Archive for September 29th, 2010

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.

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