Twitter reacts to Ben Simmons hitting a three

It was a special night in Philadelphia on Tuesday as the 76ers hosted China’s Guangzhou Long-Lions. On this night in Philly, something that has never been seen before happened! Ben Simmons hit his first three-point shot in the NBA. While it’s only preseason and took three years for this to happen, the fans at the Wells Fargo Center celebrated like it was 1999.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Simmons’ big shot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Embiid: ‘My goal is Defensive Player of the Year and MVP'(VIDEO)

76ers C Joel Embiid has proven that he is one of the best big men in the NBA. Last season, Embiid had career highs in points(27.5) and rebounds(13.5) per game, and games played(64). However, near the end of last season and in the playoffs, Embiid struggled with knee tendonitis, which impacted his performance. 

To become a better player, Embiid felt he had to lose weight. According to the fifth-year player, he has lost 20 pounds. The 25-year-old Embiid believes the weight loss will help him as he tries to achieve four goals this season: winning a championship, getting the number one seed, winning Defensive Player of the Year, and becoming an MVP.

“Going into this year, one of the things we gotta focus on is we really want that number one seed, and that’s going to take 60 and over in wins,” Embiid said at 76ers’ media day. “And I know that team success also helps me when it comes to my goal is Defensive Player of the Year and MVP…

“My whole mindset is focused on winning. I gotta win at least 60 games. I know it’s going to put me in a better situation when it comes to other things, so that’s what I’m focused on, and obviously, you gotta championship. We got a championship-caliber team. We have a chance to win it, so it’s all about building that team chemistry and making sure everybody stays on the same page. I think we are going to be fine.”

Obviously, Embiid has to play more than 64 games to win MVP, and he expects to do that.

“It’s definitely going to be over that,” Embiid said.

Philly has the talent to be in the mix for an NBA title, and Embiid has the ability to be an MVP and DPOY. Therefore, if the 76ers have one of the better records in basketball and Embiid stays healthy, maybe all Embiid’s goals will be fulfilled. 

Listen below:

76ers’ Ben Simmons: ‘I think I am an elite player’

Entering his third season in the NBA, 76ers point guard Ben Simmons is looking to take that next step. Last season, Simmons became an All-Star for the first time and helped lead the 76ers to the Eastern Conference semifinals, and after re-signing Tobias Harris, and bringing in Al Horford and Josh Richardson, to go along with what they have with Simmons and Joel Embiid, Philadelphia is expected to do big things this season, and for that to happen, Simmons has to be at his very best.

“I think I’m locked in,” Simmons said at 76ers’ media day on Monday. “I don’t know what’s changed, a switch, or whatever it was, but I feel locked in; I feel ready. This summer has been huge for me. I’ve been working.

Recently, Simmons stated that he has fallen back in love with the game. On Monday, he explained how that happened.

“I think I was just too worried about what people were saying, and what was going on around, too many outside noises, and I was able to really block them out this summer, and just not really focus on what people were saying,” Simmons said. “At the end of the day, I don’t really care anymore, unless, it’s coming from somebody in my circle or somebody trying to help me get better.”

This summer, Simmons signed a five-year extension with the 76ers, so he will be in Philadelphia for the next few seasons, and if he continues to grow as a player, Simmons will be an elite player, which he believes he is at this point of his career.

“I think I am an elite player. I think I am elite at what I do, and what I did last season,” he said. “I’m happy to be here for another five years. I really don’t want to be anywhere else, obviously, so I’m excited about what we have going on. I’m excited about the new guys coming in. I think we have a real special opportunity to do something major here.”

Over the summer, a video surfaced of Simmons knocking down jump shots during workouts. At this point, Simmons is confident in the work that he’s put in. 

“I think I’m just confident in the work I’ve been putting in,” he said. “That’s the best way to say it. I’m more confident in what I’ve been doing and the reps I’ve been putting in.”

Regarding Simmons as an elite player, I think he has to develop a consistent jump shot to make that happen, and if he does, he will be elite. Fortunately for him, he is only 23, so he has a lot of time to improve and become an elite player for years to come.

San Antonio Spurs announce training camp roster

The San Antonio Spurs today announced their 2019-20 training camp roster. The current Spurs roster stands at 19 players and includes the additions of Daulton Hommes and Dedric Lawson.

Hommes, 6-8/215, was named the Division II National Player of the Year by the NABC last season after leading Point Loma Nazarene to the NCAA Division II Tournament title game for the first time in school history. He was also named NABC Newcomer of the Year and received All-American honors, averaging 21.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 31.2 minutes in 36 games. The PacWest Player of the Year helped lead the Sea Lions to the Pacific West Conference regular season and conference tournament titles. After going undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, Hommes played in the 2019 Summer League in Las Vegas with the Milwaukee Bucks where he averaged 8.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.00 steals in 17.7 minutes in five games.

Lawson, 6-9/230, earned All-American Third Team honors as a junior at the University of Kansas last season. He was named the 2019 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and unanimous All-Big 12 First Team selection while leading the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding with 19.4 points and 10.3 boards in his lone season with the Jayhawks. He was the only player in the Big 12 to average a double-double and became the first Jayhawk to do so since 2011-2012. His 22 double-doubles during the 2018-19 season tied for the second-most nationally. Lawson played with the Golden State Warriors in the 2019 California Classic and Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 6.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in four appearances.

2019-20 SAN ANTONIO SPURS TRAINING CAMP ROSTER

No.      Player                          Pos.      Ht.        Wt.      DOB             Prior to NBA/Home Country      Yrs

12        LaMarcus Aldridge        F           6-11      265      07/19/85       Texas/USA                                 13

18        Marco Belinelli               G          6-5        225      03/25/86       Fortitudo Bologna/Italy               12

77        DeMarre Carroll             F           6-8        215      07/27/86       Missouri/USA                             10

10        DeMar DeRozan            G          6-7        220      08/07/89       USC/USA                                   10

14        Drew Eubanks*             F           6-10      245      02/01/97       Oregon State/USA                      1

11        Bryn Forbes                  G          6-3        195      07/23/93       Michigan State/USA                   3

22        Rudy Gay                     F           6-8        240      08/17/86       Connecticut/USA                        13

34        Daulton Hommes          F           6-8        215      07/04/96       Point Loma Nazarene/USA          R

3         Keldon Johnson            G/F       6-6        210      10/11/99       Kentucky/USA                            R

17        Dedric Lawson              F           6-7        230      10/01/97       Kansas/USA                              R

41        Trey Lyles                     F           6-10      235      11/05/95       Kentucky/USA                            4

7         Chimezie Metu              F           6-10      225      03/22/97       USC/Nigeria                               1

8         Patty Mills                     G          6-0        180      08/11/88       St. Mary’s (CA)/Australia             10

5         Dejounte Murray            G          6-5        175      09/19/96       Washington/USA                        2

25        Jakob Poeltl                  C          7-0        240      10/15/95       Utah/Austria                               3

19        Luka Samanic               F           6-11      225      01/09/00       KK Olimpija/Croatia                    R

1         Lonnie Walker IV           G          6-5        205      12/14/98       Miami/USA                                 1

15        Quinndary Weatherspoon*    G          6-4        205      09/10/96       Mississippi State/USA                R

4         Derrick White                G          6-4        195      07/02/94       Colorado/USA                            2

*Two-way Contract

Head Coach:                                Gregg Popovich (Air Force)

Assistant Coaches:                     Becky Hammon (Colorado State)

Will Hardy (Williams College)

Tim Duncan (Wake Forest)

Chip Engelland (Duke)

                                                   Mitch Johnson (Stanford)

Head Athletic Trainer:                 Will Sevening (Wisconsin-La Crosse)

Assistant Trainer:                       Paul West (Linfield College)

Athletic Performance Coord.:     Anthony Falsone (Stephen F. Austin)

Suns announce training camp roster

The Phoenix Suns today announced the club’s roster as the team prepares to open the 2019-20 season with Media Day and training camp next week. The Suns’ roster currently stands at 19 players.

No.         Player                            Pos.       Ht.           Wt.         Birthdate       Prior to NBA/Home Country      NBA Exp.

               22            Deandre Ayton              C          7-1            250           07/23/98           Arizona/Bahamas                                1

               46            Aron Baynes                   C          6-10          260           12/09/86           Washington State/Australia            7

                  1            Devin Booker                 G          6-6            210           10/30/96           Kentucky/USA                                     4

               25            Mikal Bridges                 F           6-7            210           08/30/96           Villanova/USA                                     1

                  4            Jevon Carter                    G          6-2            195           09/14/95           West Virginia/USA                             1

               14            Cheick Diallo               F/C        6-9            220           09/13/96           Kansas/Mali                                          3

               12            Jared Harper                   G          5-11          175           09/14/97           Auburn/USA                                        R

               10            Ty Jerome                        G          6-5            195           07/08/97           Virginia/USA                                        R

               23            Cameron Johnson          F           6-9            205           03/03/96           North Carolina/USA                          R

               16            Tyler Johnson                 G          6-4            190           05/07/92           Fresno State/USA                                5

                  8            Frank Kaminsky III    F/C        7-0            240           04/04/93           Wisconsin/USA                                    4

               15            David Krämer                G          6-3            185           01/14/97           Ratiopharm Ulm/Germany              R

                  0            Jalen Lecque                   G          6-4            185           06/13/00           Brewster Academy (NH)/USA       R

               35            Norense Odiase             C          6-8            250           09/14/95           Texas Tech/USA                                  R

                  2            Elie Okobo                       G          6-3            190           10/23/97           Pau-Lacq-Orthez/France                   1

                  3            Kelly Oubre Jr.               F           6-7            205           12/09/95           Kansas/USA                                          4

               41            Tariq Owens                    F           6-10          205           06/30/95           Texas Tech/USA                                  R

               11            Ricky Rubio                    G          6-4            190           10/21/90           FC Barcelona/Spain                            8

               20            Dario Šarić                       F           6-10          225           04/08/94           Anadolu Efes/Croatia                        3

 

HEAD COACH: Monty Williams (Notre Dame)

ASSISTANT COACHES: Willie Green (Detroit Mercy), Darko Rajakovic (Belgrade Basketball Academy),

Mark Bryant (Seton Hall), Randy Ayers (Miami (Ohio)), Larry Greer (Northeastern), Steve Blake (Maryland)

Pelicans add Hall of Famer Teresa Weatherspoon to coaching staff

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has added AJ Diggs and Teresa Weatherspoon to Head Coach Alvin Gentry’s coaching staff as two-way player development coaches. Diggs and Weatherspoon will work closely with the team’s two-way players and will accompany them to and from their transfers to the Pelicans’ G League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks.

“I am thrilled to welcome and AJ and Teresa to our coaching staff here in New Orleans,” said Pelicans Head Coach Alvin Gentry. “As we continue to put an increased emphasis on player development, AJ and Teresa will play an integral role with our younger players and will be a huge asset to our players and staff both here in New Orleans and Erie.”

Prior to landing in New Orleans, Diggs had coaching stints in the NBA G League with the Maine Red Claws, Austin Spurs and most recently, Raptors 905, where he was a member of Jerry Stackhouse’s staff that captured the NBA G League Championship in 2017.

A native of Long Beach, Calif., Diggs was a four-year letter-winner at the University of California-Berkeley, appearing in 116 career games for the Golden Bears. After a brief playing stint in the NBA G League, Diggs returned to school, earning his MBA from Loyola Marymount. Upon graduation, Diggs worked as a coach and in the recreation field in California, helping found Elite Skills Academy and serving as the director of basketball operations for Athlete’s Performance.

Most recently, Weatherspoon served as the Director of Player and Franchise Development with the WNBA’s New York Liberty for the previous four seasons. Prior to her time in the Liberty front office, Weatherspoon was the head coach at her alma mater, Louisiana Tech University, from 2009-14, leading the Lady Techsters to a 99-71 (.582) record over six seasons, making consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament in 2010 and 2011, and winning the WAC tournament in 2010. She initially joined the women’s basketball program at Louisiana Tech in the 2008-09 season, serving as associate head coach after serving as the head coach of the Westchester (NY) Phantoms of the American Basketball Association during the 2007-08 season.

After a collegiate playing career at Louisiana Tech from 1984-88, where she helped lead her team to the 1988 NCAA National Championship during her senior campaign, Weatherspoon embarked on a 16-year playing career, beginning overseas with stops in Italy, France and Russia from 1988-1996, then joining the New York Liberty from 1997-03, and finishing her professional career as a member of the Los Angeles Sparks in 2004. In 254 career regular season games in the WNBA, Weatherspoon averaged 5.0 points, 5.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals while earning multiple accolades along the way, including back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1997 and 1998, four consecutive All-WNBA Second Team nods from 1997-2000 and five straight All-Star appearances from 1999-2003. At the conclusion of her career, Weatherspoon was named one of the WNBA’s top 15 players of all time in 2011 and was a member of the WNBA Top 20@20 list in 2016. A 2010 inductee into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, Weatherspoon was recently enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts as part of the 2019 class.

76ers bring back Haywood Highsmith

The Philadelphia 76ers have signed Haywood Highsmith, the team announced today.

Highsmith, who was waived by the 76ers in June, represented the team at MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019, where he appeared in four games, starting one. He tallied 7.3 points and 5.8 rebounds in 20.5 minutes per contest. 

Recently, he competed in the 2019 NBA G League International Challenge presented by Antel in Montevideo, Uruguay, from Wednesday, Sept. 18-Sunday, Sept. 22. The six-team tournament also included Argentina’s San Lorenzo, Brazil’s Flamengo, Germany’s FC Bayern Munich, Mexico’s Capitanes and Uruguay’s Elite Team. The NBA G League Elite roster finished second in the competition.

 During his rookie season in 2018-19, Highsmith began the year with the Delaware Blue Coats, the 76ers’ G League affiliate, before signing a two-way contract with Philadelphia on Jan. 8. In 46 G League games (42 starts), he averaged 12.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.2 steals in 32.2 minutes per contest. He appeared in five NBA games for Philadelphia.

 Originally from Baltimore, Highsmith was acquired by the Blue Coats before the 2018-19 season after a four-year collegiate career at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.

Spurs announce coaching staff for 2019-20 season

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that Mitch Johnson has been promoted to an assistant coach while Darius Songalia has been elevated to a player development assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff.

At the same time the Spurs have announced the following promotions and additions to the basketball operations staff: Brandon James – vice president of basketball administration and deputy general counsel, Dave Telep – director of player personnel, Adam Glessner – senior director of basketball intelligence, Phil Cullen – director of basketball operations and innovation, Niraj Mulji – director of basketball strategy, Nick Repole – director of research and development, Landry Fields – Austin Spurs general manager, Tyler Self – Austin Spurs assistant general manager and Keon Weise – performance informatic scout.

 Johnson has spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach for the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s G League affiliate, where he helped guide the team to the 2018 G League Championship.

 Songalia enters his second season with the Silver and Black after spending last year as a quality assurance assistant in the video department. Before coming to the Spurs, he played eight seasons in the NBA.

 James enters his eighth season in the Spurs front office as in-house counsel for basketball operations responsible for strategy and innovation, legal affairs and CBA, salary cap and other administrative matters.

 Telep is now in his seventh season with San Antonio. He was promoted to director of scouting in August 2016 after spending the past three seasons as the team’s scouting coordinator.  

Glessner is set to begin his second season with the Silver and Black. Prior to joining the Spurs he spent four seasons with the Detroit Pistons as the team’s director of player personnel after being promoted from pro scout in 2016.  

Cullen enters his fourth season with the Spurs after spending the last three years as the team’s director of basketball strategy.

 Mulji enters his sixth season with the Spurs. He’s spent the past three seasons as basketball operations manager after joining the Silver and Black in 2014 as a basketball operations quality assurance assistant.

 Repole is set to begin his fourth season in San Antonio after previously serving as director of basketball information systems.  

Fields makes the move to Austin after spending the past three seasons serving as a college scout. He originally joined the Spurs in 2016 after a five-year NBA playing career.

 Self enters his third season in San Antonio after spending the last two seasons as a quality assurance assistant in the basketball operations department.

 Weise joins the Spurs after spending 16 seasons with the Orlando Magic in various different roles, most recently head athletic trainer from 2010-18.

2019-20 San Antonio Spurs Basketball Operations Staff Additions and Promotions

 Mitch Johnson – Assistant Coach

Darius Songalia – Player Development Assistant

Brandon James – Vice President of Basketball Administration and Deputy General Counsel

Dave Telep – Director of Player Personnel

Adam Glessner – Senior Director of Basketball Intelligence

Phil Cullen – Director of Basketball Operations and Innovation

Niraj Mulji – Director of Basketball Strategy

Nick Repole – Director of Research and Development

Landry Fields – Austin Spurs General Manager

Tyler Self – Austin Spurs Assistant General Manager

Keon Weise – Performance Informatics Scout

Vince Carter returns to Hawks for 22nd season

The Atlanta Hawks have re-signed guard/forward Vince Carter, the team announced today. This will be Carter’s 22nd season in the NBA.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it’s a one-year deal.

The 42-year-old Carter appeared in 76 games (nine starts) last season for the Hawks, averaging 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 17.5 minutes (.419 FG%, .389 3FG%, .712 FT%). Through 21 seasons in the NBA with the Hawks, Toronto, New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis and Sacramento, the 6’6” Carter has compiled averages of 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 30.7 minutes (.437 FG%, .374 3FG%, .798 FT%). He’s also seen action in 88 postseason games (66 starts), averaging 18.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.5 minutes (.416 FG%, .338 3FG%, .796 FT%).

When Carter appears in his first regular season game in 2019-20, he will become the first player in NBA history to play in 22 seasons, and when he plays a game in 2020, will be the first player in league history to play in a game in four decades.

Following are Carter’s statistical rankings amongst active players, and in NBA history:

Statistical Category

Total

Active Rank

Trailing:

All-Time Rank

Trailing:

Games Played

1,481

1st

5th

John Stockton (1,504)

Field Goals Made

9,186

2nd

LeBron James (11,838)

20th

Moses Malone (9,435)

Minutes Played

45,491

2nd

LeBron James (46,235)

18th

Robert Parish (45,704)

Three-Point Field Goals Made

2,229

3rd

Kyle Korver (2,351)

6th

Jason Terry (2,282)

Points

25,430

3rd

Carmelo Anthony (25,551)

20th

Carmelo Anthony (25,551)

Steals

1,507

5th

Trevor Ariza (1,515)

46th

Julius Erving (1,508)

Free Throws Made

4,829

6th

Dwight Howard (5,034)

39th

Kevin Garnett (4,887)

Carter was the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year, has been named All-NBA twice (second team in 2001 and third team in 2000), is an eight-time All-Star and finished in the Top 10 in scoring six times. He won the NBA’s Slam Dunk contest in 2000, and took home an Olympic gold medal that same year as part of the U.S. Men’s Basketball team in Sydney, Australia. He won the NBA’s Twyman-Stokes Award in 2015-16, recognizing the league’s ideal teammate who exemplifies selfless play and commitment and dedication to the team.

Pop on Team USA’s loss to France: ‘Any loss hurts, and this situation hurts more’

Physical play and a critical scoring drought in the final minutes spelled the end of a major streak for the USA Basketball Men’s World Cup Team.

The top-ranked USA lost to third-ranked France 89-79 Thursday in the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals at Dongguan, China, snapping a 58-game winning streak in international competition using NBA players. It is the first loss in 25 World Cup games for the U.S. since falling to Greece 101-95 in the 2006 semifinals. The loss also means the U.S., which locked up a spot in next year’s Olympic Games in its previous game, will not medal at the World Cup for the first time since 2002.

“Any loss hurts, and this situation hurts more, but life goes on,” USA coach Gregg Popovich said. “This is very important. We would have loved to have won, just like any other team, we would have loved to win games in this tournament. But, we all have family and lives and life moving on.”

The U.S. (5-1), which was bidding to become the first nation to win three straight World Cups, won’t have any time to lick its wounds. The Americans will face a formidable Serbia (4-2), ranked fourth in the world, on Thursday in Dongguan (7 a.m. EDT) and will finish no better than fifth place. Meanwhile, France – which had been 0-9 against the U.S. in major international play – will face Argentina (6-0) in Friday’s semifinals in Beijing.

Donovan Mitchell was the go-to guy for the U.S., scoring 29 points, but none in the fourth quarter. Marcus Smart had 11 points and Kemba Walker 10. Evan Fournier, who plays for the Orlando Magic, had 22 points for France, which closed the game on a 22-5 run. Rudy Gobert – Mitchell’s teammate with the Utah Jazz and two-time reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year – added 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds for France, while Nando De Colo had 18 points.

“I’m looking at the times there were guys open that I missed,” Mitchell said. “There were possessions on defense where I threw the ball in the backcourt when we were down six. I can care less about the 29 (points). To me what sticks out is the things I did wrong. That’s what’s on everybody’s mind. Anybody could have had a good game. Whether is 29, nine or zero, we lost.”

Added Smart: “We learned a lot. For a lot of us it was our first time (in a FIBA tournament) so we came out and gave it everything. I’m proud of every last one of my teammates. We got another game tomorrow so it’s not over with. We have to come out and compete.”

The U.S. trailed 45-39 at halftime. Fournier and Gobert each had 13 points in the half, with Fournier proving to be the more difficult matchup. Mitchell had 15 points for the U.S. France outscored the U.S. 12-6 at the free-throw line and held a 21-12 advantage on the boards.

In the third quarter, France held a 10-point lead twice, but Mitchell single-handedly kept the U.S. in the game by scoring 14 points. Smart hit three free throws to put the Americans up 63-62 with 1:40 left in the third quarter, their first lead since 29-27 with 6:03 left in the second. The U.S. took a 66-63 lead into the fourth quarter.

Walker, the Americans’ leading scorer at 14.6 points per game but who battled foul trouble Thursday, made his first field goal with 8:11 left in the game, his stepback jumper giving the U.S. a 72-65 lead. It was just his third shot of the game.

The U.S. maintained its advantage at 74-67 on a Khris Middleton layup with 7:39 remaining. But France chipped away and finally tied the game 76-76 on Frank Ntilikina’s 3-pointer with 4:35 left. Fournier added a go-ahead driving layup, Gobert had an emphatic slam and Ntilikina had a long jumper that made it 82-76 with 2:05 left. The U.S. was unable to sustain any offense the rest of the game.

“We knew it was going to be a (tough) game,” said U.S. forward Jaylen Brown, who had nine points and four rebounds. “We just didn’t do what needed to be done. At the end of the day, we came up short. France was better than us tonight unfortunately.”

Gobert was a key factor in the game as he controlled the paint. He drew two early fouls on Myles Turner, negating much of the U.S. inside game. Still, the U.S. had opportunities it did not capitalize on.

“It really wasn’t so much their size as it was our execution,” Smart said. “We were really stagnant on the offensive end and with that being said, they hurt us on the defensive end. They moved us and we didn’t do it on the other end. It bit us on the butt.”

After starting 10-of-10 from the free-throw line, the Americans made just 4 of 11 tries, including several key misses that thwarted a rally.

“That hurt. That hurt bad man, just to miss those free throws,” Walker said. “I really wanted to make those for my teammates. But sometimes that’s just the way the ball goes. Very, very unfortunate. But now it’s nothing I can control.”