As to be expected, Renaldo Balkman issued an apology for the incident above, where he went berserk and choked a teammate. Here is the statement (via SLAM):
“I, Renaldo Balkman, would like to apologize to my teammates, the fans, the entire Philippines Basketball association, and the entire Perton Blaze Boosters organization. I would especially like to apologize to Arwind Santos and his family. I would never intentionally inflict harm on another human being, especially a teammate who I respect deeply.
“My behaviors, during a very intense moment of a heated game, came as a surprise even to me. It is not in my character to react physically in any situation and this is the first time I have ever behaved in such a manner. My actions were out of line and I am ready to fully accept any consequences for my actions. I hope that the Petron Blaze Boosters management will recognize this unfortunate situation as a slip up that will never happen again.”
How the team and his teammates take that is clearly up to them. I don’t think this statement helps his standing with NBA teams in his efforts to get back in the league.
Craig Sager to get third bone marrow transplant thanks to anonymous donor
McGary has battled injuries his two seasons in the league and got on the court for only 72 minutes total last season for the Thunder (he played in more games and put up solid numbers in the D-LEague). He was not part of the future there regardless. He’s an undersized five trying to play the four and what he brought as a rookie — energy — was not enough as a sophomore.
McGary will make $1.5 million this season. He may be tough to move because he’s suspended for the first five games he’s eligible to play next season for failing the league’s drug policy (five games is the standard suspension for testing positive for marijuana three times). Maybe a team looking to develop players will give him a shot, but there is little trade value for him.
Dwight Howard is shooting 19-footers to improve his free throw stroke
The challenge is form and reps are not the problems for Howard — or DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond or others — when it comes to hitting free throws. Anyone who says “why don’t they just practice the shot” doesn’t pay attention, these guys put in a lot of work on the shot. Pregame and in practice (I’m Los Angeles based), Jordan probably hits 65 percent from the line. At least.
The problem is mental. That can be a tougher hurdle to clear. Maybe taking 19 footers and knocking them down will have Howard feeling more confident at the stripe this season.
But we’re going to need to see it to believe it. Just like we’re going to have to see a rejuvenated Howard in Atlanta before we believe this season will be different from the last few.
Report: Veteran big man Jason Thompson agrees to deal in China
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Source: NBA veteran Jason Thompson, split last season with Warriors and Raptors, finalized a deal in China with Shandong.