Archive for October 30th, 2008

Lakers sign Andrew Bynum to extension

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed fourth-year center Andrew Bynum to a multi-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

Appearing in 35 games last season, Bynum averaged 13.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks before suffering a season-ending knee injury during the Lakers 100-99 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on January 13th.

“We’re extremely happy to have signed Andrew to this extension, which will secure his immediate future with the franchise,” said Kupchak. “Andrew has shown a vast array of skills for a player his size and if he continues to stay dedicated and work hard to improve, he has an excellent chance to develop into one of the top players in the NBA.”

“This has been a fantastic week for me so far: turning 21, winning our first two games of the season, and now getting this new contract signed,” said Bynum. “This gives me and my family financial security, and more importantly, cements my future with the Lakers, which in my opinion is the best organization in all of professional sports. I couldn’t be happier.”

Bynum, an early entry candidate for the 2005 NBA Draft, became the youngest player in NBA history to be selected when the Lakers used their first round pick (10th overall) to acquire the 7’0” center. A McDonald’s High School All-American, Bynum averaged 22.0 points, 16.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocks his senior season at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, New Jersey.

For his career, Bynum is averaging 7.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 19.3 minutes.

Rockets exercise Aaron Brooks option

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced tonight that the team has picked up the option on the contract of guard Aaron Brooks.

Brooks (6-0, 161, Oregon) led the Rockets this preseason in scoring average (14.4) and assists per game (4.1). He was the only Houston player to post two 20-point games this preseason, as well as topping the Rockets in assists a team-best four games. Brooks also registered a game-high 23 points (7-16 FG, 4-8 3FG, 5-6 FT) vs. Sacramento (10/17/08). He holds a regular season career high of 22 points vs. New York (1/5/08), which includes a career-best four 3-pointers made.

Selected by Houston in the first round (26th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, Brooks averaged 5.2 points and 1.7 assists in 51 games of his rookie season with the Rockets. He was also one of the top-10 young NBA players named to a USA Basketball Men’s Select Team that was chosen to help prepare the 2007 USA Senior National Team for its gold-medal run at the FIBA Americas Championship 2007. In addition, Brooks earned T-Mobile Rookie of the Month honors for 2007 NBA Summer League.

Dallas  has  been  selected as the site of NBA All-Star  2010, Commissioner David Stern, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones jointly announced today during a press conference outside the American Airlines Center.

Following  the  mantra  that “everything is bigger in Texas,” the 59th NBA All-Star  Game  will  be played on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010, at the new Dallas Cowboys  Stadium in Arlington, which will have a seating capacity in excess of  80,000. This collaboration between the NBA, and the ownership groups of the  Mavericks and Cowboys, will afford all Mavericks season ticket holders a chance to partake in the pageantry of the NBA All-Star Game.

The T-Mobile Rookie  Challenge  and  NBA  All-Star  Saturday Night festivities will take place  at  American  Airlines Center, home of the Mavericks. 2010 will mark the first time the All-Star competitions are split between two venues since Houston  in  1989  when  The  Summit hosted All-Star Saturday Night and the Astrodome hosted Sunday’s All-Star Game.

“Dallas  is  a  vibrant  city  with  a passionate sports fan base that will embrace  the  NBA  All-Star experience,”  said  Stern.  “We appreciate the collaborative  efforts of Mark Cuban and Jerry Jones on what will surely be one of the most memorable basketball events of all time.”

The New Jersey Nets have exercised a fourth year contract option on Josh Boone and third year contract options on Sean Williams and Yi Jianlian while declining to pick up the fourth year contract option on Maurice Ager, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.  Boone, Williams and Yi are now signed through the 2009-10 season.  Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not released.

Boone was selected by New Jersey with the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft.  The third year center has appeared in 131 games in his first two seasons with the Nets, averaging  6.3 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting .557 (337-of-605) from the field in 18.6 minutes.

Sean Williams, drafted 17th overall in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft by New Jersey, appeared in 73 games as a rookie.  He tallied 5.6 points on .538 (164-305) shooting, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 17.5 minutes.  His 106 blocks on the season marked the second highest block total for a Nets rookie in team history, trailing only Kenyon Martin’s 113 blocks during the 2000-01 season.  Williams was selected to the 2008 Rookie All-Star team and recorded eight points and 10 rebounds in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

Yi was selected with the sixth pick in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft by Milwaukee.  He was traded to New Jersey, along with Bobby Simmons, for Richard Jefferson on June 26, 2008.  In 66 games with Milwaukee, Yi averaged of 8.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 25 minutes.  Yi is a member of the Chinese National Team which competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and 2004 games in Athens.

Ager was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, 28th overall, of the 2006 NBA Draft.  He was acquired by the Nets along with Devin Harris, Trenton Hassell, DeSagana Diop and Keith Van Horn, along with Dallas’ first round draft picks in 2008 and 2010 and cash considerations from the Mavericks in exchange for Jason Kidd, Antoine Wright and Malik Allen on February 19, 2008.  In his first two NBA season, Ager played in 58 games with Dallas and New Jersey, averaging 2.1 points and 0.6 rebounds in 6.5 minutes.

Mario Chalmers talks to InsideHoops

Heat point guard Mario Chalmers, a rookie, talks to about this, that and the other thing.

It’s a quick five-question chat. Skim it now: Mario Chalmers interview.

Report from Knicks home opener main man Bobby “The Voice” Ciafardini was in Madison Square Garden Wednesday night for the New York Knicks home opener against the Miami Heat.

Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry weren’t involved for New York, but the Knicks flew by the Heat 120-115. The Mike D’Antoni era has begun.

Read about the game, with post-game player quotes.

Iverson not a Nuggets captain

The Denver Post (Benjamin Hochman) reports: The votes are in. The Nuggets’ players have elected co-captains for this season — forwards Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin. Allen Iverson, a tri-captain last season with Anthony and Marcus Camby, will not be an official captain. Karl said he wanted only two. Veteran Chucky Atkins was one of the players who voted for Anthony and Martin. “I picked those guys based on the fact that they’ve been around here the longest, and the expectations of our team, pretty much, rests on their shoulders,” Atkins said.

Spurs hack-a-Shaq 5 seconds into game

UPDATE: See the video of it here.

The East Valley Tribune (Jerry Brown) reports: With Shaquille O’Neal’s “coward” comment still ringing in the ears of Spurs fans before Wednesday’s game, a reporter asked San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich if he would consider a mock “Hack-a-Shaq” on the first possession of the game to jokingly prove that he wasn’t backing down from his strategy in last year’s playoffs. Popovich stopped. He ran his fingers through his new white beard. And then he started to grin. “You know, that’s not a bad idea now that I think about it. It’s a better suggestion than any of our (assistant) coaches have had all summer,” Popovich said. “I could get a couple of guys in front of me and act like they were holding me back … a typical NBA fight.” Funny guy. He was just kidding, of course. Right? Sure enough, the Suns won the tip and ex-Sun Michael Finley wrapped his arms around O’Neal to stop play five seconds into the game — a nonshooting foul. O’Neal quickly looked over at Popovich, who gave him two thumbs-up and the two shared a laugh. “Classic Pop. I loved it,” Steve Nash said. “It would have been a fine if he didn’t do it.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Jeff Caplan) reports: Dirk Nowitzki is a big fan of bringing NBA All-Star Weekend to North Texas. “I always thought that [Dallas Mavericks owner Mark] Cuban, at the beginning when he took over, he wasn’t going to do an All-Star Game, so I was always in that mind-set that we’re not going to have it,” Nowitzki said. “If it’s really going to happen, it’s going to be something special.” A joint effort by the Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys will produce the 2010 All-Star Game at the new Cowboys stadium in Arlington, with the related festivities such as the slam dunk competition at American Airlines Center and the NBA Fan Jam at another Dallas venue. The NBA isn’t commenting, but multiple sources have confirmed that the official announcement is set for 4 p.m. today at Victory Plaza outside AAC.

Eddy Curry out of Knicks rotation

The New York Daily News (Frank Isola) reports: Mike D’Antoni would not back down from his decision to remove Eddy Curry from the rotation, announcing early Wednesday that the incumbent starting center isn’t physically ready and that the Knicks now have “standards” that Curry has not met. “This is not going to be easy where we’re all having lollipops and thinking we can turn this around,” D’Antoni said hours before the Knicks beat Miami, 120-115, in their season opener. Curry did not play, and had company on the bench in the form of Stephon Marbury. “There are going to be a lot of tears, yelling and screaming. There are going to be certain standards. It’s easy for me to go, ‘Yeah, OK let’s just do it the same way it’s always been done so no one will get mad.’ Now, we have standards.”

Jerry Sloan OK with wild player intros

The Salt Lake Tribune (Ross Siler) reports: As old school as he can be, Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said he had no issue with the team¹s new player introductions, complete with glowsticks, fireworks and streamers: “Whatever entertains the fans, I don¹t have any problem with that.”    Sloan was asked about some of the outlandish introductions he¹s seen around the league with flames and smoke. “I think that¹s happened here a time or two,” Sloan said. “They had a fire here one time they had to try to put out, so that¹s what worries me.”

Oct 29: Hornets 108, Warriors 103

The AP reports: Chris Paul drove for the go-ahead layup with 19.4 seconds left and finished with 21 points and 11 assists in the Hornets’ perilous 108-103 victory Wednesday night… After going 7-0 in the NBA’s first unbeaten preseason in six years, New Orleans stayed perfect despite falling apart down the stretch against Golden State. After Paul’s jumper gave the Hornets a six-point lead with 5:47 left, they went nearly four minutes without scoring—including two open jumpers missed by Paul—while the Warriors took a 101-100 lead on a jumper by Corey Maggette, who had 27 points in his Golden State debut… David West led New Orleans with 24 points, while Peja Stojakovic added 16. Stephen Jackson scored 26 points and Kelenna Azubuike added 17 for the Warriors, who blew numerous opportunities to take charge late in their third straight season-opening loss, but still came out encouraged simply by hanging with the Hornets.

Oct 29: Lakers 117, Clippers 79

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant had 16 points and eight rebounds, Andrew Bynum added 12 points and nine rebounds, and the Lakers spoiled the Clippers season opener with a 117-79 rout Wednesday night… Derek Fisher scored 15 in the victory, including going 3-of-6 as the Lakers finished 10-of-19 from 3-point range. Pau Gasol added 13 points, Jordan Farmar 15, and Trevor Ariza had 11 points and six rebounds. Chris Mims scored most of his 10 points during mop-up time… Baron Davis had 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting in his Clippers’ debut, with seven assists. Al Thornton scored 16, and Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas each had 11.

Oct 29: Jazz 98, Nuggets 94

The AP reports: Carlos Boozer had 25 points and 14 rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 16 points in his new reserve role and the Utah Jazz opened the season with a 98-94 win over the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night. Mehmet Okur had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Ronnie Price finished with five assists starting in place of Deron Williams, who is out with a sprained ankle… Allen Iverson had 18 points and eight assists to lead the Nuggets, who were missing star Carmelo Anthony while he served the first of a two-game suspension from a DUI arrest over the summer. Kenyon Martin added 18 points for Denver, which had a chance to tie it but missed a 3-pointer and Utah’s Ronnie Brewer got the rebound and made a free throw with four-tenths of a second left. Brewer finished with 15 points and Kyle Korver added 11 for Utah.

Oct 29: Rockets 82, Grizzlies 71

The AP reports: Yao Ming had 21 points and 10 rebounds, Artest added 16 in his Houston debut, and the Rockets overcame poor shooting to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 82-71 on Wednesday night. Luis Scola had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who were 28-for-76 (36.8 percent) from the field. They also went 5-for-16 from 3-point range and were outrebounded 49-44… Rudy Gay scored 20 and Darrell Arthur had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who’ve lost all eight season openers since moving to Memphis in 2001… Tracy McGrady, wearing a brace on his left shoulder and a wrap below his left knee, had 16 points and five assists, but went 7-for-18 from the field.

Oct 29: Bucks 98, Thunder 87

The AP reports: Michael Redd, Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva each scored 20 points and the Milwaukee Bucks gave Oklahoma City’s sellout crowd little hope about by spoiling the Thunder’s debut with a 98-87 win on Wednesday night… Oklahoma City started 2-for-12 from the field and never led, falling behind 20-9 and then watching Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant come out of the game with early foul trouble… Andrew Bogut added 14 points and Bell scored 11 for Milwaukee. Villanueva also had 12 rebounds. Chris Wilcox led Oklahoma City with 15 points off the bench, first-round pick Russell Westbrook scored 13 in his debut and Durant finished with 12 on 5-for-14 shooting.

Oct 29: Suns 103, Spurs 98

The AP reports: Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points—11 coming on 5-of-5 shooting in the fourth quarter—and four other Phoenix players scored in double figures to help the Suns beat the San Antonio Spurs 103-98 in the regular-season opener for both teams Wednesday night… Tim Duncan and Tony Parker each scored 32 points for the Spurs, who were playing without guard Manu Ginobili who is out until December after ankle surgery. Nash added 13 points and 13 assists for the Suns. Leandro Barbosa had 18 points, Shaquille O’Neal 15, and Grant Hill 13.

Oct 29: Wolves 98, Kings 96

The AP reports: Minnesota rookie Kevin Love had 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes and Al Jefferson had 21 points and 10 rebounds to help the Timberwolves to a 98-96 victory over the rebuilding Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night… John Salmons scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half and rookie Jason Thompson had 18 points and 10 boards for the Kings, who nearly rallied to steal the game in the closing minutes… Spencer Hawes had 12 points and 14 rebounds and Martin added 17 points on 5-for-19 shooting for the Kings.

Oct 29: Pistons 100, Pacers 94

The AP reports: The Detroit Pistons played well enough to build big leads only to allow the Indiana Pacers to rally before beating them 100-94 Wednesday night in the opener for both teams… Tayshaun Prince had 19 points, Richard Hamilton scored 15, Chauncey Billups added 13 points and seven assists, and Walter Herrmann had 10 points to help Detroit’s reserves easily outscore their counterparts. Danny Granger led the new-look Pacers with 33 points and got some help from new teammates T.J. Ford, Jarrett Jack and Rasho Nesterovic… Troy Murphy had 13 points and 15 rebounds and Marquis Daniels scored 12 points for Indiana. In their debut with the Pacers, Ford scored 10 points, Jack had nine, Nesterovic eight and first-round picks Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert added seven and two points, respectively.

Oct 29: Knicks 120, Heat 115

The AP reports: Jamal Crawford scored 29 points, Zach Randolph added 20, and the Knicks beat the Miami Heat 120-115 on Wednesday night in their first game under D’Antoni. Wilson Chandler had 17 points and nine rebounds, and David Lee and Quentin Richardson each scored 16 points for New York… Dwyane Wade had 26 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in his return to regular-season action for the Heat, but fouled out on what appeared to be a good block of Crawford’s 3-pointer with 1:25 left after Miami closed within six. Udonis Haslem added 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat in rookie coach Erik Spoelstra’s debut. Spoelstra, 37, became the youngest head coach in the NBA when he replaced Pat Riley.

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