Archive for June 10th, 2013

Former NBA player Mookie Blaylock, using a walker, turned himself in Monday to the Jonesboro Police Department to face charges in a fatal head-on collision.

The question of when and if the former Atlanta Hawk, whose legal first name is Daron, will be released on bond will be answered Tuesday in his first court appearance.

Blaylock, 46, is being charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, driving on a suspended license, failure to maintain lane and crossing a center median in the wreck that killed Monica Murphy, a 40-year-old mother of five.

Blaylock and Murphy’s husband, Frankie, were also injured. Blaylock was placed on life support but eventually recovered after spending more than a week in the Atlanta Medical Center. While Frankie Murphy suffered only a broken ankle, he is left to mourn his wife along with her children.

Reported by Marcus K. Garner of the Atlanta Journal Constitution

maurice cheeks

Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars announced today that the club has named Maurice Cheeks as head coach, signing him to a multi-year contract.

Cheeks brings more than 30-plus years of NBA experience to the job and becomes the 29th head coach in Detroit franchise history.  He will be formally introduced to the Detroit media later this week.

“We’re pleased to welcome Maurice Cheeks to the Pistons organization,” Dumars said.  “The leadership and player development qualities he brings as a former player and coach blends nicely with the roster we are building for the future.  He’s won an NBA championship, coached in two NBA Finals as an assistant coach and mentored some of the top young players in the NBA.”

“After spending some time with Maurice, I was very impressed not only with his basketball knowledge but his communication and leadership skills,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “We are very excited to have someone of his experience and talent help take this franchise into the future.”

Cheeks joins the Pistons after serving  four years as an assistant coach with Oklahoma City, where he helped guide the Thunder to a 212-100 (.707) record, four playoff appearances and an NBA Finals appearance in 2012.

The 56-year-old Chicago native served as head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2001-05 recording a 162-139 (.538) regular-season record, the fourth-highest win total in Blazers coaching history.  His Portland teams made consecutive playoff appearances in 2001 and 2002 and posted records of .500 or better three times, including a 50-32 mark in 2002-03 which tied for second in the Pacific Division.  Portland’s defense ranked in the top-10 in points allowed and steals in both 2001-02 and 2002-03.

Cheeks was named head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2005 and led the Sixers to a 122-147 (.454) record in three-plus seasons.  He led the team to the playoffs in 2008, marking the club’s first postseason appearance in three years.  The 76ers were 12 games under .500 in early February that season and improved to 21-7 the remainder of the year to clinch a playoff berth.  Cheeks owns a career record of 284-286 (.498) in 570 games as an NBA head coach.

Prior to his head coaching stints, Cheeks spent seven seasons as an assistant coach with the 76ers serving under John Lucas (1994-96), Johnny Davis (1996-97) and former Pistons’ head coach Larry Brown (1997-2001).  As a member of Philadelphia’s 2000-01 staff under Brown, he helped guide the club to a 56-26 (.683) record and a spot in the NBA Finals.  Cheeks began his coaching career with the Quad City Thunder of the Continental Basketball Association.  During his only season with Quad City (1993-94), he helped guide the club to the CBA Championship.

A 15-year NBA veteran (11 with Philadelphia), Cheeks was a key member of the 76ers’ 1983 NBA Championship team.  He was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team five times, which included four first-team honors and one second-team honor.  A four-time NBA All-Star, Cheeks averaged 11.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.1 steals while shooting 52% from the field in 1,101 career games.  He enjoyed his best year during the 1985-86 season when he averaged 15.4 points and a career-high 9.2 assists.  Drafted 36th overall in the 1978 NBA Draft, Cheeks currently ranks 11th all-time in NBA history in assists (7,392) and fifth all-time in steals (2,310).   His #10 jersey was retired by the 76ers in 1995.

Lionel Hollins

Lionel Hollins says the Memphis Grizzlies have told him they will not renew his contract as head coach, even though he’s the winningest coach in the franchise’s history coming off the team’s first trip to the Western Conference finals…

Hollins’ contract expires June 30, and his future with the team has been unsettled since the Spurs swept the Grizzlies in the West finals. Hollins has been the Grizzlies’ coach since replacing Marc Iavaroni in January 2009. He led Memphis to a better record each season since then, including a franchise-best 56-26 record this season. The Grizzlies beat first the Clippers, then top-seeded Oklahoma City in the playoffs.

Reported by Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press

Kobe Bryant

The Kobe Bryant memorabilia saga has ended with an apology from the Los Angeles Lakers guard’s parents and a settlement that allows less than 10 percent of the items originally intended for sale to be auctioned.

Bryant and a company that was auctioning off the memorabilia reached a deal one week before the two sides were due to go to trial in New Jersey. The agreement allows the sale of six items, which Goldin Auctions president Ken Goldin told ESPN.com on Monday morning he is confident still can sell for more than $500,000 combined.

Bryant’s parents, who had contracted with Goldin to sell the items, apologized in a written statement.

“We regret our actions and statements related to the Kobe Bryant auction memorabilia,” Joe and Pamela Bryant said in the statement provided by a publicist. “We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years. We also apologize to Goldin Auctions for their inadvertent involvement in this matter and thank them for their assistance.”

Reported by Darren Rovell of ESPN.com

Mario Chalmers

Mario Chalmers marched toward midcourt with a message.

”I felt like we had them on the ropes at the time. I told him, ‘Let’s go for the kill,”’ Chalmers said. ”He said, ‘I’m with you.”’

And once LeBron James joined in, the Miami Heat were back with a blowout in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Chalmers led the charge, James broke out to finish it with a flurry and the Heat used a 33-5 run to rout the San Antonio Spurs 103-84 on Sunday night and even the series at one game apiece.

James missed 10 of 13 shots through three quarters and the Heat trailed by a point late in the period before unleashing the lethal brand of basketball that led them to a franchise-record 66 wins this season.

Chalmers finished with 19 points, and James had 17 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three blocks - the best on Tiago Splitter’s dunk attempt - while shooting only 7 of 17 from the field…

The Heat made 10 of 19 3-pointers and got 13 points from Ray Allen, and 12 points and 10 rebounds from the previously slumping Chris Bosh.

Danny Green made all six shots, including five 3-pointers, and scored 17 points for the Spurs. They host Game 3 on Tuesday night.

Tony Parker had 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting for the Spurs, who were so precise in their 92-88 victory in Game 1 but threw the ball all over the white-surrounded court Sunday, committing 17 turnovers that led to 19 Miami points…

Tim Duncan shot 3 of 13 and finished with nine points and 11 rebounds…

The Spurs had only four turnovers in Game 1, tying an NBA Finals record low. But they surpassed that total in the first quarter, Parker committing two of their five after not coughing it up once in the opener, and the Spurs looked more like the sloppy Indiana Pacers from Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals than the Spurs of Game 1.

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

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