Archive for March 20th, 2013

Unclear when Danny Granger will be healthy for Pacers

The $13-million question surrounding the Indiana Pacers and Danny Granger is: when will he overcome his patellar tendinosis and get back on the court to help the team?

There’s no definite answer for that, according to Dr. Christopher Kaeding, orthopedic surgeon at Ohio State University Sports Medicine.

Granger has been sidelined for all but five games this season because of the injury to his left knee. The Pacers will not comment on the injury due to HIPPA laws. Granger has declined interview requests since the team announced he was going to be shutdown again March 6.

Patellar tendinosis, often referred to as “jumper’s knee,” is when the tendon is overloaded and becomes inflamed.

– Reported by Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star

Derrick Rose return date for Bulls still remains uncertain

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau Wednesday said he doesn’t believe even Derrick Rose knows when the former MVP will return to the court following knee surgery.

“I think (Rose is) being very truthful in what he said,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t think he knows (if he’ll return this year). The way he’s approached (rehab) and this is from the moment he had the surgery, the next day, he puts everything he has into whatever he’s being asked to do. He says he’ll know when it’s time. And we have to trust him. And as I said before, I trust him implicitly.

“He’ll tell all of us (when he’s ready). Trust me, he understands what’s going on here. We just have to work through it.”

Rose said March 12 that he can do everything in practice but he still needs to get his confidence back, and he didn’t rule out sitting the entire season.

– Reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

After a controversial loss to the Denver Nuggets on Monday, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he would like to see video replay expanded so referees could review more calls late in games.

Thibodeau angrily barked at referees late in Monday’s game after a Kosta Koufos tip-in in the final minute wasn’t reviewed but a Joakim Noah tip-in with 1.7 seconds left in overtime was checked. The explanation given to Thibodeau at the time was that the Koufos play couldn’t be reviewed because it was not called at the time on the floor. The Noah play was called, according to the officials — despite Thibodeau’s appeal — and the ruling was upheld.

Thibodeau would like to see the technology used more in the future.

– Reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago

A former NFL player and Dallas Cowboy has filed a lawsuit in a Dallas County court against former Dallas Maverick and All-Star Rolando Blackman, who he says convinced the cornerback to invest in a faulty African gold venture.

The former NFL player, Nathaniel Jones, met Blackman and fellow defendant David Mureeba, chief executive of a tech company, through “friends and contacts,” according to the lawsuit filed this week.

Last spring, the two defendants in the suit presented Jones with an opportunity to invest in exploration and refinement of gold through another of Mureeba’s businesses, East Africa Power & Energy. They told him his investment of $150,000 would be used to airlift precious metals from East Africa to Belgium, where the gold would be sold to a refinery, according to the lawsuit.

Mureeba and Blackman guaranteed Jones a 4 percent return on his investment. Mureeba encouraged the former football player to invest more.

– Reported by Christina Rosales of the Dallas Morning News

Auburn Hills City Manager Pete Auger balked at the idea that the Palace of Auburn Hills or the Detroit Pistons’ home floor should be in downtown Detroit — an idea that has been repeated by one major downtown Detroit investor.

“It doesn’t make any business sense to do that,” Auger said. “We have a private business entity that’s paying taxes up here.”

The Palace and the Detroit Pistons are majority owned by Tom Gores, the billionaire founder of Platinum Equity.

Gores appears to have no intentions of relocating the Pistons’ arena, but one of his NBA team owner peers has mentioned the idea on at least two different occasions.

– Reported by David Muller of Michigan Live

John Wall playing great March basketball

John Wall playing great March basketball

In the final month of his rookie season in 2011, John Wall averaged 19.4 points, 6.0 assists and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 45.4 percent from the field. In the second full month of last season’s lockout-shortened campaign, Wall averaged 19.2 points, 8.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds and shot 48 percent from the field.

If he maintains his current pace for the next seven games, Wall would turn March into the best statistical month of his professional career.

In 10 games this month, Wall is averaging 20.1 points, 7.7 assists and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 52.4 percent. Wall has failed to record at least six assists in only two games, with three games of 10 or more helpers. He has scored in double figures in each game and tallied at least 23 points in four of his past five games.

“I just give credit to my teammates because they make things easier for me, being able to find spots and knock down shots and get me easy opportunities to score,” Wall said. “My teammates are getting open, [I’m] finding them and I was able to get free throws and layups.”

– Reported by Michael Lee of the Washington Post (Blog)

President Barack Obama on Wednesday picked Indiana University to win the NCAA annual men’s college basketball tournament, joining in the “March Madness” office pool craze that sweeps America every spring.

The president, an avid sports fan, forecast that Indiana would defeat the widely favored University of Louisville in the championship game.

“I think this is Indiana’s year,” he said in an interview on ESPN, the sports cable network.

Obama, who began a three day trip to the Middle East on Wednesday, taped the interview on Tuesday.

– Reported by Mark Felsenthal of Reuters

E.M. ‘Kiki’ VanDeWeghe III, an All-American basketball player at UCLA, first-round draft pick, former two-time NBA All-Star, and successful NBA general manager and coach, will join the NBA as Vice President, Basketball Operations effective April 1, NBA Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations Stu Jackson announced today.

In his new role, VanDeWeghe will be involved in a broad range of basketball matters, including the development of playing rules and interpretations; game analytics; disciplinary matters; and policies and procedures relating to the operation of NBA games.  He will also serve as a key interface between the league and the teams, drawing upon his years of experience as a general manager and coach. VanDeWeghe will report to Jackson.

“Kiki has a lifetime of basketball experience, including an NBA career spanning more than three decades as a player, coach, and general manager, which provides him with a tremendous amount of insight into our game,” Jackson said. “We’re looking forward to drawing upon his expertise on a wide range of matters involving our game.”

For the past two years, VanDeWeghe has been a contributor to FOX Sports West as a writer and analyst covering the Los Angeles Clippers.  Previously, he was the general manager, and for one season the interim head coach, of the New Jersey Nets from 2007 to 2010.  Before joining the Nets, he was a broadcast analyst for two years with ESPN. Prior to his time with ESPN, VanDeWeghe was the general manager of the Denver Nuggets from 2001 to 2006.

VanDeWeghe’s NBA playing career spanned 13 years, with the Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks, and Clippers, during which he averaged 19.7 points with a 52.5% field goal average, 87.2% free throw average, made two All-Star appearances, and helped his teams to the postseason 12 times.

Comcast SportsNet Chicago Bulls analyst Kendall Gill has been removed temporarily from his on-air duties after a physical altercation with Big Ten Network analyst Tim Doyle in the CSN newsroom Tuesday evening.

The incident followed the taping of “Sports Talk Live,” a panel discussion on Comcast SportsNet Chicago that featured me, Mr. Doyle and Chicago Sun-Times reporter Herb Gould. Mr. Gill confronted Mr. Doyle in the newsroom over critical comments he had made on the air about Mr. Gill’s analysis of the controversial final moments of Monday’s Chicago Bulls-Denver Nuggets game. The referees ruled that what at first appeared to be a last-second basket by the Bulls would not be allowed, thus giving the win to the Nuggets.

The altercation happened right in front of me as Mr. Doyle and I were walking through the CSN newsroom on our way out of the building.

– Reported by Danny Ecker of Chicago Business / Crain’s Blog

The Boston Celtics announced today that they have signed forward D.J. White to a multi-year contract. More details later today.

White, a 6’9” forward, has appeared in four games for the Celtics since he was signed to his original 10-day contract on February 28. In those four games, White has averaged 2.8 points and 1.5 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per game. He recorded a high of six points against Charlotte on March 16 and recorded four rebounds also against Charlotte on March 12.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed guard Chris Quinn from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League for the remainder of the season, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. The signing of Quinn marks the 28th D-League to NBA Call-Up of the 2012-13 season.

Quinn will wear No. 20 for the Cavaliers and be active for tonight’s game against the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena.

In 25 games (23 starts) this season for the 66ers, Quinn has averaged 12.7 points on .475 shooting, 2.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals in 32.4 minutes per game.

The 29-year-old from Notre Dame played in the NBA from 2006-11 with Miami, New Jersey and San Antonio. In 234 career NBA games (26 starts), Quinn has averages of 4.6 points and 1.9 assists in 13.8 minutes per game.

Marcus Thornton had 25 points, Toney Douglas scored 17 of his 19 in the fourth quarter and the Sacramento Kings rallied from eight down in the final 11 minutes to stun the Los Angeles Clippers 116-101 on Tuesday night.

DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans added 17 points apiece for the Kings, who beat the Pacific Division-leading Clippers for the first time in more than two years.

They did it behind a stellar effort off the bench from Thornton and a smothering defense that held Los Angeles to just five buckets in the final quarter.

Blake Griffin had three of them and finished with 26 points, four rebounds and five assists for the Clippers. Los Angeles has lost four of its last seven.

Thornton went 7 of 14 from the floor and made six 3s but it was Douglas, the midseason acquisition from Houston, who came up biggest for Sacramento. He made three straight 3s after the Clippers pulled within 98-96 then added four free throws in the final 1:30 to help seal the win.

Cousins, who missed the past two games with a bruised left quad, also gave the Kings a spark despite playing in foul trouble most of the game. The emotional Cousins helped hold Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan to 11 points, and finished with 11 rebounds for his 29th double-double of the season.

– Reported by Michael Wagaman of the Associated Press

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