Florida Gators in the 2015 NBA Finals: David Lee, Marreese Speights win rings with Warriors

For the fifth-straight season and seventh time since 2006, at least one former Florida Gators basketball player has ended the NBA season as a champion.

The Golden State Warriors knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers 3-2 in the 2015 NBA Finals on Tuesday night, earning championship rings for former Gators forwards/centers David Lee and Marreese Speights.

Falling short of his third ring was guard/forward Mike Miller, who won back-to-back titles as a contributor with Miami in 2012 and 2013 but saw limited action in this year’s series.

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4 BITS: Jim McElwain donates $5,000 to bring Colorado State player home from New Zealand

1 » Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain put his money where his heart is, reportedly donating $5,000 to a former Colorado State football player in order to bring the man, his young daughter and his deceased wife home after all were stuck in New Zealand. According to Matt L. Stephens of The Coloradoan, former CSU defensive lineman Eli Edwards lost his wife to lupus while the family was in New Zealand so she could undergo treatment. Edwards was unable to afford to fly home after the treatments and started a crowdfunding account in order to raise money to cover the trip and funeral costs. McElwain’s donation, gifted from his private company MacFam LLC, makes up approximately one-quarter of the $20,000 raised to this point. Director of strength and conditioning Mike Kent, who joined McElwain when he took the Florida job, also reportedly donated $500.

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4 BITS: Florida Gators not pleased with O’Connell Center renovation cost projections, negotiating

1 » Florida Gators offensive tackle Roderick Johnson, whose career was deemed to be over after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis back in April, decided to get a second opinion on his condition in hopes of being able to build up his strength and return to the field. Unfortunately for Johnson, the second opinion he received was the same as the first – he needs to hang up his cleats. “[Spoke] with my family and trainers. [I] agree 100% with the professional doctors so Im making my decision on my own to walk away from this game,” he wrote Monday on his Twitter account. “I’m making this decision because I would hate for my mom to see me in a wheel chair. [Mom you’re] my blessing to start a new chapter.”

Johnson, who will remain at Florida on a medical hardship scholarship and is expected to remain with the Gators as a student coach, later added that he now feels like “all the pressure is off my shoulder[s].” Hopefully Johnson will be able to stay involved in the game off football and receive his degree, still allowing him to have a bright future despite this setback.

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OTL: Florida Gators had most athletes involved in crimes, Ronald Powell avoided cocaine arrest

An Outside the Lines report released Sunday, the result of a 10-program investigation, found that the Florida Gators had the most football and men’s basketball athletes named in criminal investigations from 2009-14.

OTL found that 80 football and basketball players — making up 24 percent of the combined rosters — were cited for more than 100 crimes during that six-year span, also noting that the Gators had the most repeat offenders.

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David Lee’s contributions once again saving Golden State Warriors, this time in NBA Finals

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr probably should have figured this out in the Western Conference Semifinals against Memphis, but the insertion of former Florida Gators power forward David Lee into his lineup late in Game 3 of the NBA Finals keyed a turnaround for the team that has resulted in the series now being tied at 2-2.

Lee, a two-time NBA All-Star relegated to a reserve role with Golden State this season, has taken his demotion in stride, buying into the team concept and helping the Warriors whenever possible.

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Florida basketball to add JUCO F Justin Leon

Junior forward Justin Leon (Conway, AR) announced Monday on Twitter that he has decided to join Florida Gators basketball for the 2015-16 season as a JUCO transfer who will be immediately eligible to play.

“After reviewing my options I have decided to go to Gainesville Florida and join the Gators,” wrote the left-handed shooter.

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FOUR BITS: Patriots LB Brandon Spikes released after his car was found abandoned in a crash

1 » One day after it was reported by FOX 25 out of Boston that a Maybach Mercedes registered to New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes was found abandoned on the median of a highway, the former Florida Gators player was released by the team. According to FOX 25, The OnStar representative from the car “told state police the driver of the care reported hitting a deer.” However, while an injured deer was not found near the scene, another car called in that it was rear ended at approximately the same time as the crash involving Spikes’s car. Spikes signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Patriots (with up to $1 million in incentives), returning to the team that drafted him after spending a season with the Buffalo Bills. His original tenure did not end well in New England, despite his close relationship with owner Bob Kraft, and his return to the franchise was a surprise. If this story sounds relatively familiar that is a vehicle belonging to former Miami Dolphins LB Channing Crowder was also abandoned on a highway in January 2008.

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Changes come to SEC football and basketball after 2015 spring meetings

From revenue distribution to rules changes that affect every member of the Southeastern Conference, the league announced a variety of important information at the conclusion of its 2015 spring meetings on Friday.

OnlyGators.com is here to break down some of the hot topics and wrap up the proceedings from the league’s four-day event in Destin, Florida.

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