Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

Jamal Murray wins MVP of 2017 Rising Stars Challenge game

Denver Nuggets rookie Jamal Murray was named MVP of the 2017 Rising Stars Challenge after posting a game-high 36 points (9-14 3FG) and a game-high 11 assists in a 150-139 Team World victory.

Murray, 19, is the first Nugget to win MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge since teammate Kenneth Faried was named MVP in 2013. He is the third Nugget in team history to be named MVP of the game (Carmelo Anthony, 2005).

The Kitchener, Canada native connected on 9-of-14 (.642) threes in the game, the second most made three-pointers in the history of the Rising Stars Challenge (Daniel Gibson of the Cavaliers made a record 11 three-pointers for the Sophomore Team in 2008). Murray’s 11 assists were the most by any player in the Rising Stars Challenge since John Wall handed out 22 assists in 2011.

The University of Kentucky product has appeared in 56 games (three starts) for Denver this season, averaging 8.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 19.9 minutes per game. He has made the second-most threes of any rookie this season (72) and was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for October/November after averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists for the month.

Murray’s teammate Nikola Jokić added a near triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Team World.

Wondering how former Thunder teammates and current West All-Star teammates Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are getting along at All-Star weekend? They’re barely interacting, according to reports. Here’s the Oklahoman:

While being ushered to the interview area at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were about to come face-to-face.

That was, until Westbrook and Philadelphia’s Nik Staukas converged to shake hands. Wearing a long-sleeved hoodie under his practice jersey, Durant walked around the pair as a Thunder staffer tapped Durant on the arm…

Day 2 of Westbrook-Durant at All-Star Weekend? Avoidance on and off the court.

The Atlanta Hawks have signed radio play-by-play broadcaster Steve Holman to a multiyear contract extension.

“Steve is more than a broadcaster; he’s such an important part of our organization and the Atlanta community,” said Hawks Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer Andrew Saltzman. “His accomplishments and accolades speak for themselves and we’re thrilled fans will continue to be able to hear his one-of-a-kind broadcasting style for years to come.”

Holman, who will be inducted into the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame this evening and into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame on Feb. 24, is in his 32nd year as the “Voice of the Hawks,” having called more 2,500 games. His play-by-play streak, which began in March of 1989, is currently at 2,385 consecutive games including regular season and playoffs.

“The Hawks and the city of Atlanta mean so much to me, and I couldn’t be happier to be able to remain with the organization and community that have supported me throughout my career,” Holman said. “I’m very proud to be a part of such a great organization and excited about the future here. I look forward to calling Hawks games for many years to come.”

A fixture on Atlanta radio since 1980, Holman is also in the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame and has won a number of awards for sports reporting as well as the Georgia Associated Press Award, the 2014 Georgia Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and was the 2015 and 2016 Gabby Award winner.

Kings rookie Malachi Richardson injured

An MRI performed today on Kings guard Malachi Richardson revealed a partial thickness tear of the right hamstring.

He will miss approximately four to six weeks of action.

The injury occurred late in the fourth quarter of last night’s game at Golden State.

The rookie guard is averaging 3.6 points and 1.0 rebounds on 10.6 minutes in 22 games for the Kings this season.

Miami Heat hire Shane Battier as Director of Basketball Development & Analytics

The Miami Heat announced today that they have hired former HEAT player and two-time NBA champion Shane Battier as the Director of Basketball Development & Analytics. His duties will include the development of analytics in evaluating all talent, including college, free agents and current Miami players.

“We believe Shane is an incredible example of our HEAT program, not only for the present, but also for the future,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He embodies everything that we are looking for in our players and staff. We feel he will help us tremendously with his experience and knowledge of the game. Shane is an out-of-the-box thinker and will bring a fresh expertise that can help us evolve as a franchise.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the front office of the Miami HEAT,” said Shane Battier. “I look forward to working with the Arison family, learning from a Hall of Fame executive in Pat Riley, General Manager Andy Elisburg and of course my old coach, Erik Spoelstra. My goal, as is the entire organizations, is to bring another championship back to Miami.”

Battier, a role player who played three seasons with the HEAT, helped bring back-to-back NBA championships, three Eastern Conference Championships and three division titles to Miami over that span. He appeared in 210 games (86 starts) with the HEAT and averaged 5.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 22.6 minutes while shooting 39.8 percent from the field. He won the Twyman-Stokes NBA Teammate of the Year award in 2014 and the Magic Johnson Award for excellence on the court with cooperation with media and fans in 2013, both as a member of the HEAT. The 13-year NBA veteran appeared in 977 career NBA games (705 starts) and averaged 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.01 steals and 30.7 minutes while shooting 43.7 percent from the field.

Jahlil Okafor trade rumors persist

With the emergence of Sixers center Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor has wound up on the trading block. No guarantee he gets moved, but Okafor has been mentioned in trade rumors for much of the season. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer with the latest:

Jahlil Okafor trade rumors persist

76ers center Jahlil Okafor had the same feeling most people had.

The thought was that Okafor was about to be traded once he didn’t play the past two games due on-going trade talks.

“I thought it would be a good chance,” said Okafor, responding to being asked if he thought he was gone. “When I’m not traveling with the team I was expecting something to happen.”

Instead, the second-year center is slated to come off the bench for the Sixers Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics at T.D. Garden. While trade talks continue, the team is not as close to trading the second-year center as it seemed to be in recent days.

Jabari Parker undergoes ACL surgery

Jabari Parker undergoes ACL surgery

Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced that forward Jabari Parker underwent successful surgery today to repair his left ACL injury. The surgery was performed at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., by Dr. Robert LaPrade.

Parker will miss the remainder of the season with the recovery and rehabilitation period estimated at 12 months. A timeline for his return to basketball activity will be established at a later date. Parker suffered the injury in the third quarter of Milwaukee’s game vs. Miami on Feb. 8.

Zach LaVine undergoes ACL surgery

Zach LaVine undergoes ACL surgery

Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine underwent surgery today to reconstruct the torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his left knee. The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in collaboration with Timberwolves Team Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Diane Dahm of Mayo Clinic. Timberwolves Director of Athletic Therapy Matt Duhamel accompanied LaVine.

The injury occurred during the Timberwolves vs. Detroit Pistons game on Friday, February 3.

A timeline for his return to activity will be established at a later date, but he is expected to be out at least for the rest of the season.

Kevin Love will miss 2017 NBA All-Star game

Cavaliers forward and 2017 NBA All-Star Kevin Love underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body from his left knee this morning at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. The procedure was performed by Dr. David Altchek with Dr. James Rosneck of the Cleveland Clinic present.

Love will now undergo a period of rest and rehabilitation and his return to play is estimated at approximately six weeks.

Love made the 2017 Eastern conference NBA All-Star team. A replacement for him should be announced very soon. The All-Star game is this Sunday.

Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) will be renamed the NBA Gatorade League (NBA G-League) as part of a multiyear expanded partnership announced today by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Gatorade.

This marks the first time a U.S. professional sports league has named an entitlement partner.

Founded as a league to develop NBA talent, the NBA D-League has become an integral part of the NBA family, with 40 percent of current NBA players having spent time in the NBA D-League and four current NBA head coaches starting as coaches on NBA D-League benches. The league has tripled in size from eight teams during the inaugural 2001-02 season to a record 25 teams for the 2017-18 campaign. NBA owners have increasingly invested in the NBA D-League, with 15 NBA clubs purchasing an NBA D-League team since the 2012-13 season, bringing the total number of NBA-owned minor league franchises to 20 for next season.

“As one of the most iconic brands in the world and a founding partner of the NBA Development League, Gatorade is an ideal fit for this first-of-its-kind partnership,” said Mark Tatum, NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO. “The NBA D-League has prepared hundreds of players for the NBA and Gatorade has always been focused on fueling players to perform at the highest level. We look forward to collaborating with the renowned GSSI team to enhance player development and our game.”

Connectivity between the NBA and the NBA’s official minor league continues to grow. Recent changes to the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement have reinforced that synergy, as NBA teams will be able to have up to two “two-way players” on their rosters beginning next season. These “two-way players” will gain experience in the NBA, but will primarily play in the NBA G-League as part of their NBA journeys.

“We have more than 50 years of experience working with athletes and using those insights to help improve athletic performance through innovative sports fuel and equipment,” said Brett O’Brien, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Gatorade. “This expansion of our NBA partnership is a great opportunity to not only work with the elite athletes of the NBA G-League, but also continue to lead the evolution of basketball performance.”

The partners will also collaborate on custom, behind-the-scenes video content which will capture NBA G-League players on their respective journeys, highlighting a shared commitment to enhancing performance through innovation.

A founding partner of the NBA D-League, Gatorade will continue to present the league’s Gatorade Call-Up platform. Since 2001, there have been nearly 500 Gatorade Call-Ups from the NBA D-League to the NBA.

The Charlotte Hornets have signed center Mike Tobey to a second 10-day contract. Tobey signed his first 10-day contract with Charlotte on Feb. 3 from the Greensboro Swarm, after becoming the first “Call-Up” call-up from the Swarm since its inception.

The 7-0 Tobey has appeared in 29 games (19 starts) for Greensboro in his first D-League season, averaging 11.0 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 26.0 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures 18 times and grabbed double-figure rebounds on 15 occasions, including each of the last five D-League games. Tobey has posted 12 double-doubles for Greensboro on the year.

The Monroe, NY, native played for the Hornets in the 2016 Orlando Pro Summer League and signed with the team on July 25, 2016. In two preseason games with the Hornets, Tobey posted averages of 6.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 18.8 minutes.

A four-year player at the University of Virginia (2012-16), Tobey’s 138 games played rank first in school history. He owns collegiate career averages of 6.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per contest, and was named the ACC Sixth Man of the Year following the 2014-15 season.

Cavs trade Chris Andersen to Hornets, who immediately waive him

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has acquired center Chris Andersen and cash considerations from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for a protected second-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The second-round pick is top-55 protected. In a subsequent move, the Hornets have waived Andersen and the Charlotte roster stands at 14 players.

Andersen, who is in his 15th season in the NBA, appeared in 12 games for the Cavaliers before undergoing season-ending surgery on his right knee to repair a torn ACL. The 6-10 California native holds career averages of 5.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 17.7 minutes per game in 695 NBA contests.

Charlotte Hornets General Manager Rich Cho announced today that the team has signed guard Ray McCallum to a second 10-day contract. McCallum signed his first 10-day contract with Charlotte on Feb. 3, after earning a “Call-Up” from the Grand Rapids Drive.

The 6-3 McCallum has appeared in 30 games (all starts) for the Drive this season, averaging 18.2 points, 7.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 steals in 37.9 minutes per game, earning him a 2017 NBA D-League All-Star selection. The 25-year-old has recorded two triple-doubles on the year, tallying 23 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against the Maine Red Claws on Dec. 23 and posting 18 points, 13 assists and 12 boards against the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Jan. 7.

Originally selected with the 36th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, McCallum has appeared in 154 career NBA games (46 starts) over three seasons with the Kings, Spurs and Grizzlies, averaging 6.0 points, 2.4 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per contest. His last NBA action came during the 2015-16 season with Memphis, where he appeared in 10 contests (three starts) with averages of 6.9 points, 2.7 boards and 1.4 assists in 21.9 minutes. He was a member of the Detroit Pistons preseason roster prior to the 2016-17 season, but was waived on Oct. 24.

A native of Beverly Hills, Michigan, McCallum was a three-year collegiate player at Detroit Mercy (2010-13) and had career averages of 15.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.7 steals. He earned Horizon League Player of the Year honors for the 2012-13 season.

Cavs sign Derrick Williams to 10-day contract

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract, Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin announced today.

Williams (6-8, 245) appeared in 25 games (11 starts) with Miami this season and averaged 5.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.1 minutes. Over his six-year NBA career, Williams has played in 401 games (112 starts) with Minnesota, Sacramento, New York and Miami, while averaging 9.1 points and 4.1 rebounds in 21.0 minutes. He was waived by the Heat on February 6.

Grizzlies sign Toney Douglas to second 10-day contract

The Memphis Grizzlies signed guard Toney Douglas to a second 10-day contract today.

Douglas (6-2, 195) has appeared in 11 games as a reserve for the Grizzlies this season and averaged 5.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 16.5 minutes. The 30-year-old originally signed with Memphis as a free agent on Dec. 5 pursuant to the NBA’s hardship rule and was waived on Dec. 15. He then was re-signed by the Grizzlies to a 10-day contract on Jan. 30. Memphis has recorded a 10-1 record in the games Douglas has played this season.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round (29th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft following his senior season at Florida State University, the Jonesboro, Ga. native has appeared in 381 regular season games (65 starts) and averaged 7.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 19.2 minutes during his eight-year NBA career with the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.

Milwaukee Bucks buy a D-League team

Milwaukee Bucks buy a D-League team

The Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA Development League announced yesterday (Wednesday) that the Bucks have acquired the right to own and operate an NBA D-League team that will begin play in Oshkosh, Wis., for the 2017-18 season.

As part of the deal, Fox Valley Pro Basketball led by Greg Pierce will be constructing a new 3,500-seat arena for the new minor league team. With the purchase, the Bucks become the 20th NBA team to own and operate an NBA D-League affiliate while the NBA D-League grows to a record 25 teams for next season.

“Our ownership group has been steadfast in its commitment to both build a championship-caliber basketball program and develop stronger partnerships with fans and communities throughout the state of Wisconsin,” Bucks co-owner Wes Edens said. “We’re thrilled to announce this partnership with the City of Oshkosh, Greg Pierce and his team, and the incredible basketball fans throughout the Fox Valley. This new team will be an invaluable resource for our basketball staff and an incredible vehicle for connecting with Wisconsin’s passionate sports fans.”

“NBA teams are increasingly recognizing the NBA D-League’s value in providing opportunities to players, coaches and front office executives,” said NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner. “A record two-thirds of NBA teams now own an NBA D-League affiliate, and I’m excited to welcome Wes Edens, Marc Lasry, Jamie Dinan and the Bucks to that list.”

The Oshkosh Common Council recently approved plans for a new 3,500-seat arena that is expected to anchor the newly-designated “Sawdust District” located near Pioneer Drive Park along the shore of Lake Winnebago. Similar to the arena development currently under construction in Milwaukee, the Oshkosh arena project will serve as a catalyst for additional economic development in the surrounding area. The overall vision for the project calls for the 3,500-seat arena, which will also house a sports bar and team store, along with proposed future development that could include a hotel and additional dining and entertainment venues.

“I believe that Oshkosh’s Central City is on the verge of a renaissance,” Oshkosh Mayor Steve Cummings said. “The Bucks’ selection of Oshkosh as its location for their D-League team reinforces our reputation as a great place to work, play and learn. The new arena will be the cornerstone of a revived central city that will attract visitors and greater development opportunities to Oshkosh.”

“When we pitched this idea, the Fox Valley’s response was so immediate and enthusiastic, we knew this would be the ideal location for the team to expand,” said Greg Pierce of Fox Valley Pro Basketball. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Building a new arena, bringing the Sawdust District vision to life and expanding the sports and entertainment options in our region will have a transformative impact on our community.”

Fans interested in securing tickets for the inaugural season of NBA D-League action in the Fox Valley can reserve their seats online at www.foxvalleybasketball.com. All fans who submit a deposit towards season tickets by this Friday, Feb. 10, will receive a pair of tickets to the Bucks’ Fan Appreciation Night game vs. Charlotte on Monday, April 10. Visitors to the site are also encouraged to submit ideas for the official team name, which will be announced in the coming months.

As part of today’s announcement, the Bucks are also welcoming BMO Harris Bank as the first official sponsor of the new NBA D-League team. A longtime partner of the Bucks, BMO Harris Bank operates in nearly 200 branches in the state of Wisconsin, including 12 in the Fox Valley.

More than 75 NBA players have been assigned to the NBA D-League for development or rehabilitation this season, including half of the players selected in 2016 NBA Draft presented by State Farm. In total, more than 40 percent of the last five NBA Draft classes have honed their skills in the NBA D-League.

Two current Bucks, Khris Middleton and Rashad Vaughn, have NBA D-League experience. In total, the Bucks have assigned 10 players since the 2005-06 season, the first when NBA teams were able to send players to the NBA D-League.

Heat sign Marcus Georges-Hunt to 10-day contract

The Miami Heat yesterday (Wednesday) signed guard Marcus Georges-Hunt to a 10-day contract.

Georges-Hunt, a 2017 NBA Development League All-Star, has appeared in 32 games (27 starts) with the Maine Red Claws this season averaging 16.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.03 steals and 36.7 minutes while shooting 46.6 percent from the field, 39.7 percent from three-point range and 86.1 percent from the foul line. He leads the NBA D-League in minutes (1,176) and among team leaders he ranks first in assists (133), second in rebounds (184), steals (32) and free throws made (118) and third in points (524) and field goals made (177).

Georges-Hunt was originally signed by the Boston Celtics on August 17 after going undrafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. He appeared in two preseason games with the Celtics totaling six points, two rebounds and an assist while shooting 2-of-3 from the field and a perfect 2-of-2 from the foul line before being waived on October 20. He played all four seasons at Georgia Tech totaling 129 starts, the most in school history. He finished his collegiate career ranking third in free throws made (468) and 11th in points (1,728) on the school’s all-time lists. Additionally, he became 19th player in school history to record at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.

He will wear number 24 and join the team tomorrow and be available for Miami’s game in Brooklyn on Friday.

Dragan Bender undergoes ankle surgery

Dragan Bender undergoes ankle surgery

Phoenix Suns forward Dragan Bender had routine arthroscopic procedure on his right ankle yesterday (Wednesday) to remove a bone spur. The surgery was performed by Dr. Ned Amendola at Duke University Hospital. Bender is estimated to return to full basketball activity in approximately four to six weeks.

The fourth overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Bender is averaging 3.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.5 blocks and 12.7 minutes in 38 games during his rookie season. On Dec. 26 at Houston, the 19-year-old tallied career-highs of 11 points, 13 rebounds and three steals to become the youngest player in Suns history to record a double-double.

Jabari Parker knee injury is a torn ACL

Bucks forward Jabari Parker suffered a left knee injury during the third quarter of last night’s game vs. Miami at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. This morning, Parker underwent an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Parker will undergo surgery to repair the injury and will miss the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The recovery and rehabilitation period is estimated at 12 months.

In 51 games (50 starts) this season, Parker averaged 20.1 points (2nd on team), 6.2 rebounds (3rd on team), 2.8 assists (4th on team) and 1.0 steals in 33.9 minutes (2nd on team) per game. He scored in double figures 47 times, including 20-plus points in 28 games.
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Evan Turner has a broken hand

Evan Turner has a broken hand

Further medical evaluation confirms that Portland guard Evan Turner sustained a fracture of the third metacarpal in his right hand.

He is expected to be sidelined for 5-6 weeks. The injury will not require surgery.

Turner injured his hand during the third quarter of Portland’s 114-113 win at Dallas on Tuesday.

In 50 games (10 starts) this season, Turner, 28, is posting averages of 9.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists.

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