Archive for September, 2012

Scottie Pippen is not bankrupt — but according to a federal judge, he cannot sue anyone that said he was.

As TMZ first reported, Pippen sued a TON of media outlets for defamation back in 2011 after they published articles claiming he was broke. As proof he’d never gone belly up, Pippen said he has never worth less than $40 million at any point in the last 10 years.

Pippen wanted $1 million from every media outlet that said his finances were in the toilet.

– Reported by TMZ.com

Kevin Garnett no longer speaking to Ray Allen

Ray Allen still considers Kevin Garnett a friend even if their communication has apparently been cut off.

On Friday, Garnett said he is no longer speaking to longtime Boston Celtics teammate Allen after he signed with the rival Miami Heat over the summer.

Speaking Saturday after his first official practice with the Heat, Allen said he was disappointed at Garnett’s sentiment.

“That’s a shame,” Allen said. “I’m a good person to talk to on the phone. … I’ve been in weird trade situations the last few years. You always felt you had one foot in and one foot out so I can’t worry about it.”

– Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

LeBron says Heat can get a lot better

LeBron says Heat can get a lot better

With 12 players back from last season’s championship roster — foremost among them himself, after a season where he won the NBA’s MVP award, the NBA Finals MVP, his first league title and then an Olympic gold medal over the summer for good measure — the Heat clearly has tons of talent. Adding Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis to the mix figures to make Miami that much better.

Naturally, James isn’t complaining.

“It’s scary to see, to look in our locker room today and say that we can be better than we were this past season,” James said. “Are we better right now than we were just a couple months ago? Of course not.

“But we have the potential to be better. We have the potential to be a lot better. That is scary.”

– Reported by the Detroit Free Press

Mavs center Chris Kaman has lower back sprain

The Mavericks just finished up their first preseason practice and the only bad news came when center Chris Kaman had to leave the workout, coach Rick Carlisle said.

“It was a really good practice,” Carlilse said. “We had one casualty. Kaman went out with a sprained lower back. Not considered serious. So we’ll see how he’s doing tonight and tomorrow and go from there.”

Kaman’s injury would not be considered anything more than a blip were it not for his recent history with physical problems. He missed 19 of 66 games last season and 50 of 82 in 2010-11 with various ailments, mostly knee troubles.

– Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

The Memphis Grizzlies signed free agents Michael Dunigan, Ronald Dupree, Jarrid Famous, Jerome Jordan and D.J. Kennedy, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Dunigan (6-10, 245) comes to Memphis after professional stints in Israel, Estonia, Italy and, most recently, Ukraine, where he recorded 12.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks on .507 shooting in 25 games last season in the 2012 Ukrainian SuperLeague.  In the previous season, the 23-year-old Oregon product posted 11.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 25 games in guiding BC Kalev/Cramo Tallinn to the 2011 Estonian League Championship.

Dupree (6-7, 209) joins the Grizzlies after competing in both Argentina and Italy last season.  A six-year NBA veteran (2005-11), Dupree holds career averages of 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds on .427 shooting in 11.2 minutes in 157 games (eight starts) with Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Seattle and Toronto.  The 31-year-old LSU product also owns NBA Development League career averages of 16.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists on .495 shooting in 106 games (96 starts) over four seasons with Huntsville, Tulsa and Utah.

Famous (6-11, 240) spent last season in Slovakia, the D-League and the Philippines after completing his four-year collegiate career at the University of South Florida.  The 24-year-old posted 13.9 points and 9.8 rebounds on .494 shooting in 29.4 minutes in 16 D-League contests, splitting time with Iowa and Fort Wayne.

Jordan (7-0, 253) recorded 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds on .515 shooting in 5.1 minutes in 21 games last season during his rookie campaign with the New York Knicks.  The 25-year-old also posted 18.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.80 blocks on .485 shooting in 32.6 minutes in five games while on assignment with the D-League’s Erie Bayhawks.  The Kingston, Jamaica native enjoyed a four-year collegiate career at the University of Tulsa, where he set the school record for blocks (333), and played overseas in Serbia and Slovenia after he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round (44th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft.

Kennedy (6-6, 215) rejoins the Grizzlies after originally being acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers on July 25.  Memphis waived the 22-year-old on Sept. 18.  Last season, the St. John’s product averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds on .417 shooting in 29.5 minutes in two appearances as a rookie for the Cavaliers but spent most of his time with the D-League’s Erie Bayhawks, where he posted 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists on .447 shooting in 37.3 minutes in 44 games (all starts).

Memphis’ roster now stands at 18.

Blake Griffin will hit the floor when the Clippers open training camp today.

Well, the Clippers hope their energetic power forward doesn’t actually fall to the court. They have seen enough of a down-and-injured Griffin, whose latest injury was a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery and sidelined him for the Olympics.

chris paul

Meanwhile, point guard Chris Paul wasn’t cleared for full contact activities after he had surgery to mend a torn ligament in his right thumb Aug. 21. The Clippers said they expect him to participate in limited fashion today, and for the next two weeks.

In addition, shooting guard Chauncey Billups was cleared for limited team drills after he had season-ending surgery on his torn left Achilles tendon Feb. 15. Coach Vinny Del Negro said there was no timetable for Billups’ season debut.

– Reported by Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News

The Minnesota Timberwolves today finalized the team’s 2012-13 training camp roster by signing unrestricted free agents Will Conroy, Mike Harris, Chris Johnson, Phil Jones, Seth Tarver and Jermaine Taylor. Today’s signings complete the Wolves training camp roster, which stands at 20 players. Minnesota’s training camp is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 2 - Friday, Oct. 5.

Taylor, a 6-4 guard, has played parts of two seasons for the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings. He spent the 2009-10 season in Houston, averaging 4.1 points in 31 contests, including four starts. He started the 2010-11 season with the Rockets before finishing it with the Kings. In 26 games, eight starts, with Sacramento, Taylor averaged 7.1 points in 15.6 minutes. Taylor was originally drafted by the Washington Wizards with the 32nd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft after completing his collegiate career at Central Florida.

Conroy, a 6-2 guard, has played parts of two seasons in the NBA, most recently appearing in five games for the Houston Rockets in 2009-10 where he averaged 1.2 points and 1.4 assists. Conroy played for the Memphis Grizzlies (three games) and Los Angeles Clippers (four games) during the 2006-07 season. Conroy went undrafted in 2005 after a four-year career at the University of Washington where he became the school’s all-time assist leader with 515 assists.

Harris, a 6-6 forward, has spent parts of three seasons (2007-08; 2009-10; 2010-11) with two different NBA teams, playing for the Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets. Harris most recently averaged 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in four games with Houston during the 2010-11 season. In 34 career NBA games, he has averages of 2.9 points and 2.4 rebounds. Harris was on the Wolves’ 2012 Summer League entry, averaging 9.6 points and 6.6 rebounds. Harris finished his collegiate career as the fourth player in WAC history to record 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, leaving as Rice University’s all-time leading scorer (2,014 points, ninth all-time in the WAC) and rebounder (1,111 rebounds, fourth).

Johnson, a 6-11 center, has played parts of two NBA seasons with Boston, Portland and New Orleans. Johnson started the 2011-12 season with Portland, averaging 1.6 points and 0.9 rebounds in 20 contests. He finished the season in New Orleans where he averaged 3.3 points and 3.1 rebounds in seven contests. In 41 career games, he holds averages of 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds. Johnson was named the 2011 NBA D-League Defensive Player of the Year, earning a spot in the All-Star Game. He averaged 16.2 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks during the 2010-11 season for the Dakota Wizards. Johnson spent his collegiate years at Louisiana State University. He went undrafted in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Jones, a 6-10 forward/center, has played overseas for the past two years after playing collegiately at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has made stops in Uruguay, Brussels and spent the past season in Romania. A U.S. Virgin Islands National Team member, Jones played at the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship, averaging 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in four games.

Tarver, a 6-5 guard, has spent the last two seasons with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League. Tarver averaged 11.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 45 contests last season. Tarver went undrafted in 2010 after a four-year collegiate career at Oregon State.

Mavericks re-up services of team doctor

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have extended the contract of long time Dallas Mavericks team physician, Dr. T.O. Souryal.

Souryal, in his 20th season with the Mavericks, signed a five-year extension with the team. He also serves as the medical director at Texas Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Group and was recently named by US News and World Report as one of the top 1% of all orthopaedic surgeons in the country.

“I am grateful to Mark Cuban and the entire Mavericks organization for giving me this opportunity to work with such an elite organization,” Souryal said. “The cutting edge technology that we use with the Mavericks players is a benefit to all my patients.”

The Orlando Magic will hold their 2012 training camp at the Amway Center in Orlando, beginning Tuesday, October 2.

In addition, the Magic have signed free agents Armon Johnson (#1, 6-3, 195, 2/23/89, Nevada) and DeQuan Jones (#20, 6-8, 221, 6/20/90, Miami-FL). The roster currently stands at 19 players.

The Magic will also hold an open practice at Amway Center, which will be free to the public, on Monday, October 29.  Doors will open to the general public at 6:30 p.m., with the practice beginning at 7 p.m.

Rasheed Wallace will join the Knicks

Rasheed Wallace will join the Knicks

Rasheed Wallace will officially become a Knick on Monday.

Wallace has told the Knicks he has elected to come out of retirement and join their training camp, according to an NBA source.

The 6-foot-11 Wallace, who worked out with the Knicks over the weekend, retired two years ago after a disappointing season with the Celtics. The Knicks are expected to announce the signing Monday at Media Day. The first practices begin Tuesday.

The tempestuous Wallace, 38, will become the fifth Knick over the age of 35, joining Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and Pablo Prigioni.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

John Wall out 8 weeks due to stress injury to left patella

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that guard John Wall will miss approximately eight weeks after being diagnosed with the early stages of a stress injury to his left patella.  No surgery will be necessary, and his rehab will begin immediately.

“My teammates and I are all excited to build on the improvement we made at the end of last season, and I know they will continue to make great progress while I get through this setback,” said Wall. “I will work extremely hard to make sure I get back as soon as possible so I can re-join them and help our team continue to improve.”

Wall was examined yesterday in New York by orthopedic specialist Dr. David Altchek after experiencing discomfort in his left knee and underwent an MRI that revealed the early stages of a non-traumatic stress injury.

“We’re all disappointed for John after how hard he worked this summer and how excited he was to begin training camp, but we feel fortunate that we caught the injury early and that he will be able to return with the vast majority of the season still in front of us,” said Grunfeld.  ”In the meantime, we’re confident that the versatility and depth of our team will help us move forward and continue the positive momentum that we’ve seen over the past several months.”

The Wizards begin training camp on Oct. 2 at George Mason University and open the season on Oct. 30 at Cleveland.

Isiah Thomas , who had an undistinguished run as an NBA in-game analyst with NBC — and as a Knicks’ exec was successfully sued for sexual harassment — is a candidate for a studio position with ESPN.

Kelly Tripucka, a Pistons’ teammate of Thomas’s and a reasonable, credible MSG/Knicks’ studio man and backup in-game analyst the last four seasons, apparently won’t be re-hired. Figures.

– Reported by Phil Mushnick of the New York Post

Lakers sign center Ronnie Aguilar

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed center Ronnie Aguilar, it was announced today. We assume this is just a training camp signing.

Aguilar, a 7-1, 250 pound center, played two seasons at Colorado State University before transferring to California State University, Dominguez Hills.  Most recently, Aguilar played in six games for the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League during the 2011-12 season, averaging 2.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 11.5 minutes.

Jordan Hill avoids jail time for assault charge

Lakers backup power forward Jordan Hill avoided jail time and was sentenced to one year of probation Thursday after pleading no contest to assaulting his former girlfriend in February.

Hill, 25, agreed to pay a $500 fine, undergo domestic-violence counseling, make a $100 donation to the Harris County Violence Fund and avoid any contact with the alleged victim, Darlene Luna. The assault charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor before 339th District Criminal Judge Maria Jackson, according to a report by the Associated Press in Houston.

On Twitter on Thursday, Hill wrote: “Man I can’t wait for training camp to start…need to get dis show rolling boy!!!!”

Hill is charged with assaulting Luna on Feb. 29 at his apartment in Houston while the former first-round draft pick was playing for the Rockets.

– Reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register

Tina Charles wins 2012 WNBA MVP award

Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles has been named the 2012 WNBA Most Valuable Player, the WNBA announced today.  Charles received 345 points (25 first place votes) from a national panel of 41 sportswriters and broadcasters.

Los Angeles Sparks’ forward Candace Parker finished second with 253 points (seven first-place votes) and Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings finished third with 210 points (seven).  A pair of Minnesota Lynx players, forward Maya Moore and guard Seimone Augustus, finished fourth and fifth with 128 points and 42 points, respectively.

In her third season, all with the Sun, Charles captured her first Most Valuable Player award after finishing second in 2011 (six first-place votes), and seventh in 2010 when she was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.

Charles, who earned All-WNBA First Team acclaim in 2011 and Second Team honors in 2010, finished the 2012 campaign with her third consecutive WNBA rebounding title (10.5 rpg).  She also set a new Connecticut Sun single-season scoring record, averaging 18 points. In the process, Charles guided the Sun to the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 25-9 record, the league’s second best mark behind the defending champion Lynx (27-7).

A prolific scorer and rebounder, Charles ranked atop the WNBA in double-doubles for the third straight season, sharing the 2012 lead with the Sparks’ Parker.  Charles previously set the league record in the category with 22 in her rookie campaign and topped that effort with 23 a year ago.  In the process, Charles has dominated the rebounding leaderboard, finishing tops among WNBA players in each of her three seasons. She grabbed a WNBA record 398 rebounds in her first season, 374 in 2011, and 345 this season.

In the Sun’s win over Indiana on Sept. 19 – Charles’ 100th game – she became the fastest player in WNBA history to reach 1,100 rebounds, surpassing the mark of Yolanda Griffith who reached the milestone in 104 games.  Earlier this season she eclipsed the milestones previously owned by Griffith as the fastest to reach 900 and 1,000 boards. She also became the first player in WNBA history to post three 20-20 games in a career, registering her third such effort on June 6 at Atlanta, when she had 23 points and 22 rebounds.

For the year, Charles shot a career-best .499 percent from the field (250-of-501) and a career-best .802 from the free throw line (93-of-116).  In addition to leading Connecticut in scoring and total rebounds, she paced Connecticut in defensive rebounds (6.7 drpg), offensive rebounds (3.7 orpg), blocks (1.42 bpg), and minutes (33.2 mpg).

Charles is the first Sun player and the second University of Connecticut product to earn the WNBA’s top honor.  The Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi, also from UConn, earned both the league’s MVP and WNBA Finals MVP awards in 2009.

Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for third, three for fourth and one for each fifth-place vote received. Additionally, for the second time in league history, fans were able to vote online and via mobile devices. The fan vote, counted as one vote and was compiled with the 41 media votes to determine the winner.

In honor of being named the WNBA Most Valuable Player, Charles will receive $15,000 and a specially-designed trophy.

The Atlanta Hawks today announced their 2012 training camp roster, which tips off Monday with Media Day activities at 2:45 p.m. on the Philips Arena practice court.  With the additions of James Anderson, Keith Benson, Damion James, Carldell “Squeaky” Johnson and Anthony Tolliver, the team currently has an 18-man camp roster.

A former first round draft pick by San Antonio (20th overall in 2010), Anderson played in 77 games (four starts) over two seasons with the Spurs, averaging 3.7 points and 1.3 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game (.380 FG%, .757 FT%).  Benson and James are both former Hawks draft picks, with Benson being taken in the second round (48th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft prior to being waived on Dec. 23, 2011, and James in the first round (24th overall) in 2010 before his rights were traded to New Jersey on draft night.  Benson saw action in three games with Golden State last season, while James has played in 32 career games (16 starts) with the Nets, averaging 4.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game (.428 FG%, .650 FT%).

In 15 games for New Orleans last year, Johnson put up 1.8 points and 1.5 assists in 7.9 minutes per game (.314 FG%, .333 FT%).  A four-year NBA veteran, Tolliver played the last two seasons with Minnesota after previously seeing action with San Antonio, Portland and Golden State.  He owns career averages of 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 21.5 minutes per game (.420 FG%, .320 3FG%, .770 FT%) in 181 career contests (33 starts).

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed forwards Rodney Carney and Robert Dozier to their training camp roster.

Carney has appeared in 299 career NBA games (48 starts) with four different teams and averaged 5.9 points, 2.0 rebounds and 15.4 minutes while shooting 42.2 percent from the field, 33.8 percent from three-point range and 70.4 percent from the foul line. Additionally, he has appeared in six career NBA postseason games, all with Philadelphia, averaging 5.0 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.17 steals in 14.0 minutes of action.

Carney, the 16th overall selection of the 2006 NBA Draft, played two seasons (2006-07 & 2007-08) with Philadelphia before playing with Minnesota during the 2008-09 season. He then re-joined the 76ers for the 2009-10 season before splitting 2011-12 between Memphis and Golden State. Last season, Carney appeared in 31 games for the Liaoning Jiebao Hunters of the Chinese Basketball Association and averaged 21.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.16 blocks, 1.13 steals, 1.0 assists and 31.4 minutes while shooting 44.2 percent from the field, 32.7 percent from three-point range and 80 percent from the foul line.

Dozier, originally drafted by Miami in the second round (60th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, appeared in three games (all starts) with the 2012 HEAT Summer League team totaling 11 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, four steals and a block in 54:35 minutes of action. He spent last season with Cholet Basket of the France ProA League appearing in 22 games and averaged 9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 23.5 minutes while shooting 56.1 percent from the field, 33.3 percent from three-point range and 72.1 percent from the foul line.

Dozier spent the 2010-11 season with PAOK Thessaloniki of the Greece A1 League and the 2009-10 season with VAP Kolossos of the Greece A1 League. Prior to that, he played four seasons at the University of Memphis appearing in 148 career games (111 starts) and averaged 9.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.54 blocks, 1.1 assists and 25.0 minutes. He became just the seventh player in school history to record at least 1,000 points and 900 rebounds. Among Memphis leaders, he finished third in games played, fifth in blocks (228), sixth in rebounds (961) and 13th in points (1,381).

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 20.

Dwayne Wade will be limited early in training camp

Dwyane Wade Injury Update

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade’s participation will be limited at least during the first week of training camp because of his offseason knee surgery.

Camp begins Saturday at AmericanAirlines Arena, and the team’s preseason media day will be held Friday.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra met with reporters Thursday to discuss a wide range of topics, including the statuses of Wade and Mike Miller, who each finished the team’s championship run with injuries.

Wade, who played with pain and swelling in his knee throughout the playoffs, underwent surgery on his left knee July 9 – forcing him to miss the Olympics. Miller, who was limited by a sore back for most of the postseason, has undergone rehabilitation throughout the offseason.

– Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald

The San Antonio Spurs today announced the addition of four players to their 2012-13 training camp roster.

The Spurs current roster stands at 18 players, and includes the additions of forwards Derrick Brown, Josh Powell, Tyler Wilkerson and Wesley Witherspoon.

Brown (6-8, 233) spent the 2011-12 season playing for the Charlotte Bobcats.  He appeared in 65 games, averaging 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 22.2 minutes while shooting .518 (212-409) from the field.  A three-year NBA veteran, Brown was selected by the Bobcats with 40th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.  Midway through the 2010-11 season he was traded to the New York Knicks.  For his career, Brown has appeared in 171 games, averaging 5.2 points and 2.4 rebounds in 14.9 minutes.

Powell (6-9, 240) spent the past season playing in China, Switzerland and most recently in Puerto Rico with the Guayama Wizards.  In 14 games with the Wizards, he averaged 16.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.  A six-year NBA veteran, Powell last played in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2010-11 season, averaging 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.1 minutes.  Powell won two NBA Championships with the L.A. Lakers in 2009 and 2010.  He’s also seen action with the Dallas Mavericks (2005-06), Indiana Pacers (2006-07), Golden State Warriors (2006-07) and L.A. Clippers (2007-08).  For his career, Powell’s appeared in 315 NBA games, averaging 3.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 12.5 minutes.

Wilkerson was on the Spurs 2012 Vegas Summer League team.  He appeared in four games, averaging 9.3 points and 5.0 rebounds in 20.8 minutes while shooting .750 (15-20) from the field.  A 6-8, 240 pound forward out of Marshall University, Wilkerson spent the past two seasons playing for Maccabi Haifa in Israel.  Last season he appeared in 20 games, averaging 16.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 28 minutes. Wilkerson was also a member of the Spurs 2010 Summer League team, where he averaged 11.0 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 24.1 minutes in five games.

Witherspoon (6-9, 212) is coming off his senior year at the University of Memphis where he helped lead the Tigers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  In four seasons with the Tigers, Witherspoon appeared in 121 games, averaging 8.2 points and 3.7 rebounds in 21.0 minutes.  As a junior he was named to the All-Conference USA third team and was the Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year in 2008-09.

Ricky Rubio hopes to return by December or early January

Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio, recovering from a major knee injury, said he does not have a timetable for when he’ll be able to play this season but was hopeful of being ready by “December or early January.”

“I don’t want to say a time, because I don’t want to rush it,” Rubio said Thursday, Sept. 27, to a group of reporters outside the Timberwolves practice facility at Target Center. “I want to be ready whenever it is. It depends on how my knee goes.”

The Spanish native suffered tears to his anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in his left knee after colliding with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant in the final seconds of a March 9 game at Target Center.

– Reported by Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press

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