Archive for December 17th, 2009

Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports (via blog):

Gilbert Arenas not yet living up to giant contract

Gilbert Arenas had to understand when he signed the deal that he would be viewed as the $111-million guy — if he was unable to produce. No one talks about Kobe Bryant’s salary or LeBron James’s salary or Dwight Howard’s salary because they are getting things done for their organizations.

Right now, Arenas is struggling to regain the form that earned him the salary, but when you put your name on the dotted line, criticism comes with the territory. The bigger the money, the bigger the profile, the bigger the scrutiny. You either live up to the deal and nobody mentions it, or you don’t.

When Arenas made three all-star appearances and a playoff series victory from 2004-07, most viewed the six-year, $65-million contract he signed as a bargain. But with the team going 26-79 since he started his latest deal (with Arenas playing just two games last season), the contract is going to be figuratively tattooed on his forehead.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports:

Mikhail D. Prokhorov has survived the N.B.A.’s background examination, helping the billionaire Russian oligarch take another step toward acquiring 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of the proposed Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He is said to be Russia’s richest man…

The N.B.A.’s decision to make known its clearance of Prokhorov’s background came a day after his company, Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holdings, closed on the deal to pay Forest City Ratner Companies, which is developing the Barclays Center as the part of the Atlantic Yards project, $200 million for his stakes in the team and the arena.

Prokhorov has also agreed to fund up to $60 million of the Nets’ losses until they move into the arena in 2012 and assume 80 percent of the team’s $207 million in debt. He has an option to buy up to 20 percent of Atlantic Yards.

Larry Hughes out 2 games

The AP reports:

Larry Hughes out 2 games

New York Knicks guard Larry Hughes is expected to miss the next two games because of a strained left groin.

Hughes, who is averaging 12.3 points a game, was unavailable Thursday night against the Chicago Bulls and is not expected to play Friday against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Blazers sign Anthony Tolliver

The Portland Trail Blazers today signed Anthony Tolliver of the Idaho Stampede.  Tolliver is the second Call-Up of the 2009-10 NBA Development League Season, and joins 65 other NBA players with NBA D-League experience.

Tolliver has appeared in all seven of Idaho’s games this season, averaging 20.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 36.9 minutes.  He has recorded three double-doubles this season, including a season-high 30 points, to go with 11 rebounds, in a win over the Reno Bighorns on Nov. 30.  For his efforts, Tolliver was named NBA D-League Co-Performer of the Week for games played Nov. 27-Dec. 6.

The Call-Up marks the second of Tolliver’s career, as he was signed by the New Orleans Hornets on Jan. 21, 2009.  Prior to his call-up last season, Tolliver appeared in three games for the Iowa Energy, averaging 10.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 28.3 minutes.  Before joining the Energy during the 2008-09 campaign, Tolliver played in 19 games for the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 2.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.9 minutes.  During his time with the Spurs, Tolliver was assigned to the team’s NBA D-League affiliate Austin Toros where he saw action in six games and averaged 17.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

A four-year contributor at Creighton University, Tolliver averaged 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds in 124 career games.  As a senior, he averaged 13.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 blocks in 33 games en route to being named First-Team All-MVC, to the MCV All-Tournament Team, earning the Senior CLASS Award All-America honors and a nod as a Second-team CoSIDA Academic All-America.

Tolliver is expected to join Portland today and be available tonight when the team hosts the Phoenix Suns at the Rose Garden.

Basketball blog