Slater Martin, the four-time NBA champion guard best known as the guy running the offense for the Minneapolis Lakers, passed away on Thursday at the age of 86.
Martin was a high-scoring guard at Texas who came to the NBA and altered his game to be a slow-it-down, ball distributing guard who got the ball in the paint to George Mikan, or maybe get the rock to Jim Pollard. He shot at a high percentage for the era, but only scored 9.8 points per game as a pro. Most on long set shots.
But he was tough and knew how to win, and he won three titles with those Lakers.
But what sealed his eventual Hall of Fame induction (1982) was him moving on to the St. Louis Hawks and guiding them to an NBA title, too.
He is survived by sons Jim and Slater Jr.
Our condolences to his family and friends.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.