Archive for June 15th, 2011

mario chalmers

The Miami Heat announced today that they have made a qualifying offer to Mario Chalmers, making him a restricted free agent and giving Miami the opportunity to match any contract offer he receives.

Chalmers, a 6’2”, 190-pound guard, has appeared in 225 regular season games (132 starts) averaging 7.9 points, 3.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.45 steals and 26.7 minutes while shooting 40.9 percent from the field, 35 percent from three-point range and 77.8 percent from the foul line. Among Miami’s all-time leaders, he ranks eighth in steals (327), tied for ninth in three-point field goals made (272), 12th in assists (826), 19th in minutes (6,012), tied for 19th in games played (225) and 22nd in three-point field goal percentage (.350).

In 33 career postseason games (eight starts), he averaged 8.1 points, 2.7 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 1.52 steals and 26.4 minutes while shooting 43 percent from the field, 36 percent from three-point range and 75 percent from the foul line. During the 2011 NBA Finals, Chalmers increased his postseason averages in the six-game series against Dallas in points (11.8), assists (3.5), rebounds (2.7), minutes (29.0) and three-point field goal percentage (.400).

Chalmers set a new Heat record this season after dishing out 13 assists off the Miami bench at Toronto on April 13, the most from a non-starter in franchise history. He also currently holds the Heat all-time record for steals during a regular season game with nine vs. Philadelphia on November 5, 2008 and tied the franchise mark for steals during a postseason game with five vs. Atlanta on May 1, 2009. Additionally, during his rookie campaign, he became just the fifth player, and the first rookie, in franchise history to start in all 82 games while on his way to earning Second Team NBA All-Rookie honors.

Chalmers was originally drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (34th overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft. His draft rights were acquired by the Heat in exchange for two 2009 second-round draft picks and cash considerations on draft night.

Caron Butler proud of his Mavericks

Caron Butler

Two-time NBA All-Star forward Caron Butler may have been out injured during the Dallas Mavericks playoff run to the 2011 NBA championship, but he’s still proud to be a part of the team and is happily soaking it all in.

“I’m trying to take it all in stride. All your life you want to be a champion. You always carry yourself like that, and represent your family the right way. To reach this height is so rewarding,” said Butler. “So many great players always fall short of this goal. It is a very humbling experience.”

Butler, who went down halfway through the year with a season-ending torn patella injury, says he was in fact just days from being cleared for a return by the Mavericks. He had been playing 1-on-1 and 2-on-2 in practice, and was participating in shoot-around. The team even brought his uniform to Miami, just in case he was cleared.

“It took me nine years to get here. I was playing some of the best ball of my career, and life threw something at me. I kept moving forward, and that was our team’s identity. Coach said we’re going to continue to move forward because that’s what you did. I was less than a week out from being cleared. I was so close to coming back. This team inspired me, the same amount that I inspired them. It was more and more a breath of fresh air. And together we made beautiful music.”

Continued Butler, “Jason Kidd and Jason Terry saying they were going to dedicate the playoffs to me, that was really special. For Kidd, a future Hall of Famer, and Terry, whose jersey will probably hang in the rafters in Dallas one day, to say that, let me know that they respect me as basketball player, but more than that, they respect me as a person. In a sense, I felt like I was more a part of the win this way, than if I was out there myself.”

The Dallas Mavericks won the 2011 NBA championship Sunday night, and immediately on Monday, when people weren’t making LeBron James jokes, they were tossing cracks around as to how Mavs guard DeShawn Stevenson was going to celebrate winning it all.

And low and behold, one of the more crude jokes came true Tuesday night.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports:

deshawn stevenson

Dallas Mavericks shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson was arrested for public intoxication in Irving, Texas, on Tuesday night, two days after the franchise won its first NBA championship.

Irving police were called to the Grand Venetian apartment complex at about 10:30 p.m. CT after receiving a call to report an intoxicated person walking in the area. Officers reported that Stevenson, who does not live at the complex, appeared intoxicated and did not know where he was.

He was arrested without incident on the Class C misdemeanor charge based on the results of a sobriety test, officer’s observations and his statements.

“They felt he was a danger to himself and others,” Irving public information officer John Argumaniz said. “Basically, he was intoxicated to a point where he didn’t feel comfortable letting him walk away or leave. They didn’t have any other options at that point.”

And here’s Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

According to Irving police, Stevenson was walking incoherently in the area of the Grand Venetian apartments near the 6200 block of Love Drive about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police were called, and when the officers arrived and checked on Stevenson, he reportedly didn’t know where he was.

Following field sobriety tests and Stevenson’s statements to officers, he was arrested without incident and later released on a $475 bond at approximately 5:30 this morning.

Anyway, Stevenson isn’t off to a great start as an NBA champion!

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With economic troubles across the United States (and around much of the world) over the last several years, the city of Las Vegas has been hit especially hard. A vacation to a hotel casino is a luxury, not a necessity.

And now, the Maloofs have had to take a major step with their famous Palms casino:

Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee reports:

The owners of the Sacramento Kings have surrendered controlling interest in their Las Vegas casino, in a deal that they say improves their finances considerably.

After months of negotiations, the Maloof family announced Tuesday that it has reached a “recapitalization” agreement with the Palms Casino’s main creditors, investment firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners.

Co-owner George Maloof said the deal erases the Palms’ debt but leaves the family, which built the trendy casino a decade ago, with less than 50 percent of the equity. That gives controlling interest to TPG and Green.

But Maloof, who enjoys a high profile in Las Vegas, said he will continue to run the Palms. He said “it’s not disappointing at all” that controlling interest has passed to the creditors.

The deal could have significant implications for the Kings at a crucial time in the team’s history. The Kings passed up an opportunity last month to move to Anaheim, agreeing to give Sacramento a last chance to build a new arena. City officials and the NBA expect the Maloofs to contribute to the project, but the amount remains to be seen…

Brian Gordon of Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas financial consulting firm, said several casinos have had to restructure their debts in the past year or so. Typically, the creditors wind up owning a stake in the casino, he said.

I’m a fan of the Palms. They have some of the best bars/clubs in Vegas.

When you win an NBA championship, you are supposed to get a championship ring.

That’s just how it is.

And after winning the 2011  championship, Dallas Mavericks players want to be able to show off the same type of bling other previous winners have gotten to show off.

The AP reports:

dallas mavericks

Mark Cuban’s idea to celebrate an NBA championship with something other than a ring is being soundly rejected by his players, his coach and the top guy in the front office.

“We’ve got to talk to him about that,” said Dirk Nowitzki, the finals MVP. “I don’t think the last word has been spoken yet. We know he always wants to do something different, something bigger. But the ring is just so classic. I think I would vote for a ring. I mean, I’m a man. I don’t know how I’d feel about a bracelet.”

Donnie Nelson, the president of basketball operations, even made a bold offer.

“I’ll pay for them,” he said. “Now, they might have to be plastic.”

Cuban called rings “old school … done,” adding that he wants to “take it to the next level and do something different.”

I will assume Cuban will give the players what they want.

Jeff Sneider of Variety reports:

lebron james

LeBron James will have to wait at least another year to make his Hollywood debut.

The Miami Heat forward has been attached to star in Universal/Imagine’s sports comedy “Ballers” since September 2009, and after an initial yearlong delay to accommodate his summer 2010 free agency, production was pushed to next month. However, in the wake of Miami’s NBA Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks, exec producer Michael Rosenberg told Variety that because the script is still being developed, “we are not shooting this summer.”

Story follows five guys who attend the LeBron James Adult Basketball Camp in Las Vegas, but end up dragging the phenom into their myriad life issues.

Malcolm D. Lee (”Undercover Brother”) remains attached to direct and is working on a new draft of the screenplay originally written by Babaloo Mandel and Lowell Ganz and re-written by Peter Steinfeld.

Lacy J. Banks of the Chicago Sun-Times reports:

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Gar Forman have gone
underground.

For the first time in the 43 years I’ve covered the team for Ebony magazine and the Sun-Times, the Bulls are refusing to tell the media about which players they’re bringing in for summer tryouts, refusing to make them available for interviews and refusing to grant interviews themselves.

Or is it just me?

A Bulls spokesman explained: ‘‘Well, we have a new coaching staff now. They want to do things differently. And this is one of the areas they’re making changes.’’

Thus, unless Thibodeau and Forman become media-friendly again in terms of supporting offseason coverage, we might never know which players succeeded in their tryouts until next season.

That is, if there is a next season.

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports:

chris bosh

The mother of Chris Bosh’s child is suing the Miami Heat star, alleging that Bosh prevented her from appearing on the reality show “Basketball Wives.”

Allison Mathis, Bosh’s ex-girlfriend, claims in a lawsuit filed Monday in Orange County Circuit Court that Bosh “intentionally, knowingly, maliciously and without justification interfered” in her employment, prompting the television show’s production company to fire her.

In early May, Bosh sued Mathis and Shed Media, the show’s production company, alleging that they were trying to exploit her former relationship with Bosh for “commercial gain.”

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports:

The Heat’s voids extend beyond mere positional designations.

There is a need for a perimeter defender off the bench, someone who can take care of the heavy lifting on that end of the court so James and Wade don’t have to wear themselves down with such efforts, efforts that may have contributed to what appeared to be season-ending fatigue.

And there is a need for a speed guard, someone who can match what J.J. Barea, Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday threw at the Heat through the four rounds of this season’s playoffs. For all that Chalmers can be, fleet of foot is not one of them.

There certainly will be ample roster spots available, with the contracts of Chalmers, Mike Bibby, Erik Dampier, Juwan Howard and Jamaal Magloire expiring on June 30, with option-year decisions in the hands of Eddie House, James Jones and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who appears to be leaning toward retirement.

In fact, the Heat could return as few as seven players from the current roster, when counting James, Wade, Bosh, Anthony, Mike Miller, Udonis Haslem and Jones.

But much like last summer, the Heat will be limited in their options to find upgrades. The Heat did not have a mid-level salary-cap exception last summer because of the utilization of cap space to sign James and Bosh. This summer, that exception, which approaches $6 million, could be eliminated from the new collective-bargaining agreement.

That could leave the Heat limited to a free-agent offer to Chalmers, who assuredly will receive a qualifying offer by June 30, thereby giving the Heat the right to match outside offers, and another round of minimum-scale contract offers.

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