Archive for August 25th, 2008

The Los Angeles Clippers today named Fred Vinson Assistant Coach/Director of Player Programs. Vinson served as a Player Development consultant for the Clippers during the 2007-08 season.

“We feel that Fred’s background and experience as an NBA player will allow him to take on a mentoring roll with our young players and help ease their transition to the NBA,” stated Clippers’ Director of Player Personnel Neil Olshey.

Vinson played parts of the 1994-95 and 1999-00 season with the Atlanta Hawks and Seattle Supersonics, tallying career averages of 1.3 points and 5.2 minutes per game. Vinson also averaged 3.3 points per game for the Clippers during the 2005-06 NBA preseason.

A 6’4” guard out of Georgia Tech, Vinson worked his way to the NBA through the CBA and USBL, averaging 6.4 points in 20 games played for the Mexico Aztecas (CBA) during the 1994-95 season. Vinson also spent time with the Atlanta Trojans of the USBL during the 1994 season.

While at Georgia Tech, Vinson turned in his best season in 1993, averaging 11.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 29 games played during his senior campaign. He also connected on 72-181 (.398) three-point field goals on the year.

The Phoenix Suns announced today that the club has acquired rookie guard Sean Singletary from the Houston Rockets in exchange for guard D.J. Strawberry.

“Sean gives us depth at the point guard spot,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr.  “We like his instincts and his ability to run a team.  He also puts a lot of pressure on the ball defensively. We thank D.J. for his contributions and wish him well.”

In Singletary, the Suns acquire a dynamic 6-0, 185-point rookie guard, who was the 42nd overall selection (second round) of the Sacramento Kings in the 2008 NBA Draft.  Singletary was then traded to the Rockets along with Patrick Ewing, Jr. in the deal that sent Ron Artest to Houston in exchange for Donte Green, Bobby Jackson and a future first-round pick on August 14, 2008.  Singletary was a member of the Kings’ 2008 Las Vegas Summer League squad, averaging 5.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 32.2 minutes with appearances in each of the club’s five games.

A four-year standout at Virginia, Singletary was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference First Team selection.  During his senior season of 2007-08, the soon-to-be 23-year-old led his team in scoring for the second-straight season (19.8 points) and was the lone Division I player to rank in the top 40 in both scoring and assists.  That production earned Singletary an Honorable Mention All-America Selection from the Associated Press and made him a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate point guard.

A three-time co-captain for the Cavaliers, Singletary finished his career as the only player in ACC history with 2,000 career points, 500 assists, 400 rebounds and 200 steals.  Singletary’s jersey was retired by Virginia before his final home game.

Strawberry was selected by the Suns with the 59th overall pick (second round) of the 2007 NBA Draft.  In his rookie campaign with Phoenix in 2007-08, the 6-5, 201-pound guard averaged 2.2 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.9 assists in 8.1 minutes, appearing in 33 games.

Lakers sign Sun Yue

The Lakers have officially added “the Chinese Magic Johnson” to their 2008-09 roster, but don’t expect anything remotely similar to Magic. Not on the court, and no bad late night talk-show hosting, either - unless that’s a hobby of Sun’s I don’t know about. As for Yue as a player, I’ve seen him in limited doses, enough to recognize that he’s versatile and pretty good. But I think the Lakers will only expect minor contributions from him this season. If they get anything more than that, it’ll be considered a nice surprise and a bonus. –Jeff

Here’s the full news release:

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Sun Yue to a multi-year contract, it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Originally selected by the Lakers in the second round (40th overall) of 2007 NBA draft, the 6-9 guard started for the Chinese National Team this past month in the men’s basketball tournament at the Beijing Olympics. In six games, Sun averaged 6.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.33 steals in 28.0 minutes.

Playing for the Beijing Aoshen Olympians of the American Basketball Association for the past three seasons, Sun, 23, was named First Team All-ABA in both 2007 and 2008 while earning Second-Team All-ABA honors in 2006.

Posting a 12-point, 14-rebound, 12-assist, 8-block, 4-steal triple-double against the L.A. Aftershock during his rookie season in the ABA (2005-06), Sun averaged 13.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 10.5 assists in 2006-07 when the team played its home games at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA before moving to Singapore for the 2007-08 season.

Oklahoma City General Manager Sam Presti today announced several additions to the team’s basketball staff. They include Rob Hennigan as Director of College and International Player Personnel, Dr. Donnie Strack as Director of Medical Services, Joe Sharpe as Head Athletic Trainer, Brian Facchini as Director of Basketball Communications, Vin Bhavnani as Video Coordinator and Ayana Clinton as Manager of Player Appearances and Services.

“We are pleased to add this caliber of professionalism and experience to our basketball operations staff.” Presti said. “Our mission in Oklahoma City is to build an elite basketball organization; we feel that has to occur on and off the court. Today’s additions will help us as we continue to build and define our franchise.”

Hennigan comes to Oklahoma City from the San Antonio Spurs where he served as Director of Basketball Operations. Hennigan joined the Spurs as an intern during the 2004-2005 season and was named the team’s Basketball Operations Assistant in the summer of 2005.

Since 2005, Strack has been a physical therapist at Orthopedic Physical Therapy Services in Wellesley Hills, Mass. Strack graduated with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Indianapolis in 2005 after serving as a Graduate Assistant athletic trainer for the Indiana Pacers from 2002-2005. Strack also served as an assistant athletic trainer during the 2002 World Basketball Championships in Indianapolis in 2002.

Sharpe joins Oklahoma City from the Charlotte Bobcats where he served as the Head Athletic Trainer for the team since its inception into the NBA in 2004. Prior to Charlotte, Sharpe was the Assistant Athletic Trainer/Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Minnesota Timberwolves for two seasons, which included the team’s Midwest Division title and run to the Western Conference Finals. Sharpe was previously the Head Basketball Athletic Trainer at the University of Connecticut during a nine-year stint with the Huskies and was in charge of the team’s medical care during its NCAA Championship season in 1999. In 2002, he worked at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid and worked with the USA Basketball men’s junior national team.

Facchini brings nine years of NBA basketball public relations experience to Oklahoma City. He spent six years with the Portland Trail Blazers as Manager of Sports Communications from 1997-2003 before moving to the San Antonio Spurs from 2003-2006 where he served as Manager of Media Services. He has spent the last two years as the U.S. Communications Manager for Nike in Beaverton, Ore.

Bhavnani has spent the last two years with the San Antonio Spurs as the Assistant Video Coordinator. He started his NBA career with the Los Angeles Clippers as an intern in the video department in 2004.

Clinton joined the organization in 2004 as the Video Coordinator for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. She served the NBA team last year in Seattle as the Player Services Coordinator. Clinton began her career in the NBA as an intern in the video department with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2000 before being hired fulltime two years later as the team’s assistant video coordinator.

Mavericks re-sign Devean George

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have re-signed forward Devean George. Per team policy, terms of the deal were undisclosed.

George, a nine-year veteran, played his first seven seasons for the Los Angeles Lakers before the Mavericks originally signed him on August 2, 2006.  In 53 games last season with four starts, George averaged 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 15.5 minutes per game.  Over his NBA career, he holds averages of 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 542 games.

The Minneapolis native attended Augsburg College before being drafted by the Lakers with the 23rd pick in the 1998 NBA Draft.  He is the seventh player in NBA history to win an NBA championship in each of his first three seasons and also is the first player from a Division III university to appear in the NBA Finals.

“Getting Devean back in a Mavs uniform has been a goal of ours all summer,” said Head Coach Rick Carlisle.  “His experience and ability to run the floor and play and defend multiple positions will be a great asset for us this season.”

The Dallas Morning News (Brad Townsend) reports: Jason Kidd retired Sunday. From USA Basketball competition, not his job with the Dallas Mavericks, with whom he is entering the final season of his $20 million-a-year contract. There is no better way for Kidd to bow out of international basketball, having earned his second gold medal Sunday while extending his record to 56-0 in Olympics, Olympic qualifying and exhibition games.  “I’m undefeated,” Kidd, 35, said. “I told them I can retire now from international ball, but LeBron [James] threw out something I didn’t like. He said he won’t play in 2012 unless I’m there.”

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