Archive for August 3rd, 2011

Darius Miles

Patrick M. O’Connell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

Former NBA player and East St. Louis native Darius Miles was arrested Wednesday afternoon at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport for allegedly trying to bring a loaded firearm through security, authorities said.

Miles, 29, was arrested about 3:30 p.m. after Transportation Security Administration personnel discovered the weapon during an X-ray screening at the airport, according to information from a TSA spokeswoman and a jail official. Miles was arrested by St. Louis Airport police, then booked into the St. Louis County jail in Clayton later Wednesday evening.

It was unclear whether the loaded gun was found inside luggage or whether Miles had been carrying the weapon. The weapon was discovered at the Concourse A checkpoint. Authorities did not say what type of gun was seized.

Miles was booked about 8:30 p.m. on suspicion of unlawful use of a weapon, authorities said. He was to be booked and released pending application of a warrant on a formal criminal charge. He was not required to post bond.

Blake Griffin

The AP reports:

Even with NBA players locked out by the league, Los Angeles Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin isn’t taking any days off.

Griffin hosted the opening day of his first annual basketball camp for kids in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, then squeezed in a private one-hour workout afterward with the hope of improving on his Rookie of the Year season.

Griffin has also been busy with appearances for a growing number of sponsors after his leap over the hood of a car to win the NBA’s slam dunk title, and last weekend he was part of his brother’s wedding in Tulsa.

“I haven’t stopped working out really since May,” Griffin said. “It’s been every day, sneaking it in whenever I can.” Griffin says it’s frustrating for him to think that the NBA games may be interrupted after his first season playing in the league. Griffin missed all of the 2009-10 season with a broken kneecap after he had been the No. 1 draft pick out of Oklahoma.

“Now my first three seasons, I could play 82 games,” Griffin said. “So, we’ll see what happens.” …

For now, at least, Griffin said he isn’t joining other NBA stars in seeking opportunities to play overseas if there is an extended lockout. Nets point guard Deron Williams was the first big name to make such a move, signing with a Turkish team.

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Jordan Farmar signs in Israel

jordan farmar reports:

Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv moved to shore up its backcourt by signing point guard Jordan Farmar, a two-time NBA champion, to a one-year deal on Wednesday. Farmar (1.88 meters, 24 years old, arrives from New Jersey of the NBA, where he averaged 9.6 points and 5 assists in 24.6 minutes per game. Farmar played the his first four years as a pro with the Los Angeles Lakers, winning NBA titles in 2009 and 2010 while coming off the bench for 18 minutes per game, averaging 6.8 points and 2 assists. His best season statistically with Los Angeles was 2007-08, when he put up 9.1 points and 2.7 assists in 20 minutes per game.

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Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times (blog) reports:

Black Fives Inc., owners of trademarked logos commemorating vintage African American basketball teams, has withdrawn a federal lawsuit accusing the film company headed by Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of trademark infringement in connection with his recent documentary, “On the Shoulders of Giants,” according to court records.

Even though Black Fives withdrew the lawsuit without prejudice on July 28, nearly four months after filing the case, owner Claude Johnson stated in an email that the decision stemmed from financial concerns over a lengthy court case. He kept open the possibility that the organization would refile the complaint, stressing that the “matter is not ’settled.’”

On behalf of Abdul-Jabbar’s film company, Union Productions, business manager Deborah Morales issued a strongly worded statement to The Times that condemned the lawsuit and questioned the validity behind it.

For much more, read here.

The Boston Celtics announced today that Mike Longabardi has been promoted to a bench assistant coach.

“I’m looking forward to adding Mike to our bench. He has been in the fold the last four years and he’s more than ready for the next step,” said Doc Rivers, Celtics Head Coach.

Longabardi joined the Celtics prior to the start of the 2007-08 season from Houston where he had worked for the previous five seasons as an assistant coach/video coordinator, video coordinator and assistant video coordinator.  The native of Brooklyn, New York has also previous coaching experience in the college ranks with Pfeiffer University, Adelphi University, Lafayette College and Towson University. He was on the coaching staff that led the Lafayette Leopards to the Patriot League title.

Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

Sam Mitchell

The Wolves are down to the final two names to interview for their head-coaching job.

And, yes, Sam Mitchell is one of them.

Larry Brown, of course, is the other.

Many Wolves fans have wondered why the man who won Coach of the Year with Toronto and who played two different stints with the Timberwolves, first when he was an original Wolf and then when he was brought back in 1995 to help mentor a rookie named Kevin Garnett.

Mitchell is expected to interview Friday or Saturday, Brown next week.

Wolves boss David Kahn and owner Glen Taylor already have interviewed Terry Porter, Mike Woodson, Bernie Bickerstaff, Nelson.

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Rafer Alston

Christina Carrega of the New York Post reports:

Troubled ex-New Jersey Nets player Rafer Alston fouled out at a strip joint — bashing another man on the head with a beer bottle during a booze-fueled brawl, a new lawsuit charges.

The former NBA athlete, 35, who’s originally from Jamaica, Queens, attacked fellow Perfection Gentleman’s Club patron Erick Franceschini, 32, of Milford, Conn., during a knock-down-drag-out free-for-all in July 2010, according to papers recently filed in Queens Supreme Court.

Alston smashed Franceschini with the bottle during a dispute that began in the Woodside, Queens, club and spilled out on the street, said Franceschini’s lawyer, John Rapawy.

Alston was not involved in the fight in the bar, Rapawy said, but the lawyer claimed the hoopster attacked Franceschini in the street.

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Luol Deng

The AP reports:

Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng has been cleared to play for Britain in the European Basketball Championships after resolving a dispute over insurance.

Deng says on his website Wednesday that “significant liability issues” have been overcome to allow him to play in the tournament. The championships run from Aug. 31-Sept. 18 in Lithuania.

He says “playing for GB is always important to me so I’m really glad we could resolve this. It has been a long process but a great team effort.”

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Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times (blog) reports:

lamar odom

Given all the pain and suffering that’s followed Lamar Odom at nearly every turn, he’s still maintained a positive outlook and has drawn inspiration from it.

His mother, Cathy Mercer, died of colon cancer when he was 12. His grandmother Mildred Mercer, who raised him, died in 2004. His son Jayden, at only 7 months old, died of sudden infant death syndrome in his crib in 2006. Yet, Odom has persevered, honored them in pregame rituals and often thinks about them for both guidance and perspective.

The pain struck again this month.  Odom attended a funeral in New York for his 24-year-old cousin, who he told The Times’ Broderick Turner was killed. Then he was a passenger in a car that collided with a motorcycle and struck a 15-year-old pedestrian who later died.

“I think the effects of seeing [my cousin] die and then watching this kid die, it beat me down. I consider myself a little weak,” Odom told Turner. “I thought I was breaking down mentally. I’m doing a lot of reflecting.”

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