The NBA’s Rookie Transition Program garnered headlines last week when Minnesota Timberwolves’ lottery pick Shabazz Muhammad was sent home and, eventually, was threatened with being sent to the NBA Development League if he didn’t start to shape up. Washington Wizards’ second-round pick had a much different experience at the RTP, however — though he’s heard most of the information a time or two already.
Rice Jr. spent this past season playing with the D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers where, on multiple occasions throughout the season, players are required to attend Team Awareness Meetings that help them transition to a life of playing professional basketball. That wasn’t the first time he’d heard the information presented last week either, though, because his father — a 15-year NBA veteran and three-time All-Star — had already been hammering responsibility, finances and the dangers of drugs into his son from an early age.
The younger Rice was still able to find new knowledge at last week’s program, though, telling the Washington Post’s Michael Lee that it helped to hear about how other players faced adversity with their role.
“The thing that stuck out to me was when we got to talk to some of the players and hear some of their biggest challenges, how they went through facing them and that kind of stuff,” Rice said. “For example, not playing that much. Jarrett Jack was there. Jerry Stackhouse was there and he was mentioning, whatever your role, whether minimum or large. I think that was the biggest thing that stuck out to me. Because as they said, some people in the league have never had to take a backseat, have never had to worry about not getting significant minutes and I was like, ‘I already been through that.’ ”
Rice could have trouble just finding a role in Washington this year considering his experience in the D-League had him playing as a sort-of stretch-four in new Toronto Raptors’ assistant Nick Nurse’s offense. Once he finds a position — which will likely be the small forward — fellow rookie Otto Porter, along with Trevor Ariza, Chris Singleton and Martell Webster, will all likely be ahead of him on the Wizards’ depth chart to begin the season.
The younger Rice likely isn’t going to find the success his father did during his career, but it’s nice to see that he seems ready for the challenges that lie ahead.
1. Khloe Kardashian filed for divorce from Lamar Odom.
2. With Odom facing health problems after a drug overdose, they rescinded the filing.
3. Odom reportedly continued drinking, frustrating Kardashian.
Court records in Los Angeles show Kardashian filed for divorce Thursday, citing irreconcilable differences.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A person familiar with the situation says Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris was detained at Philadelphia International Airport and then released.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because Morris was not charged. The person did not specify why Morris was detained.
The Wizards said in a statement they “spoke with Markieff earlier today and will continue to gather more details.”
Tinicum Township Police and Morris’ lawyer did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
The 26-year-old Morris is from Philadelphia. The Wizards acquired him from the Phoenix Suns at the NBA trade deadline.
Morris and twin brother Marcus, a forward for the Detroit Pistons, were indicted by an Arizona grand jury last year on felony aggravated assault charges for allegedly beating a man outside a Phoenix recreation center. The case is still pending.
According to a Phoenix police report, Erik Hood said five people including the Morris brothers repeatedly punched and kicked him. All five then left the area in a Rolls-Royce Phantom as bystanders began to appear. Police say it is alleged that Hood was assaulted for sending an inappropriate text message to the Morris brothers’ mother.
Russell Westbrook arrived at the arena in Golden State dressed for a (very weird) funeral.
The Thunder, up 3-1 in the Western Conference finals, can end the Warriors’ season tonight. So, Westbrook dressed ready to give his condolences.
Lest you think this is coincidence, he also wore black for Game 5 against the Mavericks and Game 6 against the Spurs. Jason Potter:
This is something players sometimes do – and I love it. What a great way to who your confidence, and I’m not sure any NBA player has more than Westbrook.
The withdrawal deadline for the 2016 NBA draft is June 13.
But the NCAA, in an effort to treat players better, allowed players to declare for the draft and withdraw by May 25 while maintaining college eligibility. (Yes, this qualifies as better treatment. Giving the players the full extra couple weeks to assess their futures? Not in this cartel.)
So, any college player who wanted to play collegiately next year faced an effective deadline of yesterday.
Of the 117 players who declared early through the American system, 57 are headed back to their college teams.
This list has no big surprises. By this point, most highly touted prospects have already declared their intention.
Here are all 57:
- Abdul-Malik Abu, North Carolina State
- BeeJay Anya, North Carolina State
- Ian Baker, New Mexico State
- V.J. Beachem, Notre Dame
- James Blackmon Jr., Indiana
- Antonio Blakeney, LSU
- Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson
- Trevon Bluiett, Xavier
- Amida Brimah, Connecticut
- Isaiah Briscoe, Kentucky
- Dillon Brooks, Oregon
- Elijah Brown, New Mexico
- Deonte Burton, Iowa State
- Antonio Campbell, Ohio
- Conor Clifford, Washington State
- Charles Cooke III, Dayton
- Bakari Copeland, Maryland-Eastern Shore
- Moustapha Diagne, Northwest Florida State
- Tyler Dorsey, Oregon
- D’Andre Downey, Stillman College (AL)
- Vince Edwards, Purdue
- Jimmy Hall, Kent State
- Josh Hart, Villanova
- Josh Hawkinson, Washington State
- Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin
- Ike Iroegbu, Washington State
- Justin Jackson, North Carolina
- Kris Jenkins, Villanova
- Que Johnson, Washington State
- Peter Jok, Iowa
- Moses Kingsley, Arkansas
- Travion Kirkendoll, Centenary College (LA)
- Dedric Lawson, Memphis
- Marcus Lee, Kentucky
- Makai Mason, Yale
- Jahmal McMurray, South Florida
- Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina
- Dallas Moore, North Florida
- Jalen Moore, Utah State
- Tyrell Nelson, Gardner-Webb
- Malik Newman, Mississippi State
- Marc-Eddy Norelia, Florida Gulf Coast
- Cameron Oliver, Nevada
- Alec Peters, Valparaiso
- QJ Peterson, VMI
- Malik Pope, San Diego State
- Rodney Purvis, Connecticut
- Corey Sanders Jr., Rutgers
- Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
- Rakish Taylor, Anderson University (SC)
- Ethan Telfair, Idaho State
- Trevor Thompson, Ohio State
- Melo Trimble, Maryland
- Maurice Watson Jr., Creighton
- Andrew White III, Nebraska
- Alec Wintering, Portland
- Zeek Woodley, Northwestern State