Archive for June 21st, 2013

The Heat will have their championship parade Monday, and city officials say fans will not be allowed to carry backpacks.

An estimated 400,000 fans packed the route last season after the Heat won the 2012 title. The parade will be followed by an event for season-ticket holders at the team’s home arena, where the parade will end.

Several major events have not allowed fans to carry backpacks or bags of a certain size after the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year, including the Penn Relays and horse racing’s Triple Crown races.

Reported by the Associated Press

doc rivers

The Clippers will make another effort Monday to try to complete a deal with the Boston Celtics for Coach Doc Rivers, said NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The Clippers and Celtics talked again Friday but couldn’t make a deal.

“I think there is still some life left in it,” one executive said. “The door is not closed yet on getting a deal done.”

The Clippers won’t budge on their current offer of a second-round draft pick for the rights to Rivers, the executives said.

However, Boston wants a 2014 first-round pick for Rivers, the executives said, because that is considered a very good draft class.

Reported by Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times

San Antonio Spurs deserve respect

Gregg Popovich

“I couldn’t love our guys more,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after a gut-wrenching Game 7 defeat. “What they accomplished this year is something nobody would have ever expected. And they showed a lot of mental toughness and a lot of good play to get where they got. And I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The Spurs are good for the game. Their professionalism and graciousness and talent have graced The Finals stage across NBA generations. They’ve bridged the gap from Jordan to Kobe and now to LeBron, winning four championships along the way.

This group, led from the start of this run by Tim Duncan and Pop, may never get its fifth. The reality that no one wanted to talk about, as Thursday night turned into early Friday, is staring the Spurs in the face.

“I’m not going to think about next season,” Popovich said. “I’m going to enjoy what they accomplished this season and feel badly about the loss all at the same time. I don’t know how you do that, but I’ll figure it out.”

San Antonio reached The Finals for the fifth time since 1999 going through a watered-down West, as potentials foils like Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook, especially Westbrook, fell by the injury wayside.

Reported by Art Garcia of Fox Sports Southwest

The Wizards latest workout session with NBA Draft hopefuls doubled as a nightmarish trip down memory lane for fans of the Maryland and Georgetown men’s basketball programs. If former Michigan State guard Korie Lucious or Ohio’s all-time assists leader D.J. Cooper start their pro careers in Washington, perhaps they can make it up to those crossover supporters by serving key backup minutes behind John Wall.

The engaging Lucious, who played his senior season at Iowa State, extended a playful olive branch after the lengthy workout and speaking with Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Randy Wittman. Told that some locals might not be happy with him, the solidly built 5-foot-11 senior immediately knew the cause.

“Ah, the Maryland shot,” said Lucious, his smile expanding while thinking back to March 21, 2010. As a sophomore, his buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the top of the key pushed Michigan State past the Terps and into the round of 16.

Reported by Ben Standing of CSN Washington

erik spoelstra

The White House says President Barack Obama has congratulated the Miami Heat’s head coach on winning the NBA championship the second year in a row.

Obama called Coach Erik Spoelstra on Friday afternoon. The White House says Obama pointed out the team’s relentless determination and noted it was a historic season for the team and for its MVP, LeBron James.

The White House says Obama told the coach that he’ll have the team to the White House to congratulate them in person on their victory.

Reported by the Associated Press

Nemanja Nedovic got his first taste of the NBA on Friday, and it came on the Milwaukee Bucks’ practice floor at the Cousins Center.

The 6-foot-4 Serbian guard was part of a draft workout that also included former Marquette guard Vander Blue and four others, including Serbian center Dejan Musli.

Nedovic is an athletic guard who is projected to be selected somewhere in the second round of Thursday’s NBA draft.

“Since it was my first workout, my first time in the States, it was very exciting,” Nedovic said.

He said his arrival in the U.S. was delayed about a week after he suffered an ankle injury in the adidas EuroCamp in Italy. He returned to Belgrade for some treatment before making the trip to the U.S.

Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Denver Nuggets have named Ben Tenzer as director of team operations, team president Josh Kroenke announced today.

Tenzer, a University of Colorado graduate, will work closely with Kroenke and general manager/executive vice president of basketball operations Tim Connelly on day-to-day operations, with a focus on salary cap management and the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Tenzer joins the Nuggets after receiving his law degree from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. He worked for the Nuggets as an legal extern last summer, conducting detailed contract, salary cap and CBA analysis, as well as writing contracts for newly acquired and re-signed players.

For the past eight years, Tenzer has served as the League Operations Coordinator for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. He also has overseen day-to-day operations as Event Coordinator for the Adidas Nations Camp since 2010.

Tenzer also served as minor league coordinator for the Nuggets from 2005-09, and he gained experience in sports management while working as a legal assistant for the Wasserman Media Group in 2010.

In addition, Tenzer took part in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program as an instructor in South Africa and Senegal in 2007 and 2008.

Dwight Howard

Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant told 710 ESPN Los Angeles this week that the team needs to re-sign center Dwight Howard, who is set to be a free agent on July 1.

“Those guys are hard to find, they don’t grow on trees,” Bryant said of Howard. “When you have someone like that with his talent level, you have to be able to keep him and lock him in with this franchise.”

Teams including the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers have been rumored as being among the teams that will pursue Howard.

Reported by the Sports Xchange

According to TiVo Research and Analytics, the top 5 most-watched moments of Heat vs Spurs NBA Finals Game 7 were:

1.     Game Clock 00:27:09 4th Quarter: On a crucial possession to put the game in reach, Manu Ginobili inbounds the ball to Tim Duncan. Duncan hands the ball back to Ginoboli who then streaks toward the baseline. Chris Bosh keeps Ginobili under the basket, forcing him to pass to Tim Duncan. LeBron James elevates and intercepts the pass, is fouled and is sent to the free throw line. LeBron makes both free throws increasing Miami’s lead by six.

2.     Game Clock 00:39 4th Quarter: Miami has a chance to make it a two possession game with nearly 30 seconds to go. LeBron James gets the inbounds pass and calmly lets a few seconds come off the clock. James makes his move inside the 3-point line and pulls up for an 18 foot jump shot. Everyone in the arena is on their feet. The shot goes in and the stadium erupts in a sea of white and celebratory arm raises. “The King” brings another trophy to Miami.

3.     Game Clock 00:23:05 4th Quarter: Following LeBron’s two free throws, Manu Ginobili receives the baseline pass and hurries down the court for a long three point attempt. Dwyane Wade recovers the rebound and is quickly fouled by Danny Green. Wade makes the first free throw, and misses the second off the back of the rim. Shane Battier tips the ball back to Mario Chalmers. The Heat run the clock out to win back to back NBA Championships.

4.     Game Clock 00:46 4th Quarter: With less than a minute left the Spurs have an outstanding opportunity to tie the game up. Tim Duncan has an extreme advantage on the mismatch between himself and Shane Battier. Duncan makes a move to his right hand and rises up in the paint. The shot that he has made in so many clutch situations over his career is off slightly to the right. He gets another opportunity when he reaches over Battier for the tip back but is too strong and air balls.

5.     Game Clock 3:19 4th Quarter: Following the quick transition basket, Tim Duncan has a chance to redeem himself for the unfortunate turnover, and delivers. After posting up on Chris Bosh in the paint, Duncan throws up an off-balance one handed floater, banks it in, and gets the foul (makes his free throw).

lebron james

Victory in Game 7 brought more than another crown for LeBron James and the Miami Heat. It validated the team and its leader, forever cementing their place among the NBA’s greats.

For the vanquished San Antonio Spurs, it simply compounded the misery of a championship that got away.

James led the Heat to their second straight title, scoring 37 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in a 95-88 victory Thursday night in a tense game that was tight until Miami pulled away in the final minute.

Capping their best season in franchise history - and perhaps the three-superstar system they used to build it - the Heat ran off with the second straight thriller in the NBA’s first championship series to go the distance since 2010.

Two nights after his Game 6 save when the Heat were almost eliminated, James continued his unparalleled run through the basketball world, with two titles and an Olympic gold medal in the last 12 months.

”I work on my game a lot throughout the offseason,” said James, who was MVP for the second straight finals. ”I put a lot of work into it and to be able to come out here and (have) the results happen out on the floor is the ultimate. The ultimate. I’m at a loss for words.”

He made five 3-pointers, defended Tony Parker when he had to, and did everything else that could ever be expected from the best player in the game.

The Heat became the NBA’s first repeat champions since the Lakers in 2009-10, and the first team to beat the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

tim duncan

Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, but missed a shot and follow attempt right under the basket with about 50 seconds left and the Spurs trailing by two…

Wade had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who overcame a scoreless Chris Bosh by getting six 3-pointers and 18 points from Shane Battier…

Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Spurs, who had been 4 for 4 in the championship round. Ginobili had 18 points but Parker managed just 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting…

Game 6 could have shaken the Spurs, who were so close to holding the trophy that officials were preparing the championship presentation before Miami’s rally. The Spurs held a team dinner late that night, figuring the company was better than having to dwell on the defeat alone in their rooms.

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

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