Archive for August 20th, 2008

Jason Smith medical update

Philadelphia 76ers center Jason Smith was examined yesterday afternoon by Dr. David Altchek, the Attending Orthopaedic Surgeon in the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Smith received new MRIs which confirmed the ACL injury, and he has improved his strength and range of motion.  Per Dr. Altheck, Smith will continue with therapy and medication before a follow-up visit in early September.

No timetable has been set for Smith’s return. Additional updates will be provided when they become available.

A product of Colorado State University, Smith appeared in 76 games during his rookie season and averaged 4.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 14.5 minutes per game. In the playoffs, Smith appeared in all six games and posted averages of 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game. In the recently completed Las Vegas Summer League, Smith appeared in five games and averaged 18.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 30.6 minutes per game.

OKC waives Donyell Marshall

The Oklahoma City NBA franchise announced today that the team has waived forward Donyell Marshall.

InsideHoops.com says: At this point in his career Marshall is basically useful as a big guy to come off the bench, fire an outside shot or two, grab a board, foul someone, and sit down.

Sixers sign Theo Ratliff

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has signed free agent center Theo Ratliff.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement are not disclosed. InsideHoops.com unofficially hears it’s a one-year deal for the NBA league minimum.

“We are very fortunate to sign a player of Theo’s caliber,” Stefanski said. “He is a consummate professional, both on the court and off, who will provide us with additional depth in the front court while also serving as a mentor to some of our younger players.”

Ratliff (6-10, 238) has played for six teams during his 13 NBA seasons, including a 215-game stint with the Sixers from mid-December of 1997 till late February of 2001.  In 705 career games with 504 starts, Ratliff has averaged 7.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.63 blocks in 27.0 minutes per game while shooting 49.7% from the floor and 71.1% from the line.  He has also appeared in 33 career playoff games with 17 starts, averaging 6.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.91 blocks in 22.2 minutes per game.

One of seven players in NBA history to lead the league in blocks in at least three seasons (2000-01, 2002-03 and 2003-04), Ratliff ranks 18th all-time in total blocks (1,855) and is seventh among active players.  He also owns the ninth-highest blocks per game average in league history and is fourth among active players.  The Sixers now have three players who rank among the NBA’s top-11 active all-time leaders in blocks per game (Elton Brand, Samuel Dalembert and Ratliff).

A two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection (1998-99, 2003-04), Ratliff enjoyed his greatest success as a Sixer, capped off in 2000-01 when he was voted as the starting center for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team.  Unfortunately, Ratliff suffered a fractured right wrist in early February of 2001 and missed All-Star Weekend.  Shortly after, he was traded to Atlanta along with Toni Kukoc, Nazr Mohammed and Pepe Sanchez in exchange for Dikembe Mutombo and Roshown McLeod.

After missing all but two games with a sore lower back for Boston in 2006-07, Ratliff was part of the Celtics trade with Minnesota last summer for Kevin Garnett.  The Timberwolves waived Ratliff on Feb. 29, 2008, allowing him to sign as a free-agent with Detroit shortly after.  In a combined 26 games with nine starts last season, Ratliff averaged 4.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.46 blocks in 16.8 minutes per game while shooting 48.2% from the floor and 67.4% from the line.  He also appeared in 12 of the Pistons 17 playoff games, averaging 1.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.92 blocks in 10.9 minutes per game.

The AP reports: Clay Bennett’s ownership group has reached a final settlement with the city of Seattle, allowing the former SuperSonics franchise to move to Oklahoma City. Attorneys filed a document Tuesday in Seattle federal court noting that the parties had agreed to pay their own court costs after reaching the settlement. Bennett announced last month that a settlement was being negotiated that would involve him making a payment of up to $75 million to Seattle to get out of the final two years of a lease at KeyArena. At that time, he had expected the settlement to be finalized by Aug. 1. Instead, an extension was sought from the court and terms weren’t reached until now.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I’d like to announce today that I have decided to sue the OKC team. I’m not sure why yet, but everyone else is, and being human I too sometimes feel an occasional need to fit in with the crowd.  But seriously, I’m still not sure about “Thunder” as a name, if that does turn out to be it. It’s cool enough. I can definitely live with it. And thunder is certainly an awe-inspiring thing. So, maybe it works. All names need time to grow on you. Fungus takes time to grow, too. So do beautiful trees, though. Wait, what was the question?

Ray Allen gets married

The Boston Globe reports: Ray Allen and longtime girlfriend Shannon Walker Williams finally made it official, tying the knot in an intimate ceremony on Martha’s Vineyard over the weekend. Guests at the wedding, which was held under sunny skies at a private home in Oak Bluffs, included the couple’s three children Tierra, Ray III, and Walker, fellow UConn alums Scott Burrell and 76er Kevin Ollie, Celts CEO Wyc Grousbeck and wife Corinne, and, of course, the NBA Championship trophy.

Here’s a photo. And another.

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