Archive for April, 2013

Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari is recovering from arthroscopic surgery to repair meniscus damage in his left knee.
The procedure was performed Monday at the Steadman Clinic in Vail.

After a short-term rehabilitation, a date will be scheduled for Gallinari to undergo surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Gallinari suffered the injury on April 4. He averaged 16.2 points and 5.2 rebounds – both career-highs – and made a team-leading 135 3-pointers in 71 games this season.

The Charlotte Bobcats asked for and received permission to interview Cleveland Cavaliers assistant Nate Tibbetts for their head coaching job, the Cavs confirmed Tuesday.

Tibbetts, 35, was retained by the Cavaliers after they fired head coach Byron Scott and replaced him with Mike Brown last week. Tibbetts also interviewed with the Bobcats last spring before they hired Mike Dunlap.

Dunlap lasted a single 21-61 season in Charlotte before the Bobcats fired him last week.

Before joining Scott’s staff, Tibbetts was a successful development-league coach.

– Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Blog)

Antawn Jamison has wrist surgery

Antawn Jamison has wrist surgery

Los Angeles Lakers forward Antawn Jamison underwent successful surgery on his right wrist Tuesday morning.

“(The surgery) went well,” a source close to the 15-year veteran told ESPNLosAngeles.com. “No complications.”

Jamison suffered a slight tear in his right wrist during the Lakers’ 103-100 loss to the Washington Wizards on March 23.

Jamison played with the injury for the remainder of the season, appearing in the Lakers’ final 12 regular-season games and four playoff contests.

– Reported by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles

Celtics show support for Jason Collins

Celtics players and coach Doc Rivers spoke in support of Jason Collins Tuesday after Collins revealed in Sports Illustrated on Monday that he was gay. Rivers said Collins called him a few days ago to share the news with his former coach.

“We had talked about it recently,” said Rivers. “When he called me to tell me, you could tell he wanted to tell me. I told him before he said it, ‘Jason I could care less about what you’re about to tell me.’ And that’s how I feel. I honestly feel that way.

“It’s a non-factor to me, and I know it is a factor to a lot of people. I’ve never understood why anyone cares what someone else does. And I told Jason that it will be a non-issue eventually, but it will not be right now.”

– Reported by Gary Dzen of Boston.com

Mike Dunleavy open to staying with Bucks

mike dunleavy

Mike Dunleavy has served as a valuable sixth man for the Bucks during the past two seasons.

And the 32-year-old guard-forward said Monday he would be open to returning.

Dunleavy scored 17 points and grabbed five rebounds in Milwaukee’s 88-77 loss to Miami in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference playoffs Sunday as the Heat completed a four-game sweep.

“My contract’s up so I’m just going to have to figure out where that leaves me,” Dunleavy said. “Honestly I haven’t given a lot of thought to it.

“I like being here; I grew up here. I signed as a free agent here. I’m willing to come back. I’ve got to talk to the team and see what they want to do and go from there.”

Dunleavy signed a two-year, $7 million deal with Milwaukee in the summer of 2011. He averaged 12.3 points and provided a spark off the bench in 55 games during the lockout-shortened season, then averaged 10.5 points and 3.9 rebounds in 75 games during the past season.

– Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors, emboldened by the news that the Sacramento Kings apparently won’t be moving to Seattle, have ramped up their pursuit of Phil Jackson to be their new team president, according to sources close to the situation.

Sources told ESPN.com that the Raptors — now being run by former Los Angeles-based sports mogul Tim Leiweke — regarded the Seattle group that was trying to buy the Kings as the biggest threat to preventing Jackson from seriously considering their pitch.

But now that the Kings appear poised to stay in Sacramento instead of being sold to the consortium led by Jackson fan Chris Hansen, sources say that the Raptors will be pursuing Jackson aggressively this week, believing that they rank as Jackson’s most attractive current option for a new career in management now that he can reunite with Leiweke.

One source close to the situation told ESPN.com that Hansen and Jackson have “hit it off,” sparking league-wide speculation that Jackson would be offered the chance to run the new Sonics in Seattle in the Pat Riley-style role he craves. But with a 12-owner committee recommending Monday that the Kings’ move to Seattle be blocked, Toronto’s seemingly long-shot odds of winning the Jackson sweepstakes would figure to have received a boost.

– Reported by Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com

Jimmy Wergeles, the Knicks’ first and longtime public relations boss, MSG Network’s first p.r. director and a Marine veteran of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, died, Friday, at 90.

Wergeles began with the Knicks on day one, in 1946, and retired from the Garden in 1985. He became particularly close with Willis Reed, who yesterday called Wergeles, “My go-to man, and one of my best friends.”

– Reported by Phil Mushnick of the New York Post

Chandler Parsons

The Houston Rockets finally found a way to close out a game in their playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

And it allowed them to escape playoff elimination with a 105-103 win over the Thunder on Monday night.

Chandler Parsons scored 27 points and Patrick Beverley added 16 points with point guard Jeremy Lin out with a bruised chest muscle. Houston avoided a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven series.

The Rockets led in the fourth quarter of each of the last two games only to end up losing.

”We felt the pain and frustration from the last two losses … and we didn’t want that to happen for the third straight time,” Parsons said.

It almost did.

Kevin Durant scored five quick points to cut the Rockets’ lead to two. James Harden missed two shots for Houston after that and the Thunder had a last chance.

Reggie Jackson missed a jump shot and Serge Ibaka grabbed the rebound, but missed a layup at the buzzer…

Durant scored 38 points in Oklahoma City’s second game without injured All-Star guard Russell Westbrook…

Harden scored 15 points, but also had 10 turnovers. He had two chances to extend Houston’s lead with less than a minute left, but missed both of them, including shooting an air ball…

Jackson finished with 18 points in his second start in place of Westbrook, and Kevin Martin added 16.

Houston got 17 points from Omer Asik and 13 from Carlos Delfino.

– Reported by Kristie Rieken of the Associated Press

Josh Smith

Josh Smith scored 29 points as the Atlanta Hawks built a 17-point lead at halftime, then withstood an Indiana comeback over the final two quarters to even the series with a 102-91 victory in Game 4 on Monday night.

After struggling much of the second half, Smith made every big play down the stretch. He swished a rare 3-pointer, came up with an offensive rebound to set up a 3 by Kyle Korver, then finished off a fast break with a right-handed dunk.

Paul George scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half as the Pacers made a game of it but couldn’t come back from a 57-40 deficit at the break.

Tied at two wins apiece, the series returns to Indianapolis for Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Korver added 19 points off the bench, most of them coming on his specialty: the 3-pointer. He knocked down five from outside the arc, including the biggest one with 2:33 remaining after Al Horford threw up a wild shot that missed. Smith snatched one of his 11 rebounds and spotted Korver lurking all alone on the outside.

Horford chipped in with 18 points.

Indiana was better offensively but still struggled to make shots, finishing at 38 percent on a 32-of-84 performance. George came alive after halftime, connecting three times from beyond the stripe, while every other starter was in double figures.

It wasn’t enough.

– Reported by Paul Newberry of the Associated Press

Nets win 110-91, cut Bulls lead to 3-2

Brook Lopez

Flourishing instead of fading in the fourth quarter, the Brooklyn Nets extended their first season in Brooklyn.

They need one more victory to set up the biggest game here yet.

Brook Lopez had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Deron Williams added 23 points and 10 assists, and the Nets beat Chicago 110-91 on Monday night, cutting the Bulls’ lead to 3-2 in their first-round playoff series.

Recovering from a collapse two days earlier that sent them home on the brink of elimination instead of tied, the Nets battered the Bulls on the boards and forced Chicago into being the team that wilted down the stretch.

”We came out very aggressive, as we have the past few games. I think the difference was just we sustained it for essentially a full 48 minutes tonight,” Lopez said.

Andray Blatche scored 10 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and Gerald Wallace had consecutive baskets in the finishing surge as the Nets finally pulled away in a game they led most of the way, but never by too much.

Two days after rallying for a 142-134 triple-overtime victory, the Bulls were outscored 15-1 at the finish and failed to set up a second-round series with Miami. Instead they will host Game 6 on Thursday…

Nate Robinson had 20 points and eight assists starting in place of point guard Kirk Hinrich, who bruised his left calf in Saturday’s game…

Butler scored 18 points for the Bulls, who were outrebounded 44-33 and gave up 24 second-chance points…

Wallace scored 12 points and Reggie Evans grabbed 12 rebounds as the Nets improved to 6-0 all-time in Game 5s at home. They have never lost a series when holding home-court advantage.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Celtics hoping revived offense has life in Game 5 vs Knicks

It started with a 3-pointer by Avery Bradley 16 seconds into the game. It ended with a layup by Jason Terry with 6.5 seconds left.

Yes, the Boston Celtics finally got their offense going.

”It’s coming,” Terry said. ”You can feel it.”

It was there on Sunday - for much of the game, anyway - when the Celtics beat the New York Knicks 97-90 in overtime to avoid being swept in the opening round of the playoffs.

But if it’s not there on Wednesday night in New York, the Celtics will have a very tough time forcing a sixth game Friday night in Boston.

The Celtics scored fewer than 20 points in six of the first 10 quarters in the series. They managed a meager eight points in the fourth quarter of the opener - one less than Terry scored by himself in the last 1:32 of overtime on Sunday. They scored 78, 71 and 76 points in the first three games after scoring fewer than 80 just five times during the regular season.

”We’ve got a lot of basketball in us,” Terry said, ”but there’s always something like one quarter that holds us back. So if we can put together four quarters of great Celtics basketball, ball movement, getting out in transition, then this series is going to be a long one.”

– Reported by Howard Ulman of the Associated Press

The NBA announced today that the league’s Relocation Committee has unanimously recommended that the NBA Board of Governors deny the application of the Sacramento Kings to relocate to Seattle.

The Board will convene during the week of May 13 to vote on this matter.

Anything can happen in the full vote, but unless something drastically changes it’s expected to that the full board will follow suit and vote to keep the Kings in Sacramento.

Dwight Howard

Whenever an NBA team doesn’t win a championship, Steve Nash believes it’s inevitable changes will happen in the offseason. But the Lakers guard stated in strong terms that he hopes that doesn’t involve Dwight Howard.

“I’m very hopeful that Dwight will be back,” Nash said. “I think this is the place for him. He’s in the prime of his career. He’s got his best years ahead of him. He can play for one of the greatest franchises in sports and an amazing city. This has got to be the place for him and I’m hopeful that he sees it that way.”

Howard hasn’t publicly stated his intentions. But returning to the Lakers seems a no brainer for various reasons. Howard would earn $117.9 million with a five-year deal if he signed with the Lakers. He would earn $87.9 million over four years if he went somewhere else.

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

Ron Artest

Although he reiterated time and again he choice to remain a Laker, Metta World Peace stayed non-committal on whether he will exercise his $7.7 million player option to return next season.

“It’s really not important to me right now,” World Peace said. “What’s important is next year coming back and starting off the right way and building some consistency early. That’s the only thing on my mind right now. Not contracts or anything like that.”

World Peace isn’t necessarily sending out conflicting messages. Marc Cornstein, World Peace’s agent, told this newspaper that he could opt out in hopes of seeking a long-term extension. Either decision carries a certain amount of risk. Should World Peace exercise his player option, the Lakers could waive him using the one-time amnesty provision in hopes of clearing space within their current $100 million payroll. Should World Peace opt out, there’s a chance the Lakers wouldn’t resign him for the same reason.

– Reported by Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News (Blog)

Bulls PG Kirk Hinrich will miss Game 5 vs Nets

The Bulls will be without point guard Kirk Hinrich on Monday night against Brooklyn because of a bruised left calf. His absence might give Game 4 star Nate Robinson a chance to start in the potential clincher for Chicago.

Hinrich was hurt during Saturday’s 142-134 triple-overtime victory, playing through the injury to finish with 18 points and a playoff career-high 14 assists in 60 minutes.

But he was wearing a walking boot Monday, walking with a noticeable limp.

– Reported by the Associated Press 

Andrew Bogut

The guard from Pennsylvania sees some of his game in the center from Australia.

Actually, Nuggets coach George Karl didn’t sound that fond of Warriors center Andrew Bogut, explaining, “Bogut does a little of the little things, he sets the illegal screens, pushes guys around, tries to taunt and flaunt — a little bit like how I used to play, though I wasn’t 7-1.”

Karl was a pesky guard for the Spurs back in the 1970s. He was asked before Sunday’s game about Bogut, who had taunted Nuggets center JaVale McGee in Game 3 to punch him in the face.

“I was once sent into the game to instigate a guy to punch me in the face,” Karl said. “Brian Taylor, he punched me, I punched him, and it was a 16-minute fight. Well, Brian Taylor hit me first, I hit him from behind and then it was going on all over the place. I was sent into the game to hold, grab and wrestle — things that Bogut does really well.”

– Reported by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post

Joe Johnson

Brooklyn Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo thinks Joe Johnson’s critics have no idea what they’re talking about.

Responding to a question during a Sunday conference call about how critics think Johnson is too reliant on isolation plays, settles for too many jumpers and isn’t worthy of his max contract, Carlesimo replied, “It’s hard to be polite and answer the question. ‘Critic’ is such an ambiguous term. I would call them uniformed or basketball unintelligent. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. It would be hard for me to think that there was an intelligent basketball person making a statement like that about Joe Johnson.”

– Reported by Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York

paul george

The Pacers, these Pacers, are not the stay-out-all-night, party-hearty, go-hard-or-go-home types.

So why can’t the Indiana Pacers, losers of 12 straight games in Atlanta, beat this ordinary Hawks team on the road? Why can’t they come into Philips Arena, which is usually three-quarters filled with fans who’d rather be watching football, and take down a team that will be dismantled at season’s end?

It’s understandable to lose 11 straight in San Antonio, as the Pacers have. It’s not understandable to lose 12 consecutive times in Atlanta, where the Hawks have been beacons of mediocrity over the years.

“I have no theory why,” Paul George said after the Pacers practiced in advance of Monday night’s Game 4. “Sometimes we’ve played well down here and lost. Sometimes, like (Saturday night), we’ve played poorly and lost. I couldn’t give you a reason.”

– Reported by Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star

dwight howard

For four straight games, the San Antonio Spurs showed off all the teamwork and tenacity that the Los Angeles Lakers lacked all season long.

And when the Lakers’ tumultuous season finally collapsed Sunday night, the smooth Spurs rolled right past them to the second round.

Tony Parker scored 23 points, and San Antonio completed its first-round sweep of the injury-plagued Lakers with a 103-82 victory in Game 4.

Tim Duncan had 11 points and six rebounds for the second-seeded Spurs, who will face the winner of Denver’s series with Golden State in the second round. They’ll get plenty of rest after flattening the Lakers, who staggered through back-to-back blowout losses at home without three regular starters in their first opening-round exit since 2007.

”Obviously, it wasn’t a fair fight,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ”When you’re a competitor, you want to compete on an even basis, and the Lakers weren’t able to do that. … Even though it wasn’t a fair fight, we still want to win the series, and I’m glad we did. Our focus was great.”

San Antonio never trailed in the clincher, leading by 25 points in one more businesslike effort against the seventh-seeded Lakers, who provided their usual drama right down to their last gasp.

In his final game before unrestricted free agency, Dwight Howard scored seven points before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing. Pau Gasol had 16 points for the Lakers, who were swept from the postseason for the second time in three years despite a late courtside appearance by Kobe Bryant on crutches.

– Reported by Greg Beacham of the Associated Press

NBA center Jason Collins says he is gay

The following is by Jason Collins, to Sports Illustrated

Jason Collins

I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.

I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, “I’m different.” If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.

My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons.

I’ve played for six pro teams and have appeared in two NBA Finals. Ever heard of a parlor game called Three Degrees of Jason Collins? If you’re in the league, and I haven’t been your teammate, I surely have been one of your teammates’ teammates. Or one of your teammates’ teammates’ teammates.

Now I’m a free agent, literally and figuratively. I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.

– Reported by Jason Collins with Franz Lidz via Sports Illustrated

Read NBA fan reaction and share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

UPDATE:  NBA Commissioner David Stern issued the following statement this morning regarding Washington Wizards center Jason Collins announcement today: “As Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family.   Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue.”

ANOTHER UPDATE:  The following statements are from Atlanta Hawks Managing Partner/NBA Governor Bruce Levenson and President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry on behalf of the team: “We have great respect for Jason and his message today. Creating an environment where we support, respect, and accept our players’ individual rights is very important to us,” said Hawks Managing Partner and NBA Governor Bruce Levenson. “Jason represented everything that we look for as a member of the Atlanta Hawks and we are proud he wore our jersey.” “Our focus will always be on bringing in players that can contribute to the greater good of the Atlanta Hawks and ensuring that we create the most accepting, respectful, and productive environment for players to succeed,” said Hawks President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Danny Ferry.


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