Ryan Anderson, Arron Afflalo

Pelicans’ Ryan Anderson trying to understand, move on from girlfriend’s suicide


You can’t help but feel for Ryan Anderson.

The Pelican’s stretch four is still grieving after being the one that discovered the body of his girlfriend — Gia Allemand who had been on “The Bachelor” — when she had committed suicide in August.

Anderson is understandably devastated, and you could see it when he spoke to the media on media day (watch the video at this link). He broke up multiple times.

Now to his credit he wants to be proactive — he and Allemand’s family are starting a foundation to reach out to people who are depressed and considering suicide. Anderson spoke Wednesday with Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel and talked about the foundation, just trying to cope, leaning on his friends and faith, and finding a way to move on.

“They say that God never gives you too much that you can’t handle,” Anderson told me after Wednesday morning’s shootaround. “In a lot of ways, I thought this was too much…

“Every day’s a roller-coaster, man. Every day is hard,” he said. “I miss her every second…but I owe this to her. I owe this to myself. I don’t want to just be a basketball player and go home and have my life just revolve around that.

“I want it to be about changing lives, be a difference-maker. This has really helped me grow up.”

I can’t imagine Anderson’s pain, but hopefully this foundation can make a difference, can change lives and spare other boyfriends and families this pain. If you’ve had a family member who has battled depression, you know the challenges that fill that relationship but you feel like you have to do something to help. It’s cliche, but if he helps just one family with this…

Anderson is trying to do something, trying to move on. I feel for him, anyone with empathy should. Send your positive thoughts, your prayers to him. He could use all of it as he deals with something real, something much bigger than his job.

Thabo Sefolosha’s lawyer: White police officer targeted black Hawks forward

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — A lawyer representing a professional basketball player arrested outside a New York City nightclub has told a jury his client was targeted because he’s black.

Attorney Alex Spiro said Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court that a white police officer saw a black man in a hoodie when he confronted the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha on April 8.

Sefolosha was arrested while leaving a Manhattan nightclub following a stabbing. He subsequently suffered a season-ending leg fracture after a confrontation with police.

A prosecutor said in opening statements that Sefolosha called an officer who repeatedly told him and others to leave a “midget.”

Sefolosha pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor obstructing government administration, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges. The Swiss citizen declined a plea deal from prosecutors.


DeMar DeRozan says he hates talking about free agency, takes pride in Raptors longevity

DeMar DeRozan
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DeMar DeRozan has a $10,050,000 player option for 2016-17. Given the rapidly escalating salary cap, it’s a practical certainty DeRozan will opt out and get a major raise.

But he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

DeRozan, via Eric Koreen of the National Post:

“I hate that, honestly,” DeRozan said in a one-on-one interview. “I never speak about it. With me, I’ve always been that one player: I’ve been loyal. I’ve been every single thing you can think of here. I think people don’t understand how much pride I take in playing (in Toronto). A lot of times when I do get asked that, it kind of frustrates me.

“Everyday I wake up, I take pride in being the longest Raptor here. People bring up third or whatever in franchise scoring — there is so much stuff like that.”

This sounds awfully similar to LaMarcus Aldridge, who stated his desire last year to become the great Trail Blazer ever and then signed with the Spurs this summer.

Things change, and the impracticality of an extension ensures DeRozan will hit free agency. I believe he’s devoted to the Raptors right now, but his loyalty might change in the next nine months – especially once he sees contract offers from other suitors.

Toronto’s interest in DeRozan might fluctuate, too. He’s a nice player, but the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series with him despite winning the division the last two years. Depending how this season goes, Masai Ujiri might want to rework the roster significantly next summer, and letting DeRozan walk could create major cap space.

I believe DeRozan wants to return to the Raptors, and I believe they want to keep him. But so much can change between now and when both sides must make that call.