Archive for April 15th, 2009

Memphis Grizzlies Majority Owner and Chief Executive Officer Michael Heisley issued the following statement today on the health of President of Hoops LP Gene Bartow.

“We have recently learned that Gene Bartow has become ill with stomach cancer and has begun treatments immediately in Birmingham, Alabama.

Coach Bartow has been a beloved figure in the collegiate ranks and a staple in the Memphis community from his head coaching days at Memphis State University to his eight years of dedication to the Grizzlies.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gene and we look forward to his speedy recovery. We spoke to him today and he is doing well, and is very optimistic. Currently we have little information, but we will provide further updates when it becomes available with the blessing of Gene and his family.”

Real season begins soon

As fun as the NBA regular season is, players work the hardest and produce the best basketball when it matters most, in the playoffs.

When do you work hardest? In regular, everyday work situations? Or when it really counts most? Same with pro athletes. You can’t expect these guys to give 110% every night. Or even 100%. Close, sure, or else they’d lose fans. But to really judge players and teams, watch them in the playoffs.

And if your favorite team didn’t qualify for the post-season? Unless injuries are to blame, they simply didn’t deserve to be there.

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team will retain interim coach Scott Brooks as head coach.

“We are excited to have a Head Coach in Scott Brooks who believes in our philosophies and consistently leads with those values,” said Presti. “He has a passion to help our players develop, continue to foster accountability and selfless play, and has the ability to communicate with every player on our roster.”

Brooks was named interim head coach of the Thunder on November, 22, 2008. The Lathrop, California native guided to the Thunder to a 21-47 (.309) record in his first stint as a head coach.

Brooks spent six years as an NBA assistant coach with the Thunder (2007-2008), Denver Nuggets (2003-2006) and Sacramento Kings (2006-2007) following an 11-year NBA career. Brooks saw action with seven teams during his career. He also served as an assistant/head coach with the Los Angeles Stars of the ABA, guiding the club to a 23-14 record.

Brooks graduated from UC-Irvine, playing two seasons for the Anteaters, where he led the team with 23.8 points per game as a senior.

Read fan reaction and post your own comments in this forum topic.

Spurs assign Marcus Williams to D-League

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have assigned guard/forward Marcus Williams to the Austin Toros, the NBA Development League team owned and operated by the Spurs.

The 6-7, 207-lb Williams appeared in two games with San Antonio where he averaged 2.0 points in 1.5 minutes.  He was signed by the Spurs on 4/8.

An All-League First Team Selection with the Toros this season, Williams averaged 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 45 games.  He was named the D-League Performer of the Week for the week of 3/30 after averaging a triple-double with 27.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 11.5 assists in three games.

The Los Angeles Times (Mike Bresnahan) reports: Shannon Brown again was the first guard off the Lakers’ bench Tuesday against Utah, continuing to take minutes away from Farmar. Jackson spoke to Farmar about it, emphasizing the need for him to be effective in five- to six-minute spurts instead of, say, eight- to 10-minute bursts. “We’ve talked a little bit about shortening his minutes . . . but we’re still really counting on him to come out there and give us that kind of energy,” Jackson said.

Steve Kerr doubts his team

The East Valley Tribune reports: After the Suns gathered for a team picture Tuesday — and a couple of wise guys wondered how many players in the photo would be around next year — the Suns’ general manager met with the media and reaffirmed what everyone has known for months. “I don’t know that this team, as constituted, can be a championship team,” Steve Kerr said. “I don’t think so, actually. We’re not good enough in certain areas.” And with that, the Suns’ offseason begins.

The AP reports: The 82-game grind is over for the Los Angeles Lakers. Now comes the time of the season this storied franchise exists for. Andrew Bynum scored 22 points in his best effort since returning from injury and the Lakers defeated the Utah Jazz 125-112 Tuesday night to close the regular season as the third-winningest team in franchise history. They tied the 1986-87 team with their 65th victory, trailing only the 1971-72 team (69) and 1999-00 team (67)… Pau Gasol added 20 points and nine rebounds, Bryant and Lamar Odom had 16 points each, and Sasha Vujacic 15 points for the Lakers, who won their sixth in a row at home. Deron Williams had 25 points and 13 assists for the Jazz, and reserve Andrei Kirilenko added 20 points to go with 16 points by Carlos Boozer and 14 by Ronnie Brewer.

Pierce lifts Celtics past 76ers

The AP reports: The 76ers might be in big trouble in a playoff series with Boston once Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are back. Paul Pierce and his backup band were enough to finish off a Sixers team that still has something to play for. Pierce hit the winning jumper, scored 31 points and hindered Philadelphia’s shot at the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed in Boston’s 100-98 win over the Sixers on Tuesday night… Tony Allen and Leon Powe were pressed into service and combined for 28 points, and the Celtics’ bench also outscored Philadelphia’s reserves… Andre Iguodala led the Sixers with 25 points and Thaddeus Young had 18.

The AP reports: Flip Murray scored 17 points to lead the Atlanta Hawks reserves past the Miami Heat scrubs 81-79 Tuesday night in a game that shed little light on their upcoming playoff series. With both teams locked into their seedings—they’ll play Game 1 in Atlanta this weekend—there was little incentive for either to give significant minutes to top players. They didn’t. Miami star Dwyane Wade, coming off a career-best 55 points against the New York Knicks, wasn’t in uniform. Neither were Jermaine O’Neal or Udonis Haslem, the latter recovering from a deep cut on his right thumb. Michael Beasley led the Heat with 23 points and 13 rebounds in only 24 minutes. The Hawks rested Maurice Evans and Zaza Pachulia, and kept their starters on the bench much of the night. Speedy Claxton, a $25 million free-agent bust, actually played for the first time in more than two years.

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