Archive for April 16th, 2012

The Charlotte Bobcats appear to be a collision course with NBA futility.

The Bobcats lost a franchise-record 17th straight game 75-67 to New Orleans Monday night and took a step closer to finishing the season with the worst winning percentage in league history.

If the Bobcats fail to win any of their remaining games they’ll finish with a .106 winning percentage, which would be worse than the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished 9-73 for a winning percentage of .110.

It would seem Charlotte’s best shot at a win is next Monday at Washington, the second-worst team in the league. However, that same Wizards team just throttled the Bobcats by 28 points in Charlotte last week, so the reality is Monday night might have been their best chance to win a game.

”The whole year has been frustrating but this game was more frustrating because we really got ourselves up for this one,” said Gerald Henderson, who finished with a game-high 27 points. ‘

– Reported by the Associated Press

Photo: Above the Rim

If you were able to jump high enough to look down at an NBA rim, here is what you’d see.

(Though, as you can see behind the glass, the basket has been collapsed to be removed from the court.)

Photo taken by editor Jeff Lenchiner.

Five Kentucky underclassmen, including projected No. 1 NBA draft pick Anthony Davis, are expected to announce their draft intentions at a joint news conference.

A news release says freshmen Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague, along with sophomores Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb will appear together Tuesday for the announcement in Lexington. Wildcats coach John Calipari is also scheduled to attend.

– Reported by the Associated Press

While the NBA studies putting sponsor logos on jerseys, the Development League is placing them on their teams’ uniforms in the playoffs.

BBVA’s logo will be featured across the back of all jerseys during the NBA D-League playoffs, the league announced Monday. It’s the first time a marketing partner will have brand exposure on a D-League jersey other than adidas, the league’s official outfitter.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that team has signed guard Morris Almond and waived Roger Mason Jr.

Almond has spent the past four seasons in the NBA D-League, where he has averaged 24.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and shot .495 from the field in 119 career games (112 starts).  He has played with the Utah Flash (2007-09), Maine Red Claws (2009-10 and 2011-12) and the Springfield Armor (2009-10).

Almond played in 29 games (28 starts) with the Red Claws in 2011-12, averaging 23.4 points and career bests in rebounds (6.0 rpg) and field goal percentage (.543).  He led the D-League in scoring in 2007-08, averaging 25.6 points per game and also posted a pair of 50-point games (51 points against Austin Toros and 53 points against the Bakersfield Jam).

Almond originally entered the league as a first round pick (25th overall) with the Utah Jazz in the 2007 NBA Draft.  In two seasons with the Jazz (2007-09), Almond averaged 3.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 34 career games.  He saw action with the Orlando Magic during training camp in 2009 and also played overseas with Read Madrid (Spain) in 2010, Scavolini Pesaro (Italy) in 2010-2011 and BC Cherkasy (Ukraine) in 2011. A four-year letterman at Rice University, Almond finished as the school’s fourth all-time leading scorer (1,825 points) and was named Conference USA Player of the Year after averaging 26.4 points per game in his senior season.

Mason, who underwent season-ending surgery today to repair an avulsion fracture in his left index finger, averaged 5.5 points and 1.3 rebounds while shooting .383 (59-154) from three-point range in 52 games for the Wizards this season.

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed guard-forward Alan Anderson and guard Ben Uzoh for the remainder of the 2011-12 season. Both players concluded consecutive 10-day contracts with the club yesterday. Anderson was signed to his original 10-day March 26 and Uzoh on March 27. Both signed their second 10-day contracts April 6.

Anderson, 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, has appeared in 12 games with Toronto, starting seven contests. He has averaged 8.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 22.4 minutes. He has shot .515 (17-33) from three-point range. In his seven starts, he is averaging 11.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 29.1 minutes, while connecting on 15-27 (.555) three-pointers. His start at Philadelphia on April 4 was his first starting assignment since April 17, 2006 as a member of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Anderson came to the Raptors from the NBA D-League’s Canton Charge, where he averaged 21.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in eight appearances.

Uzoh has appeared in 11 games with the Raptors, making three starts. He is averaging 4.1 points, 2.8 assists and 15.8 minutes. In his three starting assignments, he is averaging 9.0 points, shooting .542 (13-24) from the field, 5.7 assists and 31.0 minutes.

Uzoh, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, joined the Raptors from the NBA D-League’s Rio Grande (Texas) Valley Vipers. He averaged 14.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 30.8 minutes in 20 appearances.

The Raptors did not renew the 10-day contract of guard Justin Dentmon. Dentmon was signed April 6 and appeared in four games, averaging 5.5 points, 2.3 assists and 18.0 minutes.

New Orleans is slated to host the 63rd NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 16, 2014, it was announced today by NBA Commissioner David Stern.

The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at New Orleans Arena, home of the Hornets, pending the completion of arena and hotel agreements.  This will mark the second time that NBA All-Star will be hosted in New Orleans, having previously been held in the “Crescent City” in 2008.

“There is no better place to celebrate and showcase the NBA than in New Orleans, a city with a rich tradition of hosting major events that is second-to-none,” said Stern. “Our 2008 NBA All-Star festivities proved a terrific experience for everyone involved, and we anticipate 2014 will be even better.”

A weeklong celebration, NBA All-Star showcases NBA players’ passion for basketball, engagement with fans, commitment to community and respect for the history and tradition of the game.

“I have always taken great pride in our city hosting Super Bowls. I don’t think any city does it better than New Orleans,” said Tom Benson. “With the NBA, we get the unique opportunity from time to time to host the NBA All-Star Game, which has proven to be one of the highlights of the NBA season and will be a highlight for our city in 2014. I thank Commissioner Stern for making this announcement today and once again proving how much he believes in the city of New Orleans. In February 2013, we will host the Super Bowl. In February 2014, we will host the NBA All-Star Game. The city of New Orleans is the place to be. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact will be generated for our region in these back-to-back February events. We could not be more pleased.”

The 2014 All-Star Game will mark the 30th year that Turner Sports will provide NBA All-Star coverage, and the 12th consecutive year the All-Star Game will be televised in primetime on TNT.  The All-Star Game will be seen by a worldwide television audience in more than 200 countries and territories and in more than 40 languages.

“The addition of the 2014 NBA All-Star Game is part of an unprecedented run of major sporting events for New Orleans. It started with the 2012 BCS Championship, which was followed by the 2012 Final Four just three months later,” said Governor Bobby Jindal. “In 2013, we will host the Super Bowl and the NCAA Women’s Final Four. No city in America has attracted such a string of major sporting events in such a short period of time. This proves that Louisiana continues to be a world class destination for major events. These events will generate millions in economic return for the city and state, provide thousands of jobs for our citizens and provide immeasurable national and international publicity for our great state.”

“We are pleased to add the 2014 NBA All-Star Game to an already unprecedented lineup of international events being hosted in the city,” said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Commissioner Stern and the NBA have been unbelievable partners for New Orleans.  NBA All-Star 2014 will once again put New Orleans on the world stage and give us an opportunity to showcase our city’s comeback.”

NBA All-Star competitions will get underway on Friday, Feb. 14, as the league’s top rookies and second-year players square off in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. The following day’s festivities will feature NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm, an all-inclusive skills showcase comprised of Haier Shooting Stars, a competition featuring NBA and WNBA players, and NBA legends; Taco Bell Skills Challenge, a contest of top guards working against the clock to complete a series of passes, free throws, layups and agility drills; the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, a longstanding staple of the evening; and the high-flying Sprite Slam Dunk contest. Sunday’s slate of activities will also feature the Sprint Pre-game Concert before the 63rd NBA All-Star Game tips off.

In 2008, more than 2,500 people who attended NBA All-Star rolled up their sleeves and participated in the inaugural All-Star Day of Service. Ten service projects were conducted across New Orleans on Feb. 15, which was at the time the largest single-day effort by the NBA family in its ongoing support in rebuilding the city. The 2008 Day of Service highlighted a weeklong schedule of community events, with NBA All-Stars and participants, former players, NBA business and media partners, and guests coming together to give back to several thousand New Orleans-area residents.

LeBron James captured All-Star MVP honors in a 134-128 victory for the Eastern Conference when New Orleans played host in 2008. James tallied 27 points, including a thunderous drive-and-dunk in the final minute, to secure the award. Ray Allen added 28 points for the East, while the West was paced by 18 points apiece from Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Brandon Roy.

The NBA will continue to celebrate its tradition and commitment to social responsibility during NBA All-Star 2014 with a full schedule of NBA Cares events. NBA Cares will partner with schools, government, and local nonprofit organizations in New Orleans and surrounding areas to highlight the league’s grassroots and community initiatives that reach millions of young people and their parents while providing critical resources to community-based programs.

One of the week’s most popular attractions, NBA All-Star Jam Session, the world’s largest interactive basketball theme park, will be held at The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. At Jam Session, fans can have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of participating in NBA All-Star excitement, with the chance to meet and collect free autographs from NBA players and legends. Jam Session is nonstop basketball action, as fans can shoot, slam, dribble and drive all day; compete against their friends in skills challenges; or get basketball tips from NBA players and legends. Young fans can hang out at Kids Zone, with hoops and interactive activities that are the perfect size for kids’ slam dunks, three-pointers and jump shots. For fans who want NBA entertainment, Jam Session features the NBA’s favorite players, mascots, dance teams and celebrities as they hit Center Court in a variety of basketball competitions, including NBA All-Star Practice and the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

The Boston Celtics’ Kevin Garnett and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Andrew Bynum today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 9, through Sunday, April 15.

Boston went 4-1 on the week, going 3-1 in games in which Garnett appeared. Garnett averaged 20.0 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks for the surging Celtics. He recorded three point-rebound double-doubles on the week, including a 21-point, 12-rebound effort on April 14 during a 94-82 win at New Jersey.

Bynum led the Lakers to a 4-0 week behind averages of 21.8 points, a league-best 16.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks. Bynum posted three point-rebound double-doubles on the week, including a 16-point, 30-rebound effort on April 11 during a 98-84 win over San Antonio.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Denver’s Kenneth Faried, Indiana’s Danny Granger, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Memphis’ Rudy Gay, New Orleans’ Eric Gordon, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Warriors sign center Mikki Moore

Mikki Moore

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent center Mikki Moore to a contract, the team announced today.

Moore, a 12-year NBA veteran, is being called-up from the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League, where he has appeared in 33 games this season and averaged 11.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.06 blocks in 28.1 minutes per contest.  He is shooting 55.4% (134-242 FG) from the field and has posted six double-doubles.  This marks the 53rd GATORADE Call-Up of the 2011-12 NBA season.

The 7’0” center last played in the NBA with the Warriors during the 2009-10 campaign, when he appeared in 23 games (20 starts) and averaged 5.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 17.7 minutes before undergoing season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs in his right heel on December 18, 2009.  For his career, Moore has appeared in 557 NBA games with nine teams (Detroit, Boston, Atlanta, New Jersey, Utah, L.A. Clippers, Seattle, Sacramento and Golden State) over 12 seasons, averaging 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest.

Mikki (pronounced MY-key) will wear #31 and is scheduled to be in uniform for the team’s home game tonight against the San Antonio Spurs.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has lobbied the league to immediately begin making basket interference situations in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime reviewable after such a play worked against the Mavs in their 112-108 overtime loss Sunday to the Los Angeles Lakers.

It appeared that Lakers forward Matt Barnes touched a Pau Gasol 3-point attempt from the corner as it neared the cylinder with 3:49 to go in overtime. Barnes’ hands then came down on the rim and then he and Gasol instantaneously waived their arms in the air to suggest that Barnes did not make contact.

The basket was ruled good and the Lakers took a 103-101 lead.

“Any potential basket interference in the last two minutes of a game or overtime should be reviewed,” Cuban said he wrote in his email to the league. “I didn’t bring up that play up at all.

“You’ve got to make that reviewable. You have to ask them to change the rule.”

– Reported by Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas

Former NBA and University of Florida basketball player Dwayne Schintzius died Sunday afternoon from respiratory failure. He was 43.

The 7-foot-2 Schintzius, who starred at Brandon (Fla.) High School east of Tampa, had been battling complications from a bone marrow transplant he received as treatment for chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, the Tampa Tribune reported.

Schintzius played at Florida from 1987-90 and helped lead the Gators to their first three NCAA tournament appearances in school history (the first two were later vacated by the NCAA). Schintzius is sixth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,624 points and still holds the school record for blocked shots (272). He was named an All-American by The Associated Press, UPI and the Sporting News in 1989 after averaging 18.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

– Reported by  Michael DiRocco of GatorNation/ESPN

Schintzius still became a first-round NBA pick, the 24th overall selection by the San Antonio Spurs in 1990. He also played for the Sacramento Kings, New Jersey Nets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics, averaging 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds overall. But injuries haunted his nine-season NBA career.  Off the court, Schintzius played the role of a Russian basketball player in the movie “Eddie,” a film that starred Whoopi Goldberg. Schintzius also played himself in an episode of the cable television series Arliss. He later worked in sports marketing while maintaining his free-spirited attitude. He recently published a fitness book.

– Reported by the Tampa Tribune 

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