Archive for October 4th, 2012

The Suns got bigger Thursday.

They added two centers: one 7-foot-4, the other 6-foot-10. Now while the two will see time on the court, neither will suit up in uniform.

The Suns announced officially the additions of Ralph Sampson and Sean Rooks to the team’s Player Development Department.

Sampson, recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, will serve as the department’s assistant coordinator under coordinator Lindsey Hunter. Rooks, who was a UA Wildcat from 1988-1992, will join the department in a supporting role.

Both have been with the team since the start of camp but their roles had not yet been defined.

– Reported by Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports

Carlos Delfino

If the starters shake out as [Kevin] Martin, [Chandler] Parsons, Jeremy Lin, Patrick Patterson and Omer Asik, that could leave a second unit with little or no NBA experience.

“Carlos has played in a lot of NBA games,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “He’s played in big games over in Europe. He’s played in big games in the Olympics and pre-Olympic stuff. He’s not going to be overwhelmed by anything. He’s going to come in and be a real pro, pick up things fast. Everyone runs a variation of offensive sets. If he hasn’t run it, he’s played against it. I think guys like him are hugely beneficial.”

Delfino, 30, is the Rockets oldest player and second-most experienced with seven seasons in the league (one fewer than Martin.) They are the only Rockets players with more than one full season as an NBA starter. But given his relatively extensive experience, Delfino has been a part of a roster that he considered similar to the Rockets’.

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle

Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard is getting closer to full clearance in his recovery from spinal surgery, taking part both Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon in some 5-on-5, limited-contact action in Lakers practice.

Howard still is not approved to advance to full-scale scrimmaging and won’t play in the exhibition opener Sunday night in Fresno against the Golden State Warriors, Lakers spokesman John Black said Thursday.

That’s in keeping with the careful rehabilitation from April 20 back surgery that the player and team agreed upon, but the Lakers don’t see much that Howard can’t do already.

“Doesn’t look like he’s hurting a bit,” Lakers forward Pau Gasol said.

– Reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived guard Vance Cooksey.

Cooksey, a rookie from the University of Pikeville, played with the Rio Grande Vipers and Texas Legends of the NBA Development League during the 2011-12 season. He signed with Chicago as a free agent on Oct. 1, 2012.

Chicago’s training camp roster now stands at 17.

Rasheed Wallace

The NBA announced on Wednesday that it will penalize floppers this season, fining players for repeated violations of exaggerated falls to the floor.

New Knick Rasheed Wallace is all for it.

“Hey, you all thought I was crazy for saying it over the last so-and-so years. I ain’t even gonna get into it, but yes,” he said when asked if he was in favor of it. “They needed to bend on that.”

Wallace raged against flopping for years, picking up quite a few of his 308 career technical fouls for arguing when he thought he was called for a foul because a player flopped.

– Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and his wife Ashley, a former Memphian, and Memphis basketball legend Penny Hardaway have agreed to become limited partners in Robert Pera’s bid to buy the Grizzlies, a source close to Pera said Thursday.

Pera, whose purchase of the team from Michael Heisley is being vetted by the NBA, has assembled a group with both star power and local ties, including recent additions such as pop star and actor Justin Timberlake and former congressman Harold Ford Jr.

– Reported by Kyle Veazey of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

Tracy McGrady may play in China

Tracy McGrady may play in China

Tracy McGrady, one of the top NBA players of the past decade, is considering playing in China this season, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

McGrady’s preference is to sign with an NBA club — preferably one that can compete for the championship — and a source said he will wait to see if he is picked up by such a team before committing to play overseas. McGrady could wait up to four weeks before making his decision, the source said.

The Chinese publication, 361 Sport, first reported on Tuesday that McGrady’s representatives are in discussions with the club, Qingdao Doublestar, of the Chinese Basketball Association.

– Reported by Chris Broussard of ESPN the Magazine

While Rockets forward Royce White remained in Houston, missing the start of the Rockets training camp, he issued a statement through a publicist and a series of tweets that indicated his start was delayed to work on a plan to treat his anxiety disorder.

White did not attend the Rockets media day on Monday or travel with the team to McAllen. He met with Rockets officials on Wednesday in Houston, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting who said “progress” was made that indicated he could be joining the team shortly.

In a lengthy statement, White said he needed more time to plan for the start of his NBA career.

“It causes me anxiety to know that serious consequences could happen if I do not express what I deal with, or if I am not truthful enough to ask for what I need, to be healthy. For me, hiding is no longer a healthy option in treating my anxiety or OCD, so I have asked for some help from the organization to ensure long-term health for myself.”

– Reported by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle

Knicks might want Josh Howard

Knicks might want Josh Howard

Now that Rasheed Wallace is in the house, continuing the Knicks’ trend of adding players over 30, it only begs the question: Are they still looking to increase their average age?

According to a source close to free agent Josh Howard, the Knicks are still interested in the 32-year-old swingman and have had recent conversations with his representatives.

The Knicks first inquired about Howard last month, but if they’re serious about adding him now, they’ll have to cut one of their players with a non-guaranteed contract, which applies to training camp only. Currently, the Knicks have 20 training camp invites (including Wallace), which is the maximum amount allowed per team.

– Reported by Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York

The NBA is coming back to London with a regular-season game between the Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks in January.

The NBA says the Pistons and Knicks will play on Jan. 17 at the O2 Arena, the site of this year’s Olympic gold-medal game.

The Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets played a pair of regular-season games at the same venue in March 2011, but the NBA skipped London on its preseason tour this year.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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