Archive for the ‘ General NBA insight ’ Category

Video: Top plays from Orlando Day 5

Here are video highlights of top plays from summer league Day 5 (Wednesday, July 9) in Orlando:

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has named Chad Buchanan Assistant General Manager.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Chad to our organization,” Cho said. “He is extremely organized and well prepared and will add another dimension to our basketball operations department with his extensive scouting and player evaluation experience. Chad is well respected throughout the NBA and I look forward to working closely with him as we look to continue to build and improve our basketball team.”

Buchanan comes to the Hornets after spending the last 10 years with the Portland Trail Blazers, including the last seven seasons as director of college scouting. In that role, he focused on all college, international and high school scouting, while also managing the development of the team’s scouting database, organizing pre-draft workouts and assisting in NBA player evaluation. Buchanan also served as the team’s acting general manager from 2011-12, where he was responsible for all player transactions, including the 2011 NBA Draft and free agency. He initially joined the Trail Blazers in 2004 as a scout before becoming director of college scouting in 2007.

Prior to the Trail Blazers, Buchanan spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Simpson College, his alma mater, from 1997-2002 and one season as an assistant coach at Drake University in 2003-04. In between, he served as assistant coach and assistant director of player personnel for the ABA’s Kansas City Knights in 2002-03.

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has added Pat Delany as an assistant coach on the staff of Head Coach Steve Clifford.

Delany joins the Hornets after spending last season as head coach of the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the NBA D-League affiliate of the Miami Heat.  In his first head coaching job, Delany led the team to a 31-19 record, which was tied for the second-best record in the D-League.  The .620 winning percentage was the fifth-best in the franchise’s 25-year history and the second-best in its eight seasons in the D-League.

Prior to being named head coach of the Skyforce, Delany served as the Heat’s advance scout for six seasons from 2007-13. He also served as the team’s video coordinator for four seasons from 2003-07 following one season as a video intern.

Video: Top plays from Orlando Day 4

Here are video highlights of top plays from summer league Day 4 in Orlando:

Here’s the Chicago Tribune reporting a Rick Brunson story that would work quite well as an episode of your favorite investigation-focused TV show:

Rick Brunson faces legal charges from incident with longtime massage therapist

Former Chicago Bull Rick Brunson used the name of a retired NBA superstar to book an appointment with a massage therapist who he allegedly attempted to sexually assault at a Vernon Hills fitness center, according to a newly released police report.

Brunson was charged last month with attempted sexual assault and aggravated battery after an incident April 2 at Life Time Athletic center.

The employee at the fitness center had notified Brunson that she would stop giving him massages in 2013, due to a undisclosed prior problem with him, according to the heavily redacted Vernon Hills police report.

Brunson, 42, was arrested June 25 in connection with the latest incident, according to the police report obtained by the Tribune through an open records request.

He had formerly booked massages with the alleged victim 10-20 times over a three-year period “always using his name,” the police report stated. On April 2, “she was surprised to see Brunson when she walked into the massage room since the name in the appointment book was not Brunson’s but listed as Patrick Ewing.”

Video: Top plays from Orlando Day 3

Here are video highlights of top plays from summer league Day 3 in Orlando:

The Memphis Grizzlies today announced that forward Zach Randolph exercised his player option for the 2014-15 season and signed a multi-year contract extension with the Grizzlies on June 30. We will add contract details to this page tonight.

Nicknamed “Z-Bo,” Randolph (6-9, 260) recently completed his fifth season in Memphis with averages of 17.4 points, 10.1 rebounds (9th in the NBA) and a career-high 2.5 assists on .467 shooting in 34.2 minutes in 79 games (all starts), guiding the team to a second consecutive 50-win season and a franchise-record fourth-straight appearance in the NBA Playoffs. Randolph led the Grizzlies in scoring average, rebounding average, total points (1,372) and total rebounds (795) for the fourth time since coming to Memphis.

This past season, Randolph tied for fourth in the NBA in double-doubles (47) and was one of seven NBA players to average at least 17 points and 10 rebounds, recording a double-double average for the seventh time in the last eight seasons and for the eighth time in his 13-year NBA career.  He tallied his 190th double-double in a Grizzlies uniform on Jan. 28, 2014 at Portland, breaking the franchise record once held by Pau Gasol, and tallied his 400th career double-double on March 26, 2014 at Utah, becoming the fourth-quickest active player to reach 400 behind Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard and Kevin Garnett.

“Zach has become a cornerstone of our franchise, and his contributions have been immense not just on the court but in the Memphis community,” said Grizzlies Interim General Manager Chris Wallace. “Through that process, he’s become one of the most popular Grizzlies in the history of the organization.”

In five seasons since coming to Memphis, the 32-year-old has averaged 17.8 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists on .480 shooting in 34.9 minutes in 339 games (317 starts).  He earned All-NBA Third Team honors in 2011, his first All-NBA nod, and was named to his first two All-Star Teams in 2010 and 2013.  Randolph is the first player in Grizzlies franchise history to be named to an All-NBA team and the only player to represent Memphis in multiple All-Star Games.  He achieved another career first (and franchise first) when he was named Western Conference Player of the Month in January 2011.

Randolph also has shined in the postseason, averaging 18.4 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists on .441 shooting in 37.8 minutes in 41 playoff games (all starts) for the Grizzlies.  Randolph guided Memphis to its first-ever playoff win and playoff series victory, knocking off the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the opening round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs, and led the Grizzlies to the 2013 Western Conference Finals.

Additionally, Randolph is the Grizzlies’ all-time leader in offensive rebounds (1,309), leading the NBA in total offensive boards since joining the Grizzlies and pacing the league in the category in both the 2009-10 and 2012-13 seasons.  He also ranks third in the NBA in total double-doubles (210) behind only Kevin Love and Dwight Howard.

The Marion, Ind. native has been an active member of the Memphis community and is a three-time winner of the NBA Kia Community Assist Award (December 2010, January 2013, November 2013).  Committed to making a deep and meaningful impact in the lives of single mothers and children living in poverty, Randolph makes generous contributions of both time and money throughout the year to help those in need.

Randolph holds NBA career averages of 17.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists on .472 shooting in 32.0 minutes in 845 games (696 starts) with the Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies.  He was drafted by Portland in the first round (19th overall) of the 2001 NBA Draft after helping lead Michigan State to the 2001 NCAA Final Four as a freshman and won the 2003-04 Most Improved Player Award after averaging 20.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists with the Trail Blazers.

Memphis acquired Randolph from the Los Angeles Clippers for Quentin Richardson on July 17, 2009.  He signed his first contract extension with the Grizzlies on April 20, 2011.

The Memphis Grizzlies signed 2014 first round draft pick Jordan Adams to a multi-year contract, the team announced today. As a first round selection, Adams was guaranteed to receive a contract. So this is standard, and was expected.

Adams (6-5, 209) was selected by Memphis in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft after two seasons at UCLA (2012-14), where he averaged 16.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and a school-record 2.43 steals on .467 shooting in 30.2 minutes in 69 career games.  His 168 career steals rank seventh in Bruins history.

As a sophomore last season, Adams earned First Team All-Pac 12 honors, leading the Bruins in scoring with 17.4 points and a conference-high 2.64 steals while shooting .485 from the field in 30.1 minutes in 36 games.  The Atlanta native totaled a single-season school-record 95 steals, ranking second in the NCAA, and his 626 points marked the second-highest single-season total at UCLA in the last 19 seasons behind Kevin Love (681 in 2007-08).

As a freshman, Adams tallied 15.3 points, fifth on UCLA’s all-time freshman scoring list, and a conference-best 2.21 steals on .447 shooting in 30.3 minutes in 33 contests.

The 19-year-old currently is averaging 21.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.00 steals in 30.0 minutes through two games (one start) for Memphis at the 2014 Orlando Pro Summer League.  He is shooting .440 overall (11-of-25 FG), .556 from three-point range (5-of-9 3FG) and a perfect 1.000 from the free throw line (15-of-15 FT).

Video: Top plays from Orlando Day 2

Here are video highlights of top plays from summer league Day 2 in Orlando:

Video: Top plays from Orlando Day 1

Here are video highlights of top plays from Day 1 in Orlando:

Thunder sign rookie Mitch McGary

Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has signed forward Mitch McGary. As a first round draft pick, McGary was guaranteed to receive a contract. This signing is standard, and was expected.

Taken by the Thunder with the 21st selection in last month’s NBA Draft, McGary appeared in 47 games during his two years at Michigan where he averaged 7.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game.

During his freshman season, McGary was named to the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament Team after helping lead the Wolverines to the National Title game. During tournament play, McGary averaged 14.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.7 blocks while shooting .678 percent from the field.

Prior to his sophomore campaign, McGary was selected as a preseason Associated Press and USA Today First-Team All-American in addition to being named a preseason candidate for the John R. Wooden Award, Naismith Award and USBWA’s Oscar Robertson Award.

McGary is set to participate during this week’s Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League. The Thunder will tip-off summer league competition today at 4 pm CT in a match-up versus the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement in principle with Lionel Hollins to serve as the team’s new head coach, General Manager Billy King announced.  Hollins will become the 19th head coach in the franchise’s NBA history.

“We are very excited to welcome Lionel as the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets,” said King. “He is a proven winner who will provide the franchise with stability and leadership going forward.”

“I want to thank the Nets ownership and Billy for this opportunity,” said Hollins. “It has been a long process to get back into the league, and I believe that Billy and I will have a very successful working relationship. Brooklyn has firmly established itself as a franchise that is committed to winning, and I eagerly look forward to becoming part of that culture and building on the success of the past two playoff appearances.”

A veteran of over 20 years of NBA coaching experience, Hollins most recently served as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012-13, where he guided the team to a franchise record 56 wins and reached the Western Conference Finals.  Hollins took the helm in Memphis midway through the 2008-09 season and led the Grizzlies to consecutive postseason appearances in his final three campaigns as coach.  In his four-plus season stint as head coach, Hollins compiled a record of 196-155 (.558).

The Las Vegas native was an original member of the Vancouver franchise as an assistant coach, and was a staple on the sidelines for 10 of the club’s first 12 seasons (1995‐00, 2002‐07).  Hollins twice served as the Grizzlies’ interim head coach, when he guided Vancouver to an 18‐42 finish (.300) in 1999‐00, and again took over for four games in 2004‐05, following the resignation of Hubie Brown.  Overall, Hollins owns a career NBA coaching record of 214‐201 (.516).  Prior to joining the Grizzlies, the Arizona State graduate spent seven years with the Phoenix Suns (1988‐95) as an assistant coach under Cotton Fitzsimmons and later Paul Westphal.  He began his coaching career as an assistant at Arizona State in 1985 and served for part of the 2008-09 season as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Selected sixth overall in the first round of the 1975 NBA Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers, the Arizona State product earned a spot on the 1976 All‐Rookie First Team and won an NBA Championship as a starter for the Trail Blazers in 1977.  A year later, he was an NBA All‐Star while also being named to the NBA’s All‐Defensive First Team.  Over 10 NBA seasons, Hollins averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 assists and 1.56 steals in 673 career games with the Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, San Diego Clippers, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets.

timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team will not extended qualifying offers to forwards Robbie Hummel and Othyus Jeffers. With Minnesota not extending qualifying offers to Hummel and Jeffers by today’s deadline, both players will become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Hummel, a 6-8 forward, appeared in 53 games (five starts) for Minnesota last season averaging 3.4 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 12.4 mpg. The Wolves originally drafted Hummel with the 58th overall selection (second round) of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Jeffers, a 6-5 guard, appeared in two games with Minnesota last season totaling two points and three rebounds. The Wolves signed Jeffers on April 8, 2014.

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has acquired guards Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington and Shane Larkin, center Samuel Dalembert and two second-round selections in the 2014 NBA Draft (34th & 51st overall) from Dallas in exchange for guard Raymond Felton and center Tyson Chandler.

“The journey to build this team for the upcoming season and beyond continues,” Jackson said. “We have added players with this move that will fit right in to our system while maintaining future flexibility.

“We would like to thank Raymond and Tyson for their time and hard work with the organization over the past few years.”

Calderon, 6-3, 211-pounds, holds career averages of 10.2 points, on 47.9-percent shooting from the floor and 41.1-percent from three-point range, and 6.8 assists in 634 games (432 starts) over nine seasons with Toronto, Detroit and Dallas. He ranked in the top five on the NBA assist list in four of the last seven seasons and set a single-season NBA record by shooting 98.1-percent (151-154) from the free throw line in 2008-09 with the Raptors. This past season for the Mavericks, he averaged 11.4 points and 4.7 assists and hit a career high 191 three pointers (seventh in NBA) over 30.5 minutes in 81 games (all starts).

The 32-year-old Villanueva de la Serena, Spain-native played six seasons in the Spanish professional leagues before signing with Toronto on Aug. 3, 2005. His illustrious career with the Spanish national team includes winning Silver Olympic medals at the 2008 games in Beijing and 2012 games in London, and was a member of the 2006 FIBA World Championship team.

Dalembert, 6-11, 250-pounds, holds career averages of 7.8 points, on 52.3-percent shooting, 7.9 rebounds and 1.76 blocks over 24.7 minutes in 854 games (673 starts) in 12 NBA seasons with Philadelphia, Sacramento, Houston, Milwaukee and Dallas. He has ranked in the top 10 in total blocked shots in seven of the those 12 seasons. This past season, the 33-year-old averaged 7.8 points, on a career-best 56.8-percent shooting, 6.8 rebounds and 1.18 blocks over 20.2 minutes in 80 games (68 starts) with Dallas. The Port-au-Prince, Haiti-native, who played two seasons at Seton Hall University (NJ), was originally selected by Philadelphia in first round (26th overall) of 2001 NBA Draft.

Ellington, 6-4, 200-pounds, holds career averages of 6.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists over 17.9 minutes in 312 games (35 starts) over five NBA seasons with Minnesota, Memphis, Cleveland and Dallas and averaged 3.2 points over 8.7 minutes in 45 games (one start) for the Mavericks this past season. He was originally selected by Minnesota following his junior season at the University of North Carolina in first round (28th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft.

Larkin, 5-11, 176-pounds, was selected by Atlanta following his sophomore season at the University of Miami in first round (18th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft before his draft rights were traded to Dallas. As a rookie, he averaged 2.8 points and 1.5 assists over 10.2 minutes in 48 games for Dallas and 15.3 points, 8.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds over 35.7 minutes in four games for the Texas Legends of NBA Development League this past season. At the University of Miami, he led the Hurricanes to the 2013 regular-season and post-season ACC Titles and on to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament, while being named Lute Olson National Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year and an AP second team All-American. He is the son of MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.

Chandler, 7-1, 245-pounds, averaged 8.7 points, on 59.3-percent shooting, 9.6 rebounds and 1.15 blocks over 30.2 minutes in 55 games (all starts) this past season. He was acquired from Dallas, via a sign-and-trade, in a three-team deal on Dec. 10, 2011 and finishes his Knicks career as its all-time leader in field goal percentage (.638) in 183 games. In the orange and blue, the Hanford, CA-native, was selected to the NBA All-Defensive Team twice and as a reserve for the Eastern Conference at the 2013 NBA All-Star game. He was named the 2012 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

Felton, 6-1, 205-pounds, averaged 9.7 points, 5.6 assists and 3.0 rebounds over 31 minutes in 65 games (all starts) last season in his second stint in New York after a Jul. 16, 2012 trade with Portland. Over three non-consecutive seasons, the Marion, SC-native averaged 13.4 points and 6.6 assists (fourth all-time) in 187 games for the Knicks.

clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers today announced a restructuring of the team’s basketball operations department. Doc Rivers, formerly Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach, will take on the title of President of Basketball Operations and continue as Head Coach.

Kevin Eastman, who served as an assistant coach with the Clippers last season and has been on the sidelines as an assistant with Rivers for nine years, moves into the role of Vice President of Basketball Operations and will report to Rivers. Eastman has been involved in college or professional basketball for 24 years as either a head or assistant coach, and will now supervise all facets of the Clippers Basketball Operations Department.

Dave Wohl becomes General Manager of the Clippers after working as the team’s Director of Professional Scouting last season. As General Manager, Wohl will direct the Clippers player personnel, draft and trade decisions.

Wohl brings more than four decades of NBA experience to his new role as General Manager. Prior to joining the Clippers, Wohl was an assistant coach for Minnesota from 2009-2011 and was the Assistant General Manager of the Boston Celtics from 2007-2009. He has also worked in various capacities for Orlando, Miami, Sacramento and the Lakers in addition to serving as the head coach of the New Jersey Nets from 1985-1988.

Working directly under Wohl will be Assistant General Manager Gary Sacks, Director of Scouting Gerald Madkins and Assistant Director of Scouting Jason Piombetti.

In addition, the Clippers have added Jud Winton to the Basketball Operations staff as Director of Analytics.

Jeff Potter, president of the 2014 NBA Development League champion Fort Wayne Mad Ants, was today named the 2014 NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year, NBA D-League President Dan Reed announced. The NBA Development League Team Executive of the Year is determined by peer voting and teams are not allowed to vote for themselves.

“We are very pleased to honor Jeff with the Team Executive of the Year Award in recognition of the Mad Ants’ milestone year both on and off the floor,” said Reed. “Under Jeff’s leadership, the team has become an integral part of the Fort Wayne community and established itself as part of the rich tradition of Indiana basketball.”

As president of the Mad Ants, Potter oversees all business and basketball operations for the team. Through his leadership, the Mad Ants captured their first NBA D-League title after a benchmark season in which the team had the best regular season record (34-16) for the league and won its first Eastern Division crown. Potter’s squad, which set a team regular season record for wins and swept their opponents in the postseason (6-0), also featured the league’s Co-Most Valuable Player and Sportsmanship Award recipient Ron Howard and Coach of the Year Conner Henry. In addition, five Mad Ants earned postseason honors including All-NBA D-League selections Howard (First Team), Tony Mitchell (third team), and Tim Ohlbrecht (honorable mention); All-Rookie selection Trey McKinney-Jones (third team); and All-Defensive Team Sadiel Rojas (second team).

A member of the Board of Directors for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Potter’s impact stretched beyond the court as he forged a longtime partnership with Lutheran Health Network, the first presenting sponsorship in the team’s history, and enhanced the team’s social responsibility initiative, which included over 160 community service projects in the area. In recognition of the team’s commitment, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry proclaimed Wednesday, April 30, 2014 as Fort Wayne Mad Ants Day following their triumph in the NBA D-League Finals.

“I am deeply honored, humbled, and thankful that my peers voted to give me this wonderful award,” said Potter. “It has been a banner year for the Mad Ants both in our business and on the court, and it does not happen without my fantastic staff, which helps make this job the best in the world. I share this award with them and our entire Mad Ants family.”

Previous winners of the award include Bill Boyce (Texas Legends, 2013), David Higdon (Bakersfield Jam, 2012), Bert Garcia (Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 2011) and Jon Jennings (Maine Red Claws, 2010).

Here’s the Philadelphia Daily News on the new NBA Finals format:

Because of the long travel between the East and West coasts, the NBA changed the format for the Finals to a 2-3-2 starting in 1985. But in October, before the season, the NBA Board of Governors voted unanimously to return to the 2-2-1-1-1.

“There certainly was a perception it was unfair to the team that had the better record, that it was then playing the pivotal Game 5 on the road,” said NBA commissoner Adam Silver. “So this obviously moves that game back to giving homecourt advantage to the team with the better record, if it’s a 2-2 series.”

There is no large anomaly that says 2-2-1-1-1 provides a different outcome from 2-3-2. If you go by the theory that the team with the better overall record throughout the regular season is generally the better team, then the teams with the homecourt advantage were 21-8 (72.4 percent) in winning the NBA Finals.

By comparison, in 2-2-1-1-1, which had been used in all seven-game series leading into the Finals, the team with home court has won 75.8 percent of series.

Quin Snyder is new Jazz coach

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has named Quin Snyder as head coach.  Per team policy, financial terms were not released.  Snyder is the eighth head coach in Jazz history and the fifth since the franchise’s relocation to Utah in 1979.  Snyder will be formally introduced at a press conference on Saturday.

“On behalf of the Miller family, I welcome Quin Snyder as the new head coach of the Utah Jazz,” said Greg Miller, chief executive officer of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.  “He has an impressive basketball pedigree, including more than a decade of head coaching experience that positions him well to succeed in the Jazz organization.  We look forward to Quin’s contributions both on the court and in the community.”

Snyder possesses a diverse coaching background that spans more than two decades in the NBA, Europe, the NBA Development League and college, including 10 years of experience as a head coach.

“We were very disciplined and thorough in our process, which has resulted in hiring Quin to lead this team into a new era for Jazz basketball,” said Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby. “He has been affiliated with tremendous coaches and programs throughout his career from Duke University to the Atlanta Hawks.  We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding Quin from some of the most respected basketball minds in the game.”

From 2007-10, Snyder served as head coach of the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League (the D-League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs), where he recorded a 94-56 (.627) mark, while leading the club to playoff appearances in all three seasons and advancing to at least the D-League Semifinals each year.  In his first season with the Toros, Snyder inherited a team that had finished the prior season 21-29, and led them to a 30-20 record, a Southwest Division title and an appearance in the 2008 D-League Finals.  He followed that with consecutive 32-18 campaigns and first-round playoff wins, earning the D-League’s 2009 Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year honors and a selection as head coach of the 2009 D-League All-Star Game in Phoenix.  During his three-year tenure in Austin, Snyder compiled more wins and guided more players to the NBA than any other coach in the D-League.

His first head coaching position came at the University of Missouri, where in seven seasons (1999-2006), he led the Tigers to a 128-96 (.571) record and four NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2002.

“Quin Snyder combines a unique skillset with several intangibles that makes him the right fit for our team and approach to basketball,” said Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey.  “He is passionate about the game and has a 20-year track record of teaching and developing young talent.  His personality, work ethic and communications skills are important traits that will benefit the Utah Jazz.  We have taken a significant and exciting step forward in the evolution of this franchise.”

Snyder most recently completed his first season as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks in 2013-14 under Mike Budenholzer, helping the Hawks to a 2014 playoff appearance.  He has also served as an assistant with CSKA Moscow (2012-13) for Ettore Messina, worked as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2011-12 with Mike Brown and the Philadelphia 76ers in 2010-11 alongside Doug Collins.  Prior to being hired as head coach at Missouri, Snyder served as associate head coach to Mike Krzyzewski at Duke from 1993-99, and as an assistant for Larry Brown with the 1992-93 Los Angeles Clippers.

“The opportunity to join the Utah Jazz and to be part of such a highly respected franchise with an incredibly bright future is a great honor,” Snyder said. “I approach this opportunity with gratitude and humility and am committed to doing everything I can to help the Jazz become a championship-caliber team.”

Born in Mercer Island, Wash., Snyder was a two-time Washington player of the year and a McDonald’s All-American.  He played collegiately at Duke (1985-89), appearing in 136 games for the Blue Devils and reaching three Final Fours.  He was elected as a team captain and honored as an Academic All-American during his senior season.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling agreed Wednesday to sign off on selling the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for what would be a record $2 billion, according to his attorney.

Sterling ”has made an agreement with the NBA to resolve all their differences” and as co-owner has given his consent to a deal that was negotiated by his wife, Shelly Sterling, to sell the team, said attorney Maxwell Blecher.

Representatives for Shelly Sterling declined to comment. The NBA declined to comment on Wednesday afternoon.

– Associated Press

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced it will launch a limited-edition NBA-branded shoe, NBA Anniversary 2014, on June 6. Only 1,946 pairs will be available to commemorate the NBA’s first year in 1946. The launch will coincide with the start of the 2014 NBA Finals. They will have a suggested retail value of $119.

Each pair of shoes will be a collector’s item, identified with a unique four-digit serial number, sequentially numbered from 0001 to 1946 and includes an Official NBA Certificate of Authenticity.

The shoe features a red, white and blue design inspired by the NBA logo, while the 30 stars on the heel commemorate the league’s 30 teams and its world class athletes. The shoe is packaged in a specially crafted box with the league’s most significant milestones and the 30 team logos etched in gold on the inside of the cover.

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