Archive for July, 2010

Jody Genessy of the Deseret News reports:

You can bet John Stockton and Jerry Sloan will be at the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony next month when Karl Malone and the original Dream Team are among the inductees.

Surprisingly, though, neither of them will be presenting The Mailman on his big night.

Per Malone’s request, that honor has been bestowed upon a fellow Louisiana legend.

“Willis Reed is presenting me at the Hall of Fame, which I think is pretty cool,” Malone said Friday night while visiting with Utah media at his auto dealership.

Though many people thought either Stockton or Sloan would be chosen as his presenter — a privilege only current Hall of Famers are allowed to do — Malone went back to his youth to make the selection.

Reed, who’s 21 years older than the 47-year-old birthday boy Malone, grew up in the town of Bernice, La.

SALT LAKE CITY - FEBRUARY 13:  Karl Malone announces his retirement from playing NBA basketball on February 13, 2005 at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Malone played 19 years in the NBA, 18 with the Utah Jazz and his last year with the Los Angeles Lakers. Malone is currently second on the all time scoring list.  (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

The Chicago Sun-Times reports:

With the recent addition of Kurt Thomas, the Bulls have 11 players locked up and will be looking to add one more player — preferably a guard — to the roster in the next week or so.

Derrick Rose made it clear Friday he hopes that player is Tracy McGrady.

”I think that if he comes along he can help our team,” Rose said after the Team USA workout at the Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus. ”A player like him, with his experience and how he plays, I think he’ll help us.”

That depends on the health of McGrady, who has had multiple surgeries on his left knee, including microfracture surgery about a year and a half ago.

Mar. 19, 2010 - New York - (100320) -- NEW YORK, March 20, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Tracy McGrady(R) of New York Knicks dribbles during an NBA game against Philadelphia 76ers in New York, United States of America, March 19, 2010. New York Knicks won 92-88.. (Xinhua/Shen Hong.

Cathy Locke of the Sacramento Bee reports:

Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans pleaded no contest Friday to reckless driving.

Tyreke Evans sentenced to informal probation for reckless driving

Evans, 20, was ordered to serve three years’ informal probation and 80 hours of alternative sentencing, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully said in a written announcement. His driver’s license also was suspended for 30 days, and he was ordered to participate in two California Highway Patrol Start Smart Driving programs, educational programs targeting teenage drivers.

Evans was driving his black Mercedes S550 shortly before 7 p.m. May 31, when a Highway Patrol flight officer in a CHP Cessna airplane spotted the vehicle traveling more than 100 mph while crossing lanes on westbound Interstate 80. The vehicle at times reached speeds of up to 130 mph and continued at high speeds for several miles while passing vehicles in Memorial Day weekend traffic, Scully said.

Can Austin Daye be NBA shooting guard?

Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press reports:

Can Austin Daye play shooting guard in the NBA?

Can Austin Daye be NBA shooting guard?

He certainly would be a matchup problem at 6-feet-11 — he’s taller than fellow second-year players Jonas Jerebko and DaJuan Summers. Daye spent plenty of time at the position last week during the Pistons’ Summer League in Las Vegas as the staff experimented with him at different positions.

He has the height of a power forward, the body of a small forward and the shooting range of a shooting guard, but at 22, he has plenty of room to grow physically and mentally.

The lanky shooter has the perimeter game to play the position, but whether he has the quickness to guard smaller shooting guards and the commitment to handle the defensive aspects of the position are yet to be determined.

Playing multiple positions would get him more time on the floor during the regular season.

April 6, 2010: Detroit Pistons guard-forward Austin Daye (5) driving to the basket during the NBA game between the Detroit Pistons and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Pistons beat the 76ers, 124-103.

WNBA: Tina Charles rocking the boards

The AP reports:

Tina Charles, who helped UConn win consecutive NCAA championships with undefeated records in her last two seasons, entered the weekend averaging 16.0 points and a league-best 12.0 rebounds. If she keeps it up, the 6-foot-4 center could top Chamique Holdsclaw’s single-season record average of 11.6 rebounds, set in 2002.

“The rebounding part has been the dominant part,” Sun coach Mike Thibault said. “It’s been better than I expected. I knew she was a good rebounder but she has been relentless about getting the ball.”

Charles also has 15 double-doubles in Connecticut’s 21 games this season, two behind the rookie record shared by Yolanda Griffith (1999) and Candace Parker (2008), and four behind the league mark set by Natalie Williams (2000).

SAN ANTONIO - APRIL 06: Center Tina Charles #31 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates while cutting down the net after a 53-47 win against the Stanford Cardinal during the NCAA Women's Final Four Championship game at the Alamodome on April 6, 2010 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Lorenzen Wright missing since Sunday

George Brown of WREG News channel 3 in Memphis reports:

Lorenzen Wright, a former Memphis Tiger and Memphis Grizzlies player, is missing.

The family of Wright says he’s been missing since Sunday.

Wright’s sister, Savia Archie, says her family is very concerned.

Archie said, Wright was last seen on sunday when he was expected to fly out of Memphis, but no one has heard from him since.

Kobe Bryant had right knee surgery

Kobe Bryant had right knee surgery

Kobe Bryant recently underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.  The successful surgery was performed last week.

Bryant is currently undergoing rehab and is expected to be fully recovered prior to the start of the Lakers’ training camp on September 25.

There is no word on if Bryant plans to address lingering finger issues that he’s been playing with for quite some time.

Jun 21, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Kobe Bryant (left) and wife Vanessa Bryant wave to the crowd during the 2009-10 Los Angeles Lakers championship parade on Figueroa Street. Photo via Newscom

Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn has been fined $50,000 for inappropriate comments about Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley.  In addition, the Timberwolves organization has been fined $50,000 for Kahn’s remarks.

Earlier today, the St. Paul Pioneer Press had reported: “Timberwolves President David Kahn said newly acquired Michael Beasley had issues with maturity and with smoking “too much marijuana,” but appears to have grown since then. “He’s a very young and immature kid who smoked too much marijuana and has told me that he’s not smoking anymore,” Kahn said Thursday in an interview with KSTP-AM 1500, “and I told him that I would trust him as long as that was the case.”

Kings sign Antoine Wright and Pooh Jeter

The Sacramento Kings today signed free agents Antoine Wright and Pooh Jeter to contracts, according to Kings’ Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Wayne Cooper. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

“Antoine Wright and Pooh Jeter are two solid players at their respective positions who will add to our roster’s depth,” said Cooper. “Wright has five years of NBA experience under his belt and Jeter is coming off of a great summer league showing as he played for Cleveland’s team in Las Vegas.”

Kings sign Antoine Wright and Pooh Jeter

Wright, a 6-7, 215-pound forward-guard, who is currently entering his sixth NBA season, has recorded career averages of 5.6 points (.413 FGs, .306 3FGs, .674 FTs), 2.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game through 290 outings with New Jersey (2005-07), Dallas (2007-09) and Toronto (2009-10). He averaged 6.5 points (.406 FGs, .335 3FGs, .688 FTs), 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game over 67 contests last year with the Raptors. Wright has played in 28 career playoff games, averaging 3.9 points and 1.3 rebounds for the Nets (2005-07) and Mavericks (2007-09). He posted career averages of 15.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game through 87 outings over his three-year career at Texas A&M before being drafted in the first round (15th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets following his junior year.

Jeter, a 5-11, 175-pound guard, has played overseas for the last four seasons for BC Kiev (2007-08, Ukraine), ViveMenorca (2008-09, Spain), Unicaja Malaga (2009, Spain) and Hapoel Jerusalem (2009-10, Israel). His professional career began with the Colorado 14ers of the NBA D-League (2006-07) where he averaged 14.4 points (.486 FGs, .263 3FGs, .885 FTs), 7.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game through 50 contests. Jeter played for the Kings in the 2007 Summer League in Las Vegas, and most recently played for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2010 Summer League where he averaged 14.8 points (.482 FGs, .250 3FGs, .800 FTs), a team-leading 5.4 assists, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game over five outings. He enjoyed a four-year career at the University of Portland, averaging 14.9 points (.550 FGs, .420 FTs), 3.0 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game through 115 career contests.

Spurs sign rookie James Anderson

The San Antonio Spurs announced today that they have signed James Anderson. The Spurs drafted Anderson with 20th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.  Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed. Since he’s a first round selection, Anderson was guaranteed a contract from the Spurs if he wanted to play in the NBA immediately.

Anderson, an early entry candidate, spent the past three years playing at Oklahoma State University before declaring for the NBA Draft.  Last season the 6-6 guard was named the Big 12 Player of the Year and a Second Team All-American by the Associated Press.  Anderson ranked sixth in the nation and led the Big 12 in scoring (22.3 ppg) and averaged 5.8 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 33 games.  He scored in double figures in all 33 games, including 20 or more points in 22 games and 30-plus in five games.

As a sophomore Anderson was named Second Team All-Big 12.  He led the Cowboys in scoring (18.2 ppg), three-point percentage (.408, 84-206) and free throw percentage (.829, 136-164).  He posted a career-high 37 points at Oklahoma on March 7, 2009.  Anderson was named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team in 2008 and earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention during his freshman season.

For his career Anderson started in 99 of 101 games for the Cowboys, averaging 17.9 points (second all-time in OSU history), 5.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.11 steals while shooting .460 (583-1,268) from the field, .375 (222-600) from three-point range and .797 (420-527) from the foul line.

2010-11 Thunder preseason schedule

The Oklahoma City Thunder will play a pair of home games at the Ford Center and host a neutral-site game in Tulsa as part of a seven-game preseason schedule leading up to the 2010-11 NBA regular season, the team announced today.

As part of the Thunder’s 2010 Training Camp, Oklahoma City will open the preseason with two road contests: Wednesday, October 6 vs. Charlotte at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, NC and Friday, October 8 vs. Miami at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. The Thunder will then make its third annual trip to Tulsa for an exhibition contest against Memphis on Tuesday, October 12 at the BOK Center.

Oklahoma City welcomes CSKA Moscow, the 2006 and 2008 Euroleague champion to the Ford Center, for an NBA sanctioned preseason contest on Thursday, October 14. The Thunder will then embark on back-to-back road games beginning with a contest vs. San Antonio on Monday, October 18 followed by a game in Denver vs. the Nuggets on Tuesday, October 19.  Following the back-to-back, Oklahoma City concludes its preseason schedule at the Ford Center on Thursday, October 21 in a match-up vs. New Orleans.

Cavaliers sign Christian Eyenga

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard/forward Christian Eyenga to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today.  Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.

Mar. 14, 2010 - Badalona, Spain - BADALONA (SPAIN), 14/03/2010.- Ayuda en Accion Fuenlabrada winger Matias Sandes (R) fights for the ball with Congolese winger Christian Eyenga (L) of DKV Joventut during their ACB Basketball League match played at Local Sports Palace in Badalona, Catalonia, Spain on 14 March 2010.

Eyenga, 21, was the Cavaliers’ first round selection (30th overall) in the 2009 NBA Draft. He averaged 3.9 points on .561 shooting and 2.0 rebounds in 12.0 minutes in 29 regular season games during the 2009-10 season with DKV Joventut Badalona of the Spanish League. The Spanish League is widely regarded as the second-best domestic league in the world behind the NBA. In 11 EuroCup games, the 6-foot-5 guard/forward posted averages of 3.4 points on .444 shooting and 1.2 rebounds in 9.7 minutes per game.

“We’re looking forward to having Christian continue his development on the court here with Coach Scott and our team,” said Cavs General Manager Chris Grant. “He has worked hard and we were very encouraged by his recent performance in summer league.”

A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eyenga most recently played in all five games of the 2010 NBA Summer League with the Cavaliers, reaching double figures in each of the games. In five games (all starts), he averaged 11.4 points on .435 shooting, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 block in 29.2 minutes per game.

“I am happy to be here in Cleveland and excited to play with the Cavaliers this season,” Eyenga said. “This is a great opportunity for me and I look forward to playing for Coach Scott and learning from him, our coaches and my teammates.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: Statistically, Eyenga has not done much yet, both overseas and in recent summer play. But he’s only 21 and presumably still improving.

The Charlotte Observer reports:

Three armed men broke into the south Charlotte home of Bobcats’ Stephen Jackson and held his wife at gunpoint before locking her in a bathroom and stealing valuables, police say.

The home invasion robbery happened just after 7 a.m. Wednesday at the home on Leamington Lane – a gated community off Carmel Road.

The robbery report doesn’t list the victims’ names or say what the robbers got away with, but a police source told the Observer that the victim was Jackson’s wife and that he wasn’t home at the time of the crime.

Phoenix Mercury set WNBA scoring record

The AP reports:

Diana Taurasi scored 26 points, Candice Dupree had 23 and the defending champion Phoenix Mercury set a WNBA scoring record with a 123-91 victory over the Tulsa Shock on Thursday night.

Ketia Swanier added 17 points, Tangela Smith 13, DeWanna Bonner 11 and Penny Taylor 10 for the Mercury (9-12), who also set records with 67 points in the first half, most points in the second quarter (36) and most field goals in a half (25).

Kara Braxton scored 18 points to lead the Shock (4-18). Shanna Crossley had 12 points, Jennifer Lacy added 11, and Ivory Latta and Amber Holt 10 each.

Spurs began liking Gary Neal in June

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

The team’s infatuation with Neal, a 25-year-old shooting guard who has spent the duration of his three-year career overseas, began at a free-agent minicamp in June.

“Coming into the offseason, we knew we needed to improve our shooting,” general manager R.C. Buford said. “He came into our gym and was one of the best shooters there. He shot the ball beautifully.”

That shooting beauty carried over to last week’s Las Vegas Summer League, where the 6-foot-4 Neal led an undermanned Spurs squad in scoring at 16 points per game, made 50 percent of his 3-pointers (17 of 34) and walked away with an NBA contract.

Neal sealed his deal with a 25-point game in Sunday’s finale against Memphis, in which he buried 6 of 10 from 3-point range.

Buford wouldn’t go so far as to say the addition of Neal signals an end to the Spurs’ summerlong search for a shooter, but it might.

The Philadelphia Daily News reports:

The father of former Sixer Shawn Bradley has died after falling off his roof in central Utah.

The Emery County sheriff’s office says 61-year-old Reiner Bradley fell about 15 feet while caulking a rain gutter Wednesday at his home north of Castle Dale.

Shawn Bradley says doctors told the family his father lost consciousness because of a heart attack, then fell off the roof.

Lakers sign Matt Barnes

Lakers sign Matt Barnes

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Matt Barnes, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Per team policy terms of the contract were not released.

Barnes, a seven-year NBA veteran, appeared in 81 games (58 starts) last season with Orlando, averaging 8.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 25.9 minutes while posting five double-doubles and leading the Magic in scoring six times, in rebounds on four occasions and in assists twice.

Originally selected by the Memphis Grizzlies in the second round (46th overall pick) of the 2002 NBA Draft, Barnes has averaged 7.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 444 career games (162 starts).

A 6’7” forward, Barnes played four seasons collegiately at UCLA where he became the 43rd player in school history to reach 1,000 career points and helped the Bruins reach the NCAA Sweet 16 in each of his last three seasons.

May 18, 2010 - Orlando, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - epa02163462 Orlando Magic's Matt Barnes makes a basket against the Boston Celtics during the first period of game two of the NBA Eastern Conference finals at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida, USA, 18 May 2010. The Celtics hold a one game to none lead in the best of seven series.

Lakers sign Theo Ratliff

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent center Theo Ratliff, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Per team policy terms of the contract were not released.

“I’ve had a long and very rewarding career, and joining a storied and legendary franchise such as the Lakers adds an even more special element,” Ratliff said.  “I look forward to playing for Coach Jackson and with great players such as Kobe, Derek, Pau, Lamar, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum and all my other new teammates, and hopefully to helping the Lakers win a third straight championship.”

Ratliff, a 15-year NBA veteran, appeared in 49 games (29 starts) last season with the San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Bobcats, averaging 3.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.24 blocks in 16.4 minutes.  Acquired from the Spurs on February 18, Ratliff started 26-of-28 games with Charlotte, averaging 5.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.54 blocks while finishing the season ranked 12th league-wide in blocks per 48 minutes (3.63).

“Theo has long been considered to be one of the best defensive big men in the league,” said Kupchak.  “He is a consummate professional and a welcome addition to our team.  Together with Bynum, Gasol, Odom and Artest, he gives us a formidable and deep front line.”

Originally selected by the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the 1995 NBA Draft (18th overall), Ratliff has twice been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1999 and 2004), has led the league in blocked shots three times (2000-01, 2002-03 and 2003-04) and is one of seven players in NBA history to capture the blocked shots title three or more times.  Voted the starting center in the 2001 NBA All-Star Game, Ratliff ranks 18th in NBA history in career blocked shots (1,963) and owns career averages of 7.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.45 blocks and 25.5 minutes in 800 games.

Dec 31, 2008; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Theo Ratliff (5) during the 76ers' 100-92 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

Spurs sign Gary Neal

The San Antonio Spurs announced today they have signed guard Gary Neal. Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Neal, 6-4, 210 lbs., played on the Spurs 2010 summer league team in Las Vegas where he led the team in scoring. He averaged 16.0 points and 2.6 rebounds in 25.8 minutes while shooting .500 (30-60) from the field and .500 (17-34) from beyond the arc in five games.

Last season Neal split time playing for Benetton Treviso in Italy and Unicaja Malaga in Spain. In Italian League play he appeared in 22 games, averaging 19.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals in 32.9 minutes while shooting .628 (108-172) from two-point range, .371 (49-132) from three-point range and .800 (64-80) from the foul line. Neal saw action in 11 Eurocup games, averaging 19.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals in 32.2 minutes. He also played in four Euroleague games for Treviso, averaging 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 29.3 minutes. Neal completed the season playing in 10 games for Unicaja Malaga in the ACB League where he averaged 12.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 19.9 minutes while shooting .571 (28-49) from two-point range, .408 (20-49) from three-point range and .588 (10-17) from the foul line.

After going undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft, Neal has spent the past three years playing in Europe. He’s spent the past two seasons in Italy playing for Benetton Treviso. Prior to that Neal spent the 2007-08 in Spain playing for Barcelona in the ACB League.

Neal started his college career at La Salle before transferring to Towson for his final two years. As a senior he averaged 25.3 points (fourth in the nation), 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 32 games earning All-CAA First Team honors.

Heat re-sign Carlos Arroyo

Heat re-sign Carlos Arroyo

The Miami Heat announced today that they have re-signed guard Carlos Arroyo. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“By re-signing Carlos, we feel we have accomplished another big step in adding to this team,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “Carlos showed last season that he was one of the most competitive and efficient point guards in the NBA, and we are happy to have him back.”

Arroyo has appeared in 505 career games (148 starts) over eight seasons. During his career, with six NBA teams, he has averaged 6.9 points, 3.2 assists, 1.7 rebounds, and 18.7 minutes, while shooting 43.8 percent from the field and 80.5 percent from the foul line. He has scored in double-figures on 160 occasions, and has registered 60 multi-steal games.

During the 2009-10 season, Arroyo appeared in 72 games (35 starts) for the Heat, averaging 6.1 points, 3.1 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 22.0 minutes, while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 84.4 percent from the foul line. He set the Heat single-season franchise record for assist-to-turnover ratio (4.17), which ranked second in the NBA last season, and registered a career-high in field goal percentage.

Arroyo originally signed with the Heat as a free agent on October 12, 2009.

April 12, 2010: Miami Heat guard Carlos Arroyo (8) bringing the ball up the court during the NBA game between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Heat beat the 76ers, 107-105.

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