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New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson victim of attempted car theft

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New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson was the victim of an attempted car theft last Saturday afternoon but was unharmed, Saints spokesman Greg Bensel confirmed.

“I can confirm that an incident did occur in Orleans Parish involving Mrs. Benson while she was in her vehicle,” Bensel said in a statement. “While she was very shaken at the time, she was unharmed and is doing fine. She wanted to send her sincere gratitude to the men and women of the New Orleans Police Department that responded so quickly and professionally. We cannot comment further as this is an active investigation.”

The New Orleans Police Department could not identify Benson by name. But it confirmed it is investigating an attempted auto theft that occurred around 2:13 p.m. local time on Oct. 10 on South Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. And Bensel confirmed that was the incident in question.

According to the NOPD, the victim was seated in the vehicle when a truck, described as a white Nissan Titan, parked directly beside her vehicle. One of the subjects exited the Nissan Titan and entered the victim’s vehicle. The victim ordered the subject to leave her vehicle. The subject exited the victim’s vehicle, reentered the Nissan Titan and fled the scene.

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Toronto Raptors say they’ll cooperate with NBA investigation of alleged assault by Terence Davis

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TORONTO — The Toronto Raptors say they will cooperate fully with the NBA’s investigation of guard Terence Davis following his arrest in New York on charges including assault.

The team made its first public comment on the case in a statement Friday.

Davis faces several charges after police said he hit his girlfriend in the face during an argument at a Manhattan high-rise on Tuesday.

According to a criminal complaint, the woman’s son was standing next to her when Davis hit her, causing the child to fall.

“Incidents of this kind are addressed and managed by the league through the joint NBA-NBPA policy on domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse,” the Raptors said.

“The Toronto Raptors take these issues very seriously, and we will fully cooperate and support the League in its investigation of this matter as we work to determine the appropriate next steps for our team.”

Davis’ attorney, Greg Esposito, has said his client denies the charges. Davis is free on his own recognizance and his next court date is set for Dec. 11.

Davis, a 23-year-old guard, played college basketball at Mississippi before joining the Raptors as an undrafted free agent before the start of the 2019-20 season. He averaged 7.5 points per game and was named to the league’s All-Rookie Second Team.

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Michael Jordan’s race team unveils Bubba Wallace’s new ride

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On Friday morning, the 23XI Racing team unveiled the long-anticipated news of its manufacturer and technical partner, Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing.

But what stole the show was when driver Bubba Wallace and team co-owner Denny Hamlin unveiled their race car, bearing the number and colors made famous by Hamlin’s ownership partner, Michael Jordan.

The Chicago Bulls-esque red, white and black Toyota Camry featured Jordan’s No. 23 on the doors and the 23XI Racing team logo on the hood and quarter panels, hopefully to be replaced by sponsorship before the team makes its NASCAR Cup Series debut in less than four months at 2021 Daytona Speedweeks.

Lost in the excitement of seeing Michael Jordan’s car with Michael Jordan’s number was the real story, a technical alliance that gives MJ’s team — and its driver — a chance to compete.

Joe Gibbs Racing is the flagship organization of Toyota Racing Development and the team Hamlin has driven for throughout his 16-plus-year Cup Series career. The TRD relationship includes an agreement with JGR that allows 23XI Racing to purchase equipment and share technical information.

“My main goal for 23XI Racing is to be competitive for a championship as soon as possible,” Jordan said in a statement. “Our partnership with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing gives us the equipment, resources and expertise to do it.”

“There’s no doubt that Bubba has outperformed the equipment he’s had, week in and week out,” Hamlin said on “CBS This Morning,” sitting alongside his driver — with both sporting Air Jordan sneakers — as he spoke of Wallace’s four seasons in the Chevys of Richard Petty Motorsports.

Then, referring to Wallace’s 2013-14 seasons in the Truck series driving for Kyle Busch, Hamlin added, “This is a great opportunity for him to return to the Toyota family, a family he was with early in his career, and it’s an exciting partnership for everyone.”

Added Wallace: “I’m still processing it every day. … I’ve just got to make sure I do my part and deliver each and every time out next year.”



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Sources — Mike D’Antoni finalizing deal to join Steve Nash’s staff with Brooklyn Nets

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Mike D’Antoni and is finalizing a deal to become an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets, reuniting him with his former MVP point guard, Nets coach Steve Nash, sources told ESPN.

The Nets are hiring D’Antoni and well-regarded assistant Ime Udoka, who spent seven of the past eight seasons on Gregg Popovich’s staff with the San Antonio Spurs, sources said.

Nash has constructed a strong coaching staff for his first season as a head coach, including associate head coach Jacque Vaughn. The Nets are expected to be among the league’s championship contenders with the return of Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn debut of Kevin Durant.

Udoka spent seven years as an assistant under Popovich with the Spurs, and the 2019-20 season as the top assistant with the Brett Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s been a candidate for several head coaching jobs in recent years.

For D’Antoni and Nash, this is the third time they’ll be together, including a memorable 2004-08 run with the Phoenix Suns that saw the birth of the Seven Seconds or Less Offense and the emergence of Nash as a Hall of Fame point guard in the system.

D’Antoni coached Nash on the Lakers (2012-2014) for a far less successful stretch after Nash’s body had been eroded by injury.

D’Antoni is one of the most successful and innovative coaches of this generation. He spent the past four years with the Houston Rockets before choosing to walk away without a contract extension at the end of the 2019-20 season.

D’Antoni was 217-102 in his four seasons as Rockets coach, advancing once to the Western Conference finals and three times to the conference semifinals. D’Antoni, a two-time NBA Coach of the Year, led the Rockets to the highest winning percentage in the Western Conference over the past four years (.682), trailing only the Toronto Raptors (.695) in the entire league.

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