Archive for July, 2011

Karl Malone joining USO tour

Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune (blog) reports:

Jazz legend Karl Malone, “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart and illusionist David Blaine will join Admiral Mike Mullen this summer during a USO (United Service Organizations) tour overseas, the NBA announced Thursday.

Mullen is about to end his four-year appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has led nine USO tours to 13 different countries, lifting the spirits of more than 74,300 service men and women.

Malone, a two-time NBA most valuable player, will join Mullen on a two-country, seven-day trip.

Elderly people tend to want to stay at home a lot.

How’s that for an intro?

Of course, Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash is only “elderly” by NBA standards. But still, his main focus now is to stay healthy as his NBA career presumably winds down over the next few seasons.

China Daily reports:

Steve Nash

Although hailing the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league as a fine destination for NBA players, the Phoenix Suns’ MVP guard, Steve Nash, believes he will stay with his family during the current league lockout.

“Like I said before, if I did not have three daughters to take care of I would like to come and play in the CBA,” Nash said during a press conference on Monday in Shanghai.

The event was hosted by his sponsor, Luyou, and unveiled the all-star guard’s personal logo while he shared some of his favorite moves and shots with local fans.

“I know I have got a lot of diehard fans here, it’s incredible. The basketball league here is also awesome. It’s definitely a good league for all players worldwide. But I would like to stay with my family during the holidays,” said Nash, who arrived in China last Saturday for a four-day charity visit organized by the sports company.

Before the press conference, Nash paid a visit to Banqiao High School in Yunnan province, where he raised donations to build a new sports ground.

China is considered the leading destination for players to pursue overseas jobs once the select elite spots in Europe fill up. But no prominent players have agreed to play there during this lockout just yet.

Read NBA fan opinion or share your own views in this forum topic.

Caron Butler hopes to stay with Mavs

Generally, when a team wins an NBA championship, the players who were on the squad don’t mind returning. Such is the case with small forward Caron Butler, who unfortunately was hurt and unable to contribute on the court to his team’s playoff success.

Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News reports:

Caron Butler

Caron Butler’s right knee has been diagnosed as good to go, agent Raymond Brothers confirmed Wednesday. Where he will be playing when the NBA returns from its lockout remains to be seen.

Brothers said Butler, a free agent, was cleared to play by the Mavericks’ medical staff several days ago. Butler ruptured his patellar tendon in a New Year’s Day loss at Milwaukee. He missed the rest of the Mavericks’ championship season.

“He would have been able to play in Game 7 against the Miami Heat,” Brothers said. “But now we have the official clearance.”

Game 7 of the NBA Finals wasn’t necessary as the Mavericks wrapped up the league title in six games.

Brothers said the 6-7 forward prefers to return to the Mavericks. Butler was the team’s third-leading scorer when his season ended.

The Mavs proved they can win in a big way without Butler’s help, but they still could have used his services. We’ll see how this plays out.

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MyFOXDetroit.com reports:

Former Michigan star and NBA player Jalen Rose was sentenced to 20 days in jail on a drunken driving charge after crashing his sport utility vehicle on a snowy suburban Detroit road earlier this year.

FOX 2’s Al Allen reports Rose will begin serving his sentence on Tuesday.

Rose was arrested March 11. He told a judge in May that he had six martinis the night he veered off the West Bloomfield Township road.

Read NBA fan reaction and discuss your opinion in this forum topic.

The AP reports:

A former college basketball star has been arrested and accused of operating a sophisticated marijuana growing operation from his North Carolina home.

Thirty-one-year-old Rodney White was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Iredell County. White is facing conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and other charges. He was arrested this week at his home with Nicole Jackson, who also is also facing drug charges.

Sheriff’s Capt. Darren Campbell said police found an elaborate underground bunker for growing pot at White’s home.

We all hope that the NBA lockout ends in August or September, or perhaps sometime in early October, so that no regular season games are lost.

No one really expects a mass exodus of top NBA talent in the near future. But if the entire regular season is to be lost? That’s another story.

The AP reports:

Chris Paul

Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony say they will consider offers to play professional basketball in China if there is no resolution to the NBA lockout.

Both players are on a promotional tour of China while monitoring news from home about the NBA’s labor impasse.

With Kobe Bryant reportedly negotiating a deal to play in Turkey, New Orleans Hornets’ Paul and New York Knicks forward Anthony said they were also considering overseas moves.

Asked by SNTV where they would go, Anthony replied “China.” Paul said “Same, no question.”

The answers may have been designed to compliment their hosts, but Anthony added “it’s a lot of history here, the fans are great; why not, why not try it out?”

Again, it’s smart for players to simply declare that they will keep all their options open, rather than ruling stuff out. So if an NBA star is asked if China interests him as a basketball destination, the obvious answer is to say yes. But this stuff will become more believable in the coming months.

Have a reaction? Discuss it with other NBA fans in this forum topic.

The AP reports:

Former Michigan star and NBA player Jalen Rose is scheduled for sentenced on a drunken driving charge after crashing his sport utility vehicle on a snowy road earlier this year.

He’s to appear this morning in Bloomfield Hills District Court.

Rose pleaded guilty and faces up to 93 days in a jail, a $500 fine and court costs.

Rose was arrested March 11. He told a judge in May that he had six martinis the night he veered off the West Bloomfield Township road.

UPDATE: Jalen Rose was sentenced to 20 days in jail.

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic reports:

Aaron Brooks

“It was hard joining a team mid-season like that,” Brooks said. “It’s a different situation when you’re in camp together, working together. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to.”

Team executives would never say it publicly, but it is clear they had given up on Dragic. You can’t blame them. For all the early promise, his struggles never went away.

It’s easy to be critical about Brooks, but people forget that attractive options are few. What Brooks has going him for him is a lot of upside and one really solid season. That’s better than many other choices, which tend to be older, less talented or less promising.

If the Suns are faced with a reasonable offer to match, they should do it.

Brooks will never be Nash but with confidence and more time in the system he can make sure the Suns have one less hole to address.

Part of the problem, of course, is that all point guards who go through Phoenix are compared to Nash. It’s a no-win approach because few are as adept as Nash at improving everyone else around them.

He’ll be gone soon. And the Suns need to figure out ways to make the segue less painful.

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

Jerome Jordan to play in Slovenia

So far, just under one month into the NBA lockout, the only big star to sign overseas has been Deron Williams — and he’ll return to the New Jersey Nets when the lockout ends.

Other than that, the handful of players that have headed overseas were on the NBA fringe anyway.

And now, another bench guy will cross the ocean.

Marc Berman of the New York Post (blog) reports:

Jerome Jordan

Ailing Amar’e Stoudemire can tease about playing in Europe. Knicks rookie Jerome Jordan is simply going to do it without the posturing.

The center agreed in principle Tuesday to play in Slovenia for the Krka club with an “out clause,’’ his agent Todd Ramasar told The Post.

Ramasar said final terms should be worked out Wednesday.

The out clause will allow 7-foot Jordan the option to leave Slovenia when the NBA lockout ends to join the Knicks, who are desperate for size and have the Tulsa product penciled in on the roster.

The Knicks acquired Jordan’s rights for $1 million after the Bucks took him with the 45th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft. Jordan played in Serbia last season.

“This will give him an opportunity to train, give him an opportunity to play and be in game shape when the lockout is over,’’ Ramasar told The Post. “He wants to prepare himself as much as possible. He doesn’t want to sit on the bench his rookie year.’’

Jordan should have a future in the NBA as a backup center, when he returns.

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

I never watch Dancing With the Stars. But if Ron Artest was on it, I’m pretty sure I’d roll with it for at least an episode or two.

TMZ reports:

Ron Artest

Ron Artest has a back-up plan in case the NBA lockout torpedoes next season — we’re told, Mr. World Peace is currently in talks with “Dancing with the Stars” … and is seriously thinking about competing.

Nothing’s official yet — but sources tell us, both Artest and “Dancing” producers have been in touch to hash out a possible deal … and Ron’s pretty excited about the prospect.

But here’s the catch — “Dancing” won’t end ’til November and basketball season typically starts in October … which means if the lockout ends early, Ron could be S.O.L.

The Orange County Register reports:

The popular TV show is scheduled to finish taping in November, while the NBA season is set to begin in October — that is, if the lockout ends early and the season begins on time.

Athletes have done well on DWTS. NFL star Hines Ward won the mirrored trophy last season, while Emmitt Smith, Apolo Ohno, Helio Castroneves, Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson all have won in the past.

Artest has kept busy since the Lakers were eliminated in the second round by Dallas with a reality show, possibly playing basketball in England, a name change, numerous TV interviews and stand-up comedy.

We’ll see if this idea really materializes.

Read NBA fan opinion and discuss your own views in this forum topic.

The Canadian Press reports:

Canada’s men’s basketball team dropped a 106-44 decision to France in an exhibition game Tuesday in an ugly start to the 2011 season.

Kelly Olynyk of Kamloops, B.C., had six points to lead the Canadians, who trailed 30-8 after the first quarter and 57-17 at halftime.

Vancouver’s Levon Kendall had four rebounds for Canada, No. 23 in the world rankings compared to No. 14 for France.

Charlotte Bobcats forward Boris Diaw topped France with 16 points, while Mickael Gelabale added 15 points and Nando De Colo scored 12.

The Canadians shot just 29 per cent from the field, and 13 per cent from three-point range.

Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News (blog) reports:

Dwayne Schintzius was one of the original characters in the history of the Spurs franchise.

Old-school fans still remember his mullet haircut and his free-throw shooting woes during his brief one-season stint with the team. He was the Spurs’ No. 1 choice in the 1990 draft, but played only 42 games with the team before he was swapped to Sacramento after his rookie season.

Schintzius believes his mullet-style  lobster haircut he wore during his season with the team was the major reason for the trade.

It seems that then-Spurs general manager Bob Bass didn’t like the haircut and wanted his prized rookie to trim his locks.

“He told me to cut it,” Schintzius told old friend Joey Johnson of the Tampa Tribune (hat tip Project Spurs.com). “So I got it cut and sent him the shavings in an envelope. I’m not sure he appreciated that. And then, away I went.”

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

NBA Rookie Transition Program postponed

The NBA Rookie Transition Program, scheduled for August 9-11, has been postponed.  The program, which provides first-year players with the skills and information necessary for a successful transition to the NBA, is run jointly by the NBA and the Players Association.

“Without a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union, we will be unable to hold RTP as originally scheduled,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said.  “This is an important educational program for our incoming players, and it will be rescheduled once the parties agree on a CBA.”

AAP reports:

Patrick Mills

Exciting Boomers guard Patty Mills is considering playing in the NBL as he weighs up his options during the NBA lockout.

Currently in a Boomers camp on the Gold Coast, Mills has been linked with Adelaide as uncertainty surrounds the next NBA season.

Officially the NBA season tips off in November - but the current lockout could last months and cause it to be scrapped.

The lockout has ensured Australia’s NBA star Andrew Bogut and fellow Boomers big man David Andersen will not feature in the Oceania Olympic qualifying series against New Zealand in September.

It also initially threatened Mills’ availability for the three-match series against the Kiwis.

But Portland-based Mills confirmed on Tuesday that he would suit up for Australia - but after that his future remained clouded.

Sometimes, typically well-meaning people do something wrong.

Such is the case here.

The AP reports:

alonzo mourning

Former NBA star Alonzo Mourning is being cited by police for leaving the scene of a traffic crash in Miami Beach last week.

The Florida Highway Patrol issued a report Monday saying Mourning is being issued a notice to appear in court for the second-degree misdemeanor of leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. Mourning was also issued a citation for failure to leave information at the scene.

Obey the law, kids.

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Marquis Daniels open to Celtics return

It’s always nice to return to a place that’s comfortable. And generally, people find Boston comfortable as a city, and the Celtics winning ways a nice thing to be a part of.

And, players just like jobs. Those are nice, too.

Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe reports:

Marquis Daniels

Marquis Daniels last played for the Celtics on Feb. 6, when he collapsed on the TD Garden floor after a what appeared to be normal collision with Orlando’s Gilbert Arenas. Daniels was taken off the court in a stretcher and declared out for the season with a spinal condition that required surgery.

After an injury-plagued 2009-10 season, Daniels was bouncing back with a solid year before the injury. He was traded to the Sacramento Kings for cash to clear a roster spot. But Bartelstein said he has always been open in returning to the Celtics.

The Celtics likely have one last championship run in them before it’s time to consider breaking up the team and sending a few guys into an old-age home.

What’s your opinion? Share it or read fan reactions in this forum topic.

Timberwolves to interview Larry Brown

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

Larry Brown

After interviewing Rick Adelman and Don Nelson over the weekend, the Timberwolves intend to interview Larry Brown and possibly one or two others in this first phase to replace fired coach Kurt Rambis.

When the Wolves will interview Brown, who has coached teams to both NBA and NCAA titles, is uncertain because of a recent death in his family, according to a league source with knowledge of the team’s search.

If they do, they will have interviewed two coaches among the top six all time in NBA career victories. Nelson is No. 1 with 1,335. Brown is No. 6 with 1,098.

The Wolves so far have interviewed Bernie Bickerstaff, Terry Porter, Mike Woodson, Adelman and Nelson.

Read NBA fan opinion and discuss your own view in this forum topic.

The Boston Herald reports:

Count E’Twaun Moore among those NBA rookies who won’t be waiting for a lockout resolution.

As of today the Celtics rookie was close to signing a deal with one of a number of teams in Italy’s Serie A, according to agent Mark Bartlestein.

“We’re going through successful talks,” said the Chicago-based agent. “Nothing has been agreed to yet, but we’re talking to a couple of teams. Can we get a deal done? We think so.”

Bartlestein estimated that a deal should be completed by Tuesday for Moore, the Celtics’ second round draft choice, and the Purdue teammate of Celtics first round pick JaJuan Johnson.

Update: Sportando reports:

Cimberio Varese, via its president Cecco Vescovi, confirmed the agreement with E’Twuan Moore for the season 2011-12. The product of Purdue University was selected by Boston Celtics in the 2011 NBA Draft averaged more than 18ppg as senior in NCAA. Moore will have short NBA out in the contract to exercise when the lockout ends if he gets an offer from Celtics.

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

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated reports:

Kobe Bryant

There are marketing opportunities to discuss and negotiations to be had over possible jersey sales that would almost certainly result in players getting a significant slice of the financial pie that they don’t in their agreement with the NBA (although some expect the NBA would challenge the players’ ability to sign such deals). There is a fact that seems to always be forgotten, too: playing overseas means not paying taxes. While there are taxes to be paid, several agents with experience doing international deals said they typically negotiate for the team to cover those payments as part of the contract.

So considering Williams’ salary with the Turkish team, Besiktas, has been reported as a one-year, $5 million deal, that’s the approximate equivalent to a $10 million NBA deal for the player who stands to lose $16.3 million if the entire season is lost because of the lockout. There won’t be enough jobs for the masses, but the players, their agents, and union representatives clearly hope the threat of losing elite players strikes some fear in the owners’ hearts.

Star-studded exhibition games like the two taking place in the Philippines this weekend are proving to be quite profitable as well, with one source with knowledge of the deals saying the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Chicago’s Derrick Rose are being paid more than $400,000 apiece for their weekend of work (reminder: tax-free). Worthwhile ventures like these are a less-explosive strategy on the labor front, though there is — as reported by Yahoo! Sports on Saturday — an impatient contingent of agents who is pushing for a more aggressive approach that involves the decertification of the union and subsequent antitrust lawsuits.

Yet despite the worst-case scenario fears of some agents that the league’s owners could be willing to lose two seasons to get the hard salary cap and monumental rollbacks they’re seeking, NBPA officials still appear to be more inclined to let the clock keep ticking and the pressure keep building.

Update: Game organizers deny reported figures. Interaksyon reports:

But MVP Sports Foundation executive director Chot Reyes denied the figures cited by Amick, hinting that the real numbers were much lower. “Every player had a different contract as well,” Reyes added.

While Reyes would not divulge the exact figures, he was earlier quoted as saying that the event cost “between expensive and very expensive.”

Bryant is estimated to make around $25 million from the Los Angeles Lakers this season, which would amount $300,000 per NBA game. The difference, though, is that Bryant’s earnings in the Philippines would be tax-free as opposed to his regular NBA salary.

Read more and see video: NBA exhibition game in Philippines.

Kalin Lucas signs in Greece

Euroleague.net reports:

Olympiacos found a young playmaker to help run the show by signing Kalin Lucas over the weekend. Lucas (1.85 meters, 22 years old) arrives from Michigan State University, where he was a four-year starter and helped the Spartans reach the 2009 NCAA Tournament championship game. He finished his career as the school’s career leader in free throws made (507) and attempted (637) and also among the top 10 in scoring (fourth, 1,996 points), assists (sixth, 558) and three-pointers made (eighth, 149).

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