LeBron James’ path to MVP might not come so easy

LeBron James knows his history, so he knows that winning his fifth MVP would tie him with Michael Jordan — and put his name in the conversation about greatest player of all time.

The King is having a tremendous season, averaging 25 points, 7.6 rebounds and 9 assists, and the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 17-5. But the competition for MVP is crazy, and the strongest isn’t even coming from the Golden State Warriors and their trio of stars, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

James Harden is averaging 28.1 points, 11.6 assists and 7.6 rebounds and has the Houston Rockets on pace for 59 wins. Then there’s Russell Westbrook, who’s trying to become just the second player in history to average a triple-double and has the Oklahoma City Thunder on pace to win 51 games — just four fewer than they won last season with Durant.

Skip Bayless and FS1’s Chris Broussard would cast their vote for Westbrook, but Shannon Sharpe made his case for the King on Tuesday on “Undisputed”, arguing that LeBron’s line is more impressive because he’s doing it while Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love both are having super seasons, too, and the Cavs are winning more games than the Thunder and Rockets.

However, Broussard’s not buying it.

“Who you play with matters in the voting,” Broussard said. “LeBron’s benefited from that. When he won 66 games in Cleveland and 61 games in Cleveland and he won those two MVP awards, a lot of it was people saying ‘He’s playing with Mo Williams as his second-best player and Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic’ and so on and so on. Look at who Westbrook’s playing with…”

“He doesn’t even have, I don’t think, a future All-Star; like a potential All-Star,” Broussard added. “And same with Harden.”

-Fox sport

Mali trounce Uganda at the U18 FIBA games in Cairo

Uganda’s under 18 girls Basketball team suffered a heavy defeat to defending champions Mali in the Federation of National Basketball Association game played in Cairo, Egypt on Monday.

The experienced Mali team led 46-02 in the first quarter against debutants Uganda before leading 38-06 in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Uganda Junior Gazelles made only two points compared to Mali’s 37. The game ended 143-19 in favor of the Mali side.

Mali’s Aminata Diakite made a game high 21 points, while Rokia Doumbia made 20 points. Averagely most Mali players were able to make more than 10 points.

For the Ugandan side, Sarafina Driciru made 8 points despite picking most of the rebounds of the game, while Hajjara Najjuko made 5 points.

According to FUBA publicist Ivan Ntabazi, the experience at the event is expected to shape Uganda’s basketball future. He says coupled with Ugandans under preparation and financial challenges, Uganda could perform better in the next events.

The defeat is the second after the Uganda Junior Gazelles fell to Tunisia 65-26 in the opening game. The Ugandan team comprised of only seven players out of the required 12 now faces Mozambique on Tuesday.

The top two teams from Africa will qualify to play in the World under 19 world cup next year in Italy.

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Tunisia thrashes Uganda Gazelles in Cairo FIBA U18

Debutants Uganda Gazelles on Saturday evening lost to Tunisia in the Federation of International Basketball Association event on-going in Cairo, Egypt.

Tunisia defeated Uganda in all the three quarters to win the game 65-26 by the last quarter.

Although Uganda won the last quarter 7-5, Tunisia largely dominated the game. While Tunisia registered 26 turn over, the Ugandan team had up to 48 turn overs in the game.

Uganda’s Brenda Edith Ayere made 10 points, while Marwa Shilli made a game high 32 points for the North African side.The first, second and third quarter ended 30-7,12-16, and 0-12 respectively in favor of Tunisia.

Uganda now faces defending champions Mali in a game that will be played on Monday.

In other games, defending champions Mali edged Mozambique 65-42, while the hosts Egypt humbled Algeria 92-43. The best two teams after the event will qualify for the 2017 FIBA U-19 event to take place in Italy.

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Startimes Falcons beat Power in the second round of National Basketball League

Tiger head Power edged Star Times Falcons on Wednesday night in a second round of the National Basketball League game played at Lugogo indoor stadium.

Power recorded a 75-44 win after leading in all four quarters. The first quarter ended 20-8, while the second one ended 43-20 in favor of Power.

Power’s Micheal Makiadi scored a game high 22 points followed by Joseph Ikong’s 13 points, while Falcon’s had Frank Karoro and Sulaiman Bbaale make 14 and 12 points respectively. Defending champions City Oilers are still un-beaten in the men’s category.

In the ladies game, KCCA Leopards defeated the Nkumba Lady Marines 65-57 in a highly competitive game played earlier.

Brenda Ekone picked a game high 26 points for the Nkumba Lady Marines side, while Martha Soigi made 17 points for the KCCA side.

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Power promises a comeback after loss to City Oilers

Defending champions City Oilers Basketball club on Sunday night edged Power 86- 57 in a hotly contested National Basketball League game played at the MTN Arena, Lugogo.

Although at the start of the game Power took a lead 17-14 points in the first quarter, the defending champions made a come back in the second quarter to lead 38-32.

City Oilers continued the lead both in the third and fourth quarters outplaying Power. Kami Kabange scored a game high 21 points, while Jimmy Enabu and Laundry Ndikumana collected 15 points each for City Oilers.

Joseph Ikong scored 22 points for the struggling Power side. Juuko Daniel Najja, City Oiler’s forward told URN after the game that they played at the pace of the Power and picked up the rebounds well. Juuko says City Oilers are determined to retain the title.

Powers Ikong states that they played a poor game having failed in their defence and even had a disorganized offence. He says being their first loss, they hope to make a comeback.

In the Ladies game, KCCA  defeated A-1 Challenge 65-66. KCCA’s Florence Kalume and A-1 Challenge’s Susan Amito both scored 22 points. The other men’s games saw Sharing youths defeat Charging Rhinos 80-77, while Pemba Warriors humbled Destiny Phenoms 113-62.

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Who won and lost at the NBA all star weekend?

The 2016 NBA All-Star Game has come and gone, with a weekend spent celebrating Kobe Bryant’s last season in the NBA culminating with a 196-173 win for his Western Conference team over the East.

There’s no better way to look back at the weekend that was than to decide who won and who lost. So, on to the scoreboard:

Winner: Russell Westbrook

No one is better built to perform in an All-Star Game than Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder star, with his overflowing combination of athleticism and personality, is the perfect player to take advantage of the stage the All-Star Game provides to put on a show.

He didn’t disappoint Sunday night, finishing with 31 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals in picking up a second straight MVP award.

Loser: Carmelo Anthony

It was a rough weekend for Anthony, as the Knicks star spent the past three days answering a barrage of questions about his future, including a trade rumor floated by the New York Daily News that could see him joining up with LeBron James in Cleveland.

Then Anthony looked off throughout the game, finishing with 13 points and six rebounds while failing to convert on several passes from teammates – though, to be fair, they seemed to be trying to throw him alley-oop passes, which isn’t exactly part of his game. Anthony looked like he would’ve been better served taking the night off and resting his ailing knee.

He also somehow was tapped to introduce Sting at halftime, which was a pretty amusing scene to witness. Would love to know what Anthony’s favorite Sting song is.

Winner: Sting

Wait, what? I’m sure that’s the reaction of many to seeing this. How could Sting, whose performance was mostly met with a shrug, be seen as a winner from All-Star Weekend?

Well, here’s why: because before Sting was announced as the halftime act at this year’s All-Star Game, when was the last time he’d been discussed like this? Plus, his actual performance was pretty good, even though it was met by minimal acknowledgement from the crowd inside Air Canada Centre.

Let me get this straight: so Drake was in Toronto for all of All-Star Weekend, he was on the stage and took part in introductions before the game began but then couldn’t be the halftime act for the game itself?

It never made much sense that the Toronto native – who also serves as a “Global Ambassador” for the Raptors —  didn’t perform this weekend. Having him in the arena and sitting courtside during the game made it all the more confusing.

Winner: Paul George

A year ago, George missed this game while recovering from the broken leg he suffered in the summer of 2014 preparing to play for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup that fall.

George looked like someone trying to make up for lost time Sunday, putting on a fantastic show that saw him finish with 41 points on 16-for-26 shooting. It was a performance that would’ve earned him the MVP Award on most nights, and would’ve on this one if the East had found a way to win. Regardless, it’s the latest chapter in what’s been a fun story this season seeing George recapture his prior form.

Loser: Nelly Furtado

It’s hard to mess up the Canadian national anthem. But Furtado’s performance came about as close as you can to actually doing so.

The beauty of “O Canada” is the simplicity of the song – being in an arena and hearing the entire crowd sing along with whoever is performing it is always one of the coolest things about coming to a sporting event in Canada. But Furtado’s performance was so off that most people were instead trying to figure out what she was doing instead, which was a disappointment.

Winner: The Slam Dunk Contest

The demise of the Slam Dunk Contest has been endlessly debated for years, but the one-on-one battle between Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine and Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon was a truly spectacular showing by both players.

It was the kind of night – full of creativity and excitement from both players – that is what makes the dunk contest such a great event when it’s done well. Here’s to hoping this momentum can continue moving forward.

This was Toronto’s big chance to show itself off to the rest of the NBA, but it largely failed to thanks to something completely out of the city’s control: incredibly cold temperatures.

It was below freezing for practically the entire weekend, making it difficult for people to get around and, unfortunately, keeping many people from having the chance to experience a very cool city, one with plenty of culture to offer. With the success the Raptors have been having on the court, this won’t be Toronto’s last chance to take advantage of a significant opportunity like this, but it’s too bad the weather hampered the city’s efforts to leverage this one.

Winner: Michael Jordan

For all of the celebrating of Kobe Bryant, arguably the largest ovation of the night came when Jordan strode to center court as part of a presentation honoring his Charlotte Hornets as next year’s All-Star Game hosts.

Jordan may have stopped playing in the NBA 13 years ago, but even over a decade later he still remains the biggest star in the sport – a true testament to the way he and his career have resonated over the past 30 years.

Loser: Kobe Bryant

Sure, it was great that Bryant was feted on his way out as he should be, and he was fine in the game, finishing with 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

But let’s be honest: the only way this could truly be a storybook ending for Bryant would be to go out like Magic Johnson did on this same stage 20 years ago, and walk away with the game’s MVP trophy. The fact is Bryant’s body likely prevented him from making a serious run at it, but it was too bad he couldn’t muster up one more special performance.

 

 

 

 

 

-Washington Post

 

City oilers beat UCU Canons to league championship

The City Oilers Basketball team are the 2015 National Play-off League champions.
Coach Mande Juruni’s team retained their trophy after defeating UCU Canons 78-67 on Wednesday night at the YMCA Courts, Wandegeya to win the best of seven series 4-3.

The University side started brightly dominated the first two quarters before the 2013, 2014 champions stepped up the tempo with a more aggressive play in the last two quarters.

Rwandan international Kami Kabangu scored 18 points, while Ben Komakech picked 13 and Jeff Omondi 13 for the eventual champions. Innocent Odur had a game high 21 points for UCU Canons, while Desmond Owili picked 15 points.

“We are happy to retain the League title after battling against a good UCU Canons team,” said City Oilers coach Juruni.

In an earlier women’s game KCCA Leopards fought back to beat in-form UCU Lady canons 73-71. With few second to the end of the game as UCU fans prepared to celebrate, Flavia Oketcho scored a three pointer to give KCCA Leopards chances. UCU Lady canons now lead 3-2 as game six will be played on Friday.

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