Archive for December 28th, 2011

A nanny and chauffeur who lost their suit against Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon and his wife have lost even more.

A Los Angeles judge ordered them Wednesday to pay $122,000 in attorney’s fees to the Simons.

The judge ruled in September that the employment suit was groundless, holding that the billionaire and his former beauty queen wife, Bui, were extremely generous with nanny Claudia Leite (lye-TAY’) and chauffeur Robert Young.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Two sports executives have sued former Philadelphia 76ers owner Comcast-Spectacor seeking a $2 million finder’s fee over the team’s October sale.

Plaintiffs Robert Whitsitt and Thomas Shine say they introduced investor Jason Levien to Comcast-Spectacor chairman Edward Snider at a lunch meeting late last year. They say they were promised $2 million if they found a purchaser and met certain other conditions.

New York-based leveraged buyout specialist Joshua Harris led an ownership group that completed the purchase in October. Levien, a former NBA player agent and Sacramento Kings executive, is one of numerous owners and investors in a group that includes co-managing owner David Blitzer and Hollywood power couple Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Whitsitt is the former president of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trailblazers. Shine is an executive at Canton, Mass.-based Reebok International Ltd.

– Via Maryclaire Dale of the Associated Press

Kwame Brown sells Playa del Rey home

Kwame Brown

NBA player and former Laker Kwame Brown has sold his house in Playa del Rey for $1.65 million.

The open-floor-plan house had been on and off the market since 2008 when it was listed for sale at $2.999 million or for lease at $12,000 a month. The current listing stated the home had sustained water damage on the main level and needed a new roof, windows, doors and elevator.

Described as a short sale in the listing, the ocean-view contemporary includes four bedrooms and five bathrooms in 6,329 square feet. The breakfast bar can seat up to 10. The basement media room has a built-in projector, screen and a wet bar.

– Via Lauren Beale of the Los Angeles Times

Phoenix Suns want to push the tempo

The Phoenix Suns’ 85-84 loss on opening night to the New Orleans Hornets made Planet Orange’s eyes bleed. A fan base accustomed to a potent offense isn’t used to seeing the Suns struggle through a game with fewer than 90 points. Head coach Alvin Gentry has a solution.

“We got to become more of a running team,” said Gentry after shoot around on Wednesday. “We’re not a running team, we’re a jogging team. We’re not good as a jogging team; we got to find a way to manufacture easy baskets and not to have to work so hard in half-court sets.

Phoenix shot 38% from the field in half-court sets Monday night.

– Via Bryan Gibberman of Arizona Sports

Greg Ostertag

Greg Ostertag, one of the best basketball players to come out of Duncanville and an 11-year NBA veteran, will begin a comeback Thursday night with the Texas Legends that he hopes will lead to the NBA.

The National Basketball Development League team based in Frisco came to an agreement with the 7-2 Ostertag this afternoon and he will make his debut Thursday against Rio Grande Valley in a home game at Dr Pepper Arena.

He’s also expected to play Friday against Tulsa.

Ostertag spent most of his NBA career with the Utah Jazz and was one of the most the best shot-blockers in the league, swatting a shot every 11.4 minutes of playing time.

“I missed playing,” Ostertag said. “I shouldn’t have quit when I did and I feel like I got to give it one last shot to see if I can make it happen.

– Via Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News Blog

Ricky Davis

The Maine Red Claws today announced that they have claimed NBA veteran and former Boston Celtic Ricky Davis from the Available Player Pool.

Davis, 32, has played in 736 NBA games in a career that began in 1999 as the first round selection (21st overall) of the Charlotte Bobcats. His 12-year NBA career saw him play for six NBA teams, including three seasons with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics traded the high-scoring swingman on January 26, 2006 to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with Marcus Banks, Mark Blount, Justin Reed, a 2006 2nd round draft pick (Craig Smith) and a 2008 2nd round draft pick (Nikola Pekovic) for Dwayne Jones, Michael Olowokandi, Wally Szczerbiak and a 2009 1st round draft pick (Jonny Flynn). He scored a career-high 20.6 ppg in 2002-03 as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Davis last played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2009-10 and has spent the last season and a half playing abroad in France, Turkey and China. Once considered a one-dimensional yet prolific player, Davis has developed into a formidable rebounder and steady mid-range jump shooter over the years.

“Ricky Davis brings a veteran element to the Red Claws and will undoubtedly become an instant fan favorite at the Portland Expo where many of our fans will remember him from his days with the Celtics,” said Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings. “Ricky is someone who knows what it takes to get to and stay in the NBA and is someone who is hungry to return there. We are all excited to welcome him to Maine.”

Tyson Chandler

According to Chandler, if the Knicks hadn’t wooed him, he very well might have chosen to wear Golden State gold. The Warriors’ rookie coach [Mark Jackson] put on a full-court press during the free agency period, trying to entice Chandler to play in the Bay Area instead of the Big Apple.

“We lived maybe a mile away from each other (in California) and so the last couple of summers we kind of frequented the same restaurants and everything,” said Chandler, who had seven points, six blocks and three rebounds Christmas Day against the Celtics in his Knicks debut. “And his son started working out with me. He was working out with me and (Timberwolves center) Kevin Love at the time so we kind of built a relationship that way. All of a sudden I became a free agent and he was like, ‘Well, we got a relationship already so you should just come over and play for me. We’re trying to do the right thing around here and you’re definitely a piece that we need.’ ”

– Via Sean Brennan of the New York Daily News

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