Archive for the ‘ NBA players ’ Category

Joel Embiid Kansas basketball NBA draft

In a move that most expected after his solid year, Kansas’ Joel Embiid has declared for the NBA draft. At his news conference on Wednesday, Embiid shared his reasons for turning pro: “Looking at different scenarios and gathering info of what was best for me … either way was best for me. Talking to my mentor, it was best the choice.”

There was quite a bit of speculation leading up to this announcement that Embiid might have had a change of heart after it seemed a near certainty that he would make this move earlier in the season. Embiid suffered nagging injuries this season but still managed to average almost a double-double as a freshman. Many consider Embiid the number one pro prospect in this year’s draft with this announcement.

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Chris Paul Booed…Again

Chris Paul Clippers

You would think that Chris Paul would be beloved in Los Angeles. After all, he’s helped make the Clippers, considered to be the worst-run organization in all of professional sports over the last 30 years, actually relevant. But, that’s not the case:

“I thought the city would have embraced him,” Clippers forward Blake Griffin said of Paul. “I mean, it seems like everywhere we go, people love Chris. I don’t know why he would get booed at a Dodger game.”

Paul said he understood being the victim of the Untrue Blue. Fans booed him at the Dodgers’ game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday, he said, because L.A. remains a Lakers town. Sadly, even being shown on the Dodger Stadium video board alongside Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford couldn’t protect him from the scorn of a sellout crowd.

So what gives?

In Los Angeles, the Clippers are the “other team”. The team that isn’t the Lakers, a team that “borrows” the court of the Lakers when they need to play a home game. It’s been this way since the Clippers franchise moved into L.A. from San Diego in 1984. The Clippers have horrible ownership and have been the laughingstock of the league, well, since even their days in San Diego.

Team owner Donald Sterling lobbied the NBA to allow him to move the Clippers to Los Angeles because of poor attendance…but the reason so few people were coming out to watch the games was that the team was awful for years. Bringing the team to L.A. did nothing to solve the poor management of Sterling and the Lakers were already well established. Remember, this was during the height of Magic Johnson’s ‘Showtime’ Laker teams. Sterling had purchased the team in 1981, and was based in L.A.

So the city of L.A. considered Chris Paul an outsider. They expected him to play for the Clippers for a season after David Stern’s ludicrous move to prevent him from going from New Orleans to the Lakers, then they expected him to move over to the ‘real’ L.A. team. Since he hasn’t, they haven’t embraced him.

Chris Paul is arguably one of the most marketable players in the NBA at the moment, with national endorsements, elite play and a winning personality. But as long as he stays with the Clippers, he will probably continue to be considered the ‘away team’ on the team’s home court.

Basketball Pre-Season Roundup

Brandon Knight NBA

With both the college and NBA basketball seasons closing in, it’s time to revive our regular roundup feature, where we whip around the world of basketball and see what’s happening that’s interesting right now.

First off, Lebron James did a cool Q&A on Twitter, which makes us wonder – would MJ or Magic have done something like that? Pretty sure Magic would have, but not so sure about His Airness.

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Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Bucks picked up the fourth-year options on Brandon Knight and John Henson, and if you need an explanation on how the rookie pay scale works, you might want to review our discussion from last week.

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Gerald Wallace prepares for the upcoming season by ignoring the media.

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Derrick Rose is not only ready physically for the season, he’s been slowly increasing his conversation as well, most recently saying that the only true rival for the Chigago Bulls right now are the Miami Heat.

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The Utah Jazz are pretty happy with Derrick Favors and have signed him to a four year contract extension.

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Doc Rivers is trying to control the home arena for the Clippers by covering the Lakers championship banners when the Clippers play a home game:

“Well, I didn’t look at it as the banner thing. I just look at it as putting our guys up…. Listen, I think this is our arena when we play,” Rivers said. “So I just thought it would be good that we show our guys. No disrespect to them. But when we play, it’s the Clippers’ arena as far as I know.”

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Finally, Hall of Fame center Bill Russell was arrested for carrying a loaded handgun into an airport inside of his luggage. No explanation was given but Russell has apologized for the incident.

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Luther Burden Dinner

Several basketball legends are coming to the aid of friend and teammate Luther “Ticky” Burden, a former ABA, NBA player and collegiate basketball star who set the FIBA World Championship scoring title in 1974, as well as helping the US win gold at the 1975 Pan American Games.

Burden, who currently resides in Winston-Salem, NC, is suffering from a life-threatening form of infiltrative heart disease known as ATTR amyloid, which will require relocation to Columbia University in New York for evaluation of potential heart and liver transplants. The treatment is expected to cost in excess of $500,000. Burden does not have health insurance.

Burden played for the University of Utah collegiately then spent time in the ABA with the Virginia Squires and in the NBA with the New York Knicks. Burden’s FIBA record remained intact until Kevin Durant broke it in 2010.

Former legends of collegiate and pro basketball, including All-Americans Skip Brown of Wake Forest and Phil Ford of North Carolina are coming together to help raise funds for Burden at a charity dinner on October 11, 2013.

The dinner will feature legendary NBA players including ACC alumni such as Chucky Brown of NC State, former NBA player and Wake Forest star Charlie Davis, Winston-Salem State head coach Bobby Collins and several more.

There will be several available auction items for sports memorabilia provided by the New York Knicks, including an exclusive autographed J.R. Smith jersey. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear firsthand accounts of some of the memorable moments in basketball history, as well attend a meet-and-greet prior to the dinner. 100% of the proceeds for this event will go directly to helping Luther Burden battle his life-threatening illness.

For more information, to purchase tickets or offer a donation, visit LutherBurdenFund.com

Fab Melo Celtics

USA Today is reporting that the Dallas Mavericks have added Fab Melo, D.J. Kennedy and guard Richard McConnell for training camp as they continue to try and tweak their roster for the upcoming season.

Mello and Kennedy spent most of last season playing in the D-League, while McConnell averaged 13.6 points per game playing in Italy.

Paul Pierce baby sunglasses

Hey, it’s Sunday, it’s still the offseason, so enjoy this photo of Paul Pierce still living the jet set lifestyle with the cool crowd.

Kevin Durant Seattle

Kevin Durant likes Seattle, and he wants them to know it.

Durant, who played his rookie season for the Seattle Supersonics before the team relocated to Oklahoma City, scored 63 points in a game at the Jamal Crawford Summer Pro-Am, in front of about 3,000 fans. According to Crawford, Durant took his own jet to play and really wanted to make sure the fans understood that he missed playing in Seattle.

Mike Miller Heat Amnesty

The Miami Heat have decided that the will use the Amnesty clause on sharp shooter Mike Miller, which may save the team more than $30 million. The savings will likely come from luxury tax payment savings. The move is not entirely unexpected, although it was only a few days after team president Pat Riley stated that the team was looking to keep the core group of players intact.

However, the Heat reportedly tried to trade Miller, not because of his play but because of the mounting cost the team incurred when adding their “Big 3″ of Bosh, Wade and Lebron James. Miller was aware that such a move might be made and is taking it in stride:

‘I understand the business side of basketball,” Miller told The Associated Press. ”It’s a combination of being very, very thankful for the opportunity that I’ve had, but it hurts that we had a chance to do something very, very special and I’d love to have been a part of it.”

It’s not entirely bad for Miller, he had battled back from injuries last season to make a positive impact in this year’s title run with the team, and despite being off the roster he will still receive his salary of $6.2 million and $6.6 million for the next two seasons. However, the Heat won’t have to count Miller’s salary towards the cap.

Mookie Blalock car accident

Former NBA player Daron ‘Mookie’ Blalock is in critical condition today following a car accident late Friday. Blalock’s SUV reportedly crossed the center line and collided with a head-on with a van. One passenger in the van, 43-year-old Monica Murphy, was fatally injured and her husband suffered a broken ankle.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Blalock was initially placed on life support, but his condition has improved enough that it was no longer required as of Friday morning and that his current condition is ‘guarded’.