Marc J. Spears

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Marc Spears covers the NBA for Yahoo! Sports. He previously has written for the Boston Globe and Denver Post.

  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers wants NBA to implement challenge system

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With three specific instances in mind, Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers believes the NBA should adopt a coach’s challenge system for reviews like the one the NFL uses.

    Doc Rivers: 'I’ve been pushing for a [challenge] flag for a year now.' (AP)Doc Rivers: 'I’ve been pushing for a [challenge] flag for a year now.' (AP)While the NBA has instant replay, it currently doesn’t allow coaches to challenge a ruling on a play. Rivers said the NBA has discussed the subject of a coach’s challenge during competition committee meetings in recent years, but it has not come close to being approved. NFL coaches are allowed two challenges per game before the snap of the ball at any time before the two-minute warning of each half or overtime period.

    “I would throw it out [a challenge flag] with both hands like a shot. That’s why I couldn’t shoot,” Rivers said Friday morning during the Clippers’ shootaround for the Sacramento Kings game. “It’s a tough one to me. It's not like officials are trying to make mistakes, but they do at the end of the games.”

    A controversial call during the Clippers’ 87-81 loss to the Denver Nuggets on

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  • Spurs’ Tony Parker on new role: ‘It’s like a third career for me, but it is great’

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Tony Parker tried to walk to the team hotel elevators quietly on Monday en route to his room before being swarmed by smiling fans. They didn’t seem to mind that Parker’s numbers were down or that perhaps his All-Star days are behind him. And frankly, Parker doesn’t mind either.

    Tony Parker is having a fine shooting season for the Spurs. (AP)Tony Parker is having a fine shooting season for the Spurs. (AP)“For sure they think it’s a down year,” the San Antonio Spurs point guard told Yahoo Sports on Monday. “But I think if you know basketball, all the people that really know basketball and the coaches and guys that pay attention to who makes the team go engine-wise, they know that I’m having one of my best seasons.”

    Parker witnessed the passing of the Spurs’ torch from Hall of Famer David Robinson to Tim Duncan. Five years ago, Parker was honored to take the lead from Duncan with the blessing of coach Gregg Popovich. And now, in the next phase of the Spurs’ evolution, Parker has passed the torch to All-Stars Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

    “My first career I was behind Timmy and Manu

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  • Why the Warriors think they can break the Bulls' 72-win record

    TORONTO – Stephen Curry enjoyed a helicopter ride with his wife, took a picture with Kobe Bryant’s excited daughters (that was snapped by their retiring dad) and played loosely in the NBA All-Star Game. Knowing the pressures that are returning soon in a quest to repeat as NBA champions and chase a historic record, the All-Star took pleasure in every moment of his time away from the spotlight of his dominant Golden State Warriors.

    Stephen Curry is ready to get back to the business of basketball. (AP)Stephen Curry is ready to get back to the business of basketball. (AP)“We try to do our best of just enjoying the moment and not bring any other drama or competition outside of just the accomplishment and excitement about being an All-Star and what that means,” Curry said. “The more you come here [to All-Star weekend], the easier it is to kind of just enjoy it. It's such a high-stress environment everywhere we go and when we play every regular-season game.”

    As much as Curry tried to take his mind off his Warriors world, one thing he couldn’t escape were the media questions about whether Golden State could top the 1995-96 Chicago

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  • Source: Clippers trade Lance Stephenson for Jeff Green

    The Los Angeles Clippers traded guard Lance Stephenson to the Memphis Grizzlies for forward Jeff Green, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

    Lance Stephenson (Getty Images)Lance Stephenson (Getty Images)Clippers president and coach Doc Rivers was in Oklahoma City attending the funeral for the wife of Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams, and the team did not expect to make any major moves but was able to complete its goal of unloading Stephenson just before the 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, a source told Yahoo Sports. The Grizzlies also landed a lottery-protected first-round pick from the Clippers.

    The Clippers acquired Stephenson on June 16 from the Charlotte Hornets for forward Matt Barnes and forward Spencer Hawes. Stephenson has been a disappointment for the Clippers, averaging 4.7 points and 2.5 rebounds primarily as a reserve during 43 games this season.

    Green averaged 12.2 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Grizzlies this season. The nine-year veteran gives the Clippers a needed versatile frontcourt player who can play small forward

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  • Sources: Cavaliers acquire Channing Frye in three-team trade

    LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers added another 3-point shooting threat by acquiring forward Channing Frye in a three-team trade with the Orlando Magic and Portland Trail Blazers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

    Channing Frye (Getty Images)Channing Frye (Getty Images)The Cavaliers traded forward-center Anderson Varejao and a conditional first-round pick to the Blazers in the deal. The Magic received a second-round pick and guard Jared Cunningham, who is expected to be waived.

    Frye, 32, averaged 5.2 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting nearly 40 percent from 3-point range in 17 minutes per game for the Magic this season. For his 11-season career, he has made 38.7 percent of his 3-point attempts. The Cavaliers also had trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans about sharpshooting forward Ryan Anderson.

    Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.6 rebounds in nearly 10 minutes per game for Cleveland this season. He has been plagued by injuries in recent years, but did average 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds last season. Varejao, 33, could be

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  • Source: Pistons acquire Tobias Harris from Magic

    Tobias Harris can play both forward spots. (AP)Tobias Harris can play both forward spots. (AP)The Detroit Pistons have agreed in principle to acquire forward Tobias Harris from the Orlando Magic for point guard Brandon Jennings and forward Ersan Ilyasova, a league source told Yahoo Sports.

    Harris, 23, averaged 13.7 points and seven rebounds this season while shooting 31.1 percent from 3-point range in 49 games for Orlando under first-year coach Scott Skiles. The versatile 6-foot-9, 235-pounder, who can play both forward positions, signed a four-year, $64 million deal last offseason. Harris’ scoring average and 3-point percentage have dropped from a season ago, when he averaged 17.1 points and 36.4 percent shooting from 3-point range.

    Jennings, 26, averaged 6.8 points and three assists this season, shooting 37.3 percent in 18.1 minutes per game as a reserve for the Pistons after returning from a torn Achilles’ tendon. During the 2014-15 season, the seven-year NBA veteran averaged 15.4 points and 6.6 assists with the Pistons. Jennings is making $8.3 million in the final year of

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  • Paul George's 'amazing' recovery from broken leg nearly leads to All-Star record

    TORONTO – Paul George took a flight from New York to Miami with some buddies on the morning of the 2015 NBA All-Star Game because he didn't want to watch the game. The Indiana Pacers star was still recovering from his broken leg and didn't feel like he belonged at Madison Square Garden if he couldn't play.

    "All-Star weekend was for the All-Stars," George recently told Yahoo Sports. "I was there for a couple appearances for my endorsements, and after that I was done. It was for the All-Star guys. It was their party.

    "I really didn't tell anybody I was leaving. It was like, 'Show up, do my job and get out of there.' All-Star weekend is so fun and you get so hyped up for it. For you not to be a part of it and to be there, it was another reality check about the injury."

    George gruesomely broke his leg while playing in an exhibition game for USA Basketball in Las Vegas on Aug. 1, 2014. It also left his fellow participating NBA stars wincing in shock. The six-year NBA veteran was limited to

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  • All-Star Kevin Durant not stressing about upcoming free agency

    TORONTO – When asked if he thought the Oklahoma City Thunder would actually consider trading him, Kevin Durant responded the only way he knew how.

    “I really don’t know. I doubt it, but we’ll see. I guess now that you said something, I might not be able to sleep the next few days,” said Durant with a smile during the NBA All-Star Game media availability Friday.

    Kevin Durant will have many suitors in free agency. (AP)Kevin Durant will have many suitors in free agency. (AP)Durant is a franchise player and seven-time All-Star who led the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals and won the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player award.

    However, he is also in the last year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the NBA champion Golden State Warriors are a serious contender to sign Durant. The Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are expected to be interested as well.

    Durant is having his usual stellar season, averaging 27.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists for the Thunder (40-14), who are third in the

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  • NBA’s best excited to be part of Kobe Bryant’s All-Star finale

    A 14-year-old Kevin Durant sat high in the rafters to watch Michael Jordan’s last home game for the Washington Wizards in 2003. The now All-Star fondly recalled the emotions he witnessed while fans said goodbye to an NBA legend. Now 13 years later, he envisions a similar scene unfolding during Kobe Bryant’s final All-Star Game on Sunday in Toronto.

    Kobe Bryant's last All-Star Game will be special for many of the NBA's stars. (AP)Kobe Bryant's last All-Star Game will be special for many of the NBA's stars. (AP)“I scored some tickets in the nose bleeds from my mom’s job,” Durant told Yahoo Sports about Jordan’s finale in Washington. “Me and my boy took the train up and I just remember the energy in the building. I saw some tears and a lot of different emotions for a guy that meant that much to people. Not just the basketball world, but people in general with his brand and who he was. Kobe adds that same effect.”

    Bryant announced in December that this, his 20th NBA season, would be his last. The Los Angeles Lakers’ all-time leading scorer has been on an NBA farewell tour ever since as he prepares for his 18th All-Star Game.

    East All-Star Dwyane

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  • Kings to keep George Karl as head coach

    George Karl is 33-50 as coach of the Kings. (AP)George Karl is 33-50 as coach of the Kings. (AP)The Sacramento Kings will keep George Karl as their head coach despite several reports that he could be fired during the NBA All-Star break.

    Kings general manager Vlade Divac said in a statement released Tuesday that Karl would not be dismissed.

    Divac called Karl while the coach was at lunch in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Divac told Karl in a roughly five-minute conversation that they would work together and that better defense was needed, a source told Yahoo Sports. Karl took the lunch-time call privately with the expectation that he would be fired, a source told Yahoo.

    “George will remain our coach. We are collectively working out our issues,” Divac said in the statement.

    Karl is 33-50 as head coach of the Kings after being hired nearly a year ago. The Kings (21-31) have playoff aspirations, but have lost four straight games and eight of nine. “He is not a quitter,” a source close to Karl told Yahoo Sports, adding that Karl never had any intention of resigning during the recent turmoil.

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