Archive for March 2nd, 2011

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed head coach Tyrone Corbin to a multi-year contract.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

“I am confident that Tyrone is the right man to lead this team into the future.  He is someone with longstanding ties to the Jazz and this community, and who has embraced the core philosophies and ideals this organization holds true.  I feel that his character and leadership qualities will be true assets to the Jazz moving forward for many years to come,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Utah Jazz.

“I am really excited about the opportunity to lead the Jazz, and to get to follow a legendary figure like Coach Sloan,” said Tyrone Corbin.  “I am truly grateful that the Miller family has the confidence in me to allow me to lead this team into a new era.”

Corbin was named head coach of the Jazz on February 10 following the resignation of Jerry Sloan.  Corbin is the seventh head coach in Jazz history and the fourth since the franchise’s relocation to Utah, following Tom Nissalke, Frank Layden and Sloan.  Corbin had served as an assistant coach under Sloan since the 2004-05 season, and prior to the 2010-11 season was ranked second in voting for the NBA’s top assistant coach as selected by league general managers.  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.

“Ty is a driven individual and tireless worker who possesses all of the qualities we are looking for in a head coach,” said Randy Rigby, president of the Utah Jazz.  “He has been widely recognized as one of the brightest young coaches around the league and we are thrilled to have him as head coach of the Jazz.”

A native of Columbia, S.C., 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, where he earned a degree in computer science during his four-year, two-time honorable mention All-American career with the Blue Demons.

“Ty has 16 years of experience in this league as a player and has spent the last seven seasons working here as an assistant coach,” said Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor.  “He is ready for this job and we feel certain he will excel as a head coach just as he excelled as an assistant coach and as a player.”

Heat sign Mike Bibby

Heat sign Mike Bibby

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed free agent guard Mike Bibby. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We want to welcome Mike Bibby as we continue to move into the direction of our championship dreams,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “We feel Mike, with his vast postseason experience, long range game and point guard abilities, will give us a boost in the backcourt.”

Bibby, a 13-year NBA veteran, has appeared in 940 regular season games (934 starts) and averaged 15.4 points, 5.7 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.21 steals and 34.9 minutes while shooting 43.7 percent from the field, 37.9 percent from three-point range and 80.3 percent from the foul line. He has appeared in 58 games this season, 56 games (all starts) for the Atlanta Hawks and two games for the Washington Wizards, averaging 9.1 points, 3.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 29.3 minutes while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 43.5 percent from three-point range.

Among active NBA players, Bibby ranks fifth in assists (5,382) and ninth in three-point field goals made (1,450). Additionally, among league leaders this season, he ranks tied for eighth in three-point field goal percentage, eighth in three-point field goals made (113), 11th in assists-to-turnover ratio (3.04) and tied for 37th in assists per game.

He has appeared in 80 postseason games (all starts) and averaged 15.3 points, 4.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.23 steals and 36.9 minutes while shooting 42.0 percent from the field, 39.3 percent from three-point range and 82.1 percent from the foul line.

Bibby will wear number 0.

Have a reaction? Discuss it with other NBA fans in this forum topic.

Every team in the league wanted to sign LeBron James this past summer. Chicago Bulls start Derrick Rose, being sane, wanted King James to join his squad and reportedly reached out to make his feelings known.

ESPNChicago reports:

Derrick Rose reveals off-season pitch to LeBron

Amid all the hoopla surrounding teams’ recruiting pitches to the most heralded free agent class in NBA history this summer, the Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose took a low-key approach in his wooing of LeBron James.

Rose sent James a text, the contents of which to this point were unknown. In a Sports Illustrated article out this week, Rose remembers the message reading: “I’m just hitting you up to kill all the rumors that I don’t want to play with you. I’d like to play with you. I just want to win.”

LeBron, of course, wound up joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat. And I highly doubt that D-Rose ever thought to himself that having LeBron on the Bulls would in any way wind up being a bad thing.

Celtics sign Troy Murphy

By Jeff Lenchiner

Celtics sign Troy Murphy

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed forward Troy Murphy. The deal is for the pro-rated value of the veteran’s minimum.

It’s a great move for the Celtics, who are already a championship contender but just added the best player in the league who was available to be signed.

Murphy can shoot and rebound. He stretches the floor and adds yet another offensive weapon to a very diverse squad.

A 6’11” forward, Murphy has posted career averages of 11.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and has shot 39.1% from three-point range in his 10 NBA seasons.  Murphy has posted five seasons during which he averaged a double-double (points-rebounds). Murphy recorded one of the best seasons of his career during 2008-09 when he averaged 14.3 points and a career-high 11.8 rebounds to go along with a 45.0% shooting percentage from the three-point line.

By InsideHoops.com

On Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 the New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors will play a pair of games in the O2 arena in London, England. It is the first time that regular season NBA games are being played overseas.

It is an unusual matchup to send overseas to represent the league to tens of thousands of sports enthusiasts, many of whom may not be full NBA fans just yet.

Many months ago, as the schedule was being set, it was clear that both squads were going to face difficult 2010-11 seasons. The Nets had just come off one of the worst years in the history of basketball and failed to land top stars in free agency. And the Raptors, already a lottery team, had just lost their best player, Chris Bosh, to the Miami heat in free agency.

While both the Nets and Raptors are perfectly fun to watch, it’s a shame London has to see a matchup of teams whose combined record this season is 34 wins and 87 losses.

One positive is the recent trade New Jersey made bringing Deron Williams onto their squad. He alone is often worth the price of admission.

Also, the teams match up nicely. The games should be competitive, which is always good.

Here’s hoping fans in London get the thrills they deserve.

The goal of just about every player in the NBA is to win a championship. Dwight Howard has flirted with achieving that goal, but his Orlando Magic aren’t quite as potent as they once were. Still, the team is good, and winning a title is a tough yet still realistic goal.

Dwight Howard, writing on his own website, says:

Dwight Howard says Magic can definitely win a championship

I´ve said it a hundred times and I´ll keep saying it – we have what it takes to win a championship on this Magic team. I know a lot of teams out there have made trades, especially the Knicks getting ‘Melo, but I like our team just the way that it is. We have all the pieces needed to win a championship this year and I feel like we´re just now hitting our peak at the right time. Maybe we´ll be like the Packers and get hot at the right time and roll through the playoffs the way that they did.

We just have to bring this same kind of focus and intensity every game. New York tried to get all physical with us, but we didn´t back down an inch and I really liked that about us. When we play tough and physical like that and keep our heads in the game, we´re a really tough team to beat.

It was cool hearing the crowd chant M-V-P! for me last night during the game. It´s come and gone a few times during the year, but it was really strong last night. Feeling that love from the crowd is special to me and it never gets old. Although my teammates mess with me and say that I miss my free throws every time the crowd does the M-V-P chants.

Right now, the Celtics and Heat are the favorites to come out of the East, followed by the Bulls and Magic.

Obviously every player’s goal is to win a championship, and in the case of the Orlando Magic, it’s a very tough yet certainly realistic goal.

Dwight Howard, writing on his own website, says:

I´ve said it a hundred times and I´ll keep saying it – we have what it takes to win a championship on this Magic team. I know a lot of teams out there have made trades, especially the Knicks getting ‘Melo, but I like our team just the way that it is. We have all the pieces needed to win a championship this year and I feel like we´re just now hitting our peak at the right time. Maybe we´ll be like the Packers and get hot at the right time and roll through the playoffs the way that they did.

We just have to bring this same kind of focus and intensity every game. New York tried to get all physical with us, but we didn´t back down an inch and I really liked that about us. When we play tough and physical like that and keep our heads in the game, we´re a really tough team to beat.

It was cool hearing the crowd chant M-V-P! for me last night during the game. It´s come and gone a few times during the year, but it was really strong last night. Feeling that love from the crowd is special to me and it never gets old. Although my teammates mess with me and say that I miss my free throws every time the crowd does the M-V-P chants.

Currently, the Celtics and Heat appear to be the best squads in the East, followed by the Bulls and then Magic.

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that Head Coach Flip Saunders will miss tonight’s game against Golden State due to a family emergency involving his mother.

Assistant Coach Randy Wittman will serve as head coach for tonight’s game.

Hawks recall Pape Sy from D-League

The Atlanta Hawks today recalled Pape Sy from the team’s NBA Development League affiliate Utah Flash according to Hawks Executive Vice President/General Manager Rick Sund.

Originally drafted by Atlanta in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft, Sy was assigned to the Flash on December 27.  He saw action in 23 games (11 starting assignments) with Utah averaging 8.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 1.3 apg in 22.1 mpg (.424 FG%, .737 FT%).

Mehmet Okur back injury still healing. No return yet

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur, who has missed the last 14 Jazz games after suffering a strained lower back during the Jazz’s win over Minnesota on January 28:

Okur was seen by back specialist, Dr. Graham Hill, in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 1.  Following his examination, Dr. Hill cleared Okur to increase and progress his on-court activity.  This will continue on an “as tolerates” progression.  No timeline for his return can be provided at this time.

Now in his ninth NBA season, Okur (6-11, 265, Yalova, Turkey), who missed the first 26 games of the 2010-11 campaign while recovering from an unrelated Achilles’ tendon injury, has appeared in 13 games (no starts) this season, averaging 4.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game.  The 2007 NBA All-Star holds career averages of 13.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists and had played in over 92 percent of all possible regular season games, including at least 71 games per year, over his first eight seasons (94 percent since joining the Jazz in 2004-05). Okur has appeared in all 82 games for the Jazz twice, including a streak of 233 straight games played spanning from 2004-2007.

Kevin Love is an extremely good basketball player. You know it. I know it. The people know it. And the Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly know it.

Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports:

Timberwolves expected to offer Kevin Love $70 million contract extension

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love can look forward to a contract extension offer of six years in the $70 million range once a new NBA labor deal is reached, a little birdie says.

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement expires June 30.

Love, 22, can become a restricted free agent after the 2012-2013 season. The Wolves have no intention of letting him get that far.

Love, who is being paid $4.61 million this season and is signed for $6.1 million next season, leads the NBA in rebounding (15.5 average) and double-doubles (56, five more than Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin), and ranks 18th in scoring with a 20.9-point average.

Love said Tuesday evening that he likes Minnesota and hopes to remain here.

Keeping Love will be great for the Wolves, though they definitely need to pack more talent around him. He’s a rebounding superstar, but not a top offensive or defensive star who can carry a team into the playoffs on his own.

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

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports:

Dwight Howard says Orlando is the place for him

Dwight Howard better get used to more days like Tuesday.

The Record newspaper, which is based in Bergen County, N.J., reported that New Jersey Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov and General Manager Billy King recently spoke with point guard Deron Williams and told Williams that Dwight Howard tops the list of free agents the Nets plan to pursue.

Understandably, a group of writers from New York area news outlets asked Howard before the Magic’s game against the New York Knicks if the Nets are any more “attractive” now with Williams.

“Orlando’s the most attractive place for me right now,” Howard answered, a smile on his face. “They have a sexy new arena, a beautiful franchise, nice banners around here and been in the top four in the Eastern Conference for the past four years. Yes, Orlando’s the most attractive place right now.”

Raymond Felton describes his game

Raymond Felton describes his game

Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post reports:

Ask Felton what his greatest attribute as a basketball player is and he’ll hit you with one word: leader.

“When you talk about my game, you might say I’m fast off the dribble, I can get in the paint, I pass the ball, whatever. Tenacious defender,”

Felton said Tuesday. “One thing people always say about me is I’m a leader, and that’s what I’ve always been. So, I keep that role everywhere I go.”

And that’s good for the Nuggets. When the 6-foot-1 Felton arrived in Denver a week ago as part of the blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade with New York, Felton, 26, said Nuggets coach George Karl told him his first task was to lead.

Felton’s leadership showed up big Monday night in a victory over Atlanta, when he took over in the fourth quarter of what was a close game. In the final period, he scored 11 points, grabbed three rebounds and had three assists as the Nuggets pulled away late.

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