Archive for March, 2010

Rumors Talk: Keepin it real

Rumors Talk: Keepin it real

It’s nice when NBA players are totally honest about stuff that pisses them off. Amar’e Stoudemire is the current example of that, revealing that he’s not a Tracy McGrady fan. The NBA needs more personal grudges. Ideally between players who guard each other. Let’s all root for Amar’e to develop a grudge against, say, David West, or a guy he goes up against. I support such things. Grudges are good. They make the games more fun.

The main thing Chucky Atkins can offer teams at this point isn’t his basketball ability. It’s his name. It’s just fun to say “Chucky.” Seriously, try it. Yell “Chucky!” at a friend, even if that’s not his name. Chucky!!!

Don’t be surprised by any Phil Jackson Lakers stories that come out, unless they claim that he actually won’t be back. When in doubt, assume he’ll return.

The constant talk about where LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, etc. may go always gets big attention. But in reality, LeBron will probably stay with the Cavs, Wade with the Heat, but Bosh I’m not sure about. He could jet. But there’s a good chance he has no idea where he’ll go. Any stories that name actual favorites are probably just semi-educated speculation at this early point.

Andres Nocioni could contribute more to the Sacramento Kings than he currently is, but it’s just sort of pointless for them to really focus on using him. They’re a bad team, with plenty of young talent for the future, and Nocioni simply probably won’t be a part of it. Ideally, they can trade him this summer to a competitve team that needs a good backup forward.

The Timberwolves ‘may’ offer Darko Milicic a multi-year contract. That’s not particularly huge news. It’ll probably be something close to the minimum, and less than Darko can earn in Europe. He probably has no idea where he’ll be next year, but it does sound like Europe is still the favorite.

I think I could score 30 on the current Pistons frontcourt.

Will 76ers guard Jrue Holiday be better than Lou Williams by next season? Is he better right now?

The next Nets owner, Mr. Russian billionaire, will be on 60 Minutes Sunday. I’ll be watching for sure. Hope he says something interesting and doesn’t just stick with boring, politically correct statements. Also, watch and see if he buys the show, or the entire TV network, after the interview, just so he has a new toy to play with.

The NCAA tournament is flying by. Watch every game! By Sunday night we’ll be down to the Final Four already.

Go INSIDE HOOPS every day.

Talk to you Sunday.

This feature is an editorialized take on the day’s hot NBA rumors stories.

Carlos Delfino OK, released from hospital

Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced today that forward Carlos Delfino was released from St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee last night after a complete assessment of his head and neck injuries.  Results of the precautionary imaging were negative.

Delfino will be listed as day-to-day with neck and jaw soreness.

Delfino was injured late in the second period of Friday night’s game vs. Miami at the Bradley Center. Delfino fell to the floor after missing a shot and had his head and neck inadvertently stepped on, resulting in neck and jaw pain.  He underwent examination by Bucks orthopaedic physician Dr. Michael Gordon and had full movement in all extremities.  Delfino was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee for precautionary x-rays.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports:

Amar'e Stoudemire does not like Tracy McGrady

According to Amar’e Stoudemire, his beef with Tracy McGrady dates back to the fall of 2001, when Stoudemire was a high school All-America in Florida and McGrady was entering his fifth NBA season. At the time, McGrady was attending his brother’s football game when Stoudemire approached and asked for advice about making the jump from high school to the pros.

“He pretty much didn’t say anything,” Stoudemire remembered. “So I look at myself as being successful in the NBA and if a kid from my hometown came up to me and said, ‘Amar’e, I’m thinking about going to (the NBA),’ I would say, ‘It’s a tough process, college is very important. Education is very important,’ so forth and so on. But I didn’t get any of that.”

“He doesn’t remember,” Stoudemire said. “I’m not surprised he doesn’t remember.”

McGrady disputed Stoudemire’s recollection, saying he and Stoudemire had a phone conversation about him turning pro. McGrady added that the two were together in New York as recently as last September following a Jay-Z concert.

The AP reports:

The New Jersey Nets aren’t going to be the worst team in NBA history.

Career highs by Lopez and Yi give Nets 9th win

Brook Lopez had a career-high 37 points and Yi Jianlian had a career-best 31 and the Nets eliminated any chance of setting a record for fewest wins in a season, beating the Detroit Pistons 118-110 on Friday night for their first winning streak of the season.

“We’re smiling,” said point guard Devin Harris, who had 12 assists. “It’s good to get two wins in a row, but we’re not satisfied. We want to continue to be better and finish the season on a high note.”

Even if New Jersey (9-63) loses its final 10 games, it can do no worse than tie the league mark for the worst record (9-73), set by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1972-73.

The AP reports:

Melo buzzer jumper helps Nuggets beat Raptors

Carmelo Anthony takes great pleasure in knocking the life out of a crowd.

Anthony buried an 18-foot fadeaway at the buzzer to lead the Denver Nuggets to a come-from-behind 97-96 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night.

“I think hitting one on the road, you get that much more joy out of it,” said Anthony. “That much more satisfaction. You’ve got 20 thousand people against you and you can make a shot to silence them? That feels good.” …

Anthony scored 25 points and Nene added 20 for the Nuggets (48-25), who avoided their first four-game losing streak since February 2007. Billups chipped in with 18 points despite going just 4 for 18 from the field.

Chris Bosh had 18 points and 12 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan added 15 points in a rare reserve role, and Bargnani had 14 points and 15 rebounds for Toronto.

Danny Granger scores 44 on Jazz

The AP reports:

Danny Granger scores 44 on Jazz

With victory assured, Danny Granger’s next goal was to score 50 points.

The versatile forward didn’t quite get there, but he scored 18 of his career-high 44 points in the fourth quarter to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Utah Jazz 122-106 on Friday night.

“I was trying to get 50, but I just ran out of gas at the end,” he said, laughing. “I missed some free throws, too. Overall, I’m glad we won.”

It was the fourth straight game in which Granger has scored at least 30 points. He made 14 of 23 attempts from the floor, including 5 of 10 from 3-point range…

Troy Murphy added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who set a franchise record with 17 3-pointers. Indiana overcame a 12-point deficit in the second half to win its fifth straight overall and seventh in a row at home…

Mehmet Okur had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Deron Williams added 21 points and 12 assists for Utah, which allowed its highest point total of the season.

Carlos Delfino taken on stretcher to hospital

Milwaukee Bucks forward Carlos Delfino was taken off the court on a stretcher late in the second period of tonight’s game with Miami after having his head and neck inadvertently stepped on, resulting in neck and jaw pain.  He underwent examination by Bucks orthopaedic physician Dr. Michael Gordon and had full movement in all extremities.

Delfino was taken by ambulance to St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee for precautionary x-rays.

eddie jordan

Philadelphia 76ers coach Eddie Jordan may or may not have lost some or all of the team, but really, chances are at least a few of those guys have lost themselves. Certain players realize they aren’t having a great season and the team’s upside being so limited probably affects them just as much as not necessarily agreeing with everything Jordan does.

But, also, the triangle offense simply doesn’t work if a coach doesn’t have the right pieces for the puzzle.

Simply put, the 76ers have a limited roster and wouldn’t be doing much better than they are under another coach.

As for Real Madrid reportedly preparing to make Manu Ginobili a huge offer, the report came from Europe. And sorry to say, but a lot of reports from that continent regarding NBA players are either only partially true, or lost in translation. The offer may or may not come to exist. And chances are, he’ll re-sign with the Spurs.

Juwan Howard is right to not think about retiring yet. He can still help teams as a backup.

Shaquille O’Neal should keep playing, too. If he isn’t good on the court, he can help a team by acting as a security guard in the parking lot before and after each game, and occasionally breakdancing during timeouts.

Dwight Howard leads the league in technical fouls, with 15. He’s followed by Boston Celtics teammates Kendrick Perkins and Rasheed Wallace.

Andray Blatche finally said he was sorry for acting out of line the other day. With all the issues the Washington Wizards have had this season, it’ll be forgotten. He’s still raised his stock nicely over the last month.

As expected by people following the situation all along, the Washington Capitals owner will become the next Wizards owner. For fun, they should let the Capitals hockey team and the Wizards basketball team occasionally practice together, on the same floor at the same time. Hilarity will ensue.

Raptors struggles mean more articles coming out about Chris Bosh possibly leaving town this summer. There have only been 27,500,000 of those so far. More are needed.

Bosh should consider the attention a compliment. If we national media members stop talking about you, it probably means you don’t matter. Bosh matters.

Eddy Curry remains out. In equally shocking news, the sun is hot.

There’s no reason for Tyreke Evans to rush back until his head fully clears up. He and the Kings know this.

Tons of NBA games Friday night, but you should DVR your favorites and watch live NCAA Tournament instead, even if you don’t follow college hoops.

Go INSIDE HOOPS every day. Talk to you Saturday.

This feature is an editorialized take on the day’s hot NBA rumors stories.

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed guard Kenny Hasbrouck to a second 10-day contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hasbrouck, a 6’3”, 195-pound guard, was previously signed by the Heat to a 10-day contract on March 16 and has not appeared in a game for the team this season. Before signing with Miami, he appeared in 10 games (nine starts) with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League averaging 16.9 points, 2.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.60 steals in 32.3 minutes of action, leading the team to a 7-3 record, while shooting 50.4 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from three-point range and 80.6 percent from the free throw line.

Gilbert Arenas sentencing: No jail time

No jail for Gilbert Arenas

Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas will not be going to jail.

The NBA star was in court Friday for his sentencing from gun-related charges, and is probably fairly happy with the outcome.

According to reporter Mike Jones (formerly of the Washington Times), Arenas was sentenced to 30 days in a Halfway House, two years of supervised probation, 400 hours of community service, plus he must contribute $5,000 to a Victims of Violent Crimes fund.

More on this later today.

It remains to be seen whether Arenas will ever play again for his current Wizards team. He’s currently suspended by the NBA for the rest of the season, but it’s quite possible he’ll be back on the court with them in 2010-11. It’ll probably be tough for the Wizards to void his contract based on today’s legal results. They can try to do that, or attempt to trade him, or maybe just mend fences and try to put all this in the past and use him as they would any other player.

UPDATE: STATEMENT FROM WIZARDS

“We believe today’s sentencing of Gilbert Arenas can help bring closure to the unfortunate situation that has played out over the last three months.   Gilbert has admitted his mistakes and will now pay his debt to our community.  We are confident that he has learned something significant from the experience and we now look forward to moving on and focusing on building this team into the contender that our outstanding fans deserve.”

Qyntel Woods comeback possible

ESPN reports:

Qyntel Woods comeback possible

Is Qyntel Woods, at 29, playing his way back to the NBA?

The answer: Yes and no.

Talk to NBA personnel folks about Woods and you get a mixed response. Some are quick to say that Woods’ baggage — after pleading guilty to an animal-abuse charge involving dogs in October 2004 that ended his career with the Blazers — outweighs any potential payoff from giving him another shot.

Said one Western Conference general manager: “Samsonite.”

Yet Woods has also won a few admirers around the league for his willingness to go to Poland and keep refining his game after his own unsuccessful stint with Olympiacos and a stop in Italy with Fortitudo Bologna.

“He’s been playing great for Prokom,” one veteran personnel man said. “He’s been solid overseas. I think someone will take a chance on him.”

Said another GM out West: “He’s an NBA talent for sure. And he’s grown by leaps and bounds as a person.”

Bucks sign Darnell Jackson

The Milwaukee Bucks have been awarded the contract of forward Darnell Jackson (6-9, 253) on a waiver claim, General Manager John Hammond announced today.  Since Jackson was waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 23, after the March 1 waiver deadline for playoff eligibility, he will not participate in the 2010 postseason.

Jackson, 24, was originally selected out of Kansas by the Miami Heat in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft, before being traded to Cleveland for a 2009 second round draft pick.

Jackson appeared in 27 games for Cleveland this season, and a combined 78 games over the past two seasons with averages of 1.5 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.0 minutes.  He started in two games for the Erie BayHawks (NBDL) this season and averaged 33.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.

A member of four straight Big 12 regular season title teams at Kansas, Jackson helped the Jayhawks to the 2008 NCAA Championship.  As a senior he averaged 11.2 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds per game while being awarded All-Big 12 Third Team honors.

The Bucks roster is now at 15 players.

Thunder release Mustafa Shakur

The Oklahoma City Thunder released guard Mustafa Shakur, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

Shakur, who was signed to a 10-day contract on March 16, did not appear in a game with Oklahoma City.

Danny Granger returns to form

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports:

Danny Granger returns to form

It took nearly the entire season, but Pacers forward Danny Granger is averaging 31 points and shooting 54 percent from the field in the past four games. He has had 13 games of at least 30 points, including three straight, this season.

Granger missed more than a month with a torn right plantar fascia and has had a difficult time adjusting to his new teammates.

“I think he’s found a comfort level,” O’Brien said. “He’s taking what’s there. He’s not forcing the issue, and his assist-to-turnover ratio is up. . . . This is the Danny Granger we became accustomed to seeing last year.”

C.W. Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

The rumor that the Golden State Warriors might move to San Francisco is recycled every few years.

But this time, it has a chance to happen.

Potential buyers of the team have asked the San Francisco Giants about building a state-of-the-art arena in Mission Bay, south of AT&T Park, sources say.

The team is on the verge of finishing an agreement that would give the Giants exclusive negotiating rights with the Port Commission to develop the parking lot behind AT&T Park. So if you want to talk about an arena in what the team is calling the Mission Rock District, you need to speak to the Giants.

Danilo Gallinari getting noticed

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports:

Danilo Gallinari getting noticed

Danilo Gallinari made a believer out of Tracy McGrady and Denver’s Carmelo Anthony after the 6-foot-10 forward scored 17 of his team-high 28 points in the third quarter of Tuesday’s win over the Nuggets. Gallinari asked to guard Anthony, and in the decisive third quarter, the two players traded shots and words in a classic duel that had the Garden buzzing.

“That was like, ‘(forget) everybody else, it’s me and you,’ ” McGrady said. “I haven’t seen (Hedo) Turkoglu and Dirk (Nowitzki) do that. They play within the team concept. That was ‘get me the ball and everybody move out of the way.’ I was enjoying it.”

Gallinari has always been one of the Knicks’ more physically and mentally tough players. He’ll play through pain, he’s not afraid to take big shots and he won’t back down from a challenge. In December, after the Clippers’ Baron Davis hit Gallinari with an elbow, Gallinari returned the favor after grabbing a rebound. Davis looked stunned.

Dave D’Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger reports

He’s preparing again.

Not for a game, or for a practice, or for anything immediate or specific.

Lawrence Frank will return to coaching... someday

But make no mistake, Lawrence Frank is preparing for something, and his specific purpose won’t be apparent until some general manager rings his phone in a month or two.

“I hope to get another opportunity to coach another NBA team, and only time will tell how soon that may come,” the former Nets coach said Wednesday. “So I’m working on some things, visiting people, doing some writing, formulating thoughts and ideas, putting together material about the components of coaching – mostly studying the DNA of successful organizations.”

And he’s doing all these things the way Frank does everything: at a whirlwind pace…

“A college team takes on the personality of its coach,” Frank said. “But when you study the NBA, you know a team takes on the personality of its best player. With any team on a high level, the top player embodies its winning culture. So if you’re going to upgrade, it can change quickly – as long as you’re fortunate to get the right franchise player.”

Spurs sign Curtis Jerrells

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed guard Curtis Jerrells from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.  Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Jerrells, 6-1, 200 pounds, has appeared in 43 games this season with the Austin Toros. He averaged 20.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 40.0 minutes.

Jerrells has been selected as the NBA Development League Performer of the Week twice this season, most recently for games played during the week of March 15 when he averaged 32.7 points, 6.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds.  Jerrells also appeared in five preseason games for San Antonio, averaging 3.6 points and 1.8 assists in 14.8 minutes.  He was waived on 10/22.

Jerrells played collegiately for four years at Baylor University.  As a senior he averaged a team-high 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists while starting in all in 39 games for the Bears.  He was selected to the All-Big 12 Third Team and was named to the 2009 NIT All-Tournament Team after leading the Bears to the NIT championship game.  As a junior Jerrells was named to the All-Big 12 First Team, after averaging 15.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists.  He scored a career-high 36 points, including a school and Big 12 record 20-of-24 free throws, in a five-OT 116-110 win at Texas A&M on 1/23/08.

For his career, Jerrells averaged 15.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.34 steals.  Jerrells is the only player in school history to finish his career with more than 1,000 points, 400 assists and 100 steals.

Rumors Talk: Blatche blowing it

Rumors Talk: Blatche blowing it

Since the Washington Wizards scrapped their team, two main things have happened that I can think of. First, Josh Howard’s season ended due to injury. And second, big-man Andray Blatche emerged as a legit talent. His stats in the last month or so are inflated because he tends to get the ball a heck of a lot, but still, he’s doing great.

But as you read on the rumors page today, he messed up yesterday, arguing with Flip Saunders and then reportedly refusing to play the rest of the game. By doing this, Blatche sent a message to the masses that he has maturity issues to work on. Hopefully he does the right thing, says sorry to his coach and team, and moves on positively from there. But the Wizards really don’t need any more nonsense from any players.

The Knicks don’t need Raja Bell at all this season. It’s pointless to add him. Bell should probably just hang out someplace cool, regain full health, and focus on joining a championship contender next season.

I definitely hope Don Nelson goes on to coach the Warriors in summer league play, as he reportedly plans. The more head coaches involved in those games, the better. It’ll just raise the level of everything and make the games that much better.

Madison Square Garden’s atmosphere is electric and amazing, even in losing seasons. Can’t wait to see what it’s like when they have an actual good team out there.

The Nuggets without Kenyon Martin probably aren’t a championship contender. He’s certainly not their best player, but they drop a half-rung down the ladder without him.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas returned to the Cavaliers! In equally shocking news, I ate food today, and will likely do so again tomorrow.

I laughed when hearing that Nets CEO Brett Yormark snapped at a fan. I have no followup comment. That’s just friggin funny on its own. Anyway, Yormark is a respected guy. He’s fine. Just a rough day. Or season. But the Nets should give that fan a signed jersey and a free basketball or something. Or a date with a Nets dancer.

On second thought, I’ll take the Nets dancer date. The fan can have the jersey.

Talk to you tomorrow.

This feature is an editorialized take on the day’s hot NBA rumors stories.

Mother of Kiki Vandeweghe passes away

Dave D’Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger reports:

Kiki Vandeweghe flew from California to New Jersey last night, only to learn this morning that his mom, Colleen, died Wednesday morning at her home in Newport Beach.

The Nets coach will stay on the job for a while, or until they work out the funeral arrangements. Colleen Kay Hutchins, who was 83, is survived by her husband – former Knicks star Dr. Ernie Vandeweghe – and two sons and two daughters.

Vandeweghe, who had left the Nets Sunday and skipped Monday’s loss to Miami to be with his family, had been contending with his mother’s illness for more than a year.

“I was happy I went back. I was very lucky to spend some time with my dad, it’s harder on him than anybody,” Vandeweghe said at the shootaround Wednesday morning.

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