Archive for September 12th, 2013

Mexico completed its unlikely run in the FIBA Americas tournament, beating Puerto Rico 91-89 in the title game on Wednesday. It was the first time Mexico has won the championship of North, Central and South America, which serves as a qualification stage for next summer’s World Cup of Basketball in Spain.

(The United States did not have to participate as champions of last year’s Olympics, earning an automatic birth to the World Cup. Mexico will participate for the first time since 1974.)

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

Gustavo Ayón scored 20 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds to complete a magnificent individual tournament performance that crowned him MVP.

Ayón also made the all-tournament team, averaging 17.2 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Puerto Rico and Mexico exchanged leads throughout the fourth quarter, and the Puerto Ricans missed an open three-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it.

Reported by Jaryd Wilson of HawksBasketBlog

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony can become a free agent after the upcoming season, but he gave the strongest indication yet that his plan is to re-sign with the Knicks.

“I’m not going nowhere,” Anthony said during an interview Tuesday with Bloomberg Television’s “Market Markers.”

Anthony is due to make $23.3 million in the 2014-15 season. If he were to opt out, the Lakers likely would pursue him, but the Knicks can offer him significantly more. Under the collective bargaining agreement, the most the Lakers could offer is four years and roughly $96 million. Anthony could get a maximum five-year contract worth about $129 million from the Knicks, who can start negotiating with him in February.

Money aside, Anthony pushed for the February 2011 trade from Denver to be in the spotlight and try to help the Knicks win their first championship since 1973. He led them to 54 wins last season and their first Atlantic Division title in 19 years, but they lost to Indiana in the second round.

Reported by Al Iannazzone of New York Newsday

Reggie Evans

Non-stop rhetoric has ping-ponged back and forth across both boroughs, the playful woofing even coming in the simple form of that three-letter phrase used so much in social media circles.

Nets forward Reggie Evans types in a simple “lol” on his Twitter page, this after the Knicks’ J.R. Smith responded to Paul Pierce’s chatter about hating the Knicks by proclaiming the Knicks were going to win the 2013-14 NBA crown. Jason Terry, never one to back down from tossing verbal barbs, chimed in the other day, cracking that maybe Smith instead meant the Knicks were destined to win a streetball title.

Jason Kidd doesn’t mind it all, probably because he’s well aware his team features a handful of trash-talking players who have no problem taking turns behind the wheel of their proverbial garbage trucks.

“That’s who my guys are,” the Nets coach told Newsday Wednesday at Lincoln Center, where he was promoting Reel Code Media’s application at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. “They have to be who they are. Some like to talk, some don’t. So you probably won’t hear Brook [Lopez] get involved in that.

“But Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, that’s the makeup of what they like to do. It’s all in fun. The game isn’t won in the newspapers; it’s won on the court. You still have to play the game.”

Reported by Roderick Boone of New York Newsday

Minnesota Timberwolves announce athletic training staff hires

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the hiring of Koichi Sato as the team’s Director of Sports Performance and Mark Kyger as Director of Athletic Therapy. Both Sato and Kyger will report to Timberwolves Head Athletic Trainer Gregg Farnam.

“We are pleased to welcome Koichi and Mark to our training staff,” Farnam said. “They both have many years of experience in working with athletes and will help us achieve the highest standard possible in the physical preparation and maintenance of our players.”

Sato will be responsible for overseeing all areas relating to performance enhancement. He comes to the Wolves from the Washington Wizards where he was the team’s Rehabilitation Coordinator/Assistant Athletic Trainer since 2008. Prior to that, Sato was an Assistant Athletic Trainer/Performance Specialist for Athletes’ Performance in Los Angeles for one year. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tokyo International University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Illinois University. Sato received his Master’s degree in Exercise Science/Physical Education from Arizona State in 2001. From 2000 to 2006, Sato was an Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Sun Devils. He has been a speaker and instructor on different areas of training for the last 10 years.

Kyger will play an integral role in the health care of the Timberwolves players. He comes to the Wolves from Arizona State University where he was the Sun Devils’ Rehabilitation Coordinator, providing physical therapy and athletic training for athletes in the school’s 21 varsity sports since 2007. Prior to that, Kyger was employed by Physiotherapy Associates in Tempe, Ariz., from 2005-07 where he specialized in sports therapy. Kyger received an undergraduate degree in Human Performance and Wellness from Mesa State College and received a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Regis University Ruekert-Hartman School for Health Care Professions. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, and National Strength and Conditioning Association. Kyger played college basketball at Mesa State, earning four letters and serving as the team’s co-captain in 2000-01.

Kings

A fresh fight broke out Wednesday over the proposed public subsidy for Sacramento’s new NBA arena, this time over an allegation that opponents of the subsidy are illegally using voter-registration information for commercial purposes.

In a complaint to the California secretary of state’s elections fraud unit, the pro-arena group DowntownArena.org accused its opponents of using voter lists to pitch the services of a for-profit energy company. “Voter registration information shall not be used for any commercial purpose,” reads the letter from DowntownArena.org.

But John Hyde, a spokesman for the anti-subsidy group STOP, for Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, called the charge “absolutely false.”

The exchange was the latest flare-up between DowntownArena and STOP, which is working on a ballot initiative to force a public vote on the city’s proposed $258 million subsidy for the arena. Last month, DowntownArena filed a complaint with the state Fair Political Practices Commission that resulted in the dramatic disclosure that a portion of the signature-gathering effort was secretly financed by Chris Hansen, the investor who tried to buy the Kings earlier this year and move them to Seattle.

Reported by Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee

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