Archive for April 13th, 2011

Rockets sign forward Marqus Blakely

Rockets sign forward Marqus Blakely

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed forward Marqus Blakely to a multi-year contract.

Blakely (6-5, 225, Vermont) earns a Call-Up from the D-league’s Iowa Energy. This past season, Blakely averaged 15.0 points (.625, 287-459 FG), 6.3 rebounds, 1.47 steals and 1.2 assists in 49 games (19 starts) between the Bakersfield Jam and Iowa. He was traded by Bakersfield to Iowa for a 2011 first-round pick on Jan. 24, 2011, helping the Engery capture the D-League’s Eastern Conference title with a 37-13 (.740) regular season record. Blakely, along with teammate Curtis Stinson, were also named NBA Development League Co-Performers of the Week for games played March 14-20.

As a collegian, Blakely finished his career at Vermont ranked fifth all-time in scoring (1,875), second in rebounding (1,044) and field goal percentage (.571), third in blocks (254) and field goals made (673), fourth in free throws made (525), and 10th in assists (304). He stands as a two-time America East Player of the Year winner and a three-time America East Defensive Player of the Year. Blakely also earned First-Team All-America East and America East All-Defensive First Team accolades three times during his career at Vermont. Winner of the 2010 State Farm College Slam Dunk Championship, Blakely averaged 17.3 points (.542 FG%), 9.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.9 blocks in 35 games as a senior. He was named to the America East Conference All-Tournament Team and helped Vermont to school-record 25 wins in 2009-10. Blakely was actually the only player in NCAA men’s basketball to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals during the 2009-10 campaign.

Blakely will wear jersey #15 with the Rockets.

NBA Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement today:

“Kobe Bryant’s comment during last night’s game was offensive and inexcusable.   While I’m fully aware that basketball is an emotional game, such a distasteful term should never be tolerated.  Accordingly, I have fined Kobe $100,000.  Kobe and everyone associated with the NBA know that insensitive or derogatory comments are not acceptable and have no place in our game or society.”

Charlie Villanueva of the Detroit Pistons has been suspended five games without pay for initiating an on-court altercation with Cleveland  Cavaliers’ Ryan Hollins and attempting to escalate the altercation by entering the Cavaliers’ locker room on two occasions following his ejection, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 5:47 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Pistons’ 110-101 loss to the Cavaliers at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Monday, April 11.

Villanueva will serve the first game of his suspension tonight when the Pistons play the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. The remaining games will be served during the first four 2011-12 regular season games in which he is physically able to play.

Andrew Bynum has bone bruise on right knee, should be OK for playoffs

Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum, who injured his right knee in last night’s game versus the San Antonio Spurs, had an MRI this morning.  Results of the MRI showed that Bynum has a bone bruise, but the injury is not deemed to be serious.

Lakers forward Matt Barnes also had an MRI exam on his sore right knee, which was surgically repaired on January 11, 2011.  Results of Barnes’ MRI showed no new damage.

Both players are expected to be ready to play when the Lakers open the playoffs this weekend.

The Los Angeles Lakers have recalled forward Derrick Caracter from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Caracter appeared in three regular season games with Bakersfield over two D-League assignments, averaging 8.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.67 blocks in 19.7 minutes.  In two playoff games with the Jam, he averaged 7.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.50 blocks in 21.5 minutes.

Selected by the Lakers in the second round (58th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft, Caracter has appeared in 40 games for the Lakers this season, averaging 2.0 points and 1.1 rebounds in 5.3 minutes.

He will be available to play for the Lakers tonight in Sacramento.

Lakers sign Trey Johnson

Lakers sign Trey Johnson

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed guard Trey Johnson, it was announced today.

Johnson rejoins the Lakers after spending the 2010 preseason with the team before being waived on October 21, 2010.  In five preseason games, he averaged 2.8 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 8.8 minutes.

A 6’5” guard out of Jackson State, Johnson has spent the last four seasons playing for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League.  A 2011 D-League All-Star West Team selection, Johnson did not play in the game after being called up to the Toronto Raptors and signing a pair of 10-day contracts with the team.  In seven games with the Raptors this season, Johnson averaged 4.0 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 11.6 minutes.

With Bakersfield this season, Johnson ranked second league-wide in scoring (25.5 points per game) while handing out 4.5 assists (25th league-wide) in 35.9 minutes.  For his D-League career, he has averaged 20.7 points, 4.7 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 36.0 minutes.

Johnson will join the Lakers for tonight’s season finale in Sacramento.

Is 2011 NBA Summer League canceled?

Could it be? Is an NBA lockout so likely that the league is not even going to schedule the Vegas Summer League this July?

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports:

In two more signs that the NBA is gearing up for a lockout starting July 1, the league has scrubbed its annual Las Vegas summer league and has also scuttled its annual summer internship program, according to league sources.

The Las Vegas summer league normally starts around July 9, with upwards of 20 teams, including the Knicks, sending little-used veteran players and rookies to compete over a 10-day period.

I hope this isn’t the case. Hitting Vegas for basketball and fun (not necessarily in that order) has been a yearly highlight, especially as other summer leagues shut down. It would be a shame not to get an early look at the 2011-12 rookies.

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

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports:

The Knicks have drawn the Celtics for the playoffs, but which Celtics team?

The one that has ruled the East in two of the last three seasons, winning the 2008 title and getting to a Game 7 in Los Angeles last June before falling to the Lakers?

Or will it be the one that we see now, in a state of mourning for the last seven weeks after nearly staging a mutiny because Danny Ainge traded away Kendrick Perkins?

If it’s the first Celtic team that went 41-14 with Perkins, the Knicks can expect a short playoff run. Four games should do the trick.

But that team is probably gone, for good, meaning the Knicks might just be able to make things interesting. Maybe win a couple of games. Anything better for the Knicks, including a series win, and Ainge will get chased out of Boston.

Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee reports (via blog):

A short while ago on TNT’s post-game show, analyst Chris Webber and cohorts Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley devoted an interesting (and potentially significant) segment to the Kings’ possible relocation to Anaheim. I transcribed the tape and will include most of the conversation below, the significance of which includes this: Webber saying he is engaged in talks with individuals intent on keeping the Kings in Sacramento; Barkley (jokingly?) saying he will invest “$10-15 million” to assist; Smth, also a former King, saying that, on the Kings worst nights, the fans were as lusty as they were during the years they contended.

Though Webber refused to be specific on-air about the extent of his commitment, after making a few late-night phone calls, I reached original Sacramento Kings executive vice-president Greg Van Dusen, who offered a few specifics. According to Van Dusen, Webber is willing to facilitate a deal - headed by Roger Stewart of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to “restructure” the city’s $77 million loan to the club. Van Dusen, who is working with Arco I and II architect Rann Haight.

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