Archive for October 18th, 2012

Kyrie Irving

In fact, Irving keeps telling Scott and reporters he wants to play inside more and post up other point guards. He did it, at times, last season with varying degrees of success but wants to do it more often this season.

It’s part of the reason he added a little muscle in the offseason. It wasn’t much — he says it was about five pounds — but it will give him a little more meat to withstand the punishment of a full season. It also gives him a few more pounds to bump around inside when necessary.

“I feel like I added another piece to my game,” Irving said. “Just adding that [weight] and being able to withstand a whole entire game without getting knocked down. Players are more physical in the NBA and I wanted to be more prepared this season.”

– Reported by Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal

Hall of Fame guard Slater Martin dies

Slater Martin, the Hall of Fame guard who won four NBA titles with the Minneapolis Lakers and one with the St. Louis Hawks, died Thursday. He was 86.

Martin died Thursday at a skilled nursing facility in Houston after a sudden illness, daughter-in-law Becky Martin said. She said he was admitted to the nursing home Monday.

Martin was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. He went into the University of Texas’ Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1962, entered the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1964, and the school retired his No. 15 in 2009.

– Reported by the Associated Press

Bulls waive center Kyrylo Fesenko

Bulls waive center Kyrylo Fesenko

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived center Kyrylo Fesenko (pronounced Kuh-rill Feh-sink-o).

In his lone appearance of the preseason with the Bulls, Fesenko (7-1, 280) grabbed one rebound in four minutes of action against Cleveland on Oct. 12.

Chicago as a free agent on Oct. 1, 2012.

Chicago’s roster now stands at 15.

Mavericks waive guard Josh Akognon

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have waived guard Josh Akognon. Akognon was signed as free agent on September 27.

Akognon (5-11, 185) saw action in three preseason games for the Mavericks. He averaged 2.3 points in 3.7 minutes per contest.

The Petaluma, Calif., native started his collegiate career at Washington State University before transferring to California State University, Fullerton. As a senior, Akognon was named Big West Conference Player of the Year after averaging 23.9 points per game.

The Mavericks’ roster now stands at 15 players

Celtics sign guard Leandro Barbosa

Leandro Barbosa

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed free agent guard Leandro Barbosa.

Barbosa, a 6’3” guard, appeared in 64 games last season split between Toronto and Indiana, averaging 11.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 0.9 steals while shooting 38.2% from three-point territory. Barbosa, a member of the 2012 Brazilian Olympic basketball team, was the team’s leading scorer with 16.2 points in their six contests, eighth among all players in the 2012 Olympics. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil was named the NBA’s 2006-07 Sixth Man of the Year when he averaged a career-best 18.1 points, 4.0 assists and shot 43.4% from three-point territory. Barbosa has appeared in 588 career games between Phoenix, Toronto and Indiana with career averages of 12.5 points and 2.4 assists while shooting 39.1% on three-pointers.

Barbosa will not be available in Brooklyn for tonight’s game due to pending visa paperwork.

Sixers waive center Dan Gadzuric

Sixers waive center Dan Gadzuric

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that they have waived center Dan Gadzuric. The Sixers roster now stands at 15.

Gadzuric (6-11, 240) did not appear in any of the Sixers preseason games thus far. The 10-year veteran has played in 527 career games with 164 starts, averaging 4.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.85 blocks in 14.8 minutes per game.

Kevin Love

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love was examined today by hand specialist Dr. Andy Weiland of the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York for further evaluation of the fracture of the third and fourth metacarpal in his right hand. The evaluation revealed that surgery will not be required on his hand and confirmed that his expected return will be in 6-8 weeks.

The following is a statement from Wolves Kevin Love regarding his injury:

“Yesterday, I had a post-practice commitment and decided to work out at my home with my personal trainer before heading to Target Center. While doing various pushups, including knuckle pushups, which are part of my regular workout routine, I hurt my hand. I immediately knew something was wrong and called head athletic trainer Gregg Farnam.

“Although I’m disappointed that this injury happened, I will work extremely hard to stay in shape and return to the court as quickly as possible. We have added a lot of depth to our roster this season, and I have complete confidence in my teammates and coaching staff that they will step up and we will be successful during this time. I’m looking forward to supporting our team and helping out any way I can until I get back on the court.”

Turner Sports analyst and former NBA All-Star Chris Webber and Emmy Award winning director/producer Peter Gilbert announced today the formation of their new film production company, Webber Productions.  The Webber-Gilbert pairing will produce a line of films and documentaries that will focus on the various complex issues surrounding the intersection of sports, culture and society. Webber Productions will create projects focused on celebrating history, preserving legacies, and challenging the viewer on social issues that are relevant in the U.S. and abroad.  Webber Productions also aspires to create a diverse content portfolio, which includes live events, cultural exhibitions, music and film projects.

Says Webber, “I am happy to start a company with a man like Peter Gilbert, who has proven to be one of the best in documentary film work.  I look forward to learning from him and telling great stories around my passions, my community and my world with him.”

Gilbert, who met Webber during the making of the Academy Award nominated film “Hoop Dreams,” of which he produced and was director of photography, says of his new partnership:  “I am thrilled to be embarking on this creative journey with Chris Webber.  I have followed his career throughout the years, and he has always impressed me with his honesty and willingness to search for the truth.”  Gilbert continues:  “Chris’ knowledge, access and fan base within the sports world will allow us to produce cross-platform media projects that will examine the complexity of how sports and society reflect one another.  The sky is the limit, and I am excited to have been asked by Chris to participate.”

Pre-production has begun several projects, including an untitled documentary about the life of Chris Webber – as told by Webber;  and “The Dickerson Project,” a documentary and multi platform media project that narrates one man’s remarkable journey through the 20th Century. Earl Dickerson, the first African American to graduate from the University of Chicago’s Law School, left huge marks in business, politics, civil rights, and law, and is a community pillar responsible for the development of one of America’s largest black middle-class communities, Hyde Park.

A five-time NBA All-Star, Chris Webber’s two seasons as part of the fabled “Fab Five” at the University of Michigan in the early 90’s, and his 15 years as a power forward in the NBA, laid the foundation for his current success as a broadcaster, businessman, philanthropist and steward of African American culture. The Detroit native played with the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Sacramento Kings, Philadelphia 76ers, Detroit Pistons and the Golden State Warriors.  He has earned the distinction of being a “thinking fan’s player-analyst” for his work on NBA-TV’s “NBA Gametime Live” since its launch in October 2008, as well as his role on “Tuesday Fan Night.”  Webber has served as guest analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and more recently, as a game analyst for Turner Sports.  He also recently launched “The Chris Webber Show” (aka “Get Game”) in February 2012 on Sirius XM covering numerous topics from music and entertainment to politics to current events, interviewing celebrities from Joe Madison to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ludacris to Nas.

Peter Gilbert is winner of the following:  Emmy, DGA, Sundance Film Audience and Cinematography, PGA, Peabody, Independent Spirit and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Awards.  His films include the breakthrough documentary Hoop Dreams, which was nominated for an Academy Award.  In addition to his work on Hoop Dreams, Gilbert has produced, directed and filmed documentaries, feature films, commercials and music videos.  His recent work includes: At The Death House Door, Discovery Networks’ With All Deliberate Speed, NBC Networks’ Deadline, TCM’s There is No Place Like Home, PBS’ The Ballad of Eziquel Hernandez, The Gods Grew Tired of Us and Showtime’s A Time For Dancing, to name a few.  Gilbert’s earlier work includes:  All The Rage, Vietnam, Long Time Coming, Prefontaine, Stevie, Married in America and American Dream. Peter is currently a Professor of Practice at Wake Forest University in the Graduate Documentary Film Program.

Booker might not live on the edge, but the small-town simplicity and consistency of the South Carolina native has endeared him to Washington Wizards teammates, coaches and fans, who know what to expect when he steps on the floor: He will battle for rebounds, extra possessions and loose balls, play grinding, physical defense and look to force turnovers. The 6-foot-7 forward out of Clemson rarely leaves the game feeling like he left something behind.

“His energy level is contagious,” Coach Randy Wittman said. “When you’re playing out there with him, you can look silly if you’re not the same level. Having guys like that is always good to have.”

Booker had a team-high 12 points and two rebounds in 16 minutes Wednesday night in the Wizards’ 104-101 loss to the Raptors at Air Canada Centre. He watched from the bench in the closing seconds as Bradley Beal had his potentially tying three-pointer blocked.

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post

JR Smith

J.R. Smith has been given the boot on this upcoming road trip.

Smith, now wearing a protective boot, didn’t practice Thursday and will not make the Knicks’ three-game preseason road trip that starts Friday night in Montreal vs. the Raptors.

Smith missed Saturday’s game in Hartford with what the Knicks termed a sore ankle but Smith told The Post it was an Achilles injury.

Smith practiced Tuesday, but was shut down Wednesday.

– Reported by Marc Berman on the New York Post (Blog)

Clearly the biggest surprise of the preseason, the Roman Catholic and Villanova product has impressed with his speed and ability to push the ball up the floor with the Sixers’ second unit. In Wednesday’s victory over the Cavaliers, Wayns scored a team-high 19 points, with three three-pointers and four assists.

The downside: five turnovers.

Nevertheless, when Wayns came into the game on Wednesday night, it changed everything, said Collins.

– Reported by John Finger of CSN Philly

Andrew Bogut to have ankle examined

Andrew Bogut

Warriors center Andew Bogut will have his troublesome left ankle examined Monday in Los Angeles.

The Warriors play at the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday, giving Bogut an opportunity to visit Richard Ferkel, the doctor who performed arthroscopic surgery on the ankle in April.

Bogut, who fractured the ankle in January while with Milwaukee, has yet to practice or play a preseason game. Before Wednesday’s exhibition game at Sacramento, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said Bogut is “still a ways away.”

– Reported by Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group

Newsweek will print its final edition at the end of this year.

After nearly 80 years of publication, the news magazine will shift to a digital-only format, available online and on tablet computers, editor-in-chief Tina Brown said on the magazine’s website Thursday morning. Its last will be the Dec. 31 issue.

“We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it,” Brown said. “We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism — that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”

– Reported by Andrew Tangel of the Los Angeles Times

Kyle Lowry makes debut for Raptors

Kyle Lowry

Landry Fields scored 15 points, and Kyle Lowry had 14 points and six assists in his Raptors debut to help Toronto beat the Washington Wizards 104-101 in exhibition play Wednesday night…

Lowry started after missing the first three games of the exhibition schedule - and a good chunk of Toronto’s training camp in Halifax, Nova Scotia - because of a groin injury. The point guard scored Toronto’s first points of the game off a steal and a drive in front of a crowd that included Jon Bon Jovi and former Raptors star Tracy Murray.

– Reported by the Associated Press

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