How did you compare to Zion Williamson as a dunker? David Thompson: Zion is more of a power dunker. He’s got the bulk and the size and the weight, and he can really get up high. I probably could maneuver more in the air. But Zion is awesome. I really like him. Plus he plays for my cousin’s team (Alvin Gentry, Thompson’s cousin, is the head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans). Alvin and I grew up together. We sang in the church choir together. We were like brothers at one point.
“What we are going to have is a lot of virtual fans, believe it or not,” Gentry said. “It will help the environment in the arena as far as the players and them playing without real fans in the stands. I think the communication part will be a lot of easier because we won’t have the 20,000 fans in the stands. It will be all new to everyone, so we’re just going to have to see.”
Storyline: Orlando Bubble
Bogdan Bogdanovic said the Kings have “an equal opportunity” along with Memphis, San Antonio, Phoenix, Portland and New Orleans to secure the eighth seed in the Western Conference. “This is pretty much a mental game and we all have to be locked in from the beginning,” Bogdanovic said. “From every single practice, the short period of time is like a tournament system so everyone can win. You can expect everyone to win so that’s what it’s all about.”
Zion Williamson’s stepfather solicited and accepted a $400,000 payment from a marketing agent in October 2018 prior to his only season at Duke Blue Devils, according to a court motion and sworn affidavit filed by his former marketing representative’s attorneys in federal court on Thursday. Gina Ford’s attorneys say the affidavit and other exhibits show that Williamson was ineligible when he played for the Blue Devils in 2018-19 because his stepfather received impermissible benefits from Slavko Duric, a Canadian marketing agent.
Exhibits attached to the motion include an affidavit from Donald Kreiss, a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, who says he engages in fundraising, deal-making and investing. Kreiss said he was introduced to Duric by a third party and agreed to invest in Duric’s company, Maximum Management Group, in exchange for a percentage of the money generated from its exclusive marketing agreement with Williamson.

Storyline: Zion Williamson Lawsuit
Superstar LeBron James took on a ton of hate for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat 10 years ago. In an interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, New Orleans Pelicans veteran J.J. Redick explained how James’ decision drew hate because he was a powerful black man making a consequential choice for himself.
Storyline: The Decision
Daniel Wallach: BREAKING: Zion Williamson’s former marketing agent files “newly-discovered evidence” in North Carolina federal lawsuit. New affidavit claims Wiliamson and his stepfather were paid $400K in Oct. 2018 in exchange for granting exclusive marketing rights to another agent.

Storyline: Zion Williamson Lawsuit
Instead, the draft lottery and the ensuing draft are both set for the fall. Plans have changed on the fly, but that hasn’t stopped Lonzo from giving LaMelo more advice on how to handle the changes. Lonzo shared what he’s told his brother when talking to the media on Monday. “I just told him to stay in the gym. I know he’s in Detroit working with (Jermaine Jackson) right now. As long as he gets his work in, regardless of what happens, the draft is going to be in October, I believe, so he should be ready by then. Then, whatever happens for next year, he should be good. I told him to stay in the gym and don’t worry about everything going on. “Thankfully, our family is healthy so that’s cool. He’s just doing his thing in Detroit right now.”
The Pelicans tweeted out a photo of on July 2 of Williamson, masked up and looking extremely muscular even by his high standards. The internet reacted accordingly, going wild about his physique. But the internet wasn’t the only one impressed by Williamson. Lonzo Ball talked about his rookie teammate during his media availability on Monday. “He looks amazing. He looks fully healthy. He looks even stronger than he was before, if that’s even possible. But I was happy to see him, happy to see he’s in shape and look forward to playing with him.”
“We are extremely encouraged with the progress Darius has made in his recovery process,” Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin said. “The work he has put in both prior to and during these limited mandatory workouts has been remarkable. We look forward to seeing him back at full strength heading into the 2020-21 campaign.” The Pelicans will not be granted an additional roster spot pursuant to the rules the NBA has set forth for signing replacement players for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
Ingram could have decided to sit out the resumption of the season at Walt Disney World, which is optional for players if they’re OK with a few checks being a little lighter. He likely still would have commanded nine-figure offers. But Ingram said the thought never crossed his mind. “I didn’t look at it like I had a choice of going or not,” Ingram said. “My teammates knew I didn’t question it or anything. I just wanted to play basketball at the end of the day. I always go back to me being hurt. It made me want to come out and play basketball all the time. When I got the chance to do it, I was going to go do it and be full force in it. I know my teammates know I’m there 100%, 110%. I’ve got to be there. It wasn’t a question.”
Storyline: Brandon Ingram Free Agency
Right now, Ingram’s focus is on making the playoffs for the first time in his career. Once the Pelicans are finished in Florida, he’ll turn his attention toward free agency. “I think that’s more for after the season,” Ingram said. “This season, I was just so focused being with my teammates and playing basketball. With how last year went, with how I couldn’t finish the season, this year was just about going out where I belong and that I could excel in this new space. I think playing in this, it could help me out.”
New Orleans Pelicans star and former Duke standout JJ Redick talked to Good Morning America on Monday about his decision to play. “For each individual guy, I think it is a very personal decision,” Redick told GMA’s Robin Roberts. “I think also for me and a lot of guys, what basketball represents is normal. What so many Americans want is some return to normal. I know in bringing back sports there’s a component of normalcy for the fan. That’s important for us as players. We want to go back to our livelihood and the thing we love doing and we want to give the fans something to watch.”
6 days ago via ABC11
Storyline: Orlando Bubble

Pelicans sign Sindarius Thornwell

The New Orleans Pelicans today announced that the team has signed free agent guard Sindarius Thornwell as a substitute player for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Thornwell, 6-4, 215, most recently played for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA G League, appearing in 40 games (26 starts) while averaging 9.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 29.0 minutes per contest.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 7 more rumors
Paul gave basketball fans some insight on what that hour was like for him in an interview with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles on the “Knuckleheads” podcast, and he revealed he spoke to Bryant during that small window of time: “I was on the phone with my brother and my agent, and all that. We figuring out a plane to get to New Orleans to get us to LA … let’s just say my agent clicked over, said hold on, clicked over and then he came back on and he was like, stuttering. And we was hot. We was hot. Me and Kobe had talked, you know what I’m saying? We had talked already and all that. And it was a lot. It was a lot.”