Mar 9, 2020 - Sports

LeBron still wears the crown after win over Clippers

Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

LeBron James led the Lakers to season-defining wins over the NBA-best Bucks and rival Clippers this weekend, all while playing lockdown defense on reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard — the two strongest challengers to his throne in recent years.

Why it matters: James' weekend statement may have changed the course of the MVP race, which Antetokounmpo — who will miss at least two games with a sprained knee — has been heavily favored to win for months.

The big picture: If James leapfrogs Antetokounmpo in the season's final weeks, he will clinch his fifth league MVP, tying him with Michael Jordan for second all-time behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six).

By the numbers: James, who became the third player in NBA history to reach 34,000 points, is on pace to average 25+ points per game for a record 16th season. The next closest are Jordan, Karl Malone, and Kobe Bryant — all with 12 such seasons.

What to watch: A Lakers-Clippers playoff series — which has never happened — would be a blessing from the basketball gods. But as yesterday proved, the Lakers would have home-court advantage in all seven games, underscoring the Clippers' need for their own home.

Go deeper: The average NBA team is now worth $2.1 billion

Go deeper

Clippers buy The Forum for $400 million in cash

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has reached an agreement with the Madison Square Garden Company to buy The Forum in Inglewood, California, for $400 million in cash.

Why it matters: The purchase removes the biggest hurdle in Ballmer's plan to build a privately financed 18,000-seat arena near The Forum, which will continue to function as a music venue.

Go deeperArrowMar 25, 2020 - Sports

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer nearing deal to buy The Forum

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the 1982 NBA Finals at The Forum. Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is in advanced talks to purchase The Forum from the Madison Square Garden Company, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Ballmer's plan to build a $1 billion arena near The Forum triggered multiple lawsuits, including three by MSG, so purchasing The Forum from them would clear a major hurdle in the Clippers' pursuit of a new home.

Go deeperArrowMar 2, 2020 - Sports

The NBA floats a reimagining of the sports calendar

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With TV viewership down, the NBA is weighing all kinds of ideas to rejuvenate its regular season — like fewer games or a midseason tournament — and it's even open to making basketball more of a summer sport.

Driving the news: During a panel at this past weekend's MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Atlanta Hawks CEO Steve Koonin proposed starting the NBA season in mid-December rather than mid-October.

Go deeperArrowMar 10, 2020 - Sports