Archive for September, 2012

Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan surprised his former teammate Scottie Pippen for Pippen’s 47th birthday party Monday night. Pippen’s wife, Larsa, planned the secret bash at Chicago hot spot Sunda. Bulls family, including team president Michael Reinsdorf and his wife, Nancy, NBA power broker William “World Wide Wes” Wesley, Antoine Walker, Ahmad Rashad, and new Bulls recruit and Chicago native Nazr Mohammed gathered to celebrate at the club with Pippen.

– Reported by the New York Post

Tyson Chandler

Count Tyson Chandler among those who think Rasheed Wallace has something left.

After taking the last two seasons off, Wallace worked out at the Knicks practice facility, and is considering signing with the team. And after seeing him work out, Chandler thinks Wallace can help.

“He looked good,’’ Chandler said Wednesday at a charity event featuring his photography, including pictures of former Knicks Jeremy Lin and Landry Fields.. “Rasheed can be a great addition to us.”

Despite his extended break from the NBA, with Wallace’s last game action coming with Boston in the 2010 Finals, Chandler said Wallace still has skills that can help the Knicks.

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Nick Young never expected to be a 76er

Nick Young never expected to be a 76er

Upon becoming an unrestricted free agent last summer, Young admitted Wednesday to being “shocked” at ending up in Philadelphia.

A phone call and subsequent chat with Doug Collins early in the free agency period gave the Sixers the inside track with Young.

Collins sealed the deal by meeting with Young’s parents a few days later.

“He sat down and talked to my dad and mom. Once my mom started raving about him, it was pretty much a wrap right there,” said Young, smiling.

Young officially signed a one-year, $6 million contract July 12.

– Reported by Tom Moore of Philly Burbs

In May, the Clippers picked up the option on Del Negro’s contract, giving him a third season as coach for about $2 million. Still, Del Negro, 46, enters the new season in the final year of his contract.

Sitting in his office Wednesday afternoon, Del Negro leaned back in his chair and said of his situation: “I think there’s always pressure, but I think that’s a position that you want to be in.

“My goal coming here was to help change the environment, change the culture and change the direction of the organization.”

Last season the Clippers went 40-26 in the regular season and Del Negro took them to the second round of the playoffs for just the second time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984.

All signs point to Del Negro’s leading the Clippers to back-to-back playoff appearances. If that happens, it will be for just the second time during the 32 years Donald Sterling will have owned the team. The Clippers last reached the postseason in consecutive years in 1992 and 1993 when Larry Brown was coach.

– Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times

Bulls invite Kyrylo Fesenko to training camp

The Chicago Bulls have invited veteran center Kyrylo Fesenko to training camp on a non-guaranteed contract, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that Fesenko is on course to sign with the Bulls by week’s end after working out for team officials this week.

Chicago has been searching for an established big man willing to come to training camp on a non-guaranteed deal because league rules prevent the hard-capped Bulls from handing out any guaranteed deals heading into the season.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

The Memphis Grizzlies today announced that forward Darrell Arthur sustained a small, non-displaced fracture in the head of the fibula in his left leg during a recent workout while preparing for training camp.

The injury was diagnosed by team physician Dr. Fred Azar after Arthur underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the Campbell Clinic earlier this week.

The 24-year-old is being treated by the team’s athletic training staff and will be evaluated on a weekly basis by Dr. Azar.  He will return to action in an estimated 4-6 weeks but could return earlier if symptom-free.

In other news, center Hamed Haddadi will return to full action without any restrictions after an eight-week rehabilitation following right thumb surgery.

michael redd

Forward Danny Granger, the team’s leading scorer the past five seasons, will be limited some at the start of training camp after an issue with his left knee, which happened while working out in Los Angeles late in the summer, caused him to get an injection in it.  Granger’s at the fieldhouse working out with the rest of his teammates daily, but the Pacers, who don’t believe it’s a major issue, plan to take it easy with him early on and allow him to use the preseason to work on his conditioning. Granger’s expected to play in some of the preseason games.

I ran into forward David West in the building and immediately noticed that he spent a lot of time in the offseason toning up his upper body.

– Reported by Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star (Blog)

Trail Blazers will open training camp with J.J. Hickson starting at center

And although this Blazers season will be littered with a heavy dose of new — from coach to general manager to an overhauled roster that features five rookies — Stotts says he will open training camp with Hickson at center, in part, because of his history with the team.

“J.J. is the incumbent,” Stotts said. “I’m not saying he’s going to be the starting center opening night. We’ll have to see how training camp goes, see how the preseason goes, and then we’ll make that determination. Meyers (Leonard) has played very well (this summer). But it’s just like politics: J.J. has been here, he’s the returner, so going into it he has the advantage.”

Who starts at center is just one of many questions looming over the franchise as the Blazers prepare for a rebuilding season that is sure to feature plenty of bumps and bruises along the way. The Blazers’ 15-man roster averages just 25.0 years old, likely making it one of the youngest in the NBA this season.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Matt Barnes pleads no contest, gets probation

Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of unlicensed driving and resisting arrest.

Barnes, who was not present in court, entered his plea Tuesday through his attorney.

Superior Court Judge Burt Pines sentenced him to two years of probation. The judge also ordered Barnes to complete 30 hours of community service and attend 13 counseling sessions with a private therapist.

– Reported by the Associated Press

They’ve alienated elected officials, many of their fans and some of their sponsors. Yet the Sacramento Kings remain a powerful brand in this community – and a compelling draw for corporations and advertisers.

The team today will announce a partial lineup of corporate partners for 2012-13, including new sponsors Nokia Siemens and Wal-Mart, and a returning former sponsor, Verizon Wireless. For Nokia Siemens, the deal is the first with a professional American sports team, Kings officials said.

The list represents “more sponsorship commitments than at any point during the Kings’ 27-year tenure in Northern California,” the team said.

– Reported by the Sacramento Bee

Time Warner Cable spending big on Lakers

Although neither the company nor the Lakers would comment on the terms of their 20-year rights deal, industry insiders estimate the value at $3 billion. Time Warner Cable spent an additional $55 million for rights to the Galaxy soccer team for 10 years, and more than $30 million building a facility with three studios in El Segundo to house the networks.

Time Warner Cable has more on its shopping list and is eyeing the Dodgers, whose deal with Fox’s Prime Ticket expires next season.

But, to make the channels pay off, Time Warner Cable must get other distributors in the area to carry the networks as well. So far none is rushing to sign a contract.

Time Warner Cable is hoping its heavy investment in original programming beyond the games and forgoing infomercials — which fill most local sports channels when a game isn’t on and provide a steady stream of cash — will help sell the networks to other distributors.

– Reported by Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times

Rasheed Wallace unsure about joining Knicks

It’s up to Rasheed.

The Knicks are willing to take a gamble on 6-foot-11 power forward Rasheed Wallace, who retired two seasons ago after finishing a disappointing one-year stint as a Celtic.

But Wallace, who worked out with Knicks players Saturday at their training facility, still has not decided whether he is willing to dedicate himself to getting himself back in NBA shape at age 38. Clearly, he’s nowhere close now.

Knicks coach Mike Woodson, who was on Larry Brown’s staff in 2004 when the Pistons won the title with Wallace as a linchpin, wants this to happen. The Knicks feel they have nothing to lose for the veteran’s minimum of $1.7 million.

– Reported by Marc Berman of the New York Post

Mavs hope Dominique Jones can rise up

Like every NBA team, the Mavericks are always on the lookout for a breakout player, somebody who takes a significant leap in production from the previous season.

Dominique Jones, who is entering his third season, appears to be the early leading candidate for that distinction.

Reports from the daily pickup games on the Mavericks’ practice court are that the guard has been one of the most eye-catching players.

It’s always dangerous to put too much stock in summertime showings, but Jones seems to have figured some things out after two mostly unproductive seasons.

“Dominique’s been playing great,” said Carlisle, a frequent watcher of the informal workouts. “It’s going to be extremely competitive in the backcourt. He has had a really good summer.”

– Reported by Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News

New contract for Josh Smith is unlikely this season

Josh Smith is entering the final year of his current contract with the Hawks but it is “unlikely” that he will be re-signed before the end of the upcoming season. The forward is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Don’t panic yet Hawks fans.

Under the rules of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, it could be advantageous for Smith, and to some degree the Hawks, to wait on a new contract. In simplest terms, if Smith re-signs with the Hawks before June 30, the extension can be for only a maximum of three years. If he waits until after his contract expires, he can re-sign for up to five years.

According to Hawks general manager Danny Ferry, Smith and his agents have said he would like to remain in Atlanta.

– Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Free-agent forward D.J. White has reached agreement on a one-year contract to play for owner Yao Ming and the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

White, who played for the Charlotte Bobcats last season, has a chance to become an elite player in the CBA and could help elevate Yao’s franchise into serious contention.

Yao bought the cash-strapped Sharks in 2009 and has resurrected one of China’s proudest basketball franchises. White will play for respected American coach Dan Panaggio for the Sharks. After numerous injuries, Yao retired from the Houston Rockets in 2011.

– Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

Nets are playoff team on paper, says GM

“I think we have a lot of talent,” Nets general manager Billy King said Tuesday at his preseason press conference at the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J. “I think we’ve got a good team. … I think we have a team that’s a playoff team on paper. I think we have a team that can withstand injuries, because we have depth.

“But, as I’ve always said, can we win a championship? Yes. But it takes luck in an NBA season to do that. You have to be healthy, for the most part. You’ve gotta get some breaks… the ball has to bounce your way sometimes when it doesn’t.”

Having a roster King thinks is a potential title contender is a far cry from the team he put together the past two seasons. But after trying to land first Carmelo Anthony, then Dwight Howard, waiting to see what Deron Williams would decide, and revamping the entire roster this summer, King admitted it’s a different feeling entering this season.

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Milwaukee Bucks sign Marquis Daniels

marquis daniels

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free-agent guard-forward Marquis Daniels (6-6, 200), General Manager John Hammond announced today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed in accordance with team policy.

Despite going undrafted in the 2003 NBA Draft, Daniels, 31, has carved out a nine-year NBA career with stops in Dallas, Indiana and Boston. The Auburn University product has averaged better than 10 points per game in a season on two occasions (10.2 ppg with Dallas in 2005-06; 13.6 ppg for Indiana in 2008-09), and he owns career averages of 8.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 489 games (113 starts). Daniel’s best statistical season came in 2008-09 when, in addition to the 13.6 points per game, he added 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals while starting 43 of the 54 contests in which he appeared.

Daniel’s teams have advanced to the postseason in five of his nine NBA seasons, where he has averaged 4.3 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 62 career playoff appearances. Daniels appeared in 20 playoff games with Dallas in 2006 when the Mavericks reached the NBA Finals before falling to Miami in six games.

The Charlotte Bobcats have signed free agents Jeff Adrien, Paris Horne, Josh Owens and DaJuan Summers to their training camp roster.

A 6-7 forward, Adrien has appeared in 31 career NBA games over two seasons for the Warriors and Rockets, averaging 2.5 points and 2.6 rebounds in 8.3 minutes per game.  He played in eight games with the Rockets last season, averaging 2.6 points and 2.8 rebounds.

A 6-3 guard, Horne appeared in three games with the Bobcats Summer League team in Las Vegas, averaging 5.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 20.3 minutes. He spent the 2011-12 season with BG Gottingen in Germany, where he averaged 10.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 31.1 minutes in 40 games played.

A 6-8 forward, Owens appeared in four games with the Bobcats Summer League team in Las Vegas, averaging 5.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.8 minutes. Last season as a senior at Stanford, he was named Second Team All-Pac-12 after averaging 11.6 points and 5.8 rebounds, while ranking third in the conference in field goal percentage (.571).

A 6-8 forward, Summers has appeared in 81 career NBA games over three seasons for the Pistons and Hornets, averaging 3.4 points and 1.0 rebound in 10.0 minutes per game.  The 35th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, he played in 15 games for the Hornets last season, averaging 4.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 13.9 minutes.

The Bobcats training camp roster stands at 18 players.

Seattle City Council OKs arena deal

A wealthy hedge-fund manager won approval Monday for his plan to bring professional men’s basketball and hockey back to Seattle, with initially skeptical City Council members agreeing to put up $200 million for a new arena after he promised to personally guarantee the city’s debt.

Council members voted 6-2 to approve Chris Hansen’s plan for a $490 million arena near the Seahawks and Mariners stadiums south of downtown.

“I was a skeptic when this came forward because I was worried about our taxpayers,” said Councilwoman Sally Bagshaw. “The fact that we have a personal guarantee from Mr. Hansen … that makes a big difference.

“At the end, we’re going to have something the city is proud of.”

– Reported by the Associated Press

Brook Lopez confident injury is behind him

During the recovery process from his second foot injury last season, Brook Lopez was hesitant to say he was back to 100 percent.

But that, Lopez said Monday, was just a case of him being hesitant because he hadn’t played in any competitive game settings yet.

“It was being cautious,” Lopez said at the opening of the Nets team shop at Barclays Center. “And, honestly, I hadn’t played any 5-on-5 or competitive basketball, but now, being that I’ve been here for three weeks, I’ve played 5-on-5 with everyone on the team … we’ve got 15 guys going every day, and I’ve had no problems. I’m very confident in my foot.”

– Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post (Blog)

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