Marco Belinelli ended up being a key contributor for the Bulls last year, thanks in part to the absence of Derrick Rose, but also because of the incredibly high number of injuries his teammates sustained, especially near the end of the season.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way in Chicago, and with the team betting on health next season, Belinelli was allowed to walk as an unrestricted free agent.
While many teams came calling, Belinelli says that what the Spurs were offering, both in terms of contract and opportunity, was ultimately too good for him to pass up.
From Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype:
Why the Spurs?
MB: Because I think it’s one of the best teams or maybe the best team in the NBA, they have a great organization, a great coach. I will improve my game and try to help the team to win the championship.
How was their pitch?
MB: This summer a lot of teams called me to sign a contract with them. But at the same time when a team like San Antonio and a coach like Gregg Popovich call you, and they want you so bad on their team, then you want to win the championship with them. The money was good, it’s a two-year deal, but at the same time it was the best team to improve my game and try to win the title.
The Spurs not only have a team full of international players that Belinelli can relate to on a personal level, but their professionalism and championship pedigree is virtually unmatched around the league.
As long as the dollars were there — and they were, as Belinelli signed for two years guaranteed for almost $6 million in total — then San Antonio, given all that they have going for them, was clearly an easy choice for Belinelli to make.
Last May, Magic Johnson tweeted that the Lakers chase LeBron James, Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan in free agency. All three players were still under contract with their teams until July 1.
In response to that apparent tampering, the Lakers announced Johnson had asked the team to remove his title of Vice President.
Too little, too late.
William Weinbaum and Steve Delsohn of ESPN:
Outside the Lines learned this week — and confirmed with a senior Lakers official — that the NBA fined the team over Johnson’s communiques about players under contract to other teams.
If Drake got the Raptors fined for tampering by pitching Durant during a concert, the Lakers deserved this fine.
Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian are dating. There are mixed reports about whether they’re engaged.
No matter their exact terms of their relationship, it brings increased attention to the Cavaliers – who are already in the spotlight as LeBron James‘ team and the defending NBA champions.
LeBron might not welcome increased scrutiny.
Gabriella Ginsberg of Hollywood Life:
LeBron James hasn’t been happy that Tristan Thompson is dating drama magnet Khloe Kardashian, and we hear that the teammates had a locker room showdown before the Cavs’ home opener game.
“Tristan isn’t taking any crap from his teammates anymore. As far as he’s concerned, Khloe’s coming to every damn game she chooses,” the insider reveals. “Tristan told LeBron straight up before last night’s game that Khloe was coming and that was that.”
There’s nothing wrong with LeBron, as a friend, advising Thompson about his personal life. They share an agent, Rich Paul, and that obviously means a lot to LeBron.
But at a certain point, LeBron should back off. Neither coworkers nor friends have a right to determine who someone dates.
76ers players are unsure how to respond to their franchise blocking Sevyn Streeter from singing the national anthem because she wore a “WE MATTER” jersey.
Justise Winslow is seemingly trying to nudge Philadelphia in a certain direction.
The Heat forward posted a photo with himself and the 76ers’ Jerami Grant raising fists and captioned it “WE MATTER”:
I’m unsure when this photo was taken, but my best guess is after the Miami-Philadelphia preseason game – which was preceded by the national-anthem singer kneeling during her performance.
Was Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha making the smart play to beat the defender or just showing off?
Either way, I’m glad he did it.