Archive for September, 2011

The AP reports:

Javaris Crittenton

A judge granted bond Tuesday to ex-NBA player Javaris Crittenton, charged with murder in an August drive-by shooting in Atlanta.

Fulton County Magistrate Judge Karen Woodson allowed Crittenton to go free on $230,000 bond after hearing hours of testimony from the player’s friends and coaches. She also ordered former Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt and others who testified on his behalf to co-sign the bond.

Woodson rejected a motion to dismiss the charges against Crittenton in the shooting of 22-year-old Julian Jones, who was killed as she walked along an Atlanta street. Police have said the shots were aimed at someone walking with Jones.

Defense attorney Brian Steel said his client is not guilty and the charges are based on faulty eyewitness testimony. Crittenton has denied any involvement and his attorney said he will be exonerated.

golden state warriors

The Golden State Warriors have named Rick Welts as the team’s new President and Chief Operating Officer, it was announced this evening.  Per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Welts, 58, will oversee all business-related operations for the Warriors and will report directly to the organization’s Co-Managing Partners, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.  He joins the Warriors following a nine-year stint with the Phoenix Suns where he served the organization as President and Chief Executive Officer for the last two seasons.  He resigned on September 9.  During his tenure in Phoenix, the Suns enjoyed success on all levels, including on the court, where the club registered five (5) 50-plus win seasons and advanced to the Western Conference Finals in 2005, 2006 and 2010.  Welts’ responsibilities in Phoenix included the supervision of all business operations for the Suns and overseeing the team’s interest in the management of US Airways Center and the WNBA Phoenix Mercury.  The Mercury won the WNBA Championship in 2007 and 2009.

Welts, one of the most respected business executives in the NBA, has accumulated 36 years of experience in the league.  He boasts an impressive and all-encompassing résumé that includes a myriad of different capacities spanning virtually every level of an NBA operation.  His indoctrination into the NBA came in 1969 as a ball boy with the Seattle SuperSonics, and he had a successful 17-year stint as a high-ranking official at the NBA league office in New York.  His recent tenure in Phoenix, which began in July of 2002 as President and Chief Operating Officer, caps his comprehensive NBA background.

“Peter Guber and I have made it quite clear since we assumed control of this team in November that we’re looking to build a world class organization from top to bottom,” said Lacob.  “We feel that we’ve taken a quantum leap in that direction today with the addition of Rick Welts as our President and COO.  Rick is simply one of the most highly-regarded executives in the NBA and his accomplishments at both the team and league levels are extremely impressive.  He’s been an integral part of every organization that he’s worked for in the NBA, including the league office in New York, where he earned the respect and admiration of David Stern, as well as with the SuperSonics in Seattle and the Suns in Phoenix.  His track record in all facets of the business – sponsorship, marketing, public relations, event management, team services, merchandising – and his ability to be strategically creative and cutting-edge make him the ideal candidate to lead our organization.  Quite honestly, I’m convinced that we could not have found a better candidate for the job.”

Prior to joining the Suns, Welts spent almost two decades (1982-1999) with the NBA league office prior to departing as the Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and President of NBA Properties.  In addition to his overall contributions in the revitalization of the league’s image and popularity, his notable accomplishments at the NBA include the creation of NBA All-Star Weekend in 1984 – a model that subsequently became a fixture in both MLB and the NHL – along with the creation of a marketing program with USA Basketball for the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team.” Along with Val Ackerman, Welts was named “Marketer of the Year” by Brandweek in 1998 for his role in launching the WNBA.  He was recipient of the annual Splaver/McHugh “Tribute to Excellence Award” in 2006.  During his time at the NBA office, he received multiple promotions and supervised a wide-range of departments, including corporate sponsorship and media sales, consumer products, international business activities, media relations, community relations, team services, special events and creative services. Welts also played a prominent role in the organization of preseason games in foreign countries and the eventual opening of international NBA offices in Australia, Asia, Europe, Mexico and Canada.

“We feel extremely fortunate to add an individual as talented as Rick Welts to our organization,” said Guber.  “He provides all of the intricate qualities that a company searches for in a President – leadership, respect, experience, creativity and, of course, passion.  His NBA background has been established, in part, as the result of tremendous vision and the ability to implement new and intriguing ideas in all forms of the business. I can unequivocally say that our organization is much better today than it was yesterday with the addition of Rick Welts.”

“It’s hard to express how excited I am to embrace this opportunity and be part of a collective group in building the Warriors into a championship caliber organization,” said Welts.  “I’ve been most impressed with Joe Lacob and Peter Guber’s vision and desire to do something great.  Not good, but great.  Many of the ingredients are here – the Warriors’ rich history, the team’s amazing fan support and the strength of the Bay Area as a sports market.  We have a lot of work to do and I can’t wait to get started.”

A native of Seattle, Washington, Welts began his NBA career with the Seattle SuperSonics at the age of 16 in 1969 and spent 10 years with his hometown team.  He served as Director of Public Relations for the Sonics during the team’s back-to-back appearances in the NBA Finals in 1978 and 1979 (the SuperSonics captured their lone NBA Championship in 1979).  After leaving the SuperSonics, he spent the following three years (1980-1982) at Bob Walsh & Associates, a sports marketing firm in the Seattle area. His non-NBA résumé includes serving as President of Fox Sports Enterprises (1999-2000).  Welts attended the University of Washington.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN LA reports:

Steve Blake

Lakers reserve guard Steve Blake won’t be adding any stamps to his passport anytime soon, however.

“If we’re not having a season then I’m going to take the time to enjoy my kids and be with my wife and spend more time in Portland at my regular home, and just use the opportunity to just continue to work out and improve myself,” Blake said in a recent phone interview. “I’ve prepared myself for this financially, so I don’t need to go overseas and do it for the money.”

Blake and his wife, Kristen, have three young boys — Nicholas, Jamison and Zachary — but if he were a less-attached man he could see himself traveling the globe to continue to play basketball.

“More power to those guys,” Blake said. “Let them go play basketball, the game they love, and make some money doing it. If they don’t want to let us play here, they’ll play somewhere else. If I didn’t have three kids and wife, I’d probably go play somewhere as well.”

Joey Dorsey signs in Spain

Euroleague.net reports:

Joey Dorsey

Caja Laboral continued to build its frontline ahead of the new season and its latest signing is big man Joey Dorsey, who penned a one-year deal. Dorsey (2.03 meters, 25 years old) spent the past three seasons in the NBA, where he played in a total of 61 games for Houston, Sacramento and Toronto. Last year he appeared in 43 games for Toronto, for whom he averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 rebounds in 12 minutes. Dorsey is considered an undersized center with tremendous rebounding skills and a solid low-post game.

Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter announced today that he will be the first performer to play the Barclays Center of Brooklyn when the venue opens in September 2012.

Speaking at a major press event on the plaza at Atlantic Terminal, overlooking the under-construction Barclays Center, JAY-Z also revealed that ownership of Brooklyn’s future NBA franchise has chosen Brooklyn Nets as the team’s name.

JAY-Z was joined on the dais by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Forest City Ratner Companies Chairman and CEO Bruce Ratner, and Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yormark.

“From the moment the Barclays Center became a reality, I knew this meant something significant for Brooklyn,” said JAY-Z. “This is where I’m from, I’ll always be Brooklyn, and opening this arena will mean more to me than anywhere else. I also look forward to opening night for the Brooklyn Nets. We’re going to create an atmosphere like only Brooklyn can.”

“Brooklyn is where legends are made and dreams come true—and no one proves it more than our very own JAY-Z, a dedicated philanthropist, innovative artist, entrepreneur and cultural icon who, as a Nets investor, helped take my vision of bringing a professional basketball team to the ‘center court’ of Brooklyn and drove it in for the layup,” said Borough President Markowitz. “I am thrilled to join Bruce Ratner, FCRC, Brett Yormark, and the Nets organization today in announcing that JAY-Z will perform at the opening of the Barclays Center. As for the selection of the Brooklyn team name, was there ever any doubt? It’s ‘nothing but Nets!’”

“Who else but JAY-Z could open the Barclays Center?” said Bruce Ratner, the developer of the Barclays Center. “JAY-Z is a world icon, but more importantly, he’s Brooklyn’s icon. For the past seven years, Jay has been a great partner of mine and a true friend. It’s going to be an incredible experience next year when JAY-Z, Brooklyn’s own, takes the stage to open the Barclays Center and our vision becomes a reality.”

“We are proud to announce this highly anticipated decision to name the team the Brooklyn Nets, a choice which reflects the decades-long tradition of our team and fans, as well as the dynamic new place that will be our home,” Nets Chairman Chris Charlier said. “JAY-Z embodies the spirit of Brooklyn - its energy, guts and spirit.  We are delighted our friend and partner will be opening the Barclays Center.”

“JAY-Z is truly the face of the Barclays Center and of the Brooklyn Nets,” Brett Yormark said. “There’s no better alignment than to have a world-class venue and team with a world-class entertainer.”

Boris Diaw may sign in France

Sportando reports:

boris diaw

As reported by 20minutes.fr, Boris Diaw is on his way to sign with JSA Bordeaux, where he is also the president. The French forward has to settle few details but his arrival in the Pro B team is almost done. His debut is scheduled for October 7th.

SIG Strasbourg is seeking the market looking for a replacement of Nicolas De Jong, out for two months with a fractured bone in his hand. The main target of the French team coached by Vincent Collet is Ian Mahinmi. The coach of the French NT confirmed the negotiation between the two parts at DNA.fr. Mahinmi won the NBA title with Dallas Mavericks in the season 2010-11.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reports:

carmelo anthony

Maybe the delayed training camp won’t be so bad for Carmelo Anthony.

He revealed more elements to his mysterious offseason, disclosing last night he had knee and elbow surgery simultaneously in May. Anthony disclosed the surgeries after playing 48 minutes and dropping 31 points with 17 rebounds last night at the sweaty Palestra in a lockout-inspired barnstorming-tour loss.

The Knicks never announced the procedures. Melo said he had arthroscopic surgery on the left knee and an elbow procedure, as he suffers from chronic bursitis.

“Can’t tell, can you?” Melo said after his rugged performance.

Anthony said it was the first time in his life he’s had surgery.

“I did both of them,” Anthony said. “They were bothering me seven years.”

Anthony said the procedures came at the same time.

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Erin Durkin of the New York Daily News reports:

Rap mogul Jay-Z will headline a series of concerts to open Brooklyn’s new Nets arena next fall - and will make it official Monday: The team will be named for his hometown.

The superstar, who owns a small piece of the soon-to-be renamed Brooklyn Nets, will perform at eight concerts to celebrate the grand opening of the arena - where all-access passes are going for up to $15,400 a season.

Jay-Z likely will be joined by his wife, Beyoncé - who by then will have given birth to the couple’s first child - at one of the shows, and will bring on a series of other performers, sources said.

Jay-Z will appear with developer Bruce Ratner and Borough President Marty Markowitz to reveal details of the shows Monday at the Prospect Heights construction site.

The Barclays Center, which is rapidly rising at Flatbush and Atlantic Aves., is set to officially open on Sept. 28, 2012, with the first concert and will have three weeks of special events before the basketball season starts.

They’ll also make it official today that the team will be named the Brooklyn Nets, sources said.

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Diamond Leung of ESPN.com reports:

Arizona junior forward Kevin Parrom was the victim of a shooting during a trip home to New York City this weekend, the school and police confirmed Sunday.

A New York Police Department officer said the shooting followed a dispute that occurred around 1 a.m. Saturday at a residence in the Bronx. Parrom was shot once in the right leg and taken to a local hospital in stable condition after suffering gunshot wounds to his left hand and right knee, Officer Chris Pisano said.

No arrests have been made; the investigation continues.

A native of the Bronx, Parrom went home to visit his mother, who is in the hospital, Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne said in a statement.

The AP reports:

lebron james

LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul couldn’t lead their team back from a dreadful start, as Team Philly beat Melo’s stars of Baltimore 131-122 on Sunday night at the Palestra…

A sold-out crowd that greeted James with thunderous boos when he came onto the floor roared in the final minute when former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans used a series of fakes to drive into the lane for a basket that put it away at 131-119.

James had 43 points and 23 rebounds, and Anthony had 31 and 17, but Paul wasn’t in top shape in rare action during this NBA summer of inactivity. All three played all 48 minutes.

Former Villanova guard Kyle Lowry of the Rockets scored 34 points and Lou Williams of the hometown 76ers had 31 for Team Philly in what was called the “Battle of I-95.” Evans finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds…

The Melo team is based in Baltimore, but Anthony went outside his city to find James (Ohio) and Paul (North Carolina)…

Paul shot only 3 of 12 for six points and struggled to keep up with Philly’s speedsters.

Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News reports:

The atmosphere was one usually more conducive to a rock concert. Though slated to start at 6 p.m. at the Palestra, the sellout crowd patiently waited the near 45-minute delay of the “Battle of I-95.” And when it did finally get under way, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house; nor was there a dry shirt, brow or face. The old Palestra was a virtual sauna, and that was before any of the players took to the floor…

James led Team Melo with 43 points, while Anthony chipped in 31. . .Kyle Lowry had 34 and Williams 31 for Philly. . .Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson made a brief appearance and was cheered loudly by fans. . .Former Sixer guard Willie Green was sitting courtside. . .Markieff and Marcus Morris both were no-shows. They had a commitment Saturday night at Kansas. . .Super agent Leon Rose was seated at midcourt. . .The letters BBNS were on the back of both team’s shirts, standing for Basketball Never Stops.

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Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:

Kyrie Irving

While some might view Kyrie Irving as a threat to Baron Davis’ starting role with the Cavaliers, the 32-year-old point guard seems to be embracing the youngster. They met this spring in Cleveland at Irving’s predraft workout and have remained in touch during the NBA lockout.

“[I’m] really looking forward to playing with, and mentoring, Kyrie,” said Davis in an e-mail. “He’s so talented, creative, smart, has so much potential and could become a great cornerstone of the Cavaliers’ franchise for many years to come. I’ve been talking to him a lot this summer about NBA life, and in Cleveland, he’s going to learn so much from coach [Byron] Scott, who will be a great mentor as well.”

Davis, who’s taking classes at UCLA, had a decent finish to last season after the Los Angeles Clippers shipped him and a first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon on Feb. 24. The draft pick was the lottery winner the Cavs used to select Irving.

The two-time NBA All-Star could help shepherd the teen through his first season. Davis has played and clashed with the demanding Scott during their days together in New Orleans (2004-05), but he has gained perspective on the relationship.

Kevin Durant undecided on going overseas

Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman reports:

kevin durant

Durant had previously stated his intentions to make a decision by Oct. 1. The erratic nature of negotiations for a ratified collective bargaining agreement, however, has thrown off Durant’s timeline.

“I’ve thought about it before and I really was close to making a decision about doing that,” Durant said of possibly signing overseas. “But I kind of stopped a little bit once I heard things were kind of moving a little better with the lockout. But one day it’s good and one day it’s bad. You never know.”

With the start of the season approaching and no imminent deal anywhere in sight, the NBA announced Friday it has postponed training camps indefinitely and cancelled 43 preseason games league-wide. The Thunder lost two of its seven scheduled preseason games.

“I was shocked. The lockout is starting to be for real now,” Durant said. “Now that they’ve canceled some preseason games and postponed training camps, people are starting to really think (a lost season) can really happen.”

Luis Gomez of the Chicago Tribune reports:

michael jordan

There was a Superman sighting of a different kind in downtown Chicago on Thursday.

Michael Jordan attended the grand opening of his new restaurant in the InterContinental Hotel, Michael Jordan’s Steak House, less than a mile from where “Man of Steel” recently filmed in the city. It was Jordan’s third visit to the River North restaurant since it opened in late August.

The Bulls legend was greeted by a large crowd on the sidewalk outside of the restaurant as well as fans who packed the median separating north and southbound traffic on Michigan Avenue. Once inside the private event, Jordan took a seat in a security-protected booth in the corner of the restaurant. He was later joined by his former Bulls teammate, Scottie Pippen, and Pippen’s wife and “Real Housewives of Miami” cast member, Larsa.

Jason LLoyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reports (via blog):

Kyrie Irving

Maybe a lengthy lockout isn’t so bad for the Cavaliers after all. If nothing else, it will give rookie Kyrie Irving’s injured foot enough time to fully heal.

Irving said at his youth basketball camp Saturday that his foot feels “150 percent,” but that doctors told him it will be another few months before the foot is completely healed. NBA training camps were expected to open in about a week, but the league postponed everything following the latest breakdown in negotiations.

“My foot is not going to fully heal for a full year and it’s only been six or seven months,” Irving said. “I still feel 150 percent healthy, but my foot, in terms of healing properly, is going to take about another three months.”

By that timetable, Irving’s foot would be totally healed around Christmas. Many agents and various personnel around the league don’t believe a season will start before January, anyhow.

“It hasn’t hurt for almost seven months,” Irving said. “It’s feeling good.”

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Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel reports (via blog):

If past NBA lockout history is any guidepost to the present, the city of Orlando should know around mid-December whether the 2012 all-star game will be played at Amway Center — or cancelled.

In the last lockout, the league cancelled the Feb. 14 1999 all-star game scheduled in Philadelphia on Dec. 9, 1998.

This year’s game is set a little later — Feb. 26 at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando.

So it could be that if this lockout continues, eating up regular-season games, the league likely will cancel Orlando’s game around Dec. 15.

The NBA salvaged a 50-game season in 1998-99, with games beginning in early February.

Bloomberg News reports:

Tate George, a former player for the National Basketball Association’s New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, was charged with running a $2 million Ponzi scheme that targeted ex-professional athletes.

George, 43, raised more than $2 million for his company, The George Group, after telling investors his real-estate development portfolio was worth $500 million, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation complaint accusing him of wire fraud.

“In reality, The George Group had virtually no income generating operations,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in Newark, New Jersey, said in a statement today.

George used the money he raised to pay early investors in his company and to fund living expenses such as mortgage and child-support payments, restaurant meals, clothing and gas, according to the FBI complaint. George faces as long as 20 years in prison for the scheme, which prosecutors said began in 2005.

He surrendered to the FBI today and appeared in federal court in Newark, wearing a light-green suit and handcuffs.

The NBA announced today that player training camps for the 2011-12 season have been postponed indefinitely because a new collective bargaining agreement has not been reached with the National Basketball Players Association. Training camps were scheduled to open on October 3.

In addition, the league canceled all preseason games scheduled from October 9 through October 15.

“We have regretfully reached the point on the calendar where we are not able to open training camps on time and need to cancel the first week of preseason games,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.  “We will make further decisions as warranted.”

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The AP reports:

Former Knicks forward Marcus Camby is free on bond after police in suburban Houston arrested him on a charge of marijuana possession.

Camby was in a Porsche pulled over Monday for what police called an equipment violation. Pearland police Lt. Onesimo Lopez says an officer detected the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and they found less than two ounces of the drug inside.

Camby and another person inside, Kendal Johnson, were arrested and charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana in a drug-free zone because the arrest occurred near a school. Both were released on individual $2,000 bonds.

The Springfield Armor, the official NBA Development League affiliate of the New Jersey Nets, today announced that the team will hold open tryouts for the 2011-12 season on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22-23 at Springfield College located at 263 Alden St. in Springfield, MA. The local tryouts will be limited to the first 125 registrants.

Open tryouts present an opportunity for players to showcase their talents and be evaluated by the Armor coaching staff while they compete to earn a spot in the Armor’s training camp in November. The Armor have a strong track record of discovering players who have made the team through open tryouts. Tre Whitted, who made the team through the 2009 open tryout, is the second leading scorer in franchise history. Five players have made the Armor’s opening night roster through open tryouts in the team’s two seasons.

“I am really looking forward to our open tryouts on October 22 and 23 in Springfield,” said Armor Head Coach Bob MacKinnon, Jr. “Each player will have two days of drills and scrimmaging to show us their abilities. We utilized this format previously and have been able to find players out of our camps that gained roster spots and furthered their careers in the league.”

Registration and check-in on Saturday begin at 8:00 a.m. with the first session set to begin at 9:00 a.m. Check-in for the second session on Sunday begins at 9:00 a.m. with the second session set to begin at 9:30 a.m.

Applicants must be eligible to play in the NBA D-League and must submit the official registration, release, disclosure and background check forms. A pre-registration fee of $150 is due prior to 5:00 p.m. on Wed. Oct. 19. After Oct. 19 or on the day of the tryouts, the registration fee is $200. Tryout forms are available online (armorhoops.com) or at the Armor office (One Monarch Place, Suite 220 Springfield, MA).

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports:

kenyon martin

Longtime Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin will sign a contract to play with Xingiang Guanghui in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Martin’s contract will be the the biggest in CBA history.

“It’s a great opportunity for him to stay in shape and stay fresh,” said Andy Miller, Martin’s agent. “And it also gives him an opportunity to expand his name globally.”

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