Archive for September, 2010

Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee reports:

The Sacramento Kings’ groundbreaking agreement with ARCO oil company for local arena naming rights is over after 24 years.

The contract expires next year, team officials say, and the search already is on for a new company willing to pay to have its name in lights on the Natomas sports and entertainment arena.

Bucks got deeper this summer

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

The Bucks should have a much deeper team than the one they finished with last season, when coach Scott Skiles had to use Primoz Brezec for important minutes at the center spot in Game 7 of the playoffs against Atlanta (with Bogut injured and backup Kurt Thomas in foul trouble).

“No disrespect to our guys on the bench, but we didn’t really have guys we could rely on coming off the bench,” Bogut said. “Kurt when he was backing me up was a great backup, and we had a couple guys.

“But this year there are questions for us. Does Maggette come off the bench for us or does he start?

“Coach is going to have his work cut out for him figuring out rotations. We genuinely have 10 or 11 guys who can play and on an NBA team you can’t play that many guys. You’ve got to narrow it down to eight or nine guys and the rest pick up feeder minutes. Coach has a tough deal on his plate.”

The AP reports:

Baron Davis vies for Emmy for gang documentary

Dear Emmy voters, Baron Davis regrets to inform you that he won’t be able to attend the awards ceremony for his documentary film on L.A. gang life.

By then, he’ll be busy with his other passion.

The Los Angeles Clippers point guard will already be at training camp when the Emmy awards for news and documentaries are handed out in New York City next Monday.

From afar, though, he’ll be rooting for the film “Crips and Bloods: Made in America,” which is up for best documentary. Davis served as executive producer, putting up the money and providing entree into a world that he escaped from - largely because of basketball - but hasn’t forgotten.

Dec 2, 2009; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Baron Davis (1) dribbles up court during the game against the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center. The Rockets defeated the Clippers 102-85. Photo via Newscom

Jonathan Abrams and Howard Beck of the New York Times report:

Tough for Knicks to trade for Carmelo Anthony

The Denver Nuggets are lending an open ear to N.B.A. suitors clamoring for Carmelo Anthony, a potentially distressing development for the Knicks in their efforts to land the three-time All-Star.

In preliminary conversations, the Nuggets have told the Knicks that they do not possess the assets they are seeking if they decide to trade Anthony, according to a Knicks official. The official did not want to be identified because he was describing private conversations between the teams.

For the moment, the Knicks are left hoping that Anthony remains in Denver through this season, which would allow his contract to expire. If that happens, the Knicks could then pursue him in free agency with cap room that will be created by the departure of Eddy Curry.

Denver Nuggets Carmelo Anthony (15) knocks Utah Jazz guard Deron Williams down drawing an offensive foul during the third quarter of the first round playoffs game two at the Pepsi Center on April 19, 2010 in Denver. Utah beat Denver 114-111 to even the series at 1-1.  UPI/Gary C. Caskey Photo via Newscom

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

Eddy Curry will be last Knick to report for workouts

Eddy Curry has claimed another dubious distinction — last one in.

The Knicks’ 7-foot center still has not shown up at the team’s Westchester compound to participate in pre-training-camp voluntary workouts/scrimmages, according to multiple sources.

With new Russian center Timofey Mozgov arriving in New York last night, Curry will become the last Knick to report, according to sources. The official reporting date is Friday, with two-a-day practices starting Saturday.

Knicks brass hasn’t seen or heard from Curry in more than three months. Curry, in the final year of his contract, also blew off the July summer league in Las Vegas, where he was expected to work out. Curry has spent most of the summer in Chicago, where a warrant was out for his arrest for failure to pay a judgment. He’s also been seen at the Jersey Shore.

New York Knicks center Eddy Curry shoots a free throw against the Charlotte Bobcats in an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 15, 2009. UPI/Nell Redmond Photo via Newscom

Corey Maggette still healing

Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

Corey Maggette still healing

Bucks coach Scott Skiles said at the team’s annual golf outing Monday that Bogut will be ready for the start of training camp in one week.

But Maggette, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle during the off-season, will be brought along slowly at the start of camp.

“He’s not quite ready yet,” Skiles said of Maggette, whom the Bucks acquired in a trade with the Golden State Warriors. “He’s made great progress, but our camp is tough.

“We don’t want that to be his first action. We’ll ease him into it a little bit. We have the non-contact practices and we’ll have some days throughout October where we won’t go as hard based on our schedule. The first week of camp can be a shock to anybody’s system.

Feb 16, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Corey Maggette (50) dribbles the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Warriors 104-94. Photo via Newscom

SportsDayDFW reports:

Mavericks  owner Mark Cuban  is joining ABC’s “Shark Tank” for the show’s second season, the Hollywood Reporter reported on its Web site.

The owner will be a guest venture capitalist for three episodes, in which regular folks pitch ideas with hopes of getting an investment.

Hornets sign Joe Alexander

Hornets sign Joe Alexander

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed free agent forward Joe Alexander.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released. The addition of Alexander puts the training camp roster at 15 thus far.

Alexander (6-8, 230), the eighth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, has played in the NBA for two seasons. During his rookie season with the Bucks, Alexander appeared in 59 games, averaging 4.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 12.1 minutes per game. Alexander, the first-ever Taiwanese-born NBA player, missed the first 41 games of the 2009-10 season with a hamstring injury before being assigned to the NBA D-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants in January. While in the D-League, he averaged 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 26.8 minutes per game over six D-League games (three starts). Shortly after his stint in Fort Wayne, Alexander was traded to the Chicago Bulls along with Hakim Warrick for John Salmons on February 8, 2010. Alexander played in eight games for the Bulls, registering 0.5 points and 0.6 rebounds per game in 3.6 minutes of play.

Alexander, 23 years old, played three seasons for West Virginia University before declaring early for the NBA Draft. He was named All-Big East First-Team and a All-American Honorable Mention his junior season for the Mountaineers after averaging team-highs of 16.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.

Oct 15, 2008 - Guangzhou, China - Milwaukee Bucks' JOE ALEXANDER (R #11) shoots against Golden State Warriors' BRANDAN WRIGHT Photo via Newscom

Ed Davis out six weeks after knee surgery

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday that rookie forward Ed Davis underwent arthroscopic surgery this morning to repair a meniscus tear to his right knee. He is expected to be participating in basketball-related activities within six weeks. Davis sustained the injury last Wednesday playing basketball.

The procedure was performed by team medical director/orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Paul Marks at Sunnybrook Hospital.

The Raptors’ first-round selection in the 2010 NBA Draft (13th overall), Davis finished third on the team in scoring (12.6) and second in rebounding (6.0) during the Las Vegas Summer League. He tied for the team lead with nine blocks. Davis had 15 points and eight rebounds in his professional debut vs. Phoenix.

The New York Liberty announced today that Carol Blazejowski, the team’s President and General Manager will leave the team. The announcement was made by Scott O’Neil, President, MSG Sports.

“Carol has been an integral part of the Liberty from the very beginning. We thank her for her many years of passion, commitment and dedication to the team and the entire WNBA. Carol is a true professional and a class act and there is no doubt that she has more success ahead of her. We wish her the very best in her future endeavors,” said O’Neil.

A search for new leadership for the Liberty will begin immediately.

Following a playing career that included All American honors in 1976, 1977 and 1978 at Montclair State, Blazejowski began her professional career at Adidas where she worked for 10 years before moving to the National Basketball Association. At the NBA, she served as Director of Licensing, Director of Women’s Basketball Programs and finally as the WNBA’s Director of Basketball Development. Blazejowski joined the Liberty in January of 1997.

Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports:

The Kings will announce today they will introduce variable pricing when individual game tickets go on sale Oct. 2.

That means ticket prices will be market-driven. So games likely to be in high demand – the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat – will be priced higher than games not so high in demand – the Los Angeles Clippers or New Jersey Nets.

The Kings sought out consumers’ opinions on how to bring them back to Arco, and variable pricing is the latest response to fans’ concerns.

“We’ve talked to our season-ticket holders at length, both in person and through a lot of surveys, and the NBA,” said Kings vice president of marketing and communications Mitch Germann. “A lot of NBA teams are going to do (variable pricing), too. I know in Major League Baseball some teams have been doing it for a while.”

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed free agent guard D.J. Strawberry and center Darryl Watkins.  Per team policy, terms of the contracts were not released. The addition of Strawberry and Watkins puts the training camp roster at 14 thus far.

Strawberry (6-5, 205) was drafted in the second round (59th overall) in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. He appeared in 33 games for the Suns during the 2007-08 season, averaging 2.2 points in 8.2 minutes of play. He was sent down to the NBA D-League for five games by the Suns to play for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds. In five games, Strawberry averaged 31.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 41.4 minutes of play and was named the D-League performer of the week for his play. After being traded to the Houston Rockets prior to the 2008-09 season, Strawberry was cut before the regular season and signed with Fortitudo Bologna of the Italian League. In Italy, he averaged 11.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19 games during the regular season and 14.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in six games during the Eurocup.

The son of former Major League Baseball player Darryl Strawberry, D.J. played for the Reno Bighorns of the D-League last season. In 26 games, he averaged 13.1 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists in 27.8 minutes of play. Most recently, the Mater Dei High School graduate (Santa Ana, Ca.) played for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Summer League this past July in Las Vegas. In five games, he poured in 13.0 points and 2.2 assists in 26.2 minutes of play. Strawberry played four years at the University of Maryland, earning many honors including being elected second team All-ACC his senior season.

Watkins (6-11, 258) signed with the Sacramento Kings after being undrafted in the 2007 NBA Draft. Watkins appeared in nine games during the 2007-08 season with the Kings, averaging 1.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 7.9 minutes of play. The Patterson, NJ native was waived by the Kings in December of 2007 and split the rest of the season with the Los Angeles D-Fenders and the Iowa Energy of the NBA D-League. In Los Angeles, he appeared in 18 games (16 starts), averaging 4.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in 19.8 minutes. In 22 games (11 starts), Watkins put up 8.5 points and 5.9 rebounds in 20.3 minutes of play for the Energy.

Watkins played for the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2008 Las Vegas Summer League and signed a two-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs in September of 2008. He was cut just before the 2008 season and signed with Tianjin of the Chinese Basketball League for the 2008-09 season. In China, he played in 43 games, averaging 20.7 points and 14.0 rebounds in 41.6 minutes of play. Last season, he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the preseason, but was cut just before the regular season. Most recently, he appeared for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando Summer League and the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Summer League this past July. Watkins played four years at Syracuse University with career averages of 6.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game over 106 appearances (67 starts). He ranks fifth in Syracuse history with 263 career blocks.

Ed Davis hurts right knee

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday rookie forward Ed Davis sustained a meniscal injury to his right knee while playing basketball on Wednesday.

The team and Davis are currently evaluating treatment options.

Jon Brockman gets his own burger

Paul Imig, special to, reports:

Jon Brockman gets his own burger

It didn’t take long for Jon Brockman to make his mark in Milwaukee, and that was two weeks before even beginning his first training camp with the Bucks.

Brockman and AJ Bombers teamed up to create the Brockness Burger, with Milwaukee’s recently acquired power forward donating $10 to Special Olympics Wisconsin for every one of his signature burgers sold over the next week.

Despite moving to Milwaukee less than four weeks ago and still living out of a hotel, Brockman said he wanted to find a way to quickly become a part of the local community.

“The more stuff like this you do, it makes it more real and more fun,” Brockman said. “I knew I wanted to get plugged into something and be a part of something here in Milwaukee. I just decided to give this a try.”

See picture of the burger.

Popovich says Tim Duncan in great shape

The AP reports:

Popovich says Tim Duncan in great shape

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Thursday that Duncan returned this summer for his 14th season perhaps in even better shape than a year ago, when the perennial All-Star reported to training camp 15 pounds lighter.

“He’s trim and slim. I think he’s even slimmer than he was last year,” Popovich said. “He’s really serious about this. He knows his responsibilities. He wants to win again.”

Popovich met with reporters in San Antonio for the first time since Phoenix swept the Spurs from the Western Conference semifinals in May. He’ll open training camp Sept. 27 with Duncan, who turns 35 this season, leading what is a mostly unchanged Spurs roster.

San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan (L) collides with Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye (R) as he drives to the basket in the second half during Game 1 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff series in Phoenix May 3, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:

Marijuana charges against Udonis Haslem are dropped

Udonis Haslem will not face marijuana charges over his August traffic stop on the Gratigny Parkway in Miami-Dade County.

“Udonis Haslem has been vindicated,” Attorney Eric Schwartzreich told the Sun Sentinel after receiving word Thursday that the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s office had ruled the case a no-action.

According to the no-action memo from Assistant State Attorney Errol Portman all five counts against Haslem were dropped by reason of “cannot prove possession.”

The summary of the no-action memo reads, “while there was probable cause for the arrest of Udonis Haslem . . . the State could not prove Udonis Haslem’s knowledge or possession of the cannabis beyond a reasonable doubt.”

April 12, 2010: Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem (40) going up for the shot past Philadelphia 76ers forward Jason Kapono (72) and Philadelphia 76ers guard Lou Williams (23) during the NBA game between the Miami Heat and the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Heat beat the 76ers, 107-105.

Raptors sign Ronald Dupree

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have signed forward Ronald Dupree. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.

Dupree, 6-foot-7, 210 pounds participated with the Raptors’ entry in the 2010 Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 10.0 points and 4.0 rebounds helping the club to a 5-0 mark. He had a team-high 24 points and added eight rebounds in a victory over New Orleans.

Dupree has played in 154 NBA games with Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota and Seattle, averaging 3.6 points and 2.2 rebounds. He spent last season in Germany with Telekom Baskets Bonn where he averaged 12.0 points in 33 outings.

The training camp roster now stands at 16.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports:

Rockets will limit Yao Ming to 24 minutes per game

There will be no negotiations, no gray areas. Unless Yao Ming’s surgeon changes his mind and the plan, on all matters involving Yao’s playing time this season, the Rockets will not need to hold further meetings or reach compromises.

Most of all, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey pledged that he and coach Rick Adelman will not come to blows over a star center’s playing time, something Bulls vice president John Paxson and former coach Vinny Del Negro did when limiting Joakim Noah’s minutes last season as the Rockets will Yao’s this season.

Yao will play no more than 24 minutes per game, Rockets vice president and athletic trainer Keith Jones said. There will be no exceptions. If Yao has played his 24 minutes and the Rockets have the ball and eight seconds on the clock to make up a one-point deficit, Yao will not play those eight seconds…

When Yao plays one night, he will skip much of the practice the next day, with the Rockets so determined to limit the demands on Yao that Jones and associate athletic trainer Jason Biles have already outlined Yao’s workout schedule from the start of camp Sept. 25 through the last game of the regular season.

04235371 date 14 08 2008 Copyright imago Xinhua Yao Ming China cheering PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxCHN Vdig vertical Close cheering Highlight Olympic Games Beijing 2008 Summer Games National team international match National jersey Beijing happiness Enthusiasm Basketball OS Summer men Team Single optimistic Action shot Highlight Human Beings Photo via Newscom

Eben Novy-Williams of Bloomberg reports:

Admiral Capital Group, the private- equity firm of former San Antonio Spurs All-Star David Robinson, entered into a joint venture with United States Automobile Association Real Estate to invest in property.

San Antonio-based USAA’s $50 million investment will be matched by investors including Admiral Capital, Covenant Multifamily Offices and Spurs owner Peter Holt.

The group will make investments between $25 million and $100 million in office buildings, lodging, multifamily dwellings and retail properties.

Rockets offer Erick Dampier a contract

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports:

Rockets offer Erick Dampier a contract

Seeking additional center depth with Yao Ming on a strict playing time limit, the Rockets have offered free agent center Erick Dampier a two-year, $4 million contract, a person with knowledge of the offer said on Wednesday.

Dampier, who was waived by the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday, is also expected to consider a minimum contract offer from the Miami Heat and an offer from the Memphis Grizzlies.

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