Archive for February, 2012

Lakers recall Devin Ebanks from D-League

The Los Angeles Lakers have recalled forward Devin Ebanks from the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League, it was announced yesterday by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

A second year player out of West Virginia, Ebanks has appeared in 12 games (4 starts) with the Lakers this season, averaging 2.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 12.6 minutes.  Assigned to the D-Fenders on February 15, Ebanks averaged 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 32.0 minutes in three games.  Currently on a nine-game win streak, the D-Fenders hold the best record in the NBA Development League.

Selected by the Lakers in the second round (43rd overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft, Ebanks appeared in 20 games last season, averaging 3.1 points and 1.4 rebounds in 5.9 minutes.

The D-League assignment was the second of Ebanks’ career, having previously been assigned to the Bakersfield Jam last season.  In six regular season games with Bakersfield a year ago, Ebanks averaged 16.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.50 steals in 27.7 minutes.

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed forward Lance Thomas for the rest of the season.  Per team policy, terms of the contract were not released.

Thomas has been with the Hornets for two consecutive 10-day contracts, appearing in nine games during that span with averages of 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Thomas, a Duke University product, appeared in two regular season games with the Hornets before being released on December 31, averaging 0.5 points. In two preseason games (both starts), he averaged 3.5 points and 4.5 rebounds.

The 6’8” forward also appeared with the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League this season. In 19 games (all starts) for the Toros, Thomas averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32.6 minutes of play. The Scotch Plains, New Jersey native also played for the Toros during the 2010-11 season, averaging 12.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 46 games (all starts).

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed forward Solomon Jones to a second 10-day contract.

Jones averaged 3.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 14.8 minutes over five games for the Hornets during his first 10-day.

A University South Florida product, Jones appeared in 10 regular season games with the Los Angeles Clippers this season before being waived on February 7th. Originally signed by Los Angeles on January 3, 2012, Jones averaged 0.6 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in 9.6 minutes of play with the Clippers.

The 6’10” forward is in his sixth NBA season, originally drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 33rd pick in the 2006 NBA draft. After spending three seasons in Atlanta where he played in 156 games (including eight starts during his rookie season), Jones spent the 2009-10 and 2001-11 campaigns with the Indiana Pacers before landing with the Clippers this season. The Eustis, Florida native holds career averages of 3.0 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 10.9 minutes over 262 games.

josh selby

The 19-15 Memphis Grizzlies have decided they miss guard Josh Selby and have brought him back from another dimension.

The Grizzlies today recalled Selby from the Reno Bighorns, the team’s NBA Development League affiliate, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced.

Selby (6-2, 183) saw action in four games with the Bighorns, including one start, and averaged 21.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.25 steals in 31.0 minutes. He shot .483 from the field, .500 from three-point territory and .714 from the free throw line.

He has averaged 2.9 points and 1.4 assists on .389 shooting in 10.3 minutes in 18 games during his rookie season with the Grizzlies. The 20-year-old was selected by Memphis in the second round (49th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft.

The Baltimore native posted 7.9 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 26 appearances last year as a freshman at Kansas.

The Grizzlies host the Dallas Mavericks in the first game since the All-Star break on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at FedExForum.

Spencer Hawes

The Philadelphia 76ers will have to continue to play without a reliable center for another few weeks.

Over the All-Star Break, Sixers center Spencer Hawes was examined by Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute.

At the recommendation of Dr. Ferkel, Hawes is no longer wearing the protective boot and he will not play in a game for at least two (2) weeks from today.

Further updates on Hawes’ status will be provided as they become available.

Spencer has played just 14 games for the Sixers this season, averaging 10.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists, with 56.8 percent shooting.

The Los Angeles Clippers today signed forward Bobby Simmons to a 10-day contract.

Simmons, the 29th GATORADE Call-Up of the 2011-12 season, averaged 13.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 21 games played for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League this season. Simmons also played ten games for the Bighorns during the 2010-11 season after playing two games with the San Antonio Spurs.

This marks Simmons’ second stint with the Clippers, having last played in Los Angeles during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 campaigns. He turned in his most productive NBA season while with the Clippers in 2004, tallying career-highs of 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.7 assists, garnering the NBA’s Most Improved Player award that season.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Simmons has averaged 9.4 points and 4.0 rebounds over his career while connecting on 44% of his field goals and 40% of his three-point field goal attempts.

Timberwolves hope to make playoff push

Now that the Minnesota Timberwolves have put themselves in the “playoff hunt,” as coach Rick Adelman described it, can they remain in contention for their first postseason appearance in eight years?

The Wolves (17-17) enter the second half of the season only 1-1/2 games out of the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot with 32 games remaining.

A road-heavy schedule plus inconsistency at small forward makes the playoff push more challenging. The Wolves open the second half with a four-game Western swing,beginning Tuesday night at Los Angeles against the Clippers.

“We’ll need a lot of guys to step up if we’re going to maintain what we’ve done so far,” Adelman said. “Our schedule becomes really difficult in March.”

– Reported by Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press
http://www.twincities.com/rss/ci_20055584

An extremely athletic high-flyer has received an audition in Jersey.

The New Jersey Nets have signed free agent forward Gerald Green from the NBA D-League’s Los Angeles D-Fenders to a 10-day contract, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

Green, who was named MVP of the 2012 D-League All Star Game, has played in 22 games for the D-Fenders this season, averaging 19.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 30.6 minutes per game. The 6-8 forward was selected in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft (18 th overall) by the Boston Celtics, entering the draft out of high school. Green played two seasons for the Celtics, having his best year in 2006-07 with averages of 10.4 points and 2.6 rebounds over 81 games (26 starts), as well as winning the 2007 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

Following his stint in Boston,Green appeared in a total of 30 games with Houston and Minnesota in 2007-08, and 28 games in 2008-09 with the Dallas Mavericks. In his four NBA seasons, Green holds career averages of 7.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 181 games played.

Warriors assign Jeremy Tyler to D-League

The Golden State Warriors have assigned forward/center Jeremy Tyler to the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League, the team announced today.

Tyler, 20, has appeared in 14 games this season, averaging 1.9 points and 1.0 rebound in 4.6 minutes per contest. He was acquired by Golden State in a draft-night trade on June 23, 2011, after being selected by Charlotte with the 39th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Trail Blazers sign center Joel Przybilla

Joel Przybilla
Joel Przybilla
Healthier than Greg Oden

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent center Joel Przybilla, it was announced today. We’ll post contract details later today. It’s likely a very small deal.

“We’ve been actively trying to get Joel to return to Portland for some time now and we’re thrilled with his decision to come back to the Trail Blazers family,” said Acting General Manager Chad Buchanan. “Joel is a hard worker, a great teammate and a player that does the little things to help you win, all qualities that will help us down the stretch run.”

In seven seasons with the Trail Blazers from 2004-11, Przybilla averaged 4.8 points (57.8% FG), 7.3 rebounds, 1.54 blocks and 22.4 minutes in 395 games (273 starts). He ranks fifth on Portland’s all-time list with 607 career blocked shots and ranks 13th on the team’s all-time rebounding ledger with 2,872 boards.

Przybilla, 32, holds career averages of 4.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.48 blocks and 20.3 minutes in 553 games (377 starts) over 11 seasons with Milwaukee, Atlanta, Portland and Charlotte.

Originally signed by Portland as a free agent in 2004, Przybilla was traded to Charlotte on Feb. 24, 2011, along with Dante Cunningham, Sean Marks and two conditional first round picks in exchange for Gerald Wallace.

Trail Blazers waive guard Armon Johnson

The Portland Trail Blazers have waived guard Armon Johnson, it was announced today by the team.

Johnson, 23, averaged 2.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 7.2 minutes in 39 games over two seasons in Portland. He appeared in one game this season.

The Trail Blazers selected Johnson with the 34th overall pick in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft.

Kobe Bryant
kobe bryant
Competitive.

Kobe Bryant added another milestone to his career Sunday as he passed Michael Jordan to become the all-time-leading NBA All-Star game scorer.

But did it come at a price?

Bryant skipped a postgame media session after his 27-point performance, and was taken for further evaluation after he said he was “experiencing headaches.” The Lakers announced later that Bryant had suffered a nasal fracture and would be reevaluated Monday after he returned to Los Angeles by an ear, nose and throat specialist.

It’s believed Bryant was injured with 8 minutes 48 seconds to play in the third quarter when he received a hard foul from Dwyane Wade. Bryant sank the first free throw then went to the bench to have a trainer look at his bloody nose. He returned and made the second free throw.

About four minutes later he beat Jordan’s mark of 262 points on a breakaway slam off a pass from Kevin Durant. Bryant, who also played more than eight minutes in the fourth quarter, had 271 career points by game’s end.

– Reported by John Cherwa of the Los Angeles Times

Read NBA fan reaction and share your views in this basketball forum topic.

Kevin Durant
kevin durant
Makes it rain

Kevin Durant cringes a little whenever he hears his name next to words like elite or superstar.

But after winning his first All-Star MVP award with a scoring display that ranked among the best in the game’s history, even Durant might have to acknowledge his own NBA stardom.

The Oklahoma City Thunder forward scored 36 points and grabbed seven rebounds Sunday night to help the West hold off a late charge from the East in a 152-149 victory.

“It’s just exciting to be named (an) All-Star, but to step it up another level and become MVP, it’s only something as a kid you dream about,” Durant said. “Coming from where I come from, I didn’t think I would be here. Everything is just a blessing to me.”

His performance was a small piece of All-Star redemption for Durant after he came up just short against Minnesota’s Kevin Love in Saturday night’s 3-point Shootout.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Among the 24 players selected to play in Sunday night’s All-Star Game at the Amway Center, 11 were sidelined with injuries at some point during the first half of the season.

Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson was unable to play Sunday night because of tendinitis in his left knee, replaced by Boston’s Rajon Rondo, who missed eight games earlier this season with a wrist injury.

“Basically, every week there’s four games and that’s a lot of wear and tear, but at the same time you have to be smart with your eating habits and put in the right fluids,’’ Anthony said.

Injuries are not only disrupting the plans of contending teams, but it has impacted rebuilding franchises like the Hornets.

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune

At the halfway point of an already whirlwind season,union leader Billy Hunter is pleased overall while still reserving judgment about the game in the aftermath of the prolonged lockout.

“Obviously the TV ratings are up. The attendance is up. Merchandising is up. So all the signs are positive,that’s what I’m getting from [commissioner] David [Stern],’’Hunter said yesterday. “The early report is that things are positive.’’

After a summer and fall spent haggling mostly over revenue sharing,Hunter said the union is waiting to see the first official revenue figures from the league.

Hunter said he’s not at all surprised that the league has rebounded so swiftly after a contentious summer.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Along with points and assists, New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin is piling up something less desirable lately —apologies to him for racially questionable references.

The first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent received another apology this weekend,this time from the famous Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company,which is known for coming up with funky names for its flavors.

Its Cambridge,Mass.,store attempted to honour the Harvard alum’s increasing notoriety with a “Taste the Lin-Sanity” frozen yogurt flavor in Harvard Square. But it included fortune cookies in the flavor before changing the fortune cookies to waffle cones and later issuing an apology.

– Reported by Reuters

Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob walked over to chat, and when his perspective on his neighbor’s arena situation, offered strong support for keeping the Kings in Sacramento. “We want the team in Sac because that market supported that team (very nicely) in the past,” he said, “and should be able to do so again in the future. For us, having them there is a rivalry. We don’t see it as competition even though both teams are in Northern California. I really hope it works out.”

– Reported by Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee Blog
http://blogs.sacbee.com/sports/kings/archives/2012/02/warrriors-owner.html

Progress in upcoming sale of Hornets

In his annual state of the league address Saturday night, NBA Commissioner David Stern declined to confirm or identify if the group led by Los Angeles area businessman Raj Bhathal has emerged as a top candidate to purchase the New Orleans Hornets.

But Stern did say they are in discussions with one group and they have another group in sort of second place that is waiting to see how discussions go forth with group one.

Asked if the second group was from Seattle, which is pushing to get back to the NBA after losing the SuperSonics in 2008 when the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City, Stern said, “No.”

Sources confirm that Bhathal, who founded one of the country’s leading swimwear manufacturing companies, is the frontrunner. The group includes Larry J. Benson, brother of Saints owner, Tom Benson and former NBA coach Mike Dunleavy.

The second group is headed by former Hornets minority owner Gary Chouest, the billionaire owner of Edison Chouest Offshore who was forced to sell his 35 percent stake in the team in December 2010 when the league purchased the team from former majority owner George Shinn.

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune

Bobcats focused on long-term success

Charlotte Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins promises no “hard right turns” in reaction to his team having the worst record in the NBA at the All-Star break.

By that, Higgins means no trades that could make them cosmetically better the last 30 games of the season without having long-term value. The Bobcats could have up to $21 million in space under the salary cap next summer, and Higgins says they won’t botch that with something short-sighted between now and the March 15 trade deadline.

“Panic doesn’t exist for us,” Higgins said Wednesday. “Once we made those trades (exchanging veterans Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson for packages that included draft picks), we have to see it through, the path we’ve taken: Get assets, create (cap) flexibility.

“The season is going in a direction that maybe some of us didn’t envision. A disappointment, you might say. But with that being said, you cannot make that hard right and forget about what you’ve already done.”

– Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer

When the 61st annual all-star game is played on Sunday, it’ll have a very unfamiliar feel about it.

For the East, no Kevin Garnett.

Out West, no Tim Duncan.

The future Hall of Famers were not voted in by the fans or the coaches, ending more than a decade in which the two were mainstays during all-star weekend.

If ever there was an indication of how the torch of NBA greats has been passed, this weekend only strengthens that position.

Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant are the only all-stars this weekend having been selected to 10 or more all-star games.

– Reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England (Blog)

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