Archive for August 26th, 2010

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that Danny Ferry has been named the team’s Vice President of Basketball Operations. This is his second stint with the Spurs. Ferry played for the Spurs from 2000-03 and served as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations from 2003-05. During his tenure in San Antonio, Ferry captured an NBA Championship as a player (2003) and as a member of the front office (2005).

“We are thrilled that Danny has decided to rejoin the Spurs organization,” said Spurs General Manager RC Buford. “He has a great basketball mind and brings a vast amount of NBA experience and expertise to our program. It is a true pleasure to be able to welcome Danny and his wonderful family back to South Texas.”

Ferry was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the second overall pick in the 1989 NBA Draft. On November 16, 1989, he was traded by the Clippers to the Cavaliers. After playing the 1989-90 season in Italy, Ferry spent 10 seasons with Cleveland before signing with the Spurs, as a free agent, on August 10, 2000. Ferry spent his final three NBA seasons with the Spurs before retiring in the summer of 2003. In his 13-year NBA career, Ferry averaged 7.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 19.8 minutes in 917 regular season games.

After retiring, Ferry moved into the Spurs front office as the team’s Director of Basketball Operations. On June 27, 2005, Ferry was named the Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager. During his five seasons in Cleveland, the team posted a 272-138 (.663) record. Cleveland advanced to the 2007 NBA Finals, marking the franchise’s first, and only, trip to the NBA Finals. Ferry left his post with the Cavaliers on June 4, 2010.

The Oklahoma City Thunder has begun the process of negotiating with potential new naming rights partners for the Ford Center arena, team officials announced today.

The original naming rights contract allowed the team to terminate the existing agreement should an NBA franchise come to Oklahoma City.

The Thunder entered into discussions with the current naming rights partner, the Oklahoma Ford Dealers, but a new agreement could not be reached. As a result, the Thunder has now officially terminated the existing naming rights agreement and entered into a period of negotiations with other potential partners.

Until those negotiations are complete, the team will have no further public comment.

New York Liberty point guard Leilani Mitchell was named the 2010 WNBA Most Improved Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors, the league announced today.  Mitchell received 29 out of 39 votes from a panel of local and national sportswriters and broadcasters, beating out other top candidates that included Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry, Indiana Fever center Jessica Davenport, and Washington Mystics forward-center Crystal Langhorne and forward Monique Currie.

In her third WNBA season, Mitchell improved her overall performance across every major statistical category, including leading the WNBA in three-point field goal percentage (.486) and finishing second in total three-point field goals made (72).  Mitchell increased her scoring output by nearly seven points to 9.3 ppg from 2.4, and increased her assists to 3.8 apg from 2.4.  In addition, she tied for seventh in the league in steals (1.6 spg) and shot .441 from the field, up from .300 the previous season.

Acquired via trade from the Phoenix Mercury in May 2008, in exchange for the Liberty’s third round selection in 2009, Mitchell earned the starting point guard position during the 2010 preseason, and thrived in her new role.  After starting only seven games in her previous two seasons, the University of Utah product started all 34 games in 2010.  In the process, Mitchell helped guide the Liberty to a 22-12 (.647) record during the regular season, a nine-game improvement from the prior year, highlighted by a franchise-record 10-game winning streak and a No. 2 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Against Indiana on Aug. 17, Mitchell posted 19 points, three rebounds and five assists, along with making four out of five three-point attempts, in a key win against New York’s conference rival.  The following game she tallied 14 points, eight assists, and hit four out of six three-point attempts in another pivotal win against Tulsa on Aug. 19.

In honor of being named the Most Improved Player of the Year presented by Kia Motors, Mitchell will receive $5,000 and a trophy specially designed by Tiffany & Co.

New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that the team has signed swingman Landry Fields, the 39th overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, to a player contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Fields, 6-7, 210-pounds, played four seasons for Stanford University and averaged 22.0 points and 8.8 rebounds as a senior in 2009-10. As All Pac-10 First Team and Pac-10 All-Academic First Team selections, the Long Beach, CA native led the Pac-10 and finished eighth in the nation in scoring as a senior in 2009-10. In 2010 NBA Summer League play in Las Vegas, Fields averaged a team-high 15.6 points and added 4.8 rebounds, 1.60 steals and 25.9 minutes in five games as a member of the Knicks entry.

FIBA, the world governing body of basketball, today announced that four players are to be suspended, and their national federations fined, after recent fighting at a friendly tournament in Greece.

On 19th August, at a game between Greece and Serbia, a fight broke out towards the end of the game involving two players - Antonis Fotsis (GRE) and Milos Teodosic (SRB). This resulted in a wider, violent brawl between several players of both teams.

The game was stopped immediately and never resumed.

FIBA started an official investigation after the game and has now announced its findings.

Serbian player Nenad Krstic is suspended with immediate effect for three games in main official FIBA competition which include the World Championships, Olympics and Continental Championships.  The player is also fined a total of CHF 45,000.

His teammate, Milos Teodosic, is also suspended with immediate effect for two games in main official FIBA competitions.

The Serbian Basketball federation will be fined a total of CHF 20,000.

Greek players Antonis Fotsis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis are suspended with immediate effect for two games in main official FIBA competitions.

The Hellenic Basketball Federation will be fined a total of CHF 20,000.

Money from the fines will be used to support education programs for young basketball players.

FIBA believes that the judgement will send a strong message to all players that their behaviour on and off the court must be exemplary and in line with the rules of basketball at all times.

All parties have the right to appeal the decisions taken.

The FIBA World Championship begins in Turkey on 28th August 2010.

michael redd

The Philadelphia 76ers announced that due to forward Andres Nocioni’s injured left ankle, the team has advised him to withdraw from the upcoming FIBA World Championships, effective immediately.

The MRI of Nocioni’s left ankle was reviewed by Dr. Jack McPhilemy of Main Line Health Services, who recommended that Nocioni stop all basketball and impact activity until the team opens Training Camp at the end of September, at which time he will be re-evaluated.

Upon Nocioni’s return to Philadelphia, another MRI will be taken of his left ankle.

March 21, 2010 Los Angeles, CA..Kings' Andres Nocioni in action during the NBA game between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Kings defeated the Clippers, 102-89..Josh Thompson/Cal Sport Media.

Bill Lubinger of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

The deal to sell a minority stake in the Cavaliers to a Chinese investment group — what would have been the first major Chinese investment in an American sports league — has been dead for months, according to the Cavs and the NBA.

The Plain Dealer first reported in May 2009 that a group led by Chinese businessman Kenny Huang had agreed to buy 15 percent of the team owned by former Cavs Vice Chairman David Katzman.

The agreement was billed as a timely entree into the massive and growing Chinese sports audience, and a valuable cash infusion for the Cavs — both positive developments in the bid to keep free agent LeBron James. The sale was expected to be completed late last year, pending NBA approval.

“It never materialized, as far as completing the application process with the league,” said Cavs President Len Komoroski. “Ultimately, you would have to ask [Huang’s group] as to why.”

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