Hornets' Batum won't let big contract affect how he plays (The Associated Press)

Nicolas Batum said he isn’t planning to alter how he plays the game after signing a five-year, $120 million contract with the Charlotte Hornets. Clifford said Batum doesn’t need to put additional pressure on himself to score just because he’s now the highest-paid player in Hornets history. Batum averaged a career-high 14.9 points and 5.6 assists while becoming one of the team’s top three go-to options.

'Fed-up' judge in Derrick Rose civil rape case gives lawyers gag order (Ball Don’t Lie)

Derrick Rose speaks during a June 24, 2016, news conference at Madison Square Garden in New York. At the final pretrial hearing before the scheduled start of the civil case alleging that Derrick Rose and two of his friends drugged a woman, broke into her apartment, and raped her while she was unconscious, the presiding judge on Thursday gave lawyers on both sides of the contentious, controversial and highly public matter a clear and concise directive: stop talking. U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald said Thursday he was inclined to issue a longer gag order in light of pretrial publicity about the case, which has included interviews with Rose’s accuser and her attorneys allowing a letter confirming a police investigation of her rape allegations to become public.

BDL 25: Al Horford, the Celtics and building from the NBA middle (Ball Don’t Lie)

The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs, and the list of championship contenders. As we draw closer to opening night, it’s time to move our focus from the potential impact of each offseason event and onto the broader issues that figure to define this season. The BDL 25 takes stock of, uh, 25 key storylines to get you up to speed on where the most fascinating teams, players, and people stand on the brink of 2016-17.

BDL 25: Al Horford, the Celtics and building from the NBA middle (Ball Don’t Lie)

The NBA offseason has brought many changes to rosters, coaching staffs, and the list of championship contenders. As we draw closer to opening night, it’s time to move our focus from the potential impact of each offseason event and onto the broader issues that figure to define this season. The BDL 25 takes stock of, uh, 25 key storylines to get you up to speed on where the most fascinating teams, players, and people stand on the brink of 2016-17.

Judge issues temporary gag order in Derrick Rose rape case (The Associated Press)

A judge on Thursday ordered lawyers handling a rape lawsuit against Knicks guard Derrick Rose to temporarily stop talking to reporters, faulting attorneys for actions that have raised pretrial publicity about one of the NBA’s stars. U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald said Thursday he was inclined to issue a longer gag order in light of pretrial publicity about the case, which has included interviews with Rose’s accuser and her attorneys allowing a letter confirming a police investigation of her rape allegations to become public. Fitzgerald told the woman’s attorney, Waukeen McCoy, that his team’s filing of the letter in the public court docket was ”borderline unethical.” He also said legal filings from Rose’s attorney, Mark Baute, were tailored for the press and not to secure favorable rulings for Rose.

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