Earl Lloyd, the first black player to play in the NBA, has died

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding the passing of Earl Lloyd:

“The NBA family has lost one of its patriarchs. Earl Lloyd, the first African-American to play in an NBA game, was as inspirational as he was understated. He was known as a modest gentleman who played the game with skill, class, and pride. His legacy survives in the league he helped integrate, and the entire NBA family will strive to always honor his memory. Our deepest condolences to the Lloyd family.”

According to Sekou Smith of the NBA.com blog, “Floyd suited up with the Washington Capitols on October 31, 1950. Charles Cooper and Nat Clifton would join him in the 1950-51 season, an arduous journey during those tumultuous times, but one that Lloyd, a former West Virginia State star, survived all of the drama and won a championship in 1955 with the Syracuse Nationals. Lloyd finished his 10-year playing career with the Detroit Pistons and when he retired he was 43rd on the NBA career scoring list with 4,682 points.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, “The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and the Detroit Pistons. He missed the 1951-52 season while serving in the U.S. Army. Lloyd played for the Pistons in 1958-60, averaging 8.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He also was 22-55 as Detroit’s coach in 1971-72 and the first nine games of the 1972-73 season.”

The Heat really enjoy adding Mike Beasley to their roster

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the Heat, who have great skill when it comes to adding Mike Beasley to their roster:

The Heat really enjoy adding Mike Beasley to their roster

He’s back, perhaps with the third time a charm.

Michael Beasley, 2008 Miami Heat lottery pick who made a one-season encore with the team last season, on Thursday was signed for a third tour with the team, this time to a 10-day contract.

As the Sun Sentinel reported last week, Beasley had been working out at AmericanAirlines Arena after completing his season in China. Beasley has joined the Heat in time for Friday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smootie King Center.

Evan Turner gets triple-double vs Knicks

Evan Turner gets triple-double vs Knicks

Wednesday night in Boston, the Celtics beat the visiting New York Knicks 115-94, hitting 14-of-31 from three-point range in the win. The Celtics are now 22-33 for the season. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

Evan Turner gets triple-double vs Knicks

The Knicks, a league-worst 10-46, allowed Evan Turner to go for a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds. The other Celtics to accomplish that against the Knicks were Larry Bird (three times) and Rajon Rondo (three times).

The Celtics finished shooting 50.6 percent and went on their blitz after going to a small lineup, using 3-point sniper Jonas Jerebko, who nailed the momentum-boosting buzzer 3-pointer to put the Celtics up 90-72 after three.

“They went small and we weren’t as organized as we should’ve been,’’ Knicks starting center Lou Amundson said. “It’s disheartening. We felt we put up a good effort in the first half.’’

No more Ronnie Price this season for Lakers

No more Ronnie Price this season for Lakers

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on Lakers guard Ronnie Price, whose time with the team may be over since he’s currently injured, and will be in need of a new contract this summer:

No more Ronnie Price this season for Lakers

Guard Ronnie Price, whom Lakers Coach Byron Scott has considered one of his toughest players and best defenders, is done for the rest of the season after having successful surgery to remove bone spurs and bone chips from his right elbow Wednesday.

The Lakers said Price, 31, is expected to be out approximately six to eight weeks, but Scott said that actually means Price will “be out for the year” considering the Lakers have only 26 regular-season games left.

Price, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer, appeared in 43 games for the Lakers and averaged 5.1 points and 3.8 assists in 22.8 minutes a game.

Darren Collison needs surgery, will be re-evaluated in 3-6 weeks

Darren Collison needs surgery, will be re-evaluated in 3-6 weeks

Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison is scheduled to have a consultation with Dr. William Meyers on Monday at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia before undergoing surgery on Tuesday to repair a core muscle injury.

Collison suffered the injury in the first half of Sacramento’s contest against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 5 and has not played since.

He is expected to be re-evaluated in three to six weeks.

Derrick Rose surgery should be soon

Derrick Rose surgery should be soon

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on injured Bulls guard Derrick Rose, whose latest round of knee surgery should happen very soon. And once it does, more will be known on when he may return:

Derrick Rose surgery should be soon

Late Tuesday night, the Bulls revealed that an MRI showed Rose would need surgery on the meniscus tear in his right knee that was first repaired last season. Multiple sources confirmed Wednesday night that because there was minimal swelling in the knee, team physician Brian Cole would conduct the surgery at the Gold Coast Surgicenter no later than Friday afternoon, with Thursday still a possibility.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said the organization knew that a second surgery on the knee was always a possibility.

“We don’t know exactly when it happened, other than he went to get the MRI after practice [Tuesday],’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘So for us, first and foremost, it’s our concern for Derrick. Not only as a basketball player, but as a person. He’s been through a lot, he’s had to endure a lot and he’s gotten past a lot. It’s disappointing news, and we’re hopeful that everything will work out fine.”

Miami Heat sign Michael Beasley to 10-day contract

Miami Heat sign Michael Beasley to 10-day contract

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forward Michael Beasley to a 10-day contract.

Beasley most recently played in the Chinese Basketball Association, signing a one-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks on Oct. 9, 2014. He averaged 27.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.92 steals in 37 games while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor. His time with the Sharks was highlighted by capturing MVP honors at the 2015 CBA All-Star Game where he came off the bench to score a CBA All-Star Game record 59 points.

The 6’9 1/2”, 235-pound forward begins his third stint with the HEAT. He was originally drafted by Miami with the second pick of the 2008 NBA Draft and played two seasons with the HEAT before being traded to Minnesota on July 12, 2010. He re-joined the HEAT last season, signing as a free agent on Sept. 11, 2013. Beasley appeared in 55 games (two starts) with the HEAT last season and averaged 7.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 15.1 minutes while shooting 49.9 percent from the floor, 38.9 percent from three-point range and 77.2 percent from the line. In his three seasons as a member of the HEAT he has appeared in 214 games (99 starts) and averaged 12.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 24.1 minutes while shooting 46.6 percent from the floor, 34.6 percent from three-point range and 78.34 percent from the foul line.

In addition to his time with the HEAT, Beasley has also played with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns during his six-year NBA career. He has appeared in 409 NBA regular season games (199 starts) and has averaged 13.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 24.9 minutes while shooting 45 percent from the floor, 34.8 percent from three-point range and 75.8 percent from the foul line. In 12 postseason games (five starts), all with Miami, he has averaged 11.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 26.1 minutes while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 76.9 percent from the foul line.

Beasley will wear number 30.

Tony Parker, Spurs struggling lately

Tony Parker, Spurs struggling lately

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting on the Spurs, who are 34-23 this season and have lost four games in a row:

The past three games have not been kind to Spurs point guard Tony Parker. Since a 21-point, 13-assist outing in Thursday’s loss at the Los Angeles Clippers, Parker has gone 3 of 21 from the field, totaling nine points with 10 turnovers.

Wednesday in Portland, he missed seven of eight shots and finished with four points in the Spurs’ 111-95 loss to the Trail Blazers…

“It’s tough right now. It’s tough. Since I’ve been with the Spurs, I’ve never experienced that in a 3-game, 4-game stretch. We’re not making shots. It starts with me. I’m not making shots. Our 3-point shooters are not making shots, and everything is tough. We just have to stay positive.

“I was excited after the Clippers game, because you know we lost, but it was a great game, and we were in the whole game and I felt good. Now it’s just struggle time. Sometimes, we’ve been so successful, we just have to stay positive and hope it will turn. But right now, it’s definitely hard right now.”

Some bids to buy Atlanta Hawks are reportedly for around $900 million

Here’s Bloomberg reporting on the Atlanta Hawks, who are for sale:

Tampa Bay Rays part-owner Randy Frankel and ComPsych Corp. founder Richard Chaifetz are among the bidders for the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Some of the bids were for about $900 million, the people said, declining to be specific.

The people requested anonymity because the bidding isn’t public. The team, which is on the market after lead owner Bruce Levenson disclosed a racially insensitive e-mail, retained Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Inner Circle Sports to run the sale.

Jared Sullinger vows to get into better shape this summer

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on Celtics big man Jared Sullinger, who needs to be a bit less of a big man and trim down a bit. And he knows it:

Jared Sullinger vows to get into better shape this summer

Boston Celtics big man Jared Sullinger said he’s unhappy with the way he looks on film and pledged to use his rehab from a left foot fracture and the offseason to transform his body.

Sullinger’s season ended Sunday when tests determined he has a stress fracture of the fourth metatarsal.

“Freak accidents happen. I just have to come back better,” Sullinger said.

Pressed on what he hoped to get out of recovery, Sullinger added: “A little bit of everything — change the physique, change the way I look. That’s the biggest thing, I think. I’m tired of looking on camera and just seeing how I look, seeing how I play during extended minutes. Conditioning is going to be a big factor. Conditioning is going to be hard because all I can do is ride the bike. We’re going to find ways, we’re going to find ways to get me in the best shape possible.”

Paul Pierce out tonight with bruised knee

Paul Pierce out tonight with bruised knee

Washington Wizards forward Paul Pierce was a late scratch Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves because of a bruised knee.

Pierce knocked knees with a Golden State defender in the closing seconds of a loss on Tuesday night, but coach Randy Wittman said before the game against the Wolves that he expected his veteran to be available.

– AP

Rick Carlisle addresses Rajon Rondo communication issue

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram blog with an update on the disagreement between Carlisle and Rondo:

Carlisle addresses communication issue with Rondo

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle addressed the media prior to Wednesday’s game in Atlanta to try and explain how him and point guard Rajon Rondo got in a heated profanity-laced exchange during Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Raptors.

The incident led to the Mavs suspended Rondo for one game without pay. But Carlisle said Rondo, who will sit out tonight’s game in Atlanta, will practice with the team Friday and be in the starting lineup when the Mavs entertain Brooklyn on Saturday.

“The incident last night was born in large part from poor communication between him and I, and that’s on both of us,’’ Carlisle said. “We had a long talk about the situation today and we both agreed that we need to communicate more frequently and we need to work on the solution for making his stint as a Dallas Mavericks the most successful one possible.”

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on the Knicks and Andrea Bargnani, who has played in just six games this season, averaging 7.7 points on 39% shooting in 17.5 minutes per outing:

Knicks still hope to get something from Andrea Bargnani

With Carmelo Anthony’s scoring punch on the shelf for the season, Phil Jackson sees one player on the Knicks roster who might be able to shoulder some of the scoring load.

Jackson thinks Andrea Bargnani can help offset some of the 24.2 points per game lost with Anthony. At the very least, Bargnani should be able to replace Amar’e Stoudemire’s 12 points per game — provided he can remain on the court.

Of course, Bargnani has been a 7-foot walking injury as a Knick.

“Now that we have a gap in scoring, this is a guy that is a natural scorer,” Jackson said last week when asked before the trading deadline what could happen with Bargnani if he isn’t dealt. “I think the coaching staff would like to have him on the court and be competitive with his scoring capabilities.”

Pistons sign John Lucas III for remainder of season

Detroit Pistons General Manager Jeff Bower announced today that the club has signed guard John Lucas III for the remainder of the season following two consecutive 10-day contracts.

The 5-foot-11, 166-pound guard has averaged 5.0 points, 3.3 assists and 12.2 minutes in eight games with Detroit. He scored a season-high 10 points at Indiana (2/4) and has dished out a season-high six assists twice.

Originally signed on February 2, he was signed to a second 10-day contract on February 12. Lucas joined the Pistons following a stint with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association where he averaged 26.6 points, 7.1 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 43.5 minutes in 26 games.

The Washington, DC native has spent parts of six seasons in the NBA with the Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz. He holds career averages of 4.8 points, 1.4 assists, 1.0 rebounds and 12.2 minutes in 216 games (eight starts) and is a career 34.7-percent shooter from three-point range.

Lucas has also spent time in the NBA’s Developmental League and played internationally in Italy, Spain and China. He played collegiately at Oklahoma State University.

Ronnie Price out 6-8 weeks after elbow surgery

Ronnie Price out 6-8 weeks after elbow surgery

Lakers guard Ronnie Price underwent successful surgery this morning to remove bone spurs and bone chips from his right elbow. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Price is expected to be out approximately six to eight weeks.

Price, who signed with the Lakers as a free agent on September 24, has appeared in 43 games (20 starts) this season, averaging 5.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.56 steals in 22.8 minutes per game.

Today the Phoenix Suns revealed a new look with a historic twist, one that celebrates an iconic Suns uniform of the past. The new uniform, deemed PHXRising, was revealed this morning.

The PHXRising uniform will serve as the Suns’ second alternate and be worn by the team for the first time tomorrow night (February 26) when it faces the Oklahoma City Thunder at US Airways Center. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m.

The PHXRising collection with its gray, black and orange palette symbolizes the ash, smoke and embers of the mythological bird for which Phoenix is named.

Let’s get this right out of the way. Players sometimes disagree with each other. Players and coaches often do the same. Sometimes it’s a lingering problem but quite often it’s nothing to be alarmed about. That said, here’s ESPN Dallas reporting on Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle and relatively new Mavs point guard Rajon Rondo:

Rick Carlisle, Rajon Rondo express some disagreements

Carlisle predictably wasn’t in much of a mood to chat about Rondo after Tuesday night’s 99-92 win over the Toronto Raptors. Nor was Rondo, at least to the media.

But Carlisle and Rondo had plenty to say to each other during a tense timeout with 8:10 remaining in the third quarter. The stubborn coach and headstrong point guard exchanged a lot of expletives as they shouted at each other in a dispute stemming from Rondo’s desire to have more play-calling responsibilities.

“Well, it’s an emotional game and we had a difference of opinion,” Carlisle said. “There was an exchange, and then, in my mind, it was over.”

Well, it apparently lasted at least the rest of the game. The evidence: Rondo rode the pine for the final 20:10, a span in which reserve guards Devin Harris and J.J. Barea played key roles in the Mavs’ rally from a nine-point deficit.

Another serious knee injury for Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose suffers another serious knee injury

It’s happened yet again. Another serious injury to Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose.

Rose reported to the team today with right knee pain.  An exam and subsequent MRI revealed that he has suffered a medial meniscus tear of the right knee.

Surgery will be scheduled, after which a timeline for his return will be determined.

At this point, Bulls veterans have unfortunately already gathered lots of experience playing without Rose, whose NBA career features a league MVP award but also numerous major injuries.

According to Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Sun-Times, “it’s looking more and more as if Derrick Rose’s body wasn’t built for the NBA, or maybe more to the point, that his knees weren’t built for the torque his explosive style of basketball puts on them. His spirit is most definitely willing, but that flesh of his is weak. The Bulls announced Tuesday night that their star guard would undergo surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee. It will be his third knee surgery in almost 34 months, and his entire career is now in question. If you’re someone who relies on your knees for a living, you don’t go under the knife that many times and not feel the effects of it long-term.”

Here’s TMZ reporting some bad news from Los Angeles:

An L.A. mansion owned by former NBA player Earl Watson was robbed Monday night by at least 4 men in ski masks — who handcuffed the occupants and ransacked the place.

While 35-year-old Watson owns the $4 million Encino home, he currently rents it out to a local elderly couple.

Officials say the men — at least one of whom had a gun — broke in through a back door and once inside, they handcuffed the couple and stole various items … including cash.

Name change: Yes, Bill Walker is now Henry Walker

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting on the newest member of the Miami Heat:

Miami Heat forward Henry Walker considered it a sign of maturity.

Last year the player formerly known as “Bill” started going by his middle name. If his Heat debut was any indication, Walker has already grown up a bunch.

He scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers in Monday’s victory against the Philadelphia 76ers. The plan is for Walker to remain in the rotation the duration of his 10-day contract.

“It’s just my middle name,” Walker said. “I’m just trying to mature and just trying to grow up, trying to change the perception about me.”

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