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Youngest NBA Head Coaches This Season

The NBA is changing. Well, it’s evolving. The NBA has been trending in a faster and younger direction since the early 2000’s. The average age of an NBA player continues to fall as athletes become pro-ready at younger and younger ages. It shouldn’t be a surprise that we’ve also seen a spur of young coach hirings. Just recently, the Utah Jazz made Will Hardy the youngest head coach in the league at 34 years old. So who did Hardy dethrone as the youngest head coach? Here are the five youngest head coaches in the NBA heading into the 2022-2023 season.

5.) J.B. Bickerstaff: 43 Years Old
Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

When LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers it looked as though the franchise would be in shambles for an extended period of time. In just his second season as head coach of the Cavaliers however, Bickerstaff was on the cusp of leading the Cav’s to the playoffs. They would ultimately lose to the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in tournament. Bickerstaff has been coaching for six years now, and began his career in Houston at the age of 37. He has been an assistant coach in the NBA since 2004 and was son of former coach Bernie Bickerstaff, who still works in the Cavaliers front-office.

4.) Willie Green: 40 Years Old
New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Willie Green had an extremely solid NBA career, playing for 12 years and five separate franchises. Green would find the most success in his post-playing days. After his retirement in 2015, Green joined the Warriors as an assistant coach right before the 2016-17 season. He would win two championships with the Warriors as an assistant before becoming an assistant in Phoenix and helping revive their franchise. Finally, Green was named a head coach for the New Orleans Pelicans before the 2021-22 season. He helped turn the Pelicans into a playoff team and even took a couple games from the Sun’s in the first round.

3.) Taylor Jenkins: 37 Years Old
Memphis Grizzlies Head Coach
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Taylor Jenkins began his coaching career in the NBA during the 2008 season as an assistant for the Spurs G-League affiliate Austin Toros. His first year as head coach of the Toros he led them to a 27-23 record. Jenkins would then become an assistant coach for the Hawks and Bucks before taking the head coaching position in Memphis. In his third year as a head coach in the NBA, Jenkins led the Grizzlies to a 56-26 record, and was runner up for Coach of the Year. Jenkins without a doubt has the most job security on this list with the amount of success he’s seen in such a short span of time.

2.) Mark Daigneault: 36 Years Old
Oklahoma City Thunder Head Coach
(Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)

The former youngest coach in the NBA is Oklahoma City Thunders Mark Daigneault. Daigneault is a coaches-coach through and through. He began his coaching journey as a student manager at UCONN under the great Jim Calhoun. After serving his time as an assistant coach in the NCAA and G-League, Daigneault was named head coach of the Thunder in 2020. There isn’t much to say about Daigneault’s resume currently as the Thunder have been rebuilding during his tenure. It will be interesting to see how he can develop and mold the current young budding stars on the Thunder.

1.) Will Hardy: 34 Years Old
Utah Jazz Head Coach
(Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

The new title of youngest head coach in the NBA goes to Will Hardy. The experience that Hardy has had coaching in the NBA is not expansive, but it’s the mentors he met along the way that make his career special. First, Hardy was an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs from 2015 to 2021. We’ve seen a flurry of incredible coaches come from the Greg Popovich tree, and Hardy is hoping to be the next. Hardy also was an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics last season, giving him coaching experience in the NBA finals. If the Jazz lose Donovan Mitchell or Rudy Gobert however, Hardy may not get much of a chance to win in Utah.

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Sports

Who Is Lauren Jackson?

What if? It’s the hypothetical question sports fans love to use when dissecting why their favorite team or players failed. As a die-hard Chicago Bulls fan, I regularly ponder the alternate reality that Derrick Rose never got hurt. Lauren Jackson, Naismith Basketball HOF member and one of the most dominant Australian basketball players ever, has pondered that “what if” since injuries forced her retirement in 2016. Now at 41 years young, Jackson will finish her career on her own terms with the Australian Women’s National Basketball Team -Also known as The Opals- at the 2022 FIBA World Cup. This is the story of Lauren Jackson.

Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL)
4x MVP, 5x Champion, 4x Grand Final MVP, 6x All-Star Five
(Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Lauren Jackson began her basketball in the Women’s National Basketball League when she was just 16 years old. At only 17 years old she led the Australian Institute of Sport to the WNBL championship. In 1999, Jackson would join the Canberra Capitals where she would play the rest of her WNBL career. Jackson’s 1999 WNBL season made waves to any scout watching. She won the WNBL MVP, the WNBL championship, and was named to the WNBL First-Team. Jackson would resign with Canberra in 2013, but never saw the court due to injuries. She would continue to battle and attempt to play until ultimately having to retire in 2016.

WNBA
3x MVP, 2x Champion, 2010 Finals MVP, 2007 Defensive Player of the Year, 3x Scoring Champ, 7x All-Star, 7x All-WNBA First Team

As Lauren Jackson was dominating the WNBL, a new league was sprouting 9,000 miles away. In the fifth ever WNBA draft, Lauren Jackson was selected first overall by the Seattle Storm in 2001. Jackson was quick to make her name known, earning an All-Star nod in her first season. She would be named the captain of the Storm in her second season, making her the youngest player in the league with the designation. Jackson would claim her first WNBA title in 2004, but the best was yet to come. In 2007, Lauren Jackson had maybe the greatest individual season in WNBA history. She put up maddening averages of 23.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks. Those numbers were good enough to lead the league in scoring and rebounding, giving her the edge to win MVP and DPOY. Jackson would win one more title with the Storm in 2010, also winning her first Finals MVP. Over the course of the 2011 and 2012 season, injuries derailed Jackson and she only saw the floor in 22 games. She officially announced her retirement in 2016.

The Opals
2x Gold Medals, 4x Silver Medals, 3x Bronze Medals
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Lauren Jackson is not only one of the most decorated basketball players in professional leagues, but she has also won a slew of medals in an Australian uniform. Jackson has played in four Olympic games and medaled in every competition. In 2006 The Opals would go on a dominant run, winning gold at the FIBA World Championships and Commonwealth Games. She attempted to suit up for The Opals in 2014 but worsening injuries forced her to have surgery. After not playing basketball competitively since 2015, Lauren Jackson made her return in the Semi-pro NBL1 East for the Albury Wodonga Bandits. She was otherworldly, averaging 32.6 points and 11.6 rebounds. At the age of 41, Jackson showed not only that she could play, but that she was still one of the best players in the world. She will join The Opals this September in her return to the FIBA World Cup, a competition she has not played in since 2006. Jackson proves that when you truly love and want something, no form of adversity can get in your way. 

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Sports

 Way Too Early 2023 NBA Title Odds

The path to an NBA championship is not easy. Teams have to endure the six month marathon that is the regular season and then battle through three months of post-season play. What happens after that championship is won? Well, you go out and do it again. Former Chicago Bulls offensive coordinator Tex Winter, who invented the ‘Triangle’ offense and won nine championships as a coach, famously said: “You’re only a success for the moment that you complete a successful act.” Simply put, you have to do it again. That’s exactly what the Warriors will attempt to do this season after winning the 2022 NBA Championship. So who stands in their way of repeating? Here are the five teams with the best 2023 NBA title odds as of June 2022. 
(All odds are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook)

5.) Brooklyn Nets: +800
2021-22 Record: 44-38
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

It should be no surprise that a team with two 27+ per game scorers is heavily favored to win the title next year. Despite a turbulent 2022 campaign, odds makers still like the Nets. I would be weary to sprinkle some units on this because of the uncertain future with the Nets roster. Kyrie Irving and the organization have come to a standstill. Irving has a player-option left in his contract but has demanded a long-term deal. It’s increasingly looking like he may force a sign-and-trade to get out of Brooklyn. If the domino of Kyrie leaving falls, Kevin Durant will most likely be next. Without the one-two punch of Irving and KD the Net’s have a better chance of winning the draft lottery than an NBA championship.

4.) Milwaukee Bucks: +650
2021-22 Record: 51-31
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Milwaukee Bucks won their second NBA championship ever last season and subsequently entered this year as the second best odds to repeat. A slew of injuries hit the Bucks locker room over the course of the season. Superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo dealt with a nagging knee injury and a number of role players would be sidelined. Just as it looked the Bucks were hitting a stride entering the playoffs, Khris Middleton sprained his left MCL. The Bucks would lose in seven to the eventual Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics. Now with extended rest and looking to comeback fully healthy, the Bucks are primed for another title run.

3.) Los Angeles Clippers: +600
2021-22 Record: 42-40
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Since former Microsoft CEO and eccentric billionaire Steve Ballmer bought the Clippers in 2014, he has spent every waking moment and dollar to manufacture them into a competent franchise. The Clippers have been a franchise in the NBA since 1970 and are one of only six teams to never reach an NBA Finals. This season they are hoping to get back a healthy Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Leonard has played just 52 games in the last two seasons. It’s easy to forget what Leonard is capable of doing on a basketball court with him sidelined so frequently but, when healthy, he turns the Clippers into legitimate contenders.

2.) Boston Celtics: +600
2021-22 Record: 51-31
(Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Boston Celtics were without a doubt the best team in 2022. From January to the end of the season the Celtics were a league best 34-12. The Celtics powered their way through the East and made it to their first finals since 2010. They would lose to the Warriors in six games though. The Celtics have no real free agent losses this offseason however and are looking to run-it-back with the same squad. With the added knowledge and fire of a NBA Finals loss, the Celtics are in excellent shape to make another run. They sit with the best odds currently to win the eastern conference at +265.

1.) Golden State Warriors: +550
2021-22 Record: 53-29
(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA’s greatest modern dynasty solidified that designation this past season winning their fourth title in eight years. Stephen Curry finally claimed his coveted Finals MVP trophy after defeating the Celtics in six. The Warriors know more than anyone on this list what it’s like to enter a season coming off a championship, and they will surely use that experience to try and claim championship number five. The Warriors will have to fill in some free agent holes this offseason. They will have to resign or replace Looney, Payton II, Porter Jr, Bjelica, and Iguodala. The Warriors did have the highest payroll in all of basketball last season, so don’t be surprised if they run it back with the same squad.

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Best Players On The LIV Golf Tour

Competition is good. Healthy competition leads to improvement and spurs the evolution of the games we love. PGA tour commissioner Jay Monahan recently addressed the media for the first time since the LIV has poached some of its biggest names. Monahan was not blunt, stating: “If this is an arms race, and if the only weapons here are dollar bills, the PGA Tour can’t compete.” It’s clear those leaving the PGA tour are not motivated by legacy or the evolution of golf, but by dollar bills. So who are the best players that collected their bag and joined the LIV golf tour?

5.) Bryson DeChambeau
10 Professional Wins: 2020 U.S. Open Champion
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

After initially declining an invitation to the LIV golf league, Bryson DeChambeau ultimately would join the league after missing the cut at the Memorial Tournament. DeChambeau has increasingly grown a reputation for budding heads with officials on the tour and taking extended time to tee off. He has won 10 professional tournaments with a single Majors victory since going pro in 2016. One thing that the LIV golf tour gets in Bryson DeChambeau is someone who can absolutely send the ball off the tee. He was the PGA Tours longest driver in 2020 and is looking to translate that talent to the LIV tour.

4.) Brooks Koepka
15 Professional Wins: 2018, 2019 PGA Champion, 2017, 2018 U.S, Open Champion
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Brooks Koepka was a budding star on the PGA tour. He began his professional career in 2012 on the European Challenge Tour. He would win his first PGA tour event in 2015 at the Waste Management Open and then go on the run of a lifetime. He would win the U.S Open championship in back-to-back years, being the first golfer to accomplish the feat in 30 years. Koepka would then defend his PGA Championship in 2018-19, the first person to do so since Tiger Woods. Koepka is the latest golfer to join the LIV tour after vehemently denying he would join the league.

3.) Dustin Johnson
28 Professional Wins: 2020 Masters Champion, 2016 U.S. Open Champion
(Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Dustin Johnson is one of the most decorated golfers to join the LIV tour. Not only has Johnson won two Majors, but he is the only person to ever win all four of the World Golf Championship events. He’s a two time PGA Tour Player of the Year and won the FedEx cup in 2020. In 2017 Johnson was the world #1 ranked golfer and held that title for over 60 weeks. Johnson committed to joining LIV in early June of 2022.

2.) Sergio García
36 Professional Wins: 2017 Masters Champion
(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Sergio García has had an incredible career on the PGA Tour, claiming 11 wins and the 2017 Masters. Those 2017 Masters would be his lone Major victory. García has had some legendary moments on the tour however with a slew of playoff holes on the biggest stage. He won his 2017 Master with a birdie on the first playoff hole. In 2008 he claimed the Players Championship with a par on the first playoff hole. García had been rumored to join the Saudi backed LIV league since 2019. After increased tension between himself and tour officials, Sergio García officially joined LIV in April of 2022.

1.) Phil Mickelson
57 Professional Wins: 2004, 2006, 2010 Masters champion, 2005, 2021 PGA Championship, 2013 Open Championship
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The most decorated player to join the LIV tour to date is without a doubt Phil Mickelson. Mickelson has won nearly 60 professional tournaments, including three green jackets. Mickelson’s career on the tour will be greatly remembered for his epic battles against Tiger Woods on some of the biggest stages. Mickelson did participate in the 2022 U.S. Open, but did not make the cut after finishing 144th out of 156 total participants. It is rumored that Mickelson will be earning upwards of $200 million playing for LIV.

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Sports

Who Is Johnny Davis?

The state of Wisconsin has produced some elite-level NBA talent in recent years. Tyrese Haliburton, Tyler Herro, Jordan Poole, and Kevon Looney all call Wisconsin their first home. Now, Johnny Davis is looking to become the next Wisconsin born athlete to take the NBA by storm. After starting in 31 games for the University of Wisconsin this past season, Davis has declared for this year’s NBA draft. So how good is Johnny Davis?

High School

Johnny Davis grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin and played for La Crosse Central High School. La Crosse Central hadn’t won a state championship since 1925, that was until Johnny Davis stepped on the court. In his freshman year Davis helped his squad win the Wisconsin D2 state championship. In his senior season Davis would take a massive leap. He was unstoppable averaging 27 points and 9 rebounds and earning Wisconsin Mr.Basketball honors. He ended his career at La Crosse Central as the all-time leading scorer with 2,158 points. Davis ultimately would stay close to home and commit to the University of Wisconsin.

University of Wisconsin
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Johnny Davis would enter his freshman year at Wisconsin as a sixth man. He would see the floor in 31 contests but start in none. Even as a 6th man Davis was a major contributor, averaging 7 points and 4 rebounds. We would get to see the full potential of Johnny Davis in his sophomore season. Davis would start all 31 games for Wisconsin as a sophomore and was electric. He put up averages of 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists, en route to a 25-8 record and a three seed in March Madness. Wisconsin would meet their demise in the second round to Iowa State.

Pro’s
(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

There is a lot on the court that Johnny Davis does great. He stands at 6’5” and 190 pounds. Although he doesn’t possess a maddening amount of strength, Davis more than makes up for it with his speed. He is elite in transition and is always primed to score a fast-break layup. Although he saw a dip in his three-point percentage last season, Davis finds the most success shooting in the mid-range. The most touted aspect of his game however comes on the defense end. Davis has excellent defensive IQ and is regularly beating guys to spots. Not only can he guard on-ball like a hound, Davis is active in passing lanes and causes havoc for the opposing team. If Davis can build out his frame and continue to work on his shooting he could be a legitimate contributor to winning in the NBA.

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The Story of Andrew Wiggins

It’s far too common today to label an athlete a ‘bust’ before they’ve gotten a fair chance to shine. Top picks are tasked with not only transitioning their game to the NBA level, but are also expected to contribute to winning. That is way easier said than done when a majority of these picks are walking into not-so ideal situations. Newly minted NBA champion Andrew Wiggins had that exact experience. So how did Wiggins get labeled as a ‘bust’ and how did he beat that misnomer?

High School
(Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Andrew Wiggins was born in Toronto, Canada and played high school basketball there for two years. To say he dominated the Canadian basketball scene would be an understatement. Wiggins led his team to a 44-1 record on the road to an Ontario Provincial championship. There was no more to conquer up north for Wiggins so he took his talents to the prep school circuit. He was the consensus #1 prospect in the country after putting up averages of 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks. After winning just about every national player of the year award Wiggins was ready to take on the collegiate level. In May of 2013 he would officially commit to the University of Kansas.

University of Kansas
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Although Wiggins would only play one year at Kansas, it was a year to remember. Kansas would finish the 2013-14 season with a 25-10 record and a two seed in the NCAA tournament. Wiggins put up averages of 17 points and 6 rebounds, earning him Big-12 All-Freshman team honors. Kansas would make a mid-tier run in the tournament, losing to Stanford in the third round. Wiggins was still the consensus #1 prospect in the country and the next logical step was declaring for the draft.

Timberwolves Days
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Backed by maddening hype and dubbed ‘Maple Jordan’, Wiggins would go first overall in the 2014 draft to the Cleveland Cavaliers. As the Cav’s were eagerly awaiting LeBron James to announce his return to the team, they sent Wiggins to Minnesota in return for a win-now player in Kevin Love. Wiggins would find individual success right off the start for the Timberwolves. He would average 17 points and 5 rebounds en route to winning the Rookie of the Year award. Wiggins would spend five seasons with the Timberwolves and only make the postseason once. Despite averaging 19 points over that time, the Timberwolves felt that Wiggins couldn’t help contribute to winning and would trade him at the 2020 deadline.

Winning Warriors
(Photo by Josh Leung/NBAE via Getty Images)

Wiggins next landing spot would be with a Warriors team that was plagued with injuries. The team had just lost Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson was sidelined with a season-long injury. During his third year with the Warriors they were finally healthy and primed for a title run. Wiggins was spectacular all season averaging 17 points and five rebounds while propelling the Warriors to a top seed in the West. He earned his first all-star honors and was even named a starter. Wiggins would elevate his game during the postseason. He played superb defense all NBA Finals and was even the second leading scorer for the champion Golden State Warriors. There is no question in anyone’s mind if Andrew Wiggins can contribute to a championship squad. It’s truly incredible the resiliency that Wiggins has shown over these past couple of years. His story just shows that a fresh start and the right situation can be the difference.

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Who Has the Most NBA Championships?

The history of the NBA is a storied but albeit relatively short one. Every big four sports league in the United States has eclipsed 100 seasons except for the NBA, who is playing out their 75th season currently. Even more puzzling is how dominant just a handful of franchises have been. Of the 75 NBA Finals nearly 70% of them have been won by the same five teams, with the Lakers and Celtics making up 34 of those championships. So who are the other teams to dominate the NBA over its history? Here are the teams with the most NBA championships.

5.) San Antonio Spurs – 5 Championships
1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014
(Photo by John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

In 1976 the Nuggets, Nets, Pacers and Spurs joined the NBA in a merger with the ABA. The Pacers and Nets have never won a championship, and the Nuggets have never even been to the NBA Finals. The Spurs on the other hand have turned themselves into one of the most iconic franchises in the NBA. After a number of years contending in the 90’s with big-man David Robinson, it looked as though the Spurs were on the cusp of rebuilding. That was until they selected Tim Duncan with the first pick in 1997. He would help win the Spurs their first title in 1999, but the winning was just getting started. After drafting Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili the Spurs had built the big three that would dominate the 2000’s. The most profound personnel on the Spurs has to be head coach Greg Popovich. He has etched his name into the all-time coaching wins record and cemented himself as one of the most important figures in NBA history. Over the course of their fourteen years together Popovich, Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili won 575 games, an NBA record for a trio of teammates.

4.) Chicago Bulls – 6 Championships
1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998
(Chuck Berman/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

There is no team in NBA history that has done more to grow the popularity of basketball than the 90’s Chicago Bulls. Growing up in the Chicagoland area it was impossible not to watch a Bulls game and hear someone say “it’ll never be like the 90’s again”. And they may be right, because no one team has won as consistently in the modern NBA than these Bull’s teams did. In 1984 the Bulls drafted a high-flying intense guard out of North Carolina by the name of Michael Jordan. After torching the league and winning a number of scoring titles, MVPs, and even a DPOY, Jordan still didn’t have a title. After losing to the Pistons in multiple years, Jordan and the Bulls finally defeated them in 1991 to advance to their first NBA Finals. After taking out the Lakers in the finals, it seemed Jordan had cracked the code on how to win. The Bulls would go on to appear in five more NBA Finals and win each one. Since Jordan’s retirement the Bulls have never been able to get back to their winning ways, only appearing in one Eastern Conference finals.

3.) Golden State Warriors – 6 Championships
1947, 1956, 1975, 2015, 2017, 2018
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors are one of the most storied franchises the NBA has. They won the first ever NBA championship during the inaugural 1946-1947 season. They would find mild success in the early days of the NBA winning two more NBA championships. The Warriors were consistently a playoff team but never real contenders. That was until they drafted two time MVP and all-time leader in three pointers made, Stephen Curry. Building around Curry with splash brother Klay Thompson and enforcer Draymond Green, the newest NBA dynasty was built. Giving Steve Kerr the helm before the 2015 season was a huge gamble for the Warriors that more than paid off. His ability to keep his team motivated while giving them immense freedom puts him in a league of his own as a player-coach. On the Cusp of their seventh championship this year, the Warriors can break the tie with Chicago for third all time in championships if they can close out against the Celtics.

2.) Boston Celtics- 17 Championships
1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2008
(Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

There may never be a team as dominant as Bill Russell’s Celtics. Over a thirteen year span Russell led the Celtics to eleven NBA championships. Running plays on the bench was hall-of-fame coach Red Auerbach. Auerbach would be so confident in his Celtics that he would routinely light celebratory cigars before the final game was even over. The Celtics remained dominant over the 70’s winning two championships, but their biggest challenge would come during the 80’s. The NBA was on a major decline and the league was struggling to stay afloat. Enter Larry Bird plus Magic Johnson and your league is saved. The two superstars spurred one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports. They would face off in three separate NBA Finals with the Lakers winning two of those matchups. The Celtics would find their most recent success in 08’ after pairing Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo with Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett. Overall the Celtics have 22 NBA Finals appearances.

1.) Los Angeles Lakers – 17 Championships
1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2020
(Photo by Keith Torrie/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

The NBA’s first real dynasty wore purple and gold, but they didn’t play in Los Angeles. Before the days of playing in front of Hollywood elites, the Lakers called Minneapolis their home. The Lakers won five championships while playing in Minneapolis backed by big-man George Mikan. Despite their winning ways the Lakers couldn’t draw a crowd and subsequently jumped ship to Los Angeles. After a decade of losing to the Celtics in the finals, the Lakers were sold to Jerry Buss. Buss would change sports entertainment forever, turning the Lakers ‘Forum’ into Showtime. They would win five championships in an eight year span with hall-of-famers Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Lakers would get back to winning ways when acquiring Kobe Bryant on a draft night trade in 1996. They would pair Bryant with superstar center Shaquille O’Neal and the rest was history. Most recently LeBron James brought his talent to the purple and gold and won the 2020 NBA Finals amidst the Covid-19 pandemic in the ‘bubble’. That championship in 2022 would tie the Celtics for most NBA championships. Since the Lakers have been to 32 finals and the Celtics have only been to 22, they rank first on this list… for now.

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Every Steph Curry 40 Point Playoff Game

Steph Curry is the greatest shooter in NBA history. No one has put the ball in the basket from beyond the arc more than him, or done it as efficiently. In game four of this year’s NBA finals, Steph Curry hit the 40 point mark for the seventh time in his career. That performance ties him for fifth with Russell Westbrook among active players to reach 40 points in a playoff game. Here is every Steph Curry 40 point playoff game.

2013 Western Conference Semifinals vs. San Antonio Spurs
Game 1: 44 points, 11 assists, 6/14 from three
(Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

The 2013 postseason would be the first time Steph Curry ever saw the floor in an NBA playoff game. After taking out the Denver Nuggets in the first round, Steph and the Warriors would square off against defending Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. Game one of this series would be an all-time playoff game. After a back-and-forth first four quarters, the game would be pushed into double overtime. The Warriors held a one-point lead with just under four seconds left when Manu Ginobili hit a catch-and-shoot three to take a 129-127 lead. The Spurs would go on to win the series 4-2 and eventually capture another championship.

2015 Western Conference First Round vs. New Orleans Pelicans
Game 3: 40 points, 9 assists, 7/18 from three

During the 2015 regular season, Steph Curry became a household name breaking the three point single-season record and winning his first MVP. The first place Warriors were primed for a title run. In their first game playing in New Orleans with a 2-0 series lead, Steph Curry dropped his second career 40 point playoff game. The Pelicans would fight relentlessly all game but Curry would push the game into overtime with a contested corner three to tie the game. They had no answer for Curry who scored 7 of the Warriors 15 overtime points. The Warriors would go on to sweep the Pelicans.

2015 Western Conference Finals vs. Houston Rockets
Game 3: 40 points, 7 assists, 7/9 from three

Steph was so dominant in 2015 that it is his only playoff run to have multiple 40 point games. The second 40 point performance would happen during game 3 of the conference finals. The Warriors headed to Houston with a 2-0 lead and looked unstoppable up to this point. Game 3 would be no difference as Steph Curry would shoot 77% from three in a blowout 115-80 win. Steph was so dominant that 37 of his 40 points came in the first three quarters alone. The Warriors would go on to win the series 4-1 and Curry would eventually capture his first NBA championship.

2016 Western Conference Semifinals vs. Portland Trailblazers
Game 4: 40 points, 8 assists, 9 rebounds

Although the 2016 playoffs may be tough for Steph Curry to look back on, as they would blow a 3-1 lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA finals, he still had some all-time performances along the way. In the first round of these playoffs Curry would sprain his knee and be sidelined for a few weeks, missing the first three games of the second round against the Blazers. In game three Damian Lillard took advantage of the injured Warriors team and dropped his own 40 point game to bring the series 2-1 in favor of the Warriors. Game 4 would see Steph Curry’s return and it was one of epic proportions. Coming off the bench, Steph Curry would nearly drop a 40 point triple-double with 17 of those points coming in the five minute overtime period. The Warriors would win 132-125 and eventually win the series 4-1.

2017 Western Conference Finals vs. San Antonio Spurs
Game 1: 40 points, 7 rebounds, 7/16 from three

Curry and the Warriors would finally get their rematch against the Spurs in 2017. Kawhi Leonard was coming off a terrific season finishing top three in MVP voting. The Warriors were looking like an immovable train on their way to another championship with newly added superstar Kevin Durant. The Warriors would go down by 20 in the first half of game 1 before Leonard would go down with an injury. Curry and the Warriors would take advantage and win the game 113-111 behind Steph Curry’s 40 point 7 rebound performance.

2019 NBA Finals vs. Toronto Raptors
Game 3: 47 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds

Steph Curry’s career high in the playoffs would come amidst the worst injury bug the Warriors have dealt with maybe ever. Kevin Durant was suffering from a nagging leg injury and Klay Thompson was also battling through injuries. Both were forced to sit out game 3 of the finals and Curry was left with the task of taking down Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors himself. He would have a generational performance dropping 47 points and a near triple-double. The Warriors would lose the game 123-109. Thompson and Durant would attempt to come back and play but would both suffer much worse injuries and the Warriors lost the series 4-2.

2022 NBA Finals vs. Boston Celtics
Game 4: 43 points, 10 rebounds, 7-14 from three

No single player has more riding on this year’s NBA finals than Steph Curry. He knows to truly be mentioned with the greats he needs a final’s MVP trophy, and he’s done just about everything he can to earn it. Heading to Boston down 2-1, the Warriors title hopes were looking dim. Curry took his game to the next level scoring 43 points among a flurry of deep threes. The Warriors head to Boston for game six with a 3-2 series lead behind Curry’s 30.6 scoring average in the finals. If the Warriors can close out the series, Steph Curry will undoubtedly win his first finals MVP.

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Sports

Who Is Jabari Smith?

Trying to project the career of a 19 year old kid is impossible, but each year the 30 NBA teams attempt to do just that by making the ‘right’ pick in the draft. The simple fact is no one can predict the future. In recent years however teams and scouts have gotten exceedingly better at avoiding ‘busts’. That’s why it should be no surprise that Jabri Smith from the University of Auburn has shot up pre-draft big boards. Here is Jabari Smith’s story and why he is touted as one of the highest prospects this upcoming NBA draft.

High School Days
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The name Jabari Smith Jr. isn’t new to scouts and fans of high school basketball. The 6’10” forward from Georgia was playing varsity as a sophomore in high school. By his senior year he was not only a starter, but the best player on the floor. Averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals his senior season, Smith solidified himself as a top 10 recruit in the country. He was awarded the Georgia Gatorade player of the year award as well as McDonald All-American honors. Sitting as the 6th ranked player in his class Smith had a litany of D1 offers and decided to suit up for the Auburn Tigers.

University of Auburn

There were high expectations for Auburn when Jabari Smith entered the scene. After completing a ban in 2021 Auburn was allowed to vie for a NCAA tournament spot once again. In his one year at Auburn Smith put up averages of 17 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals, helping Auburn reach a #1 ranking during the regular season. Smith earned SEC Rookie of the Year honors as well as a First-team All-SEC nomination. Auburn would meet their demise in the second round of the NCAA tournament however with a 61-79 loss to Miami of Florida.

Pros and Cons

A key aspect of Jabari Smith’s game that is highly touted is his build. Smith stands at 6’10”, 220 pounds with a 7’1” wingspan. Because Smith doesn’t have the same type of explosive first step as other recruits, he relies heavily on this physicality. Smith’s high-iq on the defensive end allows him to position himself to make big plays where his athleticism would hold him back. A more surprising revelation from Smith this season was his efficiency behind the line. He led Auburn in three-point shooting, knocking down 42% of his threes. His big frame and long wing-span makes him an excellent mid-range threat. Smith has mastered the one-dribble pull-up jumper which should translate to the NBA floor.

Projection?
(Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

The NBA has put together a master big-board by compiling a number of mock-drafts to give us some idea of where each prospect might go. Although Chet Holmgren was the consensus #1 pick, the Orlando Magic are already stacked with young big-men like Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba. Jabari Smith fits the Orlando Magic’s needs the most out of any top prospect. That’s why it should come as no surprise that Jabari Smith Jr. has -425 odds to go #1 in this year’s NBA draft.

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Sports

What We Know About The Clippers ‘Intuit Dome’

The professional sports industry is bigger and worth more money than ever before. Teams are being sold for record prices, players are receiving higher salaries, and the stadiums… let’s just say are evolving. The days of a single jumbotron centered above half-court look to be dead. We’ve seen the potential that these types of stadiums have to hold big-time events with venues like SoFi stadium and AT&T Stadium. As Steve Balmer and the Los Angeles Clippers begin construction of their $1.8 billion new stadium, we take a look at what’s in store for Intuit Dome.

Clippers Leaving Crypto.com Arena
(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Clippers were founded in 1970 as an expansion team originally named the Buffalo Braves. They had been sharing Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center) with the Los Angeles Lakers since it opened in 1999. It’s common knowledge that the Clippers have lived in the shadow of the Lakers. Since Steve Ballmer purchased the Clippers for a slight $2 billion he has been keen on creating their own identity. Yes, finally getting out of your parents basement and moving into your own place is nice, but what identity are the Clippers exactly trying to cultivate?

Intuit Dome
(Via NBA.Com)

Ground was first broken for the Intuit Dome in September of 2021. The newly minted dome is slated to sit 18,000 persons, which should be ample space for the Clippers fan base. The dome is also announced to include a practice facility, sports medicine clinic, team offices, retail spaces, and a large outdoor plaza with courts open to the public. A feature that the Clippers are looking to add which no basketball arena has done before is courtside cabanas. When you hear the word cabana you usually think about sipping drinks in front of the pool, but the Clippers are looking to add that experience to the floor of NBA games. As stated on NBA.com “Courtside seats with all the perks of a suite. A first of its kind arena hospitality product, the Courtside Cabanas offer a fully immersive seating experience. The exterior seats are positioned on the outside of the suite, behind the baseline, for a private courtside view. In the interior, just steps from the court, your guests will enjoy all the amenities and privacy of a suite experience.

Halo Board
(Via Daktronics)

The Clippers recently revealed their concept images of what the inside of the stadium and jumbotron will look like. The newly minted ‘Halo Board’ will give fans a near acre-long screen to watch replays and look at live stats. The video screen will have a 4k view that stretches across the entirety of the stadium. The screen is being built by Daktronics, a pioneer LED designer that has taken the sports stadium world by storm. We won’t get any official images of the stadium until 2024 but it’s clear the Clippers have big ambitions for this project.