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NBA Finals: Legacies at stake for both sides in Game 7

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Stephen Curry and LeBron James

Stephen Curry and LeBron James

OAKLAND, Calif. (Diya TV) — The 1,316th game of the NBA season will be played on Sunday when the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers meet once more for a decisive Game 7 matchup to decide this year’s champion. It will undoubtedly be the most nail-biting 48 minutes of basketball either team has played all season, and the stakes for each of them couldn’t be higher.

For Golden State, a win would cement the team — mathematically, at least — as the best ever in league history, and likely place them among the all-time greatest in NBA history; a Cavaliers win would deliver the city of Cleveland its first championship of any kind in 52 years.

However, one of the strongest narratives to run throughout much of the regular season and these playoffs is the distinction of who the best player in the league might be — two-time MVP Stephen Curry, or four-time MVP LeBron James. Both players’ legacies, and perhaps permanent bragging rights, are on the line Sunday.

James will seek to clinch his third NBA championship Sunday, the previous two were also clinched on the road. After the Cavaliers fired head coach David Blatt midseason, a win in Game 7 would surely hush the doubters who believed Blatt was the man for the job. Additionally, unlike the previous two titles, where James had the assistance of players such as Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, there would be no doubt in who led Cleveland’s championship charge.

James has already put a stamp on his reputation as a big-game player — his 41-point performances in Game 5 and Game 6 were enough to help the Cavaliers become the first team in league history to battle back from a 3-1 deficit during the NBA Finals.

History is not on James’ side — only on three occasions has the road team emerged victorious in a Game 7 during the Finals and no team has won a Game 7 on the road during the NBA Finals since 1978.

Should he lose Sunday, James’ record in the Finals would fall to 2-5 all-time, and it will be impossible not to wonder if his 13-year career is shaping up to be an underachievement.

Warriors forward Andre Iguodala guards LeBron James of the Cavaliers.

Warriors forward Andre Iguodala guards LeBron James of the Cavaliers.

For Golden State, a victory Sunday would certainly ensure that Stephen Curry goes down as the ringleader of one of the two greatest teams in NBA history, with only Michael Jordan’s 1996 Chicago Bulls matching.

Curry has already broken nearly every league shooting record, including, on Thursday, the number of three-pointers in an NBA Finals with 28, so his status as the greatest shooter of the modern era is solidified. In order for him to retain the title of “Greatest Clutch Shooter,” he’ll need one of those stellar 40-point performances.

A Game 7 loss would leave Curry and the Warriors as one-time champions, until proven otherwise — a huge disappointment after their record-breaking 73 wins.

Whatever happens on Sunday, one thing is certain: It’s going to be a history-making night.

Basketball

Bucks bycott Game 5 in wake of Jacob Blake shooting, NBA season now in limbo

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Milwakee Bucks issue a statement

ORLANDO, Florida (Diya TV) — As the video of George Flyod’s killing spread across social media, the Black Lives Matter movement grew stronger & folks took to the streets to protest against police brutality. The NBA’s coronavirus-halted season resumed last month in Orlando. This Sunday, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a police officer shot Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man, seven times in the back.

Outraged, the Milwaukee Bucks players, decided to boycott Game 5 of the playoff series against the Orlando Magic. They forfiet the game, but the Magic refused to accept the Bucks’ forfeit and instead, both teams stood united, and the Bucks called Wisconsin’s Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor during “game time”.

The news spread quickly and other teams followed suit, notably the Rockets and Thunder, after Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul discussed the boycott.

Coincidently, four years ago today, former 49er Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the national anthem. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell finally said that he that he wished they “had listened to Kaepernick earlier.” Kaepernick, who was essentially exiled from the league, has been receiving a lot of praise after today’s boycott.

The players took the “game time” to call the Attorney General Josh Kaul & Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes.

Twittersphere saw a barrage of reactions from players, coaches to former president Barack Obama

The 29-year-old, Jacob Blake was shot repeatedly in the back as he attempted to get into his car, while his three children sat inside. Protests have erupted in Kenosha since the shooting, with two people killed after a teenager opened fire on demonstrators with an assault rifle on Tuesday.

After the historic walkout, a players meeting was organized that continued past midnight in Orlando & sources say there was some frustration in the meeting among the players with the Bucks blindsiding everyone with their walk-out plan. Bucks’ guard, George Hill admitted he first sparked conversation pregame to boycott and his teammates supported.

As the teams voted on the status of the season, the LA Clippers & LA Lakers voted to boycott the NBA season, with LeBron James walking out of the meeting. He was soon followed by all the players from the LA teams.

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Basketball

India, Pakistan spar over women’s rights in Kashmir

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India

NEW YORK (Diya TV)  — At the United Nations, both India and Pakistan’s representatives took shots at their counterpart over women’s rights. Islamabad’s outgoing envoy to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, said the women in Jammu and Kashmir were suffering due to the communication blackout in the state. India’s First Secretary to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said, without naming Pakistan, these “baseless statements” were ironic given the amount of honor killings that take place there annually.

Rajeev Majumdar is the new president of the Washington State Bar Association, becoming the first state bar president of South Asian descent in the United States.

For the first time, India entered the ranks of the top ten countries sending visitors to the United States, with tourists from India spending nearly $16 billion in the U.S. in 2018 alone.

And while the Kings and Pacers played two entertaining games in Mumbai, their legacy will include supporting five under-resourced schools in and around the region, outfitting them with Smart Classrooms, STEM training and new basketball courts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Gandhi 150th birth anniversary noted around the world

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Birth Anniversary

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) —  Celebrations for Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary have been ongoing for the past year, but culminated with a ceremony in New Delhi featuring Prime Minister Modi and another in Washington at the Library of Congress. And France’s government worked with the Indian Embassy there to issue a stamp in honor of his birth anniversary.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal are meeting this week to continue the US-India discussion on trade and investment.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb came to New Delhi to strengthen ties between the Hoosier State and India. Infosys has already made a large commitment there. Holcomb is part of a large delegation of Americans now heading Mumbai to take in the first-ever NBA preseason games in India featuring the Indiana Pacers and the Sacramento Kings.

Bollywood turned Hollywood actor Anupam Kher came to the Bay Area to keynote the Akshay Patra annual fundraising gala that helps feed children in India a hot meal during the school year.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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