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The Rush: Griner sentenced to 9 years in prison, athletes and coaches call for her release

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Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Russian court and President Joe Biden called it “unacceptable” and vowed to keep trying to bring her home. The Hall of Fame preseason game means football is back, though the Jaguars decided to keep almost all their starters on the bench. LeBron James had “productive” discussions with the Lakers about his future which has got us thinking…Bronny to the Lakers confirmed?

Video Transcript

- Thank you.


- A powerful moment shared at midcourt between the two teams. You see the tears, the embrace.

JARED QUAY: That was Brittney Griner's Phoenix Mercury and the Connecticut Sun holding a moment of silence before their game, just hours after Griner received a nine-year prison sentence from a Russian court for drug possession in Russia. It's just one year short of the maximum 10 years Griner was eligible to receive. It's harsh and disheartening, especially when Griner pleaded guilty and asked for leniency. But Russia was never going to give Griner a light punishment because of what they can extract from the US in exchange for her release.

If there is a bright side, negotiations between the US and Russia may move along more quickly now that Griner's sentence is in place. President Joe Biden slammed the Russian judge's decision, calling Griner's detention unacceptable. And he wasn't the only supporter to react. The WNBA, NBA, players and coaches from across all sports, called for BG's release and for her to stay strong until she can be brought back into the states. Here's hoping we get to see Griner back in purple for the Mercury in the near future.

A lot of people don't care about preseason football, but the Hall of Fame Game does mark the beginning of pro football. So I'm going to say it. Football is back, baby. OK, I won't lie. I don't give a [BLEEP] about the preseason.

- Not even a little.

JARED QUAY: Especially when the Jaguars set every projected starter on offense except for a rookie offensive lineman. I wonder which coach he pissed off. Poor guy. We'll leave you with a little nugget about LeBron's future. No, he's not retiring. No, he isn't taking his talents back to South Beach.

LeBron is in his final year with the Lakers, and apparently he met with the organization and had a productive conversation about a contract extension. I'm curious about this, because LeBron wants to play with his son Bronny in a few years, if and when he gets drafted. And both of LeBron's sons have been putting in work at the Lakers' practice facility.

So the only question is, who's committing to drafting Bronny? Because it's a two-for-one deal. You get senior only if you draft junior. And I will say Bryce is looking tall as hell, so it may be a three for one. You might be able to get the whole James family at this point. In fact, you might be able to just name your franchise Jameses. You know, you can be, like, the Cleveland Jameses or even the Utah Jameses, even though that might be weird. Utah James really seems like a character on, like, a video game. But you never know.