Archive for September 23rd, 2009

Matt Harpring to miss start of season

Matt Harpring to miss start of season

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that veteran forward Matt Harpring will not participate in training camp or the preseason and will miss the start of the NBA regular season.  Due to ankle and knee injuries, the 11-year NBA veteran is physically unable to participate in camp or the preseason at this point and his status will be re-evaluated in six weeks.

Harpring (6-7, 230, Georgia Tech), has appeared in 665 games (349 starts) over 11 seasons with Orlando, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Utah, owning career averages of 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 26.4 minutes per game.  Originally signed by the Jazz as a free agent on August 15, 2002, Harpring has seen action in 474 games (191 starts) over seven seasons with Utah and has averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game.  Harpring averaged 11.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 63 games (2 starts) for the Jazz in 2008-09.

The Houston Rockets introduced “We Are Red Nation” as its new marketing campaign for the 2009-10 season during the team’s annual Tip-Off Party at Toyota Center this evening.  The team also introduced their first-ever alternate uniforms.

In an effort to tie the team’s current look to its storied past, the new uniform features elements which are both new and old.  The familiar “ketchup and mustard” color scheme used during the team’s back-to-back championship seasons has returned — along with the name “Houston” on the front of the jerseys.  The font used for the letters and numbers is the same that is used on the current home and away uniforms, which were introduced prior to the 2003-04 season.  Additionally, the team’s familiar “R” logo appears on the front collar as well as centered above the player name on the back of the jersey and on both side panels of the game shorts.  The red jersey also features yellow piping that extends all the way to the shorts.

alternate houston rockets jersey

Discuss this and the Rockets in the InsideHoops Houston Rockets forum.

Timberwolves and Mark Blount to part ways

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that they have mutually agreed to allow center Mark Blount to not join the team for training camp and the preseason, and have provided permission for Blount’s agent to seek a roster spot with a different team. Blount will remain at his home in Miami while his agent Mark Bartelstein looks for a better opportunity for playing time.

“I want to thank Mark for being understanding of our situation of having such a young team, and in particular many young big men that need playing time for their development,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn. “Given these circumstances, it would be extremely difficult to find a significant role for Mark, and he deserves the opportunity to be a part of someone’s rotation for the upcoming season.

“Mark has been a true professional in understanding the current makeup of our roster and the difficulty in ensuring him consistent minutes. We wish him the very best. I’m sure that this will work out the best for everyone.”

Acquired in a trade with Miami on Aug. 13, Blount, a 7-0 center, has appeared in 605 career games over his nine-year career, including stops in Boston, Denver, Minnesota and Miami. Originally selected by Seattle with the 54th overall pick of the 1997 NBA Draft, Blount owns career averages of 8.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Blount’s face probably hurts from laughing at the fact that people give him millions of dollars to play ineffective basketball.

Maurice Lucas to resume coaching

Portland Trail Blazers assistant coach Maurice Lucas, who underwent successful bladder cancer surgery in April, has resumed coaching duties and will be with the team when training camp begins on Tuesday, September 29.

Lucas, 57, has elected to adopt a schedule that will allow him to continue player development responsibilities at the Trail Blazers practice facility and at home games. At this point, he plans to travel only occasionally with the team to road games.

“I feel great,” Lucas said. “I have been listening to my doctors, getting my rest, and I’m very excited about being back. I am fortunate to have the support of an organization and a head coach that have allowed me to continue to contribute, and grateful to have had the support and encouragement of a lot of great fans during the past six months.”

A 14-year NBA/ABA veteran and five-time All-Star, Lucas was a starting forward on the Trail Blazers 1977 NBA Championship team. He joined the Trail Blazers coaching staff in 2005 at the request of Head Coach Nate McMillan, a former teammate of Lucas when both were in Seattle during the 1986-87 season.

“We are glad to have Luke back, healthy, and working with our big men again,” McMillan said. “He is a very important part of our family and we all missed having him here during the stretch run last year.”

The Sacramento Kings have wanted a new arena for quite some time, and now former NBA star and current mayor Kevin Johnson is adding his voice to the mix.  The Sacramento Bee reports:

After learning that Arco Arena is considered unsuitable to host a major college basketball tournament, Mayor Kevin Johnson said Tuesday that Sacramento could lose the Kings if efforts for a new arena aren’t stepped up.

“If we don’t have a clear path to an arena in the not too distant future, then we as Sacramentans need to know that (the Kings) very well may look elsewhere,” Johnson said.

The mayor made his statements after finding out the NCAA had bypassed Sacramento’s bid to host the regional round of the men’s basketball tournament. Arco Arena has hosted the money-making event four times since 1994.

That was one loud arena back in the days of good Kings basketball. A scary place for opponents. But that’s old news. For years now it’s just been considered a problem. Sad.

The New Jersey Nets struggle to attract fans and face many issues as they attempt to build a new basketball arena in Brooklyn and relocate the team. And now the AP reports:

Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov says in his personal blog that he has made an offer to buy the New Jersey Nets.

Prokhorov, considered Russia’s richest man, said Tuesday on his blog that he sent team shareholders an offer over the weekend. Under the proposal, Prokhorov’s holding company Onexim would obtain a controlling share in the Nets in return for loaning the money to build a new arena.

If the team is going to be sold I expect it would happen relatively sooner rather than later.

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