Archive for November 16th, 2009

Luke Walton out 6+ weeks

Lakers forward Luke Walton was examined today by back specialist Dr. Robert Watkins and has been diagnosed with a pinched nerve.

Walton is expected to be out a minimum of six weeks.

The Lakers this season are off to a 7-3 start. Walton plays a very minor role on the team, averaging 3.7 points in 10.6 minutes per game.

Julius Hodge returns to Australia

Julius Hodge dominates in return to Australia

The spectacular National Basketball League return of controversial American Julius Hodge has seen the newly-signed Melbourne Tigers guard win the NBL Player of the Week award for Round Eight.

Hodge, whose last stint in the NBL ended in an acrimonious split with former team Adelaide, was signed by the Tigers last week.  Despite having little time to learn his new club’s offences, Hodge still managed to score 22 points and add nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals in his debut in Melbourne colours on Saturday night.

Hodge connected on 9-of-21 of his shots from the field and helped keep the Tigers in close contention with the visiting Townsville Crocodiles.  Unfortunately his efforts still saw the Tigers fall short, with Melbourne losing to the Crocs, 98-91.

The flamboyant superstar said he was pleased with the award but focused on getting his team wins.

“I’m honoured to win the NBL Player of the Week,” he said upon hearing the news of his award.  “Hopefully this Saturday night the team and I can improve and get back on track with a win against the Taipans at The Cage.”

Young New Zealand Breakers’ star Tom Abercrombie was unlucky to miss out on the award for Round Eight after a superlative performance of his own.  Abercrombie helped the Breakers to an 83-74 victory over ladder leaders Perth at the North Shore Events Centre on Thursday night.  Abercrombie scored 23 points and added three rebounds and one block, while shooting 56% from the field and 50% from the perimeter.

The Round Seven winner of the Player of the Week was also a candidate for the award once more in Round Eight.  Adelaide’s Adam Ballinger scored 17 points and added seven rebounds in the Sixers’ 83-76 home win over second-ranked Wollongong on Saturday night.  Ballinger’s teammate at Adelaide, Cortez Groves, was also in the hunt for the award after scoring 15 points and adding nine assists and three rebounds.

Wollongong’s Mat Campbell was another leading candidate, as was Gold Coast’s Ayinde Ubaka.  Campbell, who is known as ‘The Saviour’ after he spearheaded the ‘Save The Haws’ campaign in the off-season which pulled the club back from the brink of extinction, had 22 points, seven rebounds and two assists in his team’s loss to Adelaide.  Ubaka had 17 points, eight assists and three rebounds for the Blaze on Friday in Gold Coast’s 93-77 home win over Townsville.

Other leading contenders for Player of the Week in Round Eight included Stephen Weigh (Perth), Cortez Groves (Adelaide), Peter Crawford (Townsville), Daniel Johnson (Melbourne), Greg Vanderjagt (Gold Coast), Shawn Redhage (Perth), Anthony Petrie (Gold Coast), Russell Hinder (Townsville) and Julien ‘Skip’ Mills (Cairns).

Talk world hoops on the InsideHoops minor league and international basketball forum.

Grizzlies waive Allen Iverson

Grizzlies to waive Allen Iverson

The Memphis Grizzlies today released the following statement from General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace.

“The Grizzlies and Allen Iverson have come to a mutual agreement that because of personal matters that forced him to leave the team on November 7, Allen will step away from the game at this time, allowing him to focus on those matters.

“As a result, we will be ending our contractual agreement with Allen, which will allow both parties to move forward. We wish Allen the best.”

EARLIER MONDAY:

The Memphis Grizzlies experiment with disgruntled guard Allen Iverson will reportedly end.

According to Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the two sides have agreed to part ways. The team will waive Iverson.

It has not been reported what the terms of the agreement are and how much money Iverson will come away with.

Iverson has been unhappy coming off the Grizzlies bench, behind young guards Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo. Though, he was still regaining health as the season began, and it’s possible he might have gained a starting spot in the near future. But even coming off the bench early on was simply more than he could take.

Iverson only played three games — all losses — for the Grizzlies this season, the last being against the Sacramento Kings on November 2. He came off the bench all three times, and averaged 12.3 points and 3.7 assists in 22.3 minutes per game.

NOVEMBER 17 UPDATE

The Memphis Grizzlies waived guard Allen Iverson, the team announced today.

The 6-0, 165-pound guard averaged 12.3 points and 3.7 assists in 22.3 minutes in three games with the Grizzlies this season after signing as a free agent on Sept 10, 2009.  The 2000-01 NBA Most Valuable Player and 10-time All-Star became the 16th player in league history to score 24,000 career points on Nov. 4 at Golden State, netting a season-high 18 points.

The 34-year-old holds career averages of 27.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.21 steals on 42.5 percent shooting in 41.4 minutes in 889 games (877 starts) over 14 seasons (1996-09) with the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and Memphis Grizzlies.

The roster now stands at 14 players.

The Grizzlies will seek their second consecutive victory tomorrow when they host the Los Angeles Clippers at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at FedExForum.

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

Grizzlies want Allen Iverson decision

Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports:

Grizzlies want Allen Iverson decision

Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley says Allen Iverson’s time is up.

Heisley told Iverson’s agent, Leon Rose, that his client must decide soon whether he’ll play or retire because the Grizzlies won’t deal with the uncertainty beyond this week.

Iverson, 34, has been away from the Grizzlies for the past 10 days on a personal leave of absence.

“I’ve treated this like Allen told me it was – a personal leave,” Heisley said. “But either he’s retiring or coming back to play. I’m not upset with Allen. We’ll be happy to accommodate Allen. If he retires, then he retires. If he wants to come back, we’ll gladly accept him back. But I have personally made it clear that there’s going to have to be a decision made. We’re expecting an answer in a couple of days.”

UPDATE: The Commercial Appeal reports that the team and Iverson agree to part ways. He’ll be waived: http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/?p=5036

I think it’s amazing that a team has to actually still pay a player to take a personal leave like this.

Have a reaction? Share it or read other fan opinions in this forum topic.

Warriors trade Stephen Jackson to Bobcats

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has acquired guards Stephen Jackson and Acie Law from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Raja Bell and forward Vladimir Radmanovic.

According to the AP/NBA.com, “Charlotte takes on Jackson’s contract, which has three years and $27.7 million left after this season. Golden State inherits Radmanovic’s deal, worth about $13.5 million over this season and next. Bell and Law are in the final year of their contracts.”

“We are excited to add a player of Stephen’s caliber to our franchise,” Higgins said.  “He is coming off arguably the best season of his career and we believe he will help our team on both ends of the floor with his scoring and defensive abilities.  He also brings experience going deep into the playoffs, including winning an NBA Championship with San Antonio.  In addition, Acie Law is a talented, young player who provides us with added depth at point guard.”

The 6-8 Jackson is in his tenth NBA season, with career averages of 15.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 608 games played for New Jersey, San Antonio, Atlanta, Indiana and Golden State.  He averaged career highs of 20.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.1 rebounds last season.  In 179 games played for the Warriors since joining the team during the 2006-07 season, Jackson has averaged 19.4 points, 5.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 37.9 minutes.

In nine games played so far this season, Jackson is averaging 16.6 points, 4.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.56 steals, ranking 30th in the NBA in assists and 24th in steals.

Law, who was the 11th overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by Atlanta, is in his third NBA season, with career averages of 3.7 points, 1.8 assists and 1.0 rebound in 116 games played for Atlanta and Golden State.  In five games played this season for Golden State after being acquired from Atlanta on June 25, Law is averaging 6.2 points, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.4 rebounds in 13.2 minutes played.

Bell and Radmanovic were each acquired by the Bobcats in trades last season, with Bell joining the Bobcats on December 10, 2008, as part of a five-player trade with Phoenix and Radmanovic coming to Charlotte on February 7, 2009, from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Bell played in 50 total games for the Bobcats, averaging 12.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 35.2 minutes.  In five games played this season, Bell is averaging 12.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Radmanovic played in 40 total games for the Bobcats, averaging 7.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 20.2 minutes.  In eight games played this season, the eight-year veteran is 4.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists.

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

Erick Dampier had health scare

Eddie Sefko, special to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reports:

The Mavericks survived a scary situation Sunday evening that had nothing to do with a 95-90 win over the Detroit Pistons.

When Erick Dampier left the pregame warmups because he wasn’t feeling right, nobody was quite sure what was happening. Minutes later, with emergency medical personnel working on Dampier, he was whisked by ambulance from the Palace of Auburn Hills to a Pontiac, Mich., hospital.

By the end of the game, the Mavericks received news that Dampier’s symptoms had subsided. No team personnel divulged what those symptoms were, but an NBA official said that doctors had ruled out any serious health issues, including H1N1 (swine flu).

Dampier apparently was lightheaded when he left the arena, but was feeling much better at the hospital, giving the Mavericks a huge sigh of relief.

Glad to hear that Erick is OK.

Spencer Hawes missing shots early

Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports:

No one can say Spencer Hawes looks at his performance through rose-colored lenses.

When asked to assess his progress nine games into his third season, the Kings center was blunt.

“Not terribly excited,” Hawes said. “But I think that has mostly to do with offensive stuff, shooting the ball. But the other things I’m feeling pretty good about.”

While the other things – rebounding, defense and setting screens – have drawn praise from the coaching staff, Hawes has been inconsistent on offense.

Hawes has made just 41.8 percent of his field-goal attempts. One of Hawes’ strengths is his outside shooting, but the 7-foot-1 center is 0 for 12 on three-point shots. Hawes, however, is second on the Kings with 7.2 rebounds per game and tied with Jason Thompson for the team lead in blocked shots, averaging 1.3.

Despite this, the Kings are off to a better than expected start to the season, even with super-scoring, shooting guard Kevin Martin injured.

Basketball blog