Becky Hammon would have preferred a victory over history after becoming the first woman to coach an NBA team.CSU Alum Becky Hammon First Woman To Coach NBA Team; Lakers Beat Spurs — CBS Denver
NBA trade requests are far more common than many people realize.Agent: Josh Richardson encouraged 76ers to trade him — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports
• The Toronto Raptors return to Amalie Arena in Tampa to host the New York Knicks on New Year’s Eve.
Thursday’s game marks the 96th meeting between the Raptors and Knicks, but the regular-season game somewhere other than their home markets. Toronto and New York have met in three other cities during the preseason – Ottawa (1996), Hartford (1997) and Montreal (2012 & 2014).
• Toronto is 3-3 (.500) all-time when playing on New Year’s Eve. Thursday will mark the second time in franchise history the Raptors are playing on New Year’s Eve in consecutive seasons. The Raptors defeated
Cleveland at Scotiabank Arena on Dec. 31 last year. Toronto has also played on New Year’s Eve in 2013, 2014, 2008, 2007 and 1997.
• Toronto has won eight consecutive games (Jan. 24, 2020 – Feb. 8, 2018) and 16 of the last 17 meetings against New York going back to Jan. 2016. The Raptors only loss to the Knicks the past four seasons came Nov. 22, 2017 at Madison Square Garden.
• Toronto has started a season 0-3 for the second time in franchise history and the first since the 2005-06 campaign. Following an opening night loss Dec. 23 vs. New Orleans, the Raptors held a record below .500 for the first time at any point in a season since Jan. 7, 2014. The last time Toronto was three games below .500 was Dec. 27, 2013 following a 95-83 win at New York. Kyle Lowry is the only remaining player on the team from when Toronto was last below .500.
• Kyle Lowry is the longest serving players on the Raptors roster (nine seasons) and the franchise’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made (1,396), assists (3,968) and steals (832). He is currently 193 points away from joining DeMar DeRozan (13,296) and Chris Bosh (10,275) as the only players in franchise history to reach 10,000 points. He also needs 32 assists to reach 4,000. According to the Elias Sports Bureau only three active players have recorded 10,000 points and 4,000 assists with their current team – James Harden (Houston), Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Damian Lillard (Portland).
• Fred VanVleet has made at least one 3-pointer in 35 consecutive games (Dec. 20, 2019 – Dec. 29, 2020). His streak ranks second in franchise history, trailing only C.J. Miles, who made at least one 3-pointer in 38 consecutive games (Dec. 10, 2017 – Mar. 15, 2018).
• Chris Boucher scored a career-best 22 points and recorded seven blocks Dec. 26 at San Antonio. He joined Jermaine O’Neal as the only players in franchise history to record at least 20 points and seven blocks in the same game. O’Neal had 22 points and nine blocks Feb. 4, 2009 against the Los Angeles
Lakers. Anthony Davis was the only player last season to record at least 20 points and seven blocks – accomplished Feb. 21 vs. Memphis and Jan. 5 vs. Detroit. Boucher along with New York’s R.J. Barrett represent 17 Canadians in the NBA – the most represented country outside of the United States.
As the G-league attempts to return to play for the first time amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Capital City Go-Go- elects not to play.Report: Capital City Go-Go Opt-Out of Season, G-League to Host Bubble in Orlando — NBC4 Washington
Bianca Smith will blaze a trail once she reports for duty. The Boston Red Sox will hire Smith as a minor league coach, vice president of player development Ben Crockett confirmed to The Boston Globe’s Julian McWilliams on Thursday. Smith, whose hiring the Red Sox will announce in January, is set to become the the […]Bianca Smith To Join Red Sox As Minor League Coach, Make Baseball History — NESN.com
Rockets players John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins began the season quarantining due to the NBA’s contact-tracing protocols.John Wall upset with NBA coronavirus protocols: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’ — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports
LOS ANGELES — When they talk about #NBAFits, they’re talking about players’ fashion sense off the court. But let’s repurpose it to also apply, on-court, to the Clippers’ Frenchman, who can make just about any style work. His former coach liked that about Nicolas Batum during his seven impactful seasons early in his Portland early…Nicolas Batum fitting in nicely with Clippers — Press Telegram
The American Hockey League’s board of governors announced Wednesday it had approved the “structural framework” to play a season that will begin Feb. 5, but it also left a number of questions still to be answered before the top developmental league resumes play. “Details are still being worked out, but this step allows our teams…Kings’ and Ducks’ AHL teams set for return Feb. 5 — Pasadena Star News
After some encouragement from friend Serge Ibaka, Leonard’s willingness to engage, to wear the cloak of leadership has been evident in different ways already this season.Clippers star Kawhi Leonard is speaking up — Orange County Register
Embiid had all of Philadelphia holding its breath when the big man left with some sort of leg injuryJoel Embiid Shakes Off Injury, Rallies Sixers Past Winless Raptors — CBS Philly
“Some nights, the basketball gods are with you a little bit,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.Watch Milwaukee set record with 29 threes in game, beat Heat 144-97 — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports
Caruso is the first Laker to miss a game due to COVID-19 protocols.Lakers’ Alex Caruso misses game due to COVID-19 protocols — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports