Archive for September 4th, 2008

Ewing wants head coaching job

Patrick Ewing wants to be a head coach, still. This despite the fact that if he ever does get the job, every time he stands up or paces the sideline, dozens of fans will be unable to see the game and possibly become unruly. Anyway, here’s the Orlando Sentinel blog (Brian Schmitz):

Q: You’ve said that it seems to take big men longer to land head coaching jobs. How long will you chase this dream?

Patrick Ewing: Hopefully, I’ll get a fair chance. I have a year left on my contract here (with the Magic). I’ll keep doing it until I don’t feel I’m getting a fair shot. Then I’ll mosey into the sunset and do something else.

I can’t say he is or is not one of those next in line guys. I haven’t heard that he was close to getting a head coaching job yet. He may have to stick with being an assistant a bit longer than he may want.

– Jeff 

Oklahoma City Thunder store opens

At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the NBA franchise in Oklahoma City was officially named Thunder at a name and logo unveiling event in downtown Oklahoma City. At 5:15, the Thundershop was opened on the ground floor of the Leadership Square building and more than 1,000 fans made their way through the front doors.

Team officials say approximately 1,500 fans attended today’s name and logo unveiling event with the majority of them making their way to the Thundershop. Fans waited several hours to purchase Thunder merchandise, and each customer averaged at least two items per purchase.

“We were impressed with the great response from the fans in Oklahoma City,” said team spokesman Dan Mahoney.  “We had customers lined up for several hundred feet outside the Thundershop. We appreciate everyone’s response to today’s announcement.”

Following the event, Thunder players Desmond Mason and Damien Wilkins joined the festivities in the Thundershop. Both purchased Thunder merchandise, while Wilkins helped out some of the fans by bagging their items.

The ThunderShop will be open on the lobby level of Leadership Square from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday.

Rockets announce two staff promotions

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey today announced the promotion of Gersson Rosas to Director of Player Personnel and the hiring of Arturas Karnisovas as Director of Global Scouting & International Affairs.

“Gersson has demonstrated superior decision making and leadership while his role has rapidly expanded,” said Morey. “This promotion shows the continued quality of his work as he helps the Rockets pursue a championship.”

In his new role, Rosas will be responsible for the evaluation of draft prospects, free agents and potential trades. He will also oversee the coordination of national and international scouting activities. Rosas enters his fifth season with the Rockets after working last season as the team’s Director of Scouting. Previous to that, Rosas served three seasons as the team’s Personnel Video Coordinator/Personnel Scout.

“This is an exciting time to be part of this organization and I would like to thank our owner, Leslie Alexander, Daryl Morey and Rick Adelman for the opportunity to take on this new role with our team,” said Rosas. “Growing up in Houston during the championship years was a special experience and that same excitement seems to be in the air again, so being a part of it at this point in time is very fulfilling.”

Rosas’ experience includes work as a graduate assistant for the men’s basketball team at the University of Houston (2003-04), as an assistant coach at Westbury Christian High School (2002-03) and as a basketball coordinator for the Venezuelan Basketball Federation during the 2002 World Basketball Championships.

Additionally, Rosas served as the head coach of the Global Games Prep USA Team during the summer of 2004. Rosas, who began his career in scouting as an intern for the Rockets in 2001-02, has also been a camp coach in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program (2006-08) and at the Reebok RBKU Camp (2006-08).

Karnisovas joins the Rockets after spending the past four and a half years working in the international basketball operations department for the NBA. In his new role with the Rockets, Karnisovas will oversee all of the team’s international scouting operations.

“The addition of Arturas will allow us to continue to develop our international reach in terms of scouting and player evaluation,” said Rosas. “It is always a major benefit anytime you can add an individual to your staff that possesses a wealth of international experience and such a well-rounded understanding of the game.”

Prior to his work with the league, Karnisovas was a decorated international player and a two-time Olympic bronze medalist for Lithuania (1992, 1996). After a stellar four-year career at Seton Hall, Karnisovas enjoyed a professional career overseas that spanned eight years and included stints with Cholet Basket (France, 1994-95), FC Barcelona (Spain, 1995-97; 2000-02), Olympiakos (Greece, 1997-98), and Fortitudo Bologna (Italy, 1998-2000). He was named the FIBA 1997 European Player of the Year and was a three-time FIBA EuroStars participant (1997, 1998, and 1999), earning EuroStars MVP honors in 1997. In addition to reaching the Euroleague Final Four on three occasions, Karnisovas helped his teams capture three Spanish ACB titles (1996, 1997, and 2001), a Spanish National Cup (2001), an Italian League championship (2000) and a silver medal in the European Championship (1995).

Suns going solar to power arena

The Arizona Republic (Ginger D. Richardson) reports: The Phoenix Suns plan to use solar panels for power at the US Airways Center, becoming one of only a handful of professional sports teams that get a portion of their energy from renewable sources like sun or wind. The new photovoltaic system will consist of more than 1,100 panels and be installed on the fifth level of the center’s parking garage at First and Madison streets in downtown Phoenix. At 194 kilowatts, it will produce enough energy to reduce the team’s power usage by the equivalent of 26 home games each season, Suns General Manager Steve Kerr said… The Suns’ installation will cost about $1.5 million, and the team estimates it will receive a yearly rebate of $60,000 to $85,000 from Arizona Public Service Co. via the utility’s renewable-energy incentive program. editor says: I’ll always remember a little pocket FM radio I had when I was a kid, given to me by my dad, which had a solar powered rechargable battery. That thing was cool. And as for this story, stating the obvious, it sounds like every team should move in this direction.

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