Archive for March 14th, 2012

The AP reports:

Drew Gooden had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists for his second career triple-double, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-105 on Wednesday night.

Gooden completed the triple-double with a rebound near the end of the third quarter. Gooden also had a triple-double against the Cavaliers last April, marking the last time the Bucks had a player accomplish the feat.

Ersan Ilyasova had 22 points before fouling out for the Bucks, who have won four straight.

Kyrie Irving had 28 points for the Cavaliers, who lost their second in a row.

Chris Wilcox

The Boston Celtics announced today that forward Chris Wilcox will undergo aortic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic on March 29, and will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

A team of leading cardiac specialists who consulted with Wilcox and the Celtics indicated that surgery should completely repair Wilcox’s condition and that he can expect to resume his NBA career next season.

Wilcox has long had an aortic abnormality that remained stable throughout his 10-year NBA career. However, as a precautionary measure, the Celtics medical staff scheduled frequent aortic scans for Wilcox, and a recent scan showed a significant enlargement of his aorta. After several follow-up tests, doctors recommended surgery.

“While we are saddened that Chris will not be able to play again this season, the most important thing is his health, and we were fortunate to have access to an amazing team of specialists to evaluate Chris’s case,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “The entire Celtics family supports Chris during this difficult time in his career.”

Mike D'Antoni

New York Knickerbockers Senior Vice President, Basketball Operations and Interim General Manager Glen Grunwald announced today that it has been mutually decided that Mike D’Antoni will no longer be the head coach of the Knicks. Mike Woodson has been named interim head coach.

“After speaking with Mike this morning, we mutually agreed that it would be best for the organization if he did not continue in his role as coach of the Knicks,” said Jim Dolan, executive chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company. “Mike is a class act and true professional and we have appreciated his honesty, commitment and years of service to the organization.”

Over the past four seasons, D’Antoni, who had been hired on May 13, 2008, compiled a 121-167 (.420) record at the helm, including leading the team to the NBA Playoffs last season.

“We thank Mike for the hard work he and his staff had put towards making New York a destination for great players in our league as we went through our rebuilding process,” Grunwald said. “But now is the time to look forward to the remaining 24 games of the season. We have a lot of faith in Mike Woodson, who will focus all of his efforts to get this team back into the playoffs and make our final push.”

In six seasons as the head coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Woodson compiled a 206-286 (.419) record, that included three consecutive playoff appearances ending an eight-year drought. He was named a Knicks assistant coach on Aug. 29, 2011.

Stephen Curry

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry could be out for an extended period of time.

Curry suggested after Tuesday’s win at Sacramento that he was ready to sit out to get his ankle healthy. He didn’t say he was shutting it down for the remainder of the year, but he did say getting his sprained right ankle healthy was a priority.

“If he’s 100 percent, he will play this season,” Lance Young, Curry’s agent, said via text.

Curry isn’t 100 percent healthy. Still, the decision to focus on getting the ankle completely healthy is a change of gears. Before the trade, Curry was doing all he could to stay on the court. At shootaround Tuesday morning, he said he was feeling good and ready to play.

But after the trade, which several players said privately they viewed as a death sentence for this season, Curry had a change of heart.

– Reported by Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard has told several teammates, as well as members of the Orlando Magic organization, that he will not opt out of his contract at the end of this season, sources close to the situation said.

That would mean Howard would remain under contract in Orlando through the 2012-2013 season.

Howard has not signed a waiver of his early termination option at this point, which means nothing is guaranteed yet. Both Howard and his representation must sign the documentation.

This latest development comes one day after league sources with knowledge of the situation said Howard’s public plea late Tuesday to remain in Orlando for the rest of the season only served to anger the Magic and has pushed them closer than ever to trading their superstar center.

Convinced that Howard, on the advice of his agent, is trying to manipulate the situation, the Magic are telling teams they will trade Howard before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline if he does not commit to them beyond this season, league sources said.

– Reported by Chris Broussard of ESPN the Magazine

Grizzlies interested in Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas

The Grizzlies are exploring the possibility of adding free-agent guard Gilbert Arenas, according to multiple NBA sources.

Arenas, 30, remains unemployed after the Orlando Magic made him one of the first casualties of the amnesty clause provided in the latest collective bargaining agreement.

Despite mutual interest, no deal will be completed until the Griz have the opportunity to see Arenas in a private workout. A source with knowledge of the negotiations indicated both parties were arranging a meeting.

– Reported by Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

Look for a faster Bucks offense

The AP reports:

Getting guard Monta Ellis from Golden State does mean the Bucks will have a top-10 scorer, a significant addition for a team that already was trying to play a quick transition offense with center Andrew Bogut out injured. Now Bogut is gone for good, sent to the Warriors along with Stephen Jackson .

Said Bucks guard Brandon Jennings , “My first thing I said was, `Well, it looks like we’ll be running a lot more.”

The AP reports:

After a three-year period during which creditors have obtained judgments totaling more than $26 million against Laettner, a business partner and their companies, the former NBA All-Star is trying to rebuild and make a new mark in basketball - as a coach.

In a Tulsa convention center gym where most of the bright-red seats were empty, Laettner got out on the court an hour before a recent game. He set a screen on an imaginary defender to free up a shot during pregame warm-ups, and stuck a hand in the face of a shooter.

Laettner’s job is to develop these young players to the point they’re ready to play in the NBA. If he does well enough, he’ll seek his own call-up to the big leagues.

“These guys are ready to go,” said Laettner, the lone assistant for the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Mad Ants of the NBA Developmental League.

Bulls sign Mike James to 10-day contract

The Chicago Bulls today signed guard Mike James to a 10-day contract. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. James, (6-2,190), will be in uniform tonight when the Bulls take on the Miami Heat at the United Center at 8:30 p.m. (CT).

James, 36, appeared in seven games with Chicago earlier this year and averaged 6.1 ppg, 3.6 apg and 1.0 rpg in 12.4 mpg. This will mark his third stint with Chicago this season. He originally signed with the Bulls on Jan. 11 (waived Jan. 28) and again on Feb. 14.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 14.

Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News (Blog) reports:

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said he had no lingering effects from a hip flexor injury and expects to be ready to play in tonight’s game against Orlando.

When asked his chances of playing against the Magic, Ginobili was definite that he would like to play.

“I would say 100 percent percent,” Ginobili said. “But if the other guy says 20 … But I’m ready to play.”

Ginobili said his removal from the game was more precaution after two previous injuries this season.

“It’s not that I got hurt,” Ginobili said. “I just got tight.”

Derrick Rose buys condo in Trump Tower

Derrick Rose
derrick rose
Has about $900 bazillion dollars

Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has found a new home to match his sky-high game: a condominium in the Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Just before signing a $95 million contract extension with the Bulls, the reigning NBA MVP paid $2.8 million for a three-bedroom unit on the upper floors of the riverside skyscraper, county records show. The Englewood native and former Simeon Career Academy standout says he is waiting for furniture to arrive at his new pad before moving from north suburban Northbrook.

“It’s definitely an unbelievable feeling just being up there,” Mr. Rose, 23, said before Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz. “The view is nice and I don’t take it for granted. It’s a blessing.”

County records show that a private trust paid $2.8 million in December for a 3,102-square-foot unit near the top of the 92-story tower and two parking spots, financing the deal with a $1.7 million mortgage from Northern Trust Co.

– Reported by Crain’s / ChicagoRealEstateDaily

carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony’s agent, Leon Rose, shot down reports that his client wants the Knicks to trade him.

“That’s total nonsense,” Rose the Daily News on Wednesday. “It’s not true. It’s laughable. All Carmelo is concerned about is how he can help the New York Knicks win games.”

The News reported on Wednesday that MSG Chairman James Dolan, who made the trade for Anthony 13 months ago, still supports Anthony and does not plan to make any moves before Thursday’s trading deadline.

– Reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News

The Golden State Warriors have acquired center Andrew Bogut and forward Stephen Jackson from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for guard Monta Ellis, forward Ekpe Udoh and center Kwame Brown, it was announced Tuesday night.

andrew bogut

Bogut, 27, was originally selected by the Bucks with the #1 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.  He was a member of the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team in 2006 and was an All-NBA Third Team selection following the 2009-10 campaign, when he averaged a career-high 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 2.54 blocked shots.  A six-year NBA veteran (all with the Bucks), Bogut has appeared in 12 games this season with Milwaukee, averaging 11.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.00 blocked shots.   He has missed the last 25 contests due to a fractured left ankle.  Bogut, a native of Melbourne, Australia, has averaged a double-double (points/rebounds) in each of the last three NBA campaigns and is one of only three players to accomplish this feat, joining Dwight Howard and Zach Randolph.    He led the NBA in blocked shots last season (2.59) while averaging a career-best 11.1 rebounds per game.  The 7’0’’ center grabbed 20-plus rebounds on three occasions last season, highlighted by a career-best 27 on January 7 vs. Miami (second most in the NBA).  Overall, he has averaged 12.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.60 blocked shots in 408 career NBA outings.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports: Bogut is a 27-year-old, 7-foot, 260-pounder who was the Bucks’ No. 1 pick in 2005. Bogut says he’s out for the regular season with a fractured left ankle, which he injured Jan. 25. The physical defensive presence appears to be a perfect fit next to Warriors power forward David Lee, who called Bogut his “toughest matchup in the league.” The Australian was the 2006 Rookie of the Year and was on the verge of stardom in 2010, when he averaged 15.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocked shots in a season shortened by a major elbow dislocation. Bogut was scheduled to make about $13.2 million next season and $14.2 million in 2013-14 before a 15 percent trade kicker. Stephen Jackson, who was the heart of the Warriors’ 2007 “We Believe” playoff team, will make about $10.1 million in next season’s final year of his contract - if the Warriors choose to keep him.

Jackson, 31, has appeared in 26 games with the Bucks this season, averaging 10.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.00 steals.  An 11-year NBA veteran, Jackson has played for seven different NBA teams (New Jersey, San Antonio, Atlanta, Indiana, Golden State, Charlotte and Milwaukee) during his career, including a near three-year stint with the Warriors (2006-07 – 2009-10).  The 6’8” forward was a member of Golden State’s playoff run in 2007, when the team became the first number-eight seed to defeat a number-one seed in a best-of-seven series (4-2 over the Dallas Mavericks).  Overall, Jackson has appeared in 773 career NBA games, averaging 16.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:  The 6-8 Jackson arrived in a June 2011 trade but had problems from the start with the Bucks. He reported to training camp out of shape and eventually lost his place in the starting lineup, after oversleeping and missing a shoot-around Jan. 20 in New York. Jackson had not played the last nine games while seeking to be traded. He is owed $10 million for next season. This will be his second stint with the Warriors, a team he played with from 2007-’09.

“We’re extremely excited to acquire a player the caliber of Andrew Bogut, who we think is certainly one of the top centers in the NBA,” said General Manager Larry Riley. “He will add an element of toughness to our team and will provide us with scoring, rebounding and a defensive presence in the middle.   We’ve lacked those elements in recent years and think that Andrew’s addition will be a key factor in the growth of our team.  Stephen Jackson, meanwhile, enjoyed some of his best years in the NBA in the Bay Area and is a veteran who knows how to play on both ends of the floor.  The difficult part of this transaction is having to part ways with several players who we really value and one, in particular, Monta Ellis, who has been instrumental in our organization for the last several years.  We wish Monta, Ekpe and Kwame the best of luck in Milwaukee and thank them for their many contributions.”

monta ellis

Currently in his seventh NBA season, Ellis (6-3, 185) has averaged 21.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.5 steals in 37 games (all starts) for the Warriors this season. Last year in a career-best 80 starts, Ellis ranked 1st in in the NBA in minutes (40.3 mpg), 3rd in steals (2.1 spg), 8th in scoring (24.1 ppg) and 22nd in assists (5.6 apg) – leading the league in minutes played and finishing in the league’s top-10 in scoring (6th in 2009-10) and top-5 in steals (2nd in 2009-10) for the second consecutive season. He was one of only five players in the NBA to average at least 20.0 points and 5.0 assists (D. Rose, L. James, R. Westbrook, D. Williams) and his field goal percentage of 45.1 percent was tied for the second-best among any guard in the NBA’s top-20 in scoring, trailing only Dwyane Wade.

The Contra Costa Times reports: Ellis was putting them under increasing pressure by giving signs that he might start airing his long-held frustrations with the direction of the franchise. Ellis looked at the ownership-favored core of Stephen Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson (Ellis’ replacement in the lineup) and decided he didn’t fit into the new political mix. And Ellis long ago tired of the Warriors’ promises that they were a move or two away from building a contending roster around him. Plus, Ellis had the hammer: He can opt out of his deal and become a free agent at the end of next season. That means the Warriors would have to start thinking about trading him … right about now.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports: Ellis has two years left on his contract totaling $22 million but he has an opt-out clause after next season. Bogut played in just 12 games this season before fracturing his left ankle in a game played in Houston on Jan. 25. It’s uncertain if he will be able to return this season. The 27-year-old Bogut was a third-team all-NBA selection after the 2009-’10 season, but he was injured near the end of that season when he suffered a massive fall to the Bradley Center floor after a dunk. He had surgery on his right hand and right elbow but still wasn’t healed fully at the start of last season. Bogut had another surgery on his right elbow in April 2011.

A Jackson, MS, native, Ellis, 26, was selected by Golden State with the 40th overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft out of Lanier High School (Jackson, MS). He had a breakout second NBA season (2006-07) when he averaged 16.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and was named as the NBA’s Most Improved Player. He has averaged at least 19.0 points per game after his second NBA season and holds career totals of 19.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from the three-point line and 77.4 percent from the charity stripe in 413 NBA games.

Udoh, 24, is averaging 5.5 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in his second season with the Warriors. The Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year and Honorable Mention AP All-American following his junior season at Baylor in 2009-10, Udoh (6-10, 245) was selected by Golden State with the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He has appeared in 96 career games in the NBA (24 starts) and owns career averages of 4.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. Udoh has been in the starting lineup for Golden State in its last five outings, helping the Warriors to a 3-2 mark while averaging 10.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over that span.

Brown, 30, owns the distinction as the first ever high school player to be selected with the top overall pick in the NBA Draft when Washington selected him with the No. 1 pick in 2001. An 11-year veteran in the league, Brown (6-11, 270) owns career averages of 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds in 585 games split between Washington, the L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Detroit, Charlotte and Golden State. Brown’s best statistical season came during the 2003-04 campaign, when he posted 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Wizards. Signed by the Warriors as a free agent this offseason, Brown appeared in Golden State’s first nine games this season before suffering a torn pectoral muscle.

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Report: Melo prefers trade from Knicks

carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony’s discontent with the Knicks organization became so severe after Monday night’s loss to the Bulls, he told a confidant he preferred to be traded before Thursday’s NBA deadline, The Post has learned.

According to a person familiar with his thinking, Anthony’s disillusionment stems most from a belief coach Mike D’Antoni and interim GM Glen Grunwald do not trust him. He is surprised that after all the Knicks gave up to trade for him, he has not been asked for more input on personnel decisions, as Deron Williams has with the Nets.

“The organization makes believe his opinions don’t matter,’’ the source said.

However, Tuesday night, a source said Anthony and D’Antoni spoke in an attempt to reconcile their differences and made headway. On Monday night, Anthony only wanted to remain a Knick if he had assurances D’Antoni wouldn’t be back next season.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

UPDATE: Melo’s agent has denied this report

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