Archive for January 19th, 2009

Sports Business Journal reports: NBA owners have reversed a longtime ban on courtside advertising by spirits brands in an effort to drive revenue during the economic downturn. The league is also crafting policies that could allow teams to offer hard liquor advertising on team Web sites, point-of-sale retail locations or in-arena promotions. Those decisions are expected shortly. The vote to ease the restrictions was taken last week during the NBA’s sales and marketing meetings in Phoenix. It opens new revenue streams for all 30 teams, who have been prohibited from selling courtside/TV visible hard liquor signage since 1991. The decision follows Major League Baseball, the NHL and NASCAR in allowing spirits advertising within camera view. The NFL does not allow any hard liquor signage within camera view in their stadiums.

Clippers re-sign Fred Jones

Prior to today’s game vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Los Angeles Clippers signed guard Fred Jones to a second 10-day contract.

A six-year NBA veteran, Jones has averaged 6.5 points, 1.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 22.3 minutes in 10 games with the Clippers this season, making one start after originally signing as a free agent on December 28th.  Jones was waived by Los Angeles on January 5th, and then signed to his first 10-day contract on January 8th.

Jones played 70 games with the Knicks last season, averaging 7.6 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 25.1 minutes. The Clippers are the fifth NBA team for Jones, who has appeared in 378 total games and is averaging 7.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his NBA career.

A star at the University of Oregon, Jones helped lead the Ducks to the Elite Eight of the 2002 NCAA Tournament and was drafted by the Indiana Pacers with the 14th selection of the 2002 NBA Draft. Jones played four seasons with Indiana, winning the 2004 NBA Slam Dunk Contest as a Pacer before signing with the Raptors prior to the 2006-07 season.

Jones joined Portland midway through the 2006-07 season in a trade, teaming up with current Clipper Zach Randolph and then going to New York along with Randolph in a five-player deal on June 28, 2007.

Jerome James season over

I am at today’s Chicago Bulls at New York Knicks game, and reporters have been told that the season of Jerome James is over. A complete bust in every way, the Knicks pay James millions of dollars per year to sit on the bench, take pre-game photos with fans, drink water and suffer injuries.

Here is New York Newsday: The Knicks revealed today that Jerome James suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon and is out for the season. Considering the severity of the injury — not to mention the complete disinterest in getting him back — we’ve likely seen the last of Big ‘Rome… Jerome will pick up his $6.6M player option for next season, but the Knicks will likely look to buy that out to free up a roster spot for 2009-10.

Jamal Crawford defending well

The Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II) reports: Jamal Crawford, at 28 is entering the prime of his NBA career, and under Keith Smart’s tutelage, is learning things he’s never learned before. The dividends are already evident in his game. The results are most noticeable on defense, where Crawford has a reputation for being sub-par. He said he’s trying harder on that end of the floor, and for longer stretches, something he acknowledged he hadn’t always done. In times past, you wouldn’t have seen Crawford provide such solid help defense as he did Wednesday when he blocked a pull-up jumper by Sacramento’s Kevin Martin from behind. You wouldn’t have seen him hustle to contest a buzzer-beating attempt, as he did against Atlanta on Friday, blocking Zaza Pachulia’s heave into the stands near half-court. You wouldn’t have seen him getting excited and showing emotion when he makes a play on the defensive end, as he has lately.

Shaq makes a funny

The Toronto Sun (Terry Koshan) reports:  The always quotable Shaquille O’Neal had one of the better post-game lines yesterday. When O’Neal was asked what it was like to hear a louder ovation for another player (Steve Nash), other than himself, O’Neal said: “Never happens.” But a reporter pointed out that Nash had a louder ovation during the warmup than O’Neal did. “They asked my permission,” said O’Neal, who finished with 16 points. O’Neal is getting long in the tooth, but still leaves a lasting impression on opponents.

Donte Greene enjoyed time in minors

The Sacramento Bee (Melody Gutierrez) reports:  Donté Greene was by no means kicking and screaming for his return to the Kings. The rookie was having fun in Reno with the Bighorns of the NBA Development League. “I’m going to miss it – all the minutes and the guys,” Greene, 20, said Sunday after Kings practice. “I got pretty close with the guys over there.” In his five games with the Bighorns, Greene averaged 31.8 minutes, 20.4 points, 1.2 blocked shots and 4.2 rebounds, while playing shooting guard and small forward. In his last game with the Bighorns on Saturday, Greene scored 28 points. Greene said he went into the experience knowing the D-League could do him a favor.

The AP reports: Dwyane Wade’s legs were sore, Udonis Haslem had a bad back and Shawn Marion was too hurt to play. Even at the end of a seven-game, 12-day road trip, the Heat still had enough to pull through. Wade had 32 points and racked up most of his 10 assists while helping thwart Oklahoma City’s fourth-quarter rally as the Heat beat the Thunder 104-94 Sunday night to head home on a positive note… Yakhouba Diawara scored 14 points after starting in place of Marion (groin), and Jamaal Magloire and Mario Chalmers each added 13 points for Miami. Haslem had 11 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 31 points, Jeff Green scored 22 and Russell Westbrook added 14 points and eight rebounds.

The AP reports: Amare Stoudemire scored 31 points, Steve Nash had a season-high 18 assists and the Suns beat Toronto 117-113 on Sunday afternoon, their ninth consecutive victory over the struggling Raptors… Jason Richardson added 17 points, Shaquille O’Neal and Matt Barnes each had 16 and Leandro Barbosa scored 14 for Phoenix. Stoudemire scored 11 points in the fourth as the Suns won the opener of a six-game road trip… Anthony Parker led Toronto with 26, Joey Graham scored a career-high 22 and Chris Bosh had 20 points and 12 rebounds as Toronto lost its fifth straight… Guard Jose Calderon (hamstring) sat for the eighth time in nine games, guard Jason Kapono was scratched because of flu-like symptoms and forward Jermaine O’Neal, who returned from a nine-game absence Friday, rested his sore knee. O’Neal is probable for Monday’s game at Atlanta.

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