Archive for September 16th, 2009

Clippers re-sign Brian Skinner

Clippers re-sign Brian Skinner

The Los Angeles Clippers today re-signed unrestricted free agent forward Brian Skinner. Per team policy terms of the contract were not released. InsideHoops.com assumes (but has not confirmed) that it’s a very short contract for the league minimium.

In 51 games played with the Clippers last season, Skinner averaged 4.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 16.5 minutes per game. Over his 11 year NBA career, Skinner has tallied 4.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 18.3 minutes per game.

On June 30th, the Clippers announced that Skinner had decided not to exercise his player contract option for the 2009-10 NBA season, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Skinner was originally drafted by the Clippers in the first round (22nd overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed HDNet as a sponsor for the team’s practice jerseys.  HDNet logo placement will also be on Mavericks coaching staff apparel worn at team practices.

HDNet is the ground-breaking independent network with unique and provocative content that appeals to men of all ages.  HDNet delivers more hours per week of award-winning, original, true high definition programming than any other television network.

“The Mavs and HDNet have been long time partners and we are excited to expand our relationship,” said Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban.

As part of the agreement, the HDNet logo will be featured throughout the Mavericks practice court.

Co-founded by Mark Cuban and Phillip Garvin, HDNet operates two 24/7 all high-definition channels (HDNet and HDNet Movies).  HDNet was launched on Sept. 6, 2001 and is now headquartered in Dallas and Denver.  The networks are available in the U.S. and Canada via 12 different cable and satellite providers.  HDNet, the reason HDTV was created.

On the heels of the NBA’s approval to allow sponsorship of team practice jerseys for the first time, the Phoenix Suns and The Annexus Group, a Phoenix-based annuity design firm, announced today a new multi-year marketing partnership agreement. Suns President and CEO Rick Welts, Suns General Manager Steve Kerr, Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry, and Ron Shurts and Don Dady, Partners in The Annexus Group made the announcement at US Airways Center.

The multi-year, mid-six figure deal (annually) includes exclusive logo placement on the team’s official practice jerseys for a two-year period, the length currently authorized by the NBA. The logo will be affixed on the upper right side of the jersey. The jerseys will be worn during official team practice and shootaround as well as during press interviews immediately following. The team’s coaching staff will also wear The Annexus Group branded gear during these times.  The Suns are the second NBA team to announce a practice jersey sponsor.

“We’re proud to partner with The Annexus Group, an innovative locally-based company that continues to build a growing national business,” said Welts.

As part of the partnership, the Suns practice court will be named the Annexus Practice Court. The facility will feature The Annexus Group logos on each end of the practice court and various other spaces. The Annexus Group will utilize the facility for seminars, meetings and business building opportunities.

“On a daily basis, we have the privilege of working with the ‘best of the best’ in our business. One of the keys to our growing this powerful network has been our opportunity to work with the top advisors and distributors in the industry. This practice facility sponsorship represents one more link in that value chain,” said Dady.

Tim Thomas has right knee surgery

tim thomas

Forward Tim Thomas will undergo arthroscopic surgery to his injured right knee the Dallas Mavericks announced today. Thomas injured his right knee while working out at his home in Southern California and is scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday, Sept. 22 for a suspected cartilage injury.

The surgery will be performed in Dallas by team orthopedic surgeon T.O. Souryal. A timetable for Thomas’ return will be set after the surgery.

SEPTEMBER 22 UPDATE

The Dallas Mavericks announced that forward Tim Thomas underwent arthroscopic surgery today to repair torn cartilage in his right knee.  Mavericks’ team physician Dr. T.O. Souryal performed the surgery at Texas Sports Medicine.  A timetable for his return has not been set.

hawks basketball

Coming off the strength of their first winning season in 10 years, the Atlanta Hawks are thrilled to announce that all 82 regular season games will be televised, with the release this afternoon of the FOX Sports South and SportSouth broadcast schedules.  The combined 75 telecasts join the previously announced seven Hawks’ nationally televised games – one on TNT and six on ESPN.

“We are delighted that we are able to provide the entire Hawks regular season schedule to our fans this season,” said Tracy White, Hawks’ Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.  “Combined with the interest shown by the league’s national partners, we know the FOX Sports South and SportSouth games will also feature great and compelling broadcasts over the course of the 2009-10 season.”

FOX Sports South will once again televise 30 games, featuring 11 home and 19 road telecasts, starting with the Friday, October 30th home game against the Washington Wizards (7:30 p.m.).  Two nights later, their next broadcast takes place at the Staples Center, as the Hawks play their first road game of the season against the current NBA World Champion Los Angeles Lakers (Sunday, November 1).  Among FOX Sports South’s other notable telecasts are road games at Cleveland (December 30) and Orlando (January 9), and the home season finale against Cleveland on Wednesday, April 14th.

SportSouth starts the Hawks broadcast schedule with the season opener, Wednesday, October 28th, at home against Indiana (7 p.m.).  The 45-game schedule includes 26 home and 19 road contests.  Not only will the network televise the only home game against the Lakers on Wednesday, March 31st, but SportSouth will also carry two of the four matchups against last year’s first round playoff adversary Miami (November 18 at home, January 4 in Miami) and the first of four games against second round opponent Cleveland (December 29).

During the month of March, fans will lock in to SportSouth as 12 of the 15 games televised that month will be shown on the network, while FOX Sports South will be the channel of choice in April, as the network’s final six games of the season will take the Hawks into the postseason.

The combined networks, with play-by-play announcer Bob Rathbun, analyst Dominique Wilkins, and sideline reporter James Verrett calling the action, will provide additional coverage with the return of Hawks LIVE, the expanded post-game highlight show with Jerome Jurenovich and Mike Glenn that gives viewers complete coverage after every televised game, including interviews with players and coaches, game highlights from around the NBA, and a look at the next opponent on the Hawks schedule.

Hawks’ games on FOX Sports South and SportSouth are available in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi (excluding the Biloxi/Gulfport, Memphis and New Orleans DMAs), Tennessee (excluding the Memphis and Jackson DMAs), the Charleston, Augusta and Savannah DMAs of South Carolina, the counties of Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain in the Greenville-Spartanburg DMA of North Carolina, and the counties of Abbeville, Anderson and Oconee in Greenville-Spartanburg DMA.

Pacers co-owner Mel Simon dies

The AP reports: A spokesman says billionaire shopping mall magnate and Indiana Pacers co-owner Mel Simon has died at age 82. Simon Property Group spokesman Les Morris says Simon died Friday. Simon spent nearly 40 years leading what is now Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest shopping mall company.

“Mel Simon was an extraordinary person, a giant of a man who contributed so much to our community and to our state,” said Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Jim Morris. “His kindness, generosity, creativity, warmth and genuine goodness is almost immeasurable. He’s one of the major reasons Indianapolis is a major league city in many different ways. The success of the Simon family has touched the lives and benefitted every single Hoosier.”

“Melvin was a very dear friend and golfing buddy,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He is a true legend to this city, not only for the visible things that everyone sees each day, but because he was a man who cared about people. He is one of this country’s greatest success stories, a man who is a true example of the American Dream. As an owner of the Pacers, he was a joy to work for and to work with. But he wasn’t only an owner, he was the biggest and best Pacers fan. I will miss him and the Pacers’ family will miss him.”

“My heart is very heavy today, Mel Simon was a great owner but more importantly a loving and giving friend,” said former Pacers player Reggie Miller. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the Simon family.”

NBA Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Indiana Pacers and Fever Owner Melvin Simon:

“The NBA family has lost one of its most successful and respected owners. More importantly, we have lost a great friend. Mel and Herb Simon purchased the Indiana Pacers in 1983, and under their stewardship the organization became a model franchise and one of the league’s most successful teams. Mel’s impact on the community, however, extended well beyond basketball. His social activism throughout the years earned many well-earned accolades. His influence, on and off the court, will be felt for a very long time. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mel’s wife Bren, their four children, and the entire Simon family.”

Dennis Rodman wants to inspire children

If there’s one former professional basketball player you’d want to give advice to children, naturally the first name on everyone’s list would be… Dennis Rodman.

Jason Stromberg of Forum Publishing Group reports:

Dennis Rodman says he hasn’t picked up a basketball in forever and insists the game isn’t what drives him anymore.

“I want to reach out to today’s children, because nowadays it’s hard to do such a thing,” said the former rebounding king and five-time NBA champion. “Look at the world we live in. It’s so fast-paced with all the electronics. I want to make it a better place.”

A seven-time first-team All-Defensive selection, Rodman was at the Ocean Manor Resort Hotel, 4040 Galt Ocean Drive in Fort Lauderdale, last Wednesday for an appearance on the Jeff DeForrest sports talk show on WWNN 1470 AM. He was on hand to help promote the You –Me –BBQ & Tennessee charity event to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“My advice for kids is to understand the difference between good and bad and learn from it,” he said. “You try and reach out to as many as you can. A lot of the kids look at me as a cartoon character, someone who is witty and funny. I love that, but I also want them to see me as a beneficial person, someone who isn’t bad and is doing as many positive things as possible.”

Rodman may be a cartoon character, but if he says positive stuff to the kids that’s all that matters. I just hope they didn’t see him on The Apprentice.

Timberwolves sign Sasha Pavlovic

sasha pavlovic

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed free-agent guard/forward Sasha Pavlovic. Per team policy, terms of the contract offer were not disclosed. It was reported by multiple outlets to be a one-year deal for around $1.3 million.

“We are excited to add Sasha to our team,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “His size and athleticism will help round out our wing position and provide us added experience.”

Pavlovic, a 6-8 wing from Serbia, has appeared in 381 games (127 starts) over his six-year career, averaging 5.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. His best statistical season came in 2006-07, when he averaged 9.0 points per game while shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 40.5 percent from behind the arc. Pavlovic has helped the Cavaliers reach the postseason in each of the last four years, including a playoff run to the NBA Finals in 2007 in which he averaged 9.2 points per game during the postseason.

Originally selected by the Utah Jazz with the 19th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Pavlovic appeared in 79 games as a rookie before being selected by the Charlotte Bobcats in the 2004 Expansion Draft. Pavlovic was subsequently traded to Cleveland, where he’s played each of the past five seasons.

The Portland Trail Blazers have named Hersey Hawkins Player Development Director, General Manager Kevin Pritchard announced today.

“We’re very excited to be adding a person of Hersey Hawkins’ character and stature to our team,” said Pritchard. “He brings wisdom and a wealth of experience both on and off the court. Hawk was the consummate pro as a player and will play an integral role in the off-court development of our players.”

In his new position with the team, Hawkins, 42, will be a resource to support each player’s professional, social and personal development. He will help build strong relationships with players, their families, agents and business associates. Hawkins will also work closely with Basketball Operations, player representatives and the Trail Blazers’ business departments to help build and maintain strategic partnerships.

“To be joining one of the best franchises in sports is extremely exciting for my family and me,” said Hawkins. “They have a great nucleus of players there and Portland fans support their team like no other, and that made it a very compelling opportunity.”

As a senior at Bradley University, Hawkins led the nation in scoring (36.3 pts) and is one of only seven NCAA Division I men’s basketball players to score 3,000 career points.

He was the sixth overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft and played 13 seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets, Seattle SuperSonics and Chicago Bulls.

Hawkins partnered with Nate McMillan in the SuperSonics backcourt when Seattle took on the Chicago Bulls in the 1996 NBA Finals.

For his career, Hawkins ranks 27th in NBA history in three-point field goals made (1226) and finished in the top-10 in three-point shooting in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1995.

Among his many career accomplishments, Hawkins also won the 1999 NBA Sportsmanship Award.

Since retiring from the league in 2001, Hawkins has split his time as a TV analyst for NBA and college basketball broadcasts and as an assistant basketball coach for his son’s team, Estrella Foothills High School in Goodyear, Ariz.

Kings sign Jon Brockman

The Sacramento Kings today signed rookie forward Jon Brockman to a contract, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Brockman was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the second round (38th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft and his draft rights were acquired by the Kings along with guard Sergio Rodriguez and cash considerations in exchange for the draft rights to Jeff Pendergraph, who the Kings selected with the 31st pick.

In four seasons (2005-06 – 2008-09) with the University of Washington, Brockman averaged 13.8 points (.534 FG%, .612 FT%), 9.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game in 131 career games. The 6-7, 255-pound forward finished his collegiate career as the Huskies’ all-time rebounder with 1,283 boards and second-leading scorer with 1,805 points. Brockman became the first player in school history to record more than 1,800 points and 1,200 rebounds, a feat achieved by only four players in Pac-10 history. A two-time All-Pac-10 First Team selection, Brockman averaged a double-double in each of his last two seasons (14.9 ppg and 11.5 rpg in 2008-09 and a career-best 17.8 ppg and 11.6 rpg in 2007-08). Brockman was a teammate of current Kings center Spencer Hawes during the 2007-08 season at Washington.

NBA fines Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson of the Golden State Warriors has been fined $25,000 for public statements detrimental to the NBA.  The statements were made on August 28 and concerned Jackson’s desire to be traded to a team other than the Warriors.

Players are not permitted to make trade requests publicly.  Ron Artest, then of the Indiana Pacers, was fined during the 2005-06 season for requesting a trade through the media.

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