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Scottie Barnes impresses in Raptors’ preseason debut

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When the Toronto Raptors surprised the basketball world by selecting forward Scottie Barnes with the fourth overall pick, many of those around the game still felt like it would be a worthwhile decision for Toronto in the long-term.

His ceiling as a player is very, very high, but in his present form, he is considered to be a work in progress that won’t enjoy immediate success in the league. But not so fast!

An offseason working alongside a franchise that is known for being amongst the best at player development appears to have paid dividends.

The Raptors rookie looked great in his preseason debut against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday. He played an all-around great game, showed flashes of great defense, a solid shooting stroke and high basketball IQ. He finished the night with 13 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks in limited action!

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Nets GM felt he had “no choice” but to keep Kyrie Irving away from the team until he is fully vaccinated

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The Brooklyn Nets have championship aspirations this season and certainly didn’t want to start off the 2021/22 campaign this way. But Kyrie Irving’s vaccine stubbornness has forced their hand.

Nets GM Sean Marks recently spoke to the media about the controversial decision to keep Kyrie Irving away from the team until he gets fully vaccinated. He admitted it was a tough decision, but clearly has no regrets with how he handled it.

“He has a choice to make, and he made his choice.” said Marks.

“Again, my job here is to make what we deem as the best decision and best choices for the organization moving ahead as a whole. They’re not always ones that are going to be met with open arms and a thumbs-up. These are hard decisions. Just like I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Kyrie either to have to make that [decision] to not be around his teammates.”

The Nets will open their season presumably without Irving when they take on the Milwaukee Bucks next Tuesday.

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Pau Gasol retires from basketball after illustrious career

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One of the greatest big men in NBA history is calling it quits.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend and two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol officially announced his decision to retire from basketball on Tuesday.

“It was a difficult decision, as you might imagine, after many years…But it was a decision made with a lot of thought” said Gasol during a news conference in Spain.

“You have to change gears a little bit and know how to enjoy it. And one of the things I wanted was to end my career while enjoying it. Not because of an injury, not in crutches”

The 41-year old Spaniard averaged 17.0 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists over a span of 20 NBA seasons split between the Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and Milwaukee Bucks. He spent the 2020/21 campaign with his original professional club Barcelona FC in Spain.

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Steph Curry respects Andrew Wiggins’ decision not to take the COVID-19 vaccine, but clearly isn’t too pleased

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The elephant in the room during the Golden State Warriors’ media day surrounded the vaccination status of starting forward Andrew Wiggins.

The 26-year old admitted that he is against taking the vaccine and appears to be willing to miss out on home games and a chunk of his contract due to his beliefs.

Members of the media didn’t just grill Wiggins with tough questions. They also asked his vaccinated teammates how they felt about it. The star of the team, Steph Curry, didn’t outright attack Wiggins but didn’t exactly endorse him either.

“At the end of the day, it is up to him. I think it’s no secret to that point…We obviously hope that he has all the right information, the access to the right resources to ask all the questions he has on making that decision. We hope he’s available. We hope he moves in the right direction.” said Curry.

“My opinion is, obviously I got vaccinated and am ready to be available and following the mandates and whatnot…We obviously hope he’s available and with us and kind of go from there. It’s difficult. Everybody’s in a difficult kind of position in that respect, and we’ve all made decisions that you feel like are right for you and your family and whatever the case is. This is no different, and whether you agree with him or not, you have to let it play out.”

The Warriors are set to open preseason action on October 4th, and will kick off the regular season with a road game against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 19th.

The clock is ticking…

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