Archive for August 10th, 2009

Pau Gasol has broken finger

Pau Gasol has broken finger

The Long Beach Press-Telegram (Elliot Teaford) reports: Pau Gasol broke his left middle finger while practicing with the Spanish national team in Seville and underwent surgery Monday, Lakers spokesman John Black said. It’s unknown how long Gasol might be sidelined. Black received the news of the power forward/center’s injury via a telephone call from Gasol’s Spain-based agent, Arturo Ortega. A Spanish Web site reported Gasol hurt his left index finger while trying to block teammate Felipe Reyes’ shot and was taken to a local hospital.

The Los Angeles Times (Mark Medina) reports (via blog): Lakers spokesman John Black said he received a call from Gasol’s agent, Arn Tellem, who told him that Gasol broke the middle finger of his left hand, had surgery today and is expected to make a full recovery

The Arlington Heights Daily Herald (Mike McGraw) reports (via blog): Ben Wallace agreed to rejoin the Pistons this week, returning three years after signing the $60 million free-agent deal with the Bulls. This would have been Wallace’s final season with that contract, but he agreed to a buyout with Phoenix. I doubt if Wallace ever wanted to leave Detroit in the first place, but he was encouraged by relatives to take the bigger payday. Once he got here, I think Wallace tried his best, but he was clearly uncomfortable in the spotlight. Then he just couldn’t keep up the pace of being a high-energy, undersized center and his body broke down. Wallace doesn’t figure to spend much time on the court this season. Will his mentoring help turn Charlie Villanueva and Chris Wilcox into all-stars? I doubt the Bulls should be worried.

Von Wafer to sign in Greece

Eurobasket.com reports: Von Wafer (196-G-85, college: Florida St.) is about to join the Greek powerhouse Olympiakos. The 24-year-old guard spent the last season in the NBA playing for the Houston Rockets. He averaged 9.5 points, 1.7 boards and 1.1 assists per game. The Florida State University graduate Von Wafer was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2005. He also played for the Colorado 14ers and the fort Worth Flyers in the D-League as well as the Nuggets, the Clipper and the Trail Blazers in the NBA. The contract is meant for two seasons.

76ers re-sign Royal Ivey

76ers re-sign Royal Ivey

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has re-signed free agent guard Royal Ivey.  The deal may just be for one-year and the league minimum, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

On June 15, Ivey declined the player option on his contract for the 2009-10 season, making him an unrestricted free agent.

“We are fortunate to be able to bring back Royal Ivey, an experienced guard with good size who is familiar with our team and core philosophies,” Stefanski said. “Prior to making a decision on signing an additional guard, Coach Jordan expressed his interest in acquiring a player who puts the team first and plays aggressive defense, both qualities embodied by Royal.”

Ivey (6-4/215) appeared in 71 games off the bench for the Sixers last season, averaging 3.0 points and 1.1 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game.  For the season, he had 36 steals to 23 turnovers, posting the sixth-highest steal-to-turnover ratio (1.56) of any player in the league.

After averaging just 8.0 minutes per game his first 21 games played last season, Ivey averaged 13.9 mpg over the final 50 games of 2008-09.  He recorded career-highs in 3-pointers made (39) and free throw percentage (.791).

Ivey was originally selected by Atlanta with the 37th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.  Following three years with the Hawks, he played one season for Milwaukee in 2007-08 prior to signing with the Sixers last summer.

A four-year starter at the University of Texas, Ivey helped guide the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament each season, including three consecutive Sweet 16 berths and one Final Four appearance. He was a two-time Big 12 Conference All-Defensive team selection and was named third-team All-Big 12 by the media his senior season.

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the team has hired Brian Hill as an assistant coach.  Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to welcome Brian Hill as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons,” said Dumars.  “Brian has vast NBA experience as both a head coach and assistant coach and he will help our coaching staff and players in a variety of ways.”

Hill’s coaching career has spanned over 36 years, including head coaching positions with Orlando (twice) and Vancouver and assistant coaching positions with New Orleans, Atlanta, Orlando and New Jersey.  He most recently served as an assistant coach with the Nets for the last two seasons (2007-2009).

The East Orange, New Jersey native spent three and a half seasons with the Orlando Magic during his first head coaching appointment, 1993-96, guiding the club to a 191-104 (.647) record.  He led the team to three playoff appearances, back-to-back Atlantic Division titles, consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals (1994-95 and 1995-96) and the 1995 NBA Finals.  He posted a home record of 122-26 (.824) while with the Magic, including 40 consecutive wins spanning from March 12, 1995, through March 19, 1996.  His record over his first three seasons as a head coach (167-79, .679) ranks third in NBA history behind Pat Riley and Phil Jackson and he ranks as the ninth fastest head coach to reach 100 victories, accomplishing the feat in 149 games.  Hill coached the Eastern Conference All-Stars at the NBA All-Star Game in 1995.

Hill was named as head coach of the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1997-98, becoming the franchise’s third head coach, and compiled a record of 31-123 in two-plus seasons.  After serving on Lawrence Frank’s New Jersey Nets staff in 2004-05, he returned to Orlando for his second head coaching stint.  Hill led the Magic to a 76-88 record during his second tenure with the club, guiding the team to a playoff berth in 2006-07.

Hill’s coaching career includes high school as well as 17 years at the collegiate level.  He was the head coach at Lehigh for eight seasons and held assistant coaching positions at Montclair State, Lehigh and Penn State.  He got his NBA coaching start in 1986, serving as an assistant to Mike Fratello with the Atlanta Hawks.

Celtics re-sign Glen Davis

Celtics re-sign Glen Davis

The Boston Celtics announced today that the club has re-signed forward Glen Davis to a contract.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post contract details later today.

“Glen has been a big part of our success for the past two years and we are very excited to have him back,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations.

Davis, a 6’9”, 289 lbs, forward has spent two seasons with the Celtics and had a breakout 2008-09 season in which he averaged 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.  The former LSU Tiger continued his breakout campaign in the 2009 playoffs during which he averaged 15.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Davis made 16 starts during the 2008-09 regular season and averaged 12.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in 33.0 minutes per game.

“Big Baby” scored a career-high 24 points against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 21, 2009.  Davis also hit the biggest shot of his career to date when he nailed a game-winning jumper against the Orlando Magic in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals to send the series back to Boston tied 2-2.

During the First Round of the 2009 playoffs against the Chicago Bulls, Davis averaged 18.1 points and 6.7 rebounds.

Timberwolves to hire Kurt Rambis as head coach

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that Kurt Rambis and the team have reached an agreement in principle to make Rambis the ninth head coach in the team’s 20-year history. Per team policy, terms of the agreed-upon contract were not released. Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn will host a press conference at 2:00 p.m. today (Monday) in the Target Center media room to address the agreement. Rambis is scheduled to be introduced as Timberwolves Head Coach at a 1:00 p.m. press conference tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug. 11).

“After a six-week search and thorough interview process, I feel that in Kurt Rambis we have found the best person to lead and develop our young team as head coach,” Kahn said. “Kurt is talented and hard-working, and his many years in the NBA as a player, administrator and coach have prepared him well for this opportunity.”

Rambis, 51, will join the Wolves after serving as an assistant coach on Phil Jackson’s Los Angeles Lakers staff for seven seasons (2001-04, 2005-09). As an assistant, Rambis helped guide the Los Angeles to four NBA Finals appearances (2002, 2004, 2008, 2009), with the Lakers winning the NBA Championship in 2002 and 2009. Rambis also served as an assistant coach on Del Harris’ staff from 1994-98. Twelve games into the 1998-99 season, Rambis took over as the Lakers’ interim head coach. He tied an NBA record with nine consecutive victories to start his head coaching career and compiled a 24-13 overall record, leading the team to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Rambis also served in the Lakers’ front office in three different capacities. He served as advisor and assistant general manager from 1999-2001, and held the title of Vice President of Business and Basketball Integration during the 2004-05 season before rejoining Jackson’s coaching staff midway through the campaign.

As a player, Rambis played 14 seasons in the NBA (1981-95), including nine seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers (1981-88, 1993-95), as well as stops in Charlotte, Phoenix and Sacramento. A member of the Los Angeles Lakers during the team’s “Showtime” era, Rambis helped the club win four NBA titles (1982, 1985, 1987, 1988).

For his career, Rambis averaged 5.2 points and 5.6 rebounds in 880 games. His best season, statistically, was 1988-89 with the expansion Charlotte Hornets when he averaged career highs with 11.1 points and 9.4 rebounds.

The Cupertino, Calif., native played college basketball at Santa Clara University, where he still ranks first in points (1,735) and second in rebounds (1,037). Rambis earned West Coast Athletic Conference (WCAC) Freshman of the Years honors and was named the WCAC Player of the Year following his senior season.

Linas Kleiza to play in Greece

Denver Nuggets free agent forward Linas Kleiza is going to sign with Olympiakos, the famous team in Greece, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo.

The deal will reportedly be for two-years, but Kleiza will have the option to end the contract after one season.

Denver has had a quiet off-season, losing Dahntay Jones and now Kleiza. They did add point guard Ty Lawson, who could be a good backup to Chauncey Billups, in the 2009 NBA Draft.

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