Watch video highlights of former NBA guard Mitch Richmond, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame
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Watch some video highlights from the career of former NBA center Alonzo Mourning, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame
The San Antonio Spurs are 60-17. Watch video highlights of some of their teamwork on the basketball court:
Here’s the San Antonio Express-News reporting on the Spurs and small forward Kawhi Leonard:
It was a comment Spurs fans have been clamoring to hear since, oh, about five games into Kawhi Leonard’s rookie season. Gregg Popovich, speaking last Sunday before Leonard would enjoy perhaps the best game of his young career, is finally ready to unleash his third-year small forward.
“We want to up his minutes,” Popovich said. “He’s going to play more minutes (in the playoffs) than Tim Duncan does probably, more minutes than Manu Ginobili probably. This is his stretch run and he needs to be in shape for it. He’s never really been able to do this because it was a lockout season or we had to limit his minutes last year. This is the first time he’s been able to lay it out there.”
And did Leonard ever lay it out there against the Grizzlies, sinking 12 of 13 shots en route to a career-high-tying 26 points. He earned a game score — a kind of single-serve efficiency measure — of 24.7 at Basketball-Reference.com, the highest in any his 219 NBA contests including the postseason.
Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on retired NBA center Alonzo Mourning, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this August:
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame made official Monday what has been known for days: Alonzo Mourning will be among those inducted in the 2014 class, in a ceremony scheduled for August in Springfield, Mass.
Mourning becomes the second Heat player to be inducted into the Hall, joining Gary Payton.
“I’m humbled and I’m truly honored,” Mourning said. “I’m very, very grateful. … If my life ended today, I’ve lived a storybook life.”
Mourning credited his family, Heat president Pat Riley and former Georgetown coach John Thompson, “who helped contribute so much to my life, not just as an athlete, but as a person. Big John taught me more about life than he did about basketball.”
Mourning said it “would only be fitting” if two people – presumably Riley and Thompson – are part of presenting him during his induction, adding it would be difficult to pick one over the other.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed forward Grant Jerrett to a contract, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.
Jerrett (6-10, 232) joins the Thunder after spending the past season with the Tulsa 66ers where he appeared in 27 games (25 starts) and averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game.
The Thunder secured the rights to Jerrett on draft night after he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 40th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
The University of Arizona product spent one collegiate season with the Wildcats before entering the NBA Draft.
Jerrett’s signing represents the ninth call-up all-time between the 66ers and the Thunder.
The Thunder roster now stands at 15.
The Atlanta Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers 107-88 on Sunday. Pacers center Roy Hibbert played just nine minutes in the game, finishing 0-of-5 for no points, rebounds or blocks — just one turnover. Here’s the Indianapolis Star on the Pacers coach Frank Vogel and the entire situation:
It was interesting, then, that in the midst of the Pacers’ humiliating 107-88 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks – winners of eight of their previous 29 games, by the way – Vogel channeled his inner Bird. With the Pacers trailing 17-3 and 6:05 remaining in a brutal first quarter, Vogel benched the entire starting five.
“They’re not getting it done,” Vogel said. “They’re not getting it done, we have to go to someone else, see if someone else can get it done.”
Vogel then did another un-Vogel-like thing to start the second half: He benched Roy Hibbert. Hallelujah, again. Hibbert was terrible, going 0-for-5 without a single rebound in 9 ½ minutes.
After the game, Vogel spun it by saying that he was thinking about resting Hibbert before the start of Sunday night’s game. Then, after watching Hibbert struggle – and watching somebody named Pero Antic light him up from the perimeter – Vogel pulled the plug.
Key word there being spun.
“I considered resting Roy before tonight’s game because he looks worn down,” Vogel said during a short, terse post-game press conference. “He’s a 7-2 player that’s played every game this year, which is very rare. He looks to me to be worn down. He’s giving good effort, but he looks to be to be worn down…I decided to play him, but when he got off to a slow start, I decided to rest him.”
Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press with the latest in the Dante Cunningham saga:
After posting bail for a felony domestic assault charge, Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham is now accused of sending his girlfriend messages that were “direct and rose to a terroristic level,” said Ed Belland, Medina’s director of public safety.
Medina police responded to a call on a violation for an order of protection at Cunningham’s home at about 3 a.m. Sunday. Cunningham then turned himself in at about 11:45 a.m. Sunday. He is in Hennepin County jail facing a new possible charge of terroristic threats, jail records show.
Cunningham posted $40,000 bail Friday night on a felony domestic assault charge from an incident Thursday morning. Cunningham then had 12 points, six rebounds and played 33 minutes in the 100-92 loss Saturday in Orlando.
The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent guard/forward Ronnie Brewer for the remainder of the season.
Brewer (6-7, 235) is currently in his eighth year in the NBA. After being drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 14th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, Brewer spent three-plus seasons in Utah. In addition to the Jazz, Brewer has also played for the Memphis Grizzlies, the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets. Earlier this season, he appeared in 23 games (three starts) with the Rockets, and averaged 0.3 ppg and 0.6 rpg in 6.9 mpg.
In seven-plus seasons in the NBA, he has played in 501 regular season games (304 starts) and averaged 7.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, and 1.24 spg in 23.0 mpg. The 29-year old Brewer has also made six trips (47 games; 17 starts) to the NBA playoffs, where he has averaged 5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 1.2 apg in 18.2 mpg.
Brewer will wear No. 11.
Chicago’s roster now stands at 13 players.
The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that they have signed guard/forward Adonis Thomas to a 10-day contract. Thomas is the 44th “Call-Up” of the 2013-14 NBA Development League season.
In 34 games for the Springfield Armor of the D-League this season, Thomas averaged 17 points, including 25 ppg over the final four games. He also shot 47% from three-point range, which placed him third in the league.
Thomas was also called up by the Orlando Magic on February 25, 2014 and appeared in four games.
An early entry candidate for the 2013 NBA Draft following his sophomore season at Memphis, Thomas was an All-Conference USA third-team selection and C-USA All-Tournament performer in his final season with the Tigers.
Thomas was the state of Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011 and appeared in the McDonald’s All-American Game, the Jordan Brand Classic and the Nike Hoops Summit.
Here’s the New York Post reporting on Kevin Garnett, who has finally returned to active duty for the 42-34 Brooklyn Nets. Garnett this season is averaging 6.8 points and 6.6 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game:
Kevin Garnett had been away from the Nets for so long that some teammates, and even coach Jason Kidd, joked with him prior to Saturday night’s game against the 76ers that he should be treated like a rookie. And despite being in the 19th year of a Hall of Fame career, Garnett admitted to feeling nervous before stepping on the floor.
But after missing 19 games over the last five weeks because of an ongoing bout with back spasms, Garnett looked as if he hadn’t missed a day, let alone a month. Moving fluidly, Garnett finished with 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting to go with four rebounds, an assist and a block in 13 minutes as the Nets earned a 105-101 victory over the hapless Sixers.
“I’ve been working my [butt] off to get back to where I’m at,” Garnett said after coming through the game with no further back issues. “Obviously I’m not to where I want to be but I felt good, I felt strong. … It’s been a journey to get back to this point, so I’m just trying to contribute at this point.”
Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting on Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders, who may be one of the first (if not the first) active NBA players to ever advocate for the use of marijuana:
Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders was apologetic about a five-game drug suspension but also vigorously defended his marijuana use in an interview Friday night before the Bucks played the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.
Sanders’ season-long saga took another wrong turn earlier Friday when he was penalized by the league for using marijuana in violation of the NBA/NBPA (National Basketball Players Association) drug program.
Sanders already was sidelined due to right orbital fractures suffered when he was elbowed inadvertently by Houston’s James Harden in a Feb. 8 game, an injury that required surgery…
“It’s something I feel strongly about, just to let you know something personal about me,” Sanders said in an interview with the Journal Sentinel and nba.com. “I will deal with the consequences from it. It’s a banned substance in my league. But I believe in marijuana and the medical side of it. I know what it is if I’m going to use it.
“I study it and I know the benefits it has. In a lot of ways we’ve been deprived. You can’t really label it with so many other drugs that people can be addicted to and have so many negative effects on your body and your family and your relationships and impairment. This is not the same thing.
“The stigma is that it’s illegal. I hate that. Once this becomes legal, this all will go away. But I understand for my work it’s a banned substance. I will deal with the consequences and I apologize again to my fans for that.”
Here’s ESPN Dallas reporting on Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who is a scorer of historical proportions:
Dirk Nowitzki has climbed higher than “The Human Highlight Film.”
The Dallas Mavericks star passed Dominique Wilkins for 11th place on the all-time scoring list Friday night when Nowitzki hit a free throw with 8:47 remaining in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Unbelievable,” said Nowitzki , who finished with 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting in the Mavs’ 107-95 win, giving him 26,678 points for his career. “It’s been a crazy ride. I used to be a big fan of Dominique. I watched all his dunk contests and the many ways he could score, sometimes missing his own shot and he’d be the person to dunk over two people. He was just so much fun to watch.
“It’s been surreal. It’s been a crazy ride for 16 years, and I’m going to keep competing for a couple more years.”
Saturday in Cleveland, the Bobcats beat the Cavaliers 96-94 in overtime. Cavs guard Kyrie Irving shot 16-of-31 for 44 points in the loss. Watch some video highlights of Irving’s effort:
The Timberwolves are going to miss the playoffs. With a 38-38 record, they are a full seven games behind the Phoenix Suns. Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the latest Wolves loss, which came with multiple key players missing:
Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio sat slumped at his locker after Saturday’s 100-92 loss at Orlando that in every conceivable way did not resemble a double-overtime victory at Miami the night before.
Two large ice bags covered his knees while he soaked his feet in ice. A smaller ice bag wrapped his right shooting hand.
Not him, too?
“Well,” he said, looking up, “It has been a long season.”
It grew noticeably longer for at least one evening when the Wolves on Saturday turned the clock back to a season ago and a time when they regularly played with as few as nine healthy players.
On Saturday, they began without starters Kevin Love, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic — just their three leading scorers — as well as Shabazz Muhammad and then lost Chase Budinger a minute into the game when he turned his ankle after he was fouled on a dunk attempt.
Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting on the 76ers, who are at least working hard and trying to play competitive basketball
Give the 76ers credit: They didn’t quit.
Never mind that their fourth-quarter comeback came against the Brooklyn Nets’ reserves. The fact that the Sixers made things competitive was a moral victory for a team in search of silver linings.
In the end, the Nets escaped with a 105-101 victory Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
“Teams know that we are not going to lay down,” Sixers power forward Thaddeus Young said. “We are going to continue to fight, try to keep pushing.
“. . . We just kept playing, kept playing, kept playing, and then it started to click for us.”
Brooklyn (42-34) had a commanding, 21-point lead with 8 minutes, 28 seconds left in the third quarter. Chipping away, the Sixers (17-60) pulled within 12 points heading into the fourth quarter.
Enjoy video highlights of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 30 years ago, hitting a skyhook to become the NBA all-time leading scorer:
The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has claimed rookie forward Erik Murphy off waivers from Chicago. In a related move, the Jazz requested waivers on center Andris Biedrins.
Following the moves, the Jazz roster remains at 15 players.
The 23-year-old Murphy (6-10, 230, Florida) was waived by Chicago on April 3 after appearing in 24 games for the Bulls, averaging 2.6 minutes per contest. He was selected by Chicago in the second round (49th overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft.
Murphy played in 136 games (67 starts) over a four-year career at the University of Florida (2009-13), finishing with career averages of 7.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 18.3 minutes, shooting .514 from the field, .435 from three-point range and .757 from the line. As a senior in 2012-13, Murphy earned First Team All-SEC and AP Honorable Mention All-American accolades after posting 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.69 blocks and 0.64 steals in 26.4 minutes per game for the Gators. He also shot .516 from the floor, an SEC-leading .453 from deep (72-159 3FG) and .784 from the line. Murphy was named to the All-SEC Tournament team in both 2012 and 2013.
Born in Lyon, France, Murphy is the son of former NBA forward Jay Murphy (1984-88) and Finland national team player Paivi Murphy, and holds dual U.S. and Finnish citizenship.
Murphy will wear jersey No. 33 for the Jazz.
Biedrins (7-0, 250, Latvia) appeared in six games this season for Utah, averaging 0.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 7.4 minutes per game. He was acquired from Golden State as part of a three-team trade that also included Denver on July 10, 2013.
The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent forward Chris Wright (6-8, 225) to a 10-day contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Wright is the 43rd “Call-Up” of the 2013-14 season from the NBA D-League.
This marks Wright’s second stint with the Bucks this season, after also spending 10 days with the club from March 14-23. He appeared in two games with the Bucks, averaging 6.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 16.5 minutes per game.
Wright returns to the Bucks from the D-League’s Maine Red Claws, where he’s appeared in 41 games this season and posted averages of 19.8 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest. He’s notched 14 double-doubles on the year, including seven in his last 11 appearances. Wright also played for the Red Claws during the 2012-13 season, when he average 18.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, and has been named to the D-League All-Star Game in both of his seasons in Maine.
After going undrafted out of Dayton in 2011, Wright was selected by the Red Claws with the third overall pick in the 2011 D-League Draft. He appeared in four games for the Red Claws, averaging 17.0 points and 10.8 rebounds, before signing with the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 24, 2011. Wright appeared in 24 games during his lone NBA season and posted 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest. Earning the start in Golden State’s season finale, Wright tallied a career-best 25 points and eight rebounds while shooting 11-of-14 from the field on April 26, 2012, at San Antonio.
Wright will wear #15 for the Bucks.
Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that guard Glen Rice has been recalled from the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League. Rice will be with the team for tonight’s game vs. Chicago.
In two separate assignments with the Energy, Rice has appeared in 19 games while averaging 17.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals in 28 minutes per game.
Rice has appeared in 11 games, including one start, for Washington this season while averaging 2.9 points in 10 minutes per game.
The 40-36 Wizards recently clinched a spot in the Eastern conference playoffs. They are currently the 6-seed, but could move up to five or drop to seven depending on how the rest of the season plays out.