achilles tendon.

    “I will be back,” Billups told Yahoo! Sports by phone. “I’m not done. I’m not retiring. I will definitely be back. This has been the story of my career, coming back, fighting, scrapping and I will play again.”

    Billups suffered the tear on Monday night in Orlando, crumpling to the floor without warning. No collision. No contact. Just like that. He hadn’t felt any tenderness in the Achilles prior to the injury, he said. An MRI taken in Cleveland on Tuesday confirmed the tear.

    Billups, 35, is a five-time NBA All-Star, a 2004 NBA Finals MVP and is considered one of the great leaders and winners of his generation. In a career of ups and downs, Billups believes strongly that he’s equipped to navigate this hard road back to the league. His contract expires at the end of the season and he’ll be a free

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  • Puerto Rican league trying to woo Allen Iverson

    Allen Iverson and Puerto Rico's professional basketball league are engaged in exploratory talks about a possible deal for the 11-time NBA All-Star, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

    Iverson’s business manger Gary Moore has talked with Puerto Rico officials, and the league's teams are discussing a bidding process to woo Iverson.

    The Puerto Rican league, which starts its 30-game season in March, pays its stars about $20,000 a month, plus living expenses, sources said. The league’s commissioner is selling Iverson on the chance to work his way back to a possible return to the NBA.

    The league is hoping to convince Iverson to take a trip to the island and look closer at the possibility. Since Iverson returned from an ill-fated stay in Turkey last season, it’s unclear if he has had much, if any, interest among professional leagues outside the NBA.

    [ Also: Lakers coach Mike Brown suspended one game ]

    The Puerto Rican league sees Iverson as a potential ticket seller and iconic addition. In recent

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  • NBA suspends Lakers coach Mike Brown

    Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown has been suspended one game and fined $25,000 for bumping an official in Saturday’s loss to the Utah Jazz.

    Brown will serve the suspension Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers. Assistant John Kuester is expected to serve as head coach for the game.

    Angry over an apparent no-call when Utah Jazz guard Earl Watson knocked over Lakers forward Pau Gasol on a steal in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s loss, Brown bounded onto the court and eventually made contact with referee Zach Zarba. He was ejected from the game.

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