Archive for July, 2012

Boston Celtics sign center Jason Collins

Boston Celtics sign center Jason Collins

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent center Jason Collins.

“Jason’s ability to defend in the post will be a great addition to this team,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations.

Collins, a 7’0” center, averaged 1.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game last season with the Atlanta Hawks. The 11-year veteran from Stanford University has posted career averages of 3.8 points and 3.9 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game. Collins recorded season-highs of eight points, seven rebounds and four assists against the Celtics on April 20 last season. Collins was a member of the New Jersey Nets teams that appeared in the NBA Finals during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

Celtics re-sign guard Keyon Dooling

Celtics re-sign guard Keyon Dooling

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have re-signed guard Keyon Dooling.

“Keyon’s veteran leadership was a very welcome addition to our locker room last season,” said Danny Ainge, Celtics President of Basketball Operations. “His infectious energy both on and off the court is a great asset for this team.”

Dooling, a 6’3” guard, averaged 4.0 points and 1.1 assist in 14.4 minutes per game for the Celtics last season. During the playoffs Dooling shot 39.3% from beyond the three-point line which was tops on the team. Dooling netted a season-high 18 points at Miami on December 27 which included four three-pointers. The 12-year vet out of the University of Missouri has career averages of 7.0 points and 2.2 assists in 19.5 minutes per game split between Boston, Milwaukee, New Jersey, Orlando, Miami and the LA Clippers.

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent guards Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas.

Smith, a 6’3” guard, appeared in 44 games last season for BK Prostov in the Czech Republic and averaged 14.8 points and 2.5 assists while shooting 39.3% from three-point territory during league games. Smith also appeared in two games during EuroCup qualifications and in six games of the EuroChallenge. Smith played for the Celtics during the 2012 Orlando Summer League and averaged 9.2 points while shooting 45.0% from three. Smith was previously with the Celtics during training camp prior to the start of the 2010-11 season.  Smith previously played for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. He played collegiately for the University of Illinois and the University of Southern Indiana.

Christmas, a 6’5” guard, appeared in 26 games during the 2011-12 season for AGO Rethymno Aegean in Greece and averaged 18.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game. He shot 36.0% from three point territory and 46.3% from the field overall. He was an Honorable Mention All-American at Temple during his senior year (2008-09) and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Christmas played for the Celtics during their 2012 Summer League teams in Orlando and Las Vegas.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have signed rookie free agent guard Maalik Wayns.

Wayns (6-2, 200) was an early entry candidate for the 2012 NBA Draft following his junior season at Villanova.  He was named second team All-BIG EAST in 2011-12 after averaging team-highs of 17.6 points and 4.6 assists to go along with 3.8 rebounds per game.  Wayns ranked seventh in the nation in free throw shooting (89.2%) this past season.

As a member of the Orlando Magic in the 2012 Orlando Pro Summer League, Wayns appeared in three games, averaging 11.7 points, 5.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 2.33 steals in 26.7 minutes per game.  He was ranked second in the league in both assists and steals per game.

A native of Philadelphia, Wayns attended Roman Catholic High School and was a Parade and McDonald’s All-American.

Lakers switching to Princeton offense

Lakers switching to Princeton offense

Kobe Bryant has been searching for spacing and freedom and flow on offense, for a way to counter defenses bent on sagging and suffocating him on the floor. Even before the Los Angeles Lakers delivered him point guard Steve Nash, Bryant had raised an idea with coach Mike Brown about the possibility of employing a distant cousin to the triangle – the Princeton offense.

So there was Brown and Bryant in a side room in a Las Vegas gymnasium during Team USA’s training camp in early July, listening to Eddie Jordan detail the offense’s intricacies, laying out how Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum would benefit with and without the basketball. Here was an old-school Ivy League blueprint daring to be a solution for the Showtime Lakers’ issues.

Jordan happens to be the foremost Princeton authority in the NBA, the heir to architect Pete Carril, and that’s an immense part of why the Lakers are moving toward an agreement to hire Jordan as an assistant coach. Jordan sold his vision of the offense to a most willing subject, and ultimately Bryant departed for these Olympics convinced that the Lakers have a sound plan of action for the 2012-13 season.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports

The Princeton is similar to the Triangle in some ways. And it may seem odd that the Lakers are switching to an offense that doesn’t utilize traditional point guard play just as they’re bringing on the best traditional point guard in the league.

But Jason Kidd and Chris Paul have been MVP candidates running the Princeton, and Nash is a better shooter than either of them. Pau Gasol‘s passing skills are also a perfect fit for the Princeton, where the big men are often handling the ball in the (high or low) post.

– Reported by John Schuhmann of NBA.com

New Magic coach Jacque Vaughn discusses his coaching style

“I don’t think I’ll pigeonhole myself into a certain style,” he answered. “I’ve been kind of inclusive about the different styles I’ve played against. Coach [Jerry] Sloan had a style that he used for 20 years. Pop [Gregg Popovich] has been extremely innovative. I watch the game of basketball internationally, and I love some of the things that they do.

“For me, it’s about putting guys in a position to make plays. I will not call a play every single time down the floor. My demeanor on the sideline is more calm, not garish at all, and I think players will be receptive to that and want to play. As long as I can teach them, and they’re receptive to teaching, then I’ll let them make plays.”

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

The WWE has issued an full apology after an on-air personality joked that one of the wrestlers was “like Kobe Bryant at a hotel room in Colorado … he’s unstoppable.”

It all went down during a live broadcast of “Monday Night Raw” … when a manager named Abraham Washington — who was wearing a live mic — was ringside for a match involving a wrestler named Titus O’Neil … and during the action, A.W. let the Kobe crack fly.

The comment is an obvious reference to Kobe’s 2003 sexual assault case — when he was accused of raping a woman in his hotel room in Eagle, Colorado. The accuser eventually reached a settlement with Kobe and dropped her case.

– Reported by TMZ.com

Matt Barnes arrested in California

NBA forward Matt Barnes was arrested tonight for an outstanding traffic warrant, and for allegedly mouthing off — BIGTIME — to the arresting officer, TMZ has learned.

According to law enforcement sources, Barnes was busted by police in Manhattan Beach, CA for a misdemeanor traffic warrant, and we’re told he also resisted the arresting officer.

Barnes is currently being booked by Manhattan Beach PD for the traffic violation, and for resisting an executive officer … a felony.

– Reported by TMZ.com

One vote down and plenty more to go in the quest to build a new arena that could bring the NBA back to Seattle.

The Metropolitan King County Council took the initial step on Monday afternoon, approving the amended proposal from investor Chris Hansen by a 6-3 vote. After four hours of public testimony and statements from council members, the Hansen’s proposal - with a few tweaks - got the required number of votes to move forward.

Now the plan goes to the Seattle City Council, but if its actions earlier Monday are any indication, Hansen’s $490 million arena plan that includes nearly $300 million in private funds and $200 million in public contribution has plenty of adjustments and changes yet to come.

– Reported by Tim Booth of the Associated Press

The Utah Jazz and veteran Raja Bell are generously providing fans with some off-season drama.

Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune reports:

The Salt Lake Tribune learned Monday that Bell has not accepted a buyout with the Jazz, despite the veteran guard saying July 8 a verbal agreement had been reached between the sides and only formalities remained.

“We’ve been given the greenlight by Utah to go ahead and find something that works for us. We’ve agreed to the terms,” Bell said in July. “So I think it’s safe to say now we are in the market again and we’re entertaining our options at this point.”

Jazz General Manager Kevin O’Connor would not discuss Bell’s buyout when recently asked about the situation during Summer League in Orlando, Fla. But a league source confirmed Monday the Jazz have officially offered Bell a buyout. He has refused to accept the deal, though, stalling an already long-delayed process.

Eight of nine Seattle City Councilmembers have sent a letter to the investor seeking public help to build a new sports arena in the city, saying changes must be made to a proposal before they can support it.

The Council wants to alter a memorandum of understanding between Chris Hansen and the city to ensure that a portion of tax revenues generated by a new arena would help pay for local transportation improvements. Currently, the proposal calls for those taxes to be used to pay off the $200 million in city and county bonds that would be issued to help pay for the $490 million arena.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Guard Marcus Williams signs in Spain

Guard Marcus Williams signs in Spain

Unicaja Malaga kept building its roster for the new Turkish Airlines Euroleague season by announcing Monday the addition of point guard, Marcus Williams, who signed a two-year contract with the Spanish club. Williams (1.91 meters, 26 years old) arrives to Unicaja from a season spent in China with the Jiangsu Dragons, with whom he averaged 11.1 points, 3.8 assists and 3.2 rebounds. Unicaja will become the second European club for Williams, who played the 2010-11 season with Enisey Krasnoyarsk of the Russian League. In Krasnoyarsk, he averaged 15.3 points, 6.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds over 28 games.

– Reported by Euroleague.net

Raptors sign forward Alan Anderson

The Toronto Raptors announced Monday they have signed free-agent forward Alan Anderson.

Anderson was signed to a 10-day contract by the Raptors on March 26 and then for the remainder of the season April 16. He averaged 9.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 27.1 minutes in 17 games with Toronto. He made 12 starts from April 4-26, averaging 11.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 33.0 minutes. Anderson tallied a season-best 20 points, making a career-best five three-pointers on a career-high nine attempts, April 26 versus New Jersey.

Anderson, 6-foot-6, 220 pounds, has averaged 6.7 points, 1.9 rebounds and 18.3 minutes in 70 appearances (19 starts) with Charlotte and Toronto. He is shooting .381 (55-139) from three-point range and .827 (81-98) from the charity stripe in his NBA career. He signed with Charlotte as an undrafted free agent in 2005 and appeared in 53 games over two seasons with the Bobcats, averaging 5.8 points, 1.9 rebounds and 15.1 minutes.

Anderson was playing with the NBA D-League’s Canton Charge before joining the Raptors. He averaged 21.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in eight appearances, and ranked 11th in the league in scoring, while shooting .550 (60-for-109) from the field and .800 (40-for-50) at the charity stripe.

In addition to his time in the NBA and three NBA D-League stints, Anderson has also played overseas with stops in Italy (Bologna), Russia (BC Triumph Lyubertsy), Croatia (KK Cibona), Israel (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Spain (Regal Barcelona) and China (Shandong Lions).

Anderson was a four-year starter at Michigan State, where he helped the Spartans reach the 2005 Final Four.

Hawks sign-and-trade Willie Green to Clippers

The Atlanta Hawks today completed a sign-and-trade transaction that sends Willie Green to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the rights to Sofoklis Schortsanitis, it was announced by President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry.  The move also creates a trade exception for the Hawks.

A nine-year NBA veteran, Green has averaged 9.1 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists over his career.  In 53 games played for the Atlanta Hawks last season, Green tallied 7.6 points in 17.4 minutes per game.

Green was originally drafted by the Seattle Super Sonics with the 41st overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft out of the University of Detroit Mercy.  He was traded on draft night to the Philadelphia 76ers where he would play for seven seasons before being traded to the New Orleans Hornets prior to the start of the 2010 season.  Green spent one season in New Orleans teaming up with Clippers’ point guard Chris Paul before signing with Atlanta as a free agent prior to the start of the 2011-12 NBA season.

Schortsanitis  was drafted by the Clippers with the 34th pick of the 2003 NBA Draft but never played for the team. Schortsanitis  most recently played for Panathinaikos Athens in Greece and Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.

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The Game chalked up two points … and two broken bones … during a basketball game in L.A. this weekend … when a slam dunk went terribly wrong.

TMZ has learned … Game broke a bone in his thumb and his wrist during a playoff game in the famous Drew League in Los Angeles.

According to our sources, Game fell after a slam dunk … and while he was on the ground, somebody accidentally stomped on his right hand … crushing the bones.

– Reported by TMZ

Sixers expected to sign Maalik Wayns

Maalik Wayns left Villanova a year early to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA. It appears that dream will come true, in his hometown no less.

A source confirmed Saturday that Wayns has agreed to a free-agent deal with the 76ers.

The deal reportedly is similar to the one Lavoy Allen received after the Sixers took him in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, No. 50 overall, the source said. Allen reportedly received a $60,000 signing bonus and then received the rookie minimum of $473,604 after making the team.

– Reported by Terry Toohey of the Times Herald

LeBron wants Durant to shoot a lot

Kevin Durant, the scoring champ in question, has not played in an Olympics before. Like any newcomer, he wants to be liked. So time and again during the U.S. team’s brief time together this year, Durant has passed up the sort of open shots that he drills with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I told KD (Durant) to just be himself,” LeBron James said Sunday after Durant led the U.S. with 22 points and added nine rebounds in a game that was only close for one quarter. “On a team like this you can kind of shy away because there are so many great players here. But KD’s on this team for a reason. He’s one of the best players the world has and he’s a three-time scoring champ. So we don’t want the KD that defers. We want the KD that he is in Oklahoma City.”

James seemed determined to make that KD show up on Sunday. He threw the ball to Durant every time he could, passing up one open shot after another to get the ball to Durant. It was a bit ironic, considering that Durant and James went head-to-head in the NBA Finals this season when the Miami Heat defeated the Thunder.

– Reported by Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer

Andre Iguodala passed up on playing for Team Nigeria

Andre Iguodala is competing in his first Olympics here. But he might have been able to play in 2004 and 2008, if he’d wanted to.

Thing is, he wouldn’t have been playing with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. He would have been playing against them.

Iguodala’s father is Nigerian. So he was invited to try out for - and in this case, “try out for” means “make” - the Nigerian Olympic squad. That team, which includes Penn grad Koko Archibong, will compete in these Games with nine American-born players on its roster.

This is the first time Nigeria qualified for the Olympics, but with Iguodala aboard, who knows if the team would have made it sooner?

– Reported by Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Nic Batum says Team USA can be beat

Nic Batum says Team USA can be beat

Moments after Team USA’s men’s basketball team fried the French yesterday, 98-71, in its Olympic opener yesterday before 12,000 at Olympic Park’s basketball arena, Nicolas Batum wasn’t convinced.

The Frenchman and rising NBA star said the American juggernaut can be beaten — not by only one Olympic club, but several.

“You have to play a 40-minute game [to do it],’’ said Batum, who plays for the Trail Blazers. “Rebound, take care of the ball and play good defense. Some team can do it. I think some team can beat them, really. Spain, Argentina, Brazil. A lot of teams can beat them.’’

Oh those French. USA looked invincible after the first quarter as it forced France into 18 turnovers and outrebounded it, 56-40, to get off to an Olympic start as sweet as fresh French pastry.

But a 27-point win against a good French club wasn’t good enough for Batum, who may want to watch when the Americans face Tunisia tomorrow in what will be the Olympics’ biggest mismatch.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Yao Ming glad Jeremy Lin joined Rockets

Yao Ming glad Jeremy Lin joined Rockets

Yao Ming doesn’t give many interviews anymore, but he stopped long enough yesterday as he entered the Olympic Park’s basketball arena to give a thumbs up to Jeremy Lin leaving the Knicks and joining his former club, the Rockets.

The 7-foot-6 Yao is doing Olympic commentary for Chinese TV and worked Spain’s 97-81 victory over China. When asked what he thought of Lin joining the Rockets, Yao told The Post, “It will be good for both of them, Jeremy and Houston.’’

Yao declined further comment, saying he is here for the Olympics.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

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