Archive for June 2nd, 2009

New York Newsday (Arthur Staple) reports: Madison Square Garden’s renovation won’t be completed until 2012, a slightly altered timeline announced Tuesday than the one Garden executives put forth a year ago in introducing a $500-million overhaul of the arena. “We made sure to get the planning right, because we don’t want to change it midway through,” said MSG and Cablevision vice chairman Hank Ratner, who Tuesday showed off to reporters the Garden’s Presentation Center, a state-of-the-art area near the Seventh Avenue entrance that will open this summer to give fans a preview of the renovations. Work has not yet begun on the renovation, though roughly 150 MSG Network and Garden facilities employees will move across the street to 11 Penn Plaza so that their offices can be converted into concourse space in the revamped arena.

The New York Daily News (Owen Moritz) reports: Madison Square Garden will undergo a $500 million top-to-bottom renovation that will feature wider concourses and more bathrooms in addition to a giant “supersuite” and lavish corporate boxes. There will even be a party deck and two 10th-floor bridges running the length of the arena with overhead views of the playing surface. The renovation will include 20 courtside “event-level suites” complete with kitchens and lounges. One top-of-the-line suite will even have a working fireplace.

LeBron James has surgery  to remove growth near right jaw

LeBron James underwent successful surgery today at the Cleveland Clinic. He had a right benign parotid growth (near the right jaw) removed by Dr. Frank Papay in a five-hour procedure.

LeBron and his family have been aware of this medical issue for several months but, with the clearance of the treating doctors and medical staff, decided to wait until the conclusion of the Cavaliers season to undergo the removal procedure.

LeBron is recovering comfortably at the Cleveland Clinic and will soon be returning home to his family.

The doctors are pleased with the outcome of the procedure, and at this time, are confident that no further treatment will be needed as LeBron is expected to make a full and complete recovery.

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Coach Del Harris retires

del harris retired

The Chicago Bulls announced today, that after 50 years of coaching, assistant coach Del Harris has elected to retire from basketball.

“I would like to thank Del Harris for all of his hard work and dedication this past season,” said Gar Forman, Chicago Bulls General Manager.  “He has had a terrific career and we wish him the best in his retirement.”

Harris, 71, just completed his first season with the Bulls as an assistant on head coach Vinny Del Negro’s staff.  He enjoyed success at every level in 50 years of coaching, including the NBA, collegiate, international and high school ranks.

Harris began his NBA coaching career as an assistant with the Houston Rockets in 1976, and was a coach or scout/consultant in the NBA for 29 seasons – including 27 trips to the NBA Playoffs.  His stints include: Houston (1976-83), Milwaukee (1983-91), L.A. Lakers (1994-98), Dallas (2000-08) and Chicago (2008-09).  In 12 full seasons as a head coach, Harris compiled a 556-457 (.549) overall record with three different teams (L.A. Lakers – 1994-98, Milwaukee – 1987-91, Houston – 1979-83).

Overall, he coached in 202 career playoff games (88 as a head coach), including an NBA Finals appearance in 1981 with the Rockets.

Harris was the recipient of the 1995 NBA Coach of the Year Award with the Lakers, and joins Pat Riley and Phil Jackson as the only coaches in Los Angeles franchise history to register three consecutive 50-plus win seasons.

“I was very fortunate to have Del by my side this past season. His knowledge and understanding of the game were an incredible benefit and help,” said Vinny Del Negro, Chicago Bulls Head Coach.  “He has had a tremendous and successful coaching career that is quite remarkable. In his 50 years of coaching, he has had such a positive impact on so many people’s lives on and off the court. I was truly thankful for his support and encouragement throughout last season. I can only wish Del and his family all the best.”

Prior to coaching in the NBA, Harris spent seven seasons in Puerto Rico (1969-75), posting a 176-61 record.  He guided Puerto Rico to a gold medal at the 1974 Central American Games, and a silver and bronze medal at the 1973 and 1974 World Club Championships with Club Bayamon (Puerto Rico).  Collegiately, Harris spent nine years at Earlham College (Indiana) where he led the team to a school-record 176 victories, and the first three conference championships in school history.  The Plainfield, Ind. native is a member of both the state of Indiana Hall of Fame and the NAIA Hall of Fame.

Lamar Odom loves candy

The Los Angeles Daily News (Elliot Teaford) reports: Lamar Odom’s sweet tooth is legendary in NBA locker rooms. He brings bags full of treats to games at home and away, a cause of only minor concern for Jackson and the Lakers’ coaching staff. “Well, Halloween is one of the worst nights of the year,” Jackson said. “I’ve gotten several calls and e-mails and texts from doctors who want to tell me that the sugar blues are one of the toughest things to fight, especially with kids. Lamar, as we know, is not a kid anymore. (But) he really doesn’t do that much sugar, he really doesn’t.”

LatinoSports reports: Former NBA star and current Puerto Rican National team player Carlos Arroyo recently led his new team, Maccabi Electra of Tel Aviv, to the Israeli Championship and a place in next year’s Euroleague Championships. Arroyo, who left the Orlando Magic after the 2007-2008 season to join Maccabi Electra after signing a three year, $2.5 million per year contract, was named MVP of the Israeli Championships after scoring 22 points and adding 6 rebounds as Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv defeated Maccabi Haifa Heat 85-72 in the final.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Arroyo was not a “star” in the NBA. But he was a very good backup point guard for stretches of time. And an extremely good international player.

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