Joe Johnson changes agents

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October 6, 2015 | 5:59 pm EDT Update
Two years ago, Len progressed to being a No. 5 draft pick and entered a preseason game in awe of being matched up against Duncan. This summer, the idol became a mentor. Len visited San Antonio for three days in August to work with Duncan, a 19th-year Spurs star — from the dark side for Suns fans — helping the bright future of the Suns’ 22-year-old center. “He was super-cool about it,” Len said. “He was one of the nice players I’ve ever met in my life. He is one of the most humble superstars you’ll ever meet. He’s like Tyson (Chandler). He’s always happy to answer any question. He genuinely wants to help you.”
The Achilles tendon tear. The fractured knee. The torn rotator cuff that ended his season last January, this less than two weeks after he had admitted that the rash of injuries had sparked a natural and constant fear that the next setback was just around the corner. Yet now, as he told USA TODAY Sports at Lakers camp, he’s at peace with this idea that even he can’t know how this will end. “I just let (the concerns) go after a while, man,” said Bryant, who will be a free agent next summer and has made it clear he’s unsure whether he’ll retire. “You have to ask yourself, did you do everything you possibly could to prepare for the season? And I have. I’ve trained really hard to get to this point, and you have to be comfortable with that. Whatever happens is really beyond your control.”
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Would you have used social media in your day? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Absolutely. It would have given me more access to talk to the fans directly rather than be filtered through the biases of reporters. A lot of reporters wanted to have something juicy to write about, so they would try to provoke a reaction from me. No matter what I said, they could put it into any context that suited them and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Imagine having the world know you only through the words of people looking to write the most provocative stories they can. Today athletes can directly interact with the fans which takes away some of the power of the press.
October 6, 2015 | 5:33 pm EDT Update
October 6, 2015 | 4:53 pm EDT Update
October 6, 2015 | 4:20 pm EDT Update

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to have surgery

After consulting with team orthopedist Dr. Marcus Cook this morning, Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Cook tonight at Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital. Further updates on his status will be provided when available. Kidd-Gilchrist suffered the injury with 46 seconds remaining in the second quarter in Saturday’s preseason game at Orlando.
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Markel Brown out for preseason

The Nets announced Tuesday that Markel Brown will not play in preseason –a total of six games over three weeks– because of a strain in his left oblique muscle. He will be reevaluated at the start of the regular season. Brown strained it last Thursday in what he has called a “freak accident.” He flew home on the weekend and was evaluated by Dr. Riley, J. Williams, the team medical director. Brown missed some time last preseason due to a severe stomach flu.
A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black. Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8. Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police. A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.” Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.
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October 6, 2015 | 3:47 pm EDT Update
The Memphis Grizzlies today announced the team has signed free agent forward Sampson Carter. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed. Carter (6-8, 220) joins the Grizzlies after playing professionally last season in Slovakia, Portugal and the Dominican Republic. Undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft, the 25-year-old averaged 7.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 21.8 minutes in 135 games (88 starts) over five seasons (2009-14) at the University of Massachusetts. The Baton Rouge, La. native attended Ridgeway High School in Memphis before beginning his collegiate career. The Grizzlies’ roster stands at 20 players. An updated roster is attached.
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Kevin Love remains on track to play in the Oct. 27 regular season opener at the Chicago Bulls, but Kyrie Irving won’t be ready, coach David Blatt confirmed Tuesday. “That would be fair and realistic,” Blatt said. ove is participating in 3 on 3 drills this week and the Cavs hope he will be cleared for full practices by the weekend. Blatt has already ruled him out for this week’s preseason games at Cincinnati on Wednesday (against the Atlanta Hawks) and at the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday. But Blatt has previously said the plan is for Love to play in preseason games at some point this month.

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