Archive for August 20th, 2013

Celtics games will no longer air on WEEI

With less than two months until the NBA preseason tips off, the Boston Celtics have become radio nomads.

Entercom Communications announced Tuesday that Celtics games will no longer be carried on their WEEI and WRKO stations after an agreement could not be reached on a new contract. The stations had been the radio home of the Celtics since 2005.

“WEEI has had an incredible run with the Boston Celtics, from being a part of their 17th championship banner to the end of the Big 3 era,” Entercom Boston vice president/market manager Jeff Brown said in a statement.

Reported by Zack Cox of NESN

Charlotte Bobcats sign Anthony Tolliver

Anthony Tolliver

Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins announced yesterday that the team has signed free agent forward Anthony Tolliver.

“Anthony is a quality young big man who will add depth to our front line,” Higgins said. “We are glad to add a player of his caliber to our roster.”

The 6-8 Tolliver is a veteran of five NBA seasons, having played in 243 career games for the Spurs, Trail Blazers, Warriors, Timberwolves and Hawks. He has career averages of 6.1 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 19.9 minutes, while shooting .413 from the field (506-1225), .325 from beyond the three-point line (176-542) and .782 from the free-throw line (298-391).

Tolliver played in 62 games last season with the Hawks, averaging 4.1 points and 2.5 rebounds in 15.5 minutes. He shot .380 from the field (82-216), .338 from beyond the three-point line (45-133) and a career-best .863 from the free-throw line (44-51). Tolliver also saw action in six playoff games for Atlanta, averaging 4.0 points on .571 shooting from the field (8-14) and .636 three-point shooting (7-11), to go with 1.5 rebounds, in 11.3 minutes.

The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that the team has signed all of their 2013 NBA Draft picks, Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev and Carrick Felix, to contracts.

Bennett (6-8, 240, forward) was the first overall pick in the June draft and first-ever Canadian selected #1 in the history of the NBA. An early entry candidate from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), Bennett starred for Canada’s junior national teams and was the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year.

Karasev (6-7, 203, guard/forward) was selected 19th overall and led Russia to the Gold Medal in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

Felix (6-6, 210, guard/forward) was the third pick of the second round (33rd overall) following a senior season at Arizona State that earned him second-team All-Pac 12 honors and a spot on the Pac 12 All-Defensive team.

utah jazz

The Utah Jazz announced today that the organization has named Justin Zanik as the team’s assistant general manager. In this newly created position, Zanik will participate in all areas of day-to-day management of the team. Zanik is expected to assume his new role on September 1.

“Justin possesses an extensive amount of international experience, an intimate knowledge of the collective bargaining agreement and a noted ability to work with players, agents and NBA management,” said Utah Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey. “He is a high-character individual with a strong work ethic and will be a tremendous addition to the Jazz basketball operations staff. I am very happy to welcome Justin, his wife, Gina, and their children to the Jazz family.”
A National Basketball Players Association certified agent since 2003, Zanik has been involved in all aspects of athlete representation for the past 15 years. He comes to the Jazz from ASM Sports, where he has served as Vice President of the Andy Miller-led agency since 2004. Zanik oversaw all aspects of career management for ASM’s basketball clients, ranging from contract negotiations to career planning and client services, including the creation of marketing opportunities and community initiatives. He was also an integral part of all of ASM’s contract and statistical analysis during preparation for free agency, and also developed and customized ASM’s pre-draft training, interview and workout programs.

Prior to joining ASM, Zanik spent four years as Vice President of Basketball Operations for Priority Sports & Entertainment from 1998 to 2002, where he managed European player contract negotiations and assisted in negotiation, research and recruitment of Priority’s NBA clients.

Zanik graduated from Northwestern University in 1998 with a degree in Economics.

Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have added John Welch, Joe Prunty and Charles Klask to Jason Kidd’s staff as assistant coaches, General Manager Billy King announced today. The three new hires round out the coaching staff which also includes Lawrence Frank, Roy Rogers and Eric Hughes.

In addition, the Nets have named Jim Sann as advance scout.

Welch joins the Nets following eight seasons as an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets under George Karl. Before joining the Nuggets, Welch spent two seasons as an assistant coach/workout coach for the Memphis Grizzlies. Prior to his arrival in Memphis, he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Fresno State, serving under head coach Jerry Tarkanian. Welch joined Fresno State in 1995 and helped the Bulldogs to two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, six consecutive 20-win seasons and seven straight postseason appearances. Welch began his coaching career with a three-year stint as a graduate assistant at UNLV, including when they advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1986-87. When the Rebels’ season ended, Welch also served as a player and coach in the New Zealand Professional Basketball League from 1986-89. Welch then served as an assistant coach under Seth Greenberg at Long Beach State from 1993-95. As a player, Welch spent three seasons at the University of Nevada, Reno and transferred to UNLV for his senior year. Welch played under Tarkanian for one year when the Rebels compiled a 33-5 record and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Prunty enters his 18th NBA season and 22nd overall in coaching, most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers for three seasons after joining the club in July 2010. Prior to his stint in Cleveland, Prunty was an assistant coach during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, after serving three seasons (2005-08) with the Dallas Mavericks as an assistant. He spent the previous nine seasons with the San Antonio Spurs where he won NBA Championships in 1999, 2003 and 2005. The Sunnyvale, Ca. native played collegiately at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA and is a 1991 graduate of California Poly San Luis Obispo.

Charles Klask joins the Nets following two seasons as an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons, where his responsibilities included game-plan preparation, statistical analysis and scouting. Prior to his stint in Detroit, Klask was on the staff of the Orlando Magic from 2002-2011, where he worked as a video coordinator, advance scout and the last three years as the scouting information manager. Klask began his NBA career with the Pistons in 2001, when he served as a video intern before being named the video coordinator of the Detroit Shock of the WNBA. A native of Livonia, MI, Klask is a graduate of Michigan State University.

Sann begins his second stint with the Nets organization, previously serving as assistant coach/coaching associate from 2005-06 to 2009-10, before joining the Chicago Bulls as an assistant coach/video coordinator the following season. Prior to the Nets, Sann was the advanced scout for the Houston Rockets during the 2004-05 season and served as an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors in 2003-04. He began his professional basketball career with the New York Knicks organization, holding various positions over 11 seasons, eventually rising to director of basketball administration. The Larchmont, NY native graduated from the University of Colorado in 1991.

The Springfield Armor, presented by MGM Springfield, have named Doug Overton as the team’s new head coach, it was announced today by Brooklyn Nets General Manager of Minor League Operations Milton Lee. Overton becomes the third head coach in the franchise’s history.

“We are very pleased to welcome Doug as the new head coach of the Armor,” said Lee. “Doug brings a wealth of experience as both an NBA player and coach, and his relationship with the Nets over the past several years will make this a very smooth transition for both him and our team.”

“I’m excited for the opportunity to take over as the head coach of the Springfield Armor,” said Overton. “I’m looking forward to developing our players, both on and off the court, and continuing to build a winning culture in Springfield.”

Overton joins the Armor after spending five years (2008-13) on the Nets’ staff as an assistant coach and player development coach. Overton also served two seasons as an assistant coach on Phil Martelli’s staff at Saint Joseph’s (2006-08) and one season as the Philadelphia 76ers’ director of player development (2005-06), where he assisted the coaching and scouting staffs and worked with the team’s community outreach programs.

An 11-year NBA veteran, Overton appeared in 499 career games with eight teams, including the Washington Bullets (1992-95), Denver Nuggets (1995-96), 76ers (1996-98, 1998-99), Orlando Magic (1998-99), Nets (1998-99, 2000-01 and 2003-04), Boston Celtics (1999-2001), Charlotte Hornets (2000-01) and Los Angeles Clippers (2001-02 and 2003-04). He also had stints in the CBA, ABA and overseas during his 14-year professional career. The former point guard holds NBA averages of 4.5 points, 1.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 14.6 minutes per game.

Overton was selected in the second round (40th pick overall) of the 1991 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons after a four-year collegiate career at LaSalle (1987-91). Overton led the Explorers to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, was named to the All-Big Five First Team three times and is the school’s all-time leader in career assists (671) and steals (277).

Overton currently resides in the Philadelphia area with his wife, Chanel, and daughter, Maya. His son, Miles, is a freshman on the men’s basketball team at Wake Forest.

The Memphis Grizzlies signed guard Nick Calathes, the team announced today.

Calathes (6-6, 213) was named the 2012-13 EuroCup MVP after recording 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists on .521 shooting in 17 games during the EuroCup competition last season.

The 24-year-old also posted 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists on .547 shooting in 14 games for Lokomotiv Kuban of the Russian Professional Basketball League (PBL) and averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists on .555 shooting in 30 games in the VTB United League.

Calathes played his first three professional seasons in Greece for Panathinaikos Athens, helping guide the club to back-to-back Greek League Championships in 2010 and 2011 as well as a Greek League Finals appearance in 2012. Panathinaikos won the 2011 Euroleague Championship and advanced to the 2012 Euroleague Final Four.

Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second round (45th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft, Calathes’ draft rights were traded to the Dallas Mavericks on draft night for a 2010 second round draft pick. Memphis acquired the draft rights to Calathes from Dallas in exchange for lifting the protection on a 2016 second round pick already owed to the Mavericks (via Denver) on July 22, 2013.

A two-time Florida Mr. Basketball, the Winter Park, Fla. native played two seasons at the University of Florida, where he was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year in 2008 and selected First Team All-SEC as a sophomore in 2009. He led the Gators in scoring and assists per game in each of his two collegiate seasons, setting the school single-season record for assists (231) as a sophomore. Despite playing only two seasons, Calathes ranks third in school history in assists (452).

larry sanders

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed Larry Sanders (6-11, 235) to a multi-year contract extension, General Manager John Hammond announced today. Sanders had a breakout year for the Bucks in 2012-13 when he posted career highs across the board with averages of 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game (2nd in the NBA). According to multiple reports, the extension is for four years, $44 million.

“By combining his God-given ability with hard work and determination, Larry has developed into one of the top young defensive players in the league,” said Hammond. “He is a very important part of what we are doing in Milwaukee, and we’re excited to announce his contract extension.”

The 24-year-old center is entering his fourth year with the Bucks and owns career averages of 6.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Last season, he notched a team-leading 26 double-doubles, one of which was his first career triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and a franchise-record-tying 10 blocks at Minnesota on Nov. 30. Sanders and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only players in Bucks history with a 10-block game. He finished the season with 201 blocks – just the fourth 200-block season in Bucks history and the first since Elmore Smith in 1975-76 – and had a string of 40 consecutive games with at least one blocked shot from Nov. 28 – March 4, the longest streak by a Buck in the last 25 years. Beginning with the 10 blocks at Minnesota, Sanders swatted 22 shots over a three-game stretch from Nov. 30 - Dec. 3 which stands as the most blocks in a three-game span in Bucks history, and he blocked four or more shots in five consecutive games from Jan. 2 - 9, which was the longest such streak since Abdul-Jabbar had a five-game streak in 1973.

Sanders, the 15th-overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, finished third in Most Improved Player voting after the 2012-13 season and earned the attention of USA Basketball with his play last year. He was invited to attend the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s National Team Mini-Camp in Las Vegas in July.

Community involvement is a priority of Sanders’ commitment to Milwaukee. He is active in supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee and earned the organization’s Community Champion Award in March after donating a scoreboard to the Pieper-Hillside location. He has also distributed Thanksgiving meals at the House of Peace, donated toys to patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, tickets to all Bucks home games for Milwaukee youth and community groups, and he hosts an annual “Larry Sanders Basketball Camp” for kids in his hometown of Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Sacramento’s arena war hit new levels of intensity this week after Seattle financier Chris Hansen was revealed as the secret source of money for a petition drive to put the city’s arena plans to a public vote.

Seizing on outrage at the news, arena supporters took to the streets Saturday, hanging more than 1,000 fliers on front doors asking residents who signed the petitions to withdraw their signatures. “Don’t let Seattle money steal away our chance at 4,000 jobs for Sacramento!” the fliers urged.

Arena backers, a group that includes many of the city’s prominent business people and politicians, argue the Seattle funding offers proof that the two-month-old petition drive is really an attempt to derail the city’s downtown arena plans and push the Kings out of town.

Yet Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, the group behind the ballot measure, insists it is a homegrown effort, aimed at giving voters a voice. Its leaders today vowed to come back fighting - possibly with a local fundraising effort.

Reported by Tony Bizjak and Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee

Nikola Vucevic

Vucevic doesn’t compare to [Dwight] Howard athletically or on the defensive end — not by any stretch.

But he provides a more well-rounded offensive game than Howard did – the ability to shoot outside. Vooch also showed he can collect rebounds at a Dwight-like rate at times, finishing second in rebounding to Howard last season and mimicking Howard as a double-double machine.

Vucevic, the 76ers’ No. 16 pick in the 2011 draft out of USC, had a break-out season. He averaged 13.1 points and 11.9 rebounds after limited playing time as a rookie with the Sixers. He recorded 46 double-doubles – the third highest total in the NBA.

He exposed defending champion Miami’s lone weakness, feasting on the Heat’s soft interior with two 20-20 games, including a franchise-record 29-rebound performance.

Reported by Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel (Blog)

Ty Lawson, the Denver Nuggets’ star point guard, was charged with physical harassment and criminal mischief stemming from a Saturday night domestic violence arrest.

Lawson’s girlfriend, Ashley Nicole Pettiford, was also arrested, Grayson Robinson, Arapahoe County Sheriff told The Denver Post.

A mandatory restraining order was issued after charges were filed surrounding a domestic violence incident, according to court records.

“They were yelling at each other and broke each other’s phones,” Robinson said. “I don’t believe it was physical otherwise.”

Reported by Ryan Parker of the Denver Post

Basketball blog