MCW takes valuable lessons from Tony Parker

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MCW takes valuable lessons from Tony Parker

Michael Carter-Williams was coming off the first poor performance of his rookie campaign. Against the Spurs, the rookie point guard was 2 for 11 from the floor and finished with eight points, four assists, three steals and three blocked shots.

Carter-Williams’ eight points was his first single-digit scoring output of the season.

The numbers were OK, but he had little impact on the game while his San Antonio counterpart controlled the show.

“There is a lot for me to take from that game, especially from Tony Parker,” Carter-Williams said. “He runs his team extremely well. I hope to run my team and know my teammates like he knows his someday. He knows where they are at all times. He knows where they are supposed to be. He knows where they like to shoot, and I hope one day to have a team and be on a team like that.”

The thing that Carter-Williams needs to remember is that Parker did not become the perennial All-Star he is overnight. Parker is in his 13th NBA season and has won three NBA championships.

Sixers head coach Brett Brown remembers watching a young Parker become a man among the best basketball players in the world during his days in the Spurs' organization.

“The history with Tony, I saw him at such a young age and I saw him grow,” Brown said. ”I think it is more important when you look at holistic things that you can share with Michael as it relates to Tony.”

When Brown refers to “holistic things” he is talking about taking care of the body and dealing with the likes of this week when the Sixers play four games in five nights.

Carter-Williams did not practice Tuesday because he was experiencing soreness in his left foot. He and Brown both said it was nothing serious, but resting seemed the right way to go with the schedule that is on the horizon.

MCW didn’t take the court Tuesday, but he still managed to work at his craft.

“He is very curious. He is very inquisitive,” Brown said of Carter-Williams. “He wants to know why. He wants to know how. How did Tony Parker do this? What is the best way to guard John Wall? He is always asking really good questions. You will notice he often comes back to the timeout just to make sure he understands what I have drawn, what I have said.

“From a professional standpoint, he is doing well. From a physical standpoint, he is learning how to get through it and take care of his body.”

So which has been the harder adjustment for Carter-Williams: Physical or mental?

“Tough question. Both have been pretty tough, but probably the mental aspect of it,” Carter-Williams said. “We had a little setback versus the Spurs, but I am staying positive and trying to keep working.

“It is a long season and a long grind, so I am just trying to take it one day at a time.”

The Sixers entertain the 5-3 Houston Rockets Wednesday night.

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

Adjusting to new home, Ben Simmons plays role model at Sixers Camp

WAYNE, Pa. — Three steps. 

That’s all it takes before Ben Simmons is recognized walking through the streets of Philadelphia. 

This year’s No. 1 pick has been in the spotlight long before the Sixers drafted him in June, and now he's experiencing what it's like to be known as an NBA player in his new city. 

“I’ve been enjoying walking around South Street, getting some Ishkabibble's,” Simmons said Tuesday after a special appearance at the Sixers' Camp at Valley Forge Military Academy. 

At 6-foot-10, Simmons towers above most on the court, let alone on the sidewalk. Fans have been eager to welcome him to Philadelphia for a new chapter of the organization after three years of struggle. 

“Positive things,” Simmons said of the comments he receives. “I think a lot of people are excited, so I’ve been looking forward to it.”

Simmons understands the impact a professional athlete can have on young fans, and was excited to be at camp Tuesday.

Growing up in Australia, he never had the opportunity to hear from NBA players when he attended basketball camps. Now that he's in that position, the 20-year-old was glad to provide that memory to the 240 campers. 

“That would mean a lot if I was able to experience that,” Simmons said. 

Simmons demonstrated skill drills, such as passing fundamentals, interacted in a Q&A session and signed autographs for each camper. He also took individual photos for those who traveled internationally, including from Nigeria, Italy and Greece. 

“I’m just like them, but older,” Simmons said. “I’m just trying to be a good role model to them.”

Simmons plans to spend most of the offseason in Philadelphia as he gets settled into the city. He still has to move into his new home, but at least he knows where to get a cheesesteak in the meantime. 

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

NBA Notes: Dion Waiters signs 1-year deal with Heat

Two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press that the Miami Heat have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with free agent guard Dion Waiters.

The two sides came to agreement on Monday. Waiters will make $2.9 million. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Waiters averaged 9.8 points for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year, but had several big games in the playoffs. He played particularly well against Dallas and San Antonio in the playoffs before his role was reduced in the seven-game loss to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

Waiters will give the Heat another scorer off the bench (see full story).

Blazers: C.J. McCullom inked to four-year extension
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A person familiar with the deal confirms that guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a four-year, $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Monday because the deal hadn't been formally announced by the team. It was first reported by Yahoo Sports.

McCollum, who was named the NBA's Most Improved Player, averaged 20.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists for the Blazers during the regular season. He raised his scoring average by more than 14 points over the previous season.

As the 10th overall pick for the Blazers in the 2013 draft, McCollum bided his time on the bench for his first two seasons. He became a starter in the backcourt with Damian Lillard last season after four of the team's starters departed in the offseason (see full story).

Michael Jordan donates $2 million to ease racial tensions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Michael Jordan is trying to help ease tension between African-Americans and law enforcement.

The NBA great and Charlotte Hornets owner said Monday he's giving $1 million to the Institute for Community-Police Relations and $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The aim is to help build trust following several shootings around the country.

Jordan says in a statement to The Associated Press on Monday that "as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," (see full story).

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

Sixers officially sign guard Brandon Paul

The Sixers continued to add to their roster Monday, announcing the signing of guard Brandon Paul. 

Paul participated on the Sixers' summer league squad in Las Vegas, where he averaged 10.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 19.5 minutes. He also played for the Hornets in Utah. 

The 25-year-old went undrafted out Illinois in 2013 and has been playing overseas and in the D-League since then. Last season, he led FIATC Joventut (Spain) in scoring with 13.2 points per game. Paul also has been a member of the Canton Charge (D-League) and Nizhny Novgorod (Russia). 

Next season he could play for the Sixers' Development League affiliate, the Delaware 87ers. 

Paul is one of several offseason additions for the Sixers. The team has signed Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Sergio Rodriguez, James Webb III and Shawn Long. The Sixers also have reportedly agreed to a deal with Cat Barber.