Archive for June, 2010

Lamar Odom concerned about left shoulder

Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register reports:

Lamar Odom played the postseason with a light brace on his right knee but said Tuesday his greater concern in the offseason is his left shoulder that also has been bothering him.

Odom hurt the shoulder on a dunk in a Feb. 18 game against Boston. He has had trouble with the shoulder before — including a torn labrum — but said he’ll take some time off before getting it checked out.

Odom had a vacation planned soon to Mexico with his wife but has more immediate plans to rest.

Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman reports:

Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant will grace the cover of NBA ELITE 11, the EA SPORTS videogame formerly known as NBA LIVE.

An action shot of Durant dribbling while donning a white Thunder jersey appears on the cover of the game. It is the second time in Durant’s career that he’s been featured as a cover athlete for a mainstream videogame. He appeared on the cover of NCAA March Madness 08 as well, sporting his Texas Longhorns’ No. 35 jersey. Durant becomes only the third player in EA SPORTS history to be featured on an NCAA and an NBA licensed product.

“I’ve always been a fan of EA Sports,” Durant said in a release. “This has been an exciting year for me and the team, and capping it off with being on the cover of NBA ELITE 11 is cool.”

2010 NBA Draft green room players

The following 15 players have been invited by the NBA to be at the 2010 NBA Draft. These are the “green room” guys — they’ll be at the tables close to the stage. It means the NBA thinks these guy all should go in the first round, mostly lottery (or somewhat close):

Cole Aldrich (Kansas)
Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest)
Luke Babbitt (Nevada)
DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky)
Ed Davis (North Carolina)
Derrick Favors (Georgia Tech)
Paul George (Fresno State)
Gordon Hayward (Butler)
Xavier Henry (Kansas)
Wesley Johnson (Syracuse)
Greg Monroe (Georgetown)
Patrick Patterson (Kentucky)
Evan Turner (Ohio State)
Ekpe Udoh (Baylor)
John Wall (Kentucky)

Lamar Odom gets Rolls-Royce from wife

As editor of InsideHoops.com, I am known for giving cars away as gifts. I toss them around like candy. But I can’t say I’ve given away more than 10 or 20 Rolls-Royces in the last year, so this story was a nice surprise:

WENN.com reports:

Khloe Kardashian gave her basketball player husband Lamar Odom a handsome reward for winning the NBA championship.

She bought him a brand-new Rolls Royce.

Odom helped the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in the NBA Final last week, and his reality TV star partner purchased the $400,000 US luxury car to congratulate him.

Warriors belong to Stephen Curry

Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Warriors belong to Stephen Curry

The Warriors are Stephen Curry’s team, and general manager Larry Riley will consider who best fits with the point guard when choosing a draft pick Thursday.

“It’s obvious and true that Curry is a guy who is going to have the ball in his hands a lot, and we’re going to play right through him a great deal,” Riley said. “He’s the point guard of this team, and Monta (Ellis) plays the two, and that’s the direction we’re going.

“You don’t build your team around a two-guard. You build around a point guard.”

Curry had a historic rookie season, averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game. He is the only rookie in NBA history to shoot at least 45 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 85 percent from the free-throw line.

Robert Dozier breaks left foot

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

Robert Dozier might remain Mr. Irrelevant for another year.

Selected with the 60th and final selection of last year’s NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, the 6- foot-9 forward out of the University of Memphis broke his left foot while drilling last week at AmericanAirlines Arena.

After spending this past season with a second-tier team in the Greek League, Dozier had returned to South Florida recently to begin workouts in advance of the Heat’s participation in the July NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

But after breaking a bone in his foot during non-contact work, surgery was required, with the procedure handled by Heat team physician Harlan Selesnick leaving Dozier sidelined for 12 weeks.

Nuggets make qualifying offer to Linas Kleiza

The Denver Nuggets have made a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Linas Kleiza, Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark Warkentien announced today. Per team policy, terms of the offer were not released.

Kleiza, 6-8, 245, averaged 8.3 ppg and 3.5 rpg in 301 games with the Nuggets in four seasons (2005-2009) with the team since being acquired in a draft-night trade with Portland on June 28, 2005. During the 2008-09 season, his most recent season with the Nuggets, he posted averages of 9.9 ppg and 4.0 rpg in 22.2 mpg.

He spent the past season in Greece, helping Olympiakos reach the Euroleague Championship game while leading the Euroleague in scoring with an average of 17.1 ppg.

The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired the 34th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for the 44th overall selection and cash considerations, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

The Trail Blazers now hold the 22nd and 34th overall picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports:

Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver picked up the team option in coach Alvin Gentry’s contract for the 2011-12 season.

The performance of Gentry’s team to make the playoffs last season already had guaranteed a portion of that season’s salary. Picking up the team option guarantees another portion but half of his $2.15 million salary for that season remains subject to whether there is a lockout once the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement expires in July 2011…

Gentry still ranks among the lowest paid coaches for the coming season at $1.95 million, which is less than the $2.5 million Terry Porter will receive from Phoenix for being a fired coach. Suns GM Steve Kerr had advocated picking up Gentry’s option and adding a year to the contract.

Manute Bol dies at 47

The AP reports:

Manute Bol, a lithe 7-foot-7 shot-blocker from Sudan who spent 10 seasons in the NBA and was dedicated to humanitarian work in Africa, died Saturday. He was 47.

Bol died at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, where he was being treated for severe kidney trouble and a painful skin condition, Tom Prichard, executive director of the group Sudan Sunrise, said in an e-mail.

“Sudan and the world have lost a hero and an example for all of us,” Prichard said. “Manute, we’ll miss you. Our prayers and best wishes go out to all his family, and all who mourn his loss.”

Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski, on the passing Manute Bol:

“On behalf of the entire Philadelphia 76ers organization, we would like to pass along our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family of Manute during this very difficult time.

“Manute’s impact on this city, our franchise and the game of basketball cannot be put into words. He was a person who was continually giving of himself through his generosity and humanitarian efforts in order to make the world around him a much better place, for which he will always be remembered.”

President Obama salutes Lakers

The Boston Herald reports:

President Barack Obama yesterday congratulated Lakers coach Phil Jackson and his team on winning the NBA championship for the second year in a row.

Obama also congratulated Jackson on winning his 11th championship as a head coach.

The White House said Obama told Jackson in a telephone call that the series between the Lakers and the Celtics  was great and worthy of the rivalry between the two teams. Obama said he looked forward to congratulating the players in person at the White House.

Heat exercise option on Mario Chalmers

Heat exercise option on Mario Chalmers

The Miami Heat announced today that they have exercised the Team Option on Mario Chalmers. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Chalmers, a 6’1”, 190-pound guard, has appeared in 155 regular season games (104 starts) averaging 8.6 points, 4.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.62 steals and 28.6 minutes. Last season, Chalmers finished 19th among NBA league leaders in steals-per-turnover (1.25) and 33rd in steals per game. During his rookie campaign, he became just the fifth player, and the first rookie, in franchise history to start in all 82 games while on his way to earning Second Team NBA All-Rookie honors. He currently ranks tied for 15th in three-point field goals made (189), 16th in assists (642) and 16th in steals (250) on the Heat’s all-time lists. Additionally, he has appeared in 12 postseason contests (seven starts) averaging 8.8 points, 3.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.92 steals and 30.2 minutes.

Chalmers was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (34th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft. His draft rights were acquired by the Heat in exchange for two 2009 second-round draft picks and cash considerations on draft night.

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports:

The most telling statistic in Game 7 was offensive rebounds.

Boston was simply overwhelmed in that category. The Lakers held a 23-8 edge, overall, and it was 15-2 after the first half.

“I thought our guys battled down there, but 23-8, you know, on offensive rebounds, and then the 37-17 discrepancy in free throws, that makes it almost impossible to overcome,” Rivers said.

In fact, the Lakers’ Pau Gasol had more offensive rebounds (nine) than the Celtics. Boston point guard Rajon Rondo had four offensive rebounds and Rasheed Wallace had two.

Obviously, the loss of a big body, in the form of center Kendrick Perkins, was a massive one for the Celtics. Perkins suffered two torn ligaments in his right knee early in Game 6, and Wallace did an admirable job in filling in.

Rasheed Wallace could retire

The AP reports:

Rasheed Wallace could retire

Former Piston Rasheed Wallace, another old guy who was forced to start and play 36 minutes because of Kendrick Perkins’ knee injury, had to throw his hand up to ask out of the game when he became winded in the second half.

“He was just trying to figure out a way to stay on the floor,” said Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who called the 35-year-old Wallace a “warrior” who was considering retirement.

Rivers said Wallace was battling cramps and strains, which kept him from going inside as he did early in the game.

“We had to keep subbing him for one minute and two minutes, and I thought the reason we got up early was because of Rasheed Wallace,” Rivers said. “We got it low in the post, he started scoring, and I thought what happened was late in the game he got tired and had the injuries and we couldn’t go down anymore, and I think that had a huge impact on how we were playing. We had to go away from the post almost because of fatigue.”

The AP reports:

2010 championship improves chances of a Phil Jackson return

With his record 11th NBA championship secured, Phil Jackson was evasive about his future with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He’s in the final year of his contract, with no word about a possible extension. He had said that if the Lakers won their second straight title, it would improve his chances of returning. He turns 65 in September.

“It does improve my chances,” Jackson said after the Lakers’ 83-79 victory over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night. “That’s a wonderful thing. That’s as much as I’ll talk about it.”

The AP reports:

Beating Boston for the first time in a Game 7, the Lakers came up champions again after trailing in the last quarter of the last game of their season.

Kobe Bryant, the finals MVP, scored 23 points despite 6-of-24 shooting and the Lakers won their 16th NBA championship Thursday night, dramatically rallying from a fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 83-79 in Game 7 of the NBA finals.

Bryant earned his fifth title with the Lakers, who repeated as NBA champions for the first time since winning three straight from 2000-02.

The AP reports:

Ron Artest added 20 points for the Lakers, who shot terribly while trailing for most of the first 3 1/2 quarters. Yet they reclaimed the lead midway through the fourth quarter and hung on with big shots from Pau Gasol and Artest…

Paul Pierce had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics, who just couldn’t finish the final quarter of a remarkable playoff run after a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Garnett added 17 points, but Boston flopped in two chances to clinch the series in Los Angeles after winning Game 5 back home.

After three quarters of mostly terrible offense, the Lakers tied it at 61 on Artest’s three-point play with 7:29 left. Bryant’s free throws 90 seconds later gave the Lakers their first lead of the second half, and the Lakers went up by five points before Bryant and Sasha Vujacic hit free throws in the final seconds to keep Los Angeles ahead.

The AP reports:

The Celtics had much more poise from the opening tip in Game 7, playing vicious defense that forced Los Angeles to miss 21 of its first 27 shots. Bryant and Gasol were a combined 6 for 26 in the first half while the Lakers made just 26.5 percent of their shots, and only Ron Artest’s 12 points and relentless effort kept the Celtics’ halftime lead to six points.

The Lakers are the first team to rally from a 3-2 deficit to win a finals since Houston did it in 1994, beating the New York Knicks.

InsideHoops.com reports:

The Lakers shot just 32.5%, while the Celtics hit 40.8%. The Lakers were only 4-of-20 from three-point range; the Celtics 6-of-16. But the Lakers got 37 free throw attempts (hitting just 25), while the Celtics only got 17 attempts (hitting 15). The Lakers won the rebounding battle 53-40, and had 23 offensive boards (Boston had just 8). The Lakers as a team had only 11 assists, with 11 turnovers.

For Los Angeles, Kobe shot 6-of-24 for 23 points and 15 rebounds. Ron Artest shot 7-of-18 for 20 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals (but 4 turnovers). Pau Gasol shot 6-of-16 for 19 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks. Derek Fisher shot 4-of-6 for 10 points. Lamar Odom hit 3-of-8 off the bench for 7 points and 7 rebounds.

For Boston, Paul Pierce shot 5-of-15 for 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Garnett shot 8-of-13 for 17 points, only 3 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Rajon Rondo shot 6-of-13 for 14 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists. Ray Allen shot just 3-of-14 for 14 points and 3 steals. And Rasheed Wallace, starting in place of the injured Kendrick Perkins, shot 5-of-11 for 11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

76ers trade Samuel Dalembert to Kings for Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni

The Sacramento Kings today acquired Samuel Dalembert in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni, it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

According to the Sacramento Bee, “Dalembert, who attended Seton Hall and was the 26th overall selection of the 2001 NBA Draft by the 76ers, comes to the Kings in the final year of his contract. He is scheduled to make $12,200,000.”

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, “Nocioni has two years remaining on his contract, with an option for a third. The two years are valued at about $13 million. Hawes, a first-round draft pick in 2007, is still under his rookie deal.”

“We’re excited about the acquisition of Samuel Dalembert,” explained Petrie. “He will certainly bring a defensive presence and increase our ability to defend around the basket with his rebounding, shot-blocking and athleticism. I think he’ll add a very different look to our team defensively and we’re really excited about having him. I also want to thank Spencer and Andres for their contributions here and wish them well with Philadelphia. It’s been an enjoyable time with both of them.”

Dalembert, a 6-11, 250-pound center, who just finished his eighth NBA season (all with Philadelphia), has amassed career averages of 8.1 points (.527 FGs, .692 FTs), 8.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game through 582 contests. His most productive season occurred during the 2006-07 campaign when he averaged 10.7 points (.541 FGs and .746 FTs), 8.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game over 82 outings, of which he started all 82 games. Dalembert has averaged 8.6 points (.521 FGs, .658 FTs), 9.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game through 17 career playoff contests. He ranked fifth in the NBA in blocks (1.84 bpg) in 2009-10 and has swatted away 140 or more shots in six of the last seven seasons. He ranks second in career blocks (1,131) in 76ers history, trailing only Julius Erving (1,293). Dalembert has played in all 82 games in each of the last four seasons and has a consecutive games played streak of 354. He led Philadelphia in rebounding with a 9.6 average in 2009-10, ranking him 12th in the NBA. He was the 2009-10 recipient of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizen Award presented annually by the Professional Basketball Writers Association. Dalembert was a first round pick (26th overall) by the 76ers in the 2001 NBA Draft out of Seton Hall after his sophomore season. He finished with career averages of 7.1 points (.537 FGs, .539 FTs) and 5.8 rebounds per game through 59 outings over his two-year career at Seton Hall.

At 7-1 and 245 pounds, Hawes, a center, recently finished his third NBA season (all with the Kings). He has totaled career averages of 8.8 points (.466 FGs, .314 3FGs, .670 FTs), 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 blocks per game over 220 outings, of which he has started in 118). Hawes’ most productive season occurred during the 2008-09 campaign when he averaged 11.4 points  (.466 FGs, .348 3FGs, .662 FTs), 7.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 blocks per game through 77 contests. He was selected by Sacramento in the first round (10th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft after his freshman season at the University of Washington.

Nocioni, a 6-7, 225-pound forward, recently finished his sixth NBA season (four and a half with Chicago and one and a half with Sacramento). He has amassed career averages of 11.3 points (.433 FGs, .375 3FGs, .802 FTs), 4.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game over 449 contests, of which he has started in 185).  He has averaged double figures in scoring in four of his six NBA seasons. Nocioni has appeared in 22 career playoff games with Chicago, averaging 13.6 points (.443 FGs, .377 3FGs, .789 FTs), 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He was signed by the Bulls as a free agent prior to the 2004-05 season. Nocioni was acquired by the Kings in a three-team trade involving Chicago and Portland on February 18, 2009. Nocioni played for Tau Ceramica in Spain from 2002 to 2004 prior to his NBA career.

Heat to exercise Chalmers option

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

And then there were three.

Heat to exercise Chalmers option

Point guard Mario Chalmers has become the third Miami Heat player secured on the books for 2010-11.

While neither side would confirm the formal paperwork has been completed, the Heat has informed Chalmers that it will pick up the option year on his rookie contract.

The Heat had until June 24, the day of the NBA Draft, to make its decision.

Chalmers now joins forward Michael Beasley and guard Daequan Cook as the only Heat players locked into 2010-11 salaries.

Still to be determined is the player option held by center Joel Anthony, who also faces a June 24 deadline, as well as a buyout decision on the final three years of the contract of forward Jabmes Jones, and guard Dwyane Wade’s decision on his 2010-11 option year.

The AP reports:

The parents of a Celtics fan who stopped breathing and later died after Boston police took him into custody during 2008 NBA championship celebrations have settled with the city for $3 million.

The settlement announced Thursday by a lawyer for the parents of David Woodman came on the same day the Celtics were scheduled to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the deciding Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

The AP reports:

Police will deploy hundreds of officers at Game 7 of the NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics to prevent the kind of unrest that broke out after the Lakers won last year’s championship.

Police Chief Charlie Beck issued a stern warning Wednesday to anyone thinking of spoiling a potential celebration should the Lakers seize their 16th victory.

“If you vandalize, if you graffiti, if you assault somebody in conjunction with one of these (celebrations), I take it personally,” Beck said Wednesday. “By those actions, you defame the reputation of the city we all love.”

Beck said he doesn’t expect problems, and a strong police presence should deter anyone from causing trouble. Perimeters will be set around Staples Center on Thursday to keep out people without tickets to the game, and tactical units will stick around afterward to dissuade fans from congregating outside the arena, he said.

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