Archive for April, 2012

Another starter for the Golden State Warriors is heading to the operating table.

The team said David Lee will have surgery Thursday to repair a torn abdominal muscle. The procedure will be performed by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia. Lee’s recovery time to resume basketball activities will be determined following surgery.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers have recalled guard/forward Christian Eyenga from the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 15 along with Ramon Sessions in exchange for Luke Walton and Jason Kapono, Eyenga has yet to play for the Lakers this season. In six regular season games with the D-Fenders, Eyenga averaged 12.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 blocks and 33.0 minutes, before helping the D-Fenders reach the D-League finals, where they currently hold a 1-0 lead over the Austin Toros.

The 30 th overall pick by Cleveland in the 2009 NBA Draft, Eyenga played in six games for the Cavaliers this season averaging 1.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 13.8 minutes. Eyenga also played in 12 games for the Canton Charge this season, where he averaged 10.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 26.2 minutes.

San Antonio Spurs sign Derrick Byars

The San Antonio Spurs today announced they have signed Derrick Byars from the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League for the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

A 6-7, 220-pound guard/forward, Byars appeared in 25 games (22 starts) for the Jam this season, averaging 15.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.00 steals in 32.2 minutes. He helped lead Bakersfield to the D-League playoffs where he appeared in four games, averaging 13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.50 steals in 31.0 minutes

Byars, a 2009 D-League All-Star, has played in 104 D-League games, averaging 17.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.00 steals in 35.3 minutes.

This season, Byars appeared in two preseason contests with the Miami Heat averaging 7.5 points and 1.0 rebounds in 9.0 minutes. Byars has also participated in NBA training camps with the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers. He has also played professionally in Greece, France and Germany.

Byars split his collegiate career between the University of Virginia (2002-04) and Vanderbilt University (2005-07). As a senior he was named SEC Player of the Year after averaging 17.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 34 games for the Commodores.

Photo: Outside Madison Square Garden

A photo by outside Madison Square Garden today before a Clippers at Knicks game.

Kevin Love

The Wolves could add Love’s new $13 million salary and still clear more than $12 million for free agency if they let go Beasley, Randolph, Milicic, Webster and retiring Brad Miller. But they still would have to fill out those roster spots, and as many as six NBA teams could have $20 million or more to spend this summer when the Wolves’ best options are difficult-to-sign restricted free agents — O.J. Mayo, Eric Gordon, Nicolas Batum — or perhaps overpaying unrestricted free agents Ray Allen or Landry Fields.

More likely is a trade for a player such as Kevin Martin, who played for Adelman twice and whose $13 million salary Houston wants to shed.

Love said he will lobby management to be “aggressive” in adding veterans. “I think we just need to make some moves,” he said.

Adelman said he believes the team’s young, vibrant nucleus will attract free agents.

“When you look at Kevin and you look at Ricky and the style that we’re going to play, it’s going to be good,” Adelman said.

– Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Mike Miller

One of the benefits of the Miami Heat resting LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh at the end of the season has been working Mike Miller into the rotation.

Based on his recent play, Miller has solidified his standing as the Heat’s sixth man going into the playoffs.

“We’re finally starting to see some of the things that we’ve always liked about Mike,” said coach Erik Spoelstra, with the Heat sitting out their regulars in Tuesday’s 78-66 loss to the Celtics, with the Wizards up next on Thursday night in the regular-season finale. “With guys out, we’ve been able to bring the ball to him a lot more and not just for him to run to the corner.

“We’ve had calls for him where there is the responsibility for him to create shots for the team. And I think that’s great for him.”

– Reported by The Sports Xchange

Moments before a confetti blizzard filled EnergySolutions Arena and prior to Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap embracing each other at midcourt after the buzzer, the raucous and postseason-hungry crowd of 19,911 chanted “Playoffs! Playoffs! Playoffs!”

It was a simple but oh-so-satisfying chant that aptly summed up the night for the Utah Jazz.

The playoff drought — longer for some members of the Jazz than others — is over.

After a postseason off, the Jazz will be back in the NBA’s Big Dance once again after eliminating the Phoenix Suns in a tense and thrilling 100-88 victory Tuesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

“You know, it’s a credit to these guys,” Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said.

And from these guys, Corbin was referring to everybody from his coaching staff that helped him build a bridge from Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan’s era to his own, to the 15 Jazz players who helped the franchise secure its 25th playoff berth in 29 years.

– Reported by Jody Genessy of the Deseret News

beno udrih

Earlier this season, Beno Udrih said he might not pick up the $7.32 million option on his contract for next season.

At the time, Udrih was obviously upset about his lack of playing time. Today, he still isn’t exactly a happy camper, especially considering he’s averaging only 18 minutes a game compared to 35 minutes last season when he played for Sacramento.

But Udrih fully realizes his market value has taken a major hit and that he wouldn’t come anywhere close to making $7 million as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

As such, Udrih, the Bucks’ second-highest paid player, said he will pick up the player option for next season.

– Reported by Gery Woelfel of the Journal Times

larry brown

It was only a few years ago that Larry Brown had the Bobcats in the playoffs, but Charlotte is poised to become the worst team in league history and the coach had some thoughts Wednesday on what went wrong during his tenure there.

Brown said on “The Dan Patrick Show” that he experienced communication problems with team owner Michael Jordan and then was devastated when he was fired.

“It’s one thing for me to get fired, but I have four or five assistants and they’re out there not able to work,” said the 71-year-old Brown, who was named SMU coach this week. “And it was the worst. And when your hero fires you… I just couldn’t believe it. You know I love the guy, think he’s brilliant, but he’s around people who don’t have a clue. And they won’t challenge him. And the more you challenge him, the more you get from him.

“I was sick about it. I haven’t spoken to him since. I don’t like seeing what’s going on.” …

“When I was able to visit with him and pick his brain, he knows, but he’s got people around him that just make you sick,” Brown said to Patrick. “And it was not comfortable. It was almost like there were spies wondering what you were doing and getting back to him. I should have spent more time face to face with Michael because I do see the passion. I think he’s hurt right now.”

– Reported by ESPN Chicago

Spurs recall Cory Joseph from D-League

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have recalled Cory Joseph from the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League.

Joseph, a 6-3 guard, has been assigned to Austin three times this season, most recently on March 20. Since then he has helped lead the Toros to the D-League Finals. In the playoffs, Joseph is averaging 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.29 steals in 34.3 minutes through seven games.  During the regular season, he saw action in 14 games for Austin, averaging 13.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.29 steals in 32.9 minutes. Joseph was named the D-League Performer of the Week for the week of March 19-25. The former Texas Longhorn recorded a triple-double with 15 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists in a 122-82 win over the Maine Red Claws on March 23

Joseph has seen action in 27 games for the Spurs this season, averaging 1.7 points and 1.1 assists in 7.6 minutes.

Joseph will be available tonight when the Silver and Black visit the Phoenix Suns at 9:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest.

The New York Knicks announced today that Glen Grunwald has been named executive vice president and general manager. Grunwald had been serving in this role on an interim basis since July.

“Glen has done a terrific job this season,” Executive Chairman of The Madison Square Garden Company James Dolan said. “He is an intelligent, seasoned executive and we look forward to him continuing in the role of General Manager for many years to come.”

Grunwald joined the Knicks on Sep. 6, 2006 as the team’s senior vice president, basketball operations, following a decade with the Toronto Raptors (1994-2004), including seven seasons as general manager. He has served as New York’s interim general manager since Jul. 1, 2011.

“It has been a great honor to be a part of this storied franchise for the past six seasons,” Grunwald said. “I would like to thank Mr. Dolan for this opportunity and look forward to building on our commitment to give our fans a team that they can be proud of today, and in the future.”

The Golden State Warriors have promoted Bob Myers to General Manager, the team announced today.  Larry Riley, who has spent the last four years in the Warriors’ front office – including the last 12 months as General Manager/Executive VP of Basketball Operations – will remain with the organization as the team’s Director of Scouting.

Myers, 37, joined the Warriors on April 14, 2011 as Assistant General Manager/Vice President of Basketball Operations following a highly-successful 14-year stint as a representative to numerous NBA players.  During the last year with Golden State, Myers has worked closely under the tutelage of Riley on all Basketball Operations matters, including contract negotiations, talent evaluation, roster management, scouting and CBA compliance.  In his new role, Myers will report to Co-Executive Chairman & CEO Joe Lacob and will oversee the entire Basketball Operations Department on a day-to-day basis.

“We’re extremely pleased to announce Bob’s promotion as we conclude the 2011-12 season,” said Lacob.  “We are confident that he is the right person to guide our Basketball Operations Department into the long-term future and, similarly, through a very important time for this franchise as we begin to prepare for next season.  As we acknowledged a year ago, we think his potential as a young executive in this business is outstanding and that intuition was certainly confirmed during his first year with the organization.  Bob is a well-respected, intelligent and dedicated executive who has developed many solid relationships in the game of basketball and understands what it takes to be successful in this business.  He’s the ideal person for this job.”

A Bay Area native who attended Monte Vista High School in Danville, Myers graduated from UCLA in 1998 with a degree in Business/Economics and later earned his Law Degree from Loyola Law School.  As a member of the UCLA basketball team, Myers and the Bruins captured the 1995 NCAA Championship during his sophomore season and advanced to the 1997 Elite Eight two years later.

Prior to joining the Warriors last spring, Myers spent five years at Los Angeles-based Wasserman Media Group (WMG), one of the largest global and sports entertainment companies in the world.  He represented a client list of nearly 20 NBA players before his departure from WMG.  Myers began his career in 1997 as an intern at Tellem and Associates in Los Angeles – working under long-time sports agent Arn Tellem – and eventually served as Vice President of SFX Sports.  He negotiated over $575 million in contracts during his 14 years in the business.

“I’m grateful for this tremendous opportunity and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead,” said Myers.  “The last year has been a learning experience for me as I’ve had the chance to familiarize myself with all facets of the organization while working with Joe, Peter, Larry, Coach Jackson, Rick Welts, Jerry West and many other talented individuals.  In conjunction with all of those people, we hope to build a team that our great fans can be proud of for a long period of time.  I’m convinced that many of the pieces are in place for this organization to be extremely successful, including our ownership group.  If you have committed ownership, you have a chance in this league.  I’m excited to have that chance and the opportunity to be a part of something special.”

Riley, 68, joined the Warriors prior to the 2006-07 season as an assistant coach and has spent the last six years with the organization, including four in the front office.  Overall, he owns more than 23 years of experience in the NBA as a front office executive, coach or scout. Prior to his arrival in the Bay Area, he spent six seasons with the Dallas Mavericks (2000-01 – 2005-06), six years with the Vancouver Grizzlies (1994-95 – 1999-2000) and six years with the Milwaukee Bucks (1988-89 – 1993-94).

“Larry has been the consummate professional dating back to my initial conversations with the team almost two years ago,” said Lacob. “I’ve relied on him immensely since the early stages of our our ownership and he has done a very good job of putting this team in position to be successful in the future.  His overall body of work, including in the last year with the drafting of Klay Thompson and the acquisitions of Brandon Rush and Andrew Bogut, has been extremely solid.  Larry has laid a strong foundation and he will certainly have an imprint on our future success.  I’m happy that he has elected to remain a part of the organization as our Director of Scouting and he’ll continue to be an asset for all of us.”

“I appreciate the fact that Joe and Bob have asked me to oversee the college scouting department and I embrace this opportunity,” said Riley. “Scouting has always been in my DNA and this will allow me to contribute to the organization in a meaningful and productive manner.  Additionally, I think Bob is ready and prepared to accept this responsibility and I anticipate that he will do an outstanding job in his new position.  I know he will benefit from having an aggressive ownership group that is completely committed to reaching new heights.”

Earl Watson suffers knee injury

Earl Watson

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz guard Earl Watson:

Watson injured his right knee during the second quarter of the Jazz’s April 8 game at San Antonio.  Watson was examined by Jazz team orthopedist Dr. Lyle Mason the following day and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests revealed a torn medial meniscus within Watson’s right knee.  Watson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on April 17 in New York City performed by Dr. David Altchek, during which his meniscus was repaired.  Watson will miss the remainder of the Jazz season, but should be fully recovered in time for the 2012-13 season.

In this, his 11th NBA season and second with the Jazz, Watson (6-1, 199, UCLA) appeared in 50 games (two starts) and averaged 3.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 20.7 minutes per game.  He has not appeared in a game since injuring the knee April 8.

ron artest

The Lakers’ Metta World Peace has been suspended for seven games without pay for striking the Thunder’s James Harden in the head with his elbow, the NBA announced today.

The incident, which resulted in a Flagrant Foul Two and ejection, occurred with 1:39 remaining in the second quarter of the Lakers’ 114-106 victory over the Thunder on April 22 at Staples Center.

“The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said. “We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of  NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations.”

The suspension will begin with the Lakers’ next game at Sacramento on April 26.  The remaining games of the suspension will be served over the next six games in which the player is eligible and physically able to play, including this season’s playoffs.

To view the incident, click on this link.

The Los Angeles Lakers have issued the following statement from General Manager Mitch Kupchak following the NBA’s announcement of the suspension of Metta World Peace:

“Metta has for the most part been a model citizen both on and off the court since joining the Lakers. Still, his most recent lapse in judgement is not to be condoned or accepted. His actions could have seriously injured another player, and his absence during this suspension will hurt our team as well. While we accept the league’s decision, we will be supportive of Metta and try to help him be more professional on the court.”

Courtney Lee hopes to stay with Rockets

Courtney Lee

Because guard Courtney Lee is a restricted free agent, his future is in the Rockets’ hands. The team can match any offer sheet he signs, but he said that would be fine with him.

“I’d love to stay in Houston,” Lee said. “I have little control over that. The only thing I can control is how I play every night and give 100 percent effort. The off-the-court stuff is up to the front office and owner. I’d like to stay, but that’s their decision.

“Houston is always going to be my first choice. It’s up to those guys, if I get an offer, whether they match it or if they just come out and give me an offer.”

– Reported by  Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

Kris Humphries hopes to stay with Nets

Kris Humphries

“Of course,” Humphries replied when asked if he wants to re-sign with the Nets. “I think everyone wants to come back and be a part of Brooklyn. But we understand that we probably won’t have the same exact team as this year, so hopefully, as many guys as possible can be a part of it.”

The Nets, though, could be headed in another direction. Sources have told ESPN that the team will pursue free agents Kevin Garnett, Ryan Anderson and Ersan Ilyasova in the offseason.

Reported by Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York

The Washington Wizards announced today that they have agreed to a new contract with President Ernie Grunfeld.

“Ernie has led the charge to rebuild and change the direction of the Wizards and I’m pleased that we will continue to work together to improve upon what we’ve accomplished,” said Monumental Sports & Entertainment Majority Owner, Chairman and CEO Ted Leonsis.  “In the process of almost completely turning over the team’s roster in the last two years, we have accumulated and developed young players and added veteran players while maintaining cap flexibility, all of which will help us build a competitive team going forward.”

“I’m excited to continue the process of rebuilding this team and excited about the direction that we’re headed,” said Grunfeld.  “We’ve seen significant progress from our young players and positive contributions from our veterans that have us very optimistic about our future and very eager to take the next steps to continue to improve.”

As the Nets were preparing their farewell, the Governor of New Jersey was kicking them out the door.

Speaking after signing a bill in Newark, Gov. Chris Christie, a Newark native and Republican, was in typical unabashed form when asked about the Nets.

“I’m not going to the Nets game tonight and my message to the Nets is ‘Goodbye,’ ” Christie said. “If you don’t want to stay, we don’t want you. Seriously, I’m not going to be in the business of begging people to stay here. That’s one of the most beautiful arenas in America that they’ve had a chance to play in. It’s in one of the country’s most vibrant cities.

“They want to leave here and go to Brooklyn? Good riddance. See you later.”

– Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

Wizards likely keeping Ernie Grunfeld

Ernie Grunfeld will return as president of the Washington Wizards, according to two league officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Grunfeld and owner Ted Leonsis have tentatively agreed to a deal that is believed to be for more than one year, a deal that would keep the team’s architect in Washington contractually until at least the end of the 2013-2014 season. Financial terms were not known, but Grunfeld’s present deal was set to expire at the end of this season. He has been the Wizards’ chief decision-maker since the late Abe Pollin hired him to take over the franchise in 2003.

The team is expected to make an announcement as early as Tuesday, the officials said. A Wizards official declined comment before Monday night’s game against the Bobcats at Verizon Center.

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post Blog

james harden

James Harden continued to undergo tests today in Oklahoma City that followed NBA protocol for the concussion he suffered in yesterday’s contest against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Harden participated in a series of limited activities per NBA guidelines, but has additional steps that must be taken under the league-mandated concussion policy before he can make his return to the court.

He will be re-evaluated tomorrow and is currently listed as day-to-day.

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