Archive for the ‘ General NBA insight ’ Category

Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that Paul Pressey, Jim Eyen and Mark Madsen will serve as assistant coaches on Byron Scott’s staff.

Additionally, it was announced that Clay Moser (assistant coach/head advance NBA scout), Larry Lewis (assistant coach/director of player development), Thomas Scott (assistant coach/player development), Tom Bialaszewski (video coordinator/coach), and J.J. Outlaw (video coordinator/player development) will round out Scott’s staff.

“I’m excited to have completed my staff with a group of individuals who each possess unique skills, but all share my vision for the future of this team,” said Scott. “Paul is a great basketball mind with vast experience and someone with whom I have worked before, while Jim returns to the Laker family with a proven track record and a tremendous amount of respect around the league. Thomas has worked very hard through the ranks of the video department, player development and the NBA Development League to earn this position. I’m delighted to retain Mark, Clay, Larry, Tom and J.J., who are all highly qualified and have worked tirelessly with our players throughout the summer to prepare for next season. I can say with certainty that our staff is dedicated to upholding the winning culture and tradition of the Los Angeles Lakers.”

Pressey, who brings 31 seasons of NBA experience as a coach and player, previously worked with Scott as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2010-13, and the New Orleans Hornets for three seasons from 2007-10. Prior to New Orleans, he was an assistant coach with the Celtics as a member of Doc Rivers’ staff from 2004-06 and served as advance scout for Boston during the 2006-07 season. Pressey also spent time with the Orlando Magic (2000-04), San Antonio Spurs (1994-2000), and Golden State Warriors (1992-94) as an assistant coach, including helping the Spurs win their first-ever NBA Championship in 1999. He was originally named an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors prior to the 1992-93 season, but injuries forced him back into uniform, where he appeared in 18 games.

The Richmond, VA native was drafted 20th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1982 NBA Draft and played the first eight of his 11 NBA seasons in Milwaukee, followed by stops in San Antonio (1990-92) and Golden State (1992-93). In 724 career games (420 starts), Pressey, the father of Celtics guard Phil Pressey, averaged 10.6 points, 5.1 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game while shooting 48.5% from the field. The 6’5’’ guard/forward was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team during both the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons and All-Defensive Second Team in 1986-87.

Eyen originally worked with the Lakers as an assistant coach to Pat Riley during the 1989-90 season and remained with the team from 1990-92 as an assistant coach to Mike Dunleavy, helping Los Angeles to the NBA Finals in 1991. In an assistant coaching capacity, he followed Dunleavy to Milwaukee from 1992-96, then to Portland from 1997-2001, and finally back to the Clippers (the franchise with which he began his NBA journey as an assistant coach in 1988-89) as lead assistant from 2003-09. In between coaching stints, Eyen remained in the NBA, spending the 1996-97 season as a pro and advance scout for the Knicks and the 2002-03 campaign as a college scout, also for New York.

Most recently, the University of California at Santa Barbara alumnus and letter-winner was an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings for four seasons from 2009-13, totaling 24 seasons of NBA experience as a coach and scout, and 31 years of combined coaching experience at the professional, collegiate (UCSB and Santa Barbara City College), and high school (Dos Pueblos in Goleta, CA) levels. He has also served as a consultant for professional clubs in the Netherlands, Germany and Japan, in addition to working with the Japanese National Team in 1996.

Scott, Byron’s eldest son, brings a combined nine seasons of experience as an assistant coach and video coordinator at the NBA and NBA D-League levels to his position. Last season, he served as an assistant coach with the Western Division Champion Los Angeles D-Fenders, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Lakers. Working closely with the parent club, Scott had a variety of duties, including aiding the development of current Lakers players Xavier Henry and Ryan Kelly while on assignment.

His two prior seasons were spent as Alex Jensen’s lead assistant for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA D-League affiliate, the Canton Charge, which saw the team claim back-to-back playoff appearances, the 2013 East Division title, and Jensen (now an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz) win 2013 NBA D-League Coach of the Year. Scott spent the 2010-11 campaign as a player development/video coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers, preceded by four seasons (2006-10) served as assistant video coordinator for the New Orleans Hornets.

In additional moves, the basketball operations department announced the promotion of Rondre Jackson to director of player development and the hiring of Jordan Wilkes as basketball operations assistant.

The Sacramento Kings announced today that the #16 jersey of three-time NBA All-Star and NBA Champion Peja Stojakovic will be retired on December 16, when the Kings host the Oklahoma City Thunder at Sleep Train Arena. During his eight seasons in Sacramento, the fan-favorite small forward played more games for the Kings than any player during the Sacramento era and had an immeasurable impact on the community both on and off the court.

“Peja Stojakovic was instrumental in putting Sacramento on the map on a global scale,” said Kings Owner Vivek Ranadivé. “As one of only a select group of Serbian players in the NBA, Peja helped carve out a place for basketball players from all over the world. Recognizing his leadership will be a special moment for fans and the entire Kings organization, as well as a great reminder of the kind of success we are building in Sacramento.”

The Kings drafted Serbia-born Stojakovic in the first-round (14th overall) of the 1996 NBA Draft. In addition to leading the Kings in games played during the Sacramento-era, Stojakovic ranks first in Kings franchise history (1948-current) in three-pointers made (1,070) and attempted (2,687), and in free throw percentage (.893). He’s also ranked second on the Kings all-time scoring list with 9,498 points scored, third in field goals made (3,352) and attempted (7,269), and fifth in steals (543).

“My time in Sacramento was the best years of my career and truly some of the best years of my life,” said Stojakovic. “I am proud of what we built in Sacramento and the connection we made with the fans and the community. Kings fans are some of the best fans in the world, and it was an honor to play for them. I want to thank Vivek and the entire Kings family for welcoming me back for this celebration, and I look forward to following the exciting times ahead for the Sacramento Kings.”

Stojakovic’s professional career began at the age of 14 with the Serbian club Red Star Belgrade. After being drafted by the Kings, he went on to play 13 seasons in the NBA highlighted by a NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. Also during his NBA career, Stojakovic won the NBA All-Star Weekend Three-Point Shootout twice and was the first European-born player to win an All-Star Weekend competition. He ranks in the top 10 in NBA history in several categories, including 4th in career free throw percentage (.895), 9th in three-pointers made (1,760), and 7th in playoff free throw percentage (.900). Additionally, Stojakovic is the first player in NBA history to start a game off by scoring his team’s first 20 points.

“Peja was part of the awesome Kings dynasty that we’re working hard to bring back to Sacramento,” said Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. “His high basketball IQ and unique ability to connect with the fans had a huge impact on the team and the community, and we hope Peja’s passion and determination carry over into this new era of Kings basketball.”

Video: In memory of Marvin Barnes

Marvin “Bad News” Barnes has passed away at the young age of 62. Here are some video highlights of him on the court:

The FIBA World Cup basketball tournament is ongoing. Check out this video of the best plays from Sunday, September 7:

Utah Jazz sign guard Kevin Murphy

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed free-agent guard Kevin Murphy.

Murphy (6-6, 185, Tennessee Tech) finished the 2013-14 season with the Idaho Stampede, where he ranked second in the league in scoring and was named to the 2014 All-D-League First Team. He appeared in 34 games (24 starts) for the Stampede, averaging 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 35.9 minutes and scoring in double figures in 30 games, including 20-plus points in 27 contests and 30-or-more points 13 times. Murphy recorded a career-high 51 points on Feb. 1 vs. L.A. D-Fenders, finishing 21-for-33 from the field (.636). Prior to joining Idaho, Murphy played 13 games (seven starts) for Stasbourg IG of France and averaged 8.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 18.8 minutes per game.

Originally selected by the Jazz in the second round (47th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft, Murphy appeared in 17 games as a reserve for Utah during the 2012-13 season, averaging 0.9 points in 3.1 minutes. Following the season, he was traded to Golden State as part of a three-team trade on July 10, 2013.

The 24-year-old guard played four seasons at Tennessee Tech University (2008-12), amassing 2,019 points, 535 rebounds and 248 assists during his collegiate career and ranks second on the school’s all-time scoring list. He was twice named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) First Team (2011, 2012) as well as the OVC All-Tournament Team (2011, 2012). During his senior season, he averaged 20.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 34.5 minutes, including a 50-point performance in a win over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville that marked the highest scoring game by a Division I player during the 2011-12 season.

A native of Atlanta, Ga., Murphy played high school basketball at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga., earning the Naismith Award following his senior season.

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed the 31st selection of the 2014 NBA Draft, Damien Inglis, to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

A native of Cayenne in French Guiana, Inglis played last season with Roanne as a rookie in France’s top league, Pro A, where he averaged 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 27 games. Inglis grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds vs. Strasbourg and scored in double figures in three straight games in December. He began his career at INSEP in France and averaged 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists over three seasons from 2010-13.

Inglis competed in the 2014 Nike Hoop Summit and has played for France in the U18, U17 and U16 European Championships.

NBA referee Dick Bavetta is retiring

NBA President, Basketball Operations Rod Thorn announced today that longtime NBA referee Dick Bavetta will be retiring after 39 years of service.

Bavetta, who began his NBA career on Dec. 2, 1975, at Madison Square Garden in a game between the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics finished with a record 2,635 consecutive regular season games officiated, having never missed an assigned game throughout his entire career. Bavetta also officiated 270 Playoff games including 27 Finals games.

“Dick’s dedication and commitment to his craft has been an inspiration to all NBA officials,” said Thorn. “We are grateful for his contributions to our league, and we wish him the best as he enjoys his well-earned retirement.”

Bavetta worked three NBA All-Star Games (1989, 1995 and 2006) and was the first NBA referee selected to officiate the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. Bavetta also refereed the 1997 McDonald’s Championship in Paris, 1993 Mexico Challenge and 1990 Japan Games in Tokyo.

“On behalf of myself and the entire Bavetta family, I would like to thank the NBA family and the National Basketball Referee Association for allowing me the honor and the privilege of representing them for 39 wonderful years,” said Bavetta.

“I am most proud of never having missed an assigned game, be it exhibition, regular season or playoffs, throughout my entire career. It really has been a great run.”

Prior to joining the NBA, Bavetta was an official with the Eastern League (CBA) for nine years, as well as the Rucker League, FIBA, Jersey Shore Basketball League, and both the Public and Catholic High School leagues in New York City.

Bavetta, a Brooklyn, New York native, attended Power Memorial Academy and also attended St. Francis College in Brooklyn. He is a member of the New York City Catholic High School Hall of Fame, the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame and received the National ProAm Lifetime Achievement Award.

Throughout his career, Bavetta has been actively involved in many charitable endeavors. In 1986 he established “The Bavetta Scholarships.” The program, which he personally finances, provides parochial high school scholarships for minority children. He also has volunteered with the Double H-Hole in the Woods Ranch working with critically ill children since 1992. Additionally he is actively involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Video: Best blocks of 2013-14 NBA season

Enjoy these video highlights of the best blocks from the 2013-14 NBA season:

Enjoy these video highlights of the best crossovers from the 2013-14 NBA season:

Video: David Stern career retrospective

Enjoy this video looking at the career of former NBA commissioner David Stern:

Enjoy these video highlights of some of the best dunks from the 2013-14 NBA season:

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel with a report on the NBA league schedule:

The formulation of the NBA schedule is a delicate process, the league’s 2014-15 calendar still a work in progress until it formally will be unveiled Wednesday.

But when it erupts, it will arrive with four blasts of LeBron-vs.-Miami Heat drama that could overshadow the rest of what the league has to offer to Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and what remains of James’ former team.

According to a league source familiar with the preliminary schedules forwarded recently to teams, the Heat’s first meeting with James’ Cavaliers is scheduled for Christmas at AmericanAirlines Arena, in what the preliminary schedule lists only as a “night” game.

Cavs sign Mike Miller and James Jones

Cavs sign Mike Miller and James Jones

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed free agents Mike Miller (guard/forward) and James Jones (guard), General Manager David Griffin announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Per league policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

Miller, a 14-year veteran, has played in 913 career games (553 starts) with averages of 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 29.1 minutes for Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota, Washington and Miami. He won two NBA championships (2012, 2013) and appeared in three NBA Finals (2011-2013) as a member of the Heat. He captured the 2005-06 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award and was selected as the 2000-01 Rookie of the Year after being drafted fifth overall in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Magic.

Miller ranks among the NBA’s most prolific shooters with top 20 career NBA rankings in several categories, including career three-point percentage (.409) and 1,531 made three-point baskets. The 6-8, 218-pound guard has hit at least 70 treys in 12 of his 14 seasons and topped 100 three-pointers eight times in his career. He has shot at least .400 from three-point range in nine different seasons.

In 2013-14, Miller ranked second in the NBA by connecting on .459 (107-233) of his three-point attempts and averaged 7.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 20.8 minutes over 82 contests (four starts) with Memphis. Miller will wear #18 with the Cavs.

Jones has played in 556 career games (89 starts) with averages of 5.7 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.2 minutes for Indiana, Phoenix, Portland and Miami during his 11-year career. He won two NBA championships (2012, 2013) and appeared in four NBA Finals (2011-2014) as a member of the Heat. He was drafted 49th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Pacers.

Jones has a career three-point percentage of .403 and his career free throw percentage is .848. The 6-8, 215-pound guard was the 2011 NBA Three-Point Shootout Champion at All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles. Jones will wear #1 with the Cavs.

Here’s the Boston Globe reporting on the National Basketball Players Association and their recent news:

History was quietly made this week by an organization that desperately needs positive publicity, with Michele Roberts working feverishly to ensure the NBA Players Association improves its reputation.

Roberts was named the first women to lead a men’s professional sports union last week after the NBPA went more than a year without an executive director. Countless times over the past six months, commissioner Adam Silver referred to the players’ lack of leadership as a reason major issues were being tabled.

Roberts was elected by 32 of the 36 player representatives, making her a barrier-breaker and also a neophyte in what has been a contentious relationship over the past several years. The NBA has sustained two major work stoppages over the past 16 years, including a 66-game lockout-marred season in 2011-12.

With those issues on her mind, Roberts said she hasn’t had time to reflect on her groundbreaking position. And she won’t. She said she’ll be too busy preparing herself for the task of representing the league’s players entering a critical financial phase in which salaries could rise significantly with a new television contract.

“I have continued professionally to reinvent myself,” said Roberts, who is a Washington-based lawyer in the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. “At one point I thought I was going to die a criminal defense attorney. And I haven’t done any criminal work in 10 years. I cannot recall being this excited in my life as I am right now. I quite frankly wish I could start tomorrow.”

Knicks sign second round draft pick Cleanthony Early

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward Cleanthony Early to a contract.

Early, 6-8, 219-pounds, was selected by New York in second round (34th overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft following his senior season at Wichita State University. The Bronx, NY-native led the Shockers to an undefeated regular season (34-0), with averages of 16.4 points on 48.6-percent shooting and 5.9 rebounds. He averaged 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds, over 27.9 minutes, in four games for New York’s entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League at Las Vegas, NV.

The new NBA game ball for the 2014-15 season includes a mention of the @NBA Twitter account. Photo:

NBA players union elects new executive director

The National Basketball Players Association has elected Michele Roberts as executive director, making her the first woman to lead a North American pro sports union.

Roberts received 32 of 36 votes in a process that was completed in the early morning hours of Tuesday. The Washington trial lawyer defeated tech industry CEO Dean Garfield and Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery in the final vote.

“After all the hours and time (invested by) our executive committee, along with an amazing search committee that helped throughout this process, it’s an unbelievable feeling to have the wonderful Michele Roberts now as a part of our team,” NBPA president and Los Angeles Clippers star guard Chris Paul told reporters in Las Vegas.

The vote capped a long and arduous process to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted in February of 2013. Roberts was one of the finalists initially offered to the rank-and-file during All-Star weekend in February, but the process was re-opened to broaden the search at the urging of some players and agents.

– Associated Press

Lakers re-sign Xavier Henry

Lakers re-sign Xavier Henry

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed free agent guard Xavier Henry, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Xavier earned a spot on our team last season after being a training camp invitee, and we hope he continues the dedication to improving he has displayed for us thus far,” said Kupchak. “When healthy, Xavier provided our team with an offensive punch, and we expect he’ll strive to add to his skillset and become a well-rounded player.”

In 43 games (five starts) last season, Henry averaged career-highs across-the-board with 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 21.1 minutes. The 23-year-old led the team in scoring seven times and had hit double-figures in scoring in 16 of his last 27 games before undergoing season-ending surgeries on his left wrist and right knee on April 11. Among his highlights last season were single-game career-bests in points (27, vs. POR 12/1), rebounds (eight, vs. MIN 11/10), assists (four, vs. MIN 12/20) and steals (three, five times).

Xavier (pronounced zah-vee-ay) is entering his fifth season in the NBA, after playing for the Memphis Grizzlies (2010-11), New Orleans Hornets (2011-13) and Lakers (2013-14) since being drafted with the 12th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by Memphis. Born in Ghent, Belgium, Henry declared for the Draft after his freshman season at Kansas, where he earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and Big 12 All-Freshman Team honors.

Enjoy these video highlights of the top plays from Monday, July 21 in Vegas, the summer league championship game:

Enjoy these video highlights of the top plays from Saturday, July 19 in Vegas:

Basketball blog