Archive for December 25th, 2011

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom has been ejected from his first game with the Dallas Mavericks.

Given a standing ovation when he entered during the first quarter Sunday, Odom still had fans cheering him when he walked off shaking his head midway through the third.

Odom was called for charging and didn’t like the foul. Whatever he said about it was bad enough to draw a pair of technicals and an automatic ejection.

– Via the Associated Press

Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion suffered a broken left pinky in Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat, but said he doesn’t expect it to keep him out Monday against Denver.

“It hurts like hell,” he said. “But I’m a warrior.”

Marion said he hurt the finger - which already was mangled from previous injuries suffered in his career - during the third quarter when he was trying to make a defensive play.

– Via Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

Knicks rookie guard Iman Shumpert is expected to miss two to four weeks because of a sprained right knee ligament.

The first-round pick from Georgia Tech was hurt in the second half of New York’s 106-104 victory over Boston on Sunday when Celtics reserve Chris Wilcox appeared to bang into his leg. The Knicks say Shumpert sprained his MCL.

Shumpert scored 11 points on 3-of-13 shooting in 22 minutes in his debut.

– Via the Associated Press

David Stern hears boos at Dallas opener

NBA Commissioner David Stern opened his lockout-delayed season by hearing boos from Mavericks fans.

Stern was in Dallas for the NBA finals rematch between the Mavericks and Heat, and he was on the court for the start of the Mavs’ banner-raising ceremony honoring their first championship. The jeers came as soon as he started speaking, but he quickly turned them into cheers by offering his congratulations to team owner Mark Cuban.

Cuban’s often contentious relationship with Stern could’ve been as much of a reason for the boos as the lockout, which pushed the opener from Nov. 1 to Christmas and cut the season by 16 games.

Cuban and Miami’s Micky Arison were among five owners who voted against the labor deal. Stern said “it doesn’t send any signal whatsoever” that the two owners in the most recent finals were against the agreement.

– Via Jaime Aron of the Associated Press

Amare Stoudemire

There’s no doubt that Amare Stoudemire wants a ‘W’ for Christmas in the Knicks season opener. But before tip, Stoudemire kept the giving spirit of the holidays when he hosted breakfast for a few hundred Madison Square Garden employees.

“We don’t really get a chance to interact with them much, that’s why I really wanted to talk the time out to show our appreciation and show that we really, truly appreciate their hard work,” he said.

The Amare Stoudemire Foundation provided the pre-game meal for security, ushers, ticket personnel, custodian staff and other MSG staff.

– Via Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant felt his body falling apart, so he did something about it. Twice.

Bryant went to Germany on two occasions during the off-season, The Times has learned, undergoing innovative procedures on his ailing right knee and, in a previously unreported development, his chronically troublesome left ankle, according to people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Bryant aggravated his ankle while moving across the lane on defense in the Lakers’ first-round playoff series against the New Orleans Hornets last season. It was a non-contact injury, his foot buckling under him without any contact. He left the arena that night on crutches but did not sit out any games.

He visited molecular orthopedist Peter Wehling about six weeks later in Duesseldorf to get treatment on an arthritic joint in his knee, as The Times first reported. After deeming it a success, Bryant went to see Wehling for his ankle around the time of a promotional appearance for Nike in Italy in October.

– Via Mike Bresnahan and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times

Eric Gordon

After trading four-time All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers and losing two-time All-Star forward David West in free agency to the Indiana Pacers, the New Orleans Hornets are ushering in a new era of building for the future around younger players. When the Hornets open the regular season Monday night against the Phoenix Suns, it will be the first time in seven seasons their roster won’t be built around a franchise player.

In the trade for Paul, New Orleans acquired shooting guard Eric Gordon, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and center Chris Kaman and Minnesota’s 2012 unprotected first-round pick from the Clippers.

“I think we’re excited to see what’s going to unfold over the next few seasons,’’ Hornets President Hugh Weber said. “As we’ve always said, we are taking a long view of this, and it’s not going to be built overnight. We said a year ago we were going to do it right and not cut corners. I think there is a kind of galvanized confidence among us that we’re definitely on the right path.’’

The Hornets are one of the youngest teams in the NBA, with no player on their roster older than 29. And Gordon, a potential star, is 22, despite entering his fourth season in the league.

– Via John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune

Derrick Rose

On the eve of a new season, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose admitted that he still hasn’t completely gotten over the fact that his team lost in five games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals last spring.

“I’m not over it yet,” he said before the Bulls’ Saturday morning practice at UCLA. “I’m still thinking about it. That was one of the things that is still driving me right now is wanting to be able to be in that position again to see what I’m going to do about it. I think I’ve been preparing myself for it, but we will have to see.”

Rose said he can still remember the disappointment he felt after the game that night.

– Via Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

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