Seeing his father perk up in a coronary care unit in the Washington, D.C., area did Charlotte Hornets guard Julyan Stone lots of good recently.
Stone’s father has life-threatening heart, lung and kidney ailments. Stone worked out a release of his contract from an Italian pro team so that he could play for the Hornets and be closer to his ailing father.
“He wasn’t talking when I first walked in. By the next hour, he was talking and back to himself.,” Stone said. “He’s not fully there; his brain isn’t fully working. But he was able to talk some (trash) to me, and I love hearing his voice. He kept telling me to sneak him out the backdoor, and I told him, ‘I can’t do that now!’
“They gave him a week (to live) and I’ve gotten three months. Anything I get is major.”
Stone will play third point guard this season behind starter Kemba Walker and backup Michael Carter-Williams. Stone said this is the first time he’s had a guaranteed contract in the NBA, after previous stints with the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors.
Stone said playing in Europe (Turkey and Italy) made him a more sophisticated point guard, because European pro teams play such intricate offenses. Stone, like Carter-Williams, is 6-foot-6, so he offers a contrast in size to the 6-1 Walker.
“If guys get physical with Kemba, it’s my job to get physical with them. Do the dirty work; that’s what I’ve always done,” said Stone.