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.
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.
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.
Official: @drayblatche has signed a 1 year deal with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yahoo Sources: Phoenix has no interest in Eric Bledsoe sign-and-trade discussions with Minnesota. http://t.co/fob5uaupDV
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.
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.
The Kings worked out free agent forward Mickael Pietrus this week in Sacramento, league sources tell RealGM. Pietrus is on workout trail.
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.
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.
Stojakovic’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.