Enjoy this 19-minute video featuring the best NBA dunks of the 2014-15 season:
Archive for the ‘ General NBA insight ’ Category
The NBA announced today that Kiki VanDeWeghe has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations. VanDeWeghe, who has been serving as Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations, will lead the Basketball Operations department effective immediately.
The league also will hire a new President, League Operations. VanDeWeghe and Mike Bantom, Executive Vice President, Referee Operations, will both report to that person.
The moves come as two top executives depart the league office. President, Basketball Operations Rod Thorn retired this month after more than 50 years as a player, coach, and executive in professional basketball. In addition, President, League Operations Joel Litvin will be stepping down effective Sept. 1 after a 27-year career in the league office.
“Kiki is one of the sharpest basketball minds in the NBA,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “In addition to his storied UCLA and NBA playing career plus his extensive experience as a general manager, coach, and TV analyst, he has most recently helped drive innovations in analytics that are reshaping the league in areas such as scheduling, game statistics, and player health.”
VanDeWeghe joined the league office in April 2013 as Vice President, Basketball Operations and was promoted to Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations later the same year. He has been involved in a broad range of basketball matters, including the development of playing rules and interpretations, game analytics, and policies and procedures relating to the operation of NBA games.
Before his time with the league office, VanDeWeghe served as the general manager of the New Jersey Nets from 2008 to 2010 and the general manager of the Denver Nuggets from 2001 to 2006. His tenure in New Jersey included a stint as interim head coach during the 2009-10 season. He also worked as an NBA analyst for ESPN and Fox Sports.
VanDeWeghe’s NBA playing career spanned 13 years, with the Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Clippers, during which he averaged 19.7 points per game, made two All-Star appearances, and helped his teams reach the playoffs 12 times.
Bantom, an NBA executive for 26 years, has overseen the league’s officiating program since 2012. He was hired by the NBA in 1989 after a 16-year professional playing career. Bantom averaged 12.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in nine NBA seasons before playing seven more seasons in Italy.
Enjoy this video showcasing many of the best dunks from the 2014-15 NBA season:
Under Armour and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today a multiyear global partnership that makes Under Armour the title partner of the NBA Draft Combine and presenting partner of the Jr. NBA, the league’s youth basketball program. Under Armour will also team with the league to launch an innovative NBA FIT mobile application powered by the brand’s Connected Fitness platform. This new marketing and merchandising agreement represents an expanded partnership between the NBA and Under Armour, a league partner since 2011.
This is pretty minor news from the general NBA fan standpoint. The Combine has limited visibility outside of the players involved and media in attendance.
As the title partner, Under Armour will become the outfitter of the NBA Draft Combine beginning in 2018, in addition to developing a retail line of NBA Draft Combine apparel for fans. The NBA Draft Combine is an invite-only showcase in which leading draft prospects participate in athletic testing, five-on-five games, and interviews with teams ahead of the NBA Draft presented by State Farm.
The Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour will launch its expanded efforts in the U.S. this October with the goal of engaging five million youth during the first two years of the program through a series of basketball clinics, skills challenges and regional tournaments. This program aims to develop a lifelong passion for basketball in boys and girls ages 6-14 by teaching them the fundamentals of the game, while emphasizing values like sportsmanship, respect, teamwork, and healthy living. The Jr. NBA will include ongoing programming from affiliated youth basketball organizations, resources for participating coaches, and instructional digital content for kids and parents.
“We’re proud to expand our partnership with the NBA and continue our shared commitment to help basketball players everywhere realize their potential, on and off the court,” said Adam Peake, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Under Armour. “The new elements of our partnership will allow Under Armour to leverage our leadership in athletic performance innovation and Connected Fitness to foster the worldwide growth of basketball.”
“Under Armour and the NBA share a commitment to basketball, fitness, and healthy living,” said Emilio Collins, NBA Executive Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships. “Together we have a unique opportunity to teach the values of the game to millions of kids through the Jr. NBA program, and to give our fans the latest information on exercise and wellness through the NBA FIT app.”
Enjoy this video of the best NBA crossovers from the 2014-15 season:
Here’s the Hartford Courant with the latest on Ray Allen, who is apparently still open to continuing his NBA career if the opportunity is right:
Yes, Ray Allen cleaned out his closets this summer and gave away some of his shoes, leading fans on an Instagram-driven scavenger hunt around Hartford.
But don’t read into it. He still has lots of shoes, and he’s not yet retired.
“I haven’t said anything about that and I won’t officially retire,” Allen said Saturday during a break in his basketball camp for kids at East Granby High. “Because if something came to the table, contractually and situational-ly, I want to be able to take a strong look at it. I don’t want to be that guy that says he’s retiring and then is coming back.”
Allen, the former UConn star and the most accomplished three-point shooter in NBA history, turned 40 on July 20 and has now been out of the game a full season, though, he said “a quarter to half” the teams in the NBA contacted him about coming back in time for the playoffs last spring.
Here’s the Orange County Register reporting on new Lakers center Roy Hibbert, who the Indiana Pacers basically traded to Los Angeles for nothing:
To Larry Bird and others in charge in Indiana, Roy Hibbert was a lost cause. A lumbering center with little offensive game and a disinterested temperament, they were happy pawning him off for nothing more than a future second-round draft pick.
The Lakers, however, view Hibbert as a player who can not only regain his standing as an All-Star big man, but anchor their anemic defense, which last year ranked second-worst in the NBA.
“I expect to play at an All-Star defensive level, and everything else will come,” Hibbert said Wednesday.
Hibbert, 28, was introduced at the Lakers facility along with free agents Lou Williams and Brandon Bass, a clutch of veterans expected to help ease the burden on the team’s young core.
Baron Davis was an awesome, explosive, fun, excellent point guard in his day. Then injuries and age kicked in as they tend to do, and he wasn’t B-Diddy anymore. But now in 2015, Baron reportedly good enough to give the NBA another shot. The odds are against him. But we’re rooting for him. Here’s the New York Post reporting:
“This is the first time I’m going to put myself out there,” Davis said on Sirius XM NBA Radio. “I’m going to try out for some teams.”
The two-time All-Star last played a competitive game on May 6, 2012, in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, helping the Knicks secure their first playoff victory since 2001.
Nevertheless, Davis wasn’t be able to revel in the Knicks’ success, falling to the court late in the game after suffering a partial tear of the patella tendon in his right knee along with complete tears of his right MCL and ACL.
The Dallas Mavericks announced today that guard Raymond Felton has exercised his player option for the 2015-16 season.
Felton (6-1, 205) played in 29 games (three starts) with the Mavericks last season and averaged 3.7 points and 1.4 assists in 9.7 minutes.
Drafted by Charlotte in the first round (fifth overall pick) of the 2005 NBA Draft, Felton holds career averages of 12.7 points, 6.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 33.3 minutes in 696 career games (615 starts) with Charlotte, New York, Denver, Portland and Dallas.
Nike and NBA announce 8-year partnership
It’s official, the NBA and Nike will begin what will hopefully be a beautiful relationship starting in the 2017-18 season. The league currently has a deal with adidas — and that’s been wonderful as well. But change happens.
One of the biggest aspects of this agreement in our view is that the Nike logo will appear right on NBA uniforms, in clear view of the entire world. This wasn’t the case with adidas.
Here’s complete official info, from the NBA and Nike:
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and NIKE, Inc. (NIKE) announced today an eight-year global merchandising and marketing partnership that will make NIKE the official oncourt apparel provider beginning with the 2017-18 NBA season.
“This partnership with NIKE represents a new paradigm in the structure of our global merchandising business,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “As our exclusive oncourt apparel provider, NIKE will be instrumental in our collective efforts to grow the game globally while applying the latest in technology to the design of our uniforms and oncourt products.”
NIKE has a rich history of innovating and leading from the front, and has supported some of the greatest former and current NBA and WNBA players. The company has been a global marketing partner of the NBA since 1992 and expands its rights over eight years under the new agreement, where NIKE will become the first NBA apparel partner to have its logo appear on NBA uniforms. NIKE will also have the global rights to design and manufacture authentic and Swingman jerseys as well as oncourt warm-ups and shooting shirts.
“We’re excited to bring the full power of our global reach, innovation and creativity to partner with the NBA and grow the game in a way only NIKE can,” said NIKE, Inc. President & CEO Mark Parker. “In NIKE, Jordan and Converse we have three of the most connected brands in the world, and look forward to making the global growth of the game a successful strategy for both the NBA and NIKE.”
A marketing partner of the WNBA since its inception in 1997, NIKE will now have an expanded presence at WNBA All-Star and other events throughout the season. Also, for the first time, NIKE will become a marketing partner of the NBA Development League (NBA D-League), engaging in seasonlong marketing activities with a major presence during the NBA D-League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tire and the NBA D-League Showcase presented by Samsung.
In addition, the partnership will activate around several NBA events such as NBA All-Star, NBA Global Games, NBA Draft presented by State Farm, Samsung NBA Summer League and NBA 3X. NIKE will remain the official partner and apparel provider of Basketball without Borders.
NIKE has served as the footwear and exclusive apparel provider of USA Basketball since 2006.
Glancing at the near-future of the West
Here’s the Dallas Morninig News with an early overall glance at the Western Conference for next season:
While the East remains the domain of whatever team James plays for in any given season, the West is as wide open as ever because of the wealth of strong teams. Next season, it wouldn’t take a lot for any of them to be where Golden State is now.
The Warriors have a great nucleus and a bright future, not to mention being favorites to win the finals in the here and now. But they are not head-and-shoulders better than a lot of their competition.
The Los Angeles Clippers lurk as contenders, as do Houston, Oklahoma City and Memphis. New Orleans is on the verge of becoming a major force, thanks to Anthony Davis. San Antonio isn’t going to shrivel up and die. Portland is tough. And we haven’t even mentioned the possibility of George Karl turning Sacramento into something big.
Which brings us to the Mavericks, who at this point aren’t far removed from any conversations about the Western Conference that include the Lakers and Utah.
Losing in the first round, which the Mavericks have done three times since winning the title, is not something they take a lot of pride in. The only thing it’s better than is not making the playoffs at all, which happened in 2013.
As expected, Klay Thompson should be ready for NBA Finals
Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting good news on the Warriors front:
Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson returned to practice Monday and expects to complete the NBA’s concussion protocol in the next couple of days, which would make him eligible to play Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday.
“I knew it wouldn’t take me more than a few days to get back to normal,” said Thompson, who said a concussion he had as a freshman in high school was much worse than the one he endured last week. “To me, I think this one was mild, not really severe. It was perfect, because I got a week off to get fully healthy.”
Thompson went down in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ Western Conference finals-clinching victory over Houston on Wednesday, when a leaping Trevor Ariza hit him with a knee to the side of the head in Game 5.
For now, Kevin Love expects to be with Cavs next season
Love can opt out of the one year remaining on his contract by June 30 and either negotiate for a new deal with the Cavs or test the market as an unrestricted free agent. And has been the case all season, the three-time All-Star, whose future has been the subject of speculation almost since the day he was traded to the Cavaliers, indicated he has no plans to leave.
“I expect to be suiting up by Game 1 of next year,” he said.
For the Cavs?
“Yes, sir,” he said.
Noticeably thinner after losing 15 pounds during his recovery, Love said not being on the floor with his teammates has been emotionally difficult. After six seasons in Minnesota, he was finally in the playoffs and appearing to hit his stride after a season in which his role transformed, when Olynyk’s aggressive play ended Love’s season in Game 4.
– Associated Press
Chris Gatling arrested, suspected of running credit card scam
Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on some suspected shady activity:
Former NBA player Chris Gatling was arrested in Arizona on Thursday on suspicion of running a nationwide online scam.
Scottsdale, Ariz., police confirmed the arrest to the Associated Press and said Gatling was released a short time after he was booked. Gatling, who last played in the NBA in 2002, faces charges of fraud, aggravated identity theft and forgery.
Police allege Gatling was operating a scheme that involved multiple online businesses being used to gather credit card numbers. Gatling then allegedly ran the numbers through other businesses for services never authorized by the cardholders. Police claim the operation was being run out of a Scottsdale call center, and it included stolen credit card numbers from people across the U.S.
Jrue Holiday surgery removes screw from leg
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday underwent successful surgery to remove a screw from a previously placed rod in his lower right leg, the team announced today. A timetable for his return to basketball activities will be determined at a later date.
Holiday, 6-4, 205, appeared in 40 games for New Orleans this season, averaging 14.8 points, 6.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds. Holiday appeared in three of New Orleans’ four playoff games, averaging 6.3 points, 4.3 assists and 1.0 rebounds.
Kevin Love injury leaves Cavs with frontcourt hole
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love underwent successful surgery this afternoon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City to repair his dislocated left shoulder. The surgery was performed by Dr. David W. Altchek.
Continuing treatment and rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic Courts and Cleveland Clinic Sports Health will be conducted by the Cavaliers’ medical staff and Head Team Physician Dr. Richard D. Parker.
Love’s projected recovery time is four to six months.
Jimmy Butler admitted after the Chicago Bulls’ 94-88 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Monday night that he believes he has been focused too much on offense and not enough on defense.
The Bulls still lead the series 3-2, but after dropping two straight games, the group’s confidence has taken a hit. Butler acknowledged that as a leader of this team, he has tried to speak to teammates in order to get the group back on the same page.
“I have,” Butler said. “I’ll stay on us about it. I’m supposed to be the prime-time defensive guy, and I haven’t been guarding a soul. I’ve been worried about offense too much, and I need to change that quickly or it’s going to be my fault.”
Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony is technically a New York native, but he spent much of his childhood in Baltimore.
He’s watched the city fall apart in recent days with riots and looting, so he decided to speak out in an Instagram message to Baltimore that’s been liked over 57,000 times and has 1,500 comments as of Tuesday morning.
“We need to protect our city, not destroy it,” he wrote in the message below. “What happens when we get the answers that we want, and the media attention is not there anymore? We go back to being the same ol Baltimore City again.”
There are different levels of knee surgery. Some are relatively minor, while others can really mess an athlete up for a season or two, or much longer. Here’s the Dallas Morning News reporting:
Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons said he’s delaying surgical work on his right knee until after the Mavericks are finished with their playoff run and that he and doctors won’t know exactly what’s wrong with the knee until he has the procedure.
Parsons has been getting multiple medical opinions on his injured knee, which kept him out of the final six games of the regular season and ended his playoff run after one game.
He also has been with the Mavericks for all of their playoff games, and that won’t change.
“There’s a lot of opinions and a lot of different things out there, but really the doctors won’t know anything until they open me up,” Parsons said at the Mavericks’ shootaround Tuesday morning. “So I’m not going to say something is going to happen or not happen and then be wrong. I really won’t know until they open me up.
Thabo Sefolosha statement on NYC police incident and his injuries
“I would like to begin by expressing my gratitude to my family and friends, the Hawks organization and my teammates. This has been a difficult time for me and I truly appreciate the support I have received from everyone. I am extremely disappointed that I will not be able to join my teammates on the court during the playoffs and apologize to them for any distraction this incident has caused. I will be cheering for them every step of the way and will be diligent in my rehabilitation.
On advice of counsel, I hope you can appreciate that I cannot discuss the facts of the case. Those questions will be answered by my attorney in a court of law. I will simply say that I am in great pain, have experienced a significant injury and that the injury was caused by the police.”