Archive for June 7th, 2011

The Golden State Warriors have hired Michael Malone as an assistant coach, the team announced today.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.  Malone will serve as the lead assistant to newly hired Head Coach Mark Jackson.

Malone brings 10 years of NBA coaching experience to the Warriors, having most recently served as the lead assistant coach for the New Orleans Hornets this past season.  In New Orleans, under Head Coach Monty Williams, Malone helped lead the Hornets to a 46-36 record and a trip to the 2011 NBA Playoffs.  The Hornets were the most improved defensive team in the NBA last season, allowing a league-best 8.7 fewer points per game than in the previous campaign (94.0 points per contest, after giving up 102.7 in 2009-10.)  Additionally, the Hornets limited their opponents to 45.7% shooting from the field in 2010-11 compared to 48.3% the previous season.

Prior to joining the Hornets, Malone served as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers for the previous five seasons.  During his time in Cleveland, the Cavs posted a 272-138 (.663) record, which was the third-best mark in the NBA over that span.  The Cavaliers made five consecutive playoff appearances during Malone’s time on the bench, reaching the NBA Finals in 2007 and the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009.  In 2008-09, the Cavs notched a franchise record and NBA-best 66 wins.

“We are thrilled to be in a position to add Michael Malone to our coaching staff,” said Warriors General Manager/Executive VP of Basketball Operations Larry Riley.  “He is a youthful coach with great experience and knowledge of the game.  This is a very positive addition to our organization.”

“I am really pleased that Michael has chosen to join our staff as we try to build something special with the Warriors,” said Jackson.  “I have known Michael for a long time and think he is one of the bright young minds in the sport.  He’s a tireless worker and has a tremendous understanding of the game, which is a potent combination for any coach.  Obviously, he is very well-respected in this business and will be a great asset to our staff and someone whose opinion I will value greatly.  I think he will be a perfect complement.”

“I am very grateful for this opportunity to join the Golden State Warriors organization,” said Malone.  “It’s hard to express how excited I am about working with Mark Jackson and helping build something here with the Warriors.  I’d like to thank Joe Lacob, Larry Riley and Mark for this opportunity and cannot wait to get started.”

Malone’s NBA coaching career began with a four-season stint with the New York Knicks, where he originally joined the team as a coaching associate in the summer of 2001, and was promoted to assistant coach in May 2003.  Prior to joining the Knicks, Malone spent seven years coaching in the college ranks.

Ray Allen

The Boston Celtics announced today that guard Ray Allen has exercised his option to stay with the team for the 2011-12 season. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. He should make around $10 million for the season.

Allen, a 6’5” guard, shot a career-high 44.4% from the three-point line during the 2010-11 season and averaged 16.5 points, 3.4 rebound, 2.7 assists and 0.96 steals per game.  Allen made his 10th All-Star team for his work during the season and was named to his third All-Star appearance in four years with the Celtics.  The former UConn Husky became the NBA’s all-time three-point field goals made leader when he passed Reggie Miller against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 10, 2011.  Allen is currently ranked as the 24th highest scorer in NBA history with 22,286 career points.

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Philadelphia 76ers sales talks ongoing

Well, this is new. There hasn’t been much press about the Philadelphia 76ers possibly selling the team, but according to a new report, talks of a sale are ongoing as we speak.

Henry Abbott of ESPN reports:

Philadelphia 76ers owner Comcast-Spectacor is in talks to sell the team to a group led by New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris, according to sources.

Negotiations are ongoing and a source with knowledge of the talks called a deal “imminent.”

Once the parties reach final agreement, it would become official only with approval of the league’s Board of Governors.

The Sixers were not known to have been for sale.

Harris, 46, co-founded Apollo Global Management, which invests primarily in distressed properties, in 1990. In Forbes’ 2011 billionaire rankings, Harris was reported to have a net worth of $1.5 billion.

Other partners in the deal include private equity executive David Blitzer and former NBA player agent and Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien.

The 76ers have had low attendance for years, and a public relations department that is known to shun outsiders.

The Dallas Mavericks trail the Miami Heat 2-1 in the 2011 NBA Finals. But if Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki had a bit more help, that Finals winning total might be reversed right now.

Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas reports:

Dirk Nowitzki needs scoring help and he knows teammate Jason Terry has yet to deliver in the NBA Finals.

jason terry

Terry, the Dallas Mavericks’ charismatic sixth man who likes to bust out his arms like airplane wings after he makes 3-pointers and prides himself on cold-blooded shooting in the clutch, has found little breathing room with Miami Heat forward LeBron James shutting him out of the late-game offense.

“They keep sticking him [James] on Jet in the fourth quarters and he’s been doing a good job,” Nowitzki said. “Jet hasn’t really been a crunch-time, clutch player for us the way we need him to.”

Nowitzki scored 34 points in the 88-86 Game 3 loss and he scored the Mavs’ final 12 points of the game. Terry, the team’s second-leading scorer, was 0-of-4 from the floor in the fourth quarter of the disappointing home loss that put the Mavs in a 2-1 hole with Game 4 on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center.

Terry is a combined 0-of-7 in the fourth quarters of the Mavericks’ two losses in the NBA Finals.

“They know to take me out of the fourth quarter, which they didn’t do in Game 2,” Terry said of the Heat’s choice to turn to James defensively, “then they got a good chance.”

Added Terry: “Let’s see if [James] can defend me like that for seven games.”

Dirk can’t do it alone. No player can. Terry is the team’s second-best scorer behind Nowitzki, and he’s going to have to step up when it matters most if Dallas is going to push forward.

LeBron James is great at winning regular season NBA games, but he’s still waiting for his first championship. And while the Miami Heat only lead the Dallas Mavericks two games to one in the ongoing NBA Finals, LeBron may not have to wait much longer.

It’s too early to discuss his “legacy” as a player, but when it’s all over, LeBron hopes to be associated with winning. Championships, presumably.

Reuters reports:

lebron

LeBron James bristled Monday at the idea his offensive prowess in the NBA Finals has been a disappointment and that his unwillingness to take charge down the stretch could ultimately affect his legacy.

The Miami Heat forward has averaged a modest 20.3 points and has been largely absent on offense in the fourth quarter but his team holds a 2-1 lead over the Dallas Mavericks.

James says all he wants to do is win.

“Anybody that knows me throughout the years, all I care about is the W,” he said. “I’m not just a scoring guy. I’ve got a lot of points in my career.

“I have had some team mates who have given me great confidence and ability to go out there and score a lot of points. But I’ve done other things.

“I don’t have to score points to be effective.”

Reuters continues:

“I just want to win,” he told reporters. “My individual stats will take care of itself. In a series I’ve averaged 38 points a game and we’ve lost in the Eastern Conference Finals against Orlando.

“This is a team game. My resume will speak for itself after I’m done with this game of basketball. What me and my team mates are trying to accomplish now is the only thing I’m worried about.

“When I’m done, I’ll let you guys figure where I should be placed.”

The Heat may be poised to rack up multiple championships over the next few years, so this discussion may change shape pretty soon.

Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel reports:

JJ Redick ab muscle surgery

Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick recently underwent successful surgery for a torn abdominal muscle on May 26, Magic spokesman Joel Glass confirmed to the Orlando Sentinel Monday night.

Redick missed the regular season’s final 17 games with the injury but returned to play in the Magic’s first-round playoff loss to the Hawks.

The surgery was first reported at ClickOrlando.com by David Pingalore. Glass originally confirmed the surgery was for a sports hernia injury — as Pingalore reported — but later clarified the surgery was to repair the ab muscle.

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