NBA players reportedly among those defrauded in $18 million scam

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Despite the perception of some, plenty of NBA players are smart about their money. Like anyone who makes seven or eight digits, the smart players want to put that money to work to make more money (I’m told, I don’t exactly know that first hand). They are looking for investments.

And like a number of wealthy folks, sometimes they get scammed.

Federal financial regulators broke up an alleged $18 million scam by Success Trade Securities selling fraudulent and unregistered promissory notes. And it turns out a number of NFL and NBA players — among them the Pistons’ Brandon Knight — were among those scammed. Yahoo Sports has the details.

On the heels of regulators red-flagging a potential $18 million scam last week, multiple federal agencies are probing investments sold to NFL and NBA players, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

According to multiple sources that spoke to Yahoo! Sports on the condition of anonymity, several professional athletes have either been contacted or been urged to contact investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Apparently Jade Management — a company who helps handle the finances of some professional athletes —recommended the Success Trade Securities bonds. Jade’s officials claim they did not personally profit from the deals, either way this certainly will not help their business reputation.

Jade Management founder Jinesh “Hodge” Brahmbhatt told Yahoo! Sports his firm had more than 30 athletes who purchased high interest investments that FINRA now says were fraudulent. Some of those investments purportedly generated interest returns between 11 and 26 percent.

File this in your “if the deal sounds too good to be true…” folder.

By the way, if you’re saying this happens to athletes and not people who know money I have two words for you: Bernie Madoff.

Kyrie Irving: ‘I see you. I see everyone. More than just your physical presence, I see your energy. I feel it. I know it’

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Kyrie Irving has done good lately.

Not just during Celtics games. He gave his jersey and shoes to military members in the crowd, and he recently shared a Thanksgiving dinner with Boston families.

Irving also addressed the event.

Irving, via Nicole Yang of Boston.com:

“I see you,” he said. “I see everyone. More than just your physical presence, I see your energy. I feel it. I know it.”

“I think that the most important thing that I strive to live by is extremely by truth and by consistently giving others the truth, without any judgement, without constraints, without anything extra except the understanding that I see you,” he said. “I have family members who come from knowing energy, and it was passed along to me.”

I can’t get enough of all this stuff.

Report: Derrick Rose away from Cavaliers, evaluating his future in basketball

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When Derrick Rose went AWOL from the Knicks last season for what he called a family issue, rumors swirled that he was contemplating retirement. Rose denied it, but those whispers are reemerging.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Rose has been out with what seemed like a relative minor, for him at least, ankle injury. The 29-year-old could stick in the league for a while thanks to his reputation and ability to attack the rim to create shots for himself. But the guard is a shell of peak form after years of more serious injuries. This isn’t the career anyone expected for him when he was named the youngest MVP ever in 2011.

Before the season, Rose was talking about getting a raise on his next contract. He seemed happy to join a contender and have LeBron James in his corner.

But something is amiss. Hopefully, Rose can find contentment – whether that’s continuing his NBA career or walking away.

Ryan McDonough: Suns want to sign two-way Mike James to standard contract

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Brandon Knight got hurt. Eric Bledsoe got traded.

The Suns made Mike James – a 27-year-old rookie on a two-way contract – their starting point guard.

Though he eventually ceded the role to Tyler Ulis, James – the only player on a two-way contract to start an NBA game – is still a rotation regular. He’s an aggressive defender and possesses plenty of offensive moves.

The problem: Unless demoted to Phoenix’s minor-league affiliate before then, he’ll max out the 45 allowable NBA days for a two-way player Dec. 6.

Suns general manager Ryan McDonough, via Scott Bordow of azcentral:

We’d still like to get him on the 15-man roster and we’re looking at different ways to do that.

The Suns can unilaterally convert James’ two-contract into a standard one-year minimum deal. Both sides could also negotiate a longer contract.

The bigger issue is clearing a roster spot.

Phoenix has the maximum 15 players with standard contracts with no obvious cuts. Derrick Jones Jr. doesn’t play much, but the 20-year-old’s athleticism creates intriguing upside. Second-rounder Davon Reed is hurt, though teams rarely cut bait so quickly.

So, a trade is possible. Greg Monroe never seemed long for Phoenix. Or anyone else could be moved.

If it comes to it, the Suns could send James to the minors to bide time. But they want to play competitive basketball, and he helps. So, expect something else to give within the next couple weeks.

Joel Embiid upgrades himself from 69% to 81%: ‘Shoutout to Jalen Rose’

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A story in three parts:

1. After posting 46-15-7-7 in a win over the Lakers, frequently injured 76ers center Joe Embiid declared himself to be 69%:

2. ESPN analyst Jalen Rose called that joke “unprofessional:”

3. Embiid upgraded his status to 81% with a “shoutout to Jalen Rose:”

In case you didn’t get the joke.