Archive for October 2nd, 2013

Steve Nash, ex-wife settle child custody case

NBA star Steve Nash and his former wife have reached a settlement in an Arizona court in their child custody case.

Judge Ray Ryan Adelman of Maricopa County Superior Court on Sept. 25 signed an order accepting the settlement and ordering it sealed…

Nash and Alejandra Amarilla Menrath divorced in late 2011.

Reported by the Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls announced today that the team has waived guards Kalin Lucas and Patrick Christopher.

Both players originally signed with Chicago as free agents on Sept. 27, 2013.

Chicago’s training camp roster now stands at 16.

McCollum is figuring out life in the NBA, and in some ways, training camp will be a way for the Blazers to figure out McCollum, whom they acquired with the No. 10 pick of June’s draft. McCollum played well enough in summer league – averaging averaged 21.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists – that it seemed he might have a significant role in the Blazers’ rotation this season.

That might have changed Aug. 8, when the Blazers made a late acquisition, signing free agent point guard Mo Williams, a former All-Star who started for Utah last season.

Blazers coach Terry Stotts said Williams will be a key part of his “core” group, which will include starters Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez.

“Core guys aren’t going to change,” Stotts said.

Reported by Mike Tokito of the Oregonian

Larry Sanders

Milwaukee center Larry Sanders raised eyebrows during Bucks media day when asked about former teammate Brandon Jennings, who is now with the Detroit Pistons.

He was asked by Fox Sports Wisconsin’s Andrew Gruman to comment on Jennings saying he was going to play with better bigs in Detroit.

Sanders said: “He has to pass it to them first.”

Ouch!

Jennings, acquired in a trade that sent Brandon Knight and Khris Middletonto the Bucks, has a shoot-first reputation.

Reported by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press

EPIX to deliver a Dwight Howard documentary

Looks like Jeremy Lin won’t be the only Rockets player with his own documentary.

Dwight Howard has teamed with EPIX to offer an exclusive look into his life and path to becoming a megastar. A big part of the original documentary, EPIX Presents Dwight Howard: In the Moment, includes footage of Howard during his recruitment and decision to come to Houston, so that should be of particular interest to Rockets fans. It will also retrace his youth and career path and will help answer the question, ‘who is the real Dwight Howard?’

Reported by Sara Eckert of CSN Houston

Steve Blake to play multiple roles for Lakers

Blake’s team mindset, scrappiness and comfort level in both running pick-and-rolls and looking for his own shot under D’Antoni’s system will play a critical role heading into the 2013-14 season for multiple reasons. Uncertainty looms on when Kobe Bryant will fully heal from his surgically repaired left Achilles tendon. D’Antoni hopes to limit Steve Nash’s minutes at starting point guard in hopes of preserving the 39-year-old’s body. And with the Lakers acquiring Jordan Farmar this offseason, Blake will compete for minutes for plenty of scenarios.

“With coach’s system, you can play a lot of guards,” Blake said. “We’ll be rotating in and out a lot, especially myself going to the shooting guard some and point guard. I’m going to be prepared for that. Whatever they ask of me, I’ll be willing to do.”

Blake’s answer shouldn’t be surprising. He’s always shown a team mindset and deferential to the Lakers’ coaching staff in his three seasons here. But he enters the final year of a $4 million contract with the Lakers, Blake’s flexibility and proven success under D’Antoni will be needed at a time when the Lakers’ backcourt depth could offset looming health uncertainties surrounding Bryant and Nash.

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

C.J. Watson seems like great fit for Pacers

C.J. Watson has spent nearly his entire professional career coming off the bench so when the Indiana Pacers told him that likely would be his role if he accepted their free-agency offer last summer, he was fine with it.

Yet, Watson also knew the Pacers were crying out for help at point guard. Even if he didn’t start, substantial playing time could be had on a team in which starting point guard George Hill often resembles a shooter and scorer as much as a distributor.

“D.J. (Augustin, the Pacers’ previous backup now in Toronto) still played a lot last year,” said Watson, who signed a two-year, $4.1 million contract after spending last season with the Brooklyn Nets. “That was a good thing for me to see, knowing I could help this team.”

After the first few days of training camp, coach Frank Vogel sounds more convinced than ever he will do just that.

Reported by Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star

LeBron James
LeBron James
Athletic

LeBron James is bringing back the pregame powder.

The Miami Heat star says he’s decided to resume his one-time tradition of tossing powder into the air just before the start of games. He’s depicted doing exactly that on the cover of the NBA 2K14 video game that was released this week, that image almost serving as a teaser of what was to come this season.

James got away from the pregame powder salute a couple of seasons ago.

Reported by the Associated Press

What interested Mike Longabardi in joining the Suns?

Longabardi: “I just looked at the whole perspective that they have, and I’ve never been in this situation before. It’s a great place to live. I like the moves that Ryan (McDonough) has made. So for me personally, it was an opportunity to come in and kind of put my stamp on it and help (Hornacek) so that we can all be successful and build it from the bottom up.

“My goal is, hopefully, one day become a head coach. I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not; only time will tell. But I know if I do probably get an opportunity it’s going to have to be in a situation where you’re going to have to start from the ground up. So to me, this is exciting too. So I’m going to come here, see what Jeff is going to do; how he’s going to do things and help him a little bit.

“This is the first time that I’m working on a team that I didn’t really know anybody coming in, so that’s going to be good for me also. All those things together, and obviously coming here to Phoenix, it’s a beautiful place to live. It was kind of like an easy decision when you really, really put everything down on paper.

“This is going to be new. Yeah, I’ve never dealt with this before, which is part of the reason why I wanted to do it. I’m not so much caught up right now with the results because this is a process. The results are important. We always want to win. I’m not saying that that’s not important, but we just got to keep taking steps so that we’re getting better and each year we make progress. To me that’s the sign of a good coach: How he does each year, are they getting better, are they improving.”

Reported by Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett
Tends to be vocal

It didn’t take more than a couple of minutes watching the opening practice of Nets training camp Tuesday at Duke University to see the impact Kevin Garnett is already having on the team.

Within moments of the media being let into the gym, Garnett could be overheard saying, “If you cheat the drill, you cheat yourself.” He was constantly talking throughout the fast-paced practice, as the coaching staff kept things moving with the mostly veteran group.

“That’s all he does,” Deron Williams said of Garnett’s chatter, laughing. “That’s it. He’s gonna tell you that, as well. That’s good, though, because guys are going to see him talking and it’s contagious. When teams are talking and communicating, that’s the first key to having a successful defense.”

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post

Knicks sign Chris Douglas-Roberts

New York Knicks President and General Manager Steve Mills announced today that the team has signed guard Chris Douglas-Roberts. We assume this is just a non-guaranteed training camp signing.

In addition, forward Justin Brownlee has been waived.

Roberts, 6-7, 210-pounds, holds career averages of 7.5 points, on 44.2-percent shooting, over 20.3 minutes in 161 games (52 starts) over four seasons with New Jersey, Milwaukee and Dallas. He averaged 2.8 points over 10.5 minutes in six games for Dallas last season, and 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.44 steals over 34.8 minutes in 16 games for the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.

The Detroit, MI native was originally selected by New Jersey following his junior season at the University of Memphis in the second round (40th overall) of 2008 NBA Draft.

Spurs hire Dave Telep

The San Antonio Spurs today announced that Dave Telep has been hired as the team’s draft scouting coordinator.

Telep joins the Spurs organization after most recently serving as ESPN.com’s senior national recruiting analyst. He also spent time as a sideline reporter for ESPNU and a studio analyst for Recruiting Nation. During the past year, Telep has also served on the USA Developmental National Committee for the USA National Team.

He has been covering basketball recruiting for 16 years and in 2001 launched Dave Telep Scouting Services, which has been utilized by 230 Division I college programs around the country.

Denver Nuggets plan to get nasty

Denver Nuggets plan to get nasty

Forget 57 regular-season wins for the Nuggets. That’s not going to happen. But here is the real goal for the local NBA team:

No more wimpy basketball.

The Nuggets have a new way to play.

“Smashmouth basketball,” new Denver coach Brian Shaw said.

I asked Shaw to define his terms. What qualifies as smashmouth basketball?

“Smashmouth means that you are literally going to get your mouth smashed if you’re going against us for a rebound or a loose ball,” Shaw said. “We want to have a nasty disposition, both offensively and defensively.”

Reported by Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post

JR Smith

J.R. Smith is recovering from knee surgery, then faces an NBA suspension when he returns.

Amar’e Stoudemire is recovering from knee surgery — yes, that’s three in the last year — and faces a restriction on his minutes when he returns.

The New York Knicks have the NBA’s leading scorer in Carmelo Anthony, but after that there are questions about who’s going to put the ball in the basket until their second- and third-leading scorers get back.

They downplayed those concerns Tuesday after their first practice of the season.

“We’ve just got to be patient until we get those guys back, and then when they get back, they’re going to fit right in,” coach Mike Woodson said.

Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

John Salmons surprised to be back with Kings

Veteran swingman John Salmons figured he was expendable.

The Kings hadn’t used their amnesty waiver provision on him, so it seemed logical that his $7.6 million salary might be used to free salary cap space for this season.

“A little bit,” said Salmons, when asked if he was surprised to still be with the Kings. “A little bit. I can’t lie about that. But I’m good with being here, but I am a little surprised.”

The Kings had been trying to upgrade the small forward position where Salmons, 33, finished last season as the starter.

The Kings traded for Luc Mbah a Moute but decided to keep Salmons, too.

Reported by Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee

Greg Oden participates in an NBA practice for first time in years

Tuesday was a bit surreal for Miami Heat center Greg Oden.

Not only was he going through his first NBA practice in four years, but it was taking place in the middle of a hotel ballroom on a tropical island.

The Heat opened training camp with a standard, defensive drill-oriented workout in a warehouse-like conference center at the Atlantis Resort. Oden took part in about half of the practice, but that still was a significant step forward as he attempts a long-shot comeback after not playing since December 2009 because of chronic knee problems.

“It felt good just being out there,” Oden said. “First time in a while, I’m happy I got it completed. They had to pull me off the floor. But I’ve got to take steps.”

Reported by Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com

Eric Gordon may not play until later in preseason

New Orleans Pelicans fans will be watching closely throughout preseason to see how Monty Williams fills out his starting lineup and rotation, but it’s likely the first few games won’t provide a complete picture of his plans. On Tuesday, Williams told local reporters that shooting guard Eric Gordon is not expected to be able to play in an exhibition game for “about two weeks.” Gordon participated in practice but is being monitored as he progresses in his conditioning following offseason ankle surgery.

“He’s ramping up, getting his conditioning back, since he just got his release from the doctors,” Williams said. “He’s moving toward the type of conditioning he needs to be in. I don’t want him to go out there full bore and pull a hamstring or something, because he hasn’t been going (physically) as long as the other guys have.”

Reported by Jim Eichenhofer of the NBA.com Pelicans Blog

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