Archive for August, 2013

Oklahoma City Thunder guard DeAndre Liggins has been jailed on domestic abuse complaints, according to Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office records.

He was taken to the Oklahoma County jail, where he remains, per a jail official. No bond has been set. He is being held on complaints of domestic assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and domestic abuse in the presence of a minor, a jail official said.

Oklahoma City police were called about 4:40 p.m. to the 2300 block of NW 180th near North Pennsylvania Avenue. An official police incident report is not yet available, Lt. Arthur Gregory said.

Reported by The Oklahoman

Reminder from InsideHoops.com: This is just a complaint. Liggins is innocent until proven otherwise.

J.R. Smith says Paul Pierce will pay for his anti-Knicks comments

Paul Pierce has sparked a war of words between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks.

Earlier this month, Pierce said that he believed that the Nets would eventually own New York.

J.R. Smith is the latest Knick to take umbrage to Pierce’s comments.

“I just look at him as a bitter person just getting out of Boston. He doesn’t really know what New York is all about. He’s been playing in Boston his whole career,” Smith told ESPN New York on Saturday.

Smith, speaking without anger in his voice, added: “He just knows, just know that his words have consequences and he’s going to have to pay for them.”

Pierce, an ex-Celtic, said earlier this month that his hatred for the Knicks “has grown a little” since he joined the Nets in July following a blockbuster trade.

Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Still living out of a suitcase in a hotel, Sam Hinkie has yet to really settle in Philadelphia.

But in four months, he’s already become quite comfortable running the 76ers.

Hinkie has already made sweeping changes in his short tenure as Philadelphia’s president and general manager, hiring coach Brett Brown, trading All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday, hoarding future draft picks, and making moves for low-cost, low-risk players who could blossom in the right system.

He’s done it all with the simple mission of turning the Sixers into winners.

Just not this season.

In the NBA, fans like to call down seasons ”tanking,” though the Sixers prefer to call the 2013-14 season simply the first step in a rebuilding process toward the franchise’s first championship since 1983.

Reported by Dan Gelston of the Associated Press

Memphis Grizzlies waive Fab Melo

Memphis Grizzlies waive Fab Melo
Memphis Grizzlies waive Fab Melo

The Memphis Grizzlies have waived center Fab Melo, the team announced today. Melo was originally acquired on August 14, 2013 in exchange for forward Donté Greene.

Entering his second NBA season, Melo (7-0, 255) saw action in six games last season with the Celtics averaging 1.2 points in six minutes per contest. He appeared in 33 games for the NBA Development League’s Maine Red Claws, where he averaged 9.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and a league-high 3.1 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game after being assigned to the Celtics affiliate on Nov. 14.

Drafted by Boston with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, Melo decided to forgo his final two years at Syracuse University after being named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year in his sophomore season. In two seasons at Syracuse, he averaged 4.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on .576 shooting in 17.3 minutes in 63 games (54 starts).

Basketball star Lamar Odom was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence early Friday after a California Highway Patrol officer saw his white Mercedes-Benz traveling erratically on a San Fernando Valley Freeway.

The husband of reality TV star Khloe Kardashian was stopped shortly before 4 a.m. and was arrested after a field sobriety test.

The CHP said Odom’s car was observed traveling in a ‘’serpentine manner” before he pulled off the freeway.

”Mr. Odom showed objective signs of intoxication and was unable to perform field sobriety tests,” the CHP said in a report. Authorities said he later declined to take a chemical test.

Reported by the Associated Press

suns

The Phoenix Suns signed Alex Len, who the team selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

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

Len is a 7-foot-1, 255-pound athletic center, who finished a two-year career in College Park, Maryland, with an Honorable Mention All-ACC season in which he was also named to the All-ACC Defensive team. Born in Antratsit, Ukraine, Len became the highest-drafted Ukrainian in NBA history after seeing huge jumps in production from his freshman to sophomore campaigns, averaging 11.9 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 38 games as a sophomore.

Considered one of the best athletes in this year’s draft, Len is a rim protector with a 7-foot, 4-inch wingspan who recorded an ACC-best 78 blocked shots in 2012-13. Len, 20 years old, shined against some top competition as a sophomore. Matched up against Kentucky early in the season, Len scored a career-high 23 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots. In the ACC Tournament against runner-up North Carolina, scored 20 points, grabbed seven boards, and went 10-of-12 (.833) from the free-throw line. Len posted eight double-digit rebounding efforts as a sophomore, including six double-doubles.

A standout performer for his native Ukraine, Len averaged 16.0 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.3 blocks in nine games at the under-18 European Championships in 2010. A slew of impressive performances on that international stage included a 20-point, 17-rebound, nine-block effort against Germany, and a 24-point, 20-rebound, four-block, four-steal effort against Sweden.

Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers are changing radio stations for the third time in three years.

The Blazers will air all preseason and regular season games on Fox Sports Radio AM 620 during the 2013-14 season, the team announced today.

The Blazers had been on AM 1190 KEX since last August. Both AM 1190 and AM 620 are owned by Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

“We are excited about the opportunity to broadcast our games on a station the offers an all-sports format,” said Trail Blazers President & CEO Chris McGowan. “This transition also allows us to avoid any preemption throughout the course of the season.”

 Reported by Micah Rice of the Columbian 

Shareef Abdur-Rahim named general manager of Reno Bighorns

The Sacramento Kings today announced Shareef Abdur-Rahim as General Manager of the Reno Bighorns, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. Abdur-Rahim, who also holds the role of Director of Player Personnel for the Kings, will oversee basketball operations for the team’s D-League affiliate.

Abdur-Rahim is entering his fourth season in the Kings front office, where he served the previous three as Assistant General Manager after spending the 2009-10 season on the Kings bench as an assistant coach specializing in player development.

Prior to retiring from professional basketball in 2008, the 12-year NBA veteran amassed career averages of 18.1 points (.472 FG%, .297 3FG%, .810 FT%), 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 830 contests for four teams (Vancouver 1996-97 to 2000-01, Atlanta 2001-02 to 2003-04, Portland 2003-04 to 2004-05 and Sacramento 2005-06 to 2007-08). In a five-season stretch from 1997-98 through 2001-02, he posted better than 20 points and seven rebounds per contest, narrowly missing a sixth straight campaign registering such consistency when he recorded 19.9 points and 8.4 rebounds in 2002-03. He was named an NBA All-Star in 2002, finishing the campaign with averages of 21.2 points and 9.0 rebounds, ranking 15th and 13th in the league respectively.

In a related development, D’Alessandro also announced that Chris Gilbert will join Abdur-Rahim in Reno as the Bighorns Assistant General Manager. Gilbert is entering his first season as the Kings Basketball Operations Coordinator, assisting D’Alessandro, Assistant GM Mike Bratz and Abdur-Rahim with all facets of the team’s day-to-day operations.

Before joining the Kings, Gilbert spent eight seasons with the Golden State Warriors organization in a variety of capacities. In his new role with the Bighorns, he will support Abdur-Rahim in all aspects of basketball operations for the Kings D-League affiliate.

The Kings, Reno Bighorns and the NBA Development League announced in July a single-affiliation partnership beginning with the 2013-14 NBA D-League season, making Sacramento the 14th NBA franchise to establish a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.

This partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the seventh of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows the Kings to pay for and control the Bighorns basketball operations, while existing local ownership in Reno maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

Suns trade Caron Butler to Bucks

Suns trade Caron Butler to Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired two-time All-Star forward Caron Butler (6-7, 228) from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for guard Ish Smith (6-0, 175) and center Viacheslav Kravtsov (7-0, 260), General Manager John Hammond announced today.

“We’re very excited to welcome Caron back home,” said Hammond. “He is an accomplished veteran player who started 78 games last season for a 56-win team in Los Angeles. Caron gives us depth at the small forward position and will be a mentor for our younger players.”

According to the Associated Press, “The Suns acquired Butler and point guard Eric Bledsoe from the Clippers on July 10 in a three-team trade that sent the Suns’ Jared Dudley and Milwaukee’s J.J. Redick to Los Angeles. Milwaukee got two second-round draft picks in the deal. Butler signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Clippers in December of 2011. A starter for the Clippers the last two seasons, Butler has averaged 15.5 points in stops that included Miami, the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington, Dallas and the Clippers.”

According to ESPN.com (on Butler), “the 33-year-old has since been working out in Phoenix and was a featured player at the podium when the Suns recently unveiled a new uniform design. Sources, however, say McDonough has consented to allow Butler to realize a lifelong dream of playing for Milwaukee with the trade. The Bucks signed Carlos Delfino earlier in the summer but are said to covet another small forward as he recovers from foot surgery. Butler’s arrival will ensure new coach Larry Drew has a veteran to start the season at the 3-spot as opposed to relying on youngsters Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo.”

An 11-year professional, Butler played in 78 games (all starts) last season for the Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged 10.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 24.1 minutes per game, while connecting on 38.8 percent (128-330) of his 3-point attempts. For his career, Butler has averaged 15.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He has played 730 NBA regular season games (697 starts) with five teams including Miami, the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington, Dallas and the Los Angeles Clippers. His best statistical season came in 2007-08 when he averaged 20.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists while shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 90.1 percent from the free throw line in 58 games for Washington.

Butler, 33, has averaged double figures in scoring in 10 of his 11 NBA campaigns and reached the postseason on six occasions, including winning an NBA Championship with Dallas in 2011. He was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team twice (2007, 2008), but did not play in 2008 due to injury.

Originally selected by Miami with the 10th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, Butler played collegiately at UConn where he was named to The Sporting News All-America Second Team as a sophomore. He played high school basketball at Racine Park and later at Maine Central Institute, and his uniform numbers 54 and 25, respectively, have been retired by both schools.

“We would like to thank Caron for his professionalism and wish him the best with the Milwaukee Bucks,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “This deal gives us significant cap space as well as the flexibility to trade for another exciting player, which is how we were able to acquire Eric Bledsoe. It also provides us with two young players in our efforts to build a team capable of sustainable success.”

Kravtsov, a 6-11, 254-pound center, played five seasons professionally in his native Ukraine before signing with the Detroit Pistons last summer. Kravtsov joins his countryman and 2013 first-round draft pick Alex Len, giving Phoenix both of the only two Ukrainians currently on an NBA roster.

A rookie in 2012-13 with Detroit, Kravtsov played in 25 contests and improved over the course of the season, making 17 of those appearances after the All-Star break including his first career double-double effort. Earlier this summer, he played on the Pistons summer league squad in Orlando and averaged 10.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while shooting 54.5 percent (6-11) from the field in two games. Kravtsov was dealt to the Bucks on July 31 as part of the trade that sent Brandon Jennings to Detroit.

Smith, a three-year NBA veteran with five teams, played in a career-high 52 games in 2012-13; the first 36 with the Orlando Magic before being traded to the Bucks where he played in 16 games, in addition to appearing in each of Milwaukee’s four playoff contests against the Miami Heat.

A four-year collegiate performer at Wake Forest University, Smith finished his career ranked second all-time among Demon Deacons in assists with 612 and became the first player in program history to post over 1,000 points and 600 assists. As a senior, he averaged 13.2 points, 6.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals to earn Second Team All-ACC honors.

Ivan Johnson signs to play in China

Ivan Johnson signs to play in China

Ivan Johnson has agreed to a deal to play in China next season, according to his agent.

Johnson, who played the past two seasons with the Hawks, will play for Zhejiang China next season said agent Jeremiah Haylett. It is the same team Eddy Curry played for last season.

Reported by Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (Blog)

Chris Wilcox said he played hurt last season

The Celtics dealt with a plethora of injuries last season, including a nagging thumb injury sustained by backup center Chris Wilcox last December in Chicago that cost him 19 games.

The injury was diagnosed as a strained ulnar collateral ligament and Wilcox wore a wrap around the thumb for the remainder of the season. Wilcox told the Globe on Wednesday that he discovered after the season that the ligament was actually torn and required surgery.

“It was tough, it never got better,” he said. “I just thought I would give it some rest after the season and I would barely put my hand in a fist. It didn’t get any better.”

Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe (Blog)

Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has apologized for his arrest on a driving under the influence of alcohol charge.

According to a report from the Georgia State Patrol, Budenholzer was pulled over at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday in Atlanta for not having working taillights. Trooper J. Nelms said Budenholzer had bloodshot and watery eyes ”and a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath.”

Budenholzer refused a breath test but agreed to a field sobriety test, according to the report. He told Nelms he had only one glass of wine and that he finished the glass about 15 minutes before being pulled over. Nelms said in the report that Budenholzer was ”polite” and that his speech patterns were mumbled, slow and slurred…

Budenholzer, who was released from jail on $1,524 bond, entered a not guilty plea at Atlanta Municipal Court on Thursday, according to Hawkins.

Reported by the Associated Press

Pau Gasol continues rehab on knees

Pau Gasol continues rehab on knees

With [Dwight] Howard’s departure, it’s presumed Gasol will have a larger role in the post, a key factor that ensured the Lakers to three Finals appearances and two NBA championships. But an important variable remains unanswered in determining how successful Gasol becomes next season in what will be the last year of his contract worth $19.3 million.

His health.

Gasol recently posted a video on Vine showing his rehab efforts surrounding his knees, which suffered from tendonitis and tendonosis last season. Yet, it remains to be seen how fully healthy he can become.

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

Royce White to open mental health center in Houston

While things didn’t work out with forward Royce White and the Rockets, the NBA player (traded to Philadelphia in July) will have an everlasting mark in the Bayou City.

On Wednesday morning, White announced a partnership with his non-profit organization Anxious Mind’s Inc. and Bee Busy Wellness Center to create the Royce White Institute of Mental Health on the city’s southwest side.

The Wellness Center, which is a 17,000-square foot facility that will also have dental and primary care, is located at 6640 W. Bellfort and will open in January 2014.

“When I met Royce White a couple of years ago, I knew we would do something special like this,” Bee Busy CEO Normal Mitchell said. “I think it will be a great thing for this community.”

Reported by Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle (Blog)

Houston Rockets sign Ronnie Brewer

Houston Rockets sign Ronnie Brewer

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed unrestricted free agent forward Ronnie Brewer. With the addition of Brewer, the Rockets roster now stands at 19 players.

Brewer (6-7, 235, Arkansas) has averaged 8.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.29 steals in 478 career games (301 starts) with Utah, Memphis, Chicago, New York and Oklahoma City. Last season, Brewer split time between the Knicks and Thunder, averaging 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds over 14.2 minutes per outing in 60 games (34 starts). His best statistical season came in 2008-09, when he averaged a career-high 13.7 points (.508 FG%) with a career-best 3.7 rebounds in 32.2 minutes per game over 81 appearances (80 starts). Brewer also ranked seventh in the NBA in steals (1.70) in 2008-09. The seven-year veteran has also posted career averages of 5.6 points and 2.6 boards in 47 postseason games (17 starts).

Originally selected by the Jazz in the first round (14th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft, Brewer was traded by Utah to Memphis on Feb. 18, 2010. He went on to sign as a free agent with Chicago on July 16, 2010. Brewer spent two seasons with the Bulls before inking a free agent deal with New York on July 25, 2012. He was acquired by the Thunder from the Knicks on Feb. 21, 2013.

As a collegian, Brewer averaged 15.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in 90 career games (89 starts) over three seasons at Arkansas. He was an All-SEC First Team selection as both a sophomore and junior.

Clippers officially sign Antawn Jamison

Clippers officially sign Antawn Jamison

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today that they have signed free agent forward Antawn Jamison.

Jamison is well past his prime and at this point is strictly backup material. That said, he’s a fantastic addition to any team’s frontcourt, as a supporting cast veteran.

Jamison, 37, is a two-time NBA All-Star (2005, 2008) and was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2003-04 while with the Dallas Mavericks. Jamison brings career averages of 18.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 1,061 career games (864 starts) to the Clippers.

A veteran of 15 NBA seasons with Golden State, Dallas, Washington, Cleveland and the Los Angeles Lakers, Jamison appeared in 76 games (six starts) with the Lakers last season and averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds. Jamison enters the 2013-14 season ranked ninth among active players with 19,958 career points and eighth in total rebounds with 8,102.

Originally drafted by the Toronto Raptors with the fourth overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft before being traded to the Warriors on Draft Night in exchange for college teammate Vince Carter, Jamison averaged 19.0 points and 9.9 rebounds in three seasons at the University of North Carolina. In his final collegiate season, Jamison was named the Naismith College Player of the Year and earned AP Player of the Year and the John R. Wooden Award after averaging 22.2 points and 10.5 rebounds.

Born in Shreveport, LA, Jamison was named to the 1998-99 All-Rookie Second Team and was a member of the USA National Team at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

Clippers not expected to sign Lamar Odom

Clippers not expected to sign Lamar Odom

This hardly seems to be the episode Lamar Odom wants aired out on reality television.

Amid reports that Odom has suffered from drug addiction, it appears fewer and fewer teams are less interested in his services. After planning to officially sign veteran forward Antawn Jamison Wednesday at the veteran’s minimum worth $1.4 million, the Clippers no longer are interested in resigning Odom, according to a league source familiar with the team’s thought process.

Once Jamison’s signing becomes official, the Clippers will have 14 players under contract, one player shy of the NBA’s imposed maximum number of players allowed on a roster. But the Clippers plan to fill out the last roster spot at some point during training camp, which begins in late September, according to a source. The Clippers would welcome Odom to training camp, though it remains unclear if he’d be interested in just that. Odom’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, hasn’t responded to numerous requests for comment regarding his client in recent days.

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

Bobby Jackson

The Wolves are in contract discussions to bring former Gophers star Bobby Jackson back to Minnesota and back to the franchise as a player development coach to replace David Adelman, according to a league source.

Jackson starred for two seasons for that Gophers team that reached the 1997 Final Four — or didn’t, if you’re the NCAA — and played in the NBA for both Flip Saunders with the Wolves and Rick Adelman in Sacramento and Houston.

My colleague Sid Hartman phoned in the Jackson news to the sports desk late last night, too late for it to get into the paper, and a source confirmed it this morning.

Jackson was a Kings assistant coach the last two seasons — and their basketball operations special assistant for two years before that — before Sacramento made sweeping ownership and management changes last summer.

Reported by Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Luke Babbitt agrees to play in Russia

Luke Babbitt agrees to play in Russia

Portland Trail Blazers free agent forward Luke Babbitt has agreed to a one-year deal with the Europe club BC Nizhny Novgorod of Russia, a league source informed CSNNW.com.

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the fact that no announcement has been made, added that the deal does not contain an NBA-out clause.

Babbitt’s agent Bill Duffy confirmed the deal saying, “My take is Luke needs to play 30 minutes a game and play a more expanded role. We’ve had recent success with both Danny Green (of the San Antonio Spurs) and Patrick Beverley (of the Houston Rockets) getting an opportunity to develop their games in Europe and return to the NBA. The NBA is a league of opportunity. We feel strongly this is the best move for Luke at this time.”

Reported by Chris Haynes of CSNNW

deron williams

The location of Brooklyn Nets training camp for the 2013-14 season will be the campus of Duke University, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

The Nets will travel to Duke on September 30 and conduct practices at the Michael W. Krzyzewski Center - Dedicated to Academic & Athletic Excellence from October 1-5, before returning to Brooklyn.

“With many new players and a new staff, going on the road for training camp will offer a unique opportunity for our players to bond and focus solely on basketball as they prepare for this season.” said King. “Duke University offers first class basketball facilities and will provide an optimum training environment for our team.”

Basketball blog