Archive for August, 2012

Nets owner takes jab at Knicks owner

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov referred to his new cross-town counterpart James Dolan of the Knicks as “that little man” in New York Magazine.

In the article describing the Nets marketing plan and approach to their brand accompanying a move from New Jersey to Brooklyn for the 2012 season, the focus is on whether the Nets can consistently fill the Barclays Center and establish Brooklyn as a glimmering borough of basketball hope.

The article reads: “Prokhorov told me back in December that he plans on attending a quarter of the regular-season games and ‘all the playoff ones.’ He also made sure that I heard him call Dolan ‘that little man.’”

– Reported by The Sports Xchange

Jason Terry hopes his Mavs jersey will be retired

For Jason Terry, winning an NBA title was the ultimate as far as personal team achievements are concerned. But what could happen next would be sheer euphoria.

“The bow was winning the championship, but the icing on the cake will be putting that jersey up in the rafters,’’ Terry told the Star-Telegram on Monday. “If it happens, I’ll be grateful.’’

Terry was referring to the possibility of having his Dallas Maverick No. 31 jersey retired in the American Airlines Center rafters.

– Reported by Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Blog)

Cleveland Cavaliers promote Mike Gansey

The Cleveland Cavaliers have promoted Mike Gansey to Director of Development League Operations and Cavaliers Basketball Operations Assistant, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Gansey, 29, spent the 2011-12 season as the Cavaliers basketball operations assistant. In his new position as the Cavaliers’ Director of Development League Operations/Cavaliers Basketball Operations Assistant, he will work closely with Cavaliers Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin and Canton Charge Head Coach Alex Jensen in the basketball operations and personnel matters of the Cavaliers’ exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League affiliate, as well as other general NBA Development League areas and player personnel elements. The Charge’s basketball operations areas will continue to be overseen by Griffin, and Coach Jensen will now expand his leadership role to be more involved with player personnel matters, in addition to his head coaching duties.

A native of Olmsted Falls, Gansey played collegiately at West Virginia, where, as a senior, he led the Mountaineers to the Sweet 16 and was named a finalist for the Oscar Robertson Award, the Wooden Award as well as the Naismith Trophy. Following his college career, he played professionally overseas in Italy (2007-08), Germany (2008-09) and Spain (2010-11) and also played 57 games (27 starts) in the NBA Development League over two seasons (2007-08, 2009-10) with Anaheim, Idaho and Erie, averaging 11.5 points on .452 shooting, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 27.9 minutes per game.

Houston Rockets sign Carlos Delfino

Houston Rockets sign Carlos Delfino

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed guard/forward Carlos Delfino. The unrestricted free agent recently competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, averaging 15.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists with Argentina.

Delfino (6-6, 230, Argentina) has played in seven NBA seasons, averaging 7.7 points (.362, 520-1435 3FG), 3.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 440 career games (165 starts) with Detroit, Toronto and Milwaukee. His most productive years have come the past three seasons with the Bucks, where he has averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 boards, 2.5 assists and 1.32 steals in 30.4 minutes per outing over 178 games (159 starts). Delfino also connected on a career-best 134 3-pointers in 2009-10 and averaged 2.1 3-point field goals per game in 2010-11, which ranked fifth in the league.

Drafted by the Pistons with the 25th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Delfino spent three seasons with Detroit before joining the Raptors in a trade. He was acquired by Milwaukee along with Roko Ukic from Toronto in exchange for Amir Johnson and Sonny Weems on Aug. 18, 2009. In addition to the NBA, Delfino has played a key role on Argentina’s gold-medal-winning teams at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece and at the 2011 FIBA Americas Tournament. Delfino began his career internationally with Reggio Calabria (2000-02) and Skipper Bologna (2002-04). He also averaged 13.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 10 games with Khimki Moscow in the Russian Superleague in 2008-09.

Mario Kasun signs in Siena, Italy

Italian champs Montepaschi Siena announced over the weekend the addition of big man Mario Kasun to a one-year deal with the option of another. Kasun (2.13 meters, 32 years old) arrives from KK Zagreb, where last season he averaged 12.2 points and 6.6 rebounds in 9 Turkish Airlines Euroleague games. He ranked 5th overall in Offensive Rebounds during the 2011-12 Regular Season. Kasun made his debut in 1997 in Gorica of his native Croatia and kept growing as a player until he signed in 2002 for the Frankfurt Skyliners of Germany, where he exploded in his game.

– Reported by Euroleague.net

Andrew Bogut expects to be ready for Warriors opener

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut fully expects to be in the lineup for the season opener Oct. 31 at Phoenix after undergoing surgery this spring on his troublesome ankle.

How much he plays during the exhibition schedule, he’s still not sure. Bogut believes he will be nearly full strength by the start of training camp Oct. 3, but might still be limited during the preseason as a precaution.

“I definitely want to be ready for training camp. I think it will be close,” Bogut said Sunday before heading to a Monday morning workout in Australia.

“The immediate goal with all of this is to make sure I’m ready for the first game. Whether that means playing only half the preseason games, it’s just about being smart with my ankle. There’s no point in trying to get ready for Oct. 1 when an extra week could significantly help. It’s just a matter of monitoring it very smartly and not doing anything stupid.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

There will be a grand total of nine Sixers whose contracts will expire within the next two years.

Five of those contracts — Bynum, Jrue Holiday, Nick Young, Dorell Wright and Royal Ivey — are up at the end of next season. Four more — Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, Kwame Brown and Lavoy Allen — expire at the end of the 2013-14 season. For reference, Brown’s is technically for one season with a player option for a second, though his agent has called it a two-year deal.

Starting with the five due to end next summer, the Sixers could very well walk into free agency with roughly $30 million off their books. Of course, should they re-sign Bynum, his max-deal will take up about two-thirds of that space. Then there’s Holiday, to whom the team can extend a qualifying offer for one more year, but Holiday is reportedly seeking a max-contract instead. Go figure.

– Reported by Nick Menta of CSN Philly

The National Basketball Association  selected  Ticketmaster,  a  Live  Nation Entertainment company (NYSE:LYV), to develop a comprehensive online ticketing destination for NBA fans.  As  the  Official  Ticketing  Provider of the NBA, Ticketmaster will present  buyers  all  of  the  available ticket options for upcoming games, including  available  tickets  from  the primary market, as well as tickets being  resold by other fans.  NBA fans will be able to buy with confidence, as  Ticketmaster will validate every ticket purchased on the league’s site, making  it  the premier destination where fans are guaranteed authentic NBA tickets.

“Together  with  the  NBA,  we’re  building  the  sports  industry’s  first comprehensive  ticket destination that provides fans all of their ticketing options  –  from  both  primary  and  resale  -  in one place,” said Nathan Hubbard, CEO of Ticketmaster.  ”The NBA is determined to provide their fans a safe, convenient place to buy and sell game tickets, and we are delighted to be delivering this revolutionary solution.”

“We are committed to ensuring that our fans receive the best in service and selection  when  it  comes  to  purchasing  individual  game  tickets,  and Ticketmaster’s  proven  ticketing solutions for both the primary and resale markets  were  the  right fit for us,” said NBA Executive Vice President of Team  Marketing  &  Business  Operations  Chris  Granger. “On behalf of our teams,  we  also  appreciate  Ticketmaster’s  commitment to analytics, data sharing,  and marketing support.  This partnership will be a winner for all involved.”

– Press Release

Kevin Durant movie

Kevin Durant is going from representing the red, white and blue to walking the red carpet.

Adding to a resume that already includes being a three-time NBA scoring champion and Olympic gold medalist, Durant was the star as his movie ”Thunderstruck” premiered in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown entertainment district Sunday night. It opens in other theaters Friday.

Durant strolled down a red carpet in a black T-shirt, grey vest, white jeans and black sneakers to answer questions about his acting skills instead of the deadly shooting ability that propelled the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals last season.

”Of course, people are going to look at it a little different because I’m a basketball player and I’m doing something different,” Durant said. ”A basketball player is what I do. It’s not really just solely who I am. I like to do other things.

”It’s all about conquering your fears. That’s one thing I did with this, stepping in front of a camera and people yelling ‘Action!’ It’s not the norm for me. I did something outside the box, and I’m glad it turned out pretty well.”

– Reported by Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press

LeBron James wants to step inside the Olympic rings a fourth time.

Fresh off winning a gold medal in London with the U.S. men’s team, the NBA’s reigning MVP said Sunday that if he’s healthy - and if the rules allow - he would like to play again at the Rio Games in 2016. James said he’s ”done the math, and I’ll be 31,” but he’d love the opportunity to represent his country again. James is one of just three players to be on three U.S. Olympic teams.

– Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

Brandon Jennings seeks contract extension from Bucks

Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings is hoping to have a contract extension in his pocket by the time the regular season opens on Nov. 2 in Boston.

Jennings is entering his fourth NBA season and is in line for an extension that could keep him with Milwaukee for four additional seasons.

But the 23-year-old had more than his contract on his mind during an interview Sunday morning at Homestead High School. Jennings was on hand to supervise a group of 200 youngsters on the second day of the Brandon Jennings Basketball ProCamp.

“It would be something I’d love to get done with and over with so I don’t have to worry about it,” Jennings said of the contract extension. “But the main thing is just to come into training camp a better player, a better leader … just lead the team to the playoffs.”

– Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Former NBA Players Association executive director Simon Gourdine has passed away.

Gourdine joined the NBA in 1970, and was named NBA Deputy Commissioner in 1974, becoming the highest ranking African American executive in sports at the time.

– Reported by NBA.com

New Orleans Hornets sign coach Monty Williams to contract extension

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have signed head coach Monty Williams to a new multi-year contract extension. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, it’s a four-year deal that will keep Williams with the team through 2016.

“We are proud to announce that Monty Williams will be the head coach of the New Orleans Hornets for years to come,” said Hornets Owner Tom Benson. “We could not be any happier to have someone of Monty’s quality – both professionally and personally – involved in the resurgence of this franchise.”

“The Hornets have a promising future and an exciting young nucleus,” said Hornets Executive Vice President Mickey Loomis. “It is our opinion that Monty is the perfect coach to develop and lead this group of talent going forward.”

“I would like to thank Mr. Benson, his family, Mickey and Dell for putting their trust in me and showing me their commitment,” said Williams. “The love and support the city and its fans have shown me and my family in the time we have been here has been incredible and I look forward to continuing to work to make the city and the Benson family proud of the Hornets.”

Williams, hired by the Hornets on June 7, 2010 as the ninth coach in franchise history, is entering his third season at the helm with a career record of 67-81 (.453), including his debut season with the club in 2010-11 where he led New Orleans to a 46-36 record and earned the team a playoff appearance. Williams placed seventh in Coach of the Year voting after that season and was named the NBA’s Western Conference Coach of the Month for January 2011. Last season, Williams’ squad improved its win total each month and finished the 2011-12 campaign with a 6-1 stretch at the New Orleans Arena.

A native of Fredericksburg, Va., Williams came to the Hornets after five seasons as the assistant coach under Nate McMillan of the Portland Trail Blazers, including serving as the head coach for the Blazers summer league team in the NBA Summer League in both 2007 and 2008. Prior to his time in Portland, Williams spent one season as a coaching intern under Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs in 2004-05, helping the Spurs capture the NBA Championship. He was also the head coach for the Spurs summer league entry team in the 2005 Rocky Mountain Revue.

Williams played in the NBA for 10 seasons before chronic knee problems forced him into retirement in 2003. Selected by the New York Knicks in the first round (24th pick overall) of the 1994 NBA Draft out of Notre Dame, Williams played for the Knicks, Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and Philadelphia 76ers. His best season was with the Spurs in 1996-97, when he averaged 9.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 65 games. For his career, Williams averaged 6.3 points in 456 games. Williams was an honorable mention All-American at Notre Dame after averaging 22.4 points and 8.4 rebounds during his senior season.

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JaVale McGee learns from Hakeem Olajuwon

JaVale McGee learns from Hakeem Olajuwon

And so, the Nuggets center is spending some of his summer at the home of Hakeem, which for McGee is, pun intended, a dream.

“It’s definitely an honor to be working with him,” McGee said.

McGee has spent a couple of weeks on Olajuwon’s ranch near Houston, where Denver teammate Kenneth Faried is expected to work out as well this month.

Olajuwon has become sort of a hoops whisperer, teaching his intricate moves to some of the NBA’s best bigs, including Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudemire.

“No question, I see him as another star,” Olajuwon said to the Fox affiliate in Houston about McGee. “That guy should dominate the league.

– Reported by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post

Sixers may want Mike Zarren for GM job

The Sixers may have just swung a deal for Andrew Bynum, but they’re still looking for a new general manager.

Boston Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren has emerged as a candidate for the job, a source confirms to CSNPhilly.com’s John Finger.

Zarren’s involvement was first reported by Sports Illustrated’s Sam Amick, who described Zarren as “an intriguing addition to the field of prospects; a widely-respected purveyor of advanced player statistics in the NBA who is one of the least-known yet most-influential members of the Celtics’ front office group,” and the “right-hand man of [Celtics GM] Danny Ainge.”

– Reported by CSN Philly

Suns may have shot at someday landing James Harden

News that Serge Ibaka reached agreement on a four-year contract with Oklahoma City should catch the attention of Suns fans.

The amount of the deal, $48 million, will make it trickier for the Thunder to secure James Harden, who could command a maximum contract as a restricted free agent after the 2012-13 season. That could open the door for the Suns, who have maintained $15 million in cap space for next summer’s free-agency period and who have expressed interest in Harden behind the scenes.

Much will hinge on what becomes important to Harden. No one could fault him for chasing the money if a max deal (roughly $60 million over four years) is offered. But would the appeal of sticking it out with his Thunder teammates make him willing to stay for say, $52 million?

– Reported by Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic

OKC Thunder sign Serge Ibaka to contract extension

The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed forward Serge Ibaka to a multi-year extension, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. According to Yahoo Sports, the deal is for four years, $48 million.

“We are very excited that Serge will continue as a core member of the Thunder for years to come,” said Presti. “His passion for our organization, our community and for continuing to build on the foundation that he and his teammates have established was pivotal to making this possible. Serge personifies many of the traits that we value as an organization; he is a tireless and disciplined worker, an elite competitor and someone who treats his profession with the utmost focus, which in addition to his character, will all be integral to his continued improvement.”

In three seasons with Oklahoma City, Ibaka has appeared in 221 games (110 starts) and registered averages of 8.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.43 blocks in 24.1 minutes per contest. During the past two seasons, the forward has blocked 439 shots which are the most in the NBA during that period.

Last season, Ibaka was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team after pacing the league in blocks (3.65 bpg). He blocked 10-or-more shots three times and became the first player in franchise history to record a triple-double which included blocked shots after recording 14 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks vs. Denver (2/19).

Originally selected with the 24th overall selection of the 2008 NBA Draft, the Thunder has qualified for the postseason in each of his three seasons in Oklahoma City. The Brazzaville, Republic of Congo native has recorded averages of 9.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.86 blocks and 28.2 minutes in 43 postseason contests.

This summer, Ibaka earned a silver medal at the 2012 Summer Games in London. He helped guide the Spanish national team to a 5-3 record while averaging 8.0 points, 4.4. rebounds and 1.25 blocks in 15.1 minutes per game.

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Wade says best is yet to come for LeBron

Wade says best is yet to come for LeBron

All LeBron James has done so far this year is win the NBA’s MVP award for the third time, an NBA Finals MVP trophy to go along with that one, his elusive first championship and a second Olympic gold medal.

Dwyane Wade thinks his Miami Heat teammate is just getting started.

With the start of Heat training camp now just six weeks away, Wade said on Friday that he expects James to be even better this coming season now that the will-he-ever-win-a-championship question has been forever put to rest.

“That monkey is off his back and now he’s just playing basketball,” Wade said while taking a break from his annual fantasy camp, where fans pay up to $12,500 to get a four-day luxury taste of NBA life. “I think we’ll see a better LeBron James - scary to say, three-time MVP - than we’ve seen. And it’s because all he has to do is play basketball now. He doesn’t have to worry about what he hasn’t done. It’ll always be something, but he’s got the biggest one off his back.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

Portland Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts has added Jay Triano, David Vanterpool and Kim Hughes to his coaching staff, the team announced today.

“Jay, David and Kim bring a wealth of experience as coaches, players and front office personnel,” said Stotts. “I have always had a lot of respect for their basketball knowledge and they will be very valuable additions to our staff.”

Triano, 53, joins the Trail Blazers from the Toronto Raptors, where he most recently held the position of Vice President of Pro Scouting after serving as the team’s head coach from 2008-11 (87-142, .380). The first Canadian born head coach in the NBA, Triano was previously an assistant in Toronto from 2002-08.

A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Triano served as the head coach for the Canadian men’s national team from 1998-2004 (52-42, .553) and later as an assistant for USA Basketball. A former captain of Team Canada who played collegiately at Simon Fraser University, Triano competed in three Olympics for his home country.

Vanterpool, 39, joins the Trail Blazers bench after spending the past two seasons as a pro scout with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He played for European power CSKA Moscow from 2005-07, winning a Euroleague title there before becoming an assistant coach with the club upon retirement. Vanterpool was also a member of the Trail Blazers’ 2010 NBA Summer League coaching staff.

Appearing in 22 games for the Washington Wizards in 2000-01, Vanterpool played collegiately at St. Bonaventure.

An assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers for seven seasons (2003-10), Hughes, 60, finished the final 33 games of the 2009-10 season as interim head coach. He spent the previous five seasons with the Denver Nuggets, where he served as director of scouting, director of player personnel and assistant coach. The Freeport, Ill., native and Wisconsin alum was also a scout for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Hughes is a six-year veteran of the ABA and NBA, playing for the New York/New Jersey Nets, Nuggets and Cleveland Cavaliers before finishing his career in Italy.

Triano, Vanterpool and Hughes join Kaleb Canales as assistants on Stotts’ staff.

Info on knee treatment Andrew Bynum will have

While 76ers center Andrew Bynum has chosen to have the creator of the noninvasive, nonsurgical procedure administer the injections to his knees that he hopes will extend his career next month in Dusseldorf, Germany, the procedure - known as regenokine treatment - has been administered in the United States for almost a decade.

“Regenokine is the most effective treatment for joint problems caused by osteoarthritis,” said Chris Renna, a specialist in preventative medicine. “It is corroborated by independent studies published in 2003 in the Journal of Osteoarthritis and Orthopedics.”

The treatment was first cleared for widespread use in Germany in 2003. More recently, medical boards in the United States have cleared the procedure in states such as California, Texas, and New York, among others.

– Reported by John N. Mitchell of the Philadelphia Inquirer

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