Kurt Helin

Kings’ Darren Collison: “I accept the penalty and now it’s time to move forward”

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Point guard Darren Collison will miss the first eight games of the NBA season as he serves a suspension after pleading guilty to a domestic violence case from earlier in the year involving his wife.

Monday after practice, the day before the Kings open up their preseason against the Lakers, Collison spoke to the media and accepted the suspension as the consequence of his actions, and how he wants to move forward. Here is what Collison said, as reported by James Ham of CSNBayArea.com.

“I accept the penalty and now it’s time to move forward, try and focus on the future and do whatever it takes to help my teammates win,” Collison told media members on Monday…

“It was out of my control,” Collison said of the suspension. “Right now it’s just about putting it behind me, you know what I mean. Focusing on my family. Focusing on the team and going from there….

“I know my situation, I know exactly what happened,” Collison said. “From here, you’ve just got to move forward and accept it and just go from there.”

While Collison answered questions, DeMarcus Cousins stood by, then when Collison was finished Cousins came in to support his point guard.

“We all know DC’s an incredible guy,” Cousins said. “It’s unfortunate that he’s going through a situation like this, but he has the support from his family, from his teammates, from the organization to help him get through this and move on from it and we’ll be ready for him when he gets back.”

The Kings will have Ty Lawson and Jordan Farmar handling the point guard duties through the start of the season — and the Kings have a tough schedule up front (six of the eight games are on the road).

The goal in Sacramento is to get through that difficult stretch, count on a bounce from opening their new building, grow comfortable with new coach Dave Joerger’s system, and turn that into a playoff berth. We’ll see if it gets that far, but the eight-game suspension could have been far more, which would have been a significant setback for the Kings.

Oklahoma City and Real Madrid put up — and hit — some wild shots Monday night

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Oklahoma City went to Spain and got itself in a shootout — Real Madrid beat the Durant-less Thunder 142-137 in overtime. It was fun; it was entertaining.

And it was filled with guys hitting ridiculous shots. A lot of those came from the Spanish hosts who came from five points down with 4.1 seconds to go to force overtime, where they got the win. Enjoy the highlights of circus shots from the preseason.

And don’t read anything into the loss, Thunder fans. Russell Westbrook only played half the game, Steven Adams sat key portions, and the Thunder were up by 22 at one point. It’s NBA preseason, it has less meaning than a Doraemon cartoon.

J.R. Smith reacts to Cavaliers signing Toney Douglas with…

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J.R. Smith may have LeBron James in his corner, but Smith and the Cavaliers remain at a contract impasse. Smith feels he deserves more money — it’s rumored he wants $15 million a year — and more security, plus he has a hard-driving agent in Rich Paul. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers are way over the tax line and know whatever they pay Smith they can multiply by four in dollars it will cost them.

Then on Monday, the Cavaliers signed Toney Douglas as a possible reserve guard. Smith, how do you feel about that?

That tweet came right after the news of the Douglas signing broke.

If I were Smith, I would be frustrated as well.

Although to be fair, Smith is a two guard and Douglas was brought in as a potential backup point (who could play a little two in a pinch). With Mo Williams retirement, things are thin behind Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers are looking for help. Douglas may provide that.

As for Smith, a veteran missing some training camp is no big deal, but at some point in the next couple of weeks the two sides need to reach a compromise. The defending champs don’t need this distraction — what Pat Riley used to call “the disease of more ” — heading into the season.

LeBron James discusses concern with world his son is coming into, why he endorsed Clinton

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LeBron James is like myself and every other father: He worries about his children.

However, as the father of a young black man, he has an added set of concerns. Something reinforced every time he turns on the news lately. LeBron has been more outspoken lately on social issues — particularly in the wake of police shootings of African-American men — and told CNN recently it was in part because of his growing boys.

“I look at my son being four years removed from driving his own car and being able to leave the house on his own,” James said Monday, a day before the defending NBA champions begin training camp. “It’s a scary thought right now to think if my son gets pulled over, and you tell your kids if you just (comply), and you just listen to the police that they will be respectful and things will work itself out.

“And you see these videos that continue to come out. It’s a scary-ass situation that if my son calls me and said he’s been pulled over, that I’m not that confident that things are going to go well and that my son is going to return home.”
The issue of police and race relations in this nation is far bigger than LeBron and much broader than Akron and Cleveland, but as someone with a megaphone because of his stature as a player, he doesn’t want the conversation to die down. LeBron said he will be standing for the national anthem before NBA games, but he wants the conversation Colin Kaepernick started to continue.

LeBron endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in an op-ed article that came out Sunday night. Of course, Monday after practice he was asked about this, and he said he got to know her through President Barack Obama. Here are LeBron’s comments, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“We’ve become really good friends and from Day 1 I just always liked his vision, especially from a community standpoint,” James said Monday. “And I believe Hillary can continue that legacy that Barack has done for the last eight years. You guys know how important my community service is, especially in my hometown. That’s a main point for me.”

He added that he wanted to do a written op-ed so that his words and feelings could not be misinterpreted.

The mere fact LeBron is speaking out (even in an at times watered-down way) is a good step forward, we need to see athletes involved in their community and society as a whole. It’s far better than watching them sit back and try to protect their brand.

Bradley Beal cleared from concussion, will play in Wizards preseason opener

Associated Press
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John Wall is still not back on the court at full speed in Washington, still recovering from having both knees operated on this summer.

The good news is his backcourt running mate Bradley Beal has been cleared following his concussion suffered at the start of training camp, and will start in Tuesday’s preseason game, reports J. Michael at CSNMidAtlantic.com.

That would be Trey Burke stepping in for Wall in the short term.

If the Wizards are going to do anything more than tread water this season, they need Beal and Wall to both be healthy, then start to show a more dynamic chemistry between them than we have seen in the past. Maybe new coach Scott Brooks can pull that out of them, he worked with a couple of superstars in Oklahoma City that didn’t always get along on the court, and Brooks got that team to the NBA Finals.

With the Wizards, just making the playoffs would be a good first step.