MADRID - With golden confetti raining on their heads and "Party in the U.S.A" ringing in their ears, it must have been hard for the U.S. basketball players to hear anything.
Doesn't matter. They had stopped listening long ago.
All the questions about their talent, the doubts about their ability, were put down as easily as their opponents.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Hawks have released an open letter of apology to the team, fans and city of Atlanta, saying the organization "did not do the right thing" to correct racially inflammatory words and innuendos.
The apology, signed by CEO Steve Koonin, was released Saturday, one day after the team announced general manager Danny Ferry was taking an indefinite leave of absence following his racially charged comments about Luol Deng.
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Hawks are sticking with general manager Danny Ferry even though the team's new majority owner wants him fired for racially charged comments about Luol Deng.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - New York forward Carmelo Anthony left the Knicks' game against Memphis on Thursday night after spraining his right ankle early in the second half.
Knicks officials said Anthony wouldn't return and that X-rays were negative.
Anthony, the Knicks' leading scorer at 26.6 points a game, injured the ankle on New York's end of the floor and immediately limped to the bench. He was taken to the locker room moments later.
He had 14 points and three rebounds when he left the game.
HOUSTON - Samuel Dalembert stepped off the plane and barely recognized the land where he grew up.
Two frantic days after a magnitude-7.0 earthquake rumbled across his native Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, the veteran NBA centre from Montreal returned to the Caribbean nation and could hardly absorb the chaos and horror.
Victims missing limbs lying helplessly in the littered streets. Children covered in blood, screaming for their parents. Buildings pulverized and homes crushed into twisted piles of rubble.
MINNEAPOLIS - Kobe Bryant scored 48 points — his fifth straight game with 25 or more — and the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns 99-83 Tuesday night to win their seventh straight at home and third in a row overall.
Bryant, the NBA's leading scorer, topped the 40-point mark for the first time this season, the first in the league to do so. He was 18 of 31 from the floor and made 12 of 13 free throws. Pau Gasol added 16 points and 12 rebounds.
WASHINGTON - The Washington Wizards won a game for the first time in nearly nine months, and did it with a reshaping of their front line.
Coach Flip Saunders decided to bench forwards Andray Blatche and Rashard Lewis. He started rookie Chris Singleton and second-year player Trevor Booker in their place, and the revamped team beat the Toronto Raptors 93-78 on Tuesday night for its first victory after eight losses this season.