Archive for July 24th, 2009

Portland Trail Blazers sign Andre Miller

Portland Trail Blazers sign Andre Miller

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent guard Andre Miller to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard. Multiple media outlets report that it’s a three-year deal worth $21 million, and ESPN adds that it’s $14 million guaranteed and $7 million included as a third-year team option.

“We are excited to add a player of the caliber and character of Andre Miller,” said Pritchard. “He is one of the league’s ironmen who brings a wealth of veteran leadership to our team and is a great fit for our young and improving roster.”

Miller (6-2, 205, Utah) holds career averages of 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.38 steals in 815 games (768 starts) during his 10 NBA seasons with Cleveland, L.A. Clippers, Denver and Philadelphia.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity with the Trail Blazers and look forward to working with my new team,” said Miller.  “I hope to provide veteran leadership to a young talented nucleus and help Portland take the next step in the pursuit of a championship.”

Originally selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the eighth overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, Miller is tied for the 16th highest assists average (7.4) in NBA history and is currently fourth among active players. He has also played in 530 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA. Miller has missed just three games in his career.

Miller, 33, has 174 career double-doubles and averaged one for Cleveland in 2001-02 (16.5 ppg, 10.9 apg) while leading the NBA in assists that season.

During the 2008-09 season, Miller averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.33 steals and shot 47.3 percent from the floor in 82 games (all starts). He ranked 14th in the NBA in assists, 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.68) and tied for 15th in steals. Miller recorded 12 double-doubles last season, including two triple-doubles.

Miller averaged 21.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 1.17 steals in the 2009 NBA Playoffs. He has career postseason averages of 17.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.30 steals in 27 games (all starts).

InsideHoops.com editor says: Miller adds quality veteran leadership to the Blazers, who have needed a good point guard for a while now. He can’t make three-pointers though, which hurts, because it means start shooting guard Brandon Roy can’t kick it out to him for open shots. Other than that, Miller’s very solid, though his age is up there.

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

Miami Heat decline to match Cleveland Cavaliers offer to Jamario Moon

The Miami Heat announced today that they have declined to match the offer sheet restricted free agent forward Jamario Moon signed with Cleveland, making him a member of the Cavaliers.

“After contemplating Cleveland’s offer to Jamario Moon for the past week, we have decided not to match,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “We declined to match because we want to stay true to our plan of not adding salary to our 2010 cap and matching it would have reduced our flexibility. Michael Beasley will be getting significant minutes at both forward positions and this opens up more opportunities for him to become the player we all expect him to be. We would like to thank Jamario for his contributions to our organization and helping us get back to the playoffs last season. We wish him the best in the future.”

Moon was acquired by the HEAT from the Toronto Raptors along with Jermaine O’Neal in exchange for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks on Feb. 13, 2009. He appeared in 80 games (60 starts) last year for the HEAT and Raptors and averaged 7.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.08 steals and 25.9 minutes while shooting 46.8 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the foul line. Additionally, he led the NBA in steals-to-turnover ratio (2.00). He appeared in 26 games (21 starts) after being acquired by Miami and averaged 7.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 26.5 minutes while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 86.7 percent from the foul line.

Stephon Marbury live webcam broadcast

By Jeff Lenchiner, editor of InsideHoops.com

Boston Celtics free agent guard Stephon Marbury ran a live webcam broadcast that he began Friday morning around 6 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) and said would to go on for a full 24 hours, lasting through Saturday morning. And it appears he accomplished it.

Scroll down to watch Marbury’s webcast live here on InsideHoops.com

Here are live notes taken as the broadcast happened. This is totally unedited.

Marbury is responding to questions from fans. The uStream system has two chats on the page; one for Twitter users to log in and the other for registered uStream.TV members. It’s all free but they all require registering.

I’ve only been watching since around 4 p.m. ET but this is probably the most amusing NBA-related chat I’ve seen.  He’s ranting and raving, yelling lots of positive stuff, sounding like a mix of a modern-day preacher, emotionally-challenged torn soul with issues to work out, spiritual leader, crazed homeless dude, and lover of all of humanity. But the message of the chat is really uplifting. He is repeatedly emphasizing love, strength and togetherness, in his own special, out-there way.

Marbury’s been shirtless the whole broadcast. I assume the ladies out there are happy.

He’s doing the broadcast from his house, mostly from his kitchen, though viewers are also being taken on a tour of other rooms, including the outside, his cars, backyard and pool.

After hours of talking, Marbury went for a swim.

Since I tuned it on Friday afternoon, approximately 2,200 viewers on average are watching, according to live viewer stats automatically published on the page by ustream.tv. Though as I checked in every other hour or so, the average was more like around 1,800 viewers.

Actual ustream employees were in Marbury’s house most of Friday, to help set up the equipment and make sure everything was working properly. And a camera assistant or two with portable equipment followed Marbury when he moved around or went outside.

Lower down on this page I am posting a bunch of notes and memorable quotes from the chat.

I just spent 10 days in Las Vegas staying out all night and returned to NYC just yesterday, so I was more than happy to spend today indoors relaxing and made sure to check in on Marbury’s broadcast regularly. I didn’t go out Friday night and fell asleep early, around midnight ET.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: Waking up at 6:30 a.m. ET Saturday morning, I immediately turned the Marbury broadcast back on and there he was, lying down but still talking nonstop. It appears he really has been on for close to 24 straight hours. And he’s still going. An average of 550-600 viewers are tuned in at this hour, according to the live counter.

This really is epic from an athlete/fan interaction perspective. He’s sat for literally a day straight responding to anything fans typed at him, mostly trying to respond to regular comments but also taking on some negative stuff. In all my years covering the NBA (full-time for InsideHoops.com since around 2002) I’ve never seen anything like this.

InsideHoops.com fan discussion of the broadcast is in this forum topic.

MONDAY, JULY 27 UPDATE: WATCH MARBURY WEBCAST LIVE HERE

Marbury broadcast a lot all weekend, and now as of Monday seems to be going live almost constantly for much of the day and night. Bookmark this page and you can view it anytime, below, by clicking play.

Watch live video from starburytv on Justin.tv

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Marbury Webcam Broadcast Notes

- Do not try to put Marbury in a box. He doesn’t enjoy it. Seriously, that was the theme of the chat. Marbury said/yelled “They tried to put me in a box!” what literally felt like hundreds of times over the course of the web broadcast, from start to finish.

- Marbury hates haters. And wants to pull their dresses up over their heads to expose them.

- “I’m not the best point guard in the world. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the world”

- He’s not mad. Does he look mad? Nope, he’s smiling and not mad.

- “They tried to put me in the box! But it’s all G, baby!”

- “Now I want to go back to school and get my degree.” Marbury said his time at Georgia Tech was devoted to basketball and getting his mom out of the hood.

- Several times, Marbury named Kobe Bryant as the league’s best player.

Stephon Marbury live webcam broadcast

- Marbury on New York: “They treated me like they want to be treated. I won’t treat them like that, though.”

- “Shoutout to Mike Hunt!”

- “I want to go everywhere on this planet. I want to see it all.”

- “I have the IQ of Jerome James? Thank you!”

- “I don’t want to be anybody’s favorite player. I want to be your favorite person.”

- “If it ain’t positive, it ain’t love.”

- “Your word is all you got. And people get it twisted.”

- “Who want to build up this positive city with me?”

- “The haters can’t even get in right now. There’s too much love right now.”

- “Tough everybody. Talk about it. Let it be conversation. Let it be Sunday conversation. Talk to your kids about it. This the type of love you got to have.”

- “Leave yourself completely vulnerable. That’s the only way you’re going to be able to love.”

- “I know ESPN hate me. It’s OK. I went to ESPN when I was younger and I used to give them free commercial. And then they took my words, saying ‘dogfighting was a sport’ and they cut out “from what I heard” … I took heat from that. My company got knocked in the chin. People boycotting against my sneaker line.” (Paraphrase, but close to exact quote)

- Marbury basically wants to visit everyplace on Earth. Especially India and Israel, among tons of other places.

- The neighborhood in Slumdog Millionaire, that’s the real hood.

- “I’m going to the bathroom! They tried to put me in a box! But we’re unstoppable!” (Yes, this was all said together, with alnost no pause in between the three sentences).

- Marbury is a huge fan of the rapper Drake.

- “If you’ve been here since 6 o’clock in the morning, put your 24 up!” (Tons of people in the chat then type “24″ in response)

- “This is why I will never do cocaine. Because Len Bias did cocaine and died the first time. That’s what they said, and I haven’t heard different.” (Paraphrase but close to exact quote)

- “Love is love.” (This quote was a common theme throughout the broadcast.)

- At 7:18 a.m. ET the only people awake in the house are Marbury and a dude nicknamed MoonCricket, who works with Stephon and does film and broadcasting. The others who helped make sure the broadcast stayed on are all asleep, Marbury says.

- “I’ll play back in New York if they step up to the plate…. They tried to put me in a box! What’s up now? I’ll go back to New York and play.”

- “All is forgiven. You have to forgive to forget.”

- “Love is love! Love is love! Love is love!” This was a common theme of the night. Also, “God is love!”

- Marbury early Saturday morning keeps repeating that this is the greatest and most funny thing anyone has ever seen, especially after he ran around messing around with the other dudes who were sleeping.

- He’s been loaded with energy the whole broadcast. And no, he’s not on anything.

- They’re working four cameras, said Cricket, the only guy to stay up the entire 24 hours along with Marbury.

- And, more dancing. Several times over the course of the 24 hours the talking stopped, music was blasting, and Marbury — and occasionally Cricket — danced for the fans. Cricket can bring it.

- MVP is Most Valuable Person. This was another common theme throughout the broadcast. Marbury repeated many times that he wants to be your most valuable person.

- Marbury said several times that he doesn’t care about the NBA like he used to. He wants to keep playing, and wants real minutes, not the 8-12 per game that Boston had available for him, but recognizes that life and being a good person is much more important than playing professional basketball.

- Tonight, we’ve all made history, Marbury says.

- At 8:13 a.m. ET Marbury said “I don’t got no more in me. My voice is gone.” He’s still on, though, talking less but typing plenty. There are 700 people currently tuned in. A few people in chat have said that in 45 minutes it’ll have been a full 24 hours.

- Around 8:30 a.m. ET Marbury, after repeating “Put your number one’s up” many times, stopped talking and started crying while holding up a no.1 finger. Not merely shedding tears, but full-on crying for a good two or three minutes. “Happy tears. Happy tears. Happy tears. Happy tears,” he said as 765 viewers watched.

- It’s now 8:56 a.m. ET and Marbury’s been silently holding up a “1″ finger for a while now.

- At 9:02 a.m. ET, with Marbury continuing to silently sit and sometimes type on a laptop while holding his no.1 finger up, the broadcast ended.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Mavs coach Don Nelson aren’t best friends forever. The AP reports:

The feud between Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former coach Don Nelson stretches back nearly seven years and has some $7 million at stake. But just how ugly and dysfunctional their relationship has been is only now being revealed.

Previously secret testimony and e-mail, now in the public record as part of legal proceedings initiated in the last 10 months, paint the picture of a spat that has turned two of the NBA’s best-known figures into bitter adversaries.

There’s deposition testimony from Cuban in which he acknowledges that he withheld consulting fees from Nelson in 2006 because he believed the former coach had “badmouthed” the team during the NBA Finals and should be made to “beg” for the money.

There’s also testimony from Nelson in which he describes being so disgusted with Cuban that he signed a contract to stay on as coach in 2003 only after friends “got me drunk.”

As great as that sounds, there’s more, again from the AP:

Nelson has also filed a defamation suit against Cuban in California over comments the owner made on a Bay Area radio show in 2007. He claims that Cuban, who was on the show to promote his appearance on “Dancing with the Stars,” defamed him when he said the coach’s demand for money was an attempt “to rip me off.”

This goes deep. The two likely will never be able to hug it out and walk it off.

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