Archive for September, 2012

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations Tony DiLeo has been promoted to General Manager.

“We are proud to announce that, effective immediately, we have promoted Tony DiLeo to the role of 76ers General Manager and at this time he will work alongside Rod Thorn, who continues his duties as President of Basketball Operations,” said Sixers Owner Josh Harris. “We are very confident that Tony has the experience and knowledge to flourish in his new role, and we will continue to provide him with the necessary tools and resources - including enhancing our capabilities in analytics - to strengthen our basketball operations department.”

“I am very excited about being named General Manager of this organization and look forward to building upon our recent success,” DiLeo said. “I would like to thank Josh Harris and the ownership group for providing me with this opportunity and I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure we put a team that our fans will be proud to support, both this season and in the future.”

DiLeo, who is entering his 23rd season with the 76ers, becomes the team’s 12th General Manager in franchise history. He was promoted to his current position after serving as the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations since September of 2003, following a four-year run as the team’s director of player personnel from 1999 to 2003.

During the 2008-09 season, DiLeo stepped in as head coach following the Sixers 9-14 start and guided the team to a 32-27 mark the rest of the way. Of the eight teams which changed coaches during that season, the Sixers were the only one to make the playoffs.

During DiLeo’s time as senior vice president of basketball operations, he was actively involved in player procurement, including the recent four-team trade that brought Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia. Additionally, his evaluation of amateur and professional talent and supervision of the team’s draft recently produced the likes of Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen. In addition, DiLeo was instrumental in drafting Allen Iverson and surrounding the future hall-of-famer with the talented roster which produced 56 wins in 2000-01 and captured the Eastern Conference Championship.

Prior to joining the Sixers in 1990-91, DiLeo built his extensive international experience through 10 years of playing and coaching in West Germany. He coached both men’s and women’s teams during that span, winning nine nationals titles in the country’s top division. DiLeo also served as the West German Federation National Coach from 1981 though 1985 and was named the country’s coach of the year in 1987.

In 1984, DiLeo wrote and published the European Basketball Handbook, a guide designed to help acclimate Americans playing overseas. He also has written a manual on rule differences among international basketball, the NBA and the NCAA.

Portland Trail Blazers sign Adam Morrison

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed Adam Morrison, Demonte Harper and Dallas Lauderdale, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey.

Morrison (Forward, 6-8, 205) was selected with the third overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats out of Gonzaga, earning NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors in 2006-07. He has career averages of 7.5 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 161 games over four seasons with Charlotte and the L.A. Lakers. He played in Serbia and Turkey before joining the Brooklyn Nets and L.A. Clippers summer league squads in July. Morrison averaged 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 30.0 minutes in five games with the Clippers.

Harper (Guard, 6-4, 195) was a four-year standout at Morehead State, where he finished his collegiate career in 2010-11 by earning All-Ohio Valley Conference First Team and conference tournament MVP honors his senior year. He spent last season playing in Croatia before playing for the Denver Nuggets NBA Summer League squad in July.

Lauderdale (Forward, 6-8, 260) also made a 2012 NBA Summer League roster, appearing for the Golden State Warriors. He played collegiately at Ohio State from 2007-11, finishing his four-year career with the Buckeyes averaging 4.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocked shots per game. Lauderdale spent the 2011-12 season playing in Poland.

With today’s signings, the Trail Blazers training camp roster stands at 18 players.

The Toronto Raptors announced Friday they have signed guard Jerel McNeal and forward Chris Wright.

McNeal, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, played last season in Italy with Fabi Shoes Montegranaro. He averaged 10.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 32 outings.

McNeal signed a 10-day contract with New Orleans in March 2011 but did not see any game action. He appeared in 47 NBA D-League contests with Rio Grande Valley, averaging 19.4 points, 4.4 assists and 34.4 minutes.

A 2009 product of Marquette University, McNeal finished his collegiate career as the school’s all-time leader in points (1,985), steals (287) and games played (130). He was named to the All-Big East First Team as a senior averaging 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals in 35 games.

Wright, 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, participated with the 2011 Raptors’ NBA Summer League entry. He started in all four of his appearances averaging 9.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

Wright split last season between Golden State and the NBA D-League. He was signed by the Warriors as a free agent December 10. He appeared in 24 games with Golden State where he averaged 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds. He posted season highs of 25 points, 11 made field goals, eight rebounds and 46 minutes in his lone start in the season finale April 26 versus San Antonio.

Wright also appeared in 13 NBA D-League games with Maine and Dakota where he averaged 17.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.38 blocks.

Wright averaged 13.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 123 career outings at Dayton. He earned third-team All-Atlantic 10 honours as a senior, first-team as a junior and second-team as a sophomore.

Photo: New Brooklyn Nets court

Photo from editor Jeff Lenchiner taken today of the new Brooklyn Nets court in the Barclays Center

brooklyn nets court

In the Brooklyn Nets Barclays Center arena for the first time

brooklyn nets arena

Stephen Curry cleared for full basketball-related activities

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry has received full medical clearance to resume all basketball-related activities, including five-on-five scrimmages, following an examination on his surgically repaired right ankle by Dr. Richard Ferkel earlier today in Van Nuys, California, the team announced.

Curry, who missed 40 games overall last season due to a right ankle injury, originally underwent surgery on the ankle on April 25, 2012.  The exploratory procedure, performed by Dr. Ferkel, revealed a stable ankle with no structural damage and consisted of cleaning out loose debris and scar tissue.

Since the surgery, Curry has maintained a consistent rehabilitation program, which led him to begin participating in limited basketball-related activities in July.  Since then, under the guidance of Dr. Ferkel and the Warriors athletic training staff, Curry has consistently ramped up his level of on-court activity until receiving full clearance today.

Clippers exercise option on guard Eric Bledsoe

The Los Angeles Clippers today exercised the club’s fourth-year contract option on guard Eric Bledsoe.

Bledsoe, who is entering his third NBA season, has averaged 5.6 points, 2.9 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 19.0 minutes over his career. In 40 regular season games played last year, Bledsoe tallied 3.3 points in 11.6 minutes per game.

The 6’1” guard out of Kentucky made a name for himself during the Clippers 2012 Playoff run, averaging 7.9 points overall while shooting 59 percent from the floor and 43 percent from behind the three-point line. He came into his own in the Clippers second round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, tallying 11.5 points while shooting 70 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.

Boston Celtics waive Keyon Dooling

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have waived guard Keyon Dooling.

“Keyon has decided that he has given the NBA twelve good years and that it’s time to pursue other interests and spend more time with his family,” said Dooling’s representative Kenge Stevenson. “He will never forget his time in Boston with the Celtics.”

“We’ll miss Keyon’s spirit and energy, both on and off the court,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “The whole Celtics family wishes him well as he enters the next phase of his life.”

Dooling, a 6’3” guard, averaged 4.0 points, 1.1 assists and 0.3 steals in 46 regular season games with 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 including four three-pointers.

Hornets guard Eric Gordon relishing leadership role

“I’m not nervous at all,” Gordon said. “I’m here to help these fans, help this organization win games … I’m happy here, and I’m just looking forward to the season.”

He said the No. 1 point he’s emphasizing is being a leader on the team. He’s back after playing only nine games last season because of a bruised right knee that required surgery.

“It was very frustrating during that process, but when I got the chance to play the nine games, I felt like I had something to prove on my part,” Gordon said. “We won games, and individually it helped me out, so as long we we’re winning, everything else doesn’t matter.

– Reported by Rachel Whittaker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune

Micky Arison is the richest man in Florida, according to Forbes. He’s worth about $5 billion, which places him 68th among the world’s wealthiest people.

H.Wayne is on the list and so is the Glazer family. Tony Montana is not on the list, so take it for what it’s worth.

– Reported by Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald (Blog)

Stephon Marbury thinks Melo and Stoudemire do not fit

Count ex-New York Knick Stephon Marbury among those who don’t think current Knicks stars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are a good fit together.

“Amare needs a point guard like Steve Nash (to thrive). He’s a pick-and-roll guy, a pick-and-pop guy. He can’t play in the half court where everything’s slowed down,” Marbury told ESPN New York during a brief interview in Manhattan on Wednesday.

When asked if he thought Anthony and Stoudemire could flourish together, Marbury said flatly, “Nope.”

Many have expressed the same concerns with the Knicks’ star duo. In their season and a half together, the Knicks have a sub-.500 record when both are in the starting lineup.

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Kevin Love sees playoffs this year for Timberwolves

Entering his fifth season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Love hasn’t had a sniff of the postseason. Minnesota, in fact, has finished fifth and last in the Northwest Division in each of his four seasons. That could change in 2012-13 as the Timberwolves have beefed up a roster that has their Western Conference competition on notice.

“It will be a big surprise to me if we didn’t make a huge leap this year and make it to the playoffs,” the Lake Oswego native told me Wednesday.

With Hall of Fame-to-be coach Rick Adelman and rookie phenom Ricky Rubio at point guard, the Timberwolves nearly made it there a year ago. They were 21-19, but a game later, Rubio was lost for the season with an ACL knee injury.

Thus began a progression of injuries that saw the Wolves without their top five scorers — including Love — at one point. They went into free-fall, losing 13 of their last 14 games to finish 26-40.

– Reported by Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune

Celtics to sign Darko Milicic

Celtics to sign Darko Milicic

The Boston Celtics plan to enter training camp next week with a slew of new faces, with Darko Milicic being among them.

A league source confirmed to that Milicic, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, will sign a one-year deal with the Celtics next week for the veteran’s minimum.

The signing of Milicic will give the C’s 14 guaranteed contracts heading into training camp which begins Sept. 29.

When the Celtics signed Jason Collins, it was believed that Collins would be the final big man added to the mix.

– Reported by A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE

Read NBA fan reaction and share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

Veteran forward Trey Gilder is expected to compete for a roster spot during the Jazz’s upcoming training camp, The Salt Lake Tribune learned on Wednesday.

Utah’s regular-season roster is currently set at 15 players entering camp, which is the maximum allowed by the NBA once the regular season begins.

Veteran guard Raja Bell isn’t expected play for the team or participate during camp, though, and his long-delayed buyout with the Jazz has yet to be resolved.

– Reported by Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune

NBA TV’s The Association will spotlight the inaugural season of the Brooklyn Nets with the integrated and multiplatform behind-the-scenes series featuring new episodes on both NBA TV and

The first-ever series to go behind the scenes with a major American professional sports team throughout the regular season will tip off its fourth season on NBA TV on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 10:00 p.m. ET. The cross-platform series will include multiple shows on NBA TV and original webisodes on throughout the upcoming NBA season. Previously, The Association spotlighted the Los Angeles Lakers (2009-10), Boston Celtics (2010-11), and Denver Nuggets (2011-12).

“I think it’s great that the NBA will be documenting our inaugural season in Brooklyn as part of The Association,” said Nets’ three-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Deron Williams. “As we make history bringing a professional sports team to Brooklyn, fans will get to have an inside look. Our new home, the borough of Brooklyn, will provide a great backdrop for the series, and I think people are going to be pretty excited with their exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the new arena.”

Featuring the dynamic ownership of Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z, veteran basketball leadership from General Manager Billy King and Head Coach Avery Johnson, and established NBA stars such as Williams and the newly acquired Joe Johnson, the Nets have been one of the most talked-about teams heading into their first season in Brooklyn.

“The Association is part of NBA TV’s commitment to deliver original programming, which provides fans with authentic access to all aspects of the game,” said Christina Miller, Senior Vice President and General Manager, NBA Digital. “We’re thrilled to have the Nets involved this year, during an historic period for the franchise, and look forward to covering them through the journey of their inaugural season in Brooklyn.”

NBA TV’s The Association: Brooklyn Nets will deliver the riveting, behind-the-scenes coverage that has become a trademark of the series, providing access to the players and coaches in the locker room, on road trips, and off the court. The series continues its signature style, incorporating Brooklyn as a central character with special features about the city and its history and fans, featuring interviews with legendary Brooklyn Dodgers, as well as various celebrities from the borough.

“The Brooklyn Nets are honored to be selected by the NBA as the featured team in this year’s installment of The Association,” said Nets General Manager Billy King. “We are very excited about our first season playing in Brooklyn at Barclays Center, and this series will document superbly this historic move for the Nets’ franchise.”

NBA TV, launched in 1999 as the first full-time TV network created by a professional sports league, had its most viewed and highest rated regular season in 2011-12.   The 24 hour network - available in 60 million U.S. households - airs more than 250 games a year as well as critically acclaimed, original programs such as The Association, Open Court and The Dream Team.

Shawne Williams wants to return to Knicks

Unrestricted free agent Shawne Williams, who had his best season in New York in 2010-11, wants to return to the Knicks but the team isn’t interested, according to a source close to the versatile forward.

The source told that the Knicks are “a good fit,” and that he’s open to taking the veteran’s minimum, which is all they can offer. The Hawks and Bobcats are also looking at Williams, who is represented by Happy Walters, the same agent as Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert.

– Reported by Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have added Jay Larranaga to their coaching staff as an Assistant Coach.

Larranaga comes to the Celtics from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League where he was their head coach for the past two seasons.  As coach with the BayHawks, Larranaga led the team to playoff appearances in both seasons and accumulated a record of 60-40. He also had eight players receive promotions to the NBA during his tenure.  Larranaga has also served as an assistant coach at Cornell University and as head coach of the Irish National Team for two seasons. Larranaga played collegiately at Bowling Green University and played professionally in Italy, Spain, France and Greece for 12 years.

Brian Cook joins Wizards training camp

Brian Cook joins Wizards training camp

Brian Cook wasn’t excited about the prospect of joining the Wizards when the Los Angeles Clippers traded him last March. He sought a buyout before deciding to stick around for the rest of the season.

The experience in Washington must not have been too bad, because now, Cook is headed back. Cook, a 6-foot-9 veteran big man, signed a non-guaranteed, training camp deal on Tuesday with the Wizards, his agent, Mark Bartelstein said.

Cook received interest from “three or four other teams,” Bartlestein said, “but he really felt good about the way things finished up with the Wizards. He really enjoyed playing for [Coach Randy Wittman] and with the guys on the team and they kind of expressed the same thing to him. And as we were looking at different things, he wanted to go back. He had a comfort level. He’s back and hopefully, it will work out great.”

The Wizards will enter training camp with 18 players and one roster spot up for grabs – if the team elects to enter the season with the maximum 15 players.

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

AEG, owner of Staples Center, for sale

Anschutz Entertainment Group, the owner of the Staples Center arena and the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, and the top contender to build a stadium and bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, is up for sale, its parent company said Tuesday.

The Denver-based Anschutz Co. said in a statement that it is “commencing a process” to sell the subsidiary known as AEG and had hired Blackstone Advisory Partners as an adviser.

It wasn’t immediately clear how far along the company is in the sale process, or whether it has entertained any offers, but the price for AEG could be well into the billions.

The sale would mean a major ground shift in sports and entertainment in Los Angeles and around the world.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Memphis Grizzlies waive D.J. Kennedy

The Memphis Grizzlies waived guard/forward D.J. Kennedy, Grizzlies General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Wallace announced today.

Kennedy (6-6, 215) averaged 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds in 29.5 minutes in two games last season as a rookie for the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The 22-year-old Pittsburgh native also posted 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 37.3 minutes in 44 appearances with the Erie Bayhawks of the NBA Development League.

Memphis originally acquired the St. John’s product from Cleveland for Jeremy Pargo, a 2013 second round draft pick and cash considerations on July 25, 2012.

The Grizzlies’ roster now stands at 13 players.

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