Archive for May 31st, 2012

Lil Wayne is a ‘Lil wrong when he says he was denied entry into tonight’s playoff game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs — fact is, he just didn’t have a ticket.

The rapper just tweeted, “Going to go to the Thunder game tonight but was denied by the team to be in their arena. Wow.”

But a rep for the OKC Thunder tells TMZ … “We did not deny him,” adding, “His representatives contacted us about courtside tickets and we told them we are completely sold out.”

– Reported by TMZ

InsideHoops.com editor says: You generally have to acquire a ticket in order to attend a ticketed event. The arena probably “denied entry” to other people who also did not have tickets to this particular ticketed event.

The Los Angeles Lakers have promoted Glenn Carraro to Assistant General Manager, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Carraro, who spent last season serving in a dual role as both the Director of Basketball Administration for the Lakers and as the General Manager of the Los Angeles D-Fenders, will retain his title of General Manager of the D-Fenders.

Carraro, who has 17 years of NBA experience, has been a member of the Lakers front office staff since 2000. Originally joining the team as the Assistant to the General Manager/Director of Camps, Carraro was promoted to Director of Basketball Administration in 2006. In addition to his duties with the Lakers, Carraro served as the D-Fenders Assistant General Manager from 2006-2010 and was named General Manager of the Los Angeles D-Fenders at the start of the 2011-12 season. In his first season as GM of the D-Fenders, the team finished with the best regular season record in NBA D-League history (38-12) and had a total of eight GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA. The D-Fenders also received the NBA D-League Development Champion Award.

“Glenn has done an excellent job in every position he has had in the organization, and he’s become a valuable part of our staff,” said Kupchak. “This is a well-deserved promotion for him, and I expect he’ll do an excellent job in his new position.”

Prior to joining the Lakers, Carraro served in various positions with the New York Knicks from 1995-99, starting off as a Sports Management Trainee, then Player Personnel Coordinator/Manager of Knicks Camps and eventually as Manager of Basketball Operations. With primary responsibilities including the creation and management of player personnel databases as well as separate salary cap reports, in his time with New York’s front office, the Knicks posted a 174-122 (.588) record and made at least the Eastern Conference Semifinals in all four seasons while appearing in the 1999 NBA Finals.

A graduate of SUNY-Stony Brook after transferring from NYU-Polytechnic following two seasons on the men’s basketball team, Carraro completed his graduate coursework in Athletic Administration at St. John’s University (1991-94).  Carraro also spent time working in the USBL and in the CBA for the Hartford Hellcats and Connecticut Pride.

greg oden

McMillan doesn’t second-guess the [Portland Trail Blazers’] choice of drafting Oden over Durant with the first pick in the 2007 draft.

“We felt at that time we needed a big guy,” McMillan says. “That’s one of those unfortunate situations. Greg had some major injuries.

“No question in my mind, if he had stayed healthy, he would have been able to have a huge impact for us on the court. What Durant has done speaks for itself, but there were two No. 1 picks in that draft.”

The rash of injuries with the Blazers was nothing more than bum luck, says McMillan, who was on the injured list himself with a torn Achilles’ tendon at one point.

“I don’t blame any of it on the medical staff,” he says. “They had absolutely nothing to do with it. Neither did my coaching or how we were training (the players).

“It was just a series of unfortunate situations. Like with Greg, where we didn’t have an opportunity to oversee this last year because of the lockout. He had a setback, but that wasn’t on our medical staff. It wasn’t Jay (Jensen, the trainer) or our strength and conditioning guys.”

– Reported by Steve Brandon of the Portland Tribune

The Warriors will also explore using the No. 7 pick to get a veteran. The Warriors’ starting lineup — which is already set at four positions with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut — is in desperate need of athleticism and experience. So Golden State may not want to give such a prime position to a rookie.

Golden State has long since had interest in Philadelphia’s Andre Iguodala, who is exactly the playmaking athlete the Warriors need at small forward. Other small forwards high on their list, according to league sources, are Portland’s Nick Batum, Indiana’s Danny Granger and Memphis’ Rudy Gay. And don’t be surprised if the Warriors make a play for Atlanta forward Josh Smith.

Trading the No. 7 pick for a veteran wouldn’t rule out the Warriors’ filling a need with a rookie from this year’s draft. The Warriors could potentially move up using their other three picks and have a shot at Illinois center Meyers Leonard, St. Bonaventure power forward Andrew Nicholson or maybe even Kentucky’s Jones (who some mocks have falling out of the lottery).

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

carmelo anthony

Carmelo Anthony wanted a low-key birthday and he got one. According to a source familiar with the situation, the Knicks forward celebrated his 28th with wife LaLa Vasquez and a group of about 15 at SoHo nightclub Greenhouse on Tuesday night. Our insider says Anthony insisted on “no cake, no balloons,” but didn’t refuse a couple of bottles of Champagne that his pal Swizz Beatz, who was among the guests, and DJ Clue, who was spinning at the club after a Bartenura Moscato wines event, sent his way. Anthony’s party arrived around 12:30 a.m. and the superstar stayed until 3. Interestingly, no teammates were on hand for the soiree.

– Reported by Gatecrasher/New York Daily News

Mark Cuban’s repeated criticism of the NBA for allowing its stars to play in the Olympics is no longer falling on deaf ears in the commissioner’s office.

David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday that they are no longer sure they want to see NBA veterans playing in the Olympics beyond this summer’s Games in London and will look into a 23-and-under age limit, as soccer does.

The news came as a welcome surprise to Cuban, who touted a 22-and-under age limit as recently as April.

“Yes, I’m thrilled,” Cuban told ESPNDallas.com on Wednesday night.

The most outspoken of the league’s owners regarding the NBA’s participation in the Olympics and all international competition during the NBA’s offseason, Cuban said in April that he believed the topic of NBA players’ availability was a dead issue, saying, “The commissioner’s office won’t open it up to discussion. They’ll take calls about it, but won’t put it up for a vote. Hopefully, I can get him to move it to a vote at some point.”

Silver made it clear Wednesday that Cuban’s voice is resonating.

– Reported by Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas

NBA legend Allen Iverson believes his wife should be locked up for ransacking his house while he was out of the country — this according to new legal docs.

A.I. recently filed a motion for contempt in Georgia against his estranged wife Tawanna Iverson, claiming he had a basketball gig in Asia earlier this month … and when he returned home, his house was totally gutted.

According to the docs, Iverson’s wife infiltrated his home while he was gone — pillaging furniture, art, memorabilia … and a large sum of cash.

Iverson says he’s asked Tawanna several times to return the stuff — but so far, she’s refused.

– Reported by TMZ

rajon rondo

Rajon Rondo posted a stat line never before seen in NBA playoff history. He was on the court for every second of a game that finished more than three hours after it started. He scored more points in a single overtime than anyone this season.

His night was called incredible, amazing and unbelievable - and that was by the Miami Heat.

And when it was over, Rondo could only express disappointment that the Boston Celtics needed more.

LeBron James scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored eight of his 23 points in overtime and the Heat took a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals with a 115-111 win over the Celtics on Wednesday night, overcoming what will surely go down as the best game of Rondo’s career to move within six wins of an NBA title.

”We lost,” Rondo said, shrugging off talk of the historical ramifications of his night. ”Simple as that.”

Rondo’s final numbers: 44 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds. He scored all 12 of Boston’s overtime points, giving the Celtics the lead three times, only to have the Heat answer each of those. And when he finally missed in the extra session - on a play where Rondo said he got struck in the face by Wade - then and only then could Miami put Boston away.

Game 3 is Friday night in Boston, where the Celtics will try to make this a series. No Celtics team has successfully rallied from an 0-2 hole since 1969.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press

lebron james

LeBron James led the Heat with 34 points. He was 7 of 20 from the field but made 18 of 24 from the free-throw line to offset his struggles from the field. The Heat was 31 of 47 from the line (66 percent) while Boston was 26 of 29.

“The performance [Rondo] put on tonight will go down in the record books,” James said. “It was exciting to be a part of it and to win.”

Dwyane Wade had 23 points, scoring 21 after the first half, and Mario Chalmers had another postseason breakout game, going 8 of 16 from the field for 22 points.

“It was exhausting,” Wade said. “We never should have dug ourselves that big a hole, but give [Boston] credit.”

It was a steal by Chalmers, perhaps the Heat’s craftiest defender, that set up Wade’s three-point play with 59.7 seconds left in overtime. The acrobatic bucket and continuation free throw put the Heat ahead by five points. From there, James and Wade made just enough at the free-throw line — a combined 4 of 5 — to hold off the Celtics.

– Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

The Celtics lost captain Paul Pierce, who fouled out in the final minute of regulation, and reserves Pietrus and Keyon Dooling fouled out in overtime.

“LeBron James took 24 free throws and our team took 29,’’ Rivers said. “Paul Pierce fouled out of a game where he was attacking the basket. It’s just tough. But listen, we’ve just got to keep playing. I tell my guys, ‘doesn’t matter.’ We can’t get distracted. We will not get distracted in this series.

“I guarantee you right now they’re distracted, in the locker room. But we have to get it out of us and move on. Whatever happened, happened, and we’re just going to move on and play the next game.

“It’s corny, but they’ve won two games at home. And now we go to a place that we’re very comfortable in, and we have to win two games at home. And then we’ll see from there.’’

– Reported by Frank Dell’Apa of the Boston Globe

Rondo played the full 53 minutes, providing a career-high 44 points with eight rebounds and 10 assists — a combination of levels never reached by anyone in a playoff game. Ever.

But Rondo couldn’t provide the Bostonians with the victory that they so sorely needed, and was within their grasp. Miami pulled away for a 115-111 triumph in overtime, leaving Rondo defeated but unbowed.

“It’s irrelevant,” he said. “We lost. It’s as simple as that.”

Not quite, for even in the extra period when he should have had nothing left, he went for 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the final 15 seconds after Paul Pierce and Mickael Pietrus had fouled out.

“I felt fine,” Rondo said. “It was a mental grind for me individually and for us as a team. Kevin (Garnett) played extra minutes (45). We all did. There’s no turning back. It’s the conference finals. I wanted to play every minute. I thought I didn’t hurt my team by me playing every minute. I wanted to go out there and continue to do my best for my team.”

– Reported by Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald

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