Archive for July 21st, 2011

Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:

chris paul

Already accustomed to international basketball, thanks to his 2008 Beijing Olympic experience, New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul this weekend is heading to the Philippines for a two-game exhibition series, and said Wednesday he’s keeping his options open about playing overseas this fall if the NBA lockout persists.

Paul is joining fellow Olympian Kobe Bryant, along with players such as Los Angeles Lakers guard Derek Fisher, Oklahoma Thunder forward Kevin Durant and reigning league Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, for two games in Quezon City’s Araneta Coliseum that will benefit the MVP Sports Foundation, a group committed to aiding youth sports.

“The (foundation) over there is all about giving back and helping out kids,” Paul said Wednesday, adding he committed to the event just in the past week. “That’s something I feel strongly about also. I’m going over there with a few other guys, and we’re going to play. I found out about this through D-Fish (Fisher). He let me know about it.”

The timing of the event coincides with the recent flurry of NBA players such as Paul’s close friend, New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams, signing on with European teams because of the lockout that began July 1. Several of Paul’s former Hornets teammates, including Hilton Armstrong, Darius Songaila and David Andersen, also are heading overseas to play this fall.

InsideHoops.com editor says: One by one, NBA players, when asked about it, will mostly say that yes, they are “open” to playing overseas. It simply makes no sense for most guys to flat-out reject the possibility. I’d say that players who are on the NBA fringe and maybe in trouble of falling out of the league might be the only ones to maybe say they won’t go overseas, but that’s because if they do, they might not be able to get back into the league. But for all the players who know they have a place in the NBA for years to come, there’s no reason to absolutely, firmly reject global possibilities.

lawrence_frank

Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News reports:

The Pistons have decided to hire ex-Nets coach Lawrence Frank as their new head coach, according to league sources.

Frank, 40, will succeed John Kuester, who was fired after failing to get the Pistons to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. Frank coached the Nets from 2003-09 and posted a 225-241 record.

Frank, who spent last season with Boston as Doc Rivers’ top defensive coach, beat out former Atlanta coach Mike Woodson. Frank and Woodson were the only two candidates who had the head coaching experience the Pistons were seeking.Read fan reaction and discuss your own opinion in this forum topic.

By Jeff Lenchiner

Wednesday evening in New York City I paid a visit to Dyckman Park for some streetball action. It was a big matchup of some top teams that has been anticipated for weeks, so the park was packed. Included in the crowd were rapper Jadakiss, Denver Nuggets forward Al Harrington, and the head of the NBA Players Union, Billy Hunter, among others.

Before the game, Hunter, bravely attempting to communicate as some top-notch rap music blasted from the park’s booming speakers at full volume, gave InsideHoops.com a very quick update on the current NBA lockout situation:

InsideHoops.com: What’s the latest?

Billy Hunter: We’re trying to find some way to re-open the negotiations. We’re not making very much progress. It looks like we’re going to be where we are, I would assume probably [until] August before we actually end up getting back together.

InsideHoops.com: How long might the lockout last?

Hunter: It’s unpredictable. It’s hard to say how long it’s going to go.

It sounds like NBA fans should not hold their breath waiting for positive developments just yet.

NBA 2K12 covers: Jordan, Bird and Magic

2K Sports announced today that NBA 2K12, the next installment of the top-rated and best-selling NBA video game simulation franchise, will offer three separate covers for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system featuring three of the NBA’s greatest legends of all time, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

The new stylized NBA 2K12 covers are a unique, one-time departure from the traditional 2K Sports brand artwork, and will spotlight each legendary athlete on his famous team: the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Lakers. The covers featuring Bird and Johnson will be available at launch in a limited quantity.

“Bringing Michael Jordan to the virtual hardwood last year was a huge success for NBA 2K11; however, we didn’t want to stop there,” said Jason Argent, vice president of marketing for 2K Sports. “We’re bringing ‘His Airness’ back to the NBA 2K franchise as part of a multi-year extended partnership, along with two other legendary icons – Larry Bird and Magic Johnson – for a special cover athlete collection representing the NBA’s greatest heroes.”

Here they are:

Have a reaction? Read video game fan opinions in this forum topic.

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.”

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

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.

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