NBA Notes: Bill Russell OK after collapse

NBA Notes: Bill Russell OK after collapse
July 17, 2014, 7:00 pm
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Bill Russell, shown here at the 2014 NBA All-Star Game Legends Brunch in February, collapsed while giving a speech at the Hyatt Regency Resort near Lake Tahoe on Thursday. (USA Today Images)

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev.-- Celtics officials say NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell is doing OK after collapsing during a speaking engagement near Lake Tahoe.

Team spokesman Brian Olive says the 80-year-old Russell felt faint after the Thursday morning fall at the Hyatt Regency resort in Incline Village, Nevada, but was planning on returning home to Seattle this evening.

Witness Michael Rooney tells The Associated Press that Russell was telling a story about Wilt Chamberlain to a roomful of Konica Minolta employees when he started to sway at the podium and then fell backward.

Rooney says Russell seemed to be conscious as hotel personnel and first responders came to his aid. The meeting was cut short and attendees left.

Russell, a five-time NBA MVP, is considered one of the best players in basketball history.

He won 11 championships in 13 years as a center with the Celtics. As a player-coach for the last two, he was the first black head coach in a major U.S. pro sport.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 and was honored last year with a statue outside Boston's City Hall.

Lakers: Ed Davis signs deal for two years, $2 million
LAS VEGAS -- Ed Davis is on his way to the Los Angeles Lakers, giving the changing Lakers frontcourt another athletic big man and Davis another chance to show what he can do.

Davis agreed to a two-year, $2 million deal with the Lakers on Wednesday night, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because an official announcement has not been made. The deal includes a player option for the second season, giving him the chance to get back on the market quickly if things go well.

Toronto made Davis the 13th overall pick in 2010, hoping the forward would add a dynamic element to its frontcourt. He showed real flashes early on in his career, averaging 7.7 points and 7.1 rebounds in under 25 minutes per game during his rookie season.

Two years later, Davis was shipped to Memphis as part of the trade that sent Rudy Gay to the Raptors, and he struggled to find consistent playing time on a Grizzlies team loaded with talent and experience in the frontcourt. When the Grizzlies re-signed Zach Randolph this summer, it made Davis expendable (see full story).

Wizards: Paul Pierce officially signs deal
WASHINGTON-- The Washington Wizards have officially signed veteran forward Paul Pierce.

Pierce, who turns 37 in October, spent 15 seasons with the Boston Celtics before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets last season.

"We are very happy to welcome Paul to our organization and add his championship experience and history of clutch play to our team," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement.

Pierce averaged a career-low 13.5 points last season in his first year with the Nets. But he is a 10-time All-Star who has gained a reputation as one of the best big-moment players in the league

Led by guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, Washington reached the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, their first postseason appearance since 2008.

"He will be a good fit alongside our young, dynamic backcourt while his presence and leadership will make a difference for us both on and off the court," Grunfeld said of Pierce.

Mavericks: Devin Harris officially signs deal
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks have re-signed guard Devin Harris.

The Mavericks didn't reveal contract terms in their announcement Thursday night.

ESPN reported Harris got a $16.5 million, four-year deal.

Harris played for Dallas on a one-year, $3 million deal last season. He originally had a $9 million, three-year deal, but that was scuttled by a toe injury that forced him to miss the first half of the season

The 31-year-old Harris averaged 7.9 points, 4.5 assists and 20.5 minutes in 40 regular-season games after returning from the injury.

Acquired by the Mavericks as the No. 5 overall pick in a draft-night trade in 2004, Harris was sent to New Jersey in a trade that brought Jason Kidd to the Mavericks in 2008. Harris also played in Utah and Atlanta.

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