Archive for December 18th, 2008

Grizzlies waive Antoine Walker

The Memphis Grizzlies waived forward Antoine Walker, club General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

The 6-9, 245-pound forward did not appear in a game with the Grizzlies this season after he was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 26, 2008 along with the draft rights to guard O.J. Mayo and guards Greg Buckner and Marko Jaric in exchange for the draft rights to forward Kevin Love, swingman Mike Miller, forward Brian Cardinal and center Jason Collins.

“Antoine Walker was a true professional during his time in Memphis,” said Wallace. “We wish him all the best in his effort to find another team where he can receive more playing time.”

Currently in his 13th NBA season, Walker has averaged 17.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.22 steals in 35.3 minutes per game in 893 career games (707 starts) with the Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat and Minnesota.

The three-time NBA All-Star (1998, 2002, 2003) currently ranks fourth among active players (10th all-time) in three-point field goals made (1,386) and second (sixth all-time) in three-point field goals attempts (4,264).

The 32-year-old Chicago native was originally selected in the first round (sixth overall) in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Celtics.

The Grizzlies’ roster currently stands at 13 players.

Warriors waive Richard Hendrix

The Golden State Warriors have waived forward Richard Hendrix, the team announced today.  Additionally, the team has transferred guard Monta Ellis from the Suspended List to the Inactive List.

Hendrix, 22, did not appear in any regular-season games with Golden State this season and was assigned to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Developmental League on November 14.  In nine games with the Jam, the 6-9 forward is currently averaging 13.9 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.11 steals and 1.22 blocks in 28.7 minutes per contest.  Hendrix was originally selected by the Warriors with the 49th selection in the 2008 NBA Draft.

With today’s transactions, Golden State’s roster currently stands at 15 players.

The Sacramento Kings will honor the contributions of former All-Stars Chris Webber and Vlade Divac by retiring each of their numbers in two separate ceremonies during upcoming Kings’ games.

“Vlade and Chris represent the best duo at their respective positions in franchise history, and they were the centerpieces to one of the most exciting and popular teams, not only in Sacramento, but in the country,” explained Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. “They were both great teammates and contributed the winning attitude and chemistry required to reach the heights that they did. Together they changed the face of the franchise and we’re all indebted to them for that.”

Webber’s #4 will be raised to the rafters on February 6th when Sacramento hosts the Utah Jazz (7 pm). Divac’s #21 will be hoisted high above the ARCO Arena floor on March 31st when the Kings take on the New Orleans Hornets (7 pm).

“We had such a wonderful run of success with Chris and Vlade that they became part of the family and an integral part of the franchise,” said Kings Owner Joe Maloof.  “We will always be indebted to them for their great play, professionalism and charitable contributions to the community.”

Webber and Divac will be become the eighth and ninth players, respectively, to have their numbers retired in franchise history, and only the second and third players, respectively, of the Sacramento-Era.

“Chris was the face of the franchise and one of the best power forwards of his time,” said Kings Owner Gavin Maloof. “He is a great person and tremendous leader. We enjoyed watching him play on a nightly basis. He possessed great all-around skills. He had exceptional scoring, rebounding and passing abilities. It was fun to watch.

“I want to thank Vlade for his hard work, dedication and loyalty to the franchise. He is a first-class person, was the consummate teammate and one of the most likable individuals we’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Along with Chris Webber and others, Vlade guided the Kings from obscurity to prominence during his tenure in Sacramento, and I’ll always be grateful for his contributions.”

Collectively, Webber and Divac powered a Sacramento Kings team that won a franchise-record 61 games in 2001-02, back-to-back Pacific Division titles in 2001-02 and 2002-03 and made six consecutive NBA Playoff appearances from 1998-99 to 2003-04.

“I never dreamed this day would come,” Webber said. “I’m honored and humbled because there are so many people to thank, including the fans, Maloof family, Geoff Petrie, my teammates and former coaches. I have wonderful memories of my time in Sacramento, and I’m glad I can call it home.”

Webber, a 6-10, 240-pound forward, whom the Kings acquired via a trade with Washington in-exchange for Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe on May 14, 1998, played seven seasons for Sacramento from 1998-99 to 2004-05. He was a four-time NBA All-Star Game selection (five-time overall in his career) with the Kings (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003), garnering two starting assignments (2001 and 2002). Additionally, Webber was a five-time All-NBA Team selection (1998-99 to 2000-01), and was named to the First Team in 2000-01. His 14 triple-doubles and 26 rebounds (versus Indiana on January 5, 2001) are the most in franchise history during the Sacramento-era. Among franchise career leaders, Webber, who normally filled his entire stats line on a nightly basis, ranks 10th in points (8,843), 7th in rebounds (4,006), 8th in field goals made (3,691), 6th in steals (568) and 4th in blocked shots (553). He led the NBA in rebounding in 1998-99 with a 13.0 per game average and was the Kings’ leading scorer in six of his seven seasons (1998-99 to 2002-03 and 2004-05) in Sacramento. Webber averaged 23.5 points (.473 FGs, .238 3FGs, .691 FTs), 10.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.51 steals and 1.47 blocks per game through 377 contests with the Kings. He is only the sixth player in NBA history to average over 20 points (20.7), nine rebounds (9.8) and four assists (4.2) per game in his career, joining Basketball Hall of Fame members Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Bird, Elgin Baylor and Billy Cunningham, and current NBA player Kevin Garnett.

“I was very honored and humbled upon receiving the news about my jersey retirement,” Divac said. “For me, this is a pinnacle of my career and it is very special knowing that nobody will ever wear #21 again.  I am thankful to the Kings organization, all the Kings fans, my family and all the people who supported me throughout my career. When you take into account all the medals and trophies, at the end of the day when you draw a line, you realize that this act by the Kings completes the circle. I was able to compete on the highest level for the Kings for many years and this news makes me feel amazing and it gives me a great satisfaction. The Sacramento Kings showed great respect to both Chris and I.”

Divac, a 7-1, 265-pound, crafty, skilled center, signed with the Kings as a free agent on January 22, 1999. He played six seasons in Sacramento (1998-99 to 2003-04) and was a 2001 NBA All-Star Game selection. Divac recorded career averages of 13.2 points (.478 FGs, .246 3FGs, .676 FTs), 7.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.15 blocks per game over 454 outings as a King. He holds a franchise record for the most offensive rebounds in a quarter with seven. Divac ranks 10th in rebounds (3,538) and 5th in blocked shots (523) on the franchise all-time career leaders list. He is one of only three players in NBA history (Abdul-Jabbar and Olajuwon) to amass 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocks. Divac was the 1999 recipient of the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, given to a player, coach or trainer who shows “outstanding service and dedication to the community”.

Elton Brand out one month

Philadelphia 76ers power forward Elton Brand recieved an MRI last night which revealed a fracture of the humeral head (bone) and a tear of the labrum, which was expected with the dislocation.  Sixers team physician Dr. Jack McPhilemy does not feel the injury will require surgery at this time.

Brand will begin rehabilitation immediately and is expected to be out one month.

For the season Brand has been playing 35.2 minutes per game and averaging 15.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.39 blocks on 44.7% shooting.

With 11 wins and 14 losses, the Sixers, who recently fired head coach Mo Cheeks, have not lived up to team expectations this season. If the season ended today they’d finish 9th in the Eastern conference, just missing out on the 8th and final playoff spot, currently held by the Chicago Bulls.

Tyrus Thomas has concussion

Chicago Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas was diagnosed with a concussion after experiencing symptoms during last night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers.  Thomas was evaluated by the Bulls’ team physicians and was seen at Rush University Medical Center last evening for precautionary tests.  All tests on Thomas came back normal.

Thomas is day-to-day, pending a resolution of his symptoms, and he will not accompany the team for its game at Boston tomorrow night.

Antawn Jamison strains thumb

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that Wizards All-Star Forward Antawn Jamison has been diagnosed with a strained left thumb.  Jamison will be listed as a game-time decision for tomorrow night’s home game versus the Philadelphia 76ers (7:00 pm).  Jamison initially injured his thumb in last night’s game in Detroit.

In 23 games this season, Jamison has averaged 19.9 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, and his .473 field goal percentage represents his second-best field goal percentage in his 11 professional seasons (.535 FG% as the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2003-04 in Dallas).

Dec 17: Bulls 115, Clippers 109 OT

The AP reports: After his history-making swipe, Chris Paul helped the Hornets steal a victory from the San Antonio Spurs. Paul set an NBA record with a steal in his 106th straight regular-season game and had 19 points and 12 assists to lead New Orleans to a 90-83 comeback victory Wednesday night. Paul broke Alvin Robertson’s NBA mark—which stood since 1986—when he deflected and quickly corralled an attempted pass by Tony Parker late in the second quarter… David West scored 21 points for New Orleans, hitting a pair of late 3s to help erase a seven-point deficit in the last 5 minutes… Tony Parker led San Antonio with 20 points, and Tim Duncan had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Dec 17: Hornets 90, Spurs 83

The AP reports: After a costly call in an overtime loss, things turned around in hurry for the Chicago Bulls in another extra period. Derrick Rose converted a decisive three-point play in overtime, and Ben Gordon made a four-point play with 20.5 seconds left in regulation in the Bulls’ 115-109 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. On Wednesday night, with the Bulls leading Charlotte by three points late in regulation, Rose fouled D.J. Augustin on a 3-point attempt. Augustin made three free throws to send the game in overtime and the Bobcats eventually won. But on Wednesday night with Chicago down four, Rose watched as Ben Gordon was fouled by fellow rookie Eric Gordon. Ben Gordon hit the three and the free throw to send the game in overtime… Los Angeles’ Marcus Camby had a career-high 27 rebounds and scored 19 points, and Randolph finished with 30 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The Clippers also lost in overtime to Charlotte on Tuesday night.

Dec 17: Cavs 93, Wolves 70

The AP reports: LeBron James helped the Cavaliers return to their winning ways with 32 points that sent the Timberwolves to their 11th straight loss, 93-70 on Wednesday night… “We’ve got to keep working at it. Nobody said it was going to be easy,” said Al Jefferson, who had to work for his 20 points against Cleveland’s interior defensive specialist, Ben Wallace. Mike Miller was more aggressive than he’s been for most games this season for Minnesota, finishing with 14 points and seven rebounds on 7-for-12 shooting and Kevin Ollie threw in 12 points against one of his many former teams. But Wallace and Anderson Varejao helped limit Jefferson’s damage underneath, doubling him occasionally and clogging the driving lanes to keep the Wolves from finding an offensive rhythm.

Dec 17: Jazz 103, Nets 92

The AP reports: Deron Williams had 17 points and 11 assists, and Utah overcame a seven-point first quarter and a 22-point deficit to beat New Jersey 103-92 on Wednesday night… Mehmet Okur had 23 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 1-1 on a five-game trip… Paul Millsap added 18 points and 12 rebounds in his 13th straight double-double for the Jazz, who made only three field goals during one of the worst quarters in franchise history… Vince Carter scored 32 points for the Nets, who opened a four-game homestand that continues Friday against Dallas, when Jason Kidd returns to the Meadowlands for the first time since getting traded last February. Devin Harris, the key player New Jersey got in return, had 21 points and 11 assists.

Dec 17: Pistons 88, Wizards 74

The AP reports: Allen Iverson left the game briefly after bumping knees with Washington’s Mike James but returned to finish with 28 points on 10-for-16 shooting in the Pistons’ third straight victory, 88-74 over the Wizards. Rodney Stuckey added 18 points and matched his career high with 11 assists for Detroit, which went on a 12-3 run midway through the fourth quarter after the Wizards had pulled to 63-62. The Pistons allowed only three field goals in the final 9 minutes… Tayshaun Prince added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Richard Hamilton scored 12 points for the Pistons, 6-1 when Stuckey starts at the point… Mike James, inserted into the starting lineup Wednesday, scored 16 points to lead the Wizards. Jamison had 14 points and 11 rebounds despite a sprained thumb suffered early in the game, and Andray Blatche added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Washington, an Eastern Conference-worst 4-19.

Dec 17: Pacers 127, Warriors 120

The AP reports: Danny Granger took a major step in his evolution into a team leader with his fourth-quarter effort against Golden State. The Indiana forward scored 41 points in the Pacers’ 127-120 victory Wednesday night. Most important, he scored 13 points in the final 6 1/2 minutes to carry his short-handed team… Jarrett Jack scored 24 points, Marquis Daniels added 23, and rookie Brandon Rush had 10 points and 11 rebounds in his second career start for Indiana. Jamal Crawford scored 29 points, Marco Belinelli had a career-high 21 points, and Andris Biedrins had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Golden State… Indiana played without starters T.J. Ford and Troy Murphy.

Dec 17: Mavs 96, Raptors 86

The AP reports: Down by 12 points after one quarter, the Dallas Mavericks knew better than to panic. Instead, they waited for the struggling Toronto Raptors to crack. It didn’t take long. Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Jason Terry also scored 27 points in the Mavericks’ 96-86 victory over the Raptors on Wednesday night… Josh Howard added 20 points for Dallas in his first start since Nov. 18. Howard, who came off the bench Monday night in a loss to Denver after missing 11 games because of a sprained ankle, scored Dallas’ first nine points and had 11 in the first quarter… Jermaine O’Neal scored 19 points for the Raptors, who have lost three straight and are 2-6 since Jay Triano replaced Sam Mitchell as head coach Dec. 3.

Dec 17: Celtics 88, Hawks 85

The AP reports: The Boston Celtics looked to Kevin Garnett in the fourth quarter. Garnett scored 10 of his 18 points in the final quarter, and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson missed a late free throw that would have tied it, helping the Celtics beat the Hawks 88-85 on Wednesday night for their 16th straight victory. After Johnson missed the second of two free throws with 2.7 seconds, Ray Allen made a pair of free throws with 0.7 seconds left for the defending NBA champion Celtics, who have a franchise-best 24-2 record. It was only the second loss in 10 home games for the Hawks… Joe Johnson led Atlanta with 20 points, 10 in the final period. He was 7-of-7 from the line before the miss. Marvin Williams added 16 points, and Josh Smith and Mike Bibby had 14 each for the Hawks.

Dec 17: Sixers 93, Bucks 88

The AP reports: Lou Williams matched his career high with 25 points in a reserve role, Miller added 19, and the Philadelphia 76ers overcame the loss of forward Elton Brand to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 93-88. Brand dislocated his right shoulder with 7:23 left in the third quarter after landing on Milwaukee’s Luc Mbah a Moute. Marreese Speights tied his career high with 12 points, and Thaddeus Young had 10 to help the Sixers improve to 11-14 overall and 2-0 under interim coach Tony DiLeo. DiLeo replaced the fired Maurice Cheeks on Saturday. Luke Ridnour and Charlie Bell scored 14 points each for Milwaukee, and Mbah a Moute added 13. Richard Jefferson and Charlie Villanueva had 11 apiece. The loss ended the Bucks’ two-game winning streak.

The San Francisco Chronicle (Jon Shea) reports: Mike Dunleavy put up career numbers last season and said Wednesday it wouldn’t have happened if he still were a Warrior. “That wasn’t possible out there,” said Dunleavy, referring to Oakland. “It’s no coincidence so many guys who come from Golden State go elsewhere and succeed. The proof is in the pudding. I take responsibility for certain things. You look at guys who went elsewhere after leaving Golden State, they found a way. Whatever that means or says, you could read it through.” Dunleavy hasn’t played this season because of a sore right knee but said he still hopes to play a significant number of games “and pick up where I left off.”

Elton Brand dislocates shoulder

The AP reports: Philadelphia forward Elton Brand dislocated a shoulder and left the 76ers’ game against Milwaukee last night. Brand injured his right shoulder with 7:23 remaining to be played in the third quarter after landing on Milwaukee’s Luc Mbah a Moute. Brand had four points and six rebounds before going to the dressing room.

Basketball blog