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Celtics plan to retire Pierce's No. 34

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

BOSTON (AP) The Boston Celtics will retire Paul Pierce's No. 34 during their Feb. 11 game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The longtime Celtics forward will be the 22nd player so honored - the first since 2003.

Pierce was drafted by Boston in 1998 and played 15 seasons for the Celtics. Only John Havlicek played longer in a Celtics uniform. Pierce helped the team win its NBA-record 17th title in 2008 and was named the finals MVP.

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James blasts Trump, calls for unity

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) Along with getting good grades and listening to their parents, LeBron James has encouraged kids in his foundation's educational program to stand up for their beliefs.

On Tuesday night, the superstar gave a lesson in how it's done.

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NBA unveils complete 2017-18 schedule

NEW YORK (AP) DeMarcus Cousins will make an early season trip back to Sacramento, while Gordon Hayward will wait almost all season to see Utah again.

Chris Paul's return to his old Clippers home is part of a Martin Luther King Jr. day tripleheader that includes another NBA Finals rematch, while Paul George and Jimmy Butler also learned the dates of their return games Monday when the NBA released its full 2017-18 schedule - which for the first time in history features no teams playing four games in five nights.

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Metrics play part in balancing schedule

MIAMI (AP) Larry Bird made his plea years ago.

His request to the NBA was not unique: Bird wanted the league to eliminate the dreaded stretches of four games in five days. What made Bird's pitch memorable was that it didn't just cite the demand of so many games in such a short amount of time, but also pointed out how the anxiousness caused by such tests can hurt a team beforehand and how the fatigue lingers long afterward.

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US men enter new world minus stars

The jerseys say USA, though that's about all that will be recognizable.

When the U.S. men's basketball team returns to action later this month, fans might be left wondering, "the red, white and who?"

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Pacers sign 37-year-old F Wilkins

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Indiana Pacers have signed 37-year-old swingman Damien Wilkins and rookie forward Ben Moore.

Terms were not released.

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Ex-Laker Hawkins dies at 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) Tommy Hawkins, the first black basketball player to earn All-America honors at Notre Dame and who played for the Los Angeles Lakers during a 10-year NBA career, died Wednesday. He was 80.

Hawkins died in his sleep at home in Malibu, son Kevin told The Associated Press. He had been in good health and had lay down to rest, his oldest son said.

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Nuggets add Weiss, Booth to staff

DENVER (AP) The Denver Nuggets have hired veteran NBA coach Bob Weiss as an assistant on Michael Malone's staff and announced the hiring of Calvin Booth as an assistant general manager.

Weiss has coached 31 seasons in the NBA, including the last four as an assistant with the Charlotte Hornets. He's been a head coach with four teams, compiling a 223-299 career record with the Spurs, Hawks, Clippers and SuperSonics.

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Jordan has stake in Jeter's Marlins team

MIAMI (AP) A person familiar with the situation says NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan has a small stake in Derek Jeter's investment group that reached an agreement to buy the Miami Marlins.

The person confirmed Jordan's role to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because the parties involved have not commented.

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Warriors-Rockets highlights NBA openers

NEW YORK (AP) The Golden State Warriors will open their title defense by hosting Houston in Chris Paul's Rockets debut on Oct. 17, the NBA's earliest opening night in 37 years.

Cleveland and Boston will play an Eastern Conference finals rematch earlier that night to begin the 2017-18 season, the league announced Thursday.

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