Archive for October 12th, 2012

The Oklahoma City Thunder hired Mike Wilks as a Pro Scout and Amanda Green as Basketball Operations Coordinator/Legal & Administration in addition to promoting Paul Rivers to Director of Basketball Operations, Will Dawkins to Director of College Player Personnel and Brandon Barnett to Director of Minor League Operations/Pro Scout, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti.

“We are pleased to welcome Mike and Amanda to the Thunder,” Presti said. “We believe that they will each make positive contributions as we maintain our focus on building and enhancing our basketball operation. We are also pleased to see the continued development and promotion of Paul, Will and Brandon within the organization. Each of them have been integral to our growth and progress as a team and organization.”

Wilks, who played for the Thunder during the 2009-10 season, appeared in 233 career NBA games over seven seasons averaging 2.5 points, 1.2 assists, 1.0 rebounds in 9.6 minutes per contest. Wilks most recently played in Poland prior to announcing his retirement from his playing career.

Green joins the club from Proskauer Rose LLP where she served as an Associate, after working as an IP Attorney in the NBA Legal Department from 2010-11. Prior to receiving her law degree from Georgetown, Green obtained her undergraduate degree from Duke, where she served as  manager for Duke’s Men’s Basketball Team from 2002-2006.

Rivers enters his sixth season with the Thunder. He served as the Director of Minor League Operations and Basketball Technology each of the previous two seasons and prior to that as the Director of Basketball Administration and Technology. He began his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs as a video coordinator in 2004 before spending two seasons with the Detroit Pistons in a similar capacity.

Dawkins begins his fifth season with Oklahoma City, after first joining the Thunder as a front office intern in the summer of 2008.  During his time with the Thunder, he has served as assistant video coordinator and scouting coordinator before assuming his current position.

Barnett starts his fifth season with the Thunder. He most recently served as Director of Minor League Scouting and Manager of Minor League Operations. Barnett originally joined the Thunder as the team’s Manager of Minor League Operations after spending two years in the NBA league office in New York.

paul millsap

The Utah Jazz will be without Paul Millsap and Jamaal Tinsley for tonight’s preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The players have been excused from the team to attend to unrelated personal matters. The team did not announce when either will return or why they are absent.

Millsap is traveling to Louisiana to attend the funeral of his paternal grandmother, a source confirmed. The funeral is on Saturday, meaning Millsap will also miss the Jazz’s road game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday at Staples Center.

– Reported by Jody Genessy of the Deseret News

Dirk Nowitzki

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki put in a full practiced today after getting his swollen right knee drained.

Though he seemed more optimistic about the knee than he did during last week’s trip to Germany and Spain, he didn’t rule out the possibility that he’ll have to have arthroscopic surgery.

“We’ll see how it responds over the weekend,” Nowitzki said. “I’ll be all right, hopefully.”

“Hopefully” is probably not the prognosis Mavericks fans want to hear about the status of Dallas’ 15th-year, perennial All-Star. Nowitzki didn’t specify which day he had the knee drained, but said it’s the second time he’s had it drained in recent weeks. He said he also had it drained “a couple of times” last season.

– Reported by Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has waived guards Kyle Fogg and Demetri McCamey.

Fogg (6-3, 188, Arizona), who saw action in one game with Houston during the 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, scored three points with two rebounds in the preseason opener vs. Oklahoma City (10/10/12). Over four seasons at Arizona, Fogg averaged 9.6 points (.404, 193-478 3FG), 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 139 games (119 starts). He finished his career ranked in the school’s top-10 in six career statistical categories: games played (139/1st), 3-point field goals (193/T-4th), games started (119/T-5th), minutes played (3,829/7th), 3-point field goal attempts (478/8th) and 3-point field goal percentage (.404/8th). Fogg was also 22nd all-time in points scored (1,341).

McCamey (6-3, 200, Illinois) played in all five games with the Chicago Bulls during the 2012 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. In 2011-12, McCamey saw time overseas with Mersin B.B. SK of the Turkish Basketball League and with Hapoel J-M of the Israel-Winner League. As a collegian, McCamey finished his four-year career at Illinois tied with Mike Tisdale for the most games played (139) in school history. He was also second in school annals and third in Big Ten history in assists (733) and ranked sixth on the all-time scoring list (1,718 points). He was the only active player in the nation during 2010-11 with at least 1,600 career points and 700 career assists, becoming just the second player in Big Ten history to reach both of those milestones.

Kyrylo Fesenko

Living in a hotel near the Bulls’ practice facility, Kyrylo Fesenko recently wanted to check out downtown Chicago.

So the affable Ukrainian, who never has had a driver’s license, did what he has done at his two previous NBA stops: He took a cab.

One small problem: The Chicago area is a bit larger than Salt Lake City and Indianapolis. After spending $140 for a ride, Fesenko found new motivation.

“I’m actually thinking about getting my license now,” Fesenko said. “I was like, ‘$70 each way? Uh, uh, that’s not going to happen.’”

– Reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune

Will Derek Fisher return to Lakers?

derek fisher

No less an authority than Kobe Bryant announced this week that he’s convinced longtime teammate Derek Fisher will not have to wait forever to remove himself from the list of free agents still looking for work.

“I’m pretty confident,” Kobe says, “he’ll find a team.”

It might even be the Los Angeles Lakers, believe it or not, if more dominoes fall fortuitously for the team that has already annoyed the rest of the league with its good fortune this offseason.

It’s not feasible for the Lakers to bring back Fisher now, with a payroll approaching $100 million, but sources with knowledge of their thinking say that the team has made it clear to the rest of the league that Chris Duhon and/or Steve Blake are available via trade to any interested party willing to absorb their respective contracts.

– Reported by Marc Stein of ESPN.com

dwight howard

Dwight Howard knew something was wrong when he couldn’t feel his left leg. His back hurt him for most of last season, but when his leg went dead and he couldn’t perform a simple calf raise, he decided it was time to seek medical help.

“I had some issues early in the season and I just kept playing through it, some back spasms,” Howard said Thursday in his comments about the extent of his back injury since he was acquired by the Lakers from the Orlando Magic on Aug. 10.

“I really didn’t say anything. With all the stuff that was going on, I just didn’t want anybody thinking that I was trying to quit on my team or anything. Instead of sitting out, I just wanted to keep playing and how everybody I was still with the team.”

– Reported by Elliot Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News

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