Archive for the ‘ International ’ Category

Kevin Love withdraws from Team USA

Kevin Love has withdrawn from this summer’s USA Basketball roster because of his uncertain NBA status, leaving the Americans without one of their most experienced international players.

Team USA announced the decision on Saturday. Love, who won gold medals at the 2012 Olympics and 2010 world championship and was one of the first players to commit to play this summer, told USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo that he would be unavailable for training camp that starts Monday.

– Associated Press

Chicago Bulls sign second round draft pick Cameron Bairstow

The Chicago Bulls announced today the signing of 2014 second round draft pick Cameron Bairstow. Chicago selected Bairstow (BARE-stow) with the 49th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

“We like Cameron’s combination as a player with his size, energy and physicality,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman. “He is a hard worker who will only get better with time.”

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Bairstow is a 6-9, 250-pound forward who played four seasons at the University of New Mexico. In 134 games with the Lobos, he posted 9.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 0.8 apg and 0.74 bpg in 20.8 mpg. For his collegiate career, he also shot .517 from the field and .717 from the line.

San Antonio Spurs hire Etorre Messina as an assistant coach

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have hired Ettore Messina as an assistant coach. A four-time Euroleague Champion and a two-time Euroleague Coach of the Year, Messina brings over 25 years of coaching experience to the bench.

“I am honored to have such an accomplished individual join our program,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “Coach Messina is an exceptional coach, a great leader and someone we can all learn from.”

Messina joins the Spurs after spending the last two years as the head coach of the CSKA Moscow in the Russian League, his second stint with the team. Before returning to CSKA Moscow, Messina served as a coaching consultant for the L.A. Lakers in 2011-12. Prior to making the move to the NBA, Messina spent four seasons (2005-2009) at the helm of CSKA Moscow where he led the team to two Euroleague Championships (2006, 2008) and four Russian SuperLeague titles (2006-2009).

Before coaching in the Russian League, Messina served as a coach in the Italian League for over 15 years. He earned two Euroleague Championships (1998 and 2001) as well as several Italian championships with Virtus Bologna, where he had two stints as head coach (1989-1993, 1997-2002). After leaving Bologna, Messina went on to coach Benetton Treviso from 2002-2005, guiding the team to an Italian championship in 2003.

Named one of the Euroleague’s 10 Greatest All-Time Coaches in 2008, Messina has earned numerous coaching accolades throughout his career including European Coach of the Year in 1998, Euroleague Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2008, and Italian Coach of the Year in 1990, 1993, 1998, 2001 and 2005.

A native of Catania, Italy, Messina also served as head coach of the senior men’s Italian national basketball team (1993-1997), where he led Italy to the silver medal at the 1997 European Championship.

Manu Ginobili out with injury

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog, on the Spurs:

Manu Ginobili out with injury

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili played the NBA Finals with a slight stress fracture in his right fibula, an injury that now casts his availability for Argentina in this summer’s FIBA Basketball World Cup in doubt.

The fracture was discovered during a routine postseason physical, according to a league source, and began bothering the 36-year-old guard at some point during the Spurs’ run in Western Conference playoffs. By the end of the Spurs’ march to a championship, Ginobili could often be seen limping noticeably after games.

Yahoo! Sports first reported news of Ginobili’s condition.

Ginobili, who turns 37 later this month, will visit with a foot specialist for a second opinion on the injury, which otherwise could keep him off the court for up to two months.

Here’s the Houston Chronicle Blog reporting on the Rockets and the 2014 NBA Draft, which took place last night:

Rockets feel Clint Capela has huge upside

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey raved about his picks and joked that every general manager does. He said his second round acquisitions, Nick Johnson and Alessandro Gentile, could quickly compete for places in the rotation. He said his first-rounder, Clint Capela, has more upside than any but the top players drafted.

When he was asked about Capela’s determination to make the jump to the NBA next season, rather than to remain in France, Morey said little.

He did not rule it out, but he did not go into the factors to be considered, including whether he would need to keep Capela overseas to save as much cap room as possible.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Gentile’s or Capela’s agents so it would be unfair for me to talk about that right now,” Morey said.

Here’s ESPN New York reporting on big Ivan Johnson:

Ivan Johnson discusses playing basketball in China

The pay in China, Ivan Johnson said, is great.

It’s everything else that’s a problem.

“The food. They don’t cook it all the way through,” Johnson said Wednesday after auditioning for the Brooklyn Nets at their free-agent minicamp. “The rooms smell like [a] sewer. There’s a lot of stuff you gotta deal with over there. I dealt with it, though. I had to.”

Johnson’s advice for free agents looking to go overseas?

“If you’re in it just for the money, go to China,” he said. “If you want to fulfill your dreams, keep grinding. Keep grinding and you’ll get there.”

2013-14 All-Euroleague teams announced

Here’s Euroleague.net reporting on the best players in 2013-14 Euroleague action:

Just before the basketball world turns its attention to Milan for the 2014 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four, Euroleague Basketball is pleased to honor 10 of the stars that made this season so spectacular, the 2013-14 All-Euroleague First and Second Teams. To select them, tens of thousands of fans from around the globe were able to cast votes for their favorite players, as did media members from each of the countries with Euroleague teams.

The All-Euroleague selections feature players from seven teams and five players who appear among the competition’s best for the first time.

The All-Euroleague First Team features five superstars from four different teams: Sergio Rodriguez and Rudy Fernandez from Real Madrid, Keith Langford from EA7 Emporio Armani Milan, Sonny Weems from CSKA Moscow and Ante Tomic from FC Barcelona. Both Fernandez and Tomic return after appearing on the 2012-13 All-Euroleague First Team.

The All-Euroleague Second Team consists of Ricky Hickman from Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, Vasilis Spanoulis of Olympiacos Piraeus, Victor Khryapa of CSKA Moscow, Nikola Mirotic of Real Madrid and Stephane Lasme of Panathinaikos Athens. This marks Spanoulis’s fifth straight All-Euroleague selection and seventh overall, which ties him with FC Barcelona great Juan Carlos Navarro for the most in competition history. Khryapa is selected to an All-Euroleague Team for the third time and Mirotic for the second time.

First NBA Cafe in the world opening in Manila, Philippines

The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced that the first NBA Cafe in the world will officially open on April 25 in Manila, Philippines, at the SM Aura at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Here’s what the press release says:

NBA Cafe Manila is a first-of-its-kind NBA destination which features a unique dining and entertainment experience that captures the energy and feel of the NBA. Managed and operated locally by Haute Couture F&B Concepts, Inc., NBA Cafe Manila will feature larger than life NBA displays, unique memorabilia, and basketball-themed accents and fixtures, all complemented with an exciting menu. It is the first sports bar and restaurant in Manila catering specifically to basketball fans where patrons will enjoy quintessential American bar and grill favorites.

“Basketball is the most popular sport in the Philippines and it makes sense that the first NBA Cafe anywhere in the world would open for our passionate fans in Manila,” said Carlo Singson, NBA Country Manager, Philippines. “NBA Cafe Manila is a unique one-stop destination for casual and avid sports fans alike and is another great way for them to experience the NBA first-hand.”

Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz and WNBA Legend Tina Thompson will be the featured guests at the grand opening of NBA Cafe Manila. Hayward was selected 9th overall by the Utah Jazz in the 2010 NBA Draft and Thompson was a four-time WNBA champion, nine-time WNBA All-Star, and was the first-ever draft pick in WNBA history. Gordon and Thompson will also be in Manila to participate in the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2014 National Training Camp.

NBA Cafe Manila’s menu is inspired by classic American cuisine, offering a wide selection of dishes with an emphasis on nutrition and flavor. Only the finest products and ingredients are used, and the top priority is having the food prepared and served promptly by skilled chefs and servers.

“The concept of NBA Cafe Manila takes all aspects of the NBA into play,” said Nian Rigor, General Manager, NBA Cafe Manila/Haute Couture F&B Concepts, Inc. “From the team visuals to the use of the colors red, white and blue, everything will make our fans feel right at home with the authentic NBA surroundings we’ve recreated. NBA Cafe Manila will be the metro’s default destination for all things sports, all things NBA, providing fans with the ultimate sports, entertainment and dining experience.”

Here’s the Toronto Sun with an update on a talented young basketball player:

Canadian point guard Tyler Ennis is leaving Syracuse to enter the NBA draft.

“I’d like to thank Coach (Jim) Boeheim, the coaching staff, my teammates and the amazing fans of Syracuse for the opportunity to play at a great university like Syracuse,” said Ennis, a Brampton native, in a statement Thursday afternoon.

“I feel this experience has helped prepare me to fulfill my lifelong dream — to play in the NBA.”

Ennis, expected to be taken somewhere in the mid-late lottery, averaged 12.9 points, 5.5 assists and 3.4 rebounds in his freshman season, which ended abruptly with a loss to Dayton early in the NCAA tournament in Buffalo.

Atlanta Hawks sign Mike Muscala

Atlanta Hawks sign Mike Muscala

The Atlanta Hawks have signed forward/center Mike Muscala to a contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Prior to signing with the Hawks, Muscala had played the 2013-14 season with Blusens Monbus Obradoiro of the ACB League in Spain. The 6-foot-11, 230-pounder had averages of 14.6 points (seventh in the ACB) on .546 shooting, a league-leading 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 26.3 minutes per game through 20 games.  He shot .871 from the free throw line and ranked sixth in the league (17.0) in Performance Index Rating, a Euroleague basketball statistic similar to the NBA’s PER.

“We are really excited that Mike was available to join our team. We’ve closely monitored Mike and his progress throughout the ACB season.  Coach Fernandez and his Obradoiro CAB club did an excellent job with his continued development,” Ferry said. “Due to our current injuries, Mike’s representatives presented the concept of Mike joining us for the remainder of the season. With our roster situation and his strong play, we felt now was a good time to add Mike to our program,” Ferry said.

The Hawks acquired the draft rights to Muscala (44th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft) in a trade with Dallas on June 28, 2013. He will wear No. 31.

A four-year letterman at Bucknell (2009-2013), Muscala (muss-KAL-uh) finished his career first on the school’s all-time scoring list (2,036 points), and second in rebounds (1,093) and blocks (271).  He was named the Patriot League Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, while also garnering First Team All-Patriot League and Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America honors, after averaging 18.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 2.3 assists in 31.7 minutes in 34 games (.509 FG%, .453 3FG%, .789 FT%).  In 133 career games, the 6-11 forward/center tallied 15.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.6 in assists in 28.7 minutes (.501 FG%, .435 3FG%, .819 FT%). Muscala, 22, is a native of St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Lamar Odom set to play in Spain

Here’s the Los Angeles Times blog with another report on Lamar Odom, who recently agreed on an overseas basketball deal, in Spain:

Lamar Odom set to play in Spain

Former Lakers and Clippers forward Lamar Odom recently signed to play overseas for Spanish team Laboral Kutxa (also known as Saski Baskonia).

On Friday, the team held a news conference welcoming the two-time NBA champion.

“A new beginning,” said Odom of his motivation to joining the Spanish franchise. “A new environment was important for me.”

Odom averaged 13.3 points, 8.4 rebound and 3.7 assists through 14 NBA seasons (six with the Lakers). He played for the Clippers last season, the franchise that originally drafted him in 1999.

“I got to play in the incredible city of L.A. and win championships and play with players like Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, coached by Phil Jackson and Pat Riley [in Miami],” said Odom. “Then sometimes you get to a point in your life where less is more.”

Lamar Odom signs overseas, in Spain

Lamar Odom signs overseas, in Spain

Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom has agreed a two-month deal with Spain’s Laboral Kutxa with an option to extend the contract to the end of the season in June, the Basque club said on Tuesday.

Odom, 34, won two NBA championships with the Lakers and also played for Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Clippers and Miami Heat. He represented the United States at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and the 2010 world championships in Istanbul.

– Reuters

Laboral Kutxa Vitoria reached an agreement with versatile forward Lamar Odom, who signed a two-month deal with an option to extend it for the remainder of the season, the club announced Tuesday. Odom (2.08 meters, 34 years old) had a long, successful NBA career and is set to make his Turkish Airlines Euroleague debut.

– Euroleague.net

Here’s the Oklahoman with a report on guard Royal Ivey, whose time with the Thunder will reportedly be followed by basketball work in China:

Royal Ivey likely off to play basketball in China

Royal Ivey’s latest stint in the NBA came with an unblemished record. And it will end that way.

During his recent 10-day contract with the Thunder, which expired on Sunday, Ivey received an offer to play in China.

And because of that, the likable but sporadically used Thunder guard will hop overseas for the final month-and-a-half of the Chinese season, rather than signing another 10-day contract with the Thunder.

During Ivey’s 10 days in OKC, he only appeared in two games, playing five minutes and grabbing one rebound. But his arrival coincided with the team’s sudden turnaround. The Thunder went 7-0 with Ivey.

Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times reporting on injured Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who despite still working to regain health already may have some firm summer plans:

Derrick Rose hopes to play for Team USA this summer

Derrick Rose issued a statement Thursday that he’d like to be ready to play for USA Basketball in this summer’s FIBA World Cup in Spain, and according to a source close to the situation, because Rose is ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, he will.

‘‘No doubt he will [play],’’ the source said Friday.

Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee on Nov. 22. The Bulls immediately ruled him out for the season.

He started shooting and taking part in two-a-day workouts during the last week, but his status in returning this NBA season hasn’t changed.

This summer will be a different story after he was one of 28 players named for the 2014-16 USA national team pool Thursday.

Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea

Here’s Reuters reporting on the latest Dennis Rodman trip to North Korea:

Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Monday with a team of retired professional basketball players to mark the birthday of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

This marks Rodman’s fourth trip to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, where he and his team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars will hold basketball games on Kim’s birthday, which is believed to fall on Wednesday, although it has never been officially confirmed.

On previous visits, Rodman spent time dining as a guest of Kim, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship, though he did not meet Kim on his third trip.

Rodman, however, said he will not interfere in the country’s politics.

Here’s Reuters reporting on the overseas antics of your favorite former NBA rebounder, Dennis Rodman:

Retired basketball star Dennis Rodman will return to North Korea for a third time on Thursday, despite political tension surrounding the execution of leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle, trip organizers said.

“It’s certainly safe, even when there is a bit of disruption like there is now — a bit of trouble or chaos — there’s even more need for cultural or sporting exchanges,” said Rory Scott, a spokesman for Irish bookmakers Paddy Power, which has arranged the trip.

Rodman has visited Pyongyang on two other occasions, during which he spent time dining as a guest of Kim Jong Un, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship.

In Washington, a State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, sought to distance the U.S. government from Rodman’s visit.

The National Basketball Association game scheduled for tonight between the San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves has been postponed due to a generator malfunction which produced smoke inside Mexico City Arena.

The date for the rescheduled game, which will be played at Target Center in Minneapolis, will be announced at a later time.

Here’s a video clip of the smoke problem that prevented the game from happening:

Here’s the Sydney Morning Herald reporting on Sam Young signing to play in Australia:

sam young

Former Indiana Pacers forward Sam Young could play for the Sydney Kings as early as their showdown with NBL frontrunners Perth Wildcats in Perth next Sunday – and, judging by high-level league discussions at head office, he could spark a flow of marquee-style imports to Australia from the NBA.

The signing of Young is a massive coup, but things didn’t go to plan on Thursday, with Young’s manager Joel Bell leaking news of the 198-centimetre 28-year-old’s signing with Sydney.

It placed Kings coach Shane Heal in the unenviable position of having to inform one of the Kings imports, point guard Jesse Sanders, that Friday night’s clash with Townsville Crocodiles at the Sydney Entertainment Centre would be his last.

Commissioner David Stern raised the possibility the league will adjust the time some games start in an attempt to appease fans outside North America who now must either stay up late or wake up early to watch games on television.

It’s unclear at this point whether the adjustment will be for regular-season games, preseason games or both.

Speaking before the Warriors beat the Lakers 100-95 before 17,114 at MasterCard Center in the first of two preseason meetings between the teams in China, Stern said former Rockets star Yao Ming brought the idea up in hopes of making future games more accessible to international audiences. Stern gave no indication a decision was near, but was also clear that the league will have to consider what could be a radical suggestion, depending on the new times, at some point.

“I think that the NBA is going to have to wrestle over the next decade as more and more of our viewing audiences are outside the United States is what’s the best time for games to be played so that those fans can enjoy them live as opposed to having to get up in China to watch an NBA game at 7 o’clock in the morning,” Stern said.

Reported by Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com

Sebastian Telfair signing deal in China

Sebastian Telfair signing deal in China

Free-agent point guard Sebastian Telfair has reached agreement on a one-year deal with Tianjin of the Chinese Basketball Association, his agent, Andy Miller, told Yahoo Sports.

Telfair, 28, has played for seven NBA teams since making the leap out of high school as the 13th pick in the 2004 NBA draft.

Telfair will have the chance to run Tianjin’s offense and position himself for a return to the NBA in late February once the Chinese basketball season ends.

Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

Basketball blog