"We are hearing great things for basketball here in Bir…

“We are hearing great things for basketball here in Birmingham,” said David Lane, the general manager of business operations for the Pelicans’ G League affiliate. “People are just hungry for a professional basketball team.” The team’s name hasn’t been decided, but it’s expected to have “ties to the community.”
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June 24, 2021 | 11:48 pm EDT Update

sense of urgency coming from Damian Lillard’s camp

Lillard’s 31st birthday approaches in July, and after another season in which Lillard went above and beyond to elevate the Blazers, only to be let down in the playoffs by lack of adjustments and lack of a supporting cast, there is a palpable sense of urgency coming from Lillard’s camp. Lillard wants to win big, and he wants to do it now, and following the Blazers’ first-round exit at the hands of a shorthanded Denver roster, it wasn’t hard to see Lillard’s frustration.
Keon Johnson knew what the NBA Draft combine record for max vertical leap was before he broke it this week, but even he didn’t expect to jump as high as he did. On Wednesday, Johnson jumped 48 inches in the air to break a 20-year-old record set by Kenny Gregory, who jumped 45 1/2 inches in 2001. Johnson also recorded a 41 1/2-inch standing vertical, which is also a combine record and 4 1/2 inches higher than anyone else in this year’s class. “It was great. It was a goal of mine going into it. For me to break the record and add a little bit more to it, I feel like it’s a great way for me to leave my mark on the draft combine,” Johnson said.
So, what’s it like to break a record? Not surprisingly, Johnson heard from a lot of people about it. “My phone blew up, for sure. But I really haven’t seen [a change in pre-draft interest]. Teams are talking about it, but it’s just something that I set a goal for myself and I exceeded that goal. I’m more happy that I’ve done that for myself, to see the improvement I’ve been making,” Johnson said.