And-Ones: Colangelo, Upshaw, Westbrook

Better times are ahead for the Sixers in the near future, executive Jerry Colangelo told fans in a video that appears on the team’s official website (transcription courtesy of Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer). “We have a bright, bright future,” Colangelo said. “We’re watching young players develop. We’re anticipating a lot of good things to happen in the very near future. If the stars are aligned and you have a little bit of luck, we could turn this thing around much faster, much quicker than people seem to believe it’s going to take.

When this opportunity presented itself, I saw it as a challenge,” Colangelo continued. “I saw it as someone who believed that I had something to offer the organization in the way of credibility, in the way of experience. And I believe this is a situation that is a lot closer than people think. If you treat people well, you give people room and the ability to make decisions, and you create a team effort — and it starts at the top, and it permeates throughout an organization — I think that’s really the way you build a franchise. I have a personal request. I am saying to you: Don’t give it up. There’s one way to go, and that’s up, and it’s going to be fun building it.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Russell Westbrook‘s stellar play and increased willingness to share the basketball this season could be the Thunder‘s best recruiting tool when the team attempts to re-sign unrestricted free agent Kevin Durant this offseason, Sam Amick of USA Today opines. Westbrook is currently second in the league in assists (10.4 per game) and has fed Durant on 67.4% of his made field goal attempts, which is a marked increase from previous campaigns, Amick adds.
  • Lakers affiliate player Robert Upshaw, who was tossed from the D-league earlier this month for violating its anti-drug program, has parted ways with BDA Sports Management and agent Bill Duffy and hired Hazan Sports Management to represent him, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor tweets.
  • The Hawks have assigned Lamar Patterson to the NBA D-League, the team announced. Patterson will report to the Austin Spurs as part of the league’s flexible assignment rule since Atlanta does not have its own affiliate.
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