Mark Jackson talks big as new Warriors coach

The AP reports:

Coach Mark Jackson

Declaring that “the Bay Area will never be the same,” Jackson promised sweeping changes Friday to the perennially underachieving franchise. He was introduced by the Warriors at a swanky San Francisco hotel across the bay from where the team plays in Oakland that had all the flair of the area’s new coach.

The Brooklyn native and former New York Knicks point guard said the Warriors will make the area “New York City West” in NBA circles, attracting the coveted free agents the franchise has always struggled to sign. He even predicted championship banners would follow.

“When you look at the success of the teams in this area, the A’s have had theirs. The Niners have had theirs. The Giants have had theirs. The Raiders have had theirs. And now we’re looking forward to ours,” Jackson said. “So, therefore, it’s about time. Sorry it took so long, but now we’re at the party.”

Well, not quite.

The Warriors have made the playoffs just once since 1994 and haven’t won an NBA title since 1975. About the only success the franchise has enjoyed is that fans in the basketball-crazy Bay Area regularly sell out Oracle Arena and can be as vocal as any in a market saturated with sports teams…

“We’re not going to accept mediocrity,” Jackson said, slipping into his Brooklyn accent and friendly slang that made him a broadcasting favorite. “You might as well hitch onto the bandwagon because things gone be a changing.”

Mike Dunleavy awarded $13 million in court case vs Clippers

Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times reports (via blog):

An arbitrator has awarded former Clippers general manager and coach Mike Dunleavy slightly more than $13 million in compensation.

The Clippers had quit paying Dunleavy immediately after firing him last year, on March 8, and he was forced to take the organization to binding arbitration. He had been owed $6.75 million on the contract, $1.35 million for the remainder of the 2009-10 season and $5.4 million for the season just completed.

His case was finally heard almost two months ago before the Arbitration and Mediation Services in Santa Monica. Additional briefs were filed by both sides afterward.

Nate Robinson charged with public urination

Richard Liebson of reports:

nate robinson

NBA point guard Nate Robinson made quite a splash on Main Street early Friday when police said he was spotted urinating on the sidewalk outside the City Center.

The 5-foot-9 member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who has also played for the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics, was arrested shortly before 2 a.m. after cops said he was seen doing his business outside the Barnes & Noble store at 230 Main St.

He was taken Police Headquarters where he was issued a ticket charging him with a public urination violation. editor says: At least he wasn’t jumping 28 feet in the air and trying to dunk while doing it. Because then bystanders might have gotten an unwanted souvenir from the experience.

Nets Dancers to perform at NBA 5 United Tour 2011 in Moscow

The New Jersey Nets Dancers will perform at the NBA 5 United Tour 2011 in Moscow, Russia tomorrow and Sunday, June 12.  NBA players Dwight Howard and Andrei Kirilenko will also attend the event at Luzhniki Stadium.

The NBA 5 United Tour 2011 is a grassroots tour that combines competitive outdoor 5-on-5 tournaments with fun interactive basketball elements.

The visit to Moscow continues the NETS Dancers’ global tour, in which they have performed during the past year in China, England, and Mexico.

“We are thrilled for the NETS Dancers to perform in Moscow, as we strive to be Russia’s ‘home’ team,” said Petra Pope, the NETS Senior Vice President of Event Marketing, who oversees the team’s entertainment division. “This trip is a great opportunity to continue the goal of expanding our reach and globalizing the NETS’ brand.”

Spurs strength and conditioning coach Mike Brungardt is retiring

san antonio spurs

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that long-time strength and conditioning coach Mike Brungardt has elected to retire from his position. His last day with the Spurs will be June 30.

“All of us will miss Mike a great deal,” said Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich. “He has been an important part of the Spurs success over the last 17 years. He built our strength and conditioning program from the ground up and remains one of the best in the business. He has the respect and admiration of everyone in the organization, from players to coaches to front office staff. On a personal note I hate to see Brungy leave. He is a good friend and a wonderful man.”

Brungardt was hired as the Spurs strength and conditioning coach in the summer of 1994. He is the only strength and conditioning coach in the history of the franchise. A graduate of Central State University in Oklahoma, Brungardt has more than three decades of experience in the strength and conditioning field. After wresting and playing baseball in college, he spent nine years as a high school wrestling coach at Grand Island Northwest High School in Nebraska before becoming a highly-respected fitness consultant in Aspen, where he also played rugby.  Brungardt, along with his brothers, Kurt and Brett, has co-authored five books in the strength and fitness field.

“This was a very tough decision,” said Brungardt, whose first involvement with the Spurs occurred in 1990 when he served as a consultant, working with David Robinson.  “I’ll certainly miss working with class athletes like Tim, David, Sean, Manu and Tony that this organization has always been noted for. But after 17 seasons, this feels like the right time to take everything I’ve learned from the Spurs, especially from Pop, and move into the next chapter in my life. I would like to thank all of them, and the entire Spurs organization for the many special memories, and wish all of them continued success and happiness.”

Brungardt will still work with athletes from various sports on an individual basis, and will do consulting both in the United States and overseas.

Raptors guard Leandro Barbosa considering playing in Brazil

Michael Grange of the Globe and Mail reports:

leandro barbosa

The Toronto Raptors may get an unexpected break as they try to remake their team in the wake of a 22-60 season.

Brazilian veteran Leandro Barbosa is considering opting out of the final year of a contract scheduled to pay him $7.6-million for 2011-12.

According to his brother Arturo, the shooting guard is receiving feelers from some top club teams at home who want to bring back the top Brazilian player of his generation.

“The situation is this: it would not be responsible of me as his brother to not consider the Brazil option,” said Arturo Barbosa. “Leandro loves Toronto he loves the fans and the relationships with everybody, but business is business. An athlete’s career is short and there are a lot of sponsorship opportunities [in Brazil] especially with the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.”

The leading candidate for Barbosa’s services, apparently, is Flamengo, Brazilian basketball champions in 2008 and 2009 who play in Rio de Janeiro. The club’s soccer side recently brought soccer star Ronaldinho back to the fold to finish his career after his run in Europe.