Rudy Gay

Amir Johnson really, really, really loves Toronto

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Understandably, Raptors fans are a little fearful of being jilted again.

Chris Bosh, Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady all left Toronto via free agency or by forcing a trade. When the team’s top players – probably uncoincidentally Americans – all flee for the states, that’s no longer just a coincidence. And it doesn’t sit well with loyal Raptors fans.

But Amir Johnson, a Los Angeles native, is a breath of fresh air in T.O.

How does Johnson love Toronto? Let me count the ways, as detailed by Steve Buffery in the Toronto Sun:

  • Johnson loves the Maple Leafs
  • He loves Drake.
  • He loves the malls.
  • He loves the restaurants.
  • He loves the place he can buy quality bootleg DVDs.
  • He loves all the Toronto residents who didn’t bother Jay Z and Beyoncé when the couple was out on the town.

Johnson, via Buffery:

“Most of the things they hear about is the tax and it’s just too cold and too far,” said Johnson. “But once you get out here and get a couple of years out here, I’m pretty sure they’ll begin to like it. And the move (the Raptors) made with Drake, I think the younger class (of NBA players) will want to just to see what Toronto’s all about. Once you ask a young kid (in the States), ‘What do you know about Toronto?’ They say, ‘Oh Bieber and Drake.’ That’s the first thing that comes out of their mouth. They don’t know anything about Toronto, but they know that Justin Bieber is from Canada.”

A few weeks ago, someone tweeted Johnson asking him if he liked playing in Toronto and Canada.

“I don’t just like it,” he replied. “I LOVE IT!”

Johnson will become a free agent in the summer of 2014 or 2015. Then, we’ll see how much he really loves Toronto.

Joel Embiid: “I feel 100 percent”

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on prior to the game against the Utah Jazz on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”

There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.

Evan Fournier pokes fun at his ‘NBA 2K’ likeness

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 07:  Evan Fournier #10 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 7, 2016 in Oakland, California. 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.

Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.

At least they’re having fun with it.

Report: Sixers expected to waive Tibor Pleiss after trade with Jazz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Tibor Pleiss #21 of the Utah Jazz controls the ball in the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.

Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.

Jordan releases new Russell Westbrook ad, may include a shot at Kevin Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (L) and Russell Westbrook #0 look on during a press conference after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-101 in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 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 J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
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As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”

Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.