Archive for November 15th, 2011

NBA players filed an antitrust complaint against the league in Minnesota and plan to file another complaint in California later Tuesday.

The first antitrust suit vs. the NBA was filed in Minneapolis, where NFL players had some level of success in a similar court proceeding this summer.

Timberwolves forward Anthony Tolliver, Pistons guard Ben Gordon, free agent forward Caron Butler and Derrick Williams, the second overall draft pick by Minnesota in June who has yet to sign a rookie contract because of the lockout, are listed as plaintiffs in the Minnesota case.

NBA players’ association executive director Billy Hunter said another complaint will be filed in the Northern District of California. Those plaintiffs include Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Leon Powe.

According to the Minnesota complaint, the class-action lawsuit has been broken up into “subclasses” because they are “so numerous and geographically so widely dispersed that joinder of all members is impracticable.”

The plaintiffs argue that the lockout “constitutes an illegal group boycott, price-fixing agreement, and/or restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Act” and that the owners’ final offer for a new CBA would have “wiped out the competitive market for most NBA players.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

David Robinson’s real estate fund has made its first purchase in the Houston area with the acquisition of a Hilton Hotel.

Hearst blog sister Nancy Sarnoff of the Houston Chronicle’s “Prime Property” real estate blog  reports that Robinson’s San Antonio-based Admiral Capital Real Estate Fund LP has acquired an interest in the Hilton Garden Inn at 12245 Katy Freeway. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Express-News staffer Valentino Lucio reports the property is along Interstate 10.

“We’re always looking to build long-term partnerships with like-minded people,” Christopher Nassetta, chief executive officer of Hilton Worldwide, said in a statement.

This is the group’s third acquisition and first investment in the hotel sector.

– Reported by Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News Blog

stephen curry

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is now considering going overseas to play, since it’s looking as if NBA action appears to be a ways away.

Curry said via text message he is currently weighing his options. He will not only consider where to play and for how much, but when. Curry is enrolled at Davidson College and wants to finish the semester.

– Reported by Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times Blog

Sacramento Kings’ President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie today announced the hiring of Keith Smart and Bobby Jackson as assistant coaches on Head Coach Paul Westphal’s staff. Additionally, the Kings hired Dwayne Wilson (equipment manager) and announced the promotions of Pete Youngman (director of sports medicine) and Manny Romero (head athletic trainer).

Smart, who brings 22 years of professional basketball experience as either a coach or player, joins the Kings after spending last season (2010-11) as head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Prior to his appointment as head coach, Smart served seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Warriors, giving him the longest tenure of any assistant coach in Golden State history. Smart, 47, originally joined the Warriors prior to the 2003-04 campaign after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was named the Cavaliers interim head coach in the middle of the 2002-03 season upon taking over for John Lucas. At the time, he was second-youngest head coach in the NBA.

Before joining the Cavaliers, Smart spent three seasons as the head coach of the CBA’s Fort Wayne Fury, compiling a record of 85-83 (.506) and guiding the team to its first back-to-back winning seasons in franchise history in 1997-98 and 1998-99. In his first campaign as a head coach at any level in 1997-98, he guided the Fury to a franchise-record 31-win season and a trip to the playoffs. The club made the playoffs again in 1998-99, despite having a single-season franchise record nine players signed to NBA contracts. He was awarded the American Conference Coach of the Month Award five times during his tenure with Fort Wayne and had a CBA-high 21 players signed to NBA contracts. During his professional basketball playing career, Smart spent six seasons in the CBA, two seasons in France and one in Venezuela. He also played briefly with the San Antonio Spurs during the 1988-89 season. Smart was originally drafted by the Warriors in the second round (41st overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft out of Indiana University. He is widely remembered for his Final Four heroics in 1987, in which he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four after leading Indiana to a National Championship with his game-winning shot versus Syracuse in the title game.

Jackson, who enjoyed a 12-year career as a player in the NBA, begins his first season as an assistant coach for the Kings. He spent the past two years working as the Kings’ basketball operations special  assistant where his responsibilities included assisting in the areas of scouting, handling player evaluations and preparing for the NBA Draft. Jackson played six of his 12 NBA seasons with the Kings, averaging 10.6 ppg (.440 FG%, .356 3pt%, .810 FT%), 3.2 rpg, and 2.2 apg in 365 games with Sacramento. Drafted by the Seattle Sonics (now Oklahoma City) with the 23rd overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft and then traded to Denver on the night of the Draft, Jackson played for six teams in his NBA career — Denver, (1997-98), Minnesota (1998-99 - 1999-00), Sacramento (2000-01 - 2004-05, 2008-09), Memphis (2005-06), New Orleans (2006-07 -2007-08), and Houston (2007-08).

When he retired, Jackson ranked fifth in three-pointers made (381) and sixth in attempted (1,070) in Kings’ franchise history. He also ranked 10th in steals (356) in the Sacramento era. Jackson averaged 9.7 ppg (.417 FG%, .354 3pt%, .793 FT%), 3.1 rpg, and 2.6 apg in 755 career games. In eight of his 12 seasons, Jackson played in the NBA Playoffs and averaged 9.2 points (.405 FG%, .270 3pt%, .807 FT%), 2.8 rpg, and 2.1 apg in 58 contests. His best season came in 2002-03 when he earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award after averaging a career-best 15.2 ppg (.464 FG%, .379 3pt%, .846 FT%), 3.7 rpg, and 3.1 apg in 59 games. He became just the second point guard in league history to win the award, joining Orlando’s Darrell Armstrong (1999). Jackson remains one of the most beloved players in Sacramento-era history for his efforts both on and off the court. He established the Bobby Jackson Foundation in February 2004, a community-based organization created in honor of his mother, Sarah, who passed away in January 2002 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Additionally, he serves as the local spokesman for the Sacramento affiliate Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in memory of his mother.

Wilson enters his first season as the Kings’ equipment manager after serving in the same capacity for the Milwaukee Bucks for the past six seasons. With Milwaukee, Wilson also assisted the team’s strength and conditioning coach with player development. He was originally hired by the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant strength and conditioning coach in 1998. Wilson added the title of equipment manager in 1999 and served as both until the summer of 2004.

Youngman enters his first season as the Kings’ director of sports medicine after serving as the team’s head athletic trainer the previous 15 seasons. He spent three seasons as the club’s assistant to former head trainer Bill Jones before accepting the head post in June of 1996. Youngman joined the Kings after spending the previous nine years with the Boston Red Sox professional baseball organization at all levels of their minor league system.

Romero begins his first season as the head athletic trainer and his ninth overall with the team. He served as the Kings’ assistant athletic trainer/performance enhancement specialist the previous five seasons. Prior to joining the Kings, Romero worked seven seasons as a part of the Los Angeles Lakers training staff.

allen iverson

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against former NBA star and Detroit Piston Allen Iverson over a 2009 bar fight.

The Detroit News reports Tuesday that federal Judge Nancy Edmunds found no evidence that Iverson punched an Ohio man or that the man who struck him was linked to the player.

Lawyer Michael Cafferty said Iverson feels vindicated. Guy Walker plans to appeal.

– Reported by the Associated Press

76ers hire Jeff Capel as assistant coach

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that Jeff Capel has joined Doug Collins’ staff as an assistant coach.  Capel was previously an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats, a position he held since their inaugural season in 2004-05.

In his last full season with Charlotte in 2009-10, Capel was a member of Larry Brown’s staff and helped guide the Bobcats to a franchise-record 44 wins and their first playoff appearance.  That season, Charlotte led the league in fewest points allowed and ranked sixth in opponent’s field goal percentage.

Prior to joining the Bobcats, Capel was head coach of the Fayetteville Patriots of the NBA Development League and guided the team to the D-League Finals in his first full season in 2002-03.

At the collegiate level, Capel spent 12 years as head coach of Fayetteville State, North Carolina A&T and Old Dominion, posting a combined mark of 201-162 (.554).

Capel’s son Jason is in his second season as the head men’s basketball coach at Appalachian State University while his older son, Jeff Capel III, serves as an assistant coach on Mike Krzyzewski’s staff at Duke.  Doug Collins’ son Chris is the associate head coach at Duke.

Rajon Rondo

Just hours after the NBA Players Association decided to disband, Celtics guard Rajon Rondo announced the “Boston Charity Classic” all-star game at 6 p.m. Saturday at Lavietes Pavilion on Harvard’s campus. Proceeds, according to the press release, will aid local Boston charities in providing meals for the holiday season.

It’s Boston’s first of the series of all-star and charity games held across the country since the lockout began and it is expected to feature its share of heavy hitters, including Celtics forward Paul Pierce and scoring champion Kevin Durant.

Also expected to play is Glen “Big Baby” Davis, JaJuan Johnson, former Celtic Kendrick Perkins in his return to Boston, former Harvard star Jeremy Lin, ex-Celtics Leon Powe and Marquis Daniels as well as close Rondo buddy Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies, Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks and Kyle Lowry of the Houston Rockets.

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe Blog

matt barnes

From pump-faking a pass inches from Kobe Bryant’s face to threatening to put his son’s dirty diaper into Lamar Odom’s mouth, the phrase “Matt Barnes will kill you” – which an Orlando-based clothing company put on T-shirts – wasn’t too much of a stretch.

That’s why Magic fans loved Barnes during his one-year stint in Orlando in the 2009-10 season: His antics gave the Magic a toughness and swagger they previously lacked, and he always stood up for his teammates.

He plays for the Los Angeles Lakers now – the Magic let him walk when he opted out of his two-year deal last summer – but he still remembers his year in Orlando fondly.

“I had a really good time when I was out here,” he said. “My neighborhood, my teammates, everything.”

– Reported by Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel Blog

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