Archive for January 20th, 2011

Tyrus Thomas out eight weeks with knee injury

Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas will be sidelined for approximately eight weeks after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a tear of the lateral meniscus of the left knee. Surgery is expected in the coming days.

Thomas was a game-time scratch for tonight’s home game against Philadelphia, after he experienced swelling in the knee earlier today.

In 34 games played this season, Thomas has averaged 11.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 21.6 minutes off the bench.

Raptors release Peja Stojakovic

Raptors release Peja Stojakovic

The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have released forward Peja Stojakovic. Per team policy, financial details were not disclosed.

“We were clear from the beginning that our trade with New Orleans was made with the future in mind, so a buyout or trade of Peja’s contract was a likely option,” said Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo. “Although he did not fit into our plan of developing our young core talent, I’m sure that Peja will add significantly to any veteran team that signs him.”

Stojakovic was acquired with Jerryd Bayless from New Orleans on November 20. He appeared in two games with Toronto before being sidelined for the past 26 contests with a sore left knee.

The Raptors roster now stands at 14.

The Raptors continue their five-game road trip Friday at Orlando. Game time is 7 p.m. (TSN/Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590).

Kobe Bryant to receive Grauman’s Chinese Theater honor

Legendary Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant is set to become the first athlete to have a hand and footprint ceremony at the world renowned Grauman’s Chinese Theater on February 19, 2011. The ceremony will take place during the City of Los Angeles’ hosting of the NBA All Star Weekend festivities and will be followed later that evening with a lavish star studded gala event for Bryant, 1,200 VIP guests and select members of the public.

“To be a part of such elite company is a tremendous honor. I’m proud to be the first athlete to be recognized,” stated Bryant.

Jeru Tillman of Southfield Village Entertainment stated, “Today’s athletes are among the best known and most talented entertainers in the world. We are pleased Kobe will be honored for the many years of enjoyment he has given us on the basketball court.”

Mr. Bryant has been named Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals for the past two years, and has won five NBA championships in his career. He has twice been the NBA scoring champion and was part of the gold medal winning U.S.A. Basketball Men’s National Team at the 2008 Olympics.Throughout his 14‐year career, Mr. Bryant has become a pillar in the world wide philanthropic community specifically dealing with children’s charities. He has enjoyed a long relationship with St. Jude’s Hospital, After School All Stars, The Boys & Girls Club of America and has granted more wishes than any other NBA athlete to children with life threatening medical conditions via the Make–A‐Wish Foundation. Through his Kobe Bryant Family Foundation and the Kobe China Fund, he has sponsored Hispanic and African American children with scholarships, leadership grants and cultural exchanges allowing them to learn Mandarin and martial arts as well as donated for the relief efforts of victims of the Schezuan earthquake.

Mr. Bryant will join over 200 stars including Marilyn Monroe, Brad Pitt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Harrison Ford and John Wayne who have had their hand and footprint ceremonies.

Marcus Camby out three weeks after knee surgery

Portland Trail Blazers center Marcus Camby underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a partial medial meniscus tear in his left knee this morning, it was announced by General Manager Rich Cho.

Dr. Don Roberts performed the surgery in Vancouver, Wash., and Camby is expected to miss approximately three weeks.

“We’re pleased with the outcome of today’s surgery, and look forward to seeing Marcus back on the court soon,” said Cho. “In the meantime, we have confidence in our frontcourt players to step into the void left by Marcus and help us continue to win games.”

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: It’s good news that Camby will only miss around three weeks. The injury was considered minor at the time of discovery so it isn’t surprising that he won’t be gone too long.

Some may take this more as a threat than a promise, but the Clippers obviously hope to keep young star forward Blake Griffin forever and the team GM is putting word out now about it.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reports:

Team GM says Blake Griffin will always be with Clippers

It’s impossible to predict where Blake Griffin will be in the summer of 2014, when he will become an unrestricted free agent.

But as far as the Los Angeles Clippers are concerned, he’s not going anywhere.

“I can guarantee you he will only ever be a Clipper,” general manager Neil Olshey said of his prized rookie. “If [Oklahoma City Thunder general manager] Sam Presti arrived on Kevin Durant’s doorstep at midnight on July 1st with an extension, understand that Blake Griffin lives two blocks away from me in Manhattan Beach so it’s going to be a much shorter commute for me.”

Of course, every team in the league will be hoping Griffin makes it onto the open market, someday. But there’s nothing anyone can do about it right now.

NBA.com reports:

DeMar DeRozan to replace Brandon Jennings in 2011 dunk contest

Brandon Jennings, the Milwaukee Bucks point guard who has missed 14 games with a fractured fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot, has withdrawn as a contestant in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend, NBA.com has learned.

While Jennings is on track to return to the Bucks’ lineup within the next two weeks, the  risk of re-injury while practicing for and participating in the dunk contest apparently caused the player and the Bucks to reconsider his involvement, sources said. A league spokesman declined to comment Wednesday and information on Jennings’ likely replacement could not be confirmed.

However, the NBA announced Thursday morning that Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan – the runner-up in last year’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest — will replace Jennings this year in Los Angeles.

Jennings, 21, hurt his foot against in an awkward spill at San Antonio on Dec. 15 and struggled to play on it three nights later against Utah. The second-year guard had surgery on Dec. 20, with an expected layoff of four to six weeks. The Bucks, 10-15 when Jennings went down, are 5-9 since.

InsideHoops.com editor says: No knock on Brandon here but I have no idea why he was chosen in the first place. Obviously he’s super-athletic, but he rarely dunks. What are the odds he would suddenly turn out to have a 50-inch vertical leap when the dunk contest began? Anyway, DeRozan is a nice addition.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have re-signed forward Sasha Pavlovic to a second 10-day contract.

Pavlovic (6-7, 235) is a seven-year NBA veteran and joined the Mavericks as a free agent on January 10. He saw action in five games for the Mavericks with one start and averaged 4.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 15.6 minutes per game.

The native of Bar, Yugoslavia holds career averages of 5.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 16.5 minutes in 457 career games (128 starts) with Utah, Cleveland, Minnesota and Dallas. He was also a member of the Serbia and Montenegro 2004 Olympic Team that competed in Athens, Greece.

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