Louisville Legend Russ Smith Launches Bourbon Brand

Louisville Legend Russ Smith Launches Bourbon Brand

by Jared Ebanks

It wasn’t until Russ Smith found himself surrounded by cherry trees, waterfalls and miles of bright-green foliage among the Fujian province in China that he began to truly appreciate the little things.

Maybe it was the 62 points he averaged in China’s National Basketball League, or the 81 he dropped with Luoyang in 2017. But mostly, as Russ tells us over Zoom, it was the time he spent alone that allowed him the needed headspace to fall in love with a new craft, bourbon.

“It allowed me to really take in what I was doing and just be happy again. My first three years as a pro, yeah, I was getting paid pretty well, but I was unhappy,” he says. “I want to be respected for my craft. And I think that means more to me, my craft being appreciated, my creativity being appreciated.”

Read the full article on SLAM

Terrence Davis of the Sacramento Kings

Terence Davis II is on The Rise

By Jason Jones

Beware of the PKs.

That’s short for Preacher’s Kids, occasionally known to be tormentors of congregations with their rebellious antics and their proficiency in profanity, among other misdeeds. In some cases, they are seen as walking headaches that too many adults give a pass. You just can’t say anything bad about the offspring of the officers of the church.

But in other cases, the PKs become solid citizens. Because in the midst of all their resistance to authority, the lessons do stick at some point. Some even follow the path of their parents, taking up residence in the pulpit.

Sacramento Kings guard Terence Davis II, a PK himself, believes there’s more he can and will do on the spiritual side.

Toronto is where Davis began his career, and the team’s G League coach, Patrick Mutombo, joked about Davis being someone who would look to save souls.

“He used to tease me,” Davis told The Athletic. “He said he had a dream of me preaching.”

Basketball Player Greg Monroe

Greg Monroe back in NBA after 2½ years away

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch was asked a couple hours before Monday’s game with Boston at Target Center how much he thought recently signed Greg Monroe would be able to play in his first NBA game in more than 2½ years.

“I don’t know,” Finch said, checking his watch. “Just met him about 30 minutes ago.”

Such is life in the NBA during COVID-19. On the day multiple reports said the league had updated its health and safety protocols with the aim of making quarantine times shorter in many instances, Finch and the rest of the league was still trying to function when he really doesn’t know who will be available until shortly before tipoff.

For example, the Celtics lost Jayson Tatum to the protocols on Monday, bringing their total to nine players. NBA official Tony Brothers was unavailable to work the game for the same reason. The Wolves were without top scorers Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell as well as Naz Reid, Taurean Prince, Jarred Vanderbilt and McKinley Wright IV. Both Patrick Beverley and Josh Okogie returned to practice Sunday. Okogie played Monday, but Finch said Beverley wasn’t quite ready to return; he should be available for Tuesday’s game against New York.

Wolves assistants Micah Nori and Elston Turner were also missing from the Wolves bench Monday, prompting the Wolves to bring Jeff Newton andTim Lewis up from the Iowa Wolves of the G League.

The fact Finch said Jake Layman did some work at the 5 during a walkthrough Monday meant Monroe arriving later in the afternoon, and being available, was big.

The 6-11 Monroe signed his 10-day contract, then donned a uniform. The 31-year-old played in 12 games for Capital City in the G League this year, averaging 10.4 points. He is the third player the Wolves have signed to 10-day deals, along with Rayjon Tucker and Chris Silva.

Finch said Monroe’s ability to pass from the high post and ability to operate in the post would fit in with what the Wolves liked to do. “I don’t think there’s a huge disruption there, in terms of the style of play we have,” Finch said.

And Monroe proved to be more than just a fill-in in the 108-103 victory over the Celtics. He played 25 minutes and collected 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

By Kent Youngblood Star Tribune

Russ Smith of Fujian

Russ Smith: The big screen, bourbon, and beyond

Merely six years removed from his illustrious career donning the Louisville basketball red and black, Russ Smith is just getting warmed up.

One of the most prolific scorers in program history has checked the boxes in his athletic career: overlooked prospect turned NCAA Champion turned pro, but now Smith also has his sights set on other enterprises: The Russ Smith Foundation, a budding rap career, the bourbon industry, and Tinseltown to name a few.

Since being a second-round pick in the NBA draft in 2014, he has been playing basketball professionally all around the globe, even becoming NBL-China scoring champion in 2017 and 2019, so it’s safe to say there’s plenty of juice left untapped in that keg. But what many people don’t know about “Russdiculous” is that he has had bigger plans beyond the hardwood since he began his professional career.

Read the full story at Fansided.

Ryan Arcidiacono of the Chicago Bulls

Thankful Arcidiacono Gives Back

“Any way I could give back… you have to understand you are more than just an athlete on the court.” -Arcidiacono

Ryan Arcidiacono is like one of those Stan Lee Marvel characters who defies the ordinary, and not just going from not being drafted to a guaranteed NBA contract. Call Arcidiacono Floor Burn, the relentless every man who never fails to bounce up and bounce back.

Which is a further reason why this unexpected postponement of the NBA season has been even more maddening.

Floor Burn hadn’t sat out multiple basketball games since he had to miss his senior high school season with herniated disc surgery. Since then Arcidiacono has dived for every loose ball, drawn every charge and crashed the metaphorical brick walls of competition through four years at Villanova, almost two in the G-league and another three with the Bulls.

Until late on March 4 in Minneapolis when Arcidiacono felt the dreaded twinge in his Achilles late in the game with the Timberwolves.

Read the full story at NBA.com

Ryan Arcidiacono of the Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls: Ryan Arcidiacono advanced stats prove value

The Chicago Bulls have a logjam of point guards heading into training camp but retaining Ryan Arcidiacono could prove its value in the short and long run.

Heading into the offseason, there’s continuing and progressing buzz around the Bulls search for a starting point guard. However, one of last season’s most important players is up for a new contract and Chicago would be wise to keep him in town. Former Villanova Wildcats standout and current Chicago Bulls point guard Ryan Arcidiacono was a key component of the Bulls’ 2018-2019 roster and they’d be wise to retain him heading into next season.

Nothing about Arcidiacono’s game is flashy. During his second season of NBA basketball, he averaged 6.7 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.7 rebounds, playing about 24 minutes per game, but shot an effective 44.7 percent from the field and 87.3 percent from the line. As the season wore on, Arcidiacono even started becoming a threat from three, shooting 37.3 percent from deep last season, but only on an average of 2.7 attempts per contest.

Read the full story at Fansided.

Ryan Arcidiacono of the Chicago Bulls

Ryan Arcidiacono Hustled His Way to His New Deal

“They know I will be available to practice every day like I have been the last two years and that I am going to work and push the people around me to get better and be the best team we can be.”

uring the journey of an NBA season, there are memorable moments, instances and episodes which not only thrill and excite, but also symbolize and define a team or a person. Once such with the Bulls was late last season during the flicker of hope month after the trade for Otto Porter Jr. that the Bulls are hoping to extend much longer this season.

That 8-7 stretch of games with now the free agency additions of veterans Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky gives the Bulls some promise of better times. The denouement of that sequence came with a victory over the talented Philadelphia 76ers in the last game before injuries and ennui sent the Bulls careening to a 3-13 finish. Though before that trap door opened on the rest of the season, there was a wonderfully enlightening moment that separated talent and tenacity and should provide hope, if not motivation, to many who don’t possess all the talent. Don’t give up on your dreams just because everyone says you should.

Read the full story at NBA.com.