Watch: Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams turned into comic book hero - 'He's a really cool character!'

Steven Adams has received a unique birthday present from the Oklahoma City Thunder by becoming the protagonist in a newly-released comic book all about the Kiwi NBA star's life.

Adams, who turns 25 today, has had his life turned into a comic book by American artist Corey Lewis Reyyy in time for the San Diego Comic Con.

"I love sports. I love stuff where humans are in some kind of game with rules but they strive to push the boundaries and be the best. So with Steven I like that kind of perspective," Reyyy said.

"He's a really cool character to write and to draw."

Adams admitted in 2016 he was a fan of comics and Japanese animation - something Reyyy ensured he brought out in the comic.

"You can tell that he likes the fantastical aspects of his journey," he said.

Steven Adams, Kiwi Legend looks at different parts of his life, including living with his 17 siblings on a Rotorua farm, his experience of the NBA draft and training in the NBA - with the odd four-armed alien chucked in along the way.

The comic was released today at the famous comic convention in Southern California with no word on whether it will be released further.


Three Boomers, 10 Philippines players banned after wild basketball brawl that shocked the world

Daniel Kickert has been banned for five internationals, and his Boomers teammates Thon Maker and Chris Goulding have received shorter suspensions, for their roles in the brawl with the Philippines in the World Cup qualifier in Manila on July 2.

Milwaukee Bucks star Maker copped a three-match ban and Goulding was suspended for one match.

Kickert got the longest Australian sanction for unsportsmanlike behaviour after his elbow to the head of Philippines player Roger Poboy which started the brawl.

Ten Philippines players were suspended, including Poboy (five games) and Calvin Abueva (six games).

Philippines head coach Chot Reyes and assistant coach Joseph Uichico were fined and banned for one and three games respectively.

Basketball Australia was also fined 100,000 Swiss francs (NZ$147,000) for removing floor decals during team training on the day prior to the game and its role in the third-quarter incident.

BA has 14 days to decide whether to appeal the sanctions, although chief executive Anthony Moore said that was unlikely to happen.

"As we stated at the outset, Basketball Australia sincerely regrets the incident that occurred in Manila and the involvement of our players in it," Moore said in a statement.

"The FIBA disciplinary panel's findings were comprehensive and addressed the key points of our submission.

"We acknowledge the sanctions handed down against Australian players and acknowledge the sanctions imposed against Philippines players and officials involved in the incident.

"We are seeking further clarification from FIBA about possible sanctions against other officials and fans involved in the incident.

"We also welcome FIBA's finding in its report that no discriminatory or racist language was used by Australian Boomers players, nor did it incite the incident as has been alleged."



Kawhi Leonard traded to the Raptors, DeMar DeRozan headed to San Antonio Spurs

The Kawhi Leonard saga in San Antonio is over. So is DeMar DeRozan's time in Toronto.

An NBA summer blockbuster got pulled off today, with the Spurs sending Leonard to the Raptors as part of a four-player deal that has DeRozan heading to San Antonio.

The Spurs also got centre Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 protected first-round draft pick, while the Raptors acquired sharpshooter Danny Green.

For Leonard and the Spurs, there's finally closure to a relationship that seemed fractured beyond repair and played out like a soap opera as the season went along.

But in the end, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich — insisting that looking back at what happened would not be worth his time, and that Leonard was a good teammate throughout his tenure in San Antonio — simply said he hopes the move works out for everyone involved.

"Kawhi, obviously, worked very hard to become the player he is," Popovich said in San Antonio, a couple of hours after the trade became official when the teams got approval on the terms from the NBA.

"Our staff worked very hard to help him get there. We wish him all the best as he moves on to Toronto. I think he's going to be great."

Leonard was the 2014 NBA Finals MVP and had been with the Spurs for seven seasons, averaging 16.3 points, though was limited to just nine games last season because of a leg injury.

DeRozan has been in the league for nine years, all of them with Toronto, and is a career 19.7 point-per-game scorer.

DeRozan has led the Raptors in scoring in each of the last five seasons. He was key to Toronto winning 59 games and securing the No. 1 seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs last season.

But after getting swept in the second round by Cleveland, the Raptors decided massive changes were necessary — first the firing of coach of the year Dwane Casey, and now the trading of a perennial All-Star who once famously declared "I am Toronto."

DeRozan's initial reaction seemed to be one of anger and frustration.

"Ain't no loyalty in this game," DeRozan wrote in an Instagram story that appeared in the wee hours of Wednesday, around the time that ESPN and Yahoo Sports reported that the trade was approaching the imminent stage, several hours before it was finalized. "Sell you out quick for a little bit of nothing ... ."

DeRozan did not specifically reference the trade in that post, but his message didn't exactly need translation. Raptors president Masai Ujiri has been traveling in Africa and was not immediately available for comment.

Not only is the trade huge, it's potentially risky for both teams.

Leonard hasn't played since January because of the somewhat mysterious right quadriceps injury — and the level of severity was something that even some of his now-former teammates reportedly questioned last season while San Antonio was trying to qualify for the Western Conference playoffs.

The Raptors clearly aren't worried about Leonard's status, and Popovich indicated Wednesday that Leonard has recovered sufficiently enough to play.

During the 2016-17 season, he averaged a career-best 25.5 points and was third in the MVP voting. When healthy, there may be no better two-way player in the game.

And that makes him worth the risk for Toronto.

Leonard can be a free agent next summer. When he asked the Spurs for a trade weeks ago, it was made clear that he wants to play for the Los Angeles Lakers — a team that landed LeBron James earlier this month to lead their planned rebuild back into a contender.

That means the Raptors are entering into this deal knowing that they could have given up a star like DeRozan for someone who might not be in Toronto for long.

Popovich and Leonard met last month, but nothing the Spurs could say apparently changed Leonard's mind about wanting a trade.

"Attempts were made to see what would be best, and in the end this trade appeared," Popovich said. "We felt that this was the way to go."

DeRozan and Leonard are expected to be on the court together next week in Las Vegas when USA Basketball convenes a national team training camp.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 19: Eastern Conference guard DeMar DeRozan shoots a lay up against Western Conference forward Kawhi Leonard during the NBA All-Star Game between the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference on February 19, 2017, at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA.  Western Conference won 192-182.. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Eastern Conference guard DeMar DeRozan shoots a lay up against Western Conference forward Kawhi Leonard during the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans. Source: Getty