Archive for November 17th, 2008

NBA suspends Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett of the Boston Celtics has been suspended one game without pay for striking Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut in the face. In addition, Bogut’s Foul that was committed on Garnett has been upgraded to a Flagrant Foul Penalty One, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 3:58 remaining in the fourth period of the Celtics 102-97 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, November 15, at the Bradley Center.

Garnett will serve his suspension tomorrow when the Celtics host the New York Knicks at TD Banknorth Garden.

Here is a video of the incident. Click ‘high quality’ once you’re on the video page.

Pete Newell dies

The AP reports: Pete Newell, the Hall of Fame basketball coach who won an NCAA championship and Olympic gold medal and later tutored some of the game’s greatest big men, died Monday. He was 93. His death was confirmed by the University of California, the school Newell coached to a national title in 1959. Newell, who had been living near San Diego, had a serious lung operation in 2005. Newell coached for 14 years at San Francisco, Michigan State and California before doctors advised him to give it up because of the emotional toll. His final coaching job came in the 1960 Olympics, when he took a U.S. team led by Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Jerry Lucas to a gold medal in Rome. Newell later returned to prominence with his famous “big men” camps. He instructed some of the game’s greatest stars, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Shaquille O’Neal and Ralph Sampson.

The following statement was issued today by Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss regarding the death of former Lakers General Manager Pete Newell: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Pete Newell earlier today,” said Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss. “Pete was one of the most brilliant teachers and coaches the game has ever known, and was also an exceptional front office man as the Lakers General Manager from 1972-76. He was a great help to me when I first purchased the Lakers and he was very generous with his time and counsel. In addition to his great contributions to the basketball world, Pete was also one of the finest gentlemen we’ve known. Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the Newell family.”

The following statement was issued today by Golden State Warriors head coach Don Nelson: “This is obviously a very sad day for the game of basketball, whether you are associated with the NBA, college or high school ranks. I’ve known Pete for over 50 years and have a tremendous amount of respect for the man and his many accomplishments. Pete was a great coach and a great man who had the ability to relate to players and people on every level. A countless number of coaches and players benefitted from Pete’s tutelage over the years – including those who attended his specialized camps each summer – and will be indebted to him for the expertise and wisdom that he provided. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

The Golden State Warriors have signed guard/forward Stephen Jackson to a contract extension, the team announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced. InsideHoops.com will post contract details in the next few hours, so reload this page later today.

“We’re excited to have Stephen under contract for the next several years,” said Warriors President Robert Rowell. “He has been nothing short of terrific – both on the floor and in the community - since we acquired him almost two years ago.  He has embraced this opportunity with the Warriors and has become a leader of a very young basketball team. Furthermore, he expressed a desire to be here long-term and we wanted him to be a part of our team as we move forward. We view this as a win-win for everyone.”

Jackson, 30, is averaging 22.1 points (12th in NBA), 6.4 assists (11th in NBA), 3.9 rebounds and 43.4 minutes (1st in NBA) per contest in 10 games thus far this season. His performance this season is building upon his finest NBA campaign in 2007-08, in which he appeared in 73 games and established new career-highs in points (20.1 ppg), assists (4.1 apg), three-point field goals (182), three-point percentage (.363), free throw percentage (.832) and minutes per game (39.1 mpg) to go along with 4.4 rebounds and 1.26 steals per contest.  He scored 20-or-more points 42 times and helped lead the Warriors to a 46-27 (.630) record in the 73 games in which he appeared.

“I’m extremely happy,” said Jackson.  “The Bay Area has become my second home since I arrived here in 2007 and I can’t accurately describe how good it feels to be wanted and appreciated by an organization.  The Warriors – from Chris Cohan, Robert Rowell, Chris Mullin and Coach Nelson to the last person working in the front office – have embraced me since Day One.  This organization has put me in a position to succeed and, for that, I will be forever grateful.  I am really looking forward to the next several years, helping this young team win and providing my veteran leadership.”

Since being acquired by Golden State from Indiana on January, 17, 2007, Jackson has appeared in 121 regular-season games with the Warriors, averaging 19.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.29 steals in 37.9 minutes per game.  Over that stretch, the Warriors have posted a 73-48 (.603) record in the 121 games in which he has appeared.  Immediately following Jackson’s arrival in 2006-07, the Warriors posted a 23-15 (.604) record in the 38 games in which he played that season, including a 16-5 mark over the final 21 games of the season — which matched the best 21-game finish to a season in NBA history by a team that eventually ended up as the #8 playoff seed.

Currently in his ninth NBA season, Jackson owns career averages of 15.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.32 steals and 31.9 minutes in 550 regular-season games over eight seasons with New Jersey, San Antonio, Atlanta, Indiana and Golden State.

A native of Port Arthur, Texas, Jackson was named the 2007-08 recipient of the Angela & Christopher Cohan Community Service Award, given annually to the Warriors player who best exemplifies the spirit of community service through their outstanding commitment of time, service and financial support to the children and families of the Bay Area.  Additionally, he received the NBA Community Assist Award for the month of March, 2008.  This past summer, Jackson launched the “Jack 1 Foundation,” a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide community initiatives focusing on youth development and empowerment regardless of economic status.  As part of the foundation launch this past summer, he held a grand re-opening ceremony of the Stephen Jackson Academy of Art, Science and Technology in Port Arthur.

Players of Week: LeBron, Billups

Denver Nuggets G Chauncey Billups was named Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 16, the NBA announced today.

For the week, he averaged 21.5 ppg, 5.8 apg, 2.3 rpg and 1.25 spg in four games last week as the Nuggets went 3-1, leading Denver to wins at Charlotte, at Boston and vs. Minnesota.

Billups has led Denver to an overall record of 5-1 since being acquired from Detroit on Nov. 3.  He has posted averages of 19.5 ppg, 6.0 apg, 3.2 rpg and 1.83 spg in his six contests with the Nuggets.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James was named today as the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the second straight week for games played Monday, November 10th through Sunday, November 16th.

In three games during the week, James averaged an NBA-high 33.7 points on .600 shooting, 8.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds in 41.0 minutes per game. James has now won the award 15 times in his career: for the second time this season, three times during 2007-08, twice in 2006-07, five times in 2005-06 and on three occasions during the 2004-05 campaign.

Bulls waive Demetris Nichols

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived forward Demetris Nichols.

Nichols (6-8, 216), appeared in two games this season with Chicago and averaged 1.0 ppg in 2.5 mpg.  Nichols was claimed on waivers by the Bulls on Dec. 7, 2007 and was re-signed by Chicago on July 24, 2008.  He was originally selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round (53rd selection) of NBA Draft 2007.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 14.

Mark Cuban charged with insider trading

The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Dallas entrepreneur Mark Cuban with insider trading for selling 600,000 shares of the stock of an Internet search engine company on the basis of material, non-public information concerning an impending stock offering.

The Commission’s complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleges that in June 2004, Mamma.com Inc. invited Cuban to participate in the stock offering after he agreed to keep the information confidential. The complaint further alleges that Cuban knew that the offering would be conducted at a discount to the prevailing market price and that it would be dilutive to existing shareholders.

Within hours of receiving this information, according to the complaint, Cuban called his broker and instructed him to sell Cuban’s entire position in the company. When the offering was publicly announced, Mamma.com’s stock price opened at $11.89, down $1.215 or 9.3 percent from the prior day’s closing price of $13.105. According to the complaint, Cuban avoided losses in excess of $750,000 by selling his stock prior to the public announcement of the offering.

“Insider trading cases are a high priority for the Commission. This case demonstrates yet again that the Commission will aggressively pursue illegal insider trading whenever it occurs,” said Linda Chatman Thomsen, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

Scott W. Friestad, Deputy Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said, “As we allege in the complaint, Mamma.com entrusted Mr. Cuban with nonpublic information after he promised to keep the information confidential. Less than four hours later, Mr. Cuban betrayed that trust by placing an order to sell all of his shares. It is fundamentally unfair for someone to use access to nonpublic information to improperly gain an edge on the market.”

The complaint alleges that Cuban violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The Commission’s complaint seeks to permanently enjoin Cuban from future violations of the federal securities laws, disgorgement (with prejudgment interest), and a financial penalty.

Nov 16: Spurs 90, Kings 88

The AP reports: Even without Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, the San Antonio Spurs are still using the same formula to win games. Michael Finley scored 21 points and Tim Duncan had 20, including two key baskets in the final minute, in the Spurs’ 90-88 victory over Sacramento on Sunday night… Against the Kings, Roger Mason had 18 points, Matt Bonner added 11 and Jacque Vaughn had 10. Yet it was a tenacious fourth-quarter defense that limited the Kings to 5-of-18 shooting and gave the Spurs a 23-16 edge in the decisive final quarter… John Salmons had a season-high 31 points for the Kings, who have dropped two straight. Beno Udrih added 16 points, Quincy Douby had 12 and Brad Miller finished with 10 points and eight rebounds… The Kings continue to play without injured scoring leader Kevin Martin and top reserve Francisco Garcia.

Derrick Rose is a star

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose already looks like a star. He’s exceeding even the highest expectations anyone could have set for him and if early season performances are any indication Rose could wind up in the same sentence as young PG stars Chris Paul and Deron Williams in the future. Here’s the Chicago Tribune (K.C. Johnson):

If Rose can maintain his averages of 18.9 points, 5.6 assists and 5.0 rebounds, he would join Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Grant Hill, Alvan Adams, Steve Francis and Magic Johnson as the only rookies to average 18, 5 and 5. Rose’s prodigious talent and unique rookie consistency are a big reason the Bulls (5-5) are off to just their third .500-or-better start after 10 games since Jordan left town. To hear Rose tell it, Vinny Del Negro deserves credit as well. “He’s always talking to me and making sure I understand the different situations I’m seeing,” Rose said. “It feels good knowing that he has my back. He and my teammates are always helping me, teaching me stuff. They’re like my big brothers.”

Rose’s emergence makes it even more obvious that the Bulls may someday trade Kirk Hinrich, who is talented but not quite living up to his contract and doesn’t have the potential Rose appears to have.

Rookie Anthony Morrow scores 37 points

On Saturday, the Golden State Warriors beat the Clippers in Los Angeles 121-103. Warriors rookie Anthony Morrow started at guard alongside Kelenna Azubuike and went bonkers, scoring 37 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Here’s the Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II):

One day later, the buzz was still flying around Warriors rookie guard Anthony Morrow. A television interview on the Sunday evening local news. Sports magazines working on feature stories about him. Fans still talking about his first NBA career start: a 37-point, 11-rebound performance in Saturday’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers. Still, despite the Warriors having the day off, he found himself in the gym Sunday, getting up shots and working on his game. “Nothing like this will change me,” Morrow said in the midst of the postgame hysteria he caused Saturday. “The grind never stops.” His record performance — most points by an undrafted player in his rookie season and most points by a rookie this season — may have changed the Warriors for the better. It certainly gave the team a much-needed shot of energy and hope, which came in a timely fashion after Thursday’s heartbreaking loss to Detroit. It gave the Warriors another commodity to add to their portfolio of young talent to build on or barter.

The San Francisco Chronicle (Janny Hu) reports:

“It was a fun game, man,” said a humble Morrow, who added 11 rebounds in his 42 minutes on the court. “I just wake up every day like, ‘I’m in the NBA.’ I thank God for it. “I played against Allen Iverson last game. I played against Baron Davis. I grew up in Charlotte watching him play all the time (when I was) in high school. It was just a great game.” So great that Morrow didn’t just play against his idol in Saturday’s matinee. He torched Davis. And Cuttino Mobley. And just about everyone else the Clippers put on him once they finally decided to guard him. Warriors coach Don Nelson gave Morrow the surprise start so he could match up Stephen Jackson against Davis at point guard, and it wasn’t long before the move paid off.

In the game, Morrow shot 15-of-20, including 4-of-5 three-pointers, plus 3-of-3 free throws, finishing with 37 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers and 2 fouls in just under 42 minutes.

Seattle team chase faces challenges

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Chris McGann) reports: The latest plan to bring pro basketball back to Seattle now that its team has been sold and moved to Oklahoma City faces enormous challenges as it heads to the 2009 legislative session. The city of Seattle proposal for financing a major remodel of KeyArena — a prerequisite for getting a new NBA team — would raise $75 million with a 1 percent Seattle hotel tax currently collected to pay debt on the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. The city would provide another $75 million with revenue and admissions taxes from KeyArena. A group of investors, including Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and Seattle developer Matt Griffin, is seeking to buy a new NBA team to play in Seattle and has agreed to contribute $150 million to for the arena upgrade. But all of that depends on persuading state lawmakers to allow the city to keep that 1 percent hotel tax.

Jerry Stackhouse fading away

Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Jerry Stackhouse is having a horrible season. In 17.6 minutes per game he’s averaging 5.3 points and 1.9 rebounds on 29.1% shooting and 18.8% three-pointers. Sunday in New York he was in street clothes due to being put on the team’s inactive list. Here’s the Dallas Morning News (Eddie Sefko) reporting:

Stackhouse didn’t want to talk about it after the game, but team president Donnie Nelson said the coaching staff informed Stackhouse on Sunday morning about the decision. Nelson said there is no internal problem with Stackhouse, who is shooting 29 percent for the season.  Said coach Rick Carlisle: “He was just inactive. I talked to him about it. I’m going to talk to him [today] and see about the next game. He’s fine. It was matchups and some other stuff. But it’s not a big deal.”

In the league since 1995, Stackhouse has been fading. His last 20+ ppg scoring season was in 2002-03 with the Washington Wizards. A career 41.0% shooter, last season Stack averaged 10.7 ppg. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the coming few weeks.

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