Archive for August 16th, 2013

Phoenix Suns rookie Alex Len, the fifth overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft, expects to be ready when the team opens training camp as he recovers from ankle surgery, the Arizona Republic reported.

The 7-foot-1 Len has had surgery on both ankles and will miss all of the summer-league action.

Len had been wearing a boot, but he has been out of the boot for a week.

Reported by the Sports Xchange

Seattle billionaire Chris Hansen says he regrets funding a secretive effort to block a new downtown arena for Sacramento’s professional basketball team.

Hansen’s involvement was disclosed by California’s campaign watchdog Friday.

He issued a statement saying he ”made a mistake” by giving a Los Angeles law firm $100,000. The firm secretly funneled $80,000 to a group gathering signatures to force a public vote on the arena plan.

The Fair Political Practices Commission sued to learn Hansen’s identity.

Reported by the Associated Press

The Milwaukee Bucks, who lost guards Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings during the offseason, signed center Larry Sanders to a four-year, $44 million extension of his rookie deal, Yahoo! Sports reported.

Incentive bonuses could add as much as $4 million to the deal.

The 6-foot-11 Sanders is best known for his defense, averaging 2.8 blocks per game.

He also averaged 9.8 points and 9.5 rebounds.

Reported by the Sports Xchange

Golden State Warriors

Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, the Co-Executive Chairmen of the Golden State Warriors, announced today that longtime Silicon Valley venture capitalist Mark Stevens has purchased the equity interests of the team that were previously held by Vivek Ranadivé and joined the team’s ownership group as an Executive Board Member.

Ranadivé was required to relinquish his stake in the club after leading a group that purchased a controlling interest in the Sacramento Kings on May 31, 2013.

“We’re extremely excited about the addition of Mark to our ownership group,” said Lacob. “He brings an incredible track record of success in the business world, primarily as a venture capitalist in the Bay Area, and his expertise on many levels will certainly aid us in our quest to become a World Class organization. We’ve managed to take a step closer to that goal today with Mark’s arrival.”

“Mark will prove to be a tremendous asset to our organization as we strive to become one of the model franchises in professional sports,” said Guber. “We’ve managed to build a strong and well-rounded ownership group in which each individual contributes to our success, and Mark is no exception. He’s an ideal fit.”

Currently the managing partner of S-Cubed Capital in Menlo Park, CA, Stevens is also a special limited partner and former managing partner at Sequoia Capital, a global venture capital firm based in Menlo Park. He joined Sequoia in 1989 as an associate and became a partner in 1993. During his tenure at Sequoia, his investment focus areas have been in semiconductors, networking systems, software and energy. Stevens has been responsible for numerous, successful Sequoia investments including: Aspect Development, AtWeb, Billpoint, Commquest, Documentum, Mobile Peak, MP3.com, Nvidia, Pixelworks, Quicklogic, Quickturn, Stratum One, Summit Design and Terayon Communications.

“This is an incredible opportunity for me,” said Stevens. “Under the guidance of Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, the Warriors have established themselves as a top flight organization in a very short time. The future of this team and franchise is unbelievably promising and I’m looking forward to contributing my part to help us achieve our goals.”

Stevens, who was advised by Game Plan LLC in connection with his acquisition of Ranadive’s equity interests, currently serves on the Board of Directors of Nvidia and has served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern California since 2001 (co-chair of the Investment Committee and member of Finance and Executive Committees). He is also a member of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Board of Councilors, is the founder and chairman of the USC Stevens Center for Innovation, and serves on the Advisory board of the Harvard Business School’s California Research Center. Stevens, who is a part time lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and B.A. in Economics (both magna cum laude) from the University of Southern California in 1981, an M.S. in Computer Engineering from USC in 1984 and an MBA from Harvard University in 1989.

The Golden State Warriors ownership group consists of leaders in a wide variety of fields including: sports, entertainment, e-commerce, mobile technology, communications and venture capital.

In one of the first moves since he was hired as the 76ers coach, Brett Brown has decided not to retain the team’s assistant coaches.

He said Michael Curry, Aaron McKie and Jeff Capel will not be apart his coaching staff moving forward. The three assistants are holdovers from cDoug Collins’ staff, and are under contract for another season. It is unclear if they remain with the Sixers in another compacity or take a job elsewhere.

Curry was a candidate for the Sixers coaching job after Collins resigned on April 18.

“I’m doing that for obvious reasons,” said Brown, who was hired Monday. “I want to hire my own staff and have a clean start going in that direction. … I feel like it’s important that I come in with my own staff and start fresh and try to rebuild.”

Reported by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Blog)

California’s political watchdog agency filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to force a Los Angeles law firm to identify who paid signature gatherers trying to force a public vote on Sacramento’s arena subsidy.

The Fair Political Practices Commission’s suit against Loeb & Loeb charged that the high-powered firm has “failed and refused” to report the source of the money, despite warnings that it had violated the Political Reform Act by failing to meet a state financial disclosure deadline.

Loeb & Loeb represented the Maloofs when the family reached a deal in January to sell the Sacramento Kings to a group in Seattle. The Maloofs have denied any involvement in the signature campaign, and members of the family were not available for comment Thursday.

Reported by Ryan Lillis, Dale Kasler and Tony Bizjak of the Sacramento Bee

Kobe Bryant declares himself obsessed with winning

Kobe Bryant isn’t sure he’ll be ready to play when the Los Angeles Lakers open the season on Oct. 29, although he remains ahead of schedule in rehabbing his surgically repaired Achilles’ tendon.

Bryant turns 35 next week and he vowed that his 17-year career is “definitely not over.”

“I just want that jewelry,” he said, referring to the possibility of claiming his sixth NBA championship.

“People just don’t understand how obsessed I am with winning.”

Bryant made his comments to late night host Jimmy Kimmel during “Kobe Up Close,” a one-on-one conversation with the NBA superstar on Thursday night at Nokia Theatre across from Staples Center.

He had a one-word answer when Kimmel asked whether he would finish his career with the only team he’s ever played for: “Yeah,” Bryant replied.

Reported by the Associated Press

Sixers have a few veteran trade pieces

The 76ers will be far from the best team in the NBA this season. And in a way, that’s the plan.

What new coach Brett Brown has is a roster with a raw rookie in Michael Carter-Williams playing point guard and a lot of uncertainty at the other positions. There’s a thought that the team could trade Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, or Spencer Hawes, the three players with the most trade value, for the right price.

But the three veterans were among the players who Brown raved about during Wednesday’s introductory news conference.

“I’ve always been a fan of Thaddeus,” Brown said. “I see in Evan just that potential. You see the versatility in Spencer. You pay attention to Michael Carter-Williams and what he did in college. . . . I think about with a healthy fit, Lavoy [Allen], what he can bring to the table.

“The pieces are there were we can build around them.”

Reported by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer

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