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Big Baller Brand makes changes to original ZO2, will offer refunds

Big Baller Brand announced Thursday that fans who ordered the company’s original shoe, the ZO2 Prime, will instead get a slightly different model. The original model now won’t be made. Fans who want the ZO2 Prime they ordered will be eligible for a refund. The new shoe, called the ZO2 Prime Remix, hit the brand’s website on Thursday morning for $495. Big Baller Brand says 10,000 pairs will be ordered. Big Baller Brand has scrapped its original ZO2 in favor of a modified version, which will still cost $495 Courtesy: Big…

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Charles Barkley ‘angry’ NBA lessened back-to backs

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is “angry” that the NBA moved up the start of the season to lessen the amount of back-to-back games and eliminate any teams playing four games in five nights. Speaking at Southern Methodist University on Wednesday, Barkley sarcastically said he wanted to “commend the NBA” for cutting the amount of back-to-back games. The 2017-18 schedule reduces the number of back-to-back games to an average of 14.4 per team, down from 16.3 per team last season. No team has more than 16 back-to-backs this season. “I…

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Phoenix Suns center Alex Len planning to sign qualifying offer sheet before training camp

9:36 AM ET Adrian WojnarowskiESPN Barring an unforeseen change of events, Phoenix Suns center Alex Len is planning to sign the team’s $4.2 million qualifying offer before training camp, clearing the way to become an unrestricted free agent in 2018, league sources told ESPN. The Suns open camp on Tuesday at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Phoenix Suns center Alex Len is expected to sign a qualifying offer from the team before training camp begins on Tuesday. Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images Len, 24, the fifth overall pick in the 2013…

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NBA draft lottery reform rooted in fans’ disinterest in watching teams tank

10:15 AM ET Adrian WojnarowskiESPN The NBA’s pursuit of draft lottery reform is rooted in research that “many fans continue to say that tanking is making them less interested in the league,” president of league operations Byron Spruell told ESPN. Lottery reform is moving toward a Sept. 28 vote at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting in New York. The league’s competition committee has recommended passage of commissioner Adam Silver’s proposal intended to curb the chase to the bottom of the standings for higher draft positions. Commissioner Adam Silver’s plan…

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The worst superstar breakups in the NBA in the past 30 years

For three years, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were a dynamic duo for the Cleveland Cavaliers, teaming up to make three consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and winning a title together in 2016. Then it all came crashing down when Irving asked out of Cleveland, possibly to get out from under James’ shadow — though if history is any indication, we won’t know all the reasons Irving left until years or decades down the line. The James-Irving breakup is far from the first, and it won’t be the last….

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Kevin Durant shares his ‘rock bottom’ moment after signing with the Warriors

Kevin Durant opened up about hitting an emotional low point after signing with the Golden State Warriors last summer in an article for San Francisco Magazine. In the days following the announcement of his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant and his agent, Rich Kleiman, traveled to China for a tour sponsored by Nike Basketball. During the week-long trip, the negative responses about his decision to leave OKC weighed on him. “Because I truly had invested everything I had into the people I played for … and for…

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Washington Wizards Markieff Morris will undergo surgery for a sports hernia

Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris will undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia, a source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, confirming an earlier report by the Washington Post. According to Wojnarowski, Morris will be sidelined for approximately one month after the surgery, which is scheduled for Friday. Morris, according to the Washington Post, had participated in his normal offseason workout routine before experiencing pain late in the summer. The surgery’s delay, according to the Washington Post, is a result of an ongoing aggravated assault trial involving his twin brother Marcus Morris,…

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Injured Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid not cleared for 5-on-5 drills

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has not been cleared for 5-on-5 drills and the team will take a cautious approach in his return from his injured left knee. Embiid’s career has been riddled with injuries and he missed his first two NBA seasons. Embiid played only 31 games last season and had surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Team president Bryan Colangelo and coach Brett Brown said Wednesday the team will soon decide how to handle his playing time when training camp opens…

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Andre Iguodala was on verge of leaving Golden State Warriors

As yellow confetti poured down from Oracle Arena’s rafters, Andre Iguodala leapt onto the scorer’s table in front of 20,000 fans and stood with his arms upward, soaking in the electric atmosphere. “Oh s—, oh s—,” he shouted. “Oh s———-.” It was a moment of exhilaration for the Warriors’ unsung hero, who had just dominated on both ends of the floor in Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals, scoring 20 points in 38 minutes off the bench and helping the Golden State Warriors clinch their second championship in the…

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Top faces in new places

The first day of school introduces plenty of variables to consider, but the first day at an entirely new school? That rare moment delivers these variables plus an increased potential for reinvention. Sure, you have to adapt to the new school and social climate, but they must also adapt to you. An eventful summer in the NBA will make for an exciting 2017-18 fantasy hoops season. Create or join an ESPN Fantasy Basketball league today! Sign up for free! A ton of high-impact NBA players switched “schools” this past summer,…

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