HoopsHype Alex Len rumors

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February 21, 2015 Updates

Alex Len's grandparents can hear the gunfire from their home in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been in fierce fighting with Ukrainian forces. Local police have abandoned his hometown, leaving gangs to roam the streets and terrorize residents. A half-world away, the 21-year-old center is showing he belongs in the NBA, displaying the skills that led the Phoenix Suns chose him fifth overall in the 2013 draft. "When I play it's like a different world, just basketball," he said. "Definitely off the court it's sad. ...Two years ago it was one country. Now all of a sudden people divide, separate themselves, like we're different." USA Today Sports

He has brought his mother to live with him. His grandparents came for a short time, but the culture change was too much for them, he said, so they returned home. "My grandparents right now are right in the middle of a war zone," he said. "I tried to get them to stay over here, but you know how old people are. For them it was too big a change." No one in his family has been hurt in the fighting, Len said, "thank God." USA Today Sports

And back home, the fighting goes on despite a supposed cease fire in a war Len knew was "getting worse each day." He chooses no side. "I'm Ukrainian and I won't go against Russia, too. I'm right in the middle," Len said. "I just want peace for everybody. I just don't want people to die." USA Today Sports

February 6, 2015 Updates

Paul Coro: Alex Len just went on crutches to get a 2nd X-ray. If it's a bad ankle sprain, he'll stay out through All-Star break. #SunsAtBlazers Twitter @paulcoro

January 1, 2015 Updates
December 30, 2014 Updates

The most convincing number attached to Len is the team's 6-1 reco\rd since he became a starter on Dec. 15, when the only loss came on a Milwaukee banked buzzer-beating 3-pointer. His other numbers are impressive as a starter, considering he averages only 22.7 minutes and still gets 9.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. "He don't even know how to play yet," Suns forward P.J. Tucker said. "It's unreal because he has no ceiling. He could really be one of the best centers in the league. Seriously, at his size with the way he can move, he doesn't know what he can do yet. He's just out playing. He plays hard. Everything he's doing is out of nowhere. I'm excited for him because he's progressing so fast. I sit and watch him and it's unreal. He's a freak." Arizona Republic

December 18, 2014 Updates
October 27, 2014 Updates
October 21, 2014 Updates
October 20, 2014 Updates
October 19, 2014 Updates

Rookie guard Zoran Dragic remained in Ottawa, resolving a visa issue. Center Alex Len also did not play but he could play in some of this week's preseason games as he works his way back from a second right pinkie fracture. Arizona Republic

October 16, 2014 Updates
October 7, 2014 Updates
July 13, 2014 Updates

Alex Len broke his right pinky finger when it got caught in an opponent's jersey during his summer league debut Saturday night at Cox Pavilion. He will miss the rest of summer league play and have the finger examined in Phoenix on Monday. Len could not participate in summer league last year after having surgeries on each of his ankles. Because he was not cleared for full basketball activity until training camp last year, this summer was considered vital for the 21-year-old center's development. Len, 21, had added 10 pounds of strength since the end of his rookie season, in which he averaged 8.6 minutes in 42 appearances. Arizona Republic

July 1, 2014 Updates
May 22, 2014 Updates
March 27, 2014 Updates

In between learning the NBA ropes as a rookie and working his way back from injuries to both feet, Len keeps close watch on the situation in Eastern Europe. Not that the 20-year-old has a full grasp on the dramatic conflict no matter the number of news sources he checks. "I don't really know. I watch Russian news, American news and Ukrainian news. Everybody says different things," Len said. "I'm not a politician. I just hope nobody gets hurt. Praying for peace, you know." He knew enough to bring his grandparents overseas to Phoenix. Other relatives remain behind in what is now Russian-occupied Crimea. CSNWashington.com

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