Archive for July, 2013

Washington Wizards sign John Wall to contract extension

The Washington Wizards have agreed to a contract extension with guard John Wall, Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today. The Associated Press reports that “two people familiar with the deal say it’s a max deal, worth about $80 million over five years.”

“Since drafting John with the first overall pick, we have been impressed with his maturation, hard work and commitment to our franchise,” said Monumental Sports and Entertainment Founder, Chairman, Majority Owner and CEO Ted Leonsis. “He is the cornerstone of our team, and we have clearly expressed our desire to build around him well before making it official by re-signing him today. We are extremely confident in his leadership abilities and are excited to see the continued improvement of the team.”

According to the Associated Press, “If Wall hadn’t been able to reach an agreement with the Wizards this offseason, he would have become an unrestricted free agent in 2014. With Wall and a pair of players chosen with the No. 3 overall picks in the past two drafts - shooting guard Bradley Beal and small forward Otto Porter - the Wizards are hoping they will be more competitive.”

Wall was originally selected by Washington with the first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. He holds career averages of 16.9 points, 8.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 35.8 minutes per game in 184 career games (172 starts). Those numbers place him with Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Chris Paul as the only players in NBA history who have averaged or are currently averaging at least 16 points, eight assists and four rebounds for their career. He is also one of only four players in NBA history (Johnson, Paul and Damon Stoudamire) to average at least 16.5 points, 7.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals over the first three years of their career.

“I am both proud and humbled by the belief that the Wizards organization, the fans and my teammates have shown in me since I arrived here three years ago,” said Wall. “I can promise all of them that I will repay that belief by representing the city of Washington and doing everything I can to get this team back where it belongs.”

Wall, who recently returned from his second consecutive summer as part of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp, is also the fastest player (134 games) in NBA history to reach 2,200 points, 1,000 assists, 600 rebounds, 200 steals and 90 blocks (since steals and blocks became an official stat) and is the fastest active player to reach 900 career assists (111 games).

“John’s talent, ability and athleticism are unquestioned, but he is also a special player in terms of his will to win, unselfishness and ability to make his teammates better,” said Grunfeld. “The impact he has in all of those areas was evident last season and we look forward to both him and the team reaching new levels of success together.”

Last season, Wall averaged a career-high 18.5 points, a team-leading 7.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.7 minutes per game in 49 games (42 starts) after missing the first 33 games of the season due to a stress injury in his left patella. He joined LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the only three players in the NBA last season to average at least 22.0 points, 7.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals from March 1 through the end of the season. Wall was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played March 11-17 after averaging 24.0 points, 11.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game while shooting .617 from the field, .800 from three-point range and .857 from the line while leading the Wizards to a 3-1 record. He scored a career-high 47 points vs. Memphis on March 25 and became the first player in NBA history to average at least 24 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals, shoot at least .600 from the field, .800 from three-point range and .850 from the line in a four-game span.

USA Basketball today officially announced that it has agreed to relocate to Tempe, Arizona, as part of a $350 million development project. USA Place, LLC, has been selected to develop a new national headquarters and training center for USA Basketball on a 10.5-acre site located next to Arizona State University’s Tempe campus on land owned by ASU at the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive.

In addition to the USA Basketball headquarters and training center, USA Place will also include a 4,500-seat event center, as well as a 330-room Omni Hotel and 30,000-square-foot conference center, 500 luxury apartments, 160,000 square feet of retail and up to 200,000 square feet of office space, including the new home for Arizona Interscholastic Association events.

USA Basketball’s Board of Directors approved the relocate at a Board meeting on July 25.The $350 million mixed-use commercial development plan is subject to Tempe City Council and Arizona Board of Regents final approval of development agreements.

“This is an exciting and an incredible opportunity that offers nothing but positives for USA Basketball,” said USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo. “USA Place will offer USA Basketball an excellent site for the development of its office headquarters, a training center and event center that will provide the organization with a first-class site for hosting junior level events and will allow USA Basketball to continue to evolve.

“The new USA Basketball headquarters and training center will be first-class, state of art facilities, something I know we will be very proud of.”

Carmelo Anthony not pondering future just yet

Anthony led the Knicks to 54 wins and their first Atlantic Division title in 19 years last season. But the Knicks were beaten in the second round by Indiana.

The Knicks have made some changes that they hope will provide Anthony help on both ends of the floor and get them deeper into the postseason. They signed Metta World Peace, acquired Andrea Bargnani from Toronto and re-signed J.R. Smith, Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin.

Anthony was asked whether this season will determine his long-term future as a Knick.

“I can’t do that,” Anthony said. “It’s too tough right now.”

Tough is a word that describes the competition in the Eastern Conference.

Reported by Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday

Guard Gary Neal excited to join Bucks

Guard Gary Neal excited to join Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks announced the signings of free-agent guard Gary Neal and rookie forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, the team’s first-round draft pick, on Tuesday.

Neal signed a two-year deal worth $6.5 million, while Antetokounmpo will make more than $3.6 million in the first two years of his rookie-scale deal, including about $1.8 million next season…

Neal was a key reserve for the San Antonio Spurs the past three seasons and sank 6 three-pointers in the Spurs’ rout of Miami in Game 3 of the NBA Finals in June…

“I wasn’t really surprised,” Neal said Tuesday. “My family loved San Antonio and I had a great three years. I will be forever grateful to Coach Pop (Gregg Popovich) and (Spurs general manager) R.C. Buford for giving me a chance to live out my dream in the NBA… But it is a business. Milwaukee was the best situation for me and I’m excited.”

Reported by Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Knicks and Nets willl both play on Christmas, but Santa Claus isn’t gifting New York an inter-city match up.

A league source told the Daily News that the Knicks are tentatively scheduled to host Kevin Durant and the Thunder on X-Mas, the same day Brooklyn plays the Bulls at the Barclays Center.

The official NBA schedule won’t be released until next week.

The Knicks and Nets, according to a source, are slated to face off on Martin Luther King Day - one of four match ups between the division foes next season.

Reported by Frank Isola and Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News

Grizzlies welcome back Mike Miller

Miller was introduced at a midday news conference at the FedExForum, where fans and backers joined in welcoming him back to town. Miller drew applause from backers as he walked out with new head coach Dave Joerger and a standing ovation after the event.

We are extraordinarily pleased to welcome Mike Miller back to Memphis,” Levien said in a statement announcing the signing. “Mike is a special figure in our community both on and off the court. Mike is an elite 3-point shooter, as Grizzlies fans know firsthand, and we expect his shooting, play-making, hustle and leadership to be a key component in our team competing with the best in the NBA next season.”

Miller still holds eight franchise records with the Grizzlies, including 3-point shooting percentage and the most 3s made and attempted. He spent parts of six seasons with the Grizzlies from 2003 through 2008. He helped the Heat win the past two NBA titles, and has shot 41 percent from 3-point range in his 13 NBA seasons.

He will collect more than $12 million in salary from the Heat over the next two seasons.

Reported by Clay Bailey of the Associated Press

Brandon Jennings

The Pistons weren’t done wheeling and dealing, as Pistons president and Louisiana native Joe Dumars returned to his riverboat gambler ways, acquiring point guard Brandon Jennings in a sign-and-trade from the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Pistons traded Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton and Slava Kravtsov for Jennings and will have him for the next three years at $24 million total.

Mind you, this was not too far removed from Dumars demonstratively denying any talks with the Bucks, run by good friend and former Pistons executive John Hammond.

Meaning he plays poker, too. In acquiring Jennings and Josh Smith, there’s two talented but mercurial players who could be termed as “wild cards.”

Chemistry is indeed a fair question, but considering the Pistons got two players for far less than they felt they’d command on the open market — Smith wanted a max contract and Jennings wanted $12 million per season — they should have two players with things to prove to the NBA at large.

A willingness to silence critics should make potential sacrifices a lot easier in what’s an interesting mix of talent, youth and experience in the Pistons’ locker room.

Reported by Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News

Brandon Jennings happy to be a Piston

Brandon Jennings happy to become Piston

Jennings will be sign-and-traded and will ink a three-year, $25 million U.S. contract.

The Compton, Cal. native was in town at the behest of good friend and fellow L.A. NBAer Amir Johnson, of the Raptors for the OVO Bounce Tournament at Ryerson’s Kerr Hall.

Jennings declined to say much, saying he wants to “stay under the radar for now,” but did admit “I’m happy” about the trade.

Reported by Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun

Lakers

For a brief moment, Magic Johnson didn’t appear in the mood to laugh or smile. That’s because the famed Laker couldn’t help but acknowledge the unsettling reality surrounding the purple and gold, including their championship aspirations and the rehab surrounding Kobe Bryant’s torn left Achilles tendon.

“It’s going to be a tough season especially with Kobe being out,” Johnson said in an interview with this newspaper before a recent brunch at the Skirball Cultural Center for his self-named foundation. “Kobe has to get back healthy. That’s the key. If Kobe is back healthy, are they a legitimate championship team? I don’t think so. Are they a playoff team? I think they can be a playoff team if he’s back healthy. It’s all up to Kobe and his health status.”

Bryant hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his injury, even traveling to Italy in recent weeks while fitting in his rehab work. But contrary to the recent optimism expressed from Lakers executive vice president of player personnel Jim Buss, Bryant isn’t expected to return during training camp. When Bryant suffered the injury April 12 against Golden State, the Lakers estimated he’d stay out at least for six to nine months. That timetable hasn’t changed. Bryant also has publicly circled November or December as his return, keeping the possibility he could play by or near the season opener.

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

Original Knick Benjamin “Ossie” Schectman, the man credited with scoring the first basket in NBA history died Tuesday, the team announced. Schectman was 94.

Born in Queens May 30, 1919, Schectman played at Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn and was an All-American at Long Island University, where he helped the Blackbirds win the NIT championship in 1939 and 1941. He was a first-team All-American in 1941.

Schectman, a 6-foot guard played in the American Basketball League with the Philadelphia Sphas - whose nickname came from the South Philadelphia Hebrew Association - before the Knicks signed him in 1946 to play in the new Basketball Association of America, which later became the NBA.

Reported by Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday

Dallas Mavericks expected to add DeJuan Blair

The Mavericks envision DeJuan Blair as a better-fitting version of Elton Brand.

Like Brand last season, the Mavs will count on the 6-foot-7, 265-pound Blair to provide a healthy dose of toughness as a vertically-challenged, wide-bodied banger who will play the vast majority of his minutes at center. They believe Blair, who averaged 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game during his four seasons in San Antonio, addresses a glaring need for some nastiness on the roster.

They also think the 24-year-old Blair, who is on the verge of signing with Dallas, fits better with the Mavs’ personnel on the offensive end than the 34-year-old Brand did. The reasoning: Blair is a roller; Brand is a popper.

Reported by Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas

Milwaukee Bucks sign guard Gary Neal

Milwaukee Bucks sign guard Gary Neal

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed free agent Gary Neal (6-4, 210), General Manager John Hammond announced today. According to USA Today, it is a two-year deal worth nearly $3 million per season.

The 28-year-old guard has played three seasons in the NBA for the San Antonio Spurs (2010-13), where he averaged 9.7 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 21.4 minutes per game over his career. His .865 free throw percentage (64-74) during 2012-13 was a career and team high. In the 2013 NBA Playoffs, Neal and Danny Green became the first two teammates to make at least six 3-pointers in the same Finals game. That 6-for-10 effort from behind the arc on June 11 vs. Miami was a career postseason high for him.

Neal played overseas in Italy, Spain and Turkey for three seasons prior to joining the NBA. Undrafted, he was a member of the Spurs 2010 Summer League team before earning a permanent spot on San Antonio’s roster. The Towson University product made an immediate impact during his first year, becoming just the second undrafted rookie in NBA history to earn All-Rookie First Team honors. He was also selected to play on the Rookie team in the 2011 Rookie Challenge during All-Star Weekend, becoming just the sixth undrafted rookie in NBA history to participate in that event. Additionally, Neal broke San Antonio’s rookie record for 3-point field goal percentage (.419) and 3-point field goals made (129).

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed first round draft pick guard/forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAHN-iss ahn-teh-toe-KUHN-poe), General Manager John Hammond announced today.

All players selected in the first round of the NBA draft are guaranteed to receive a contract. So, this signing is standard and was expected.

The 15th overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, Antetokounmpo (6-9, 210), joins the Bucks after spending the 2012-13 season with Filathlitikos (Greece) where he averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 26 games. He posted a season-high 23 points vs. Irakleuo Crete and grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds vs. GS Laviro.

Most recently, Antetokounmpo represented Greece in the Sportland U20 European Championships, averaging 8.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest. Helping Greece to an 8-2 record and fifth place overall finish, he finished the tournament ranked second in defensive rebounds (7.0) and seventh in blocked shots (1.4).

Mike Miller is back on the Memphis Grizzlies

The Memphis Grizzlies signed two-time NBA champion Mike Miller, the team announced today.

Although capable of starting for stretches of games, Miller at this advanced point in his career is better-suited as a backup to provide bench depth.

The signing reunites the Grizzlies with the sharpshooter, who still owns eight major franchise records after playing five-plus seasons in Memphis from 2002-08.

“We are extraordinarily pleased to welcome Mike Miller back to Memphis,” Grizzlies Chief Executive Officer Jason Levien said. “Mike is a special figure in our community due to his contributions both on and off the court. Mike is an elite three-point shooter, as Grizzlies fans know first-hand, and we expect his shooting, play-making, hustle and leadership to be a key component in our team competing with the best in the NBA next season.”

Miller (6-8, 218) has spent the last three seasons with the Miami Heat, where he helped the club to three consecutive NBA Finals and win back-to-back NBA championships in 2012 and 2013. Miller scored 23 points and went 7-of-8 from three-point range against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the championship-clinching Game 5 of the 2012 NBA Finals. He made 9-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first three games against the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals, which Miami won in seven games. In 25 career NBA Finals games, Miller has shot 25-of-47 from long range (.532).

Before winning two titles in Miami, Miller starred for five-plus seasons for Memphis, averaging 14.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.0 three-pointers made on .477 shooting (.415 3FG shooting) in 32.0 minutes in 371 games (277 starts) with the Grizzlies from 2002-08. Traded by Orlando to Memphis on Feb. 19, 2003, Miller teamed with current Grizzlies center Marc Gasol’s older brother Pau to guide the Grizzlies to their first three playoff appearances (2004, 2005 and 2006). He was honored as the NBA Sixth Man of the Year during the 2005-06 season, his only season with the Grizzlies in which he had more reserve appearances than starts.

Miller holds franchise career records for three-point field goal percentage (.415), three-point field goals made (737) and attempted (1,778). He also holds the single-season franchise record for three-point percentage (.433 in 2004-05) and three-pointers made and attempted (202 and 498 in 2006-07).

In addition, Miller holds the Grizzlies records for points in a game (career-high 45 on Feb. 21, 2007 at Golden State) and three-pointers made in a game (career-best nine on Jan. 3, 2007 vs. Golden State and Feb. 21, 2007 at Golden State).

He also ranks in the top 10 among franchise career leaders for points (5,403, 5th), assists (1,221, 5th), scoring average (8th), games started (8th), games played (9th) and rebounds (1,813, 10th).

Among Miller’s other Grizzlies highlights are a triple-double off the bench (21 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) on Jan. 10, 2006 vs. Sacramento, the first triple-double ever by a Memphis player, and a 41-point performance off the bench on March 17, 2006 vs. Denver, setting the club record for points in a game by a reserve. He converted two four-point plays in the same game on Dec. 14, 2007 vs. LA Clippers.

Miller enjoyed the two highest-scoring seasons of his career during the 2006-07 season (career-high 18.5 points) and the 2007-08 campaign (16.4 points). Following the 2007-08 season, Memphis traded Miller with Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins and the draft rights to Kevin Love (5th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft) to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the draft rights to O.J. Mayo (3rd overall), Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric and Greg Buckner on June 26, 2008.

He spent the 2008-09 season in Minnesota and the following year with the Washington Wizards before signing with Miami as a free agent on July 15, 2010.

The 33-year-old, who ranks 20th in NBA history in career three-point field goal percentage (.406) and 22nd in career three-point field goals made (1,424), rejoins a Grizzlies team that made the Western Conference Finals last season but finished last in the league in both three-point makes (382) and attempts (1,107) and placed 24th in three-point percentage (.345).

Miller owns career averages of 12.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 three-pointers made on .461 shooting (.406 3FG shooting) in 831 games (549 starts) in 13 seasons with Orlando, Memphis, Minnesota, Washington and Miami. After leading the University of Florida to the 2000 NCAA Championship Game as a sophomore, Miller was drafted by Orlando in the first round (5th overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft and was named the 2000-01 NBA Rookie of the Year. He won a gold medal with USA Basketball men’s national team at the FIBA Americas Championship 2007 in Las Vegas.

Off the court, the Mitchell, S.D. native is known for his outstanding charitable efforts in the Memphis community, especially to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Miller donated $200,000 to St. Jude on May 28, 2008, the largest-ever donation to St. Jude by a Grizzlies player. In honor of Miller and his wife Jennifer’s donation, St. Jude named its exercise room the Mason and Mavrick Miller Fitness Room after the Millers’ two sons. They also have one daughter, Jaelyn.

Charlotte Bobcats re-sign Gerald Henderson

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced today that the team has re-signed guard Gerald Henderson. According to the Charlotte Observer, Henderson agreed to a three-year contract with a total value of $18 million and has the option to terminate that contract after the 2014-15 season.

“We are incredibly pleased that Gerald will remain a part of our team,” Higgins said. “He is a player that we consider an important piece of our core. He has shown significant improvement over the past two seasons and we are confident that he will continue to play a key role for our team.”

Initially selected by the Bobcats with the 12th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Henderson played in 68 games last season and averaged career highs of 15.5 points, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steal, along with 3.7 rebounds, in 31.4 minutes per game. He posted single-season career bests in scoring (1,055), rebounds (250), assists (177), steals (68), blocks (34), field goals (382), three-point field goals (33), three-point percentage (.330), free throws (258), free-throw percentage (.824) and minutes played (2,133).

Henderson concluded the 2012-13 campaign with 24 straight double-figure scoring games, recording the longest streak of his career and the longest by a Bobcats player since the 2010-11 season. Over the final 21 games of the season, he averaged 23.9 points on .475 shooting and .855 free-throw shooting, to go with 4.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He scored 20 points or more in 10 of the last 21 games, with three games of 30 points or more, including a career-high 35 points on two occasions.

In four seasons with the Bobcats, Henderson has played in 234 career games with averages of 11.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.6 minutes, while shooting .448 from the field and .792 from the free-throw line.

The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent guard/forward Alan Anderson, General Manager Billy King announced today.

“We are pleased to add Alan to our roster,” said King. “He is a versatile player who will add flexibility to our rotation.”

Anderson, a four-year NBA veteran, averaged career-highs in points (10.7 per game), rebounds (2.3) and assists (1.6) in 65 games (two starts) last season for the Toronto Raptors. Undrafted out of Michigan State, Anderson began his career playing the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons with the Charlotte Bobcats, appearing in 53 games (seven starts). The Minneapolis native spent the next four seasons pursuing a successful career abroad with teams in Italy, Russia, Israel, Croatia, China and Spain, highlighted by being named the Croatian Cup MVP in 2009 and the MVP of the Spanish Cup in 2011. The 30-year-old holds career NBA averages of 8.6 points and 2.1 rebounds in 135 NBA contests (21 starts).

Dallas Mavericks sign first round draft pick Shane Larkin

The Dallas Mavericks announced today they have signed 18th overall pick Shane Larkin, who is currently injured.

All players drafted in the first round are guaranteed to receive a contract. This signing was expected and is standard.

The Mavericks acquired the draft rights to Larkin from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Jared Cunningham, the draft rights to 44th overall pick Mike Muscala and the draft rights to 16th overall pick Lucas Nogueira, which were acquired along with two 2014 second round picks from Boston in exchange for the draft rights to the 13th overall pick Kelly Olynyk.

Larkin (5-11, 176) led the Miami Hurricanes to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and postseason championships last season en route to being named the ACC Player of the Year, ACC Tournament MVP, Lute Olsen National Player of the Year and Second Team All-American by Associated Press.

The sophomore point guard averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 36 games. He led his team in points, assists and steals while placing in the ACC’s Top 10 in assists, steals, minutes and three-point field goals.

Larkin did not participate with the Mavericks at the Las Vegas Summer League after sustaining an injury to his right ankle in practice. Larkin underwent ankle surgery on July 16. The recovery time is approximately three months.

Atlanta Hawks sign Gustavo Ayon off waivers

The Atlanta Hawks have been awarded forward/center Gustavo Ayon on a waiver claim, President of Basketball Operations/GM Danny Ferry announced today.

Ayon, 28, spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic during the 2012-13 season and averaged 3.7 points on .551 shooting, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 13.4 minutes in 55 games (three starts). The 6-foot-10, 250-pounder started the season with the Orlando Magic, posting averages of 3.6 points on .536 shooting and 3.3 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game (43 games, three starts) before being traded on Feb. 21st to Milwaukee as part of a six-player trade. He increased his averages to 4.3 points on .595 shooting and 4.9 rebounds in 13.6 minutes in 12 games with the Bucks.

“Gustavo has a high basketball IQ and is a hard-nosed player,” Ferry said. “He gives us quality depth at the power forward and center positions.”

As a rookie in 2011-12, Gustavo Ayon (goo-STAH-voh eye-OWN) played in 54 games (24 starts) with the New Orleans Hornets and averaged 5.9 points on .536 shooting, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.9 blocks and 1.0 steal in 20.1 minutes per game. He ranked in the top 10 among all NBA rookies in field goal percentage (second), rebounding (fifth), blocked shots (fifth) and steals (seventh).

“I am very excited to join the Atlanta Hawks,” Ayon said. “I had a great conversation with Coach Budenholzer and can’t wait to get to the city, meet my teammates and get to work. Vamos Hawks!”

Ayon is just the third Mexican-born player in NBA history, following Horacio Llamas and Eduardo Najera. Prior to playing in the NBA, he played professionally overseas in Mexico, Venezuela and Spain.

marcus camby

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has re-signed unrestricted free agent center Marcus Camby.

With center Dwight Howard now in a Rockets uniform, Camby will likely be called upon to play very limited backup minutes off the bench, as a rebounder and defender.

Camby (6-11, 240, Massachusetts), who was previously acquired by Houston from the Portland Trail Blazers on Mar. 15, 2012, averaged 7.1 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.53 blocks in 19 games (13 starts) with the Rockets in 2011-12. He was sent by Houston to the New York Knicks in a sign-and-trade on July 11, 2012. Camby, who appeared in 24 outings and three playoff games with the Knicks in 2012-13, was traded to the Toronto Raptors on July 10, 2013, and subsequently waived on July 17.

Overall, Camby owns career averages of 9.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.40 blocks and 0.99 steals in 973 games (786 starts) with Toronto (1996-98), New York (1998-2002, 2012-13), the Denver Nuggets (2002-08), the L.A. Clippers (2008-10), Portland (2010-12) and Houston (2011-12). Heading into his 18th NBA campaign, Camby returns to the Rockets ranked 12th all-time on the NBA’s career list for blocked shots (2,331) and 13th all-time in blocks per game (2.40). He was voted the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2006-07 and is a four-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection, earning First-Team accolades twice (2006-07 and 2007-08) and Second-Team two times (2004-05 and 2005-06). Camby also stands as the NBA’s seventh-active leading rebounder (9.8). He was originally selected by the Raptors with the second overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, going on to earn First-Team NBA All-Rookie honors in 1996-97.

Philadelphia 76ers hire Chris Heck as Chief Revenue Officer

The Philadelphia 76ers today announced that long-time industry executive Chris Heck has been named the organization’s new Chief Revenue Officer, effective immediately. In this role, Heck will implement strategies and oversee all initiatives related to revenue growth for the Sixers, including corporate partnerships, ticketing and premium sales.

“I am thrilled to have Chris join us at the Sixers as we continue to build and grow this organization,” said Chief Executive Officer Scott O’Neil. “Chris brings a wealth of experience and tremendous relationships to the team, and has worked in-market with the Philadelphia Eagles and Comcast-Spectacor – a background that is invaluable in his new role. Having Chris here instantly raises the ceiling for our business potential in the coming years.”

Most recently, Heck served as the President of Business Operations for the New York Red Bulls (MLS), where he oversaw the business and commercial facets of the team and Red Bull Arena.

Prior to the Red Bulls, Heck spent seven years with the National Basketball Association (NBA) as senior vice president in the teams best practices group, team marketing and business operations. During his tenure with the league, he advised NBA teams on ticket sales and service, sponsorship development and marketing; managed the NBA’s Canadian business; and oversaw marketing for USA Basketball’s Senior Men’s and Women’s National Teams.

Before his tenure with the league, Heck was vice president and general manager for Villanova Sports Properties, where he managed Villanova Athletics’ corporate partnerships on all platforms. Additional roles have included director of corporate sales and service for the Miami Heat, and corporate sales and training camp supervisor for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Heck holds a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University.

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