Archive for July 20th, 2010

The AP reports:

New Orleans Hornets team president Hugh Weber said Tuesday that the slow pace of the club’s planned ownership change has no bearing on the franchise’s ability to make key changes aimed at building a winner around star guard Chris Paul.

Any perception that the Hornets are shrouded in uncertainty, Weber said, stemmed from little more than typical NBA “gamesmanship” on the part of other NBA clubs looking for an advantage in signing free agents or hiring general manager candidates that New Orleans also is pursuing.

“I’m totally aware of the gamesmanship that happens in this league,” Weber said. “We do have an owner. It’s the same uncertainty as a year ago or two years ago, which is no uncertainty.”

InsideHoops.com editor says:

I haven’t looked into the ownership stuff and therefore won’t comment on it. But as for the Hornets as a basketball team, they have a ton of talent in the backcourt but need to find a small forward worthy of starting. And, they must figure out how to mesh the talents of David West and Emeka Okafor, because the two should have been a more potent combination last season. Okafor provided very little offensively, barely scoring and getting almost no assists, so it’s mostly on him.

January 20, 2010: Chris Paul and David West of the New Orleans Hornets in action against the Memphis Grizzlies during an NBA game in the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA. Tyler Kaufman/CSM.

Andrew Bynum postpones knee surgery

The AP reports:

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has postponed his knee surgery.

Lakers spokesman John Black said Tuesday that Bynum pushed back the date of his surgery to correct a meniscus tear in his right knee to July 28.

Bynum injured his knee in Game 6 of the Lakers’ playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

InsideHoops.com editor says:

Stating the obvious, but Bynum should avoid coming back until he’s 100 percent and try to put this injury stuff behind him for good.

June 15, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02204195 Los Angeles Lakers' Andrew Bynum wraps up his leg before his game against the Boston Celtics at the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 15 June 2010. The Celtics lead the series 3-2.

The AP reports:

The Minnesota Timberwolves will introduce point guard Luke Ridnour at a press conference on Wednesday.

Ridnour and the Timberwolves agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $16 million last week. The 29-year-old is being brought in to add some veteran experience to a roster where no other player is older than 25.

InsideHoops.com editor says:

With Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions on board and Ridnour joining the party, the point guard position is pretty crowded. Rumors that Sessions is on the trading block have existed for a while now. Maybe he gets dealt in the near future, and perhaps Flynn or the rights to Ricky Rubio will be moved next summer.

April 24, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Milwaukee Bucks Luke Ridnour brings the ball up the court, Ridnour had 11 points to add to the Bucks bench tonight..Milwaukee Bucks won over the Atlanta Hawks 107-89, in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Heat sign Juwan Howard

Heat sign Juwan Howard

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed free agent forward Juwan Howard. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is a great addition for us,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “We feel that Juwan’s ability to play both the four and five spot will be complimentary to what we have put together. He also gives us incredible professionalism and is a perfect fit behind Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem.”

“This is a great opportunity in order to play in the City of Miami for the Heat organization,” said Howard. “I’m looking forward to working hard this upcoming season and contributing in any way I can toward the success of the team both on and off the court.”

Howard has appeared in 1,116 career games (898 starts) with seven teams over 16 seasons. During his career, he has averaged 14.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 32.1 minutes while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 76.3 percent from the foul line. During the 2009-10 season, Howard averaged 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 22.4 minutes, while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from the foul line in 73 games (27 starts) for the Portland Trail Blazers. He scored in double-figures 16 times and grabbed 10-plus rebounds seven times.

Howard, who will wear #5 for the Heat, was originally drafted with the fifth pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. He spent six-plus seasons in Washington before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks in a mid-season trade during the 2000-01 season. He was then sent to Denver the following season before signing with the Orlando Magic as a free agent during the 2003-04 season. He was acquired by the Houston Rockets during the 2004-05 season and spent three seasons there, before making stops in Dallas (2007-08), Minnesota (Summer of 2007), Denver (2008) and Charlotte (2008-09). He signed with Portland as a free agent in 2009 and spent one season there, before signing with the Heat as a free agent.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Juwan may be 74 years old, but he can still play and is a good veteran backup who can help the Heat.

The Phoenix Suns today named distinguished sports attorney Lon Babby the club’s president of basketball operations.

“Our organization is fortunate to have someone of Lon’s experience and talent to head-up our basketball staff,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver.  “He brings with him a unique set of skills and a great reputation in the business.”

With almost 35 years as a practicing attorney with Washington, DC-based Williams & Connolly, LLP, Babby brings a wealth of experience as an industry leader in sports and contract negotiations.  Identified as one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers” for media and sports law by Washingtonian magazine, one of the “20 Most Influential Agents” in the nation by Sports Business Journal and one of the 100 most powerful in sports by The Sporting News, Babby joins one of the NBA’s most storied franchises, which owns the league’s fourth-highest winning percentage all-time (.561), and becomes only the fourth basketball president in the team’s 43-year history.

One of the industry’s most successful and well-regarded player agents, Babby brings his unique perspective of having represented players for 16 years to the management side.  Babby entered player representation in 1994 when he was retained by current Suns forward Grant Hill.  Together the pair devised a new model of player representation based on charging players on an hourly basis, rather than the traditional contract percentage.  His principled approach became an alternative that appealed to the elite “good guy” athletes and his stable of clients grew to include some of the NBA’s most respected sportsmen, including Boston’s Ray Allen, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, Houston’s Shane Battier  and Hill, a three-time winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award.  Babby also represented marquee Major League Baseball players and the WNBA’s Tamika Catchings.

Babby began his career in sports representing first the NFL’s Washington Redskins (1977-80) and then MLB’s Baltimore Orioles (1979-94).  For the Orioles, he was intimately involved in the senior management of the club.  He first served as club counsel and then general counsel, overseeing player contract negotiations, advertising and marketing contracts, labor issues and general business matters, including the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

A graduate of Lehigh University and Yale Law School and former editor of Yale Law Journal, Babby has served as an adjunct professor of law at George Washington University Law School.  He began his career as a litigator and handled several high-profile cases including the defense of John Hinckley, Jr., who shot President Reagan.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and in 2007 was elected to the Greater Washington, DC Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

The 59 year-old Babby was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and grew up in Valley Stream, N.Y.  He and wife Ellen met at summer camp at age 16 and have been married for 37 years.  The couple has a son, Ken (30), who is a senior executive at The Washington Post Company, and a daughter, Heather (26), who is a marketing specialist at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York.

Bobcats sign Shaun Livingston

Bobcats sign Shaun Livingston

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed free agent guard Shaun Livingston. The five-year NBA veteran averaged 6.9 points, 3.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 22.0 minutes in 36 games last season with Oklahoma City and Washington.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re excited to add a talented young player like Shaun to our team,” Higgins said.  “He is a long, athletic point guard who we anticipate being a significant part of our rotation.”

The 6-7 Livingston was originally selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers.  He has career averages of 7.2 points, 4.4 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 196 games with the Clippers, Heat, Thunder and Wizards.  He has scored in double figures 57 times and tallied double-figure assists in 12 games in his career.

Livingston signed with the Wizards on February 26, 2010 and saw action in 26 of the team’s final 27 games of the season, averaging 9.2 points, 4.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes, while shooting .535 from the field.  Livingston started the season’s final 18 games, averaging 11.2 points, 4.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 30.7 minutes.  He scored in double figures in eight of the last nine games, including a career-high 25 points on April 9 at Boston, and recorded seven or more assists in seven of the final nine games.

Livingston averaged career highs of 9.3 points, 5.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds for the Clippers in 2006-07 before suffering tears to the ACL, MCL, PCL and lateral meniscus in his left knee, as well as patella and tibia/femoral dislocations, on Feb. 26 against the Bobcats that caused him to miss the final 26 games of the season and all of 2007-08.  He later played four games with Miami in 2008-09 and 18 games with Oklahoma City during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons before signing with Washington.

The Charlotte Bobcats, who became the NBA’s 30th team when they joined the league in 2004-05, finished the 2009-10 season with a franchise-best 44-38 overall record (31-10 at home) and first-ever playoff appearance.

Shaq TV dispute settled

WENN.COM reports:

Executives behind basketball ace-turned-reality TV star Shaquille O’Neal’s hit show SHAQ VS. have reached a settlement with a disgruntled author who alleged they stole his concept for the programme.

Writer Todd Gallagher filed suit against O’Neal’s talent representatives at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in October (09), claiming they had agreed to turn his book, Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan, into a TV series in 2008…

The court case has now been dismissed after the two parties reached a deal. The details of the settlement have not been released to the press but is said to be in the six-figures, according to TMZ.com.

Celebs enjoy the festivities during the gala opening of the Casino Club At The Greenbrier in West Sulfur Springs, West Virginia on July 2, 2010. Restriction applies: NO NEW YORK NEWSPAPERS  Fame Pictures, Inc

Matt Barnes may join Raptors

The AP reports:

Free-agent forward Matt Barnes says he is headed for Toronto.

Barnes wrote on his Twitter page Monday that he has decided to play for the Raptors next season. He also thanked fans in Orlando, where he played last season.

Yahoo reports:

Even after Matt Barnes announced himself as a Toronto Raptor on his Twitter account, the sign-and-trade deal that would’ve sent him to the team with a two-year, $9 million contract has fallen apart, a league source told Yahoo! Sports.

“The sign-and-trade is dead,” the source flatly said.

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