Archive for January 31st, 2012

Dirk Nowitzki

The suspense of Nowitzki being voted a starter by the fans for the first time in his career never materialized. Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin quickly filled the void left by Carmelo Anthony’s defection to the Eastern Conference. Starters will be announced Thursday night and the all-Oklahoma City duo of Thunder superstar Kevin Durant and Griffin, an OKC native, have those spots sewn up.

The issue facing West coaches in selecting the seven reserves is what to do with Dirk? The reigning NBA Finals MVP and an All-Star mainstay would typically be a no-brainer selection based on history, even if his numbers aren’t quite up to typical standards.

However, Nowitzki has had a most unusual season that now includes a mid-season, week-long hiatus and behind-the-scenes personal training camp, plus the lowest marks since his rookie season in scoring average (16.7), rebounds (5.8) and shooting percentage, both overall (44.8) and behind the arc (20.0).

– Reported by Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas

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Phil Jackson is writing a book

Phil Jackson

Phil Jackson’s next title will be on the cover of his new book.

Penguin Press says Tuesday that Jackson, the Hall of Famer who won 11 NBA championships as coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, is writing his memoir called “Eleven Rings.”

The book is tentatively scheduled to be out next year.

The 66-year-old Jackson is a 1,155-game winner whose career .704 winning percentage is the best in NBA history.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Baron Davis

Baron Davis missed shoot around on Tuesday due lingering soreness in his back, according to Mike D’Antoni.

“I don’t think it’s a set back but it just needed a little bit more time to calm down,” he said.

Davis, who also missed practice on Monday, probably won’t suit up for the Knicks until next week at the earliest.

The Knicks have four games this week. After Tuesday night’s home game against Detroit, they play three games in three nights, beginning with Thursday’s home against Chicago.

“I think next week’s looking more like it … The sooner the better, but I don’t know for sure,” D’Antoni said.

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

No major Magic shakeup expected

Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith indicated Monday that he has no plans to make a major move to alter his team’s roster in the near future.

“If a string of losses causes you to change your plans, then I’m in the wrong job,” Smith said Monday night, before the Magic fell 74-69 to the Philadelphia 76ers to lose their fourth consecutive game.

“I think you look at your team as a whole and understand that we have to fight through whatever we have to fight through and you continue to evaluate everything top to bottom. That’s what you do. When it’s time to make a change, you make a change.”

Smith generally does not like to make trades in-season, but he did so last season after the Magic lost five of six games from Dec. 4-14, 2010.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Yao Ming looking to enter movie business

Yao Ming

The retired Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming has been looking for business opportunities in the film industry, but has not entered it yet, Yao’s agent said Tuesday, responding to media’s reports claiming that Yao will set up a film finance fund.

Foreign media report that Jay Cohen, an American film producer, is setting up a film finance fund with Yao Ming, which has caught the attention of China’s media and public.

“Yao Ming and our team has not joined or set up any such organizations as the film finance fund,” Yao’s agent Zhang Mingji told Xinhua, adding that they are open to such kind of business, and are looking for good investment opportunities.

– Reported by Xinhua / CRI.cn

Monday night in the third quarter of Los Angeles Clippers vs Oklahoma City Thunder, Clips forward Blake Griffin caught a perfect pass from point guard Chris Paul and threw down what InsideHoops.com considers the best dunk of the NBA season on the head of Kendrick Perkins.

Here are several video clips of the Griffin dunk on Perkins:

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