Omer Asik staying in New Orleans

More HoopsHype Rumors
July 29, 2015 | 7:05 am EDT Update
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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
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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
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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
“You sit around a locker room, and you talk about your home,” Casspi said. “I always tell my teammates, ‘Come see my side of the world. I go to your house when we go to Washington. Come meet my parents, my brother, my sister.’ It’s literally as simple as that. On CNN, all you see is war. My thought is, ‘Come see for yourself.’ Sheldon … is a Republican; our president (Barack Obama) is a Democrat. Good, bad, whatever. It doesn’t matter. We have to work on our relationship.” While the NBA’s involvement is limited to providing a clinician and T-shirts for the campers, league officials have long encouraged coaches and players to conduct clinics – usually in conjunction with the U.S. State Department – in war-torn countries such as Lebanon, Iran and Iraq. During the Cold War, the Atlanta Hawks toured the former Soviet Union and fostered lifelong friendships among the players, coaches and members of the respective basketball federations.
via Sacramento Bee
Well, we can go one better. The man who had the most to do with making it all possible — the player on whom the clutch “Jimmy Chitwood” character was based — doesn’t have any problem with Milan being remembered by the celluloid stand-in of “Hickory.” “I just think it’s great,” Bobby Plump, 78, told NBA.com in a phone interview Wednesday. “It’s wonderful that somebody thought about honoring the movie ‘Hoosiers’ and the Milan story. It would never have dawned on me to do that, but I’m certainly very proud.”
via NBA.com
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Cuban took to his Cyber Dust messaging app this week to congratulate Trump, referring to the Republican presidential candidate as “probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long, long time.” “I don’t care what his actual positions are,” Cuban wrote. “I don’t care if he says the wrong thing. He says what’s on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.”
via CNBC
Trump issued a tweet to his more than 3 million Twitter followers, thanking Cuban for the “nice words.” Trump added that he was rapidly becoming a Dallas Mavericks fan. “I think people are tired of politics as usual,” Cuban told ESPN Radio last week. “We’re tired of everything being scripted, we’re tired of every comment being politically correct. And, you know, even though Donald has to spend a lot of time pulling not just his foot but the toenails and the stuff that falls off his cuticles out of his mouth, at least it’s refreshing to have somebody who is just gonna say what’s on their mind and give an honest, if not insensitive, response to a question. To me, it’s great.” So would Cuban vote for Trump? “No, but I don’t know that I’d vote for any of the other 14 candidates and I don’t know that I’d vote for the Democratic candidates right now either,” Cuban said.
via CNBC
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Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has entered a plea of not guilty in his driving under the influence case, according to his attorney. Budenholzer entered the plea in Fulton County State Court last week in writing with the court and Judge Diane E. Bessen. The court has a scheduled plea and arraignment hearing tomorrow at 9 a.m. With the filing of the plea and two motions, neither Budenholzer nor his attorney Michael Hawkins will attend. The plea and motions were filed with the court on July 22.
via Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 28, 2015 | 7:53 pm EDT Update
Speaking about the feud on his podcast The Big Podcast with Shaq, O’Neal is still irate that Pippen dared question his career. O’Neal even went as far as to put himself in a higher echelon of players that Pippen isn’t a part of. From the 3:45 minute mark of O’Neal’s podcast (via Reddit): “I didn’t even make the picture. Some other little guy made the picture so I just took it. It was the five best Lakers and the five best Bulls and I said we’ll beat them by 50. That’s how I feel and I’m sticking to it. I didn’t say ‘Hey @ScottiePippen we will beat you guys by 50.’ ‘Hey @Rodman we will beat you guys by.’ I just said, I’ll beat you by 50.
via CBSSports.com
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