Archive for October, 2011

matt barnes

It will happen at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the San Jose State Event Center, where the current team will match up with the 2007 squad — a fan favorite because of its first-round playoffs upset as an eighth seed against the top-ranked Dallas Mavericks.

Lakers forward Matt Barnes, who played for the 2007 team, will be putting together a list of players until Monday, but there are already a handful who have committed.

That includes current Warriors Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee, Dorrell Wright, Lou Amundson, Charlie Bell and Jeremy Bell.

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times Blog

Ben Wallace

Detroit Pistons’ Ben Wallace is in Oakland County Circuit Court Tuesday on weapon and drunken driving charges.

Wallace was arrested Sept. 24 at Telegraph and Long Lake Road after Bloomfield Township police officers said they saw his 2007 Cadillac Escalade swerving.

Police said they found an unloaded handgun and ammunition in a backpack in Wallace’s back seat.A field sobriety test showed Wallace was over the .08 legal limit. The handgun is registered to Wallace’s wife, police said.

Wallace said he drank four beers before he drove, police said.

– Reported by Santiago Esparza of the Detroit News

Rodney Stuckey

The Guangdong Southern Tigers in China are making a hard push to sign Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey, according to sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

The biggest hurdle for Guangdong to clear, though, is the same hurdle all Chinese teams face when trying to land NBA players: Stuckey would be unable to come back to the NBA until Guangdong’s season ends in the spring if he goes through with the deal.

If Stuckey elects to sign with the Tigers, he’d be obligated to stay with the Chinese team through the completion of the season in March even if the ongoing NBA lockout ends before that, thanks to rules instituted this season by the Chinese Basketball Association that prevent its teams from offering an in-season out to players signed away from the NBA.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

Shane Battier

Aside from attending a union meeting in June, Battier has kept up with the proceedings from afar, stating that it’s hard to have the necessary frame of reference if you’re not able to attend every meeting.

However, he has managed to stay in contact with members of the executive committee.

Having played for both a small market team in Memphis and a large market one in Houston, Battier has seen firsthand the discrepancy of revenue sharing, which is why he believes that could be one of the keys to getting a new CBA completed.

“Teams like Memphis, Milwaukee, Sacramento, they’re at a disadvantage because of the economics of their cities,” he said. “I would like to see us have a true partnership in every sense of the word. Let’s all share. This is an unbelievable game. This is an unbelievable opportunity for both owners and players. Let’s be partners. I think that extends to revenue sharing.”

– Reported by Marlon W. Morgan of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

In What is sure to be a common occurrence among NBA teams as the lockout continues, the 76ers yesterday let go of two of their employees - NBA scouts John Nash and Chris Ford.

At a news conference last Tuesday when the new ownership of the team was introduced, it was announced that general manager Ed Stefanski had been released of his duties…

Nash was GM of the Sixers from 1986 to ‘90. His latest stint with the team started after he left the GM job with Portland after the 2005-06 season.

Ford, an Atlantic City native who went on to become a high school legend at Holy Spirit in South Jersey and a star at Villanova, coached 30 games for the Sixers during the tumultuous 2003-04 season. He replaced Randy Ayers, and the team went just 33-49 that season.

– Reported by Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News

john wall

John Wall says he plans to play in Carmelo Anthony’s exhibition game in New York, if and when it’s scheduled.

“Yeah, I’ve got to,” Wall said last week. “Carmelo’s like a big brother or a big homey to me. I listen, take a lot of advice from him. So I wouldn’t mind playing in his game.”

Anthony has said he wants to host an exhibition game in the area featuring LeBron James, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant, among others. So Wall would only add to the star power.

The game is expected to be scheduled for late November and may take place in the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

darvin ham

The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Darvin Ham as an assistant coach it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“I’m very happy to have Darvin join our coaching staff,” said Lakers Head Coach Mike Brown. “ I’ve known Darvin since his rookie year in Denver and have watched him make the transition from player to coach. He has put in the hard work that is necessary to have success at this level and I look forward to having him on our staff.”

Ham joins the Lakers after spending last season serving as the head coach of the New Mexico Thunderbirds of the NBA D-League. Prior to assuming his role as head coach, Ham spent two seasons (2008-2010) as an assistant coach for the Thunderbirds. He joined the coaching ranks after a 12-year playing career, which included eight seasons in the NBA as well as stints overseas and with the NBA D-League.

“I’m truly honored and grateful for Mike Brown, Mitch Kupchak and the entire Lakers organization for presenting me with this amazing opportunity,” said Ham. “I look forward to making my contribution in sustaining the championship tradition that the Lakers have established throughout their history in the NBA. I’m very excited about our staff and players, and am ready to get to work to help bring another championship to this prestigious franchise.”

Ham, who played for Texas Tech from 1993-96, was originally signed as a free agent with the Denver Nuggets in 1996. He played for six different teams (Denver, Indiana, Washington, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Detroit) over his eight-year NBA career, averaging 2.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 417 games. In 2004 he won an NBA Championship as a member of the Pistons. In addition, he spent one season (1998-99) playing for CB Granada in Spain. After his NBA career, Ham played in the Philippines and Puerto Rico before being drafted by the Thunderbirds with the third overall pick in the 2007 NBA D-League Draft. He joined the team as a player/coach and played in 43 games before being traded to the Austin Toros to finish the season. In 2008, Ham returned to the Thunderbirds, joining the coaching staff as an assistant.

Matt Barnes and Gloria Govan break up

Gloria Govan

In the wake of postponed wedding plans, a dropped domestic-violence charge and reality television show scrutiny, Lakers forward Matt Barnes announced in an emailed statement Monday that he and his fiancée, reality television star Gloria Govan, have mutually parted ways.

“I’d like to address the rumors surrounding mine and Gloria’s relationship,” Barnes’ statement read. “We have reached the difficult decision of ending our relationship and will be going our separate ways at this time. We will work together to raise our sons and wish each other only the best.”

Because Barnes and Govan never married, it remains unclear to what degree they’d share custody of  their 3-year-old twins Carter Kelly and Isiah Michael, and whether they’d divide certain assets, including their Palos Verdes home. It also remains unclear if they’d continue working together with Athletes vs. Cancer, a foundation Barnes founded in 2008 that Govan has said raised $225,000 for local cancer-screening programs. Barnes and Govan could not be reached for further comment.

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times Blog

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roger mason

Knicks guard Roger Mason knows at least one owner who wished the NBA lockout ended with a labor agreement Thursday night: James Dolan.

Mason, vice president of the Players Association, has rubbed shoulders with the Knicks owner countless times this summer and fall in Manhattan hotel board rooms instead of the team’s plush practice facility.

“You can look at it and say the majority of owners don’t want a deal,” Mason told The Post yesterday from his Los Angeles home. “But there are owners eager to get a deal done. At this moment they are overshadowed by a contingent of owners who are trying to get everything they want in a new CBA.”

Asked if Dolan is one of the owners in the minority, Mason said: “Definitely. You feel excitement in the city. I know Dolan sees that, hears that. He’s definitely one of the owners who’s ready to get back to work.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Kevin Durant

Two-time scoring champion Kevin Durant can still fill up a stat sheet, Chris Paul can still orchestrate a team and LeBron James is still a highlight waiting to happen.

What they haven’t been able to do is find a deal with the NBA that they find acceptable enough to play real games again.

The All-Stars all took part in a charity exhibition game Sunday night in Oklahoma City, with hometown hero Durant recording a triple-double with 42 points, 26 rebounds and 11 assists to lead his team to a 176-171 victory in overtime.

Durant and a star-studded White team including James and Westbrook overcame a fourth-quarter deficit to beat a Blue team that featured Anthony and Paul.

James had three buckets—a pair of layups and a left-handed jam—in a 20-2 fourth-quarter run that put the White team ahead for the first time since the opening period. Durant finished it off with a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 152-143.

Harden answered with back-to-back 3-pointers before Beasley’s fast-break dunk during a string of eight straight Blue points, and Harden hit another 3 from the top of the key for a 159-158 lead with 54.3 seconds left.

Durant answered with a 3 from the left wing with 30.4 seconds left, and Anthony’s layup with 13.1 seconds remaining sent it to overtime tied at 161.

Durant missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the game went to overtime. James put the White team ahead to stay with back-to-back jumpers early in the extra period.

Paul was the playmaker early on, dishing out 13 assists in the first quarter — more than one per minute. He zoomed past Durant for a layup, set up a pair of dunks by Beasley and just kept orchestrating the Blue offense. His last assist of the quarter came on a bounce pass that skipped high into the air for a James Harden alley-oop dunk, and then he finished off the period with a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded.

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

In a game featuring Durant, LeBron, Melo, Westbrook and Paul, would you believe me if I told you that Michael Beasley was the game’s top scorer? Be-Easy, as Rawls called him throughout the night, dropped a game-high 56 points and did it on an absurdly-efficient 25-for-35 from the field. But here’s something to keep in mind: Beasley did almost all of that during the first three quarters, when the game was an up-and-down, no-defense affair. When the game got serious in the final 11 minutes (including overtime), Beasley, who was on the floor, didn’t score, much less shoot.

The preferred shot of choice in this game? The 3. Of the 278 field goal attempts, 82 came from behind the 3-point arc (the Blue team finished 14-for-41 from 3, while the White was 13-for-41). The best shooter was Carmelo, who went 5-for-9 from deep. The biggest chuckers, though? Durant (7-for-17 from 3) and Harden (6-for-17) who went a combined 13-34 from deep.

Chris Paul had 25 assists for the game. While that number alone might impress you, consider this: He had 13 — yes, 13 — in the first eight minutes of the game. And they weren’t just easy alley-oops or drop-offs to Melo for a dunk. CP3 busted out an array of maneuvers and no-look passes to pile up his assists.

– Reported by Royce young of ESPN TrueHoop

KEVIN DURANT CHARITY GAME VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

AND

Josh Howard

Josh Howard announced that he will host an all-star charity basketball game in Dallas, Texas featuring an all-star cast of professional basketball players. The Josh Howard Celebrity All-Star Basketball Game Presented by Free Move Texas will be held Saturday, Nov. 12, 6 p.m., at the P.C. Cobb Center, at the city’s fair grounds.

On November 11 it was announced that Howard has added Kevin Durant to the lineup. Dallas-area fans will be treated to basketball at its best in the charity game featuring Josh Howard, Kevin Durant, John Wall, LaMarcus Aldridge and many others at the P.C. Cobb Center and via live web-stream on TheBasketballChannel.net. Tip-off is 6 p.m. Central Time / 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Team White: Josh Howard, John Wall, Reggie Evans, Marquis Daniels, Quinton Ross, DeSagana Diop, Anthony Randolph, Damon Jones, Jeremy Evans and Kevin Durant. Coach is Jason Terry.

Team Blue: LaMarcus Aldridge, Andray Blatche, Hamady N’diaye, Nick Young, Corey Brewer, Damion James, Isaiah Thomas, Jarrett Jack, Jason Maxiell and Damien Wilkins. Coach is Trevor Booker.

Tickets for The Josh Howard Celebrity All-Star Basketball Game Presented by Free Move Texas are available at www.JoshHowardFoundation.com,The Fade Shop and Ten Sports Grill. Ticket prices are: $15 in advance, $25 on-site and $50 for floor seats.

The Josh Howard Celebrity All-Star Basketball Game in Dallas, Texas will benefit The Josh Howard Foundation: all money will be used to continue its mission. During the past six months Howard has hosted multiple events in Dallas, Texas, Winston-Salem, N.C. and Mauldin, S.C. to fundraise, and has supported an equal number of charity events hosted by other professional basketball players.

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Amar`e Stoudemire pitching a TV sitcom

amare stoudemire

NBA players with time on their hands due to the league’s ongoing labor dispute are finding that showbiz offers an opportunity to fill their schedules. While some star athletes have long maintained production companies or record labels, the lockout has provided a chance for new business.

Earlier in October, New York Knicks star Amare Stoudemire pitched to a handful of major networks a half-hour scripted comedy that he is developing with producers Jeff Kwatinetz and Happy Walters, who is Stoudemire’s agent and president of Rogue Sports, Relativity Media’s sports business.

In September, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant decamped to Baton Rouge, La., to play himself opposite Brandon T. Jackson in Warner Premiere’s Switch, a family comedy centered on a magic twist that transfers Durant’s skills to an enthusiastic fan.

– Reported by Daniel Miller of the Hollywood Reporter

Devin Harris trying to improve jumpshot

devin harris

Utah Jazz guard Devin Harris on pushing himself: I know what I need to work on and where I need to be. You would like to play against NBA talent, but you’ve got to make the best of the situation.

Harris on what he’s specifically working on: Yeah, I’ve been working a lot on my jumpshot. Pullups, 15 to 18 feet and the standstill 3. Just trying to shoot for a better percentage and knock it down at a higher pace.

Harris on keeping in touch with Jazz teammates: I spent a little time with Al working out in Santa Barbara … and Gordon, Jeremy, as well as Favors. That was the beginning part of the summer. Actually I just saw Al about two weeks ago.

– Reported by Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune

dirk nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki plans to return to Germany to train with his personal coach after watching his hometown Texas Rangers play in the World Series—unless there’s progress toward starting the NBA season.

Nowitzki has said he would wait until early 2012 before considering playing for a European team. With only training camp and the first two weeks of the season canceled so far because of the NBA lockout, he is keeping to that timetable.

“It’s time to really get back in the routine,” he said after throwing out the first pitch for Game 3 of the World Series between the Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night. “Got to keep the options open, maybe see what’s going on overseas.” …

Nowitzki is still wearing a splint on the middle finger of his left hand— an injury he sustained during Game 2 of the NBA finals the Miami Heat. He aggravated it while playing for Germany in the European championships last month.

– Reported by Jaime Aron of the Associated Press

Here is Golden State Warriors assistant Michael Malone talking about the team’s defensive goals to CSN Bay Area:

“We’re going to be a defensive team. The Golden State Warriors are going to defend every night. We’re going to rebound. We’re still going to look to run but run with discipline — not just running and taking bad shots.

The last thing is taking care of the basketball. If we can do those four things every night, we feel we’ll have a chance to be a successful team. But it starts with the defense, finishing off that possession with a rebound — which they did a very poor job of last year – and then we still want to look to attack.

There’s a common misperception that you cannot be a good defensive team and still be a good running team. We don’t want to take away from our guys’ creativity and their ability to get out and run. They do that very well here.

The difference is we want to run off misses and rebounds instead of taking the ball out of the net and looking to run all the time. So, defend, rebound, run with discipline and value the basketball. Those are the four things we’re going to harp on day in and day out.”

– Reported by Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area

michael beasley

Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley has kept busy during an extended, locked-out NBA summer when he played ball everywhere from China to Manhattan’s famed asphalt playgrounds.

He has also taken up ballet to transform his body and hired a public- relations agency to improve his image.

“I want everyone to know that I’m not this monster that they perceive,” he said. “I’m a really nice guy.” …

He has played with childhood pal Durant and Wall in exhibition games across the country and also has incorporated elements of yoga, karate and, yes, ballet into summer workouts intended to make his body stronger, more limber and help ensure a long, productive career. He has dropped about 15 pounds after playing last season at 240 pounds.

– Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Derrick Rose

Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose strolled out of an LAPD station at 3:00 AM today … after his BFF was arrested for DUI … and Derrick was a passenger in the car.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ …. the 2011 NBA MVP was a passenger in a black BMW being driven by his close friend and personal assistant Randall Hampton … when cops stopped the car on a routine traffic violation at around 2:00 AM Friday morning.

When cops spoke to Hampton — who played junior college basketball with Rose in Texas — officers claim they detected the odor of alcohol.

– Reported by TMZ

mike brown

Brown plans to handle his coaching staff differently than former coach Phil Jackson. Jackson assigned specific scouting responsibilities to his four assistants, Brian Shaw, Jim Cleamons, Frank Hamblen and Chuck Person. Brown said at a recent appearance for the release of the video game NBA2K12 that he plans to have all of his assistants, including Person, John Kuester, Quin Snyder and Ettore Messina, coach in all phases of the game.

“Our guys need to hear my voice quite a bit,” Brown said. “I’ll lead the charge in a lot of areas on both ends of the floor. But I’m not one to have my coaches sit back and do nothing. They have to get out there and work. I don’t care what side of the ball we’re on. I don’t care what we’re teaching at that particular time. They’re all coaches. None of them are specialists. They can all coach at both ends of the floor.”

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times Blog

carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony’s plans for his barnstorming all-star game in the New York area keeps getting bigger.

During an appearance in Greenwich Village on Thursday, the Knicks forward said he’d like to house the all-star charity event at an 18,000-seat arena, with Izod Center in the Meadowlands being considered.

Anthony said the event, which he hopes will include at least nine All-Stars, will take place around Thanksgiving, unless the NBA lockout is settled.

Fellow Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul are all committed. Even if Anthony has to go across the Hudson River, he’ll do it. The Garden, as an NBA tenant, is off limits, as is the Nets’ Prudential Center because of the lockout.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post Blog

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said Thursday his effort to build a sports and entertainment complex downtown will move forward despite today’s announcement that the National Basketball Association and its players’ union have broken off contract talks.

The league earlier this month canceled the first two weeks of the season. Further cancellations are expected as a result of today’s negotiations breakdown.

Johnson issued a statement reiterating his intention to build an arena for sports, concerts and other events, regardless of whether the Sacramento Kings play in it this year, or at any time.

– Reported by Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee

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