Archive for February 11th, 2010

Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Kidd and New York Knicks forward David Lee have been named by NBA Commissioner David Stern to replace injured West All-Star guard Kobe Bryant (ankle) of the Los Angeles Lakers and East All-Star guard Allen Iverson (personal reasons) of the Philadelphia 76ers, respectively, in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas.

Kidd, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time All-NBA First Team selection, will be making his 10th NBA All-Star Game appearance. Lee, in his fifth NBA season, has recorded 30 double-doubles on the season for the Knicks and will be making his first NBA All-Star appearance.

West All-Star head coach George Karl and East All-Star head coach Stan Van Gundy will determine which players will replace Bryant and Iverson in the starting lineup.

The NBA All-Star Game will air live on TNT, ESPN Radio and in 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages worldwide at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

The AP reports:

Pacers president Larry Bird is urging fans to remain patient through the team’s struggles.

Indiana enters the All-Star break with an 18-34 record, well out of the playoff race after missing the postseason for the past three seasons. Last month, some players were openly wondering if their “weak-minded” defense could be righted and attendance woes have been a problem now for years, along with assorted off-the-court issues.

Yet Bird says the rebuilding phase that began when the Pacers traded Ron Artest in 2006 is on target, and will move into high gear after next season when the team gets salary cap space.

“We knew that we had to clean it out and rebuild it, and we knew we were going to go through some tough times,” Bird told The Associated Press this week. “Nobody likes to lose, and everybody wants to be a part of a winner. We think we’re on the right track to get there.”

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports:

Even by Nets standards, the Meadowlands was e-m-p-t-y on Wednesday night.

You could find bigger crowds in ghost towns.

OK, that’s a stretch, right along with the official attendance listed as 12,873 in the Bucks’ 97-77 rout of the Nets. That number referred to tickets sold.

In terms of actual bodies filling actual seats, the Nets announced that 1,016 hearty souls braved the mega-snowstorm in North Jersey and congregated at the 18,974-seat Izod Center, giving it the feel of a high school game between Clifton and Passaic.

The Nets are famous for having some of the worst crowds in the NBA, but nothing comes close to this one. On this night, with entire lower tiers of the arena empty and not a single person sitting in the upper deck, fans were able to easily hear Bucks coach Scott Skiles yell at the officials. Conversely, when the Nets’ Courtney Lee misfired on a jumper, he clearly heard a fan say in not much louder than a conversational voice, “Hey, follow your shot.”

The AP reports:

Stephen Curry explodes for 36-point triple-double

Taking over the offense with leading scorer Monta Ellis sidelined with a knee injury, Curry recorded his first triple-double with a career-high 36 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds as Golden State beat the Los Angeles Clippers 132-102 to snap season-high nine-game losing streak Wednesday night…

Curry had to wait until the very end of the game to notch his 10th rebound, grabbing Al Thornton’s missed 16-foot jump shot just before the final buzzer…

Anthony Tolliver added a career-high 29 points and Anthony Morrow had 26 points and 10 rebounds for Golden State, which led by as much as 38 while playing without Ellis.

Eric Gordon and Rasual Butler had 16 points apiece for the Clippers, who remained winless in three games since interim coach Kim Hughes replaced Mike Dunleavy.

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

The Warriors are expected to do some serious soul-searching during the All-Star break, and team management has already decided to initiate one noticeable change when things tip off again next week.

Injured players will be expected to be in the arena cheering for their teammates on game nights, coach Don Nelson said.

“It’s a team policy that we just changed,” Nelson said during a question-and-answer session with listeners on the “Warriors Weekly” radio show. “Unless it’s a serious injury that calls them to be off of their legs, I think they should be at the games and should want to be at games.”

Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

Dirk Nowitzki set to play in front of massive All-Star crowd

“I always said the first time that I made [the all-star team], it was going to be my most special all-star memory,” Dirk Nowitzki said Wednesday at the Dallas Convention Center. “But this one is probably right up there with my first one, just because it’s in my home, I’ve got plenty of people coming, and obviously it’s the biggest venue.

“I’ve never played in front of 90,000-100,000 people. So just being a part of history, and plus in my new hometown, it’s going to be a little crazy and a busy weekend, but I’m going to enjoy it.”

The All-Star Game will be played Sunday at 7 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, and officials are expecting a record crowd of more than 90,000.

Nowitzki kicked off his busy five-day, all-star festivities with the unveiling of his 7-foot, life-size bobble head at the NBA Jam Session. The nine-time all-star was impressed with the craftsmanship of the bobble head, although he couldn’t help but joke about a couple of things.

“I don’t think my head is that big,” Nowitzki said, laughing. “I don’t think I ever [had] that size hair, but they did a pretty good job for a 7-foot bobble head.

Mark Cuban is one of InsideHoops.com’s favorite NBA owners. Probably the top guy on our list. And he’s done a great job with the Dallas Mavericks.

Cuban has had interest in expanding ownership in other sports, and has continued exploring that path.

Eddie Sefko of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Wednesday he has initiated talks to buy a stake in the Dallas Stars, potentially joining an as-yet unidentified group of investors that is looking into purchasing the NHL club from Tom Hicks.

Cuban has been hesitant to take minority ownership in any sports franchise, but taking part in any portion of the Stars’ new ownership is one venture that interests him.

Sounds like this has a legit shot at happening.

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