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Napier Intangibles Impress Celtics Brass

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“[Winning is] big to me,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens after putting (Shabazz) Napier and five others through a late-morning workout on Monday. “I think guys that win find ways to win.”

Added Stevens: “I’ve always been a big fan of his. [UConn] beat [Stevens’ Butler squad] in the national championship game when he was a freshman. And I was with him for 8 or 10 days in Colorado Springs that summer with USA Basketball. So I’ve spent a lot of time with him and watching him grow up. Obviously, a big-time player who, no matter what, when the lights are the brightest, he’s at his best. Kudos to him for the career that he’s had and it’s pretty incredible when you think about a guy winning two national titles in his four years in college. Big fan of his.”

Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge echoed that often-heard sentiment about Napier: Little in stature, big on intangibles.

“Shabazz is not physically overwhelming, but he has toughness, intelligence, and skill. And he’s got extra savvy,” said Ainge. “So he more than makes up for it. He’s going to make it [in the NBA] is my guess. He’s a good player.”

via Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston

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Report: Bulls’ Mirotic, Portis Involved in Serious Practice Altercation

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Chicago Bulls forwards Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis engaged in a physical altercation in practice Tuesday that resulted in Mirotic being hospitalized and sidelined indefinitely, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical.

Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical

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Sources: Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge Agree on Extension

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San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge has reached agreement on a contract extension, league sources tell ESPN. The deal includes a partial guarantee in the third year.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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LeBron James Still Uncertain for Season Opener

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LeBron James tested his injured left ankle during a portion of practice Sunday, but it’s still not known if he’ll play in Cleveland’s season opener.

James has been slowed since spraining his ankle in practice on Sept. 27. The three-time NBA champion sat out the Cavaliers’ first three exhibition games before making his debut last week against Chicago. He played 30 minutes but may have aggravated his ankle while making a spin move in the loss.

Source: USA Today Sports

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