Archive for January, 2011

Lil Wayne is angry at LeBron and Wade

Andy Greene of Rolling Stone magazine reports:

In the new issue of Rolling Stone — on stands and online in the digital archives on January 21st (subscription required) — Lil Wayne opens up for the first time about his time in prison.  During his eight month stint in Building C-76, cell 23 at Rikers Island, Weezy worked as an SPA (suicide prevention aide), listened to a lot of music on the radio (oldies and Hot 97) and played countless games of Uno with his cellmates in the Protective Custody division.

When Wayne sat court-side at a recent Miami Heat/New Orleans Hornets game he was upset that Lebron James and Dwyane Wade never came over to talk to him. “Them niggas never speak to a nigga,” he says. “They don’t chuck me the deuce or nothing. Nigga spent all that money on them fucking tickets … Come holla at me. We sit right by them little bitch-ass niggas. At least come ask me why I’m not rooting for you.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: Lil Wayne is about three feet tall. Maybe LeBron and Wade simply didn’t see him. Just kidding, folks. Anyway, this is obviously a pressing issue. I hope reporters with access to the Heat in the coming days ask about it. The people need to know.

Rafer Alston to sign in China

Rafer Alston to sign in China

By Jeff Lenchiner

Streetball legend and former NBA player Rafer Alston has found a new job in basketball, and it’s taking him overseas.

Alston’s longtime manager and close friend Eddie Lau told InsideHoops.com that the guard is traveling to China today where he will sign a contract to play for the Zhejiang Guangsha Basketball Club.

In other news, in addition to his other roles, Lau is now also Alston’s agent.

Alston began his NBA career in 1999, playing for Milwaukee. He went on to play Toronto, Miami, Houston, Orlando and New Jersey, and had a career average of 10.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.2 spg.

Known in Rucker Park and other famous playgrounds as “Skip to my Lou,” Alston has great flair to his game. Over his years as a professional, he learned how to separate Alston the NBA player from Skip, the kid in the playground. It’ll be interesting to see footage of how he performs overseas.

Marcus Camby will have surgery on left knee

Portland Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby will undergo arthroscopic surgery later this week to repair a partial medial meniscus tear in his left knee, it was announced today by General Manager Rich Cho.

“The MRI taken earlier today did not show anything significant,” said Cho. “However, a more thorough review tonight from our team physician did reveal a partial tear.”

The exact date for Camby’s arthroscopy has yet to be determined. A timeline for his return will be set following surgery.

In 39 games (all starts) this season, Camby has averaged 5.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.87 blocks in 28.7 minutes. He ranks fifth in the NBA in rebounds and 10th in blocked shots per game.

Camby is the only player in the Western Conference averaging at least 11.0 rebounds and 1.50 blocks. He has grabbed at least 10 boards in 26 games and led the team in rebounding a team-high 28 times this season.

InsideHoops.com editor says: This is nuts. When will the Blazers knee injuries end? I’m not going to hurl unwarranted accusations at the training staff, but I’m certainly tempted to at least suggest that perhaps a change be considered. The good news is, Camby’s injury sounds minor, so maybe he’ll be out just a few weeks. I’m totally speculating there. Anyway, all the best to Blazers fans. And on the lighter side, I’ll suggest that perhaps from now on, Blazers practices should be held at local hospitals.

What’s your reaction? Share it in this forum topic.

Hawks sign Damien Wilkins to second 10-day contract

The Atlanta Hawks today signed guard/forward Damien Wilkins to a second 10-day contract, according to Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund.

Wilkins has appeared in 17 games off the bench for Atlanta this season, averaging 2.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 0.7 apg and 0.7 spg (.452 FG%, .684 FT%) in 11.7 mpg. The seventh-year veteran signed his first 10-day contract on January 8, 2011. He was originally signed by the Hawks on December 3, 2010, and waived on January 5, 2011.

Blake Griffin drops 47 and 14 on Pacers

Frank Burlison of the Los Angeles Daily News reports:

Blake Griffin drops 47 and 14 on Pacers

Griffin scored a career-high 47 points in just 36 minutes as the Clippers held off the Pacers 114-107 in front of 15,863 on Monday at Staples Center that seemed almost sluggish before Griffin began unleashing his ever-expanding scoring repertoire.

Griffin was whistled for charging into the Pacers’ Tyler Hansbrough just 44 seconds after the opening tip.

That proved to be one of the few times something good didn’t happen for coach Vinny Del Negro’s team when the ball was in Griffin’s hands.

Griffin, who grabbed 14 rebounds for his 27 th consecutive double-double, hit a 10-foot jump hook on the Clippers’ next possession and he was off and running - even if, at least until the fourth quarter, his team wasn’t.

In just eight minutes and 10 seconds on the floor, he went 5 of 7 from the field and made each of his three free throws for 13 points in a first quarter that ended with the Pacers ahead 31-26, largely because of former UCLA guard Darren Collison’s 17 points.

DeAndre Jordan is rising

Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News reports:

DeAndre Jordan is rising

The fact is, everything is coming together for [Clippers center DeAndre] Jordan.

“I’m definitely getting very comfortable,” Jordan said after scoring eight points and grabbing eight rebounds in a 99-92 win over the Lakers. “The game is slowing down for me, it’s getting a lot easier.

“Everything is becoming second nature to me.”

In Jordan, Del Negro saw a young player high on physical ability but behind the curve on the nuances of playing center. Enter Iavaroni, who has worked relentlessly with Jordan on footwork, fundamentals and the mental side of the game - basic things like using his size, speed and leaping ability to become a force on the boards.

“(Jordan) has always had the (tremendous) athleticism,” Iavaroni said. “He now understands, `The more I go to the boards, the more (rebounds) I’m going to get.’ He understands how many rebounds he can grab by just being relentless.”

Beyond that, they are building an offensive base for Jordan, beginning with fundamental stuff at the basket.

“He could always run to the rim and catch lobs for dunks,” Iavaroni said. “We’re trusting that and throwing it to him more now.”

Rockets assign Ishmael Smith to D-League

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has assigned guard Ishmael Smith to Houston’s single-affiliation NBA D-League partner Rio Grande Valley. The rookie guard will be available to play in the Vipers’ next home game on Tuesday, Jan. 18 against the Maine Red Claws.

Smith is the second Rockets player to be assigned to the Vipers this season, following rookie forward Patrick Patterson, who played in nine games for Rio Grande Valley during a month-long assignment from 11/9-12/13.

Smith (6-0, 175, Wake Forest), who earned a roster spot as an undrafted free agent this summer, has averaged 3.1 points, 2.4 assists and 1.5 rebounds in 24 games (three starts) with the Rockets. 

Smith has also been inactive for 11 games and a DNP-CD for five others.  As the team’s starting point guard during the 2010 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, Smith posted averages of 7.8 points (.581, 18-31 FG) and a team-best 4.8 assists in five starts. 

Tyrus Thomas of the Charlotte Bobcats has been suspended one game without pay for his Flagrant Foul, Penalty Two against Emeka Okafor of the New Orleans Hornets, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations.

The incident, in which Thomas made elbow contact to Okafor’s head and was ejected following the Flagrant Foul, Penalty Two call, occurred with 2:38 remaining in the 4th period of the Bobcats 88-81 loss on Saturday to the New Orleans Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.

Thomas  will  serve  his  suspension  today  when  the  Bobcats  visit  the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy waits for a teammate's free throw against the Denver Nuggets during the first quarter at the Pepsi Center on April 1, 2010 in Denver. Portland lost to Denver 109-92.  UPI/Gary C. Caskey Photo via Newscom

Portland Trail Blazers guard Brandon Roy will undergo arthroscopic surgery Monday on both knees, it was announced today by General Manager Rich Cho. The surgery will be performed by team physician Dr. Don Roberts in Vancouver, Wash.

Roy, 26, has missed 18 games this season (three games from Nov. 16-20 and the last 15 games beginning on Dec. 17) with a sore left knee.

A three-time NBA All-Star and 2007 NBA Rookie of the Year, Roy has led the team in scoring in each of the last three seasons. He holds career averages of 19.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.08 steals in 297 career games (295 starts).

In 23 games (all starts) this season, Roy has averaged 16.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.13 steals in 35.3 minutes per game. He scored 20 points or more in nine contests and led the team in scoring eight times.

You may have heard a Carmelo Anthony trade rumor or two over the last few months. The story has been ongoing seemingly forever, and it may reach its expected conclusion in the very near future.

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports:

Apr. 25, 2010 - Salt Lake City, UTAH, USA - epa02131979 Denver Nugget's Carmelo Anthony drives to the basket during a game against the Utah Jazz in the first half of their Western Conference first round playoff game at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 25 April 2010.

The explanation given at the Pepsi Center gift shops was “an excess of inventory,” but it was a harbinger if there ever was one — Carmelo Anthony jerseys, 50 percent off.

It’s quite possible that Melo played his last game at the Pepsi Center on Saturday night. No, Anthony has not officially said he would agree to a trade to New Jersey. But all this could happen within the week; Denver plays at San Antonio tonight and then comes back home Wednesday.

The plan remains for the Nuggets to cook up the deal, likely to the Nets, and present it to Anthony, who Saturday spoke about the Nuggets . . . and his future elsewhere.

Asked Saturday what it would take for him to sign a three-year extension, with any team, Melo said: “I got to feel like I have a chance of reaching my ultimate goal of a championship. Going to a bigger market is cool, but if I feel like I have a chance of winning a championship here in Denver in the next five years, then I’d sign the extension.”

The Nuggets aren’t headed for a championship. Chauncey Billups and Kenyon Martin are on their way down, not up. Nene and J.R. Smith are pretty good, and then there’s Melo and some supporting parts. All signs point to Melo being traded in the coming days or weeks.

Have an opinion? Share it with other fans in this forum topic.

The San Antonio Spurs today announced they have signed forward Larry Owens from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League to a 10-day contract. Owens is the second call-up of the 2010-11 D-League season.

Owens, a 6-7 forward, has spent the past two seasons with the 66ers. This year he has started in all 23 games for Tulsa, averaging 12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 31.1 minutes while shooting .462 (108-234) from the field, .373 (25-67) from three-point range and .743 (52-70) from the foul line. He’s scored in double figure 18 times, including a season-high vs. Iowa on Nov. 26. Owens recorded a double-double in the season opener with 16 points and a season-high 13 rebounds at Bakersfield on Nov. 19.

Last season Owens started all 50 games for the 66ers, averaging 15.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.50 steals in 36.3 minutes. He shot .489 (299-611) from the field, .380 (52-137) from beyond the arc and .772 (139-180) from the charity stripe. In the D-League playoffs he averaged 18.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in eight games while leading the 66ers to the D-League Finals. Prior to joining the 66ers Owens was in training camp with the New Orleans Hornets.

Owens played two seasons at Oral Roberts University posting career averages of 10.9 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.62 assists. In his second season with the Golden Eagles he was named to the All-MCC First Team and was the All-MCC Defensive Player of the Year.

Owens has also played overseas in France and Belgium.

Owens will wear. No. 33 for the Silver and Black and will be available for tonight’s game vs. Denver.

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed center Jarron Collins to a second 10-day contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Collins has appeared in 22 games with the Clippers this season and is averaging 0.8 points and 0.8 rebounds in 7.0 minutes per game.

The Clippers originally signed Collins on Sept. 27 before waiving him on Jan. 3. Collins was signed to his first 10-day contract on Jan. 5.

The Clippers roster now stands at 15 players.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that rookie Craig Brackins has been re-assigned to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Springfield Armor.  Brackins was first assigned to the Armor on November 30 and was recalled on December 12.

In his first stint with the Armor, Brackins appeared in five games, averaging 17.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.80 blocks.  He has played two games for the Sixers this season, scoring a total of 8 points in 21 minutes of play.

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday rookie centre Solomon Alabi has been recalled from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League.

Alabi was reassigned to the BayHawks on January 6. He appeared in four games during his latest stint with Erie, averaging 9.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 20.8 minutes. He posted his second double-double of the season with 20 points (9-11 FG) and 11 rebounds in 31 minutes January 9 versus the Maine Red Claws.

Alabi’s first assignment to the BayHawks was from November 15 – December 9. He has played a total of 11 games for Erie where he has contributed averages of 8.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 22.1 minutes.

Alabi has appeared in five games with the Raptors, totaling five rebounds in 15 minutes.

Alabi will be available for tonight’s game versus Detroit at Air Canada Centre. Game time is 7 p.m. (TSN/Sportsnet Radio FAN 590)

Jason Richardson loved hockey first

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports:

Jason Richardson loved hockey first

Orlando Magic guard Jason Richardson has done exceptionally well playing a sport that wasn’t his first love.

He has become wealthy and famous, but playing pro basketball wasn’t in his dreams even as he headed into his teenage years.

His feet just got too big for his hockey skates.

“I really wanted to play in the NHL,” Richardson said. “At the time, I think there were only two or three African-American players. I wanted to be the fourth one.”

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Richardson, who turns 30 on Thursday, was exposed to hockey growing up in Saginaw, Mich.

His mother bought him skates one Christmas, and he taught himself how to skate at local rinks and on frozen ponds. The pick-up games he played in back then were on ice, with a wooden stick he curved and shaved himself.

Celtics assign Avery Bradley to D-League

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have assigned guard Avery Bradley to the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League.  Bradley is the team’s first assignment to the Development League this season.

Bradley, a 6’2” guard, has appeared in 14 games for the Celtics this season averaging 1.1 points in 4.7 minutes per game.  The 19th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft recorded a season-high four points and a steal against the Sacramento Kings on January 12.

Injured Iverson expects to resume career

The AP reports:

Injured Iverson expects to resume career

Allen Iverson says he expects to continue playing basketball at the highest level possible once he has a lesion in his right leg examined in the United States.

Iverson posted on his Twitter page Friday that he was returning home for examinations, and possibly surgery. Iverson says he has no plans to retire and still loves the game.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Iverson is still playing overseas, in Turkey. I haven’t heard any rumors that he’s headed back to the NBA anytime soon, or at all.

Flip Murray signs in Turkey

Flip Murray signs in Turkey

Euroleague.net reports: Less than a week before the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Top 16 starts, Turkish powerhouse Efes Pilsen has reinforced its perimeter game with the addition of veteran scorer Ronald ‘Flip’ Murray, the club announced Friday. Murray (191, 31), who signed until the end of the current season, has spent his entire professional career in his native United States, playing for eight NBA teams in as many years. Murray last played with Chicago, averaging 10.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 29 games after arriving there in February of 2010. He has also played for NBA teams in Milwaukee, Seattle, Cleveland, Detroit, Indiana, Atlanta and Charlotte.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I’m a bit surprised Murray was unable to find a job in the NBA this season. He’d have been a decent scoring option off a bench for the league minimum.

Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports:

Life after LeBron James was going to be difficult for the Cavaliers. Everyone knew that before the season began, but no one saw this coming. Since starting the season 5-5, the Cavs have lost 25 of their past 28 games.

They set two futility records in a 112-57 loss Tuesday to the two-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers: The 55-point margin of defeat marked the worst loss in franchise history and the 57 points were the fewest the Cavs ever scored in a game.

If the Lakers didn’t score at all in the second half, their 57 points at halftime would have been enough to force overtime. Had the Lakers scored just one more basket, they would have doubled the Cavs’ scoring.

”We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but to come out and not compete? There’s no excuse for that,” said Cavs coach Byron Scott, who won three NBA championships as a player with the Lakers. ”I’m a Cleveland Cavalier right now, and the way we performed, that’s embarrassing to me.”

Allen Iverson to have growth removed

Ric Bucher of ESPN The Magazine reports:

Allen Iverson to have growth removed

Former NBA star Allen Iverson plans to have a growth removed from his right leg in the United States and intends to rejoin his Turkish team in time for the playoffs.

Iverson, who signed a two-year, $4 million deal with the Turkish team Besiktas this fall after no NBA team showed any interest, had tests on the calf three weeks ago to find the cause of persistent pain, his business manager and longtime friend, Gary Moore said Wednesday.

An MRI originally showed a tiny shadow between the two bones in Iverson’s lower leg, but he continued to play. When the pain worsened, a second MRI was taken in the last few days and showed the shadow had doubled in size to a half-penny. Moore said the shadow could be anything from a lesion to a cyst to a tumor…

Besiktas spokesman Kursat Kaplan told The Associated Press on Wednesday the team would assess Iverson’s future after another MRI this week. Iverson, though, Moore said, is proceeding as if the shadow is benign and expects to be back on the court for Besiktas in four to six weeks.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I’m still hoping that Iverson somehow makes his way back to the NBA and goes out on a good note here, but it doesn’t sound likely. He never appeared to back down from his need to start and not be used as a bench reserve. It’s too bad. Anyway, as for Iverson’s current health issue, obviously everyone including myself hopes that it’s a minor, harmless growth that is removed without issue.

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