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Former NBA Player Brandon Hunter Dies At Age 42

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Ex-NBA player Brandon Hunter died on Tuesday at the age of 42 after collapsing at the end of a yoga class. His cause of death is unknown. “We are terribly saddened to learn of the loss of our former teammate, Brandon Hunter,” the Orlando Magic announced. “We send our deepest condolences to the entire Hunter family.”

The former 6-foot-7 power forward was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Withrow High School in his hometown of Cincinnati. During his junior year with the Tigers, he averaged 13 points and 11 rebounds as they reached the state semifinals.

Prior to his senior year, Hunter committed to Ohio University. In 2017, Brandon was inducted into the Withrow Athletic Hall of Fame with Xavier product and NBA standout Tyrone Hill, Skyler Willis (volleyball, track), Joe Brefeld (baseball, basketball, football), and Horace Pumphrey (football).

After high school, Hunter played four years (1999-03) of college basketball with Ohio in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). In 119 starts, the forward averaged 16.9 points, 2.1 assists, and 32.6 minutes per game while shooting 51% from the floor and 33.9% beyond the arc.

As a Bobcat, he received three first-team All-MAC selections. During his 2002-03 senior season, Hunter led the NCAA in total rebounds with 378 boards and total rebounds per game (12.6 RPG). Plus, he was the 2002-03 leader in free throw attempts (335) and led his conference in career foul attempts (923).

Hunter was selected 56th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2003 NBA Draft out of Ohio University. He made 12 starts in 67 career games split between the Celtics (2003-04 season) and Magic (2004-05 season).

Additionally, Hunter made 12 starts in 36 appearances with Boston during his rookie 2003-04 season. He averaged 3.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 11.3 minutes per game while shooting 45.7% from the field and 44.2% at the foul line.

Former NBA Player Brandon Hunter, who played the 2003-04 season with the Boston Celtics and 2004-05 season with the Orlando Magic, has died at the age of 42

In Boston’s 106-104 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 25, 2004, the wing recorded a career-high 17 points, nine rebounds, and one assist in 35 minutes as a starter. He shot 6-of-12 (50%) from the floor and 5-of-12 (41.7%) at the line.

Two days later, Hunter grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in the Celtics’ 88-75 win against the Toronto Raptors. The Ohio native also logged 11 points, three assists, and one steal in 35 minutes of action.

In June 2004, the forward was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats (Hornets) from the Celtics in the NBA expansion draft. Later that same year in November, the Bobcats traded Hunter to the Orlando Magic.

Of course, in 31 games off the bench with Orlando in the 2004-05 season, he averaged 3.1 points, 2.2 boards, and 7.2 minutes per game. Not to mention, the wing shot career bests of 50.7% from the field and 53.8% from downtown.

Although Hunter was signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers in October 2006, joining LeBron James and playing in the NBA Summer League, he was released two weeks later.

Following an NBA season apiece with the Celtics and Magic, he started a journeyman playing career in Europe and Puerto Rico. Hunter played for 14 international teams from 2006 through 2013.

Hunter played overseas for Panathinaikos (2006), Carpisa Napoli (2006), TDShop.it Livorno (2006-07), Angelico Biella (2007-08), Capitanes de Arecibo (2008), Premiata Montegranaro (2008-09), and Hapoel Jerusalem (2009-10).

Furthermore, he also joined Aliağa Petkim (2010-11) Ventspils (2011), BBC Bayreuth (2011-12), Hapoel Gilboa Galil (2012-13), Entente Orléanaise (2013), ALM Évreux Basket (2013), and Club Atlético Aguada (2013).

After his professional playing career, Hunter coached in the Cincinnati area with his private coaching service known as CoachUp. In June 2015, Hunter then worked as a real estate broker. As a part-time gig, he worked as an NBPA and FIBA certified sports agent as well.

In June 2021, Hunter founded the full-service sports management company, Hunter Athlete Management. The former NBA player also held an endorsement contract with the basketball brand, AND1.

Brandon Hunter, R.I.P.


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Blake Griffin Announces Retirement After 15-Year NBA Career

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Six-time All-Star forward Blake Griffin announced his retirement from the NBA on Tuesday after a 15-year career. Griffin, 35, was selected No. 1 overall by the Los Angeles Clippers out of the University of Oklahoma in the 2009 draft.

During the 2009-10 preseason, Griffin suffered a season-ending left knee injury. Griffin came back the following season and won the 2010-11 Rookie of the Year Award and made the first of five straight All-Star appearances.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Clippers hold third-best odds to win the championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Boston Celtics and Denver Nuggets.

The 6-foot-9 wing won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2011 after dunking over a parked car. Griffin was also selected to the All-NBA First Team after averaging 22.5 points, 3.8 assists, and career highs of 12.1 rebounds and 38 minutes per game.

The Oklahoma native repeatedly said in his Instagram post that he was “thankful” for his NBA career.

“The game of basketball has given me so much in life, and I wouldn’t change a thing. All of these experiences made my 14 years in the league truly unforgettable, and I can’t help but to just feel thankful,” Griffin said.

Blake Griffin finished third in MVP voting behind Kevin Durant, LeBron James in the 2013-14 season

In 765 career NBA games (692 starts), Griffin averaged 19 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 31.9 minutes per game while shooting 49.3% from the field, 32.8% from 3-point range, and 69.6% at the free throw line.

Griffin’s best NBA season was the 2013-14 campaign, when he averaged a career-high 24.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and career-best-tying 1.2 steals per game. He finished third in MVP voting behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James.

Additionally, Griffin played almost eight seasons (2010-18) with the Clippers, nearly four (2018-21) with the Detroit Pistons, about two (2021-22) with the Brooklyn Nets, and his last with the Boston Celtics in 2022-23.

The Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Pistons during the 2017-18 season, just months after he signed a five-year, $171 million extension with the team.

After the Clippers drafted center DeAndre Jordan in 2008 and traded for Chris Paul in 2011, the team became title contenders with Griffin, making the era the most successful in franchise history.

Under then-coach Doc Rivers across seven seasons (2013-20), the Clippers went 356-208, winning 63.1% of their regular-season games — the fifth-best record in the NBA then and the best by any team without a conference finals appearance.

However, the Clippers still have yet to win a championship.



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Draymond Green hates the Play-in because ‘it’s the best thing’ the NBA created

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As the Warriors and Kings are getting ready for this Tuesday’s clash for a spot in the NBA Playoffs, Draymond Green gave his thoughts on the Play-in Tournament. Even though he’s not too happy with the fact that his team will have to fight their way into the postseason, he understands the positive impact that this new stage has made on the league’s competitiveness. 

The power forward shared what he thought about his team’s current state. “I hate the play-in, just so you all know. I absolutely hate it,” he said on this week’s episode of The Draymond Green Show. “It’s the best thing ever created. If you look at the play-in and what it’s done for basketball, it’s the best thing ever created.”

Golden State ended the 2023/24 season on a roll, but weren’t able to clinch a direct Playoff berth in a very contested Western Conference. However, with a 56.1 winning percentage, the Warriors became the best 10th-ranked team in NBA history.

The four-time champion went on to explain why he believes that Play-in stage was introduced to improve the level of competition and entertainment in the league, especially during the last month.

“Since the NBA has added the play-in, it’s taken the last month and a half of the season to a totally different level. Like, totally different,” Green expressed. “So, I hate the play-in. I especially hate being the 10 seed. But as much as I hate it, as a basketball player, as a basketball fan, this play-in is nuts, and you gotta love it.”

Just last season, as Sacramento made the Playoffs for the first time in 17 years, both squads faced each other in the first round but Golden State emerged victorious in a tight series. Now Mike Brown’s squad hopes to take revenge despite producing a much weaker campaign than they did last year.

“Well really, I’m happy with the way [the season] unfolded over the last couple of months,” Steve Kerr said after defeating Utah this weekend. “We were a little bit in disarray for a while early in the season, trying to find ourselves, and a lot of guys really stepped up not only on the court but off the court, in the locker room.”

The Warriors expect CP3 to become a leader with experience during their upcoming Play-in action

As Chris Paul just ended his 19th NBA season, he’s participated in 149 playoff contests throughout his career, wearing five different jerseys, although he’s never earned the league title.

Coach Kerr is well aware that his team possesses a lot of players with postseason experience, and he expects this will make the difference against a less mature Sacramento squad. Also, he doesn’t fear the Kings’ homecourt advantage as Golden State have a very strong road record this campaign.

“We should be a good road team,” he said after dispatching the Jazz on Sunday and closing regular season on a strong note. “We’ve got a lot of guys who have won championships – and veteran players like Chris, who are unfazed by the road.”

His teammate Draymond understands this will be a tight contest against Sacramento. “Us knowing them helps, but on the flip side they know us as well and that hurts,” he said. “Coaches are going to put a game plan together. Their coaches will put a great game plan together. Our coaches will put a great game plan together. But then you’ve got to go out there and play.”



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LaMelo Ball might consider wearing ankle braces to avoid future injuries

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Once a promising young star, LaMelo Ball has been limited to only 58 matches during the last two NBA campaigns due to ankle issues. The last time he played for Charlotte was back in January 26. This is why the point guard is again considering wearing protective braces to avoid future injuries. 

In other words, the 2022 All-Star is willing to leave vanity aside and do anything in his power to keep him healthy and on the court. “I’m going to see over the summer, try some stuff,” Ball said of the ankle braces. The player then added that if he can find something that feels good, then “we can go from there.”

Before the start of this season, Ball started wearing these braces in training during the summer, after three different ankle injuries took him away from the competition for long periods of time. This eventually resulted in surgery, and LaMelo insisted that he never found anything completely comfortable on his feet.

Now that the ankle is finally better, he’s concentrating on competing to his best and staying healthy throughout the summer. “My favorite thing to do is play basketball and to not be able to do it is just horrible,” the star said. “That fact that I got this summer (to be healthy), I’m going to take it and get it as strong I can to get out there and play.”

The 22-year-old is considered a sort of cornerstone for the Hornets, as he was doing great this season before he got injured again. The athlete, who signed a rookie max extension last offseason that will pay him up to $260 million over the next five years, was averaging 23.9 points, 8 assists and 5.1 rebounds per contest while shooting 36% from three-pointers.

The Charlotte administration is convinced that if they pair him up with Brandon Miller, who won three Rookie of the Month awards this season, they can finally make it to the playoffs after 8 years apart.

LaMelo is convinced that the Hornets have a great roster but “we just need everybody to be available to play,” which has been one of their biggest troubles in the past campaigns.

His teammates acknowledge that Ball takes the team to another level and needs to be on court as soon as possible

Nick Richards was the first to admit that the team isn’t the same without Ball on court. “He makes our team go,” said the Hornets center. “It’s really important for us to have him on the court.”

However, the 22-year-old isn’t the only star who has been sidelined due to injury this campaign. The Charlotte locker room also missed starting center Mark Williams and guard Cody Martin for long periods of time, while Gordon Hayward also struggled.

Now that the Hornets will have a new coach in town, as Steve Clifford is taking on a new administrative role, they hope the new energy around the squad brings better luck.

“LaMelo wants to be on the court,” said teammate Miles Bridges. “That’s what people think, that he doesn’t want to be on the court and just wants to wear his jewelry on the sideline. But he wants to be on the court and he wants to win. He knows how important he is to this organization and this is going to be a big summer for him.”



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