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October 2, 2014 | 07:58 AM ET Update

When Van Gundy replaced Joe Dumars as the top name on the basketball operations masthead, it was yet another change in a career full of them, but short on victories. Although the Pistons offered him a sizable contract, slightly larger than Smith's deal, Monroe turned down the security, preferring to take a one-year deal to have his freedom next July. "It's no disrespect to the people working here but it was just tough for me to agree to another four years with new people," Monroe said. "Honestly, if you were to ask the average person would they do that in the arena they're in, they'd say no." Detroit News

He wanted to make clear he's fully embraced the city and its fans, details that often get caught in the crossfire of a player looking for a new situation. "I can't speak for everybody but in my case, when talking about leaving Detroit, it was the team specifically," Monroe said. "I have no problem with the city, or the fans or the people. I don't have a problem with anyone here. I've been received with open arms. People have always shown me love. Fans, they've stuck with us through tough times." Detroit News

And just as things began to die down, another swirl of negativity came to light as news of his DUI arrest from February became public and resulted in a two-game suspension from the NBA — with some less-than-flattering details not far behind. "I broke the law and I've grown from it," Monroe said. "I know it. I did everything I was asked to do legally. At this point, the main thing that's messed with me mentally is my teammates have to play two games without me." Detroit News

It was still feeling surreal for Calderon when Phil Jackson, who had recently been installed as the Knicks’ president, called him that night. As Jackson welcomed him to the team, Calderon began to process his new reality. It did not take long for him to request old film of the triangle offense from the team’s video coordinators. He wanted to study his new role. “You’re not going to see too many dribbles,” Calderon said this week at the start of training camp. New York Times

Today, my skepticism has evolved into hope. At Monday's media day, Kaman proclaimed himself changed. "My ego,'' he said, "is gone.' Oregonian

As for Mirotic, he stepped up Wednesday with pretty strong English when meeting media after practice. Though he apologized for his imperfect English, it was better than anyone else’s Spanish, Serbian or Montenegrin. Better than some English we hear around here as well. “It feels good,” Mirotic said about his first days with the Bulls. “For me, different because I played before in Europe. So I don't know really how they work, but I learn every day something new; so they've helped me, teammates. Coaches have helped me. I feel good. So exciting. I'm really hungry to work and be better every day. I like to run, you know, fast break. I like to be very good on defense, to give good energy and my game I like to pick-and-pop, three-point line, to penetrate, to make one more pass. I try to do best for team. Depends on how they want to use me. NBA.com

Now consider the look: Everything about Kidd-Gilchrist’s jump shot appeared awkward. He would launch the ball almost as he landed at the end of his jump. The shot had a weird side spin, like a Frisbee flying through the air. Price, one of the great shooters in NBA history – 40.9 percent from 3-point range and 90.4 percent from the foul line – was charged with tearing apart Kidd-Gilchrist’s delivery and replacing it with something sound and reliable. “I told everyone in management this was going to be a process,” Price said, invoking the magic word. “I always knew this was going to be a big summer for Mike and I give him a lot of credit. We started in May and really broke some things down. He listened, he applied it and the biggest part is he stuck with it. We all know when somebody is making some changes there are tendencies to slip back.” Charlotte Observer

The results won’t start becoming public until next Wednesday when the Hornets play their first exhibition in Philadelphia. But the head coach sounds encouraged. “I’ve never seen anybody’s shooting mechanics change more drastically, in the year or so Mark has worked with him,” Steve Clifford said Monday. “He’s not Dell Curry, and that’s important for him to understand and us to understand. He’s played one way his whole life. Mike has always caught it and said, ‘I’ll drive it or pass it.’ Now he has more ability to shoot the ball. “If he can get to that point where he makes some shots, he’ll have a much different career.” Charlotte Observer

Aside from a two-year hiatus to sell copier machines in Atlanta for a steady paycheck, Blatt has called Israel home since 1981 -- first as a player, then as a coach. His wife and four children live in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, which has become as much of a permanent home as any place can be for a family living the coaching life. Blatt, 55, has also touched down in Turkey, Greece, Italy and Russia -- where, in 2004, he became the first Westerner to coach a team in the former Soviet Union. CBSSports.com

If you have attended a college or professional basketball game in any of the last five years or so, there is a good chance that you've seen The Red Panda dazzle audiences during halftime with her amazing ability to ride around on a unicycle while flipping bowls on her head. Sadly, your opportunity to see her perform is all but over, as The Red Panda, whose real name is Rong Niu, has decided to hang up the unicycle following injury struggles that sidelined her for the entire 2013-2014 season. Sporting News

Beverly Hills police were called to the home of Donald Sterling after his estranged wife, Shelly, reported a burglary, but found no crime. Instead, officers found Sterling hosting V. Stiviano -- the woman whose recordings of him making racist remarks led to his removal as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and a lifetime ban from the NBA. ESPN.com

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