Nick Van Exel looks on

Son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel convicted of murder


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.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.

PBT Extra bold prediction preview: Markieff Morris will be a happy Sun

Leave a comment

After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.

So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?

Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.

The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.

Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.