Archive for July, 2011

SportsDayDFW.com reports:

jose juan barea

Mavericks guard J.J. Barea and his girlfriend, actress and model Zuleyka Rivera are expecting a child, according to a report from Primerahora.com.

Rivera, a former Miss Universe, will have to leave production of her new project called “Passionate Heart.”

“All this took me by surprise, but I feel very lucky,” she wrote to Primerahora.com, as translated from Spanish. “I come from a very close family and I understand that a baby is a blessing. I’m sorry I had to leave this soap opera, it was another opportunity for my growth as an actress and achieve my professional goals. However, both JJ and I are happy to start a family together and I know God will reward us with a healthy baby and many more opportunities for both.”

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Euroleague.net reports:

Timofey Mozgov

BC Khimki Moscow Region brought a familiar face back and announced a new player with the signing of Timofey Mozgov and Chris Quinn on Thursday. Mozgov (2.16 meters, 25 years old) played four seasons with the club from 2006 through 2010. He averaged 6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 16 Euroleague games as a reserve in his final season with the club, 2009-10. Last season Mozgov played for New York and Denver in the NBA, where he amassed 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds over 45 games. Mozgov grew up with LenVo St. Petersburg and also played for CSK VVS-2 Samara before joining Khimki for the first time. During his time with Khimki he helped the team reach the 2009 Eurocup title game and qualify for the Euroleague for the first time. He has also developed into a regular for the Russian national team, for whom he played at EuroBasket 2009 and at the FIBA World Championships last summer.

Mike Clary of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports:

A Miami college student filed a lawsuit on Wednesday claiming he was injured and nearly killed three days ago, when a sports car driven by Alonzo Mourning smashed into his car on the Julia Tuttle Causeway and then fled the scene.

William Candelario, 21, was driving home from Miami Beach early Sunday morning when a blue Porsche the former Heat star was driving slammed into Candelario’s 2010 Audi, causing the car to flip over several times, according to Coral Gables attorney Spencer Aronfeld.

Sgt.Tom Pikul of the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed that Mourning, 41, was involved in the second of two separate crashes involving Candelario’s car.

He said Candelario’s car and another vehicle apparently had collided and were “stopped on the roadway” when the Porche that Mourning was driving struck Candelario’s car.

Euroleague.net reports:

A legendary Euroleague career has come to an end with Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv announcing on Wednesday that captain Derrick Sharp has retired as a player to take a position as assistant coach on David Blatt’s coaching staff. Sharp, 39, has spent the past 15 seasons playing for Maccabi. During his time in yellow-and-blue, Sharp has amassed 27 titles. He is a three-time continental champion, having won the Euroleague in back-to-back season in 2004 and ’05 and the Suproleague in 2001. He has also collected 13 Israeli League championships and 11 Israeli Cups. He walks away from the game with his name entrenched in the Euroleague record books. His 195 games played are fifth most since the turn of the century. His 219 career three-pointers made are 13th most and his 42.8% three-point accuracy ranks 16th. He is seventh all-time in free throw accuracy at 88.9%. For his career he amassed 1,162 points in the Euroleague and took part in six title games and eight Final Fours, which ties him for the most of the Final Four era. Sharp, who played alongside 104 different players in his time with Maccabi, finishes his career in seventh place on Maccabi’s all-time list of scorers in European play (1,749 points).

FIBA.com reports:

Joakim Noah

One pressing concern for France, however, is the status of Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah.

While giving all the players medical examinations at INSEP in Paris last week, Team France doctors viewed an old injury of Noah’s dating back three months.

The FFBB said in a statement: “In an act of transparency, the FFBB sent the medical reports to his club and his agent.”

The federation said that the latter had wanted to study the situation and take stock in Chicago with the player.

The medical staff of Team France has proposed a rehabilitation protocol for treatment so the player can resume training with the Blues as soon as possible.

Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (blog) reports:

Matt Bonner

Canadian national basketball coach Leo Rautins really, really wants Matt Bonner to play for his team. One problem: Bonner is still not Canadian.

The Spurs forward has been trying for years to gain dual citizenship, and he would seem to have a cut-and-dried case considering he’s married to a Canadian, has a Canadian daughter and grandfather and lives most of the offseason in Toronto.

His nickname — “The Red Rocket” — is decidedly Canadian,  homage to Toronto’s public transit system.

But Bonner is still not Canadian, and thus ineligible to play for Canada in various Olympic qualifying tournaments. The feet-dragging has left Rautins almost apoplectic, according to the London Free Press (h/t to Project Spurs for the find).

“I see a lot of Canadians who are less Canadian than Matt Bonner,” Rautins told the Canadian newspaper. “His daughter’s Canadian. His wife’s Canadian. His grandfather’s Canadian. He’s got a home here. When he’s not playing for the San Antonio Spurs, he’s here (in Toronto).”

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Marcus Landry signs in France

Euroleague.net reports:

BCM Gravelines improved its roster for the upcoming Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Round by inking versatile forward Marcus Landry to a one-year deal, the club announced Tuesday. Landry (2.01 meters, 25 years old) arrives from Maratonistas de Coamo, where he averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 10 Puerto Rican League games this season. He started the 2010-11 season with Reno in the NBA Development League, averaging 17.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in 53 games and helped this team to reach the D-League semifinals before joining Coamo.

Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated reports:

There will be labor-related meetings in the near future.

They just aren’t the kind that typically lead to collective bargaining progress.

According to sources close to the situation, the National Basketball Players Association is planning a series of player sessions in as many as six cities over “the next month or so,” as a way to help with its planning during the lockout and update players on the state of negotiations with the NBA. Unless things unexpectedly change, there won’t be much to report on that front.

While mid-level staffers from both sides met on Friday to finalize the numbers related to basketball-related income (BRI) for the 2010-11 season, no negotiating sessions involving commissioner David Stern or NBPA executive director Billy Hunter have been scheduled. Sources said the BRI numbers were not finalized Friday and more similar sessions are forthcoming to that end, but the union is focused on fortifying from within rather than exchanging proposals with the owners, who are pushing for a hard salary cap as part of a drastic overhaul to the current system.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Basically, the two sides are considering their various options and possible proposal changes, amongst themselves. There’s no way of knowing if either side plans to make any changes the next time they make offers to each other, when they do eventually meet again. I’m just guessing here but it sounds like the earliest the NBA lockout could even possibly end is early August. But that’s not expected, because it sounds like both sides remain pretty far apart.

Dwyane Wade sues computer hackers

Bill Hethcock of the Dallas Business Journal reports:

Dwyane Wade

Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade claims in a lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Sherman that somebody is hacking into his personal email and social media accounts and stealing confidential business and personal information.

The hackers, who aren’t named in the complaint, got into Wade’s Yahoo!bizWatch and Twitter accounts, according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas…

The hacking happened between Jan. 2007 and June 2011, and involved modifying account settings and changing account passwords, according to the suit. The hackers reviewed years worth of confidential and private information, including documents between Wade and his attorneys, communications between Wade and his ex-wife, business associates, advisers, family and friends, the complaint states. The hackers also sent sometimes vulgar and threatening emails purporting to be from Wade and used Wade’s likeness request private documents, the complaint says.

Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston reports:

Avery Bradley

Avery Bradley’s agent said Monday that he is exploring overseas options for his client but stressed that any deal would be contingent on an out clause that would allow Bradley to return stateside should the NBA lockout end, as his focus is on being with the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics only have six players under contract for next season and, beyond Bradley, the other five are All-Stars who have combined to earn a whopping $749.5 million in NBA contracts alone during their careers. The 20-year-old Bradley earned $1.4 million during his rookie campaign last season.

Trekking overseas would have little to do with money for Bradley, however. As agent Mitchell Butler of Lagardère Unlimited stressed, his client simply needs playing time in a structured environment in order to aid his development.

Bradley underwent surgery to remove a chipped bone in his left ankle immediately after inking his rookie deal with Boston last July. He missed summer league, nearly all of training camp (engaging only in non-contact skeleton drills), and the entire preseason. Bradley didn’t make his NBA debut until Nov. 22 in Atlanta and logged only 162 minutes in 30 total appearances.

That’s not a lot of basketball for a player whose last extended action came as a freshman at the University of Texas.

Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Obsever reports:

Former North Carolina basketball star Ty Lawson, now with the Denver Nuggets, tweeted this recently:

“I wonder if I can file for unemployment. …”

Larry Parker, spokesman for the N.C. Employment Security Commission, emailed this response to an Observer question about whether NBA and NFL players might qualify for unemployment benefits:

“The answer right now is no,” Parker replied. “NBA players would not be eligible for benefits, mainly due to fact the NBA season is not in session. There is a reasonable expectation on the players part that they may play once the season begins.”

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Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

Terry Porter

The Timberwolves reached into their past — summoning a former player brought to the franchise long ago to help mentor budding superstar Kevin Garnett — to find the first candidate who interviewed for their vacant head-coaching position.

And it wasn’t Sam Mitchell.

Former Milwaukee and Phoenix head coach Terry Porter was that first candidate who formally interviewed with president of basketball operations David Kahn and likely owner Glen Taylor on Monday, league sources with knowledge of the team’s search said.

The process will continue this week. Don Nelson — who has won more games (1,335) than any other NBA coach — is believed to be among those due into Minneapolis to interview.

Porter is a former two-time All Star who played point guard — the same position as just-signed Ricky Rubio — for 17 NBA seasons with Portland, the Wolves, Miami and San Antonio.

He also is a guy who was fired by Phoenix in February 2009 after four months on the job when his attempt to emphasize defense and slow down the Suns’ breakneck offense enough to incorporate Shaquille O’Neal was deemed a failure by then-General Manager Steve Kerr.

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Jody Genessy of the Deseret News reports:

Anybody who needs to get into Columbia, S.C., should seek out Tyrone Corbin.

The Utah Jazz coach and South Carolina sports hero will receive a key to his hometown city this afternoon when he is honored by Columbia.

“We are proud to have this opportunity to celebrate Tyrone Corbin and all he has accomplished both on and off the court,” Columbia mayor Steve Benjamin said in a release put out by the Jazz. “He is one of Columbia’s brightest stars and an example to our children of what is possible if you work hard and dream big.”

“Congratulations to Ty,” Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor said. “This is a well-deserved honor for someone who has excelled in life as well as his chosen profession of basketball.”

The AP reports:

Yao Ming

Yao Ming is likely to make it official on Wednesday, announcing what is expected to be his retirement from the NBA and a sport that made him a household name in China.

The 7-foot-6 center for the Houston Rockets played eight seasons in the NBA, but has missed 250 regular-season games over the past six years.

His career, including frequent appearances for the Chinese national team at Olympics and world championships, has included leg and foot injuries.

On Wednesday, a large reception hall at a hotel in the Pudong section of Shanghai—Yao’s hometown—has been booked for what will likely be the country’s media event of the year.

Hundreds of media have been accredited to attend the restricted event and are expected to arrive hours early to go through security checks. It is expected to be broadcast live in China and in many countries around the world.

Reports have been circulating for nearly two weeks that the 30-year-old star would retire, but the Rockets have not commented due to the NBA lockout and his management refused to confirm the reports. The NBA said it has not received official retirement paperwork from Yao.

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Nancy Lieberman has been a collegiate National Champion, an All-American, Olympian, the first woman to play in a men’s professional league, WNBA player, Hall-of-Famer, WNBA head coach, and the first female coach of a men’s team under the NBA umbrella.  Today, the team’s first head coach has accepted a new position as the Legends’ Assistant General Manager.

Lieberman led the Legends to a playoff berth in their inaugural season last year – becoming only the third coach in the NBA or NBA D-League to lead an expansion team to the play-offs. Now, she will have an opportunity to contribute to even more success from the front office.

“Nancy took on a tremendous challenge in becoming our head coach,” Legends owner Donnie Nelson commented. “And she embraced that challenge like she has throughout her life.  She was everything I could have hoped for as a head coach.”

Lieberman’s path from the coaching bench to the front office mirrors Nelson’s successful move of the same nature in 2001. After nine seasons as an assistant coach in the NBA, Nelson moved to the Dallas Mavericks’ front office, where he is now President of Basketball Operations and General Manager of the NBA champions.

“I have no doubt that Nancy will be successful in her new capacity,” Nelson added.  “Her experience as a coach will only make her a stronger asset in the front office.”

Lieberman’s 31 years in professional basketball have been filled with firsts, including her role as the first woman coach of a professional men’s team in the NBA or NBA D-League. She was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996.

“Coaching with the Legends has been a dream,” Lieberman commented. “The players did a tremendous job throughout the season.  Their respect for the coaching staff, work ethic, and team-first attitude was everything I wanted to see in a team.  That being said, I have always been very intrigued with management at the NBA level.  The opportunity to work with Donnie in this capacity is too great an opportunity to pass up.  I am looking forward to continuing to build the Legends organization and strengthening its reputation as the standard-bearer in the NBA D-League.”

The move not only moves Lieberman into management with a team under the NBA umbrella, but also will allow her to spend more time with her son as he finishes high school.

“My family is tremendously important to me,” Lieberman added.  “The challenge of balancing my family life with my professional aspirations has long been one that I have embraced.  I truly believe that every woman can attain both their personal and professional goals.  My position as Assistant General Manager allows me to balance my schedule while maintaining my professional goals.  I look forward to working with Donnie, Del, and Spud as we move towards our goal of winning an NBA D-League championship.”

Lieberman joins basketball legends Del Harris (1995 NBA Coach of the Year) and Spud Webb (1986 NBA Slam Dunk Champion) in the Legends front office.  Lieberman, Harris, and Webb will play an integral role in a national search for her replacement as Legends’ head coach.

“Nancy has left big shoes to fill on the sidelines,” Nelson concluded.  “She will have a lot of valuable insight for the next head coach.  I’m excited as our team only gets stronger with Nancy taking on this new responsibility.”

Sacramento Kings

Maloof Sports & Entertainment (MS&E) and the Sacramento Kings today announced that it has promoted John Rinehart to Executive Vice President of Business Operations.  Rinehart, who joined MS&E 11 years ago after serving in finance roles for the Anaheim Angels and Mighty Ducks as well as the San Francisco Giants, will now oversee all financial, business administration, arena programming and building operations for the Kings and Power Balance Pavilion.

Craig Amazeen, who joined the Kings in November 2002 as the Director of Broadcasting, has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Broadcasting and Brand Development.  Under his leadership, the Kings broadcasting department has won seven Emmy Awards, including the 2005 Emmy for Outstanding Live Broadcast.

“These promotions recognize the valuable role John and Craig have played in the success, growth and renewal of the Kings organization,” said Matina Kolokotronis, President of Business Operations for the Kings in the release sent to InsideHoops.com.  “We are a smarter, more creative and effective organization because of them.”

Additionally, Jeff David who has served in the NBA’s global marketing partnership as Senior Director of Business Development for the past year will return to the Kings as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Prior to joining the NBA, David worked three seasons for the Kings as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. He has strong experience in sports marketing, ticket sales and sponsorship, cultivated through earlier stints at the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer and the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball.

“It’s great to have Jeff back,” said Gavin Maloof, owner of the Sacramento Kings.  “Jeff’s knowledge of the Sacramento community combined with the experience he has gained at the NBA will help us further build the momentum and excitement we’ve got going.”

“Bringing on Jeff and promoting John and Craig further strengthens this very effective, hard working team,” said Chris Granger, Executive Vice President of the NBA’s Team Marketing and Business Operations, who has been in Sacramento working with the MS&E team the last two months.  “We look forward to continued collaboration with them.”

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Brian Shaw

Indiana Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel announced his coaching staff, naming Brian Shaw as associate head coach and Jim Boylen and Dan Burke as assistant coaches.

“This is a well-rounded, experienced staff,” said Vogel. “Each individual brings something different, yet collectively they all fit. Everyone will contribute, whether it’s offense, defense, player development or game preparation. All three are very capable of handling any responsibility. There was a lot of interest from other teams in all three of these coaches. The fact they chose to be here is indicative of what we’re building.”

Shaw comes to the Pacers after being an assistant with the Los Angeles Lakers since 2004. The 45-year-old Shaw played with Boston, Miami, Orlando, Golden State, Philadelphia, Portland and the Lakers in his NBA career. He was part of five championship teams with the Lakers, three as a player and two as a coach.

Boylen is 46 years old with a wealth of coaching experience at the collegiate and professional levels. Collegiately, Boylen was an assistant at Michigan State and most recently, head coach at the University of Utah. In the NBA, he was an assistant at Houston, where he was part of two championship teams, Golden State and Milwaukee.

Burke will be entering his 15th season with the Pacers after joining Larry Bird’s coaching staff in 1997. The 52-year-old Burke has 22 years of NBA experience, getting his start in Portland where he worked for eight years before coming to Indiana.

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Knicks may want Lawrence Frank

Alan Hahn of New York Newsday (blog) reports:

Lawrence Frank

Whatever happens in Detroit could trigger Mike D’Antoni’s activity in searching for a defensive assistant coach.

All eyes will be on what happens with the Pistons head coaching position, as the finalists appear to be Mike Woodson and Lawrence Frank.

From what we’ve been hearing, D’Antoni personally likes Frank and there is a strong mutual interest there for many reasons.

First of all, whomever the Knicks hire would have to accept a one-year deal because D’Antoni is going into the final year of his contract and there is some uncertainty about his future. Frank, unlike most, would likely be amenable to accepting a one-year contract because it gives him the freedom to continue to look for head coaching jobs.

Frank might also prefer New York over returning to Boston for proximity reasons, as well, because he could be home full-time in New Jersey, where his wife and two daughters remained last season when he worked for the Celtics.

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Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman reports:

Cole Aldrich

The Thunder dealt two first-round picks to trade up to snag Aldrich at No. 11 in the 2010 draft, and the organization hasn’t put Aldrich on any sort of timetable for when he should sprout. If anything, though, Mohammed’s presence should speed Aldrich’s development rather than delay it.

But because Aldrich was limited to 18 games and only 7.9 average minutes in his rookie season, it becomes easy to view Mohammed’s return as a detriment. A better way of looking at Mohammed’s re-signing, however, is to focus on the impact he can have on a young player.

There is no guarantee that Mohammed remains ahead of Aldrich in the rotation. It’s possible Aldrich bumps Mohammed next season and becomes the full-time backup center to Kendrick Perkins. But even if Aldrich doesn’t crack the rotation, he’ll have Perkins and Mohammed, as well as Nick Collison, to learn from in practice.

And Aldrich has proved to be a willing learner.

“He’s a humble guy, he works hard and he can play,” Perkins said. “I think he’s going to provide some good minutes for us next year. He’s just got to be ready. One thing I’ve learned about Coach (Scott) Brooks is he’s not just going to give you minutes. He’s going to have to come in and earn his minutes.”

Aldrich has dedicated this summer to sharpening his skills. He said his main goal is “just to get better.”

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Terry Foster of the Detroit News reports:

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace wants to be the first friendly face a troubled youth sees when he is on the wrong side of the law.

He’ll be dressed in his best blue suit with briefcase in hand, ready to tackle another case in court. When Wallace hangs up his basketball sneakers, he wants to go to law school.

But will the Pistons want Wallace for the one more season he would like to play? NBA players are locked out, so Wallace packed up and headed to his Virginia home. He can’t work out at the Pistons’ practice facility and can’t have contact with Pistons personnel. Until the lockout is over and Wallace has a conversation with Pistons president Joe Dumars, Big Ben won’t know if he’ll get one more shot in Detroit.

“We will see how it goes,” Wallace said.

He knows the end of his NBA career is just around the corner. Wallace, 36, averaged just 2.9 points and 6.5 rebounds in 22.9 minutes over 54 games last season. But Wallace believes he still can be a mentor to young Pistons like Greg Monroe.

Wallace not only wants to represent clients, he wants to tell them his long-shot story and make them realize their lives are not over despite youthful mistakes. Wallace is doing plenty of research now into law schools. The thought has been brewing for years, and he even spoke to former Pistons coach John Kuester about it three years ago when Wallace played in Cleveland.

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