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The most liberal, socially active professional sports league in the country is the NBA, a league that has a rule that players must stand for the national anthem. So those criticizing NFL owners for relatively caving to a knucklehead in the White House and his lemmings by passing a rule that mandates players also must stand for the anthem - or stay in the locker room - are missing the point. ...

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As if baseball doesn't have enough problems with its intrinsic slow-motion, payroll differences, more strikeouts than hits, and the ruse of steroids not coming around again, there's a new bane on our ballfields: Serial Tanking. It's not just unsavory, as was noted with the Heat's playoff loss against the Philadelphia Seventy-tankers. It's also unimaginative, un-American and utterly taking over ...

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The two biggest sports stories in Baltimore right now would not appear to be related in any way other than their geographical proximity, and yet they share a common thread. Manny Machado seems to be headed out of town and so does the Preakness. They even share a common number. It has been widely speculated that Machado will command a contract in excess of $300 million when he becomes a free ...

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There was a time not that long ago when it was a drawback for a basketball player to not have a definable position. The game never exactly demanded cookie-cutter sameness, but centers and big forwards patrolled the basket area and wings and guards dominated the perimeter. It all made a lot of sense, right up until the time when the 3-point shot went from being an interesting addition to ...

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If you're looking for a Miami Heat scout these days, there's a good chance you'll find him in Seat 5B or connecting in Atlanta or answering the age-old question of, "Peanuts or pretzels?" Such is life when you don't have a selection in either round of the June 21 NBA draft but insist on remaining in the game. Without a pick for the second time in three years, the Heat are reverting to the ...

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Almost every time I see it - which, granted, isn't very often, but every so often is often enough - the NBA doesn't look good. It's hard for me to recognize. And yet it is thriving, so they say. TV ratings are up, while the NFL's and NHL's are down. For the fourth consecutive year, attendance has risen, although crowd figures quite often are figments of publicists' fabrications. Maybe if they ...

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PHILADELPHIA - While watching one of the Cleveland-Boston games in the NBA Eastern Conference finals, a game in which LeBron James of the Cavaliers scored 42 points, I was struck not by his scoring prowess or passing ability or defensive presence, but by how inorganic he looked there on the court. It had never really occurred to me before - maybe I hadn't been studying him closely enough - but ...

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Projecting the NBA offseason is notoriously difficult to do, primarily because so much of what a team is able to accomplish depends on the internal motivations of the individual players involved. We know the maximum amount of money that a player such as LeBron James can sign for, and we know that he will get it if he asks for it. But it is also well within his power to accept less money to ...