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15-Footer, 11/11/13: The Struggle On The Road, Or NBA Blues Travelers

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15-Footer time! A little bit of word association, a little bit of comparing a team to puppies, a whole lot of teams struggling on the road. Which probably means all the home teams will lose tonight, because that's the way things go.

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15-Footer, 11/8/13: Group Therapy

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15-Footer time! 12 games on the Friday night slate. We've got word association and Hot Sports Takes for you. Dive on in!

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15-Footer, 11/4/13: Let There Be 3s (Because There Are No 4s)

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Another great slate of games coming toward your eyeball-holes on this Monday evening. Sixers defend their regular season title. Rockets/Clippers! Ricky Rubio vs. Kyrie Irving (and their respective teams, too)!

...and Celtics/Grizzlies, too. Hooray?

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Brandon Jennings Makes Debut, Pistons Win, Everyone’s Happy

After much anticipation, Brandon Jennings made his Detroit debut on Sunday night. The former Milwaukee Buck was signed-and-traded this past offseason to the Pistons in exchange for Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and Viacheslav Kravtsov. The 6′ 1″ guard missed much of the preseason and the first two games of the regular season due to a fractured jaw caused by a wisdom tooth.

Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

His first game at the Palace was a success. Jennings entered the game midway through the first quarter, wearing a clear mask that protected his face and chin. He finished with 12 points, 4 assists and 4 steals in the Pistons’ (2-1) 87-77 win over the Boston Celtics (0-3).

Jennings, however, did take the facemask off in the fourth quarter.

“I’m not used to playing with something on my face so it was my decision to take it off,” he said.

A couple of the most significant plays of the game came from Jennings. After the Celtics cut their deficit to 79-77 with under two minutes to play, he forced two turnovers. His first was a steal that he dished off to Rodney Stuckey who was fouled. He drained two free throws to give the Pistons some breathing room.

Head coach Maurice Cheeks was pleased with Jennings’ play.

“It was good to see him out there and the effect he can have on the team,” Cheeks said. “He brings a little electricity to a game.”

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NBA Legend Arrested

NBA hall of famer Bill Russell walks off the field after throwing out the first pitch prior to the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field. Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Russell is a 12-time NBA All-Star, 11-time NBA champion and 5-time MVP. He can now add an arrest to his illustrious resume.

This past week, the 79-year-old was arrested at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a loaded gun was found in his luggage. He attempted to get through security carrying a .38-caliber pistol. The gun was confiscated and he was released.

After retiring in 1969, Russell coached the Boston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics and Sacramento Kings. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civil honor. A statue of the living legend is expected to be unveiled on November 1 in Boston City Hall Plaza.

The NBA’s first African-American head coach lives on Mercer Island, a city about a mile and a half east of Seattle.

From the White House, following his honor:

“Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball. Russell led the Celtics to a virtually unparalleled string of eleven championships in thirteen years and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times.  The first African American to coach in the NBA—indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States—Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights.  He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality.”