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The New York Knicks have banned a rude fan who spit on Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoffs at Madison Square Garden.

The fan, who was in the second row, spit over those sitting in the front row -- including rapper 50 Cent and his girlfriend.

The ball club investigated the incident and concluded the fan was not a season ticket holder.

"We investigated the matter and determined that this patron, who is not a season ticket holder, did indeed spit on Trae Young, and for that reason, he is now banned from The Garden indefinitely."

The statement continued:

"We apologize to Trae and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for this fan's behavior. This was completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our venue. We have turned the information over to the appropriate authorities."

The team did not address reports that Knicks fans received handouts instructing them to chant "Trae Young is balding!"

Young responded to a video of the spitting incident on Twitter Thursday morning.

"Damn Crazy! @50cent y'all good?! Crazy ! Keep ya mask on my boy "#ThatsJustChildish."

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Damian Lillard called out online trolls for poking fun at a viral photo of former teammate Caleb Swanigan.

The photo went viral because of Caleb's weight gain a year after he left the NBA. One Twitter user posted the photo along with the caption: "How the hell does one go from this to that in a year?????"

Damian took offense to the trolling. "If you're gonna post this shit with real concern then that's cool. But don't ask "how does one go from this to that", he's clearly having some real life issues."

Damian urged people to have sympathy because Caleb struggled with obesity issues his entire life. He weighed as much as 400 pounds as a child. And his father weighed 500 pounds at the time of his death when Caleb was only three years old.

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Caleb, 24, was a Portland Trailblazer for two years until he was traded to the Sacramento Kings in 2019. He returned to Portland in early 2020 and is currently a free agent.

The image went viral after Caleb pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in an Indiana courtroom on Monday.

He was arrested on Dec. 23 by a Columbia City Police officer who smelled marijuana during a traffic stop in northern Indiana.

Police found 3.4 pounds of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and $3,415 in cash inside his car.

Caleb was given a 180 day suspended sentence with two days time served.

The former Purdue University basketball standout was voted Mr. Basketball in 2015. He was affectionately called "Biggie" by his friends and family.

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NBA stars LeBron James (left) and LaMelo Ball (right) suffered serious injuries in NBA games over the weekend.

James suffered a high ankle injury during this weekend's Lakers loss to the Atlanta Hawks at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The 36-year-old forward injured his ankle when Hawks forward Solomon Hill fell on top of him as he tried to secure a loose ball on the court.

James screamed out in agony, but he stayed in the game and scored a 3-pointer before throwing a chair and hobbling to the locker room.

An MRI confirmed a high ankle sprain. James' injury opens the door for Trail Blazers superstar Damian Dillard to win this season's MVP award.

The Lakers are without their two superstars after losing forward Anthony Davis to a calf strain in his right leg.

In other NBA injury news, Charlotte Hornets rookie guard LaMelo Ball will miss the rest of the season after fracturing his wrist on Saturday.

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Ball #2 of the Hornets fractured his right wrist on this play as his shot was defended by Nicolas Batum #33 of the LA Clippers during the second quarter at the Staples Center.

The 19-year-old guard, who was expected to win Rookie of the Year, averaged 15.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game.
 

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The Brooklyn Nets and the NBA league are investigating a video that shows Kyrie Irving partying maskless at his sister's birthday bash.

General manager Sean Marks says the front office is reviewing video footage that shows Irving at a birthday party after he took a leave of absence from the team.

Irving has not played in the last three games after taking a leave of absence for "personal reasons."

Late Monday night, a video of Irving partying maskless with his sister, Asia, in a packed club began trending on social media.

Typically, young Black adults do not wear face masks while partying in nightclubs, because their Covid-19 survival rate is 99.98% and nightclubs have not been proven to be "super spreader" events.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Malika Andrews reported that the league began an investigation into the viral video even though Irving was off the clock and on leave.

It's possible that Irving will have to quarantine, which could extend his absence from the team for another full week.

Houston Rockets superstar James Harden also learned he was NBA chattel when he was fined $50,000 for partying off the clock while not wearing a mask.

The league announced that Harden violated the NBA's COVID-19 protocols by not wearing a mask when he attended an indoor party late last year.

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President Donald Trump criticized the "highly political" National Basketball Association and mocked the NBA's low television ratings in a tweet on Tuesday.

Trump said the ratings are low because sports fans are tired of millionaire athletes mixing politics with sports.

"People are tired of watching the highly political @NBA. Basketball ratings are WAY down, and they won't be coming back. I hope football and baseball are watching and learning because the same thing will be happening to them. Stand tall for our Country and our Flag!!!"

NBA players boycotted 2 games to protest the police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

But their anti-racism protests have rubbed sports fans the wrong way. According to The Athletic, network television ratings for the playoffs plunged 45% and 20% on ESPN.

Trump tweeted that he was heading to Kenosha Tuesday morning, where he plans to meet with Jacob Blake's family members, according to the White House.

Blake, 29, was shot 7 times in the back by a Kenosha police officer, and is paralyzed from the waist down.

Twitter suspended the account of a woman who said she was the aunt of Blake's girlfriend.

"Soph" tweeted: "Jacob raped my niece. The cops were called because he came back to her house, took her keys, and he's not supposed to be there."

When a Twitter user noted Blake should not have been shot in the back 7 times, Soph responded, "Should have been 50 times for what he did to my niece. but hopefully he survives so we can put him in jail."

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Liberals claimed her tweets were fake. But she later confirmed she wrote the tweets.

Twitter users dragged Trump for his divisive tweets during ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in Democratic cities around the country.

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WNBA players protested on Wednesday by wearing custom made T-shirts with 7 faux bullet holes on the back, representing the number of times Jacob Blake was shot on Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Blake, who is Black, was shot by a white police officer who was attempting to arrest Blake on an outstanding warrant for domestic assault and sex crimes against two minor girls. Blake, 29, survived his injuries but he was paralyzed from the waist down and he will wear a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.

The Washington Mystics lined up at center court on Wednesday in Palmetto, Florida to display their white T-shirts with a letter of Blake's name on the front to spell out "Jacob Blake." They embraced one another before kneeling to reveal the back of their shirts.

The Mystics boycotted their game against the Atlanta Dream Wednesday night before taking to the court to protest.

"We wanted everybody to feel like they were supported," said Ariel Atkins, a guard for the Washington Mystics. "Understanding that this just isn't about basketball. We aren't just basketball players and just because we are basketball players, that's our only platform. We need to understand that when most of us go home, most of us are Black."

The WNBA announced the remaining two games on the schedule were postponed following the news that the NBA boycotted their games on Wednesday and Thursday. The NBA playoff schedule is expected to resume on Friday night at the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida.

The boycotts -- for a man who was wanted for molesting two teenage girls -- rubbed NBA fans the wrong way. Fans say they are boycotting the playoffs, even though TV ratings for the playoffs were already low.

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The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are so emotionally drained over the shooting of an unarmed Black man in Kenosha, Wisconsin that they voted to boycott the remainder of the NBA playoffs.

According to reports, the Lakers and Clippers were the only teams to take such drastic action after Jacob Blake was shot 7 times in the back.

The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the other teams voted to continue the playoffs. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski noted, "The Clippers and Lakers voting on perhaps not continuing with the season was considered more of a polling, than a final vote, sources tell ESPN. The resumption of the playoffs remains still up in the air."

NBA insider David Aldridge tweeted, "Told the players’ meeting ended "ugly," per a source, with uncertainty about what will happen tomorrow. The union will be present at the special Board of Governors meeting, per a source." It appears that the games slated for Thursday will be postponed as well. "Discussions on continuing season will extend into tomorrow, sources tell ESPN, but appears unlikely the three playoff games on Thursday will be played. "Everyone is still too emotional," one high-ranking source tells ESPN. "There needs to be more time to come together on this," tweeted Woj.

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The NBA unveiled a Black Lives Matter logo on the court at the NBA "bubble" facility at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The NBA's season is set to restart on July 30, with all players quarantined inside the bubble away from their families and friends. The NBA season was suspended on March 11 after two players tested positive for the coronavirus.

The official @NBA Twitter account shared photos and videos of the logo painted in black letters on the court.

ESPN reporter Malika Andrews posted photos of the player's bench that shows seats spaced evenly 6 feet apart.

The bench spacing made no sense to NBA fans.

"I'm all for precautions but what is the point of socially distanced bench when they’re playing hard and physically on each other for 2 hours and all being tested daily?" tweeted one user.

Another user wrote: "What's the point of spacing out bench chairs if it's a contact sport on the court?"

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Houston Rockets teammates James Harden (left) and Russell Westbrook both tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

On Monday, Westbrook announced his positive test result on social media. Later that day, Elite Media reported that Harden had also tested positive.

Westbrook and Harden say they have no symptoms and they feel well. The majority of people with COVID-19 experience no symptoms or mild symptoms.

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Both players are expected to join their teammates at the NBA bubble in Orlando, Florida next week.

When they arrive in Orlando they will be quarantined until both players test negative twice.

Most of the team and staff have already arrived at the facility to begin workouts for the restart of the NBA season which was canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak in the US.

They are likely to miss the first game against Dallas.

On Monday, the NBA announced two other players tested positive. Both players are in 14-day quarantine away from the bubble.

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The NBA is using smart technology to keep players safe when the league returns from a 3-month coronavirus hiatus in July.

NBA players will wear a "smart ring" that detects symptoms of COVID-19 up to three days in advance.

According to CNBC, players will wear the new "Oura Smart Ring" that is capable of detecting COVID-19 symptoms up to 3 days in advance with 90% accuracy.

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Wearing the ring is not mandatory. Some players, including Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, have suggested they may not play when the NBA returns in July.

The ring can monitor body temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate, according to the manufacturer.

The Oura Ring was originally designed as a sleep tracker, but Oura Health, the company that manufactures the ring, soon find out the metrics could help detect coronavirus symptoms by monitoring the body temperature and other metrics.

According to a study by the University of California, San Francisco,2,000 medical workers wore the Oura Ring and completed daily surveys.

The study's objective was to monitor "the onset of symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue, which can characterize COVID-19," according to the UCSF.

The study's results were incomplete by the time the Oura Rings were purchased by the NBA.

West Virginia Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute conducted a similar study that found the Oura Ring was 90% accurate in predicting COVID-19.

But the study was carried out in conjunction with Oura Health, which raised the suspicion of a conflict of interest.

The Oura Ring is on sale for $299 on the company website and Amazon.com.