LeBron, Carmelo, Wade and Paul to host tour

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LeBron, Carmelo, Wade and Paul to host tour

From Comcast SportsNet

LeBron James, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony are going homeand bringing friends with them.

With no end to the NBA lockout in sight, the All-Star group is set to lead a four-game Homecoming Tour, starting with a matchup in James hometown of Akron, Ohio on Dec. 1, followed by a Dec. 4 game in New Orleans, a Dec. 7 game in Chicago and culminating with a Dec. 10 contest in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

James, Paul, Wade and Anthony are committed to play in all four games of the tour, which was announced early Monday. Proceeds from the tourwhich will include events such as food drives, educational outreach programs and clinics in each citywill benefit the four headlining players charitable foundations, and tour sponsor Google Plus will stream each game live.

Itll be very neat, Wade told The Associated Press. First of all, this is something we talked about doing a long time ago as players. To have an opportunity to go to these different cities that were from, to bring basketball to them at a high level and also have a charitable component in each city and to be with the guys, itll be cool. Its something were looking forward to.

Tickets for the first three games go on sale Tuesday. Tickets for the East Rutherford game will be on sale Wednesday.

The rosters for the four games will likely change considerably in each city. James will play a significant role in organizing the Akron game, as will Paul in New Orleans, Wade in Chicago and Anthony at East Rutherford.

Chris Boshwho, along with James and Wade, makes up the so-called Big 3 with the Miami Heat, is expected to play in all four games. Bosh, along with James, Wade, the New Orleans guard Paul, the New York Knicks forward Anthony, Heat forward Udonis Haslem and others have been part of a rigorous training camp in Oregon for players represented by Creative Artists Agency since late last week.

Im sore, Wade said from Oregon. But thats why we set it up this way. We want to get into work mode. When we get into the tour, we want to play. We want to be equipped to do that. We dont want to just run up and down the court and jack up shots. We want to get into the things we need to do when it comes to strength, defense, all those things you usually do in training camp. So were getting into that mindset.

Theres been no shortage of exhibitions featuring NBA players during the lockout, which is now in its 21st week and has already led to the cancellation of more than 300 gamesroughly one-quarter of a full season. Talks broke off last week after players declined an offer that the NBA said would have raised salaries considerably, which apparently wasnt enough to convince player reps that it was the right deal.

The principals involved in this say the tour will be different from most offseason exhibitions in many ways, notably the extensive charitable aspects.

I am so excited to have this opportunity to participate in this tour, Anthony said in a press release. To couple two of the things I love to do play basketball and give backis special. This is just the beginning of a movement to facilitate change in our communities and I am happy to be a part of a group of guys willing to lead the charge.

Events begin Nov. 29 in New York with a court dedication and food drive, before the group moves to Akron for events the following day that include a Wheels for Education programsomething James is extensively involved with in an effort to help keep kids from dropping out of high schooland a basketball clinic at the Boys & Girls Club bearing the two-time NBA MVPs name.

I am really proud of the work were doing in Akron and know what this tour means for the community, James said.

Paul will host an education-themed event and a clinic in New Orleans on Dec. 2, in advance of the game there two nights later. Wade hosts two events for charity in Chicago on Dec. 6, and another clinic is planned for New York on Dec. 9.

Being able to play the game I love alongside my friends as well as raising money for charity is a win-win situation, Paul said.

Wade said another element hes looking forward to is simply being around NBA players on a full-time basis again, if only for a couple of weeks. While he remains hopeful that much of the season can be saved, hes also not necessarily optimistic that hell be back in a Heat uniform again and trying for another NBA finals trip anytime soon.

Were approaching it as basketball, Wade said. Were not doing it so people dont forget our names. Were really doing this to continue to make an impact in the communities that we go to and also to show that we love this game, were going to continue to play it and that this is something we all decided to do together. So thats what makes this special.

NBA Gameday: Kings SG Afflalo probable vs NBA-worst Nets

NBA Gameday: Kings SG Afflalo probable vs NBA-worst Nets

SACRAMENTO -- After dropping two straight, the Sacramento Kings return to Golden 1 Center Wednesday evening to face the team with the NBA’s worst record. The Brooklyn Nets are 9-49 on the season and in a dramatic tailspin with just over 20 games remaining in the season.

Sacramento is struggling to find their way in the post DeMarcus Cousins era. They are 1-2 since the blockbuster trade that sent Cousins to New Orleans Pelicans and they have lost each of the last two contests by 14 points. They are using stripped down offensive sets as they acclimate multiple new players into the rotation late in the season.

Brooklyn has lost 16 straight and 27 of their previous 28 games. They are a team without a clear path for the future. To compound matters, their 2017 first round pick, slated as fourth overall at worst, will go to the Boston Celtics in a pick swap for the trade that brought in Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry in June of 2013. The Nets’ 2018 first round pick is also property of the Celtics from the same deal.

OPENING LINE:
Kings by 1.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Kosta Koufos/Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Brook Lopez -- After dealing Bojan Bogdanovic to the Washington Wizards at the deadline, Brooklyn has very few scoring threats. Lopez will see plenty of Koufos early and if he gets loose, Cauley-Stein will move over to help against the 7-footer. On the offensive end, both Koufos and Cauley-Stein found success against the Timberwolves on Monday, combining to score 28 points, grab 17 rebounds and hand out six assists.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 25-35, third place in Pacific

Nets: 9-49, last place in Atlantic

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: SG Arron Afflalo (hamstring) probable, SG Malachi Richardson (right hamstring partial tear) out, G/F Garrett Temple  (left hamstring partial tear) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.

Nets: PF Quincy Acy (knee) doubtful.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Kings hold a 1-0 advantage in the seasons series after beating the Nets 122-105 back in November at the Barclays Center. Sacramento carries a 47-37 all-time franchise lead into Wednesday’s contest, but trail the Nets 31-29 during the Sacramento-era.

QUOTE:
“Our problem right now is trying to figure out the best way to move forward on a consistent basis and have more continuity. There’s nothing you can do about that. We’ve just got to continue to help each other, figure out how we’re going to play together.” -Darren Collison

 

49ers have blank canvas at QB position

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49ers have blank canvas at QB position

INDIANAPOLIS – With the expected formality of Colin Kaepernick opting out of his contract, the 49ers have no quarterbacks lined up for the 2017 season.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said he is lumping free-agents-to-be Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thad Lewis into the same category with all the other quarterbacks who will be available for the 49ers this offseason.

“We don’t have anybody on our roster, so I throw them all in the category of everybody else who’s a free agent and the possibilities going into the draft,” Shanahan said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

”Those are the guys we’re comparing who you see in the free-agent market, who there is in the draft and trade possibilities and guys on the roster last year is who we’re picking from.”

The free-agent signing period begins on March 9. Over the next eight weeks, Shanahan will also be busy evaluating the crop of rookie quarterbacks – a process he is just now beginning, he said.

“I’ll spend this week getting to know these guys and watching a lot of tape back in the hotel room and have an idea of who everybody is, just from the interview process,” Shanahan said.