Archive for June 29th, 2008

Kobe not responding to foul Shaq rap

The Los Angeles Times (Jonathan Abrams) reports: Kobe Bryant’s response to former teammate Shaquille O’Neal’s lambasting him in an obscenity-laced rap freestyle at a New York nightclub? No response. “I didn’t take it any kind of way whatsoever,” Bryant said Saturday, before declining to take any more questions on the topic. Bryant, however, was more than willing to discuss several other subjects as the U.S. men’s basketball team held a one-day mini-camp in preparation for the Beijing Olympics. He has had a bit more time to reflect on the NBA Finals, labeling Boston as “champions until somebody proves otherwise.”

Jazz want Deron Williams extension

The Salt Lake Tribune (Ross Siler) reports: A little past 10 p.m. Monday, Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor can pick up the phone and set in motion the process through which Deron Williams can sign a long-term contract extension to stay in Utah.    From July 1 until Oct. 31, the Jazz have an exclusive window to negotiate an extension to Williams’ rookie contract. Under league rules, Williams could sign for as long as five years and as much as approximately $90 million.

The Deseret News (Tim Buckley) reports: Jazz owner Larry H. Miller already has publicly said he thinks Deron Williams is worth a max-money extension, which — based on Williams’ experience and 25 percent of the projected team salary cap for the 2009-10 season — translates to approximately $90 million in salary over the maximum-allowed five years, beginning with about $15 million in ‘09-10 and peaking at around $21.3 million in the 2013-14 season. Length-of-extension would seem to be the only remaining issue — three, four or the full five years. An actual deal can be agreed to as early as late Monday night, but — according to terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and its players union — cannot be signed until July 9 at the earliest.

Melo talks about stuff

The Denver Post (Benjamin Hochman) reports on Carmelo Anthony: As for his “we quit” comment after a playoff loss to the Los Angeles Lakers: “I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me saying that. I didn’t call anybody out. I said we all quit. Myself quit also. As a team, as an organization, we quit. (Being politically correct), that’s not always right, either.” …  Melo on the Boston Celtics’ NBA championship: “They had to come together and get theirs as a group. I don’t think I can win one by myself. There’s no way I can win one by myself. They came together as a group. I’ve only got five years in the NBA and I’m only 24 years old. Hopefully, I have at least 11 more years. People act like I’m 30, and I just turned 24.” …  Melo on his offensive success for Team USA: “It ain’t easy! It looks easy. But when I’m on the court with Jason Kidd, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, somebody’s got to be open.”

Suns hope Goran Dragic is PG of future

The Arizona Republic (Paul Coro) reports: Goran Dragic’s dream was bound to come true after a strong showing at a camp in Italy two weeks ago. It was the Suns’ dream to land him that would have shattered without a trade that let them take him with the 45th overall pick. After No. 1 overall pick Derrick Rose, the Suns said there was not a better point guard in the draft. They wrestled with the idea of taking him 15th if first-round choice Robin Lopez had not been available. The Suns think they have a point guard for years after Steve Nash leaves… Dragic cannot be bought out of his contract with Spanish club Tau Ceramica until July 2009. The buyout is $1,550,000, with the Suns able to pay $500,000.

Pat Ewing Jr can jump and defend

The Sacramento Bee (Ailene Voisin) reports: Athletic with a spectacular 42-inch vertical leap, Patrick Ewing Jr., who transferred from Indiana after two unproductive seasons, emerged as the Hoyas’ valuable sixth man, though with modest averages of 6.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Nevertheless, Geoff Petrie didn’t go shopping for stats or searching for Ewing Lite. He went for the athleticism and the defense and the intangibles, envisioning a player who could come off the bench and guard two or three positions. “Quick feet, quick hands, loves to defend,” said Petrie, offering an abbreviated scouting report. “Very aggressive. And a great kid.” The older Ewing, currently an assistant with the Orlando Magic, describes his son as a stubborn, active child who was drawn to the sport at a young age but who labored with expectations, comparisons and academics in later years.

Maloof family now own music label

The Sacramento Bee (Chris Macias) reports: At the Rain nightclub, go-go dancers are gyrating on platforms, flames are shooting above the crowd and the Maloof family is rolling the dice on an up-and-coming band it believes will successfully kick-start its record label. Rev Theory is rocking at the Maloofs’ Palms resort to promote the band’s major label debut, “Light It Up.” But more significantly, the concert earlier this month marks the inaugural release from Maloof Music, a partnership between the family and Interscope Records, home to such pop stars as U2 and Gwen Stefani. Risks come with this new territory, despite the backing of one of the world’s largest recording companies. The owners of the Sacramento Kings and Monarchs are venturing into the challenged music industry, where storied and long-established labels have seen overall revenue drop… Maloof Music is operating as a boutique label under Interscope. Along with Rev Theory, Maloof has one other artist on its roster: Ali Lohan, the younger sister of actress and gossip girl Lindsay Lohan. Ali Lohan is also the focus of “Living Lohan,” a reality TV show produced by Maloof TV that follows her burgeoning recording career.

The Boston Herald (Mark Murphy) reports: Kevin McHale has said he wants to set things right in Minnesota before he steps down, and judging from what he has brought onboard thanks to Memphis’ all-out desire for Mayo, this may be his best move yet. In sending Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric, Greg Buckner and the rights to Mayo to Memphis for Love, Mike Miller, Jason Collins and Brian Cardinal, the Timberwolves unloaded two horrid contracts that were about to take up $15.8 million of cap space alone next season (Jaric and Walker) and one malcontent (Walker). In return the ’Wolves get Miller, who may be the best shooter that organization has ever had, a solid post defender in Collins, and what they are now selling as a great locker room guy in Cardinal.

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