Archive for September 27th, 2011

NBA owners budge on hard cap demand

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports:

For the first time in two years of labor talks, NBA owners made a modest push from their rigid stance on implementing a hard salary cap, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The owners proposed at Tuesday’s negotiating session an idea similar to the current system that allows teams to pay a luxury tax for going over the cap. Only, now there would be ultra-punitive measures against higher-spending teams. The current system has teams pay a dollar-for-dollar tax for exceeding the cap.

Players Association executive director Billy Hunter has called the hard cap a “blood issue” for the union, and insisted the players would never agree to it.
The owners’ proposal on Tuesday “would still have the affects of a hard cap,” one source with knowledge of the talks said.

The owners didn’t budge on a desire to change the basketball-related income percentage (BRI) to a split that takes the players from 57 percent to the mid 40s, sources said. The players had offered to drop from a 57-43 split to 54-46 at a meeting last week in New York.

The Dakota Wizards have hired Vitaly (vee-TAH-lee) Potapenko (poe-TAH-pen-koe) as the team’s assistant coach, the team announced today. Potapenko will serve under newly hired Head Coach Nate Bjorkgren for the 2011-12 season.

Potapenko brings two years of coaching experience to the Wizards, having most recently served as an assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers this past season. In Indiana, under Head Coach Jim O’Brien and Interim Head Coach Frank Vogel, Potapenko helped lead the Pacers to a 37-45 record and a trip to the 2011 NBA Playoffs.

Prior to joining the Pacers, Potapenko served as an assistant coach for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League under Head Coach Joey Meyer during the 2009-10 season.

Potapenko was selected 12th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1996 NBA Draft. Nicknamed “The Ukraine Train”, he averaged 6.5 points and 4.5 rebounds over 11 seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics and the Sacramento Kings. His most productive season came in 1998-99 after being traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics on March 11, 1999. He averaged 10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 33 games (32 starts) for the Celtics.

Prior to joining the NBA, Potapenko played for Budivelnyk (Ukraine) from 1992-1994 and finished his career playing for MMT Estudiantes in the Spanish ACB during the 2007-2008 season.

Potapenko, 36, was born in Kiev, USSR.

Sean Meagher of reports:

Former Portland Trail Blazers center and recent Basketball Hall of fame inductee Arvydas Sabonis suffered a heart attack playing a game of pick-up basketball Tuesday and was rushed to the hospital, according to reports from Delfi Sportas and Simonas Baranauskas of

Adds Baranauskas via Twitter: An update on Sabonis: apparently, there is no threat to the Lithuanian legend’s life. Of course, he will still spend the night in hospital.

Eurosport reports: The 46-year-old, a former NBA star with the Portland Trailblazers, survived the incident and is “out of danger”, according to a Tweet from his agent.

Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News reports:

manu ginobili

Manu Ginobili still is mulling a decision on whether to join his former Italian team Virtus Bologna during the lockout.. “I did not say no to the proposal. In Bologna, I had great time and my wife Marianela loves Italy,” Ginobili said. ”There is a possibility that I will join Virtus Bologna during the NBA lockout. I have to give an answer by the end of the month.”

Ginobili is very familiar with the area after playing for Kinder Bologna from 2000-02 before joining the Spurs. He helped his team claim the 2001 Italian Championship, the 2001 and 2002 Italian Cups, and the 2001 Euroleague, where he was named the league’s Final Four MVP. and the AP report:

lebron james

Miami Heat stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are planning to host about 20 NBA players for a charity game in early October.

An official announcement is expected Wednesday, but Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday that the All-Star exhibition is set for Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. ET on the campus of Florida International University, where Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is a coach.

It will be the first time James, Wade and Bosh take the court together since last season’s NBA Finals, but it will be just the latest in a series of exhibitions with NBA players this offseason while the league is in a lockout. James has appeared in several of those contests, including one on Sunday in Philadelphia, and New Orleans point guard Chris Paul is set to host one in his hometown of Winston Salem, NC on Oct. 1.

Chris Broussard of ESPN the Magazine reports:

A number of NBA players are slated to join the Miami trio on the court, including fellow Heat teammate Mario Chalmers, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire, the New Orleans Hornets’ Chris Paul, the Washington Wizards’ John Wall, the Atlanta Hawks’ Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson, the Houston Rockets’ Jonny Flynn, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Eric Bledsoe, the Dallas Mavericks’ Caron Butler, the Memphis Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay, the Boston Celtics’ Rajon Rondo, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Lou Williams, the Golden State Warriors’ Dorell Wright, and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Wesley Matthews and free agent Eddy Curry.

Cleveland Cavaliers first-round picks Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson also are possible participants in the game.

Irving and Thompson are waiting to see if a spot opens up, a source told’s Brian Windhorst. Other rookies, the source said, were interested but there’s no room in the game for other first-year players. There’s no interest in 15-player rosters because players want to be able to play in the game and not sit on the bench.

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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.

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