Archive for August 8th, 2011

Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports:

Mickael Pietrus

The good thing these days about a minor July knee surgery on a NBA player is that the lockout leaves next to no concern that he will miss any training camp or games.

The better thing about Suns swingman Mickael Pietrus’ surgery is that it was apparently routine. Pietrus’ agent, Bill McCandless, said Pietrus had a right knee arthroscopy to remove loose bodies almost three weeks ago in France and will be finished with rehabilitation by the end of this month.

“One piece of loose cartilage was lodged in a spot that impinged his movement and caused him pain during the season,” McCandless said. “He says he’s much, much better. The good news is he’s been forced to work. He has his strength back and no pain.”

Pietrus rented a house across the street from his rehabilitation center in France.

LeBron James Drives

The AP reports:

LeBron James is working out twice a day, trying to erase some of the sting that’s still there after the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals.

”Right now I’ve just been focusing on being a better player, working on my game every single day,” James said at a news conference before the AP interview. ”Like I said, the Dallas Mavericks were a great team and they deserved to win that championship. And I’ll just use that as motivation coming into this season.”

He’s also trying to deliver on his vow to be even better whenever the Heat resume play, saying he’s been in Houston at times this offseason to learn post play from one of the game’s all-time greats, former Rockets star Hakeem Olajuwon.

”I look at what he was able to do throughout his career,” James said. ”Unbelievable talent. Multiple champion. Just to see how he was able to dominate in the low post, for me as an individual, I just try to look at some of the things I feel I need to get better at and hit home at it. Our team becomes better if I continue to get better and that’s what it’s about.”

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Glancing at guard Carlos Arroyo

Carlos Arroyo and Kirk Hinrich

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

Carlos Arroyo, 32, a nine-year veteran who last season played 49 games with the Miami Heat and 15 with the Boston Celtics, wouldn’t cost much, and he would feel comfortable and experienced enough to run an offense. This would by no means be a splash signing, and wouldn’t fully address the Lakers’ point guard needs. But with the Lakers strapped financially and looking at a market that doesn’t have many promising point guards, this might be one of the “tweaks” the Lakers could get in the lineup. For the past three seasons, Arroyo has eclipsed his career shooting mark. He can handle the ball. He’s solid in promoting good ball movement and finding the open man. Mix all of those ingredients together, and you at least have a steady option to lower to some degree the minutes logged by Derek Fisher and Steve Blake.


Tricia Bishop of the Baltimore Sun reports:

Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, who overcame a troubled childhood and a murder conviction to launch an acting career as a drug-gang assassin on HBO’s “The Wire,” pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to sell heroin.

She was sentenced to seven years in prison, with all of the time suspended except for the five months she has already served while awaiting trial, most of it spent at home, under electronic monitoring. She could be sent back to finish the term if she violates probation over the next three years.

“While I’m delighted to have you here, I don’t want to see you again,” Baltimore Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill told the actress, expressing a sentiment shared by her fans, many of whom were crushed by the news of her March arrest in an early-morning sting operation…

Pearson and several dozen others were arrested in a series of March raids on allegations that they ran a vast heroin conspiracy throughout the city. The scheme was discovered after authorities recorded key players discussing the alleged operation on a wiretap — a case of life imitating “The Wire,” which depicted Baltimore’s drug trade and law enforcement efforts to battle it.

Dwight Howard

Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel (blog) reports:

A Magic fan named Otiga Ogubi, under the twitter handle of @tstreetz77, sent a Twitter message to Howard saying, “we sell out the Orena and 85% r just there to look good until the playoffs.”

Howard agreed, expressing concern about the Amway Center crowd.

Howard wrote back, “that upsets me cuz I don’t wait till the playoffs to play hard. I give y’all my best everynite. Y becuz some people don’t get a chance to be at everygame. And I want them to always remember the nite they saw me play. So. I play for y’all. I feed off the fans. ESP at home. It’s a different atmosphere in the playoffs at the arena. That same atmosphere should be during the season.”

If you’re not adept at Twitter-speak, Howard said he plays hard every night because he wants every fan to remember the time he or she saw Howard play. Because he’s bringing his best every night, he wants fans to bring playoff intensity every night.

FIBA reports:

Ben Gordon will not be making his international debut for Great Britain this summer after all.

British Basketball on Monday confirmed that the Detroit Pistons guard won’t be a part of Chris Finch’s charges as they head for EuroBasket in Lithuania at the end of the month.

The 28-year-old guard decided to sit out because of complications regarding the NBA lockout and the proposed insurance coverage.

“We are obviously very disappointed that Ben is not able to join us this year but we fully understand and respect his decision,” said British Basketball Performance Director Chris Spice.

Atlanta Hawks reach sale agreement

The Meruelo Group, led by founder Alex Meruelo, and Atlanta Spirit LLC have reached an agreement on the sale of a majority ownership stake in the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks  and the Philips Arena operating rights, it was announced today.  Completion of the sale is subject to approval by the NBA Board of Governors and terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“I am a lifelong basketball fan, a student of the NBA game, and this is a dream come true for me,” stated Alex Meruelo, founder and chief executive officer of the Meruelo Group. “I am committed to winning and look forward to engaging with our wonderful fans, our dedicated season ticket holders, our committed corporate partners and this passionate community.   I believe that both the Hawks and Philips Arena have unlimited potential for the future. I am honored to be a part of that future”

With roots dating to 1986, the Meruelo Group is a diversified holding and management company owned and controlled by prominent U.S. Hispanic business executive Alex Meruelo. The Meruelo Group has diverse holdings in banking and financial services, restaurants and food services, construction and engineering, real estate, hotel/casino operations and private equity.

The Atlanta Hawks will remain a long-term tenant of Philips Arena and Alex Meruelo will serve as the Hawks’ Governor to the NBA.

The transaction is expected to close in late 2011, subject to NBA approval and customary closing conditions.  In keeping with the terms of their confidentiality agreement and NBA regulations, both parties have agreed not to comment further on the transaction pending a final close.

Nate Robinson

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times reports:

Nate Robinson was at Seahawks practice Saturday morning.

Considering Robinson’s athletic pedigree, that statement requires a further clarification: Robinson was not in the Seahawks’ practice.

The Rainier Beach alum was in sweatpants and a gray top, watching the workouts. There are no plans for Robinson to have a tryout with the Seahawks, but this is the latest in a continuing flirtation with the sport.

Robinson, 27, initially went to Washington on a football scholarship and was a freshman cornerback under Rick Neuheisel in 2002.

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