Archive for June 15th, 2013

San Antonio Spurs veteran guard Manu Ginobili told reporters Saturday he is contemplating retiring at the end of the season.

Ginobili is in the final year of his contract and will be 36 in July. He has dealt with a variety of injuries in recent years.

“All season long I kind of knew that I was going to play one or two more years,” he said. “But when you are 36 — I’m going to be 36 pretty soon — everything is a day-by-day basis. Once the season finishes and I see how I feel, I can’t imagine me not playing at least one more year here, but time will tell. We’ll see.”

– Reported by the Sports Xchange

Kevin Garnett

The Boston Celtics are deep in discussions with the Los Angeles Clippers on a blockbuster deal to send coach Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett to Los Angeles, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The final hurdle of a deal centers on the Clippers’ willingness to include guard Eric Bledsoe into a trade package with Boston, sources said.

Boston and Los Angeles are discussing a package that will send DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks to the Celtics for Garnett and the right to hire Rivers as coach, sources said.

Garnett will waive his no-trade clause to go to the Clippers, where he’ll be reunited with Rivers and likely Celtics assistant Ty Lue, sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports

sacramento kings

In a surprise twist, Nuggets assistant general manager Pete D’Alessandro, considered a top candidate for the Denver GM job, instead has agreed to take the GM job with the Sacramento Kings. Nuggets president Josh Kroenke confirmed the report tweeted by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Kings, under new ownership, have a revitalized spirit and are have been looking to lock in budding talent such as D’Alessandro and coach Mike Malone.

It’s unclear what direction the Nuggets will go now. One name floated out is Tony Di Leo, a former Philadelphia executive.

Previously asked about D’Alessandro, friend and former Golden State exec Chris Mullin said: “He’s the ideal guy. He’s got the experience now and he’s the whole package. He’s like one of the players that you don’t see coming, like (the Pacers’) Paul George, a star in the making. He knows his strengths, he empowers people around him. I loved working with him.”

Reported by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post

Darvin Ham

The Atlanta Hawks have named Darvin Ham as an assistant coach, Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer announced today. Ham spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“Darvin has a great feel for the game and knows what it takes for a team to be successful and compete at a high level,” Budenholzer said. “He was a smart player who played with intensity and toughness every night and he has gone about coaching the same way.”

Prior to his stint with the Lakers, Ham was the head coach of the New Mexico Thunderbirds of the NBA Development League in 2010-11 and an assistant coach with the Thunderbirds from 2008-10. As a player, the eight-year veteran appeared in 417 career games (45 starts) with Denver, Indiana, Washington, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Detroit, averaging 2.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.4 minutes (.518 FG%). He also played in 55 postseason games (with the Bucks and Pistons; 11 starts), putting up 1.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 7.4 minutes (.569 FG%), starting 11 times.

He was a member of the Hawks during the 2002-03 season, playing in 75 contests, and averaging 2.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 12.3 minutes (.447 FG%). The Saginaw, MI native starred collegiately at Texas Tech.

Mike Miller

Erik Spoelstra indicated that he was pleased with how his lineup change worked out, with Mike Miller replacing Udonis Haslem to open Game 4.

“We feel this is the best move for now,” he said.

Though Miller went scoreless in 21 minutes and missed his only shot, “it was as impactful an 0-for-1 game as you can have in the Finals,” Spoelstra said. “Mike brings so many things on both ends of the court. There’s always a risk when you make moves like that.”

Popovich felt compelled to counter the Heat’s small lineup by replacing center Tiago Splitter with Neal just 47 seconds into the game.

“That wasn’t our intention,” Spoelstra said. “We’re not trying to play chess with guys to see if they blink first.”

Reported by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald

manu ginobili

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Friday he is concerned about the ongoing struggles of guard Manu Ginobili.

“Of course I am,” he said. “He’s having a tough playoffs. He hasn’t found a rhythm or found his game yet. He’s obviously not as confident as usual. He knows full well he hasn’t performed the way he would like or the way he used to.”

But Popovich added: “It’s simplistic to say: ‘What are you going to do to get him going?’ He’s either going to get himself going or he won’t. He knows he has to play better for us to be successful.”

Ginobili scored five points on 1-for-5 shooting in 25 minutes in Game 4. He is averaging just 7.5 points in the series on 34.5 percent shooting, well below his regular-season numbers of 11.8 points and 42.5 percent accuracy.

“Yes, I am surprised,” said Ginobili, whose playoff averages have dipped to the lowest points since his rookie season in 2002-03 (10.6 points, 37.7 percent shooting).

“I wish I could score more, but it’s not happening. I have to do other stuff. … I don’t have to force the issue.”

Reported by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald

Jonas Jerebko

With every new coach comes change and it’s likely none of the Detroit Pistons welcomes that more than Jonas Jerebko.

The veteran forward spent much of last season in former coach Lawrence Frank’s doghouse, getting buried on the bench for long stretches as the Pistons missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

Now, with Maurice Cheeks in place as the 33rd coach in Pistons’ history, Jerebko feels like he’s got a new lease on his professional life.

Like everybody else, he’s starting fresh with Cheeks.

“It feels good,” Jerebko said Thursday after Cheeks was introduced during a press conference at The Palace. “I want to start playing right now and it’s June. I’m just excited for a fresh start.”

No wonder.

After missing just four of 148 games during his first two NBA seasons, Jerebko saw action in 49 of 82 last season.

Reported by Brendan Savage of Michigan Live

Bucks director of scouting Billy McKinney recently said the team is looking for wing players with shooting ability.

And two of the top draft prospects fitting that description will work out for the Bucks on Saturday at the Cousins Center: 6-foot-6 Georgia sophomore Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Providence’s Ricky Ledo.

Also included in the workout session are Southern Mississippi shooting guard Dwayne Davis, Florida State shooting guard Michael Snaer and Oklahoma power forward Amath M’Baye. Minnesota’s Rodney Williams was a late scratch and replaced by Milwaukee native Tyrone Gordon, a guard who played at Dakota State.

The Bucks may have to trade up if they want to grab Caldwell-Pope, who has impressed in other team workouts and at the league’s draft combine in May. The Minnesota Timberwolves, with the No. 9 pick, and Portland Trail Blazers, drafting No. 10, both are thought to have serious interest in Caldwell-Pope.

Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Former professional women’s basketball player and Olympic gold medal winner Chamique Holdsclaw will have to take anger management classes after pleading guilty to charges that she shot into a player’s car and smashed the windows with a baseball bat, prosecutors said on Saturday.

Holdsclaw, 35, pleaded guilty on Friday to aggravated assault, criminal damage and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, prosecutors said. She will be on probation for the next three years.

The charges stem from a Nov. 13 incident involving Holdsclaw and Jennifer Lacy, a player for the Tulsa Shock Women’s National Basketball Association team.

Reported by David Beasley of Reuters

Gregg Popovich

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is known in NBA circles as a man of few words and the curt speaker has been in top form at this year’s Finals.

With media seeking sound bites during a two-day break in a best-of-seven series that is tied 2-2, the two-time NBA coach of the year was in no mood to deviate from his often hilarious style.

“I’d hate to be trite and say anything is possible. Your question demands my triteness,” Popovich told a news conference on Saturday when asked about his strategy for Sunday’s Game Five against the defending champion Miami Heat.

The crusty 64-year-old cut off another reporter mid-question when he was asked to offer his perspective on the state of the game of basketball.

“You’re not serious. You want me to talk about the state of the NBA?” Popovich replied.

Reported by Frank Pingue of the Associated Press

Clippers coaching search continues

Doc Rivers

The Clippers’ coaching carousel took many turns this week, as the team interviewed three candidates for their opening, while a fourth coach — Doc Rivers — popped up high on their wish list, said several NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The Clippers began by interviewing Indiana associate head coach Brian Shaw on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Clippers’ front office interviewed former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott, followed by former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, who was in Los Angeles on Thursday and Friday.

But the real buzz in NBA circles involved the Clippers and Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers, who both expressed some interest in each other, according to the executives.

If Rivers were to become available, the Clippers would make him their No. 1 choice to become their head coach, the executives said.

Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times

cj watson

It has been expected since the Nets saw their season end against the Bulls in the first round of the playoffs C.J. Watson would opt-out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.

Nets general manager Billy King all but confirmed that would be the case in a radio interview yesterday.

“I haven’t gotten the official letter yet, but I’m assuming he will,” King said. “Because the salary that he makes, he knows he can get that, and he wants to get more if he can.

“Jason and I have already discussed if that happens, and if we aren’t able to retain him we have some guys in mind that we’d like to replace him with.”

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Jason Kidd

The first time Jason Kidd takes the floor as a head coach won’t be in some NBA arena this fall for the first Nets preseason game.

Instead, it’s going to be in the practice gym inside Orlando’s Amway Center next month, when he takes charge of the Nets entry in the annual Orlando Summer League.

“I think it’s the best thing to get right into it,” Kidd said during one of several radio interviews he did in his first full day as head coach of the Nets. “I know that a lot of times head coaches don’t coach summer league, but this gives me time to work on different parts of the game of learning to be a coach, but also my philosophy and plays and the defensive stuff that I get to put in as my system. So, I get to see if it works [and] if it doesn’t work, what changes I have to make and go from there.”

As Kidd said himself, it’s rare for the head coach of a team to actually run its summer league squad often passing the job off to an assistant.

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Andre Iguodala

Friday produced a trio of newsy Nuggets nuggets — Danilo Gallinari may return as soon as December from knee surgery, Andre Iguodala will opt out of his contract and become a free agent and Lionel Hollins will interview to be the team’s head coach…

As for Iguodala, it wasn’t a shock that he decided to opt out of his contract. Now, it’s just a question of whether he will re-sign with Denver.

The defensive-minded shooting guard would have made close to $16 million this coming season, but instead he chose the free-agent market in July.

If anything, it’s a sign that he’s considering other teams, though Denver can offer Iguodala a five-year deal while other teams can offer at most a four-year contract. Nuggets president Josh Kroenke has spoken highly of Iguodala and has said he will make a push to try to bring him back.

Reported by Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post

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