Charlie Villanueva

Pistons’ Villanueva testified former UConn player Tate George scammed $250,000 from him

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While there were a whole lot of Pistons players in Detroit on Tuesday working out to get ready for training camp, Charlie Villanueva was on a witness stand.

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey are going after former Connecticut Huskies basketball player Tate George saying he is a con man who misused money invested with his company.

That includes $250,000 that Villanueva invested, and he took the stand Tuesday to testify against the former player from his same school, reports the Trentonian (via The Big Lead).

Soft-spoken Villanueva took the stand and told the jury he invested the quarter-million with his fellow UConn alum for a George project called Seaview Plaza in troubled Bridgeport, Conn….

Villanueva was promised the return of his $250,000, a profit of $37,500 and two percent on the gross for years to come; maybe more than $2 million. He never saw a dime….

After he testified that the loss of $250,000 “hurt” him, Villanueva told The Trentonian on the way out of the courthouse that it hurt him personally to be conned by a fellow UConn alum and athlete.

“And it’s $250,000! That could have gone to my son’s education.”

Prosecutors allege George was basically running a ponzi scheme and suggesting everything was legitimate because he had an accounting firm on board, a firm George had actually parted ways with years earlier.

Villanueva tried to do the right thing — invest his money with someone he trusted for a project in an area he wanted to give back to. Sometimes trying to do the right thing can lead to a hard lesson.

On the court Villanueva is in the last year of that contract he mentioned on the stand and will make $8.5 million this season, but he is not likely to be part of the Pistons’ regular rotations. He’ll be shopped around for a trade, mostly.

Boston’s Marcus Smart gets flopping warning from NBA

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 17:  Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter of the preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden on October 17, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Boston’s Marcus Smart is one of the league’s more notorious floppers.

He was at it again Monday night against the Houston Rockets — and the league called him on it and gave him a warning.

It happened on the game’s final play — you were probably focused elsewhere, wondering how Al Horford could miss the game-winning layup. But watch Smart as he gets in position for the rebound on that shot.

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The referees didn’t buy it then.

This warning is barely a slap on the wrist. If — in his case, when — Smart gets caught a second time this season he will get a $5,000 fine from the league. Smart is making $3.6 million this season.

Happy birthday Larry Bird. We celebrate with some highlights.

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Larry Bird — the Celtics legend, three-time NBA champion, three-time MVP, 10-time All-NBA — turns 60 on Wednesday.

We celebrate by looking back at his 60-point game March 12, 1985, against the Hawks (video above, and yes that game was played in New Orleans).

Want more Larry the Legend highlights? We got you covered.

Hawks’ Mike Scott sent to D-League on rehab assignment

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Mike Scott #32 of the Atlanta Hawks poses during media day on September 26, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Scott is expected to play at least two games in the NBA Development League as he comes back from a knee injury that kept him out of training camp and the first 18 games of the season.

Scott played 15 minutes for the Delaware 87ers in Tuesday night’s loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. He scored four points on 2-of-7 shooting, missing all four of his attempts from 3-point range.

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer says the D-League is the best way for Scott to get “meaningful, competitive minutes” after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his left knee.

Scott has played three games for Atlanta since his return. In 28 minutes, he has two points on 1-of-9 attempts, to go along with eight rebounds and six assists.

Watch Kyle O’Quinn throw alley-oop to Carmelo Anthony

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Carmelo Anthony isn’t young anymore, but he had the bounce to go get this one.

These were your two best players for the Knicks in their win over Miami Tuesday. Kyle O'Quinn was forced into action earlier than expected when Joakim Noah went on a fouling spree in the third quarter, but O’Quinn played well in the role. ‘Melo dropped 35 on 27 shots — he’s not as efficient as he once was, but he can still get some buckets.

The Knicks picked up a needed win, because they play a back-to-back Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers and a ticked-off LeBron James (New York will pay the price for Phil Jackson’s “posse” comments with a motivated LeBron Wednesday).