Archive for February 18th, 2008

The Atlanta Hawks today signed guard Jeremy Richardson to a 10-day contract, according to Hawks’ Executive Vice President/General Manager Billy Knight.

The 6-foot-7 Richardson has seen a combined eight games of action (one starting assignment) this season with the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs, tallying 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal (3-13 FGs, 2-7 3FGs, 2-2 FTs).

Richardson has also played 12 games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, averaging 25.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.6 apg and 1.2 spg (.445 FG%, .385 3FG%, .853 FT%).  On February 16, he was named Most Valuable Player of the 2008 D-League All-Star Game in New Orleans, after scoring a game-high 22 points.  By signing with Atlanta he becomes the 102nd all-time GATORADE Call-Up in the D-League history.

Richardson played in five games for the Hawks last year after signing two 10-day contracts, averaging 1.6 ppg and 0.4 rpg (3-6 FGs, 2-3 3FGs).  He also played in one game for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2006-07.  In 14 career NBA games, he has recorded 18 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals (6-19 FGs, 4-10 3FGs, 2-2 FTs).

A First Team All-Gulf South Conference honoree following both his junior and senior seasons at Delta State University, Richardson left school ranking 14th on the all-time scoring list.  He started all 31 games as a senior (in 2005-06), and averaged 17.8 ppg and 5.0 rpg (.492 FG%, .404 3FG%, .810 FT%), after posting 15.0 ppg and 4.2 rpg in his junior campaign.

Jeremy Terrell Richardson was born February 11, 1983 in Allentown, PA, and attended Zachary High School in Zachary, LA.  He will wear uniform number 32.  The Hawks roster now stands at 13 players.

Here’s what LeBron James said to the media after the 2008 All-Star game, of which he was named MVP:

Q: Take us through that dunk you had? What did you see? Why did you attack?

LeBron James: The game was tied. I didn’t want to settle for a jumpshot. I had to settle for a couple jumpshots in the fourth quarter. I wanted to be aggressive and try to get the hole to get the lay up. And when I seen those bigs coming, I didn’t want to lay the ball up. They would have definitely made a play and tried to block it, so I was able to go strong and able to dunk it through.

Q: You wanted to win. Did you realize how close you were to the triple double and was that something you were shooting for?

LeBron James: No, I just wanted to win the basketball game. They beat up on us pretty bad last year in Las Vegas, and as the East, we didn’t want to allow that to happen. We wanted to try to win. We did a good job of executing in the fourth quarter. Ray hit some big shots. Some of the biggest shots of the game, and he kept it flowing. You know, we put the finishing touch on it, and it was a dunk.

Q: With the Cavs flying under the radar in the first half of the season, how big is it for you and Daniel Gibson to come through this weekend as big as you did?

LeBron James: Oh well, we know we’re still not going to get the respect we should get. That’s never been a problem for us. We don’t care. We just go out and play. We’re always going to be the third or fourth or fifth best team in the Eastern Conference. You know, we still go out there and win ballgames and we know when the postseason happens, you know, you’ve got to come get it from us, because we’re very good.

Q: I know you don’t care about individual awards or anything, but emotionally how does it feel to get your second MVP in three years?

LeBron James: I mean, to add the MVP trophy with the win means a lot to me. I played well, and I helped our team win the ballgame. It really means a lot to go out there and perform the way I was able to do in front of the fans of New Orleans. In front of my family, and for the Eastern Conference because we really wanted this win. We came out victorious.

Q: How competitive was it on the fourth quarter compared to other All Stars you’ve participated in?

LeBron James: Well, this was one of the most competitive ones. The one in Houston was really competitive also. But you’ve probably seen a lot of guys faces going through the fourth quarter how competitive guys wanted to be, and, you know, who wanted the ballgame. We were able to make a couple more plays had than the Western team down the stretch. D Wade had an unbelievable block on Dirk, and Ray hit some big shots. We were down and the game was tied. And I was able to put the finishing touch on it with the dunk and kept the momentum going for us. So competitive wise, it was the best one. As fans and everybody that watched the game I think would think the same thing.

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Wolves host Sixers Tuesday

Minnesota returns to action tonight after a five-day layoff, battling the red-hot Philadelphia 76ers at Target Center.  Tip off is set for 7 PM.

Philadelphia comes into the Target Center on a five-game winning streak, defeating Washington, Miami, the LA Clippers, Dallas and Memphis in that stretch.   In the two teams’ first meeting back on Dec. 12, 2007 the 76ers got the best of the Wolves, hanging on for a 98-94 victory.  Philadelphia used a strong first-quarter (28-21) and a near triple-double from center Samuel Dalembert to withstand Minnesota’s late charge.  Al Jefferson led the way for the Wolves with 22 points and 11 rebounds.  Sebastian Telfair dished out 11 assists in defeat while Rashad McCants and Antoine Walker added 15 and 14 points respectively off the bench for Minnesota.

The Wolves swept Philadelphia a year ago, and have beaten the Sixers in six of their last 10.  Eleven of the teams’ last 16 meetings have been decided by five points or less.

Minnesota leads the all-time series by a 19-16 count and has won five of six at Target Center, the lone blemish an 86-84 setback on Jan. 22, 2006.

The Sixers come into tonight’s came with a record of 23-30, currently putting them in a tie with New Jersey for the Eastern Conference’s seventh seed.  The Wolves sit at 10-41.

Spurs to honor Bob Bass Tuesday

The San Antonio Spurs celebration of their 35th Anniversary of the franchise continues Tuesday, February 19, with the third of four special tribute games.

The Spurs played their first ABA regular season game against the San Diego Conquistadors at the HemisFair Arena on October 10, 1973. San Antonio made the transition to the NBA during the 1976-77 season and have gone on to win four NBA Championships (1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007).

At halftime the Spurs will honor Bob Bass who played an integral part in the Spurs success in the franchise’s first 20 years of existence. Bass served the Spurs in a variety of capacities, including five seasons as head coach (1974-76, 1979-80, 1983-84 and 1991-92), where he compiled a 144-108 (.571) record and led the team to the playoffs four times. Bass made his mark during his 18 years in the Spurs’ front office, where he was responsible for the acquisition of Spurs legends Sean Elliott, Avery Johnson, John Lucas, Johnny Moore, Alvin Robertson and David Robinson. He was named NBA Executive of the Year for the 1989-90 season after the Spurs posted a 56-26 record.

Joining Bass for this special presentation will be former players that wore the Silver and Black during Bass’ time with the Spurs including: Gene Banks, Sean Elliott, Mike Gale, George “Iceman” Gervin, Paul Griffin, Mike Mitchell, Johnny Moore and James Silas.

There are a total of four Spurs “35th Anniversary” tribute games scheduled throughout the season. Back on November 11, the Spurs honored Red McCombs for his contributions he made to the Spurs during his ownership. On January 14, the Spurs celebrated Angelo Drossos’ ownership of the Spurs. The final tribute game will take place on March 26 vs. Los Angeles Clippers.

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced today the team has recalled first-year center Chris Richard from the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League. Richard appeared in six games for the Skyforce, averaging 10.2 points and 11.5 rebounds in 28.3 minutes per game. He led the team in rebounds in three of six contests, while helping them to a 4-2 record in that span. Before heading to Sioux Falls, Richard appeared in 24 games for the Wolves, averaging 1.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game.

“We’re glad Chris had the opportunity to play some valuable minutes in the D-League,” said Timberwolves Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale. “Chris went to Sioux Falls, worked hard, played well and demonstrated what he is capable of. We’re confident that he will continue to develop and believe he has a bright future.”

Richard was originally assigned to the Skyforce on Jan. 28. He will be back practicing with the Wolves today. Per NBA rules, a player can be assigned to the team’s D-League affiliate a maximum of three times during the season. Sioux Falls, the D-League affiliate for Minnesota and Charlotte, is led by head coach Nate Tibbetts and is 17-16 on the season.

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Following the decision taken at its last Central Board meeting, held on the 8th and 9th of December 2007 in Chicago (USA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) opened the bidding process for the 2014 World Championship on 10th of January 2008.

With almost two and a half months still to go until the closing date for the sending of Letters of Intent confirming an interest in hosting the event, FIBA is pleased to confirm that the Danish Basketball Federation (DBBF) has become the third candidate to express an interest in bidding for the organization of the 17th edition of the FIBA World Championship, FIBA’s premier competition.

FIBA is pleased to see an emerging basketball country such as Denmark joining the two perennial European powerhouses of Spain and France.

Suns to make announcement Tuesday

Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET the Phoenix Suns will host a press conference in Indian Wells, California to make some sort of announcement. The press conference will involve Suns Partner Richard Heckmann, Suns President and Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts, Indian Wells Mayor Mary Roche and Raymond Moore, President, PM Sports Management.

It was about this:  The Arizona Republic reports: The Suns hold claim to staging the NBA’s first outdoor game but it will not be by virtue of today’s announcement that they are playing Denver in an outdoor preseason game Oct. 11 in Indian Wells, Calif. Phoenix made that history in 1972 when it played the league’s only other outdoor games ever in Puerto Rico. Considering one game was in a baseball stadium with fans behind chain-link fences and one was in a covered arena with no side walls to keep birds off the court, this is the first modern try at outdoor basketball.

Spanish boss: Europe not ready for NBA

SportsTicker reports: The president of the Spanish Basketball Federation believes there are many hurdles left to clear before the NBA can put expansion teams in major European cities. NBA commissioner David Stern announced on Saturday that the NBA is continuing to explore plans to expand into Europe and said that such a move could happen within a decade. But Jose Luis Saez, who has presided over a golden era of basketball in his country which culminated in Spain’s gold medal win at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, told PA SportsTicker on Monday that much work needs to be done before the idea can work.

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