Archive for May 21st, 2010

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports:

The Lakers’ minor league affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders, will take a one-year hiatus and will no longer use Staples Center as its home base, The Times has learned.

Lakers owner Jerry Buss will retain ownership of the D-Fenders, who are expected to reemerge at a different Southern California venue for the 2011-12 season.

Buss bought the team in July 2006 to try to create a legitimate feeder team for the Lakers, but the D-Fenders generated no revenue from ticket sales because the only people allowed to attend their home games were those who bought tickets to Lakers home games.

D-Fenders games at Staples Center typically started four hours before a Lakers game, often in front of crowds of fewer than 100 people, though Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak often was among the spectators.

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports:

Ron Artest cannot explain shooting improvement

Ron Artest managed to hit three three-point attempts in Game 2 and was six for nine from the field in scoring 18 points, a slight uptick from his Game 1 performance of 14 points.

There is, apparently, no explanation for his enhanced shooting.

“I’m not sure. I have no clue. I really don’t. I really don’t,” Artest said. “. . . All I do is shoot it. . . . I don’t know what it’s doing.”

More shooting practice in the gym?

“I don’t know,” he said. “I shoot a lot every day. When I was going 0 for 10 or whenever that was, I was in here shooting.”

Back to his comfort level with the triangle offense: Artest managed to get off a good line about his teammates.

“There are still guys that don’t know the triangle and they’ve been here longer than me,” he said, looking amused.

Wife gives Channing Frye pep talk

The Arizona Republic reports:

Wife gives Channing Frye pep talk

The pep talk came on the flight back from Los Angeles, and it set Channing Frye straight.

“I got an earful on the plane from my wife, man, but it was all positive,” the Suns’ center said Friday. “She’s like, ‘Just think about how far you’ve come and have some fun. . . . This is not you. This is not who you are. You’re supposed to be this and that. You’re showing everybody else wrong. Imagine if our kid was here now. How would you want him to act?’ “

That made Frye, whose wife is expecting their first child in October, realize he’s making mountains out of molehills. Through two games of the Western Conference finals, this has not been his series. A consistent long-rang shooter throughout the regular season, Frye has made just 1 of 13 against the Lakers. He played only 8 minutes, 39 seconds in Game 2, a season low.

Wife of Yao Ming gives birth to girl

Reuters reports:

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and his wife Ye Li, a former basketball player with the Chinese national team, celebrated the birth of their first child on Friday.

“We are happy to announce the arrival of our daughter,” seven-times NBA All-Star Yao, China’s most popular sportsman, said in a statement. “This is a very special moment in our lives. We thank everyone for their support.”

Marc Spears of Yahoo reports:

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and his wife, Ye Li, are now the parents of a baby girl born in Houston on Friday. The baby, whose name was not released, weighs seven pounds and nine ounces.

Both Ye Li and the baby are in good health. The girl is the couple’s first child.

Silver Stars sign Chamique Holdsclaw

The San Antonio Silver Stars today announced the signing of veteran forward Chamique Holdsclaw. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

In order to make room on the 11-woman roster for Holdsclaw, the Silver Stars waived guard Belinda Snell.

Holdsclaw signed with the Dream in April 2009 after the team acquired her rights from the Los Angeles Sparks. The 10-year WNBA veteran requested a trade from the Atlanta Dream prior to the start of 2010 training camp and did not report to the team; she was released from Atlanta on May 19, 2010.

“We are thrilled to have Chamique join the Silver Stars family,” said Silver Stars General Manager Dan Hughes. “Chamique and our staff felt it was such a great fit. We are excited to get to work with Chamique in a Silver Stars uniform.”

Holdsclaw originally was selected first overall by the Washington Mystics in the 1999 WNBA Draft. In her 10 seasons in the WNBA, Holdsclaw has tallied career averages of 17.3 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

The 6-foot-2 forward was recognized as the 1999 WNBA Rookie of the Year in addition to being named a starter in the league’s inaugural All-Star Game. She spent six seasons in Washington and earned four All-Star Game selections (1999-2002) during her time with the Mystics. Her most productive season came in 2003 as she averaged a career-high 20.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.

Prior to the start of the 2005 season, Holdsclaw was traded to the Los Angeles Sparks in exchange for DeLisha Milton-Jones and the 13th overall pick in the 2005 WNBA Draft. Holdsclaw’s tally of 17.0 points per game in 2005 ranked her third in the league. She was voted into the WNBA All-Star game for the sixth time in her career and reached two career milestones: 6,000 minutes and 3,000 career points. In 2006, Holdsclaw was named a WNBA All-Decade Honorable.

After playing in five games with the Sparks in 2007, Holdsclaw announced her retirement from the league but continued to play overseas for TS Wisla Can-Pak Krakow (Poland).

On Dec. 17, 2008, the Dream acquired the rights to Holdsclaw from the Sparks in exchange for the no. 13 pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft. She tallied averages of 13.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game with the Dream last season before missing the last nine games of regular season play and Atlanta’s first playoffs appearance after undergoing successful arthroscopic knee surgery.

Prior to being drafted into the WNBA, Holdsclaw completed an illustrious collegiate career at Tennessee that included being named a four-time Kodak All-American. She collected 3,025 career points and 1,295 career rebounds which made her the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Tennessee history among both men and women. Additionally, her points and rebounds tallies ranked her first all-time in SEC women’s history and also first in the history of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. She won the Naismith Player of the Year trophy twice (1998, 1999) and was named the Naismith Player of the Century for the 1990s as she helped lead the Lady Vols to a 134-17 record during her time at Tennessee.

Snell has tallied career averages of 4.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 112 games played. She signed with the Silver Stars as a free agent on March 30, 2009 and recorded a career-high 6.2 points per game and a career-high 2.3 rebounds per game in her first season in San Antonio. Snell re-signed with San Antonio on April 28, 2010, after reaching the FIBA Euroleague Women finals and winning the F.E.B. title with Ros Casares (Valencia, Spain).

“Belinda was a wonderful member of the Silver Stars and we want to thank her and wish her the best in the future,” said Hughes.

76ers hire Doug Collins as head coach

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that Doug Collins has been named head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

sixers hire doug collins

“We are excited to hire a head coach with the level of experience, knowledge and passion for the game that Doug Collins has,” said Stefanski. “He has been around basketball his entire life, has experienced success at every step throughout his career and we are confident in his ability to lead our team.”

“Doug Collins is a terrific motivator, teacher, and manager,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “We believe he is the right coach for the Philadelphia 76ers and the one who will lead us back onto the right track.”

“The past week has provided us with a series of events that we believe will be a turning point for the Philadelphia 76ers,” said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. “Doug Collins is a coach that can make an immediate impact. He has all the attributes that we are looking for in a new head coach and we are happy to welcome him back into the Sixers family.”

Since his last coaching stint with the Washington Wizards in 2002-03, the 58-year-old Collins has served as an analyst for the NBA on TNT. In eight seasons of coaching, Collins compiled a regular season record of 332-287 (.536) and reached the playoffs five times, highlighted by a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals with Chicago in 1989.

Following a standout career at Illinois State, Collins was selected by the Sixers with the first overall pick in the 1973 NBA Draft. He spent all eight of his seasons with Philadelphia, averaging 17.9 points, 3.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.25 steals in 415 games played while shooting 50.1% from the floor and 83.3% from the line. For his career, the four-time All-Star had more steals (518) than turnovers (485).

By Collins’ fourth season with the team in 1976-77, Philadelphia advanced to the NBA Finals. During that postseason, Collins averaged 22.4 points per game, second only on the team to Julius Erving’s 27.3 ppg.

After injuries forced him to retire during the 1980-81 season, Collins took an assistant coaching job at The University of Pennsylvania under Bob Weinhauer and followed Weinhauer to Arizona State. Collins’ NBA coaching career began when he was named head coach of the Chicago Bulls on May 23, 1986.

Collins took the Bulls to the playoffs in his first season and guided them to 50 wins in 1987-88, marking the franchise’s first 50-win season since 1973-74. In his third and final season with the Bulls in 1988-89, Chicago advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.

In his first season as head coach of the Pistons in 1995-96, Collins inherited a Detroit team that had won 28 games the previous season and engineered an 18-game improvement along with a playoff appearance. Detroit gave up just 92.9 points per game in 1995-96, nearly 13 points fewer than it allowed the season before Collins arrived.

Detroit won 54 games the following season (1996-97) with Collins at the helm, which is tied for the fifth-highest win total for a single season in franchise history. In the first three and a half seasons following Collins’ departure, the team had a winning percentage of .474.

Collins last coaching stint came with Washington during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons where he was reunited with Michael Jordan, who Collins coached during his time with the Bulls. In 2001-02, Collins once again improved his team’s win total by 18 games from the previous season. The Wizards posted a winning percentage of .451 in two years under Collins after having a winning percentage of .308 the three seasons prior. The season after he left, Washington won just 25 games.

In addition to Jordan, Collins helped with the development of several other future All-Stars who were in the early stages of their careers, including Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Grant Hill, Theo Ratliff and Allan Houston, as well as Lindsey Hunter and Richard Hamilton.

Collins has been just as successful in broadcasting as he was as a player and coach. He is widely regarded as one of the best analysts in basketball, as evidenced by his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Media Wing in September, 2009. Additionally, he has earned four Emmy® Award nominations and two Cable ACE Awards during his time with NBC and TNT.

Collins and his wife, Kathy, have two children. Their son Chris is an associate head coach at Duke University and their daughter Kelly lives in the Philadelphia area.

Earlier this week, the Sixers were awarded the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, which will be held on Thursday, June 24 at The WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, beginning at 7 p.m.

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