Archive for October, 2011

Kim Kardashian

That was fast!

Kim Kardashian filed for divorce Monday just 72 days after tying the knot with Kris Humphries in a lavish ceremony that was taped for her reality show.

“I’ve spoken to her briefly and she says she’s sad and got caught up in all that was going on,” Ryan Seacreast, who produces her show, said on his KIIS-FM radio program Monday morning.

Kardashian, 31, lists the date of separation as today, Oct. 31, 2011, and cites the usual “irreconcilable differences,” according to her Los Angeles Superior Court filing.

She also says the couple has a prenuptial agreement and she doesn’t want to pay spousal support to Humphries.

– Reported by Jennifer Garcia and Mike Fleeman of People.com

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A part owner of the Sacramento Kings might be in danger of losing his stake in the team after filing for personal bankruptcy.

Veteran Sacramento developer Bob Cook, who’s been a part owner of the Kings since the 1980s, is buried under millions of dollars of debt and could surrender his 7 percent share of the team.

Cook’s financial troubles stem from the construction of Le Rivage, the upscale hotel he opened on the Sacramento River in 2008. The hotel defaulted on its debt last year, and Cook filed for Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy protection in August.

Ramping up the financial pressure, one of his creditors is trying to drag into Bankruptcy Court the partnership through which Cook holds his Kings ownership stake.

– Reported by Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee

David Stern proclaimed officially Friday there is no longer a chance of squeezing in an 82-game schedule with a Dec. 1 starting date. However, multiple sources predict a 78-game slate will be staged if the sides compromise on the revenue split by next weekend. The final schedule has to be an even number, sources said.

“Anything is possible,” one union source said. “If the handshake is a week later, it’s a week less of games.”

As The Post reported earlier this month, the schedule does not pick up where it leaves off on the original document. Several contingency schedules have been compiled by NBA schedule-maker Matt Winick, pending the season’s starting date. The schedule is made from scratch, pending the availability of arenas. Many dates are the same, but opponents have changed. Any lost games for the Knicks would be West Coast opponents, according to sources.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

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Phil Jackson

The Chicago Bulls finished 62-20 to secure the No. 1 seed in the NBA last season, advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals and Derrick Rose became the Bulls’ first league MVP since Michael Jordan played for Phil Jackson in the 1990’s.

What does all of this mean to Jackson?

“I think they overachieved last year as far as record and how they got to the spots they got to in the playoffs,” said the former NBA coach on ‘The Waddle & Silvy Show’ Thursday.

He commented that Bulls need to help Rose and “They just can’t be one-dimensional in that regard. They have to have those complementary pieces to assist Rose in his game.”

The Bulls struggled with the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks and if it weren’t for Rose would they have honestly made it as far as they did? Were they overrated?

– Reported by CSN Chicago

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The NBA announced today that it has canceled all games through November 30 because a new collective bargaining agreement has not been reached with the National Basketball Players Association.

“We share the frustrations of our fans, partners, and those who rely on our game for their livelihoods,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We remain committed to reaching an agreement that’s fair for both the teams and the players and allows for the long-term growth of our game.”

In Friday’s press conference, NBA Commissioner David Stern said “you need 30 days to play.”

“The calendar takes care of our games,” said Stern about the canceled dates.

dwight howard

On November 12 and 13, 2011, five-time NBA All-Star Dwight Howard will host the Dwight Howard All-Star Celebrity Weekend. The weekend kicks off on Saturday, November 12th with a Celebrity Bowling Tournament being held at Broadwalk Bowl in Orlando. Fans can join in by playing on a team or just watching. Then on Sunday, November 13th, the D12 All-Star Game will bring together an All-Star group of former and current NBA players on the campus of the University of Central Florida (“UCF”).

Joining Dwight on the court will be former Orlando Magic All-Stars and some of the finest players in the NBA including Shaquille O’Neal, Grant Hill, Matt Barnes, Penny Hardaway, Chris Duhon, Jason Richardson and Courtney Lee. All proceeds from this weekend of friendly competition for a good cause will benefit the D12 Foundation & its programs.

InsideHoops.com will post more players and much more when complete information becomes available.

In 2011, the NBA Community Assist Award winner expanded his focus and launched the D12 Foundation whose mission is to “plant seeds, cultivate them and watch them grow.” The four main pillars that this foundation will support include youth education, healthy and activity, character and leadership development and disaster relief.

“This entire off-season I have concentrated on not only perfecting my game, but also making this world a better place. I had an idea that would allow me to do both,” Dwight Howard comments on the idea of hosting the D12 All-Star Weekend in Orlando. “We are excited to bring back some familiar faces to Orlando and our current guys for a fun weekend and good game that will benefit our local and worldwide charitable efforts.”

The Bowling Event will take place on November 12 at Boardwalk Bowl, doors opening at 7 PM. Tickets and sponsorships for bowling are available at www.d12foundation.org.

Tickets for the D12 All-Star Game will go on sale today at 10:00am. Tickets are $100, $65, $45 and $25.00 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000 or at the UCF Arena Box Office. Students will valid UCF I.D. can purchase tickets for $20 at the UCF Arena Box Office. The game will kick off at 7 PM with doors opening at 6 PM.

Again, check this page soon for more info about the rosters, more players being involved and everything else.

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antoine walker

The Idaho Stampede has announced three-time NBA All-Star Antoine Walker has signed with the NBA Development League and will report to training camp with the Idaho Stampede, which begins November 14.

Walker (6-9, 245, Kentucky) played 43 games (39 starts) with the Stampede in 2010-11, averaging 16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 33.4 minutes per game.

Walker had four double-doubles on the season, all coming in the last six games of the year. Walker scored a season-high 29 points at Dakota on Jan. 16 and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds on March 26 at Austin.

“I can’t wait to get back to Boise,” Walker said. “It’s a great place to live and I’m hoping I can help this team make the playoffs and win a championship – we’ve got some unfinished business to tend to.”

A veteran of 12 NBA seasons, Walker has career averages of 17.5 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 893 games (707 starts). Walker made All-Star game appearances in 1998, 2002 and 2003, starting alongside Michael Jordan in the 2002 game in Philadelphia.

Walker has played for the Boston Celtics (seven-plus seasons), Dallas Mavericks (one season), Atlanta Hawks (part of one season), Miami Heat (two seasons) and Minnesota Timberwolves (one season). His last stint in the NBA was in 2007-08 with the T’Wolves, playing 46 games (1 start).

In the NBA playoffs, Walker has career averages of 16.1 points, 7.1 Rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in 64 games. Walker averaged 13.3 points per game with the Miami Heat in 2005-06 when the club won its first-ever NBA Championship.

Walker was the sixth overall selection in the 1996 NBA Draft, making the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 1997. Stampede Head Coach Randy Livingston was taken 42nd overall in that same draft class.

Before his professional career, Walker played two seasons at the University of Kentucky under coach Rick Pitino. The Wildcats won the NCAA Championship in 1996 with Walker averaging 15.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

Born August 12, 1976, Walker is a former McDonald’s All-American from Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, Ill.

Walker last played in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008-09; he then signed with the Guaynabo Mets, a team in the Puerto Rican Baloncesto Superior Nacional basketball league.

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Nicolas Batum wins Euroleague Week 2 MVP

nicolas batum

With one spectacular play after another, supertalent Nicolas Batum made the first home game of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague season one to remember for the home fans in Nancy as the hosts pulled away to their first victory, 87-73 over Bizkaia Bilbao Basket on Thursday. Batum not only played nearly the entire game and flirted with a triple-double, but took over with 11 points in a 15-0 run in the final three minutes. The final boxscore showed the mercurial small forward to have a Euroleague career high 26 points – including making 11 of 12 free throws – plus 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and 11 fouls drawn.

That impressive performance left Batum with a performance index rating of 36, which was the most of any player in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague this week and earned Batum the bwin MVP honor for Week 2 of the regular season.

Though Batum’s was the best, it was not the only impressive showing of the week. Olympiacos Piraeus forward Georgios Printezis and KK Zagreb big man Sean May tied for the second-best index ratings of week 2 with 31. Printezis had his best scoring night in two-and-a-half seasons with 21 points on perfect shooting and also recorded 7 rebounds, 1 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in an 81-74 victory over Fenerbahce Ulker.

– Reported by Euroleague.net 

michael beasley

Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley is accusing his former agent and an AAU coach of conspiring to forge a relationship with him from the age of 14 and giving his mother improper cash benefits while Beasley starred at Kansas State, all in an effort to land the basketball prodigy as a client.

Beasley laid out the allegations in a lawsuit filed in Maryland a month ago in response to agent Joel Bell’s wrongful termination lawsuit against him. Beasley said Bell gave his mother, Fatima Smith, living expenses when he went to college, which likely would violate NCAA rules and federal regulations governing sports agents.

The Associated Press left messages for attorneys representing Beasley and Bell seeking comment. An attorney for AAU coach Curtis Malone and Malone himself vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

“The allegations of impropriety against Mr. Malone are baseless as a matter of law and he denies them,” attorney Bill Heyman said.

– Reported by the St. Paul Pioneer Press wire services

The attorney for former NBA player Jose Ortiz says his client will plead guilty to drug charges in Puerto Rico following an agreement with federal prosecutors.

Hector Guzman Jr. filed a motion Thursday requesting a hearing so Ortiz can enter a new plea.

Ortiz was arrested in June after federal agents seized 218 marijuana plants at his house along with 40 rounds of ammunition. He was accused of possession with intent to distribute the plants.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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danilo gallinari align=

Before Kim Kardashian met Kris Humphries she allegedly had her eye on another NBA player, former Knicks hoopster Danilo Gallinari. And, according to Web site Wetpaint.com, Kardashian specifically was in the hunt for a piece of arm candy from the NBA.

Kardashian was so eager to land a basketball player, the site says, that she had producers at E!, the home of her reality shows, contact NBA teams about potential beaus. Sources say that producers at the network called the Knicks to find out if the team’s handsome Italian import, Gallinari, was single.

“They asked if he would be interested in dating her and being on a reality show,” a source told the site. “Danilo said he would love to meet Kim but was not interested in dating her or being on a reality show … Even though E! explained it would be great for his career, Gallinari turned the offer down.”

– Reported by Page Six of the New York Post

Christian EyengaChristian Eyenga has become the second Cavalier to sign with an overseas club during the NBA lockout. A third Cav could be right behind him.

Eyenga agreed to a deal with the Spanish side Joventut Badalona, according to a tweet from his agent Andy Miller. The swingman can return to the Cavaliers once the NBA work stoppage ends. He was playing in Spain before the Cavs signed him last season.

The Congolese international played in 44 games last season with the Cavs, averaging 6.9 points and 2.8 rebounds.

– Reported by Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer

kevin garnett

The World All-Star Classic has lost some of its shine recently, with some of the NBA’s top players opting to not participate.

But there’s one perennial all-star  - Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett - who, according to his agent, is very much still in the mix…

Others tentatively scheduled to participate include Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Steve Nash, Carlos Boozer, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, Tyson Chandler and Chris Kaman.

– Reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of the CSNNE Blog 

Sale of Atlanta Hawks hits snag with NBA

The proposed sale of the Atlanta Hawks to Los Angeles businessman Alex Meruelo has hit a significant snag in the NBA approval process, according to people familiar with the situation.

It not clear at the moment whether the deal, announced Aug. 7 subject to NBA approval, will get completed.

“I have more than ample resources to purchase and operate the Hawks in a first-class manner,” Meruelo said in a statement provided to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tonight.

– Reported by Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have hired Ed Stefanski as the team’s executive vice president of basketball operations. Stefanski joins the Raptors from upper management positions with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets, where his teams qualified for the NBA playoffs in eight of the past nine seasons. In his position, Stefanski will report to Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo.

“Ed Stefanski embodies everything I was hoping to attain when the search began for a top level basketball executive to join our staff,” said Colangelo. “Ed brings to the table experience, smarts and a great feel for the game and of people.”

“I am very excited to join Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors organization,” Stefanski said. “Toronto is a world class city and the Raptors fans are strong supporters.

“The team has a young nucleus of players that have a big upside. And with the addition of Head Coach Dwane Casey I am looking forward to witnessing their growth and improvement.”

Stefanski, who has earned a reputation throughout the NBA as an excellent evaluator of talent, spent the past four seasons in a president and general manager role with Philadelphia. With the 76ers, Stefanski returned the franchise to playoff status via trades, the re-signing of key performers and the acquisition of athletic, younger players in the NBA Draft. Despite having only mid-first round picks in three of his four drafts, Stefanski was able to add lottery-level talent to the team.

Prior to joining Philadelphia, Stefanski spent nine seasons with the Nets. He was promoted to general manager of the club in the summer of 2004 following a one-year stint as the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations and four seasons as the team’s director of scouting.

While with the Nets, Stefanski oversaw the team’s basketball operations and was heavily involved in the club’s roster development and player personnel matters. He helped to build New Jersey’s back-to-back Eastern Conference Championship teams in 2002 and 2003.

A 1976 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business), Stefanski played three seasons for Penn, where he was coached by Hall-of-Famer Chuck Daley. Stefanski was a member of two Ivy League Champions (1974 and 1975), helping the Quakers reach the NCAA Tournament in both of those seasons.

In 1979, Stefanski also began a 20-year run as a colour analyst for Big Five basketball and ESPN’s Atlantic 10 basketball coverage.

lebron james

The proposed world tour of NBA elite amid the league’s lockout won’t include at least one of the Miami Heat’s Big Three.

LeBron James, whose name had been thrown into the mix for the two-week tour that opens Sunday in Puerto Rico and is scheduled to then include stops in London, Macau and Australia, will not be among the participants.

A source close to the Heat forward Wednesday told the Sun Sentinel that James had never committed to the tour and added that James is not participating, “due to previous commitments.”

In the wake of the Sun Sentinel being informed of James not joining the tour, ESPN reported that New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony and New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul also would not be participating. With Wade close to those two, his interest could also be waning.

– Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Raptors close to hiring Ed Stefanski

The Toronto Raptors are finalizing an agreement with former Philadelphia 76ers general manager Ed Stefanski to take over as the franchise’s executive vice president of basketball operations, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Stefanski, who was fired as the 76ers’ GM a week ago, will report to Raptors president-GM Bryan Colangelo, who will still have final say on basketball matters. Stefanski will ultimately replace Masai Ujiri, who left Toronto to become the Denver Nuggets GM last year.

Colangelo conducted a lengthy search and ultimately targeted Stefanski in recent weeks for the job. Former New Orleans Hornets GM Jeff Bower was the runner-up. San Antonio Spurs assistant GM Dennis Lindsey had been a strong candidate, too.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

Chris Paul

New Orleans Hornets star Chris Paul and his family will play “Family Feud” next week to benefit Paul’s CP3 Foundation. The episode is scheduled to air at 3 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 1) on WGNO…

Family members participating in the game show will be Chris, brother C.J., dad Charles, mom Robin and aunt Rhonda.

The opposing team will be the O’Haras from Revere, Mass. They’ll play for $100,000 and a car.

– Reported by Dave Walker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

More N.B.A. games will be canceled soon, perhaps today or tomorrow or next week. The timing hardly matters anymore. The schedule, at least as it was presented in July, is already worthless.

Two weeks of games have been canceled. The rest of November’s games will be wiped out soon. And at least two arenas, in Los Angeles and Chicago, have reassigned some December dates for other events, with the N.B.A.’s blessing.

To be clear, the league is not secretly canceling the December schedule — the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls were assured of alternate nights to replace those they surrendered — but the decision to release those arena dates underscores the obsolescence of the published schedule.

Lead negotiators for the N.B.A. and the players union will meet again Wednesday, just six days after talks collapsed, in another attempt to end the lockout, according to a person briefed on the talks.

Whenever the lockout is resolved, the N.B.A. will build a new schedule from scratch, using all arena dates that are still reserved, according to people who are aware of the league’s plans. N.B.A. officials declined to discuss the issue Tuesday.

Thus, the decision to formally announce cancellations is an academic exercise, and perhaps a bit of political theater. The announcements are a warning shot to the league’s 430-plus players, a reminder that they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars.

– Reported by Howard Beck of the New York Times

derrick rose

Derrick Rose, in Hawaii this week visiting military personnel as part of the Hoops for Troops USO Tour, will undoubtedly earn a lot more when he becomes a free agent at the end of his four-year, $22.5 million contract, depending on the new agreement, of course.

“I wish it was back like where it was in the old days where there wasn’t a cap,” Rose told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “Back in the day, they were giving guys coming out of college with multimillion-dollar contracts, so why stop it now? The game is growing. There’s no need to stop it.”

The union would like players to get out from the rookie salary scale quicker than five years. On Monday, union executive director Billy Hunter mentioned Rose and Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin during an hour-long podcast with ESPN.com as examples of players who are underpaid because there are still locked into their scale figures.

The league said it has proposed a new bonus pool for top-performing rookie scale players who earn league honors as such as MVP or are on the All-NBA first, second or third teams.

– Reported by Jaymes Song of the Associated Press

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