Archive for July 11th, 2011

Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News reports:

Will Bynum

Detroit Pistons guard Will Bynum had a long journey to reach the NBA.

Now, with the uncertainty of a lockout, Bynum could be headed back to one of his old haunts — Israel.

Bynum’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, confirmed to The Detroit News on Monday a report that his client is interested in re-joining the Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv, whom Bynum played for from 2006-08.

“I would say you have to look at everything,” Bartlestein said. “Will loves to play; it’s how he makes his living.”

Eurobasket.com, a website that covers the international game, reported Sunday that Bynum is interested in returning to Israel so he can join childhood friend Jeremy Pargo, a former Gonzaga standout.

Pargo and Bynum grew up on Chicago’s south side and were considered playground legends.

After going undrafted in 2005, Bynum found his way to Israel and enjoyed the opportunity to showcase his skills, Bartelstein said.

The AP reports:

Boston Mayor Tom Menino says that City Hall Plaza has been chosen as the site for a proposed statue of Celtics basketball legend Bill Russell.

Menino made the announcement Monday with the Bill Russell Legacy Committee and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. They said the site was chosen because of its location near the “Freedom Trail.”

Three artists chosen as finalists will present their designs to Russell and the committee in the fall.

Gary Dzen of the Boston Globe (blog) reports:

Three artists will be competing for the right to design the statute for Russell, who was one of the Celtics’ all-time great players and a widely respected civil rights activist.

The artists are Fern Cunningham, Ann Hirsch, and Antonio Tobias Mendez.

The winning design will be unveiled in spring 2012. Menino, who has pushed to relocate City Hall to South Boston, said renovations will be made to the plaza to coincide with the statue’s installation.

Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca said Russell was a role model for the young, and a mentor as well. “He always found the time to take a youngster aside,’’ he said. “He was an individual who went out of his way to work with young children.”

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

Justin Terranova of the New York Post reports:

amare stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire will wait out the lockout in New York.

The Knicks star put an end to any rumors that he would play basketball in Europe if the NBA’s labor issues persist.

“Europe teams are calling, I think I’m going 2 stay here in the states,” Stoudemire wrote on Twitter on Saturday night. “My loyalty is with the State of New York and the NYK’s. Who’s with me?”

It came a day after Stoudemire hinted at playing in Israel on the social network site.

“Should I go to Israel an play for Maccabi Tel Aviv during the lockout?” Stoudemire asked his Twitter followers on Friday.

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

Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle reports:

Shane Battier

“The end of my career is closer than the start of my career,” said Battier, who just finished his 10th season in the league.

Though a natural for the broadcasting booth, Battier isn’t in a hurry to get there.

“I can see myself playing for three or four more years, then moving on to the next phase,” he said.

Battier expects to draw interest from contenders, which is one of the reasons the Rockets elected to trade him. Don’t be surprised if the next time the Michigan native takes the court he is spotting up outside the 3-point line for the Chicago Bulls or taking charges for the Miami Heat.

One thing is certain: He won’t be with the Houston Rockets.

Battier was disappointed, bothered really, that the Rockets traded him at midseason. With as much as he had put into the organization, he left thinking the job wasn’t done.

“I was disappointed that I couldn’t see to the finish what I started out,” he said. “It would have been nice to go through one more stretch run with those guys. If it didn’t work out, I would have been happy with time I put in over the five years.”

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

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports:

Yao Ming

The question, repeated dozens of times through the day, will no doubt be posed to Jeff Van Gundy as long as he can answer. Van Gundy was the second of Yao Ming’s three NBA coaches, and for all 
he has or will accomplish, Van Gundy will be asked about the unique, iconic center he coached for four seasons with the Rockets.

Van Gundy had his 
answer, for a question not yet asked, ready.

“No. 1 to me, he’s a Hall of Famer,” Van Gundy said. “Idon’t care if you put him in as player, as a contributor or put him in with his own heading. This guy definitely gets in for the greatness as a player when healthy or what he did as ambassador.”

He then added a thought he would repeat often.

“People forget,” Van Gundy said, “just how good he was.”

With Yao’s decision to retire rather than attempt another comeback from another injury, discussions about his career always will include thoughts of what could have been. Yao, 30, played in eight of his nine seasons since he was the first pick of the 2002 draft, including the five games he played this past season.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I disagree with Van Gundy. Yao didn’t play enough to make it as a player. And as for helping spread basketball to China, it mostly the efforts of the people in charge, using him to help bridge various basketball gaps. And Yao gets lots of credit, too, of course. But I don’t see him in the Hall.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The Sparks have fired Jennifer Gillom as coach and replaced her with assistant coach Joe Bryant, the team announced Sunday.

The coaching change was made after the Sparks fell to fifth place in the six-team Western Conference with a record of 4-6. They have lost five games in a row, their worst skid since 2007. Three of those losses have come after 2008 WNBA most valuable player Candace Parker suffered a knee injury in a June 26 game; she is expected to be out about six weeks. Parker played in just 10 games last season after needing surgery on a dislocated left shoulder.

“This was a very difficult decision, but I felt it was necessary to take the team in a different direction at this point in the season,” Sparks General Manager Penny Toler said in a statement.

Bryant, a former NBA player, was first hired by the team as an assistant under Henry Bibby in 2005. Bibby was fired with five games remaining in the season, and Bryant took over as coach. He went 4-1 and the Sparks finished with a 17-17 record.

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