This is just sad.
It took a Dallas jury just two-and-a-half hours Thursday to convict Nickey Van Exel of murder, reports the Associated Press. He is the son of former NBA player and current Atlanta Hawks player development instructor Nick Van Exel.
The penalty phase of the trial will begin soon. Prosecutors are treating this as a capital case.
The younger Van Exel shot his long-time friend Bradley Bassey Eyo with a shotgun. The two had been friends for about a dozen years, having played basketball together and lived basically across the street from one another.
Van Exel’s attorney’s had argued the two were just playing around — “horseplay” he called it — and said Van Exel didn’t know the gun was loaded and this was accidental. The jury looked at Van Exel’s actions and didn’t see it that way: He wrapped Eyo’s body, took it downstairs to the garage and put it in the back of Van Exel’s SUV, dumped the body near a bridge in the city (minus his shoes, phones and jewelry) then went home and cleaned the blood out of his home and car. Finally he threw the shotgun in a local creek. Van Exel’s attorney said the later moves were just panic after he shot his friend.
Like I said, all of this is just sad.
Warriors center Anderson Varejao will miss the Rio Olympics due to a back injury.
Where will Team Brazil turn now?
Likely to Bulls center Cristiano Felicio.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Felicio came on strong late last season. He puts his 6-foot-10, 275-pound frame to good use protecting the paint and rebounding. He showed potential as passer and mid-range shooter, too.
At age 24, he’s a candidate to break out in the Olympics.
If he’s not ready, Brazil can turn to a steady veteran at center, Nene.
Blake Griffin broke his hand punching Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi in January.
Make that former Clippers equipment manager Matias Testi.
The L.A. Clippers equipment staffer who was punched in the face by Blake Griffin during a fight in Toronto earlier this year is off the team — and will NOT be back for the ’16/’17 season … TMZ Sports has learned.
We spoke with a rep for the Clippers who confirmed Matias Testi “no longer works for the team.”
The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.
Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.