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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / June 17.
  • Metta World Peace will retire if amnestied by the Lakers.

    That’s what his father, Ron Artest Sr., told SNY.tv Tuesday evening, shortly after speaking with his son.

    “You know what he told me?” his father said by phone. “He told me, if the Lakers amnesty him he’s going to retire.”

    The Orange County Register reported that the Lakers will amnesty World Peace, who is owed $7.7 million next season on an expiring contract.

    Kobe Bryant went on Twitter Monday and said he’d like to keep the band together for one more run next season.

    As reported here last month, the Knicks have signed N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie and he will play with their summer league team in Las Vegas and go to training camp in the fall.

    The 6-foot-9 Leslie was projected as a second-round pick but went undrafted after suffering a hip injury.

    Leslie worked out for the Nets June 17 but told SNY.tv then he had a hip issue.

    “We shut it down,” he said then.

    Leslie averaged 15.1 points and 7.4 rebounds this past season as a junior with the Wolfpack.

    “I think they got a steal,” Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried told SNY.tv Monday. “His talent level is lottery pick-level. There’s no doubt in my mind that he can contribute and become a very good player for the New York Knicks.

    The Knicks announced the signings of Tim Hardaway Jr., and C.J. Leslie and also announced their roster for the 2013 NBA Summer League, to be held in Las Vegas from Jul. 12-22.

    Hardaway, Leslie and Iman Shumpert headline the roster.

    New York will play a minimum of five games in the new tournament style format, with the first three games scheduled to be held at Cox Pavilion on the campus of UNLVs. The first game is scheduled for Friday, Jul. 12 against New Orleans at 1 p.m., Pacific Time. MSG Network will have live coverage for the seventh consecutive NBA Summer League.

    By JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Jeremy LambORLANDO – The number of times the Oklahoma City Thunder sent Jeremy Lamb and other rookies down to the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League last season turned into something of a joke. Lamb, the 12th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft after two productive seasons at the University of Connecticut, played a whopping 24 games in Tulsa compared to just 23 in Oklahoma City.

    The difficulty of being shuttled back and forth between the NBA and the D-League can be chalked up to the 21-year old shooting guard not understanding how to be a professional.

    “One of the biggest things I learned was get on a routine,” Lamb said after he scored 11 points, including the game-winning jumper with 6.3 seconds to play, in a 79-78 win over the Orlando Magic at the Orlando Summer League on Monday afternoon. “Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, (Kendrick) Perkins, those guys do the same thing every day. They have a routine, the same routine every day. Kevin, Russ those guys, they get there before practice, get their shots up, eat breakfast, lift, practice, shots up. They’re big on routine and that’s the biggest thing I learned my rookie year.”

    Mike Williams, one of the top shooters in the Class of 2014 out of Brooklyn Bishop Loughlin High School, has verbally pledged to Rutgers.

    The 6-foot-3, 180-pound shooting guard also considered St. John’s and Creighton.

    “We as a family came to the decision that he will be attending Rutgers next year,” Mike Williams Sr. told SNY.tv by phone.

    “My family, my wife, his grandmother, all the relatives had a hand in the decision-making because getting away and being close to home, that’s what attracted him to Rutgers.

    By JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Victor OladipoORLANDO – No one said Victor Oladipo transitioning to point guard was going to be easy. It’s going to be an ongoing process that will extend well into training camp with the Orlando Magic in October and probably beyond.

    An up-and down, but promising first day at the point for the No. 2 overall pick in last month’s NBA Draft gave way on Monday morning to more of the same and further confirmation that this transition will not be happening overnight. In a 79-78 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the 6-foot-4 guard with 12 points, five assists and three turnovers. He shot 2-for-11 from the floor, 8-for-10 from the foul line and committed four personal fouls.

    That effort came one day after 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds in a highly-encouraging first game that also saw him turn the ball over six times and shoot just 5-for-13 from the floor.

    Already viewed as superior athlete and perimeter defender dating back to his time at Indiana, no one believes Oladipo isn’t capable of getting over the hump, including the man himself.

    “I’ve never played the position at any level. so the point guard at this level, it’s a little challenging because you don’t want them to speed you up, but you still have to run all the plays,” said Oladipo, who turned his right ankle late in the contest, but said it would not affect his play the rest of this week. “You have to pick your times when to be aggressive and when not to be aggressive, but I did some good things today and some bad things today. I’m just gonna go back and learn. It’s a process, it’s my second game, so I just gotta continue to keep growing.”

    By JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    Jamie DixonORLANDO – The University of Pittsburgh was officially welcomed to the ACC on Monday along with Syracuse and Notre Dame. With that, the countdown towards a highly-anticipated college basketball season can begin as the Panthers and Orange will tangle with the likes of Duke and North Carolina in conference-play for the first time.

    Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon acknowledges that it’s all well and good to be excited about the move to the ACC and the stability that comes with it, but as for the prospects of playing the Blue Devils and Tar Heels, it’s not like Pitt is new to big-time college basketball.

    “We’ve played in some pretty good places, our place (the Petersen Events Center) is pretty tough,” Dixon, tongue-in-cheek, told SNY.tv on Monday afternoon at the Orlando Summer League. “I don’t want to take away from what those programs have done and where they’ve been, but we’ve played against good people and our league has been the best. For us, we’ve summed it up as we’re going from the best conference to the best conference. There may be some differences, but the main thing is we’ll be playing in the top conference in the country. That’s what we want for our school, that’s what we want to tell recruits and that’s what we want for our fans.”

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