Archive for June 3rd, 2008

Some dudes you may have heard of named Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were on a conference call today, and discussed everything worth discussing about all things Celtics-Lakers, from the old days, to the 80’s, to the upcoming Finals matchup.

You have to read the interview.

Spain fires their national coach

Reuters reports: Pepu Hernandez was sacked as coach of world basketball champions Spain by the country’s federation (FEB) on Tuesday, just two months before the start of the Beijing Olympics. The 50-year-old had already said he was going to step down after the Olympics but fell out with FEB president Jose Luis Saez over the timing of this announcement just over a month ago.

The AP reports: The federation said in a statement that Hernandez had been fired for failing to comply with contractual obligations and for showing a “lack of respect for the federation and its staff.” Relations between Hernandez and the federation had deteriorated since the 50-year-old coach said last month he would quit after the Beijing Olympics in August.

Nets need size

The Bergen Record (Al Iannazzone) writes the following in his blog: Yes, they have some size with Josh Boone, Stromile Swift and Sean Williams, but they need more since it’s too early to say whether Nenad Krstic or DeSagana Diop will be back. Right now, I would say the chances are better for Krstic from a sheer dollar perspective. My hunch is someone – the Mavericks, for instance – will give Diop more than the Nets. They need to improve inside. They have said it repeatedly. The Nets’ best bet would be to do it via trade – I would go after Elton Brand, Marcus Camby, and restricted free-agent Josh Smith in a sign-and-trade to name a few - since there is no guarantee they’re going to find an impact big at 10. Plus who knows if Kevin Love or Anthony Randolph will be on the board still.

Shane Battier has a new son

Shane and Heidi Battier are proud to announce the arrival of Zeke Edward Battier at 5:33 p.m. yesterday, measuring in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 21 inches long. Mom and baby are doing great.

Sonics trial could get ugly

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Greg Johns) reports: With less than two weeks remaining until the start of the city’s trial against the Sonics, an attorney unaffiliated with either party says this could turn into the legal equivalent of a barroom brawl if the case gets to court. The looming question now is whether the struggle over the Sonics’ lease issue at KeyArena will reach Judge Marsha Pechman’s courtroom for the opening gavel on June 16 or if the sides will come to some sort of pretrial agreement. Longtime Seattle attorney Randy Aliment said he’s surprised the situation has gone this far without resolution and notes that more than 90 percent of cases are resolved out of court. From Aliment’s perspective, both parties in this particular battle have significant motivation to find a tenable solution, as does the NBA.

The Washington Post (Sally Jenkins) writes: There is a seemingly compelling case to be made — and some fans are making it — that the Wizards don’t need Arenas. When he was healthy and started 70-plus games in 2006-07, they went 41-41. This season they went 43-39, despite the fact that he made just 13 starts on his bad knee. There was a negligible difference in the team’s shooting percentage, which hovered right around 45 percent during both seasons, or assists, averaging 19.6 per game this season, versus 20.2 in 2006-07. (Both seasons ended in first-round playoff losses.) Moreover, they were better defensively, appeared to move the ball more, and generally seemed more focused when Arenas didn’t play. Why, his critics argue, should the Wizards make a long-term commitment to a point guard who can be selfish and disruptive, has yet to demonstrate leadership, and doesn’t defend?

Origin of `Beat L.A.` chants

The Los Angeles Daily News (Elliott Teaford) reports:  For what it’s worth, the “Beat L.A.” chant started in Boston Garden near the end of the Philadelphia 76ers’ victory over the Celtics in the 1982 Eastern Conference finals. The Celtics crowd urged the Sixers to beat the Lakers in the Finals. Philadelphia would lose to the Lakers in six games, but that didn’t stop the chant from spreading around the nation like a plague without a cure. It was even heard in the Meadowlands when the Ducks, who play in Anaheim, not L.A., faced the New Jersey Devils in the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals. “The fortunate but unfortunate part about the “Beat L.A.” (chant) is that it’s so unoriginal,” Derek Fisher said, breaking into a wry smile when asked if he was looking forward to hearing it from the Boston crowd.

The Philadelphia Daily News (Phil Jasner) reports: The 76ers’ Samuel Dalembert has filed a lawsuit claiming breach of contract and fraud, among other allegations, against a group of business partners regarding an investment in the licensing of “Speed Racer” products and merchandise. The suit, filed May 12 in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, says that Dalembert invested more than $1 million in the project in 2006, only to learn that the defendants - New York design studio Art Asylum and others - did not have the licensing rights.

Alonzo Mourning may play next season

The AP reports: Alonzo Mourning, whose season ended when he suffered severe knee and leg injuries in a game in December, said that if his body gets healthy, he’d like to play one more season before finally calling it a career. “I just want to get my body right to do it. I need to get my body where my mind is,” said Mourning, while appearing at Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor’s charity golf event. Mourning, 38, has said several times previously that a return wasn’t out of the question - but yesterday’s comments may have been his strongest yet.

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