Archive for August 9th, 2008

Team USA getting wild media attention

As an international sports media superstar and the founder of InsideHoops.com, I understand the lifestyle of an NBA player. Each day I’m forced to hide from millions of adoring fans as I spend my day with a revolving door of supermodel girlfriends. The biggest challenge I had this week was choosing which of my 37 cars to give away to the Victoria’s Secrets model I just had to break up with due to simply not having enough time to fit her into my busy schedule.

(Actually, my job does provide tons of lifestyle perks, but, needless to say, the above is a SLIGHT exaggeration. For example, I only have 24 cars, not 37.)

With all that accurate stuff said, here’s a picture of the media frenzy in Beijing, China as reporters interviewed some Team USA players. Click this picture link.

What’s wild is, there were probably tons of other TV camera guys and reporters looking to join those giant hurdles who were simply unable to, or else those groups would have been way bigger.

Melo not happy Nuggets gave Camby away

Carmelo Anthony finally had some comments on the Nuggets trading Marcus Camby, the team’s center and key rebounder, shot-blocker and defender, away to the Clippers for nothing more than salary cap flexibility. He isn’t too pleased.

The Rocky Mountain News (Chris Tomasson) reports: “Yeah, it was really disappointing,” Carmelo Anthony said at the Olympics in Beijing. “But I don’t really have no comment on the Nuggets right now. I’m here in Beijing.” … “I don’t know what they’re going to do,” Anthony said of the Nuggets having left him in the dark.

As expected, Atlanta Hawks General Manager Rick Sund announced tonight that the club has retained forward Josh Smith and matched the offer sheet of the Memphis Grizzlies, which according to several newspapers was approximately a five-year, $58 million contract.

The offer is a good value for the ultra-versatile, still-improving Smith.

It was a tough market for free agency, though the same can be said for almost every season. Each year, only a few teams have enough space under the salary cap to make a big offer to a player that they aren’t re-signing from their own team. And for the last week or two now, the Grizzlies were the only team to make a real offer to any of the select-few remaining restricted free agents.

The really good unrestricted free agents all signed deals earlier on in the free agency period.

“Tonight, the Hawks organization received an offer sheet from the Memphis Grizzlies for Josh Smith,” said Sund. “We are happy to announce that we will match their offer sheet.  Ownership, management and the team are happy to have Josh return as a member of the Hawks.  We look forward to training camp in October and we will continue to look at additional opportunities to improve our roster.”

Smith, whom the Hawks drafted with the 17th pick overall in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft, has finished second in the NBA in blocks per game in each of the past two years and averaged team-highs in blocks per game (2.80) and steals per game (1.57), while also ranking second on the Hawks in points per game (17.2), rebounds per game (8.2) and assists per game (3.4) in 81 appearances last season.

The 22-year-old forward from Oak Hill Academy (VA) and College Park (GA) has averaged 13.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 blocks in 307 career games with the Hawks, and during last May’s first round series, Smith recorded 15.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.86 blocks in helping the eighth-seeded Hawks to a decisive seventh game in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs against the eventual NBA world champion Boston Celtics.

Memphis Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced Friday that the club has signed restricted free agent Josh Smith to an offer sheet.  Per team policy, terms of the offer sheet were not disclosed.

Under the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Atlanta Hawks will have seven days to match the Grizzlies’ offer to Smith, who has played all four years of his NBA career for the Hawks.

Smith, 22, has finished second in the NBA in blocks per game in each of the past two years and averaged team-highs in blocks per game (2.80) and steals per game (1.57) while also ranking second on the Hawks in points per game (17.2), rebounds per game (8.2) and assists per game (3.4) in 81 appearances last season.

The 6-9, 235-pound forward averaged 15.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.86 blocks in helping the eighth-seeded Hawks push the eventual NBA Champion Boston Celtics to a decisive seventh game in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Champion in 2005, Smith owns career averages of 13.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.5 blocks in 307 career games over four seasons with Atlanta, who drafted Smith 17th overall in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft out of Oak Hill Academy (VA).

The Memphis Grizzlies have renounced their rights to free agents Casey Jacobsen and Andre Brown, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced Friday.

Jacobsen, a 6-6, 198-pound guard, averaged 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 53 games last season with the Grizzlies. The four-year NBA veteran, who signed with Memphis on July 24, 2007, owns career averages of 5.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 287 games with the Phoenix Suns, the New Orleans Hornets and Memphis.

Brown, a 6-9, 245-pound forward, posted 3.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 33 games for Memphis last season. The two-year NBA veteran, who signed with Memphis on July 20, 2007, holds career averages of 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 71 games with the Seattle SuperSonics and Memphis.

Per the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, a renounced player no longer counts toward team salary, so teams use renouncement to gain additional cap room. After renouncing a player, the team is still permitted to re-sign such player, but the team must either have enough salary cap room to fit the salary, or sign the player using the Minimum Salary exception. After renouncing a player, a team can still trade the player in a sign-and-trade agreement.

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