Basketball

Mural of Kings' Casspi defaced for second time

Sacramento police are hoping witnesses will come forward after a mural of Sacramento Kings player Omri Casspi was defaced with a swastika for the second time in a little more than a week.

Police say after a swastika was found painted on the mural of Casspi on Sept. 8, the mural was found defaced again Thursday morning.

Casspi, who is Jewish, is the only NBA player born in Israel.

The most recent incident comes after a $1,000 reward was offered by the Anti-Defamation League for information leading to an arrest after the mural was defaced the first time.

Joe Maloof, co-owner of the team, called the vandalism “sickening acts of intolerance,” and said the team will match the reward offer.

HEAT: WHAT BUZZ?

When it comes to LeBron James, his Miami Heat teammates are more concerned about Ws than Qs.

With training camp looming, many of James’ new teammates insist they’re not paying attention to the steady stream of LeBron critics, or say they believe it’ll just give him motivation to get better.

Since James left Cleveland for Miami, his “Q Score” –how something or someone appeals to a broad audience – has plummeted. The Heat players don’t seem to care.

“We’ll take it as a challenge,” Heat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who also left Cleveland for Miami this summer, said at a voluntary workout Thursday. “We’ll get everybody’s best shot every game, but that only happens to good teams for a reason. So you have to take the good with the bad and just roll with it. We’ll use it as a motivation, obviously. It’s going to be an interesting year.”

At least some Heat players are tuning the naysayers out.

“I think they’re making it a bigger deal than what it is,” point guard Carlos Arroyo said. “ ... We shouldn’t focus on what people are talking about because we knew there were going to be critics who attacked us that way.”

FASTBREAKS

The Magic signed free agent forward Malik Allen, bringing the team’s training camp roster to 15 players. ... Prosecutors in Miami dropped all marijuana possession charges against Heat forward Udonis Haslem, saying the case could not be proven. ... The Raptors signed forward Ronald Dupree to a non-guaranteed contract.

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