Kurt Helin

Remembering former Suns player Neal Walk (VIDEO)

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Former Suns’ center Neil Walk, a guy key to the formative years of that franchise, passed away at the age of 67.

He’s more than just the answer to the trivia question “who was drafted No. 2 behind Lew Alcindor?”, he is one of only two Suns players ever to average 20 and 10 for a season (the other is Charles Barkley). He went on to play for the New Orleans Jazz and New York Knicks in his eight-year NBA career.

The video above touches on his NBA career. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

NYC trial starts for NBA player charged in clash with police

Thabo Sefolosha
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NEW YORK (AP) — Opening statements are set to begin in the trial of a professional basketball player charged with resisting arrest and other crimes following a confrontation with police officers outside a trendy Manhattan nightclub in April.

The Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha, who suffered a season-ending leg fracture in the struggle, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which also include misdemeanor obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct. He has rejected a plea offer from prosecutors and his attorney, Alex Spiro, has said his client is going to trial to clear his name.

A jury of four women and two men was picked Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court. Opening statements start Tuesday.

The case stems from an early-morning struggle outside the 1Oak Club in Chelsea shortly after the stabbing of Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland, his girlfriend and another woman. It was then that the 30-year-old guard-forward ignored six separate orders to move away from the crime scene, charged at another officer and then flailed his arms and twisted his legs while being placed under arrest, according to a criminal complaint.

During jury selection, Spiro said that while his client, a Swiss national, may have been “mouthy” and “fresh” in his dealings with officers after the stabbing, no crime had been committed. He also suggested race played a role in his client’s arrest.

“Are you all willing to understand that we’re all swayed at some level by implicit racial biases,” he asked potential jurors.

Six police officers will be called as witnesses for the prosecution, an assistant district attorney, Francesca Bartolomey, said Monday. Spiro had sought to review the personnel records of five officers involved in the incident but the judge, Robert Mandelbau, denied that motion.

Charges against another Hawks’ player involved in the confrontation, Pero Antic, have been dropped.

Marco Belinelli drops 32 on Blazers in preseason game (VIDEO)

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Sacramento is looking for some guys to step up this preseason and show they can space the floor as shooters, giving DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay room to operate.

Marco Belinelli is made his case for that role Monday night against Portland.

He had 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting (including four from three), four assists, and three steals. Combine that from a strong night from Darren Collison (21 points and 10 assists) and the Kings got the 109-105 win.

Turkey’s Fenerbahce beats Nets 101-96 in exhibition game

Fenerbahce Ulker v Brooklyn Nets
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets lost their preseason opener Monday night to Turkey’s Fenerbahce Ulker, which got 18 points from former NBA lottery pick Jan Vesely in a 101-96 victory.

Brook Lopez scored 18 points for the Nets and Wayne Ellington added 16.

With a big crowd of fans cheering them on, the Istanbul team improved to 2-2 all-time against NBA clubs. Bogdan Bogdanovic, a 2014 Phoenix Suns draft pick, added 17 points, and another former NBA player, Gigi Datome, had 16.

Blazers wear pregame shirts honoring Oregon college shooting victims

trail blazers shirt 2
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Classy move, Trail Blazers.

Portland hosted Sacramento in a preseason NBA game Monday night, but they wanted to do something to honor the victims at the horrific Umpqua Community College shooting last week in Oregon. One step was to wear pregame warmup shirts of the school. From the Blazers’ own reporter Casey Holdahl.

It’s a small gesture, but it’s a good one to show how they are part of the community.