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NBA Rumors: LeBron Wants Sterling Out

LeBron James wants Donald Sterling out of the league … Jordan Adams declares for 2014 draft … Bulls, Thunder interested in Nolan Smith

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James Wants Sterling Out of NBA

LeBron James called comments on an audio recording of a man identified as Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling “appalling” and said he’s not sure if he would suit up for the remainder of the NBA playoffs if he played for the Clippers.

“There’s no room for Donald Sterling in the NBA — there is no room for him,” the Heat forward said Saturday night before a playoff game against the Charlotte Bobcats.

“Obviously, if the reports are true, it’s unacceptable in our league,” James said. “It doesn’t matter, white, black or Hispanic — all across the races it’s unacceptable. As the commissioner of our league they have to make a stand. They have to be very aggressive with it. I don’t know what it will be, but we can’t have that in our league. We’re the model citizen of all sports around the world because we are the most recognizable figures. … It’s very disrespectful and it’s appalling.”

“I can only imagine if a player came out and said something of that stature, what would happen to us as players,” James said. “I believe in Adam (Silver) and I believe in the NBA and they have to do something very fast before this really gets out of hand. But like I said, there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league.”

via ESPN

Give credit to LeBron James for taking a stand and sending a strong message to the NBA regarding Donald Sterling’s racist comments. James is often criticized, but he should be commended for speaking up when it comes to controversial topics like this. Not all stars embrace that role as voice of the players, but James has been very vocal on important topics in recent years, including this one.

Adam Silver told reporters that the NBA will continue their investigation in the coming days. They will try to verify that it was Sterling’s voice on the recording and they will interview Sterling and his girlfriend, according to Silver. Sterling has agreed not to attend Sunday’s game between the Clippers and Warriors, but Silver wouldn’t comment on potential sanctions for Sterling since the investigation is ongoing.

James is obviously an influential voice, and other players have spoken out as well including Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, David West, Ray Allen, Damian Lillard and Jermaine O’Neal among others. A number of head coaches, executives and owners have commented as well. As this story continues to develop, Basketball Insiders will keep you updated.

Adams Entering 2014 NBA Draft

Jordan Adams confirms @WojYahooNBA tweet that he changed his mind and will leave UCLA. “I am declaring for the 2014 draft,” Adams texted me.

via Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders

Jordan Adams sent that text message to Basketball Insiders on Saturday night, confirming that he’ll be forgoing his junior season at UCLA to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

Adams had previously announced that he would be returning to school, but changed his mind after further weighing his options.

The fact that Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison pulled out of the draft may have impacted Adams’ decision, since the class is now very thin at the shooting guard position.

Adams helped his stock during UCLA’s run in the NCAA Tournament, and he is currently being projected as a late first-round pick.

Adams averaged 17 points, five rebounds and 2.6 steals last season. He is the third Bruin to leave for the NBA Draft, joining Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine.

Bulls, Thunder Interested in Smith

Source: Cedevita star Nolan Smith has partial-guaranteed offers for next season from Oklahoma and Chicago.

via David Pick of Eurobasket.com

Nolan Smith last played in the NBA during the 2012-13 season. The 25-year-old played two years with the Portland Trail Blazers, but failed to live up to the expectations associated with being the 21st overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Smith was on the Boston Celtics’ summer league roster, but injured his calf and was sidelined for a portion of the event. Rather than trying to fight for a roster spot in Celtics training camp, Smith decided to sign overseas with Cedevita Zagreb of Croatia.

Smith has had a fantastic season in Croatia, emerging as the team’s star and averaging 17 points, 3.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds. Cedevita is currently second in the standings in large part due to Smith’s stellar play. NBA teams are taking notice of the guard’s performances, as Pick reports.

The Bulls and Thunder are interested in signing Smith to a partially guaranteed deal this offseason. It’s possible other teams could emerge as suitors as well, possibly offering a fully guaranteed contract.

Alex Kennedy is the Managing Editor of Basketball Insiders and this is his 10th season covering the NBA. He is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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