Archive for May, 2009

Official 2009 All-NBA Teams

2009 all-nba teams

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the 2008-09 Most Valuable Player, was a unanimous selection to the 2008-09 All-NBA First Team, the NBA announced today. Joining James on the First Team are Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat.

James, who earns First Team honors for the second straight season, ranked second in the NBA in scoring (28.4 ppg), eighth in steals (1.69 spg) and 10th in assists (7.2 apg) to go along with averages of 7.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. James guided the Cavaliers to a franchise-best 66-16 record overall and a 39-2 mark at home, both tops in the league. James was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month four times (November, January, March, April), tying Kevin Garnett (2003-04) as the only players to receive the award four times in one season since the NBA began voting for Eastern and Western Conference Player of the Month separately.

Bryant, the 2007-08 Most Valuable Player, finished third in the league in scoring (26.8 ppg), while averaging 5.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Bryant led the Lakers to a Western Conference-best 65-17 record. Bryant earns his fourth straight First Team selection and seventh overall. Among active players, only Tim Duncan (nine) and Shaquille O’Neal (eight) have more First Team selections.

Howard, an All-NBA First Team selection for the second consecutive season, led the NBA in rebounding (13.8 rpg) and blocks (2.9 bpg), becoming only the fourth player to pace the league in both categories since 1973-74, the first season where blocks were kept as an official statistic. Howard led the Magic in scoring (20.6 ppg), while shooting .572 from the field. His 63 double-doubles ranked second in the league (David Lee, New York, 65).

Earning his fourth First Team selection, Nowitzki was the league’s fourth-leading scorer (25.9 ppg), while also averaging 8.4 rebounds. His .890 free throw percentage ranked seventh overall. Nowitzki finished the season by scoring at least 20 points in 25 straight games, the longest such streak in the NBA this season.

Wade earns his first All-NBA First Team selection after ranking first in scoring (30.2 ppg), second in steals (1.7 spg) and eighth in assists (6.7 apg). He also averaged 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Wade became only the fifth player in league history to reach 2,000 points, 500 assists, and 150 steals in a single season, as well as the only player under 6-foot, 4-inches to register 100 blocks since they became an official stat in the 1973-74 season.

The All-NBA Second Team consists of New Orleans’ Chris Paul and Portland’s Brandon Roy at guard, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan and Boston’s Paul Pierce at forward, and Houston’s Yao Ming at center.

The All-NBA Third Team includes Denver’s Chauncey Billups and San Antonio’s Tony Parker at guard, Denver’s Carmelo Anthony and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol at forward, and Phoenix’s Shaquille O’Neal at center.

The All-NBA Teams were chosen by a panel of 122 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The media voted for All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first team votes in parentheses): Deron Williams, Utah, 105; Kevin Garnett, Boston, 72; Chris Bosh, Toronto, 56; Joe Johnson, Atlanta, 36, Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City, 34; Danny Granger, Indiana, 25; David West, New Orleans, 12; Mo Williams, Cleveland, 10; Al Jefferson, Minnesota, 8; Steve Nash, Phoenix, 7; Antawn Jamison, Washington, 7; Ray Allen, Boston, 6; Nene, Denver, 6; Devin Harris, New Jersey, 5; LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland, 4; David Lee, New York, 4; Rajon Rondo, Boston, 2; Vince Carter, New Jersey, 1; Paul Millsap, Utah, 1; O.J. Mayo, Memphis, 1; Mehmet Okur, Utah, 1; Jermaine O’Neal, Miami, 1; Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando, 1; Derrick Rose, Chicago, 1; Caron Butler, Washington, 1; Carlos Boozer, Utah, 1; Andre Miller, Philadelphia, 1; Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia, 1.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

The Los Angeles Times (Jerry Crowe) reports: Clippers owner Donald Sterling, accused of racism and embracing a “vision of a Southern plantation-type structure” in a lawsuit filed in February by Elgin Baylor, will be given a lifetime achievement award next week by the NAACP. . . . Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles branch of the civil rights organization, says of the much-maligned Sterling, “He has a unique history of giving to the children of L.A.,” revealing that the owner donates anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tickets a game to youth groups for nearly every Clippers home game. . . . Noting that the NAACP had made plans to honor Sterling before Baylor filed suit, Jenkins says, “We can’t speak to the allegations, but what we do know is that for the most part [Sterling] has been very, very kind to the minority youth community.” . . . Baylor didn’t mention that.

Chris Andersen OK for Game 5

The Denver Post reports: Forward Chris Andersen has had perhaps the best season of his career, but in this series he may have moved to the category of “indispensable.” He is the Nuggets’ most effective defender against Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, and never was that more apparent than Monday night. Andersen missed the game with a bout of food poisoning and Nowitzki went berserk, scoring 19 points in the fourth quarter and 44 points total in Dallas’ 119-117 victory. Asked if he would be ready for tonight, Andersen said, “I’m going to have a really large storage of energy.”

The AP reports: Kobe Bryant needed only three quarters to score 26 points and the Los Angeles Lakers bounced back from their Game 4 flop, routing the Houston Rockets 118-78 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinals. The top-seeded Lakers did everything they didn’t do in Sunday’s 99-87 loss at Houston—hustled, rebounded and played tight defense on Houston’s smaller lineup, keeping Aaron Brooks in check and limiting wide-open shots. On Sunday the Lakers trailed by 29 points. On Tuesday night, they had a 29-point lead by late in the second quarter, on a 3-pointer by Bryant, who led seven Lakers in double figures… Pau Gasol had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Andrew Bynum 14 points, Trevor Ariza 13 and Jordan Farmar 12. Lamar Odom and Josh Powell had 10 apiece. Brooks was held to 14 points after scoring a career-high 34 on Sunday. Ron Artest had a horrible night shooting, 4-of-15 for nine points. The Rockets shot only 32 percent.

Fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.

The AP reports: “I’m playing basketball this year. For me, that was enough,” Stephon Marbury said Tuesday night after scoring all of his 12 points in the final quarter to help Boston rally from a 14-point deficit and beat the Orlando Magic 92-88… Ray Allen’s 3-pointer with 1:20 left gave Boston its first lead since midway through the first quarter, and the Celtics took a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals with a chance to close it out in Game 6 in Orlando on Thursday night. Dwight Howard had 12 points and 17 rebounds for the Magic, who did not hit a basket after opening a 10-point lead with 5:39 to play. It didn’t help that, on one of the only times the Orlando defense played well, the officials ruled that Rajon Rondo’s apparent airball hit the rim and gave Boston a fresh 24-second clock with 37 seconds to play… Paul Pierce had 19 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and Game 4 hero Glen “Big Baby” Davis scored 10 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter. Davis also grabbed the rebound and hit a pair of free throws after Howard intentionally missed a free throw with 5.9 seconds left.

Fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.

Danny Granger wins Most Improved Player

danny granger wins nba most improved player award

Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers is the winner of the 2008-09 NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The annual award is presented to a player who has made a significant improvement from the previous season.

Granger received 364 of a possible 605 points, including 48 first-place votes, from a panel of 121 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The New Jersey Nets’ Devin Harris finished second with 339 points (43 first-place votes), followed by Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder with 83 points (six first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third place vote received.

In his fourth year, Granger was the league’s fifth leading scorer, averaging a career-high 25.8 points – 6.2 points higher than 2007-08 (19.6 ppg) and 9.4 points above his career average (16.4 ppg) – and becoming the first player in NBA history to raise his scoring average by at least five points in three consecutive seasons. Granger also averaged 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists. The 6-9 forward led the Pacers in scoring in 49 of the 67 games he played, including 13 of their final 14 games. In his last 14 games, Granger shot 43-of-96 (.448) from three-point range and his 182 three-pointers made this season rank third all time in Pacer’s history.

Mavs avoid sweep at hands of Nuggets

The AP reports: Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs awoke from their early-game slumber with rally after rally, getting close or even tied yet unable to get ahead until the former MVP made a tough, high-arching shot with 1:05 left. Having worked so hard for the lead, they weren’t about to give it back, pulling out a 119-117 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night to avoing being swept… Carmelo Anthony scored a career playoff-best 41 points and snagged five steals. He was the one turning away most Dallas rallies and made a 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds left that got Denver within a point. Yet when Mavericks guard Jason Terry intentionally missed a free throw with 1.1 ticks left, Anthony was out of answers. He got the rebound, but couldn’t stop the clock and didn’t even have time to try a 90-foot heave… “We’ve been fighting and fighting this whole series,” said Mavs forward Josh Howard, who had 21 points and 11 rebounds on two bad ankles… “They’re allowed to be fans, but when it gets personal, it goes over the top,” said Denver’s Chauncey Billups, who had 24 points and seven assists.

The AP reports: LeBron James went with his Magic impression in the deciding game of another playoff sweep. While failing to match his offensive explosion in Game 3, the league’s MVP scored 27 points and got his teammates involved as the Cleveland Cavaliers finished off the Atlanta Hawks 84-74 Monday night to win the second-round series in four straight. Delonte West and Mo Williams showed Cleveland isn’t just a one-man squad, hitting huge shots down the stretch as the Cavaliers extended their NBA-record streak of double-digit playoff wins to eight in a row. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Anderson Varejao pounded the boards, leading the Cavaliers to another big rebounding edge… West scored 21 points, while Williams made four 3-pointers to account for his 12 points. Ilgauskas had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Varejao seemed to get his hand on every miss, picking up seven of his 11 rebounds at the offensive end… Josh Smith led Atlanta with 26 points, but the Hawks were doomed by a miserable shooting night—23 of 73 from the field to finish at 31.5 percent. Joe Johnson added 18 points but made just 7 of 18 shots. Mike Bibby scored his only points on a 3-pointer in the final quarter. Flip Murray kept putting it up, but made only 4 of 15 for 14 points.

The Golden State Warriors announced today that the club has elected not to renew the contract of Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin.  In a related move, the team has named Larry Riley as the club’s new General Manager.

“It’s never an easy decision to make a change,” said Warriors’ President Robert Rowell.  “This case is compounded by the fact it involves Chris Mullin — someone who has provided Bay Area fans with many great memories over the years, as both a player and executive.  He’s a class individual who will always be remembered for his accomplishments with the Warriors organization.”

Mullin, 45, was named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations on April 22, 2004, and his current contract is set to expire on June 30.   He has spent the last five years in that position after spending two years as a Special Assistant with the club.   Prior to his front office tenure, Mullin spent 13 years of his 16-year NBA career with the Warriors, highlighted by five NBA All-Star Game appearances.  He retired following the 2000-01 season.

Riley, 64, has spent the last six-plus months as Assistant General Manager with the Warriors after being elevated to that position on November 7, 2008.  He originally joined the Warriors as an assistant coach prior to the 2006-07 campaign and spent his first two-plus seasons with Golden State in that capacity.

Riley has accumulated 20-plus years of NBA experience in various capacities prior to being named GM of the Warriors, including a six-year stint as Director of Player Personnel for the expansion Vancouver Grizzlies from 1994-95 to 1999-00.  The Indiana native also spent six seasons as an assistant coach/scout with the Milwaukee Bucks (1988-89 to 1993-94) and six years with the Dallas Mavericks in the same capacity (2000-01 to 2005-06).

“We think Larry Riley possesses many characteristics that will allow him to be successful as the General Manager of our team,” said Rowell.  “One of his primary strengths is his ability to work with a group of people to achieve a common goal, which his wide-ranging 20-plus years of experience at the NBA level will enable him to do on a day-to-day basis.  It is that type of experience and insight that will prove invaluable as we move forward.”

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that Tony DiLeo has withdrawn his name from consideration to return as head coach 2009-10 season and will return to his previous position as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager.  Effectively immediately, the Sixers will begin an extensive search for new head coach.

“Tony and I had a meeting scheduled for this afternoon, during which time he informed me of his decision that he would not return as head coach next season,” Stefanski said. “I want to thank Tony for the commendable job he did this season under some unique and difficult circumstances, including leading us to the playoffs.”

DiLeo was named the franchise’s 22nd head coach on December 13, 2008 and he subsequently led the Sixers to a 32-27 (.542) record and the No. 6 seed in the 2009 NBA Playoffs.  DiLeo completed his 20th season with the Sixers organization and was in his fifth season as the team’s Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager prior to being named head coach.

In his role as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager, DiLeo will again be responsible for assisting Stefanski with player procurement via his evaluation of amateur and professional talent while supervising the team’s draft efforts and overseeing the college and professional scouting systems.

Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo announced Monday that Jay Triano has been promoted to head coach and signed to a three-year contract. Triano took over the head coaching duties on an interim basis December 3, 2008 following the dismissal of Sam Mitchell. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Despite some difficult circumstances this past season, Jay Triano never stopped coaching, teaching and leading this team which resulted in a very strong finish,” said Colangelo. “After undertaking a thorough evaluation process, it is clear that Jay is the right coach to guide this team in the future.”

Triano is the seventh head coach in franchise history. He guided the club to a 9-4 mark in its final 13 outings this past season, including wins over Eastern Conference playoff participants Chicago, Orlando and Philadelphia, and a 12-15 record after the all-star break. He finished 25-40 overall.

Triano served seven seasons (2002-2008) as an assistant on the Raptors’ coaching staff. He became the first Canadian born and Canadian trained coach in the NBA when he was hired in 2002 as an assistant coach to Lenny Wilkens.

A native of Niagara Falls, Triano was the head coach of the Canadian men’s national team from 1998-2004 posting a 52-42 (.553) record. During his stint at the helm of Canada Basketball Triano had the opportunity to coach “Captain Canada” Steve Nash, who was voted the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player in 2005 and 2006. Triano led Canada to a semifinal berth in the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico and to a 5-2 record, second best to the United States, in the 2000 Olympics.

Triano has also served as an assistant coach of the USAB Select Team (2007 and 2008), the head coach of the NIKE Skills Academy in Vancouver (2006) and Toronto (2007), and for the past six years as a coach at the prestigious EURO CAMP in Treviso, Italy.

Triano served as interim head coach for one game during the 2007-08 season when Mitchell was away for a personal family matter. The Raptors defeated the New Jersey Nets, 109-91, on February 13, 2008 at Air Canada Centre.

Toronto Raptors pre-draft workouts

On Monday, the Toronto Raptors will work out the following players for the 2009 NBA Draft: Byron Eaton (guard, Oklahoma State), Tyrese Rice (guard, Boston College), Sam Young (forward, Pittsburgh), Terrence Williams (forward, Louisville), Jeff Pendergraph (center, Arizona State) and Russell Hicks (center, Florida International).

InsideHoops.com is about to step our Draft coverage up, beginning late tonight.

The AP reports: Glen Davis made a 21-foot jumper as time expired to help the Celtics hold off a furious rally and defeat the Orlando Magic 95-94 on Sunday night to even their Eastern Conference semifinal at two games apiece. A spot he never expected to be in until Garnett went down with a season-ending knee injury, Davis relished his newfound celebrity… Davis also hit a 15-foot jumper in the final minute and finished with 21 points. Dwight Howard had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and Lewis scored 22 for the Magic. Game 5 is Tuesday in Boston… An ugly, first-half foul fest with 29 personals called saw 13 lead changes… Pierce was finally able to get off to a quick start by attacking the basket and drawing fouls. He went 6 of 7 on free throws on his way to 18 points in the opening half to help the Celtics take a 48-46 lead at the break.

The AP reports: With Yao Ming out, the Houston Rockets had no chance to beat the Los Angeles Lakers. Right? Wrong. Aaron Brooks scored a career-high 34, Shane Battier sank five 3-pointers and added 23 and the Rockets beat the Lakers 99-87 on Sunday to even their Western Conference semifinal at two games apiece… Luis Scola had 11 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets got exactly the team effort they needed after Yao broke his left foot in the Lakers’ win in Game 3… Pau Gasol scored 30 points and Kobe Bryant had a quiet 15 for Los Angeles… Houston led 54-36 at the break. The Lakers grabbed only two offensive rebounds and generated only four fast-break points in their lowest-scoring half of the season… The Rockets outscored Los Angeles 29-18 in the decisive third quarter, led by Brooks’ 17 points.

The AP reports: LeBron James scored 47 points in his best game yet of these playoffs, leading the Cavaliers to the brink of their second straight postseason sweep with a 97-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. Back home after two blowout losses in Cleveland, the Hawks put up their best fight of the series. It didn’t matter… The Hawks were only down 47-46 at the halftime, and they surged back into their first second-half lead of the series with a 13-0 run in the third quarter. But Zaza Pachulia foolishly got ejected for arguing a foul call—acting as though he might attack the officials—and Atlanta faded away down the stretch… Indeed, while James was a virtual one-man show, he kept his teammates involved by dishing out eight assists. If that wasn’t enough, he led Cleveland to a dominant performance on the boards, 46-23, with 12 rebounds—more than anyone else on the court… Joe Johnson, who didn’t decide until game time that he was healthy enough to play, led the Hawks with 21 points. Josh Smith added 18 and Flip Murray 17.

Joel Litvin, NBA President, League and Basketball Operations, issued the following statement regarding the final seconds of Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Mavericks:

“At the end of the Dallas-Denver game this evening, the officials missed an intentional foul committed by Antoine Wright on Carmelo Anthony, just prior to Anthony’s three-point basket.”

Yao Ming out injured for rest of NBA playoffs

Rockets center Yao Ming has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2009 NBA Playoffs after further diagnostic procedures conducted today revealed a small hairline fracture in his left foot.  The finding is in addition to the earlier diagnosis of a left ankle sprain that he sustained during Friday night’s 108-94 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals playoff series.  While no surgery is needed, the expected recovery timeline is between eight to 12 weeks.

“Yao Ming had an initial test taken in the early morning hours on Saturday following the game,” said Rockets Team Physician Dr. Tom Clanton.  “The original diagnosis of the left ankle sprain was based on the results of that test.  Further diagnostic procedures performed later in the day, revealed a hairline fracture on the top of his left foot.  In order for the bone to heal properly, Yao will need to immobilize the foot by wearing a walking boot.  No surgery is required and he should be able to resume his regular workout routine sometime between the next eight to 12 weeks.”

Fan discussion of the Yao Ming injury news is in this forum topic.

carmelo anthony

The Denver Nuggets Saturday evening got 32 points from Chauncey Billups and 31 from Carmelo Anthony, beating the Mavericks in Dallas to take a 3-0 lead in their second round NBA playoffs series.

The final and biggest shot of the night came with one second left from Nuggets star small forward Carmelo Anthony, who nailed a big three-pointer from the left side of the court.

There was controversy, as just before Melo took that shot, Mavericks swingman Antoine Wright bumped Anthony, intentionally trying to foul him. The bump wasn’t very hard, though, and no call was made. Melo didn’t stop and nailed the shot anyway.

Wright’s bump on Melo was close. It was a “touch-bump,” if you will. It probably should have been called, but it was not a clear “must-call.” It wasn’t a particularly hard bump and it didn’t really affect Melo. Wright probably should have just grabbed him or something.

As for the game, it was close most of the way through. The Nuggets led 48-45 at halftime. The Mavericks led 80-79 after three-quarters.

STAT BREAKDOWN

In the win, Billups (9-of-16) had 32, but just 3 assists. Anthony (just 9-of-24, but 11-of-14 free throws) had 31, plus 8 rebounds and a pair of steals. Kenyon Martin (5-of-6) had 12, but just 4 rebounds. J.R. Smith (just 3-of-10) had 10 with 6 rebounds off the bench.

In the loss, Dirk Nowitzki (9-of-19, 13-of-15 free throws) scored 33, with 16 rebounds and 2 blocks. Jason Terry (5-of-12) had 17 with 4 rebounds off the bench. Brandon Bass (2-of-5) fought hard and earned 14 free throw attempts for 16 points and 5 rebounds. Josh Howard (just 5-of-15) had 14 points, 7 rebounds and more turnovers than assists. Jason Kidd scored 13 with 5 rebounds, 5 assists.

Both teams shot badly (though the Nuggets were slightly better from three-point range), and spent much of the night on the free throw line, with Dallas connecting on 40-of-49, and Denver hitting 32-of-40.

Denver controlled the ball, committing only 7 turnovers. The Mavericks had just one steal (Josh Howard).

THE AFTERMATH

The Mavericks boiled over with frustation after the loss, with several players yelling at anyone nearby who would listen. Passionate team owner Mark Cuban stormed down the sideline of the court and shoved aside the off-arm of a cameraman who was nearly in his way. I didn’t see if any Mavs players did anything crazy after the game, aside from letting off a lot of steam.

Fan discussion of the game took place in this forum topic.

-Jeff

alvin gentry

The Phoenix Suns today announced that the club has reached an agreement with interim head coach Alvin Gentry to retain him as the 14th head coach in franchise history.  Gentry and Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr will be available to the media on Tuesday, May 12.

“Alvin is the right man to lead our team into the future,” said Kerr.  “Our players have great respect for him and the job he did last season, and he’ll provide the continuity we’ll need going into next year.  I’m excited for Alvin and his family, and for our organization. This is a great fit.”

Originally promoted to the role of interim head coach on Feb. 16, Gentry’s 31-game tenure with the Suns in 2008-09 saw him compile the highest winning percentage of any interim coach in the NBA last season (.581).  Gentry’s  18-13 record at the helm of the Suns included both the club’s longest overall win streak of the season (six games) and longest home win streak (nine games), despite playing without leading scorer and All-Star starter Amar’e Stoudemire for all but two of those games, and without Steve Nash and Leandro Barbosa for a combined 10 games.

Gentry returned the Suns to the franchise’s high-scoring roots as Phoenix averaged an astounding 117.7 points following his promotion, raising its overall scoring average five full points in just 31 games to 109.4 points for the season, tops in the NBA.  The Suns opened Gentry’s tenure with three-straight 140-point efforts, the first time the NBA had seen such prolific scoring since the 1990-91 campaign.  Among the most impressive scoring feats achieved by Gentry’s Suns’ in his 31-game term: six scoring efforts of at least 130 points, more than any other NBA team managed in 82 games; and, a string of 10 consecutive 30-point quarters, the longest streak of its kind in 17 seasons.

Gentry helped lead the club to a 46-36 finish, the second-most victories for a non-playoff team in the 25-year history of the NBA’s 16-team playoff format.  The Suns, which were 14-3 (.824) at home under Gentry, closed the season by winning nine-straight games at US Airways Center, registering wins over playoff teams Philadelphia, Denver, Utah and Houston.

A 30-year coaching veteran, Gentry originally joined the Suns’ staff as an assistant on June 1, 2004, and served in that position the last four-plus seasons before earning the midseason promotion in 2008-09.  Gentry is at the helm of his fourth NBA team after stints with the Los Angeles Clippers (2000-03), Detroit Pistons (1997-2000) and Miami Heat (1995).  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 21 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 54-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.

Ron Artest foul downgraded

The AP reports: Ron Artest will play in Game 4 of Houston’s Western Conference semifinal against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. The NBA ruled Saturday that Artest’s hard foul on Pau Gasol(notes) late in the Lakers’ 108-94 win on Friday did not merit a one-game suspension… League spokesman Tim Frank said Saturday the foul was downgraded to a flagrant one.

InsideHoops.com expected this would happen.

Fan discussion of the news is in this forum topic.

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