Archive for August, 2010

Bobcats sign Kwame Brown

Bobcats sign Kwame Brown

Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rod Higgins announced today that the team has signed free agent center Kwame Brown.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Several media outlets reported that the deal would be for one-year and the league minimum.

The 6-11 Brown will enter his 10th NBA season, with career averages of 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.0 minutes over 510 games (217 starts) with Washington, the L.A. Lakers, Memphis and Detroit. In 18 career playoff games (12 starts), Brown averaged 8.7 points and 5.8 rebounds. Last season with the Pistons, Brown appeared in 48 games and averaged 3.3 points and 3.7 rebounds in 16.0 minutes.

“Kwame is a defensive-minded veteran who will add depth to our frontcourt rotation,” said Higgins. “At age 28, he has the size, strength and experience to be a solid contributor for this team.”

His best overall season came with Washington in 2003-04 when he posted career highs in points, rebounds and minutes played, averaging 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds in 30.2 minutes. Additionally he posted 18 double-doubles (points-rebounds), including his 30-point, 19-rebound effort against Sacramento on March 17.

An early entry candidate, Brown became the first-ever player to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick out of high school when Washington chose him in the 2001 NBA Draft.

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.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.


38 Kwame Brown of the Detroit Pistons in action vs. the Sacramento Kings at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. The Pistons beat the Kings 100-92 Photo via Newscom

Team USA cuts Rajon Rondo

With one exhibition game remaining and just tfour days out from the tip of the FIBA World Championship for Men, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo today announced the 12 players who will represent the United States at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

Named to the 12-man 2010 USA World Championship Team were: Chauncey Billups (Denver Nuggets); Tyson Chandler (Dallas Mavericks); Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors); Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder); Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies); Eric Gordon (Los Angeles Clippers); Danny Granger (Indiana Pacers); Andre Iguodala (Philadelphia 76ers); Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves); Lamar Odom (Los Angeles Lakers); Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls); and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder).

“Rajon came to us and said he was going to withdraw from the team, that he had some family matters to attend to and some things to take care of before the NBA season. He did an outstanding job during our training, we appreciate the effort and commitment he made to our program and he completely has our support,” said Colangelo.

Much more info is on the InsideHoops.com USA Basketball page

Thunder announce 2010-11 coaching staff

The Thunder announced its coaching staff for the 2010-11 NBA season today. Assistant coaches Mark Bryant, Maurice Cheeks, Rex Kalamian and Brian Keefe will all return to the bench for the Thunder.

Joining the current quartet of Thunder assistant coaches is newcomer Maz Trakh. Trakh, who joins the club as assistant coach/player development, brings over 20 years of basketball experience to the Thunder.

“I am thrilled to have this group of coaches back on the bench with me for the 2010-11 season,” said Thunder head Coach Scott Brooks. “Every coach brings a unique perspective on the game and provides a great support for the future development of our team. Maz is someone I have known for a long time and he brings a wealth of basketball experience.”

Trakh has spent the last five seasons coaching in Asia including a stint as head coach of Fastlink (now Zain) of Jordan where he led the team to the 2005 FIBA Asia Club Championship. Fastlink became the first Jordanian team to win the Asia Club Championship. Trakh’s coaching career spans three decades and includes stints in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA), Korea, Lebanon and the NCAA.


SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 15:  Head coach Maurice Cheeks of the Philadelphia 76ers watches the game against the Seattle Sonics on November 15, 2006 at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. The 76ers defeated the Sonics 96-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Evan Turner signs Li-Ning shoe deal

The Philadelphia Daily News reports:

China’s  top athletic footwear brand is banking on Evan Turner being a star with the 76ers.

Evan Turner signs Li-Ning shoe deal

Li-Ning announced yesterday that it had signed the No. 2 overall pick to a multiyear contract. Turner will begin appearing immediately in the company’s global marketing and will wear Li-Ning as a rookie. He will have his own branded sneaker and apparel in the second year of the deal.

CNBC first reported the contract.

“This is truly a game-changing moment for the Li-Ning brand,” Brian Cupps, Li-Ning’s brand initiative director for basketball, said in a statement.

Discuss this and shoes in general in our basketball sneakers forum.

Rockets sign Ishmael Smith

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed guard Ishmael Smith to a multi-year deal.

Smith (6-0, 175, Wake Forest) led the Rockets in assists per game during the 2010 NBA Summer League, finishing with averages of 7.8 points (.581 18-31 FG) and 4.8 assists in five games (five starts) with Houston.

An undrafted rookie, Smith finished his four-year career at Wake Forest with averages of 9.2 points (.425, 458-1078 FG), 5.1 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.26 steals in 121 games (91 starts). Smith, who finished second all-time at Wake Forest in assists, stands as the only player in school history with 1,000 points (1,114) and 600 assists (612) in a career. He was also the first Deacon with at least 1,000 points, 500 assists and 400 rebounds (448). A three-year team captain, Smith also ranked sixth in career minutes played (3,667), eighth in career steals (153), 18th in career games played (121) and 36th in career points. He actually started for the Deacons as a freshman, sophomore and senior. An injury to start his junior year pushed him to a reserve role, but he still excelled as the team’s sixth man.

Smith started all 31 games at point guard as a senior, averaging 13.2 points, 6.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.68 steals. He was named Second-Team All-ACC and earned Second-Team All-District honors from the NABC. Smith also received the team’s Murray Greason Award and Team Assists Leader award after finishing third in the ACC and seventh nationally in assists per game in 2009-10. He surpassed Chris Paul in career assists during his junior season and was just the fifth freshman in the history of the ACC to lead the league in assists (6.0 apg).

Smith will wear #13 with the Rockets.


ATLANTA - JANUARY 28: Ishmael Smith #10 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on January 28, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Bobcats will reportedly sign Kwame Brown

NBA free agent Kwame Brown has reportedly found a new home.

Bobcats will reportedly sign Kwame Brown

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the center has agreed to a one-year, minimum-salary deal with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Michael Jordan, who recently purchased the Bobcats, drafted Brown as the #1 overall pick into the NBA back when Jordan was an executive on the Washington Wizards. Brown turned out to just be a bench player, however, and has had little impact in the league thus far.

For his career, Brown averages 6.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game.

The AP reports:

Jose Calderon hurts leg, will miss Worlds

Spain point guard Jose Manuel Calderon will miss the basketball world championships after hurting his leg in an exhibition against the United States.

Tests Monday revealed the Toronto Raptors player tore a muscle in his left leg in Sunday’s 86-85 loss. Calderon had headed to the locker room late in the game. He went scoreless with three assists.

The Spanish federation says Calderon needs four weeks to recover.

Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press reports:

Matt Dobek, 51, died unexpectedly at his Rochester Hills home on Saturday.

Dobek spent 29 years with the Pistons organization before he was fired in May as the team’s vice president of public relations.

Hired by former Pistons executive Tom Wilson, Dobek was a confidant to many of the players during the Bad Boys era of Pistons basketball, including Isiah Thomas, Rick Mahorn and Joe Dumars.

Earl Boykins discusses Bucks role

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

Earl Boykins discusses his role on Bucks

“My role is to be ready when I’m needed,” Boykins said. “I’ve had this role my entire NBA career so it’s nothing new. Throughout the course of the year, everybody is going to have an opportunity to play and produce and help the team win. It’s how you approach it.

“If you remain professional, when your opportunity comes, you’ll take advantage of it.”

Boykins has encountered plenty of doubters due to his size, but he never was one of them.

“When I think back, 12 years in the NBA is very humbling,” he said. “I’ve been blessed with a unique skill to play the game of basketball.

“It’s hard to explain, but even at this level, the game has never been hard for me.”

Boykins said his height actually is “a huge advantage.”

“Everyone who plays against me, they have to make an adjustment,” he said. “When you’re 5-5, you don’t change the way you play. Most guys either don’t know how to do it (adjust) or they just don’t want to do it.”

Billups hopes for four more years

Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post reports (via blog):

Chauncey Billups hopes to play four more years

Billups wants to finish his career in Denver, his hometown. But if the team deteriorates around him, he’ll think about ending it somewhere where the wins will potentially be more plentiful.

“I have hopefully four years left of playing,” Billups said, “and I’m not the kind of person to just ride it out. I want to win. I want to go out on top; I want to go out winning. …I want to get out there, get after it and play. And I want to win as a Nugget the rest of my years. In a perfect world that’s what I would want, that’s what I would hope for.”

InsideHoops.com editor says:

Tough to say how what Billups does affects the Carmelo Anthony situation. On the one hand, Melo knows he needs a guy like Billups next to him to win, but on the other, if Melo is thinking about his future a few years down the road, he’d rather be next to a young Chris Paul (or young anybody) than an elderly Billups.

NBA suspends Delonte West 10 games

NBA suspends Delonte West 10 games

Delonte West, who played last season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, has been suspended without pay for ten games for pleading guilty to carrying a concealed weapon and wearing, carrying, and transporting a handgun, in violation of the law of the State of Maryland, the NBA announced today.

West is currently a free agent.  If he signs a contract to play again in the NBA, West’s suspension will begin with the first game of the NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Despite his personal issues, I still think West eventually will get signed, though probably to a short and possibly non-guaranteed contract. He’s too good a player to fall out of the league.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.


MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 16: Hells Angels bikies leave after the funeral for Melbourne crime figure Macchour Chaouk at Preston Mosque on August 16, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. 61-year old Chaouk was gunned down in the backyard of his Melbourne home on Friday. A man from the rival Haddara family has been questioned by police over the shooting but released without charge. Chaouk will be buried next to his son Mohammed Ali Chaouk who was shot dead by police in a home raid in 2005. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)

Bucks sign Earl Boykins

Bucks sign Earl Boykins

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed guard Earl Boykins (5-5, 133) to a contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

An 11-year NBA veteran, Boykins played 35 games for Milwaukee during the 2006-07 campaign after a mid-season trade with the Denver Nuggets.  He enjoyed his best statistical season in 2006-07 when he combined to average 14.6 points, 4.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds over 66 games with the two teams.

Last season, Boykins played in 67 games (one start) for the Washington Wizards and averaged 6.6 points, 2.6 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 16.7 minutes.

Not drafted out of Eastern Michigan in 1998, Boykins began his NBA career with the New Jersey Nets in the 1998-99 season.  He has also played with Cleveland (1999, 2000), Orlando (1999-2000), Los Angeles Clippers (2000-02), Golden State (2002-03), Denver (2003-07) and Charlotte (2007-08).  In 2008-09, Boykins played 14 games for La Fortezza Bologna in Italy and averaged 14.4 points, 5.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 33.1 minutes per game.

Boykins, 34, has played in 587 career NBA games (34 starts) and holds averages of 9.1 points, 3.3 assists and 1.4 rebounds per contest.

Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.


March 03, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Washington Wizards Earl Boykins brings the ball up the court, Boykins had 8 points coming off the Wizards bench..Milwaukee Buck won over the Washington Wizards 100-87. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Darren Rovell of CNBC reports:

Skittles makes Derrick Rose a custom candy machine

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is known to eat a lot of candy. So when the folks at Wrigley found out that he likes to down their Skittles brand, they decided to do something a little special for the hometown boy.

Earlier this month, they brought a custom, tricked-out Skittles vending machine to his house and promised to keep it stocked with Skittles for at least three years.

Rose gets the machine and the Skittles for free; the Skittles brand has a chance of getting more love from Rose; and the Bulls, I guess, hope Rose’s sugar highs peak at the right time.

InsideHoops.com editor says:

I wonder if the machine has 22-inch rims and a booming sound system.

2010 FIBA Hall of Fame Class announced

A total of 17 outstanding basketball personalities from 12 different countries will be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame on 12th September during the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Istanbul (Turkey), the International Basketball Federation announced today.

National icons Oscar Schmidt (Brazil), Arvydas Sabonis (Lithuania), Dino Meneghin (Italy) and Vlade Divac and Dragan Kićanović (both from Serbia) are among the inductees for the 2010 Class of the FIBA Hall of Fame.

Two of the best female players of all time, Cheryl Miller (USA) and Natalia Zassoulskaya (Russia), complete the list of players.

A combined 14 Olympic medals and 15 FIBA World Championship medals underline the prominence of the seven players and three coaches inducted.

The selected referees and contributors were at the top of the game for decades and belong to the most decorated in their field.

“The 2010 Class has stardom, character and countless merits for the promotion of our game,” said FIBA President Bob Elphinston.

“The inductees were and still are brilliant on and off the court. We are very proud to host the 2010 ceremony in the presence of all these great women and men during the FIBA World Championship and give them the public platform they deserve.”

Here is the full list of the 2010 Class:

PLAYERS:

Vlade Divac Serbia
Dragan KiĆanoviĆ Serbia
Dino Meneghin Italia
Cheryl Miller U.S.A.
Arvydas Sabonis Lithuania
Oscar Schmidt Brazil
Natalia Zassoulskaya Russia

COACHES:

Lindsay Gaze Australia
Evgeny GomelskY Russia
Mirko Novosel Croatia

TECHNICAL OFFICIALS:

Jim Bain U.S.A.
Konstantinos Dimou Greece

CONTRIBUTORS:

George Killian U.S.A.
Hans-Joachim Otto Germany
Ernesto Segura de Luna (posthumously) Spain
Abdoulaye Seye Moreau Senegal
Al RAMSAY * Australia

* Al Ramsay was selected for the 2009 Class, but will officially be enshrined in 2010.

Kyle Koster of the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Wade discusses the idea of surpassing 72 wins

Winning, and winning with historic regularity, is something this Heat squad is expected to do. NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy recently predicted the Wade-James-Bosh triumvirate could surpass the NBA-record 72 wins notched by the 1995-96 Bulls.

While Wade isn’t discounting the possibility, he said it’s not the Heat’s top priority.

”I don’t think about it, and I don’t think the guys are really worried about it. At the end of the day, we have to go out and play the game. People can say whatever they want, but you’ve got to go out there and play. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

”I look at it, and I can’t believe [the Bulls that year] only lost 10 games. That’s unbelievable. I’m sure that’s one of the hardest feats that’s ever happened in sports. It’s nothing that I’m looking at, though. We’re going to go out there and be the best team we can be. If it isn’t 70 wins and we have a great season and win the championship, I don’t think anyone’s going to be mad.”

InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner says:

I don’t think it’ll happen. Maybe in the future, but not in 2010-11. Building chemistry takes time, and while winning will come easy quite often for the Heat, there are plenty of very talented NBA teams who can and will beat these guys. But as the supporting cast presumably improves in the future, so will the possibility of winning 70 or more regular season games.


Apr. 25, 2010 - Miami, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - epa02131631 Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (L) drives the ball past Boston Celtics guard Tony Allen (R) during the first half of their conference quarterfinals round game at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida USA 25 April 2010. The NBA playoffs begin 17 April and end with the NBA Finals in mid-June.

The AP reports:

Stephen Curry hopes for quick recovery from ankle sprain

Stephen Curry is eager to overcome an ankle injury, hopeful it won’t impact his chances of making the U.S. roster for the world championship.

Curry didn’t practice Thursday after suffering a mild sprain to his left ankle a day earlier. The U.S. team said Curry’s recovery was ”progressing” but he remained day to day.

With one player still to be cut from the 13-man squad — and most likely a guard — Curry looked slightly anxious after watching his teammates practice.

InsideHoops.com editor says:

It’ll be close. The ankle sprain definitely hurts Curry. I think he had around a 50 percent chance of sticking with the squad before getting hurt. Now I’d guess it’s around 25 percent.

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports:

Kenyon Martin not sure Nuggets have improved

Kenyon Martin, like his coach, is wondering what will happen with Melo. He’s a friend of Melo’s, but said he hasn’t talked with him recently.

“He’s got a lot of people in his ear already,” Martin said. “But I understand what he’s doing and what he’s going through. I’ve been there. I turned down $66 million in New Jersey and everybody thought I was crazy. . . . My thing is, everybody is rushing this man to sign the extension. Why are they rushing him? He has until July to sign the thing, so why rush? The money will still be on the table.”

Asked about Anthony’s mind-set, Martin said the uncertainty surrounding the franchise has to be on his mind.

“Personally, my thinking is — I can’t see where we got better this summer. Al (Harrington, a free-agent signing) is cool, Al’s my man, but I can’t see how we got better. You know, I’m going to be out and (Andersen) is going to be out (to start the season), so did we get better? I can’t say that we did.”

With his expiring contract, Martin said he wouldn’t be surprised to get traded but expects to play the season out.

“I’ve got one more year, so we’ll go from there,” he said.


Apr. 25, 2010 - Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA - epa02132055 Denver Nugget's Kenyon Martin makes a gesture after missing a free throw in a game against the Utah Jazz's in the second half of their Western Conference first round playoff game at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 25 April 2010. The Jazz beat the Nuggets 117-106 to take a 3-1 lead in the series.

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports:

Two advance scouts for the Clippers have been locked in a pay dispute with the team.

Jerry Holloway, employed since the 2003-04 season, alleged the Clippers quit paying him this spring and breached his contract. Documents filed June 4 in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia County said the Clippers owed Holloway $22,920 in unpaid salary.

After the suit was filed, the Clippers settled with Holloway for $20,000, a source familiar with the situation said. Court papers said Holloway asked for nearly $36,000, which included the unpaid wages, liquidated damages and legal fees.

Another scout, Scott Wissel, alleges he is owed slightly less than Holloway. Wissel, in an interview, said he is considering his legal options.

The Clippers contend the two scouts were “at-will” employees and did not have written contracts.

InsideHoops.com editor says: This owner is really setting himself apart from the rest, in a bad way. No other owner has consistently gotten into disputes of this nature so often.

Mavericks re-sign Tim Thomas

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have re-signed free agent forward Tim Thomas. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Thomas (6-10, 230), a 13-year veteran, was the seventh overall selection in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers and has played with seven teams during his career (Philadelphia, Milwaukee, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, L.A. Clippers and Dallas), including two stints with both New York and Chicago. In 824 career games, he holds averages of 11.5 points and 4.1 rebounds, while shooting .437 from the field, .369 from behind-the-arc and .758 from the foul line.

In 2009-10, Thomas played in 18 games with Dallas (starting once) and averaged 7.5 points and 2.3 rebounds.  He missed the first 11 games of the season due to right knee surgery and 41 games due to personal reasons.

The Patterson, N.J., native has seen action in seven different Playoff runs (55 games). Thomas’ postseason averages show an increase in every major category over his career regular season numbers with averages of 13.3 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting .468 from the field, .436 from three-point range and .772 from the foul line.

Thomas was a standout at Villanova University where he played for one season before making himself eligible for the NBA Draft. In his only season as a Wildcat, Thomas averaged 16.9 points and 6.0 rebounds. He was named The Sporting News Freshman of the Year and Big East Rookie of the Year.

Al Harrington talks to InsideHoops

Forward Al Harrington has been around the block and now finds himself in a good situation with the Denver Nuggets.

Assuming that Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin are around to start at the two forward spots, Harrington can back either guy up and be a big part of the team.

InsideHoops.com met with Harrington and talked about his situation. Harrington names the team that also really wanted him, and his goal of a longer-than-usual NBA career.

Read: Al Harrington interview.

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