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Watson Wants to Pattern Suns After Spurs’ Program

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(Suns’ Earl) Watson’s repeated use of “pounding the rock,” a long-lasting San Antonio Spurs mantra, is no slip of the tongue or mistaken mention. Social reformer Jacob Riis’ classic quote about a stonecutter’s diligence is entrenched in the Spurs culture, which Watson intentionally chose as his first coaching destination last season when he assisted their D-League affiliate in Austin.

“I love what they do in San Antonio,” Watson said. “I want to mirror our program off what they do but make it our own. We’re not trying to create a tradition. We’re trying to uphold a tradition that’s here. We understand that Phoenix is cornerstone of the NBA. It’s time for these players to play for the name on the front, not the back.”

Source: Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic

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Joel Embiid Not Happy With Early Minutes Restriction

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The Philadelphia 76ers will be cautious with Joel Embiid early on this season, and the star center isn’t thrilled with that plan.

Sixers coach Brett Brown, when asked how much Embiid would play in Wednesday’s season opener against the Wizards, told reporters that he didn’t have a set number of minutes in mind before acknowledging “somewhere like in the teens.” “That’s f—ing bulls—. I wish I was playing more minutes,” Embiid told reporters on Tuesday. “I think I’m ready. I think I’m ready for more than whatever number they have. I don’t know. I wish I was playing more, but we’re going to see how that goes.”

Source: ESPN

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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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Warriors Receive 2017 Championship Rings, Unveil Banner

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The Golden State Warriors held their much-anticipated ring ceremony prior to tipoff against the Houston Rockets on opening night. Commissioner Adam Silver started the event by introducing the 2016-17 champions.

The Larry O’Brien Trophy was stationed at center court, with the players camped around it. The Warriors wore white and gold hoodies, which will be signed by the players and auctioned off with the proceeds going to the Bay Area wildfire relief efforts.

Source: Chris Haynes of ESPN

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