Archive for July 16th, 2009

Antoine Walker arrested in casino

The Miami Herald reports:  Former NBA forward Antoine Walker, a member of the Miami Heat’s 2006 championship team, was arrested Wednesday night in Harrah’s Casino in South Lake Tahoe, Nev., NBC Sports has reported. This came a day after a warrant was issued stemming from Walker’s $822,500 in gambling debts. He is accused of three felony counts of writing bad checks. County prosecutors say he failed to make good on 10 checks totaling $1 million written to Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood and the Red Rock Resort.

InsideHoops.com editor says: This is sure to help his NBA comeback attempt!

The AP reports: The Phoenix Mercury have suspended guard Diana Taurasi for two games without pay after she was cited on drunk-driving related charges. In a release Thursday, the team said Taurasi was suspended ”for conduct detrimental to the team.” Taurasi will miss Saturday’s game against Detroit and next Wednesday’s game against Minnesota… Taurasi faces three drunk-driving related charges, including extreme DUI, for a July 2 incident in which she also was cited for speeding. The 27-year-old guard was cited hours after she scored 22 points in the Mercury’s 93-81 victory over the Seattle Storm.

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they signed DeJuan Blair. The Spurs drafted Blair in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft with the 37th overall pick. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Blair, a 6-7, 265 lb. forward, spent the past two seasons at the University of Pittsburgh. Last season he was named a First Team All-American by the Associated Press, the Co-Big East Player of the Year and earned First Team All-Conference honors.  He was a finalist for the Wooden and Naismith Player of the Year awards.  Blair led the nation in offensive rebounding (5.6 rpg), ranked fourth in total rebounding (12.3 rpg) and 19th in field goal percentage (.593).  For the season he averaged 15.7 points and 1.54 steals in 35 games.  Blair recorded 21 double-doubles, including two 20-point 20-rebound games (one of only two players in Pitt history - along with Billy Knight - to register two 20-point/20-rebound performances in a career). In the NCAA Tournament he averaged 16.8 points and 13.8 rebounds in four games being named to the East Regional All-Tournament Team.

As a freshman Blair was named the Big East Co-Rookie of the Year and was an All-Big East Honorable Mention.  He averaged 11.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.68 steals in 37 games.  He scored in double figures 25 times and posted 14 double-doubles.  He became the first freshman in school history to surpass 400 points and 300 rebounds.

For his career Blair appeared in 72 games for the Panthers, averaging 13.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.61 steals while shooting .568 (394-694) from the field.

Yao Ming buys Shanghai Sharks

Reuters reports: Houston Rockets center Yao Ming has purchased his financially troubled former club the Shanghai Sharks, Chinese media reported on Thursday. The seven-time NBA All Star’s investment company signed a framework agreement with the club’s three co-owners who agreed to sell Yao all their shares in the club, Xinhua news agency said… The Sharks shared in the worst deficit in 14 years of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) last year and were in danger of failing to start the new season in November because of their dire finances.

Heat may offer Lamar Odom a deal

The Los Angeles Daily News (Elliot Teaford) reports (via blog): It seems likely that Lamar Odom could sign a five-season deal with the Miami Heat at the mid-level exception ($5.8 million for next season and $34 million or so for the length of the contract) by the end of the week. The Dallas Mavericks also are interested in giving Odom the same deal, but he seems less likely to land in Dallas. Reports out of Miami indicate the Heat are trying to sign Odom and trade for Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz in an attempt to satisfy Dwyane Wade’s demands for a beefed up roster next season.

Richard Jefferson breaks off wedding

NBA small forward Richard Jefferson, formerly of the New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, recently traded to the San Antonio Spurs, is now a single man. The New York Post reports:

 Former Net star Richard Jefferson admitted yesterday that he told his beautiful bride-to-be that their wedding was off in an e-mail — stunning her just days before their planned posh nuptials.

Kesha Ni’Cole Nichols got the heart-wrenching message after a tense Fourth of July weekend, Jefferson told The Post.

“There was a lot of stress and tension in the relationship. We’ve been through a lot — but we just couldn’t continue,” said Jefferson, sounding upset during a telephone interview.

But at least Nichols got a nice parting gift — Jefferson, who was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to the San Antonio Spurs last month, said he’s giving her a “six-figure” settlement so she can start a new life.

In speaking with the Post, Jefferson also took a moment to clear something else up:

 He insisted a rumor he’s gay had nothing to do with the breakup.

“I’m not gay,” Jefferson said. “That couldn’t be any further from the truth. I have nothing to hide.”

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