Archive for October 1st, 2010

Hornets sign DJ Strawberry

The NBA Development League New Mexico Thunderbirds have announced today that former guard, D.J. Strawberry, has signed a contract with the New Orleans Hornets.

In five games with the Thunderbirds during the 2007-08 season, Strawberry averaged 31.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 52.8% from the field.  He was named D-League performer of the week.  Last season, Strawberry played for the Reno Bighorns and averaged 13.1 points and 5.6 assists per game.

Strawberry was originally drafted in the second round (59th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns out of the University of Maryland.  He played in 33 NBA games for the Suns in the 2007-08 season.

“We are thrilled and excited for D.J. as he continues his career with our NBA affiliate team, the New Orleans Hornets.  As more and more of our former players get their chance to shine in the NBA, we are proud that the Development League was able to provide a great training ground for these up-and-coming players to improve along the way,” Thunderbirds co-owner Sam Bregman said.

An front page poll asking fans to predict the eight Eastern conference teams that will qualify for the 2010-11 NBA playoffs had the following results:

Celtics     2,046 votes
Heat     2,045 votes
Magic     2,011 votes
Bulls     1,985 votes
Hawks     1,886 vote
Bucks     1,658 votes
Bobcats     1,011 votes
Knicks     1,074 votes
Wizards     637 votes
Sixers     481 votes
Pistons     336 votes
Nets     333 votes
Cavaliers 333 votes
Pacers     229 votes
Raptors     173 votes

Fans felt that the six teams — the Magic, Celtics, Heat, Bulls, Hawks and Bucks — are strong locks to make the playoffs.

After those teams, the Bobcats and Knicks came in next, with the 7th and 8th highest votes. editor says: These are some pretty fantastic results. Look at the top eight teams, in order. That’s pretty close to what an East power ranking list should look like.

Missing the playoffs but getting good support were the Wizards, receiving the 9th highest votes.

Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard (12) is congratulated by teammates Rashard Lewis (L), Jameer Nelson (14) and Vince Carter (15) during overtime in Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series against the Boston Celtics in Boston, Massachusetts May 24, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Raptors exercise DeMar DeRozan option

April 12, 2010: Toronto Raptors' DeMar DeRozan (10) during the NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Piston at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have exercised the third year team option on the Rookie Scale Contract of guard-forward DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan is now guaranteed through the 2011-12 season. In accordance with the league’s collective bargaining agreement, the Raptors had until October 31 to exercise their option on DeRozan. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DeRozan, 6-foot-7, 220 pounds, was the ninth overall pick by Toronto in the 2009 NBA Draft out of the University of Southern California. He averaged 8.6 points and 2.9 rebounds in 77 appearances in the 2009-10 season. DeRozan became the fourth rookie to start on opening night for the Raptors, joining Damon Stoudamire (1995), Vince Carter (1998) and Joey Graham (2005). He finished third in franchise history with 65 starts during a rookie campaign.

DeRozan set career highs in points (24), field goals (9), rebounds (14) and minutes (38) during the season finale April 14 versus New York. He won the inaugural NBA All-Star Dunk-In by defeating Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Gordon during halftime of the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam at All-Star Weekend in Dallas.

DeRozan helped lead the Raptors to a 5-0 mark at the 2010 Las Vegas Summer League. He averaged 21.0 points, third in the League, and 4.5 rebounds en route to All-Tournament Team honours.

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The Deseret News reports:

Salt Lake County officials and members of the Larry H. Miller family will unveil new signage at the Cottonwood Regional Softball Complex Friday, Oct. 1, at 3 p.m. when it will be renamed the Larry H. Miller Softball Complex. A brief ceremony will be held at the park, at 4350 S. 1300 East. Of his fastpitch softball career, Miller once said, “Other than the times I’ve spent with (his wife) Gail, I will say that some the happiest times of my life were when I was in uniform competing at the ballpark.”

Earlier this year, the Salt Lake County Council unanimously approved the name change.

“Softball was a big part of my dad’s life,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies.

Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports:

Danilo Gallinari announces release of autobiography

The Knicks’ history is well-documented and now the same can be said of Gallinari. The Milan native began his homecoming early Thursday with a press conference to announce the release of his autobiography. Yes, his autobiography.

“You got to read it,” Gallinari said. “I can’t tell you everything from right now.”

When an American journalist pressed him about the subject matter, Gallinari joked: “It’s about cooking and how you have to cook the pasta.”

The book, printed in Italian, is titled “Da Zero a Otto,” or “Zero to Eight.” It tells the story of Gallinari from the time he was born right through his first two seasons in New York. Eight is his favorite number - he was born on on 8/8/88 - and that is the number on his Knicks jersey. The book is up to date. It includes the Knicks signing Stoudemire and trading David Lee to Golden State.

“It’s my story since the day I was born,” Gallinari added. “It’s nice stories that nobody knows. A little bit more about me comes out.”

Have Knicks opinions? Discuss them in the New York Knicks forum.

New York Knicks Danilo Gallinari reacts after making a basket in the fourth quarter against the Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 12, 2010. The Knicks defeated the Wizards 114-103. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

Starting Knicks center job still uncertain

With Eddy Curry out of the picture, Ronny Turiaf not excelling and impressive Russian rookie Timofey Mozgov still so inexperienced, coach Mike D’Antoni is giving more consideration to starting 6-foot-11 forward Anthony Randolph in the pivot. Randolph saw time with the first team during a light practice at Armani Jeans Milano’s training facility.

Training camp opened last week with Turiaf playing with the first team, but he has no presence on offense. In the original alignment, Randolph was not in the starting lineup of Turiaf, Amar’e Stoudemire, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Raymond Felton. D’Antoni won’t reveal his starting lineup for Sunday’s exhibition against Milan. editor says: Ideally, a rugged, tall, defensive-minded, rebounding center would start alongside Stoudemire, allowing Anthony Randolph to come off the bench as he continues to develop as an NBA player. But if Ronny Turiaf isn’t up for filling that role, then coach Mike D’Antoni clearly should go with Randolph and Stoudemire together. They aren’t the best defensive combo around, but offensively they’ll do damage.

Have Knicks opinions? Discuss them in the New York Knicks forum

Golden State Warriors Anthony Randolph celebrates a good play in a losing effort against the Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California on February 18, 2009. The Lakers won 129-121. (UPI Photo/ Terry Schmitt) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

Chris Forsberg of ESPN reports:

Doc Rivers got a memo from the NBA this offseason on an updated dress code and promptly launched it into the nearest trash basket.

“I saw the dress code and I didn’t even look at it,” admitted Rivers. “I thought, ‘I don’t think I’m breaking the dress code, so I’m pretty good with it.’”

Apprised Thursday of the league’s new decree requiring collars on coaches, a change directed at Orlando head man Stan Van Gundy and his penchant for turtle necks, Rivers expressed disappointment.

“I like Stan’s style,” he said. “I really thought Stan had set the bar on the dress code. We should stay with that; It was nice… I actually [wore no collar] a couple times, even tried the collar with no tie, I just didn’t like it.”

Rivers doesn’t think the league needs to regulate any coach’s attire.

“I don’t think anyone dresses poorly,” said Rivers. “I think coaches dress pretty well. That’s fine, though. If [the NBA] thinks we need to look different or something, I’m fine with it. editor says: I am completely joking here — I think this is the NBA’s way of telling Stan Van Gundy that his roundish figure would appear to be more sharply defined with the assistance of a collared shirt.

May 18, 2010 - Orlando, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - epa02163674 Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy reacts during the third period of game two of the NBA Eastern Conference finals at the Amway Arena in Orlando Florida USA 18 May 2010.The Celtics won 95-92 to take a two games to none lead in the best of seven series.

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