Archive for the ‘ International ’ Category

Here’s NBC Sports Northwest reporting on a pair of Trail Blazers players who will be busy with international competition as the NBA season approaches:

When the Portland Trail Blazers get together for pre-camp workouts soon, they are going to be without two players who were starters last season. And those two players could be missing right up to or past the start of training camp on Sept. 25.

Al-Farouq Aminu (Nigeria) and Jusuf Nurkic (Bosnia and Herzegovena) are scheduled to represent their countries in the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifying rounds. The format of the World Cup has been changed and teams now will be required to play qualifying rounds in 2018 to move into the 2019 Cup finals, scheduled to be played in China.

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Darrun Hilliard signs with team in Spain

Here’s Euroleague.net with news that a former NBA player has signed to play in Spain:

Hoping to return to the Final Four that will be hosted next spring in its own city for the first time, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz found some perimeter talent right before training camp starts, announcing on Monday the addition of swingman Darrun Hilliard to its roster for the 2018-19 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season. Hilliard (1.98 meters, 25 years old) has played his entire three-year pro career to date in the NBA, including 14 games last season with San Antonio.

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The Dallas Mavericks yesterday signed guard-forward Ding Yanyuhang (pronounced yin-you-hong).

Ding (6-7, 205) has spent the last seven seasons playing professionally for China’s Shandong Golden Stars. In 45 games for Shandong in 2017-18, he averaged 26.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game en route to winning his second consecutive Chinese Basketball Association Domestic MVP award.

Ding played on the Mavericks’ Orlando and Las Vegas summer league teams in 2017.

The Xinjiang, China native has represented the Chinese national team in international competition, including the 2016 Olympic Games.

Nets to honor legacy of Drazen Petrovic

On Monday the Nets will celebrate the legacy of the late Drazen Petrovic. It’s been 25 years since the Hall of Famer’s tragic death, and a quarter of a century later he still hasn’t been forgotten — or replaced.

From the giveaway Petrovic figurines to the video tribute to his mother, Biserka, being welcomed from Croatia, the night will be about Petrovic, whose red, white and blue No. 3 was retired by the Nets after his death in 1993.

“This guy,” ex-teammate Kenny Anderson told The Post, “was special.”

Voted the best European player ever by players at the 2013 FIBA European Basketball Championship, Petrovic led legions of European youngsters to take up the game behind him, and led a rising young Nets team to the playoffs in both of his full seasons in New Jersey — until an offseason automobile accident cut his life short at just 28.

NY Post

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Stephon Marbury made waves as a star in the NBA, then even bigger waves as a superstar in China. Here’s the latest from The Undefeated on his basketball career, which may soon be wrapping up:

Two-time NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury told ESPN’s The Undefeated that he is at peace with his 22-year professional basketball career ending in China on Feb. 11 — just days before he turns 41 years old.

Marbury plays for the China Basketball Association’s Beijing Fly Dragons, who play their regular-season finale on Feb. 11 against Jiangsu Tongxi and will not play in the postseason.

The three-time CBA champion says he is “tired” and plans to return to his offseason home in Los Angeles after his finale in China. While Marbury also plans to stay in shape — “just in case” an NBA team calls this season — he says he’s “at peace” with his pro career ending in China.

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Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on some basketball fun in China involving players NBA fans will know:

Stephon Marbury doesn’t look like he’s happy about Jimmer Fredette making waves in the Chinese Basketball Association.

The two ex-Knicks got into an altercation during a game in China between the Beijing Fly Dragons and Shanghai Sharks following a hard foul.

Fredette was driving for a layup late in the third quarter when Marbury tried to stop him from scoring. Marbury made contact with Fredette on his way up, knocking the ball out of his hands, and the forward didn’t appreciate it.

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NBA preseason games against non-NBA opponents are always interesting, in that for the NBA team the event is a mere warmup in preparation for the regular season, while for the non-NBA team it’s a chance to win respect, gain some fame, impress their home fans, and treat the game as an important contest. Here’s the Deseret News reporting:

The Sydney Kings’ team website is billing its exhibition game against the Utah Jazz Monday night at Vivint Arena as the “Match Up to end all Match Ups.”

While that’s probably overselling a contest that will take place in early October, the occasion is a historic one, as it marks the first time a team from Australia’s National Basketball League will have taken on an NBA squad.

The game is the opening act of a trio of contests between the NBA and NBL over the next two weeks that will also see Melbourne United play the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Brisbane Bullets face the Phoenix Suns.

Kings head coach Andrew Gaze, a legend in Australian basketball who played in five Olympic games and had NBA stints with the old Washington Bullets and the San Antonio Spurs, is confident these contests will have a big impact on hoops in his country, regardless of what the scoreboard may say when the final buzzers sound.

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The Timberwolves are doing a ton of traveling this preseason. The good kind of traveling. Where you get on planes and go visit interesting places. Not the bad kind of travel, where the referee is forced to blow a whistle at you. Well, maybe they’ll do that as well. We’ll see! Anyway, here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

The Timberwolves rolled out the basketballs on a new season Saturday morning, convening in a University of California-San Diego gym more than 1,500 miles away from their downtown Minneapolis training facility.

Why, you very well might ask?

Well, it’s sort of on their way to China, where they will play two preseason games against defending NBA champion Golden State next week.

It’s also a sunny and chic version of Mankato, Minn., — former training-camp home to both the Wolves and the NFL’s Vikings — and a getaway where they’ll drill during the day with the Pacific Ocean shimmering in the distance and bond at night.

Full story 

The NBA G League announced today the 26-game schedule for NBA G League Showcase 2018. The premier in-season scouting event will feature the league’s 26 teams playing two regular-season games each from Jan. 10-13 in Mississauga, Ontario, home of Raptors 905.

For the first time, the NBA G League Showcase will be played across two courts: the Hershey Centre, home of Raptors 905, and the adjoining Mississauga SportZone complex. Game times will be staggered to allow fans and scouts to see all the action.

The 14th NBA G League Showcase will feature seven games on each of the first three days and five games on the final day. The event tips off with a matchup between the Santa Cruz Warriors and Grand Rapids Drive at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Raptors 905 will play its first game of the Showcase on Thursday, Jan. 11, when the team faces the Warriors at 12 p.m. ET. The event host will also meet the Sioux Falls Skyforce on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 12 p.m. ET, the first game of the final day. All 26 of the games are between cross-conference opponents.

Juan Carlos Navarro and FC Barcelona Lassa like each other. They really like each other. Here’s Eurocupbasketball.com reporting:

Expect to see the legendary Juan Carlos Navarro remain at the heart of FC Barcelona Lassa’s basketball ambitions in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague for a long time to come. On Tuesday, the club announced a new 10-year agreement with Navarro that will cover the rest of his playing career and continue into a new era for him as part of the management of the club’s basketball section. The announcement came as soon as Navarro returned to the team after winning another medal at EuroBasket. The club communicated that at the end of the coming season, Navarro and Barcelona will decide together whether the ageless EuroLeague icon will continue playing or move to the front office.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Zignia Live announced today that NBA Mexico City Games 2017 will feature the Brooklyn Nets playing regular-season games against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, Dec. 7, and the Miami Heat on Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico.

The games will mark the first time the NBA has hosted four regular-season contests in Mexico in the same calendar year. Last January, the Phoenix Suns took on the Dallas Mavericks (Jan. 12) and the San Antonio Spurs (Jan. 14) in Mexico City.

The games will be broadcast live by ESPN and Televisa in Mexico and will be available to fans around the world on the NBA App. Fans now have the chance to pre-register to be the first to know about ticket sales and receive exclusive offers via www.nbamex.com/MXGames2017.

NBA Mexico City Games 2017 culminates the 25th anniversary celebration of the first NBA game in Mexico and marks the 25th and 26th games in Mexico since 1992, the most NBA games held in any country outside the United States and Canada.

The Nets’ roster currently features 2015 No. 2 overall draft pick D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin. The Heat’s roster currently features 2014 All-NBA Third Team member Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside, who led the NBA in rebounding last season. The Thunder is led by 2016-17 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook and four-time NBA All-Star Paul George.

Anthony Randolph re-signs in Spain

Here’s Eurocupbasketball.com reporting the latest on former NBA power forward Anthony Randolph, who continues to play pro bball in Spain:

Anthony Randolph re-signs in Spain

Real Madrid reached a new agreement with forward Anthony Randolph to keep working together next season, the club announced Thursday. Randolph (2.11 meters, 27 years old) averaged 10.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 34 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games last season, helping Madrid reach the Final Four. He also lifted the Spanish Copa del Rey trophy with Madrid last season, his first with his current team. Randolph was named to the 2015-16 All-EuroLeague Second Team after posting 14.5 points and 6 rebounds over 23 games for Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar that season, helping it reach the Final Four.

Pablo Prigioni now a head coach in Spain

Here’s Euroleaguebasketball.net with an update on former NBA guard Pablo Prigioni:

Pablo Prigioni now a head coach in Spain

Baskonia Vitoria Gasteiz has turned to one of the great players in club history to guide the team as head coach with the hiring of Pablo Prigioni on Friday. The sides agreed to a two-year contract. Prigioni, 40, played briefly for Baskonia last season before announcing his retirement in January. In all he played parts of eight seasons for Baskonia and retired ranked fifth in assists in the EuroLeague’s all-time list (804) and is third in steals (322). This will be his first time coaching.

Prigioni started his playing career with Obras Sanitarias in his native Argentina and played for two Spanish clubs, Fuenlabrada and Lucentum Alicante, before joining Baskonia in 2003.

LeBron James will not play 3-on-3 basketball in Olympics

The 2020 Olympics in Japan will include 3-on-3 basketball as an event, but unless LeBron James has a big change of heart, don’t expect him to participate.

“I’m not very good in a three-on-three thing, I’m more of a five-on-five guy,” said James to the media, according to ESPN.com. “I stay out of the one-on-one matchups during our practice, the two-on-twos and the three-on-threes. So probably not. I probably won’t be a part of the three-on-three matchup that it has to offer.”

“I think it’s great for basketball,” said James, per ESPN. “For us to be able to add another category to the Olympics, another basketball category, I think it’s pretty great. I haven’t seen the full layout of how they plan on executing it; and are they going to use NBA guys or are going to use college guys?”

It’ll be interesting to see what caliber of players do represent the USA in 3-on-3. Right now, it’s anyone’s guess. It’s quite possible NBA players won’t be involved.

Sacramento Kings rookie Skal Labissière announced today that his first Camp S.K.A.L. basketball clinic will tip off this summer in his native Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Representing skills, knowledge and life, Labissière’s Camp S.K.A.L. will host 50 of the top high school basketball players and coaches in Port-au-Prince July 19-21.

“This will be my first time back home in seven years,” Labissière said. “I’m blessed to be in a place now where I can give back to my Port-au-Prince community and this is just the start of more free Camp S.K.A.L. events there in the future. I look forward to sharing some of the basketball and life knowledge I’ve gained over the years.”

Labissière partnered with Reach Your Dream, a non-profit organization promoting spiritual awareness, self confidence, and innovative thinking for future generations in communities throughout the world. Reach Your Dream helped Labissière relocate to the United States before high school to pursue his educational and basketball goals.

“Without the good people of Reach Your Dream, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” added Labissière. “It’s only fitting, that we work together on Camp S.K.A.L. to provide similar opportunities to the future basketball stars of Haiti.”

Dirk Nowitzki, basketball legend

Dirk Nowitzki, basketball legend

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki begins the week on the verge of a major milestone.

The 13-time NBA All-Star from Germany needs 67 points to reach 30,000 for his career, a mark achieved by only the five players ahead of him on the league’s all-time scoring list: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.

Nowitzki, the NBA’s active scoring leader and the highest-scoring player born outside the United States, is set to join Malone and Bryant as the only players to score 30,000 points with one franchise. The 38-year-old Nowitzki has spent his entire 19-year career with the Mavericks; the only player in NBA history with a longer tenure with one team is Bryant, who played 20 seasons with the Lakers.

Dallas plays six of its next seven games at home, beginning tonight against Miami at American Airlines Center. Nowitzki is averaging 18.1 points over his last seven games, putting his season average at 13.8 points.

– Via NBA Newsletter

Jimmer Fredette scores 73 points in China

Much like Stephon Marbury, Jimmer Fredette is finding success in China.

Fredette, the former Knick and Glenn Falls, N.Y., native, scored 73 points in a Chinese Basketball Association game Sunday. Fredette’s Shanghai Sharks lost in double overtime to the Guangsha Lions. He shot 25 of 49 from the field.

The offensive outburst is the fourth-highest point total in CBA history. Errick McCollum (82), Quincy Douby (75) and Bobby Brown (74) are the only players to score more than Fredette in a game.

– NY Daily News

NBL boss Larry Kestelman will fly to the United States next month to ramp up discussions with NBA officials about Australian teams playing pre-season games in the US.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Kestelman confirmed his ambitious proposal for the NBL to take on the NBA’s best was well advanced.

His goal is for teams like Sydney and Melbourne to play pre-season matches against some of the NBA’s biggest franchises.

“We are having dialogue with the NBA and I won’t rest until we see the Sydney Kings playing the Warriors or the Chicago Bulls,” Kestelman said.

– Daily Telegraph

It’s just preseason. The law states that needed to be the first sentence here. Because, it’s true. It’s just preseason, and often in preseason the best players on an NBA team play very limited minutes. It’s just a warmup. But when an NBA team plays an international team, preseason or not, the international team takes it seriously. And then anything can happen. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:

Thunder lose preseason game to Real Madrid

Game on the line.

Russell Westbrook on the bench.

It’ll be a regular-season rarity for the Thunder, and should the situation arise in a game that counts, Oklahoma City will hope to handle it better than it did in Monday’s preseason debut.

With Westbrook watching — he played only the first and third quarters — multiple Thunder players tried to fill the go-to role down the stretch of Monday’s 142-137 overtime loss to Real Madrid…

Real Madrid made 20 of 37 3-pointers — many of them clean looks as a result of sloppy defensive rotations — in rallying from 22 points down for an upset win…

Victor Oladipo scored 34 points. Enes Kanter added 29 points and 10 rebounds.

Pregame notes for Rockets vs Sharks

Rockets team notes for game vs Shanghai Sharks tonight:

· This game marks the first time a professional team from China is facing an NBA team in the United States… the Sharks play in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).

Connections:

· The Sharks are owned by former Rocket Yao Ming… on Feb. 2, 2016, Yao will become just the sixth player in Rockets history to have his number retired.

· Rockets guard Bobby Brown spent the past two years playing in the CBA… last season, he was with the Shenzhen Leopards and averaged 29.2 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds.

· Sharks center Wu Guanxi was a member of the Rockets entry in the 2016 Samsung NBA Summer League… Rockets Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, K.J. McDaniels, Chinanu Onuaku, Gary Payton II, Isaiah Taylor and Kyle Wiltjer all played on that team.

· Sharks guard Jimmer Fredette played five seasons in the NBA and was teammates with Rockets forward Ryan Anderson and guard Eric Gordon in New Orleans for the 2014-15 season.

Injury/Status Report:

· The Rockets have no injuries to report.

Rockets News & Notes:

· This marks the 50th season in Rockets franchise history… the San Diego Rockets were established as an expansion team for the 1967-68 season and moved to Houston prior to the 1971-72 season.

· Houston is one of three teams (Dallas and San Antonio) to have gone .500 or better in each of the past 10 seasons… the Rockets have also made the playoffs in four straight seasons, which is tied for the third-longest streak in franchise history.

· Since joining the Rockets in 2012-13, James Harden has scored 533 more points than any other player in the league… he also has made 461 more free throws than any other player has attempted over that span.

· In 27 games played post All-Star break last season, Patrick Beverley averaged 11.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists after averaging 8.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 2.8 apg his first 44 games played.

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