Archive for April 13th, 2012

Lakers coach Mike Brown left Staples Center shortly before tipoff Friday night for undisclosed personal reasons.

Assistant coach John Kuester coached Los Angeles’ game against the Denver Nuggets.

Brown is in his first season with the Lakers (37-22), who are in first place in the Pacific Division. He attended his regular pregame media gathering about 90 minutes before game time.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Sacramento’s arena deal appears dead.

NBA Commissioner David Stern told reporters today the sides were “not able to make a deal,” adding “there’s nothing further to be done.”

“It’s not going to happen, but I can say the city has stepped up,” he said. “We have nothing further to give, to cajole, to yell, or all the various ways I’ve tried to keep the parties on track to get what we thought was a win win in Sacramento.”

Stern said the Maloof family and Mayor Kevin Johnson will meet today, but that he is not optimistic that meeting will result in a resolution. He said the Maloofs, concerned that the deal would add to their debt load, had developed second thoughts about the deal framework hammered out in Orlando in February.

Stern said the NBA had wanted the deal to happen, and had gone so far as to commit $7 million league funds and $67 million that the Maloofs could borrow on the NBA’s credit line.

Stern repeatedly complimented the city for its work on putting an arena deal. Of the Maloofs, he simply noted that they had the right as owners to reject the plan.

– Reported by the Sacramento Bee

Jayson Williams released from jail

Retired NBA star Jayson Williams was freed from jail Friday after serving eight months for drunken driving in New York and 18 months before that in New Jersey on charges stemming from a limo driver’s shooting death.

“I am eager to see my daughters, my mother and siblings and make amends for what they’ve been through, the former New Jersey Nets star said through his manager. “Start my life over with God being first and in the center of everything I do.”

Williams drove his SUV into a tree in lower Manhattan in 2010, a week after he accepted a plea deal stemming from the 2002 shotgun death of a chauffeur in his New Jersey mansion. His manager and attorneys have said he has since attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, gone through counseling and taught Bible study.

Williams had a six-year, $86 million contract with the Nets before a leg injury forced him to retire in 2000. Two years after he left the sport, he killed driver Costas Christofi with a 12-gauge shotgun while showing it to friends, having failed to check the weapon’s safety mechanism before snapping the gun closed.

– Reported by the Associated Press

The NBA Board of Governors today unanimously approved the relocation of the Nets to Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The vote by the NBA teams was held at the NBA Board of Governors meeting in Manhattan.

The Brooklyn Nets will play in the new 18,200-seat Barclays Center on Atlantic and Flatbush avenues at the start of the 2012-13 NBA season.

Nets principal owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Barclays Center developer and majority owner Bruce Ratner issued the following joint statement:

“We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to David Stern and the NBA team owners for their role in making the Nets’ move to Brooklyn a reality.  Barclays Center will give the Nets a state-of-the-art new home and, together, we will give Brooklyn the great sports and entertainment experience it so deserves.  We are looking forward to the opening of Barclays Center on September 28 and to the start of the next NBA season as the Brooklyn Nets.”

Andrea Bargnani will miss rest of season

andrea bargnani

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday centre-forward Andrea Bargnani will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 season. He exited Sunday’s game in Oklahoma City at the 4:03 mark of the second quarter with left calf tightness.

Based on tests taken yesterday on his left calf and the reoccurrence of previous symptoms, Bargnani will be sidelined to eliminate any further risk.

Bargnani has averaged a team-high 19.5 points, with 5.5 rebounds and 33.3 minutes in 31 games. He led the team in scoring 13 times and recorded five games of 30 or more points. He missed 26 games with a left calf strain and one with left calf tightness.

The NBA’s days as an owner of the New Orleans Hornets are drawing to a close. The league reached a tentative agreement early Friday morning with New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson to buy the team for $338 million, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

The league chose Benson, who will be purchasing the team by himself, over a group of investors including businessman Raj Bhathal and former NBA head coach and general manager Mike Dunleavy, and former minority owner Gary Chouest, who had tried unsuccessfully to buy the team from majority owner George Shinn three years ago. The Bhathal group also included Larry Benson, Tom Benson’s younger brother.

The New Orleans Times Picayune first reported the sale to Tom Benson on its website this morning.

Benson would be allowed under the NFL’s rules to buy the Hornets. That sport prohibits cross ownership, the rule that prompted the Denver Nuggets’ former primary owner, Stan Kroenke, to transfer ownership of the Nuggets to his son, Josh, when Stan Kroenke obtained a majority ownership stake of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams.

– Reported by David Aldridge of NBA.com

tim duncan

Not since the old days does Tim Duncan remember having the ball run through him so many times.

But forget the old days. He was just relieved to get the San Antonio Spurs back to how they looked last week.

Making good on a guarantee that the West’s second-winningest team would start playing like it again, Duncan had 28 points and 12 rebounds and the Spurs shook off their funk to top the surging Memphis Grizzlies 107-97 on Thursday night.

Duncan matched his season-high a night after the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers humiliated the Spurs on their home court. Lakers center Andrew Bynum made Duncan look particularly outplayed while becoming just the second NBA player in the last dozen years to corral 30 rebounds in a game…

Manu Ginobili added 20 points and Tony Parker scored 13. The Spurs had won 11 in a row before losing their last two—the Big Three didn’t play at all the first one against Utah—and narrowly escaped their first three-game slide this season.

Rudy Gay led Memphis with 19 points. The Grizzlies had their four-game winning streak halted after their rally from a late 14-point deficit fizzled in the final minutes, and fell 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for the No. 4 playoff seed.

It was only the third loss in 12 games for the Grizzlies since the return of Zach Randolph…

O.J. Mayo scored 16 points and Marreese Speights added 15 for the Grizzlies.

– Reported by Paul J. Weber of the Associated Press

carlos boozer

Had he known he was going to play so poorly, Derrick Rose might have sat this one out. Good thing for him, his Chicago teammates picked up the slack.

C.J. Watson scored 16 points, including the game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, and the Chicago Bulls pulled away in overtime to beat the Miami Heat 96-86 on Thursday night.

Carlos Boozer scored 19 points and Kyle Korver added 17 for the Bulls, who outscored Miami 12-2 in overtime to boost their lead in the Eastern Conference to four games…

LeBron James scored 30 points for Miami but missed a free throw that would have made it a two-possession game late in regulation. Dwyane Wade added 21 points, Chris Bosh scored 20, but the Heat lost for the sixth time in 11 games…

Rose hit just 1 of 13 shots and sat out the extra period, a brutal night for the reigning MVP. Then again, he hasn’t played much lately, so this wasn’t a total shocker…

Luol Deng scored 16. Boozer grabbed 11 rebounds and fed Watson for that tying 3. Korver came up big again, hitting 5 of 6 from beyond the arc after scoring 14 on Tuesday.

– Reported by Andrew Seligman of the Associated Press

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