Archive for November 20th, 2011

The Spectrum- Wrecking Ball Ceremony 040

SCP Auctions says more than 140 items from Julius Erving’s personal collection sold for a record $3.5 million. The auction ran from October until Sunday.

Among the highlights: His 1974 New Jersey Nets ABA championship ring sold for $460,471; 1983 76ers championship rings sold for $244,240; 1983 All-Star game MVP trophy ($115,242); final game worn jersey from May 3, 1987 ($88,826); and 1974-75 ABA MVP trophy ($173,10).

SCP said the Nets championship ring set a record price for a sports ring.

Erving told The Associated Press last month he’s never been a “hoarder or collector,” and planned to donate a portion of the auction proceeds to the Salvation Army.

– Reported by the Associated Press

JR Smith

Nuggets guard J.R. Smith suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury while playing for his Chinese team Sunday.

Smith signed to play for Zhejiang, a Chinese Basketball Association team, during the NBA lockout. Sunday’s game was the CBA regular season-opening game for Smith.

– Reported by the Denver Post

InsideHoops.com November 22 update: It appears the injury was extremely minor and Smith will be fine.

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Brown, who is now an assistant for Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, just laughed when asked about his dunking prowess.

“Yes, I can,” he said Thursday night at the Palace during an event where needy families were fed. “I work out every day and I still dunk.”

But the 42-year-old won’t be winning dunk titles any time soon.

“I always like to tell people (I used) to have hops, but now I just have hopes,” he said with another laugh. “I can still get up a little bit.”

– Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

Kevin Love turns down Besiktas offer

Kevin Love

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love informed Besiktas of Turkey on Sunday that he’s turning down its offer to sign with the Istanbul-based club and team up with New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams.

“I didn’t feel it was the right decision for me at this time,” Love told ESPN.com.

Love, though, said playing abroad if the lockout drags on “is still very much an option” he’s considering.

NTV Spor of Turkey reported Friday that Love and Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng were Besiktas’ top two targets in its search for an elite forward to play alongside Williams.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

Patrick Mills

Portland Trail Blazers point guard Patty Mills has cut short his stay with the Melbourne Tigers and will play for a Chinese league club during the NBA lockout.

The National Basketball League said in a statement late Sunday that Mills had signed a contract to play with Chinese club Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers. The NBL said it allowed Mills to leave because it did not want to hold him back from other international opportunities.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Dirk Nowitzki looks at playing overseas

Like many professional basketball players who currently aren’t playing professional basketball, Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki is bored, and may eventually wind up playing overseas while the ongoing NBA lockout continues to destroy humanity.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports:

dirk_nowitzki

Although he continues to express optimism that the NBA season will be saved, Nowitzki has acknowledged that he has taken note of the blueprint established by Cleveland Cavaliers forward Omri Casspi, who announced earlier this week that he had signed a contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv in his native Israel that serves as a virtual letter of intent to join Maccabi in January if the lockout is still going, thus securing a spot for Casspi with a top European team early in a market starting to flood with established players.

Nowitzki has only just begun to field calls from interested clubs, but he said he’s aware of the Spanish media reports that have listed him as a target of perennial powerhouse Real Madrid and admitted that the idea of playing top-level basketball with a team in Spain — such as Real or their rivals Barcelona — intrigues him.

“It’s a great club with a great tradition,” Nowitzki said of Real Madrid. “I don’t know if that’s true, but (if the media reports are accurate) that’s something you’d have to look at hard.

“I still can’t believe that we’re not going to have a season (in the NBA). I can’t see us not playing. But if the lockout still stays strong, I’ve got a decision to make.”

The 33-year-old also revealed that he has reconsidered his previous stance about playing in his native Germany. For much of the summer, Nowitzki maintained that he preferred not to play in the German Bundesliga because he didn’t want to pick any one club over the rest. Yet he has since concluded that returning to the Bundesliga, for the first time since playing for his hometown DJK Wurzburg X-Rays during the 1998-99 lockout, might be the best way to promote the sport at home.

Naturally, the hope is that the lockout ends before the best team on the current NBA champions feels a need to take his talents overseas.

Ricky Rubio may return to Spain

Ricky Rubio

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio says he will consider playing for his former team Barcelona if the NBA season is canceled because of the ongoing lockout.

Rubio told Catalan radio ONA FM that “I want to wait until I see there is no chance of resolving the situation, and then I will sign with another team.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

InsideHoops.com editor says: Well, it’s really been great getting to know you, Ricky! But seriously folks, I’m not sure Ricky is ready for the NBA anyway. Another year overseas might do him some good, despite Ricky having an off year last season in Spain.

Andrei Kirilenko suffers broken nose

Andrei Kirilenko

The Turkish Airlines Euroleague’s top-rated player so far this season, forward Andrei Kirilenko of CSKA Moscow, could miss time in the competition after breaking his nose in a domestic game Saturday. Kirilenko didn’t move for several seconds after crashing to the floor in a Russian League game while blood flowing from above his eye pooled on the floor. Eventually, he could be seen talking as he was bandaged and walking off-court under his own power. CSKA issued a statement saying that in addition to the broken nose, Kirilenko received stitches for the cut, but apparently did not suffer a concussion. The statement said his nose will be fixed upon returning to Moscow for additional tests that will pay particular attention to the left shoulder he landed on while being tripped accidentally as he tried to make a steal against Krasnye Krylia in a Russian League game.

– Reported by Euroleague.net

Kendrick Perkins

“Hurt, surprised, I think it really still hasn’t hit me yet — not really,” he said later. “I think everything happened so fast, last year coming back from my ACL injury and getting traded to Oklahoma City where I had to be a leader.

“It still hurts that I got traded, but then the city of Oklahoma has been great to me. They’ve embraced me with open arms, and I have no complaints about the city of Oklahoma and the whole organization.” …

“I never knew I missed it as much as I did until I got in there,” Perkins said. “I missed the whole city of Boston, the whole of New England, and it just felt good playing basketball here. It’s always overwhelming. You try to catch yourself from dropping a tear, but like I always say, the city has been good to me since I came into the NBA at a young age at 18. I’ll never take it for granted, and I definitely appreciate all of the support when I come back to New England. I hated to leave. God does everything for a reason, but my heart is still in Boston and New England. It was just fun to be back.”

– Reported by Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald

Donte Greene

Kings forward Donté Greene has taken on the role of game organizer and promoter for today’s Goon Squad Classic exhibition and fundraiser at UC Davis.

The game, which benefits Greene’s Circle of Success foundation, is a chance for NBA fans to see the players they hope to watch when the lockout ends.

“It’s hectic, I’ll tell you that,” Greene said. “Especially when you’re trying to make sure everything is straight … but it’s all been fun.”

The competition isn’t just on the court; Greene and others hosting charity games are competing for players, too.

At least three players listed on a promotional flier for Greene’s game won’t participate.

Houston point guard Jonny Flynn and Chandler Parsons, the Rockets’ second-round pick, are playing tonight instead in former NBA player and coach John Lucas’ charity game in Houston. Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant won’t be at tonight’s game, either.

And Milwaukee forward and Bay Area native Drew Gooden is hosting a game tonight at the Cow Palace in Daly City.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

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