Archive for November 27th, 2011

Samuel Dalembert

The 6-foot-11 Dalembert is a free agent. And the Heat is high on his list for when the free agency signing period is expected to begin Dec. 9 following a five-month lockout.

“That would be fantastic,” Dalembert said in an interview Sunday night from Haiti with FOX Sports Florida about the possibility of joining Miami, which is where more than 50 of his relatives live and is about one hour south of his Boca Raton, Fla., home.

As for the volunteering part, it likely would require a big pay cut for Dalembert to join the Heat, which will be over the salary cap. Dalembert, who made $13.43 million last season for Sacramento, might have to sign for the $5 million mid-level exception…

Dalembert said he’s not going to “put my eggs all in one basket” regarding the Heat. So he also named New York and Houston as teams he will consider in free agency.

“It’s one of my options as well,” Dalembert said of New York, where he spent portions of the offseason working out with Elton Brand, once his teammate in Philadelphia. “It’s a building process. It can be similar to Miami when they get all the pieces together. It’s something that can work and they need a big (man)… (Amare Stoudemire) can go to a comfortable situation (if the Knicks get a quality center and Stoudemire can play less at center and more at his natural position of power forward).”

– Reported by Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida

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Syracuse fires Bernie Fine

Syracuse University fired associate head basketball coach Bernie Fine on Sunday in the wake of an investigation of child molestation allegations against him.

“At the direction of Chancellor Cantor, Bernie Fine’s employment with Syracuse University has been terminated, effective immediately,” Kevin Quinn, the school’s senior vice president for public affairs, said in a statement.

The 65-year-old Fine was in his 36th season at his alma mater. He had the longest active streak of consecutive seasons at one school among assistant coaches in Division I.

Fine’s firing comes in the wake of new revelations Sunday, including a third accuser. Syracuse had placed Fine on paid administrative leave when accusations first surfaced.

“The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling. I am personally very shocked because I have never witnessed any of the activities that have been alleged,” said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim in a statement. “I believe the university took the appropriate step tonight. What is most important is that this matter be fully investigated and that anyone with information be supported to come forward so that the truth can be found. I deeply regret any statements I made that might have inhibited that from occurring or been insensitive to victims of abuse.”

– Reported by ESPN.com

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Kobe Bryant needs to keep pacing himself

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant received an innovative procedure on his surgically repaired right knee, and teammate accounts suggest the Lakers star appears healthy. But that doesn’t mean Bryant’s immune from future injuries.

Bryant remains a stubborn and determined force, willing to find any nuance or edge to maintain dominance. But that doesn’t mean he won’t continue facing his physical decline.

The Lakers’ star isn’t done. He has the goods and a healthier body to put together an MVP-caliber season. For Bryant to reach that point, however, Coach Mike Brown must decide how he should play Bryant in the 2011-2012 campaign without seriously compromising his body.

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times Blog

Heat may waive Mike Miller

Mike Miller

According to league sources, the Heat had planned to waive Miller and had let him know through back channels so he could prepare. This information was not all that secret — teams in need of shooters were already doing background research on Miller and considering bringing him in. Miller had a number of suitors when he was a free agent a year ago, including the Chicago Bulls.

He may not want to take his house off the market just yet, though. With the expected luxury-tax changes, the Heat still may end up waiving Miller with the amnesty clause before next season to allow them to free up enough space to use the mid-level exception again. But considering they will be paying Miller either way, they would much prefer to have him on the roster and see if offseason surgeries to his thumb and shoulder will allow him to return to his form from two years ago, when he was one of the best shooters in the league.

– Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

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Greg Oden

First, about Oden’s health: The restricted free agent center has not been cleared to participate in scrimmages or any basketball-related activities that include contact, according to his agent, Mike Conley. He has been cleared to run, ride a bike and participate in non-contact basketball drills — shooting, dribbling, etc. — but there remains no time line for a possible return.

“There have not been any setbacks,” Conley said Saturday of Oden’s health. “That’s the best way to word it. Doctors really did not give him a hard time line (for a return) … but he’s working hard and trying his best to get back.”

Oden has played just 82 games over his first four NBA seasons because of three separate knee surgeries. The last came Nov. 19, 2010, when he underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee.

Despite this, the Blazers have expressed a desire to keep Oden with the hope that he avoids further injury and develops into the player they projected he would become when they drafted him No. 1 overall in the 2007 NBA Draft.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

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