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Rudy Gobert Returns From Injury Against The Rockets

Rudy Gobert will be expected to play against the Rockets on Thursday. Although Jeff Whithey will start the game at center, Gobert will be playing off the bench and rejoining with his teammates. It can be a memorable return for his as the injury was fatal. Rudy Gobert has been out from NBA since December 2 suffering a bad knee injury during practicing. However, he was then diagnosed with a grade 2 MCL sprain, for which he could out of NBA indefinitely. NBA basketball players who have suffered similar injuries, have been out for 4-7 weeks. Rudy’s been out for five weeks already and he is on the verge of return. It seems that, his recovery was right on schedule.

Rudy Gobert, NBA players
Rudy Gobert——-image via: Wikimedia/jan fante

He spent an amazing last season with Utah Jazz. His game changing defensive presence for the Jazz made him one of the most notable players. He joined the Jazz following a trade that sent Enes Kanter to the Thunder. Since his emergence into Jazz, he has established himself as the NBA’s most fearsome rim protector and great rebounder. Although, his offensive skills have not fully developed yet, but he can play near the rim. He is a well heighted most fitted athlete. Rudy Gobert’s age is now 23, which indicates that he is one of Utah’s most talented young pieces.

Also read: Top 10 Most Experienced NBA Coaches 

Gobert is the key to Jazz’s long term success. The 7’1’’ French professional basketball player has earned himself a nickname,”The Stifle Tower”. Rudy Gobert was the overall 2013 NBA draft for Utah. Last year, on October 17, 2015, Utah Jazz extended their contract through 2016-17 NBA season with him. He is the Bronze medal winner at the FIBA Europe Championship for U-20 in 2011. His name was announced to the All-tournament team alongside his countryman Léo Westermann. Gobert was also an important part of Bronze medal winning France team at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. In that tournament, he scored 4.1 points per match.

Also read: List of Top 10 Tallest basketball players in NBA

The return of Rudy Gobert will definitely improve Jazz’s defense. The Frenchmen is truly an asset for them in the coming future. Rudy’s return is a huge boon for the Utah Jazz. They went 7-11 during his absence, but managed to hold on to the eight best record in the west. It is unfortunate for the Jazz that, another player Derrick Favors also got injured. Jeff Withey has been expected to fill the gap as a center. This season of NBA is so far running good for Gobert as he is averaging 9 points, 11 rebounds and over 2 blocks per game for Utah Jazz.

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Kobe Bryant Is Dominating NBA All-Star Votes

The NBA second round votes have been counted and the great Kobe Bryant is the first player to break the million vote mark record. Kobe Bryant has earned over 1,262,118 votes, which is still more than LeBron James (636,388), and Kevin Durant (616,096) combined. His is also the leading scorer in the history of NBA All-Star Game with 280 points. Bryant’s 17 All-star selections stands second just behind Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who was selected for 19 times. The NBA veteran, Kobe Bryant is spending a long 20 years in NBA. He announced that this could be his last season.

The 65th edition of NBA All-Star game will be held on 14 February, 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It will be the first All-Star game to be held outside the United States. The All-Star game will be broadcasted in over 200 countries around the world and will be commentated in more than 40 languages. The TNT telecom will be telecasting the All-Star Game in United States for the 14th consecutive year, which will make the Turner Sports’ 31st year of broadcasting NBA All-Star coverage.

Kobe Bryant, greatest NBA players
Kobe Bryant——-photo credit: Wikimedia/Keith Allison

Also Read: The Net Total Wealth of Kobe Bryant in 2016

NBA All-Star voting in 2016 is presented by Verizon. The voting is an all-digital program. It gives fans everywhere the opportunity to vote for their favorite NBA players for the All-Star game starters. The basketball fans can easily cast their vote through Google search on PC, tablet and mobile devices. Fans can also browse  NBA.com and  vote through NBA app, SMS text and social media like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The current NBA players are also available for selection. But, in the condition, fans can only select up to two guards and three front-court players from each conference.

Also read: Top 10 Most Strategic NBA Coaches

Stephan Curry  with 925,789 votes is thought to be the only player who might be able to surpass Kobe Bryant before the closing of the voting on January 18. It is clearly a festive weekend for the Kobe Bryant fans, who want to see the five-time champion playing with the rest of NBA legends in All-Star Game.    Kobe Bryant has not been in a good form down this year. But, that doesn’t change the fact that his fans around the world will support him in NBA All-Star game voting in 2016. The fans still believe that Kobe will unlace his Nike’s one last time.

The voting will be closed on Jan 18 at 11:59:59 pm. The names of the starters will  be announced live on Jan 21 in an special one hour edition of TNT. The NBA All-Star game in Toronto will gather some of most talented and passionate basketball players in NBA history. It will be a global celebration of basketball.

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Former Celtics guard Rex Morgan died at 67 battling cancer

Former Jacksonville University basketball standout and Celtic guard Rex Morgan died early Friday, 15th January 2016 at the age of 67. He was a two-year starter and helped the Dolphins reach the 1970 national championship game. His tragic death was followed by a protracted battle with throat cancer for six long years. Morgan was surrounded by his family members during his death bed at Memorial Hospital.

Rex Morgan was one of the most notable and iconic players during his time at Jacksonville University. The 6’5’’ All-American guard averaged 26.7 points per game from 1968-70. Rex Morgan and Artis Gilmore, the future NBA Hall of Famer, collectively referred as “Batman and Robin” during their time together. The duo led Jackson University to the 1970 national championship game before losing to UCLA. Rex was a very competitive athlete. He also earned success as leader and a great teammate. Morgan was named among the school’s top 10 most offensive basketball players. It was 1994, when he was inducted into the Jackson University Athletics Hall of Fame. He became one of the six former Dolphins to have his 24 jersey number retired forever.

Rex Morgan funeral, great basketball coaches
Rex Morgan funeral———–photo credit: Wikimedia/Sgt. John J. Parry

He spent two years in NBA after being selected in the in 1970 NBA draft of the Boston Celtics. But, he gained more popularity and appreciation following his playing days in the area basketball community. Morgan returned to his home Jacksonville and started coaching career initially at the middle school level at Arlington Country Day. After his successful school coaching career, he moved up to the varsity level and began coaching Jacksonville’s entry in the short-lived United States Basketball League. Morgan held the state power of ACD, who was responsible for sending players to college programs annually and luring sponsorship money from Nike. Morgan’s style was a different trait that was both revered and assailed by former coaches and basketball players. His biggest goal was to use basketball to get his players to the next level and he did better in that and did that more consistently for a longer period of time. he was a maker of basketball players. He sent dozens of players to major college basketball program as well as professionally overseas. He developed ACD from a local program to an international brand.

Also Read: Top 10 unknown facts about Michael Jordan’s wife

Rex Morgan will always be remembered as a decorated basketball player and a great ambassador of Jacksonville University. He was a great mentor as a coach.

Also Read: Interesting facts about LeBron James house

He was diagnosed with stage 3 throat carcinoma in 2010. Morgan had to went through 66 radiation therapy. But, the cancer spread to his tongue and mouth in 2013 and he underwent more painful treatment before he was declared cancer-free in the following year. However, the cancer retuned early that year, which kept Morgan off the Apaches bench for the entire season. Morgan’s health grew worse gradually. Imagine, how difficult it was for him to miss coaching games due to his bad health condition.

Also Read: Top 10 amazing basketball shoes of all time

Rex Morgan left his wife, Kathleen, son Taylor and daughter Lyndsay.

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Kobe Bryant passes torch, drops out of Rio Olympics consideration

Kobe Bryant revealed Saturday that he is removing his name for a spot in the United States national basketball team, which will be competing at the Rio de Janeiro summer Olympic games. It means that, five-time NBA champion is going to announce his retirement from basketball. If it happens, he would be passing his 20th and final season with the Los Angeles Lakers in NBA.

Bryant made his retirement announcement before the Lakers vs Utah Jazz match in the Salt Lake City. He has already informed USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and Olympic basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, saying that his time is at the end and let the others to fill his place. Kobe Bryant has won Olympic gold medals twice in 2008 and 2012. He desires to leave the place for the youngsters as they are the future of this game.

Kobe Bryant, great basketball players
Kobe Bryant———photo credit: Wikimedia/ Christopher Johnson

There was one other player who knew Bryant’s retirement news beforehand. On Thursday night, when Lakers played at Golden State and a warrior’s guard Leandro Barbosa- a Brazilian basketball player approached to him and said, ”see you in Rio”. Bryant turned around and replied, “No!”. Kobe Bryant is NBA’s no-3 all time top scorer. Probably it was his consideration that if a took a spot on the 12-men US basketball roster for the summer Olympics, and then could not play because of injury, he could wind up the chance of winning gold medals for the national team. However, Bryant has dealt with numerous injuries in the recent years. He strongly believes that the young players deserve an Olympic spot.

Also read: Top 10 most funny facts about basketball

As a part of US national team, Kobe Bryant was a perfect record holder. He took part in five different US national teams over his basketball career. With all those teams, he holds a 36-0 record in the international competition. But, he will be helping his national side in an unofficial way.

Also read: Net worth of Kobe Bryant in 2016

Kobe Bryant revealed in earlier in November that it would mean the world to him to participate in one more Olympic . Although his head and heart wanted to go to Rio with the team, the 37-year-old body doesn’t seem to cooperate. However, he has got plenty of business relations all over the world and still recognized as one of the most popular athletes in the world.

Also read: Kobe Bryant’s spot in All-Star NBA game

Kobe Bryant has underwent some major injuries in the recent years. There is major concern about his tendo Achilles. Bryant has already missed eight games this season in NBA. His last season in NBA is quite a memorable for him as the fans have celebrated by his name on the road. Even the Celtics fans gave the longtime Laker rival a long warm salute. Kobe Bryant is almost certain to be the highest vote-getter for the All-Star NBA Game in Toronto next month.

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Matt Barnes fined $35,000 by NBA for remarks about violence

The Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes is still likely to harbor ill feelings toward New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher. It was apparent from his last Saturday comment to the reporters stating, “Violence is never the answer, but sometimes it is”, when the Knicks played the Grizzlies. Consequently, NBA fined Matt Barnes $35,000 for this specific statement on Sunday.

NBA found Matt Barnes’s comment inappropriate, which is detrimental to the best interests of NBA. The NBA authority accused his words as unacceptable and entirely inconsistent with the core principles of basketball and NBA. NBA has shown their zero tolerance attitude by fining Barnes that huge amount of money. They are committed to hardly tolerate anything remotely associated with violence.

Matt Barnes, NBA players
Matt Barnes——–photo credit: Wikimedia/Keith Allison

In early October, 2015, Barnes and Fisher were engaged in a fight at home of Barnes’s estranged wife, Gloria Govan in Southern California. Derek Fisher reportedly is in a relationship with Barnes’s wife.

Also read: Top 10 interesting facts about Michael Jordan wife

However, before this fine punishment, Barnes was suspended two games by NBA for engaging in a physical altercation and threatening Fisher. On the other hand, Fisher did not receive any punishment by the league. Barnes recently filed a grievance with the NBA asking to recoup the salary he lost from that suspension. Fisher and Barnes were teammates in 2011 while playing for Los Angeles Lakers.
The fine to Barnes was announced Sunday, a day after Memphis Grizzlies beat the Knicks by 103-95. Barnes scored two points in Grizzlies win over the Knicks. It was their first meeting since NBA suspended Barnes for two games for fighting with the New York head coach Derek Fisher in October. Fisher and Barnes stayed away each other in the last match.

Also read: Top 10 Unbreakable NBA records of All-time

Matt Barnes has twins with his wife Gloria Govan. Gloria was appeared in VH1’s Basketball Wives: LA program. They weren’t a happy couple after all. Barnes was arrested for domestic violence against Govan in 2010. Then again, Barnes was took to the police custody for driving with a suspended license and threatening a police officer in 2012. Gloria and Barnes decided to separate in 2014.

Also read: Top 10 tallest basketball players in the world

On 25 June, 2015, Matt Barnes was traded to Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Luke Ridnour. That move reunited Barnes with the NBA team that originally drafted him in 2002, which was the 46th overall pick up for him.

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NBA Champion Golden State Warriors sign center Anderson Varejao

The 2015 NBA champion Golden State Warriors are planning something new for the team’s strategy.  The Warriors agreed to sign the free agent center Anderson Varejao on Sunday for the rest of the season. However, the team policy, terms and agreement were not disclosed so far. A person inside this process confirmed that Varejao will be a new addition in  Warriors’ squad. He justified it on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced officially about the deal.

Anderson Varejao is a Brazilian professional basketball player. The 6’11” is now aged 33 after started his playing career in 1998. He spent 12 long NBA seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is one of the most popular players for the Cavaliers. Warriors are targeting to obtain some benefits.  They waived the ineffective Jason Thompson to make room for Varejao, who has shown some significant progress in this season as he dropped out of the rotation in Cleveland. His so-far career is averaged of 7.6 points, 1.2 assists in 25 minutes, 7.5 rebounds in over 591 matches for the Cleveland Cavaliers. This season of NBA, the center played 31 games for the Cavaliers and averaged 2.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 10 minutes before being sent to Portland. The Brazilian will add much needed size to the Warriors. Golden State decided to release Jason Thompson, who averaged 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 28 games this season. This creates an open roster spot for Anderson Varejao. Thompson was acquired by the Warriors in July from 76ers.

NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, Varejao in action
Anderson Varejao while in Cleveland——-image credit: Flickr/Keith Allison

The NBA champion Golden State Warriors were in need of an additional contributor at the front line despite their 49-5 record. The Warriors’ forward Festus Ezeli has recently recovered from arthroscopic knee surgery. Another major player, Andrew Bogut has been suffering an Achilles tendon injury of right leg. Varejao will certainly provide some depth in Warriors’ suddenly thinned frontcourt.  The Varejao deal with Portland was completed on Thursday before the trade deadline ends. It was actually a part of a three-team swap process,  that landed Channing Frye from Orlando Magic to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Portland Blazers promptly dropped Varejao to the Warriors, although there are nearly $14 million guaranteed money left on his contract.

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Anderson Varejao was originally selected by the NBA franchise Orlando Magic with the 2004 NBA Draft and 30th overall selection. He was the first pick of the second round. He has appeared in total 71 career post season matches. Varejao was named to the All-Defensive Second Team in 2009-10 and finished 3rd in six that season.

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His debut at NBA was made in 2004-05 season. After the swap from Orlando to Cleveland, Varejao played 54 games and averaged 4.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Prior to joining NBA, he played spent three season with FC Barcelona and has experiences to play in Spain’s top basketball league, Liga ACB. From 1998 to 2002, he also played for Franca Basquetebol Clube in Brazil. He has earned a nickname “ Wild Thing”. It’s because of his wild hair and aggressive style of playing. He is also playing for Brazil National basketball team and won two gold medals in FIBA Americas Championship. Varejao will rejoin his former Cleveland teammate Luke Walton, who is now an assist coach for the Warriors and the Brazilian National teammate Leandro Barbosa.