July 28, 2015 | 7:32 am EDT Update
Tim Reynolds: Pat Riley and Goran Dragic have collectively decided that he won’t be playing for Slovenia this summer. No surprise, but still newsworthy.
It doesn’t take a deep in-between-the-lines read of Crawford’s social media activity to know where the Clippers stand with him. He’s been repeatedly asked whether or not he’ll be a Clipper next season on Twitter, and he’s issued responses like “I’m not a (free agent), wish, but I’m not … So, (you) gotta ask Doc.”
When the media has asked Rivers about Crawford’s future with the team, he’s said the team wants to have him back because he appreciates his unique ability to score off the bench. However, persistent trade rumors and other events this summer might have Crawford feeling differently.
Though Crowder always wanted to return, he admittedly needed some sign of president of basketball operations Danny Ainge’s good intentions. “When I first came here you guys were saying tanking, and that was real bad,” Crowder said of his initial reaction after arriving from the Dallas Mavericks as part of last December’s Rajon Rondo trade. “I didn’t want to be a part of that, selfishly because I don’t like losing. I had to ask our direction moving forward. (Ainge) responded well, as you can see. I’m pleased with the guys he brought in. I talked to Danny, the coaches and everyone. I wanted to know the direction. Moving forward we’re going to win playoff games, and that’s something we didn’t do last year. We’re taking steps. We want to get to Banner 18, but we have to win a playoff game first.
Boban Marjanovic may miss Eurobasket with Serbian National Team. Over the last few days there was a report that the giant played the finals of the Serbian League with a fractured foot. The statement, made by Crvena Zvezda assistant coach Velibor Radovic, alarmed the Spurs that blocked Marjanovic from practicing with the Serbian National Team.
Ronny Turiaf: A few weeks after my surgery, I reached out to Fred Hoiberg, who also underwent surgery for an enlarged aorta. His procedure happened three weeks before mine, and he walked me through every single issue I could ever encounter. He gave me moral support and told me everything was going to be okay. That meant a lot to me, because when you rehab from heart surgery, little scares come up all the time. There is so much to know and worry about, so every conversation with Fred was as priceless as the last. That’s why when I joined the Timberwolves in 2013, I chose Fred’s number. I’d always worn 21 whenever possible, but I wasn’t touching Kevin Garnett’s number, out of respect. So Clayton Wilson, the equipment manager, mentioned wearing 32 in honor of Fred, and we thought it was a great idea. What a wonderful rite of passage, and a way to honor someone who played for the Timberwolves and had such an impact in the Minnesota community.
Ronny Turiaf: When I think about the last ten years, I view it as a journey of self-discovery. The nomadic lifestyle I enjoy. Being open to new experiences. Exploring life to the limit. It’s been a fun ride. There’s a quote by Martin Lawrence: “Live this life until the wheels fall off.” That’s what I’m doing. I never wanted my heart surgery to define me, but then I learned to tap into the darkness that came with it to live my life fully. I embraced that basketball can allow me to touch lives. I’ve left a mark with my Heart To Heart Foundation. Fred Hoiberg was my mentor, and I’ve in turn reached out to other players like Jeff Green, Etan Thomas, Chuck Hayes and Channing Frye, who’ve faced similar challenges. I now enjoy that people see me as the guy who had open heart surgery. If I can use that to help other people, I’m all about it.
July 27, 2015 | 9:13 pm EDT Update
Of course, the one main difference from the start of Stephenson’s workouts to now is the team he’s getting ready to play for when the 2015-16 season begins. “I’m very excited,” Stephenson said. “I think we’ve got the pieces that can get us our ring. You’ve got coach (Doc) Rivers behind us. I think the sky’s the limit for us. We’ve got the talent, we’ve got the vets.”
It’s not everyday that sneakerheads can buy PEs straight out of the locker room. If you are a collector of player exclusive sneakers, the Sacramento Kings have an auction that you need to check out right now. A number of game-worn and deadstock sneakers are available, from recent DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay PEs to older items from Chris Webber, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Tyreke Evans, Isaiah Thomas and the artist formerly known as Ron Artest.
Arenas posted a photo to Instagram Sunday night showing himself and four children standing at the fairgrounds in front of a mountain of stuffed toys. “We just got banned from all the basketball hoops at (OC Fair),” Arenas wrote in the caption. OC Fair spokeswoman Robin Wachner said on Monday that Arenas was not banned from returning and playing in the future, but he had won the daily maximum of one prize per day from each of the fair’s 15 basketball games. No one at the fair recalled anyone previously achieving that same winning streak, she said.
July 27, 2015 | 7:51 pm EDT Update
Question has been, though, which dream will Connaughton pursue? “That’s the million-dollar question – literally,” said Connaughton, picked in the fourth round, 38th overall, of the 2014 amateur baseball draft by the Orioles and in the second round, 41st overall, by the Nets in the 2015 NBA draft before being traded to the Trail Blazers. The answer, for now, is basketball. Connaughton signed a three-year, rookie-scale contract with the Trail Blazers last week, with the first two years guaranteed at roughly $1.5 million, according to spotrac.com. He will put his baseball career on hold as he begins his NBA journey. “You kind of have to expect it if you want to succeed,” Connaughton said. “There’s a work ethic you need to keep.”
Playing both sports professionally offers some logistical challenges, which seems right up Connaughton’s alley. “In a perfect world, that’s what I’m shooting for,” said Connaughton, a 6-foot-5, 215-pounder. “Obviously you have to be realistic. You have to figure out how you can succeed. It’s not something I’m expecting.”
Anthony Davis sounds rather pleased that the New Orleans Pelicans have done very little tweaking to their roster since their first-round exit from last season’s playoffs. It was that promise of roster stability, combined with the introduction of a new, fun-loving coach with an up-tempo scheme, which made him eager to commit long-term to New Orleans. “I just felt comfortable here. I like the team. I like the direction that we’re heading in. I like the guys who are playing by my side,” Davis said Monday. “I have a lot of trust in our organization and what they’re doing.”
Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has been churning out music this summer. His latest track titled “Tell Me Why” is the third in a string of rap songs Dame DOLLA has shared with the public during the offseason.
Why I played hoop at three high schools? Why they ain’t respect my game? Why they had me ranking behind dudes? Why wasn’t Carolina having me scouted? Why I lead the nation scoring just to hit the league and be doubted? Why I get angry when I’m blessed to the max?
July 27, 2015 | 4:51 pm EDT Update
The Dallas Mavericks announced Monday that they have signed free agent forwards Jamil Wilson and Brandon Ashley. Both players are considered long shots to make the Mavs’ regular-season roster and could end up playing for the D-League’s Texas Legends.