Archive for February 12th, 2010

Nuggets sign George Karl to contract extension

The Nuggets and head coach George Karl have agreed to a contract extension through the 2010-11 NBA season, the team announced today.

As per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. We’ll post info on it tonight.

Since taking over as Nuggets coach on Jan. 27, 2005, Karl has guided Denver to the playoffs in each of the past five years, including a trip to the 2009 Western Conference finals.

At 35-18, the Nuggets currently are second in the West, earning Karl the honor of coaching the Western Conference team at the NBA All-Star Game Sunday in Arlington, Texas.

“We are pleased with the progress the Nuggets have made over the last five years. George has played a pivotal role in our success. His extension is well-deserved,” Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke said. “George and our entire organization remain focused on one goal: Bringing an NBA championship to Denver.”

Now in his 22nd season as an NBA head coach, Karl has taken his teams to the playoffs 18 times, and he has not had a losing season since 1987-88. His 260 victories with the Nuggets rank second in franchise history (Doug Moe, 432), while his .618 winning percentage is unmatched.

“I’ve always said Denver is the only place I want to coach,” Karl said. “Mr. Kroenke’s leadership and his commitment to my staff, players and Nuggets fans are second to none. I have a great deal of respect for Stan, personally and professionally. I look forward to working with him as we pursue our common goal of winning an NBA title.”

Overall, Karl has as a career regular-season record of 968-660 with Cleveland, Golden State, Seattle, Milwaukee and Denver. His victories rank seventh in NBA history.

Hit the InsideHoops.com NBA rumors page right now for the latest.

Multiple media outlets report that the Mavericks and Wizards may be swapping Caron Butler and Josh Howard.

And the Plain Dealer reports that the Cavs are chasing Amar’e Stoudemire.

I hate to keep talking about snow and slush at Dallas NBA All-Star weekend — and don’t worry, the actual events start tonight, and then everything will probably be all about basketball and fun — but here’s another All-Start party story of note.

TMZ reports:

Shaq snowed out of his own All-Star party

Shaquille O’Neal was supposed to host a party last night in Dallas for NBA All-Star Weekend — that is, until the biggest blizzard in the city’s history got in the way.

TMZ spoke to a manager of Aura Nightclub in uptown Dallas who told us that before Shaq arrived at the club, the record-setting snowfall blew out some electrical transformers … leaving everyone standing in the dark.

Sounds like this happened to lots of people.

But, that was just Thursday. The weekend really kicks into gear tonight (Friday). And while there’s slush all over Dallas, it’s done snowing, so all should go well for everyone from now on.

Sean Sutton arrested on drug charges

The AP reports:

Former Oklahoma State basketball coach Sean Sutton has been arrested and accused of attempting to illegally obtain prescription painkillers from out of state.

Sutton was arrested Thursday night when he arrived to pick up a shipment of painkillers under another person’s name, said Mark Woodward, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Sutton was arrested on charges of attempting to possess a controlled dangerous substance and use of a communications device to facilitate a felony, Woodward said Friday.

A phone message left for Sutton was not immediately returned Friday. Formal charges had not yet been filed by the district attorney’s office, and it was unclear whether Sutton had an attorney. His arrest was first reported by The Tulsa World.

It’s 2010 NBA All-Star weekend, and Phoenix Suns center Channing Frye, who emerged as a terrific outside shooter this season, is in the NBA Three-Point Shootout.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports (via blog):

Channing Frye a rare big-man three-point shooter

Will Channing Frye be more 2008 Steve Nash or 2005 Quentin Richardson?

Nash finished last in his most recent try at the Three-Point Shootout two years ago. Richardson won the thing as a Sun in 2005.

Four-time participant and 1997 Shootout victor Steve Kerr, the Suns’ GM, likes Frye’s chances and figures he is a better candidate than teammate Jared Dudley, whose 46.9 percent 3-point shooting ranks third in the NBA and ahead of Frye’s 43.3 percent.

“He shoots it so easily,” Kerr said. “I always felt big strong guys might have a bit of an advantage, like Dirk. They just shoot it so easily. Channing’s got such a quick release and he doesn’t have to use a lot of legs. In theory, he could do pretty well.

Whether he wins the event or loses, it’ll be fun seeing the 6-11, 245-pound Frye go at it.

Dennis Rodman making coaching debut

Although the article mentions that he has no interest in really becoming a coach, Dennis Rodman is about to give it a shot in the very-minor leagues.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

Former Dallas Mavericks star Dennis Rodman will make his professional coaching debut tonight.

Rodman will coach the Elmira Bulldogs, a minor league team from Eastern Basketball Alliance for games on Friday and Saturday night.

“I want to show people that I am different than the character they see on TV. Everyone always sees me on TV, they see me doing crazy stuff,” Rodman told thedailyreview.com. “They see me on shows like rehab. I’m the sanest guy on that show.”

According to the-leader.com, Rodman is being paid to coach two games as a publicity stunt.

First Arena general manager Robbie Nichols thought it was a home run idea, but pre-order ticket sales have been a disappointment because he told the-leader.com that people weren’t sure Rodman would show up, given his freestyle nature.

It’s 2010 NBA All-Star weekend, and instead of the main events taking place in a regular basketball arena, they’re in massive Dallas Cowboys football stadium. What’s it like to shoot a basketball in such a giant building?

Howard Beck of the New York Times reports:

In past games played in domes, the N.B.A. has placed the court in one quadrant of the field and reduced the seating area, creating a slightly more intimate feel. That will not be the case Sunday, with the court placed around the 50-yard line and nearly every seat filled.

Playing in cavernous buildings can cause havoc for shooters, who rely on depth perception, as well as form and muscle memory. Players have complained in the past about Chicago’s United Center and Los Angeles’ Staples Center, two modern arenas with high ceilings and, because of their design, a distant-looking backdrop of faces.

“If you asked anybody who could shoot,” McHale said, “they’d tell you they’d much rather play in the smallest place, with the background right behind the basket.”

Although All-Star Games often devolve into dunking competitions, it will be interesting to see how the N.B.A.’s best shooters, such as Denver’s Chauncey Billups and Phoenix’s Steve Nash, cope in a carnival funhouse.

The organizers will have their own challenges navigating a foreign building, particularly one as massive as Cowboys Stadium. At 3 million square feet, it is three times bigger than Texas Stadium, the Cowboys’ former home, and twice the size of the new Yankee Stadium.

It’ll be fun to watch the shooting percentages.

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There are bunches of things updated each day on our site that are never mentioned in this blog RSS, but they are mentioned on our site’s front page.

Between those two pages, and our blog (this feed), you are covered.

Jeff Mosier of the Dallas Morning News reports:

Attendance at Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium will be Texas-size, but ticket prices in many cases are far more modest this year.

The cost of seats – or space in standing-room-only decks – in the resale market is down dramatically from recent years. The 92,000-plus sellout crowd in Arlington is expected to be the nation’s largest audience for a basketball game. That’s more people than the combined attendance of the last five NBA All-Star Games.

“Given the much larger venue size, this is the most affordable NBA All-Star Game we’ve seen since we’ve begun tracking prices,” said Joellen Ferrer, a spokeswoman for online ticket marketplace StubHub.com.

So far, the average price for the basketball game is $186 on StubHub. In the previous five years, the averages ranged from $508 in Denver to $2,546 in Las Vegas. The huge numbers of upper deck seats and standing-room-only tickets, which have a $30 face value, probably brought down the average…

However, the toughest tickets in town won’t necessarily be found in Arlington. Seats at the All-Star Saturday Night event, which features the three-point shooting and slam dunk contests, start at $225 on FanSnap.com. And with some seats on sale for $3,450, VIPs will pay nearly as much for a prime spot there as at the All-Star Game.

“That can happen now and again, but the norm is that the game is the bigger draw,” Anderson said. “It depends on what participants are in the dunk contest. … If you’ve got a big showdown brewing, that can be the case.”

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

The NBA and the Dallas Mavericks are not going to let the nasty snowstorm both here and in Eastern half of the United States spoil All-Star Weekend.

“It ain’t gonna matter,” Mavs general manager Donnie Nelson said. “Nothing can stop this event. Rain, snow, sleet, fire ice — bring it on. We’re in the comfortable confines of the [Dallas] Convention Center. People are going to want to be [in Arlington] come Sunday [for the All-Star game]. That’s going to be a historic event.”

However, hundreds of flights have been canceled over the past few days and might prevent fans on the East Coast from getting to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

Neither snow, nor slush, nor sleet, nor gloom of ice shall keep the hardcore NBA fan from soaking up the All-Star basketball action in North Texas.

But Thursday’s snowfall made it treacherous for some who ventured to the opening day of the NBA All-Star Jam Session at the Dallas Convention Center.

Today might not be any easier, as the slush from Thursday night was expected to freeze, creating potentially icy driving conditions…

Hundreds of flights at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport were canceled or delayed Thursday, thanks to the wintry blast here and snowstorms that have battered the East Coast.

Those botched flights have led some basketball fanatics to worry whether they could get into here in time to catch some of the weekend events.

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