The New Orleans Pelicans have plenty of talented players who play or have played point guard:
- Jrue Holiday
- Tyreke Evans
- Brian Roberts
- Austin Rivers
That’s why the Pelicans’ second-round pick, point guard Pierre Jackson from Baylor, signed to play in Europe.
But Jackson left his French team to be closer to his grandmother and is playing in the D-League instead. To be more specific, he’s playing very well in the D-League instead.
Jackson scored a D-League record 58 points for the Idaho Stampede on Tuesday. He shot 24-for-33 from the field, including 7-for-13 on 3-pointers and still chipped in eight assists with just two turnovers.
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This strong game alone does not mean Jackson belongs in the NBA. The previous record-holders were Morris Almond and Will Conroy, who each scored 53 points but never stuck in the NBA.
But Jackson is having a strong season, averaging 30.2 points, 6.2 assists and 2.1 steals per game. An explosive athlete with a strong scoring instinct and an impressive ability to run a team, Jackson is held back only by his height (5-foot-11) and contract status.
The Pelicans never signed Jackson, but they still control his rights. With a full roster, New Orleans can’t simply call him up.
But after last night, I can’t imagine Jackson’s trade value has ever been higher.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.