Sunday, July 6, 2014

Langford spurns 76ers for Russia

Former guard Keith Langford heads to the bucket between Niko Roberts, left, and Andrew White during a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at the Horejsi Center. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Former guard Keith Langford heads to the bucket between Niko Roberts, left, and Andrew White during a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at the Horejsi Center. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo



Former guard Keith Langford heads to the bucket between Niko Roberts, left, and Andrew White during a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at the Horejsi Center. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Former Kansas University guard Keith Langford has signed a two-year contract with UNICS Kazan, a professional basketball team in Kazan, Russia.

Terms were not disclosed. However, David Pick of reports that the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Langford will earn $3.8 million over two seasons.

Langford, 30, averaged 16.7 points a game last year for EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, which won the Italian League title for the first time since 1996. He won the Alfonso Ford trophy as top scorer in the Euroleague and was named All-Euroleague first team. reports Langford recently declined a minimum offer from the Philadelphia 76ers worth $816,482 for the 2014-15 season.

Langford explained his reasoning for heading to Russia on Twitter:

“1. EA7 never offered me

2 . I wasn’t taking a Paycut

3 . I don’t mind the cold

4 . Your value is your worth at all times

5 . @bc_unics is home!”

Langford, who ranks No. 7 on KU’s all-time scoring list, later added in a Tweet: “We had a special run (with EA7) and I leave bearing no hard feelings...We did what we set out to do fellas.”

Jake Pavorsky of, which covers the Sixers, writes: “Watching Langford on tape, the lefty has a real sweet jump shot. He can play both the point and shooting guard spots, and showed he’s capable of spotting up and knocking down a trey in catch and shoot situations.

Last season he shot 43.3 percent from the floor, and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc. Considering Philadelphia already has three point guards on the roster (they are expected to keep Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, and Pierre Jackson), I would anticipate that the Sixers wanted him to play 2-guard.”

Langford according to ranks 63rd on the all-time Euroleague scorers list with 1,246 points. One of the 62 players ahead of him has a better scoring average (15.6 ppg in 80 Euroleague games). He played two seasons for Khimki Moscow. In 2010-11 he averaged 18.7 ppg. He played one season for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, which won the Adriatic League as well as the Israeli League. The 2005 KU graduate also has played for Vanoli Soresina and Virtus Bologna in Italy.

Little, Black playing well: Former KU guard Mario Little scored a team-leading 18 points in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 84-73 loss to Philadelphia in an NBA Summer League game on Sunday in Orlando, Florida.

The 6-foot-6 Little, leading scorer for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Developmental League last season, was 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. He also hit three of seven floor shots (2-of-5 threes) while playing 18 minutes in a reserve role. He did not score in Saturday’s summer-league-opening loss to Detroit, logging just eight minutes.

Former KU center Tarik Black scored 12 points and had seven rebounds in Houston’s 95-89 loss to Detroit on Sunday. The 6-8, 253-pounder hit five of nine shots and two of two free throws while playing 22 minutes in a reserve role.

The Orlando summer league continues until Thursday. Black also will be playing for the Rockets in the Las Vegas summer league, which starts Thursday and runs until July 21.

Other Jayhawks on Vegas summer league rosters thus far: Cole Aldrich, New York Knicks; Ben McLemore, Sacramento Kings; Thomas Robinson, Portland Trail Blazers; Andrew Wiggins, Cleveland Cavaliers; Jeff Withey, New Orleans Pelicans. Wiggins’ brother, Nick, will be playing for the Kings.

Holiday tweets: KU junior forward Jamari Traylor caused quite a stir on Twitter and Internet message boards on the Fourth of July. He tweeted: “Happy Independence Day! To a country built on lies, injustice and hypocrisy. ‘Freedom’ to all.”

He included a picture of a man crying with a flag hung around his neck. Traylor was blasted by many KU fans on message boards for his initial social media comment.

A couple hours after his tweet, Traylor apologized with this tweet: “Please read this if I offended you & I apologize if you misinterpreted my message. ... Don’t get me wrong, I love where I live & there’s no place like it, but there are still injustices going on everyday. I’m sorry if I offended you but everyone has different lives & everyone can’t relate to mine just like I can’t fully relate to yours. I really appreciate the people who fight to protect us. I was just trying to show how things aren’t fully changed & I chose a strong picture to illustrate my thoughts. I just want to spend holidays with my dad who I feel is wrongly & unjustly imprisoned.”

Traylor’s dad, Jessie, is in prison in Indiana, serving a life sentence. According to ESPN the sentence is “for conspiracy to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and two counts of using a telephone in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.”

Former KU center Joel Embiid tweeted: “Happy 4th of July to my Americans. Have fun today and BE SAFE.” He reported he will wear jersey No. 11 his rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers. He wore 21 in his one season at KU.

KU freshman Devonté Graham tweeted “Happy 4th,” with an American flag draped around a Jayhawk.

Sophomore Frank Mason wrote: “Good morning world, happy 4th everybody.”

Campus visits: Derrick Jones, 6-6 senior-to-be forward from Archbishop Carroll in Radnor, Pennsylvania, plans to visit KU, Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Florida in August, his AAU coach tells’s No. 33-rated player in the Class of 2015 visited UConn last week. ... Cheick Diallo, 6-9 senior-to-be forward from Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York, has visited Kentucky and plans to visit KU, St. John’s, Pitt and Iowa State this summer, Zagsblog reports. He’s ranked No. 5 in the Class of 2015 by

Camps: Cole Aldrich’s annual basketball camp, which also features former KU players Mark Randall and Jeff Gueldner, runs from 9 a.m. to noon today through Thursday at Robinson Gymnasium on KU’s campus. For information go to

Andrew Wiggins and KU coach Bill Self will be holding a camp for youths grades 1-12 on Aug. 9-10 at Shawnee Mission West. For information go to

Former KU guard Aaron Miles will host the Lil’ Playmakers Basketball Academy July 12, 19 and 26 at Holcom Park Recreation Center. For information go to

KU’s Perry Ellis, Wayne Selden Jr., Cliff Alexander, Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene, Frank Mason, Jamari Traylor, Kelly Oubre, Graham and Landen Lucas will be instructors at The Players Camp July 19 at New Century Fieldhouse in Gardner. For information go to


Danny Hernandez 8 years, 2 months ago

The fed's and their bs sentencing guidelines...

Ian Emerson 8 years, 2 months ago

That is absolutely insane. How much are we spending a year to keep that man in prison?

Beau Woolsey 8 years, 2 months ago

I know a kid who I went to grade school with shiny white kid millionaire parents. Huge drug dealer cops pulled him over with 16oz of cocaine and he hasn't served a day in prison and he was 19 when arrested.

Priest Fontaine 8 years, 2 months ago

Wow Bryce, really thoughtful of you. The kid's dad has a life sentence for a nonviolent crime and ancestors were slaves in America. I believe he has a right to have a little bit of a "chip on his shoulder".

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but from your comments, it sounds like a pretty ignorant person. Are you assuming African-Americans get enjoyment defending themselves against racism? Are you saying that African-Americans have no right to be upset unless they actually went through slavery themselves? Sounds like you need to go join up with the Antlers of Mizzou.

I admit, I don't know the details of the court case, but I'd bet his father probably didn't have the greatest legal representation (receiving the maximum life sentence). Hoping Jamari makes the big money in the pros to afford a superstar legal team to shave the sentencing down!

Bryce Landon 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh, so just because my politics differ from yours that means I have no right to cheer for the Jayhawks? Real logical of you.

Jack Jones 8 years, 2 months ago

It's not your political views that's the issue, Bryce ~ unless of course, you consider your racism a "political" position. Let's imagine for just a moment you had to walk in the shoes of the "Afro-Americans", ~ which, by the way is your racist corruption of the correct term, African-Americans. Impossible for you to even begin to imagine, right? We would all be better served if you got that racist chip off your shoulder ~ or better yet, out of your head ~ empathy, do you understand the concept?

Jay Scott 8 years, 2 months ago

I didn't read the original deleted comment but you seem to be putting words in someone's mouth. Are you saying that there is no end to the period of time that a people should find reasons to be angry about their ancestor's enslavement? By that logic, we all need to be incensed....

Walter Bridges 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm sure you understand Priest that there are sentencing guidelines which are based upon the amount and prior felonies. I tried doing both a state and federal inmate database search and came up empty. The federal court system has done away with set minimums and gives the judge a lot more discretion. Many states still have the three strike laws intact.

I'm not sure why you delved into race, 5 or more kilograms can contribute to ruining many lives. If it was a small amount for personal use, then I'm with you entirely and agree that a life sentence seems an overkill but without any info involving prior felonies, I think the race card is unwarranted.

When you look at laws and different sentencing that people dealing or using crack compared to those doing are using powder, then I would agree there is a racist element.

And as far as Jamari is concerned, he obviously had a rough upbringing and I can see why he made the comment he did but he is a man and should understand that words and actions have consequences.

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 2 months ago

That chip on his shoulder is what drives Jamari to prove everybody wrong who has told him that he'd never make it off the streets of Chicago and would end either dead or jail like his father.

I'm not defending the choice his dad made, but the sentencing for nonviolent drug crimes does vary greatly and a lot of it is racially biased.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 2 months ago

5 or MORE kilo's can do a lot of damage, especially to inner city youth. Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years for his non-violent crime and had a clean record before being convicted. Just because it's 'non-violent' doesn't make it okay.

Allen Shepard 8 years, 2 months ago

"Crime" is not some ultimate state that is grafted eternally to the substance cocaine. There was a time in this country when its citizens were trusted to use their inalienable rights to put in their own bodies what they wished. In that time cocaine was sold right out on the counter in the store, we had fewer addicts because of it, and virtually no violent crime tied to its use and sale at all.

The constructed illegality of the substance plays upon the morality scruples of an unsuspecting populace to maintain a steady supply of slave labor for the modern day plantation prison system.

This is why race, slavery, and drug 'crime' are inextricably linked. You can not speak of any of the three without invoking the specter of the others, at this point in time.

Andrew Horigan 8 years, 2 months ago

"that chip on your shoulder that all too many Afro-Americans seem to enjoy carrying."

Are you serious? You think Jamari enjoys the anger he feels having a father serving a life sentence? Wow you sound ignorant. I'd say he's probably learned from his father's mistakes and he also has the right to voice his displeasure with this country's incarceration problem with non-violent criminals.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 2 months ago

Can someone at the LJW delete this whole thread. With the original comment removed, it no longer makes any sense.

Gregor Southard 8 years, 2 months ago

That tweet is the result of two years of liberal college professors. At least we know he's attending class!

Robin Smith 8 years, 2 months ago

I'm pretty sure that tweet is the result of living the life of a poor young black man in South Chicago.

Despite the delusions of idealists, the rights and liberties of our country are not afforded equally to all.

The college professors do have extensive knowledge and refined critical thinking faculties ;-)

Jay Scott 8 years, 2 months ago


Despite the delusions of socialists, the rights and liberties of our country are most assuredly afforded to all those who choose to embrace them.

Those of us who started with nothing do have extensive knowledge and refined critical thinking faculties, as well as real world experience.

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 2 months ago

"Despite the delusions of idealists, the rights and liberties of our country are not afforded equally to all."

Robin, Explain how they are not. And don't have your explanation be our lot in life. We all understand that a poor black kid from South Chicago is going to have a rougher go of it than Bill Gates' offspring. But if you are willing to put in the work required, this country affords the opportunity for ANYONE to be a success. The work required is not equal, I'll give you that, but the opportunity is there the same.

Walter Bridges 8 years, 2 months ago

John Z. DeLorean was sentenced to 60 years. Not sure how many he served but it was substantial.

Robin Smith 8 years, 2 months ago

Well, Institutional Racism is a lengthy topic to unpack and explicate, but as two emblematic for-instances just look at the disparity between population demographics of the nation vs prison populations, and current topics such as stop-and-frisk aka racial profiling. There is SO much written on this subject. (But you don't have to take my word for it)

In my quote there, what I meant is that privileged people--those of the dominant racial and class profiles--don't always recognize the facility with which basic aspects of their lives are enabled and the lack of inconveniences and difficulties that are omnipresent in the lives of people outside of that dominant group. Pile on top of the big R institutional varieties with casual racism, microagressions, stereotypes within the minds of even well-intentioned people, lack of representation in media (make a list of black superheroes ;-) ), etc., etc.. It adds up and each little thing has ripple effects. It's definitely not just about how hard you work.

The idea that anyone--not everyone, not most, not a lot of people-- can raise themselves up is true, but they will always be the exceptions, not the rule, and by and large it is a myth that allows the powerful to remain in power because those who have less are busy blaming themselves and each other for having less, rather than blaming those in power who created the structure that excludes. Now stack on top of that living in ghettoized, impoverished areas of cities with poor infrastructure, poor maintenance, poor education, limited resources, continual challenges to securing the most basic living accommodations, where crime and drugs are rampant, and those who are supposed to protect you are leery and suspicious of you.

South Chicago is like a war zone

I'm no expert, but for anyone who is genuinely interested in this topic, please go read some stuff. There's plenty to be read on these issues.

RJ King 8 years, 2 months ago

We have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Read up. "The New Jim Crow."

Like Robin, I think this has nothing to do with his college professors - liberal or not. In spite of this, I was amused at the humor of your second sentence.

Keith Gellar 8 years, 2 months ago

the bigger question is- did self and KU know about his dad's situation before offering traylor?

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 2 months ago

Why does that matter? Jamari Traylor is not his dad.

Andrew Horigan 8 years, 2 months ago

There was a whole story written about Jamari, his family life and upbringing a year or two ago, of course they knew about his dad, but why would that affect how they viewed Jamari?

Keith Gellar 8 years, 2 months ago

the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Ryan Michael 8 years, 2 months ago

I don't believe for 1 second that you are a KU alumnus or even a fan. You are probably a KSU or Mizzou troll out doing your best to gain attention.

Anyone who really follows KU basketball knows Jamari is a stand-up kid who has busted his butt and overcome a lot of obstacles in his life to be here. Anyone who knows anything about him should have nothing but respect for him.

RJ King 8 years, 2 months ago

So, are your folks bigoted? Close-minded? Or illogical?

Gregor Southard 8 years, 2 months ago

Agreed, Jamari's his own man and should not be judged by his father's actions. As far as the tweet goes, he blames the entire country for his dad's problems. Hence the blow back

RJ King 8 years, 2 months ago

"there are still injustices going on everyday."

How is this blaming the entire country for his dad's problems? And do you seriously disagree with that statement?

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 2 months ago

Come on. Yes there are social injustices going on everyday. There are social injustices everywhere, everyday, for every race, class, creed and sexual preference. Of course no one is going to disagree with that statement. But not just towards African Americans....

I assume (just a guess) that you are African American? If so, you should read some writings by Allan West and Thomas Sowell. These are successful black men who rose above the social injustices that they experienced and became a success DESPITE them. These are great men who young black men should be emulating instead of the hip hop garbage they are force fed on a daily basis. I am a white man and I consider these two men (Bill Cosby another) to be heroes of mine and men that I will introduce my children to as examples of people who got ahead in life by working their tails off and not accepting failure or trying to find an easy way out. ie, selling 11 pounds of dope.

RJ King 8 years, 2 months ago

I've been reading Thomas Sowell columns for 20 some years. I agree with him on many points, and not on others, but admire his ability to articulate them all. Of the three, he most fits the profile of working hard to a level of financial comfort well beyond where he began. The Korean war helped provide a launching pad for his career.

Allen West was fortunate to be raised by both parents, each of whom had military careers. He had a college education, and then himself joined the military. Cosby was also lucky to be raised in a two-parent household, albeit with military father not always present. But perhaps this led to his joining the Navy himself. That experience, his intellect and his athleticism earned him a scholarship at Temple. So - yes, they both worked extremely hard, but also started from a pretty decent place.

"I Am Malala" further underscores the significance of education and parental support. No I'm not black, but can certainly appreciate the inherent disadvantageous starting point for many, and I admire their climb to the top. Sidney Poitier and Harry Belefonte come to mind.

I'm guessing you are conservative, because of your choices, and because you omitted perhaps the most obvious example of a black man rising above his upbringing to arguably the highest position in the world. Politics aside, one of my favorite, very layered stories of perseverance, is that of Thurgood Marshall.

Thank goodness we live in a country where Jamari is free to speak his mind. He seems to be (briefly) summarizing "A People's History Of the United States" by Howard Zinn, which contains some valid and factual points. Sometimes it takes hard work, passion, PLUS indignation to affect change. Good luck Jamari!

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 2 months ago

I agree that I didn't interpret Jamari's tweet as blaming all of America for his father's issue. I took it more as the justice system in this country absolutely favors those with means as opposed to those who can't afford decent representation. I'm absolutely not endorsing or condoning what his father did because he does deserve to he in prison for that, but a life sentence is a bit much for a nonviolent conviction.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 2 months ago

I'd love to see Langford in the NBA, but he's gotta do what's best for him. Mega-props to Keith for forging his own way and creating his own success story on his own terms.

Jay Scott 8 years, 2 months ago

More players should have the sense Langford has. It's a career. His has been a success.

Chad Lee 8 years, 2 months ago

Langford always seemed like a stand up and do it leader. He never was afraid of big situations

Matthew Pyle 8 years, 2 months ago

Congrats to Langford. Traylor is a moron.... perhaps Langford should take him to Russia to see how the rest of the world lives.

RJ King 8 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps Traylor could escort you in your khakis to Southside Chicago this winter so you can see and feel how that part of the world lives. Read "A People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn. You will likely disagree with it, but it's what Traylor is trying to communicate. He's not a moron, he just has a different point of view than yours.

Dale Kroening 8 years, 2 months ago

Take him to Russia to see how the rest of the world lives ??? Really ??? That comment in itself was moronic moron....

Walter Bridges 8 years, 2 months ago

I have noticed that anyone who takes offense to Jamari's statement is closed minded, racist or a bigot. Seems that all the viewpoints should be respected.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 2 months ago

Sorry Matthew, your attempt at a 1-liner summary is a perfect example of how complex issues cannot be boiled down, despite the human nature to do so.

Traylor was living out of a car for 4-5mos in southside Chicago. How about YOU visit southside Chicago and see how Jamari Traylor lived, eh? What good would it do to show him Russian poverty, dude?

Life in Russia is NOT our reality in the US. Isnt the whole point of a young college kid to figure out how to succeed in this society?

Keep your bad advice, Matthew Pyle, as you clearly need to figure some things out for yourself.

Joseph Bullock 8 years, 2 months ago

Keith, You saying the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, shows that you stereotype people, and also that you are a racist idiot! By the way, are you saying you got your racist views from your dad? Remember, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, right!

Eric TheCapn 8 years, 2 months ago

K-Freeze, you're still my hero and still ice cold. I'd wish you the best of luck, but you don't need it. I do wish I could see you play, but the NBA sucks anyway.

I'm sorry your article got inundated with comments about drugs and politics. Mayhaps the LJW would separate totally unrelated stories in the future? This the Internet, full of people like to read really short, vacuous stories about tweets and twits.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 2 months ago

Keith Langford is obviously a bad fit for the 76ers anyway. Why would a team that wants to be atop the NBA draft lottery next year bring in a player that could potentially carry them to the playoffs. Keith is a winner, he needs to play for a team that will let him win.

Luan Do 8 years, 2 months ago

Keith langford with an improved jumper since ku is unstoppable.

Yonatan Negash 8 years, 2 months ago

First, Jamari has every right to express his feelings and he shouldn't have to apologize for that. I'm not sure any of us have the right to place judgment on this young man.

Secondly, I’d like to remind you justice in America is far from being equal. Those that believe justice is equal, are borderline delusional.

Nonetheless, America is the greatest country on the planet. I personally rather take an imperfect America than say a place like Sudan, Africa. I choose to embrace America for what it is, because I've seen worse places than America. .

Rodney Crain 8 years, 2 months ago

Well, he does has every right to express his feelings, just as those who responded to him have every right to express theirs. Whether he apologizes or not is up to him. Justice in America, is decided by human beings which as we know are flawed. It is as close to equal as you can get and depends on the laws the courts are given to interpret. The law is reason free from passion (Aristotle) supposedly, I do not think any of us here know enough about the details from his fathers case to comment like we do, so passionately . Guilty men get away with crimes and innocent ones are convicted how can we say from the little we know where this conviction lies? It seems excessive, but it only seems that way.

Finally America is not the greatest country on the planet. We offer more freedoms than most other countries but we are behind many others in many different aspects of life, Poverty, waste, oil consumption, green energy, academics, just to name a few. Ok so Sudan is out lol (seriously?) , what about one of the other 220 odd countries, there are many others we could learn a few things from. If you look up how we stack up on the 20 or 25 meaningful categories we are lacking. Freedom and hope, we got that in spades and for some thats enough. We could do so much more though.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 2 months ago

How about this about Jamari Traylor's comment:

1) I can respect Jamari's statement because maybe I havent had the experiences that makes him feel the way he does. Let the man speak.

2) College years are a coming of age as idealism clashes with realism. Allow Jamari his own time of growth, and ask him in 5 or 10 yrs if he feels the same way. It is his perogative and initiative to do something with or about the way he feels, and modify or temper his feelings at whatever point in the future. HIS call.

Good luck to Jamari Traylor, as Bill Self & team will need all he can give us.

Kudos to Keith Langford for succeeding on his own terms.

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 2 months ago

41,000 (2012) deaths in US from cocaine use.

By the end of Felipe Calderón's administration (2006–12), the official death toll of the Mexican Drug War was at least 60,000.[70] Estimates set the death toll above 120,000 killed by 2013, not including 27,000 missing..

Drug trafficking is a non-violent crime? Try selling that to our Border Agents.

Embarrassed by the ignorance and denial expressed here...

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 2 months ago

Great point, one that Jamari must also learn. But how a crime was committed also matters: possessing 5kg of cocaine (a user or addict) vs. possession with intent+evidence of selling/distributing (dealer) is a BIG difference in the punishment.

Another example would be embezzling $1million (theft, white collar crime) vs. robbing a bank of $1million with an AK-47, is a whole different level in punishment...

Michael Bratisax 8 years, 2 months ago

I agree Eric, but none of this info is available. It's a rare user who has 5+ kilos for personal use but not impossible.

To me it seems the majority of the posts use race as being the major factor in sentencing when there just isn't enough information to do so. I agree that young black men are serving longer prison time compared to the rest of Americans but without any other evidence, it's pure conjecture.

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