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Lakers Kobe Bryant says the system enables the legal killing of young Black men

Los Angeles Lakers all-time leading scorer and five-time champion Kobe Bryant gave a scathing response to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of unarmed teenager Mike Brown.

Clippers have team meeting, but Doc Rivers isn’t impressed

The Clippers held a players-only meeting after suffering a 121-104 defeat to the Golden State Warriors. Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said in practice today that the meeting of the minds was beneficial.

“It helped guys clear the air,” said Crawford. “I think the main point was just to get on the same page, everybody needs to be playing on the same page. The important thing is we understand that you have to go through the process.”

But Head Coach Doc Rivers doesn’t believe in such group sessions.

“I’m not fan of team meetings,” admitted Rivers. “When I hear about some team having a team meeting I’m like I want to play those guys.”

The Way They Were

The Clippers may have many of the same players that got them to the Western Conference semifinals, but Rivers contends this isn’t the same team.

“We deal with people, not X’s and O’s,” he explained. “The names might be the same, but this isn’t the same team I had last year.”

No Rest Down The Stretch

When asked if he would mirror San Antonio Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich’s style of resting his star players during certain parts of the season, Doc Rivers said he’d been there and done that.

“If you remember we did that in Boston in 2012,” recalled Rivers. “I used the last month of the season to have a second training-camp. We had two and a half hour practices, and we sacrificed a lot games down the stretch because of it.”

The Celtics had home-court advantage on the line in the final game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks who they were to face in the first-round. Rivers rested his starters and ceded home-court to the Hawks. The move proved to be brilliant in the end with the rested aging Celtics winning the series 4-2.

“We played Atlanta the last game of the season and could have had home-court advantage, but we rested our starters and said just let them have it,” added Rivers. It was a gamble but it paid off in the end. I obviously won’t be able to do that with this team.”

 

Hawks Hoping Kent Plays More

The Atlanta Hawks have signed free agent guard Kent Bazemore, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Kent’s competitiveness and versatility make him a great addition to our group,” Budenholzer said.  “He can impact the game in a lot of ways, especially defensively guarding multiple positions. Kent’s work ethic and enthusiasm for the game make him a great teammate and great fit with the Hawks.”

Bazemore split time last season between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers averaging 6.0 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 13.6 minutes in 67 combined games (15 starting assignments).  After being acquired by the Lakers on Feb. 19, he recorded 13.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 28.0 minutes (.451 FG%, .371 3FG%) in 23 contests (15 starts).

The 6’5 Bazemore has played in seven NBA Development League games with Santa Cruz over the last two years, averaging 20.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 steals, 3.0 assists and 1.0 blocks in 33.6 minutes (.432 FG%, .811 FT%).

Undrafted after a four-year career at Old Dominion University (2008-12), Bazemore signed with Golden State as a free agent on July 26, 2012.  The Warriors traded him, along with MarShon Brooks, to the Lakers in exchange for Steve Blake on Feb. 19, 2014.

Bazemore appeared in an Old Dominion record 140 career games as a collegian, averaging 10.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals in 26.3 minutes, and is the Colonial Athletic Association all-time steals leader (250).  He won the Lefty Driesell Award as the nation’s top defender in 2010-11 and was the Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year as both a junior and senior (2011-12).

The Atlanta Hawks Re-Brand

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed forward/center Elton Brand, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are happy to retain Elton,” Budenholzer said. “In addition to the production he gives us on the court, he is the ultimate professional and a terrific leader. Elton’s presence is felt by all of us, but especially his teammates.”

In 73 games (15 starts) last season with the Hawks, Brand averaged 5.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and a team-best 1.2 blocks in 19.4 minutes (.539 FG%, .649 FT%). He ranked 23rd in the NBA in blocks per game and 12th in blocks per 48 minutes (3.0), recording 25 multi-block contests. Brand scored in double-figures 10 times and had five double-digit rebounding efforts.

The 15-year veteran has appeared in 1,005 games (863 starting assignments) with Chicago, the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia, Dallas and the Hawks, putting up 16.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.8 blocks in 34.0 minutes (.501 FG%, .737 FT%). The two-time NBA All-Star (2002 and 2006) was named to the All-NBA Second Team in 2005-06, won the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2006 and shared NBA Rookie of the Year honors in 1999-2000.

He ranks 16th among all active players in scoring (16,661), sixth in rebounds (8,877), second in offensive rebounds (3,267) and fourth in blocks (1,795).

Through 37 postseason games (30 starts), Brand has averaged 13.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 blocks in 30.8 minutes (.518 FG%, .722 FT%).

 

Rodman Clarifies Rumor About ISIL Visit

NBA Hall of Fame Power Forward Dennis Rodman denied a story that claimed he was headed to the Middle East to visit with ISIL leaders.