Archive for August, 2011

Kobe Bryant

Police said Tuesday they were seeking to interview Los Angeles Lakers all-star guard Kobe Bryant over allegations he sprained the wrist of a man possibly trying to take his picture at a San Diego church.

The man said Bryant, who has won five NBA championship rings with the Lakers, grabbed his wrist and took his phone away, only to give it back when he found no photos of himself or his wife inside, San Diego Police Detective Gary Hassen told Reuters.

“Detectives have the case and are hoping to talk with Mr. Bryant,” Hassen said of the incident at Carmel Valley Catholic Church on Sunday.

The man, who was not identified by authorities, was treated for a sprained wrist at a local hospital, Hassen said.

– Reuters

Kim Kardashian

The New Jersey Nets can accept their invitation to Kim Kardashian’s wedding.

A team official says the Nets have been granted permission to attend the reality star’s marriage to forward Kris Humphries on Saturday in California.

General manager Billy King and other members of the Nets’ basketball operations department are expected to attend the ceremony of their free agent forward, the official told The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the guest list was to remain private.

– As reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

The NBA’s current lockout has not hindered the Hornets’ push to solicit more support from area businesses and fans.

Entergy, the lone Fortune 500 company in the metro area, agreed Monday to become the Hornets’ fourth major Crescent City Champions sponsor, joining Cox Communications, 7-UP and Ochsner Health System.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but each Crescent City sponsorship deal is estimated to be about $1 million, sources said.

“Building strong corporate support for the Hornets in New Orleans is fundamental to our mission to keep the team in this great city and to ultimately find local ownership,’’ Hornets president Hugh Weber said.

– Report by John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

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Eddy Curry is losing weight, allegedly

Eddy Curry

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports:

Center Eddy Curry is increasing his chances of generating serious interest from the Heat. Respected Chicago-based trainer Tim Grover said last week that since Curry’s workout with Miami in late June, he has lost another 28 pounds and is now at 300. Curry weighed 350 when he auditioned for Miami in March. Curry intrigues Pat Riley, who might offer him a minimum deal postlockout if he loses another 12 pounds or so. His skills “are there, no question,” Grover said.

Ty Lawson

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports:

The reality of the NBA lockout is hitting home as the Nuggets’ point guard Ty Lawson — one of the team’s top players — said today he has signed to play with a team in Lithuania called Zalgiris Kaunas.

Lawson said agreed Sunday to play for this team, which also features former Nugget teammate Sonny Weems.

“It’s the best situation for me to go out there,” Lawson said by phone. “Being at home, I’m not saying I’m a lazy person, but I want to be in the gym. And plus, it’s a new experience going out to Lithuania, so why not? It was a no-brainer.

“And as soon as the lockout ends, I can come right back and be with the Denver Nuggets.”

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General Manager John Hammond announced today that Sidney Moncrief has been added as an assistant coach to the 2011-12 Milwaukee Bucks coaching staff. Moncrief, who played 10 seasons with the Bucks, most recently ran his own consulting and motivational training practice for businesses and corporations, in addition to consulting with international basketball teams. Moncrief joins Jim Boylan, Joe Wolf, Bill Peterson and Anthony Goldwire on the coaching staff of Head Coach Scott Skiles.

Moncrief, 53, won the league’s first two Defensive Player of the Year awards (1983 and 1984), is a five-time NBA All-Star (1982-86) and was named to the All-NBA and All-Defensive teams five times in his career. He is among the franchise leaders in points (11,594, third), games (695, second), minutes (22,054, second), field goals (4,000, eighth), free throws (3,505, first), rebounds (3,447, seventh), assists (2,689, second) and steals (874, third). Moncrief’s jersey #4 was retired by the Bucks in a Bradley Center ceremony on January 6, 1990.

In addition to his individual success, Moncrief’s teams won seven consecutive division titles starting with his arrival in 1979 and also won 50-plus games in seven consecutive seasons. The Bucks were 522-298 (.637) while he was with the team and advanced to the playoffs in each of his 10 seasons, including three trips to the Eastern Conference Finals.

A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Moncrief played collegiately at the University of Arkansas and was selected by the Bucks in the first round (5th overall pick) of the 1979 NBA Draft. He finished his playing career in 1990-91 with the Atlanta Hawks, after not playing in the 1989-90 season.  Moncrief’s coaching career began as head coach at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock for the 1999-2000 season.  He was an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks (2000-2003), head coach of the Fort Worth Flyers in the D-League for the 2006-07 season and an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors from 2007-2009.

Moncrief replaces Kelvin Sampson, who took a coaching position with the Houston Rockets.

Tulsa Shock lose 17th straight WNBA game

The AP reports:

Seimone Augustus scored 16 points and the Minnesota Lynx handed the Tulsa Shock their WNBA record-tying 17th straight loss with an 82-54 victory on Sunday night.

In a matchup of the teams with the best and worst records in the league, the Lynx (18-5) won their 11th in 12 games, while Tulsa fell to 1-22.

Lindsay Whalen chipped in 12 points and nine assists for Minnesota.

Sheryl Swoopes scored nine points for the Shock, who will try to avoid setting a new league record for consecutive losses when they face the Los Angeles Sparks at home next Sunday. Tulsa is tied with the Atlanta Dream, who lost the first 17 games of their inaugural 2008 season.

Kendrick Perkins

The Chicago Tribune reports:

Authorities have charged Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kendrick Perkins with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and public intoxication after an altercation early Saturday morning in South Texas.

A statement from police in Beaumont, Texas, said officers saw a large crowd outside The Ticket night club just after 2 a.m., and received complaints of fights and pepper spray inside.

An officer saw about 50 people inside around Perkins, who police said was attempting to fight the club’s manager. The statement said the crowd pushed Perkins out the back door of the club, where he continued to yell obscenities and start other fights.

InsideHoops.com editor says: Kendrick was probably scowling at some point during the evening.

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The AP reports:

Retired NBA star Jayson Williams is preparing to move from a prison in New Jersey’s farmlands to New York’s Rikers Island.

Williams will be transferred from Mid-State Correctional Facility in Wrightstown next Friday after he finishes an 18-month sentence for aggravated assault. From there, he’ll begin serving a one-year sentence for driving while intoxicated in New York City.

Former Fab 5 star Jimmy King arrested

Naomi R. Patton of the Detroit Free Press reports:

Fab Five star Jimmy King was in jail today after his arrest by agents from the Michigan Attorney General’s office, charged with failure to pay child support.

King, who turned 38 on Tuesday, was arraigned in Oakland County Circuit Court and charged with one count of failure to pay support, a felony carrying a maximum four-year prison term, according to John Sellek, state Attorney General spokesman. He said King owed $17,209 for one child, from 2008 to 2011.

Sellek said King was arrested without incident at 5 p.m. Tuesday at New St. Mark Baptist Church in Detroit, after agents saw a flyer about a basketball camp that advertised King’s involvement. Sellek added that agents had tried to reach King about outstanding child support by phone and by leaving notes at his home for six weeks.

A judge set a cash bond of $3,500 for King, but as of this evening, he remained in Oakland County Jail, according to its Web site.

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The AP reports:

A new professional basketball league in Canada plans to open in November with seven teams and a 36-game schedule.

The National Basketball League of Canada announced Thursday that Moncton, New Brunswick, will become the seventh franchise for the 2011-12 season. The city joins teams in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Quebec City; Saint John, New Brunswick; and London and Oshawa in Ontario. Another team will be in Prince Edward Island, although the city is not set.

InsideHoops.com editor says: It would be amazing for basketball, especially for players in the United States and, of course, Canada, for this league to actually take off and become a success. It’s a shame that talented players who fail to make the NBA must leave North America to make real money playing basketball, in Europe and elsewhere. If players could head to Canada and make a six-figure living it would change the game and be great for North America. Maybe someday. For now, they’re just starting out and I will assume that salaries will be on the level of a fun part-time job, and not anything substantial or real anytime soon. We’ll see if that changes or I hear different.

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The 2012 NBA All-Star game, assuming it gets played, will be in Orlando. The 2013 game, according to just about every Houston media outlet in existence, will be in Houston. It should be around a full year before the 2014 weekend gets a home, but the New York Knicks hope to land the honor.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

With Houston reportedly getting the 2013 All-Star Game, the new Garden figures to be the top candidate for the 2014 event when the three-year transformation is finally complete. The Knicks have applied to host the game. The Nets and Brooklyn’s Barclay Center also could be considered.

I assume the Knicks or Nets are favorites to be named host in 2014 (and maybe also 2015), because by then the Nets will have been in Brooklyn for two years. That’s two fresh arenas, ready to pack fans in.

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Marcin Gortat

FIBA reports:

Poland have just announced that their only NBA player, Marcin Gortat of the Phoenix Suns, will not feature this summer because of the failure to acquire an insurance policy he requires to take part.

Most of the burden of obtaining insurance for NBA players fell on the basketball federations when the NBA lockout began and league operations were shut down.

In a statement on the Polish Basketball Federation’s website, Polish Basketball Federation president Grzegorz Bachanski said: “Marcin really wanted to play but the situation that occurred this year, I of course mean the lockout, meant that this is not possible.

“Of course it is sad for us, but I am trying to think more broadly in the next few years.

“And Marcin Gortat in the future we will be needed.”

Gortat was the face of EuroBasket 2009 when the tournament was staged in Poland.

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Dennis Rodman (1997)

Dennis Rodman likes to do fun things. Here’s more info on how he plans to arrive at the Hall of Fame ceremonies:

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports:

Aventura’s Dennis Rodman told us Tuesday he will arrive at his Basketball Hall of Fame induction Friday by helicopter. He wanted to enter the Hall on a colorful float, “but they wouldn’t let me block off the street” in Springfield, Mass.

He said he will hire acrobats to perform and “a couple of my outfits will be ‘out there.’ Whatever might be too zany is not too zany.” His marketing agent, Floyd Ragland, said Rodman is spending $60,000 to fly in Penny Marshall, Howard Stern and other friends. Phil Jackson is Rodman’s presenter.

I think this is a cover-up, and he’ll arrive via spaceship. With martians on board, partying. We’ll see.

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Carlos Boozer

Like so many other players not looking to sit around and do nothing for months at a time, Chicago Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer wants to keep his basketball career and activity going if the NBA lockout extends into the distant future.

Ric Bucher of ESPN the Magazine reports:

“I think as players we have to look at this lockout as an unfortunate challenge, but one that can create other unique and positive opportunities,” Boozer said. “When I was part of Team USA that won Olympic Gold in Beijing, that experience changed my life in incredible ways.

“If the NBA season gets delayed or postponed, I plan on using those months to experience something similar to what I did in the summer of 2008. That’s why, if the lockout continues, I definitely plan on playing overseas.”

As with all good NBA players, it’s assumed that any deal that gets signed will include an out-clause to return to the NBA immediately when the lockout ends.

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Danny Granger

Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports:

Q: How will the lockout impact the Pacers?

Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger: It’ll hurt us bad. We finally got some veteran players, back in the playoffs and now we don’t know what’s going to happen. We should be piggy-backing off last year and building off of it. You get a short season and you never know what’s going to happen, ’cause it’s not a normal season. We need more time together and we’re young and the more time we have together as a team will help us. Reducing the season, taking away the preseason, no training camp, it can only hurt us.

Granger: Has there been any talk about you and your teammates getting together to work out?

A: We’ve already started talking about it. I spoke with the coaches before the lockout and they gave their views on what we should do. Me and Jeff (Foster) are trying to plan it out so when the season starts we will have been going for a good month. There’s not going to be a preseason, probably won’t be much of a training camp, either.

Granger: Free agency will be a lot shorter once the lockout ends. What area do you guys need to address most?

A: I think with what’s on the market at power forward, we have the opportunity to go get one of them. David West, Nene and Carl Landry are available. There are some good power forwards out there. I think we need to be deeper at that position.

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Kenyon Martin

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports:

Longtime Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin will enter NBA free agency –- whenever that’ll be –- without his longtime agent. Martin confirmed via text message that he’s parted ways with Brian Dyke, the passionate agent who had been with the power forward since the early days in New Jersey.

Martin confirmed he is seeking new representation as he prepares for what could be the last big contract of his career. The 2010-11 season was the last on that seven-year, $90-plus million contract, which had been the topic of conversation – and, to some, consternation – for years here in Denver. Before last season began, Martin had expressed desire to get an extension, but that didn’t happen.

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Vince Carter

Robbi Pickeral of ACC Now, on News Observer, reports:

“Letterman’s Lane,” the brick walkway between the Smith Center and Koury Natatorium on North Carolina’s campus, will now be named for one basketball letterman in particular: Vince Carter.

The school announced today that the former All America player has made a $2.5 million donation to the Carolina Basketball Family Fund, which paid for the renovations to the Smith Center basketball offices in 2010 and will support the operating endowment for the men’s basketball program.

It is the largest gift, to date, to the fund, earning him more than a brick on the walkway that honors every varsity player, coach, trainer and manager in the history of UNC basketball.

“My days as a Carolina student, both pre-NBA and during the summers after I was drafted, will always be special to me,” Carter said in a prepared statement.  “It goes without saying that I am a Tar Heel.  For several years, I have been thinking about something I could do to leave a legacy at UNC.  Lettermen’s Lane is a perfect fit.”

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Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

As Chris Mullin is enshrined into the Naismith Hall of Fame tomorrow in Springfield, Mass., for his spectacular career at Xaverian, St. John’s and the NBA, it is a Hall of Shame the pride of Flatbush is not going in while holding a Knicks’ front-office title.

According to a league source close to Donnie Walsh, his biggest regret as Knicks president was not being able to hire Mullin as the team general manager and then groom him as his successor. In fact, the source said if owner James Dolan had granted Walsh permission to hire Mullin last summer as GM, Walsh likely would still be the president — and not an Indiana-based club consultant.

Sources said Walsh backed out of a verbal agreement on a two-year extension due to contract language partly related to control in hiring his successor.

Forward Sean Williams to sign in Israel

Marc Stein of ESPN reports:

Sean Williams

After an All-Star season with the Texas Legends, Sean Williams is headed to Israel.

Sources with knowledge of the big man’s plans told ESPNDallas.com that Williams has agreed to a contract with Israeli club Maccabi Haifa, which has been trying feverishly to capitalize on the NBA lockout by signing players with NBA experience.

Williams’ deal, according to one source with knowledge of the terms, includes an out clause that would enabled the 24-year-old to return to the NBA when the lockout ends and if he gets an NBA offer.

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