Archive for October 14th, 2012

The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived guard Kelenna Azubuike, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.

Azubuike appeared in one preseason game, scoring six points and adding three rebounds in 14 minutes.

The Cavaliers roster now stands at 17.

It’s NBA preseason, and lots of players around the league who were signed to “training camp” contracts will be let go between now and the start of the regular season.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has waived training camp invitees Phil Jones and Seth Tarver. Neither player saw action in the team’s three preseason games.

Jones, a 6-10 forward/center, played overseas for the past two years after playing collegiately at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has made stops in Uruguay, Brussels and spent the past season in Romania.

Tarver, a 6-5 guard, spent the last two seasons with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League. Tarver averaged 11.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 45 contests last season. Tarver went undrafted in 2010 after a four-year collegiate career at Oregon State.

The Wolves roster currently stands at 18 players.

There was a time when Stern had dreams of a team or even a division in Europe, a first in American sports. He was determined to devise a way for a group of teams in London, Rome, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, and Berlin to compete with the 30 stateside NBA teams and even have a real world championship series.

Regardless of how uncomfortable the idea made fans who believe 30 teams was enough — and regardless of how inconceivable it might be to have a team in a time zone six hours ahead of the Eastern US — Stern was going to add the London Abbeys to the NBA.

But that idea seems to have fizzled along with the international economy and the lack of NBA-worthy venues overseas. What Stern realized is that many of the arenas that house Euroleague teams are not up to NBA standards.

For example, the Ulker Sports Arena in Istanbul, a sparkling new venue that houses Fenerbahce Ulker and features an adjacent practice facility, fits only 13,000, which would make it the smallest arena in the NBA.

“I don’t think having a single team in Europe is practical,” Stern said last week in Milan before watching the Celtics take on Emporio Armani Milano. “I never have… “What I’ve said is if we’re going to have an NBA presence here in terms of the league, it should be five teams. It’s safe to say that there aren’t enough buildings, there aren’t adequate TV arrangements, we don’t have owners, and I’m not sure we could charge the prices that would be necessary. I don’t think our fans are that avid yet.”

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe

Metta World Peace kisses a female fan

ron artest

Ron Artest once went into the stands with gruesome results. That was a long time ago, though.

Metta World Peace went into the stands Saturday night at Staples Center with hilarious results.

World Peace, who won the NBA’s 2010-11 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award and changed his name a year ago, was displaying his regained agility with a nifty block as Utah guard Gordon Hayward drove toward the basket. Then World Peace displayed his usual wacky sense of humor.

After his momentum carried him under the basket and out of bounds, World Peace fetched the ball — and then took the hand of a nearby female fan and kissed it.

– Reported by Kevin Ding of the OC Register

Adam Morrison

And besides catching the occasional Gonzaga game on television, Morrison didn’t so much as watch basketball, let alone pick one up.

“People think I was all depressed, but I was like, ‘This is awesome,’” he said. “I got to spend time with my family, have Christmas at home, relax. I was able to exhale. It gave me a lot of perspective on things. I think it was good for me.”

He remained content for about a year, until he wandered down to the McCarthey Athletic Center to watch the Gonzaga players work out. One visit become two and two became three. Before Morrison knew it, his competitive juices were flowing, his mind contemplated a return to the court and he got the itch to play again.

So Morrison started his comeback. He hadn’t touched a basketball or worked out for a year and he was in the worst shape of his life. The first month, he said, he was “horrible.” But Morrison slowly worked himself into shape and his love for the game slowly worked itself back into him. His heart was back in it.

– Reported by Joe Freeman of the Oregonian

Chris Paul

All-Star point guard Chris Paul played for the first time since off-season thumb surgery, and the Clippers used a dominant inside attack to dispatch reigning NBA champion Miami Heat 99-89 in an exhibition match today (late Saturday PDT) in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,000 in Shanghai.

With Paul guiding the offense, Clippers big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin thrilled the crowd with dunks and alley-oop baskets as the Clippers took advantage of a height advantage and jumped to a first quarter double-digit lead and maintained it for much of the game.

Jordan was 7 for 7 in the first half, as the Clippers ran out to a 57-43 lead on a 26-13 rebounding advantage. The Clippers’ center all nine of his rebounds before intermission and added two blocked shots.

Jordan, who was a perfect 8 for 8 from the floor, scored 13 of his game-high 18 points in the first quarter, while power forward Griffin scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Clippers avenged a 94-80 loss to Miami in Beijing on Thursday. Paul finished with four points, six assists and five rebounds in 22 minutes. Caron Butler, Jamal Crawford and Matt Barnes also scored in double figures.

– Reported by Los Angeles Daily News services

Basketball blog