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ICYMI in Mets Land: Jacob deGrom takes big step toward return; comeback win over Nationals

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Rumor: Phil Jackson wants Lakers to trade LeBron James

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Phil Jackson is advising Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. Lakers star LeBron James had problems with Jackson.

Connect the dots?

Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times on “The Doug Gottlieb Show“:

I’ve heard that Phil would like LeBron traded. I’ve just heard that, but I’ve got nothing to back that up. No on-the-record stuff to back that up.

I wouldn’t assume Jackson actually wants the Lakers to trade LeBron. This strikes me as the type of rumor that spreads more because it’s juicy than accurate. It’s so easy to know Jackson’s and LeBron’s past, make an assumption and share it. Even Plaschke, while relaying what he has heard, expresses doubts.

Besides, even if Jackson wants to trade LeBron, Buss won’t go for that, anyway.

More on the Lakers

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Rumor: Phil Jackson wants Lakers to trade LeBron James originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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TRD Boss Wilson: Joe Gibbs Can’t Afford Kyle Busch

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Photo credit: James Gilbert - Getty Images

Photo credit: James Gilbert – Getty Images

Will Kyle Busch drive Toyotas for Joe Gibbs Racing next season?

That answer remains unknown as Busch and Gibbs team officials continue discussions about renewing Busch’s contract for 2023. One key player in the situation—Toyota Racing Development—is working diligently to keep the Gibbs-Busch partnership active.

“One driver has accounted for 36 percent of our total wins across all three series, and you know who that driver is,” TRD president David Wilson said Tuesday. “Any scenario that doesn’t have Kyle Busch retiring from Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota would be a monstrous disappointment for us and Coach Gibbs and the family.”

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire - Getty Images

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire – Getty Images

Busch, who has driven for Gibbs since 2008 and won Cup championships for Toyota in 2015 and 2019, has been open in recent weeks in criticizing the status of negotiations with Gibbs, implying that the relationship could be dissolved at the end of the season.

Wilson said the biggest problem in the situation is the decision by long-time Gibbs/Busch partner M&Ms/Mars, one of the sport’s most visible sponsors, to leave NASCAR at the end of the year.

“It caught us all by surprise,” Wilson said. “The reality is Joe Gibbs can’t afford to pay Kyle Busch. That comes from corporate sponsorship. Every driver’s salary comes from whatever is on that race car on Sunday. We remain optimistic. We’re working on a number of different solutions harder than we ever have before.”

Wilson on Le Mans, Fourth Manufacturer

• Wilson commented on the Busch situation during a Tuesday press conference in which he also criticized NASCAR’s decision to allow Hendrick Motorsports extra testing time for its Chevrolets in connection with next season’s planned entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“I had zero notice,” Wilson said. “Candidly, it was a little disappointing as a stockholder and partner to NASCAR that neither Ford nor us was alerted. Within minutes I had dialogues with Steve Phelps and Steve O’Donnell and Jim France (NASCAR officials) and expressed our concerns and our displeasure. The good news is they have all responded and they hear us, and we have between ourselves and Ford given them some shared thoughts as of how this can be done in a manner that’s reasonably fair.”

• Wilson also said he favors NASCAR’s aggressive pursuit of a new car manufacturer to join Toyota, Ford and Chevrolet and emphasized that Toyota has been involved in discussions with potential newcomers. “We’re trying to give them some lessons learned,” he said. “We’re not trying to sell them. Our principal goal is to educate them as to what is the role of a manufacturer in NASCAR.”

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Klay Thompson reveals Warriors’ two keys to stopping Luka Doncic, Mavericks

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Klay reveals two keys to defending Luka in West finals originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Defending Luka Dončić will be far from a simple task for the Warriors during the Western Conference finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

But in Klay Thompson’s world, nothing is ever too complicated.

Without an ounce of worry or stress on his face, Thompson kept it straightforward on Tuesday while telling reporters what the key to stopping Dončić will be.

“The key to defending this team with Luka,” Thompson pondered. “I would say playing your hardest and trusting your teammates are the two keys.”

The Golden State guard confidently smiled and nodded his head as he gave his answer, clearly proud of the thoughtful response.

It’s safe to say the Warriors have heeded Thompson’s advice throughout the regular season and well into the NBA playoffs as they enter the conference finals for the sixth time in eight years.

Thompson himself had to trust in his teammates while he was injured and out for 31 months, displaying faith that they would perform in his stead while recovering and have his back upon his return to the court in January. Plus, there are countless other Warriors who persevered through injuries this season, like Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry, to name a few.

And Golden State has certainly played its hardest throughout the postseason, as evidenced by a dramatic Western Conference semifinal round and historic performances by multiple players on both sides of the court in 11 games so far.

Dončić will offer an entirely new challenge beginning with Game 1 of the West finals at Chase Center on Wednesday, but it’s one that can be stopped with a splash of team chemistry and talent.

RELATED: Draymond knows Klay ‘really believes’ Game 6 Klay narrative

The Warriors have a veteran core who have been here before and a group of eager, young players excited for the moment — the perfect combination of trust and determination that could prove fatal to Dončić and the Mavericks’ playoff hopes.

At the end of the day, it’s simple.

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