Archive for August 28th, 2013

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.”

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol will sit out of the FIBA EuroBasket Championships in September in hopes of fully rehabbing his knees, but the Lakers forward plans to help his native Spain in a different way.

Madrid’s 2020 Olympic bid committee has appointed Gasol as one of its spokesman and will address International Olympic Committee during Madrid’s final presentation in Buenos Aires next month. Gasol provided an impassioned statement and indirectly suggested how hosting the Summer Games would provide a significant financial boost to Spain, which has battled a recession for most of the past four years and has a 26.3 percent unemployment rate.

“The Olympic Games are more than sport – I know this personally as an Olympian. Spanish sport and the people of Madrid need the boost the Olympic Games would provide, and Madrid is ready to face this challenge,” Gasol said in a statement. “But Madrid will also give something back to the Olympic Movement – we are a city that is prepared with a responsible bid plan that will help develop sport far into the future.”

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

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra addresses the Seattle Seahawks

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra clearly has the football bug. He apparently also carries a message that resonates beyond basketball.

Three weeks after attending practice and then addressing the University of Tennessee football team in Knoxville as a favor to friend and Volunteers coach Butch Jones, Spoelstra was in Renton, Wash., on Tuesday, addressing the Seattle Seahawks.

“Just having him here in front of the team and just having him in meetings with us and having him out here in practice is an unbelievable experience for everybody,” quarterback Russell Wilson said after Tuesday’s practice. “For him to be able to talk about how his basketball team was successful and the way that they went about their business in terms of sacrificing . . . just that whole idea of sacrificing everything, the players, LeBron [James] coming to Miami, and Dwyane Wade sacrificing all that, all that type of sacrifice that it takes to be great and to be great so often, is kind of what he talked about for the most part. And having that discipline, as well, too, is something that he talked about, and just working hard, continuing to work hard, continuing to believe in yourselves and ignore the noise.

“That’s the main message he gave. And it clicked right with us.”

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Indiana Pacers’ long playoff run this spring is making it easier for the team’s front office to sell tickets.

Todd Taylor, the team’s vice president of sales and marketing, said Tuesday that sales of season-ticket packages are up nearly 30 percent from this time last year. Packages are considered anything 11 games or more because they give the buyer a guarantee to purchase playoff tickets, he said.

Per club policy, the Pacers do not reveal total number of season tickets. But Taylor said the 30 percent bump includes about 1,200 new ticket holders.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

Prosecutors have slapped down allegations that retired hoopster Scottie Pippen assaulted an autograph seeker outside a Malibu restaurant last June.

The Los Angeles District Attorney said Tuesday it will not press charges against the former Chicago Bull because the man who claims he was roughed up was legally drunk at the time, may have been the aggressor and did not have injuries consistent with the beatdown he claimed he suffered.

An investigator also found that while alleged victim Camran Shafighi complained of severe pain to his ankle and demanded a splint after the incident, staff at UCLA Medical Center later saw him walk without a limp.

The emergency room staff also said Shafighi faked seizures that would mysteriously disappear when a doctor ordered him to “stop it,” a DA filing obtained by the Daily News states.

Reported by Nancy Dillon of the New York Daily News

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