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Chiefs owner Hunt: 'So many people are hurting'

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Chiefs owner Hunt: 'So many people are hurting'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt offered his condolences Sunday to the families affected by the murder-suicide involving one of his players, calling it ``an incredibly difficult 24 hours for our family and for our organization.''

Hunt spoke to The Associated Press on the field before the Chiefs' game against the Carolina Panthers. He said the Chiefs consulted with the league about whether to play the game as scheduled, but ultimately left it up to coach Romeo Crennel and the team captains to decide.

Crennel, general manager Scott Pioli and defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs were in the parking lot of the Chiefs' practice facility Saturday morning when linebacker Jovan Belcher shot himself in the head. Belcher had shot his girlfriend multiple times at a nearby residence minutes earlier.

Hunt said Pioli called him from the parking lot immediately after the shooting, and that he flew from his home in the Dallas area to Kansas City on Saturday afternoon.

``I spent the evening last night at the team hotel with them,'' Hunt said. ``I wanted to be there with the team, with the coaches, to let them know I love them and support them and know what they're going through, and particularly the guys who were present in the parking lot when Jovan took his life. I know this has to be incredibly difficult.''

The Chiefs had several counselors on hand at the team hotel Saturday night. The NFL and the players' association have also pledged their support to the team.

Hunt said that Belcher was ``a player who had not had a long concussion history.''

Belcher was in his fourth year with the Chiefs after making the team as an undrafted free agent out of Maine, and team officials said he was particularly close to Pioli.

``We have a lot of players who were struggling, people who had spent countless hours with Jovan over the last several years, the linebacking group in particular,'' Hunt said. ``I know it's going to be difficult for them today. I told them all we can do in a situation like this is pull together as a family and support each other.''

Kansas City police have not released a motive for the shooting of 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, other than to say the couple had been arguing in recent days. They left behind a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey, who was being cared for by family.

The Chiefs intend to help start a foundation to help the infant later in the life.

``We lost two members of the Chiefs family,'' Hunt said. ``Kasandra was part of our Chiefs women's organization, and had done things in the community with the CWO group. They have a daughter now, Zoey, who is an orphan. I can't imagine how difficult that's going to be for her.''

Some of the Chiefs huddled together in prayer in the tunnel leading to the field prior to pregame stretching. The Chiefs had a moment of silence for all victims of domestic abuse before the national anthem on Sunday. After running back Peyton Hillis scored a touchdown on the opening possession, he ran to the sideline and gave the ball to Crennel along with a hug.

Hunt said that he had a number of conversations Saturday with Commissioner Roger Goodell on whether to play the game against Carolina as scheduled. Ultimately, Hunt asked Crennel to discuss with team captains how they wanted to proceed.

``Of course, the captains had been in conversation with their teammates,'' Hunt said, ``and they unanimously believed the right thing to do was play the game.''

The Chiefs family has dealt before with murder-suicide. Retired tackle Jim Tyrer, a mainstay on the Super Bowl champion team of 1969, was reportedly despondent over not finding a job when he shot his wife and himself in their Kansas City home on the morning of Sept. 15, 1980.

There have been other tragedies that have struck close to home.

Mack Lee Hill, an undrafted fullback who went on to star for the Chiefs in 1965, died of complications following surgery on an injured right knee. The Chiefs later inaugurated the Mack Lee Hill Award given every year to the outstanding rookie.

On Feb. 8, 2000, eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Thomas died of a massive blood clot two weeks after he was paralyzed in a traffic accident. He had been thrown onto the pavement when the vehicle he was driving flipped on a slick, snow-covered highway.

On June 29, 1983, popular running back Joe Delaney drowned in his native Louisiana while saving three children from drowning. He had rushed for 1,121 yards his rookie year in 1981, and set four team records, helping the Chiefs post their first winning record since 1973.

``I've spent a fair amount of time reflecting on the other losses the organization has suffered, and no two of them were the same,'' Hunt said. ``Every situation is different, but it's still a loss, a tremendous loss.''

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Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

Anthony Davis trade to Lakers gives Silver Spring's Josh Hart fresh start with Pelicans

The Anthony Davis trade will have ripple effects across the NBA, not only on teams, but also on the players involved.

Josh Hart, who was traded from the Lakers to the Pelicans as part of the package for Davis on Saturday, could stand to benefit from the move.

First, here's a look at all of the assets reportedly swapped in the deal, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Now, where does the Silver Spring, Md., native figure in the proceedings?

Hart spent his first two NBA seasons with the Lakers. He averaged 7.9 points in 24.4 minutes per game in his two years in Los Angeles. 

Still, Hart was often the Lakers' third or fourth option at shooting guard behind starter Brandon Ingram and shared minutes with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Bullock and Lance Stephenson. 

LeBron James and the Lakers' win-now strategy left little room to develop Hart last season.

Now in New Orleans, he is part of a franchise rebuilding around presumptive No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson. The trade gave the Pelicans both a younger roster and a long enough timeline for success to develop players.

That can only be good news for Hart, giving him the chance to start fresh and impress Pelicans general manager David Griffin and head coach Alvin Gentry with his potential. 

Where the Sidwell Friends alum fits into the lineup depends on several factors.

At first glance, the new-look Pelicans could start Lonzo Ball at point guard, move Jrue Holiday to shooting guard, then complete the lineup with Ingram at small forward, Williamson at power forward and Julius Randle at center. 

If both Ingram and Holiday remain healthy, Hart would compete with Stanley Johnson to be the first wing off the bench for New Orleans.

But if Ingram does suffer recurring issues related to blood clots, Hart could press his case to start. 

The only issue complicating his place in New Orleans' plans is the No. 4 pick that was traded from the Lakers.

If the Pelicans keep that pick and draft a wing player like Jarrett Culver, Hart could find himself on the outside looking in again. 

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Pelicans reportedly trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a huge haul including Lonzo Ball

Pelicans reportedly trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for a huge haul including Lonzo Ball

According to a report from ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Pelicans' forward Anthony Davis in exchange for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round draft picks, including the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

The announcement comes less than 48 hours into the NBA offseason, although the rumors and speculation of the deal has been a prominent storyline for months.

The much-anticipated deal gives the Lakers the star they've been trying to pair with LeBron James for some time and gives the Pelicans a young nucleus to build around the presumptive No. 1 pick Zion Williamson. 

According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the Boston Celtics refused to part ways with promising forward Jayson Tatum in a potential trade with New Orleans.

The Celtics had been in the mix for Davis, but with Kyrie Irving likely headed for the exits, Danny Ainge was unwilling to part with his young assets in exchange for the one year remaining on Davis' contract.

Before the Davis domino fell, NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes wrote about how a Davis trade could impact Bradley Beal's value

The Lakers, Knicks and Celtics all appear to want Davis and only one can get him, if he is even traded at all.

If the quest for Davis comes down to those three teams, there will be at least two that lose out.

The Knicks or Celtics now must determine whether trading for Beal is their next-best option behind Davis. 

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