Archive for July 1st, 2011 reports:

All-Euroleague center Sofoklis Schortsanitis will get at least one more chance to lead Maccabi Electra to glory after his option for next season was activated Thursday and another added that could keep him in Tel Aviv for 2012-13, too. Maccabi announced that it had picked up its option on Big Sofo for next season and agreed with him on a second option for the following one. Schortsanitis (2.06 meters, 26 years old) made his first season with Maccabi a breakout one by leading the Turkish Airlines Euroleague in scoring per-minute. Schortsanitis and Maccabi reached the title game together, but lost it to Panathinaikos, thus finishing second this season. Schortsanitis finished with averages of 12 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1 assist in 19 minutes on average over 22 games.

Nina Mandell of the New York Daily News reports:

Kobe Bryant

An Ohio woman is suing Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant, accusing him of breaching a promise to marry her…

Selina Miller filed the suit last week in Orange County Superior Court, claiming that the married star gave her a “completed and signed agreement” to provide her with a ring, the OC Weekly reported…

It’s not the first time Miller has sued the hoops star. She filed a defamation and invasion-of-privacy suit against Bryant and the NBA, which was dismissed in 2009 as “frivolous.”

In an emailed statement to the Daily News, lawyers for Bryant said the hoops player was “aware of the lawsuit filed by Selina Miller and will defend, if necessary, the ridiculous, if not bizarre, allegations contained in the suit.

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Baxter Holmes of the Los Angeles Times reports:

kobe bryant

Kobe Bryant may take his talents to China during the NBA’s lockout.

There are preliminary talks about a basketball tour to China this summer — and perhaps beyond — in which the Lakers superstar, who has called China a “home away from home” and has an enormous following there, would be the headliner with several other NBA stars forming two or three barnstorming teams.

Bryant and his agent Rob Pelinka are trying to put together the tour, said Minnesota Timberwolves rookie forward Derrick Williams, who is also represented by Pelinka.

Williams said several clients of Pelinka’s agency, the Landmark Sports Agency, could be involved in the tour.

“Hopefully I would be able to do that because I’ve never been out of the country and I think that would be the best thing for me,” said Williams, the former La Mirada High and University of Arizona star who was drafted second overall in June’s NBA draft.


The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Chuck Person and Quin Snyder to serve as assistant coaches, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

After spending the last two years working with the Lakers organization, Person will remain with the team serving as an assistant coach under Head Coach Mike Brown. Person, who spent the 2009-2010 season assisting Phil Jackson and his staff during their championship run, was hired on as an assistant coach at the start of the 2010-11 season.

“I’m very pleased to add Chuck to my coaching staff,” said Lakers Head Coach Mike Brown. “I’ve seen firsthand his dedication and his desire to making the players he coaches better. The knowledge of the game that he has from his experience, both as a coach and as a former NBA player, is an invaluable asset that he brings to the team and I look forward to working with him once again.”

Before joining the Lakers, the Alabama native spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings (2007-09) and Indiana Pacers (2005-07).  Prior to that, he served three seasons as a special assistant to the CEO/president of basketball operations for Indiana, working with Pacers and Indiana Fever (WNBA) players, both on and off the court.  Additionally, he spent one season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before joining the Pacers’ coaching staff.

“Knowing Coach Brown since our time with the Pacers, not only couldn’t I be happier with the opportunity to work alongside him again, but I’m thrilled to return to a franchise that I consider to the best in professional sports. Having been on staff for the Lakers’ 2010 championship run, I know what this team is capable of. I look forward to assisting Coach Brown in helping our players regain that form and realize their potential.”

An alumnus of Auburn University who concluded his collegiate basketball career as the Tigers’ all-time leading scorer, Person was selected by the Indiana Pacers with the fourth overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. Coming to be known as “The Rifleman,” he was named Rookie of the Year after averaging 18.8 points and a career-high 8.2 rebounds in his first season with the Pacers and ultimately concluded his 13-year NBA playing career with averages of 14.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 943 games.

Snyder joins the Lakers staff after spending last season serving as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers. Prior to his stint with the Sixers, Snyder spent three years as head coach of the Austin Toros in the NBA D-League. Snyder compiled a record of 94-56 (.627) with the Toros while guiding them to the playoffs in all three seasons he was at the helm, including an appearance in the championship game in 2008. He earned the D-League’s Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year award in 2008-09.

“With the addition of Quin to my coaching staff, we’ve added someone who has an extremely intelligent basketball mind,” said Lakers Head Coach Mike Brown. “Quin’s most valuable asset, however, is his passion for coaching and his ability to get the most out of the players he coaches. I’m extremely pleased to have him on my staff.”

Prior to his time with the Toros, Snyder was the head coach at the University of Missouri for seven seasons, posting a mark of 128-96 (.571). Under Snyder, the Tigers made six consecutive postseason appearances, including four trips to the NCAA Tournament and a berth in the Elite Eight.

“I am grateful to Mike Brown and the entire Lakers organization for providing me with this opportunity,” said Snyder.  “I’m looking forward to fulfilling whatever role I’m asked to assume.  I could not be more excited to have this unique opportunity.”

Snyder, who played for Duke from 1986-89 and served on the coaching staff from 1993-99, took part in five Final Fours – three as a player (1986, 1988, 1989) and two more as a coach (1994, 1999).  In 1991, after a year at Duke Law School, Snyder simultaneously enrolled in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.  Taking time off from both programs a year later to serve as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers ( 1992-93), Snyder returned to Duke in 1993 and served as an administrative assistant coach under head coach Mike Krzyzewski for the next two seasons while completing his JD and MBA degrees.  Upon graduation, he became a full-time assistant coach at Duke (1995-97) and was subsequently promoted to associate head coach for the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.

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Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic (blog) reports:

Gani Lawal

If there was one last Suns player leaving the building to turn out the lights and lock the door before the lockout hit, it probably would have been Gani Lawal.

Lawal has been the most frequent Suns resident at US Airways Center since the season ended in mid-April. The 2010 second-round pick will complete the final month of his knee rehabilitation elsewhere in the Valley now that the lockout prohibits players from receiving treatment from team personnel.

The Suns might have bigger hopes for this year’s power forward draft pick, Markieff Morris, but Lawal has big plans for himself with the team.

“I think I’ll really be able to help us next year,” Lawal said after one of his weekday workouts. “I really do believe that in my heart. I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

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