While lounging in the pool a few weeks ago, Payne unexp…

While lounging in the pool a few weeks ago, Payne unexpectedly received a call from Williams. “I jumped out of that pool so fast,” Payne recently recalled with a smile. They spoke about their time together in Oklahoma City, and about how much Williams values consistency, maturity and practicing gratitude. The Suns offered Payne a two-year contract, which covers the Orlando restart and includes a $2 million team option for the 2020-21 season (per HoopsHype’s database). “It was almost like a weight lifted off my back,” Payne said, “because the only thing I wanted to do is be back in the NBA. … “I don’t know what it is, but (Williams) always has the right things to say to me. And for whatever reason, it triggers me to just turn into a different mode. I appreciate that (phone call) from him.”
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Jersey sales have been spurred by four players: Ball, free-agent signee Gordon Hayward and returning players Devonte Graham and P.J. Washington. Whitfield and Bennett credited Jordan Brand, the Nike division that resulted from the Hornets owner’s Air Jordan shoes and apparel, with boosting interest through the creation of the City Edition uniforms. The colors, which also include gold and granite, play off of the region’s role as a gold rush site and a financial center dating back to Charlotte’s status as home to the first branch location of the U.S. Mint.
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