Archive for June 28th, 2010

The AP reports:

Los Angeles Lakers assistant Brian Shaw is meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers about their coaching vacancy.

Shaw arrived in Cleveland on Monday to visit with owner Dan Gilbert and front-office members, the Cavs said. It is not yet known if the club has offered him the job.

The 43-year-old Shaw has spent five seasons on Phil Jackson’s staff in Los Angeles. A 14-year NBA veteran, Shaw is also considered a candidate to replace Jackson if the 11-time champion retires. Jackson is expected to announce his plans later this week.

The Cavaliers have been looking for a coach since firing Mike Brown after their second-round playoff loss to Boston. The team was previously turned down by Tom Izzo, who rejected a reported $30 million offer to stay at Michigan State.

Joseph Ondrejko, an experienced veteran of selling tickets to professional sporting events and teams, was today named the Philadelphia 76ers new Vice President of Ticket Sales.

“Joe brings a tremendous amount of sales experience to the Sixers,” said Sixers Senior Vice President of Business Operations Lara Price. “As we begin a new era in Sixers basketball with the second overall pick Evan Turner and Head Coach Doug Collins, we’ll rely heavily on Joe to create and implement new and exciting opportunities for our fans to enjoy Sixers basketball.

“He has done incredible jobs with the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Tampa Bay Lightning and we’re looking for similar results here in Philadelphia,” added Price.

Ondrejko joins the Sixers from the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League, where he was responsible for significant increases in new season ticket sales and renewal percentages for the team, while also increasing revenue growth via inside sales, group sales and mini-game plans. He started with the Blue Jackets as Director of Group Ticket Sales, successfully restructuring the department which led to an increase in group sales during his first and only year in that position.

Prior to joining Columbus, Ondrejko spent five years with the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL) of Palace Sports and Entertainment becoming the team’s Corporate Partnerships Manager, where he was responsible for developing new revenue streams, all arena signage, in-game promotions, and Lightning Network Broadcast advertising.

He began his tenure with the Lightning as a Corporate Account Manager, before being promoted to Senior Suite Sales Manager, during which time he was charged with developing and leading suite sales campaigns as well as maintaining, adding and renewing suite business on a yearly basis.

Rockets launch free agency fan caravan

The Houston Rockets today held a send off for the 2010 Rockets Free Agency Caravan. Held on the pad in front of Toyota Center, the first-of-its-kind event featured three Rockets-Red Tundras full of Red Rowdies departing on a mission to rendezvous with Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey for the start of the official NBA free agency period that begins on July 1. Nearly 200 Rockets employees joined Morey in sending off the Caravan, which is expected to meet him in the eventual destination city and deliver him to his initial meeting with one of Houston’s primary free agent targets.

“We have such great fans in Houston, and we wanted to bring that passion and energy to our initial free agent meeting,” said Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey. “We are always looking for ways to engage our fans. The inspiration for this Caravan came directly from their creative spirit.”

The 2010 Rockets Free Agency Caravan was inspired by one of the thousands of ideas submitted from fans via e-mail to the team. Morey asked Rockets fans to submit their suggestions for free agency recruitment to in a quest to find unique recruiting tactics.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports:

When Rockets general manager Daryl Morey begins pursuing free agents this week, he will not be alone.

A band of roughly a dozen Rockets fans will be traveling the country in a week-long expedition with the hopes they will be in a city when Morey arrives to meet with a free agent target.

Hoping to bring attention to the Rockets’ free agency goals, the group left Monday morning from Toyota Center, but initially can only guess where to go. When the free agency period officially begins, at 11 p.m. CDT Wednesday, Morey can tweet or text members of the group so they can travel to the city in which he talks to a player.

Kobe Bryant attends World Cup

Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times reports:

Now that Lakers star  Kobe Bryant has a little free time, he has decided to spend it in South Africa, with the sport he grew up loving.

Kobe Bryant attends World Cup

On his first trip to Africa, Bryant took in the U.S. loss to Ghana on Saturday — former President Bill Clinton and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger were there too — then spent Sunday visiting young soccer players at a training center in Soweto, where he answered questions.

His favorite player? Didier Drogba, the powerful forward of now-eliminated Ivory Coast.

The team he admires? Brazil, which he hopes to watch against Chile on Monday. says: It would be cool to see Kobe meet the Brazil team, just to see the reactions on the Brazil players’ faces. I assume that every single one of them knows who Bryant is, but I wonder if they would mostly treat him like a celebrity, or just a star of a sport that most of them aren’t that into. Obviously they’d all be polite to each other, but I wonder how many of these soccer legends really know and like basketball.

Pacers still unsettled at Conseco

The AP reports:

The Indiana Pacers still are renegotiating the team’s lease of Conseco Fieldhouse with a Wednesday deadline approaching…

The CIB owns Conseco Fieldhouse, where the Pacers play home games and have been paying $15 million per year in operating costs. The team is approaching an option period in the lease, and the CIB has said the team could move, be sold or shut down if a resolution isn’t reached…

Team president of basketball operations Larry Bird has said he has received calls from people who want to move the team, though team owner Herb Simon has maintained that he wants the team to remain in Indiana.

2010 Nets summer league roster

Here is the 2010 New Jersey Nets summer league roster. Note that all summer league rosters are subject to change at any time:

AJ Abrams, G
Connor Atchley, F/C
Demond Carter, G
Wayne Chism, F
Jakim Donaldson, F
Derrick Favors, F
Vernon Goodridge, F/C
Brandon Heath , G
Damion James, F
James Peters, F
Gabe Pruitt, G
Alex Ruoff, G
Garret Siler, C
Lance Thomas, F
Cezary Trybanski, C
Ben Uzoh, G
Terrence Williams, G/F
Brian Zoubek, C

Marc Berman of the New York Post blog reports:

Allan Houston will be a big part of Knicks’ recruiting team this July – just as Donnie Walsh envisioned it when he was hired as his assistant.

Houston has an “in” with the LeBron James camp, having known LeBron advisor William Wesley for years. Wesley will be at the Akron summit.

But Houston also has a chance to tell the free agents such as James and Joe Johnson what Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh can’t tell them – what it is like to win in New York.

Nets waive Keyon Dooling

Nets waive Keyon Dooling

The New Jersey Nets have requested waivers on guard Keyon Dooling, Nets President Rod Thorn announced today.

According to the Bergen Record, “Dooling had a $3.8 million team option, but only $500,000 was guaranteed. The Nets had until Tuesday to waive him or his salary would have been fully guaranteed for the upcoming season. The Nets will have roughly $27 million to use in free agency after this transaction.”

Dooling was acquired on July 21, 2008 from Orlando in exchange for cash considerations.  In two full seasons with New Jersey, Dooling appeared in 130 games, averaging 8.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg and 3.1 apg.  The former first round pick (10th overall) of the Magic in 2000 has career averages of 7.2 ppg, 1.4 rpg and 2.2 apg in 10 years with the Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic and New Jersey Nets.

Dirk Nowitzki entering free agency

Eddie Sefko of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

Dirk Nowitzki entering free agency

That’s not a huge surprise, although the Mavericks were hoping talks about a contract extension for the nine-time all-star would come to fruition.

A source confirmed that an extension now is unlikely and that if the face of the franchise is to stay in Dallas, it will happen via a new contract in free agency.

Nowitzki said last month that he would exercise his early termination option and explore free agency. It’s the first time he’ll be free on the open market.

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