Archive for December 22nd, 2010

Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony is expected to return to the team after Christmas following the death of his sister.

Michelle Anthony died of a pre-existing medical condition Tuesday in Baltimore; she is survived by her four children. Carmelo Anthony left the Nuggets on Wednesday to be with his family as they make funeral arrangements.

Anthony and his family ask that their privacy be respected as they grieve.

The Nuggets played at San Antonio on Wednesday.

The Sacramento Bee blog reports:

DeMarcus Cousins has his anger issues, but apparently, so does his coach. After Wednesday’s practice - which I missed while monitoring a live chat for the Bee - Paul Westphal announced that his rookie center had been fined and removed from the starting lineup for making a right-handed choke sign during Wednesday’s loss to Golden State. At the time, the Kings led 98-93, were 19.3 from a victory, with Warriors swingman Reggie Williams at the free throw line. Cousins, who was fined Nov. 12 after clashing with an assistant and team trainer, flashed a grin and placed his right hand around his throat. Williams missed two of his three attempts.

The punishment is reminiscent of Westphal’s benching last year of Spencer Hawes. The former Kings center had publicly complained about the player rotations, and when he arrived for the next game, discovered he had been de-activated and his uniform removed from the locker room.

Bobcats name Paul Silas interim head coach

Charlotte Bobcats Chairman and CEO Michael Jordan today named Paul Silas interim head coach of the team, effective immediately.

In 10 seasons as an NBA head coach, Silas has a career record of 355-400 with the Clippers (1980-83), Hornets (1999-2003) and Cavaliers (2003-05) He has also spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach for the Hornets, Knicks, Nets and Suns.

During his four-plus seasons as head coach of the Hornets, Silas compiled a 208-155 (.573) record and led the team to the playoffs in each of his four full seasons. He remains the team’s all-time leader in coaching wins and ranks second in winning percentage. Silas was named interim head coach of the Hornets on March 7, 1999, and led the team to a 22-13 record over the final 35 games of the 1998-99 season after replacing Dave Cowens.

A 16-year NBA veteran, Silas averaged 9.4 points and 9.9 rebounds in 1,254 career games for the Hawks, Suns, Celtics, Nuggets and SuperSonics. He was a two-time All-Star (1972 and 1975) and won three NBA Championships (1974 and 1976 with Boston and 1979 with Seattle). Silas currently ranks 19th on the NBA’s career lists for rebounds (12,357) and games played (1,254).

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By Jerald L. Hoover

New York Knicks Landry Fields drives to the basket in the first half against the Toronto Raptors at Madison Square Garden in New York City on December 8, 2010.   UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

The power of advance scouting took a turn for the worse as 29 teams didn’t get the memo on Knicks rookie Landry Fields. Mysteriously picked in the second round with the 39th pick, he wasn’t even on the radar as a potential draft candidate.  And this despite averaging 22 points and 9 rebounds his senior year at Stanford University.  True, the Pac-Ten Conference was rather weak this past year, but Fields has had some monster games against serious competition.

Case in point: Against the John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins-led Kentucky Wildcats, Fields notched 25 points and 12 rebounds. Albeit it was in a losing effort but as Cousins admitted, “we couldn’t do anything with him.”

A lot of NBA teams are drafting on alleged potential, and they seem to think if a person stayed for four years in college, something must be wrong.  It’s that type of imprudent thinking that sets some franchises back or even gets coaches fired. Many ‘one and done’ players aren’t mentally or physically strong enough for the riggers or strategies of the NBA.

Fields, on the other hand, after spending four years in college was more NBA ready.  In fact of the 38 players selected before him, only the aforementioned Wall and Cousins were in the opening Night starting lineup for their respective teams.  And Cousins only started because of an injury to veteran center Samuel Dalembart.  And only second-year Rookie of the Year candidate LA Clippers Blake Griffin has more double-doubles than Fields.  But, Fields was able to win Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month.  That feat hadn’t been done in New York since former Knick Channing Frye won it in November of 2005.

Talk about being a steal of the draft: at present Fields is the NBA’s leading rebounding guard. That’s right; all guards — not just rookies — at a rate of almost eight per game.  And once he gets his jumpshot more sound (he will however chuck up a few threes per game) he’s going to be even more dangerous.

If there’s a player that Fields may be compared to, it would be Houston Rocket and former Duke Blue Devil Shane Battier.  Battier also stayed in college for four years, but he played on the highly ranked Duke team and was much more of a high profile player in college.  But, his impact as a rookie wasn’t as high as Fields’ is at this point.

Fields should keep improving, and barring health issues he should be playing in this season’s NBA Rookies vs. Sophomores game during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.  That’s not bad for a guy not even thought of by 29 teams on Draft night.

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Bobcats, coach Larry Brown part ways

February 20, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Charlotte Bobcats Head Coach Larry Brown..Milwaukee Buck won over the Charlotte Bobcats 93-88. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Charlotte Bobcats Chairman and CEO Michael Jordan announced today that Larry Brown is stepping down as head coach of the team, effective immediately.

“I met with Coach Brown two weeks ago about the team’s performance and what we could do to improve it. We met again this morning after practice. The team has clearly not lived up to either of our expectations and we both agreed that a change was necessary,” Jordan said.

“This was a difficult decision for both of us, but one that needed to be made. I want to thank Larry for everything he has done for our team. He has played a key role in this organization’s development including coaching us to our first-ever playoff appearance last season. Larry will continue to be a valuable advisor to me regarding the team. The search for a successor will begin immediately.”

Brown was named the third head coach in team history on April 29, 2008, and compiled a record of 88-104 (.458) in two-plus seasons with the Bobcats.

The AP reports: The 70-year-old Brown, a Hall of Fame coach who was in the third season of his 13th professional and college head coaching job, had been upset with his team for weeks. The Bobcats (9-19) had lost three games by 31 or more points in 10 days before Tuesday’s fourth-quarter meltdown against Oklahoma City. Brown, who had two years left on his contract, didn’t immediately return a message on his cell phone seeking comment.

Read fan reaction and share your own opinion in this forum topic.

Clippers sign Ike Diogu

Portland Trailblazers forward Ike Diogu dunks in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center in Denver on December 22, 2008. (UPI Photo/Gary C. Caskey) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed free agent forward Ike Diogu. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

The ninth overall pick of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, Diogu last played for the Detroit Pistons during the 2010-11 preseason, averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds in three games played. Diogu was waived by the Pistons on October 20th. He appeared in 29 games with the Kings and Portland Trail Blazers in 2008-09 before signing as a free agent with the New Orleans Hornets for 2009-10. Diogu was forced to miss all of last season due to surgery on his left knee.

Diogu, 27, has appeared in 187 NBA games and brings career averages of 6.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 0.4 assists to the Clippers while shooting 50.1 percent from the field in his four-year NBA career.

A former standout at Arizona State University, the 6-foot-9 averaged 21.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.7 blocked shots and 35.1 minutes during his three-year collegiate career. As a junior in 2004-5, Diogu was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year and earned was the first player in Arizona State history to earn Second Team All-America honors.

Diogu will be in uniform and available for tonight’s game vs. the Houston Rockets at STAPLES Center.

Carmelo Anthony out tonight due to death in family

Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony has been excused from Wednesday night’s game in San Antonio due to a death in his family.

“Our entire organization supports Carmelo during this difficult time for him and his family,” Nuggets executive vice president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri said. “It is heartbreaking news, particularly during the holiday season.”

Anthony would like to thank Nuggets fans for their thoughts and prayers and asks that they and the media respect his privacy during this time.

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