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Michael Jordan Praises Westbrook’s ‘Sense of Loyalty’

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Michael Jordan praised Russell Westbrook for his “sense of loyalty” in his speech inducting the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Thursday in Oklahoma City.

“Another thing you guys should be proud of is the sense of loyalty this kid has shown,” Jordan said as the crowd burst into an extended cheer.

Following the departure of Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors in July, Westbrook responded by signing an extension with the Thunder in August.

“He could’ve easily come to Charlotte,” Jordan said, smiling, “But he decided to stay here in Oklahoma. I’m not here to try and bash anybody that’s not here. Everybody has a choice. I’m not saying everybody doesn’t have a choice. But when I saw he chose to stay in Oklahoma I was so proud, and as Clay [Bennett] knows and Russ know, I texted him to show a sense of respect.”

Source: Royce Young of ESPN

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Sources: Bulls Hire Billy Donovan as Head Coach

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The Chicago Bulls have hired former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan as their new head coach, the team announced Tuesday.

Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls’ executive vice president of basketball operations, aggressively pursued Donovan after the coach left the Oklahoma City Thunder, sources said, selling Donovan on a partnership and vision for a talented young roster and a chance to lead one of the league’s anchor franchises.

In an official statement, Donovan thanked the team’s ownership “for the opportunity to coach the Chicago Bulls” and said he is looking forward to working with Karnisovas.

Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN

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Report: Giannis Antetokounmpo Named NBA Most Valuable Player

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Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo has been named the 2019-20 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today.

This is the second straight Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award for Antetokounmpo, who becomes the 12th player to earn the honor in consecutive seasons. A native of Greece, Antetokounmpo is the first player from Europe to be selected as the NBA MVP more than once. Antetokounmpo, 25, also joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James as the only players to win multiple NBA MVP awards by the age of 25.

Source: NBA

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Report: Nick Nurse, Raptors Agree to Extension

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The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have signed head coach Nick Nurse to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This past season, Nurse guided the Raptors to a 53-19 record during the regular season (second best in the NBA) and set a franchise-record with a .736 winning percentage. Toronto also reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals for the fifth straight year.

Source: Toronto Raptors

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