Tweet of the Day: NBA Players Remember Actor James Avery (aka Uncle Phil)

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As 2014 begins, more sad news has hit Hollywood and fans of a hit 90s TV show.

For those who may not have heard already, actor James Avery, famous for his portrayal of Uncle Phil from the popular show, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air—died Wednesday morning.

According to reports, he passed away after undergoing complications from open heart surgery.

The first to publicly confirm the news this morning was Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Avery’s onscreen son Carlton Banks.

Tweet of the Night: NBA Players React To Paul Walker News

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Amidst a crazy day of sports — that included the top team in college football losing on a last-second field goal return for a touchdown — one of the top stories circulating on the Internet Saturday was that of the untimely tragic death of actor Paul Walker.

Walker, 40, who was best known for his iconic role as Brian O’Conner in The Fast and the Furious films, died in a fiery single-car crash in Santa Clarita, California.

The combination of TMZ having broken the story and a death-related hoax involving Walker having just circulated the Internet made the news hard to believe.

However, hours after the crash, his reps updated both his Twitter and Facebook accounts confirming the horrifying news.

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Tweet of the Day: Kendall Marshall Questions Kanye West’s Tirade

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Celebrity Twitter beefs can be fun. Or silly. Or completely nonsensical.

Some times, as was the case with Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant earlier this week, they can be confused as possible marketing gimmicks—as both of the NBA athletes involved are sponsored by and have been featured together in Gatorade advertising.

Jimmy Kimmel recently did a bit on his late night show in which he poked fun at producer/rapper Kanye West.

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Five Things To Watch: Charlotte Bobcats

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bobcats small logoThis offseason was an eventful one for the Bobcats and their fans. It started the same as the previous one: looking for a new coach. This time, the search did not last quite as long as they snapped up long-time Jeff Van Gundy assistant Steve Clifford. Then they stunned analysts and fans alike at the draft by selecting Cody Zeller over Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore and Alex Len at fourth overall.

With newfound financial flexibility because of DeSagana Diop’s expiring contract, the Bobcats played more aggressively in free agency. They set their sights squarely on former Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson, a big man with an offensive arsenal in the post the team has never had. After years of languishing in the paint struggling to get much offense out of Bismack Biyombo or Byron Mullens, the Bobcats leapt at the chance to sign Jefferson for about $41 million over three years.

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Evening News: Tolliver signs with Bobcats; Oden taking one-year deal from Heat; Kobe is running

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220px-Anthony_TolliverIt has been a little less than three weeks since we published the final edition of the Top 25 Remaining Unsigned Free Agents. One of those players finally dropped the “unsigned” tag Monday as another dog day of August passed.

Anthony Tolliver will be joining the Charlotte Bobcats, who no longer occupy the No. 30 spot in our Power Rankings (we have an August edition up).

No, he is not going to crack the list of Top 10 signings published today, but he’ll be a nice piece if he can play the way he did four years ago back when Don Nelson was coaching him. with the Golden State Warriors.

Here are the top news stories of the day:

Tolliver signs with Bobcats

The 6-8 forward is a veteran of five NBA seasons, having played in 243 career games for the Spurs, Trail Blazers, Warriors, Timberwolves and Hawks.  He has career averages of 6.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 19.9 minutes, while shooting .413 from the field (506-1225), .325 from beyond the three-point line (176-542) and .782 from the free-throw line (298-391).

Tolliver played in 62 games last season with the Hawks, averaging 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 15.5 minutes.  He shot .380 from the field (82-216), .338 from beyond the three-point line (45-133) and a career-best .863 from the free-throw line (44-51).  Tolliver also saw action in six playoff games for Atlanta, averaging 4.0 points on .571 shooting from the field (8-14) and .636 three-point shooting (7-11), to go with 1.5 rebounds, in 11.3 minutes.

No word yet on what kind of a deal Tolliver got. But speaking of deals …

Oden’s contract with Heat will be two years, not one

Turns out Greg Oden is signing with the Heat for one year, not two.

As reported by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald: Greg Oden’s agent, Mike Conley Jr., said the parties involved changed their mind and decided that Oden would sign a one-year deal with the Heat, without a second-year player option as originally planned. Conley said that helps Oden (because of a league ruling involving injury contingency language in his contract) and helps the Heat because Miami would not be burdened with his contract in 2014-15 — and potentially $3 million in luxury tax payments — if he suffers another major injury this season.

Oden flew from Indianapolis to Miami this morning and was to immediately begin workouts with the Heat. “My knee’s good,” he said. “I’m able to walk, jump, run. … It’s been a while. It’s been a long road. … I got an old body. My body is not going to be what it was when I was 18. When I was 18, I was able to run all day and jump over people. I can’t do that now. It’s just not going to happen. But I’m going to play as hard as I can and I’m going to try to jump over people and I’m going to try to run all day. If my body lets me, I’ll do it.”

Kobe Bryant is running on a treadmill

From Lakers Nation: Earlier this morning, Kobe Bryant tweeted that he had a big video announcement for his fans. Moments ago, he shot out an Instagram video of him running on an anti-gravity treadmill.

The anti-gravity treadmill allows for Bryant to walk or run without putting all of his body weight on his Achilles, but this is a huge improvement from earlier this June when he could only walk on the anti-gravity treadmill. This video comes on the heels of Bryant saying that he was on the verge of shattering the recovery time for a ruptured Achilles.