Archive for January, 2010

For the first time the NBA will hold a nationally televised slam dunk competition - the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In - to determine one of the participants in the Slam Dunk contest, the NBA announced today.  This one-round slam dunk-in competition will be held during halftime of the Rookie Challenge game on Friday, Feb. 12, and fans will determine the winner by voting via SMS text message and at NBA.com.

The NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In will air live on TNT, which will televise the Rookie Challenge (9 p.m. ET) from American Airlines Center in Dallas.

TNT will announce the participants in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In on-air during NBA Tip-Off on Thurs., Jan 14, at 8 p.m. ET.

TNT’s coverage of All-Star Weekend will continue Saturday from American Airlines Center in Dallas with All-Star Saturday Night (8 p.m. ET), including the Slam Dunk contest, and will conclude Sunday from Cowboys Stadium with the 59th NBA All-Star Game (8 p.m. ET).

The participants will have two dunks each, with a two-minute time limit to complete each dunk.

Fans will determine the winner of the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk-In by voting via SMS Text message or on NBA.com during the Rookie Challenge game. Voting polls will open at the beginning of the event and close two minutes after the final dunk. The player with a higher percentage of overall votes will advance to participate in the Slam Dunk contest on All-Star Saturday Night. The other three contestants in the Slam Dunk will be announced on Monday, Jan. 18.

Blake Griffin to undergo season-ending surgery

After experiencing some discomfort during his recently-accelerated rehabilitation program, Clippers’ forward Blake Griffin was examined Tuesday afternoon by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

As a result of that examination, it has been determined that the healing in his left patella area has not improved to the expected required level. Griffin will undergo a surgical procedure in the near future, with a recovery prognosis of four to six months. Team personnel will be made available to the media. Further details will be made available as events develop.

Previously on December 23rd, after undergoing a CT Scan and MRI Griffin had been cleared to increase his rehabilitation workload.

Griffin, the first overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, suffered a non-displaced stress fracture of his left patella during the Clippers’ last preseason game vs. the New Orleans Hornets on Friday, October 23rd.

He has not played in the 2009-10 NBA regular season at all.

Trail Blazers re-assign Patrick Mills to D-League

Portland Trail Blazers guard Patrick Mills was re-assigned to the Idaho Stampede, Portland’s NBA D-League affiliate, it was announced today.  Mills’ assignment is the 12th to an NBA D-League affiliate this season.

During his first assignment to the Stampede earlier this month, Mills appeared in two games, averaging 30.0 points, shooting 21-of-37 from the field, to go with 7.5 assists in 34.0 minutes.  He scored a team-high 38 points against the Reno Bighorns on Jan. 1.

Originally selected by Portland with the 55th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Mills has appeared in one game for the Trail Blazers this season, recording two assists in five minutes on Jan. 4 at the Los Angeles Clippers.

A two-year contributor at St. Mary’s (Calif.), Mills twice earned First Team All-West Coast Conference.  Named West Coast Conference Newcomer of the Year as a freshman, Mills was also selected to the Naismith Trophy Award Mid-Season Top-30 list during his sophomore season.

Mills averaged a team-high 14.2 points to go with 2.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 23 minutes for his native Australia at the Beijing Olympics becoming the youngest player in Australian history to compete in the Olympic Games in basketball.

Rockets recall Joey Dorsey from D-League

Rockets recall Joey Dorsey from D-League

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that forward/center Joey Dorsey has been recalled from the team’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

“Joey has really used this opportunity and added playing time to work on his game and continue his development,” said Rockets Vice President of Player Personnel/General Manager of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers Gersson Rosas. “With guidance from the Houston Rockets coaching staff, Head Coach Chris Finch and his group have done a great job in working with Joey, giving him the direction needed to bring his level of play up to where he was named to the 2010 NBA D-League All-Showcase First Team. In addition, it was encouraging to see Joey as one of the top rebounders in the league and also in playing a major role in the Vipers first-place standing in the Western Conference.”

Dorsey (6-8, 268, Memphis), who has yet to see game action with the Rockets this season, averaged 14.9 points (.647, 97-150 FG), 13.3 rebounds (second in D-League) and 1.38 blocks in 16 games (16 starts) with Rio Grande Valley this season. Assigned to the Vipers on Nov. 13, Dorsey recorded 10 or more rebounds in 13 outings and posted nine double-doubles (tied for fourth in D-League). He scored a season-best 27 points (13-15 FG) and grabbed 15 boards in a 103-95 victory vs. Reno (12/21/09). Dorsey later matched his season high with 27 points (11-11 FG, 5-9 FT) and pulled down a career-high 22 rebounds (11 offensive) in leading Rio Grande Valley to a 115-107 win vs. Bakersfield (1/6/10) at the NBA Development League Showcase in Boise, Idaho. He was also named a member of the 2010 NBA Development League Showcase First Team.

Hornets Owner George Shinn underwent successful surgery today to remove his prostate and will begin immediate rehab.  Shinn was diagnosed with prostate cancer in early November and has been committed to living a healthy lifestyle and remaining positive.  The surgery removed 100 percent of the cancer, and Shinn is expected to make a full recovery. Shinn will complete most of his rehab out of town and looks forward to returning to his regular work routine soon.

The surgery was completed by Dr. Patrick Walsh at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution in Baltimore.

“Following today’s successful surgery to completely remove the cancer, Mr. Shinn will begin the process to a full and speedy recovery and is anxious to return to the Hive to watch his team play and enjoy the recent success the team is experiencing,” said Hornets Team Spokesman Harold Kaufman.  “With the support of his immediate and extended Hornets family, Mr. Shinn is an example of how positive thinking and the power of prayer can serve you in your own time of need.  He will conduct the majority of his rehab out of town for the next few weeks, but looks forward to thanking everyone in person for their well wishes and prayers.”

Kendrick Perkins deserves praise

Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins is known for rugged and great complimentary play, and consistent scowling. He’s having yet another fine season.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reports:

Kendrick Perkins deserves praise

In the past five games - three wins - Perkins has averaged 15.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks. Among Eastern Conference centers, Perkins is first in field goal percentage, sixth in scoring, and eighth in blocks. He has turned into a defensive presence because of his improved conditioning and footwork.

“He’s a load, he knows his role, he knows how to play the game,’’ Bosh said. “He’s not saying a lot. He’s not asking for the ball a lot. He’s a strong post player. He knows where to pick and choose his spots.’’

Perkins had 11 points and nine rebounds against Horford and an Atlanta team that backed into a zone defense in the second half.

“Every time you come in and play Boston, you know it’s going to be a war,’’ said Horford, who had 9 points and 12 rebounds. “They may blow you out but you are not going to blow them out. It’s a war.”

For the season, Perkins is putting up 12.4 points, 8.2 rebounds (no.26 in NBA) and 1.94 blocks (no.8 in NBA) per game while shooting a ridiculously high 63.9 percent (no.1 in NBA) from the field.

Luke Walton finally plays

Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News reports:

Luke Walton finally plays

Luke Walton’s long wait to play ended Tuesday night.

He peeled off his sweats and entered the Lakers’ game against the San Antonio Spurs with 5.1 seconds left in the first half, his first appearance in two months.

OK, so it wasn’t exactly a significant one. He didn’t handle the ball as the Lakers misfired on a last-second play before halftime. But it marked his return to action after an extended absence because of a back injury.

Walton also played 5 minutes, 55 seconds in the fourth quarter, scoring four points on 2-for-4 shooting in the Lakers’ 105-85 defeat.

With Pau Gasol sidelined for a fifth consecutive game because of a strained left hamstring and backup small forward Adam Morrison suffering from an illness, Lakers coach Phil Jackson turned to Walton for help up front.

TMZ reports: Basketball fans in Memphis went streaming for the exits in droves during the third quarter during a game between the Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers — after signs informed fans there was an emergency — but it was all a false alarm. Law enforcement sources tell TMZ the drama was all over a busted water main.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports: FedExForum was evacuated tonight when a broken water line caused fire alarms to go off in the building, stopping the Grizzlies’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers. With 47.8 seconds left in the third quarter, a message came on the scoreboard for the crowd at the game to evacuate the building.

InsideHoops.com reports: The game has resumed play. The arena is now almost completely empty.

Tom Enlund of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (via blog):

Scott Skiles back on job after hospital visit

Coach Scott Skiles was back on the job Tuesday and feeling fine after missing Monday’s game against Phoenix due to a hospital visit.

Shortly before the start of the Bucks’ 105-101 loss to the Suns, Skiles was taken to a hospital in Phoenix for precautionary purposes due to an irregular heartbeat.

But all systems were go on Tuesday where Skiles was concerned.

“I feel good,” he said. “Normal. It’s something that happens to me about once a year since 2001. I take medication for it. It’s not uncommon. A lot of people have it. Unfortunately yesterday the medication didn’t take care of it and I had to go to the hospital.”

Hawks sign Mario West to 10-day contract

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

West, who attended Douglas County High School in Douglasville before a four-year career at Georgia Tech, has appeared in 117 regular season games (five starts) with the Hawks over the last two years, averaging 0.9 ppg and 0.9 rpg in 4.6 mpg (.422 FG%, .554 FT%). He’s also seen action in 17 playoff contests with the Hawks, putting up 0.4 ppg (.231 FG%) in 3.1 mpg.

Last regular season, he played in 53 games, and averaged 0.8 ppg and 1.1 rpg in 5.1 mpg (.412 FG%, .467 FT%). In 11 postseason contests, West compiled 0.5 ppg and 0.5 rpg in 4.2 mpg.

This season, West attended training camp with the Hawks, and saw action in five preseason games, compiling 2.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 1.0 spg (.417 FG%, 1-1 3FGs). He was waived by the Hawks on October 21, and has played in 11 games (six starts) with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League, where he recorded 13.7 ppg, 4.1 apg, 2.9 rpg and 1.3 spg (.490 FG%, .250 3FG%, .672 FT%) in 29.7 mpg.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound guard will once again wear uniform no. 6.

Kevin Martin set to return

Kevin Martin set to return

Sacramento Kings’ guard Kevin Martin today has been cleared for full contact participation after he was examined by Dr. Robert Szabo. Martin will practice tomorrow and accompany the team on the upcoming six-game, 10-day road trip.

Martin underwent surgery to repair a non displaced hairline fracture of the navicular bone in his left wrist on November 9th. He averaged a team-leading 30.6 points per game through the first five outings of the season before missing the last 31 games due to the injury.

The 15-21 Kings are currently the 13th seed out of 15 teams in the strong Western conference.

The AP reports:

Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat before Monday night’s 105-101 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Jim Boylan, who coached in Skiles’ absence, said the coach was doing well.

“He’s fine,” Boylan said. “He’ll be joining us in Portland. He has a little arrhythmia.”

Pops Mensah-Bonsu signs in Russia

Euroleague.net reports: Already planning for the Euroleague’s next round, CSKA Moscow on Tuesday announced the siging of center Pops Mensah-Bonsu for the remainder of the season, pending the medical tests. Mensah-Bonsu (206, 26) will replace Courtney Sims, who had been on a tryout with CSKA during the last two weeks. Mensah-Bonsu arrives from Toronto of the NBA, where he averaged 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in 53 games.

Knicks believe OKC hotel was haunted

Lots of NBA basketball talk revolves around minor things like offense, defense, wins, and losses. While those trivial things are perhaps worthy of at least partial attention, there’s not enough emphasis on haunted hotel discussion.

That’s right. Teams have to worry about whether the hotel they’re staying in is filled with ghosts. Or at least that’s a concern some Knicks players had when visiting Oklahoma City to play the Thunder.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports:

For two days, several players had trouble sleeping because they were convinced that their downtown hotel is haunted.

“I definitely believe it,” Jared Jeffries said. “The place is haunted. It’s scary.”

Eddy Curry claims he slept for only two hours Sunday night because he couldn’t stop thinking about ghosts roaming the hotel.

For years, guests staying at the Skirvin Hilton have reported ghost sightings and strange noises.

The Thunder should urge all visiting teams to stay there. That’s a pretty sweet advantage!

Anthony Randolph out 2 months

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Anthony Randolph out 2 months

Anthony Randolph is the latest player in the Warriors’ string of long-term medical woes. He is projected to miss about two months with multiple left ankle injuries, the team announced before Monday’s game against Cleveland.

An MRI exam revealed Randolph has two torn ligaments on the outside of the ankle and an avulsion fracture where an inside ligament pulled away from the bone. He’ll be in a protective boot for three weeks before starting rehabilitation, which usually takes at least four weeks for similar injuries.

“I expected it to be a long time, and I think it will be,” coach Don Nelson said. “I wouldn’t call it season-ending, but I think it will be pretty close.”

InsideHoops talks to Jodie Meeks

Milwaukee Bucks rookie guard Jodie Meeks was selected 41st overall (second round) of the 2009 NBA draft and made a positive impression in NBA summer league play.

At Kentucky, he had a famous 54-point game on 15-of-22 shooting with 10-of-15 three-pointers in a win over Tennessee.

The 6-4, 208-pound scorer is getting limited court time in his first season, averaging 4.7 points and 1.9 rebounds in 13.2 minutes per game. But he’s talented and has a bright future.

Read more: http://www.insidehoops.com/meeks-interview-011210.shtml

Michael Redd out for season

Michael Redd out for season

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced today that guard Michael Redd will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee during the second period of the Bucks loss at Los Angeles on Sunday, January 10.

Redd, 30, underwent an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) exam this morning in Phoenix, AZ, which revealed the injury.  Surgery to repair the injury will be scheduled at a date to be determined.

“We are deeply disappointed for Michael who worked so hard to make it back from this injury,” said Hammond.  “We know Michael will work tirelessly to get himself healthy again and we will support him fully in his efforts.

“Although Michael is out for the season, we still have over half the season to play.  That gives all of our players, especially our younger guys, the opportunity to earn more playing time the rest of the season.”

Redd suffered the same injury last season in a home win over Sacramento on January 24, 2009, and had surgery on March 3, 2009, to repair the injury.

“It’s hard to explain the emotions that I’m feeling,” said Redd.  “I know the amount of hard work it will take for me to get back to playing and helping our team, but I will continue to put my trust in God to get me though this.”

In 18 games this season (12 starts), Redd averaged 11.9 points with 3.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steal in 27.3 minutes.

Redd is in his 10th season with the Bucks, tied with Junior Bridgeman (75-84, 86-87) and Sidney Moncrief (79-89) for the most seasons in team history. On January 5 at New Jersey, Redd moved past Bob Dandridge (11,478) for fourth place on the franchise list in scoring and currently stands at 11,510 points, 84 points behind Sidney Moncrief’s third place mark (11,594).

This season Redd passed Sidney Moncrief (4,000) for seventh place in field goals made on December 16 against the Lakers and also passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,407) for second place in free throws made on December 26 against San Antonio.  He’s one three-pointer shy of 1,000 for his career and 52 away from Ray Allen’s (1,051) franchise leading total for three pointers.  Through Sunday’s game, there are 53 players in NBA history with at least 1,000 three pointers.

Redd is also tied for seventh place with Glenn Robinson for games played (568), in fifth place for minutes played (19,205) and 36 steals shy of 600 for his career; just 43 away from Junior Bridgeman and Terry Cummings’ ninth place total in franchise history (607).

Hornets trade Hilton Armstrong to Kings

Hornets trade Hilton Armstrong to Kings

The Sacramento Kings today acquired the services of center-forward Hilton Armstrong in a trade with the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for a conditional 2016 second round pick and cash considerations, according to Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

“We’re looking forward to having Hilton join the team,” explained Petrie. “He gives us an athletic player who can play the four and five positions. We think he can come in and contribute and we’re looking forward to watching him play.”

Armstrong, who is currently in his fourth NBA season, is averaging 2.8 points (.380 FGs, .464 FTs) and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Hornets through 18 outings. He has amassed career averages of 3.6 points (.513 FGs, .605 FTs) and 2.7 rebounds per game through 209 contests.

Selected as the 12th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by New Orleans, Armstrong enjoyed a four-year career at the University of Connecticut and was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

Nets trade Eduardo Najera to Mavs

The New Jersey Nets have acquired forwards Kris Humphries and Shawne Williams from the from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Eduardo Najera, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.

Humphries, currently in his sixth NBA season, holds career averages of 4.3 ppg and 3.1 rpg in 313 games with Utah, Toronto and Dallas.  The 6’9” forward out of the University of Minnesota was the first round pick (14th overall) of the Utah Jazz in the 2004 NBA Draft.  After two seasons with the Jazz, Humphries was traded on 6/8/06 to the Toronto Raptors.  Following three seasons in Toronto, Humphries was traded to Dallas this past offseason (7/9/09).  This season, Humphries has played in 25 games for the Mavericks, averaging 5.6 ppg and 3.8 rpg in 12.6 mpg.  He has season highs of 15 points on 11/20 vs. Sacramento and 11 rebounds on 11/27 at Indiana.

Williams, currently in his fourth NBA season has career averages of 7.6 ppg and 3.7 rpg in 15 games with Indiana and Dallas.  The former first round draft pick (17th overall) of the Pacers in 2006 has been on the Mavericks inactive list every game this season.

Najera (6-8, 235) will be returning to Dallas after playing his first four professional seasons for the Mavericks. Dallas originally acquired the rights to Najera in a draft night trade with Houston on June 28, 2000. He played in 208 games (34 starts) as a Maverick averaging 4.9 points and 3.9 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per contest. Najera also played in 39 postseason games with Dallas, including 19 games (5 starts) in 2003 when the Mavericks advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

Nets waive Sean Williams

Nets waive Sean Williams

The New Jersey Nets have requested waivers on forward Sean Williams, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.

Williams, who was selected by the Nets in the first round (17th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, averaged 4.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 1.2 bpg in 126 career games.  This season, Williams appeared in 20 games for New Jersey with averages of 2.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg and 1.0 bpg.

A terrific athlete with big hops, Williams is still developing his actual basketball skills.

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