Rick Pitino Believes High Schoolers Should Have The Right To Go To The NBA

“I’m very much in favor of high school kids going pro,” said Pitino, who will lead Louisville against Northern Iowa in a round-of-32 NCAA tournament matchup Sunday, during his pregame comments Saturday. “I had six young men commit to me out of high school that didn’t go to college, that went to the pros. I’m very much for that because they didn’t want college. They wanted to go to the NBA. And if they go to the [NBA Development League], that’s fine with them. But the six-, seven-month education, online classes second semester. I don’t know what that does for a young person.”

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Steve Nash Announces Retirement

After a 19-year NBA career in which he twice won MVP honors, tallied the third-most assists in league history and assured his place in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest point guards ever to play the game, Steve Nash formally announced he is walking away from the game Saturday in a letter published on The Player’s Tribune website.

“The greatest gift has been to be completely immersed in my passion and striving for something I loved so much — visualizing a ladder, climbing up to my heroes,” Nash wrote. “The obsession became my best friend. I talked to her, cherished her, fought with her and got knocked on my ass by her.

[+] EnlargeSteve Nash

Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesSteve Nash won back-to-back MVP awards in 2005 and ’06 and finishes his career as the most accurate free-throw shooter in NBA history.

“And that is what I’m most thankful for in my career. In my entire life, in some ways. Obviously, I value my kids and my family more than the game, but in some ways having this friend — this ever-present pursuit — has made me who I am, taught me and tested me, and given me a mission that feels irreplaceable. I am so thankful. I’ve learned so many invaluable lessons about myself and about life. And of course I still have so much to learn. Another incredible gift.”

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DeAndre Jordan To Test Free Agency

That’s what he told Sam Amick of the USA Today in a podcast.

“I mean I’ve obviously been here seven years, and the past two have been great,” he said. “Doc (Clippers coach Doc Rivers) has been my biggest supporter and the best coach I’ve ever had. The team is great. The guys are great. We have great camaraderie. But the free agency process is definitely going to be a fun one.”

Jordan may flirt with other teams, there will be demand for his services, but expect him to remain a Clipper — and for Los Angeles to overpay a little to keep him.

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Craig Sager Returns To TNT Tonight

Craig Sager will make his 2014-15 debut on the sidelines of TNT’s broadcast of Oklahoma City-Chicago at 8 p.m. ET. The league hasn’t been the same without Sager and his sartorial splendor, and he gave us a reminder of what we’ve been missing when he interviewed Carmelo Anthony remotely before the All-Star Game.

Sager was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last April. Since then, he’s gone through a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy and a bout with pneumonia. He hoped to return in person for All-Star weekend last month, but needed to wait a few more weeks so that his immune system would be strong enough to handle being around a crowd.

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