Archive for March 5th, 2012

The Sacramento Kings today exercised the option on Head Coach Keith Smart’s contract for the 2012-13 season, according to President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie.

“Keith has done a terrific job of taking control of the direction of the team,” explained Petrie. “He is active, engaged and working hard to develop our young players along with a complimentary style of play.”

The Kings have a 12-25 record and are in 14th place in the 15-team Western conference. The team is led by Marcus Thornton (18.3 ppg), Tyreke Evans (17.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 5.1 apg), and DeMarcus Cousins (16.6 ppg, 11.6 rpg).

The New York Knickerbockers and New York Rangers today released season ticket information for the 2012-13 seasons when Madison Square Garden will debut the second phase of the building’s historic, three-year top-to-bottom Transformation. The first phase of the Transformation debuted in Fall 2011 and included a completely redone lower bowl and select new areas in the upper levels of the Arena. The second phase will focus on adding new amenities and a completely new seating area with significantly improved sightlines to the upper bowl of the Arena.

For the 2012-13 season, Knicks season ticket prices will increase an average of 4.9%, and Rangers will increase an average of 9.5%. Price increases are primarily focused on upper bowl seats, reflecting the new amenities and improved sightlines in the upper bowl. Knicks and Rangers season ticket holders will be contacted directly by their dedicated experience manager with specific information on their account in the coming weeks.

When fans return to The Garden for the 2012-13 seasons, the seating configuration in the upper bowl of the Arena will be completely transformed. The upper bowl will offer larger, more comfortable seating and significantly improved sightlines as the incline for the upper bowl will increase 17 degrees, moving fans seven to 10 feet, or nearly three rows, closer to the action. Season ticket holders will be relocated to new seats accordingly.

A completely new offering for fans next season will be the new Gallery Seats, providing a premium experience in the upper bowl. The new Gallery Seats will be the front two rows of the upper bowl and feature 25% more legroom, and superior sightlines. The first row will also have a personal television for each seat and a drink rail to rest food and beverages. Current season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase the new Gallery Seats.

For the 2012-13 seasons the new expanded Garden Concourse (8th Floor) will have city views in select areas, additional restrooms and retail locations, and new first-class food and beverage options, including MSG Signature Collection’s exclusive food items from leading chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Andrew Carmellini, renowned restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Aquagrill’s chef and owner Jeremy Marshall. Final work will also be completed on the Madison Concourse (6th Floor). In addition, Knicks and Rangers fans will experience the return of the Blue Seats, which was a frequent request from fans during the planning of the Transformation. The Blue Seats will be located in a section on the west side of the building and be authentic to the color of the original Blue Seats.

“With the first phase of the Transformation complete, fans are already starting to discover a state-of-the-art venue that’s as memorable as the moments that happen at The World’s Most Famous Arena,” said Scott O’Neil, president, MSG Sports. “From improved sightlines to expanded concourses with new food and beverage offerings to new social gathering areas, the second phase of the Transformation will offer even more exciting amenities for fans. Our top priority continues to be creating a world-class experience for every person that visits The Garden, and we have a dedicated staff that will ensure that the experience before, during and after fans attend an event is seamless and exceeds their expectations.”

The second phase of the Transformation will also include 58 new Madison Suites that will open throughout the 2012-13 seasons and the Madison Club, both located on the 7th floor approximately 23 rows up for hockey and 30 rows for basketball. The Madison Club will be a new all-inclusive, exclusive membership-only club that will include tickets to Knicks, Rangers, college basketball, boxing, tennis and all other sports events held at The Garden.

Lebron James

Dunkin’ Brands Inc. says NBA superstar Lebron James has agreed to market Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream in Asia.

Dunkin’ said in a statement Monday that the agreement will last at least two years and is worth at least $1 million.

Dunkin’ said James will promote its brands in China, Taiwan, India and South Korea through advertisements, online media and in-store marketing. James will also make personal appearances in Asia after the season ends in June.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Nets center Brook Lopez out 3 weeks

Brook Lopez

The 12-16 New Jersey Nets have received more bad news on the injury front.

Nets center Brook Lopez has been diagnosed with a sprained right ankle, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today. Lopez, who was injured in the third quarter of the New Jersey/Charlotte game on Sunday, March 4, will have his foot placed in a walking boot as a precautionary measure. Lopez is expected to miss three weeks of action. The Nets will issue an update on his rehabilitation on March 23.

Lopez has played in five games this season, with averages of 19.2 points and 3.6 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game.  He missed the first 33 games of the season with a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

The Nets are currently in 13th place in the Eastern conference.

sean williams

The Dallas Mavericks announced Sunday that they have recalled forward Sean Williams from the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.Williams (6-10, 235) played three games with the Mavericks after signing on Dec. 21.  In those appearances, he averaged 4.7 points, 2.0 rebounds and 5.7 minutes while shooting .714 (5-7 FGs) from the field and 1.000 (4-4 FTs) from the free throw line.

On Jan. 6, Dallas assigned him to the Legends.  He played 22 games with 21 starts for Texas and averaged 15.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.0 assist in 28.5 minutes while shooting .506 (124-245 FGs) from the field and .767 (79-103 FTs) from the free throw line.

Williams traveled with the team to Oklahoma City.

Orlando Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins said the franchise will bid to host the 2016 NBA All-Star Game at Amway Center if, as expected, city and county government officials support bringing the exhibition back to Central Florida for the second time in four years.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said during the recently completed All-Star weekend that Orlando is “a perfect city to host an All-Star Game with all things good, from the hotels to the golf courses to the spectacular Amway Center.”

Stern added: “We look forward to coming back, but I can’t say when.”

The league solicits bids for All-Star Games in two-year increments. The 2013 game already has been awarded to Houston, and the host city for the 2014 game will announced 12 to 18 months before the 2014 game is played.

In the next few months, the league will ask franchises to make bids to host the All-Star Game in either 2015 or 2016.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Bill Walker

The Knicks announced reserve forward Bill Walker will be out four to six weeks because of elbow surgery and might be back for the playoffs.

Walker, who had been in the rotation for January and half of February, probably could’ve soldiered on if the Knicks needed him, but they are so deep, he probably lost his rotation spot.

Walker sat out the past six games. He injured himself vs. New Orleans on Feb. 17th, though the Knicks aren’t sure why his elbow blew up. Coach Mike D’Antoni said he hopes he’ll be back for the playoffs.

“We’ll see where the team is then,’’ D’Antoni said.

“Too bad. It’s weird the way it happened. I thought it would get better. He needs to get it well.’’

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post (Blog)

Deron Williams scored 57 on Bobcats

Deron Williams

Deron Williams’ eyes grew a little wider when he realized the Charlotte Bobcats had opted not to double-team him off pick and rolls.

It’s something he hadn’t seen all season.

“I’m used to getting double-teamed on those,” Williams said. “It’s kind of refreshing not to be.”

Williams took full advantage, scoring a franchise-record 57 points to lift the New Jersey Nets to a 104-101 victory over the Bobcats on Sunday night. That’s the most points scored in the NBA this season and breaks the team record of 52 points shared by Mike Newlin and Ray Williams.

It was the second-most points scored against the Bobcats, one shy of Kobe Bryant’s 58 in 2006.

Williams, who came into the game averaging 21.7 points per game, shot 16 of 29 from the field and was a perfect 21 for 21 from the free-throw line. He did miss one at one free throw, but the Bobcats were called for a lane violation and it didn’t count.

– Reported by Steve Reed of the Associated Press

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