Knicks sign Earl Barron to 10-day contract

The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that free agent center Earl Barron has been signed to a 10-day contract. As per club policy, terms of the deal will not be disclosed. Barron, a member of the Iowa Energy, became the 33rd call-up of the 2009-10 NBA Development League season.

Barron, 7-0, 250-pounds, averaged 16.2 points and 10.2 rebounds over 31.7 minutes in 47 games with Iowa this season. He spent the last two seasons in the D-League after appearing in 82 games with the Miami Heat from 2005-08. He averaged 4.9 points and three rebounds in 82 games (15 starts) with Miami. In 2007-08, he averaged 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds over 19.3 minutes over 46 games (15 starts). He signed with Miami on Aug. 8, 2005, after going undrafted out of the University of Memphis.

The Knicks roster stands at 15 players.

Rumors talk: KG mouthing off

kevin garnett

Regarding Garnett being fined by the league for mouthing off, the entire Celtics team seemed angry at how many fouls Kevin Durant managed to draw. The next obvious step for NBA observers is to see how true that is. The next Thunder game you catch, see if Durant earns the fouls he gets or not. And report on it, on the message board.

Kobe Bryant signed a 3-year extension with the Lakers today. No one should be too shocked. It wasn’t out there that this was going to happen, but in general it’s assumed that Bryant would keep re-signing. And now he has.

In equally huge news, according to multiple media outlets the Knicks will sign center Earl Barron to a 10-day contract. There could be another 10-day deal or two signed in the next 48 hours.

The NBA regular season ends on Wednesday, April 14. The playoffs start three days later.

While it’s true that the Warriors are good at finding D-League talent, it’ll be more interesting to see which of those players stick around in the league and become rotation players on good teams. Because everyone who joins the Warriors usually scores 30 on some wild night, but the team loses by 19, and the player is gone a few weeks, months or a season later.

I think Darko Milicic bulked up too much, over the years. I’d like to see him drop 20 or 25 pounds and be handed the rock regularly down around the low post, and see what he can do.

The Wolves should draft 29 more point guards. And then urge Ricky Rubio to come over. Yeah.

Rooting for Tracy McGrady to become an All-Star type player again is fun and all, but there’s no reason to think it’ll happen.

ESPN has about 49 LeBron James stories today. Rather than give you my take on them, I’ll simply share the bottom line on LeBron in general. Here goes:

LeBron is great. The Cavs are a very good team. He’s very comfortable in Cleveland. Chances are he stays there. And if he did come to the Knicks I think it would only be if he convinces some other top superstar to come with him.

Everything went wrong for the Pistons this season. Pretty much every player other than a rookie and maybe one other were disappointing. Other than that, everything went great!

If Monta Ellis feels he still doesn’t get full respect, he needs to win more games. It’s probably that simple.

I’m back to updating this every day. Talk to you Saturday.

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

Lakers sign Kobe Bryant to 3-year extension

Lakers sign Kobe Bryant to 3-year contract extension

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Kobe Bryant to a three-year contract extension, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the extension is worth $84 million.

According to the Associated Press, Bryant “signed a three-year contract extension Friday worth nearly $90 million that will keep him with the Los Angeles Lakers through the 2013-14 season… The deal will begin after next season. Bryant is making $23 million this season and is due to earn $24.8 million next season… Bryant could earn $27.4 million in 2011-12, $30.2 million the following season and more than $32 million in his final year, when he would be 35.”

“We are extremely pleased that we were able to reach an agreement and come to terms on the extension at this time,” said Kupchak. “Kobe has been a cornerstone of the Lakers for well over a decade, helping to lead us to four NBA Championships and in the process developing into one of the greatest players in basketball history.”

“Two of our main goals heading into this season were to sign Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol to contract extensions,” continued Kupchak. “With the signing of Pau earlier this season and the signing of Kobe today, we were able to accomplish those goals, helping to keep the core of this team intact for the foreseeable future and in turn help to ensure the franchise’s continued success over the years to come.”

Bryant, a four-time NBA Champion, has earned numerous accolades over the span of his 13-year career most recently being named the 2009 NBA Finals MVP. In 2008, the 12-time NBA All-Star earned the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. In that same year Bryant helped lead the United States to a gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Bryant has earned All-NBA honors in each of the last 11 seasons and has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team nine times.

In Bryant’s 13 seasons with the Lakers they have appeared in postseason play in all but one season (2004-05), and have reached the NBA Finals six times, winning championships in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2009. The 6’6″ guard scored a career-high 81 points (55 in the 2nd half) on January 22, 2006, the second highest game and half totals in NBA history.

Originally acquired by the Lakers from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Vlade Divac on July 11, 1996 after being selected by the Hornets with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, Bryant is the youngest player in NBA history to score 25,000 points. Earlier this season Bryant moved past Jerry West to become the Lakers all-time leading scorer and currently ranks 12th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

In 70 games this season, Bryant is averaging 27.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 38.8 minutes.

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

NBA fines Kevin Garnett

NBA fines Kevin Garnett

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett has been fined $25,000 for publicly criticizing game officials and for using inappropriate language during a postgame interview, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Garnett was fined for comments he made following the Celtics’ 109-104 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, March 31.

The Boston Globe on April 3 reported:

After watching the Thunder go to the free throw line 34 times to 17 for the Celtics, and seeing Kevin Durant make more free throws by himself than the Celtics (15 to 13), Garnett told reporters, “I thought we were playing Michael [expletive] Jordan tonight the way he was getting the whistle. Durant damn near shot more free throws than our whole team. That’s game.’’ Asked if he thought it was fair that players are fined for speaking their minds, Celtics coach Doc Rivers joked, “I’m not going to give an opinion, because I want to keep my money.’’

Marc Gasol, Ronnie Brewer to miss remainder of season

The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that center Marc Gasol and guard/forward Ronnie Brewer will miss the team’s remaining eight games of the 2009-10 regular season due to injury.

Gasol, a 7-1, 265-pound center, missed five games from March 16-24 after suffering a partially torn neck muscle during a game on March 13 vs. Denver and re-aggravated the injury in his second game back on March 31 vs. Dallas.

One of the leading candidates for the NBA Most Improved Player Award, Gasol has posted career highs in points (14.6), rebounds (9.3, T-16th in the NBA) and blocks (1.58, 13th) while shooting a franchise-record 58.1 percent (4th) from the field in 69 games this season.  The Barcelona, Spain native leads all second-year players in rebounding and field goal percentage.

Brewer, a 6-7, 227-pound swingman, suffered a partially torn right hamstring on Feb. 19 vs. Miami, his first game with the Grizzlies after being acquired from the Utah Jazz at the trade deadline one day earlier.  The four-year NBA veteran initially missed 13 games with the injury from Feb. 21-March 13 and has only played in four games since, last on March 22 at Sacramento.

The former University of Arkansas Razorback has averaged 8.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.57 steals in 58 total games with the Grizzlies and Jazz this season.

Memphis (38-36) will host the New Orleans Hornets at 7 p.m. tonight at FedExForum.  The Grizzlies need just four more victories to post the club’s first winning record since the 2005-06 season.

Evan Turner wins AP college player of year

The AP reports:

Ohio State junior swingman Evan Turner is the runaway choice as The Associated Press’ college basketball player of the year.

The 6-foot-7 Turner, who averaged 20.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists, received 54 votes from the 65-member national media panel…

Kentucky freshman John Wall received nine votes, while Da’Sean Butler of West Virginia and Luke Harangody of Notre Dame each got one.

Dwight Howard owns paint in win over Mavs

The AP reports:

Dwight Howard dominates paint in win over Mavs

Dwight Howard regularly dominates in the paint for the Orlando Magic. The X-factor for the Magic is their 3-point shooting.

Howard had 17 points, 20 rebounds and five blocked shots, and his teammates converted 14 of 24 attempts from 3-point range as the Magic atoned for an earlier loss to Dallas with a 97-82 victory over the Mavericks on Thursday night.

Reserve Mickael Pietrus had a season-high 24 points, making all six of his 3-point attempts, and Vince Carter added 19 points to help Orlando win for the 14th time in 16 games…

Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points to lead the Mavericks, whose three-game winning streak ended. Jason Terry and J.J. Barea had 16 points apiece in reserve roles for Dallas.

Nowitzki’s fellow starters—Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler and Jason Kidd—combined for only 20 points.