NEW YORK – (wire Service Report by The Sports Xchange) – Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was fined $10,000 for “using inappropriate language on social media,” the league announced Saturday.
Embiid unleashed an obscenity aimed at LaVar Ball, the father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, in an Instagram Live video earlier this week. The 23-year-old Embiid was heard to say, “(Expletive) LaVar Ball.”
The elder Ball was quick with a response to TMZ Sports.
“He’s got three words. His vocabulary is limited,” Ball said. “You gotta use cuss words when you don’t have no intellect. He’s not intelligent at all. He shouldn’t worry about me, he should be worried about playing.”
Embiid has been quite vocal on social media in regard to LaVar and Lonzo Ball. He answered the elder Ball’s claim that the Lakers would be playoff-bound in 2018 with a tweet asking teammate Ben Simmons to “Please dunk on him so hard that his daddy runs on the court to save him.”
The NBA issued a memo to all 30 teams in February emphasizing rules prohibiting “mocking and/or ridiculing” opponents or officials by official team social media accounts
BOSTON – (Staff report from Official News Release) – The Boston Celtics announced that they have acquired forward Marcus Morris from the Detroit Pistons in exchange for guard Avery Bradley and a 2019 second round draft pick. The Celtics had to part with Bradley for Salary Cap ramifications after agreeing to terms with Utah Jazz free agent swingman Gordon Hayward. Bradley was Boston’s best perimeter defender.
“It’s no secret that Avery had been one of my favorite players, and on behalf of our entire organization, I’d like to thank him and Ashley for all of their contributions on and off the court,” said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. “Avery did a lot of the dirty work and often didn’t get the recognition that he deserved, but our coaches, staff, his teammates, and our fans who watched him play every night appreciated what a special player and person he is.
“We are adding a high-quality player with the versatile skillset that Marcus possesses. He will be a great fit for our team,” said Ainge.
A six-year NBA veteran, Morris, 27, has averaged 10.8 points (42.8% FG, 35.5% 3-PT, 71.7% FT), 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 26.2 minutes over 416 career games (218 starts) with Houston, Phoenix and Detroit. He is one of 20 NBA players to have averaged at least 13.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and shoot at least 33.0% from beyond the arc in each of the last two seasons.
In 79 games with Detroit in 2016-17, Morris (6-9, 235 lbs) averaged 14.0 points (41.8% FG, 33.1% 3-PT, 78.4% FT), 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 32.5 minutes. The University of Kansas product and Philadelphia, PA native produced career highs in points (14.1 ppg), rebounds (5.1 rpg), assists (2.5 apg) and minutes played (35.7 mpg) with the Pistons in 2015-16. His 2,856 minutes played that season ranked fifth throughout the NBA.
Selected by the Celtics with the 19th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Bradley averaged 12.1 points (44.2% FG, 36.6% 3-PT, 77.2% FT), 3.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.08 steals and 28.1 minutes in 413 career games (340 starts) with Boston.
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics landed prized free agent swingman and big-time scorer Gordon Hayward.
An afternoon of conflicting reports sent media scrambling for clarification and Steve Bartelstein, the agent for Hayward and a number of other stars, was forced to go on record after the initial reports, stating, “we have to regroup, here.”
BUFFALO – (Staff and Wire Service Report by The Sports Xchange) – Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins is hoping NFL players can get bigger paydays after watching the first day of NBA free agency with many stars agreeing to megadeals. The 24-year-old Watkins, the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL draft out of Clemson, took to Twitter on Sunday to push NFL players getting paid like their counterparts in the NBA.
“We gotta get paid more I’m pretty sure 2014 class will change the market,” Watkins tweeted.
Watkins also retweeted NFL player promoter Jake Steinberg, who wrote: “NFL players have the right to be (ticked off). They get the smallest piece of the pie. NFL has $12B in annual revenue; NBA has $5B.”
NBA free agents agreed to deals totaling nearly $1 billion in the first 24 hours of free agency alone, according to USA Today.
Watkins has been greatly overshadowed in the 2014 NFL Draft class by fellow wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants and Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, partly because of his multiple injuries.
Watkins caught just 28 passes for 430 yards and two scores in 2016, and then the Bills in May declined to pick up his fifth-year option for 2018 that would have paid their top receiver $13.258 million. Over his four-year rookie contract, Watkins will earn $19.9 million, all of which was fully guaranteed.
The team’s decision means Watkins will be an unrestricted free agent following the 2017 season.
Watkins has experienced injury issues during his first three NFL seasons and played in just eight games last season due to a foot injury.
Head coach Sean McDermott said the Bills are going to continue to “be smart” regarding Watkins as he comes back from his second foot surgery in January.
Watkins resumed practicing during minicamp last month after missing the majority of offseason workouts while recovering from surgery.
Watkins caught 65 passes for 982 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games as a rookie. He set career highs of 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns in his second season when he had 60 receptions in 13 games