Goran Dragic will walk away from the international basketball stage with a gold medal. The Heat point guard finished with 35 points on 12-of-22 shooting to go with seven rebounds and three assists. With the offensive outburst, Dragic set a new record for most points scored in a single game in the history of the Slovenian national team, according to Eurohoops.net. The 31-year-old Dragic, who was named the MVP of this year’s EuroBasket, averaged a team-high 22.6 points to lead Slovenia to a perfect 9-0 record in the tournament.
American big man Jameel Warney has been named MVP of the FIBA AmeriCup. The NBA G League alum led Team USA to the final victory against Argentina with 21 points and 7 rebounds. He averaged 12.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game in the tournament. FIBA also released the All-AmeriCup First Team: Facundo Campazzo (Argentina). Francisco “Paco” Cruz (Mexico). Nicolás Brussino (Argentina). Darrun Hilliard (USA). Jameel Warney (USA).
Kent Bazemore received the Phoenix Award – Atlanta’s highest citizen honor – for his achievements and service to the city. The award was presented by Mayor Kasim Reed in a ceremony at City Hall on Thursday. The Hawks guard has been involved in many charitable efforts since he signed with the team in 2014. His ARMS Foundation is dedicated to providing disadvantaged youth a path to a quality education, athletic achievement and a healthy lifestyle. “This is beyond amazing,” Bazemore said.
Defending the Sixth Man of the Year award is a goal for Gordon, and he has every chance to do that with the opportunities expected to come his way. The NBA’s three-point contest crown is also something Gordon possesses, and he has every desire to retain that ‘as long as he can’, too, starting with the 2018 event in Los Angeles. “Being a sixth man wasn’t a struggle at all. That’s why I won Sixth Man of the Year; I wanted to win that,” Gordon said. “That was the role I wanted to take. I thought that, if I come off the bench, it’ll make us a better team. I wanna defend it, I definitely wanna win it next year, and accomplish the same goals I did this year.
This season’s rookie class arrives with more fanfare. But interestingly, with the big names in the first few picks, the class thinks highest of the guy selected at No. 9. Dennis Smith Jr. made quite an impression in the Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 17.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists in six games. For one fellow top-10 pick, Smith’s potential is about “how explosive he is and how capable he is at getting to the rim, and him developing his shot. I think a lot of people are underestimating how good he is right now and how good he’s going to be in the NBA.”