Archive for April 23rd, 2012

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.

Tyrus Thomas ejected for throwing elbow

Tyrus Thomas

Charlotte forward Tyrus Thomas was ejected from the Bobcats’ game with the Wizards for throwing an elbow at Washington’s James Singleton late in the first quarter on Monday night.

Thomas was dribbling and Singleton was defending him when the Charlotte forward elbowed him with 3.6 seconds remaining in the quarter. He was immediately called for a flagrant 2 foul and ejected.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Photo: Final Nets pregame in New Jersey

Photo by InsideHoops.com editor Jeff Lenchiner of the final Nets pregame in the state of New Jersey.

http://distilleryimage9.instagram.com/f44cedb48d9c11e1b9f1123138140926_7.jpg

The Miami Heat’s LeBron James and the Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson today were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, April 16, through Sunday, April 22.

James helped Miami to a 4-1 week, averaging 31.0 points on 58 percent shooting, while grabbing 7.5 rebounds and dishing out 5.5 assists per game. He did not play in Miami’s only loss of the week, an 86-84 defeat against Washington. He scored at least 25 points in all four games he appeared in, including two 30-point performances. On April 16, he scored Miami’s final 17 points in the final 4:47 at New Jersey in a 101-98 win. The 17 consecutive points tied the Miami record for most consecutive points to end a Heat victory.

Jefferson registered three double-doubles to help Utah to a 3-0 week, as the Jazz competes for a playoff spot. He averaged 20.0 points and paced the league in rebounding with 15.3 boards per game. On April 16, he led the Jazz with 28 points and tied a career high with 26 rebounds to elevate the Jazz to 123-121 triple-overtime victory over the Mavericks.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Denver’s Ty Lawson, L.A. Clippers’ Chris Paul, New York’s Carmelo Anthony, San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili, and Washington’s Kevin Seraphin and John Wall.

Wolves owner Glen Taylor said the team has already informed or is informing president of basketball operations David Kahn that it has picked up Kahn’s option for next season. That means Kahn will be back for his fourth season with the club. Kahn signed a three-year deal in May 2009 that included two more years of team options, each separate…

Before Sunday’s game with Golden State at Target Center, the Timberwolves announced forward Kevin Love would not play again this season. After the Wolves had blown a 21-point second-quarter lead in a 93-88 loss, Wolves guard J.J. Barea suggested some of his teammates might already have stopped caring.

“We’ve got problems here,” Barea said after his team shot 10-for-40 in the second half and struggled on defense. “We have a lot of guys that don’t care. On a basketball team, when you have a bunch of guys who don’t care, it’s tough to win games. We’re going to keep getting [losses] here until we get players that care about winning, about the team, about the fans.”

The Wolves were without Love, again. He sustained a concussion when Denver’s JaVale McGee elbowed him in the head April 11. Despite being cleared to play, he was shut down for the season. The Wolves cited the time Love has missed and the lack of practice time to get him ready to return. Love is second in the league in rebounding (13.3) and fourth in scoring (26.0).

– Reported by Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

blake griffin

The Los Angeles Clippers are tired of seeing Blake Griffin take hard fouls and have vowed to protect their All-Star forward if it continues.

“I feel like people are intentionally trying to hurt him,” Clippers center DeAndre Jordan said. “It’ll all come back around.”

Late in the fourth quarter of the Clippers’ loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday, Suns center Robin Lopez was ejected for a flagrant foul on Griffin. On Sunday, Griffin will see New Orleans Hornets center Jason Smith on the court for the first time since Smith was ejected and suspended two games for a flagrant foul on Griffin in the fourth quarter of their game last month.

The criticism of Griffin and his teammates in the past is they haven’t done enough to retaliate after those hard fouls.

“If Blake gets fouled, I can’t go punch someone in the nose,” Jordan said. “We can’t do that but throughout the course of a game, other fouls happen to other players on the opposite team and if they happen to be hard fouls, they happen to be hard fouls. We’re going to protect our teammates; it doesn’t matter who it is.”

– Reported by Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles

Basketball blog