Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

George Kaiser joins Thunder ownership group

Tulsa businessman George B. Kaiser has been approved by the NBA Board of Governors as a new partner in The Professional Basketball Club, LLC, which owns the Oklahoma City Thunder. Thunder Chairman and CEO Clayton I. Bennett made the announcement today. Kaiser is purchasing the ownership interest of Tom L. Ward.

“We are honored to welcome George Kaiser as a member of the ownership group of the Oklahoma City Thunder,” Bennett said. “George is a well-respected and important Oklahoma business leader, as well as one of the state and nation’s top philanthropists. His commitment to successful business and community leadership is in true alignment with that of the Thunder.

“I also appreciate the commitment and leadership provided by Tom Ward as a member of our ownership group from the beginning,” Bennett added.

“I am pleased to join the Thunder ownership group,” Kaiser said. “I appreciate what Tom, Clay and the other owners have done to make Oklahoma City a big-league city and look forward to joining the continuing effort to gain positive recognition for our state.”

“I am very pleased to have been a part of the group that brought the Thunder to Oklahoma City, ” Ward said. “The team has generated tremendous excitement in our city and state. This transaction allows me to have greater focus on the things that I know and care about the most, which include launching new Oklahoma-based energy companies and supporting charitable organizations that demonstrate compassion to those in need.”

Kaiser is president, CEO and primary owner of GBK Corporation, parent of Kaiser-Francis Oil Company, which he has managed for 40 years. He is chairman of the board and majority shareholder of BOK Financial Corporation and a major shareholder in several energy, oil and gas, mining and technology companies.

Kaiser has been engaged in numerous civic activities, including working with others to establish both the Tulsa Community Foundation and Tulsa Educare. He founded the George Kaiser Family Foundation, dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty through investments in early childhood education, community health, social services and civic enhancements.

In addition, through a transaction approved by the NBA Board of Governors on Friday, Clayton I. Bennett, Chairman and CEO of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chairman of Dorchester Capital; Aubrey K. McClendon, Chairman and CEO of American Energy Partners; William M. Cameron, Chairman and CEO of American Fidelity Assurance Company; and Jay Scaramucci, President of Balon Corporation, have each purchased ownership interests from G. Jeffrey Records, Jr., CEO of MidFirst Bank. Records remains a significant owner of the team and MidFirst remains a major sponsor.

The ownership interests of Everett R. Dobson, Managing Partner of Dobson Partnerships; and Robert E. Howard II, Chairman of Howard Investments, did not change.

Knicks sign Lamar Odom

Knicks sign Lamar Odom

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed forward Lamar Odom for the remainder of the season, which ends tonight. Though multiple reports state that the deal is a two year deal, with the first season ending tonight, and next season nonguaranteed.

Odom has been the subject of very negative drug-related rumors for the better part of a year now. His marriage to Khloe Kardashian fell apart for that reason, according to virtually every gossip news outlet in existence. It makes sense that Odom’s deal is so short. This gives the Knicks a chance to get to know him and see if he’s fit for a contract next season.

Odom, 6-10, 221-pounds, holds career averages of 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 33.4 minutes in 961 games (684 starts) over 14 seasons with the L.A. Clippers, Miami, L.A. Lakers and Dallas. He appeared in two games for Baskonia (Spain) this season and last played in the NBA for the Clippers during the 2012-13 season, averaging 4.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists over 19.7 minutes in 82 games (two starts).

The Queens-native, was originally selected by the Clippers after his sophomore season at the University of Rhode Island in the first round (fourth overall) of 1999 NBA Draft. He is a two-time NBA champion (2009 & 2010) with the Lakers, and was on the Bronze-medal winning team with USA Basketball in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. In addition, Odom was the 2011 NBA Sixth Man of the Year and was an NBA All-Rookie First Team selection in 2000.

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright

Bucks sign forward Chris Wright

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward Chris Wright (6-8, 225) to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Wright had played with the Bucks on two separate 10-day contracts, the last signed on April 5. He appeared in seven games with the Bucks, averaging 6.0 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 15.4 minutes per game.

Prior to joining the Bucks, Wright played with 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 wears #15 for the Bucks.

Warriors center Andrew Bogut injured, out with rib fracture

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut has been diagnosed with a rib fracture and will be sidelined indefinitely. The injury, which occurred during the fourth quarter of Golden State’s overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers last night, was revealed in x-rays taken immediately after the game and confirmed today by the team’s medical staff.

In 67 games this season, Bogut is averaging 7.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.81 blocks in 26.4 minutes, while shooting 62.7 percent from the floor.

DeMarcus Cousins suspended one game for receiving 16th technical foul of season

The Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins has received a one-game suspension without pay for receiving his 16th technical foul of the 2013-14 season, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Under NBA rules, a player or coach is automatically suspended without pay for one game once he receives his 16th technical foul during a regular season. For every two additional technical fouls received during that regular season, the player or coach will be automatically suspended for an additional game.

Cousins received his most recent technical foul with 1:13 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 106-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 13, at Sleep Train Arena. Cousins will serve his suspension in the Kings’ season finale on Wednesday, April 16, when Sacramento hosts the Phoenix Suns.

To view the play, click on this link.

Pelicans sign Melvin Ely, waive Greg Stiemsma

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team waived center Greg Stiemsma and signed center Melvin Ely for the remainder of the season.

Ely (6-10, 260) has appeared in 373 games over eight NBA seasons, averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. The 6-10 center joins the Pelicans after playing the last two seasons for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League, where he appeared in 78 games (74 starts) and averaged 13.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game. In the 2013-14 season, Ely totaled 15.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 41 appearances and was selected to the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game.

Stiemsma appeared in 55 games (20 starts) this season for the Pelicans and averaged 2.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 block in 18.3 minutes per game. The three-year veteran holds career averages of 3.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 16.0 minutes per game.

Ely will wear No. 4 and will be available for tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Steve Koonin named CEO of Atlanta Hawks

Steve Koonin named CEO of Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have named Steve Koonin as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), it was announced today. In his role as CEO, Koonin will oversee all business, financial and strategic operations of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. He will also acquire an equity position within the ownership group, and represent the owners as the head of the organization. A nationally respected entertainment and marketing veteran, Koonin’s 28-year track record of working with the National Basketball Association (NBA), along with his marketing expertise and leadership abilities, will help usher in a new era of Atlanta Hawks basketball.

“Steve Koonin’s reputation as a game changer in both marketing and media makes him the ideal leader to usher the Atlanta Hawks into a new era. He has created a legacy as an expert in sports marketing, television, branding and digital media,” said Hawks Majority Owner Bruce Levenson. “The Hawks are thrilled that Steve is joining the ownership group as both our CEO and a partner.”

“I have known Steve for more than two decades and based both on first-hand experience and his stellar record of accomplishments, he is one of the very best executives and creative minds in the entertainment industry,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “I am thrilled that he is joining the Hawks and bringing his expertise and passion for the game to the team and its fans.”

Steve joins the Hawks following a 14-year stint with Turner Entertainment Networks, where he most recently served as the division’s president. As president, he oversaw programming, marketing, scheduling, strategy and operations for top-rated networks TNT, TBS, TruTV, and Turner Classic Movies. Under his watch, the aforementioned networks have won numerous Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards, as well as established ratings records and critical acclaim. Koonin has been instrumental in the programming and media rights acquisition processes around the NBA and NCAA, and has helped build strong brand franchises in “Inside the NBA” and “NBA on TNT”. Prior to Turner, Koonin was at the helm of presence marketing and worldwide advertising at The Coca-Cola Company, where he spent over a decade. While serving as Coca-Cola’s vice president of sports and entertainment marketing, he was named Sports Executive of the Year by Sports Business Journal.

“I have a deep commitment to Atlanta - my family has been a part of this city for nearly a century. I have watched the excitement and potential of the entire city growing together as our sports teams achieve success,” said Koonin. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Hawks organization. We have a lot of work to do, but I believe my professional experience, my passion for this team and the NBA, as well as the Hawks’ great existing executive talent, including our President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry and President of Business Operations for the Hawks and Philips Arena President Bob Williams, make this organization’s future very bright.”

A lifelong resident of Atlanta, Koonin has given a great deal back to his native city through his civic involvement. Along with his professional successes, Steve has positively impacted many Atlanta organizations important not only to the Atlanta Hawks, but also the team’s fans, business partners, and community. Koonin serves on the boards of Emory Healthcare, the Georgia Aquarium, the Fox Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He is a trustee of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. He attended the University of Georgia, where he and his wife, Eydie, recently established the Koonin Scholars Fund at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The fund will provide scholarships for Grady students preparing for careers in the creative industries and media.

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporting on the Dallas Mavericks, who are back in the playoffs. There is now just one playoff berth left, in the Western conference, and it will go to the Grizzlies or Suns. Anyway:

Champagne might as well have been flowing in the Dallas Mavericks’ locker room after what they were able to accomplish Saturday night.

Down 13 points in the third quarter and in a tense fight for their playoff lives, the Mavs clinched their 13th postseason berth in the past 14 years with a pulsating 101-98 victory over the Phoenix Suns at American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks (49-32) will seek to win 50 games for the first time since the 2010-11 season when they end the regular season Wednesday night in Memphis.

Using every ounce of energy they had, the Mavericks had to rally from a 13-point second-half deficit to beat the Suns, who dropped to 47-33.

Monta Ellis tied his season high with 37 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half as the Mavericks kept barking at each other on the court during tense moments, and it paid off in the end.

xavier henry surgeries

Los Angeles Lakers guard Xavier Henry underwent successful surgeries today to repair both a torn ligament in his left wrist and the cartilage abnormality in his right knee. The wrist surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Shin and the knee surgery was performed by Dr. Steve Lombardo, both at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic. Henry is expected to make a full recovery by the beginning of training camp.

In 43 games (five starts) this season, Henry averaged career-highs across-the-board with 10.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 21.1 minutes.

Pelicans sign forward James Southerland

Pelicans sign forward James Southerland

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has signed forward James Southerland for the remainder of the season.

Southerland (6-8, 221) joins the Pelicans after playing for the NBA D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2013-14. The Syracuse product appeared in 42 games (14 starts) with the D-Fenders this season and averaged 14.7 points and 6.5 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game.

Prior to his release, the 6-8 small forward appeared in one game earlier this season with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Southerland will wear No. 31 and will be available for tonight’s contest against Oklahoma City.

Bobcats sign DJ White for remainder of season

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed forward DJ White for the remainder of the season.

The 6-9 White, who signed a pair of 10-day contracts on March 21 and 31, has seen action in two games for the Bobcats this season, tallying two rebounds and one steal in five minutes. He is in his sixth NBA season and has career averages of 5.9 points and 3.2 rebounds in 138 games played with the Thunder, Bobcats and Celtics. For his career, White has shot .507 from the field (348-687) and .720 from the free-throw line (113-157).

Prior to joining the Bobcats, White played 27 games this season for the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association. He averaged 20.2 points and 8.5 rebounds in 31.9 minutes, while shooting .672 (219-326) from the field and .733 from the free-throw line (96-131). He scored in double figures 25 times, including 17 games of 20 points or more, and posted eight double-doubles.

mike james

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed guard Mike James and forward Lou Amundson (Ah-mund-son) for the remainder of the season. In accordance with team policy, terms of the contracts were not announced.

James (6-2, 188), an 11-year NBA veteran, appeared in 11 games with Chicago earlier this year and averaged 1.0 ppg, 1.5 apg and 0.6 rpg in 7.0 mpg. For his career, James has appeared 595 regular season games (286 starts) and averaged 9.9 ppg, 3.5 apg and 2.2 rpg in 24.1 mpg, while shooting .417 from the field, .379 from deep and .802 from the free throw line. James has also played in 33 playoff games and averaged 4.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg and 1.2 apg in 11.9 mpg.

lou amundson

Amundson (6-9, 225), a seven-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 345 regular season games (seven starts). During that time, he has posted averages of 3.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 0.72 bpg in 12.7 mpg, while shooting .491 from the field and .436 from the free throw line. Amundson has also played in 29 playoff games and averaged 2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 0.41 bpg in 10.3 mpg.

A native of Ventura, Calif., Amundson most recently played for the New Orleans Pelicans. While with the Pelicans earlier this season, he saw action in 18 games and averaged 2.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 0.61 bpg in 10.2 mpg. For his career, he has also played with Philadelphia (twice), Utah, Phoenix, Golden State, Indiana, and Chicago during the 2012-13 season.

James will wear No. 8 and Amundson will wear No. 17.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 15 players.

wizards

The Washington Wizards have partnered with Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic to help grant the wish of 10-year-old Wizards fan Amaris Jackson. Amaris, who is battling renal cell carcinoma and will undergo surgery in the near future to remove a tumor in her lungs, will be signed by the team for this weekend’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, April 12. Amaris, who is point guard on her school’s basketball team, is from Washington, DC.

Amaris will join Coach Randy Wittman and the entire team for the pregame shootaround followed by a personalized basketball workout with assistant coach Ryan Saunders. Later that evening, she will join Monumental Sports & Entertainment majority owner, chairman and CEO Ted Leonsis and Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld for the signing of a one-day contract. Amaris will lead the team onto the court prior to the game against the Milwaukee Bucks and will take part in various in-game activities throughout the night.

Rockets sign Dexter Pittman, waive Greg Smith

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed center Dexter Pittman to a multi-year contract. The 47th “Call-Up” this season, Pittman joins the Rockets from the D-League’s Austin Toros. To open a roster spot, the Rockets have waived center/forward Greg Smith.

Pittman (6-11, 285, Texas), who is currently in his fourth season in the NBA, was originally selected by Miami in the second round (32nd overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 50 regular season games (six starts) with Miami, Memphis and Atlanta, averaging 2.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per outing. Pittman has also seen action in three career postseason contests (one start) with the Heat. This season, Pittman was signed to a 10-day contract by the Hawks on Feb. 22 and appeared in two games before being released on Feb. 27. Pittman previously played three seasons with the Heat before being traded to the Grizzlies. In addition, he participated in 2013 NBA Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs followed by a training camp invite from the Chicago Bulls.

In 28 games with the Toros (20 starts) this season, Pittman averaged 11.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and finished third overall in the D-League with 2.25 blocks per game. Pittman was acquired by Austin from the Springfield Armor on Jan. 6, 2014. While with Miami, Pittman was also assigned to the D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce (2010-11 and 2012-13), where he averaged 13.6 points and 8.4 rebounds in 37 games played (34 starts).

A former standout at Terry High School in Rosenberg, TX, Pittman played four seasons at the University of Texas. He appeared in 134 games (59 starts), averaging 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds over four seasons with the Longhorns.

Smith (6-10, 250, Fresno State), who was in his third season with Houston, saw action in just 11 games this season with the Rockets.

Warriors sign Hilton Armstrong for remainder of season

The Golden State Warriors have signed center Hilton Armstrong for the remainder of the season, the team announced today.

Armstrong, 29, has appeared in 12 games with Golden State this season, averaging 1.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 5.3 minutes. He originally signed with the Warriors as a free agent on Dec. 11 before being waived on Dec. 29 and subsequently signed a 10-day contract with Golden State on Feb. 22, and a second 10-day contract on March 30.

In addition to his time with Golden State, the 6-11 center has appeared in 32 games (23 starts) with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League this season, averaging 12.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.75 blocks in 26.2 minutes while hitting 55.9 percent from the field.

OKC Thunder sign forward Grant Jerrett

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 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 returns to action for Nets

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.”

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.

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