New Clipper Lance Stephenson: “I’m very good in the locker room”

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Lance Stephenson came to blows with teammate Evan Turner on the eve of the playoffs in Indiana, then Stephenson went out and became a meme by blowing in LeBron’s ear. In part due to chemistry concerns, the Pacers didn’t chase him too hard in free agency, so Stephenson went to Charlotte where he clashed with what had been a rock-solid veteran locker room.

The Clippers are counting on Chris Paul, Doc Rivers and their strong locker room to change that trend. They think they can get Stephenson to play nice and return to Indiana form on the court.

Except there’s nothing to worry about off the court. At least if you ask Stephenson.

He’s a dream in the locker room, at least that’s what he said at his introductory press conference with the Clippers, as reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN.

“I’m going to work hard this season to get those rumors out,” Stephenson said as he was formally introduced as a Clipper at a news conference at the team’s training facility on Thursday. “That’s not the issue. I’m very good in the locker room. You can ask all the players that I’ve played with. You can ask the coaches. I’m very good in the locker room.

“When I’m on the court I got that type of energy where it looks like I’m yelling at somebody. But when I talk to my teammates it amps them and makes them work harder. I want to take that [negative] title off my name because that’s not me. I’m a good locker room guy.”

There’s no reason to get into a debate if he had some locker room issues in the past — he did — because this is his reality now:

He better not have any in Los Angeles if he wants to get paid in this league.

He’s got two years, $18.4 million left on his contract, but the second year of that is a team option. If he flames out off the court — or can’t produce on it — the Clippers can just decline the final year of that deal. And if that happens Stephenson is going to find himself near the bottom of the NBA pecking order.

Los Angeles isn’t Stephenson’s last chance, we all know in sports guys with potential get a lot of chances. But the road back to where he wants to be — and a decent payday by NBA standards — is a long and winding one if L.A. doesn’t work out.

If one thing can motivate behavioral changes, it’s cold hard cash. We’ll see if it works in this case.

Gabrielle Union says Dwyane Wade thought a gallon of milk cost $20 (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade retired from the NBA this past season after going on a little farewell tour. Now he is trying to adjust to life after basketball, and he’s on a bit of a PR tear. We’ve already heard from Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, quite a bit.

Now it appears that Wade must fully integrate back into life without the NBA, and it’s been some time since he last had to take care of some regular everyday things. According to Union, Wade has been out of “regular” life so long that he doesn’t know what an Old Navy is, or that a gallon of milk doesn’t cost $20.

Via James Corden:

I’m not sure if I necessarily believe this. Wade has had offseasons to be a normal human being over the course of his career. It’s not like he gets locked into an empty gym each summer and only stumbles out every September for training camp. Then again, the amount of shopping he’s done at fast fashion retailers is probably low. Wade also likely hasn’t gone food shopping for himself in at least a decade.

Still, I don’t believe that Wade is spending his retirement just wandering around Suburbia amazed at how many places just sell khaki shorts. It’s a great scene to think of, though. There you are at a Kroger just trying to get some half-and-half but blocking you is Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat legend and future Hall of Famer, standing in front of the dairy section like “Huh! A whole gallon for only $2.19? This is wild. I’ve missed so much.”

I don’t know what Wade and Union are trying to sell now that the former is retired from basketball, but if I never have to hear that “Pep Rally” song from that Gatorade commercial ever again, I will buy whatever it is.

I think Wade knows that khaki shorts exist and that a gallon of milk doesn’t cost $20. He’s not Lucille Bluth and he’s not Bill Gates.

Reports: Nick Nurse to become Canadian national team head coach

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Nick Nurse got the Toronto Raptors to their first ever NBA Finals appearance. The Raptors beat Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night. Already a budding Legend in Canada, it appears that Nurse is going to increase his sway in Ontario.

According to multiple reports, Nurse will become the head coach of the Canadian men’s national basketball team. He will also hold executive duties for that organization.

And the kicker? Nurse will also apparently have more involvement and interaction with Drake’s brand OVO.

Via Twitter:

Everything is coming up roses for Nurse. If he can eat some tape and figure out a way to slow down the Warriors the way he did with Antetokounmpo, he might just be able to give the two-time defending champions a run for their money.

Report: Cavs owner Dan Gilbert hospitalized after possible stroke

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Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has reportedly suffered a stroke but is resting comfortably in the care of medical professionals.

According to the Detroit News, Gilbert was hospitalized on Sunday morning after evidencing stroke-like symptoms. His current condition is not known, but his company released a statement saying his family was seeking privacy.

Via Detroit News:

“He received immediate medical attention and is currently recovering comfortably,” said a statement issued by the Quicken Loans family of companies following inquiries from The News. “Our collective thoughts and prayers are with Dan for a speedy recovery.”

Details of his diagnosis and prognosis were not released; the family requested privacy.

Gilbert, 57, is the founder of Quicken Loans and the majority owner of the Cavs. He was scheduled to speak on Wednesday at a conference on Mackinac Island in Northern Michigan. It’s unclear if Gilbert will be keeping that appearance date as we don’t yet know the severity of his injuries.

The often-bombastic Cavaliers owner has made waves over the years, most recognizably with his Comic Sans letter. Recently, Gilbert said that he felt the Kyrie Irving trade was a winner for his team, and that Irving was likely to leave the Boston Celtics.

Gilbert has owned the Cavs since 2005.

Report: Raptors could get OG Anunoby back during Finals

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The Toronto Raptors are headed to the 2019 NBA Finals, and they are going to need every player on their roster if they want a chance at dethroning the Golden State Warriors.

Forward OG Anunoby has been out since early April after needing an emergency appendectomy. He has not played in the playoffs yet this season, but a new report says the Raptors may be hopeful he could return before the end of this final series.

Via Twitter:

Anunoby Is a useful second-year forward who plays hard on both ends of the floor. Toronto is going to have a hard time matching up with the Warriors defensively, whether Kevin Durant plays or not. Having Anunoby available would help Toronto be more switchable and more adept at taking on some of Golden State’s smaller lineups.

We don’t have a timetable for Anunoby’s potential return yet, but the way the Finals are spaced out (Game 1 is on Thursday, Game 2 is next Sunday) it could help get players healthy and ready.

That could be good news for Kawhi Leonard, who sat out several games this year simply to rest. Leonard has looked a little banged up through these playoffs, as has just about everyone else. The bad news for Toronto is that this time between games could also help the Warriors get Durant ready to play.

Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals is on Thursday at 6 p.m. PST in Canada.