Sefolosha’s $4 million settlement with NYPD raising eyebrows, it’s more than some men shot received

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NEW YORK (AP) — Thabo Sefolosha of the Atlanta Hawks surely suffered when police officers broke his leg arresting him outside a Manhattan nightclub in 2015. He needed surgery and sat out while teammates went deep in the NBA playoffs.

But the city’s decision to settle his wrongful arrest lawsuit Wednesday for $4 million still raised eyebrows. That’s more than the city has paid out in some of its most notorious police brutality cases.

Several unarmed men shot to death by New York City police received less money.

Legal experts say the large settlement is a reflection of lost earnings potential as a professional athlete, not any judgment that his leg was worth more than a man’s life.

“His injury probably shortens a career with significant dollars attached to it,” said attorney Michael Duffy, who specializes in malpractice and other litigation but had no role in the case.

Sefalosha, a 10-year veteran of the league, was acquitted of charges he disobeyed officers’ orders to leave the area around the club following the nonfatal stabbing of another NBA player, Chris Copeland. This year he has played 60 of 77 games for the Hawks, averaging 7.3 points a game, which is slightly higher than his career average.

Here is a look at some other notable settlements of police excessive-force cases in New York, all involving black men like Sefolosha:

RAMARLEY GRAHAM: The unarmed 18-year-old was trying to flush marijuana down a toilet in his home when an officer barged into the bathroom and fatally shot him in 2012. The city paid the family $3.9 million.

AKAI GURLEY: The 28-year-old was killed in 2014 by a ricocheting bullet when a police officer, patrolling an apartment building with his gun drawn, was startled and fired into a darkened stairwell. The city settled with his family for $4.1 million.

ERIC GARNER: The 43-year-old father of six died in 2014 after being placed into an illegal chokehold by an officer trying to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes. The city paid his family $5.9 million.

SEAN BELL: A groom-to-be, the 23-year-old Bell died in a hail of 50 police bullets fired into his car in 2006 as he left his bachelor party at a bar. Officers mistakenly thought they saw a gun. The city paid his estate $3.3 million. Another man in the car who was shot 17 times was paid $3 million. A third victim got $900,000.

ABNER LOUIMA: The Haitian immigrant was badly beaten and sodomized with a broomstick in a police station in 1997 by officers in an attack that damaged his colon and bladder. The city and police union agreed to pay $8.7 million.

OUSMANE ZONGO: The 43-year-old artist was working on restoring African artifacts in 2003 when he was shot and killed by a police officer raiding a warehouse, looking for counterfeit goods. His family settled for $3 million.

PATRICK DORISMOND: The 26-year-old was working at a security guard at a nightclub in 2000 when he was fatally shot during a scuffle with undercover police officers who had asked him where they could buy drugs. His estate was paid $2.3 million.

AMADOU DIALLO: An unarmed African immigrant, the 22-year-old Diallo was shot to death in the vestibule of a Bronx apartment building in 1999 by officers who mistook his wallet for a gun. His mother received a $3 million settlement from the city.

Who needs good form? Hawks fan nails halfcourt shot for $10k (video)

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Former Hawks owner Bruce Levenson didn’t want guys like this shooting this shot.

I’m so glad this fan got the opportunity. This was Atlanta’s biggest highlight while losing to the Pistons — and John Collins had a nice dunk over Luke Kennard:

Kevin Durant kisses fan hit by ball (video)

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Kevin Durant‘s final line in the Warriors’ win over the Mavericks: 36 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks… and one kiss.

He has done this before.

Three Things to Know: LeBron James talks to Lonzo Ball and that means… nothing

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Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.

1) The Cavaliers beat the Lakers… but who cares because LeBron James talked to Lonzo Ball. Everyone loves a good mystery. Apparently to the point of obsession. Thursday night the NBA got its big unanswered question to obsess over:

What did LeBron James tell Lonzo Ball after the game?

Somehow overshadowing the fact LeBron had a triple-double in leading the Cavaliers past the Lakers in an actual basketball game that counts, the topic of discussion has been LeBron pulling Lonzo Ball aside after the game on the court to talk to him, with LeBron wisely pulling his jersey up over his lips to foil lip readers.

This video will be analyzed like it was the Zapruder film.

When asked what he said, LeBron answered: “None of y’all business.” Good. It’s not.

LeBron is one of the few people on the planet who has been in Ball’s shoes — overhyped coming into the league, drafted and instantly thrown into the role of franchise savior. LeBron has lived up to the hype over his career, he’s been through the wars, and he has advice to pass along. LeBron also has praised Ball’s level-headedness and said he liked what he saw in the rookie’s game. Ball had 13 points and 11 assists Thursday to push a Lakers’ team that did not roll over for the Cavaliers, another game where Ball is showing improvement this season. LeBron likely said some variation of what he’s said publicly — “You have the talent kid, just put in the work, honor the game, and ignore the circus around you.”

That will not stop the speculation, rumors, and conspiracy theories. If the political world has proved one thing in the past year or two, it’s that logic and facts will not stop people from believing what they want to believe.

The “LeBron will come to the Lakers” rumors run so rampant that the man himself skipped talking to the media after shootaround or before the game Thursday just to avoid the ridiculousness. The rumors persist despite reports that call it a “longshot.” They persist despite logic — LeBron (and his agent Rich Paul) have made it clear that winning and chasing more rings will be the priorities in deciding where LeBron plays next season, and even if the Lakers could land LeBron and Paul George they are the third best team in the West right now. “But he bought a new home in Brentwood! He’s coming!” Ugh. One thing is for sure: LeBron is not basing his decision based on anything he saw in a December regular season game.

Still, the postgame conversation was fuel for the conspiracy theorists. Whatever. At least some on Twitter just had fun with it.

2) Kristaps Porzingis leaves Knicks game after tweaking knee, to be examined Friday. The scariest injuries are non-contact ones, so when the Knicks’ star forward Kristaps Porzingis went to the locker room Thursday night with one Knicks’ nation held its breath.

The good news after the game is that Porzingis was standing on his leg without a brace or crutch. Both he and coach Jeff Hornacek said it was not serious. Porzingis will be examined Friday and said he felt a little pain when his knee buckled, so the team is being cautious. Hopefully, this really is nothing, but don’t be shocked if Porzingis is out Saturday when Carmelo Anthony and the Thunder come to Madison Square Garden.

By the way, the Knicks beat the Nets behind 27 points from Courtney Lee.

3) Kevin Durant goes off for 36 points, 11 rebounds in another Warriors’ win.Stephen Curry? We don’t need no stinkin’ Stephen Curry.”

Okay, the Warriors aren’t exactly saying that, but they also are 4-0 without the point guard who was having a monster season but went down with a sprained ankle. The main reason is Kevin Durant. (Well, that and a more focused defense.) Durant went off against the Mavericks, taking control of the offense as he has done since Curry went down, scoring 37 points plus grabbing 11 boards and dishing out 7 assists. The Warriors won comfortably 112-97.

That makes eight straight wins for the Warriors, who statistically are on pace for 67 wins according to Ben Falk’s Cleaning The Glass (if you just extrapolate out the Warriors current record it’s “only” 65 wins).

Bucks’ Mirza Teletovic out with blockages in lungs

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Bucks forward Mirza Teletovic is out because of blockages in his lungs.

The team said Thursday that pulmonary embolisms were discovered in both of Teletovic’s lungs (these are usually blood clots, often which have traveled from the legs). While we lack medical details on Teletovic’s case, this is not unlike what sidelined former Miami Heat player Chris Bosh.

The 32-year-old Teletovic consulted with Bucks team physicians after experiencing unusual fatigue earlier this week.

Following a 10-day rest period, Teletovic will begin a supervised rehabilitation program. The team provided no other for what it considers a long-term injury.

Teletovic has missed the last 16 games, including 10 after arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee on Nov. 21.

In 10 games this season, Teletovic is averaging 7.1 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 46.7 percent from 3-point range. Teletovic has been in the NBA for six seasons.