Archive for September 11th, 2008

Pat Garrity retires

The Orlando Sentinel (Brian Schmitz) reports: Forward Pat Garrity, the Magic’s longest-tenured player, announced his retirement Thursday. Garrity, 32, had been with the club since 1999 after being acquired by Orlando from the Phoenix Suns as part of the Penny Hardaway trade… “After 10 wonderful years of playing in the NBA, I have decided to retire,” said Garrity. “I am so grateful for being able to play for as long as I have and to have established long lasting roots in Orlando. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Orlando Magic and the great fans of Central Florida and for all of their years of support. Playing with and against the greatest basketball players in the world has been an experience which has given me some of the fondest memories of my life.” editor says: He was tall and could make open outside shots. And so it goes. All the best, Pat.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced center Jason Collins underwent successful surgery to repair a partial rupture of his triceps tendon in his right elbow. Dr. David Auerbach of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) performed the surgery Monday evening. Collins is expected to be sidelined for the next eight weeks.

Collins was acquired via an eight-player draft night trade with the Memphis Grizzlies on June 26 that also brought Kevin Love, Mike Miller and Brian Cardinal to the Timberwolves. Collins was drafted by the Houston Rockets 18th overall in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft and was traded to the New Jersey Nets on draft night. The center from Stanford appeared in 74 games for Memphis and New Jersey in 2007-08, posting 1.9 points (.469 FG%) and 2.4 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game. For his career, Collins holds averages of 4.3 points (.414 FG%), and 4.8 rebounds per game.

Heat re-sign Chris Quinn

The Miami Heat announced today that they have re-signed guard Chris Quinn. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. It’s probably for around $1 million per season. editor says: The Heat really needed an upgrade at the point guard position, but either weren’t able to pull it off, or just didn’t try hard enough. It didn’t sound like they really went after anyone. They now have backup-quality point guards, no one really worthy of starting. Here’s more on Quinn:

Quinn, who originally signed with the HEAT on July 6, 2006 as a free agent, has appeared in 102 games (26 starts). During his two-year NBA career in Miami, he has averaged 5.9 points, 2.4 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 17.1 minutes while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 38.9 percent from three-point range and 81.5 percent from the foul line. In his 26 career starts, he has averaged 11.7 points, 4.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.42 steals and 32.8 minutes while amassing a 3.18 assist-to-turnover ratio and shooting 42.7 percent from the field, 40.4 percent from three-point range and 85.3 percent from the foul line. Additionally, Quinn has scored in double-figures on 27 occasions, including four 20-point performances.

During the 2007-08 season, Quinn appeared in 60 games (25 starts) and set career-highs with 7.8 points, 3.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 22.3 minutes. He finished tied for 27th in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage, connecting on 40.3 percent of his attempts. Quinn also ranked second on the HEAT in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.24) and three-point field goal percentage and fourth in three-point field goals made (64), assists (178) and steals (46). He became just the 14th player in HEAT history to play all 48 minutes of a non-overtime game when he played for the duration at Toronto on March 19, 2008.

The Baltimore Sun (Annie Linskey) reports: Baltimore native and three-time NBA champion Sam Cassell said today he plans to become an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics after playing one more season. Cassell, a 38-year-old guard who was part of the Celtics’ title run this year, told a reporter about his plans shortly before speaking at a City Hall news conference. “This is my last year playing with the Celtics,” he said. “Next week, I’ll sign the contract.” After finishing the 2008-09 season, he plans to exercise an option to join the coaching staff. “I am playing this year,” he said. “After that, I have the option to do coaching for them.” editor says: Cassell has let it be known for years that he planned on becoming a coach after his playing days end, and apparently he’s already got a nice job lined up. I wonder if the team has made him an official offer, or if there’s just a general understanding that the offer will come sometime in the next year. I assume the latter. Anyway, I see Cassell as a successful assistant in terms of helping players develop and being hands-on in making sure they know how to move and what to do on a basketball court. There are lots of players I wouldn’t want as an assistant, but I’d want Cassell. Cool news for the Celtics, assuming this actually materializes.

After what feels like 4,500 delays, the New Jersey Nets may finally break ground this December in Brooklyn, New York to build their future home arena. And as a New Yorker who would much rather take the subway to Nets games than have to keep going to Manhattan’s Port Authority to wait on giant lines for buses that then sit in traffic jams, I say the sooner the better. Here’s the New York Times (Charles V. Bagli):

The developer Bruce C. Ratner has told state and city officials that he plans to break ground in December on his long-delayed $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, which will feature thousands of apartments and offices in 16 towers built around a glamorous basketball arena for the Nets. But it is unclear whether Mr. Ratner will be able to meet his own deadline to start one of the most ambitious projects in Brooklyn in decades, given the softening economy, the crisis in the debt markets, rising costs and a persistent group of opponents who have filed one lawsuit after another.

This isn’t sure to happen, though. Here’s more from the New York Times:

“There’s no way they’ll get control of the land they need, get the financing, end the litigation and break ground by December,” said Daniel Goldstein, a spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, the project’s primary opponent. Andrew DeSouza, a spokesman for the Treasury Department, declined to comment on whether a decision concerning tax-exempt financing for stadiums and arenas was imminent. The Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations in 2006 that would make it more difficult, if not impossible, for tax-exempt bonds to be used for private sports teams.

I agree with the guy above that getting this all done by December may be tough. But I disagree with him that this project is “destroying” Brooklyn. Aside from adding what will probably be some insane traffic jams, it makes Brooklyn better.

Kevin Martin getting stronger

Sacramento Kings shooting guard Kevin Martin, the best player on his team now that Ron Artest has been traded, is already a scoring machine, averaging 23.7 points last season on good shooting, but adding strength would help his development. Fortunately, that’s been his summer focus. Here’s the Sacramento Bee (Sam Amick):

Kevin Martin looks ready for the regular season. Physically, his once-fragile frame took yet another offseason step toward sturdy. His game that already taken historical steps in terms of statistical progress should be refined, with an emphasis this summer on everything from strengthening his weak hand on the dribble to playing lower to the floor rather than his penchant for staying upright to improving defensive positioning and awareness to finishing with exclamation point dunks more than ever.

Adding strength while maintaining his quickness will help Martin become a better defender and push him one step closer to becoming a star that can at least partially carry a team.

In three days of sales, the Oklahoma City Thunder has sold more than 10,000 season tickets for its first year in the Ford Center. The team says the lower level of the arena is now sold out. The only remaining season tickets are in the upper and club levels The available club level seats are good for one year since they will be removed during the Ford Center renovation.

The team encourages fans with Thursday appointments to come to the Ford Center at their scheduled times to see what is available among the approximately 3000 remaining seats. editor says: That’s obviously really good. Though, I’d like to know how much cheaper the ticket plans are for OKC compared to those of other NBA cities. I’ll keep an eye out for that info and quote it for you. And if you happen to see it, toss me an email.

Lakers sign Brandon Heath

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent guard Brandon Heath, it was announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Heath, a 6-3 guard out of San Diego State spent last season playing in France for Entente Orleans 45 where he averaged 12.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 25 games.

Most recently, Heath played for the Los Angeles Clippers 2008 Summer-Pro League team in Las Vegas, averaging 5.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in five games played. editor says: This is presumably a “training camp” signing, meaning there’s a 99% chance Heath will be cut before the regular season starts. Also, this continues the Laker trend of signing players most fans have never heard of.

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