Archive for August, 2010

Anderson Varejao OK after ankle sprain

The AP reports:

Anderson Varejao OK after ankle sprain

Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao is not expected to miss any time after spraining his right ankle while playing in an exhibition game for Brazil’s national team.

Varejao hurt his ankle in a collision during a game on Wednesday in Logrono, Spain. A spokeswoman for Brazil’s team said an MRI exam after the game was normal.

Nathan Jawai signs in Serbia

Nathan Jawai signs in Serbia

Serbian powerhouse team BC Partizan have confirmed on their website that Australian basketball star Nathan Jawai has signed a one-year deal with the club.

Jawai, a former player for the Cairns Taipans in the National Basketball League, had just finished his second season in the American NBA.

At Partizan Jawai will replace fellow countryman and Australian Boomers World Championship team member Aleks Maric, who recently signed with Greek superpower club Panathinaikos.

BC Partizan are Serbia’s best team, and have won nine consecutive national titles.

Jawai played 39 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves in season 2009/10, averaging 3.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He played six games for the Toronto Raptors in the 2008/09 season.

He also has appeared in the NBA Development League for Idaho Stampede and Sioux Falls Skyforce.

Jawai was originally drafted 41st overall by the Indiana Pacers in 2008, but was immediately dealt to the Toronto Raptors.

One year later, Jawai was traded again to Dallas in a four-team deal involving the Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic.  A few months later Jawai, who never appeared in a game for Dallas, was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 29: Nathan Jawai of the Australian Boomers scores during game three of the International Series between Australia and Argentina at Brett Maher Court, The Dome on June 29, 2010 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

Full 2010 preseason schedule

The NBA today released its 2010 preseason schedule, which is highlighted by a comprehensive international slate of games that includes seven contests in China, Europe and Mexico. The preseason slate tips off on Oct. 3, when the New York Knicks visit Armani Jeans Milano – the former team of Knicks forward Danillo Gallinari and head coach Mike D’Antoni – in Milan, Italy, and the New Jersey Nets host Maccabi Haifa.

As is the case these days, the action starts overseas, with a few NBA squads heading to Europe.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about teams playing preseason ball overseas. Because generally it’s just a warmup. I think if NBA fans overseas are going to get a rare taste of live NBA action, it should be the best basketball possible, and we usually don’t see that before the regular season begins.

See the complete 2010-11 NBA preseason schedule.

San Antonio Silver Stars forward Chamique Holdsclaw suffered an injury during the Stars game at Minnesota on Sunday, Aug. 15; after further evaluation, an MRI revealed a torn right Achilles tendon.

Holdsclaw will miss the remainder of the 2010 season. She is expected to have surgery, but a date has not yet been set.

For the season, Holdsclaw was averaging 13.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. It’s the lowest scoring average of her career.

Adonal Foyle retires with NBA retirement poem

Adonal Foyle, an NBA basketball player with a total of 13 seasons under his belt, announced his retirement from basketball this week.

From humble island beginnings, Adonal’s basketball talent was discovered by two Colgate University professors who brought him to the United States and laid the foundation for Foyle’s NBA basketball career spanning both coasts with the Golden State Warriors and the Orlando Magic.

In addition to a noteworthy NBA career, Foyle’s passion to make a difference has fueled the founding of the Kerosene Lamp Foundation (KLF). Since 2005, KLF has built/refurbished basketball courts in urban areas to provide safe places to play for more than 3,000 youth. KLF’s most recent mentorship program, All-Star Student Athletes, is designed to turn promising young basketball players from Adonal’s native country of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, into successful student-athletes. Foyle was inducted into the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame for his work with KLF.

“I have loved every minute of the game,” said Foyle. “Retiring is bittersweet as my happiest memories are with the game. I’m looking forward to spending more time on humanitarian issues and mentoring the young basketball players who may need a voice of experience as they embark on their NBA careers.”

Foyle recently completed his third and final season with the Orlando Magic. Prior to that, he spent a decade with the Golden State Warriors, where he began his career as the NBA’s eighth overall draft pick. Foyle holds the Warriors’ all-time record in blocked shots (1,140) and is fifth on their all-time list for offensive rebounds and sixth for defensive rebounds.

Adonal’s education continues beyond the NBA. In addition to plans to support his Kerosene Lamp Foundation, he is finishing up his Masters Degree in Sports Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Foyle has written a poem to commemorate his love affair with basketball.


LOVE SONG TO A GAME: NBA Retirement poem by Adonal Foyle

How should I tell thee goodbye?

What can you say about a love affair to rival that of Romeo & Juliet? This is not just some melancholy ode to a hackneyed love of mortals.

I found our love deep in the entrails of the Caribbean Sea. Love that swept me to a land where our embrace became mythical.

You showed me a world that few have dreamt of.

Colgate’s golden steeple, a sojurn where ancient teachings flooded my mind.

There in the Chenango Valley where 13 sang my soul to flight, basketball laid siege to my soul.

I do not cry for the passing of our love for it stands radiant while my brittle bones crumble through swift time.

I have known you by so many faces; I will spend my end of days recalling.

You have infected so many with the allure of riches and black gold. But I am not angry with you my love. For to a boy who was lost in the bosom of nothing you gave hope and home.

Like the flickering of a light we come and go without much fuss. So I leave you to fend off seekers, hoping they too will cherish your unyielding countenance.

As for me, I will forever live in the glare of your loving embrace. From time to time I hope you will look in on this pitiful fool.

I will miss brothers of a quilt struggling with burning lights. If I offer advice, pierce beyond the glaring lights and see the faces behind the wall. Don’t be fooled by the magicians’ nibble fingers. For this is a life with mirrors and screens. Its only truth lies in the understanding it will all end.

The sound I will take home is the symphony of thousands of screaming friends.

Warriors, Magic and yes, Memphis too, I sing you praise, hope, blessings,

Flowing from a boy’s songs of thanks to you and you and you,to all I knew.

Please stay my “immortal love.”

Adonal Foyle retires with NBA retirement poem - adonal foyle picture

Cavalier sign Samardo Samuels

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed forward Samardo (sa-MAR-doe) Samuels to a contract, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today.  Per league and team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.

Samuels, 21, played two seasons at Louisville before declaring for the 2010 NBA Draft, averaging 13.5 points on .549 shooting and 5.9 rebounds in 27.1 minutes in 70 games (all starts).  In his sophomore and final season with the Cardinals, he led the team in scoring (15.3) and rebounding (7.0) in 29.3 minutes per game.

The 6-foot-9, 260-pound rookie played in five games (three starts) with the Chicago Bulls in the 2010 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and averaged 12.6 points on .571 shooting and 7.4 rebounds per game.

March 10 2010: Louisville's forward Samardo Samuels (15) makes a pass in the first half during a semi-final Big East Tournament game between the Louisville Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bearcats at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Cincinnati defeats Louisville 69-66.

Scott Howard-Cooper of reports:

Jerry West with a prominent role in the new Golden State hierarchy will apparently remain interesting what-could-have-been, but the legendary former personnel boss of the Lakers and Grizzlies confirms he is open to returning to the front-office world.

That could have been with the Warriors if Oracle boss Larry Ellison had bought the team. West has known Ellison for years and said the two talked several months ago about His Logoness as part of a possible management team in Oakland, West confirmed publicly for the first time. It appealed to West because of the relationship with Ellison and the proximity of an hour plane ride from West’s permanent home in Los Angeles, but became moot once Joe Lacob and Peter Guber beat Ellison to the Warriors in a surprise outcome.

Statement from Indiana Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird:

The news of Lance Stephenson’s arrest is very disappointing to the Pacers franchise and to me personally.  We have worked very hard to bring in players that are excellent representatives of our franchise, community and state both on and off the court.   Our commitment to this goal is too strong to permit the actions of one individual to reverse all of the positive strides that have been made as a franchise over the last couple of years or to hurt the image of the rest of the players on our team.  Everyone in the Pacers organization remains strongly committed to our players representing Indianapolis and the state of Indiana in a positive way and will not condone behavior that reflects poorly on this franchise and community.

We are continuing to gather all of the facts regarding Lance’s arrest but regardless of the outcome of the investigation, Lance should not have put himself in the position he was in early Sunday morning.  We have consistently emphasized to our players the importance of not putting themselves in situations where bad things can happen.  Once all the facts are known we will deal appropriately with Lance so that he, the team and the entire Pacers community understands that this message cannot be ignored.

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

The Orlando Magic have promoted longtime assistant athletic trainer and performance enhancement specialist Keon Weise to the head athletic trainer’s job.

Magic spokesman Joel Glass on Monday confirmed the move.

Weise, 31, will replace Tom Smith, who was let go after four seasons as the team’s head athletic trainer.

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday the addition of Scott Roth as an assistant coach. Roth brings 25 years of experience as a player, scout and coach in the professional and international ranks to head coach Jay Triano’s staff.

“Scott and I have a long history dating back to playing professionally at the same time in Turkey,” said Triano. “He is a coach who brings to us experience from many different levels of basketball – International, D-League and the NBA.”

Roth comes to Toronto following one season as an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors. Prior to that he was the head coach of the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA D-League in 2008-09 and guided the team to its first post-season appearance with a 26-24 record.

Roth has served seven seasons in the NBA as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks (1996-2000) and Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies (2000-02), and four seasons as a scout and advisor for the Milwaukee Bucks.

In 2000, Roth was the head coach of the Turkish National Team when they claimed a silver medal at the European Championships held in Istanbul. A year later he guided Turkey at the 2001 World Championships in Indianapolis. Most recently, he was the head coach of the Dominican Republic National Team in 2007 and 2008, earning a silver medal at the CBC Caribbean Championships in Puerto Rico.

Following a standout collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin, Roth was selected in the fourth round of the 1985 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs. He opted to begin his professional playing career overseas with Efes Pilsen in Turkey. He returned to North America in 1987 and appeared in 160 NBA games with the Utah Jazz (1987-88), San Antonio Spurs (1988-89) and Minnesota Timberwolves (1989-90) before returning to Europe to finish his career.

Pistons sign Tracy McGrady

Pistons sign Tracy McGrady

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed free agent guard/forward Tracy McGrady.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

McGrady, 31, played 30 games last season with the Houston Rockets and New York Knicks averaging 8.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists in 22.4 minutes per game.  He scored a season-high 26 points (10-17 FG) vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder (2/20) and recorded 21 points (6-12 FG, 2-2 3FG) and season-high-tying eight assists against the Pistons (3/3).

A seven-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA scoring champion, McGrady holds career averages of 21.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 814 games.  He led the NBA in scoring in 2002-03 (32.1 ppg) and 2003-04 (28.0 ppg) and averaged 24-plus points in seven consecutive seasons from 2000-01 to 2006-07.  He’s been named to the All-NBA First Team twice (2002, 2003), All-NBA Second Team three times (2001, 2004, 2007) and All-NBA Third Team twice (2005, 2008).  McGrady was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2000-01 when he averaged 26.8 points with the Orlando Magic, an improvement from 15.4 points the previous season.  He’s recorded 2,000-plus points in a season twice (2000-01, 2002-03) and has scored 1,000-plus points in nine of his 13 seasons.  McGrady scored a career-high 62 points against the Washington Wizards (3/10/04) and has scored 40-plus points 45 times in his NBA career.  He ranks 10th amongst active players in career points (17,534) and has appeared in 38 career playoff games, averaging 28.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists.

The 6-8, 223-pound native of Bartow, FL, was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in the first round (ninth overall) of the 1997 NBA Draft.  Drafted out of Mount Zion Christian Academy High School (NC), McGrady was honored earlier in his career as one of the “Good Guys in Sports” by The Sporting News for his community relations efforts.

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.

Raptors waive Dwayne Jones

Raptors waive Dwayne Jones

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have waived forward-centre Dwayne Jones. Jones was acquired with guard Leandro Barbosa on July 14 from the Phoenix Suns.

For his career, Jones averages 1.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 7.8 minute per game.

The Raptors roster now stands at 15.

Magic sign rookie Stanley Robinson

The Orlando Magic have signed forward Stanley Robinson, President of Basketball Operations Otis Smith announced today.

Robinson was originally selected by Orlando during the second round (59th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

Robinson played on the Magic’s summer league team in the 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League, where he averaged 5.4 points and 5.2 rebounds and shot 50 percent from the floor.

Robinson (6’9”, 210, 7/14/88) appeared in 126 career games (103 starts) at the University of Connecticut, averaging 9.8 ppg., 6.2 rpg., 1.0 apg. and 1.03 blkpg. during his four-year collegiate career. As a senior (2009-10), he averaged 14.5 ppg., a team-high 7.6 rpg., 1.0 apg. and 1.21 blkpg. for the Huskies. Robinson helped UConn reach the NCAA Final Four in 2009.

Lance Stephenson charged with assault

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports:

Lance Stephenson charged with assault

Just days after feeling good about making what they think is their best trade in years, the Pacers were knocked down Sunday when rookie guard Lance Stephenson was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after he allegedly pushed his girlfriend down a flight of stairs in Brooklyn, N.Y., early Sunday.

“We have been made aware of a situation involving Lance Stephenson early Sunday morning in Brooklyn,” Pacers president Larry Bird said in a statement released from the team. “We are currently in the process of gathering information and will have further comments as we learn more facts.” …

Stephenson was charged with sexual abuse for allegedly groping a girl at a bus stop near his high school in New York his senior year. The charge was dismissed and he ended up pleading to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct.

John Lauinger of the New York Daily News reports:

Stephenson, 19, a legendary player at Brooklyn’s Abraham Lincoln High School, roughed up Jasmine Williams, 21, at her Brooklyn apartment building about 5 a.m., police said.

The 6-foot-5 rookie point guard’s cowardly shove sent Williams - the mother of Stephenson’s child - tumbling headfirst down 10 steps, requiring her to be treated at a hospital for injuries to her head and neck, cops said…

He was also booked on charges of third-degree assault, harassment and menacing. Prosecutors added a charge of criminal possession of a weapon, but a spokesman could not specify what the weapon was.

March 09 2010: Cincinnati's guard Lance Stephenson (33) pushes the ball up court in the second half of first round Big East Tournament games between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Cincinnati Bearcats at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Cincinnati defeated Rutgers 69-68.

Nuggets waive Brian Butch, Coby Karl

The Denver Nuggets have waived C Brian Butch and G Coby Karl, the team announced today.

Both players were signed by the Nuggets on April 11 but did not appear in any games during the 2009-10 regular season or the playoffs.

Karl averaged 14.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists in four games with Denver’s summer league team in Las Vegas. Butch appeared in two summer-league games, averaging 7.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.

Luisa Yanez of the Miami Herald reports:

Udonis Haslem charged with drug possession

Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem was stopped by the Florida Highway Patrol Sunday and drugs were found by a trooper, FHP has confirmed.

The incident began as a traffic stop somewhere in Miami, said FHP spokesman Lt. Mark Wysocky. Details were sketchy Sunday. It’s unclear where Haslem was stopped or what type of drugs were found.

TMZ reports:

Haslem was pulled over by Florida Highway Patrol officers for, we’re told by sources, having tinted windows. We’re told there were three other guys in the car with Haslem.

According to sources, officers searched the car three times for drugs — an initial search and then a search with drug dogs yielded nothing. We’re told when officers searched the car a third time, they discovered less than 20 grams of marijuana.

August 16 update:

Miami Heat President Pat Riley released the following statement today concerning the incident involving Udonis Haslem yesterday afternoon. “We are aware of the incident involving Udonis Haslem yesterday afternoon, and while we fully support our players, since this is a pending legal matter we will have no further comment at this time.”

Another August 16 update:

Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem released the following statement today. “First and foremost, I’d like to thank the Arison family, Coach Riley, Coach Spoelstra, the HEAT organization and fans who have shown me their support during this incident. I am confident that once the judicial process runs its course, I will be cleared.”

Getting Trevor Ariza helps Hornets

Jim Eichenhofer of reports:

Getting Trevor Ariza helps Hornets

Ariza’s ability to contribute in multiple ways, on both ends of the floor. New Orleans has given significant minutes to several somewhat one-dimensional players at the wing positions over the past few seasons, but Ariza is regarded as an above-average defender and is an improving offensive player (career-best 14.9 scoring average in 2009-10).

As frequent jump shooters, neither Peja Stojakovic nor James Posey – the Hornets who’ve logged the bulk of the playing time at small forward – finish well at the rim on fast breaks, but that’s an area where Ariza has excelled. Monty Williams also envisions the 6-foot-8, long-armed and athletic Ariza giving New Orleans the ability to throw a few varied looks at opposing offenses.

Williams: “He brings some things to the table that we just didn’t have. He’s a guy I can use in transition, he’s become a better shooter throughout his career and he’s a guy who’s going to allow me to put in a 3-2 zone and put him at the top of the zone, and put him in a number of spots. He’s a guy that can switch on pick-and-rolls (due to his combination of size and athletic ability), and guard some of the power forwards in this league. He can rebound.”

April 12, 2010: Trevor Ariza of the Houston Rockets during the game between the Sacramento Kings and the Houston Rockets at Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA. Ben Munn/CSM.

Kevin Durant a huge part of Team USA

With several of the NBA’s top stars unavailable for this year’s edition of Team USA, another group of guys have been handed the reigns. And as the team that scores the most points is the one who wins, super-scorer Kevin Durant plays a huge role on the squad.

Pete Thamel of the New York Times reports:

Kevin Durant a huge part of Team USA

Durant, 21, became the youngest N.B.A. scoring champion last season, and the world championship offers him a platform to move into the elite constellation of N.B.A. stars. His supple jump shot and freakish athleticism will be on display Sunday at Madison Square Garden, where the United States plays France before heading to Europe.

And Durant, a player hallmarked by loyalty and humility, will get a forum on the world stage at a time when James’s off-season free-agency spectacle prompted eye rolls.

So with no players from the 2008 Olympic Redeem Team representing the United States this summer, the coalescence of Durant’s talent and image could not be a better one.

“He’s the whole package,” said Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball’s managing director. “This is his opportunity to come forth on an international stage.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Durant gets his points. What moves he makes to generate offense and how they will differ in international spacing vs NBA play.

Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant of the 2010 USA Men's World Championship team reacts after a shot during practice in Tarrytown, New York August 13, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Lakers sign Derrick Caracter

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Derrick Caracter, it was announced today.  Per team policy terms of the agreement were not released.

Caracter, a 22 year-old early entry candidate selected by the Lakers with the 58th pick in  the 2010 NBA draft, played two seasons at Louisville before transferring to the University of Texas at El Paso, where he averaged 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in 27 games as a junior with the Miners. Named Second Team All-Conference USA last season, the 6’9” forward ranked second in the conference and 16th nationally in field goal percentage (.567).

Ranked as the best player in the country by some recruiting services heading into his senior year of high school, Caracter averaged 8.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 53 games (14 starts) over two seasons at Louisville. For his college career, Caracter averaged 10.2 points (.560 FG%) and 5.6 rebounds in 80 games (36 starts).

Most recently, Caracter started all five games for the Lakers 2010 Summer League entry in Las Vegas, averaging 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 33.3 minutes.

Pistons sign Terrico White

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has signed its second round draft selection Terrico White to a contract.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

White was drafted 36th overall in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft.  A 6-foot-5 guard from University of Mississippi, he ranked second on the team in scoring with 15.1 points and averaged 4.6 rebounds a game last season.  He scored in double figures in 26 of 35 games and scored 20-plus points six times.  White scored a career-high-tying 29 points (11-18 FG) against Jacksonville State (12/29/09) and scored 27 points (11-20 FG) vs. Troy (3/17/10) in the NIT Tournament.

A native of Memphis, TN, White earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors in 2009 when he averaged 13.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.  He averaged 18.4 points in SEC play and scored 20-plus points nine times, including a career-high 29 points on 9-of-16 shooting against Arkansas (3/4/09).  White was a member of the gold-medal winning United States under 19 National Team in the FIBA World Championship in the summer of 2009.

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