Archive for September 18th, 2013

Paul George says he will sign Pacers contract extension soon

Indiana Pacers All-Star forward Paul George said today the team’s fans don’t need to worry about him going anywhere.

Indianapolis is his professional home and he plans to be here for a long time.

“(A long-term contract) is going to get done,” George told The Indianapolis Star. “There will be a deal signed and sealed on the table before the season. We’re (George and Pacers management) on the same page.”

George is entering the final year of his contract and the odds seemed long that he would leave Indiana even before Wednesday’s comments. The Pacers would have the right to match any offer he received next summer and have indicated they would do just that.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

Golden State Warriors hire Lindsey Hunter as assistant coach

The Golden State Warriors have hired Lindsey Hunter as an assistant coach on Head Coach Mark Jackson’s staff, the team announced today.

Hunter comes to the Warriors after completing the 2012-13 campaign as the interim head coach of the Phoenix Suns, where he compiled a 12-29 record at the helm. Prior to being elevated to interim head coach, Hunter served as the Suns’ player development coordinator, having originally joined the team’s scouting department in 2012.

Hunter enjoyed a 17-year NBA career as a player (1993-2010), appearing in 937 regular-season games with the Detroit Pistons (1993-00, 2003-08), Milwaukee Bucks (2000-01), Los Angeles Lakers (2001-02), Toronto Raptors (2002-03) and Chicago Bulls (2008-10). In 17 seasons, Hunter advanced to the playoffs 12 times, playing in 147 postseason contests and capturing NBA titles with the Lakers (2002) and Pistons (2004).

Originally selected by the Pistons with the 10th overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, the Jackson State University alum averaged 8.5 points, 2.7 assists and 2.2 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game during his NBA career. Following his retirement from the NBA in 2010, Hunter worked with the Bulls as a player development assistant before joining the Suns.

Deron Williams recovering from a sprained ankle

Deron Williams will start this year’s training camp like the last — returning from an ankle injury.

The star point guard suffered a right ankle sprain and a bone bruise while working out recently in Utah — where he maintains a home — leaving Williams in a walking boot. He should be ready for training camp, which starts Oct. 1 at Duke University.

But you can’t blame Williams if he takes a cautious approach.

Most of his last season was sabotaged by ankle pain. Williams’ left ankle swelled up during the 2012 Olympics, and he soon began experiencing pain in his right ankle.

Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Blog)

Charlie Villanueva
Charlie Villanueva testifies against Tate George in federal court
Doesn’t like being ripped off

[Former college basketball star] Tate George was portrayed as a con man Tuesday in federal court, where prosecutors alleged he used his accountant’s name after firing the guy and made key little mistakes in documents as part of a fraud.

George didn’t send a key letter to the home of Detroit Piston Charlie Villanueva in Rochester, Michigan, testimony revealed. The papers saying the pro baller’s $250,000 could be used any way George wanted instead were mistakenly sent to Rochester, Minn.

Soft-spoken Villanueva took the stand and told the jury he invested the quarter-million with his fellow UConn alum for a George project called Seaview Plaza in troubled Bridgeport, Conn.

It was 2010, Villanueva had just earned a $30 million contract with the Pistons and was looking for investment opportunities. He testified under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater that he liked the idea of investing in Bridgeport as a way of giving back to the community.

Villanueva was promised the return of his $250,000, a profit of $37,500 and two percent on the gross for years to come; maybe more than $2 million. He never saw a dime.

Reported by Paul Mickle of the Trentonian

Rockets GM stays realistic on shot at championship

Asked by Houston’s SportsRadio 610 about the Rockets’ 2014 championship chances, Morey urged perspective.

“I think there are probably at least three teams better than us if not more,” he said, hardly the type of restraint offered a year ago in Los Angeles, before the Lakers’ Howard, Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant succumbed to injuries.

“Until you’re going into a season felling like you are the top one or two, I think it’s, and we haven’t really accomplished anything, I think it’s hard to talk about, ‘Hey, we’re one of the favorites to win the championship.’ But I do think we go in with a chance, where as we haven’t in the last few years.”

And, yes, he has the Heat a step above, when asked if the Heat, Thunder and Spurs were the three teams he was referencing.

Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jason Kidd

“It’s all about timing. (Kidd) never had experience coaching. I actually had experience,” said the 69-year-old, Barry, who played two seasons with the New York Nets of the ABA. “I actually was a head coach in the minor leagues and I couldn’t even get an assistants job. He’s a very lucky young man to get a head coaching job for a team with that kind of talent on it, in that market. So he’s very fortunate. But I’m happy to see them get new blood in there. I’m so tired of these guys recycling guys. They go from one team to another. The guy loses, he gets fired, he gets hired someplace else by one of his buddies that’s a GM or something.

“Jason’s been there. He’s been there out on the floor and knows the things that has to be done. I think it gives him a tremendous advantage. I don’t care how much a guy has watched the game, studied the game, been around the game. If you haven’t played the game at that level, there are things about the game that you really don’t know.”

Barry said he was talked with former Nets coach Butch Beard about joining his staff in the 90s, but ownership nixed the idea. The New Jersey native (Elizabeth) never cracked the coaching ranks in the NBA. Always outspoken and often controversial, he has held several jobs in television and radio broadcasting – giving off the vibe that he’s either been blackballed, or he suffers from a persecution complex.

Reported by Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News (Blog)

Chris Singleton

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced that forward Chris Singleton will have outpatient surgery today to repair a Jones fracture to the fifth metatarsal of his left foot. He will be out approximately six to eight weeks.

The injury occurred during a voluntary workout at Verizon Center on Tuesday. The Jones fracture was revealed following an X-Ray performed by team doctors and the surgery will be performed by Dr. Marc Connell and Dr. Ed Magur.

CSN Washington on Singleton: “He’s entering a contract year. The Wizards have the option on whether or not to pick up the final year of his rookie deal after the season and he already had more competition at his small forward spot with the addition of rookie Otto Porter. Singleton had a miserable 2012-13 in which his minutes were sporadic and he averaged just 4.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and shot less than 40% from the field and less than 20% from three-point range. Players have been training and doing individual workouts at Verizon Center since mid-August.”

Singleton averaged 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 57 games for the Wizards last season. He did not miss a game due to injury last season and appeared in every game during the 2011-12 season.

Emeka Okafor out indefinitely with herniated disc in neck

Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that center Emeka Okafor will be out indefinitely after being diagnosed with a herniated C4 cervical disc.

“I have worked hard over the summer and was looking forward to the start of training camp next week, so this is a disappointing and frustrating situation for me,” said Okafor. “But I have confidence that my teammates and coaches will be able to continue to take steps towards our goal of making the playoffs and that I will be able to do my part to help them once I return.”

After consulting with several specialists and the team doctors, Okafor will begin rehabilitation to reduce the inflammation and correct the injury. The herniated disc was originally revealed through an MRI after Okafor experienced discomfort in his neck.

“Emeka’s professionalism and dedication to taking care of his body are among the best I have ever seen during my time in this league as a player, coach and executive and I know that he will be diligent in his efforts to return to the court as soon as possible,” said Grunfeld. “Until then, his absence will create opportunities for other players to step up and provide the rebounding and defense that Emeka normally contributes.”

Okafor averaged 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in 79 games for the Wizards last season. He missed two games due to the flu and the final game of the season with a sprained right ankle.

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