Archive for June 8th, 2012

A former Golden State Warriors employee has reached a settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the team and former Warriors guard Monta Ellis that alleged Ellis sent her unwanted texts that included a photo of his genitals.

Erika Smith, a former community relations director for the Warriors, and the team settled out of court last month, her lawyer said Friday.

Attorney Burt Boltuch said he is not allowed to discuss specifics of the settlement. Boltuch said discussions with the Warriors’ attorneys began shortly after Ellis was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in March.

“All I can say is that the matter is dismissed,” Boltuch said Friday. “Ms. Smith is looking to move on with her career.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

rudy gay

Reports persist that the Griz are shopping Gay to shed payroll and acquire a draft pick in the lottery. But Griz owner Michael Heisley says that just isn’t the case.

“We’re not looking to trade Rudy Gay,” Heisley said. “We’re not shopping him around. Period. Do we sit around and say ‘What if we traded Rudy, who could we get?’ No. Right now, Rudy is part of the future of this team.”

Gay, 25, will be the team’s second-highest paid player next season. His $16.4 million salary for the 2012-13 season is slightly less than the $16.5 million that power forward Zach Randolph will earn. Gay is owed about $53.6 million over the next three seasons after signing an $84 million contract as a restricted free agent in 2010.

– Reported by Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

Taj Gibson wants to stay with Bulls

taj gibson

The Chicago Bulls front office has been outspoken over the past year about their desire to keep Taj Gibson on the roster.

The feeling is mutual.

Gibson, who will become a restricted free agent at the end of next season, knows the Bulls have a lot of other decisions to make before they get down to hammering out an extension, but he would like to lock something up which would make him a Bull for a long time to come.

“Really, it doesn’t matter (when it happens),” Gibson told Thursday afternoon. “I told (general manager) Gar (Forman) and (vice president John Paxson) how committed I am to just being with the Bulls. It’s not a thought in my head to leave Chicago because I love playing for the Bulls.

“I love wearing the Bulls logo across my chest. So that’s the last thing I’m thinking about right now. Right now, I’m just thinking about next year. Just come in and figure out how I can try to help the team better and just let the chips fall in place. A lot of guys tend to worry about that stuff, but I know I have a good agent in Mark Bartelstein and I have a lot of faith in what he does and I know I have a lot of faith in the Bulls organization so I’m just relaxing and practicing.

“I believe my future is here. Either mid-July or next year (for an extension), just have to be patient and just wait and see.”

– Reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

emeka okafor

Although the upcoming NBA draft is deep in talent, Hornets General Manager Dell Demps hasn’t ruled out the possibility of trading the team’s second lottery pick. “Yes, we will if it makes sense,’’ said Demps.

The Hornets have the 10th pick in the draft June 28, as well as the No. 1 overall selection, which the team is expected use on Kentucky power forward Anthony Davis.

“There’s been some teams that have put young guys around a top pick,” Demps said. “Some of the other teams have put veterans around the pick. Some have been successful both ways. I think we’re just going to look at what is best for our situation.’’

To improve the roster around Davis, the Hornets could try to explore a deal that would include trading either center Emeka Okafor or small forward Trevor Ariza, along with the 10th pick. That would clear salary cap space to possibly pursue more veteran help in free agency.

– Reported by John Reid of the New Orleans Times Picayune

iman shumpert

Knicks guard Iman Shumpert knows you need to walk before you can run.

Shumpert, one of the NBA’s elite perimeter defenders, has not started walking, but still says his recovery from a torn ACL suffered during the Eastern Conference quarterfinals is “going good.”

“They say I’m right on target with everything, I’ll be walking next week,” Shumpert told The Post. “I’m being really optimistic about it, really happy about it, hopefully it picks up soon.”

Shumpert emerged as a key contributor to a Knicks team that made the postseason for a second consecutive year, and despite being expected to miss at least a month next season, Shumpert said he’s looking forward to getting back on the floor.

– Reported by Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of the New York Post

tyreke evans

The team’s leading scorer is guard Marcus Thornton, who has three years left on his contract and is due approximately $24 million.

Tyreke Evans was the Rookie of the Year in the 2009-10 season. But heading into his fourth season, the Kings are not expected to offer him a contract extension, though he will be eligible for one this offseason.

John Salmons had one of the worst seasons of his career in 2011-12 before being benched. After that, he started showing flashes of the player the Kings traded for last June.

The Kings also have Francisco Garcia and Travis Outlaw under contract and still could re-sign Terrence Williams.

Even with all the players on the wing, none in the group is an established star and all could be challenged for his spot.

– Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

lebron james

LeBron James has walked off the court here too many times with nowhere to go except summer vacation.

The destination this time: Game 7 in Miami, with a spot in the NBA finals on the line.

James had 45 points and 15 rebounds, overwhelming the Boston Celtics and leading the Heat to a 98-79 victory Thursday night that forced a decisive game in the Eastern Conference finals.

After two days of questions about the Heat’s future and his own history, James provided his response in resounding fashion in a building where Miami had lost 15 of its previous 16 games, and where his season had twice come to an end…

James shot 19 of 26 from the field and finished four points shy of his playoff career-high while playing 45 minutes, not sitting down until the victory was long secured…

dwyane wade

Dwyane Wade added 17 points for the Heat, who need a victory at home Saturday night to return to the NBA finals. And if James plays like this again, Miami should have no problem getting it…

Rajon Rondo had 21 points and 10 assists for Boston. Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass each scored 12 points, but Paul Pierce had only nine on 4-of-18 shooting…

James’ first basket of the third quarter increased the lead to 17 points, and from there it was just a matter of coming up with another score any time the Celtics tried to make a run.

Boston never came close, and when a 3-pointer by Shane Battier made it 81-63 with 10:19 to play, Rivers spent part of a timeout standing alone on the court with his arms folded, leaving it to the players to try to come up with an answer that wasn’t there.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Led by James’ brilliance, the Heat shot 48.7 percent from the field and 43.8 percent from three-point range. The Heat led by double figures throughout the second half, and its largest lead was 25 points.

“[James] was absolutely fearless [Thursday night], and it was contagious,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “No one likes getting dirt thrown on your face before you’re even dead.”

The Heat outrebounded the Celtics 44-34, with Udonis Haslem (nine) and Wade (eight) pulling down more boards than Boston’s rebounding leader — Brandon Bass, who had seven. Boston was 1 of 14 from three-point range, and Paul Pierce had just nine points on 4-of-18 shooting. Rajon Rondo led Boston with 21 points and 10 assists but committed seven turnovers.

Once again, Wade wasn’t himself to begin the game, but once again he played well in the fourth quarter. He started the game with four points in the first half and was 1 of 6 from the field in the first quarter. But, while he might be playing with an injured knee, he still had enough left in reserve to give the Heat a boost in crunch time.

– Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

The Heat’s heart and LeBron James’ ability to take control were loudly called into question after Game 5. But after so many dismal results in this city, the Heat star had to love the sight of Garden fans heading for the exits with seven minutes still left.

Miami finally found a way to puncture the local balloon with last night’s 98-79 win over the Celtics, tying the series at 3-3 and sending the Eastern Conference finals back to Miami for tomorrow night’s very precarious Game 7.

Just when most had written off this team as an underachieving casualty, James uncorked one of the greatest playoff performances by an opponent in Garden history.

James had metronomic precision in a 45-point, 19-for-26, 15-rebound performance that included a 30-point first half and an 11-point third quarter.

His teammates, especially Dwyane Wade, took it from there with a 15-3 run over the first five minutes of the fourth quarter that quickly pushed the Miami lead north of 25 points.

– Reported by Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald

rajon rondo

Rajon Rondo sparked the Celtics with 21 points and 10 assists but also had 7 turnovers. No other Celtic starter was able to get into the offensive flow. Brandon Bass and Kevin Garnett totaled 12 points, Ray Allen had 10 points, and Paul Pierce went 4 for 18 from the floor and totaled 9 points.

The Celtics were 1 for 14 on 3-pointers, the one make the result of impressive ball movement as Keyon Dooling found a wide-open Allen. That cut the deficit to 30-23 with 9:41 left in the opening half.

But Miami took a timeout and upped the lead to 13 a little more than a minute later.

The Celtics’ small lineup rallied within 69-59 late in the third quarter, then Garnett reentered for the final two minutes of the quarter. But Garnett did not make an impact on this contest, the Heat soon increasing its advantage to 25 points in the final quarter.

– Reported by Frank Dell’Apa of the Boston Globe

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