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Delonte West reportedly signs with Yao Ming’s Chinese team

Delonte West terminator

Delonte West is taking his talents to China — again.

According to Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Chris Haynes, West has reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association.

The Sharks are owned by Yao Ming, who bought the team in 2009. Yao played for the Sharks from 1997-2002 before leaving for the NBA.

This will be West’s second straight season in China. He played in the NBA from 2004-2012 but had many problems and has not been in the league since being released by the Mavericks following multiple issues. West played with the Clippers’ summer league team but did not end up signed to their roster. He indicated he was hoping for another NBA shot, but it does not look like that will happen anytime soon for the 31-year-old.

Danny Ferry audio on Luol Deng makes GM look worse

Danny Ferry’s explanation that he was merely reading from a scouting report when he made racist comments about Luol Deng seems less believable now that the audio has been released.

On Thursday the Atlanta Journal-Constitution posted audio from the conference call Ferry had with several Atlanta Hawks owners on June 6 to discuss free agents. The clip they shared (which you can hear above) includes Ferry’s analysis of Deng.

Danny Ferry Hawks

As you can tell, it sounds like Ferry is speaking extemporaneously and adding personal commentary, even though he may be using some notes/profiles on a player as a guidance. When Ferry says Deng “has some African in him,” one voice even cautions that that’s the type of racist statement that could end up on TMZ the way Donald Sterling’s comments did.

As examples to show what he meant about having “some African in him,” Ferry said Deng could be the kind of guy who’s a lawyer in the locker room when the coach is not around and model citizen when the coaches are around, or the type of guy who would be a source for a newspaper report and then deny he made the comments. He also described Deng as someone who was “good for the culture but not a culture setter” while playing for the Bulls.

The comments reflect extremely poorly upon Ferry. He could have very easily have made his point by describing Deng as “two-faced,” but instead chose to make a racist remark. I have to imagine some more public discipline will be coming for Ferry now that this audio has been released.

I still think the minority owner behind the Ferry audio and Bruce Levenson email is seeking power rather than racial justice, but there’s little doubt the two men incriminated themselves.

Paul George defends Ray Rice, says Janay Palmer hit him first

Ray Rice RavensEveryone is entitled to their own opinion, but professional athletes should have enough common sense to know that if they have an opinion supporting Ray Rice it needs to be kept quiet. Indiana Pacers star Paul George didn’t seem too worried about that when he reminded his Twitter followers on Thursday that Janay Palmer hit Rice first.

While George made sure to specify that he doesn’t condone hitting a woman, he made it clear that he believes Rice should not be suspended indefinitely because, in George’s opinion, the former Baltimore Ravens running back was provoked.

Naturally, George has already deleted the tweets and issued an apology.

First of all, we have no idea what happened leading up to the elevator incident. You can’t conclude that Palmer attacked Rice from the footage that has been shown, because we don’t know when the confrontation started. We do know that Rice spat on his now-wife twice before he punched her and rendered her unconscious.

But let’s say Palmer did attack Rice. Does what he did constitute defending yourself? Of course not. He’s an NFL player. He could have easily restrained Palmer without clubbing her in the head. George certainly isn’t the only person who feels Rice was provoked, but he should have kept his opinion to himself.

Greg Monroe reportedly urinated on himself during DUI arrest

Greg-Monroe-mug-shotDetroit Pistons forward Greg Monroe was arrested for driving while under the influence back in February. Getting popped for a DUI is never a good look, but it becomes an even worse look when you piss your pants during the booking process.

According to the Huntington Woods police report obtained by MLive.com’s Gus Burns, Monroe “urinated on himself” while he was in the process of being arrested. He also expressed concern over the pubic finding out about his arrest.

“I’m just trying not to be in the newspaper,” Monroe told officers. “I play for the Pistons.”

An officer then told Monroe that they don’t tell people about arrests they make, but we all know how that goes. It’s public information, so there’s nothing Monroe could have done about it once he was booked and charged.

The strangest thing about the ordeal is that Monroe had a blood alcohol level .089 when he blew into a breathalyzer. That’s just slightly above the legal limit of .08, though that number went up to .1 when Monroe was tested again at the station. Still, is that drunk enough to pee yourself? Maybe the big man was just nervous.

Monroe pleaded guilty in April and has been suspended for two games.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Carmelo Anthony thinks he influenced LeBron James to go back to Cleveland

LeBron-James-Carmelo-AnthonyYou know why LeBron James decided he wanted to return home to Cleveland and attempt to finish what he started? Carmelo Anthony inspired him. How do we know this? Carmelo said so.

During a recent chat with Michael Strahan for AdWeek, Anthony was asked if LeBron’s decision to return to the Cavaliers influenced him to re-sign with the New York Knicks.

“No. Honestly, I think it was the other way around,” he told Strahan. “I think he saw when I came back home to New York and saw the response and saw the reaction and saw how at peace I was when I came back home. … I’m pretty sure he looked at that moment and saw that that was a very special moment, and he had the opportunity to go back home himself and regain that love.”

That’s cute. Maybe I’m missing something, but I find the fact that Carmelo thinks his situation had an affect on LeBron’s to be pretty funny. Anthony was “at peace” when he returned home to New York because he was unhappy in Denver and wanted a shot at winning a championship. He thought the Knicks could give him that. LeBron is returning home to finish what he started, and if he didn’t have two championship rings already he probably wouldn’t have even gone back to Cleveland.

James returned to Cleveland because he wants to complete his legacy. He knows it is unlikely that he’s going to catch Jordan’s six rings, so now he has a chance to do something no player has ever done — come back to the place he betrayed and try to win a championship. Anthony’s story is nothing like that.

Oh, and let’s not forget that LeBron grew up in Akron, Ohio. Carmelo moved to Baltimore when he was a young boy and even has a tattoo that represents West Baltimore. He also had Orioles logos on his old car calls Baltimore his hometown on his charity website.

Again, it’s cute that ‘Melo thinks he played a role in the biggest story of the sports year.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Danny Ferry on Luol Deng: He has African in him, would sell you counterfeit stuff

Danny Ferry Hawks

Danny Ferry looked like he was going to escape the Atlanta Hawks scandal without losing his job, but now that might not be the case.

On Sunday, word came through that Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson would be selling his stake in the team after a 2012 internal email he sent was shared with the league. In the email, Levenson talked in open terms about the demographics of the Hawks’ fan base and how to make the product appeal to more white fans.

We learned early on Monday that the investigation into the team came as a result of some comments Ferry made about Luol Deng while discussing free agents with some of the team’s owners. It was originally reported that Ferry said Deng had “some African in him.”

Now WSBTV in Atlanta provides more details about Ferry’s analysis of Deng. This comes via an email Hawks minority owner J. Michael Gearon, Jr. sent in a June 12 email to Levenson.

With respect to one potential free agent, a highly-regarded African-American player and humanitarian, Ferry talked about the player’s good points, and then on to describe his negatives, stating that “he has a little African in him. Not in a bad way, but he’s like a guy who would have a nice store out front but sell you counterfeit stuff out the back.” Ferry completed the racial slur by describing the player (and impliedly, all persons of African descent) as a two-faced liar and cheat.

You can read the full text of the email at this PDF link.

In the email, Gearon called for Ferry to lose his job. Ferry was only subjected to an undisclosed punishment by the team and nothing from the league. The team defended him by saying he was only repeating what was written about Deng in a scouting report and not sharing a personal, racist opinion.

If there is enough backlash in response to this letter getting released, Ferry might be pushed out.

It sure seems to me that a minority owner or two really wants control of the team and has decided to go about it in this way. I don’t think their motivations were innocent.

Luol Deng scouting report sparked Hawks investigation

Luol DengA racist remark about then-free agent Luol Deng led to an investigation of the Atlanta Hawks which resulted in the determination that owner Bruce Levenson would be selling his stake in the team, a report says.

According to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Hawks GM Danny Ferry made a comment about Deng’s cultural background during a conference call with the team’s owners to discuss potential free agent signings.

“He’s still a young guy overall,” Ferry said on the call, according to Woj. “He’s a good guy overall. But he’s not perfect. He’s got some African in him. And I don’t say that in a bad way.”

Apparently that comment from Ferry was said on a call with seven of the team’s owners. One of the owners was concerned enough by that comment that he hired a firm to conduct an independent investigation into the organization. That’s how the now-infamous email from Levenson was discovered.

Ferry reached out to Deng and the player’s agent on Monday to apologize for the comments.

Deng had interest from the Hawks but signed with the Miami Heat.

The NBA and other Hawks owners decided it would be best for Levenson to sell his share in the team. That announcement was made on Sunday.

My initial suspicion when I heard the story on Sunday was that one of the other owners leaked the email because he wanted to push out Levenson. Whether that was motivated by concerns about Levenson’s character or other reasons, that owner got his way.