LeBron torches Warriors rumor

The Associated Press

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — LeBron James says any thought about him being interested in playing for the Golden State Warriors is “nonsense.”

On Thursday, ESPN, citing anonymous sources, reported James would consider meeting with the NBA champions this summer when he can opt out of his contract and be a free agent. James said he initially laughed at the report and then became upset because it questions “what I’m trying to do here. It’s a discredit to my teammates and the coaching staff here.”

James understands there will always be speculation about his future, but any link to the Warriors is a “non-story.”

The 33-year-old said reports about him undermine his attempt to get the Cavs to a fourth straight NBA Finals. James and the Cavs have played Golden State in the past three Finals.

James has said he intends to play the reset of his career in Cleveland, but that hasn’t slowed speculation about his next move.

Fan gets feisty

DENVER — After Thursday night’s game between Denver and Oklahoma City, a Nuggets’ fan went on the court and began taunting Thunder star Russell Westbrook, who pushed him out of the way as he tried to exit the court.

The Nuggets won the game at the buzzer.

Security guards quickly moved in and hustled the fan away, but Westbrook said the perimeter of the basketball court should be better policed. “You’ve got to be able to protect the players,” Westbrook said. “The fans can obviously enjoy the game, but they can’t come on the floor. They’ll look at it and figure it out. To me, that’s totally unacceptable.”

The NBA reviewed the ordeal on Friday and said there woud be no discplinary action against Westbrook.

Love avoids surgery

CLEVELAND — Kevin Love dodged surgery. The Cavaliers were hit hard.

The All-Star forward, who was recently at the center of some team turmoil, will miss two months because of a broken left hand. Love fractured the fifth metacarpal Tuesday night during a loss at Detroit, and his injury is just the latest mishap for the Cavs, who are coming off a sub-par January.

It was expected that Love would need an operation to repair the break, but after Cleveland’s medical staff consulted with doctors at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, it was determined Love can recover without any procedure. He had surgery on his left hand in 2009 while with Minnesota and still has three screws in place.

The timetable for Love’s return means he’ll miss all but the final two weeks of the regular season. The team’s second-leading scorer and top rebounder won’t have much time to get ready for the playoffs. But with the way the Cavs are playing, it’s questionable how far they can go.

Cleveland (30-20) is coming off a bumpy month in which the Eastern Conference champions went 6-8 and were blown out in several losses, leading to finger-pointing between teammates. During a recent team meeting, Love was questioned by some Cleveland players for leaving a loss against Oklahoma City and then missing practice the next day.

Elsewhere:

n Joakim Noah’s absence from the New York Knicks will continue indefinitely. A team official says Friday that Noah and the Knicks have mutually agreed that he will not be back with the club until further notice. Noah left the team last week after a dispute with coach Jeff Hornacek. He’s already missed a pair of games this week. The veteran center hasn’t reclaimed a rotation spot after missing the start of the season while serving the remainder of a 20-game suspension. That suspension began last season for violating terms of the anti-drug agreement.

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