Archive for January, 2010

The AP reports:

Javaris Crittenton pleads guilty to misdemeanour, gets probation

Washington Wizards guard Javaris Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour gun charge Monday, explaining he had a pistol because he feared teammate Gilbert Arenas would shoot him or blow up his car after the two argued over a card game.

Monday’s hearing was the first time authorities confirmed Crittenton was the other player involved in the confrontation with Arenas, who pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to a felony gun charge.

D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge Bruce Beaudin sentenced Crittenton, 22, to a year of unsupervised probation after Crittenton pleaded guilty to misdemeanour possession of an unregistered firearm. Beaudin ordered Crittenton to mentor young people in Washington and to help with relief efforts for Haiti.

Beaudin didn’t order a specific amount of community service but said his lawyer must report regularly on the work. Crittenton must also pay a $1,000 fine and $250 (all figures U.S.) into a victims’ fund.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports:

Mario Chalmers wants his starting spot back

Though Rafer Alston figures to remain the Heat’s starting point guard this season barring an injury or something unforeseen, Mario Chalmers continues to express his desire to regain that spot.

“Time to get back on my [game]. Tired of sittin’ on the bench,” Chalmers said Sunday on Twitter. “Gotta get back to the way I was.”

Before Monday’s game, Chalmers did not back away from those comments. “I’m ready to get back that spot,” he said. “The team needs me back there. I want my spot back. I think there’s a great chance I can get it back.”

Though Chalmers said he accepts whatever role he is given, starting is “more meaningful,” he said, “because I started every game last season. It’s my fault that I lost it” — initially, to Carlos Arroyo before Alston was signed.

Hornets trade Bobby Brown to Clippers

Hornets trade Bobby Brown to Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers today acquired guard Bobby Brown from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for a 2014 conditional second round draft pick and cash considerations. In a related move, the Clippers released guard JamesOn Curry from his 10-day contract.

“With today’s move, we put ourselves in a position that is under the luxury tax threshold while preserving the ability to maximize our results on the court and keeping our core intact,” said Hornets head coach Jeff Bower.

Brown, 25, has appeared in 25 games for the Hornets this season and is averaging 6.6 points and 2.1 assists in 14.9 minutes per game. A Los Angeles native who starred at Westchester High School and Cal-State Fullerton, Brown played for the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008-09 and has appeared in a total of 90 NBA games, making two starts with career averages of 5.6 points, 1.8 assists and 0.8 rebounds in 14.0 minutes.

Not drafted after finishing his college career as Cal-State Fullerton’s all-time leading scorer, Brown appeared for Alba Berlin of Germany in 2007-08 before signing as a free agent with Sacramento. One of the greatest players in Cal-State Fullerton history, Brown was named to the Big West All-Conference Team two times in his career.

Curry was signed by the Clippers to a 10-day contract on Jan. 22, 2010 and appeared in one game for Los Angeles.

Hornets trade Devin Brown to Bulls for Aaron Gray

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have acquired center Aaron Gray from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for guard Devin Brown.

“Aaron will help bolster our frontcourt and add depth to our team,” Head Coach and General Manager Jeff Bower said. “We continue to be pleased with the play of Marcus Thornton and feel he, along with our other backcourt players, can step up.”

“We’re excited to add Devin Brown to our team,” said Chicago Bulls General Manager Gar Forman.  “His toughness, defensive versatility, and shooting will be excellent additions to our perimeter rotation.”

Gray, in his third year after being drafted 49th overall out of Pitt in the 2007 NBA Draft, is averaging 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in eight games with the Bulls this season. The 7-foot, 270-pound center has career averages of 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, having played in 125 games (19 starts).

The Hornets signed Brown as a free agent on August 22, 2008. Brown holds career averages of 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in his 8-year career. In 160 games as a Hornet (91 starts), Brown averaged 8.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists, playing for the club in the 2006-07 season and since signing back with New Orleans on August 22, 2008. This season, Brown has averaged 9.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 39 games (37 starts).

Lakers visit White House, meet Obama

The Los Angeles Daily News reports:

The Los Angeles Lakers will be honored at the White House today for winning last season’s NBA championship.

The team, coach Phil Jackson and Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson, will be joined by President Barack Obama for the ceremony in the Palm Room, according to White House officials and team spokesman John Black.

The team’s White House visit is expected to last about an hour. It will come one day before the Lakers face the Washington Wizards in the fourth game of an eight-game, 12-day road trip.

The visit will be the Lakers’ first at the White House since January 2002, their only visit during their three-peat tenure.

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today the Jazz has signed rookie guard Sundiata Gaines for the remainder of the season.

Gaines (6-1, 185, Georgia) was originally signed to a 10-day contract by the Jazz on January 5 before being re-signed to a second 10-day contract on Jan. 15.  Gaines has appeared in seven games for the Jazz, averaging 2.9 points and 1.1 assists in 7.1 minutes per game.  The Jazz is 6-2 since signing Gaines, who hit a game-winning three-pointer as time expired to beat Cleveland, 97-96, on Jan. 14.  The former University of Georgia Bulldog also recorded a career-high nine points vs. the Cavaliers.  Gaines reached career highs in minutes (21) and assists (five) in his NBA debut vs. Memphis on Jan. 6.

Gaines became the fourth NBA Development League (D-League) Call-Up to the NBA this season, as well as the fourth D-League Call-Up in Jazz history, joining Rusty LaRue (2000-01), Mikki Moore (2003-04) and Louis Amundson (2006-07).

Jazz assign Kosta Koufos to D-League

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has assigned second-year center Kosta Koufos to the Utah Flash of the NBA Development League (D-League). Koufos is expected to be in uniform when the Flash host Maine tonight, January 25, at 7 p.m.

In 21 games this season, the 7-0, 265-pound Koufos has averages of 1.3 points, 1.1 rebounds and 0.2 assists in 3.6 minutes. Koufos has been inactive six times this season and DNP-CD 13 times. Koufos last appeared in a game on January 23 against New Jersey, grabbing three rebounds in a 116-83 home win. The center has notched a season-high six points twice this season and also picked up a season-high three rebounds vs. the L.A. Clippers on October 30.

In 48 games (seven starts) last season Koufos averaged 4.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.4 assists. In 10 games (all starts) with the Flash in 2008-09, Koufos averaged 16.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.0 assists in 10 games.

Selected by the Jazz out of Ohio State in the first round (23rd overall selection) of the 2008 NBA Draft, Koufos averaged 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 0.5 assists in his only season with the Buckeyes. The Canton, Ohio native was also named the postseason NIT MVP after leading Ohio State to the 2008 title. Koufos, who holds dual American and Greek citizenship helped lead Greece to a silver medal in the 2007 UMCOR U18 European Championships after averaging 26.5 points, 13 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots.

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) announced today that Christine Godleski has been named Chief Operating Officer.  In this role, Godleski will manage the day-to-day operations of the WNBA, where she will oversee the execution of league events and strategic planning initiatives.  She will also support league and team revenue-generating opportunities.

Godleski joins the WNBA after spending 12 years with ESPN and The Walt Disney Company, where she worked in various roles for ESPN Outdoors, ESPN The Magazine and Disney Consumer Products.  Most recently Godleski served as VP/General Manager of ESPN Outdoors, leading a team of 150 staffers to develop and operate all aspects of the division.

“We are very pleased to add Christine to our WNBA executive leadership team,” said WNBA President Donna Orender.  “Her experience in finance and strategic planning will help us capitalize on opportunities while continuing to improve the efficiency of our business operations.”

Godleski boasts nearly 25 years of experience in finance, budgeting, and operations. Her professional career spans a wide array of corporate assignments, including CG Consulting, Viacom, and Deloitte and Touche.  A graduate of Penn State University, Godleski has volunteered time teaching elementary school students in Tanzania, in addition to fundraising for World Team Sports, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.  Godleski has also served as Chairperson for the International Council of Orphans International and summitted Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Nets on pace to be worst team ever

Loren Jorgensen of the Deseret News reports:

The mood was appropriately somber in the visitors’ locker room at EnergySolutions Arena on Saturday night after the Utah Jazz had cruised to their most lopsided victory of the year, 116-83 over the New Jersey Nets.

The Nets, after all, are on pace to become the unquestioned, all-time worst team in NBA history…

The Nets, who entered the game on a 10-game losing streak in which they had lost by an average of nearly 18 points, were even worse against the Jazz, losing by 33.”It’s bad,” said Nets center Brook Lopez, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. “It’s tough to stay positive.”

New Jersey, which played Saturday night’s game without injured starting point guard Devin Harris, is now 3-40 on the year. They will have to go 7-32 or better the rest of the season in order to surpass the 9-73 mark of the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, the current owners of worst all-time record in NBA history.

Julian Garcia of the New York Daily News reports:

Things have gone so wrong lately, it’s hard for the Nets to even imagine there might be light at the end of the “dark tunnel” coach/GM Kiki Vandeweghe is always referring to.

“Right now, no. I can’t honestly,” Chris Douglas-Roberts said. “We’re just in a very bad situation so it’s hard to see the light right now.”

Harris, who fell on his already achy wrist on Friday night, sat behind the bench wearing jeans, a leather sport coat and a bulky black and blue brace on his wrist.

Leandro Barbosa out one month

Leandro Barbosa out one month

Phoenix Suns guard Leandro Barbosa will undergo surgery on his right wrist to remove a cyst, the club announced today.

The surgery is schedule to take place this Tuesday, Jan. 26, and is expected to sideline Barbosa for approximately one month.

Currently in his seventh NBA season, the former Sixth Man of the Year is averaging 10.6 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 19.7 minutes this season.  The 27-year-old Barbosa, who has appeared in 29 games this season (five starts), missed three games from Nov. 3-6 due to inflammation in his right wrist.

The Suns (25-19) return to the court tonight, taking on the Golden State Warriors (13-28) at US Airways Center at 7 p.m.  The game can be seen locally on FOX Sports Arizona and heard on Sports 620 KTAR.

After months of anticipation, the new WNBA Tulsa franchise officially unveiled its identity today with the announcement of the new team name, logo and colors. The new franchise will be named the Tulsa Shock and its colors black, red and gold. The logo features a basketball on top of “Tulsa Shock” with a lightning bolt through it.  The “Tulsa” lettering has an Art Deco inspiration which was influenced by the city’s rich history in Art Deco architecture.

The Tulsa Shock, formerly the Detroit Shock, moved to Tulsa in October 2009. In November, the team decided on a short list of three potential names which included Fire, Tempo and Shock and then gave the fans an opportunity to vote for their favorite on the team’s Web site – www.wnba.com/shock.  The name “Shock” received the highest amount of votes with 38 percent.  Tempo finished second with 32 percent and Fire was third with 30 percent.

The Shock’s new president, Steve Swetoha, believes the familiarity WNBA fans have with the Shock name will go a long way in developing brand recognition for the team and lends itself well to promotions and marketing opportunities.

“I think its clear the Shock name resonated with fans because of the championship history it invokes, as well as the feelings of speed and power it brings. Our new name and identity fits perfectly with the style of play Coach Richardson brings to the team,” Swetoha said.  “It’s the same name with a whole new meaning.”

“The Tulsa Shock – I love it,” head coach Nolan Richardson said.  “Having an identity gets me more excited because I know we’re one step closer to tip-off, and we’ll look good when that day comes.”

Tulsa Shock uniforms are not finalized at this time.  The team will unveil the uniforms this spring.

Tulsa WNBA team, which moved from Detroit, named Tulsa Shock

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Cedric Jackson from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today. The signing of Jackson marks the ninth Call-Up of the 2009-10 D-League season. Jackson will wear No. 9 for the Cavaliers.

During 10 games during the month of January with Erie, he increased his averages to 21.5 points on .407 shooting, 4.7 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 2.4 steals in 35.0 minutes per game and led the BayHawks to a 6-4 record, including a four-game winning streak from Jan. 10-17. The point guard posted game highs of 34 points on 9-21 (.429) shooting and 13 assists in his most recent game with the BayHawks on Jan. 19th versus the Austin Toros. In his 14 starts this season, he is averaging 16.5 points on .369 shooting, 4.7 rebounds, 8.2 assists and 1.8 steals in 35.4 minutes per game and in 23 games (14 starts) overall, Jackson has averaged 14.7 points on .397 shooting, 4.6 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.9 steals in 31.3 minutes per game.

As a senior at Cleveland State in 2009, the 6-foot-3, 190-pounder was named 2009 Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year and to the All-Horizon League Second Team for the second consecutive season. In two seasons with the Vikings, he had career averages of 12.3 points on .405 shooting, 5.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.8 steals in 32.2 minutes per game. He is only the second Cleveland State alumnus (Darren Tillis, 1982-83) to ever play for the Cavaliers.

Sebastian Telfair out 4-6 weeks

Los Angeles Clippers guard Sebastian Telfair suffered a right groin strain and torn right adductor longus tendon in the Clippers victory over Chicago on Jan. 20. The diagnosis was confirmed when Telfair was examined by a specialist, Dr. Craig Smith, in Los Angeles earlier today.

Telfair is expected to miss a minimum of four to six weeks.

In 39 games played this season, Telfair has averaged 4.3 points and 2.9 assists in 14.3 minutes per game.

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed guard JamesOn Curry to a 10-day contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

A member of the NBA Development League’s Springfield Armor, Curry becomes the eighth Gatorade Call-Up of the 2009-10 season. The Clippers also announced that they have waived forward Kareem Rush.

With the Armor, the 6-foot-3 Curry averaged 16.1 points, 7.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 19 games this season. The former Oklahoma State standout was selected after his junior season by the Chicago Bulls in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft. Curry did not appear in a regular season game for the Bulls, but was assigned to the D-League’s Iowa Energy and averaged 20.3 points, 5.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 13 games during the 2007-08 season.

Curry, 24, played in two games for Pau-Orthez of France before returning to Iowa and averaging 12.3 points in 16 games in 2008-09. Curry spent time with Proteas EKA AEL in Cyprus this season and joined the Armor in November, 2009.

A North Carolina native, Curry finished his career at Oklahoma State as the school’s 13th all-time leading scorer with 1,363 points and the third-most three-pointers in school history (197). As a junior, Curry was as Third Team All-Big 12 selection and finished second on the team in scoring.

Rush averaged 1.3 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.6 assists in seven games with the Clippers in 2009-10. Rush suffered a torn right ACL on Nov. 17, 2009 in New Orleans and underwent season-ending surgery to repair the knee in November.

The AP reports:

Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy will miss four games because of a right hamstring injury, the team said Friday.

Roy re-injured the hamstring late in the first half of Portland’s 98-90 victory at Philadelphia on Wednesday night. He left the team for treatment in Seattle.

The two-time All-Star was originally hurt during the third quarter of the Blazers’ 120-108 home win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 13.

Spurs waive Marcus Haislip

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have waived forward Marcus Haislip to allow him to pursue opportunities outside of the NBA.

The 6-10, 230-lb Haislip appeared in 10 games for San Antonio and averaged 2.5 points and 1.0 rebounds in 4.4 minutes.

The Spurs roster stands at 14.

Hawks sign Mario West to second 10-day contract

The Atlanta Hawks today signed guard Mario West to a second 10-day contract, according to Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund.

In four games with Atlanta this season, West has averaged 1.3 ppg and 2.3 rpg in 7.8 mpg (.667 FG%, 1-1 FTs). The Georgia Tech product is in his third year with the Hawks.

George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal reports:

Mo Williams out 4-6 weeks with shoulder sprain

The reality is sinking in. The Cavaliers must adjust to playing without point guard Mo Williams, who is out from four to six weeks with a shoulder sprain.

”It’s huge. The last two years, a lot of the success we’ve had as a team has been because Mo has been our point guard,” Cavs forward LeBron James said Thursday.

Williams injured his shoulder Tuesday night while playing the Toronto Raptors, but eventually returned to the game to help lead the Cavaliers to a 108-100 victory.

”He’s our second-leading scorer, but I like the guys in that locker room,” Cavs coach Mike Brown said.

”I’m confident we’ll have other guys step up.”

Celtics assign J.R. Giddens to D-League

Celtics assign J.R. Giddens to D-League

The Boston Celtics announced today that guard J.R. Giddens has been assigned to the Maine Red Claws. Giddens is the team’s third assignment to the NBA Development League this season.

Giddens, a 6’5” guard, has appeared in 21 games for the Celtics this season and registered season-highs of six points and seven rebounds against New Jersey on January 13.

His average for the season is 1.1 points in 4.7 minutes per game.

The 27-13 Celtics are currently the no.2 seed in the Eastern conference.

DJ White out 6-8 weeks after thumb surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder forward D.J. White underwent successful surgery today to repair an avulsion fracture in his right thumb. White suffered the injury during the Thunder’s practice on Tuesday, January 19th in Minnesota.

This season White is averaging 4.8 points and 1.9 rebound in eight games for the Thunder. The 6-9 forward has also appeared in six games for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League. In those contests White averaged 18.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in 38.9 minutes per contest.

White is expected to miss 6-8 weeks recovering from the surgery.

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