Archive for August 9th, 2011

Dwyane Wade takes it home!

Tim Reymonds of the AP reports:

Though he remains cautiously hopeful that a deal between owners and players can be struck to end the lockout and ultimately save the 2011-12 NBA season, Wade told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he will be playing somewhere this winter — whether that’s with the Miami Heat, as he’d obviously prefer, or an international club.

“I’m going to play basketball this year,” Wade said from New York, where he’s taking some business meetings. “I don’t know where, but I love the game so much that I will play it. And we will figure that out.”

Wade denied receiving any international offers yet, including a widely circulated report of a $2 million-per-month proposal from a Chinese team. He has said throughout the summer that he would review any offers that come his way, a stance he reiterated Tuesday, while noting that he was overwhelmed at times by the support he received from Chinese fans during a nine-day trip to their nation that ended last week.

On Monday, Wade’s Heat teammate LeBron James told The AP he’s “very optimistic” the season will take place, possibly even on time. Wade and James agree on plenty, but on that point, they differ a bit. Wade has started his offseason workout regimen, just in case, though hardly sounds convinced that the league will get its planned slate of 82 games in starting this fall.

InsideHoops.com editor says: As with Deron Williams, if D-Wade or any other really good player was to sign overseas, there’s a 99.9 percent chance it would be with an opt-out clause, allowing him to return to the NBA as soon as the lockout ends.

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Earl Clark signs in China

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo reports:

Earl Clark

Orlando Magic free agent Earl Clark has reached an agreement on a one-year contract with Zhejiang of the Chinese Basketball Association, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The deal will pay Clark in the “high six figures,” one source said.

Clark, a 6-foot-10 forward, has played 93 games for the Magic and Phoenix Suns in parts of two NBA seasons. He will stay the full season in China without an out clause to return to the NBA should the league-imposed lockout end.

Kevin Durant

Marc Stein of ESPN reports:

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is in the early stages of contract negotiations with the same Turkish team that has signed Deron Williams and has been pursuing Kobe Bryant, according to Durant’s agent.

Agent Aaron Goodwin told ESPN.com on Tuesday night that he has met with officials from Turkish club Besiktas and has likewise begun exploring opportunities for Durant in Spain and Russia. Goodwin added that playing in China is not something Durant is considering at this time.

“The Turkish option is very intriguing,” Goodwin said. “We’re looking at other countries as well. Kevin hasn’t agreed to play anywhere yet, but we’re looking for the best fit.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: I’ll keep repeating that if any good or great NBA player signs overseas, there is a 99.9 percent chance that they’ll have an out-clause that allows them to return to the NBA when the lockout ends. But as for this, man, imagine if one overseas team did have both Deron Williams and Kevin Durant! With smart teammates who move and cut like good international team players are supposed to. That would be worth watching no matter what flavor of basketball you’re into.

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Patrick Ewing

Greg Newman of ESPN New York reports:

Patrick Ewing joined “The Mike Lupica Show” on Tuesday and talked about his old teammates, his coaching career and a possible return to the Big Apple.

“I can’t speak bad about my teammates. I think my teammates were great guys, they were great teammates, I had fun playing with them. When I look at (Amare) Stoudemire and Carmelo (Anthony), I’ve said it before, I never played with that kind of caliber,” Ewing said.

“It is what it is. Like I said before, I love my teammates, we did the best that we could for the city of New York, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us,” Ewing told Lupica…

Could we see Patrick back in the Garden … on the Knicks’ bench? “I hope that one day I get to come back home because I do live in this area, I still consider this my area, I still consider myself a Knick. Hopefully one day I’ll be brought back here,” Ewing said.

Doc Rivers

The Boston Globe reports:

Rivers, who previously rented at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, has purchased a penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel. The well-compensated coach just closed on his new pad, paying $2.2 million for the 2-bed, 2.5-bath spread. Located on the 16th floor of the Boylston Street hotel, the penthouse has 1,801 square feet of living space, including enormous picture windows that look out over the Public Garden and Beacon Hill. It also offers 24-hour valet and concierge service. “He did his homework,’’ said realtor Beth Dickerson, who handled the sale. “He wanted to clearly understand the market, and at the end of the day, he liked the service and privacy of this property.’’

Shaquille O'Neal

The AP reports:

Los Angeles County prosecutors have dropped the case against seven gang members accused of kidnapping a music producer who claimed to have a sex tape of Shaquille O’Neal.

At the prosecution’s request, a judge Tuesday dismissed kidnapping, assault and robbery charges.

District attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison says prosecutors believed Robert Ross was attacked but his credibility as a witness was undermined by some of his own testimony and behaviour outside court. No details were provided.

Marquis Daniels

Jessica Camerato of CSNNE reports:

It began like a routine play. Marquis Daniels caught the ball near the baseline and attempted to drive to the basket against Gilbert Arenas. The two players collided and . . . in an instant, everything changed.

His right arm crashed into the parquet first, followed by his face. Daniels lay flat on the court, unable to feel his body but still conscious. He thought about his two young children – “Man, I can’t raise my kids like this. This can’t be it.” – as the crowd of 18,624 at the TD Garden came to a deafening hush, waiting – and hoping – to see any sign of movement.

Daniels heard a voice. In that moment, the most intense player on the court was suddenly the calming assurance he needed.

“I just remember I kept hearing Kevin [Garnett] telling me, ‘You’re gonna be alright. You’re gonna be alright,’” Daniels told CSNNE.com in a telephone interview. “I was like, ‘I can‘t move.’ He said, ’What do you mean?’ He kept telling me I was gonna be alright. I think that helped me out a lot, just hearing his voice telling me I was going to be alright. I stayed calm, I didn’t panic.

“It was a trying time for me. I didn’t take anything for granted. I was going to take everything seriously from now on.”

Yao Ming

Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com reports:

Yao Ming appears destined to be an unexpected member of the next Hall of Fame class.

Officials of the basketball museum said representatives from the Chinese Basketball Association and media in China signaled plans to nominate Yao in the contributor category and bypass the usual five-year waiting period for retired players.

While there is no such thing as certainty in a balloting so secretive that even the voters are never revealed, let alone the results, Yao being nominated as a contributor removes the debate that might have accompanied his nomination as a player after an injury-plagued career. Plus, after announcing his retirement from the Rockets in July, he would not have been eligible for enshrinement until 2017.

This unique approach would put Yao on the ballot that is submitted in late-2011 and faces two rounds of voting before inductees for the Class of 2012 are announced at the Final Four in New Orleans. The actual enshrinement would be later in the summer, likely August, in Springfield.

InsideHoops.com editor says: I wouldn’t put Yao Ming in the Hall of Fame as a player, because he simply didn’t play enough. A very good center who was often pretty great, Yao wasn’t as healthy as needed for a full career. But I have no objection to putting Yao in the Hall as a “contributor” to basketball, which is term that is extremely open to interpretation. And in this case, it seems reasonable. He helped bring millions of new fans to basketball, and inspired millions of others to care more. And lots of them will stick around and be a part of the sport, even as Yao’s playing days are finished.

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