Dan Feldman

Second-tier Chinese teams get into MASSIVE brawl (video)

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Remember Sim Bhullar? The 7-foot-5, 350-pound center was the NBA’s first Indian player.

Try to spot him in this brawl in the NBL, China’s second-tier league.

(hat tip: E. Carchia of Sportando)

Stephon Marbury shares emotional moment with Beijing fan at Q&A (video)

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stephon Marbury had to wipe tears from his eyes.

He had just shared a surprising, emotional hug with NYU freshman Sheng Kang Zhou. The 19-year-old student, who grew up in Beijing, was overcome with emotion while standing a few feet away from the player he watched lead his hometown team to three Chinese league championships.

Marbury was speaking at a question and answer session for incoming NYU students at the school Wednesday, touching on his career with the Beijing Ducks that included the franchise’s first championship in 2012.

“I had no clue. I couldn’t stop crying,” Marbury said of meeting Sheng . “I know how he feels, and he’s sharing the feeling of how happy he is. It goes to show the level of respect and love that comes from winning championships. Being a New Yorker, it’s like if the Knicks won a championship for the first time.”

Sheng, who was holding a scarf emblazoned with the city’s soccer team, Beijing Guoan, didn’t know Marbury would be speaking at an NYU dorm until Tuesday.

“It was like a dream come true meeting him,” Sheng said.

Marbury had a few stellar seasons in China after an NBA career that included stints with five teams, and he’s become an iconic figure in the country. He has a statue and was featured on a postage stamp in Beijing, and then he got a museum and a musical in his honor. He even starred in an autobiographical movie titled “My Other Home” and won Best New Actor for his performance at the Shanghai Film Festival.

“I never in a million years would have thought any of this would have happened,” he said.

Marbury’s playing days will end after this season, but the 40-year-old New York native will stay near the game. He wants to coach the Chinese national team, and Yao Ming has told him he’ll be considered if he learns Chinese. Marbury plans to take classes during the upcoming season. He may also try his hand in the Big3 3-on-3 league.

“Basketball is my life and I definitely will still be involved with it,” Marbury said.

Marbury also has his Starbury athletic shoe and clothing company to keep him busy. He re-launched the Starbury brand in 2016 after it first hit the market in 2006. His shoes are sold for as low as $15.

“We understand the dynamics of what we need for the shoes to be made and get them to our warehouse,” Marbury said. “The way social (media) is and how platforms are set up with Instagram and Facebook. It’s the perfect time for us to be able to sell the products we have. People can buy products so fast with just three or four clicks. It’s amazing for us with impulse buying. The timing couldn’t have been better for us.”

He gave out sneakers to all the NYU students at the event and spoke of how he still wants to make affordable shoes.

“I grew up one of seven kids and my mom couldn’t afford to get us any of the $150 shoes,” he said. “I want to make sure that people can always have affordable shoes to wear.”

He respects what LaVar Ball and his sons are trying to do by building their own brand from scratch, but he thinks they’re off in pricing their sneakers at $500.

“I think that’s where the message is a little mixed up at,” Marbury said. “Where they’re making people make a decision is where the price comes in.”

Report: Celtics sending Cavaliers 2020 second-rounder to complete Kyrie Irving trade

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The Cavaliers are trading Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick and… a 2020 second-round pick.

After Thomas’ physical caused concern in Cleveland, Boston – rather than seeing the deal voided – improved its offer.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:

The Heat’s 2020 second-rounder seems minor after five days of delay on this landscape-altering trade, but it allows the Cavs to save face after causing such a stink. To be fair, the pick also gives the Cavaliers a little more value after accepting great-than-expected injury risk with Thomas.

Not that they needed extra value.

This was already a haul for Cleveland – the type of deal that immediately instills faith in new general manager Koby Altman and turns the tide toward LeBron James re-signing next summer (though not necessarily far enough). Thomas is arguably (I’d say, nearly) as good as Irving right now, and Thomas’ expiring contract allows the Cavs to walk away if injuries catch up to him. Crowder is the type of 3-and-D wing Cleveland badly needed to matchup with the Warriors. Plus, he’s on a very team-friendly contract for three more years. Zizic, a rookie, is a decent long-term prospect. Most of all, that Brooklyn pick might land another franchise player – or could be flipped for help while LeBron still has Cleveland’s championship window propped open.

Boston gets one of the youngest stars ever to change teams, surely a motivator as the Cavaliers played hardball. The Celtics clearly covet Irving.

Now, finally, they have him.

But with these teams poised to compete for Eastern Conference supremacy this season – and for years to come if LeBron stays in Cleveland – the fun is just beginning.

Kevin Durant: I told LeBron James I believe he’ll stay with Cavaliers

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Kevin Durant has followed LeBron James‘ free agencies closely.

The Warriors star said LeBron joining the Heat paved the way for Durant signing with Golden State, reportedly wanted to be courted last year like LeBron was in 2010 and said he liked how LeBron returned to Cleveland.

So, with all eyes on LeBron’s upcoming free agency, Durant has a prediction.

Durant on The Bill Simmons Podcast:

I personally always said he was staying. I told him this.

That’s me. I feel like he’s going to end it in Cleveland. That’s his crib. That’s the crib now. He run it, and I’m sure he’s going to turn that into something mega once he’s done. He’s going to do something.

I’m not sure LeBron has decided on whether or not to re-sign with the Cavaliers. I really doubt Durant has first-hand knowledge of LeBron’s plan.

But few people can relate to LeBron, a superstar on and off the court, as well as Durant. If nothing else, Durant’s perspective is interesting.

I’m curious about Durant sharing his prediction with LeBron. In what context did that come up?

Report: Bulls’ Cameron Payne to miss start of season with another foot injury

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The Bulls shouldn’t feel great about Kris Dunn – acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade – as their point guard of the future.

But they should at least feel better Cameron Payne no longer holds the designation.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

Payne – Chicago’s main return for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a second-rounder in a pre-deadline trade last season – looked dismal in his partial season with the Bulls.

These foot issues might be a culprit. This is Payne’s third surgery on his right foot in the last 14 months. After a promising rookie year with the Thunder, he just hasn’t looked the same since.

Chicago has until Oct. 31 to decide on a $3,263,294 team option for 2018-19. Payne is just 23, but his career looks as sidetracked as ever. At this point, the Bulls might consider declining his option and freeing 2018 cap space.