Archive for August 10th, 2011

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.

By Jeff Lenchiner

It was a surprise today learning that the Houston Rockets, after hosting NBA All-Star weekend in 2006, get to do it again in 2013. Many teams would love to host the big event, and there’s no particular reason for Houston to land the honor quite so soon.

So, using Twitter, I reached out to the over 55,800 people currently following InsideHoops and asked them to to chime in with guesses as to why Houston is again playing All-Star host while so many other cities continue to wait. Here are some of my favorite responses (some of which I may agree with, others not so much):

MarkEomurian: Houston wants to draw attention to the smog problem?

Pharoah2012: Cuz…”We Da Best Host City”! :)

Joco967: Brian scalabrine once dreamt about Houston. The rest is self-explanatory.

SupaSIGMA4: Cuz the Chi is too dangerous and they’ve been everywhere else significant.

Crawf33: They’ve gotta have SOMETHING to pep them up after Yao called it a day.

MySkizzle: With Yao gone and the lockout looming, Stern will probably do something around Yao that night to keep Chinese market.

djgray1: Because it’s always hot here. No worries about bad weather.

HoopsU: It’s warm.

dboy03: Losing Yao Ming. NBA feels sorry for them.

MemphisSportFan: The NBA will do anything to keep the all-star game out of Memphis. So they put it in Houston again.

ImmaSavedSinner: Cause all the hoes here in the H.

glazeduck: capitalizing on Asian market before the Yao effect wears off.

MeteAktas76: A consolation for Yao Ming’s early retirement maybe?

——

Many others also mentioned the Yao Ming factor. I’d say there’s something to that Perhaps Yao will be brought over and there will be a massive tribute to him, as a way to keep fans in China tuned in.

Also, a big part of NBA All-Star weekend is the hotel situation. There needs to be plenty of rooms available, right nearby. And there are also various hotel partnerships that may come into play, somehow.

Houston is also warmer in the winter than most places. It has an airport, with functional planes and everything! That’s probably the bulk of it.

So, here’s to a great weekend in Houston in 2013! But first, in February of 2012 we’ll head to sunny, warm Orlando.

Houston lands 2013 NBA All-Star Game

Mark Berman of My Fox Houston reports:

NBA sources told FOX 26 Sports the Houston Rockets and the City of Houston landed the NBA All-Star Game in 2013. The game will be played at Toyota Center on Feb. 17, 2013. NBA All-Star week will be Feb. 15-17. The Rockets and Toyota Center also hosted the game in 2006.

Click2Houston reports:

The entire NBA All-Star Weekend will be in the Bayou City from February 15-17, 2013. Hilton Americas Marketing Director Janice O’Neill-Cox spoke with Local 2 Sports Wednesday afternoon, saying, “We played a key role in working with the league to make sure availability was in place. It’s a big boost for our city to land the game, and we’re excited about it.”

InsideHoops.com editor says: I don’t get why Houston is getting the game again. They just had it in 2006. Meanwhile, other teams haven’t hosted it in a long time. Also, Madison Square Garden renovations will be mostly complete in time. And the new Brooklyn Nets arena will exist by mid 2012. Unusual call to send the big weekend back to Houston so soon.

Tasmin Mitchell signs in Israel

Sportando reports:

Hapoel Holon announced a triple signing for the coming season: Bryant Dunston, Tasmin Mitchell and Patrick Sullivan. Dunston started last season in Greece with Aris Thessaloniki and then moved to Israel where he averaged 7.7 ppg and 5 rpg with Bnei Hasharon. Patrick Sullivan had his first season as pro in NBDL with Rio Grande Valley Vipers scoring 9.6 ppg, grabbing 5.3 rpg and dishing 1.1 apg in 58 games.

The Canadian Press reports:

The Canadian men’s national basketball team got an infusion of talent Wednesday.

Cory Joseph, a first-round pick at this year’s NBA draft, has announced he will join the squad ahead of 2011 FIBA Americas men’s championship in Argentina.

“It’s an honour to play for your country and I’m excited to get on the floor and represent Canada as best as I can,” said Joseph, who was taken 29th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in June. “I know we have a young, great group, with Joel (Anthony), (Carl) English and (Andy) Rautins coming in.

“Hopefully we come back with the gold, but if not, qualify for the Olympics.”

The New Jersey Nets have named Milton Lee as the team’s general manager of minor league operations, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

Lee, who had been the team’s director of basketball operations, will now oversee the basketball operations of the Nets’ D League affiliate, the Springfield Armor.  Lee’s duties will include selection of the team’s head coach and coaching staff as well as assembling the Armor roster for the upcoming 2011-12 season.

“Milt is a natural fit for this position,” said King.  “He has a strong history with young players and his experience with the Nets basketball operations department will allow for a seamless integration of philosophies between the two teams.”

Prior to joining the Nets, Lee started his own basketball services company where he worked in various capacities with the NBA, teams and players.  Lee personally worked as a skills coach with several NBA players currently in the league.  Previously, Lee served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers summer league team in 2008 and 2009, and has been a consultant to the NBA at the past six Pre-Draft Combines.

Earlier in his career, Lee worked as a proprietary trader on Wall Street for ING Barings and SAC Capital.  Lee interned for the NBA at three consecutive Olympic Games, including 1992, for the original “Dream Team.”

A native of Bergen County, New Jersey, Lee is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a member of the junior varsity basketball team.

The Nets, as reported by InsideHoops.com, entered into a hybrid agreement with the Armor on May 1.  The hybrid affiliation is a structure similar to other minor leagues, allowing for the Nets to secure control over and cover the expenses related to the basketball operations of the Armor, while partnering with existing local ownership, which maintains responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations.

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