Archive for February 11th, 2011

By Jeff Lenchiner

Cleveland Cavaliers Forward Antawn Jamison (4) scores during 1st half action against The Miami Heat at the American Airlines Arena, in Miami Florida, December 15, 2010. UPI/Susan Knowles... Photo via Newscom

The Cleveland Cavaliers 26-game losing streak ended Friday night at home with a 126-119 overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Cavs forward Antawn Jamison led with 11-of-20 shooting for 35 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Center J.J. Hickson shot 12-of-19 for 27 points and 14 rebounds, though he had one assist with seven turnovers. And today’s game marked the return of usual starting point guard Mo Williams, who came off the bench and took 18 shots for 17 points and 14 assists with just two turnovers.

In the loss for the Clippers, Blake Griffin had 32 points and 13 rebounds, Baron Davis had 26 points and seven assists, and Randy Foye scored 23.

According to the Associated Press, “Antawn Jamison scored 35 points and made the game’s biggest basket, a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left in OT for the Cavs. Daniel Gibson scored 10 in overtime and J.J. Hickson, playing like a man possessed all night in a matchup with Blake Griffin, added 27 points and 14 rebounds. The Clippers quickly cut a six-point deficit to 120-119 on Randy Foye’s 3 with 44 seconds to go. But Jamison responded by popping outside and draining his 3 from the left wing to revive the hopes of Cleveland fans, whose emotions went up and down all night.”

Prior to tonight’s victory, the Cavs had not won since beating the New York Knicks 109-102 in Cleveland on December 18. And before that, they hadn’t won since November 27 when, playing at home, they beat the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Cavaliers host the Washington Wizards Sunday and the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday as they try to build upon tonight’s short burst of much-needed success.

The AP reports:

The owner of the Detroit Pistons on Friday confirmed she is in negotiations with a California billionaire interested in buying the struggling NBA franchise.

Michael Layne, a spokesman for owner Karen Davidson, confirmed the two-week “exclusivity” window and that the owner was working with investor Tom Gores.

“The parties are continuing to work in a cooperative manner,” Layne said.

It was a rare public statement from Davidson, who has stayed mostly silent about the potential sale. About three hours later, a spokesman for Gores also broke his silence on the matter.

“We look forward to continued discussions with Karen Davidson and her team,” said Mark Barnhill, a principal at Platinum Equity, the investment group founded by Gores in 1995. “We are making progress, and both sides are working hard in hopes of reaching an agreement.”

Barnhill said reports that a deal was in place were “incorrect.”

Caron Butler`s Valentine`s Day tips

Dallas Mavericks forward Caron Butler presents five ways to impress your girl on Valentine’s Day:

1. Take Her To The Spa: It is a relaxing way to enjoy the day together, and you know she’ll love it.

2. A Romantic Dinner: You probably should have reservations at a restaurant by now. If you don’t, then think about staying in and cooking for her. She’ll be impressed.

3. Roses: Do not mess that up. A must on Valentine’s Day.

4. Jewelry: All women love jewelry. Need I say more?

5. Take her to a play: It will show your sensitive side and is sure to score you some points.

6. Bonus-Romantic getaway: Instead of going home that evening, take her to spend the night at a bed and breakfast or hotel.

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that guard Dominique Jones underwent surgery to address a stress fracture to the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. The surgery was performed by Dr. T.O. Souryal of Texas Sports Medicine. No timetable has been set for his return.

Jones (6-5, 215) was originally the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavericks acquired his rights from Memphis in exchange for cash considerations in a draft day trade. Jones has seen action in 18 games for the Mavericks this season and holds averages of 2.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 7.5 minutes per game.

Chris Paul fined for verbal abuse of a referee

New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul has been fined $15,000 for verbal abuse of a game official, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred following the Hornets’ 103-101 overtime loss to the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on February 9.

Jerry Sloan resigns from Utah Jazz

Jerry Sloan resigns from Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz announced Thursday that head coach Jerry Sloan and assistant coach Phil Johnson have resigned their positions, effective immediately.  In a related announcement, the Jazz also announced that assistant coach Tyrone Corbin has been named head coach of the team.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

“It is with great sadness that we have accepted Jerry and Phil’s resignations today.  Larry and I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for both of them, the way they have handled the team, represented our franchise and held the values of our organization and community,” said Utah Jazz Owner Gail Miller.  “Larry and I always gave our coaches maximum support to ensure that they knew they were in charge of the team, not management, the media, fans or players.”

Sloan had been Utah’s head coach since assuming the reigns from former head coach Frank Layden on December 9, 1988.  The third-winningest coach in NBA history (1,221-803, .603), Sloan was the longest-tenured active coach with one team in major professional sports, as well as the longest-tenured head coach in NBA history.  Sloan is the only NBA head coach to win 1,000 games with one team (1,127-682, .623 with Jazz) and ranked 347 wins ahead of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich for the most wins with one team among active coaches.

Over his 23 seasons at the helm, Sloan guided the Jazz to 19 playoff appearances, two NBA Finals (1997, 1998), seven division titles, a streak of 16 consecutive winning seasons (1988-2004), 13 seasons with 50-plus wins and three with 60-plus wins, while suffering only one losing season.  Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 11, 2009.

“Jerry has proven again and again, that he is a Hall of Fame coach.  His consistency, discipline and work ethic are cornerstones to his success,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Utah Jazz. “Jerry’s departure is entirely his decision and as unpleasantly as it is for me personally, I respect his decision to leave the franchise at this time.  In addition, Phil has had a tremendous impact on our franchise as an assistant coach by partnering with Jerry and stepping up to the head coaching role as needed over the years.”

Since Sloan’s hiring there have been a total of 245 coaching changes in the NBA (including interim coaches), with every team in the league aside from Utah making at least two changes.  In addition, five current NBA teams (Bobcats, Grizzlies, Raptors, Magic, Timberwolves) did not exist when Sloan took the reins in Utah, and two others (Heat, Hornets) were just over a month into their inaugural seasons.  Sloan coached 132 different Jazz players in regular season games during his tenure.

“Jerry and Phil have coached the Utah Jazz for more than 23 years,” said President of the Utah Jazz, Randy Rigby.  “Both have been a tremendous asset to our team both on and off the court.  They consistently supported the efforts of the front office through visits with our season ticket holders, sponsors and fans through community appearances.  We are grateful for their legacy.”

Sloan originally joined the Jazz as a scout during the 1983-84 season, then following a brief stint as a head coach in the Continental Basketball Association, re-joined the Jazz as an assistant coach to Frank Layden on November 19, 1984, where he remained until being promoted to head coach following Layden’s resignation in December of 1988.

Prior to joining the Jazz, Sloan served as head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1979-82 following an 11-year playing career with Baltimore and Chicago, during which he was twice selected an NBA All-Star.

Johnson teamed with Sloan as his top assistant for all 23 of his seasons coaching the Jazz.  A former NBA Coach of the Year, Johnson has been widely acknowledged as one of the premier basketball coaches in the sport and was named the league’s top assistant prior to the 2005-06, 2007-08 and 2010-11 seasons.

Johnson’s working relationship with Sloan began more than three decades ago when he coached Sloan as an assistant under Dick Motta for the Chicago Bulls from 1971-74.  Following three years with the Bulls, Johnson earned his first NBA head coaching duties at the age of 32 with the Kansas City-Omaha Kings.  Johnson later reunited with Sloan in Chicago, becoming his assistant coach prior to the 1979-80 season.  The two worked together through the end of Sloan’s tenure with the Bulls midway through the 1981-82 season.  Johnson would then join the Jazz as an assistant in 1982 where he stayed before returning to the Kings in 1984 as head coach.  In December of 1988, Sloan and Johnson again came together when Johnson joined Utah’s staff as an assistant where he had remained ever since.

“Coach and Phil are synonymous with the success of the Utah Jazz,” said Utah Jazz General Manager Kevin O’Connor.  “Working with them throughout my time with the Jazz has been a very special experience.  They are consummate professionals and competitors, and I am very grateful for all they have given to the organization.”

Corbin becomes head coach of the Utah Jazz after serving as an assistant under Sloan since the 2004-05 season.  He becomes the seventh head coach in Jazz history and the fourth head coach since the franchise’s relocation to Utah.  Prior to the 2010-11 season, Corbin ranked second in voting for the NBA’s top assistant coach as selected by league general managers (behind only Phil Johnson).  Corbin joined the Jazz after spending the 2003-04 season as manager of player development for the New York Knicks.  Prior to his stint with the Knicks, he spent two seasons as a player mentor for the North Charleston Lowgators of the NBA Development League.

“I am thankful that we have a person of Tyrone Corbin’s character to assume the position of head coach of the Utah Jazz.  Ty has demonstrated an understanding of what our franchise stands for,” said Greg Miller.

A native of South Carolina, Corbin played for nine teams during a 16-year NBA career (1985-01), including three seasons with the Jazz from 1991-94, where he averaged 9.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 233 games.  Corbin appeared in a total of 1,050 games over the course of his career that included stints with San Antonio, Cleveland, Phoenix, Minnesota, Utah, Atlanta, Sacramento, Miami and Toronto.  Corbin was originally drafted by San Antonio in the second round (35th pick overall) of the 1985 NBA Draft out of DePaul University.

Corbin will make his NBA head coaching debut on Friday, February 11 against the Phoenix Suns at EnergySolutions Arena.

Pistons to retire Dennis Rodman jersey

By Jeff Lenchiner

Dennis Rodman will forever be known as one of the greatest rebounders and defenders in the history of basketball, and the Detroit Pistons have decided to honor his legacy. Here’s the info:

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club will retire Dennis Rodman’s #10 jersey during a halftime ceremony on April 1, 2011 when the Pistons host the Chicago Bulls at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

“I’m pleased that we are honoring Dennis for his accomplishments as a player and his contributions to the success of the organization,” said Joe Dumars, President of Basketball Operations for the Pistons.  “His jersey retirement is well deserved.”

Drafted 27th overall by the Pistons in the 1986 NBA Draft, Rodman was a key member of the Pistons ‘Bad Boys’ teams that led the franchise to back-to-back championships in 1989 and 1990.  An elite defender and rebounder, he averaged 8.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists while shooting 54 percent from the field in 549 games as a Piston.  Rodman led Detroit in rebounding four consecutive seasons (1989-1993) and was the league’s top rebounder from 1991-93 when he averaged 18.7 and 18.3 rebounds per game, respectively.  He was a two-time NBA All-Star while playing for Detroit (1990, 1992) and was named to the All-NBA Third Team following the 1991-92 season.  Rodman was named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991 and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive first team for five consecutive seasons (1989-93).

“Individual accomplishments have never been a big deal for me as a player, but to be honored for my contributions in this way by the Detroit Pistons organization is truly humbling,” Rodman said in a statement issued through his manager, Steven Simon of Prince Marketing Group.  “This organization gave me a chance to blossom regardless of my size or what school I came from.  My only regret is that the man that believed in me more than I did myself, Chuck Daly, is no longer with us. I’m sure he’ll be with us that evening in his own way.”

The 6-7, 210-pound forward, nicknamed “The Worm” during his playing days, ranks fourth among all-time franchise leaders in total rebounds (6,299) and still holds team records for most rebounds in a game [34, vs. Indiana (3/4/92)], most offensive rebounds in a game [18, vs. Indiana (3/4/92)], most defensive rebounds in a game [22, at Sacramento (3/14/92)] and most games with 25-plus rebounds (15).  He also recorded 30 or more rebounds three times and holds the team record for highest field goal percentage in one season at 59.5 percent (1988-89).

Rodman was traded to the San Antonio Spurs on October 1, 1993 and also played with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks.  He played a key role in the Bulls’ three consecutive championships from 1996-1998 and holds the NBA records for most consecutive seasons leading the league in rebounds [7, (1991-97)] and most seasons leading the league in defensive rebounds [3, (91-92, 93-94, 97-98)].  Rodman picked up two more NBA All-Defensive First Team honors after leaving Detroit (1995, 1996), a NBA Second-Team All-Defensive honor in 1994 and an All-NBA Third Team honor in 1995.  Overall, he played in 911 career NBA games averaging 7.3 points, 13.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 31.7 minutes per game.

“We are excited to welcome Dennis Rodman back to The Palace and honor him with his jersey retirement,” said Alan Ostfield, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pistons and Palace Sports and Entertainment.  “We look forward to hosting an exciting evening for Dennis as well as our fans.”

The AP reports:

Mo Williams returns from injury for Cavaliers

Point guard Mo Williams is returning from a hip injury to help the Cavaliers end their record 26-game losing streak.

Williams will come off the bench and play Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. He has been slowed by injuries since training camp.

Williams hasn’t played since Jan. 15.

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