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Sager unable to cover Olympics for NBC

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

NEW YORK (AP) Craig Sager's fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.

NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.

The Rio Games would have been Sager's fifth Olympics.

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Bulls' Butler enjoying time with US team

CHICAGO (AP) Jimmy Butler spun a basketball on his finger. He joked around with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving during a brief 1-on-1 exchange. He smiled as some of the NBA's biggest stars lobbed some playful barbs in his direction.

Back in Chicago on the eve of the Olympics, Butler is fitting in quite nicely with the U.S. national team.

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Pacers-Nuggets in London on Jan. 12

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The NBA has announced that the Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets will play in London on Jan. 12.

The game will be played at The O2 arena, league officials said Thursday. Denver will be considered the home team and tickets will go on sale at the start of the upcoming season.

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Mavs' deal with Nowitzki $50M, not $40M

DALLAS (AP) Dirk Nowitzki has signed his contract with Dallas, and a person with knowledge of the deal says it's worth more than the original agreement.

The 38-year-old star who has spent all 18 of his seasons with the Mavericks signed a two-year, $50 million contract on Wednesday - $10 million more than the deal struck before contracts could be signed. The person with knowledge of the contract provided terms to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't released.

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Wizards bring back veteran G Thornton

WASHINGTON (AP) The Washington Wizards have re-signed reserve guard Marcus Thornton.

General manager Ernie Grunfeld announced the move Thursday, calling Thornton "a proven veteran who gives us experience and scoring off the bench and will add depth at the two-guard position."

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NBPA to fund ex-players' health coverage

NEW YORK (AP) The National Basketball Players Association's player representatives have voted unanimously to fund health insurance for all retired NBA players with at least three years of service.

"The game has never before been more popular, and all the players in our league today recognize that we're only in this position because of the hard work and dedication of the men who came before us," Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul, the union president, said in a statement Wednesday. "It's important that we take care of our entire extended NBA family, and I'm proud of my fellow players for taking this unprecedented step to ensure the health and well-being of our predecessors."

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Warriors C Varejao to miss Olympics

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.

The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.

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Stoudemire retires as member of Knicks

NEW YORK (AP) Amare Stoudemire's greatest NBA success was in Phoenix, where as Steve Nash's pick-and-roll partner he was one of the NBA's most fearsome finishers.

But he chose to leave the league as a member of the Knicks, the franchise that was mired in a lengthy playoff drought before he signed in 2010 and revitalized the franchise.

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Bulls reach deal with G Dinwiddie

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.

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Blazers, Harkless agree on 4 years, $40M

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) The Portland Trail Blazers have agreed to a four-year deal with restricted free agent Maurice Harkless.

The $40 million deal was first reported by Yahoo Sports. Harkless confirmed it on Twitter, posting: "4moe' ..... God is so good. Thank you (hashtag) ripcity."

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