Archive for October 7th, 2010

The Sacramento Kings have added Shareef Abdur-Rahim to the team’s front office as an Assistant General Manager, it was announced by Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Abdur-Rahim, a 12-year NBA veteran, spent the previous two seasons behind the Kings’ bench as an assistant coach.

“I’m thankful that the Maloof family and Geoff Petrie have the confidence in me to provide the opportunity to continue to be a part of the Kings’ organization,” said Abdur-Rahim. “My family and I love this area and are excited to be involved with this young and upcoming team.”

Abdur-Rahim enjoyed 12 seasons in the NBA with four different teams (Vancouver 1996-97 to 2000-01, Atlanta 2001-02 to 2003-04, Portland 2003-04 to 2004-05 and Sacramento 2005-06 to 2007-08), amassing career averages of 18.1 points (.452 FGs, .297 3FGs, .810 FTs), 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game through 830 outings. His most productive season, statistically, occurred during the 1998-99 campaign in Vancouver when he averaged 23.0 points (.432 FGs, .306 3FGs, .841 FTs), 7.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game through 50 contests (NBA Lockout season). The following season (1999-00), Abdur-Rahim averaged double figures in both points (20.3) and rebounds (10.1) per game, in which he played in all 82 contests for the Grizzlies.

Abdur-Rahim was a member of the gold-medal winning United States Olympic team in 2000 while still with the Vancouver Grizzlies. He was selected to the Eastern Conference NBA All-Star Team where he scored nine points in 21 minutes as a member of the Atlanta Hawks in 2002.

On December 28, 2002, Abdur-Rahim became the sixth-youngest player in NBA history to reach the 10,000-point plateau when he scored 18 points at Washington at age 26, trailing only Kobe Bryant, Bob McAdoo, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with that distinction.

Selected by the Vancouver Grizzlies (now Memphis) as an undergraduate out of California with the third pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, Abdur-Rahim has a long-standing history of community service involvement. He was named by The Sporting News as the NBA’s Number 1 Good Guy for 2004 after funding the Reef House in Atlanta through his Atlanta-based Future Foundation with the purpose of assisting at-risk and underprivileged youth.

 It is with great sadness that the Premier Basketball League has learned of the passing today of the Halifax Rainmen’s most popular player, John Strickland.  According to news reports, Strickland passed away in his sleep.  He was 38 years old.

Strickland, who played for the Rainmen in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, recently moved into the Rainmen’s front office as its Director of Basketball Development.  “I was devastated to hear that ‘Strick’ passed away,” said Halifax CEO and President Andre Levingston.  “He was a valuable asset to the team and an incredible friend to me. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to his family, we will all miss him very, very, much.”

Strickland, who played his college ball at Hawaii-Pacific, spent fifteen years in professional ball, playing in several minor and overseas leagues.  In the Continental Basketball Association, he was named an All-Star in 2008.  He was also one of the most popular players on the “Terror Squad” basketball team in New York’s Harlem Rucker League.

But it was his last two professional years, in Halifax, where he achieved cult hero status.  Fans in Halifax’s Section 22, also known as “Heckler’s Row,” wore custom-made Strickland 45 jerseys and cheered for him every time he touched the ball.

“Stickland will be a missed dearly by the entire PBL family,” said Dr. Sev, Chairman of the Premier Basketball League. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. He will be well remembered.”

“John Strickland played with joy and excitement every time he touched the basketball,” said Chuck Miller, Premier Basketball League photographer and media specialist.  “He always got the crowd - whether home or away - into every basketball game he played.  This is a very sad day.”

Strickland also received recognition in the music world, as rapper Jay-Z name-checked the forward in his track “PSA.”  “My homey Strick told me, ‘Dude finish your breakfast,’ so that’s what I’ma do…”

InsideHoops.com editor says: Wow. This dude was my buddy for the past decade or so. I knew him, and so did just about everyone associated with New York City-area basketball. Watching him at Rucker Park back years ago when he was a regular there was one of the highlights of every summer. “The Franchise” (aka “Big Panda” and about a dozen other nicknames) was one of the most vocal streetballers ever. He’d yell at the refs. Yell at the fans. Yell at himself. The fence. The basket support. Whatever was nearby. No one in streetball could contain him. Strickland knew it, and he made sure you knew it, too. He was extremely funny, friendly and nice (off the court), and a hell of a player. He made many thousands of people smile, a lot. He’ll be missed.

John Strickland Video Feature

Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

tim duncan drops in rankings

For the first time since NBA.com has been conducting a preseason survey of the league’s general managers about the best of everything, Spurs captain Tim Duncan was not named the best of the league’s power forwards.

The GMs first were polled in 2002, after Duncan won his first Most Valuable Player award. He was an overwhelming choice as top power forward then and followed with seven more preseason designations as the league’s best.

This season, however, Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Lakers’ Pau Gasol tied as the top power forward, according to the GMs, each getting 28.6 percent of the vote. Duncan finished third, with 21.4 percent.

The GMs also picked Duncan the second-best center in the league, behind Orlando’s Dwight Howard.

Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News reports:

The Pistons already-thin frontcourt suffered a major loss when second-year forward Jonas Jerebko suffered a torn Achilles tendon Tuesday night in Miami.

Jerebko, who averaged 9.3 points and six rebounds last year, will undergo surgery Friday and is expected to miss at least five months. He landed awkwardly on a drive in the first quarter.

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Pistons coach John Kuester sat with Jerebko, 23, on the ride home, trying to keep his spirits up. It’s no question Jerebko’s willingness to improve made him one of Kuester’s favorites.

“He’s a competitor, but he’ll attack his rehab the way he does everything else: the right way,” Kuester said.

Jerebko, a 6-foot-9 power forward, was successful playing next to Ben Wallace because of his boundless energy, which made up for his NBA inexperience (he played professionally overseas) and was one of the team’s best offensive rebounders. Jerebko’s not a natural scorer, but being consistently active helped him be in the right place at the right time.

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