Archive for September 16th, 2010

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.

Former employee suing Shaq

QMI Agency reports:

Shaquille O’Neal is being sued by a former employee who accuses the NBA superstar of trying to plant child pornography on his computer.

Shawn Darling, who worked for O’Neal as an IT consultant from 2007-09, is taking the Celtics big man to court in Florida for “intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and civil R.I.C.O (a racketeering charge).”

According to the lawsuit, Darling was ordered to delete information from a computer and email account that would have exposed multiple affairs O’Neal was having while he was still married. After the information was deleted, Shaq allegedly tried to plant child pornography on Darling’s computer to frame the employee and keep him from releasing any of the incriminating evidence.

UPDATE: The Boston Herald reports:

In a lengthy statement released by his representatives yesterday, O’Neal called Darling “an ex-con” with a lengthy record. He portrayed the suit as a brazen cash-grab by a man who previously tried to extort him for $12 million by threatening to expose O’Neal’s personal communications and e-mails.

“Mr. O’Neal has made it crystal clear that he will never respond to these outrageous tactics,” Shaq’s representatives said in a statement. “As a result, Darling filed a lawsuit which seeks only to embarrass, harass and extract money from Mr. O’Neal.”

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