Archive for November, 2010

UPDATE: THE BOY DIED

Police say they are investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy who fell 50 feet from a Staples Center luxury suite after a Lakers game.

Officer Julie Sohn said Monday the child abuse unit is investigating because of the boy’s age.

The Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed people familiar with the case, says the parents of Lucas Anthony Tang of Garden Grove had been searching for him when they learned he had fallen Sunday night.

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reports:

A young boy fell from a luxury suite after the Lakers’ game Sunday against the Golden State Warriors, tumbling into the lower bowl at Staples Center.

The boy was believed to be from 2 to 5 years old and was transported to an undisclosed hospital. The boy was moving his arms and legs as he was moved onto a stretcher, according to a witness who declined to be identified.

Red-hot Spurs are 11-1

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News reports (via blog):

The Spurs enter tonight’s game against Orlando riding a 10-game winning streak, having not lost since Oct. 30 against New Orleans — a team that by night’s end Sunday had matched them at 11-1.

It is the Spurs’ longest winning streak since taking 11 straight from Feb. 11-March 6, 2008, so long ago that only four members of this year’s team were around to experience it.

The comparison from early last season is like night to day. At this time a year ago, the Spurs were 6-6 and had required a two-game winning streak just to get to .500.

At the time, the Spurs were integrating seven new roster pieces, notably Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess. They also had a few proven holdovers, such as Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, physically unable to pick up the slack while everyone else got on the same page.

In retrospect, it was a perfect storm for a disappointing start.

“It is time-consuming, and lot of patience is involved,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich reflected. “It’s a lot of concentration on the part of the players to try and pick things up quickly. It’s a communication-teaching situation that doesn’t happen right off the bat.”

Have an opinion? Share it on the San Antonio Spurs forum.

By Ibrahim Kocyigit

Former NBA player Allen Iverson waves to his fans before signing a contract with Besiktas, his new Turkish basketball team in Istanbul November 9, 2010. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

ISTANBUL (Nov. 21) – It was not the first time Allen Iverson stepped into Besiktas Akatlar Arena, but it was the first time he saw the hall exceed its capacity. The Besiktas Cola Turka game against visiting Fenerbahce Ulker, defending champions in Turkish Basketball League was extremely important for the fans, since the opponent was the biggest rival of the club. After scoring 15 points on Tuesday against Hemofarm in Eurocup, Iverson disappointed his 3,500 fans in his Turkish league debut on Sunday by only scoring two points. More frustratingly for the fans, Besiktas, also known as Black Eagles, lost the game 74-67.

Looking physically unfit to be of much help, Iverson had an hard time against Omer Onan, the shooting guard of Fenerbahce who won silver in 2010 FIBA World Championship with the Turkish National Team. ‘The answer’ sat on the bench for the entire second and fourth periods, and he scored his only two points in the third, while Onan was not on the court. Aside from hitting only one of his six shot attempts in 19 minutes, Iverson had four rebounds and two turnovers.

These statistics were not bad enough to stop Besiktas fans from cheering for Iverson the whole game. But it’s not hard to guess that this reaction will change if the results stay the same. There is a possibility that the expectations are not as low as assumed.

“Iverson is one of the legends of basketball. I assume he’s not training regularly since more than one year. That’s why we need to be patient,” said one of Besiktas fans during halftime. But when his expectations for the whole season were asked, he didn’t seem that modest: “He should star by his own and be a team player at the same time. But the most important thing is that he should make us champions.”

Besiktas coach Burak Biyiktay sounded like he is not sure what to do with an unfit NBA star. “The expectations are so high regarding Iverson. But he’s unfit and unready. On the other hand we all want to see him play for a long time. So it’s a problem whether he plays or not,” said Besiktas’s low-profile coach in his post-game interview. “Today, he played almost 20 minutes, but did no help to the team. Allen Iverson is not the Allen Iverson that we know. He needs time.”

The Black Eagles lost both games with AI, and in Turkey even three defeats in a row can trigger a crisis. “Iverson may cause the coach to get fired in a month” said Onur Erdem, a reporter for NTV Spor, one of the most respected sport channels in Turkey. “Fans’ expectations are getting higher every day and Biyiktay, under the pressure of the fans, is letting Iverson play although he is not ready. In fact everybody is well aware that this roster can’t win the league. But with Iverson involved, people may start to think that the roster needs a high-profile coach. The situation is similar to Miami Heat, where people started to think that Erik Spoelstra won’t be able to handle a roster involving LeBron, Bosh and Wade.”

‘The answer’ has a two-year contract with Besiktas. But he is be able to leave the club next summer if he gets an offer from the NBA. He needs to start playing regularly soon and put up good statistics to be able to get the attention of NBA teams. But it seems that he needs to be patient and get into shape, quickly. As long as he’s physically unfit, it’s tough for him to be of much help.

How can this paradox be solved, that’s the question that Besiktas needs to find the answer.


Former NBA player Allen Iverson waves to his fans before signing a contract with Besiktas, his new Turkish basketball team in Istanbul November 9, 2010. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

C.J. Miles goes three-point crazy for Jazz in win over Blazers

Saturday in Portland, the Utah Jazz beat the Trail Blazers 103-94. Below are a few notes on C.J. Miles’ big game (25 points, 8-13 FG, 7-10 3FG; in fourth quarter: 17 points, 5-5 3FG):

- Set new career high for three-pointers made in a game (7).

- Was one shy of Jazz record for most three-pointers made in a game (8 by Jeff Hornacek vs. Seattle, 11/23/94).

- Tied Jazz record for most three-pointers attempted in a game with 10 (also by Bryon Russell @ Minnesota, 12/23/96).

- Tied Jazz record for most three-pointers made in a quarter with 5 (also by Gordan Giricek vs. Portland, 4/16/07 (4th)).

- Tied Jazz record for most three-pointers made in a half with 5 (sixth time, last also by C.J. Miles, @ Chicago (2nd), 3/9/10). Also done once each by Walter Bond, Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell and Gordan Giricek.

- Set new Jazz record for most three-pointers made in a quarter without a miss (5-5 in fourth quarter).

- Set new Jazz season highs for points off the bench (25), three-pointers made (7), three-pointers attempted (10) and tied Jazz season high for points in a fourth quarter (17, also by Deron Williams @ Orlando, 11/10).

The Jazz as a team also set new season highs for steals (10), free-throw percentage (1.000, 21-21), three-pointers made in a game (10) and field-goal percentage in a quarter (.722, 13-18 in fourth quarter) and tied its season high for three-pointers attempted with 19 (also @ Miami (OT), 11/9).

Hornets trade Peja Stojakovic, Jerryd Bayless to Raptors for Jarrett Jack, David Anderson and Marcus Banks

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have acquired Jarrett Jack, David Anderson and Marcus Banks from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Jerryd Bayless and Peja Stojakovic.

“We are excited about the players acquired today and feel that our short-term and long-term goals will benefit from this move,” said Hornets General Manager Dell Demps. “Peja has been a valued contributor as a Hornet for years and we wish both Peja and Jerryd all the best in their future and thank them for their recent contributions in helping us get off to a strong start.”

“Acquisition of another emerging talent and the creation of additional salary cap flexibility in the coming years were the key drivers in making this deal,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “Our plan of developing our existing young players and acquiring future assets remains our focus in retooling this Toronto basketball team.”

Anderson (6-11, 247) has appeared in 11 games for Toronto this season, averaging 5.1 points and 3.1 rebounds in 13.6 minutes of play. Originally a second-round draft choice (37th overall) in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, his draft rights were traded to the Houston Rockets for cash and future considerations on August 12, 2009. The 30-year old played in 63 games for Houston last season before being traded in the offseason to Toronto, averaging 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds. The Australia native played 10 seasons in Europe before coming to the NBA. He played in Spain, Russia and Italy during his professional career, winning the Euroleague Championship in 2001, 2006 and 2008. He also played for Australia in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

Banks (6-2, 205), has appeared in 348 career games (37 starts) for Boston, Minnesota, Phoenix, Miami and Toronto with averages of 5.9 points and 2.1 assists in 16.0 minutes of play. The UNLV product has appeared in three games for the Raptors this season, averaging 2.0 points and 1.0 assists in 7.3 minutes of play. Banks was a first-round draft choice (13th overall) in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Bayless (6-3, 200) was acquired by the Hornets on October 23, 2010 from Portland in exchange for a conditional, future first-round pick. He appeared in 11 games for New Orleans, averaging 4.5 points and 2.5 assists in 13.5 minutes of play. The Arizona product has appeared in 138 career games (11 starts), with averages of 6.6 points and 2.0 assists.

Bayless, 22, is in his third NBA campaign. He was selected 11th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He is a career .820 per cent (297-362) free throw shooter. He netted a career-best 31 points in his first career start December 23, 2009 at San Antonio.

Bayless averaged 13.5 points, 3.8 assists and 27.7 minutes in six postseason outings with Portland last season. In 138 career games (11 starts), the former Arizona Wildcat has averaged 6.6 points, 2.0 assists and 15.3 minutes.

Stojakovic is in his 13th season in the NBA. The three-time All-Star has appeared in 777 regular season games and 76 postseason contests. He has averaged double figures in scoring in 11 of his 12 seasons, with a career-best 24.2 points in the 2003-04 season when he garnered second-team All-NBA honours.

Stojakovic played eight seasons with Sacramento (1998-2005), part of the 2005-06 season with Indiana and the past five campaigns with the Hornets (2006-2010). He owns a career regular season average of 17.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 34.0 minutes. In postseason play, he has contributed an average of 16.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 36.3 minutes.

One of the top three-point shooters in league history, Stojakovic has placed in the Top 10 in made three-pointers four times and twice in three-point field goal percentage. In 2003-04, Stojakovic made a league-high 240 three-pointers and finished sixth with a .433 (240-of-554) three-point shooting percentage.


February 24, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..New Orleans Hornets Peja Stojakovic goes to the line for some free throws, Stojakovic had 11 points against the Bucks tonight..Milwaukee Buck won over the New Orleans Hornets 115-95. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

John Schuhmann of NBA.com reports:

James Jones has attempted 72 shots this season, and not one has come from within 15 feet of the basket. No dunks, no layups, no runners and no floaters. It’s been strictly jumpers for Jones thus far.

Jones is a specialist, of course. As part of the Miami Heat’s supporting cast, it’s his job to complement the Superfriends by spreading the floor and knocking down open shots. To date, Jones has done that job effectively, shooting 48 percent from 3-point range. But Jones’ paint allergy is representative of the Heat as a whole.

Miami ranks last in the league in both points in the paint per game (33.6) and percentage of points scored in the paint (32.2). Points in the paint have been tracked since 2000 and in the 11 seasons since, only one team — the 2002-03 Knicks (30.9 percent) — has scored a lower percentage of its points in the paint than the Heat have thus far.

Miami is also second (behind only Washington) in mid-range percentage (25.4). (Mid-range percentage is the percentage of a team’s points that aren’t scored in the paint, at the free throw line or from 3-point range.)

League-wide, mid-range shots are the most inefficient shots on the floor.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

Bill Walker and Shawne Williams fight at practice

Toughness has not been a Knicks trait in years. Yesterday, the Knicks, after breaking their six-game losing streak in Sacramento, were feeling feisty at practice as a skirmish broke out between Bill Walker and Shawne Williams.

Williams was driving to the basket when Walker took him down hard. Williams, who has yet to play this season after making the team as 15th man, shot up from the floor and lunged at Walker, shouting at him about the dirty play. Teammates separated the two players, but Williams kept carrying on, trying to break free to get at Walker. Even Eddy Curry had to restrain the ranting Williams.

It was a bizarre scene the way Williams carried on.

Dorell Wright expands his offensive game

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Dorell Wright expands his offensive game

Aside from Joe Lacob, Peter Guber and David Lee, Wright has been the most influential Warriors newcomer. The small forward, who arrived as a free agent, has started all 11 games and is one of the reasons the Warriors are 7-4. Wright, who turns 25 in December, is averaging 15 points in 38 minutes after averaging 6.5 in 19.5 over six seasons in Miami.

Known previously as a defensive-minded player, Wright has proven to be far more while complementing Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry and providing help under the boards.

In his first eight games, he sunk more than half his three-pointers. Twice, he topped 20 points - after reaching 20 just three previous times in his career - and he makes more than 80 percent of his free throws. Plus, he averages 5.4 rebounds, nearly two more than his career average.

“It’s been good,” Wright said. “Finally, I get a chance to do everything, not just be one-dimensional anymore. I’m able to handle the ball, take open shots, get guys involved - instead of every time I get the ball on the rebound, hold up and look for the point guard as if I can’t dribble. It’s good to get an opportunity, and I’m taking advantage of it.”

Awful Clippers now 1-12

Wednesday in Indianapolis the Pacers, despite missing a few key players, beat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-80.

The Clippers have now lost eight straight games and have one win, 12 losses. They’re a mess.

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports:

The Clippers’ rookies, as well as Craig Smith and Eric Gordon — another Indiana homecoming ruined — had the glazed look of survivors who had stumbled away from a car crash, wondering where to go next.”

Awful Clippers now 1-12

Something has got to change,” said Blake Griffin, who had 12 points and eight rebounds. “After a while, you can’t just say — we do have to keep working — but you can’t just keep working and keep losing. It comes down to who wants it more, a little bit of heart. We just need to find that.”

He wants to be an agent of change. The most obvious form of assistance, of course, would be getting center Chris Kaman back in the lineup. Griffin can do many things, but he’s not a medical miracle worker.

Any other suggestions?

“We’ll work on it tomorrow,” Griffin said. “I’ve got some ideas.”

The problem here is, I’m not sure what there is to change. Aside from Griffin, Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman, there’s simply not a lot of talent on the roster. Rookie guard Eric Bledsoe has looked good, stepping up while Baron Davis sits around being old and washed up, but that’s about it. The struggles may continue.

But, on the bright side, there’s individual players worth keeping an eye on here. Griffin, Gordon and Bledsoe should only keep improving and are worth attention.

New York Knicks forward Danilo Gallinaro last season, and for bits of this short season, has shown off incredible outside shooting ability. The rest of his game is still in development, however.

Still, when hot, he can toss in 25 pretty easily if in rhythm and fed the ball while in proper outside position.

But he seems to want to make sure everyone knows that he’s not someone who is going to take over the league anytime soon.

Howard Beck of the New York Times reports:

Danilo Gallinari declares himself a non-superstar

After six breakthrough quarters, in which he looked very much like a potential star, the 22-year-old Gallinari swiftly punctured the notion of his stardom.

“I know you expect a lot from me, and people expect a lot from me,” Gallinari said late Wednesday night, “but I’m not a superstar, I’m not an All-Star, I’m not LeBron, I’m not those great players. I’m an important player of the Knicks. And that’s what I’m trying to do, to help the team every time. Sometimes, can be these type of games, sometimes not. But as long as we win, it’s all good.”

It was a surprising response, and entirely unsolicited. Gallinari had just posted consecutive 20-point games for the first time this season — 21 in Denver and a season-high 27 in Sacramento — and was simply asked if he needed a performance like this for his confidence.

He could have nodded and offered perfunctory agreement. Instead, he took the question as an opportunity to push back against the outsize expectations that have been thrust upon him since June 2008. Coach Mike D’Antoni once called Gallinari the best shooter he had ever seen. Amar’e Stoudemire has compared Gallinari to Dirk Nowitzki, a perennial All-Star. Nowitzki himself made the comparison last spring, and said that Gallinari was better than he was at the same age.

Remember, English is not Gallinari’s first language. He’s good at it, but still, best not to take things too literally. He’s basically just saying what people know, that he isn’t the next LeBron or Kobe. But hopefully it’s OK for Knick fans to still hope that over the next year or two he emerges into an occasional Dirk Nowitzki.

Jerry Sloan to miss next two Jazz games

The Utah Jazz announced today that head coach Jerry Sloan will miss the team’s next two games in order to attend funeral services for a family member.

Jazz assistant coach Phil Johnson will assume head coaching duties in Friday night’s game vs. San Antonio and Saturday’s game at Portland.   Sloan is expected to rejoin the team prior to the Jazz’s game vs. Sacramento on November 22.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have assigned guard/forward Christian Eyenga to the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today.

Eyenga has yet to make an appearance with the Cavaliers during the regular season. He played in six games during the preseason, averaging 4.3 points on .625 shooting and 0.8 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per game.

The 6-foot-5 rookie from Congo will be available to play for the BayHawks in their season-opening game versus the Springfield Armor tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Tullio Arena in Erie. The BayHawks are the D-League affiliate of the Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors.

Joey Graham can fly planes

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports:

Joey Graham ignored his father’s advice and flew a date to the restaurant while a student at Oklahoma State. There wasn’t a second date.

”My father told me not to take dates because of what it could do,” Graham said. ”The sun was setting, it was a romantic little thing. What can you say? She was hooked. . . . I couldn’t do it anymore. I saw what that one did and I couldn’t have that on my hands.”

Graham is not the typical NBA player. He graduated from Oklahoma State with a degree in aviation management. He is a licensed pilot and a trained chef, he can play the saxophone, drums and piano and he even sings a little.

”There’s not too many things I can’t do,” Graham said. ”I was blessed with a great father and great mother. My father tried to make us as versatile and well-rounded as possible.”

Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden will undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee Friday and will miss the remainder of the 2010-11 season, the Trail Blazers announced this evening.

Dr. Richard Steadman will perform the surgery with assistance from Trail Blazers orthopedic surgeon Dr. Don Roberts at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo.

Oden, 22, has been sidelined since fracturing his left patella in a Dec. 5, 2009, game vs. Houston. A recent MRI showed damaged cartilage to the surface of his femur, and his current injury is unrelated to the fractured left patella.

Oden previously underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee Sept. 13, 2007.

He holds career NBA averages of 9.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 1.43 blocked shots in 82 games over parts of two seasons from 2008-09.

Spurs sign Danny Green

Spurs sign Danny Green

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have signed guard/forward Danny Green.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Green (#4, 6’6”, 210, 6/22/87) appeared in 20 regular season games last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 2.0 points in 5.8 minutes per game. During the 2010 preseason, he averaged 3.3 points and 2.0 rebounds in four games with the Cavs before being waived on October 19, 2010.

Originally selected by Cleveland with the 46th pick in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft out of North Carolina, Green played in more games (145) and achieved more wins (123) than any Tar Heel player before him. He is the only player in ACC history with at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists, 150 three-pointers, 150 blocks and 150 steals. He had career averages of 9.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and a .455 shooting percentage from the field.


CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 07:  Danny Green #14 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts after hitting a three-point basket against the Virginia Cavaliers during the game on February 7, 2009 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Eva Longoria, Tony Parker divorce

Ken Lee of People Magazine reports:

Three years after a storybook wedding in a European castle, Eva Longoria filed for divorce Wednesday from basketball star Tony Parker, a source tells PEOPLE.

The Desperate Housewives star’s documents were filed in Los Angeles Superior Court just one day after her rep denied that Parker had done the same in a Texas court.

Longoria, 35, and Parker, 27, were engaged in November 2006, then wed – as fireworks lit up the sky – on July 7, 2007, at Chateau of Vaux le Vicomte, a 17th Century castle on the outskirts of Paris one day after a small civil service. The double wedding celebrating came after a week of partying in Saint-Tropez, France.

TMZ reports:

“Extra” host Mario Lopez claims Eva has confirmed to him that she found hundreds of text messages from another woman on Parker’s phone.

Lopez says Eva also confirmed that the mystery woman is MARRIED to one of Parker’s teammates.

InsideHoops.com adds:

Another TMZ report says that Parker was talking a lot, especially via text message, with former teammate Brent Barry’s wife, Erin Barry. No reports suggest that Parker and Erin were actually sleeping together.

I have no comment. I’m not touching this stuff. But we’ll keep quoting what big entertainment outlets report.

Howard Beck of the New York Times reports:

Donnie Walsh, the Knicks’ team president, had surgery to repair his right hip Tuesday morning and is expected to spend a few days in the hospital before starting a rehabilitation program at home.

The Knicks did not provide a timetable for Walsh’s return, but he said last week that he planned to work from his Manhattan apartment during his recovery, which he figured would last about two weeks.

Glen Grunwald, the Knicks’ senior vice president for basketball operations, is with the team this week for its four-game trip through the Western Conference.

The AP reports:

Allen Iverson scores 15 points in Turkey debut

Former NBA All-Star Allen Iverson has scored 15 points in his debut for Besiktas Cola Turka but failed to carry his team to victory against Hemofarm Stada.

Hemofarm Stada defeated Besiktas 94-91 in a European Cup game on Tuesday in Istanbul. Turkish fans shouted “Allen Iverson, the son of Besiktas Cola Turka” during the match.

Mike Beasley scoring like crazy lately

The AP reports:

Mike Beasley scoring like crazy lately

For a player who was labeled irresponsible in his first two seasons in Miami, Beasley is embracing his role as the go-to guy in his first season in Minnesota. He scored a career-high 42 points in a win over the Kings last week, followed that up with 35 in a win over the Knicks and is averaging 32.5 points over the last four games.

Beasley’s scoring binge has helped the Wolves go 2-2, showing a feistiness that wasn’t there early in the season — or for the last five years, really.

Beasley welcomed a baby boy into his family on the same day he hung 42 on the Kings and is quickly settling into his new surroundings after two so-so seasons to start his career.

“I feel at home,” Beasley said. “I definitely feel at home, on the court and off.”

The Orlando Magic at New York Knicks game that was postponed November 2, has been rescheduled for Monday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden, the National Basketball Association announced today.

The original game was never played because some debris in Madison Square Garden fell into the main area of the arena.

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