Paul Pierce: So sad this morning to here about my frien…

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Former NBA player Rasual Butler and a passenger in his SUV were killed in a single-vehicle accident in Southern California early Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County coroner's department confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. Butler was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash in Studio City that occurred around 2:30 a.m., according to Los Angeles County Coroner Assistant Chief Ed Winter. Butler lost control of his Range Rover, which proceeded to hit parking meters and then a wall before it rolled over and came to rest in a store parking lot.
Michael Beasley: Sad news...lost a good one!!! instagram.com/p/Ben9w51AcQl/
DeMarre Carroll: This is very SAD news... I remember Rasual always told me, “Keep Grinding fam and your time will come.” R.I .P. Rasual... 🙏🏾🙏🏾💯💯
Garrett Temple: I can’t believe this.... RIP to my brother as his wife!!!! One of the most genuine guys I’ve… instagram.com/p/Ben_LJ6gQaz/
Ex-NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife -- a singer who appeared on "American Idol" -- were both killed in a single car crash in Studio City, CA early Wednesday morning, TMZ Sports has learned. 38-year-old Butler -- who was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2002 -- lost control of his Range Rover around 2 AM, struck a parking meter and slammed into a wall. The car flipped.
Terrence Ross: Man I’m heartbroken over the news of a good friend passing last night. Rasual was a great help to me during my draft process. Gave me great advice and was just a all around good person. I’ll miss you bro. Prayers to you and your family. Can’t believe it. #RIP
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July 23, 2021 | 1:38 pm EDT Update

Amile Jefferson joins Duke as director of player development

Former Duke men’s basketball captain Amile Jefferson has been added to the staff as the team’s director of player development. “This is an honor to be back at Duke and I’m so grateful to Coach Krzyzewski for considering me for this opportunity,” said Jefferson. “I’d also like to thank Coach Scheyer for his help through the process and look forward to his leadership in the future.”
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The Chicago Bulls are dipping their toe into the NFT game. On Wednesday, July 26, the organization will begin a six-day rollout of its first NFT collection, titled “The Bulls Legacy Collection.” The collection features a total of 567 “non-fungible tokens” — in other words, digital art pieces — modeled after each of the franchise’s six championship rings and replete with an identifying code to ensure each token’s uniqueness.
Each ring-inspired design will be released daily from July 26 through July 31 (on sale at 11 a.m. CT, 8 a.m. CT if signed up for priority access) with 91 uniquely encoded versions of the 1991 design becoming available for purchase on July 26, 92 versions of the 1992 design becoming available on July 27, and so on. Within each of those drops are tiers assigned at random: Legendary (six per ring design), iconic (23 per ring design) and rare (the rest). Collecting multiple of each tier can lead to prizes; for example, collecting a legendary-tier token from all six championship years can win a “Bull for a Day” experience, which includes courtside seats to a game and shooting hoops at the United or Advocate Center.
Each NFT features a 25-30 second video reel custom-fitted to each year’s NBA Finals matchup. The 1991 edition, for example, features the championship ring floating above a red carpet as a nod to the Los Angeles Lakers, who the Bulls defeated in that year’s Finals. Later in the clip, a game-clock reading “7.9” flashes across the screen, commemorating the time left in the fourth quarter when the Detroit Pistons infamously walked off the floor without shaking the Bulls’ hands at the end of Game 4 of the 1991 Eastern Conference finals.
July 23, 2021 | 1:16 pm EDT Update

LeBron James becomes first active billionaire NBA player

LeBron James, 36, will be hard-pressed to beat MJ’s six NBA titles—he trails by two—but he already tops Jordan in another category—first NBA player to crack $1 billion in career earnings while still active. Jordan fell short of $1 billion during his playing career, even adjusted for inflation. Don’t shed a tear for MJ, though. His highest annual earnings have come in retirement, thanks to skyrocketing revenue at Nike’s Jordan Brand, and Jordan’s total earnings are now roughly $2 billion since he left Chapel Hill for the NBA in 1984.
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