Archive for January 18th, 2012

The Milwaukee Bucks have assigned rookie guard Darington Hobson (6-7, 210) to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

Hobson, 24, has appeared in five games for the Bucks this season and averaged 1.2 assists and 0.8 points in 7.8 minutes per contest.

Originally assigned to the Mad Ants on December 29, Hobson averaged 11.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games for Fort Wayne earlier this season. He was recalled back to Milwaukee on January 4.

Eric Maynor

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Eric Maynor underwent successful surgery this morning to repair a torn right Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), the team announced today.

Maynor suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of Oklahoma City’s game at Houston on January 7. Prior to his injury, the third year guard was averaging 4.2 points, 2.4 assists, 1.4 rebounds and 15.2 minutes in nine games.

Maynor is expected to be ready for the 2012-13 Training Camp.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

The Cleveland Cavaliers today announced that Zydrunas Ilgauskas is joining the team’s front office as Special Assistant to the General Manager. The announcement was made today by Cavs General Manager Chris Grant. In his role as Special Assistant to the General Manager, Ilgauskas will be involved with front office responsibilities, including evaluation of amateur and professional prospects.

“We are very pleased to have Z begin the next phase of his basketball career with the Cavaliers and I am looking forward to working closely with him. Z has always had a great desire to learn and succeed and he already has a deep understanding and appreciation of the game and the NBA. We are extremely happy to welcome him back as part of our franchise,” said Grant.

Ilgauskas was originally drafted by the Cavaliers with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft. The Lithuanian made his home in Cleveland, playing the first 12 years of his 13-season career with the Cavaliers. The Cavs all-time leader in games played (771), Z also tops the Cavaliers record books in offensive rebounds (2,336), total rebounds (5,904) and blocks (1,269) while ranking second in points (10,616).

“I am really excited to come back to the Cavaliers, a team that I have so much history with and contributing to our future success,” said Ilgauskas. “I’m also looking forward to learning more about this game that I love so much and working with Chris Grant and the rest of the organization in every way that I can.”

A two-time all-star (2003, 2005), Ilgauskas finished his career with averages of 13.0 points on .476 shooting, 7.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 27.2 minutes in 843 games (724 starts). The 7-foot-3 center played in six postseasons with the Cavaliers, including playing a major role on the Cavaliers teams that reached at least the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs in five consecutive seasons (2006-2010) and made the franchise’s first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007.

Nets assign Jordan Williams to D-League

The New Jersey Nets have assigned rookie forward Jordan Williams to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Springfield Armor, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

Williams was selected 36th overall by New Jersey in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft.  The Maryland product has appeared in six games for the Nets, averaging 1.0 point and 1.5 rebounds in 6.2  minutes per game.  He has shot .333 (3-9) from the field.

The NBA’s all-time scoring leader is now a global cultural ambassador.

The State Department announced Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s appointment Wednesday.

Ann Stock, assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs, says Abdul-Jabbar will travel the world to engage a generation of young people to help promote diplomacy.

Stock says the appointment is part of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “Smart Power” that combines diplomacy, defense and development to “bridge the gap in a tense world through young people.”

– Reported by John Carucci of the Associated Press

Bismack Biyombo

It took about a dozen games, but rookie Bismack Biyombo offered evidence to Charlotte Bobcats fans Tuesday why he was the seventh overall pick in the NBA draft.

He’s what Southerners would call “country strong” and what coach Paul Silas called the one truly tough guy on this roster. Biyombo did his best to stand up to the baddest dude in the NBA - Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard - and for a while, it worked.

Biyombo played a big part in Howard committing five fouls. It wasn’t enough to hold off the Magic in the Bobcats’ 96-89 loss at Amway Center, but it held promise for the future, concerning the springy 6-foot-9 big man from the Congo.

“He played Dwight tough. He didn’t just let him back it in all the way to the rim. He’s my toughest player,” Silas said of Biyombo, who finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

– Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer

Andrew Bynum having career season so far

Andrew Bynum

The formerly erratic scorer has posted double-doubles in eight of 11 games and overall is averaging 16.5 points, 13.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, which would be career highs if he maintained those numbers over the rest of the season.

“He’s just establishing himself, being aggressive, making strong moves, rebounding the ball well and intimidating defensively,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol said, “so I’m proud of him and hopefully he’ll be able to keep it up.”

Bynum is also making a quick study of the double teams that have come his way since his early scoring spree, not surprising for a player known to tinker with computers and a fleet of high-end cars that has helped local law enforcement meet its ticket quota in recent months.

While improvising on the court often drives coaches bonkers, the Lakers’ Mike Brown likes it when Bynum employs his own special method of problem-solving. Particularly when it leads to the type of defense Bynum played earlier this month on Utah’s Al Jefferson, who scored only 11 points on five-for-17 shooting and had his shot blocked by Bynum in the final seconds of a loss to the Lakers.

– Reported by Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times

The New Jersey Nets have requested waivers on forward Dennis Horner and have signed free agent forward Larry Owens from the D-League’s Tulsa 66ers, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

Horner, a 6-9 rookie from N.C. State, signed with the Nets prior to training camp on December 9, 2011 from the Nets D-League affiliate, the Springfield Armor.  He appeared in five games with New Jersey, scoring a total of four points in 16 minutes of action.

Owens (6’7”/210, Oral Roberts), appeared in 12 career NBA games during the 2010-11 campaign with San Antonio and Washington.  In seven contests with the Spurs and five with the Wizards, the undrafted rookie averaged 3.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 12 minutes per game.  He shot .469 from the field.

Owens has spent the last two-plus seasons with the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League.  In 10 games, seven starts in 2011-12, he averaged 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.6 blocks in 34 minutes.  He shot .453 (53-117) from the field and .944 (17-18) from the line.  In 103 career games in the D-League, all with Tulsa, he has averaged 14.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals in 34 minutes.

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard dismissed a report that he has placed the Los Angeles Clippers onto his list of preferred destinations.

After the Orlando Magic defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 96-89 Tuesday night, Howard was asked whether he now has interest in joining the Clippers. Howard said no.

The website SheridanHoops, citing an unnamed source, has reported that Howard has expanded his list of preferred destinations to include the Clippers.

Magic General Manager Otis Smith said Howard’s camp has not informed him that the superstar center has expanded his list of preferred destinations beyond the Dallas Mavericks, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Jersey Nets.

Smith also said the Magic also have not granted permission to Howard’s agent to speak with any teams in addition to the Mavericks, Lakers and Nets.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

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