Archive for the ‘ NBA Teams ’ Category

By Jeff Lenchiner

LeBron James stats in 2016 NBA Finals

The Cavaliers beat the Warriors in seven games to win the 2016 NBA championship. Here’s what Cavs star LeBron James averaged in the Finals series:

29.7 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 8.9 apg, 2.6 spg, 2.3 bpg, on 49% shooting.

That’s… insane.

Those are video game numbers.

Those are the type of stats your buddy in the park makes up, as a joke, about some rec league he allegedly dominated that you happen to have never heard of.

Except, they’re real, and they accurately represent what LeBron accomplished in the NBA Finals, against a team that had just won more regular season games than any team in the history of the NBA.

Cavs guard Kyrie Irving was excellent in the Finals too of course, averaging 27.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.9 apg and 2.1 spg, shooting 47% and hitting 40.5% from three-point range. He will never average a ton of assists in the current makeup of the Cavs team. But he produced, and often stepped up when the team seemed to be in an offensive lull. He did his job.

Third in scoring for the new champs was shooting guard J.R. Smith at 10.6 ppg (40% FG, 36% threes), then Tristan Thompson at 10.3 ppg and 10.1 rpg.

Kevin Love was quiet in the Finals, averaging 8.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg in 26.3 minutes per outing.

Back to those LeBron 2016 NBA Finals stats: have fun trying to come up with proper adjectives to describe just how awesome they are. And after you do that, just stare at them for a while, because they don’t happen often.

Richard Jefferson is retiring. Maybe.

The Cavaliers beat the Warriors in Game 7 last night to win the 2016 NBA championship. Veteran small forward Richard Jefferson emerged as a big-time contributor to the Cavs. And now, will RJ hang up his sneakers? Probably. But not definitely. ESPN.com reports:

Richard Jefferson is retiring. Maybe.

“I am retiring. I am retiring,” he told Fox Sports Ohio as he celebrated.

Later, in an interview on NBA TV, Jefferson said: “My teammates keep trying to talk me out of it, and I’m like guys, this has been the most stressful month of my life. I was like, ‘I don’t know.’”

Jefferson then told ESPN of retirement: “Maybe. If you ask me now, yes. But we’ll see.”

Definition of Warriors season

The NBA playoffs are down to one game. NBA Finals Game 7 is Sunday night at Golden State. And for some key Warriors players, a Game 7 loss would define the entire season as a failure. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Definition of Warriors season

After nearly nine months reaping the benefits of unity, being of one mindset, the Warriors are, in at least one regard, splintering as they approach Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

A loss would slap the term “failure” on this season, say guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

“Yeah, pretty much, because that was our goal from the beginning,” Curry said Saturday, on the eve of Game 7, echoing comments Thompson made two days earlier.

A loss would not define the season as a failure, says coach Steve Kerr, who took mild umbrage that someone would frame such a question.

Dante Exum will not play for Team Australia this summer

Utah Jazz guard Danté Exum will not participate in Australian National Team activities this summer.

Exum will instead focus on his preparation for the 2016-17 Jazz season. His rehabilitation and recovery process has continued to progress accordingly according to the team, and he was recently cleared for full-contact basketball activities.

“At this stage the most important thing for me right now is to continue training,” said Exum. “It’s been great to be back on the court competing, and I’m really motivated to help the Jazz have a successful season this year. My support and best wishes will be with the Boomers this summer, and I look forward to future opportunities to represent my home country.”

The 20-year-old guard underwent successful surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee on Sept. 3, 2015, after having sustained a tear of the ACL on Aug. 4 while competing for the Australian National Team in a game against the Slovenian National Team in Ljubljana, Slovenia. As a result of the injury, he missed the entire 2015-16 NBA season.

The 6-6, 205-pound native of Melbourne, Australia, averaged 4.8 points, 2.4 assists and 1.6 rebounds in 22.2 minutes as a rookie during the 2014-15 season and was selected to compete in the 2015 Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend. He also became just the 10th rookie in Jazz history to appear in all 82 games, starting 41 of those. Exum was originally selected by the Jazz in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2014 NBA Draft.

Buddy Hield works out for Lakers

The 2016 Draft is approaching, and one prospect worth keeping an eye on is 6-4, 214-pound senior Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield. Here’s ESPN LA reporting:

Buddy Hield wasn’t satisfied with his shooting performance during his private workout for the Los Angeles Lakers at their practice facility in El Segundo, California, on Saturday, so he asked for another try. And then another one.

During his last go-round, which was in front of a contingent of media, Hield started off hot before missing consecutive shots. He began yelling to pump himself up, saying, “C’mon Buddy Fresh!”

After the pep talk, Hield went on a shooting streak, exhibiting the elite stroke that made the Lakers bring him in for a second workout and has them considering him with the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday.

When asked how “Buddy Fresh” inspired the uptick in shooting, Hield revealed his on-court alter ego.

“It’s my own nickname. It’s my alter ego,” Hield said.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra buys new house

Here’s the Miami Herald with some off-court reporting:

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra buys new house

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who’s getting married to a former Heat dancer in July, has already upgraded his living quarters from his bachelor’s condo.

Spo, 45, just plunked down $2.6 million for a historic house in Coconut Grove, according to property records. He is set to get hitched to former cheerleader Nikki Sapp July 1…

Unlike his players, who often pay cash for their houses, Spoelstra got a mortgage just like the rest of us shleppers. Naples-based Florida Community Bank gave Spo a $1.95 million mortgage.

Timberwolves CEO Rob Moor resigns

Timberwolves CEO Rob Moor resigns

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx announced today that Rob Moor, who served as CEO for both franchises, is resigning from his position with the teams. Moor is transitioning to a role that will assist in the oversight of the holdings and business interests of Glen Taylor.

“I have been a part of the Timberwolves and Lynx organizations for over 20 years. I am extremely proud of the direction of the Timberwolves, and of the accomplishments of the three-time WNBA Champion Lynx,” said Moor. “It has been an honor to work with such a great group of fellow professionals.

“Glen has planned that the family assets will eventually move to a foundation,” Moor continued. “I am honored that Glen would select me to join a team that will be responsible for safeguarding those assets and seeing them continue to develop in the future.”

“As I continue preparations for succession planning, I recognize that our family’s assets have reached the point where a new approach needed to take place,” said Timberwolves and Lynx majority owner Glen Taylor. “The management and oversight over this diverse portfolio of companies requires more involvement by the family than they have in the past. Thus, I have asked Rob to join me in support of the oversight over these companies. Rob has worked with me since the beginning of my ownership of the Timberwolves and Lynx. Together, we have built a franchise that has a very promising future. His contributions, friendship and leadership are things that I will value in his new role and responsibilities.”

Moor’s replacement as Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx CEO will be determined in the near future.

Pistons announce basketball operations staff changes

Detroit Pistons Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy a few days ago announced promotions and restructuring within the basketball operations staff.

Pat Garrity has been promoted to assistant general manager, Andrew Loomis to chief of staff and Bob Beyer to associate head coach. Otis Smith joins the Pistons’ staff as director of player development/assistant coach while assistant coach Brendan Malone will transition to a special assignment scout, residing in New York. Quentin Richardson is leaving the organization for personal reasons.

“I’m proud to announce the restructuring of our basketball staff knowing that we have great people expanding their roles while maintaining continuity within our department,” said Van Gundy. “Pat, Andrew and Bob are well deserving of new responsibilities and we welcome Otis to Detroit on a full-time basis. Brendan is moving away from the bench and returning to his New York roots, but will continue to provide great basketball counsel and insight that has made him a great basketball mind for decades. We thank Quentin for his hard work over the last two seasons and respect his desire to spend more time with his family in Orlando.”

Garrity, formerly director of strategic planning, joined the Pistons in 2014 following a 10-year NBA playing career and three-plus working as a client advisor for a Connecticut-based hedge fund. Drafted 19th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Garrity was sent to the Phoenix Suns in a draft-day trade. After one season with the Suns, he was traded to the Magic where he played from 1999-2008. He played for Van Gundy in 2007-08 and posted career averages of 7.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 552 NBA games.

A four-year player at the University of Notre Dame, Garrity averaged 18.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 111 games for the Fighting Irish. He graduated with a BS in Science, Pre-Professional Studies from Notre Dame and, following his retirement from the NBA in 2008, earned an MBA with a concentration in Investment Finance from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Loomis served the last two seasons as executive director of basketball operations for the Pistons. Previously, he spent three-and-a-half seasons with the Golden State and Santa Cruz Warriors. Over the last two seasons, he’s helped in the management of the basketball operations of the Grand Rapids Drive – the NBA D-League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons. Prior to joining the Pistons, Loomis led the player development efforts for the Golden State Warriors while also serving as the assistant general manager of the Santa Cruz Warriors. He also spent eight seasons with the New Orleans Hornets in various capacities including; researching and compiling statistical information on prospective players, evaluating salary cap implications for potential trades and free agent signings, ensuring compliance with the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and assisting with the implementation of player development initiatives and community relations activities.

Beyer recently completed his second season as an assistant coach with the Pistons after serving as an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats during the 2013-14 season. A coaching veteran with over 30 years of experience at the NBA and collegiate levels, Beyer spent the 2012-13 season as an assistant coach with Golden State. Prior to that, he spent five seasons on Van Gundy’s staff with the Orlando Magic from 2007-12. Beyer’s NBA coaching career began with the Toronto Raptors, when he served as an assistant coach in 2003-04 and as the team’s advance scout in 2004-05. At the college level, he spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Texas Tech University under legendary Coach Bob Knight from 2001-03 and served as head coach at Siena College from 1994-97. His college coaching career also includes stints as an assistant coach at the University of Albany (1985-89), Siena (1989-93), the University of Wisconsin (1994-97), Northwestern University (1997-2000) and the University of Dayton (2005-07).

Smith joins the Pistons staff after serving as head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive for the last two seasons. A veteran of 25-plus years of basketball experience, Smith served as president of basketball operations/general manager of the Orlando Magic from 2010-12. He first joined the Magic as director of player development in 2003-04 and was promoted to assistant general manager in 2005-06 before being named general manager in May of 2006. Under Smith’s leadership Orlando made the playoffs six times, recorded a franchise-record four straight seasons with 50-plus wins (2007-11), won three Southeast Division Titles (2007-10) and reached the NBA Finals in 2009. During his time with the Magic, the team accumulated a record of 299-177 (.628).

Prior to his time with Orlando, Smith spent the 2002-03 season as executive director of basketball operations with the Golden State Warriors. He also served as director of community relations/Warriors foundation for Golden State from 1999-02 and as community relations manager with the Orlando Magic from 1996-98. As a player, Smith appeared in 375 career NBA regular-season games with Denver, Golden State and Orlando, averaging 10.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 20.6 minutes.

Malone recently completed his second year of his second stint as an assistant coach with the Pistons. He previously served as an assistant coach in Detroit from 1988-95, including four seasons (1988-92) on Hall-of-Fame Coach Chuck Daly’s staff when he helped the Pistons win back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990. Malone has 30-plus years of NBA coaching experience. He was named the first ever head coach of the expansion Toronto Raptors in 1995 and served as an assistant coach on Van Gundy’s staff in Orlando from 2007-12.

A New York native, Malone’s NBA coaching career began with the New York Knicks as an assistant coach in 1986. He later had two more stints with the Knicks (1997-00 and 2003-04). He’s also served as an assistant coach with the Indiana Pacers (2000-03) and Cleveland Cavaliers (2004-05), where he took over as head coach for the final 18 games of that season. Collegiately, Malone worked as an assistant coach at Fordham (1976-77), Yale (1977-78) and Syracuse (1978-84) before becoming the head coach at the University of Rhode Island (1984-86).

Richardson joined the Pistons in 2014 as director of player development following a 13-year NBA playing career.

Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr fined by NBA

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and head coach Steve Kerr have each been fined $25,000 for separate incidents, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Curry has been fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece into the spectator stands.

Curry, occurred with 4:22 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 115-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 6 of The Finals on June 16 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Kerr has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of the officiating during his press conference following the same game.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have an NBA trade. The Detroit Pistons have acquired forward Cameron Bairstow from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

Bairstow, 25, appeared in 18 games (two starts) with Chicago last season, averaging 1.9 points, 1.6 rebounds and 5.7 minutes. The two-year NBA pro was drafted out of the University of New Mexico with the 49th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. As a senior for the Lobos, he averaged a Mountain West Conference-high 20.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 32.9 minutes in 34 games (all starts). A native of Brisbane, Australia, Bairstow holds career averages of 1.2 points, 1.0 rebounds and 4.6 minutes in 36 NBA games (three starts) all with the Bulls.

Dinwiddie, 23, completed his second NBA season with averages of 4.8 points, 1.8 assists, 1.4 rebounds and 13.3 minutes in 12 games. Drafted by the Pistons with the 38th overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft out of the University of Colorado, Dinwiddie owns career averages of 4.4 points, 2.7 assists, 1.4 rebounds and 13.3 minutes in NBA 46 games (one start).

Whenever a team hires a new head coach, it’s only natural that players on the team will say positive things about their new leader. Still, it’s always interesting to see the exact wording the players use and what they choose to emphasize about the coach. Here’s ESPN NY reporting on the Knicks:

Kristaps Porzingis pleased with hiring of Jeff Hornacek

Just like nearly everyone else following the New York Knicks’ coaching search, Kristaps Porzingis was surprised when he first heard the club decided to hire Jeff Hornacek.

“There were a lot of names, coming up — David Blatt, [Frank] Vogel. Hornacek just came out of the nowhere,” Porzingis said in an interview with ESPN this week from his youth camp in Liepaja, Latvia. “I think it’s a really good decision from [team president] Phil [Jackson] and [GM] Steve [Mills].”

Yes, Hornacek received approval from one of the most important members of the Knicks franchise this week. Porzingis told ESPN that he’s looking forward to working with his new head coach.

“I think he’s a very smart coach. He knows how to use his players and that’s exactly what we need,” Porzingis said.

New Sacramento Kings uniforms

Today, the Sacramento Kings unveiled a new uniform system for the 2016-17 season, featuring the team’s recently released logos.

“Our bold modern look represents our commitment to Sacramento and the pride of this region,” said Kings President Chris Granger. “Sacramento Proud will be on display at home, on the road and across the globe.”

Here is how the Kings describe their new uniforms:

The four new uniforms – home, away, global and city – showcase updated emblems and a refreshed color palate. The classic Baby Blues, worn from 1985-1990, as well as for select home games last year – will return as a part of the team’s ongoing salute to the origins of the team.

At the center of the home, away and city jerseys, the team’s new crown serves as a reminder of the foundation of the team. The city jersey proudly features Sacramento’s oft-referenced acronym – SAC – in bold granite lettering, representing the organization’s deep connection to its city.

The clean, tri-colored side stripes on the shorts – inspired by the Kansas City-era Kings – are tapered for a modern look. At the base of the shorts for all three uniforms, the city logo serves as a reminder that when you root for the Kings, you root for Sacramento.

A bold, black global jersey features the team’s global crest, a symbol of leadership and strength. The granite pattern – a continuous “S” inspired by an emblem on our city’s flag – runs horizontally through the jersey to reflect the inseparable link between the team and its community. The design runs through the shorts up to a single granite stripe, reminiscent of the team’s first black uniforms in 1994. The primary emblem on the shorts is inspired by the classic Kings logo, reimagined to reflect the civic and franchise pride that has grown over the last 31 years.

Each jersey is united by the team’s beginnings in Sacramento, as a baby blue band runs along the base of the collar, while three baby blue stiches that run perpendicular to the seam on the right side of the jersey stand for the three elements that form the soul of our franchise: our city, our pride and our foundation. At the base of the jersey, a baby blue “Sacramento Proud” tab is embedded to serve as a reminder that each jersey is more than a uniform – it is a symbol honoring our city every time the team takes the court.

Coach Kevin Eastman retires

Eastman has 31 years of combined pro and college basketball experience

Coach Kevin Eastman retires

The Clippers have announced the retirement of assistant coach Kevin Eastman, who served as a Clippers coach for two seasons and was an assistant under Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers in Boston for eight years.

“Kevin has one of the best basketball minds I have ever been around,” Rivers said. “After much deliberation, he has decided to move forward with his goals and aspirations to impact the game through speaking and consulting at all levels. Kevin has been an integral part of the Clippers success and culture, and his unparalleled loyalty will be greatly missed. We are thankful for his time and commitment and I am confident he will continue to excel both on and off the court.”

Eastman spent the 2014-15 season as the Clippers Vice President of Basketball Operations and has been involved in college and professional basketball for a combined 31 years.

Bower has been Pistons general manager since June, 2014

Pistons sign GM Jeff Bower to contract extension

The Detroit Pistons have signed general manager Jeff Bower to a contract extension.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the job Jeff has done for our organization,” said Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations Stan Van Gundy. “He’s been at the forefront of all the moves we’ve made over the last two seasons and has implemented much of the strategy and structure throughout our basketball operations department. The confidence I have in his ability allows me to go out and coach during the season knowing that he’s always looking to make our team better.”

Pistons Owner Tom Gores praised Bower’s work shaping the roster and contributing to a cohesive leadership team.

“Jeff has been a key link for Stan and me and the whole organization to accomplish many things in a very short period of time,” said Gores. “His ingenuity, along with having a deep understanding of Stan’s basketball vision, has very quickly helped us toward our goal of long term sustained success. He deserves a lot of the credit for getting us to the playoffs and assembling a cohesive, young team that will continue to grow.”

Bower was named general manager on June 3, 2014. His tenure coincides with the team’s improved record over the last two seasons and its return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. In Bower’s first year as the Pistons general manager, the club went 32-50 and posted a three-game improvement from the previous season. Detroit moved to 44-38 in 2015-16, marking the team’s most wins and first above-.500 record since 2007-08.

The Bucks were a disappointment this season, putting up a 33-49 record. They showed little growth from last year. But, their roster remains young, and the team still clearly loves head coach Jason Kidd. And the two sides will reportedly soon agree to an extension. Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting:

Bucks, Jason Kidd will soon sign extension

The Milwaukee Bucks and head coach Jason Kidd have agreed on the parameters of a three-year, $15 million contract extension, multiple league sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed to the Journal Sentinel on Monday.

Kidd initially signed a three-year, $15 million contract when he came to the Bucks in the summer of 2014, after one season coaching the Brooklyn Nets. The new deal would take him through the 2019-’20 season, which would include the first two years of the team playing in its new downtown arena.

The Bucks have compiled a 74-90 record in Kidd’s two seasons as head coach.

Tiago Splitter learning broadcast skills

Hawks center Tiago Splitter is still a basketball player, and focused on that, but has recently spent time gathering a side skill: broadcasting. A pretty good idea, since that’s one of the obvious job choices out there once their playing days end. Here’s the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting:

Tiago Splitter learning broadcast skills

Tiago Splitter is ahead of the game.

He already has a prime broadcasting job.

Still, the Hawks center spent last week getting a crash course in the new craft at Sportscaster U., a program sponsored by the NBA Players Association at Syracuse University. He will put what he learned to use when he calls basketball games during the 2016 Summer Olympics in his native Brazil in August.

Splitter had hoped to play in the Olympics but right hip surgery in February while playing his first season with the Hawks put an abrupt end to such dreams.

“I’ve thought about in in the past,” Splitter said of a possible broadcast career after his playing days are over.

JJ Barea had surgery in April

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on Mavericks guard Jose Juan Barea:

JJ Barea had surgery in April

Barea said he underwent arthroscopic surgery in April to repair his right medial meniscus. The 10-year veteran added that only rest – not surgery –was needed to repair the strained right groin injury that nagged him during the latter stages of the regular season and throughout the Mavericks’ five-game first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I just had one knee scope the day after the season, and it was awesome,’’ Barea. “It was real quick and I’m good to go.’’

Barea played in Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game this past Friday night and walked away without any complications from his surgery. He also played a few games of knockouts with some kids at the Mavs’ Hoop Camp on Monday morning at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Stephen Curry pranks media with ice pack

The Warriors lead the Cavs 3-1 in the 2016 NBA Finals. The defending champs won’t have Draymond Green’s services for Game 5, but they’re still in good shape. Now, as for guard Stephen Curry, is he fully healthy? Nobody knows. He’s looked like himself for some stretches of some games, but plenty of other times has looked like a regular, mortal, pretty good guard. He’s clearly mostly healthy, or else he wouldn’t be out there at all. But as for real injuries? Here’s CSN Bay Area with the latest:

Stephen Curry pranks media with ice pack on shoulder

It was with a completely different look that Steph Curry walked to the interview podium Sunday after Warriors practice.

There was a large ice pack wrapped around his right shoulder, a visual that was particularly notable in the wake of weekend reports he is coping with a shoulder injury.

The ice pack was, according to Curry, his comedic response to reports he was having problems with his shoulders.

“I can’t even keep a straight face,” Curry said. “Whoever said I was getting shoulder surgery and all that kind of stuff, we’ve got bumps and bruises, but every – we’ll be all right.”

Tyronn Lue fined by NBA for comments

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Lue made his comments during the postgame press conference following the Golden State Warriors’ 108-97 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 4 of The Finals on June 10 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 upon league office review, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

In accordance with NBA rules, Green will serve a one-game suspension without pay for accruing his fourth Flagrant Foul point of the 2016 postseason. He will serve his suspension Monday, June 13 during Game 5 of The Finals at Oracle Arena.

The incident occurred when Green made unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 108-97 win in Game 4 of The Finals at Quicken Loans Arena.

Under league rules, any player who accumulates four flagrant foul points over the course of the playoffs will be automatically suspended for one game, and every additional flagrant foul will result in either a one-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 1) or a two-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 2).

“The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game” said VanDeWeghe. “While Draymond Green’s actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5.”

James has been assessed a technical foul upon league office review for his role in the altercation, which included a physical taunt.

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