Scott Bordow: I can tell you this: Watson and Bledsoe got along well. Bled appreciated Watson’s belief in him as a player and a man.
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“When I first got here and Eric Bledsoe was shooting, everyone was intimidated to even rebound for him because he was so hard on himself and vocally loud about it,” Watson said. “Today he’s over there shooting and everyone wants to be around him. He’s such a positive person now.”
Bledsoe said he also was helped by a book Watson gave him to read called, “The Carpenter, A Story About the Greatest Success Principles Of All.” “It’s a pretty good book,” Bledsoe said. “It tells a lot about life. Of course it’s different work but things go hand-in-hand. You treat a person the right way and you get the same respect given back to you.”
“Management decision. I don’t think any coaching staff would hold Bled out,” Watson said, via Hoops Habit’s Gerald Bourquet, of benching Bledsoe for Wednesday night’s 107-101 loss to the similarly tanking Sacramento Kings. Asked if the DNP was a one-time thing, the second-year coach added, “I think if you talk to a lot of veteran reporters they can kind of tell you the answer to that question.” It’s the same tact Watson took when the Suns sat Knight and Chandler. “I’m not changing it unless management changes it,” he said at that time. “I have a boss and my boss has a boss, so whatever comes from up top is what’s going to happen. And right now, that’s not even part of our equation.”
That emoji is “unamused face,” and it came soon after the Suns shut him down for the season with what’s being called left knee soreness. He could have meant to use a sad face emoji over some new revelation about his injury status, because he has had several season-ending knee injuries and conceded to recent soreness, but Bledsoe had played all but one game this season. After not seeing the end of 2014 or 2016, it must be frustrating to see another season end abruptly, injury or not.
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June 25, 2018 | 5:21 am EDT Update
The Cleveland Cavaliers will add power forward Billy Preston to their summer league roster, sources told ESPN. Preston, who is 6-foot-10, was a five-star recruit and McDonald’s All-American in 2017. Known for his athleticism and scoring talent, he committed to Kansas and was once projected as high as a mid-second-round NBA draft pick by ESPN.
Illawarra Hawks recruit Emmett Naar will be heading to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, linking up with the Phoenix Suns for the off-season showcase. Naar will team up with the #1 pick from the 2018 draft, Deandre Ayton, as the Suns open up their Summer League campaign against the Dallas Mavericks on July 6, followed by games against Sacramento and Orlando.