Archive for February, 2010

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

Timberwolves basketball player Al Jefferson was arrested and booked into jail early this morning for allegedly driving drunk, according to jail records, and the Wolves immediately responded by suspending their leading scorer for two games.

Jefferson was arrested by the State Patrol at 1:08 a.m., a little more than three hours after the Wolves’ 110-91 loss to Portland at Target Center, and was brought to the Hennepin County Jail shorty after 2 a.m., according to the State Patrol and jail records. He was released at 3:19 a.m…

That’s a penalty that will cost Jefferson, the Wolves’ highest-paid player who earns $12 million in the second season of a five-year, $65 million contract, roughly $293,000 in lost wages.

Shaq to have right thumb surgery

Cavaliers center Shaquille O’Neal traveled to Maryland today with Cavaliers Head Team Physician Dr. Richard Parker from The Cleveland Clinic for additional evaluation of his right thumb sprain by Dr. Thomas Graham at the National Hand Center in Baltimore.

O’Neal is now scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the thumb Monday morning at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Graham, with Dr. Parker assisting.

His status will be updated following the surgery and a time table for his return to play will be established at that point. We’ll update you here on InsideHoops.com when more is known.

Almost no chance Lakers ever get LeBron James

Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James will be the star of this summer’s NBA free agent market. And as is the case with all players who expect the league maximum salary (or anything even remotely close), the safest bet is that he remains with his current team.

While LeBron’s teammates in Cleveland are not the best supporting cast in the world, they’re good enough to form a squad that currently sports a league-best 46-14 record. He’s in a winning situation. The team is one of only a few legitimate championship contenders in the league. Mainly due to LeBron. But the skills of his teammates fit in well around him.

While select other teams can offer LeBron a maximum contract this summer, the Cavs can offer a longer deal, with more money involved. And most of the teams with cap room this summer are flawed, rebuilding squads that won’t offer LeBron a better shot at a championship than his current team offers.

How about LeBron James to the Lakers? Would he entertain the notion? Sure, why not! Human beings tend to entertain lots of notions. Have you entertained the notion of marrying Jessica Alba? Is it likely? Heck no.

The Lakers have no cap room. So LeBron would have to sign at a bargain rate and make less money than Jerome James (0.0 ppg) makes on the Chicago Bulls this season.

How about trades? The Cavs will never trade LeBron James. They’d consider it only if they knew for a fact he was going to sign elsewhere, and even then the team would probably refuse to believe LeBron was really leaving and would do everything possible to change his mind if there was any indication he might take off.

Does LeBron want to be a Laker? I’m sure the thought has entered his mind. They’re the NBA champions. Every good player probably imagines themselves joining the league’s best, somehow, at some point. At least in conversation with their buddies on a rainy day.

There certainly are positives to LeBron sacrificing his NBA salary for the sake of signing with the Lakers. His market value would increase being in Los Angeles. He’d be playing on a team pretty much guaranteed to win lots of championships.  As Kobe Bryant gets old, LeBron would still be improving (if that’s even possible). So as Kobe faded, LeBron would gain even more glory. It’s fun stuff to think about. But likely? No.

I’d say there’s a 70 percent chance the Cavaliers keep LeBron. A 15 percent chance the Knicks get him. A 14.5 percent chance some other team in the league gets him. And a 0.5 percent chance (make sure you understand, that’s half of one percent) the Lakers get him.

So, it’s not impossible!

It’s also possible you win the lottery tomorrow. Good luck with that!

The Memphis Grizzlies assigned guard Lester Hudson to the Dakota Wizards, the team’s NBA Development League’s affiliate, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Hudson, who will make his third D-League appearance this season, has averaged 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds on 38.2 percent shooting in 7.4 minutes in eight appearances with Memphis after he was claimed off waivers on Jan. 8.  The 6-3, 190-pound guard has posted 2.3 points and 0.8 rebounds on 38.5 percent shooting in 5.4 minutes in 24 total games this season with the Grizzlies and Boston Celtics, who originally selected him with the 58th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

A native of Memphis, Tenn., Hudson averaged 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists on 39.7 percent shooting in 28.0 minutes in five games with the Maine Red Claws during his first two D-League stints (Dec. 15-20, Dec. 26-30).  The 25-year-old scored a D-League career-high 25 points on Dec. 16 at Erie while also collecting seven rebounds and a D-League career-best six assists.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have recalled guard/forward Danny Green from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

Green was assigned to Erie on Feb. 24 and played in two games (one start) with the BayHawks, averaging 25.5 points on .415 shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 4.0 steals, and 1.0 block in 35.5 minutes per game. In his most recent game with the BayHawks against the Dakota Wizards on Feb. 26, he scored a game-high 36 points on 13-28 shooting (.464), including making 6-12 (.500) from three-point range, and added team highs of nine rebounds and three steals in 44 minutes.

The BayHawks are the D-League affiliate of the Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors.

Kidd, Hawks coach have sideline run-in

ESPN reports:

Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Woodson drew an unusual technical foul with 1:37 remaining in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks.

Down 97-95, Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd noticed Woodson standing on the court and drove into him, causing the contact and foul.

Woodson and Kidd argued after the play, and both had to be restrained from one another.

Dirk Nowitzki made the ensuing technical free throw, and the Mavericks went on to win in overtime, 111-103.

Michael Wallace of the Miami Herald reports:

Carlos Arroyo arrested for traffic violation and resisting arrest

Heat point guard Carlos Arroyo was arrested Friday in Coral Gables and is facing charges for a traffic violation and resisting arrest.

According to the arrest report, Arroyo was spotted at 8:41 a.m. driving slow enough along the 7100 block of Old Cutler Road to the point that he was said to be impeding traffic.

Arroyo apparently was on his way to the Heat’s practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. He did not attend the workout in advance of Saturday’s game against Milwaukee…

Arroyo, 30, eventually stopped but “attempted to resist” being handcuffed when he exited his car. He was also accused of being “confrontational and challenging” and “posing a threat to both himself and officers,” the report said.

Robin Lopez scores 30 on Clippers

The AP reports:

Robin Lopez scores 30 on Clippers

Robin Lopez went to the free-throw line two points from tying the family’s single-game scoring mark.

He didn’t get it, but his career-best 30 points and 12 rebounds were more than enough to help the Phoenix Suns beat the Clippers 125-112 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.

“I wasn’t even aware of it,” said a smiling Lopez, a former San Fernando Valley resident whose twin brother, Brook, leads the fraternal competition with a 32-point game. “I was just trying to catch (teammate) Goran Dragic’s 32 points.”

Lopez made 13 of 16 shots for the Suns, who beat the Clippers for the seventh straight time.

Michael Jordan to buy Charlotte Bobcats

Agreement in place for sale of Charlotte Bobcats

Robert L. Johnson, the majority owner of Bobcats Sports and Entertainment today announced that he has signed a definitive agreement to sell majority interest of Bobcats Sports and Entertainment to Michael Jordan and MJ Basketball Holdings, LLC.  The deal is subject to NBA approval.

According to the Charlotte Observer, former Houston Rockets president George Postolos said: “I remain committed to becoming an NBA owner, and I’m glad that Michael will continue to bring his talent to the sport and the league.”

InsideHoops.com will update this page on Saturday.

The AP reports:

The purchase price and details of Jordan’s ownership group — called MJ Basketball Holdings LLC — weren’t immediately available. Blunt said Johnson would have no further comment.

Former Houston Rockets executive George Postolos also bid on the Bobcats and didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

The AP reports:

After paying $300 million for the expansion franchise that began play in 2004-05, Johnson has lost tens of millions of dollars each season as the Bobcats have struggled to draw fans and find sponsorships.

Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, recruited Jordan to be a minority investor and gave him the final say on all basketball decisions.

Three Rockets reach 30 in win over Spurs

Three Rockets reach 30 in win over Spurs

Friday night in Houston, the Rockets beat the San Antonio Spurs 109-104. Three Rockets went bonkers and scored 30 or more points. It’s the first time that has happened in team history.

Check out the post-game notes highlighting various Rockets accomplishments tonight:

- Tonight’s attendance of 18,195 marks the ninth sellout for the Rockets this season.

- Houston snapped a four-game (2/6/10-2/24/10) losing streak at Toyota Center with a 109-104 win over San Antonio tonight.

- The Rockets outscored the Spurs by a 31-14 count in the first quarter, which matched San Antonio’s season low for first quarter points (14 first on 11/6/09 at Portland). Houston’s 31 first-quarter points also marked its most over the opening 12 minutes since setting a season-high 39 first-quarter points vs. Golden State (2/2/10).

- Kevin Martin registered 33 points (9-24 FG, 14-14 FT), five rebounds and four assists tonight. Martin marked his 13th 20-point outing of the season (fourth 30-point game) and his first as a member of the Rockets.

- Luis Scola posted a career-best 30 points (8-17 FG, 14-14 FT) and 13 rebounds tonight, marking his 21st double-double of the season and the 59th double-double of his career. Scola’s previous high was 28 points (10-15 FG, 8-10 FT) at Golden State (4/10/09).

- Martin and Scola each tied Houston’s individual record for most free throws made in a game without a miss is 14-of-14 (14-14 FT by Don Kojis on 3/1/69 vs. L.A. Lakers, 14-14 FT by Cuttino Mobley on 3/8/01 vs. L.A. Clippers and 14-14 FT Yao Ming on 11/9/07 vs. Milwaukee). They were also the first Rockets tandem to go perfect from the line with 10 or more attempts since Calvin Murphy (10-10 FT) and Jimmy Walker (10-10 FT) vs. Golden State (11/22/1972).

- Aaron Brooks added 31 points (13-23 FG, 1-3 3FG) and three assists tonight. Brooks has now made at least one 3-pointer in a career-best 30 consecutive games (12/22/09-2/26/10), which is the second-longest such streak in team history (37 by Luther Head from 11/4/06-1/13/07).

- Tonight marked the second time this season the Rockets have had three starters net 20-plus points in the same game: Trevor Ariza (28), Shane Battier (23) and Luis Scola (20) at Sacramento (11/13/09). The last time prior to 2009-10 that three starters each posted 20 points in the same outing was back in 2006-07 (Yao-30, McGrady-25, Alston-21 on 4/14/07 vs. New Orleans).

- Tonight also marked the second time this season that a Rockets tandem reached 30 points in the same game (Brooks-34 and Landry-31 on 1/6/10 at Phoenix) and the first time ever in team history for three players with 30 points in the same outing.

- George Hill scored a career-high 26 points (8-14 FG, 3-5 3FG, 7-8 FT) tonight, netting 11 in the third quarter. His previous best was 23 twice before (last on 2/3/10 at Sacramento).

- Tim Duncan, who had 25 points (15-21 FT) and 14 rebounds in the last meeting at San Antonio (1/22/10), had 17 points (8-17 FG) and eight boards tonight.

- Manu Ginobili finished with eight points (1-8 FG, 6-6 FT) and a season-high 10 rebounds tonight. Ginobili has actually missed the last two Rockets-Spurs contests in Houston (3/14/09 and 11/27/09). He finished with 11 points (2-6 FG) and five turnovers in 21:42 off the bench in his last game played at Houston (11/29/08).

- Tony Park was placed on the inactive list tonight. Parker also missed two previous games due to a left hip flexor sprain (missed 2/11/10 at Denver and at 2/21/10 at Detroit).

Eddy Curry should bring his A-game

Eddy Curry should bring his A-game

By Jerald Hoover

New York Knicks center Eddy Curry should seize the moment, get his act together, get in shape and become a viable part of the rotation.

With the trade of Jared Jeffries and Jordan Hill, the club was left devoid of bigs.  True, Jeffries nor Hill are what you would call “classic centers” but they were 6-feet-11 inches.

For all of Tracy McGrady’s  wondrous gifts and talents as a basketball player, the hot shooting that Eddie House can provide and for all of the flashy passes that Sergio Rodriguez can throw, there isn’t a real BIG MAN to provide lost post scoring.  Curry is a horrible defender and that’s well known but he is a huge seven-footer that could be a real BEAST down low.

If McGrady stays healthy and can play like a star, perhaps it’ll bring the best out in Curry, if he ever sees the floor.

Curry is talented, and if he needs to be coddled, pampered and consoled to an extent then do it, if you can get 20 points and at least five rebounds and a block or two.  That would allow Coach D’Antoni to move David Lee to his natural position of power forward and the Knicks can become a little more conventional.

Tough to say whether coach Mike D’Antoni will ever give Curry a shot, and no one is sure if Curry is in the type of shape needed to play in the first place.

Jerald L Hoover is a producer and director of a Mount V, NY basketball documentary: Four Square Miles to Glory.

NBA fines Andrew Bynum

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has been fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing game officials, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Bynum was fined for his comments made following the Lakers 101-96 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News reports:

“It’s hard to win when it’s five against eight,” Bynum said Wednesday.

He meant it was difficult to play against five Mavs plus the three referees. Bynum said he had expected to be fined for the first time in his career.

“I knew it was going to happen,” he said. “Whether it’s fair is debatable.”

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Shaun Livingston to a ten-day contract.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

A former “Mr. Basketball” in Illinois (2003-04), Livingston led Peoria Central High (Peoria, IL) to Class AA state titles in 2003 and 2004 before jumping straight to the NBA as the L.A. Clippers’ first-round pick (fourth overall) in the 2004 NBA Draft.  Livingston has appeared in 167 games (61 starts) in parts of five seasons in the NBA, compiling career averages of 6.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.  He most recently appeared in 10 games this season for the Oklahoma City Thunder and also played briefly for the NBA D-League’s Tulsa 66ers in 2008-09.  Livingston was enjoying his best professional season as a member of the Clippers in 2006-07 (9.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.1 apg, .463 fg% in 29.8 mpg) before sustaining a season-ending knee injury on February 26 that kept him out of action for the duration of the 2007-08 season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have recalled forward Darnell Jackson from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

Jackson was assigned to Erie on Wednesday and played in the BayHawks’ 114-108 victory over the Dakota Wizards last night. He posted game highs of 34 points on 14-22 shooting (.636) and 12 rebounds while adding two assists, four steals and one block in 42 minutes. Pending his arrival in Toronto this afternoon, he will be available to play tonight for the Cavaliers in their 7 p.m. game versus the Raptors.

The BayHawks are the D-League affiliate of the Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors.

Guillermo Contreras of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

Local and federal authorities are searching for former Spurs player Alvin Robertson, who is wanted in connection with a sex trafficking ring that allegedly forced a 14-year-old girl to have sex with men throughout San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

Authorities announced charges against seven people tied to the ring on Friday morning. Of the seven, Robertson is the only one who hasn’t been arrested, said Deputy Ino Badillo, a spokesman for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.

“We don’t know where he is,” Badillo said. “We have ICE (Immigration Custom Enforcement) and other agencies looking for him.”

Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports:

Stephen Jackson wants to make All-Star team

Charlotte Bobcats guard Stephen Jackson took a nice, little vacation during the All-Star break: tropical weather, good food, umbrellas in the drinks.

He’d rather have been working. And it saddens him he might never get the chance to work the Sunday of All-Star Weekend.

“I’m not on (NBA commissioner) David Stern’s favorites list because of a couple of incidents,” Jackson said when asked why he’s never been selected for an All-Star Game.

“I get really depressed when I don’t get in because I think that’s one of the last things on my ‘to-achieve’ list. I won a championship (in San Antonio) and I’ve gotten better every year. My last two goals are to be on first- or second-team All-NBA and to play in an All-Star Game.” …

“I thought the All-Star Game was about (assembling) the 20 best players in the league, not the guys who they want (promoted) to sell tickets. Nothing against (the Knicks’) David Lee, but he made it and my team has a better record,” Jackson said.

Mike Baldwin of the Oklahoman reports:

Kevin Durant streak of consecutive 25-point games ends

Kevin Durant’s streak of consecutive 25-point game ended at 29 Wednesday night in a loss at San Antonio. Thunder coach Scott Brooks said the streak was never a priority. Brooks’ only caveat was Durant shoot within the offense.

Durant scored 30 or more points in 23 of the 29 games, shot 50.8 percent from the field and drained half his 102 3-point attempts.

One key was Durant got to the free-thrown line an average of 11 times a game, while attempting just over 20 field goal attempts.

The AP reports:

Manu Ginobili didn’t believe he would actually stuff Kevin Durant when the NBA’s leading scorer elevated for a runaway dunk on a crucial fast break in the final minutes.

“I was more expecting to be dunked on, to tell you the truth,” Ginobili said.

Think again.

Coming almost out of nowhere to block Durant and deny Oklahoma City from retaking the lead, Ginobili made what Thunder coach Scott Brooks called a “superhero” play that propelled the San Antonio Spurs to a 95-87 victory on Wednesday night.

The AP reports:

The block had other repercussions: It helped finally end Durant’s streak of scoring 25 points or more at 29 games. He finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, marking the first time Durant has scored fewer than 25 points since Dec. 19.

Manu Ginobili feels like himself again

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

Manu Ginobili feels great

Manu Ginobili, the beating heart of a four-time NBA champion, has declared he feels like, well, Manu Ginobili.

The importance of such self-actualization can’t be overstated for a team that will play the Rockets at the Toyota Center still seventh in the Western Conference.

“I feel great, and I bet you can tell,” Ginobili said after submitting Exhibits A through Z in a Wednesday night victory against the Thunder. The performance gave every Spur aboard the short flight to Houston reason to believe a late-season surge is possible.

The 32-year-old guard scored 26 points Wednesday, his second-highest output of the season and his sixth game with at least 20 in the past nine outings.

Sacramento Kings’ forward Jason Thompson will miss up to two weeks of action with two non-displaced transverse processes fractures in his lower back, which were confirmed by X-Rays taken today.

Thompson, currently in his second NBA season, is averaging 12.7 points (.458 FGs, .717 FTs), 8.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.05 blocks per game through 55 outings of which he has started in 50.

Grizzlies assign Hasheem Thabeet to D-League

The Memphis Grizzlies assigned center Hasheem Thabeet to the Dakota Wizards, Memphis’ NBA D-League affiliate, it was announced today.

The assignment is the 23rd time an NBA player has been assigned to an NBA D-League affiliate this season.

Thabeet, the second overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, becomes the highest-drafted NBA player to join an NBA D-League roster.  In 50 games for Memphis this season, he averaged 2.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 10.3 minutes.

A 7-3 native of Tanzania, Thabeet played three seasons at the University of Connecticut, averaging 10.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in 100 career NCAA games.  Named the Big East Co-Player of the Year and the Big East Defensive Player of the year in 2009, Thabeet was also a two-time NABC National Defensive Player of the Year.  During his final campaign at UConn, Thabeet averaged 13.6 points, 20.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocks (second in the nation).

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