Entries in NBA (6)


Security Measures Heightened at Kentucky Derby After Boston Bombing

MARK ABRAHAM/AFP/GettyImages(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) -- Reworked security plans have been implemented at a number of upcoming sporting events, including Saturday's Kentucky Derby, in hopes of minimizing the risks of an attack similar to that of the Boston Marathon bombing.

"After Boston, these big events cannot even begin to roll the dice and say, 'Maybe we can skip here or there,'" Good Morning America sports contributor Christine Brennan said. "They've got to go all in and be as strong with their security as they have ever been."

As spectators arrive at Churchill Downs for the famed Kentucky Derby on Saturday, they will have to leave their coolers, cans, and glass bottles behind. While Derby fans' trademark hats are still permissible, snapping photos at the race will only be allowed if the camera doesn't have a detachable lens.

Despite the heightened security measures, it is still possible for individuals to evade stricter rules.

According to an arrest report, a 44-year-old man was able to sneak into Millionaires' Row at Churchill Downs without a ticket on Thursday. He then allegedly sat at a table and threatened to shoot people.

He was later taken into custody. Authorities did not find a weapon on the man.

The Kentucky Derby is not the only event where authorities plan to be vigilant. In preparation for the NBA Playoffs, the league told ABC News in a prepared statement that safety was always a priority.

"We regularly practice a wide range of state of the art security measures in all of our arenas," the NBA said.

Meanwhile, at the Long Island Marathon, authorities will have radiation detectors and police explosives-sniffing dog unit along the course of the race to identify any potential threats.

Only runners will be permitted at the starting line area, only clear bags distributed by the race's organizers will be permitted in bag check, and spectators won't be allowed to bring any bags into the finish line area, according to the marathon's website.

Following the Boston Marathon attacks on April 15, Lou Marcini, director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss., told ABC News that security at large sporting events "is very difficult to ensure."

"If I go to a marathon tomorrow, are we going to be completely secure? The answer is probably not," Marciani said. "We'll do the best we can."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Honors NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks

Getty Images/Comstock Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama honored the Dallas Mavericks Monday for winning their first NBA championship with “a heart that’s the size of Texas.”

“These players got it done because they know how good teams win,” Obama said at a White House ceremony. “Not just by jumping higher or running faster, but by finding the open man, working together, staying mentally tough, being supportive of each other, playing smarter.”

“I just want to give a heartfelt congratulations to all of you. I told them that it’s too bad that next year it will be the Chicago Bulls here, but they said I shouldn’t be so confident,” said Obama, an avid fan of his hometown team.

The president singled out NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, noting that he played in the finals despite a badly injured finger and a high fever.

“So clearly Dirk is a tough guy.  Although the most painful thing may have been his rendition of ‘We Are the Champions’ during the victory celebration,” the president joked.

Obama also praised the team for their work off the court.

“These players and coaches will always share a bond that comes with being the best. And it’s a bond they share with the Dallas community, where they do everything from setting up scholarships to helping military families get back on their feet,” he said. “So this team really does have a heart that’s the size of Texas.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Locked Out No More: NBA Tips Off on Christmas Day

Al Bello/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A shortened NBA season finally gets underway on Christmas Day when the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics tip off at Madison Square Garden.

“I'm very excited basketball is back,” a fan at the game told ABC News on Sunday.

Many basketball fans feared they wouldn’t see their favorite team hit the hardwood this season because of a lockout. But the NBA’s players and owners finally came to an agreement, clearing the way for a 66-game season that kicks off with five games on Christmas Day.

“I really thought there would be no season,” another fan told ABC News. “I thought the differences were too far apart money-wise and total revenue and all that.”

Fans were out in force Sunday at Madison Square Garden; many of them wore Santa hats, others waved towels and wore Knicks jerseys.

Other games slotted for Christmas Day include the Miami Heat at the Dallas Mavericks (ABC), the Chicago Bulls at the Los Angeles Lakers (ABC), Orlando at Oklahoma City (ESPN), and the LA Clippers at Golden State (ESPN).

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Outgoing Orlando Magic CEO Denies 'Drunk-Dialing' Star

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Orlando Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide denied he was stepping down Wednesday because of an alleged drunk dial he made to the team’s star center Dwight Howard, begging him to stay on the team for another year.

Vander Weide, 50, reportedly told Howard, who becomes a free agent at the end of the 2011-12 season, that the team would “suck” without him.

He declined to address the specifics of his conversation, but was adamant that he was not intoxicated.

“I had two, maybe three glasses of wine over three hours,” Vander Weide said. “I was not drunk.”  He added that he’s leaving to spend more time with his family.

The 21-year Magic employee, who is married to owner Rich DeVos’ daughter, said he was playing paddleball with friends a few days ago and thought it “prudent” to return several calls and texts Howard had sent him.

“Maybe Dwight thought it was inappropriate to talk business after a couple of glasses of wine…Maybe I should have waited until the morning,” Vander Weide told the Bright House Sports Network.

Howard, 25, is reportedly weighing his options for next season.

“We think this is the right place for Dwight and we’ll do everything to prove that to him,” team owner Rich DeVos said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NBA Players Reject Owners' Offer

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NBA Players' Association announced Monday it has rejected the owners' latest offer to end the NBA lockout, and will disband as a union.

NBPA executive director Billy Hunter says the players will file a disclaimer of interest and begin the process of anti-trust litigation against the league after receiving a so-called "ultimatum" from Commissioner David Stern and the owners in their proposal last week. In an open-forum interview on Twitter Sunday night, Stern said a decertification of the union would result in voided contracts.

At issue between the two sides is a gap on several "system" items, including restrictions on taxpaying teams that Stern says will create a more competitive league. The players contend they have made more than enough concessions, such as a proposed seven-point drop from their 57 percent share of basketball-related income under the previous collective bargaining agreement.

The league's latest offer included a scheduled start date for Dec. 15 under the format of a 72-game season.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former NBA Player Javaris Crittenton to Surrender to Face Murder Charge

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- For much of his young life, Javaris Crittenton, 23, was wanted for his basketball skills. He was recruited by Georgia Tech and drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Now he is wanted for murder.

Crittenton's attorney said Monday that he will surrender to authorities Tuesday morning.

According to ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV, police say Julian Jones, 23, was walking near her home in southeast Atlanta on Aug. 19. Jones, a mother of four, was with two men. A black Chevrolet Tahoe carrying Crittenton drove up, and he allegedly shot at one of the men, whom he suspected stole jewelry from him in an April 21 robbery.

Initial reports suggested Jones was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Later reports said she knew the two men.

The two men fled. Jones had been shot in the leg. She died during surgery later that day.

In 2009 Crittenton was involved in a notorious locker room incident with Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas in which both brandished guns.

Crittenton was suspended from the NBA for having guns in a locker room with Arenas. He pleaded guilty in January 2010 to a misdemeanor gun charge and received a year of unsupervised probation. Arenas entered his guilty plea on Jan. 15. He served a short time in a halfway house.

CBS Sports reported Arenas tweeted the following on Saturday: "I really wanna say sumthing but I wont becuz theirs a dead woman involved."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation had issued an arrest warrant for Crittenton on the charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. Special Agent Steve Emmett said Crittenton bought and traveled on a one-way ticket from Atlanta to Los Angeles last Wednesday.

"We didn't only lose a mother, a friend, or a daughter, or a fiancee. We lost a loved one who was really special to us in our hearts," Jones' mother, June Woods, told WSB.

"If you're a star player ... even if he was robbed ... he had enough money to replace it," said Jones' fiance, Harel Butler. "You can never put a price on her life."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio