Wizards

Ex-NBA player's son gets 60-year term for murder

Ex-NBA player's son gets 60-year term for murder

DALLAS (AP) A Texas jury sentenced the son of former NBA player Nick Van Exel to 60 years in prison Friday in the shooting death of a longtime friend.

Nickey Maxwell Van Exel, 22, received the punishment after his father wept on the witness stand and apologized to the family of the victim, Bradley Bassey Eyo. The same jury in Dallas County in North Texas found the younger Van Exel guilty of murder on Thursday.

Prosecutors had sought a capital murder conviction.

Nickey Van Exel fatally shot Eyo in December 2010 and dumped his body at Lake Ray Hubbard on the eastern outskirts of Dallas. His attorney had said the two were playing with a shotgun at Nickey Van Exel's Garland home and that Van Exel didn't know the gun was loaded.

Nick Van Excel, who played 13 seasons in the NBA including a stint with the Dallas Mavericks and is now a player development instructor for the Atlanta Hawks, testified about the happy times he and his son spent together, including with Eyo.

He recalled the time that he took his son and Eyo to a 2006 NBA Finals game in Miami between the Heat and the Mavericks.

``And they were about the only guys there cheering for the Dallas Mavericks,'' he said. ``It's dangerous when you go to an arena cheering for the other team.''

The elder Van Exel broke down at one point while speaking in court. He then apologized to Eyo's family.

``I'm really sorry to the Eyo family. Nobody should have to go through something like this. Nobody,'' he said, as he looked at Eyo's family members who were in the courtroom.

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Isaiah Thomas isn't ready to give up his reputation as a fourth quarter star

Isaiah Thomas isn't ready to give up his reputation as a fourth quarter star

During two dominant years with the Boston Celtics that saw Isaiah Thomas earn two All-Star nods as well as All-NBA honors during the 2016-17 season, the point guard became well-known for his play in the fourth quarter.

Throughout that stretch, Thomas always seemed to shine when the lights were the brightest. He could play well for three quarters, but then it seemed as if he'd find an extra gear. If a bucket was needed late, he was the guy. So much so that those final minutes became known as "IT time".

A few bumpy years removed from those iconic nights, Thomas is now with the Wizards working to make it back to that elite level of play. As for the Celtics, they now have a different point guard coming up clutch late in Kemba Walker. Walker, who signed with Boston in the offseason, is averaging 25 points per game for his 8-1 squad and has been a force down the stretch. His recent play has some in Boston wondering if he now wears the crown when it comes to fourth-quarter heroics. 

Thomas says hold on a minute.

There's no denying that Walker is at the top of his game right now, but Thomas' confidence isn't going anywhere. It's that attitude, always wanting to be the best, that has allowed him to work back to being a starter. Thomas will get a chance to make his point come Wednesday, as he makes his return to the arena he once thrived in when the Wizards visit the Celtics.

If the game is close late, there could be some good action between two guys who know a thing or two about getting a big basket.

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Little League team replicates Adam Eaton and Howie Kendrick's clutch and drive celebration

Little League team replicates Adam Eaton and Howie Kendrick's clutch and drive celebration

With the Washington Nationals going on a magical run to capture the 2019 World Series, the team will likely serve as an inspiration to young ballplayers everywhere.

Many will strive to swing like Soto and Rendon, and pitch like Scherzer and Strasburg. As it turns out, they want to celebrate like Adam Eaton and Howie Kendrick too.

Throughout the 2019 season, Washington introduced plenty of exciting ways to celebrate a good time. From 'Baby Shark' to home run dances to hugs and more, it always seemed to be a party in the dugout. One particular move that caught the attention of many was the clutch and drive celebration by Kendrick and Eaton.

During Game 2 of the World Series, the two were caught on camera sitting down and acting out the motions of driving a car, noises and everything, after an Eaton home run. The act quickly picked up steam, and now seems to have made its way to the Little League level.

The Mount Vernon Mavericks from Alexandria, Virginia, broke out the move at a game and even got the whole team involved. Such an impressive feat that it caught the attention of Eaton.

With the Nationals leaving an impact on the baseball landscape, expect to see more of this in the future.

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