Archive for January 8th, 2008

Kidd third straight triple-double

The AP reports: Jason Richardson scored 25 points and the hot-shooting Charlotte Bobcats overcame Jason Kidd’s third consecutive triple-double to beat the New Jersey Nets 115-99 on Wednesday night. Gerald Wallace added 21 points and 11 rebounds and Emeka Okafor and Nazr Mohammed added 17 points apiece for the Bobcats, who shot 59 percent in their highest-scoring game of the season… The Nets had their five-game winning streak snapped despite Kidd’s 13 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. He became the first player since Detroit’s Grant Hill 11 seasons ago to have three straight triple-doubles.

Jordan XX3 shoes coming out

The AP reports: It’s gotta be the shoes, right? No other basketball shoe has changed the face of business, athletics and marketing like the Air Jordan. This month, Nike releases the 23rd edition, and it is expected to be just as venerated as its predecessors. The sleek design and link to Michael Jordan’s jersey number make it a touchstone in the line. It’s also Nike’s first basketball shoe designed under its “Considered” ethos, which aims to reduce waste and use environmentally friendly materials wherever possible. The Air Jordan XX3 will be released in three hyped-up rounds from January to February, starting with a limited edition to be sent to only 23 retailers to be sold for $230 and concluding with the national launch at $185. There had been talk at Nike about retiring the shoe at No. 23, because of his iconic jersey number. But company officials won’t say whether this will be the last of the line. Neither will Jordan.

Wade’s shoulder worse than thought

SportsTicker reports: Dwyane Wade is hurting more than has been let on. Wade’s left shoulder, which was surgically repaired after being dislocated last February 21 against Houston, was damaged worse than was announced the team said in a report on the Miami Herald web site on Tuesday. Miami coach Pat Riley said that Wade’s shoulder was dislocated to an extent rarely seen by team doctors and that he also sustained serious nerve damage.

Six Raptors notes

The Raptors are looking for their first home win since December 12 when they defeated the Dallas Mavericks 92-76. Toronto has lost three straight games on their home court, the longest streak in nearly two years.

Canadian National Team member Samuel Dalembert makes a visit to Canada when the Philadelphia 76ers roll into town. Dalembert became a Canadian citizen over the summer and competed for Canada at the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas.

Former Raptor Fred Jones will face his old team Friday when Toronto visits New York. Jones was traded by Toronto to Portland last February for Juan Dixon. Portland sent Jones to New York during the off-season as part of the Zach Randolph trade.

Juan Dixon will face his former team when the Portland Trail Blazers visit Air Canada Centre this Sunday. Dixon appeared in 76 games for the Trail Blazers and averaged 12.3 points before being dealt at the trade deadline.

Portland guard Brandon Roy will make his first appearance in Toronto during a Sunday matinee. Roy was named the 2006-07 NBA Rookie of the Year, but missed the Trail Blazers lone game in Toronto last season due to a heel injury.

When Toronto travels to New York on Friday, it will mark the second time in franchise history the team has started the January road schedule at .500. The Raptors are currently 9-9 away from Air Canada Centre. The last time the team started a new calendar year .500 on the road was in 2001-02 when the team was 9-9.

Forward Chris Bosh became the Raptors’ all-time career leader in blocked shots Dec. 21 at Seattle when he broke a tie with Vince Carter.

Earlier this month, Bosh became the franchise leader in rebounds (December 18, 2007) when he passed Antonio Davis’ mark of 2,839.

Bosh is already the team’s all-time leader in doubledoubles and defensive rebounds. Bosh is also closing in on the franchise’s all-time marks for free throws made and attempted.

WNBA’s Seattle Storm being sold

WNBA President Donna Orender announced today that a select group of Seattle businesswomen and civic leaders has secured an exclusive option to purchase the Seattle Storm.

“Today is a great day for Storm fans. Seattle is a terrific WNBA city and I’m thrilled for Storm fans who have been so supportive of their team over the years,” Orender said. “What this group of women is doing is yet another example of that famous Seattle civic leadership. I have no doubt that this group of women, with support from the public, business community and elected officials, will be able to make a strong case for this sale to be approved by the Board of Governors.”

“We are pleased to be able to step forward to ensure that Seattle will be the Storm’s home,” said Anne Levinson, who led the negotiations and is part of the new ownership group, Force 10 Hoops, L.L.C. “This is something we wanted to be able to do for Storm fans and the community.  I want to thank Clay Bennett for working with us on this.”

“In the time we have been a part of the WNBA we have consistently been impressed by the very loyal fan base and broad community support the Storm enjoys. We believe the Storm can continue to be successful in KeyArena. We are pleased we have been able to negotiate a transaction with an extraordinary group of highly accomplished women. Through our extensive negotiations we have become convinced that their commitment to the community and passion for the game will result in a secure and promising future for the Seattle Storm. We knew the right thing to do for Seattle was to work with Anne’s group to see if we could make this happen. We will assist them in any way we can to ensure a smooth transition and wish them the very best,” said Clay Bennett, Chairman of the Professional Basketball Club, LLC that owns the Seattle SuperSonics and the Women’s Basketball Club of Seattle, LLC, owner of the Seattle Storm.

In addition to Levinson, other members of the new ownership group are philanthropists and businesswomen who also have deep roots in Seattle and a history of civic involvement. Ginny Gilder owns an investment business and is president of one of her family’s philanthropic entities, which invests in projects throughout the world that seek to level the economic playing field and promote social justice. She was the founding Executive Director of Washington Works, a local non-profit dedicated to supporting welfare recipients in obtaining and retaining livable-wage employment. A rower, she won a silver medal at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984.

The Golden State Warriors have signed guard CJ Watson of the NBA Development League to a 10-day contract, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin announced today.

In 16 games with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers this season, Watson averaged 26.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.38 steals in 38.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 50.6% (128-253 FG) from the field, 40.0% (18-45 3FG) from three-point range and 89.9% (149-166 FT) from the free throw line. He currently ranks third in the D-League in scoring, having scored 20-or-more points 14 times with six 30-plus efforts and one 40-point performance, while also ranking fifth in assists. He was named the NBA Development League Player of the Month for December.

Watson, 23, is the 10th GATORADE Call-Up of the 2007-08 NBA Development League season and the 100th overall call-up (among 68 players) since the D-League began play in November 2001. A 6-2, 180-pound second-year professional, Watson went undrafted out of the University of Tennessee in the 2006 NBA Draft before playing last season in Italy and Greece.

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has recalled rookie guard Morris Almond from the Utah Flash of the NBA Development League (D-League).

Almond, a 6-6, 225-pound guard out of Rice has appeared in three games for the Jazz, playing a total of 12 scoreless minutes.  Almond was selected by the Jazz in the first round (25th overall selection) of the 2007 NBA Draft.

Almond was assigned to the Jazz’s D-League affiliate on December 6 and appeared in 10 games (all starts) for the Flash, averaging a league-leading 29.8 points, along with 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 37.6 minutes per game.  He was named D-League Player of the Week (Dec. 17-23) after averaging 43.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals while shooting 32-of-68 (.471) from the field.  During that week, Almond scored a D-League record-tying 51 points in a win over the Austin Toros on December 21.

Almond will join the Jazz for its game vs. Indiana tonight.

Mikki Moore, the Sacramento Kings’ back-up center, knows all about persistence. He is in his 10th NBA season, and with his ninth different team. Job security was never something he took for granted. Last season, with the NJ Nets, he averaged a career-high 9.8 ppg and 5.1 rebounds, and became the only undrafted player since 1976 to lead the league in field goal percentage.

Over the years, he has gotten to know Isiah Thomas, the Knicks’ coach.

“Me and Isiah, and Joe Dumars, have been talking for years. My first team was Detroit. He has been wanting me on his squad for a long time, ‘cause he respects my hard work, and how I play –old school. No lay-ups. Foul, if you have to, but not to end someone’s career. That’s how I was raised –on old school basketball. And he likes that.”

Imagine that. A big man who defends the paint.

“Me and him see eye to eye on a lot of things. I’ve told him, “Keep your head right. Don’t let this crowd get you out of your element. All this picketing, and all that stuff -you turn these boys around, [the fans will] be kissing your butt by the end of the season. He already knows that. That’s just how it is.

“You have hard times, and you struggle. Just keep on trying hard. Don’t look at what happened yesterday. Think about tomorrow.”

Perhaps, had Thomas made a play for Moore during the off-season, he would’ve had more tomorrows to pursue his vision of a championship.

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