Samuel Dalembert suspended by Dallas Mavericks for oversleeping, arriving late to workout

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Samuel Dalembert overslept, keeping him from a Dallas Mavericks practice.

Samuel Dalembert overslept, keeping him from a Dallas Mavericks practice.

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The center slept too long and was late to a Mavericks workout, which caused Dallas to suspend him for its 92-80 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News – the second time Dalembert faced team discipline for oversleeping. It wasn’t a complete repeat of the previous incident, though.

Last time, he missed the entire shootaround. This time, he was just late to a workout.

Last time, he was removed from the starting lineup. This time, he was suspended for the entire game.

Last time, he said, “I’m very disappointed in myself.” This time, he said, “I just feel ashamed of it.”

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Dalembert, via Sefko:

“I was late for my lifting,” Dalembert said. “I just feel ashamed of it. We’re taking steps to make sure that doesn’t happen. And we’ll move on. Just make sure I have second options. And some people helping me in those situations. It’s a sleeping thing for me. We’re working on it. I can’t sleep at night. When that happens to me, I try to go to bed really early and situations like this happen.”

It would be in the Mavericks’ best interest to help Dalembert solve his sleeping issues, because they need him – and they know it.

Dalembert has a history of stepping over the line. The Mavericks signed him, anyway.

Rick Carlisle called Dalembert out of shape before the season. Dalembert still began the year as the Mavericks’ starting center.

Dallas tried to end its reliance on Dalembert during the season. But after his DNP-CD, not only did Dalembert return to the rotation, he was back in the starting lineup shortly after.

Carlisle said this latest punishment would be only the one-game suspension, which sounds fair – and practical.

The Mavericks need Dalembert’s defense as long they’re starting Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis in the backcourt. For all the offensive skills those guards have, they’re defensively deficient. A shot blocker like Dalembert protects them much more than Dallas’ other two centers, DeJuan Blair and Bernard James, do.

When Calderon and Ellis play together, the Mavericks’ defensive rating hinges greatly on which center joins them on the court – ranging from so-so to bad to horrific.

  • Dalembert: 104.0
  • Blair: 107.4
  • James: 134.4

Dalembert is not an ideal player in any sense, but at this point, the Mavericks have to ride out his ups and downs – and snoozes.

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.