1 » Former Florida Gators forward/center David Lee had a rough year as a member of the Golden State Warriors. On a max contract, Lee was relegated to a bench role and did not see significant minutes until late in the 2015 NBA Playoffs when his presence was needed to help lead Golden State to a title. With one year and $15.5 million remaining on Lee’s six-year deal, the Warriors and Lee mutually agreed to a parting of ways this offseason, which has resulted in the player being traded to the Boston Celtics. According to basketball writer Tommy Dee, who first reported the trade, Lee’s former team (the New York Knicks) was also considering bringing Lee back in the fold at some point but a three-way trade was unable to materialize. ESPN has also reported Lee’s trade, noting that he was exchanged for Gerald Wallace.
1 » Former Florida Gators center Patric Young is playing his first NBA preseason with the New Orleans Pelicans and is already dropping some highlights. On Monday, New Orleans fell 93-87 to Atlanta, but not before Young could deliver this put-back dunk (skip to 1:35). Young finished the contest with four points and four boards in 11:20. Against Miami in his team’s preseason opener, Young made his only field goal, scoringtwo points to go along with eight rebounds, a block and two turnovers in 21 minutes.
2 » Also on Monday, Chicago Bulls C Joakim Noah got into a heated exchange with Washington’s Paul Pierce during their teams’ preseason game. Noah was relatively calm about the situation until Pierce stuck his pointer finger into Noah’s forehead. Coming back from knee surgery, Noah looked even less fluid than normal during the game and is expected to skip Tuesday’s contest as a precaution.
1 » The Houston Rockets have chosen to decline the fourth-year option in forward
2 » Florida Gators softball fans can welcome home the 2014 NCAA National Champions on Wednesday. The school will open Pressly Softball Stadium at 5 p.m. with a championship celebration expected to begin 30-90 minutes later. The event, which will include highlights and live interviews, can also be viewed live here.
1 » Golden State Warriors forward/center Marreese Speights put together a career game Monday night as he added a highlight to his otherwise up-and-down NBA career. Speights came off the bench but played starter’s minutes for Golden State in its 123-80 drubbing of Philadelphia 76ers, scoring a career-high 32 points on 12-of-15 shooting with eight boards and three blocks against the team that selected him with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.
He played so well, in fact, that the Warriors home crowd actually chanted “M-V-P” for Speights though he has been mostly a role player for Golden State this season.
2 » No. 1 Florida Gators gymnastics (5-0, 3-0 SEC) held on to its top ranking on Monday coming out of a 197.175-195.45 road victory on Friday over the Kentucky Wildcats (4-4, 1-3 SEC). Leading the way for the Gators in the meet was sophomore Bridget Sloan, who registered her second and Florida’s fourth perfect score of the season with a 10.0 on the balance beam. The defending national title holder in the discipline, Sloan’s 10.0 made her just the second gymnast in program history to register a perfect mark on the beam and the first Gators gymnast to score 10.0s on two different events in a career. For her terrific performance, Sloan honored by the Southeastern Conference for the fourth-straight week with the SEC Gymnast of the Week award.
1 » ABC is making the most of its subsidiary’s employment of former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow, according to The Hollywood Reporter, by having the Heisman Trophy winner sit in Friday as a guest co-host on Good Morning America. Tebow, who signed with ESPN in December to cover college football and be the face of the SEC Network (set to launch as its own channel in August), will join the Time Square-based show to discuss the forthcoming Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and his former team, the Denver Broncos.
2 » The highest-profile former Florida player actually participating in Sunday’s big game is Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin, who has a penchant for stepping up when championships are on the line. Harvin was cleared to return to practice last Wednesday and will be full-go for the Super Bowl with head coach Pete Carroll saying the playmaker has looked “great” in practice. Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey called Harvin “a dangerous man” on Sunday, “one of the most explosive guys coming off the ball” and someone who can “change the game.” Harvin on Tuesday declared himself “ready to go.” “This is what I live for,” he said. “I’m used to playing in big games since I was younger, whether it was in Pop Warner or the two with the Gators.” As a freshman, Harvin picked up 82 total yards and a touchdown in Florida’s 41-14 2007 BCS National Championship win over Ohio State. Two years later in the 2009 BCS National Championship, Harvin exploded for 171 yards and a touchdown in UF’s 24-14 victory against Oklahoma.
Former Florida Gators guard Kenny Boynton, the second-leading scorer in program history, has agreed to start his professional career playing for Barak Netanya of the Israeli Basketball Super League, the country’s highest division of basketball.
Boynton was not selected in the two-round 2013 NBA Draft but earned a tryout with the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of NBA Summer League competition. He was hoping to earn one of 15 spots on the team but ultimately failed to make the roster.
In his four-year career with the Gators, Boynton scored 2,033 points and grabbed team records for three-pointers made (333), total starts (142) and minutes played (4,673). In the 145 games he played wearing Orange and Blue, Boynton was the leading scorer for UF in 54 games, top assist man in 31 contests and scored in double figures 112 times.
It is the second time in three offseasons that a former Florida player has decided to begin his career in Israel as forward Alex Tyus played professionally for Maccabi Ashdod B.C. during the 2011-12 campaign. He averaged 12 points and 8.5 rebounds over the course of the season and was named the league’s Sixth Man of the Year.
After one year in Italy, Tyus signed a three-year, $1.1 million deal to return to the IBSL and will suit up for Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2013. The third year is a club option.
Tyus also converted to Judaism and became a citizen of Israel in 2011, allowing him to play for the country’s national team in the future.
Sportando.net first reported Boynton’s acquisition.
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