Archive for September 6th, 2011

Rautins

At this point, the Canadian men’s basketball team can only cling to hope. They have to simply believe, and not give into the evidence that is mounting against them.

They have to believe that they are more the team that upset the Dominican Republic last week than the one that lost a winnable game against Venezuela. They have to believe they are more the club that blitzed Puerto Rico 20-5 to start the fourth quarter on Tuesday than the one that lost the rest of the game by 20 points.

And they have to believe they can win their final two games in order to give themselves an outside shot at qualifying for the last-chance tournament next summer to make the London Olympics.

Andy Rautins, who led Canada with 18 points, suffered a broken nose and a slight concussion, and his status is up in the air.

– Reported by Eric Koreen of the National Post.

The majority of the high-profile events have been based on the East Coast, but the Midwest will finally get a taste of spotlight later this month. On Sept. 24, Indianapolis’ Butler University will host an affair pitting the Indy Pro-Am against the Washington, D.C.-based Goodman League — the same outfit that took on both the Los Angeles-based Drew League and a Baltimore-based “Melo League” squad featuring LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul — last month, CSNChicago.com confirmed with Indy Pro-Am founder Carlos Knox.

Knox said he expects Indy Pro-Am participants such as Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, former Butler star and Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward, Jazz first-round draft pick Alec Burks, Pacers guard Lance Stephenson, Pacers guard and Indianapolis native George Hill and Wizards draft pick Shelvin Mack, another recent Butler product, to participate. On the Goodman end, reigning two-time NBA scoring champion and Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, a Washington native, and Wizards star John Wall are the reported headliners.

Being that Indianapolis is only an approximately three-hour drive away, it might be the closest Chicago will get to a high-profile exhibition — even without labor negotiations as of yet resolved, look for several of these events to crop up this month, before the official opening of NBA training camps officially open in October — this offseason, for the time being.

– Reported by Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago.

Tiny Gallon signs in Turkey

Bandirma Kirmizi, a newcomer in Turkish TBL, finalized the first two signings for the upcoming season: Frank Tiny Gallon and Frank Hassell.

Tiny Gallon spent his rookie season as pro in NBDL with Maine Red Claws, averaging 13.7ppg, 7.5rpg, 1.7apg, 1.3bpg in 35 games and Bakersfiled Jam, scoring 7.8ppg with 5.1rpg in 12 games.

– Reported by Sportando.

Detroit Pistons vs. New York Knicks (November 21, 2007)

The Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment announced today that Dennis Mannion has been appointed President, effective immediately.

Mannion, 52, will oversee all Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment business operations, including sales, marketing, finance and administration.  Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars will continue to oversee all basketball operations.

Mannion brings a broad and unique perspective, having spent 29 seasons working in four major professional sports, including two years managing business operations for the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche from 1998 to 1999. Mannion most recently served as President of the Los Angeles Dodgers where he worked from 2007 to 2010. He also previously worked for the Baltimore Ravens from 1999 to 2007, and for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1982 to 1997.

“Dennis is very well qualified and will bring a fresh perspective to the organization,” said Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment owner Tom Gores.  “He is an innovative guy and he shares our vision of creating the best possible experience for our fans.   He also shares our core values of hard work and commitment to the community.  Dennis knows what it takes to succeed at a high level and we are excited to have him on board.”

Throughout his career Mannion has led operations during 12 post-season runs, including two World Series, an NHL conference championship and a Super Bowl.

“Detroit is an incredible sports and entertainment town and I am honored by this opportunity,” said Mannion.  “I look forward to working with the Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment team, our corporate partners and the community to build on the legacy of this great organization.  We will do everything we can to provide the best, most exciting experience possible for everyone that comes out to see a game or a show.”

In Los Angeles, Mannion’s marketing initiatives and efforts to improve the game day experience helped the Dodgers lead Major League Baseball in paid attendance in 2009 for the first time since 1986.  He also created the Dodgers Sports Lab, an in-house production facility and staff that generates content for all of the team’s game broadcasts, motion graphics and video, online content and printed materials.

Mannion joined the Dodgers in 2007 following eight seasons with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens where he was Senior Vice President of Business Ventures. In that role, Mannion oversaw all revenue streams, image, and brand-generating properties. He led and coordinated the development of more than 60 Ravens sub-brands, 12 season-long Ravens television and radio shows, and annual events such as Spring Football Festival, Ravens Kickoff Week, State of the Ravens, and the Ravens All Community Team.

Prior to joining the Ravens in 1999, Mannion spent three years as Senior Vice President at Ascent Sports, owner of the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche and the Pepsi Center. Mannion managed all business operations for both teams and the arena.

Mannion spent 16 years with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1982-1997, serving as Vice President of Marketing and Sales for his last eight seasons. He was noted for enhancing the fan experience at Veterans Stadium during his tenure and was instrumental in securing and the staging the 1996 MLB All-Star Game in Philadelphia.

Mannion is a native of New York and graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in business and sports management.

Kenyon Martin

During the ongoing NBA lockout, the main news has been overseas player signings, changes in management or coaching staffs, and the occasional hot exhibition game. So, we send a thank-you to Kenyon Martin for adding something new to the lockout pot.

Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post reports:

Longtime Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin has chosen a new agent – now we’ll see if he chooses a new team.

The unrestricted free agent has hired Andy Miller, who also represents former Nuggets all-star Chauncey Billups. Martin is seeking what could be the last big contract of his career – the 2010-11 season was the last on Martin’s seven-year, $90-plus million deal with Denver.

He turns 34 in December, but coaches across the league annually gush about Martin’s ability to quarterback a defense. Last season, Martin averaged 8.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds in what might have been his final season in powder blue.

Martin is definitely slowing down, but he’s not done yet. His best role at this point is probably as the first forward off the bench. Or, he’s still capable of starting and being a defensive anchor if placed next to another forward with serious offensive game.

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