Popular former NBA player Manute Bol is currently in a northern Virginia hospital fighting for his life.
Dan Steinberg at The Sports Bog (part of the Washington Post) reports that Bol had been hospitalized after a return from his native Sudan with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome — a life-threatening skin condition — as well as kidney failure.
Tom Prichard, who has worked with Bol on building a school in Sudan through the group Sudan Sunrise, said that Bol was returning from several months in Sudan, where his health had deteriorated. Prichard said Bol flew into Dulles and had to stay overnight near the airport before a flight back to his family in Kansas; after friends asked the hotel manager to check on Bol, he was rushed to a local hospital.
Prichard said that Bol has undergone three rounds of dialysis, and that the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome might necessitate a move to a burn unit.
“He’s at great risk,” Prichard said. “He’s in a bad way.”
Bol at 7’6″ was a bit of a sideshow at times, but he lasted for a decade in the NBA starting in 1985. He played for what was then the Washington Bullets as well as Golden State and the Sixers. He was a fan favorite everywhere.
In recent years he has focused a lot of work on reforming the politics in southern Sudan and helping people there — a Herculean task. He has done a lot and stayed on in the Sudan recently when he started to get ill. By the time he returned to the United States and was taken to a hospital, it was almost too late.
There is a Facebook page set up for those that want to wish Bol well with his recovery.
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.
The Wizards are getting a new practice facility.
For some reason, the Wizards have to pay just $4.46 million for it. Washington D.C. will cover the rest.
How much is the rest?
Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post:
The District”s sports and convention arm, Events DC, is proposing a series of upgrades to a planned Washington Wizards practice facility and entertainment center in Southeast that would likely reduce the total number of seats but add $10 million to the original $55 million price tag.
The new spending would be paid for by Events DC, which is funded by a percentage of hotel occupancy taxes. It does not require approval by the D.C. Council but will have to be voted on by the Events DC board Aug. 11.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis pledged to move the team’s practices there as well as home games for the Washington Mystics and a future Wizards’ NBA D-League affiliate team. His company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, agreed to pay $4.46 million — or 8 percent of the original $55 million cost.
But in a July 26 letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive of Events DC, wrote that the original $55 million budget was “based on a preliminary estimate, as development and analysis of the program and concept design had not yet been performed.”
So, the District agreed to pay for a project without knowing how much it would cost and got the primary beneficiary — Leonsis — to kick in a share based on a low early estimate? It’s almost as if politicians are inept or have ulterior motives.
At least Wizards practices and WNBA games will bring plenty of new money into the community.
As Leonsis said, “There’s never been a better time to be an owner of an NBA franchise.”