Archive for February 16th, 2009

Shaq would happily join Knicks

The New York Daily News (via blog) reports: From what I gather from people close to Shaquille O’Neal is that the Suns center would welcome a trade to the Knicks if such a deal could be worked out. Shaq’s contract - he’ll earn $20 million next year in the final season of his deal - fits into the Knicks’ free agent plans for 2010… But with Eddy Curry not expected to be much help this season, the Knicks are looking to make a move for a big man. The Sacramento Bee reported today that Brad Miller, who Donnie Walsh once had in Indiana, remains on the Knicks’ radar.

Pistons to change lineup

The Detroit Free Press reports: Pistons coach Michael Curry is shaking up his starting lineup coming out of the All-Star break. Curry said Antonio McDyess will become a starter again and Amir Johnson will come off the bench. “As I talked about going into the break, I’m going to start him instead of Amir,” Curry said of McDyess. “Hopefully Amir will play better with some second line guys. Hopefully we can be more solid defensively, especially when we have the help with ‘Dyess in there and also to stay consistent.

Suns suspend Jason Richardson

The Phoenix Suns have suspended guard Jason Richardson for one game without pay for conduct detrimental to the team. The club announced that Richardson will serve the suspension in the Suns’ next game, Tuesday, Feb.17 against the LA Clippers at US Airways Center.

InsideHoops.com editor says: J-Rich needs to learn the difference between driving like a maniac in video games and doing it in real life.

Suns to run again

Good news for all NBA fans: The Suns are going to be fast again. The roster doesn’t allow them to quite be what they were several years ago but this is still positive. The East Valley Tribune reports: Gentry promised a return to the fast-paced style that best utilizes the team’s talent, particularly the skills of playmaker Steve Nash. “We are who we are and I think we have to go back to trying to establish a breakneck pace like we’ve had in the past,” Gentry said at a news conference announcing his promotion.

Jason Richardson arrested for speeding

The AP reports: Phoenix Suns guard Jason Richardson was arrested in Scottsdale after police said he was driving 55 mph above the limit with his unrestrained 3-year-old son in the car. A Scottsdale police officer first saw Richardson driving 67 mph in a 40 mph zone Sunday night and followed him, police said Monday. That’s when the officer clocked him at 90 mph in a 35 mph zone and pulled him over… The officer saw Richardson’s son in the back seat of the car and that he was not in a child seat.

The Los Angeles Clippers today acquired guard Alex Acker and the Detroit Pistons’ second round selection in the 2011 NBA Draft from the Pistons in exchange for a conditional second round selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. In a related move, the Clippers also waived center Cheikh Samb.

A Compton native, Acker has appeared in seven games this season for the Pistons, averaging 1.3 points and 0.1 assists in 2.9 minutes per game. A former star at Pepperdine University, Acker was originally drafted by the Pistons in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft (60th overall) and played in five games and averaged 1.8 points during his rookie season.

Acker, 26, moved to Europe in 2006-07 and averaged 14.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists with the Greek team Olympiacos in Euroleague play. Acker appeared in 30 games with Spain’s FC Barcelona in 2007-08, averaging 6.8 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists.

A former standout at Eisenhower High School in Rialto, Acker finished his collegiate career at Pepperdine as the 20th all-time leading scorer in school history and was named to the 2004-05 All-West Coast Conference team as a junior and named the WCC Freshman of the Year in 2002-03.

In a related move, the Clippers waived center Cheikh Samb. Samb was acquired by the Clippers on Jan. 5 in a trade with Denver and proceeded to play in 10 games with Los Angeles, averaging 1.1 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.4 minutes.

Phoenix Suns fire coach Terry Porter

The Phoenix Suns today announced that the team has relieved Terry Porter of his head coaching duties.  Alvin Gentry, a Suns assistant coach since 2004, will assume the role of interim head coach.

“I hired Terry because I believed he would be able to provide the balance our team needed in order to perform at a very high level.  Unfortunately the transition from last season to this one proved to be very difficult, and we have not played to our potential.  It’s imperative that we move forward and do what’s best for our team.  Alvin has been an integral part of our successes the previous four years and knows our talent as well as anyone,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr.

A 29-year coaching veteran, Gentry originally joined the Suns staff as an assistant on June 1, 2004, and has served in that position the last four-plus seasons as Phoenix posted the winningest four-year stretch in franchise history.  Gentry takes the reins as head coach of his fourth NBA team after stints with the Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03), Detroit Pistons (1997-2000) and Miami Heat (1995) in which he compiled a 177-226 (.439) career record.  Gentry’s 1998-99 Pistons earned a playoff berth.  In 2001-02, his second season with the Clippers, he guided Los Angeles to an improbable 39-43 (.476) record, the team’s highest win total in nearly 10 seasons, a season after leading the club to a 16-win improvement in 2000-01, his rookie campaign with the club.

In 20 seasons in the NBA, Gentry has worked alongside or under some of the game’s most respected coaches, including Larry Brown, Kevin Loughery and Doug Collins.  The 53-year-old Gentry received his first assistant coaching job in the NBA under Brown with the San Antonio Spurs in 1988-89 after serving under Brown with the 1988 NCAA Champion Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball team.

Porter was named the 13th head coach in Suns franchise history on June 9, 2008.  In 51 games this season, Phoenix compiled a 28-23 (.549) record and currently sits in ninth place in the Western Conference.

The Charlotte Observer (Rick Bonnell) reports: A part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats has been convicted of felony fraud in South Florida and sentenced to nine years in prison. Brothers Jorge and Carlos de Cespedes were given the maximum sentence, after an investigation of their pharmaceuticals company bilking Kendall Regional Medical Center. According to the Miami Herald, the hospital lost $5 million over 14 years because of this scheme… A source with knowledge of the Bobcats’ structure said the de Cespedes brothers originally paid $10 million to $12 million to purchase roughly 3 percent of the team. That percentage likely dissipated over time unless they participated in cash calls to cover revenue deficits.

Dwyane Wade All-Star fashion

The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Mary Schmitt Boyer) reports on 2009 NBA All-Star weekend: Miami’s Dwyane Wade sported an interesting look as the assistant coach of the rookie team. He wore a yellow V-neck sweater under a blue sport coat, with a bow tie and glasses. Oh, and there was that blue “Wade” band-aid over some stitches he recently took under his left eye. “It was a combination of a lot of different things,” Wade explained of the outfit. “It was a tribute to one of my assistant coaches in Miami — Keith Askins. He wears a bow tie. So I told him during the season, ‘I’m going to show you how to wear it.’ “Also, I just wanted to try something new, being conservative. I brought the glasses because I was a coach so I thought I would look smart.”

Danny Ainge on his later playing days

The Boston Globe (Marc J. Spears) reports: “I was fortunate enough to play in the heyday of the Celtics in the ’80s,” Danny Ainge said. “As things were going downhill, I was fortunate to play with Portland for two years and go to the Finals and also play for Phoenix for three and go to the Finals. Those experiences helped me and taught me there is more than one way to win and different personalities. “I feel fortunate that I had a chance to play with Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, Tom Chambers, and Charles Barkley. It was different than in Boston.” Ainge joined the Suns as a free agent before the 1992-93 season, as did Barkley, now a Hall of Famer. Phoenix had the league’s best record (62-20) that season and advanced to the Finals to play Michael Jordan and the Bulls. In Ainge’s sixth and last Finals appearance, the Suns lost the series in six games. The Suns were eliminated by Houston in the second round of the playoffs in 1994 and ‘95.

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