T-Mobile Magenta Carpet At The NBA All-Star Game - Arrivals

LeBron, Wade, Bosh bring stars to Miami for charity game

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Miami’s power trio — LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — are reuniting in Miami, and thanks to Nike they are brining a boatload of other NBA stars with them this time.

Of course, it’s all for charity, an Oct 8 game at Florida International University. Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated tweeted about it Monday night and ESPN’s Chris Broussard had the details Tuesday morning.

The game will be held on Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. ET at Florida International University, where Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is coach. All proceeds will go toward a charity supporting the educational community of South Florida.

This is the most star-studded of the summer (now fall) pro-am games thanks to Nike. The teams break out as Team Brand Jordan — led by Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul — versus Team Nike — James and Kevin Durant. Also expected to play are Russell Westbrook, Amar’e Stoudemire, Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay, John Wall, Jamal Crawford, Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler, Lou Williams and maybe top pick Kyrie Irving. Eddy Curry is also on the list, but I wouldn’t bet the house on him showing.

You can bet the game will sell out, you can also bet it will be entertaining. And like all the other pro-am games this summer, you can bet there will be no defense.

For a number of these players this will mean a cross-country flight as the next day the Goodman vs. Drew League rematch is scheduled in Los Angeles.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.