Archive for January 13th, 2009

Etan Thomas tears MCL in left knee

Tests performed today on Washington Wizards Center Etan Thomas revealed that Thomas has a torn MCL in his left knee.  The injury occurred in the first quarter of last night’s game versus Milwaukee.  Thomas will be listed as out indefinitely, and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

Thomas this season has played just 11.8 minutes per game, averaging 3.1 points and 2.5 rebounds.

With seven wins and 30 losses, the Wizards have been one of the league’s worst teams in 2008-09.

Ron Artest out 7-10 days

A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test conducted on Houston Rockets forward Ron Artest on Sunday at the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute revealed no stress fractures in his right ankle.  The test confirmed that Artest has a moderate to severe bone bruise in the ankle.  Artest will continue his current rehabilitation treatment schedule for the next seven to 10 days and will be re-evaluated at that time.

This season Artest in 35.6 minutes per game is averaging 16.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.84 steals, shooting just 37.8% from the field - though he’s hitting 41.1% of his three-pointers.

Junior Harrington signs in Slovenia reports: Slovenian champion Union Olimpija has bolstered its squad by signing Lorinza Junior Harrington, a combo-guard who played for Lokomotiv Rostov last season. Olimpija has not advanced to the Top 16, so Harrington’s only Euroleague game this season will be on Thursday at Alba Berlin.

The Miami Herald (Patrick Danner) reports:  The Miami Heat is putting a full-court press on premium-seat holders and sponsors it claims haven’t paid up. The Heat or affiliate Basketball Properties, which operates the AmericanAirlines Arena, have filed 16 lawsuits in the past year against companies and people they claim owe about $1.6 million — if not more. At least a few of the cases have been resolved. The Heat has taken the most litigious approach among South Florida sports franchises to force customers and clients to honor agreements. By comparison, the Florida Panthers and affiliate Arena Operating Co., which operates Sunrise’s BankAtlantic Center, filed three suits in 2008 to collect about $100,000.

OK, before I even get into this, remember that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and professional athletes are world famous stars known by tens, sometimes hundreds of millions of people. And, there are a lot of crazy people out there who will do whatever it takes to get money.

As for this lawsuit in particular, the New York Post reports that the guy who is suing Eddy Curry is a convicted criminal who spent three years in prison. So he’s not exactly trustworthy.

Until there’s reason to do otherwise, officially supports Eddy Curry.

With that said, here’s what’s up:

New York Newsday (Jim Baumbach and Alan Hahn) reports: The former driver for Eddy Curry is seeking $5 million from the Knicks’ center in an explosive lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and racial discrimination, the driver’s attorney told Newsday last night. After last night’s Knicks game, Curry said he is “just shocked.” His lawyer called it “extortion.” The lawsuit states that Curry approached his driver, David Kuchinsky, in the nude on two separate occasions and “kept asking him to look and to touch him,” said Kuchinsky’s attorney, Matthew Blit. Blit also said the lawsuit alleges that Curry referred to Kuchinsky in racially offensive terms.

The New York Times (Howard Beck) reports: A man who worked for three years as Eddy Curry’s driver is suing Curry, alleging sexual harassment and a failure to pay him tens of thousands of dollars. In a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court, the former driver, Dave Kuchinsky, claimed that Curry, the Knicks’ center, owed him $68,000 in back wages and another $25,000 for charges made on Kuchinsky’s credit card. In the suit, Kuchinsky also described two incidents in which he claimed Curry dropped his pants and made lewd and suggestive remarks. Curry steadfastly denied the allegations Monday. Curry’s lawyer, Kelly Saindon, called the allegations “preposterous” and added, “In my opinion, it’s extortion.”

Newsday continues: “He had approached my friends and me a while back trying to get money and stuff like that,” Curry said. “I just never thought - especially with the past that me and him had - I never thought that it would go past where it did, which is idle threats; ‘I want some money or else’ kind of stuff. I guess it’s just like a prime example of you just got to watch who you have around you. This is a guy who I really thought was my friend up until the last four or five months. I can’t even believe this has happened.”

The New York Daily News (Thomas Zambito) reports: Curry said Kuchinsky has been making idle threats and money demands for several months, since Curry fired him. “I guess this is just a prime example of you just gotta watch who you have around you,” he said. Curry’s attorney, Kelly Saindon, characterized the lawsuit, which also charged Curry made Kuchinsky clean up towels soiled by sex acts, as an extortion try.

Newsday continues: Curry said, “He tried to contact a friend of mine about a month ago, two months ago. He actually tried to contact him on several occasions; every time it was something different. The first time it was to curse me out. ‘Eddy’s not this, Eddy’s not that.’ The second time was to apologize. The third time was to say to tell me if Eddy doesn’t call me or somebody doesn’t call me on his behalf, I’m going to sue him. I didn’t.”

The New York Post (Melissa Jane Kronfeld, Bruce Golding and Marc Berman) reports: Curry, a former Chicago Bull, said last night he was “shocked” at the allegations. “It’s false, and everyone who knows me knows I’m not a racist,” he said after the Knicks beat the Hornets in New Orleans. “I’ve never made a comment like that, playing, or nothing. . . . That’s incredible, man.”

The Post continues: Curry’s lawyer, Kelly Saindon, said Kuchinsky began making a series of claims for unpaid wages several months ago, upping the ante each time. Saindon said Curry took a chance on hiring Kuchinsky despite the driver’s criminal record, which includes a three-year prison sentence for a 1992 burglary in New Jersey. He also got three years’ probation in a 2004 resisting-arrest case in the Garden State, records show. “It’s shocking that Eddy opened his home to a convicted felon out of prison, and gave him a job when he couldn’t find a job, and this is what comes out of it,” Saindon said. Kuchinsky’s lawyer conceded his client’s “troubled past,” but said that was all behind him.

Elton Brand returns to practice

The Philadelphia Inquirer (Kate Fagan) reports (via blog): During Monday’s practice at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), injured forward Elton Brand hit the practice floor and participated in contact half-court drills. Brand did not look to be favoring his left arm or shoulder, but he did say afterwards that “It’s not 100 percent, I can feel that, but it’s pretty good.” Brand scrimmaged in a half-court setting, but did not go full court. He said he plans to go full during tomorrow’s practice… “Wednesday might be out, but I’ll be practicing tomorrow,” Brand said. He, and coach Tony DiLeo, said they would consult the medical staff and determine when Brand will be back in the lineup. But it looks to be very soon.

The AP reports: Mehmet Okur scored a career-high 43 points for Utah as the Jazz beat Indiana 120-113 Monday night, holding off a late push by the Pacers after they rallied from a 20-point deficit. Okur made 13 of 19 shots, going 3-for-4 on 3-pointers, and was 14-for-15 from the foul line while leading Utah to its fourth straight win… Andrei Kirilenko added a season-high 23 points and pulled down 12 rebounds and Deron Williams also had a double-double with 23 points and 11 assists… Indiana’s Danny Granger had 30 points and seven assists, one night after tying his career high with 42 points in a loss at Golden State. Mike Dunleavy scored 20 points and Troy Murphy added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who lost their third straight as they closed out a five-game road trip.

The AP reports: Travis Outlaw delivered in a big way, scoring a season-high 33 points, and Greg Oden added 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 109-95 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night… With Brandon Roy (11 points) hitting 3-of-13 shots and LaMarcus Aldridge (eight points) having a quiet night, the Blazers got just what they needed from Outlaw, Oden and Steve Blake to earn their third straight win… Oden dominated in the first half, with 13 points and nine rebounds. Blake finished with 16 points and 10 assists, helping the Blazers get this week off to a good start after a rather chaotic one for them… Drew Gooden led Chicago with 22 points and nine rebounds, Gordon scored 17 and Derrick Rose finished with 13 points and 10 assists. Deng added 14 points in 22 minutes off the bench but was 3-for-10 from the field after missing eight games with a sprained left ankle.

Knicks upset Hornets 101-95

The AP reports: David Lee scored 24 points and the Knicks had 30 assists, ending a three-game losing streak with a 101-95 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Monday night. “The biggest thing is we had 30 assists,” D’Antoni said… In New Orleans, Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson moved the ball crisply in setting up their teammates 17 times. Even center Jared Jeffries got into the act, finding cutters along the base line or through the lane for six assists… Al Harrington finished with 20 points, while Wilson Chandler scored 19 points, hitting a jumper with 2:07 left and a driving layup soon after to help keep the Hornets at bay… David West had 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Hornets, but was 6-of-20 from the field. Chris Paul added 23 points for New Orleans… Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, which hadn’t lost to New York since Dec. 8, 2004, before Paul turned pro.

The AP reports:  “Y’all need to start playing some of that “Superman” theme music in the building when he’s going like that,” Kevin Garnett said after Paul Pierce scored nine of his season-high 39 points in overtime to lead Boston to a 115-109 win over Toronto on Monday night… Pierce also had nine rebounds, while Garnett added 20 points and 12 rebounds and held Bosh to 1-of-4 shooting in 12 minutes of the fourth quarter and kept him from shooting in all five minutes of overtime.Andrea Bargnani, whose 3-pointer with 1 second left sent the game into overtime tied at 93, led the Raptors with 23 points… Boston’s 22 points set a club record for most in overtime, breaking the mark set on Jan. 2, 1963 when it outscored the San Francisco Warriors 21-6 in a 135-120 win.

The AP reports: Rookie Brook Lopez scored a career-high 31 points and pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the Nets to a 103-99 overtime win on Monday. The Nets believed they had already won this one in regulation. Vince Carter caught a pass from Devin Harris and had the winning basket lined up with 9 seconds left, a shot that caught nothing but net from 3-point range. To the shock of everyone on the floor, the score was wiped out because Nets coach Lawrence Frank had run onto the court to call a time out… Carter finished with 21 points while Harris, back after missing three of the previous four games with a hamstring injury, had 17 points. Keyon Dooling had 14 points, most coming early in the fourth quarter as the Nets earned a fourth straight home win after starting the season 5-12 in New Jersey. Kevin Durant had 26 points for the Thunder, who fell to 6-33, and 2-17 on the road.

The AP reports: The Milwaukee Bucks’ 97-91 victory over Washington on Monday night, thanks in part to Michael Redd’s 29 points, dropped the Wizards to 7-30 and was their 12th setback in a game they’ve led in the fourth quarter… Trading baskets down the stretch with Wizards guard Nick Young—who scored a career-high 30—and shaking off a tweaked right ankle, Redd helped Milwaukee overcome a deficit that was 13 points in the second quarter, 11 at halftime and five entering the final period… “We knew we could make a run at this team,” said Milwaukee forward Charlie Villanueva, who scored 16 points, “and that’s exactly what we did.” … Making his first start since Jan. 2—he missed four games with back spasms, then was a reserve for a game—center Andrew Bogut came out strong, scoring eight of Milwaukee’s first 17 points. He also finished strong, scoring eight in the fourth quarter and ending up with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

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