Weird but true: Murder suspect arrested in VIP section during Bobcats-Magic game

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There are a bunch of ways to take this one. Scary, funny, bizarre, and the story is all three. So we’re going to try and tread those three lines, carefully.

Let’s say you’re a murder suspect. In fact, you’re on video in a confrontation with a man who was shot twice in the back in the head and three times in the back after said confrontation. It’s probably time to lay low for a while, to get out of sight, and avoid people for a while.

Naturally, you go to a Charlotte Bobcats game. From the Charlotte Observer:

Members of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team arrested 24-year-old Earl Barranco during the game, according to WCNC-TV, the Observer’s news partner.

Undercover officers took down Barranco in one of the VIP areas of the arena before 8 p.m., but police didn’t have more details on the arrest Sunday morning.

Barranco was apparently in the VIP section for the game, and was arrested before 8 p.m.. The game started at 7 p.m. All jokes aside, and I have about a million of them (“Of course he thought there’d be no one there.” “Maybe he assumed police would be distracted by Stephen Jackson.” etc.) but the fact is that this is pretty scary. It’s a very public place with kids and families and mascots. That the apprehension occurred at TWC arena may have been necessary, but it also doesn’t make the situation any less scary.

Turns out Vince Carter’s hip-flexor injury (we’ll get there in a minute) wasn’t the weirdest thing to happen last night.

 

Warriors pose for photos with Jahlil Okafor’s dad’s ‘FREE JAH’ shirt

AP Photo/Chris Szagola
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Jahlil Okafor‘s father has not been shy about speaking out on his son’s behalf. NBA players are advocating for the 76ers to grant Okafor, who’s out of the rotation and on an expiring contract, his desired trade or buyout.

When both join forces…

Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry appear to really enjoy Chukwudi Okafor’s shirt. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily calling on Philadelphia to do anything. But they hadn’t to know how it’d be perceived.

It’s easy to predict free agents will avoid the 76ers as a result of the Okafor situation, but few anticipate getting stuck similarly. Players overwhelmingly value money, winning, role and location. If Golden State’s stars are applying any external pressure, it shouldn’t really move Philadelphia more than anything that has already been said and done.

A couple of Lonzo Ball’s triple-double assists look dubious (video)

Harry How/Getty Images
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Lonzo Ball draws outsized attention because his father, LaVar Ball, lures onlookers and because the rookie plays for the high-profile Los Angeles Lakers.

So, when Lonzo gets a triple-double – like his 11-points, 16-rebound, 11-assists game against the Nuggets yesterday – it draws scrutiny.

Mo Dakhil of The Jump Ball:

The NBA defines an assist as a “pass that directly leads to a basket. … An assist can be awarded for a basket scored after the ball has been dribbled if the player’s pass led to the field goal being made.”

I wouldn’t describe either of those passing as leading directly to a basket. Ball’s teammates each hold the ball for a moment after receiving the pass then take two dribbles against set defenses.

But assists are subjective, and the Lakers aren’t alone in offering a home-court scorekeeping advantage.

Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice

So, criticize/laugh at the Lakers. But your favorite team probably manipulates assists in its favor, too.

Robin Lopez and T.J. Warren exchange contact, heated words (video)

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Robin Lopez whacked T.J. Warren in the head while chasing an offensive rebound. Warren didn’t like that, so he ran to the opposite end of the court and shoved Lopez to the floor. A heated confrontation ensued, though it didn’t escalate beyond yelling.

Warren received a flagrant foul, and Lopez was hit with a technical in the Suns’ 113-105 win over the Bulls.

Lakers blow 5-on-1 fastbreak (video)

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Corey Brewer is better at finishing fastbreaks than leading them.

Nice defense by Emmanuel Mudiay, too.

But at least the Lakers won.