Archive for January 19th, 2012

Golden State Warriors center Kwame Brown underwent successful surgery yesterday (Wednesday, January 18) to repair his torn right pectoralis major (the large chest muscle that attaches to his right shoulder), the team announced today.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthpaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.  Brown will remain in Southern California for a brief time and begin rehabilitation upon his return to the Bay Area sometime next week.  He is expected to be out for a minimum of three months.

Brown, 31, suffered the injury at the 6:22 mark of the fourth quarter during the Warriors’ game against the Miami Heat on Tuesday, January 10. In nine games this season, he posted averages of 6.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in 20.8 minutes.

Greg Ostertag ends NBA comeback attempt

Greg Ostertag

After knee troubles limited him to less than 30 minutes in the Texas Legends’ last three games, Greg Ostertag informed the team Thursday that he is ending his comeback in the D-League.

Ostertag had his best game for the Frisco-based Legends last week at the D-League Showcase in Reno in front of scouts from numerous NBA teams, but the 38-year-old told ESPN.com on Thursday that the pain in his knees since then had become unbearable.

“They’ve been bugging me since I came back (in late December), but I could barely move (after Reno),” Ostertag said. “I felt good there and I played good. I get out there and sometimes I do get loose, but usually the ‘don’ts’ are longer than the ‘dos.’ It sucks, but I knew going into this what could happen.”

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

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Russell Westbrook

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed guard Russell Westbrook to a multi-year extension, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Multiple reports say the deal is for five years and $78 million.

“We are thrilled to solidify Russell’s future with the Thunder,” said Presti. “Since we arrived in Oklahoma City, Russell’s work ethic, persistence, character, and involvement in our community have helped us establish the standards that we are committed to on a day-to-day basis. He is a valued member of our organization and we look forward to his continued contributions on and off the floor.”

In three-plus seasons as a member of the Thunder, Westbrook has appeared in 261 games (244 starts) and registered averages of 17.9 points, 7.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 33.8 minutes per contest. At the end of the 2010-11 season Westbrook became one of only five players in league history (LeBron James, Chris Paul, Anfernee Hardaway and Oscar Robertson) to record 4,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,000 rebounds through his first three NBA seasons.

Last season, Westbrook was awarded All-NBA Second Team honors after averaging 21.9 points (13th in the NBA), 8.2 assists (9th in the NBA), 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals (4th in NBA) in 34.7 minutes. During the 2010-11 season Westbrook received his first-career All-Star nomination before helping lead the Thunder to a spot in the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks.

During the Thunder’s 2011 postseason match-up versus the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Semi-Finals, Westbrook propelled the Thunder past Memphis after becoming just the fifth player in NBA history (Scottie Pippen, James Worthy, Larry Bird and Jerry West) to record a triple-double in a Game 7 of a playoff series.

After being named to the NBA’s All-Rookie team after the 2008-09 season, Westbrook proceeded to increase his scoring and assists totals in each of his next two full seasons with Oklahoma City.

This past week Westbrook was named among the 20 finalists for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team. During the summer of 2010, Westbrook won a gold medal as a member of Team USA in Istanbul, Turkey, after the United States team posted a perfect 9-0 record.

“We are very excited that Russell will continue to be a part of the Thunder organization,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Clay Bennett. “He has demonstrated high personal character, a strong commitment to his teammates and a remarkable dedication to the development of his performance as a player. We especially value his role in the community as he has consistently  represented “Oklahoma City Basketball” with pride and integrity.”

Through 15 games this season, Westbrook has helped lead the Thunder to the best record in the Western Conference (12-3) while recording averages of 20.5 points, 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 33.3 minutes.  Westbrook joins Kobe Bryant and LeBron James as the only other players in the NBA to average 20-plus points, five-plus assists and five-plus rebounds this season.

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Chris Paul remains day-to-day

Chris Paul

Before the Clippers’ game Wednesday night at Staples Center, Chris Paul was on the court working out.

Paul still did not play against the Dallas Mavericks, sitting out his third straight game because of a strained left hamstring.

Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said there was no timetable for Paul to return, just that the All-Star point guard still was listed as day-to-day.

“He’s feeling better,” Del Negro said. “He’s doing all his therapy, headed in the right direction. But we just want to make sure that we get him some work [Thursday] and then see how he feels for Friday and then go from there. It’s day-to-day for him right now, but there’s a process involved that the doctors and trainers have. We’ll abide by that and see how he feels every day.”

– Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times

raymond felton

Raymond Felton can’t shoot. Gerald Wallace isn’t consistent. LaMarcus Aldridge is fading down the stretch. Jamal Crawford has tied his mind into a pretzel. And Marcus Camby is injured.

But the Trail Blazers’ biggest problem?

They are too nice.

The players said so Wednesday night after the Blazers lost 92-89 in Atlanta, their fourth loss in five games.

That character flaw was addressed, some players said, during a players-only meeting following the game. It was organized before coach Nate McMillan came into the dressing area of the locker room and aired his disappointment about the team’s effort. When the coach left out a side door to address the media, where he told the cameras and microphones that “we’ve got to play harder,” the players turned their chairs to face each other. LaMarcus Aldridge then informed a Blazers spokesperson to keep the media out.

Players-only meetings are common throughout sports for struggling teams. The Blazers had one last season during their winless four-game trip in early December. The benefits are debatable. Usually it’s to air grievances about a coach, or the attitude of a certain clique, or to just generally gripe.

– Reported by Jason Quick of The Oregonian

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Steve Nash could join Knicks this summer

Steve Nash

Steve Nash could be the answer to the Knicks point guard troubles.

That is, if they’re willing to wait until next season to get him and Nash wants to play out his final years chasing a title in New York.

Nash refused to discuss his pending free agency but he reiterated his fondness for New York City and Madison Square Garden.

“It’s no secret,” Nash said after scoring 26 points with 11 assists in the Suns 91-88 victory over the Knicks on Wednesday. “This is the basketball capital of the world. I live here in the summer. I have a lot of friends here. My former coach (Mike D’Antoni) and teammate (Amar’e Stoudemire) play here so it’s a homecoming in some ways for me. It’s always fun to play here.”

Nash, who will turn 38 next month, believes he still has plenty of good years left in his body. He keeps himself in top condition and still has the burning desire to play.

– Reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

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Kevin Love

Six days before the league deadline, the Timberwolves are prepared to pay All-Star forward Kevin Love a maximum-salary contract, a league source said Wednesday.

Unresolved is whether it will be a four-year contract approaching $61 million or a maximum five-year “designated player” deal surpassing $78 million.

The NBA’s new labor agreement allows every team one designated player — a player ending his rookie contract who receives a five-year maximum-salary contract extension — on their roster.

The Wolves prefer to save that designated-player slot for the future — to re-sign Ricky Rubio in three years, perhaps — but their negotiations with agent Jeff Schwartz might depend on what deals Oklahoma City reaches with Russell Westbrook and New Orleans reaches with Eric Gordon.

– Reported by Jerry Zgoda and Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Roy Hibbert

With the deadline for teams to negotiate contract extensions approaching in less than a week, Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert said he thinks he won’t get a new deal by next Wednesday.

“My personal gut feeling is that we’ll do something in the summer, because the max guys are the ones that get extensions right away,” Hibbert said. “I’m just going to follow my agent’s lead.”

Hibbert, who is having his best season, will become a restricted free agent, which means the Pacers can match any offer made to him this summer if the deadline passes.

Hibbert, however, said no one should dwell on his becoming a free agent.

He prefers to remain a Pacer.

– Reported by Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials say an assistant coach for the Dallas Mavericks basketball team has been arrested on an outstanding warrant from Las Vegas.

Sgt. James Brown says Darrell Armstrong was arrested and booked Tuesday in a case involving non-sufficient funds. Details about the case weren’t immediately available.

Armstrong’s bail was set at $40,000, and someone posted it Wednesday morning.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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