Chris Paul cried after Game 5 loss to OKC

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hi-res-dfd786c7abc8134bda294c8bed5fb209_crop_north

Game 5 of last season’s Western Conference semifinals was a painfully deciding factor in the series and a nightmare for Chris Paul. The Los Angeles Clippers’ seven-point lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder was lost in under 50 seconds, largely due to an uncharacteristic display of turnovers and dexision-making from Paul.

Talking to the LA Times‘ Ben Bolch, Paul says he still thinks of the game four months later:

It would be lying to you to say I’d forgotten about it, [Paul said during a break on set]. It’s one of those things that I don’t want to forget, to tell you the truth. I think for me, I feel like you have to remember things like that and therefore you don’t want that feeling again. I know I don’t.

Bolch writes that Paul was devastated and cried after that game. Oklahoma City went on to beat the Clippers in Game 6.

Paul, Doc Rivers, and the Clippers basketball team made a huge leap last season. Aside from the Donald Sterling fiasco, basketball-wise this team can still improve its formidability. Adding some depth this summer and another year with Doc will have to be enough for the proclaimed best point guard in the league to reach his title aspirations.

 

 

Andray Blatche signs deal to play in China

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andray-blatche-netsAndray Blatche is headed to China.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, free agent center Andray Blatche has agreed to a one-year $2.5 million deal with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. Blatche’s agency, ASM Sports tweeted out the news on Saturday afternoon.

Blatche appeared in 73 games last year for the Brooklyn Nets, averaging 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Although he’s proven to be a productive offensive player, Blatche is a lousy rim protector and his decisions can make a coach cringe.

Blatche played for the Philippines in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, averaging 21.2 points and 13.8 rebounds in five games.

The nine-year veteran will have some company in China, as the Flying Tigers agreed to a deal with shot happy guard Jordan Crawford earlier this week. 

Andray Blatche averages 10.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game for his career.

@wcboyer24

 

Ramon Sessions signs with Sacramento Kings

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Milwaukee Bucks v Sacramento KingsRamon Sessions is headed to Sacramento.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Sacramento Kings have agreed to a two-year, $4.2 million deal with free agent guard Ramon Sessions. Sacramento will use their biannual exception to sign the 7 year veteran. 

After losing guard Isaiah Thomas to the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento desperately needed another respectable ball handler and distributor. Sessions will not only provide the Kings with that, but he’s proven that he can effectively knife his way to the basket time and time again. Sessions will compete with Darren Collison for minutes. Collison signed a three-year, $16 million deal with the Kings earlier this summer.

Sessions split time between the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks last year, and averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.

In addition to Charlotte and Milwaukee, Sessions has played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers. 

Ramon Sessions averages 11.7 points, 4.7 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game for his career.

@wcboyer24

Former NBA player Rex Chapman arrested for shoplifting more than $14K in Apple merchandise

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1mD9Nx.AuSt.79Former NBA player Rex Chapman was arrested on Friday.

According to Mike Gertzman of AZFamily.com, former Phoenix Suns guard Rex Chapman was arrested on Friday afternoon for shoplifting at a Scottsdale Apple store. 

Chapman, 46, was arrested on Friday at approximately 1:45 p.m. after police stopped his vehicle in northeast Scottsdale.

The Apple store, where the alleged thefts occurred, is in the Scottsdale Quarter retail center at Scottsdale Road and Greenway Parkway.

Police began investigating the case in August when employees reported a series of shoplifting incidents involving the same suspect over a period of a few months.

The suspect was identified by multiple Apple store employees as Rex Chapman because of his previous celebrity status as an NBA basketball player.

Police said Chapman allegedly picked up items in the store and made it appear that he was paying for them with an iPhone app through the store’s self-checkout system.

He would then leave the store without actually paying for the items. He allegedly took merchandise to a local pawn shop and sold it for cash.

It is believed that Chapman is responsible for seven other incidents of theft reported to Scottsdale police. The merchandise stolen is valued at more than $14,000.

Chapman is facing nine felony counts of Organized Retail Theft and five felony counts of Trafficking in Stolen Property.

Rex Chapman was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 8th pick in the 1988 NBA Draft. In addition to Charlotte, Chapman played for the Washington Bullets, Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns. He spent 12 years in the NBA, averaging 14.6 points and 2.7 assists per game for his career.

It is reported that Chapman made $22 million during his NBA career. 

@wcboyer24

Report: Timberwolves Offering Eric Bledsoe A Max Offer Sheet

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According to Fox 10 in Phoenix and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, the Timberwolves are making a final run at Eric Bledsoe by giving him a max offer sheet.

bledsoe

Originally, Minnesota made a “little” run at Eric Bledsoe when they were talking about trading Kevin Love to Phoenix for a package that included Bledsoe going to Minnesota. The trade talks weren’t that serious,  and we all know what happened with Kevin Love, but that proved the Timberwolves had their eye on Bledsoe. Contract talks have hit a standstill with Phoenix, so now this move will force the Suns to either match the offer or let him go. 

If the Timberwolves add Bledsoe to the roster that would mean adding an uptempo guard to a team with explosive players like Andrew Wiggins and Zach Lavine. This would make a team with Rubio, Lavine, Martin, Wiggins, Young, Pekovic, Bennet, and Bledsoe. There would be so many options and a great young core for the Timberwolves. Bledsoe averaged 17.7 points and 5.5 assists in just 43 games last season, so this means that Bledsoe could have a great impact over an entire season for Minnesota.

UPDATE:

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Suns are not interested in a sign-and-trade deal so Eric Bledsoe’s future team this season is dependent on if Phoenix will match the offer or not.

 

@ThatKidFisch

Lou Amundson agrees to deal with Cleveland Cavaliers

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7552252Lou Amundson is headed to Cleveland.

According to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Cavaliers have agreed to a deal with veteran big man Lou Amundson. Amundson’s agency Priority Sports sent out a tweet congratulating the power forward on his new deal Friday afternoon.

Amundson, who worked out for Cleveland a few weeks ago, appeared in 18 games last year with the New Orleans Pelicans. The former UNLV Runnin’ Rebel averaged 2.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game with New Orleans.

Amundson is a hustle player who guarantees energy and ferocity off the bench. Amundson spent two seasons in Phoenix with Cavaliers GM David Griffin, including the 2009-10 season when Phoenix made it to the Western Conference Finals. Amundson was an important part of Phoenix’s success, averaging a career high 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. 

Lou Amundson averages 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for his NBA career.

@wcboyer24

 

Free Agent Forward Mickael Pietrus Worked Out For Sacramento Kings

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Mickael-PietrusPietrus didn’t play in the NBA last season.

According to Shams Charania of RealGM, the Sacramento Kings worked out veteran forward Michael Pietrus earlier this week. Pietrus hopes that Sacramento is one of many teams he’ll get to workout for as he looks to make a return to the NBA.

Pietrus last played for the Toronto Raptors in 2012-13. He appeared in 19 games with Toronto, averaging 5.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. Pietrus is recognized league wide as a pretty solid defender with respectable three-point shooting ability and valuable postseason experience.

Pietrus was a key member of the 2008-2009 Orlando Magic, a team that surprised everyone by making it to the NBA Finals. During that playoff run, he spent an extensive amount of time guarding both LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

In addition to Orlando and Toronto, Pietrus has played for the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics.

Michael Pietrus averages 8.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game for his career.

@wcboyer24

 

Timberwolves Hosting "Midnight Madness" Dunk Contest

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 Andrew Wiggins

Timberwolves Hosting “Midnight Madness” Dunk Contest

On September 29th the Minnesota Timberwolves will open training camp with a “Dunks After Dark” Midnight Madness extravaganza and dunk contest, reports the Star Tribune. The event will also be shown on NBA TV.

The doors will open at Minnesota State’s Mankato Bresnan Arena at 11 p.m. featuring a scrimmage of the Timberwolves and a dunk contest between rookies Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.

Wiggins is the newest member of the Timberwolves by way of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lavine was the Timberwolves’ first-round pick this summer. Both rookies are known for insane athleticism, and what better way for the Timberwolves to display their new young talent than trying to create something of a college atmosphere to open the season. 

"The Go-To Guy"

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“The Go-To Guy”

 

You carry the responsibility, the weight of a people’s trust and culpability

The pressure is welcomed, courses swift with agility

 

You exude confidence, fickle or prominent

Preach positive 

 

You give them faith in an ability 

Cling to efforts in history

 

You possess an inherent patience, when your situational breathing turns into a calm cadence

The song is downtempo, gracious in nature

 

You embrace failure while negating it, replacing it with grateful powers of belief

The grief of defeat, nightmares for sleep

 

You don’t want the ball, you need the ball

Obsess over progress

 

You rest only in the functions of your own flesh

You are reliant, defiant, a slave to the burden

 

The one who’s (supposed to be) most certain

 

You know these feelings, if you’ve ever been the go-to guy

Sacramento Kings will retire Peja Stojakovic's jersey

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icon_7805548Stojakovic’s jersey will be retired on December 16th.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Sacramento Kings announced that they are planning to retire the #16 jersey of sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic. The Serbia native will be honored on December 16th when the Kings square off against the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

The Sacramento Kings announced today that the #16 jersey of three-time NBA All-Star and NBA Champion Peja Stojakovic will be retired on December 16, when the Kings host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Sleep Train Arena. During his eight seasons in Sacramento, the fan-favorite small forward played more games for the Kings than any player during the Sacramento era and had an immeasurable impact on the community both on and off the court.

“Peja Stojakovic was instrumental in putting Sacramento on the map on a global scale,” said Kings Owner Vivek Ranadivé. “As one of only a select group of Serbian players in the NBA, Peja helped carve out a place for basketball players from all over the world. Recognizing his leadership will be a special moment for fans and the entire Kings organization, as well as a great reminder of the kind of success we are building in Sacramento.”

“My time in Sacramento was the best years of my career and truly some of the best years of my life,” said Stojakovic. “I am proud of what we built in Sacramento and the connection we made with the fans and the community. Kings fans are some of the best fans in the world, and it was an honor to play for them. I want to thank Vivek and the entire Kings family for welcoming me back for this celebration, and I look forward to following the exciting times ahead for the Sacramento Kings.”

“Peja was part of the awesome Kings dynasty that we’re working hard to bring back to Sacramento,” said Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. “His high basketball IQ and unique ability to connect with the fans had a huge impact on the team and the community, and we hope Peja’s passion and determination carry over into this new era of Kings basketball.”

Stojakovic will join Chris Webber (#4), Vlade Divac (#21) and Mitch Richmond (#2) as the only Kings players to have their jerseys retired.

Sacramento selected Stojakovic with the 14th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He played eight seasons with the Kings, averaging 18.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He is the franchise leader in three pointers made (1,070) and free-throw percentage (.893). Stojakovic also made three NBA All-Star teams (2002, 2003, 2004) during his tenure with Sacramento.

In addition to the Kings, Peja Stojakovic played for the Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets, Toronto Raptors and Dallas Mavericks during his 13 year NBA career. He captured a championship in 2011 with the Mavericks.

Stojakovic averaged 17.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for his career.

@wcboyer24

 

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