Archive for September 7th, 2012

Phil Knight bio video

Below is a 2.5 minute bio video on Phil Knight, who helped make Nike a global powerhouse:

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed rookie forward/center Robert Sacre, it was announced today.

Sacre, a 7-0 forward/center out of Gonzaga, was selected by the Lakers in the second round (60th overall pick) in the 2012 NBA draft.  Sacre finished his career with the Bulldogs ranked second all-time in school history in career blocks (186) while averaging 9.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 135 games. As a senior, Sacre was named the 2012 WCC Defensive Player of the Year as well as an All-WCC First-Team honoree while averaging 11.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

Most recently, Sacre started all five games for the Lakers 2012 Summer League team in Las Vegas, averaging 9.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 30.0 minutes.

The Los Angeles Lakers have hired Eddie Jordan, Steve Clifford and Bernie Bickerstaff as assistant coaches, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Jordan, a former NBA player (1977-84) and member of the Lakers 1982 Championship team, most recently spent one season (2009-10) as head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. Prior to his time in Philadelphia, Jordan, a native of Washington D.C. served as head coach of the Wizards. During his six years (2003- 2009) in Washington, Jordan posted a 197-224 record and in just his second season at the helm, guided the Wizards to their highest win total (45) in 25 years and the team’s first postseason appearance since 1996-97. Prior to joining the Wizards, Jordan served as the lead assistant coach for the New Jersey Nets. During his four-year stint with the Nets, the team made the Finals in back-to-back years (2002 and 2003). Additionally, Jordan spent seven years with the Sacramento Kings both as an assistant coach (1992-97) and head coach (1997-98).

Clifford joins the Lakers after spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach in Orlando. While with the Magic, Clifford helped guide the team to a 259-135 (.657) record, as well as five post season appearances. Prior to his stint in Orlando, Clifford spent four seasons (2003-07) as an assistant coach with the Houston Rockets, and three seasons (2000-03) with the New York Knicks.

The University of Maine at Farmington alum began his coaching career as an assistant at St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire. After four years at St. Anselm’s, Clifford spent one season as an assistant coach at Fairfield University before joining the coaching staff at Boston University for four seasons. Clifford coached one year at Siena College before being named head coach at Adelphia University. During his four years at Adelphia, the team compiled an 86-36 record and made four NCAA Division II tournament appearances. Following his stint at Adelphia, Clifford served as an assistant coach for one season at East Carolina University before joining the NBA.

Bickerstaff, who brings over 39 years of coaching experience to the team, joins the Lakers after spending the last two seasons working as an assistant coach for the Portland Trailblazers. Prior to joining the Blazers, Bickerstaff worked with the Chicago Bulls as an assistant coach for two years (2008-10). He assumed the role in Chicago after spending four years with the Charlotte Bobcats. During his four years with the Bobcats, Bickerstaff spent one season as the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations (2007-08) and three years (2004-07) serving as Head Coach and General Manager. Prior to his stint with the Bobcats, Bickerstaff served as an NBA head coach for three different teams (Seattle, Denver, Washington). In addition, Bickerstaff was President and General Manager of the Denver Nuggets for seven seasons (1990-97). Bickerstaff began his NBA coaching career the Washington Bullets in 1973 as the league’s youngest assistant coach. Over the next twelve seasons he helped guide the Bullets to the 1978 NBA Championship, three NBA Finals appearances, 10 playoff berths and a franchise record 60 wins in 1974-75. In 1985 Bickerstaff received his first head coaching opportunity with Seattle. In five seasons (1985-90) with Seattle, he posted a 202-208 record and in 1987 was named Coach of the Year by Sporting News Magazine. As a head coach, Bickerstaff has posted a career record of 414–512 which ranks 33 rd all-time among head coaches.

The new Lakers coaches will be replacing Ettore Messina and Quin Snyder, who left the team earlier this summer to join CSKA Moscow, and John Kuester, who has been reassigned to the position of Advanced NBA Scout and will be based on the East Coast.

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed forward Jarvis Varnado and free agent center Mickell Gladness.

Varnado was a second-round draft choice (41st overall) by the Heat in the 2010 NBA Draft after concluding his collegiate career at Mississippi State as the NCAA’s all-time leading shot-blocker. He has spent the past two seasons playing overseas in Italy and Israel. Last year he began the season appearing in 12 games with Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem of the Israeli Super League where he averaged 9.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.00 blocks and 23.6 minutes while shooting 58.8 percent from the floor. On Jan. 31, 2012, he signed with Acea Virtus Roma of the Italian Lega A and averaged 10.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.00 blocks and 23.6 minutes while shooting 53.3 percent from the floor in 14 games.

Gladness, who went undrafted out of Alabama A&M in 2008, made his NBA debut with the Heat on Dec. 25, 2011 and split last season between Miami and Golden State. He appeared in 26 games (seven starts) during the 2011-12 season and averaged 2.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.77 blocks and 9.7 minutes while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor. Gladness appeared in eight games with Miami, averaging 0.3 points, 1.4 rebounds and 3.5 minutes before being released on Feb. 7. He returned to the Heat on a pair of 10-day contracts (Feb. 12 and Feb. 28) and then was signed to a 10-day contract by the Golden State Warriors on Mar. 22. Gladness signed for the remainder of the season with the Warriors on Apr. 1. This will mark the third straight season Gladness has participated in training camp for the Heat. He was originally signed by Miami as a free agent on Sept. 27, 2010 and waived on Oct. 11, 2010.  He was re-signed by Miami on Dec. 10, 2011 and made the team last year before his subsequent release on Feb. 7, 2012. He has also seen action with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (2009-11) and Dakota Wizards (2011) of the NBA’s Development League and with Matrixx Magix Nijmegen in Holland (2008-09).

Both Varnado and Gladness played for the Heat’s 2012 Summer League team which competed in Las Vegas in July. Varnado appeared in two games (one start) and averaged 2.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 15.0 minutes. Gladness appeared in four games and averaged 5.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.50 blocks and 12.0 minutes while shooting 53.8 percent from the field.

The Heat’s roster now stands at 15.

Andray Blatche is low-risk, high-reward for Nets

Blatche’s next destination will be in Brooklyn with the Nets, as he’s expected to sign with the team sometime in the next few days. The move has been met with plenty of derision on the Internet, thanks in large part to many of the interesting twists and turns of Blatche’s career in Washington.

But if you set aside the noise surrounding Blatche and look at the player the Nets are signing, it’s hard to see this as anything other than a win-win for the Nets.

Before his disastrous final season in Washington, where he spent much of the second half of the season away from the team, Blatche posted at least a 15.00 PER in four straight seasons, with an average rebound rate, surprisingly good assist numbers – given his reputation – and good steal rates for a big man. He’s also a good jump shooter, though his percentages have been terrible he’s taken far too many of them over the past few years while often being the focal point of Washington’s offense.

But that’s the key difference between Blatche in Washington and in Brooklyn: his role on the team. Think about everything that’s happened in Washington the last few years. The Wizards have been far from a picture of stability. Instead, they’ve been a colossal train wreck the past few years, especially since Gilbert Arenas brought guns into the locker room in late 2009.

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

Ronnie Brewer out six weeks after knee surgery

Knicks veteran guard Ronnie Brewer began rehab Friday after undergoing surgery to repair a meniscal injury to his knee, according to his Twitter account.

“If y’all haven’t already heard I had successful meniscus surgery,” he wrote on his verified Twitter account @RonnieBrewerJr. “Started rehab this morning. Minor setback for a major comeback.”

The Knicks said Brewer tore the meniscus in his left knee in the last two weeks and is expected to miss six weeks.

– Reported by Bobby Bonett of New York Newsday

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