Archive for September 3rd, 2013

Lakers sign forward Shawne Williams

Lakers sign forward Shawne Williams

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Shawne Williams, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Williams, a six-year NBA veteran out of Memphis, was originally selected by the Indiana Pacers in the first round (17th overall) of the 2006 NBA Draft and has appeared in 215 career games (23 starts) for the Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets. The 6-9 forward holds career averages of 5.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 16.4 minutes.

Marc Gasol
Spain seeks third straight European basketball championship
Spain continues to be a basketball powerhouse

Led by Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio, Spain is favored to win a third straight European basketball championship despite losing plenty of talent.

Gone will be the size of Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka and the shooting of Juan Carlos Navarro when the 24-team tournament starts on Wednesday. Two years ago in Lithuania, the Gasol brothers were a huge presence under the basket, while Navarro added 27 points in the 98-85 victory over France in the final.

France is back with Tony Parker, but is missing some of its own big men, including Joakim Noah.

The tournament features 24 teams for the first time, split into four groups that will play in Ljubljana, Jesenice, Koper and Celje. The final two rounds are in the capital of Ljubljana.

Reported by the Associated Press

lebron james

LeBron James never played college basketball but he will have a permanent place in Ohio State’s new locker room.

The Buckeyes have given James a locker and it will be used to display James’ branded Nike gear the school uses to help in recruiting, coach Thad Matta told reporters in Columbus on Tuesday. Ohio State started wearing James’ signature uniforms and shoes in 2007. Matta made James an honorary member of the team at a ceremony in 2009.

“We always want to pay our respects to him for what he did for us in ‘07, in terms of we were the first LeBron school,” Matta said. “And obviously we get tremendous product from him, and I know he’s very proud of what he does for us.”

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

pau gasol

In another sign that suggests he may be fully healthy for the beginning of the season, Lakers forward Pau Gasol spent Labor Day weekend playing on the basketball court for the first time since the team’s first-round loss last April to the San Antonio Spurs.

“After this morning work, this evening I will get back to the basketball court wearing these!” Gasol wrote on his Instagram account, which featured a photo of his shoes.

It’s unclear what basketball drills Gasol completed, but the step marks another level of progress surrounding the rehab around his knees. He had played with a variety of ailments that kept him sidelined last season for 33 games, including knee tendonosis, plantar fascia in his right foot and a concussion.

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

Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger pleaded not guilty Tuesday to domestic violence-related charges after allegedly repeatedly pinning his girlfriend to a bed and the floor.

Bail for Sullinger, 21, was set at $5,000 after his plea on charges including assault and battery and intimidation of a witness.

Later Tuesday, Sullinger released a statement through the Celtics in which he apologized and called the experience “humbling and embarrassing.”

“I know that this situation has brought both sorrow and embarrassment to my girlfriend, my family, the Boston Celtics organization, my teammates, and my fans,” he said. “To all of you, I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”

Police say officers were called to Sullinger’s residence Saturday evening by his girlfriend, Deann Smith. She told them that earlier that day he’d assaulted her after she accused him of cheating on her and began packing.

Reported by the Associated Press

Phoenix Suns Waive Michael Beasley

Michael Beasley
Phoenix Suns Waive Michael Beasley
Super-waived Beas

The Phoenix Suns waived forward Michael Beasley today pursuant to a termination agreement between the club and him. In accordance with that agreement, the compensation owed to him by the team will be reduced, and the Suns’ salary cap room will be increased for both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.

According to Arizona Sports, “The move on Tuesday will cost the franchise $7 million, a $2 million savings from what Beasley would have been due had he simply been waived. It also represents a significant reduction in what the hit on the team’s salary cap would have been.”

“The Suns were devoted to Michael Beasley’s success in Phoenix,” said Suns President of Basketball Operations Lon Babby. “However, it is essential that we demand the highest standards of personal and professional conduct as we develop a championship culture. Today’s action reflects our commitment to those standards. The timing and nature of this, and all of our transactions, are based on the judgment of our Basketball leadership as to how best to achieve our singular goal of rebuilding an elite team.”

“We have high standards for all of our players,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “We expect them to represent the team and the community in a positive manner both on and off the court.”

Beasley signed a three-year contract with Phoenix as a free agent on July 20, 2012, and in his one season with the Suns, played in 75 games with averages of 10.1 points and 3.8 rebounds.

Toronto Raptors waive Quentin Richardson
Toronto Raptors waive Quentin Richardson

The Toronto Raptors announced Tuesday they have waived guard-forward Quentin Richardson. Richardson was acquired from New York on July 10 with center Marcus Camby, forward Steve Novak, a future first-round draft pick and two future second-round draft picks in exchange for forward Andrea Bargnani.

The roster now stands at 14 players.

Toronto opens preseason play October 7 in Boston before returning home to face Minnesota at Air Canada Centre on October 9. The 2013-14 season opener is set for October 30 versus Boston.

lebron james

Having produced two NBA championships with the Miami Heat, the next step for LeBron James will be producing scripted television comedy.

The Starz cable network announced Tuesday that the Heat forward along with Tom Werner, Mike O’Malley, Maverick Carter and Paul Wachter will develop a half-hour scripted comedy series, Survivor’s Remorse, for Starz, with James serving as an executive producer.

Mike O’Malley will serve as executive producer and writer. He previously worked as consulting producer and writer on Shameless and as an actor in Glee, Justified and My Name is Earl.

To James, who is not scheduled to appear in the series, it expands a presence that already has moved beyond the confines of the court.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Nick Young spends Labor Day playing flag football

He will run up and down the court with bursts of athleticism, offering something the Lakers sorely need. Young will rarely meet a shot he won’t like, driving everyone crazy when they don’t go in and making everyone go wild when he goes on a scoring spree. And Young likely won’t play much defense since, well, he hardly has for much of his 6-year NBA career.

But at least for Labor Day, Young stayed away from the hardwood and stepped foot on the gridiron for an informal game of flag football at Rowley Park in downtown Los Angeles. As shown on Young’s Instagram account, he teamed up with former Washington Wizards teammate Gilbert Arenas among others to beat a team led by Detroit Pistons guard and former Dominguez High standout Brandon Jennings.

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

J.J. Barea would happily return to Mavs in the future

What the Dallas Mavericks will do in future offseasons remains a mystery especially with Mark Cuban running the show.

While the Mavericks appear to be building for the future at point guard with Shane Larkin, a reunion with J.J. Barea is not out of the question. Dallas did show some interest this offseason, and Barea said he wouldn’t mind returning in the near future.

“It’s a great relationship with Mark Cuban. If they want to bring me back to Dallas, I am very [good] with it,” he told ESPN.com.

Reported by the Dallas Morning News staff

Pistons forwards Jonas Jerebko and Luigi Datome will play for their respective EuroBasket 2013 teams this week in Slovenia.

Datome and Italy open with Russia on Wednesday. Jerebko and Sweden play Greece the same day.

Pistons president Joe Dumars and assistant general manager George David were scheduled to leave for Slovenia on Monday to watch both in the tourney, according to pistons.com.

Reported by the Detroit Free Press staff

Gary Payton
Gary Payton is still a huge Kobe Bryant fan
Great recognizes great

Q: As a former Los Angeles Laker, what do you think about the situation with Dwight Howard leaving the Lakers?

Gary Payton: “It’s a player doing what he wants to do. The Lakers knew what they were getting into when they got him. They gambled and lost the game. Kobe Bryant, to me, is still the best basketball player in my mind. He played with me and he was in my era. I still love him to death. He’s a little brother to me. They’re going to struggle for a little while, and Kobe is on his way out. He has two more years to his contract and they will probably sign him back another two years and try to rebuild. They’re going to struggle. It’s going to be a hard time to the Lakers fan, but they will come back. It’s going to be a transition that they will get through.”

Reported by Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports

[Former] basketball star Dennis Rodman is heading to North Korea for the second time this year for what he says is a friendly visit to his friend, the communist nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

But he is playing down speculation his trip is aimed at freeing jailed American missionary Kenneth Bae — saying there’s been “nothing promised.” Rodman spoke briefly to reporters Tuesday while transiting at Beijing’s airport on his way to Pyongyang.

“I’m going to North Korea to meet my friend, Kim,” he said. “It’s a friendly gesture.”

Reported by the Associated Press

“I’m not going to North Korea to discuss freeing Kenneth Bae,” Rodman told Reuters in a telephone interview before he left Beijing for Pyongyang. “I’m just going there on another basketball diplomacy tour.”

Kim, the third of his line to rule North Korea, is a basketball fan and appeared to get on well with Rodman on the earlier visit, with the two of them pictured laughing, eating and drinking together and watching an all-star basketball match.

Rodman’s latest trip is being sponsored by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power.

Wearing his trademark dark sunglasses, the 6-foot 7-inch (2.01 metre) Rodman pushed through a throng of journalists on Tuesday as he made his way to his plane at Beijing’s international airport, a common waystation for travellers to North Korea.

Reporters by Reuters

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