Archive for August 30th, 2008 reports: Lithuania star Ramunas Siskauskas has decided to retire from the national team. Siskauskas, the Euroleague MVP last season after leading CSKA Moscow to the title, played in his third Olympics this summer in Beijing where the Baltic country suffered a narrow defeat to Spain in the semi-finals before losing in the bronze medal game to Argentina. “I’d made up my mind last year and results in Beijing did not affect my decision,” said Siskauskas, who turns 30 on September 10.

Mario Kasun signs in Turkey reports: Just two days after the player left his previous team, FC Barcelona, Efes Pilsen announced on Friday the addition of big man Mario Kasun (214, 28). Last season, Kasun played 21 Euroleague games with Barca, averaging 9.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in over 17 minutes per game. Kasun made his debut with KK Gorica of the Croatian second division during the 1997-98 season and then signed for KK Zrinjeva until in 2001, he moved to Germany to play with the Cologne 99ers.

Ginobili could miss several months

The San Antonio Express-News (Mike Monroe) reports: Spurs star Manu Ginobili will have surgery next week on his left ankle and heel to repair ligament damage that has hampered his game for many months. Though Ginobili on Thursday told an Argentine newspaper he expected to return to action six to eight weeks after the operation, sources familiar with the procedure say it is much more likely he will be out for two to three months. That makes it unlikely he can be ready for action when the Spurs open the regular season Oct. 29 in a game at the AT&T Center against the Phoenix Suns.

NBA players union suspends agent

The AP reports: The National Basketball Players Association suspended player agent Calvin Andrews for one year Friday for alleged recruiting improprieties regarding former Southern California star O.J. Mayo. The union said its Disciplinary Committee has reserved the right to take further action against Andrews. says: I wonder if this means they found some new information, or if this is entirely a result of the reports back when the OJ Mayo recruiting issue stories first broke.

Howard Schultz drops Sonics suit

The Seattle Times (Percy Allen) reports: Four months into a contentious and costly legal fight against Clay Bennett to return the Sonics to Seattle and restore his battered reputation, Howard Schultz surrendered. The Starbucks CEO filed a motion in U.S. District Court on Friday to drop his lawsuit against Bennett and the Professional Basketball Club, allowing the team to start a new beginning in Oklahoma City in October. Before filing his motion to dismiss, Schultz e-mailed his former ownership group, stating: “Unfortunately, showing that the Bennett Group lied is not enough to turn back the clock and return the Sonics. As a result, I am withdrawing the lawsuit.”

From what little I’ve seen of Hamed Haddadi, the giant Iranian dude who yesterday signed with the Grizzlies, he’s just size. He’ll take up space. The dude is big. He’s a large guy. Also, he adds bulk. And height. He’s got size. Large big-man. In other words, he’s like Allen Iverson.

I don’t expect much from Haddadi. But it’s always fun when a player from a new country enters the league. So, congrats to him and I hope it’s a good experience for him. We’ll see if he gets to stick around. Odds are against it.

Sean Marks, now with the Hornets, can come off the bench and stretch the floor a bit with his face-up jumper for a few minutes per half.

We’ve heard 29 times now that the Oklahoma City team name is probably going to be Thunder. But what if it’s a fake-out? Maybe someone said “Let’s call them ‘Thunder’ for now” when telling Ticketmaster what to list, and when telling some person what page to link to (before removing it).

Yeah, unlikely. They’re probably the Thunder. And I’m actually cool with the name, though it still reminds me more of Arena football than basketball. But that’s because it’s new. In a year or two, it’ll make you think of basketball. Names grow on you that way.

If I was DJ Mbenga, I’d learn how to DJ. Just because chicks who meet him and find out that his abbreviated first name is “DJ” probably ask him if he knows how to rock the turntables. And it would be cool to be able to say yes, I’d think.

What if Warriors coach Don Nelson goes wild and decides Stephen Jackson is the team’s point guard until Monta Ellis, a scoring guard who isn’t really a point guard, comes back. Jackson would probably average 5+ turnovers per game and get angry a lot but I bet the game flow would be fun.

The above is editor Jeff Lenchiner’s totally unedited, off the top of the head responses to some recent NBA rumors stories.

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