Archive for September, 2010

Tiago Splitter out at least 7-10 days

The San Antonio Spurs announced that today in practice Tiago Splitter suffered a strained right plantaris muscle.

Splitter will undergo a seven-to-ten day rehabilitation program after which a timeline for his return will be determined.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports:

Cleveland Cavaliers J.J. Hickson, left, slam dunks against Ray Allen during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics in game 2 of the second round of the NBA Playoffs in Cleveland on May 3, 2010. UPI/David Richard Photo via Newscom

Shortly after Byron Scott took the Cavaliers job, J.J. Hickson sought out his new coach. It was his big chance at a fresh start.

Hickson, who often aggravated former coach Mike Brown with his defensive lapses, wanted his new coach to know he was capable of much more than he had shown in his first two years in the league. In a short period of time, he convinced Scott, too.

”He’s going to have an opportunity this year to really shine and be one of the most improved players in the league,” said Scott, who stopped short of committing to playing him big minutes. ”I’m committed on him playing hard and giving me what I need on both ends of the floor. Am I going to commit to him playing a lot of minutes? No, but do I think he will? Yeah.”

Have an opinion? Discuss it on the Cleveland Cavaliers forum.

Donte Greene adds 25 pounds

Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports:

Donte Greene adds 25 pounds

It’s not as easy to push around Donté Greene these days.

The Kings forward showed up for his third NBA season weighing 251 pounds – 25 more than his listed weight.

Now, when he has his post-practice workouts with assistant coach Shareef Abdur- Rahim, Greene has more bulk to use with the post moves he learns from Abdur-Rahim.

“I try to (mimic Abdur- Rahim) by watching film, but ‘Reef was a beast,” Greene said. “I’m just watching film and listening to what he tells me and trying to put it to work.”

Have an opinion to share? Discuss it on the Sacramento Kings forum.

Elton Brand trims down

Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

Elton Brand trims down

Brand reported to training camp more than 10 pounds lighter than the 265 he carried last season. Now 31 and entering his 12th NBA season, Brand knew after last year’s disappointing run that changes were needed.

“It was funny, coach [Doug Collins] told me the number [weight of 255] and I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I could do it,’ and I was already under that number. Eating right, that’s the first thing,” Brand said. “I gave up Twizzlers, gave up fried foods. I like all types of good meals, so yeah, I had to give up a little bit. It was hard at first, but after a while you know you have a goal, so the urges start to dissipate a little bit.”

And so did the pounds.

Last season may have been one of the worst in Brand’s career. He and coach Eddie Jordan never seemed to be on the same page, often times not reading from the same book, even. Though Brand said he felt great all season, he was coming off his second straight summer of rehab, this time to correct a shoulder injury. The year before, he was coming off an Achilles’ injury. He never could get into a rhythm last year, partly because he never knew his role, partly because his body wouldn’t allow it.

Have an opinion? Share it on the Philadelphia 76ers forum.

April 9, 2010: Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand (42) in action during the NBA game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Bucks beat the 76ers, 95-90.

Howard Kussoy of the New York Post reports:

Terrence Williams shooting for Nets starting SG spot

Terrence Williams currently is entrenched in an intriguing training-camp battle with Anthony Morrow, who was acquired this summer in a sign-and-trade with the Warriors, for the starting shooting-guard spot. Vying for the same position, the two wingmen are taking different paths.

Williams has impressed Nets coach Avery Johnson with his athleticism and his ability to penetrate, while removing some doubt about his questionable decision-making during his rookie season.

“Terrence’s versatility to score, post-up smaller guys, initiate our offense for us then play off the ball . . . you can do more things with him,” Johnson said. “He still may do something crazy one out of every five possessions, but it was four out of five earlier. He’s taking pretty good care of the ball and making good passes.”

Have opinions to share? Discuss them on the New Jersey Nets forum.

April 07, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..New Jersey Nets Terrence Williams brings the ball up the court, Williams had 6 points coming off the Nets bench..Milwaukee Bucks won over the New Jersey Nets 108-89. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

NBA fines Wizards owner Ted Leonsis

The NBA has fined Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis $100,000 for unauthorized public comments regarding the league’s collective bargaining negotiations, it was announced today.  Leonsis made his comments earlier today.

According to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman newspaper, “Leonsis earlier today told business leaders in Northern Virginia that he expects the league will soon have a hard salary cap.”

Jason Williams to have knee surgery

Jason Williams to have knee surgery

Orlando Magic guard Jason Williams will undergo arthroscopic surgery tomorrow on his left knee, General Manager Otis Smith announced.  Williams is expected to miss approximately four weeks of action.

Williams (#44, 6’1”, 190, 11/18/75) played in all 82 games last season for the Magic, averaging 6.0 ppg., 3.6 apg. and 1.5 rpg. in 20.8 minpg., while shooting .380 (84-221) from three-point range.  He started in 18 outings, averaging 8.6 ppg., 5.1 apg., 2.7 rpg. and 1.11 stlpg. in 29.6 minpg. during that span.  Williams ranked seventh in the NBA in assists-to-turnover ratio (3.43, 298/87).  He also appeared in all 14 playoff games, averaging 2.6 ppg. and 1.6 apg. in 13.7 minpg.

Originally selected in the first round (seventh overall) of the 1998 NBA Draft, Williams has played in 761 career NBA regular season games with Sacramento, Memphis, Miami and Orlando, averaging 10.8 ppg., 6.0 apg., 2.3 rpg. and 1.21 stlpg. in 30.1 minpg.  He has also played in 67 career playoff contests, averaging 8.3 ppg., 3.3 apg. and 1.9 rpg. in 25.9 minpg.  Williams was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1998-99, currently stands as Memphis’ all-time leader in assists (2,041) and helped Miami capture the 2005-06 NBA Championship.

Apr. 01, 2010: Orlando Magic guard Jason Williams drives past the Dallas defense during an NBA game between the Orlando Magic and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Orlando defeated Dallas 97-82.

Bucks sign Brian Skinner

Bucks sign Brian Skinner

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed forward-center Brian Skinner (6-9, 255) to a contract, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

A 12-year NBA veteran, Skinner has played in 605 games and holds career averages of 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 49.4 percent from the field. Skinner spent the 2009-10 season with the Los Angeles Clippers, where he played in 16 games and tallied 1.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 7.7 minutes per contest.

A Temple, TX native, Skinner was selected by the Clippers with the 22nd overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, and spent the first three years of his career in Los Angeles.  A trade to the Chicago Bulls in July 2001 marked the beginning of a nine-year stretch in which Skinner played for eight different teams, including two seasons (2003-04 and 2006-07) with Milwaukee. He enjoyed his best statistical season in 2003-04 when he averaged 10.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 56 games as a Buck.

The Milwaukee Bucks Training Camp roster now stands at 20 players.

Aaron Brooks wants contract extension

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports:

Aaron Brooks wants contract extension

Brooks had hoped his breakthrough season and status as the NBA’s Most Improved Player award winner would prompt the Rockets to offer a contract extension. Instead, he said the Rockets’ unwillingness to work on a new deal for beyond this season is “bothering” him.

“It’s kind of stressful,” Brooks said. “I was hoping we maybe could get something done this summer, but we couldn’t, so I’m stuck in the position I’m in.

“I understand, but it’s bothering me. It’s the business of basketball. You have to take it like it is. I’m stuck with that.”

Brooks’ agent, Leon Rose, is scheduled to meet with general manager Daryl Morey today to discuss the situation, but he would not comment other to confirm the meeting.

Asked if he felt he deserves a contract extension, Brooks said, “Oh, no doubt. I deserve at least discussions.”

Discuss your opinion on the Houston Rockets forum.

February 17, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Houston Rockets Aaron Brooks brings he ball up the court, Brooks had 15 points and 12 assists to help the rockets to victory..Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Houston Rockets 99-127. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Boozer should be big help for Bulls

John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times writes:

With Boozer as a viable option in the low post, teams no longer can gang up on Rose on the perimeter. When the ball is thrown in to Boozer, opponents now will have a choice to make — double-team Boozer or let him operate one-on-one in the post.

If teams choose to double-team Boozer, he’ll kick it out to Rose. If not, they’ll have to contend with a player who averaged 19.5 points for the Utah Jazz last season.

”[Boozer’s] versatility is a great asset,” Thibodeau said. ”It starts with his post-up game. The thing that often gets overlooked is his ability to pass out of the post. He’s a terrific passer out of the post, so when the ball goes in and we cut, those are other opportunities to get easy baskets.”

Boozer is the type of big man whose game meshes perfectly with Rose and the type of offense Thibodeau wants to run.

Utah Jazz forward Carlos Boozer, left, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, right, battle for the ball during the first half of Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series at Staples Center in Los Angeles on May 4, 2010. The Lakers won 111-103 . UPI Photo/Lori Shepler Photo via Newscom

Gordon Hayward buys a new car

Tim Buckley of the Deseret News reports:

Still unaccustomed to the actual purchase power of his newfound riches, Hayward — 20-year-old Hoosier, Jazz rookie millionaire, newly minted Larry H. Miller dealership loyalist — is not nearly spoiled enough yet to think so ostentatiously.

He got a Honda Accord.

“That’s a good, practical car for me,” Hayward said Tuesday, after his first session of fall two-a-day training camp. “The first car I’ve ever owned, so that was real exciting when I drove off with it the first time.”

The Accord — most sticker well under $30,000 — is a little more low-to-the-road than the minivan, but not far removed from the class in which he’s been rolling. editor says: I wonder if it came with an AM radio, and maybe a cassette deck.

Pacers power forward job still open

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports:

Josh McRoberts, Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Foster, Solomon Jones and Magnum Rolle are candidates. Danny Granger also will play some at the position when O’Brien goes with a small lineup.

Hansbrough is viewed as the future but is working himself into shape after missing most of his rookie season. O’Brien said he’d start McRoberts if the season opened today, but quickly pointed out that the regular season is four weeks away.

“Coach said that spot is open,” McRoberts said. “I feel good. I feel like I put in the time and the work over the summer and I deserve the opportunity. I’m excited.” editor says: I think a month or two into the season, whoever best provides the dirty work — setting tough picks, rebounding, defending — will earn the job. If it was a few years ago, I’d go with Foster. But now, it’s anyone’s guess.

Tony Bizjak and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee report:

Four years after the National Basketball Association commissioner announced he’d personally help get an arena built in Sacramento, the league issued a terse e-mail Tuesday saying it’s no longer taking an active role in local arena efforts.

The statement came days after the Cal Expo board closed the door on an NBA-backed plan to move the State Fair to the Arco Arena site in Natomas to help finance a new downtown arena.

“On the heels of the disappointing – but not surprising – action (or inaction) of the state and Cal Expo board, it is fair to say that the NBA has ceased its activities on the Sacramento arena front,” league representative John Moag said in an e-mail to The Bee. “However, we will continue to monitor and respond to the activities and options of others that might reasonably ensure the competitiveness and viability of the Kings’ franchise.”

The now-defunct arena proposal, championed by local developers Gerry Kamilos and David Taylor, would have leveraged revenues from the sale of the Cal Expo site to help finance a new State Fair in Natomas and a sports and entertainment complex in the downtown railyard. editor says: My main concern is the same as the one Kings fans should have in the back of their mind: The arena situation, if it isn’t resolved, could result in the team eventually leaving Sacramento.

The AP reports:

Eric Gordon loved his summer international experience

Eric Gordon got a whole lot more than a gold medal from his summer in Europe with the U.S. national team.

The Clippers’ soft-spoken guard also learned with certainty that he really can play with the world’s best. Gordon was the fourth-leading scorer and a key defensive player for the U.S. team, silencing critics who wondered if the Indiana product belonged in that uniform.

“It was a good confidence-booster,” Gordon said on the first day of Clippers training camp. “It shows where I am in my career. I really know what I can do now.”

The Clippers are counting on him doing plenty for them this winter. Gordon has been a steady pro in his first two NBA seasons, averaging 16.4 points and 2.9 assists for two terrible teams, but general manager Neil Olshey wants and expects more when Los Angeles returns with a new attitude under new coach Vinny Del Negro.

“Eric’s aggressiveness at this level hasn’t been commensurate with his skill,” said Olshey, the longtime personnel executive who succeeded Mike Dunleavy. “He’s going to get that into his game now, and I’ll put him up against anybody in his draft class, and anybody with three years left on his deal. I think he’s as good as any of them, but in his first two years, he has deferred a lot to veterans.”

Kevin Love gets MRI on knee

The AP reports:

kevin love

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love had an MRI on his swollen right knee on Tuesday.

The exam showed no significant damage, only some mild inflammation.

Love missed the first practice on Tuesday morning to go to the Twin Cities for the exam. But he returned and participated fully in the evening practice.

The Los Angeles Clippers today exercised the club’s fourth-year contract option on guard Eric Gordon and the third-year contract option on forward Blake Griffin.

Gordon, originally selected by the Clippers as the seventh overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, begins his third NBA season and is now signed through the 2011-12 campaign. Under the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Clippers had the right to exercise these contract options.

The 6’3” guard out of Indiana has averaged 16.4 points, 2.9 assists and 2.6 rebounds over his two-year NBA career and is coming off helping Team USA win the gold medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey earlier this month. In nine games played in the tournament, Gordon tallied 8.6 points while finishing second on the team in three-pointers made (19) and second on the team in three-point field goal percentage (.452).

Griffin, the first overall selection by the Clippers in the 2009 NBA Draft is now also signed through the 2011-12 season, with the Clippers holding the right of first refusal. Griffin missed the entire 2009-10 campaign due to a fractured left patella making 2010-11 his official rookie season.

Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has added center Longar Longar to the training camp roster.

Longar (6-11, 230), spent last season in the NBA Development League, averaging 6.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and 20.4 minutes in 11 games (four starts) with the Los Angeles D-Fenders and Bakersfield Jam. He spent four seasons at the University of Oklahoma averaging 7.2 points, on 53.8% shooting from the field, 4.3 rebounds and 17.8 minutes in 112 games (45 starts).

The Memphis Grizzlies added free agents Luke Jackson, Tre Kelley, Kenny Thomas and Damien Wilkins, who collectively add 21 years of NBA experience to their 2010 training camp roster, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Jackson, a 6-7, 215-pound guard/forward, joins the team after spending last season with Carife Ferrara in Italy, where the 29-year-old averaged 15.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30 games.  The Eugene, Ore. native was selected 10th overall in the 2004 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers after being named a finalist for the John R. Wooden and Naismith College Player of the Year Awards as a senior at the University of Oregon.  Jackson holds career averages of 3.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 73 games (three starts) over four seasons (2004-08) with the Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat.

Kelley, a 6-0, 188-pound guard, spent last season with Club Sagesse in the Lebanese Basketball League.  The 25-year-old also has played professionally in China, Israel and Greece following a four-year career at the University of South Carolina (2003-07).  The Washington, D.C. native left the Gamecocks ranked ninth all-time on the school’s scoring list (1,488 points), second in games played (134) and third in assists (510), winning National Invitation Tournament (NIT) titles in 2005 and 2006.

Thomas, a 6-7, 261-pound forward, comes to Memphis after playing the last five-and-a-half seasons with the Sacramento Kings.  The 33-year-old University of New Mexico product holds career averages of 9.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 632 games (406 starts) over an 11-year NBA career with the Kings, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers.  The Atlanta, Ga. native’s most productive season came with Philadelphia in 2003-04, when he was one of 11 players to average double figures in points (13.6) and rebounds (career-high 10.1).

Wilkins, a 6-6, 225-pound guard/forward, joins the Grizzlies after spending the 2009-10 season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he averaged 5.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 80 games (31 starts).  The 30-year-old University of Georgia product holds career averages of 7.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 390 games (126 starts) over six NBA seasons (2004-10) with the Timberwolves and Seattle SuperSonics/Oklahoma City Thunder.  The Washington, N.C. native is the nephew of NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins and son of former Vancouver Grizzlies guard/forward Gerald Wilkins.

Jazz re-sign Kyrylo Fesenko

Jazz re-sign Kyrylo Fesenko

Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has re-signed restricted free-agent center Kyrylo Fesenko.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

A three-year NBA veteran, Fesenko (7-1, 300, Ukraine) appeared in 49 games (5 starts) for the Jazz in 2009-10, averaging 2.6 points and 1.8 rebounds in 8.3 minutes.  He also appeared in all 10 Jazz playoff games (nine starts), averaging 3.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 0.50 blocks in 18.0 minutes.  Fesenko scored in double figures three times on the season, and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds in Game 4 of the Conference Semifinals vs. the L.A. Lakers.  Originally selected by Philadelphia in the second round (38th overall selection) of the 2007 NBA Draft, the Jazz acquired Fesenko’s rights in a draft-night deal that sent the draft rights to Herbert Hill (55th overall pick) to the 76ers.  Fesenko has appeared in a total of 79 regular season games (all with the Jazz) and owns career averages of 2.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 8.0 minutes per game.

Utah Jazz center Kyrylo Fesenko dunks for two points over Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum in the third quarter during Game 3 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff series in Salt Lake City, Utah, May 8, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Pistons add Ike Diogu to training camp

pistons sign ike diogu

The Detroit Pistons announced today the addition of Ike Diogu to the 2010-11 training camp roster.

Diogu, the ninth overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, has career averages of 6.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 187 games with Golden State, Indiana, Portland and Sacramento.  A veteran of four NBA seasons, Diogu averaged a career-high 7.0 points as a rookie with the Warriors in 2005-06.  The 2005 Pac-10 Player of the Year averaged 21.4 points and 8.8 rebounds in 91 career games over three seasons at Arizona State. The 6-9, 250-pound forward missed last season with a knee injury.

Portland Trailblazers forward Ike Diogu dunks in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver on December 22, 2008. (UPI Photo/Gary C. Caskey) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

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