Archive for June 8th, 2011

ESPN and the AP report:

Police say former Duke basketball player Thomas Emma plunged from the 12th floor of the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan to his death in an apparent suicide.

Police say Emma’s body was found at 11:30 a.m. ET Tuesday on a second-floor landing of the building on Central Park South.

The athletic club had no comment.

Emma, 49, was drafted in the 10th round of the 1983 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls, but never played for them.

In 110 career games for the Blue Devils, including 71 starts, Emma scored 784 points (7.1 ppg) and had 245 assists.

Yao Ming still has ankle problems

China Daily reports:

yao ming

China’s basketball icon, Yao Ming, says his baby daughter is a “tempting” incentive for him to continue his injury-plagued career, but his injured left ankle is only 30 percent of the way to a full recovery. ..

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) placed Yao on the national team’s roster for summer training last month and still hopes to count on him at next year’s London Olympics.

However, the giant stressed his future as a national representative depended on his rehabilitation after undergoing surgery to repair the ankle in January.

“Walking or jogging is OK for me now, but I need to get 80 percent of my strength back to play I have got only about 30 percent at most now. I also need exhibition games to assist my recovery, not only working out alone,” said Yao, who took off his protective boot two months ago.

The uncertain status of the NBA has also made this summer a decisive one for the 30-year-old.

Yao’s five-year contract with the Rockets, which is valued at $76 million, expires on June 30, and then there’s also the chance of a league lockout.

The AP reports:

mark jackson

First-time coach Mark Jackson has a bold prediction for his first season with the Golden State Warriors.

“I fully expect, put it in bold letters, the Golden State Warriors to be a playoff team next year,” Jackson said Tuesday, a day after being hired by the team that has been to the playoffs only once since 1994. “If I did not expect that, I would not have taken the job, and I won’t minimize it with just being a playoff team. We are looking to turn the Bay Area upside down.”

Jackson’s comments came before Game 4 of the NBA finals, which is working as a lead analyst for ESPN and ABC. He will begin his first coaching job full time after the end of the series between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat.

In 17 seasons as an NBA point guard, Jackson played for New York, the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana, Denver, Toronto, Utah and Houston. He won Rookie of the Year honors in 1988 and made the playoffs 14 times. He ranks third on the NBA’s all-time assists list.

The Erie BayHawks, the New York Knicks and the NBA Development League announced today that the Knicks and BayHawks have entered into a single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2011-12 season. The Knicks will be the BayHawks’ sole NBA affiliate and will have control over the team’s basketball operations.

In a model similar to other minor leagues, this partnership, also referred to as the “hybrid affiliation,” allows for NBA teams to secure control over and cover the expenses related to the basketball operations of an NBA D-League team, while partnering with existing ownership, which maintains responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations.

The Knicks are the third NBA team to enter into a hybrid affiliation with an NBA D-League team, joining the Houston Rockets, with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, and the New Jersey Nets, with the Springfield Armor. The other NBA teams with lone NBA D-League affiliates are the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs, who fully own and operate the Tulsa 66ers and Austin Toros, respectively, and the Dallas Mavericks with the Texas Legends. The Knicks’ partnership with Erie comes on the heels of the NBA D-League’s 10th and most successful season, while 23 percent of all NBA players have used the NBA D-League as a launching pad.

“The New York Knicks’ single affiliation partnership with the Erie BayHawks marks yet another positive step forward in the NBA D-League’s continued evolution as the NBA’s official minor league,” said NBA D-League President Dan Reed. “We’re very excited to have the Knicks join a growing number of NBA teams who are realizing the benefits of a one-to-one relationship with their NBA D-League affiliate.”

Knicks Assistant General Manager Allan Houston was appointed BayHawks General Manager, Basketball Operations by Knicks President, Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh.

“The opportunity to have this new agreement with the Erie BayHawks and the NBA D-League is very exciting for the New York Knicks,” Houston said. “The impact of the NBA D-League continues to grow, and we look forward to this partnership.”

The BayHawks were previously affiliated with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors. Their new NBA D-League affiliates will be announced at a later date.

“The entire Erie BayHawks organization appreciates all that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors did to help us launch and become a successful NBA D-League team, and we are thrilled to begin a single affiliation with the New York Knicks,” said Erie Majority Owner and Managing Partner Steve Demetriou. “This hybrid relationship will further strengthen our franchise as the Knicks focus on overseeing the basketball operations, while team president Matt Bresee and his talented staff continue to grow the business side of the Erie BayHawks.”

marvin williams

Atlanta Hawks forward Marvin Williams underwent a discectomy on his lower back earlier today to alleviate an isolated bulging disc.  Dr. Hal Silcox of Peachtree Orthopedic Clinics performed the outpatient procedure.

Williams walked out of the surgery center this afternoon and will begin rehabilitation immediately.

He is expected to make a full recovery and return to full basketball activity in six-to-eight weeks.

The AP reports:

Dirk Nowitzki struggled through the first three quarters, then willed himself and his team at the end. He scored 10 of his 21 points and grabbed five of his 11 rebounds in the final period, lifting the Dallas Mavericks to an 86-83 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night that ties the NBA finals at two games…

Now there’s this effort, when Nowitzki went from making his first three shots to missing 10 of his next 11. He also missed a free throw for the first time since Game 4 of the conference finals, ending a streak of 39 straight…

Then there was the LeBron James disappearing act.

“King James” made only 3 of 11 shots—a tip-in during the first quarter, then a 15-foot jumper and a breakaway dunk in the third quarter. Not only did he fail to score in the fourth, he took only one shot while playing all 12 minutes.

He finished with eight points, ending a double-figure scoring streak of 433 consecutive games, regular season and postseason. It was his fewest points ever in the playoffs.

It can’t be dismissed as one of those things because of how badly the Heat needed him when things were falling apart. Miami scored a series-low 14 points in the fourth quarter, committing six turnovers and making only 5 of 15 shots. They actually made their first two, so they missed 10 of their final 13…

Carlisle shook up Dallas’ lineup, starting J.J. Barea instead of DeShawn Stevenson, and made Brian Cardinal the primary backup for Nowitzki, instead of Peja Stojakovic. His changes worked out quite nicely.

Stevenson scored 11 points, his first time in double digits since Feb. 2. Cardinal drew a charge on James early and provided seven solid minutes, giving Nowitzki much-needed rest.

Terry scored 17, Shawn Marion 16 and Chandler had 13 points and 16 rebounds. Chandler also played a team-high 43 minutes because his backup, Brendan Haywood, lasted only 3:05 while trying to play through a hip injury that kept him out of Game 3.

Reuters reports:

James, averaging 17 points in the series while taking a backseat to Dwyane Wade on offense, hit just three-of-11 shots against the Mavericks on Tuesday.

“If I had had eight points and we won the game, I could be satisfied,” he said. “The fact I could have did more offensively to help our team, that’s the anger part about it.

“I’ll come back in Game Five and do things that needs to be done to help our team win.”

Miami forward Chris Bosh said James “struggled, point blank, period” and wants to see a return to his “laser-light focus.”

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