Archive for July, 2009

In a press conference at the MassMutual Center today, the Springfield Armor named former NBA player Dee Brown as Head Coach and Director of Basketball Operations and Kevin Whitted as Assistant Coach.

Brown, who enjoyed a distinguished 12-year NBA career that included eight seasons with the Boston Celtics, becomes the first head coach in Springfield Armor history. He also becomes the sixth former Celtics player to serve as a head coach in the NBA Development league, joining Dennis Johnson, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, Joe Wolf, Sam Vincent and Jay Humphries.

“To have Dee Brown as our first head coach is huge,” Springfield Armor Managing Partner Michael Savit said. “Not only is Dee thought of fondly throughout New England and beyond following his days with the Celtics, he also is a terrific mentor for young players and an all-around great ambassador for the sport. He is a perfect fit for our organization and for a city with such a rich basketball tradition.”

Brown played in 476 games as a member of the Celtics after they selected him 19th overall in the 1990 NBA Draft. Brown played in all 82 regular-season games during a spectacular rookie campaign that earned his selection to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1990-91. He averaged 8.7 points and 4.2 assists to help the Celtics win the NBA Atlantic Division with a 56-26 record that season. In 11 games during the 1991 playoffs, Brown averaged 12.2 points.

Amid his rookie season, Brown gained national acclaim after emerging the Slam Dunk champion during the 1991 NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte. The 6-1 Brown bested 6-10 Shawn Kemp in the finals with a unique “no-look” dunk, in which he draped his right arm over his eyes in mid-air and slammed the ball with his left.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to return to Massachusetts, where I have many wonderful memories from my playing career,” Brown said. “I look forward to working with the talented, young players that will wear the Armor uniform and to making this new NBA D-League team in Springfield a winner.”

New Orleans Hornets sign Ike Diogu

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed free agent forward Ike Diogu. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released. We’ll post contract info later today.

“We’re excited to have Ike join our team and expect him to help the frontline off the bench this season,” said Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower. “He has shown a lot of potential as an inside scorer and as an effective rebounder.”

Diogu (6-9, 250) holds career averages of 6.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 187 career games with four teams (Golden State, Indiana, Portland and Sacramento).

During the 2008-09 season, he averaged 4.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, playing 29 games for Portland and Sacramento. While with the Kings, Diogu averaged 9.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.2 minutes of play over 10 games (one start). He ended the year on a high note, recording a career-high 32 points and 11 rebounds 4/13 at Denver prior to a season-finale performance of 28 points and a career-high-tying 13 rebounds at Minnesota on 4/15.

Diogu was the 9th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft by the Warriors out of Arizona State University. In three seasons as a Sun Devil, Diogu averaged 21.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over 91 career games (all starts). He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a junior and earned Consensus Second Team All-America honors (the only Sun Devil to ever earn that distinction), while averaging 22.6 points and 9.8 rebounds.Read basketball fan discussion and share your own opinion in this forum topic.

Cleveland Cavaliers waive Tarence Kinsey

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived guard Tarence Kinsey, the team announced today.

Kinsey originally signed with the team as a free agent on August 1st, 2008. He played in 50 games (three starts) during the 2008-09 season with averages of 2.0 points and 0.8 rebounds in 5.5 minutes per game. In his three starts, Kinsey averaged 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 1.0 steal in 25.6 minutes per game. During the 2009 NBA Playoffs, he saw action in nine games and averaged 0.4 points in 1.2 minutes per game.

As a member of the Cavaliers 2009 NBA Summer League team playing in Las Vegas, Kinsey played in five games (all starts) averaging 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 24.2 minutes per game.

The Memphis Grizzlies signed Sam Young to a multi-year contract, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post contract info later today.

Selected by the Grizzlies with the 36th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Young averaged a team-high 13.6 points and 4.2 rebounds on 51.9 percent shooting in 25.0 minutes in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, helping lead Memphis to a perfect 5-0 record.

The 6-6, 220-pound guard/forward led the University of Pittsburgh in scoring (19.2 points) in his senior season, setting a school single-season record with 690 points and leaving as the Panthers’ fourth all-time leading scorer (1,884 points).

Young, a 2009 Associated Press Third Team All-American and All-Big East First Team selection, never missed a single game in his four-year college career, playing in a school-record 143 consecutive games.  The 24-year-old Clinton, Md. native was one of three Panther seniors who comprised the all-time winningest class in Pittsburgh history (112 wins).

With the signing of Hasheem Thabeet (second overall) and DeMarre Carroll (27th overall) earlier in the month, the Grizzlies have now signed all three of the team’s selections in the 2009 NBA Draft.

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed Brandon Jennings to a multi-year contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Jennings (6-1, 170) was the 10th overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft and participated in the 2009 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas with the Bucks.

During the Las Vegas Summer League, Jennings led the entire league in assists (tied, 8.2) and steals (3.6), and was Milwaukee’s third-leading scorer (14.6 ppg). Jennings played a team-high 32.4 minutes per contest and shot 42.9 percent from three-point range (9-21) in helping the Bucks to a 4-1 record during Summer League play.

“I’m excited to sign my contract and make my NBA career official,” said Jennings.  “I look forward to working with Coach Skiles and learning everything I can from him, as well as my teammates.  I can’t wait to get the season started and contribute to the success of our team.”

Jennings comes to Milwaukee after spending a season with Lottomatica Virtus Roma in Italy.  He averaged 5.5 points, 2.3 assists, 1.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 17.0 minutes per game in 27 Italian League games last season.  In Euroleague play, he posted averages of 7.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 19.0 minutes over 16 games.

The 19-year-old went overseas upon graduating from Oak Hill Academy in 2008.  He averaged 35.5 points, 6.8 assists and 3.2 steals as a high school senior and earned National Player of the Year honors from Naismith, Parade Magazine, EA Sports and Max Preps.  He set an Oak Hill Academy record for single-season point total (1,312) and scoring average (35.5) during his senior season.

Indiana Pacers sign Earl Watson

Indiana Pacers sign Earl Watson

The Indiana Pacers announced Tuesday they have signed veteran point guard Earl Watson to a multi-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not released. We’ll post contract info later today.

The 6-1 Watson is an eight-year veteran who played last season with Oklahoma City. He averaged 6.6 points and 5.8 assists per game for the Thunder and in his career averages 7.3 points and 4.6 assists per game. Watson attended UCLA and was a second-round pick (40th overall) of Seattle in the 2001 NBA Draft. He has also played with Memphis and Denver in addition to the Seattle/Oklahoma City franchise.

“We’re very glad to have Earl as part of our team,” said Pacers President of Basketball Larry Bird. “I’ve been watching him for years. He’s a solid point guard that we know can help us on the defensive end.”

Kyle Weaver has left thumb surgery

Kyle Weaver has left thumb surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Kyle Weaver underwent successful surgery to repair the extensor tendon in his left thumb.

Weaver, who tore the tendon during the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, is expected to be fully recovered for the start of training camp.

As a rookie in 2008-09 the 6-6, 200-pound Weaver averaged 5.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game with the Thunder.

Bobcats trade Emeka Okafor to Hornets for Tyson Chandler

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has acquired center Tyson Chandler from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for forward/center Emeka Okafor.

In 197 games over three seasons with New Orleans, the 7-1 Chandler averaged 10.2 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 34.3 minutes, while shooting .611 from the field (829-1356).  Chandler, who missed 29 of the team’s final 44 games last season due to left ankle injuries, averaged 8.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 32.1 minutes over 45 games played in 2008-09.

The second overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, Chandler has played in 537 games for Chicago and New Orleans over his eight NBA seasons.  Chandler holds career averages of 8.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 28.0 minutes, while shooting .554 from the field (1671-3014).

“We looked at this trade as an opportunity to improve our team,” Higgins said.  “Tyson brings that unique level of athleticism in a 7-footer that puts us in a position to compete night in and night out with the other quality centers in the league.”

“Emeka is one of the premier centers in the NBA with All-Star caliber scoring and rebounding averages throughout his career,” said Hornets General Manager Jeff Bower. “His potential to improve is endless once you put him on the court running with Chris Paul. We appreciate what  Tyson has done for our club in the past and wish him the best, but our intention this summer was to improve our team and this trade is definitely a positive move in that direction.”

Chandler led the NBA in offensive rebounds in both 2006-07 and 2007-08, ranking second in the league in rebounds per game in 2006-07 and third in rebounds per game in 2007-08.  He also ranked second in the NBA in field goal percentage in 2007-08 (.623) and would have led the league at .624 in 2006-07 but fell four field goals short of the statistical minimum to qualify.

Chandler leaves the Hornets as the franchise’s all-time leader in field goal percentage (.611) and rebounds per game (11.3) and ranked fifth in total rebounds despite playing just 197 career games with the team (2,225).  He owns the top two single-season marks in both field goal percentage and rebounds.

The Bobcats initially selected Okafor with the second overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, making him the first draft pick in franchise history.  The 2004-05 NBA Rookie of the Year, he averaged 14.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 34.0 minutes in 330 career games with the Bobcats and is the franchise’s career leader in rebounds, blocked shots and field goal percentage.  Okafor averaged 13.2 points, 10.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 2008-09, playing in all 82 games for the second consecutive season.

“We’d like to thank Emeka for all that he has done for this franchise and for serving as the organization’s ambassador and first-ever draft pick,” Higgins added.  “His hard work and dedication to the Charlotte Bobcats will be missed, and we wish him well with his new team.”

The Charlotte Bobcats, who became the NBA’s 30th franchise when they joined the league in 2004-05, enter their sixth season in 2009-10.

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

Dallas Mavericks sign Tim Thomas

Dallas Mavericks sign Tim Thomas

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed free agent forward Tim Thomas. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll add contract info later today.

Thomas (6-10, 230), a 12-year veteran, was the seventh overall selection in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and has played with six teams during his career (Philadelphia, Milwaukee, New York, Chicago, Phoenix and L.A. Clippers) including two stints with both New York and Chicago. In 806 career games, he holds averages of 11.6 points and 4.6 rebounds, while shooting .436 from the field, .369 from behind-the-arc and .757 from the foul line.

The Patterson, N.J., native has seen action in seven different Playoff runs (55 games). Thomas’ postseason averages show an increase in every major category over his career regular season numbers with averages of 13.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting .468 from the field, .436 from three-point range and .772 from the foul line.

Thomas was a standout at Villanova University where he played for one season before making himself eligible for the NBA Draft. In his only season as a Wildcat, Thomas averaged 16.9 points and 6.0 rebounds. He was named The Sporting News Freshman of the Year and Big East Rookie of the Year.

“We are excited to welcome Tim to Dallas as part of the Mavericks family,” President of Basketball Operation/General Manager Donnie Nelson said. “His versatility, post season experience and outside shooting are valuable assets that will fortify our bench. Throughout his career, Tim has established himself as a formidable long-range threat and we look forward to him filling that role on our roster.”

Shaq guest-host on WWE wrestling show Monday Night Raw

NBA star Shaquille O’Neal is a guest host tonight on the famous WWE wrestling show “Monday Night Raw,” which is nationally televised. This week’s edition takes place in Washington D.C.

It began with wrestling legend Jerry Lawler introducing Shaq to fans, mistakenly calling him “a 15-time NBA MVP.”

Then, current wrestling star Chris Jericho came out, insulting Shaq, saying that he heard a top NBA superstar was coming out and naturally assumed it was Kobe Bryant, not Shaq.

Jericho’s friend (and tag team partner) “The Big Show” was introduced and stood face to face with Shaq. Big Show is about 7 feet tall and listed at 485 pounds. In all my years I’ve never seen Shaq as the smaller dude. (Yao Ming is taller than Shaq, but Shaq’s still the bigger dude.)

Big Show called Shaq a toothpick. Shaq called him “Fat Boy” in return.

Naturally, Shaq didn’t exchange blows with anyone. He’s just there to guest-host and stay healthy for the 2009-10 NBA season as a new member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

About 40 minutes into the show, Hornswoggle, a “little person” Irish wrestling character dressed like a tiny leprechaun came into a room Shaq was in backstage. Shaq joked that they went to high school together, then invited Hornswoggle to dunk on a lowered basket. “Come on, Nate Robinson” said Shaq, encouraging the little fellow.

The show began at 9 p.m. ET on USA network.

Golden State Warriors waive Jermareo Davidson

The Golden State Warriors have waived forward Jermareo Davidson, the team announced today.

Davidson, 24, appeared in 14 games last season for Golden State, averaging 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in 7.9 minutes per contest.  He originally signed the first of two 10-day contracts with the Warriors on January 5, 2009, and was subsequently signed for the remainder of the season on January 25, 2009.  Additionally, Davidson appeared in five games with Golden State’s 2009 Summer League team, averaging 2.0 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per contest.

Timberwolves trade Etan Thomas, picks to Thunder for Damien Wilkins, Chucky Atkins

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has traded center Etan Thomas and two future second-round draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for 6-6 guard Damien Wilkins and 5-11 guard Chucky Atkins.

“We’re committed towards rebuilding our roster with an eye towards flexibility and long-term success, and this move better positions us for the summer,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “I want to thank Etan for his professionalism and understanding, and wish him all the best moving forward.”

“We are pleased to welcome Etan Thomas to the Thunder family,” said Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. “Etan adds experience and depth to our front court as well as a defensive mentality and competitiveness that we value.”

Wilkins joins the Wolves after spending each of his five previous NBA seasons with the Thunder franchise, where he signed as a free agent after going undrafted in the 2004 NBA Draft. In 310 career games, Wilkins has averaged 7.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.

A 10-year NBA veteran, Atkins went undrafted out of the University of South Florida before signing with Orlando in 1999. In 655 career games with Orlando, Detroit, Boston, L.A. Lakers, Washington, Memphis, Denver and Oklahoma City, Atkins has averaged 10.2 points and 3.5 assists per game. Atkins was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1999 and also played on the gold-medal-winning U.S. National Team at the 1995 World University Games.

Thomas, acquired by the Wolves on June 24, has appeared in 373 games over his seven-year career. The 6-9 center owns career averages if 6.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Thomas was originally selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the 12th overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft.

Phoenix Suns sign Steve Nash to contract extension

The Phoenix Suns today signed two-time NBA MVP point guard Steve Nash to a two-year contract extension through 2011-12, the club announced.

“Steve is still one of the best point guards in the NBA, and his dedication to conditioning will keep him among the league’s elite for several more seasons,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Steve Kerr.  “In many ways he embodies what our franchise is all about, and we’re thrilled that he will be the leader of our team for the next three years.”

A 13-year NBA veteran, including seven overall in Phoenix, Nash has spent the last five seasons in the desert and has led the Suns to two Western Conference Finals appearances and two of the club’s three seasons of 60 or more wins in franchise history (2004-05, 2006-07).  Since signing to return to Phoenix on July 14, 2004, Nash has led the Suns to an average of 56 wins each season and Phoenix has compiled an impressive 270-115 (.701) mark with him in the lineup.

One of only nine players in NBA history to collect back-to-back NBA MVP awards (2005, 2006), Nash is a six-time NBA All-Star (four appearances as a Sun, 2005-08) and a three-time All-NBA First Team Selection (2005, 2006, 2007).  Since 2004-05, Nash has averaged 17.1 points and 10.9 assists in 385 games in a Suns uniform while shooting an unparalleled 51.1 percent from the field (2,401-4,697), 44.9 percent from three-point range (687-1,530) and 91.6 percent from the free-throw line (1,108-1,209).

Among the most prolific passers in NBA history, the 6-3, 178-pound Nash currently ranks ninth on the NBA’s all-time assist list (7,505) and second on the Suns’ franchise list (4,586) behind Suns legend Kevin Johnson. Nash is the only player in Suns history to average 11 or more assists in three different seasons (2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08) and owns four of the 10 double-digit assist seasons in franchise history.

Widely regarded as one of the NBA’s best shooters, in 2008-09, Nash became the first player in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line in three different seasons (2005-06, 2007-08).  The 35-year-old Nash concluded the season tied for 16th on the league’s all-time list of three-pointers made (1,360) and just 10 threes shy of surpassing the Suns’ franchise record currently held by assistant coach and Ring of Honor member Dan Majerle (800).

Nash will begin his eighth season in Phoenix in 2009-10 ranked as the second-most accurate free-throw shooter in NBA history behind only Mark Price, and tops among active players.  A career 89.7-percent shooter from the line, Nash is one of only six players in league history to shoot 90 percent or better from the free-throw line in at least five career seasons. In 2008-09, Nash shot a career-high 93.3 percent from the charity stripe, breaking his own Phoenix franchise record (.921, 2005-06).

Originally selected by the Suns with the 15th overall pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, Nash played his first two seasons in Phoenix before being traded to Dallas on July 25, 1998 for Pat Garrity, Bubba Wells, Martin Muursepp and a future first-round pick that the Suns would use on Shawn Marion in 1999.  After six seasons with the Mavericks, Nash returned to Phoenix as a restricted free agent prior to the 2004-05 season and keyed the then third-largest turnaround in NBA history and a franchise-record tying 62 victories a season after the club won 29 games.

Among the numerous and wide-ranging awards his professional and personal endeavors have garnered, Nash was named to the Order of Canada in Dec. 2007, his home nation’s highest civilian honor, for his success on the court and his humanitarian efforts.  Nash was also the recipient of the 2007 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association, is a two-time winner of the Lionel Conacher Award as Canada’s top male athlete (2002, 2005), and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2006.

His well-known Steve Nash Foundation is dedicated to assisting underserved children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life with efforts focused in British Columbia, Arizona and Paraguay, home nation of Nash’s wife, Alejandra.  Winner of the 2008 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, foundation events have raised over $1 million.

One of the NBA’s “greenest” players, in 2007 Nash opened the Steve Nash Sports Club in Vancouver, the first sports gym to aspire to meet standards for energy conservation and environmentally friendly practices.  His Nike “Trash Talk” shoe is made from the wasted manufacturing scraps of other shoes, packaged in a box made entirely of recycled fiber and went on sale to the public on Earth Day 2009.  Nash now partners with Arizona Public Service (APS), the state’s largest and longest-serving electric utility, and appears in popular television advertisements to promote the company’s solar and renewable energy initiatives.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa on Feb. 7, 1974, Nash moved to Canada at the age of 18 months.

Curtis Stinson signs in Greece reports: Aris BSA 2003 announced on Saturday the addition of point guard Curtis Stinson, who agreed terms on a one-year deal and returns to the Greek League after his experience with Kolossos Rhodes during the 2007-08 season. Stinson (190, 26) arrives from Iowa of the NBDL, where he averaged 16.1 points, 7 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 2.2 steals in 50 games last season. editor says: I always found the name “Curtis Stinson” to sound cool. Go on, say it aloud. It works, right? Therefore, I wish him the best of luck with his new team.

Quiet offseason for Hornets

The New Orleans Times-Picayune (Larry Holder) reports (via blog): Hornets point guard Chris Paul wished he had an answer as to why the team has been inactive in the trade arena during the offseason, but he suggested it might not matter. Paul said he has no issues playing with the same roster the team ended with last season. He doesn’t think it will take an additional piece to turn the Hornets’ fortunes around. It’s more of a team attitude adjustment thing in Paul’s opinion. “It wasn’t necessarily that we just needed someone extra, ” Paul said Sunday at a basketball court dedication at Hardin Playground in the 7th Ward. “We just needed something extra as a team. We could have motivated ourselves a little bit more and figured out different things. It’s not necessarily a person.”

Tony Parker minor injury overseas

San Antonio Spurs swingman Manu Ginobili enjoys using the summer to ensure that he’ll never be fully healthy during the NBA regular season. Taking a cue from that, Tony Parker did his part. The San Antonio Express-News reports:

Spurs guard Tony Parker suffered two injuries to his right leg in a collision with an opponent while playing for the French national team against Austria on Friday night in Strasbourg, France. According to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, Parker left the game on a crutch after 12 minutes with a sharp pain in his right thigh after colliding with Austria’s Stjepan Stazic. Though that injury soon subsided, Parker’s right ankle became swollen. By Saturday morning, it was clear the ankle was the greater issue.

The report says that Parker feels he’ll be OK and that the sprain is minor.

San Antonio Spurs sign Theo Ratliff

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed center Theo Ratliff. Per team policy terms of the deal were not disclosed. We heard it would be a one-year, minimum deal, but will check on that later today.

Ratliff has played for six teams (Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Portland, Boston and Minnesota) during his 14 NBA seasons. In 751 career games, he has averaged 7.5 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.53 blocks in 26.1 minutes. Ratliff has shot .498 (2,136-4,293) from the floor and .600 (1,357-1,913) from the line over his career. He has appeared in 39 playoff games averaging 5.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.72 blocks in 15.7 minutes per game. Ratliff enjoyed his best season in 2000-01, averaging 12.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.74 blocks and was voted as the starting center for the Eastern Conference All-Star Team (he missed the game due to injury).

A two-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team selection (1998-99, 2003-04), Ratliff is one of seven players in NBA history to lead the league in blocks in at least three seasons (2000-01, 2002-03 and 2003-04). He ranks 18th all-time in total blocks (1,902) and is fifth among active players.

The 6-10, 238-lb. Ratliff spent last season with the Philadelphia 76ers. He averaged 1.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.02 blocks in 12.6 minutes while appearing in 46 games. editor says: Ratliff is old but smart and can try to do for the Spurs what Dikembe Mutombo was doing for the Rockets. He will contribute solid defense for a few minutes per half. Ratliff isn’t a day older than 58 at this point (being serious, he turned 36 in April) and can still block a shot and grab a rebound if he has his walker.

The Memphis Grizzlies have renounced their qualifying offer to forward Hakim Warrick, making him an unrestricted free agent, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced.

Warrick, the team’s longest-tenured player and the last remaining member of the Grizzlies’ most-recent playoff appearance in 2006, averaged 11.6 points and 5.0 rebounds on 49.1 percent shooting in 82 games (seven starts) last season.

The 6-9, 219-pound forward has averaged 10.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 307 games (82 starts) through four NBA seasons, all with the Grizzlies, who originally selected him with the 19th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.

In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, in order for a team to retain its right of first refusal with respect to a restricted free agent, the team must tender the player a qualifying offer prior to June 30.  After which, teams may withdraw outstanding qualifying offers, in which case a player becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Charles Oakley as an NBA power forward was an enforcer. He banged, slammed opponents around, rebounded, defended, set great screens, and was able to hit open mid-range jumpers. And he has a lot to teach today’s young players. And he’s having a great life off the court right now, but would love to become an NBA assistant. The New York Times reports:

“I think I have a lot to teach these young guys,” Oakley, 46, said. “Especially on the defensive end.”

Oakley said his former teammate Patrick Ewing did a great job this season as an assistant with the Orlando Magic. He said he could have similar success with the Knicks, and told the team’s president, Donnie Walsh, just that.

“Nowadays, you may have better athletes,” he said. “But unless they’re taught, they aren’t going to do anything in the league. I talked with Donnie after the last home game and told him that I think I have a lot to offer this team. You can’t just score more points than last year without playing defense.”

I think Oak would be terrific. He’d tell players what they really need to hear and not sugarcoat anything. And if a player acts out of line, Oakley will happily smack him around for a while.

The San Antonio Express-News (Craig Kapitan) reports: Security guard turned Bexar County Jail inmate Christopher James Carolan pleaded no contest Friday to stealing an autographed Michael Jordan jersey from Spurs star Tony Parker. Carolan, who wore orange jail scrubs and handcuffs as he stood before 186th District Judge Maria Teresa Herr, was arrested in June after Parker’s manager showed sheriff’s office investigators a Craigslist ad for the jersey that was posted a day after the collectors’ item went missing. The jersey, valued at $20,000, was sold for $120, court documents indicate. editor says: So the guy steals something and immediately advertises it for sale on the Internet. And then sells it for less than 1/10th the approximate going rate for the item.

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