John Salley says the mother of the NBA G League player who died after collapsing on the court is “100% right” in her lawsuit against the league … saying, “I think she has a case.” TMZ Sports broke story … Zeke Upshaw’s mother claims the team doctor didn’t respond to her son for 4 MINUTES after he collapsed from a cardiac incident during a game back in March. Upshaw’s mother claims Zeke did not receive proper medical treatment that could have saved his life, and she’s holding the Detroit Pistons and the NBA responsible.
March 26, 2019 | 2:46 pm EDT Update
“I think the people who didn’t know Ja Morant from Murray State, got an idea of who he is (now). Anyone who might have said, ‘Oh, he played in the Ohio Valley (Conference)…’ (gets it now). And yeah, he had a couple of (high-profile) games during the season, but he was on the big stage (against Marquette and Florida State) and he performed (17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds in a win over Marquette; 28 points, including five-for-six on three-pointers, to go with five rebounds and four assists in a loss to Florida State). Whether he was eight or nine (in mock drafts) in some people’s eyes (before), now he’s two or three. He made more money than anybody else in the tournament – without a doubt. No question.
On player comps for Morant… “I’ll be honest with you: (In terms of) personality and athleticism, I almost see a little more (Russell) Westbrook in him. He wants to dunk on you. He wants to attack the basket. He is an unbelievable passer, and obviously Westbrook being a triple-double guy – obviously he’s a good passer – but I think this kid is a better passer than Westbrook. I think the kid has a chance to be a pretty decent defender…I think that’s one of the things that is getting overlooked is that he is so important to their offense, and they so want to keep him out of foul trouble, that I don’t think he has to play his best defense. But I think physically, he has a chance to be a plus defender, so that’s one of the parts of the equation people aren’t talking about right now. From a temperament and skill standpoint, it’s going to be hard to see that kid being a bust. He plays his ass off. He’s smart. And he’s skilled.”
“[Sophomore guard Jarrett] Culver (No. 6) from Texas Tech (has helped his cause). Everybody has known him anyway during the year – it’s their best player. But again, performing on the big stage, especially in their first game of the tournament (29 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in a win over Northern Kentucky; No. 2 Michigan up next on Thursday in the West Region). And of course (junior forward) Grant Williams from Tennessee (No. 25) has really helped himself. I mean Tennessee was good; they’ve been good all year, but what he did in the second game when it really mattered and was on the line, he stepped up (19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three blocks and four steals in an overtime win over Iowa; No. 3 Purdue up next on Thursday in the South Region).
March 26, 2019 | 1:56 pm EDT Update
So after all the watching, all the work behind the scenes, and all the wondering when he might just get the chance to get back to wearing a uniform and bouncing a ball, instead of looking at someone else do it, Knight wasn’t asking for much when he joined the Cavs. Knight, now 27, wasn’t demanding to start, even though he knew he was headed to one of the NBA’s worst teams. Nor was he thinking of mentoring the Cavs’ rookie starter, Collin Sexton. Not that he was opposed to either, it’s just, well, Knight needed the chance to restart his own career before he could ask more of the Cavs or help someone else get his career on track. What’s happened, then, is fairly remarkable. Knight’s been able to do it all.
“I just want to continue to keep going,” Knight said. “It’s tough to see the broader picture sometimes when you’re going through a long injury, but you just try to take it day by day. I always had faith I would be able to get back on the court and get back to playing well.”
But Knight can help Sexton (and has) in another way. Knight, like Sexton is now, was a 20-year-old starter as a rookie. The life and the pressure Sexton feels now, the mistakes he makes now, Knight felt it and made them when he was Sexton’s age. “I don’t know what the process was before I got here … I do know since I’ve gotten here I try to talk to him as much as I can,” Knight said. “I see myself a lot in him as a young guard having vets around me, having to learn when to score and when not to score, trying to use my speed but also trying to slow down. There’s a lot of things I had to deal with. So when I see him do certain things I’m like, ‘Man, I used to do that.’ ”