Archive for August, 2010

The Los Angeles Clippers today named Dean Demopoulos, Marc Iavaroni and Robert Pack as assistant coaches under new head coach Vinny Del Negro. The team also named Dave Severns as Director of Player Development.

Demopoulos comes to Los Angeles after serving five seasons as lead assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers. A career coach, Demopoulos came to Portland after a previous four season stint with the Seattle Super Sonics. Demopoulos went to Seattle in 2001 after 18 seasons of college coaching, 17 of those alongside Hall of Famer John Chaney at Temple University. Before Seattle, he served as head coach for one year at University of Missouri-Kansas City. That year, UMKC was ranked in the top 10 nationally in several statistical categories, including fewest turnovers (9.5 per game) and scoring defense (60.5 points per game).

Demopoulos was an assistant under Chaney from 1983-84 through 1998-99. During that span, the Owls became a national basketball powerhouse, amassing a 393-151 (72.2%) record, making it to the NCAA Tournament 16 times and to the Elite Eight on four occasions. The run included 11 consecutive postseason appearances from 1990 to 2000. Temple won seven Atlantic 10 Conference titles and five conference tournament crowns, and in 1987-88, finished 32-2, earning the No. 1 ranking in the final Associated Press, UPI and USA Today/CNN polls. Fourteen Temple players went to the NBA during his tenure at the Philadelphia school. Born March 29, 1954, in Philadelphia, Demopoulos graduated from West Chester State in 1977 with a degree in comprehensive social sciences.

He coached at Kennett, Pa., H.S. for three years before joining John Chaney’s staff.

The veteran Iavaroni brings 13 seasons of NBA coaching experience to the Clippers. He is highly-regarded in NBA circles for his attention to detail, tireless work ethic, competitive drive and hands-on approach to teaching.

Iavaroni spent the 2009-10 campaign as an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors after serving the previous two seasons as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Prior to his time in Memphis, Iavaroni was an assistant in Phoenix (2002-07), Miami (1999-2002) and Cleveland (1997-99). In his five seasons with the Suns they made four trips to the NBA Playoffs, including two appearances in the Western Conference Finals (2005, 2006), compiling an impressive regular season record of 250-160 (.610).

Over the course of his career, Iavaroni has worked for some of the most prominent coaches in the game. While in Miami, where he also served as Director of Player Development, Iavaroni worked under Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley and in Cleveland he served two seasons under longtime NBA coach Mike Fratello. Iavaroni owes much of his teaching expertise to his lengthy association as a student and instructor under legendary Hall of Fame coach Pete Newell. In 2006 Iavaroni assisted the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team in training camp as they prepared for the 2006 FIBA Men’s World Championships in Japan.

His coaching career began as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, the University of Virginia, helping the Cavaliers to their first Final Four appearance in 1981. Following his professional playing career, Iavaroni was an assistant coach at Bowling Green State for two seasons from 1992-94 under Jim Larranaga, who led George Mason to the 2006 Final Four.

The 55th overall selection in the 1978 NBA Draft, Iavaroni averaged 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds over his seven-year NBA career. Iavaroni played professionally overseas for five seasons in Italy and Spain, including three seasons after his college career and two seasons following his NBA career. He was a starter as a rookie on the 76ers’ 1983 World Championship team, voted one of the 10 best NBA teams of all time. Iavaroni’s teams, which also included San Antonio and Utah, qualified for the playoffs every season of his career. Iavaroni concluded his professional career alongside Knicks Head Coach Mike D’Antoni in Milan, Italy before retiring in 1991.

As a collegian, Iavaroni was a four-year starter and finished in 1978 ranked in Virginia’s top 10 in career scoring and rebounding. He gained first-team All-Tournament honors on Virginia’s 1976 ACC Tournament championship team, an accomplishment he still considers among his most satisfying playing achievements.

Born in Jamaica, N.Y., Iavaroni and his wife, Caroline, have three sons, Kenton, McCray and Jackson.

Robert Pack enters his first season as assistant coach with the Clippers after last serving as an assistant coach with the New Orleans Hornets during the 2009-10 campaign. Pack brings with him 13 years of NBA playing experience where in his career he averaged 8.9 points, 4.6 assists and 2.0 rebounds over 552 career games with the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Hornets, New Jersey Nets and Washington Wizards.

Nicknamed “Pac-Man”, Pack was a member of the 1991-92 Portland team that advanced to the NBA Finals, while with Denver, he was a member of the 1993-94 squad that made NBA history as the first No. 8 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Pack was also the runner-up in the 1994 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest in Minneapolis.

He enjoyed a standout collegiate career at USC, ranking fourth on the Trojans all-time assists list (319) in just two seasons, while becoming just the fourth player in school history to record back-to-back 100 assist seasons. In two seasons, he averaged 13.4 points and 5.6 assists per game at USC. Prior to USC, he played two seasons at Tyler (Texas) Junior College, earning All-State honors, and leading the Apache to a 50-11 combined record.

Pack attended Lawless H.S. in New Orleans, where he remains the school’s all-time leading scorer.

Director of Player Development Dave Severns comes to the Clippers after having served the past two seasons on Del Negro’s staff with the Chicago Bulls as Assistant Coach for Player Development. Prior to his time with the Bulls, Severns spent 13 years in player development with Nike, working with college players at the All-American Camp, All-Asia Camp, Nike Skills Academies and Jordan Flight School. He also worked at Attack Athletics in Chicago under Tim Grover from 2005-08. Severns spent three years as video coordinator at Fresno State University under head coach Jerry Tarkanian, two years as an assistant coach at Fresno City College and one year as an assistant coach at California State University, Chico. Prior to his time at the collegiate level, Severns spent 12 years as a high school coach in California. He has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree from California State University-Chico.

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

Selected by the Lakers with the 43rd pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Ebanks, a 20 year-old early entry candidate out of West Virginia University, played two seasons for the Mountaineers, averaging 11.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 69 games.  Named to the Big East All-Rookie and All-Tournament team as a freshman and selected All-Big East Third Team as a sophomore, the 6’9” forward posted 16 career double-doubles at West Virginia and led the team in rebounding during each of his two seasons.

Additionally, Ebanks started all five games for the Lakers 2010 Summer League entry in Las Vegas, averaging 15.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 33.3 minutes.

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that the team has signed guard Andy Rautins, the 38th overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, to a player contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Rautins, 6-4, 194-pounds, played four seasons at Syracuse University and averaged 12.1 points and 4.9 assists as a senior in 2009-10. He finished his collegiate career ranked second on the school’s all-time list for three-point field goals made (282) and attempted (754). He also became the 53rd Syracuse player to score at least 1,000 career points (1,121). In 2010 NBA Summer League play in Las Vegas, Rautins averaged 5.8 points, 1.4 assists and 23.9 minutes in five games as a member of the Knicks entry.

The Portland Trail Blazers have hired Bill Branch and Steve Rosenberry to become the team’s assistant general managers, it was announced today by General Manager Rich Cho.

Branch’s responsibilities will center on NBA talent along with Director of NBA Scouting Michael Born, while Rosenberry and Director of College Scouting Chad Buchanan will focus on the college ranks.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with both Bill and Steve and have always been impressed by their tremendous basketball acumen, work ethic and character,” said Cho. “I am thrilled to have them join me, Chad and Mike as part of our front office staff.”

Branch, 44, joins the Trail Blazers from Oklahoma City, where he worked alongside Cho for the past three seasons as the team’s director of pro player personnel. A 23-year NBA veteran, Branch worked for the Denver Nuggets from 1997-2007, first as an advance scout and for the last five years of his tenure as assistant coach and director of scouting. Branch spent the previous 10 years on the Charlotte Hornets’ basketball operations staff, from 1987-97.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work for a team with such a rich tradition, great fan base and talented staff,” said Branch. “I look forward to doing everything I can to contribute and help the Trail Blazers move forward and build upon some great pieces.”

Also a veteran NBA talent evaluator, Rosenberry most recently served as director of pro personnel/college scouting with the Atlanta Hawks from 2008-10. Rosenberry, 55, got his NBA start with Seattle in 1985 and worked for six seasons there as a scout before joining the Charlotte Hornets in a similar capacity from 1991-94. Rosenberry returned to Seattle in 1994 and spent the next 13 seasons there until 2007, most recently serving as director of scouting. Before joining the Hawks in 2008, Rosenberry spent the 2007-08 season as a consultant with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Rosenberry played two seasons for the Lancaster Red Roses of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) from 1978-80. He then spent two years in Europe with the McGregor Power All-Stars before pursuing a basketball management career in the NBA.

“I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with Rich, and while I have tremendous respect for him as a basketball person, he’s been a great friend throughout the years,” said Rosenberry. “It’s exciting to be a part of an organization with a storied history and winning tradition such as Portland’s.”

Branch and Rosenberry will start on the job next week in preparation for the 2010-11 season.

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

Sixers name Rod Thorn team president

The Philadelphia 76ers today named Rod Thorn, an NBA veteran of more than four decades, as the team’s new President. Ed Stefanski, who had served as the team’s President and General Manager since December 4, 2007, will continue in his role as General Manager.

“Rod is one of the most respected basketball minds in the game today,” said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. “When we learned that he would not be re-signing with the Nets, we realized that this would be a terrific opportunity to bring one of the top executives in the NBA to the Sixers to work closely with Ed Stefanski. I’m really pleased to be adding him to our organization. I’m confident that Rod will be a tremendous asset for our team and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

“We felt with the direction we are now heading that it was important for us to have two very strong basketball minds leading the Philadelphia 76ers,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “We are building a strong organization and we’re off to a terrific start with the addition of Coach Doug Collins, the best available coach, and Evan Turner, who we feel was the best available player in the draft. Now we have added another top-level executive to help lead us into the future.”

“This is a great opportunity to join one of the most-storied franchises in the NBA,” said Thorn. “I look forward to once again working with Ed Stefanski and helping Ed Snider and Peter Luukko build a championship team here in Philadelphia.”

Thorn, the 2001-02 NBA Executive of the Year, spent the past 10 seasons as President of the New Jersey Nets, joining them on June 27, 2000. During his tenure in East Rutherford, the Nets won the Eastern Conference in 2002 and 2003 and captured four Atlantic Division titles in five seasons.

Thorn engineered two major deals the final week in June of 2001, trading the Nets first pick in the 2001 NBA Draft (Eddie Griffin-7th overall) to the Houston Rockets for their three first round picks (Richard Jefferson-13, Jason Collins-18, and Brandon Armstrong-23). The next day he negotiated a major six-player blockbuster trade with the Phoenix Suns that landed the Nets three-time First Team All-NBA guard Jason Kidd in exchange for Stephon Marbury.

Stefanski was Thorn’s General Manager in New Jersey for nine seasons and was instrumental in the 2004 blockbuster transaction that brought All-Star Vince Carter to the Nets in exchange for Eric Williams, Aaron Williams, Alonzo Mourning and two first-round draft picks.

Prior to joining the Nets, Thorn spent 14 years working for the NBA’s league office in Manhattan, where he was the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations. At the NBA office, Thorn oversaw all-on court operations, including officiating, game conduct and discipline.

During seven seasons as General Manager of the Chicago Bulls (1978-1985), Thorn selected Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA draft and actually coached the team for 30 games in 1982.

Thorn was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets as the second overall pick in 1963. After playing one season in Baltimore, Thorn spent a season and a half in both Detroit and St. Louis before finishing his career in Seattle. He was an assistant coach of the Nets in 1973 when the Nets were in the ABA, helping lead the team to their first-ever ABA Championship. Two years later, Thorn became head coach of the ABA’s Spirits of St.  Louis. In 1976, Thorn was named an assistant coach with the Nets when they moved into the NBA.

Thorn graduated from the University of Washington (Seattle) with a B.A. in political science. He also holds an honorary degree from West Virginia University. He served on the Board of Directors of West Virginia University for five years.

Statement by Isiah Thomas on Knicks contract:

“After speaking with Commissioner Stern and Knicks executives, it has become apparent that my new agreement violates certain NBA bylaws. Because of this, I have decided to rescind my contract with the team. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Jim Dolan, Donnie Walsh, Mike D’Antoni and the entire Knicks organization, and I want to thank them for affording me this opportunity.

“One of the biggest regrets of my life is that the Knicks didn’t perform up to the standards the fans had every right to expect while I was in charge. I take full responsibility for that. I was very much looking forward to this unique opportunity to help the organization do what I do best: find basketball talent. I wish the team nothing but success in the future.”

National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement Wednesday:

“We have been informed by the Knicks that Isiah Thomas has rescinded his consulting agreement with the team. As a result, it is not necessary for the league to take any formal action on the proposed arrangement. However, we have reminded the Knicks of NBA rules that prohibit team personnel, including consultants, from having contact with players not eligible for the draft.”

The following statement was released today by Madison Square Garden Executive Chairman, James L. Dolan:

“Although I’m disappointed that Isiah will not be working with the Knicks as a consultant, I continue to believe in his basketball knowledge, including his ability to judge talent. He’s a good friend of mine and of the organization and I will continue to solicit his views. He will always have strong ties to me and the team. We wish him continued success at FIU. I also believe Donnie Walsh has done a terrific job since joining the Knicks and my tremendous respect for him has only grown since he’s joined the organization. I’m confident that the work that Donnie, Coach Mike D’Antoni and their staffs have done this summer has the team poised for long-term success.” says:
It’s a victory for the Knicks that Isiah Thomas is not back in the mix. Even if Isiah has learned from his past, we just want him to move on to a brighter future in a new situation. Knicks fans also didn’t want him back. And, we really have to wonder if Dolan noticed that literally every single media outlet in the entire world who wrote about the situation thought that bringing Isiah back was the wrong move.

Raptors trade Marco Belinelli to Hornets for Julian Wright

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have acquired forward Julian Wright from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for guard Marco Belinelli.

Wright, 6-foot-8, 225 pounds, was the 13th overall selection by the Hornets in the 2007 NBA Draft. He has played in 179 career games, making 34 starts. He scored a career-high 20 points on March 7 in both the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He grabbed a career-best 14 rebounds as part of his first career double-double (11 points) March 27, 2007 at New York.

“This move should help balance the roster and alleviate some of the redundancy we have with our guards,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “Julian is another young athletic player that will add depth at the small forward position.”

Wright appeared in a career-best 68 games with 14 starts last season, shooting .500 (116-232) from the field. He started 14 of 16 games in March 2009, averaging 8.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 23.6 minutes. He owns career averages of 4.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 12.7 minutes. He has seen action in 15 postseason games with New Orleans.

An early entry draft candidate after two seasons at the University of Kansas, Wright was a collegiate standout leading the Jayhawks to the conference championship in the 2006 and 2007 campaigns. He was an All-Big 12 First Team choice as a sophomore averaging 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds. He averaged 8.5 points and 4.6 rebounds as a freshman enroute to a Big 12 All-Freshman Team selection.

Wright won the prestigious Mr. Basketball of Illinois award as a high school senior in 2005. He is part of an impressive list of 15 players since 1981 that have captured the honour and played in the NBA, highlighted by Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics).

Belinelli was acquired from Golden State on July 30, 2009 for forward Devean George and cash considerations. He averaged 7.1 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 66 games in his lone season with the Raptors.

April 12, 2010: Toronto Raptors' Marco Belinelli (0) during the NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Piston at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Lakers re-sign Shannon Brown

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed free agent guard Shannon Brown, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released.

“Shannon was an important member of our team and played a valuable role in helping us win the last two NBA championships,” said Kupchak.  “We’re aware that he had several attractive offers from other teams and are very happy that he chose to remain a Laker.

Brown, a two-time NBA Champion with the Lakers, was originally acquired by the team on February 7, 2009 as part of a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats.  He appeared in 82 regular season games including seven starts last season, averaging a career-best 8.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 20.7 minutes.  In 23 postseason games, Brown averaged 4.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 14.1 minutes.

A participant in the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend, Brown led the Lakers in scoring this past season on three occasions and recorded his first career double-double with career-highs in points (27) and rebounds (10) in a February 16th victory over Golden State.

Bulls sign Keith Bogans

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent guard/forward Keith Bogans.  In accordance with team policy, terms of the contract were not announced.

Bogans (6-5, 215) is a seven-year veteran of the NBA, who spent last season with the San Antonio Spurs.  In 79 games with the Spurs, he started 50 contests and averaged 4.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.2 apg, 19.7 mpg, and shot .403 from the field, .357 from downtown and .740 from the charity stripe.

Following a successful collegiate career at the University of Kentucky, the Washington, D.C. native was selected in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.  The 30-year old Bogans has played in 504 regular-season contests (227 starts), and averaged 7.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg and 1.4 apg in 22.8 mpg.  He also holds career shooting averages of .394 from the field, .351 from behind the arc and .721 from the line.  In addition to his stint in San Antonio, he has also suited up for Orlando (thrice), Charlotte (twice), Houston and Milwaukee.

troy murphy

The New Jersey Nets have obtained forward Troy Murphy from the Indiana Pacers as part of a four-team trade which also involved the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today. As part of the transaction, the Rockets acquire Nets guard Courtney Lee and send Trevor Ariza to New Orleans, with Indiana acquiring Darren Collison and James Posey from the Hornets.

“We are very pleased to add Troy to our roster,” said King.  “He is a quality power forward who has the ability to stretch the floor, and we feel that he will be a very positive addition to our frontcourt rotation.”

Murphy, 6’11”/245, is a nine-year NBA veteran with career averages of 12.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 29.4 minutes over 621 career games (477 starts) with Golden State and Indiana.  He has shot .447 (2,707-6,054) from the field and .394 (569-1,443) from behind the arc.  The Notre Dame product was selected by the Golden State Warriors in the first round (14th overall) of the 2001 NBA Draft.  Murphy has averaged a double-double in five of his nine years and had his best season in 2004-05 when he averaged 15.4 points and 10.8 rebounds in 33.9 minutes for Golden State.  In 2008-09, he became the only player in NBA history to rank among the league’s top five in both rebounding average (11.8) and three-point field goal percentage (.450, 161-358).  Last season, Murphy appeared in 72 games, including 69 starts, posting averages of 14.6 points on 47.2 percent shooting and 10.2 rebounds in 32.6 minutes for Indiana.  In addition, Murphy ranked 10th in the NBA in double-doubles with 39.

Ariza (6-8, 210), who was drafted in the second round (43rd overall) by New York in the 2004 NBA Draft, averaged 14.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 72 games (71 starts) last year in his first season with the Rockets. Ariza, 25 years old, posted 12 20-point games last year and also registered 10 double-doubles. He spent the five previous seasons with New York, Orlando and the L.A. Lakers, including winning an NBA Championship in 2009 with the Lakers. During the title run, Ariza started all 23 postseason games for the Lakers, averaging 11.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.57 steals. He led the Lakers with 40 triples made in the post-season. Ariza holds career averages of 8.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.25 steals in 383 games (123 starts) in six NBA seasons.

Collison (6-0, 160) was selected in the first round (21st overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 27.8 minutes in 76 games (37 starts) in his rookie year for the Hornets. In 37 starts, averaged 18.8 points, 9.1 assists (most among rookies in starts), and 3.5 rebounds in 40.3 minutes per game. Collison was named the February T-Mobile Rookie of the Month and registered his first career triple-double with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists vs. Indiana on Feb. 19. For the season, he ranked second in free-throw percentage (.851), and third in assists (5.7), third in three-point percentage (.400) among rookies.

Posey (6-8, 217), averaged 5.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 22.5 minutes over 77 games (two starts) in his second year with the Hornets.  He had 11 games with 10 or more points and hit back-to-back game-winners for New Orleans in January. Posey, who has won championships with both Boston and Miami, holds career averages of 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals, and 27.5 minutes in 815 games (479 starts) during time spent with the New Orleans Hornets, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, and Denver Nuggets.

Lee (6-5, 200, Western Kentucky) owns career averages of 10.3 points (.442, 581-1,315 FG; .854, 211-247 FT), 2.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.14 steals in 148 career games (108 starts) with Orlando and New Jersey. A consistent shooter from beyond the arc, Lee also owns a career mark of .369 (158-428 3FG) from 3-point range, which included 82-of-203 (.404) treys made with the Magic in 2008-09. During the 2009 postseason, Lee played in 21 games (16 starts) and averaged 8.0 points in helping the Magic reach the NBA Finals. He also poured in playoff-career-high 24 points vs. Philadelphia (4/22/09). Selected by Orlando in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft, Lee was a key piece in a trade to New Jersey along with Rafer Alston and Tony Battie in exchange for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson on June 25, 2009.

Lee, who averaged 14 points per game after last season’s All-Star Break, finished the season with averages of 12.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per contest in 71 games (66 starts) with the Nets in 2009-10. A player who also prides himself on defense, his versatility allowed him to guard multiple positions and post 1.31 steals per game last season. He hit .436 (338-775 FG) from the field, .338 (76-225 3FG) from downtown and finished sixth on New Jersey’s top-10, single-season free throw percentage list at .869 (133-153 FT). In his 66 starts, Lee averaged 12.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 34.6 minutes. Overall, Lee improved in 10 statistical categories from his 2008-09 rookie season with the Magic where he averaged 8.4 points and 2.3 rebounds.

February 17, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Houston Rockets Trevor Ariza drive into the lane, Ariza had 22 points in the game against the Bucks..Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Houston Rockets 99-127. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

The New Orleans Hornets announced the hiring of Tim Connelly as Assistant General Manager and Gerald Madkins as Vice President of Player Personnel today. Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

“Tim and Gerald are very well respected people in the NBA as two of the top, young talents in the league,” said Hornets General Manager Dell Demps. “Tim has a keen eye on international talent and has been a key asset to the Wizards basketball operations department for the last decade. Gerald has a wealth of experience in this league as a player and in scouting roles. We are excited and fortunate to be adding them to our staff.”

Connelly comes to the Hornets from the Washington Wizards where he most recently served as the Director of Player Personnel. Connelly’s recent roles at the Wizards as Director of Player Personnel including head scouting, salary cap and database management, player evaluation responsibilities, as well as assisting Tommy Sheppard, the Vice President of Player Personnel, with all front office duties.

The Baltimore native has traveled to five continents to identify top talent in the basketball world. Well-known both internationally and domestically in basketball circles, Connelly enjoyed a rapid ascent in the Wizards organization.

Connelly began working for the Wizards as an intern in the basketball operations department in 1996, and after his graduation from DC’s Catholic University in 1999, Connelly was named to the Wizards scouting staff as Assistant Video Coordinator.  In 2000, Connelly became a full-time scout for Washington, and later assumed the head scouting role.

Connelly’s service to the game of basketball has spanned the globe in recent years. During the summer of 2006, Connelly served as a coach for the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program in South Africa, as well as at the Seed Academy in Dakar, Senegal.  In the summer of 2007, Connelly visited Dublin, Ireland to help raise youth awareness of cultural diversity and integration through the sport of basketball, and to work with the Irish federation on future basketball related initiatives.  More recently, with his brother and Wizards scout Pat, Connelly visited England in his personal efforts to aid the globalization of basketball.

A graduate of Towson Catholic High School, Connelly has aspirations to further his involvement in grass-roots basketball programs in his hometown of Baltimore.  One of seven children and five brothers, each of Connelly’s brothers — Joe, Pat, Daniel and Kevin — played basketball at Towson Catholic; the powerhouse Baltimore program. Joe is currently a coach and teacher at Baltimore Freedom Academy; Pat is employed as a scout with the Wizards and Daniel works as an assistant coach at Princeton.

Madkins comes to the Hornets from the Houston Rockets where for the last two seasons served as the Director of Scouting. At the Rockets, Madkins was responsible for scouting colleges and developmental leagues. The UCLA product served as the Director of West Coast College Scouting for the Seattle SuperSonics during the 2007-08 season and as a scout for the New York Knicks from 2003-07.

The Merced, California native served as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at his alma mater, UCLA, from 2001-03 and at California State University from 2000-01.

After a stellar playing career with the Bruins during college, Madkins began an eight-year professional career in 1992 that included stints in the Continental Basketball Association (Grand Rapids, Rockford), NBA (Cleveland, Miami and Golden State), Spanish Basketball League (Joventut Badelona) and French Basketball League (Pitch Cholet). He was named the 1993 CBA Rookie of the Year.

The AP reports:

The U.S. national team brought its injury bug east.

Danny Granger injures finger at Team USA training

Indiana forward Danny Granger dislocated a finger on his right hand Tuesday as the Americans scrimmaged during the opening day of their training camp in New York.

Granger was hurt when he banged his hand on the rim while playing defense. Team officials didn’t believe the injury was serious, but Granger planned to see a doctor after practice.

With his ring and middle fingers taped together and a splint over the ring finger, Granger said he wasn’t sure of his status, having never before injured his shooting hand.

March 14, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Indiana Pacers Danny Granger pulls up for the mid range jumper, Granger had 29 points and 4 rebounds against the Bucks today..Milwaukee Buck won over the Indiana Pacers 98-94. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Knicks sign Roger Mason

Knicks sign Roger Mason

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that the team has signed guard Roger Mason, Jr. as a free agent. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mason Jr., 6-5, 212-pounds, has career averages of 7.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 19.2 minutes in 346 games (88 starts) over six NBA seasons with Chicago, Toronto, Washington and San Antonio. The Washington, D.C. native averaged 6.3 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 19.2 minutes in 79 games (five starts) with San Antonio during the 2009-10 season. Originally selected by Chicago in the second round (31st overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, following his junior season at University of Virginia, Mason averaged career-highs of 11.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 30.4 minutes while playing in all 82 games (71 starts) with the Spurs during the 2008-09 campaign.

Mar. 29, 2010 - East Rutherford, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES - epa02098167 The Spurs' Roger Mason (L) drives past the Nets' Terrence Williams (R) during the first half of the game between the San Antonio Spurs and the New Jersey Nets at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA, on 29 March 2010.

Celtics waive Rasheed Wallace

Celtics waive Rasheed Wallace

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived forward/center Rasheed Wallace after coming to a mutual agreement following which Wallace plans to retire.

“We would like to thank Rasheed for everything that he did for this team and organization last season,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “We would like to wish Rasheed and his family the best as they move on into the next phase of their lives. He will always be a member of the Celtics family.”

Wallace, a 6’11” center/forward, averaged 9.0 points and 4.1 rebounds in 22.5 minutes per game last season for the Celtics. He averaged 6.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and shot 34.5% from three-point land during the Celtics run to the 2010 NBA Finals. The 15-year pro was originally signed by the Celtics as a free agent on July 8, 2009.

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

June 15, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02204208 Boston Celtics' Rasheed Wallace reacts after a play against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of game six of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 15 June 2010. The Celtics lead the series 3-2.

The New Jersey Nets are scheduled to play in Newark for the next two seasons, and if their eventual Brooklyn home is ready, they’ll make the move. And once they do relocate to Brooklyn, the Nets may or may not still be called the Nets.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News reports (via blog):

Prokhorov’s camp confirmed this morning that they’ve sent a request to the league to change the team’s name.

What does this mean? Maybe nothing.

Changing a team’s nickname, uniform or city name is a long process requiring that the owner gives the NBA notice 25 months in advance. This is to allow time for the creative process and the time it requires to make and market new uniforms. There doesn’t have to be a plan with the proposal, just a desire.

I actually like the sound of the name “Brooklyn Nets” and was hoping they’d keep it. It’ll be fun to see what happens.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed 2010 second round draft pick Luke Harangody.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Harangody, a 6’8” forward, was recently named to the 2010 AirTran Airways All-Summer League First Team after averaging 16.6 points and 6.8 rebounds in five contests.  He also shot 50.0% from beyond the arc in the five games.  Harangody, who was drafted with the 52nd pick in the Second Round of the 2010 NBA Draft, had a storied career at Notre Dame. He was named First Team All-Big East his final three seasons and finished as the third all-time leading scorer in Big East history with 1,329 and second leading rebounder with 662 rebounds. His senior year he led the Irish with 21.8 points and 9.1 rebounds per game and recorded 21 games with 20-or-more points.

NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Luke Harangody #44 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish handles the ball against the Seton Hall Pirates during the second round of 2010 NCAA Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 10, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Lacy J. Banks of the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

When Scottie Pippen is inducted Friday into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he will be presented by Michael Jordan, his teammate for nine of the 12 seasons Pippen played for the Bulls.

Pippen will be inducted with former Utah Jazz star Karl Malone, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss and former WNBA great Cynthia Cooper.

It’s only fitting that Jordan will present Pippen because they were the only players on all six of the Bulls’ championship teams during the 1990s.

Nets sign Sean May

Nets sign Sean May

The New Jersey Nets have signed free agent forward Sean May, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not released. Multiple reports have said the contract is not guaranteed.

May, 6’9”/266, is a four-year NBA veteran with career averages of 6.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 15.7 minutes over 119 career games with Charlotte and Sacramento.

As the Most Outstanding Player in the 2005 NCAA Tournament, May helped North Carolina capture the 2005 National Championship.

He was selected by the Bobcats in the first round (13th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft. In three seasons with Charlotte, May appeared in 82 games with his best season coming during the 2006-07 campaign, where he averaged 11.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in 23.9 minutes.

He signed with Sacramento as a free agent on August 3, 2009 and played in a career-high 37 games during the 2009-10 season, averaging 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 8.9 minutes.

March 10, 2010: Sean May of the Sacramento Kings during the game between the Sacramento Kings and the Toronto Raptors at Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA. Ben Munn/CSM.

Timberwolves sign Anthony Tolliver

Timberwolves sign Anthony Tolliver

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed free-agent forward Anthony Tolliver. Per team policy, terms of the contract offer were not disclosed.

“Anthony is a talented and versatile player who will fit nicely with the young team we’re assembling,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “He made significant strides during his time in Golden State last season and we’re excited to see the continued growth of his game here in Minnesota.”

Tolliver, 25, appeared in 44 games for the Golden State Warriors last year after a midseason call-up from the NBA D-League. The 6-8 forward averaged 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the Warriors, including career bests of 34 points (April 7 at Minnesota) and 21 rebounds (March 27 vs. Dallas). Tolliver scored in double figures in 29 of his 44 games with the Warriors and grabbed 10+ rebounds 13 times, including 12 double-doubles.

Despite going undrafted out of Creighton University during the 2007 NBA Draft, Tolliver has appeared in 65 career NBA games during stints with San Antonio, Portland and Golden State, and owns career averages of 9.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Tolliver has also appeared in 56 games in the D-League over the last three seasons, averaging 14.9 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He averaged 21.4 points and 11.4 rebounds in 14 games for the Idaho Stampede last season before earning the call-up to the Warriors.

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

2010-11 76ers preseason schedule

The Philadelphia 76ers announced their 2010 preseason schedule today, highlighted by two home games at the newly renamed Wells Fargo Center (formerly Wachovia Center) in Philadelphia on Oct. 12 vs. Boston and Oct. 20 vs. New York.

The Sixers will open the preseason against the New Jersey Nets at the Roanoke Civic Center on Oct. 5.  The Roanoke Civic Center is operated and managed by Global Spectrum, the public assembly facility management subsidiary of the Sixers parent company, Comcast-Spectacor.  It is the first game for the Sixers in the state of Virginia since playing in Norfolk back in 2003 and is the first professional basketball game at the Roanoke Civic Center since 1997, when the Charlotte Hornets faced off against the Detroit Pistons in the preseason.

“We are excited to bring the Philadelphia 76ers to Roanoke,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “Through Global Spectrum’s affiliation in the Comcast-Spectacor Family of Companies, we are able to utilize all of our company’s resources to bring events like preseason 76ers basketball to our Global Spectrum facilities.”

New Head Coach Doug Collins and Evan Turner, the second overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, will make their Philly debuts against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics on Oct. 12.  The Sixers close out the 2010 preseason at home on Oct. 20 against the retooled New York Knicks, featuring free agent addition Amar’e Stoudemire.


DATE                OPPONENT         LOCATION                VENUE                            TIME

Tues., Oct. 5     New Jersey          Roanoke, VA              Roanoke Civic Center        7:00 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 6     Boston                 Boston, MA                TD Garden                        7:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 9       New Jersey          Newark, NJ                 Prudential Center              1:00 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 12   Boston                 Philadelphia, PA         Wells Fargo Center           7:00 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 13    Toronto                Toronto, ON                Air Canada Centre             7:00 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 19   Cleveland             Cincinnati, OH            U.S. Bank Arena               7:00 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 20    New York             Philadelphia, PA         Wells Fargo Center           7:00 p.m.

(All times are Eastern and are subject to change)

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