Carrick Felix

Cavaliers’ rookie Carrick Felix really wanted to be Tony Hawk


Ask young players coming into the league who they wanted to be growing up and you get a lot of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Michael Jordan, some Allen Iverson, some young ones say LeBron James, a few other players are mixed in there.

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Carrick Felix went another direction: Tony Hawk.

He said as much speaking with the Plain Dealer about the upcoming season (hat to to Ball Don’t Lie).

“I wanted to be the next Tony Hawk,” he said, referring to the most famous skateboarder in the world.

From the age of 7, when a neighbor kid on a skateboard landed in Felix’s front yard outside Phoenix, until his junior year in high school, Felix was on his board all day every day. “I was always outside practicing from 7 o’clock in the morning to 12 o’clock at night,” he admitted.

He eventually had to give it up because his college coaches (and now his NBA contract) feel the same way about it that they do about base jumping — it’s too big an injury risk.

However Felix talks about skateboarding the way Steve Nash talks about soccer — it helped his footwork, his balance and there were other things that translated to the basketball court.

For now, his skateboarding days are done.

“The skateboard is off limits,” Felix said, laughing. “I still have it in my room. I never get on it [but] it’s always fun to look at.”

Felix looked a little overwhelmed at points in Summer League, he shot 40 percent on his way to 7.2 points a game. But it’s a learning process adapting to the NBA.

Just like learning to skateboard.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.