Jermaine O'Neal closer to Dallas

More HoopsHype Rumors
July 29, 2015 | 1:06 pm EDT Update
He had hoped he could return to the city that had embraced him, to the team with players he considered brothers, to the franchise where he grew into one of the NBA’s most well-rounded and respected shooting guards. But in the end, after five seasons, the feeling was not mutual. He was greeted with silence. No phone call. No text messages. The Blazers never made an offer. “I was pissed off,” Matthews said. “I felt disrespected.”
via Oregonian
Two days after free agency opened, he agreed in principle to join the Mavericks. On July 9, he signed a four-year, $70 million deal – an average salary of $17.5 million a season, about $10 million more than he earned last season. “I told Cuban this the other day: This is the first time, head-to-toe, that an organization has had faith and confidence in me,” Matthews said. “From coaches, to GM to owner — complete confidence. That’s all I wanted. That’s all I wanted.”
via Oregonian
He says it’s not all about the money, a fact underlined by his recruitment of free agent center DeAndre Jordan, who was waffling between the Mavericks and staying with the Los Angeles Clippers. If Jordan signed with Dallas, his deal would reduce the amount of money the Mavericks could give Matthews by $4 million a season. If Jordan stayed in Los Angeles, Matthews would get the max. “I was honest with him,” Matthews said. “I said, ‘Look man, I would make less money if you come here and I’m begging you to come here. Begging you. I think that shows what I’m about.'”
via Oregonian
How long have you been active on social media? Andrew Bogut: I have been active on social media since 2008. I have started with Facebook, my personal account and the fan page. Later on I opened my Twitter account. Do you consider social media a must-have for all professional athletes? Andrew Bogut: Yes and No. Some athletes like to be more private. I think it is good to connect with fans. Also, a lot of marketing and branding is done. These days your sponsors, brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Mc Donald’s, whoever you sign with, would like you to post things on your social media. It can help with the interaction with your sponsors.
via Overtime Sports Marketing
July 29, 2015 | 12:01 pm EDT Update
During the first day of the CJ McCollum Youth Basketball Camp in Tualatin, it was hard to tell if he or the kids were enjoying themselves more. “This is a lot of fun,” McCollum said Tuesday. “It gives me a chance to bond with the kids. Being a professional athlete, you’re in a position where kids look up to you and you can make an impression —sometimes more of an impression than family members. It’s important that you do things the right way and put yourself in a position to help out and give back. My mom always raised me to give back and remember where you come from. This is just one way to do that.”
via Oregonian
Paul Pierce threw out the first pitch at Tuesday’s Dodgers – A’s game. Pierce seemed to enjoy his reception, though I’m not sure why. A baseball game starting at 7:10 in LA means that there can’t be more than 100 people in the stands. Perhaps he picked out a smattering of boos from unemployed Lakers fans? Either way, he proceeded to ham it up on the mound before bouncing one in the dirt 10-feet in front of the plate.
via The Big Lead
July 29, 2015 | 7:05 am EDT Update
Barnes made sure to warn Jordan that things could change between them in the flicker of a cake candle now that Barnes plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. “I told him, ‘Even though we’re good friends, I’m still going to foul the beep out of you when we play,'” Barnes recalled Tuesday during his introductory news conference in Memphis. “That’s just the kind of player I am. There’s no hard feelings.”
via Los Angeles Times
It also means a player known for altercations with fans and referees, along with opposing players and team owners, has some reputation-mending to do in his new city. He might start with a young female fan who became irritated during a playoff game between the Grizzlies and Clippers in April 2013, when Barnes kicked a garbage can on his way off the court after a bitter defeat. “It was a close game and I was mad that we lost and I kicked the can,” Barnes said. “I’m looking forward to inviting that young lady back to the first game and letting her know I’m not the guy she thought I was when I kicked the can.”
via Los Angeles Times
Festus Ezeli said he advanced quickly in school and was promoted past the fifth and sixth grades by American standards at the private Igbinedion Education Center in Benin City. He actually earned his high school diploma just months from his 15th birthday. “The common knowledge of Africa is poverty, which we do have a lot of,” Ezeli said. “But the affluent and educated exist in Nigeria as well. My parents worked hard enough to send me to an international school. At the school I learned about different parts of the world. I learned to get out of a small-town mentality and to aspire to be great.”
via Yahoo! Sports
Festus Ezeli arrived to Sacramento standing 6-foot-8 with plenty of room left to grow. While school remained the focus, his uncle believed it made a lot of sense for his nephew to begin playing basketball, too. “[Ndulue] saw my height and said, ‘We could do something with this,’ ” Festus Ezeli said. “I told him that I came to America to be a doctor. He told me, ‘You can play basketball and use basketball to pay for your education.’ We all thought it was a good idea, but we didn’t realize how hard it would be.”
via Yahoo! Sports
Ezeli received 27 scholarship offers before narrowing his field to Boston College, Connecticut, Harvard and Vanderbilt. Ezeli’s parents thought it would be a dream come true for their son to get a Harvard education. In hopes of getting the best combination of school and basketball though, a strong-willed Ezeli chose Vanderbilt. “I didn’t think it was the best decision because I thought Harvard would give him the greatest opportunity in life,” Patricia Ada Ezeli said. “Most parents would think that for their children. But when he kept insisting about basketball, school and being able to play at the highest level of the sport, we said to ourselves, ‘School is always there. He can try it and if it doesn’t work out he can go back to school.’ “
via Yahoo! Sports
Ezeli is scheduled to depart from South Africa back to the United States on Aug. 6. He says his trip to Africa won’t be complete until he finally steps foot back in Nigeria. “Even if I can’t go right now, the fact that I can go back to Africa is exciting to me,” Ezeli said. “There are a lot of things I want to do in the world. With the trouble in Nigeria and things like that, I want to be able to help my country in some way. I don’t know how it’s going to be, but I want to help my country. But to be able to give back to the continent, this is an exciting first step.”
via Yahoo! Sports
A security detail has accompanied the group throughout their travels to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, a restaurant near the northern border with Syria and Lebanon, the Holocaust Museum, and a basketball clinic for Israeli and Palestinian youngsters. The itinerary includes another youth clinic and a breakfast meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We were a little nervous about going to Jerusalem,” Casspi said by phone early Tuesday morning, “but we had a great time. Thousands of people followed us when we walked around the Wall and the shops. DeMarcus was like a rock star. Everybody wanted to be around him.”
via Sacramento Bee

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 120 other followers