Reminder: Keep your cell phone away from the court

Even with some upsets, one of the oddest takeaways from day one of the NBA Playoffs was a player on the bench looking at his cell phone.

In the very first game of the 2019 NBA Playoffs, there was a strange moment in which the camera captured Joel Embiid and Amir Johnson looking down at Johnson’s cell phone. This didn’t happen pre or postgame, or even in the locker room. This occurred on the bench during the game with their 76ers squad trailing the lower-ranked Nets.

Amir Johnson was listed as “inactive” for the game. Embiid was “doubtful” to play, but still showed up and had some decent numbers despite poor shooting. The Nets did go on to upset the Sixers in Philly, taking game one.

Whether he was active or not, Johnson violated the NBA Operations Manual for “Use of Technology”. After the game, Joel Embiid stated that he looked at Johnson’s phone because his daughter was extremely sick. That makes the situation more understandable, but Johnson clearly didn’t alert the team, which fined him for having his phone after the incident.

No-matter the circumstances, this incident serves as a good reminder for our squads that cell phones have no business around a basketball court. During practice or games, attention needs to be on the task at hand. There may be instances that a phone is necessary to have a link for important things happening off the court. In those situations, a coach needs to made aware of the necessity.

In the age of social media and tech, phones and other devices are ubiquitous. They have become an unavoidable part of society. That said, there must still be boundaries and a basketball court is certainly one of those.

It is okay to be plugged in, but not at the expense of a team or moments that demand full attention.

Deonte Burton signs with Oklahoma City Thunder

At long last, the Oklahoma City Thunder have officially signed former Yanders Law player, Deonte Burton to an NBA contract.

Robert Yanders and other Milwaukee guys knew, then Iowa State knew, then Korea knew, then the NBA G League knew. Patient OKC Thunder fans knew and they could barely wait. Finally, the Oklahoma City Thunder have signed Yanders Law alum, Deonte Burton to a multi-year NBA contract.

He was already on a two-way deal, meaning he could play some games for the Thunder, but mostly with their G League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. His new contract means that he will be available for the OKC Thunder’s 2019 playoff push.

Burton still has a way to go as far as working himself into the Thunder’s regular rotation. In the playoffs, those rotations typically get even tighter for most squads. Given minutes though, Deonte has proven that he can be a force on both ends of the floor. If nothing else, his ferocious dunks and big blocks have made for some incredible early highlights for the Oklahoma City Blue as well as the Thunder.

Deonte Burton said before in an interview with Wil Harrington of The Basketball Movement that his time with Rob Yanders and Yanders Law helped him greatly with the mental side of the game.

That part of the game is really big. I’m physically gifted, but so are other people at this level. Discipline and hard work separates everyone.
— Deonte Burton

Always talented, and now mentally tough enough for the greatest basketball league in the world, Deonte Burton is on an incredible path that we are thrilled we got to be a part of. The successes of organizations such as Yanders Law or The Basketball Movement are not always tangible. The more our athletes succeed, the greater our true accomplishments.

Deonte has had help from many sources over his young career, but at the end of the day, he is completely responsible for taking lessons to heart, working hard every day, and staying determined in reaching his goals.

Congratulations, Deonte. We know that you are going to prove the OKC Thunder right for giving you this incredible shot. You deserve it. Also, send us a jersey would ya?