Archive for September 9th, 2013

Dennis Rodman planning exhibition games with former NBA players in North Korea

Former Detroit Pistons Bad Boy Dennis Rodman is going back to North Korea and bringing a team of former NBA players with him.

Days after returning from his second trip to visit Kim Jong Un — in which he said he became the first foreigner to hold the leader’s newborn daughter — Rodman announced plans today to stage two exhibition games in North Korea in January.

The first will be Jan. 8 — Kim’s birthday — with another to follow two days later.

Rodman’s friendship with the autocratic leader has been criticized — and led to a couple of testy exchanges during his Manhattan news conference. But Rodman insists Kim is a good person, wants to have better relations with the United States and that he’s the one who can help make it happen with his plan for “basketball diplomacy.”

“Why North Korea? It’ll open doors,” Rodman said.

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Shane Battier not declaring a retirement date just yet

Shane Battier isn’t sure he’s the retiring type, but considering the Miami Heat forward turned 35 Monday, he appreciates the end could be near.

Last week during a Twitter question-and-answer session, Battier was asked about his inspiration for a potential third consecutive championship. He replied, “Go out on top, if this is it.”

Monday, before a motivational appearance with the students at St. Mark’s Episcopal School, he said with his three-year contract expiring at season’s end, it only makes sense to take stock.

“I’m realistic to where I am at this point in my life,” he said, after playing most of last season as a reserve and seeing limited action for an extended stretch of the playoffs. “I’d like to finish my contract strong with the Miami Heat, and then we’ll see where we go.”

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Timberwolves promote David Adelman, hire Bobby Jackson

The Minnesota Timberwolves today promoted David Adelman to assistant coach and hired Bobby Jackson as player development coach.

“David is a bright young coach and has demonstrated the past two years that he is ready to take on additional responsibilities,” said Flip Saunders, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “In Bobby Jackson, we are bringing a Minnesota basketball icon back to our state. Bobby has the respect of players around our league and did a great job working with the young Kings players this past season. Both Rick Adelman and I are very familiar with Bobby and are excited to have him on our coaching staff.”

Adelman spent the past two seasons as the Wolves’ player development coach where he was responsible for assisting in all of the team’s player development initiatives. This past summer he served as head coach of the Timberwolves Summer League entry and was co-head coach of the team in the summer of 2012.

Prior to joining the Wolves, Adelman went 83-53 in five seasons as head basketball coach at Lincoln High School in Portland, Ore. He led the Cardinals to Portland Interscholastic District Championships in the 2006-07, 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons, while also reaching the Oregon Class 6A state championship final in 2009.

Prior to coaching at Lincoln, Adelman was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Jesuit High School in Portland, from 2001-06, helping the team win a state title in 2005.

Jackson returns to Minnesota after serving as assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings the past two seasons. Prior to that, Jackson worked in a regional scout/player development capacity in 2010-11 and was the team’s first-ever Ambassador in 2009-10.

Jackson finished his 12-year NBA career in 2009 after playing for six teams: Denver, (1997-98), Minnesota (1998–00), Sacramento (2001-05, 2008-09), Memphis (2005-06), New Orleans (2006-08), and Houston (2007-08). In his two seasons with the Wolves, Jackson averaged 5.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 123 games (10 starts). He won the NBA’s Sixth Man award in 2002-03 while playing for the Kings.

Jackson starred at the University of Minnesota where he led the Golden Gophers to the 1997 Final Four. During that season he averaged 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists, and scored 36 points in an NCAA Tournament double-overtime win against Clemson.

A Salisbury, N.C. native, Jackson and his wife, Dona, are parents of Breann (19), Kendrick (17), Skyy (13), Sarah (10), and Sebella (4).

Workouts for Miami Heat are set

The Sun Sentinel confirmed Monday through league sources that among those who will work out in coming days for the Heat are free-agent guard Julyan Stone, who played last season for the Denver Nuggets; Vander Blue, a guard out of Marquette who went undrafted this past June; swingman Yakhouba Diawara, a journeyman forward out of France who spent the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons with the Heat; and point guard Larry Drew II, who went undrafted out of UCLA and was sidelined by injury after being scheduled to play for the Heat in summer league.

In addition to the 13 players under guaranteed contract, the Heat now have three players attending camp on non-guaranteed contracts

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jason Kidd

The Brooklyn Nets have announced that the team will retire the No. 5 jersey of current head coach and former captain Jason Kidd prior to their October 17th preseason matchup with the Miami Heat. The game will be televised locally by the YES Network and nationally by TNT, with tip-off at 8:00 p.m.

“My warmest congratulations to Jason as we commemorate his outstanding career as an NBA player and his unparalleled contribution to the Nets franchise,” said Nets Principal Owner Mikhail Prokhorov. “As one chapter closes, another will soon be written and I know that we are all looking forward to Jason’s continued successes.”

“This honor is richly deserved,” said Nets General Manager Billy King. “Jason is firmly established in the Nets’ record books as the greatest player in the team’s NBA history, and the retirement of his #5 is a fitting conclusion to his legacy as a Nets’ player.”

“This is a very humbling honor and one that I will always cherish,” said Kidd. “There can be no greater recognition of an athlete’s time with any team than to have his number retired, and this gesture by the Nets organization validates a very significant portion of my career that was spent as a player with this franchise.”

Kidd becomes the sixth player in franchise history have his number raised to the rafters, joining Drazen Petrovic (#3), John Williamson (#23), Bill Melchionni (#25), Julius Erving (#32) and Charles ‘Buck’ Williams (#52), who was the most recent honoree in April, 1999.

Kidd, who captained the Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003, played in 506 games over six and a half seasons for New Jersey, averaging 14.6 points, 9.1 assists and 7.2 rebounds per game. Throughout his tenure with the Nets, Kidd led the team to six consecutive playoff appearances, including two Eastern Conference Championships and four Atlantic Division titles. As a Net, Kidd was selected as an NBA All-Star five times while being named to an All-NBA team three times and an NBA All-Defensive team six times. In Nets all-time NBA history, Kidd currently ranks first in assists (4,620), steals (950), three-point field goals made (813) and triple-doubles 61, second in minutes played (18,737), fourth in points (7,373) and rebounds (3,662), fifth in games played (506) and sixth in field goals made (2,613) and free throws made (1,352). In 78 playoff games, Kidd holds Nets all-time records for points, assists, rebounds, steals, field goals made/attempted, three-point field goals made/attempted, minutes and games played.

Over his 19 year NBA playing career, Kidd holds averages of 12.6 points, 8.7 assists, 6.3 rebounds and 1.93 steals, while playing for Dallas, Phoenix, New Jersey and New York. On the League’s all-time leaders lists he ranks: second in assists (12,091) and steals (2,684), third in minutes (50,111), three-point field goals (1,988) and triple-doubles (107), sixth in games played (1,391), 50th overall in rebounds and first overall amongst guards (8,725), 71st in points scored (17,529).

Kidd appeared in 158 postseason games, averaging 12.9 points, 8.0 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 1.91 steals and helped the Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA Championship. He also is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, leading Team USA in 2000 at Sydney and in 2008 in Beijing.

The former number two pick of the 1994 NBA Draft out of the University of California and Co-Rookie of the Year (Grant Hill), Kidd is a 10-time NBA All-Star (1996, 1998, 2000-04, 2007-08, 2010), a five-time All-NBA First-Team selection (1999-02, 2004) and earned All-NBA Second Team honors in 2003. He was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team four times (1999, 2001, 2002, 2006) and Second Team five times (2000, 2003-05, 2007).

Tyson Chandler

Training camp is still a few weeks away, but some Knicks have shown up early at the team’s practice facility in Greenburgh to work out together.

Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, C.J. Leslie, Amar’e Stoudemire and Beno Udrih, among others, were at the the facility this past week, according to two people with knowledge of the workouts.

It is common for players to get together on their own to work out. Some Brooklyn Nets worked out together in Los Angeles recently.

Last season, the Knicks worked out together at the team’s practice facility before training camp.

Reported by Ian Begley of ESPN New York

miami heat

While the Miami Heat’s 2013 second-round acquisition is preparing to spend the coming season in Australia, a 2012 Heat second-round acquisition has moved a step closer to training camp.

Justin Hamilton, the center out of LSU acquired in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft, posted Sunday on Twitter that he finally has been cleared to return from the hamstring issue that kept him out of the Heat’s two summer-league appearances.

Hamilton, an outside-shooting 7-footer who had an uneven run in Europe last season, has been working out at AmericanAirlines Arena almost the entire offseason, but had been limited to non-contact work. He then posted Sunday on his Twitter account, “Fully cleared! Going to be a big week to improve!!”

The Heat typically run a variety of prospects through drills in advance of camp, which opens Oct. 1 at AmericanAirlines Arena. Heat 2013 second-round acquisition James Ennis, the swingman out of Long Beach State who participated with the Heat’s summer league teams in Orlando and Las Vegas, has since signed with the Perth Wildcats, although he has an opt-out to return to the Heat if summoned.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jan Vesely playing great at EuroBasket

Jan Vesely playing great at EuroBasket

Don’t look now, but Jan Vesely may have found his confidence. So far in Eurobasket 2013, the [Washington] Wizards forward certainly has found his game.

Playing for the Czech Republic along with Washington’s 2012 second-round pick Tomas Satoransky, Vesely leads the entire tournament in rebounding (11.3) and is tied fourth in scoring (18.5). For some context regarding the talent on hand for the tournament in Slovenia, as a scorer Vesely is tied with is San Antonio Spurs star and French guard Tony Parker.

The Czech squad evened its record at 2-2 with a 95-79 over Georgia on Sunday behind 27 points and 10 rebounds from a fist-pumping Vesely. On the assumption that many of you didn’t seek out the game online, there is video of Vesely taking a lob from Satoransky and overall highlights with the 6-foot-11 forward making an aggressive dunking appearance. He finished 12 of 14 from the floor. The 27 points came in only 27 minutes.

Reported by Ben Standig of CSN Washington

Indiana Pacers

Roger Brown became a Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer on Sunday, with another Hall of Famer telling people what the former Indiana Pacers superstar in the old ABA meant to the franchise.

“People say that I put the Indiana Pacers on the map,” Reggie Miller said. “No, it all started with Roger Brown.”

Brown, who died in 1997, was presented by Miller and Hall of Famer Mel Daniels, a teammate of Brown’s.

Brown’s daughter, Gayle Brown Mayes, called it “a really special day” but “bittersweet” because of her father’s absence.

During the induction, Mayes was on the stage with Brown’s son, Roger Jr., plus Miller and Daniels.

Reported by Curtis Harris, special to the Indianapolis Star

Brown was the first player to sign a contract with the Pacers when they were formed in 1967, based on the recommendation of Oscar Robertson, who had played against him in off-season pickup games. Although 25 years old when the ABA was formed, and already operating on knees softened from playing so many games on asphalt and concrete, he was a first-team all-ABA selection in 1971, played in four All-Star games and was a member of the Pacers’ three championship teams. He was coming off the bench by the third one, in 1973, was traded away in 1974 and retired after playing 10 games with the Pacers at the end of the 1974-75 season.

His shining moment, however, came in the 1970 ABA Finals when the Pacers defeated the Los Angeles Stars in six games for their first title. He averaged 28.5 points in the series and scored 53 in a win in L.A. He also once hit all 14 shots in a game, and was one of the game’s greatest clutch players. Pacers coach Slick Leonard often sent the other four players to one side of the court and let Brown go one-on-one for clutch baskets.

Reported by Mark Montieth of Pacers.com

lebron james

Miami Heat forward LeBron James made his appointed rounds Sunday at AT&T Stadium, including a visit with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“Me and The Boss!! #OneOfTheGreatestOwnersOfAllTime #GoCowboys,” James posted with Instagram photo he posted of himself and Jones.

With Dwyane Wade’s Chicago Bears winning earlier in the day, the stakes were high for LeBron.

Jones announced last week that James would be among his guests for the Cowboys’ season opener against the New York Giants.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Canada eliminated from FIBA Americas basketball tournament

Cory Joseph’s 19 points wasn’t enough to deliver Canada into the semifinals of the FIBA Americas tournament, from which it was eliminated on Sunday with a 73-67 loss to Argentina.

Canada finished with three straight losses, squandering a berth to next summer’s FIBA World Cup of Basketball that had seemed like a lock after it improved to 4-1 with a crushing victory over Mexico.

Canada was 4-1 at that point, but losses to Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and finally Argentina will force it to miss the world championship tournament for just the second time since 1967. The competition has been held every four years since 1950. Argentina qualified for the eighth straight time since 1986.

Reported by Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News (Blog)

Canada bowed out at 3-4 and now faces a potential summer off next year.

On Sunday, Scola, the MVP of this qualifying tournament three times in a row, was masterful, turning in a performance for the ages as the last star standing from Argentina’s golden generation. Using a variety of fakes, feints, passing and outside shooting, the Indiana forward absolutely dominated.

Coming off of a tough 81-74 loss to the Dominican Republic a day earlier, Canada got off to a good start and stayed in front until Scola took over, scoring 13 straight points for Argentina at one point.

A three-pointer at the buzzer put Canada down five heading into the fourth and some dubious calls and veteran gamesmanship allowed Argentina to claim the win in the end.

Reported by Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun

Gary Payton

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inducted its newest members Sunday, and two men with Bay Area ties figured prominently.

Gary Payton, who starred at Oakland’s Skyline High and Oregon State before a sterling NBA career, and former Warrior Bernard King headlined the class.

“I played hard because I wanted to win every time,” Payton said. “It was all for my crazy love for the game.”

Payton was known for his defensive prowess, aggressiveness and trash-talking. He is the only NBA player with 20,000 points, 8,000 assists, 5,000 rebounds and 2,000 steals.

“I don’t regret the way I went about it, and I’m a strong man today as a result, but I can’t help but think I could have given more to the game that gave so much to me,” Payton said. “My career is complete, Gary Payton is evolving, but GP is in the Hall of Fame.”

King spent two seasons with the Warriors, averaging 21.9 points per game in 1980-81 and earning an All-Star berth while averaging 23.1 points per game in 1981-82. In all, he averaged 22.5 points in 16 NBA seasons with five teams.

“Anything you dream of and set a goal for can be achieved through hard work, education, the desire to achieve and commitments,” King said.

Reported by the Associated Press

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