A quick look at your EuroBasket All Tournament Team

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EuroBasket ended Sunday with a French championship. Now we are  forced to watch preseason NBA basketball, at least until the games get real just before Halloween.

So let’s look back at the best of the European championship and its All-Tournament Team. The video is above, theplayers were:

Tony Parker, France. He was the best player in the tournament, won the EuroBasket MVP and led France to its first ever European championship. France had one of the best offenses in the tournament and it was because Parker just broke every team down off the dribble — NBA teams can’t stop him, in Europe he was scoring in the paint, drawing fouls and being a general disruptive force. He finished averaging 19 points and 3.3 assists per game.

Goran Dragic, Slovenia. He carried the host nation (along with his brother Zoran) to the quarterfinals with some of the most entertaining play of the tournament — he was quick, attacking and seemed to be everywhere. Dragic finished averaging 15.8 points and 4.5 assists a game, and his play got Slovenia into the World Cup next summer in Spain.

Bojan Bogdanovic, Croatia. He is a draft-and-stash guy who looked ready to come to the NBA. The Brooklyn Nets have his rights to Bogdanovic, who played in Turkey last season and averaged 17.4 points and 4.1 rebounds a game. He worked well off the ball and looked like a guy who can put up points in the NBA, when he decides to come over.

Linas Kleiza, Lithuania. His NBA years ended and he went back to play Fenerbahçe Ülker in Turkey last season, but he was the key reason Lithuania made it to the championship game. He can still score, and he can throw down some impressive dunks. He had 20 in the championship game.

Marc Gasol, Spain. The best big man in the tournament, and just like with the Grizzlies in the NBA you can get sucked into watching the flashier other guys and miss just how impressive Gasol is. His passing out of the high and low post set up the Spanish offense. Gasol averaged 13.9 points on 50.5 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds and 1 block per game. He also was allowed to really play a zone and with that anchored a stout Spanish defense. If it hadn’t been for Parker, Gasol would have led Spain to a title.

Victor Oladipo’s practice dunk better than anything he – or maybe anyone – did in dunk contest (video)

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Victor Oladipo has grown into far more than just a dunker.

In fact, in Saturday’s dunk contest, he didn’t look like a dunker at all.

The Pacers star missed all three attempts of his first dunk, and a Black Panther mask was by far the biggest draw of his second. Oladipo was eliminated after the first round.

Maybe Dennis Smith Jr. wasn’t the only eliminated dunker who left something in his bag. This Oladipo dunk – 180 degrees, throwing ball off the backboard with his left hand while in mid-air, dunking with his right hand – while preparing in Los Angeles was awesome.

Larry Nance Jr. had the contest’s best dunk. This would have rivaled it.

Pelicans owner Tom Benson hospitalized with flu symptoms

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner Tom Benson has been hospitalized with flu symptoms.

A statement released Wednesday by the NFL and NBA clubs says their 90-year-old owner is resting comfortably at Ochsner Medical Center, a hospital which also serves as a major sponsor and which owns naming rights to the teams’ training headquarters.

Benson has owned the New Orleans Saints since 1985 and bought the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012.

In recent years, Benson has overhauled his estate plan so that his third wife, Gayle, would be first in line to inherit control of the two major professional franchises.


Report: Seattle hosting Kings-Warriors preseason game

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Kevin Durant spent his rookie season in Seattle, before the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. He has said Seattle fans deserved to see him grow up in the NBA after supporting his promising start.

They’ll get their chance.

Ailene Voisin of The Sacramento Bee:

The Kings and Golden State Warriors have scheduled a preseason game next season in Seattle, according to multiple league sources.

The Oct. 6 meeting between Northern California teams will be the first NBA game in the Key Arena since the Sonics moved to Oklahoma City after the 2007-08 season and became the Thunder.

This game will be loaded with storylines. Not only Durant, but the Kings considered moving to Seattle a few years ago. And of course, the return of NBA basketball to Seattle.

At some point, Seattle will get its own team again. For now, this preseason game creates intrigue there.

Report: Kawhi Leonard cleared medically, seeking second opinion

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Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he’d be surprised if Kawhi Leonard played again this season, a stark reversal from just a month ago. Back then, even while announcing Leonard was out indefinitely with a quad injury, the San Antonio coach said Leonard wouldn’t miss the rest of the season.

What’s going on?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

After spending 10 days before the All-Star break in New York consulting with a specialist to gather a second opinion on his right quad injury, All-NBA forward Kawhi Leonard bears the burden of determining when he’s prepared to play again, sources told ESPN.

Leonard has been medically cleared to return from the right quad tendinopathy injury, but since shutting down a nine-game return to the Spurs that ended Jan. 13, he has elected against returning to the active roster, sources said.

The uncertainty surrounding this season — and Leonard’s future which could include free agency in the summer of 2019 — has inspired a palpable stress around the organization, league sources said.

At first glance, this sounds like Derrick Rose five years ago. Even after he was cleared to play following a torn ACL, the then-Bulls star remained mysterious about when he’d suit up. His confidence in his physical abilities seemed to be a major issue, and he was never the same player since (suffering more leg injuries).

But the Spurs famously favor resting players to preserve long-term health. They seem unlikely to rush back Leonard. They might even sit players who want to play more often. And Leonard isn’t Rose.

Still, it’s clear something is amiss in San Antonio. Maybe not amiss enough to end Leonard’s tenure there, but the longer this lingers, the more time for tension to percolate.