Charles Barkley offers to pay for funerals of Philadelphia carjacking victims

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Charles Barkley is still tied to the city of Philadelphia, where he started his NBA career.

That city has been rocked by the tragic death of three innocent children, ages 7 to 15, who were selling fruit at a stand as a church fundraiser when they were run over by a car that had been carjacked not long before. It’s a sickening event that has left their mother critically wounded as well.

Barkley has stepped up and offered to pay for the funerals of the children, reports NBCPhiladelphia.com.

NBA legend and former Philadelphia 76er Charles Barkley has offered to pay for the funerals of three siblings killed after a carjacking went awry in the city last week, according to District Attorney Seth Williams.

Ten-year-old Thomas Reed, his 15-year-old sister Keiearra Williams and their 7-year-old brother Terrence Moore were mowed down by a SUV and ki
lled on a street corner in the Tioga section of the city Friday while selling fruit.

Barkley the analyst can grate on you after a while (although TNT’s Inside the NBA remains must-watch in large part because of him) but Barkley the person is giving and generous to a fault. Spend time around him, hear stories of him from food servers or limo drivers or just about anyone his life has touched, and you find a guy that feels fortunate for what he has and wants to give back.

This is both a great example of that and a great gesture.

For those that haven’t followed the story nationally, the men driving the SUV have been arrested and face charges of second-degree murder, robbery, carjacking, sexual assault and a few others. These guys should not see the outside of a prison ever again.

Remembering Notre Dame, Laker legend Tommy “the hawk” Hawkins

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Tommy Hawkins passed away recently at the age of 80.

The former NBA player was the first black athlete to earn All-America honors in basketball at Notre Dame (he still holds the school’s total rebounds record), was drafted in the first round, and went on to have a 10-year NBA career playing for the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers as well as the Cincinnati Royals. Los Angeles fans may also remember him as the long time director of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers after his playing days ended.

The NBA put together this well done video look back at Hawkins’ career.

Celtics’ Brad Stevens said early September tests will show if Thomas ready for camp

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Isaiah Thomas said he expects to be ready for the Celtics’ training camp next month. The guard’s All-NBA season came to an early end in the playoffs when he aggravated a labral tear in his right hip initially suffered back in March. At least the injury did not require surgery.

Players are also about the worst judges of when they will recover from an injury. They pretty much all think they are invincible and will be healthy faster than doctors predict.

Coaches tend to be more pragmatic. Take Boston’s Brad Stevens, who told Chris Mannix on The Vertical Podcast that tests in a couple of weeks will show if Thomas is ready for camp.

“He has another follow-up and another scan in the early part of September. Obviously, it’s been a lot of appropriate rest, a lot of rehab. There have been some good strides here certainly in the last month or few weeks, but we’re not going to know that until after that early September timeframe.”

The Celtics are understandably going to be cautious with Thomas, while Thomas wants to prove he is healthy and has no ill effects from the injury as he enters a contract year (one where he expects to get PAID). Also, the Celtics could use him in camp as they start to figure out how he and Gordon Hayward can share playmaking duties.

Still, from the outset, the timelines have suggested he should be ready for camp in late September. Coaches are just cautious on these things by nature.

Allen Iverson predicts LeBron James will win MVP

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LeBron James has four NBA MVP trophies in his case. (Does he keep that case in his home in Akron or the one in Los Angeles… that’s a question for another day.) Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six) and Michael Jordan (five) have more.

Could LeBron James add a fifth to his case this season?

Allen Iverson said yes at last weekend’s Big3 playoffs in Seattle.

LeBron was fourth in preseason odds to win the MVP at 15/2, behind Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard.

To me, LeBron could be a good bet. If/when Kyrie Irving is traded, the chances of LeBron getting the MVP go up. If LeBron puts up impressive numbers (again) and leads a depleted Cavaliers team to a top two seed in the East, he is certainly going to be in consideration. And should be.

It’s a long season, and personally, I think you need to get midway through the season before seriously considering the year-end awards. But history says LeBron will be in the mix, and Allen Iverson could be proven prophetic.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.