Archive for February, 2010

Tulsa 66ers sign Chris Richard

Tulsa 66ers sign Chris Richard

The Tulsa 66ers announced today the re-acquisition of forward Chris Richard.

The 6-9 forward was called-up on a 10-day contract to the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 6, averaging 2.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists in five games.

The two-time national champion from the University of Florida started nine games earlier this season with the 66ers, averaging 10.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. The former number one selection for the 66ers in the 2008 NBA D-League Draft played 20 games during the 2008-09 season, averaging 12.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists for Tulsa.

In order to make room on the roster for Richard, the 66ers released forward Rodney Webb. Richard will wear number 32 and is expected to be in uniform tonight at home against the Springfield Armor at 7 p.m.

Jerry Stackhouse helping Bucks

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (via blog):

Jerry Stackhouse hardly played last season with Dallas due to injuries, and he hadn’t played at all this season until the Bucks signed him in mid-January.

But the 35-year-old forward has discovered a key role as part of a productive Bucks bench. On Wednesday he played 25 minutes and contributed 13 points, four assists and four rebounds in the Bucks’ 115-95 victory over New Orleans.

Coach Scott Skiles likes to go to Stackhouse in the second quarter, and the veteran has justified his coach’s faith more often than not.

“I kind of know where to pick my spots,” Stackhouse said. “Even though you’ve been around for 15 years, it’s not that all these guys know your game.

NBA bans chewing on straws

ESPN reports:

One of the first things many people noticed about Caron Butler after his arrival to the Dallas Mavericks is that the guard likes to chew straws during games.

The NBA obviously took notice as well.

NBA executive vice president Stu Jackson phoned Butler on Tuesday and told him to leave his straws at home. Butler did not play against the Los Angeles Lakers due to a reaction to medication, so he was unavailable for comment.

But the Mavs confirmed that the league is serious about outlawing straw chewing.

“It’s against the rules,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said.


It certainly makes sense for the NBA to not want players on a basketball court at games to have any sort of objects with them, aside from protective items worn for health reasons.

As for chewing straws while on the bench, well, let’s face it, the act of taking a piece of plastic and sticking it in your mouth to chew on is a bit silly-looking. And it’s not the most fun thing to look at. Perhaps the NBA wants to prevent its star employees from looking extra silly while doing their very public jobs.

Also, let’s say a fan throws beer at Ron Artest. If he has a little plastic straw with him, it becomes a deadly weapon!

Wizards waive Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has waived center Zydrunas Ilgauskas after coming to a mutual agreement on a contract buyout.

According to the Washington Post, “according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, the 7-foot-3 agreed to surrender $1.5 million in a buyout agreement with the Washington Wizards. The two sides agreed on the terms late Wednesday night, the paperwork was finalized this morning and now Ilguaskas is free to go where he pleases. Ilgauskas was acquired from Cleveland as part of a three-team trade that sent Antawn Jamison to the Cavaliers. The Wizards owed Ilgauskas nearly $3.5 million on the remainder of his $11.5 million contract and Ilgauskas also received a $600,000 trade kicker as part of the deal. But Ilgauskas spent more than one-third of that money in order to play for the team of his choice.”

“We agreed to terms with Zydrunas on a contract buyout, giving us further financial flexibility and allowing our young big men to continue to develop over the remainder of the season,” said Grunfeld.

It is widely expected that Ilgauskas may wind up re-signing with his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, in the coming weeks.

Ilgauskas was originally acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers along with a 2010 first round pick and the rights to Emir Preldzic as part of a three-team deal in which they also acquired Al Thornton from the Los Angeles Clippers while sending Antawn Jamison to Cleveland and Drew Gooden to Los Angeles (the Clippers sent Sebastian Telfair to Cleveland to complete the trade).

The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned guard/forward Danny Green and forward Darnell Jackson to the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Cavaliers General Manager Danny Ferry announced today.

Green has played in 13 games for the Cavaliers this season and has averaged 2.5 points on .480 shooting and 0.7 rebounds in 5.2 minutes per game. Jackson has averaged 0.8 points on .348 shooting and 0.8 rebounds in 4.0 minutes per game in 23 games. In two games with the BayHawks during the 2008-09 season, Jackson averaged 19.5 points on .652 shooting and 6.0 rebounds in 25.5 minutes per game. Both Green and Jackson will be available to play tomorrow night for Erie in their game versus the Dakota Wizards at 7 p.m. at the Tullio Arena in Erie.

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

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

Harris (6-6, 235 lbs.) averaged 26.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in 28 games (25 starts) for the NBA D-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers prior to becoming the 15th call-up this season.  This is Harris’ second call-up of 2009-10, as he previously averaged 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in two games played with the Houston Rockets.  Harris has averaged 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 19 career NBA games (all with Houston).

After leaving Rice University as the school’s all-time leading scorer (2,014 points) and rebounder (1,111 rebounds), Harris has also played professionally for BC Kyiv of the Ukrainian Super League (2005-06), the Colorado 14ers of the NBA D-League (2006-07), and the Dongguan New Century Leopards of the Chinese Basketball Association (2007-08).

Harris’ signing brings Washington’s roster to 16.

Mavericks sign Von Wafer to 10-day contract

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed guard Von Wafer to a 10-day contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wafer (6-5, 210) joins the Mavericks after spending the 2008-09 season with Houston. He averaged 9.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 19.4 minutes in 63 games (11 starts) with the Rockets.

The five-year NBA veteran, who was a second round selection (39th overall) of the Los Angeles Lakers, owns career marks of 6.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 13.3 minutes in 109 games (11 starts) with the Lakers, L.A. Clippers, Denver, Portland and Houston. He has also played in the D-League and internationally in Greece.

A native of Homer, La., Wafer was an early-entry candidate in the 2005 NBA Draft after averaging 12.5 points and 2.5 rebounds as a sophomore at Florida State. Wafer earned McDonald’s High School All-America honors as a senior at Heritage Christian Academy (Cleveland, Texas) where he led the Eagles with averages of 26.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 4.0 blocks.

The Mavericks roster stands at 14 players.

Marcus Thornton scores 37 in loss

John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

Marcus Thornton scores 37 in loss

In front of a crowd used to seeing LeBron James dominate opponents at Quicken Loans Arena, New Orleans Hornets rookie shooting guard Marcus Thornton upstaged the reigning league MVP and current scoring leader Tuesday night.

Thornton set a franchise record with a 23-point second quarter before finishing with a game- and career-high 37 on 15-of-22 shooting. Despite his career night, Thornton still ended up on the losing end as the Cleveland Cavaliers closed out the fourth quarter with a flurry to defeat the Hornets 105-95 before 20,562.

The loss snapped New Orleans’ two-game winning streak. The Hornets (30-27) entered trailing the Portland Trail Blazers by a game for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Cleveland ended a three-game losing streak.

Jayson Williams sentenced to five years

Former NBA big-man Jayson Williams has had major ongoing legal issues for what feels like about 90 years in a row now, but it appears there’s finally some resolution.

The AP reports:

Former NBA star Jayson Williams was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday for fatally shooting a hired limo driver in 2002, ending an eight-year legal odyssey.

Williams, who tearfully apologized to the victim’s family, will be eligible for parole in 18 months.

Williams, avoiding a retrial on a reckless manslaughter count that deadlocked the jury at his 2004 trial, pleaded guilty last month to aggravated assault in the death of Costas Christofi on Feb. 14, 2002. At the same 2004 trial, he was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter but convicted on four counts of covering up the shooting.

I hope this is the last of it. Williams and others associated with this case probably would be happy to move on, as well — for different reasons, of course.

Recently traded from the New York Knicks to the Boston Celtics, scoring guard Nate Robinson definitely notices the difference between the atmosphere around a losing team and that of a winning one.

Frank Dell’Apa of the Boston Globe reports:

Nate Robinson will not miss post-game interviews in New York

Nate Robinson said he will not miss being in New York, at least taking part in postgame interviews.

“It’s tough to lose every night and get asked the same questions, what’s the problem?’’ Robinson said. “Here, we’re here to win every night, not take ‘Ls,’ and they carry themselves that way, and I have carried myself that way my whole life.

“Doc is honest and straightforward, and as a player that’s what you want from a coach, to always be honest with you and explain exactly what he wants you to do. He’s all about winning. I’ve been a winner all my life and that’s something I want to continue to be.

“Doc makes you that much more confident in becoming a winner. He said just come in and just be Nate. He doesn’t want to change me, just come in and be ready to play. I play with energy, play for the love of game.’’

It’s safe to say that New York media members look forward to covering a winning team. So hopefully they won’t have to ask such questions like the ones Nate didn’t like in the near future.

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe reports:

Eddie House gets standing ovation in Boston

At times last night, Eddie House found himself joking around with Rajon Rondo on the court, and at others he was making plays against him. Back at TD Garden almost instantly after being traded from the Celtics to the Knicks last week at the deadline, House got a standing ovation from the crowd of 18,624 fans.

“It was hard to stay serious at times, but it was a lot of fun,’’ House said. “I was glad to see those guys. I wish the best of luck to those guys, best of luck to Nate  [Robinson, who came to Boston in the deal], and best of success to those guys.’’

In the first quarter, a video tribute to House was played, flashing moments from the Celtics’ 2008 championship run, and House did his best not to look before finally coming onto the parquet and giving a nod to the fans and his former teammates.

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has recalled guard Jermaine Taylor from Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley. Taylor was re-assigned to the Vipers on Feb. 19.

Taylor (6-4, 210, Central Florida) has averaged 19.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.00 steals in six games (two starts) with the Vipers. In his first stint with Rio Grande Valley, Taylor posted back-to-back 30-point outings at Albuquerque (30 points on 2/2/10 and 32 points on 2/3/10). A rookie out of Central Florida, Taylor has averaged 2.6 points and 0.2 assists in 17 games with the Rockets this season.

Kings waive Larry Hughes

Kings waive Larry Hughes

The Sacramento Kings today waived guard Larry Hughes. Hughes was acquired from the New York Knicks as part of a three-team trade on February 18, 2010, and did not appear in any contests with Sacramento.

Overall this season Hughes, when playing for the New York Knicks before coming to Sacramento, averaged 9.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 26.5 minutes per game.

For his career, Hughes averages 14.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 31.2 minutes per game.

The Kings roster now stands at 14.

The AP reports:

After becoming part-owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Jianhua ‘Kenny’ Huang’s next goal is to transform pro basketball in his homeland of China.

As an investor in China’s National Basketball League, Huang says he’ll introduce cutting-edge management practices adopted from England’s Premier League and the NFL.

“This is the first time private enterprise has been given the chance to reform a Chinese league,” Huang told The Associated Press Tuesday by telephone from Cleveland.

The new NBL also plans to promote homegrown talent, distinguishing itself from the dominant Chinese Basketball Association, where 19 of the 20 top scorers last year were foreigners.

Andrew Bogut dominates in Bucks win over Knicks

The New York Knicks recently made some changes, but their losing ways continued in dramatic fashion Monday night in Madison Square Garden as the visiting Milwaukee Bucks enjoyed a convincing 83-67 victory.

Monday’s  matchup marked the second game for new Knicks Tracy McGrady, Sergio Rodriguez and Eddie House. And after showing some entertaining and effective flashes in his first game for New York, this time Rodriguez got the start, over generally ineffective point guard Chris Duhon.

But while Rodriguez continued to show his great quickness and creativity, aside from the ridiculous eight steals he managed to grab, his first start was a struggle as he shot 2-of-8 for four points, just one assist and three turnovers in 29 minutes of play.

For the winning Bucks, center Andrew Bogut was unstoppable, shooting 12-of-15 for 24 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks. John Salmons added 15 (but just 7-of-18 shooting). Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 11.

Rookie point guard Brandon Jennings struggled with his shot, hitting just 1-of-9 for four points, though he added eight rebounds and seven assists.

Against Bogut, Knicks center David Lee had a quiet double-double, hitting 6-of-12 for 12 points and 13 assists.

The Knicks were led by Tracy McGrady’s 15 points, though he shot just 5-of-14 and didn’t contribute much else. He also came up limping. A close eye will be kept on his knees over the next week and beyond.

The Knicks as a team shot just 33.8% and only hit 5-for-24 from three-point range. The Bucks dominated in the rebounding department 61-35.  The Bucks also dished 20 assists, while the Knicks only had 10.

Josh Howard out for season with torn ACL

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that guard/forward Josh Howard has a torn ACL in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season.

Howard suffered the injury in last night’s game vs. Chicago at the 4:23 mark of the first quarter.

In four games (three starts) for Washington this season, Howard averaged 14.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

No timetable has been announced for Howard’s recovery.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

Sergio Rodriguez struggles in first start for Knicks

The Chris Duhon Era may be over as the Knicks named a new starting point guard for now and perhaps the distant future.

The flashy Sergio Rodriguez, the Spanish bonus in Thursday’s Tracy McGrady blockbuster trade, made his first start last night vs. the Bucks, but it turned out to be a big dud.

Rodriguez, who had eight steals, was 2 of 8 for four points and once passed with 1 second on the shot clock. Duhon recorded his first DNP as a Knick as Eddie House backed up Rodriguez in their awful, boo-infested 81-67 loss at the Garden.

Rodriguez, 23, will be a work in progress, but Duhon made it easy for coach Mike D’Antoni by playing horribly again Saturday, going scoreless. Duhon is not expected to be re-signed when his contract expires at the end of the season.

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced that the team has signed Antonio Anderson to a 10-day contract.

Anderson, 24, is a free agent call-up from the NBA Development League’s Rio Valley Grande Vipers where he has averaged 15.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 39.6 minutes in 32 games (32 starts). A 6-6, 215 pound guard who went undrafted out of Memphis in 2009, Anderson went to training camp with the Charlotte Bobcats. He appeared in five games, averaging 3.4 points, 1.8 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 14.2 minutes before being waived on October 22.

With his signing, Anderson becomes the 14th Call-Up from the D-League this season.  He will wear uniform #8.

In order to accommodate Anderson, Oklahoma City has waived forward Matt Harpring who was acquired along with Eric Maynor in a trade with the Utah Jazz on December 22.

Allen Iverson away from Sixers indefinitely for personal reasons

Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson will not be with the team for the remaining three games of the current road trip and is out indefinitely for personal reasons related to a family matter.

“At this time, we feel that it is in the best interest of the Sixers, Allen and his family that he be allowed to deal with a very serious issue that is far greater than the game of basketball,” said President and General Manager Ed Stefanski.

The Iverson family kindly requests that their privacy be respected during this time.

The team will release any additional updates on Iverson’s status as they become available.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the club has recalled second-year forward Nathan Jawai from the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Development League. Jawai appeared in two games for the Skyforce, averaging 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per game.

Jawai has appeared in 36 games for the Wolves this season, averaging 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 10.8 minutes per game.

The Wolves obtained Jawai from the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 20, 2009 in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2012. The native of Australia played in six games for the Toronto Raptors in 2008-09.

Per NBA rules, a first- or second-year player can be assigned to the team’s D-League affiliate a maximum of three times in a season.

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