Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

Nobody said the restaurant business was easy. Here’s TMZ Sports reporting on Yelp abuse directed towards the Curry family.

Houston Rockets fans are still so bitter at being knocked out of the playoffs by the Warriors, they’ve gone to Yelp to take out their frustrations on Ayesha Curry’s new Houston restaurant.

Steph Curry’s wife is opening International Smoke in Houston in July — and a bunch of haters have already bombarded the page with anti-Warriors trash talk, as first pointed out by NBA reporter Tomer Azarly.

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It’s always interesting learning about a team’s individual draft workout style. What players do at the workout, who they’re working out with, who on the team is in attendance, etc. In the case of the Warriors, do-almost-everything forward Draymond Green sat in yesterday. Here’s NBC Sports Bay Area with more:

The Warriors on Tuesday brought in six more draft hopefuls, who went through drills under the watchful eyes of the five most significant layers of the team.

CEO Joe Lacob was there, as was general manager Bob Myers, assistant GM/chief scout Larry Harris, assistant coach Ron Adams and…forward Draymond Green.

This is a glimpse into the inner workings of the Warriors, a hoops democracy in which every voice is given a chance to be heard.

It’s conceivable, though, that no one’s words carried more weight than those of Green, who continues to prove his value to the franchise goes beyond defending, rebounding, playmaking and scoring.

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Know those Stephen Curry mouthpieces that you see on TV more often than you’d probably like? Well, here’s a golden opportunity to look at one all the time, from the comfort of your own home, with the TV turned off. You can even wear it. Maybe it’ll make you shoot like Steph. It won’t. But maybe it will. It will not. But it could. Anyway, here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Another Stephen Curry game-used mouthguard is going up for sale.

This particular one was used by Curry in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals as the Golden State Warriors completed their sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It will hit the auction block in California-based firm SCP Auctions’ next sale that begins July 26 and concludes Aug. 11.

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The Clippers want their own arena, in Inglewood. It would be a big change for the neighborhood. And as always in situations like this, some local residents don’t want it to happen. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

A group of Inglewood residents filed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging the city violated state laws by entering into an exclusive negotiating agreement to develop public land for the Los Angeles Clippers’ new stadium.

This is the second lawsuit filed in the past three months against the City of Inglewood related to the Clippers’ proposed stadium.

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Warriors 2018 NBA Draft goals

The Warriors won the NBA championship again. As fantastic as their starting lineup is, there are always improvements that can be made on the bench. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting on Golden State’s 2018 NBA Draft needs/goals:

For the first time in the Steve Kerr era, the Warriors need to draft a player that can contribute right away, preferably at the wing position. The need is there because the Warriors need cheap players to fill out a roster that is already over the salary cap with eight players (not including Kevin Durant) and they want to add more youth to the roster, with the draft being the most direct way to do that.

“It’s been four years of our major core playing a lot of minutes, so the idea of having some youth that could step on the floor and give us some good minutes is appealing,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Tuesday.

And while Myers said that the Warriors would select the best player available with the No. 28 pick in the first round, that’s window-dressing. They want a wing — any size will work — that’s preferably an upperclassman (they’re more likely to be able to contribute) right away.

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Sixers not rushing hunt for new GM

After parting ways with Bryan Colangelo, the Sixers need a new GM. But they’re reportedly not in a rush to make it happen. It would have been nice to install somebody new in time for tomorrow’s NBA Draft, but better to be patient than make a rash, regrettable decision. Here’s the Philadelphia Daily News with more:

This was more or less the environment that Josh Harris described one week ago when he explained why he would not hurry to hire a new general manager.

“The way we’ve run the draft process and free-agency process pretty much forever since we’ve owned the team is that we hire really good people and we allow them to voice their opinions,” the Sixers’ majority owner said. “We almost have what would, in my day job, be an investment committee: There’s a lot of dialogue and debate around the table and there’s a consensus we try to develop.” …

With or without Colangelo, this offseason was going to be a test of the organization that he built in his two years at the helm. The question, then, is this: Is the organization he built a well-functioning one? Are the player evaluations solid? Are the market valuations accurate? Is the common understanding of the nature of the short- and long-term potential of the Sixers roster and the short- and long-term future of the environment in which they will compete a reflection of the realities within which they will attempt to win an NBA title?

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Jama Mahlalela has been named head coach of Raptors 905, who are the Toronto Raptors’ G League affiliate. Mahlalela becomes the third head coach in team history and joins the club following five seasons as an assistant coach at the NBA level.

“We are very excited to add Jama as our new head coach,” said Raptors 905 General Manager, Dan Tolzman. “After proving himself as an assistant on the Raptors staff, having an opportunity to run his own team is a major step in his development as a coach. Jama has played a big part in developing our young Raptors core, and we look forward to him continuing to do so from the Raptors 905 sideline. He is an example of what homegrown talent can achieve in this growing global game.”

A native of Mbabane, Swaziland, Mahlalela grew up in the Greater Toronto Area and played collegiately for five years at the University of British Columbia. He served as an assistant coach at the University of Toronto and worked at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment as a member of the community development staff, organizing Raptors Basketball Academy and various clinics throughout Canada. Mahlalela was later named director of basketball operations for NBA Asia and oversaw the League’s clinics, youth programs and elite-level development from his base in Hong Kong.

In 2011 Mahlalela joined the Raptors front office as director of player development, where he served for two seasons. He moved to the bench in 2013-14 helping with the team’s practice and game planning, individual player skill development and off-season programs. During the summers Mahlalela has been an active member in Masai Ujiri’s Giants of Africa camps and the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program.

“I am excited and grateful for the wonderful opportunity to coach the Raptors 905 team,” said Mahlalela. “I am eager to share my passion for the development of this sport with our young players and hope to use my previous experience as a Raptors assistant coach to reinforce and strengthen the connection between the two programs. My family and I would like to extend our sincere thanks to Masai Ujiri, Bobby Webster, Dan Tolzman, Larry Tanenbaum and the entire ownership group.”

Mahlalela takes over a Raptors 905 team that has appeared in the NBA G League Finals in back-to-back seasons. He will be a part of the Raptors coaching squad for the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League next month.

The Orlando Magic have named Ernest Eugene head athletic trainer, Luke Storey head strength and conditioning coach, Sameer Mehta physical therapist and Nathan Spencer performance and rehabilitation coach, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

In addition, Christian Espinoza, who served as an intern last season, has been promoted to full-time as assistant athletic trainer. Chad Gerhard (applied sports scientist) and Aki Tajima (athletic trainer/manual therapist) will remain on the staff.

Eugene joins Orlando after spending four seasons (2014-18) as assistant athletics director for sports medicine at Virginia Tech. He came to Virginia Tech following six seasons (2008-14) as the athletics trainer for the men’s basketball program at Marquette University, where he was promoted to director of sports medicine during his final year.

Storey comes to Orlando after spending more than five years (2013-18) at Peak Performance Project (P3), a sports performance facility that utilizes advanced sports science technologies to assess and train professional athletes.

Mehta comes to Orlando after spending 12 years at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He joined MedStar in March 2006 as a physical therapist, then spent the last six years as clinical supervisor/outpatient physical therapy.

Spencer joins Orlando after spending three seasons (2015-18) as head strength and conditioning coach with the Illawarra Hawks of the National Basketball League in Australia. Prior to his time with Illawarra, he was a strength and conditioning coach in professional rugby.

Kawhi Leonard reportedly seeks a trade

Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard is one of the most talented players in the NBA. When healthy. Here’s the LA Times reporting on Leonard’s apparent desire to take his talents away from San Antonio:

Add Kawhi Leonard to the list of NBA stars with an interest in playing in Los Angeles.

That interest is mutual from the city’s two NBA teams — with some conditions.

The star forward’s desire to leave the San Antonio Spurs became clear on Friday morning, when the San Antonio Express News first reported he wanted to be traded. According to sources not authorized to speak publicly, the Lakers have long been Leonard’s preferred destination, though the Clippers are among the teams he would consider.

Neither the Lakers nor the Clippers have had trade discussions with the Spurs yet, but both teams have concerns about the severity of Leonard’s quadriceps injury. That injury sidelined Leonard for most of last season. He spent several months away from the team while rehabbing, which led to public barbs from Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich about Leonard’s absence — an unusual move for the Spurs.

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Here’s what Boston.com has to say about the idea of the Boston Celtics trying to trade for Kawhi Leonard. Note that they aren’t actually attempting to acquire Leonard just yet. This is merely a discussion of a possibility:

Nope. Great player. Top 10 player. Not interested under these circumstances.

For starters, there are too many lingering questions. Did he quit on the Spurs? If so, why? And how do you reconcile that if you’re trading for him? San Antonio is supposed to be one of the most desirable situations in the league. What the heck happened there? Who is in his ear? And how did his injury play into it? Could he have played at the end of the season? Or was he seriously hurt? Is he completely over the quad injury, or does is this going to be an ongoing concern?

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Raptors hire Nick Nurse as head coach

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have named Nick Nurse as the team’s new head coach.

Nurse becomes the ninth head coach in franchise history after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the Raptors along with successful coaching tenures in the NBA G League and overseas.

“Nick is an innovative coach who has a tremendous basketball IQ, and a unique approach to the x’s and o’s. We’ve valued his creativity and dedication as he focused on making our offense one of the best in the NBA, and we believe that he will bring those qualities to his new role as head coach,” team president Masai Ujiri said. “This is an exciting and important season for the Raptors, and I believe Nick’s strong leadership and focus on winning are qualities which will help lead us to our ultimate goal, which is a championship.”

Nurse, 50, joined the Raptors in 2013 and helped construct an offensive system that ranked among in the NBA’s top 10 in three of five seasons. During the 2017-18 campaign the Raptors set franchise records for points per game (111.7) and three-pointers made (968).

“I’m proud to take on the role of head coach of the Toronto Raptors, and to continue to work with the exceptional players we have here,” Nurse said. “I’m grateful to Masai, Bobby, Larry Tanenbaum and the MLSE ownership for this opportunity. Toronto and the Raptors organization has been my home for the past five years, and I’ve watched this group grow and succeed together. I’m looking forward to more of that this season, and to working towards our shared goal, which is to earn the right to call ourselves NBA Champions.”

Prior to joining the Raptors, Nurse spent six seasons in the NBA G League as head coach for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2011-13) and the Iowa Energy (2007-11). He compiled a regular-season record of 183-117 (.610), which ranks second all-time in NBA G League history for most victories. Nurse also has the most playoff victories in the league’s history with a 15-6 (.714) record. He is the only coach to lead two different teams to an NBA G League Championship.

During his final season with Rio Grande Valley, Nurse led the Vipers to a 35-15 record and the 2012-13 NBA G League title. Before joining the Vipers, Nurse led Iowa to the 2010-11 G League Championship and was the recipient of the Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year award.

Nurse, a native of Carroll, Iowa, played collegiately at Northern Iowa and stayed on as an assistant coach during the 1989-90 season. He travelled overseas to become player-coach of the Derby Storm in the British Basketball League (BLL) for one season before being named head coach at Grand View College in Iowa.

Following two seasons as an assistant coach at South Dakota, Nurse returned to Great Britain where he coached the Birmingham Bullets (1995-96), Manchester Giants (1998-2000), London Towers (2000-01) and Brighton Bears (2000-06). He won two BLL championships in 1996 and 2000, and was named Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2003. Nurse also earned six all-star head coach selections.

Nurse also gained coaching experience in Italy, Belgium, the USBL and served as an assistant coach for the British National Team during the 2012 Olympics in London.

The Philadelphia 76ers have exercised the fourth-year options on the contracts of guard T.J. McConnell and forward-center Richaun Holmes.

The two players will now be under contract with the 76ers for the 2018-19 season.

McConnell originally signed with the 76ers in September 2015. Since his NBA debut in 2015-16, no NBA player has recorded more steals in a reserve role than McConnell’s 203. His 697 assists off the bench over the past three seasons are second in the league, behind only Dallas’ J.J. Barea.

On Feb. 12, 2018 vs. New York, McConnell posted 10 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists and six steals as he became the first 76er ever to post a triple-double off the bench (teammate Markelle Fultz accomplished the feat weeks later).

Holmes was selected by Philadelphia with the 37th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. In his three NBA seasons with the 76ers, he has played in 156 games (20 starts), averaging 7.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per game.

We’re all used to the Staples Center being the home of both the Lakers and Clippers. It’s certainly practical for anybody in Los Angeles with easy access to LA Live. But Clipper fans may have to learn directions to Inglewood if Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gets his way. Here’s the the Los Angeles Times with an update:

Under a big white tent on a dirt field that was a few feet south of where the Rams are constructing their new stadium, Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and Inglewood city officials held a news conference Tuesday during which they expressed their desire to introduce legislation in the quest to build a basketball arena there.

The legislation, AB 987, will provide shortcuts for approval if the proposed project faces challenges under California’s primary environmental law governing development. A similar bill, SB 789, failed to gain traction last year.

The Clippers play at Staples Center, which is owned by AEG, and share the arena with the Lakers and Kings.

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We are now in a crucially important period of the basketball offseason: Awaiting the draft, but also seeing which players enter free agency. Some will do so automatically because their contract has officially ended, but with others it’s by choice, either by the player or the team. In the case of the Wizards, here’s the Washington Post with an update on Jodie Meeks:

Jodie Meeks will reportedly stay with Wizards

In an expected move, Washington Wizards guard Jodie Meeks exercised the player option of his contract for the 2018-19 season, according to league sources. Meeks’s return will signal a hit to the salary cap while also ensuring the Wizards will be shorthanded to start next season.

With Meeks, the Wizards have 10 players under contract. The sharpshooter is expected to earn $3.45 million next season and though his individual income appears meager compared to the team’s core players John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr., the cumulative amount will push the team’s 2018-19 salary past $124 million.

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Head coach Steve Kerr is obviously having great success with his star-filled Warriors team. There’s no reason to even think that the two sides won’t continue together. Here’s the SF Chronicle with the latest on upcoming contract extension talks between the two sides:

Steve Kerr expects contract extension talks to go smoothly

“We’ll get that done pretty quickly,” Kerr said Monday. “I don’t think there will be much to it. It should happen relatively quickly.”

Kerr and Golden State began to discuss an extension last summer, but Kerr opted to wait a year for final discussions to be sure he was healthy enough to make a long-term commitment. Now, after coaching every game in the Warriors’ run to the 2017-18 NBA championship, Kerr is ready to sign an extension.

“Whenever he wants to start, we’ll figure it out,” general manager Bob Myers said. “I think the nice thing is we developed a camaraderie and we feel like he wants to be here. We want him here. We’ll work it out.”

Kerr, 52, rebuffed an offer from the Knicks in May 2014 and signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Warriors.

Abdel Nader undergoes wrist surgery

Last Friday, June 8, Boston Celtics guard/forward Abdel Nader underwent a right wrist arthroscopy and ulnar osteotomy. The purpose of the surgery was to correct lingering issues stemming from a fracture he suffered way back in high school.

Nader should be able to return to basketball activities in around 2-3 months. The team thinks he’ll be at full strength for the start of training camp.

In the 2017-18 regular season, Nader played in 48 games and averaged 3.0 points in 10.9 minutes per outing.

In the 2018 playoffs, he played in 11 games, and averaged 1.1 points in 3.0 minutes per outing.

The 6-6, 230-pound Nader is 24 years old and was drafted 58th overall in the 2016 draft. He played college basketball at Iowa State.

The Detroit Pistons announced today an agreement with Dwane Casey to join the organization as Head Coach. Casey, who will be formally introduced at a news conference in Detroit next week, is expected to start immediately with player meetings and staff development starting this week.

“Dwane is one of the most successful and highly respected coaches in our league,” said Pistons Owner Tom Gores. “He’s a great communicator and a leader who will connect with our players and accelerate their growth. Having spent many hours with Dwane over the last few weeks, I’m confident he is the right person to get us to the next level.

“In our meetings he displayed great insight into what this roster can accomplish, and great passion about our city and the team’s role in bringing people together,” Mr. Gores said. “He’s an outstanding man with impressive character. He embodies our culture and will be a great representative for our franchise.”

Mr. Casey, who led the Toronto Raptors to 59 wins in the most recently completed season, is a finalist for the NBA’s 2018 Coach of the Year Award, which will presented on June 25 at the league’s awards dinner in Los Angeles. Last month, he was named the Coach of the Year by the National Basketball Coaches Association.

“I am excited and honored to join the Detroit Pistons, a franchise with a championship history and a roster that is ready to win now,” Mr. Casey said. “Tom really won me over with his vision for the team and the city. He clearly wants to deliver for the fans in Detroit and I believe in the strength of his leadership to do so.

“I’m confident that this team has the pieces in place to compete at a very high level,” Mr. Casey added. “There is a lot of talent, a solid core and some exciting young players eager to get better. We’re getting to work right away on the things that will make us all successful.”

Casey, 61, has served as a head coach, associate head coach or assistant coach in the NBA for 23 of the past 24 years. He has coached in two NBA Finals (1996 and 2011) and three NBA All-Star games (1996, 1998 and 2018).

Casey most recently served as head coach of the Toronto Raptors from 2011-2018 where he compiled a 320-238 (.573) regular-season record and led the Raptors to a franchise-record five consecutive playoff appearances, including a trip to the 2016 Eastern Conference Finals. The all-time winningest coach in Raptors history, Casey led Toronto to the franchise’s first 50-win season in 2015-16, recorded 50-plus wins in each of the last three seasons and posted a franchise-record 59 wins and the top seed in the Eastern Conference in 2017-18. Toronto won four Atlantic Division titles during Casey’s tenure. He was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month five times, and last February, became the first coach in Raptors history to be selected to coach in the NBA All-Star game.

Prior to his appointment with Toronto, he served as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2005-07. Casey’s 2005-06 squad finished in the NBA’s top 10 in fewest average points per game and lowest opponent field goal percentage.

Casey began his NBA career as an assistant coach with the Seattle Supersonics where he served from 1994-2005 under NBA head coaches George Karl, Paul Westphal and Nate McMillan. Promoted to associate head coach in November 2000, nine of his teams in Seattle finished above .500 with five winning 50 or more games. The 1996 squad won the Western Conference Championship after finishing the regular season with a franchise record 64 victories.

He also spent three seasons (2008-11) as an assistant with Dallas under Rick Carlisle where he directed the club’s defense and helped lead the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA Championship. Dallas posted a 162-84 (.659) mark during that span, winning 50 or more games in each of his three seasons with the team. His defensive unit held opponents to 96.0 points per game (6th in the NBA) and .450 percent shooting from the field (8th in the NBA) during the 2010-11 regular season.

In 14 seasons as an NBA assistant, Casey’s teams registered a 689-427 (.617) mark with eight campaigns of 50 or more wins. His teams qualified for the playoffs in 11 of those 14 seasons.

Prior to the NBA, Casey spent five seasons as a head coach in the Japanese Basketball League and worked with the Japanese national team. In the summer of 1998, he helped to guide Japan to its first appearance in the FIBA World Championship, which marked a first for Japan in over 30 years.

A native of Morganfield, KY, Casey played collegiately at the University of Kentucky. During his junior season, the Wildcats amassed 30-2 record and captured the 1978 NCAA Championship. As a senior, he was named team captain and won Kentucky’s all-academic award.

If Tyronn Lue has his way, he’ll be coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers again next season. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Tyronn Lue confirmed to reporters after Friday’s series-ending Game 4 loss in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors that he intends to return as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers next season.

Lue, who guided the Cavs to their first championship in franchise history after being elevated from associate head coach to the head coach midway through the 2015-16 season, when David Blatt was dismissed, has three years remaining on the five-year, $35 million contract extension he signed in the summer of 2016.

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Will former Raptors head coach Dwane Casey, recently let go by the team after years of success, become the next head coach of the Pistons? Maybe. Here’s Michigan Live with an update:

After dropping a strong hint Friday on ESPN’s First Take that he will be coaching the Detroit Pistons, Dwane Casey tapped the brakes a bit shortly after on another of the network’s shows.

Casey, appearing on The Jump with Rachel Nichols, said nothing is finalized with the Pistons but spoke glowingly of the organization and praised the roster.

“I had a couple of great meetings, one with the management, with Ed Stefanski, who’s a great GM, a great guy, he’s a main reason why the job is appealing, along with (Blake Griffin) and also Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson,” Casey told Nichols.

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Summer leagues are next month. It’s too early to dive in fully, but here’s some quick info on the Heat, as reported by the Palm Beach Post:

Eric Glass’ ascension on the Heat bench will continue this summer.

The Heat confirmed that Glass will lead the organization’s summer-league teams in Sacramento and Las Vegas this year. The 34-year-old Glass follows in the footsteps of Heat assistant coaches Chris Quinn, Juwan Howard and Dan Craig as head of the team’s summer program — Quinn coached the Heat’s summer-league team last year, Howard led the summer program in 2016 and Craig coached the summer rosters from 2013 through 2015.

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