Keyon Dooling retires after dozen seasons in NBA

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There will be no more “What’s driving you?”

As the Boston Celtics were getting around to finalizing their roster, Keyon Dooling — who they re-signed this summer but to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal — was not going to be a part of it. Thursday they waived him.

And that has prompted Dooling to announce is retirement, the team announced.

“Keyon has decided that he has given the NBA 12 good years and that it’s time to pursue other interests and spend more time with his family,” said Dooling’s representative Kenge Stevenson in a released statement. “He will never forget his time in Boston with the Celtics.”

Dooling was a popular teammate at all his stops, in part because he was a guy who wanted to get to know his teammates. That’s what led to his “what’s driving you?” catchphrase, something he explained to Jessica Camerato at CSNNE.com.

“It’s a serious question because I want to identify what is driving you, what is motivating you?” he told CSNNE.com. “It is your family? Is it the money? Is it the glitz? Is it the glamour? Identify those so you can become better.

“So many different things [drive me], but the fear of failure is something that really motivates me. I do not want to fail. I do not want to lose. I have this thing, I can’t go back. I can’t go back. I’ve come too far. My family can’t go back to where we were. And that’s what’s driving me, to have my family landscape changed for generations.”

Dooling was the No. 10 overall pick out of Missouri by the Orlando Magic, but they instantly traded him to the Clippers where he started his career. He was a career 34.9 percent shooter from three who usually came off the bench wherever he played. Last season he shot 39 percent from three for the Celtics in the playoffs (he was their most consistant threat from deep), he was a solid veteran for the Nets before that. But those teams have gone another direction.

He never was a star but he was a solid role player around the league for his 12 years.

He made a cool $29 million over the course of his career. Not bad.

Not sure what he is doing next but we wish him the best.

Victor Oladipo’s practice dunk better than anything he – or maybe anyone – did in dunk contest (video)

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Victor Oladipo has grown into far more than just a dunker.

In fact, in Saturday’s dunk contest, he didn’t look like a dunker at all.

The Pacers star missed all three attempts of his first dunk, and a Black Panther mask was by far the biggest draw of his second. Oladipo was eliminated after the first round.

Maybe Dennis Smith Jr. wasn’t the only eliminated dunker who left something in his bag. This Oladipo dunk – 180 degrees, throwing ball off the backboard with his left hand while in mid-air, dunking with his right hand – while preparing in Los Angeles was awesome.

Larry Nance Jr. had the contest’s best dunk. This would have rivaled it.

Pelicans owner Tom Benson hospitalized with flu symptoms

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson has been hospitalized with flu symptoms.

A statement released Wednesday by the NFL and NBA clubs says their 90-year-old owner is resting comfortably at Ochsner Medical Center, a hospital which also serves as a major sponsor and which owns naming rights to the teams’ training headquarters.

Benson has owned the New Orleans Saints since 1985 and bought the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

In recent years, Benson has overhauled his estate plan so that his third wife, Gayle, would be first in line to inherit control of the two major professional franchises.

 

Report: Seattle hosting Kings-Warriors preseason game

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Kevin Durant spent his rookie season in Seattle, before the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. He has said Seattle fans deserved to see him grow up in the NBA after supporting his promising start.

They’ll get their chance.

Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

The Kings and Golden State Warriors have scheduled a preseason game next season in Seattle, according to multiple league sources.

The Oct. 6 meeting between Northern California teams will be the first NBA game in the Key Arena since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season and became the Thunder.

This game will be loaded with storylines. Not only Durant, but the Kings considered moving to Seattle a few years ago. And of course, the return of NBA basketball to Seattle.

At some point, Seattle will get its own team again. For now, this preseason game creates intrigue there.

Report: Kawhi Leonard cleared medically, seeking second opinion

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he’d be surprised if Kawhi Leonard played again this season, a stark reversal from just a month ago. Back then, even while announcing Leonard was out indefinitely with a quad injury, the San Antonio coach said Leonard wouldn’t miss the rest of the season.

What’s going on?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

After spending 10 days before the All-Star break in New York consulting with a specialist to gather a second opinion on his right quad injury, All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard bears the burden of determining when he’s prepared to play again, sources told ESPN.

Leonard has been medically cleared to return from the right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster, sources said.

The uncertainty surrounding this season — and Leonard’s future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 — has inspired a palpable stress around the organization, league sources said.

At first glance, this sounds like Derrick Rose five years ago. Even after he was cleared to play following a torn ACL, the then-Bulls star remained mysterious about when he’d suit up. His confidence in his physical abilities seemed to be a major issue, and he was never the same player since (suffering more leg injuries).

But the Spurs famously favor resting players to preserve long-term health. They seem unlikely to rush back Leonard. They might even sit players who want to play more often. And Leonard isn’t Rose.

Still, it’s clear something is amiss in San Antonio. Maybe not amiss enough to end Leonard’s tenure there, but the longer this lingers, the more time for tension to percolate.