Archive for August 6th, 2009

NBA suspends Rashard Lewis 10 games

NBA suspends Rashard Lewis 10 games for banned substance

Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic has been suspended without pay for ten games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program by testing positive for an elevated testosterone level, it was announced today by the NBA.

Lewis’ suspension will begin with the first game of the 2009-10 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

Rashard Lewis Statement

“First and foremost I take full responsibility for the situation and accept the corresponding penalty.

Toward the end of the season I took an over-the-counter supplement which at the time I did not realize included a substance banned by the NBA.

I apologize to Magic fans, my teammates and this organization for not doing the research that should come with good judgment.

I hope this unintentional mistake will not reflect poorly on our team and its great character.

I hope every athlete can learn from my mistake that supplements, no matter how innocent they seem, should only be taken after consulting an expert in the field.”

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

Lewis, who will turn 30 on Saturday, said he took an over-the-counter supplement near the end of last season which he did not know contained the banned substance. He told the Sentinel the substance was in powder form and he mixed it into smoothies. He got it at a nutritional store, but did not specify the name of the store.

According to an NBA source, Lewis failed one drug test during the playoffs last season and was so surprised by the outcome he asked to be tested again during the Finals. Lewis also failed that test.

“The biggest thing I told him is we’re a team, we’re a family, we all do crazy stupid things and sometimes we have to make adjustments,” Magic General Manager Otis Smith said. “That’s what kids do, sometimes they make mistakes. I don’t know if it was a knowing mistake, I don’t think it was.”

Hornets hire Robert Pack as assistant coach

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that New Orleans Pack has been named an assistant coach for the 2009-10 season.

Pack, 40, joins Byron Scott’s staff after a one-year assistant coach stint with the NBA Developmental League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The Vipers finished 21-29 last season.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to coach in the NBA,” Pack said. “It’s always been my dream and to have the chance to do so in my hometown is something I’m really grateful for. I’m really excited for the season to start and I just have to thank Coach Scott for such a great opportunity.”

Pack played 13 seasons as a point guard in the NBA. During the 2002-03 season, he played in 28 games and had four starts for the Hornets, averaging 5.2 points and 2.9 assists. Pack was a former high school standout at Lawless and played in college at USC.

Nicknamed “Pac-Man”, Pack played for seven different teams during his career—the Hornets, Denver, Portland, New Jersey, Washington, Dallas and Minnesota. Pack holds averages of 8.9 points, 4.6 assists and 2.0 rebounds over 552 career games.

Pack was a member of the 1991-92 Portland team that advanced to the NBA Finals, while with Denver, he was a member of the 1993-94 squad that made NBA history as the first No. 8 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Pack also participated in the 1994 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest in Minneapolis, finishing second in the event.

At USC, Pack finished fourth on the Trojans all-time assists list (319) in just two seaons, while also becoming just the fourth player in school history to record back-to-back 100-assist seasons. He averaged 13.4 points and 5.6 assists per game while at USC. Prior to playing at USC, he played two seasons at Tyler (Texas) Junior College, earning All-State honors, and leading the Apache to a 50-11 combined record.

Xinhua reports: Los Angeles Lakers star Ron Artest has donated his diamond watch to a high school student in Wuhan Wednesday to support his education. Zheng Fengyu, 15, is the captain of Wuhan NO.1 middle school’s basketball team. Ron played basketball with Zheng Wednesday afternoon, and gave the boy later his watch, which is worth 45,000 U.S. dollars (about 300,000 yuan), according to a report by local media.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Stories like this are awesome. The scene sounds like something from a movie. Wish we could have seen it happen.

Trail Blazers sign Brandon Roy to extension

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed star guard Brandon Roy to a multi-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard. Several media outlets reported it was likely going to be a five year deal, totalling around $82-85 million. We’ll update that info later tonight.

“This is one of the most exciting and important days in Trail Blazers history,” said Pritchard. “No one has played a bigger role in the rebirth of the franchise, both on and off the court, than Brandon Roy. While he’s a great player, he’s an even better person and I’m happy and proud to report that he’s going to be a Portland Trail Blazer for many years to come.”

Roy, 25, holds career averages of 19.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.12 steals, 36.9 minutes and a 46.5% mark from the floor in three seasons with the Trail Blazers. The 2006-07 NBA Rookie of the Year and two-time NBA All-Star, Roy is one of two players this decade (LeBron James) to be named Rookie of the Year and appear in two All-Star Games in his first three NBA seasons.

“First and foremost, I want to thank our great fans and my family and friends for all of their support,” said Roy. “I also want to thank Paul Allen, Larry Miller, Kevin Pritchard, Coach McMillan, my teammates and the entire Trail Blazers organization. Each year they’ve made me feel more and more at home here in Portland and now this really does feel like home and will be for a long time to come. I’m just really excited to get to back to work and focused on helping bring another NBA Championship to Portland.”

Roy posted team highs of 22.6 points, 5.1 assists, 1.13 steals and 37.2 minutes to go with 4.7 rebounds in 78 games (all starts) last season, helping lead the Trail Blazers to a 54-28 record, a share of the Northwest Division title and the team’s first trip to the playoffs in six seasons. Among NBA leaders, Roy ranked 10th in scoring, 17th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.63) and 23rd in assists.

Roy’s inclusion on the 2008-09 All-NBA Second Team marks the first time a Trail Blazer has earned All-NBA honors since Clyde Drexler in 1991-92.

The 6-6, 211-pound Roy started all six games for Portland in the 2009 NBA Playoffs, where he averaged a team-best 26.7 points to add to 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.33 steals and 39.7 minutes. His scoring average ranked seventh among all players in the 2009 NBA playoffs and ranked fourth all-time by a Trail Blazer in a single postseason.

Acquired by the Trail Blazers in a draft day trade on June 28, 2006, Roy was originally selected by Minnesota with the sixth overall pick out of the University of Washington in the 2006 NBA Draft.

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