Jonas Valanciunas Hosts Lithuanian Heritage Day, Continues to Change the Lives of Native At-Risk Youth

As part of his extensive community outreach working with his native youth, Jonas Valanciunas is an ambassador for Save the Children Lithuania. (Photo courtesy of Save the Children Lithuania).

This past weekend in Toronto, Jonas Valanciunas manned the middle as usual for the Raptors, finishing with 12 points and 16 rebounds in the team’s win over the Knicks. He was also the centerpiece of the day’s festivities, hosting—along with the Raptors and the Canadian-Lithuanian Sports Federation—the annual Lithuanian Heritage Day for fans at the Air Canada Centre. Before the game, kids from Toronto’s Lithuanian community had

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Inside Zaza Pachulia’s Epic Starting Five Role, Expansion of Hoops Academy Abroad

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

At the start of every Warriors game, Zaza Pachulia, the only current NBA player from the Republic of Georgia, finds himself on the court alongside the most star-studded cast on one team in the NBA: Olympians Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. How does Pachulia think he earned that distinguished role in his 14th season in the NBA? The starting center chuckles. “It just

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Jeff Green: All Heart

(Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)

Five years ago today, Jeff Green underwent the longest ordeal in his life: a five-and-a-half-hour surgery to repair an aortic root aneurysm near his heart. Green was fortunate that a routine physical with the Celtics in Dec. 2011 caught the problem, because often it goes undetected until the aneurysm bursts. And once it does, there’s a high risk of immediate death. But Green made a remarkable return

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The Styles of Swaggy P: Nick Young’s Clothing Line, Celebrations in Games and Career Resurgence

Nick Young at Lakers media day this season. (Photo by Aaron Poole/NBAE via Getty Images)

Nick Young is having the season of his life. Not only is he a full-time starter for the first time in five seasons, but he also has his highest scoring average in three seasons (14.8 points per game), while shooting a career-high 47.1 percent from the field. And the Lakers are only a few games out of the playoff hunt, thanks in large part to his

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An Inside Look at Khris Middleton’s Rehab and Preparation for His Return

Khris Middleton with Bucks head coach Jason Kidd at the team's training center. (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

For the last few months, Khris Middleton has been watching a lot of TV shows: Atlanta, Entourage and Breaking Bad. He even stores the episodes on a hard drive to watch on his laptop during Bucks’ road trips. His latest obsession for the past couple of weeks has been Ray Donovan. “He’s a guy that goes around and fixes everybody else’s problems,” the small forward

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Indianapolis Native Jeff Teague Hosts First Holiday Hoops Tourney for Local Families

(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

To celebrate his Indianapolis roots during the holidays, Pacers starting point guard Jeff Teague hosted his first basketball tournament last week at Anderson High School. Honoring his parents’ hometown, Anderson, Ind., Teague sponsored six underprivileged families for the tournament, which was open to the public. During halftime, he gave out gifts to more than 100 children. Also this holiday season, Teague participated in The Salvation Army Indiana Division’s

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The Great Dame: Inside Damian Lillard’s Diverse Impact in Oakland and Portland

(Photo by Bruce Ely)

Playing the Warriors on the road isn’t just another game for Damian Lillard. Oakland is where everything started for the Blazers star point guard, who’s averaging a career-high 27 points per game on 45.4 percent shooting. Last week, Lillard returned to his alma mater, Oakland High School, to not only launch his latest adidas sneaker, the Dame 3, with musical performances from Fetty Wap, DJ Esco

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Briefly Displaced as a Kid, Kris Dunn Now Assists Homeless Youth in Minnesota

(Photo by Danae Hudson/YouthLink)

For several months when Kris Dunn was in fourth grade, he was left to fend for himself with his older brother, John, selling shoes and competing in card and basketball games to make money. Their mother, Pia, had left the family—she passed away in 2013—and their father, John Sr., was not around until he reconnected with them around that time. Now, having the NBA platform to tell

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NBA Players and Board of Governors Ratify New Collective Bargaining Agreement

NEW YORK, Dec. 23, 2016 — The new Collective Bargaining Agreement was ratified this week by the NBA players and NBA Board of Governors. The new agreement will take effect on July 1, 2017, and run through the 2023-24 season. The parties voted based on a term sheet that outline the key deal points. Once the NBA and NBPA finish drafting and execute the complete

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Garrett and Andi: The Incredible Story of an NBA Player-Fan Bond That Changed Each Other’s Lives

Garrett Temple and his biggest fan, Andi Rodriguez, catch up at the Four Seasons hotel in Houston last week. (Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Kings)

Think about all of the fans you see at games, the fans commenting on social media and the fans waiting outside of arenas, hotels and airports hoping to have an interaction with their favorite player. Most become a photo from a distance, some become an autograph and a few others become a small conversation. Rarely will you find an interaction that becomes a close friendship with

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