Archive for November 7th, 2008

Tony Parker could miss 2 weeks

The AP reports: Tony Parker sprained his left ankle and could be out two weeks, and the Miami Heat took advantage of his absence to beat the San Antonio Spurs 99-83 on Friday night… Parker sustained a moderate lateral ankle sprain and will probably be out more than two weeks, said Dr. Paul Saenz, a team physician. An MRI was expected to be performed Saturday.

Josh Smith out 2-4 weeks

The Atlanta Hawks will be without the services of forward Josh Smith for an estimated time of 2-4 weeks, after suffering a high ankle sprain in the second quarter of tonight’s game against Toronto.  Smith suffered the injury attempting to block a shot and landed awkwardly.

Raw and unedited notes from New Jersey where the Nets are hosting the Detroit Pistons. It’s the first game for Allen Iverson since being traded to Detroit from the Denver Nuggets.

The Pistons pregame locker room scene was the usual for Detroit: loose and loudly filled with rap music (old Redman songs) and random entertaining remarks from Rasheed Wallace.

I asked Sheed, who was playing the music from a speaker-connected ipod, if he was playing Redman, who is from Jersey, because they were here, or if it was just a coincidence. It was the latter, Sheed informed me.

Iverson, in the corner, had about 17 reporters circling nearby. ‘Go ask him a question’ yelled Rasheed at us after we stood waiting in silence for a long time. ‘They know no questions before the game’ said Iverson. (Note: those two quotes are paraphrases.)

It is now tipoff. Iverson got a great cheer from Nets fans when introduced.

Talk to you after the game.

–Jeff

Warriors name Larry Riley assistant GM

The Golden State Warriors have named Larry Riley Assistant General Manager, it was announced today by President Robert Rowell. In a related move, Pete D’Alessandro has been relieved of his duties as Assistant General Manager.

Riley, 64, has spent the last two-plus seasons as an assistant coach on Don Nelson’s staff with the Warriors. He has accumulated over 20 years of NBA experience, including stops in Golden State, Dallas, Vancouver and Milwaukee. Overall, Riley has amassed 37 years of basketball experience in various coaching and administrative positions.

Riley, who will cease his duties on the coaching staff, will report directly to Mullin and assist in the overall day-to-day dealings in the Warriors’ Basketball Operations Department.

Knicks hire Allan Houston

The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that Allan Houston has been named Assistant to the President for Basketball Operations.

“Allan has great knowledge and understanding of this league and our franchise, and I think he will be a tremendous asset to our front office in player development as he continues to learn and educate himself,” Walsh said. “I have always respected Allan as a player and as a person, and I have been thoroughly impressed with the work he has put in with our organization.”

Originally retiring on Oct. 17, 2005 as an NBA player three seasons ago, Houston is the fourth leading scorer in franchise history during the regular season (11,165) and eighth leading scorer during the playoffs (1,139). Only NBA legends Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier and Willis Reed have scored more points during their careers with the orange and blue. On Oct. 4, 1999, he was named a team captain, and held that title for six seasons. He was selected to be a member of the 2000 and 2001 NBA All-Star teams and was a member of the Gold medal-winning United States team at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games.

“I am honored and grateful that Donnie Walsh and the New York Knicks have trusted me with an opportunity to lend myself to serving this team and organization,” Houston said. “To learn from someone who has built such a remarkable legacy is very exciting for me. Coach D’Antoni is one of the brightest minds in the game of basketball. Being around the game all of my life, I realize what an awesome opportunity we have to positively impact our fans, especially our youth. I am extremely blessed to have witnessed a special era in New York Knicks history, and I know basketball fans everywhere, especially Knick fans, are ready for the return of this franchise. Hopefully, I will serve in being a part of that again.”

On May 16, 1999, the Louisville, KY native authored one of the most memorable shots in club history with a game-winning runner at Miami in the closing seconds of Game Five in the first round of the 1999 NBA Playoffs. After defeating the Heat, the Knicks went on to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in the conference semifinals and Indiana Pacers in the conference finals to make their first NBA Finals appearance since 1994.

Recognized for his work through the “Father Knows Best” program offered under the Allan Houston Legacy Foundation, Houston was recently named as the national spokesman for the National Fatherhood Initiative.

Jermaine O’Neal offensive struggles

The Toronto Sun (Mike Ganter) reports on Raptors center Jermaine O’Neal: “I’m just not making the shots,” said O’Neal. “When I look at the (tape) I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing as far as getting the position I want. I’m catching it deep. I’m clearing the space when I turn to the basket but I’m just not making the shot.” In four games so far this season, O’Neal has had a 3-for-10 shooting night — that was Wednesday — and a 2-for-10 night last Friday against Golden State. For the year, he’s shooting just shy of 38% from the field, well below his career average of just a tick under 46%. O’Neal said he’s trying to make sure he doesn’t let this funk become a mental one. “The things I’m going through now were things I was hoping I would go through in the pre-season,” he said. “But it takes time. I’m always going to be a little more frustrated by a situation like last night when we lose the game and where we’re down one with chances to win and I take a couple of shots and I wasn’t able to make them.”

The Chicago Sun-Times (Chris De Luca) reports: Sources close to commissioner Bud Selig sounded an alarm this week during the annual general managers meetings: Forget about Mark Cuban buying the Cubs. Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks’ owner, was the fan favorite, the guy who liked to drink beer, watch the game from the bleachers and spend money. He was the most appealing bidder to Zell’s group, who knew Cuban could swing the quickest transaction for a team and ballpark that at one time figured to fetch $1 billion. Global financial crisis or not, baseball’s old guard plans to stand firm against letting Cuban into the club. ”There’s no way Bud and the owners are going to let that happen,” a Major League Baseball source said this week. ”Zero chance.”

Kenyon Martin foundation forms

NBA Star Kenyon Martin announced today the establishment of The Kenyon Martin Foundation at The Giving Back Fund.

The Foundation will focus on providing life-changing opportunities to underserved youth throughout the country, with an emphasis on assisting families without father figures in Denver, Dallas, and Cincinnati.

Martin has a long history of distinguished charitable involvement.  He has served as an honorary Ambassador for the March of Dimes’ Colorado Chapter and is currently a Board Member of the American Institute for Stuttering. He has also lent his support to the numerous charitable endeavors of his teammates and other notable figures both here and abroad.

“I was given an opportunity to earn a wonderful living doing what I love, playing basketball,” Martin observed “I hope to give other children opportunities to do what they love as well. My goal is to do what I can to help them realize their dreams and let them know that no matter where you come from you can always succeed.”

“I applaud Kenyon’s sense of responsibility and obligation to others, in using the hard-earned lessons he learned during his own difficult childhood to help a new generation of kids,” commented Marc Pollick, President of The Giving Back Fund.  “He exemplifies the maxim ‘to whom much is given, much is expected…’“

The Denver Nuggets’ power forward Kenyon Martin was raised in Oak Cliff, Texas, attended college in Cincinnati, and currently resides in Dallas during the off-season.

The Orange County Register (Janis Carr) reports: Vladimir Radmanovic grew up in what used to be Yugoslavia. At age 11, the country’s civil war started as did his family’s difficulties. His father joined the military and soon the family was on the move. They first relocated to different military bases, then approximately 200 miles from their home in Belgrade, where the fighting was fierce. He lived in four cities over the span of four years, but as a carefree teen, he was oblivious to the financial strain the war had put on his family and the rest of the country. “I was a kid,” he said. “Obviously, at that age, you don’t think about the consequences of what is happening. You’re living the life, trying to play and go out with kids your age. Now, from this perspective, I can understand the kind of struggle my parents had.” At age 14, Radmanovic began playing basketball, first for his school team then for a club team.

Euroleague.net reports: Although it may seem contradictory, the best testimony for the first monthly MVP of the 2008-09 Euroleague season is how little he played while pacing his team to early dominance in its group. Ersan Ilyasova of Regal FC Barcelona did so much so early in both games during October that his team coasted to easy victories without needing his help to finish them off. Against quite distinct opponents and in quite different circumstances, Ilyasova and Barcelona won their first two games in Group B by an average of 26 points. That the second of those blowout wins came by 24 points against another group favorite, Panathinaikos, capped off in spectacular fashion what was already an incredibly busy and successful month for Barcelona. In between tying for first place in the Spanish League with a 4-1 record in October and taking on the Euroleague, Barcelona flew to Los Angeles for 72 hours in the middle of the month play two 100-point-plus exhibition games is less than a day against NBA teams. Every step of the way, Ilyasova’s versatility has been apparent. He ranked seventh among all Euroleague players in performance index rating for the month, third in rebounds, 11th in scoring. Most telling, he led Barcelona in both scoring and rebounding despite playing only the fourth-most minutes on the team. For his amazing efficiency on the court in a pair of huge wins that could easily have been difficult for his team, Ersan Ilyasova is Euroleague Basketball’s choice as October MVP.

Euroleague.net reports: One of world basketball’s best shooters has outdone himself at the start of the Euroleague season. Tau Ceramica guard Igor Rakocevic, a former Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner, recorded the competition’s best individual performance in Week 3 to lead his team to a blowout 106-65 home win against Alba Berlin. Tau is now the only undefeated team in Group C and one of four Euroleague teams that has yet to lose. Rakocevic needed just 25 minutes to score 27 points against Alba on 6-for-6 three-point, 1-for-3 two-point and 7-for-7 free-throw shooting. Rakocevic also added a game-high 5 assists and 4 fouls drawn to reach a performance index rating of 34. Sani Becirovic of Lottomatica Roma followed with a 33 index rating based on his 23 points in a road win over Union Olimpija.

Nov 6: Blazers 101, Rockets 99 OT

The AP reports: Brandon Roy made a 30-foot jumper as time expired in overtime to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a thrilling 101-99 win over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night. LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and nine rebounds for the Blazers, who snapped a five-game losing streak to the Rockets in a game that featured three dramatic shots in the final 1.9 seconds. Roy first hit a turnaround 21-footer that put the Blazers up 98-96 and sent a sold-out Rose Garden into a frenzy. But Yao Ming scored and drew a foul against Roy on the other end with 0.8 seconds left, then made the free throw to give Houston the lead. Portland called timeout and the inbounds play went to Roy, who swished the winner to send a charge through the delirious crowd.

InsideHoops.com Stat Notes: For Portland, Aldridge had 27 and 9 plus 3 blocks. Brandon Roy (just 6-of-18) had 17 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists (but 5 turnovers). Rudy Fernandez (5-of-9, 3-of-5 three-pointers) scored 15 off the bench. Travis Outlaw (5-of-12) had 14 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks off the bench. Steve Blake had 8 points and 8 assists. For Houston, Tracy McGrady (11-of-23) had 30 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals. Luis Scola (7-of-10) had 14 points and 4 rebounds. Aaron Brooks (5-of-9) scored 14 off the bench. Yao Ming (4-of-13) had just 13 points and 6 rebounds. Ron Artest had a mere 10 points and 4 assists.

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