Archive for November, 2013

The Dallas Mavericks announced today that they have assigned Ricky Ledo to the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League.

Ledo (6-7, 200) has seen action in six games for the Mavericks and holds averages of 1.2 points and 2.6 minutes per game.

Ledo will join the Legends and be available for tonight’s game when they take on the Tulsa 66ers at 7:00 pm CT at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco.

Here is Charlotte Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson throwing a great pass if the intent was for the basketball to hit a female fan in the head. This video is a Vine from Cardboard Gerald and hosted by Vine, not InsideHoops:

Lakers waive forward Elias Harris

The Los Angeles Lakers have waived forward Elias Harris, it was announced today.

Harris appeared in two games for the Lakers this season, tallying a rebound, an assist and a steal in 11 minutes. The two-time All-West Coast Conference Team selection out of Gonzaga University started all five games for the Lakers’ 2013 Summer League team in Las Vegas, averaging 10.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 27.0 minutes.

The Lakers roster now stands at 14 players.

The Brooklyn Nets haven’t learned to win just yet this NBA season, but at least new head coach Jason Kidd has found a new way to keep things interesting. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

jason kidd

Not only did “Cupgate” fail to get the Nets a win, it’s also going to cost Jason Kidd some cash.

The NBA announced Thursday night it had fined Kidd $50,000 for intentionally spilling his cup of soda late in Wednesday’s 99-94 loss to the Lakers in Brooklyn.

Because Kidd was caught on camera telling Tyshawn Taylor to “hit me” just before the player bumped into him, it isn’t surprising the league would choose to crack down on the Nets coach.

Kidd’s antics came with 8.2 seconds remaining in Wednesday’s loss, and as Lakers guard Jodie Meeks was preparing to shoot the second of two free throws with the Lakers leading 96-94.

As Taylor exited the court as part of an offense-defense substitution with Mirza Teletovic, Kidd — who was holding a cup of soda with ice in it — clearly said “hit me” as Taylor walked toward him.

Photo: Media crowd around LeBron James

Standard scene around NBA superstars: A media crowd packed like sardines, squeezed together to hear the words of LeBron James.

I like the mic stand Channel 19 uses (bottom right):

Knicks lose 7th game in a row

There are all sorts of basketball struggles going on right now in New York City. Here’s the New York Post with the latest on the Knicks:

The Knicks were presented a gift and said no thanks.

Clippers superstar point guard Chris Paul left the game with 3:39 left in the third quarter and eventually hobbled to the locker room, grabbing his strained right hamstring. He never returned. Nor did the Knicks’ offense.

The break was there for the Knicks to snatch, but this isn’t an opportunistic bunch.

With a sickening late offensive display, the Knicks fell for the seventh straight time despite Raymond Felton’s solid return from a hip injury. The Paul-less Clippers held off the Knicks in the final quarter to post a 93-80 victory Wednesday night at Staples Center as the Knicks dropped their seventh straight and fell to a miserable 3-11.

“It’s mindboggling,’’ Felton said after the Knicks shot 38.6 percent. “It hurts. We’re not used to it.’’

Photo from the NBA of LeBron James arriving in the Cleveland visiting locker room for tonight’s Miami Heat at Cavs game:

Here’s the Miami Herald reporting on LeBron James heading home for to Akron for Thanksgiving, but with a stop in Cleveland to play the Cavs first:

lebron james

Two days before Thanksgiving, LeBron James sat in his old high school gymnasium in Akron, Ohio, and reminisced. Off to the side, while St. Vincent-St. Mary practiced, James’ sons shot hoops on the same rims that helped turn their father into the best basketball player on the planet.

These Heat road trips to his hometown for games against his old team have been memorable for James ever since he signed with the Heat, and this latest visit to Northeast Ohio will be another emotional exercise in balancing his appreciation for the place that made him and his love for what now defines him.

On Wednesday, James’ Heat plays the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena and before the game a grassroots movement called “Come Home LeBron” will hold a rally outside the arena. After the game, the Heat is spending the night in the area instead of immediately boarding a plane to Toronto. On Thursday, James is hosting a Thanksgiving feast for the Heat at his home in Akron.

“I am happy that I’m able to do something for the team for Thanksgiving,” James said.

In describing James’ house, Chris Bosh mused that if the Heat’s players had to be away from their families, “it might as well be the biggest house in the world.” Dwyane Wade joked that he would make sure to wear “the right socks” because the house is too fancy for shoes.

The Brooklyn Nets are struggling, and injuries are making things even worse. Any win lately is a big one. Here’s the New York Daily News on results from Tuesday:

jason kidd

They nearly blew it, but the Nets will take a win any way they can get one.

Despite an awful start to the season in which they’ve been without four key players for long stretches, have crumbled in third quarters and been left searching for answers, they entered their first division game of the season Tuesday night somehow only three games behind their opponent, the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors.

Thanks to an effort in which they were better defensively in transition, won the rebounding battle and actually looked competent in the third quarter, the Nets pulled to within two games of first place with a 102-100 win at the Air Canada Centre, averting disaster by holding off a late Raptors run to snap a five-game skid and win for the second time in 10 games.

“Those guys in that locker room found that they had enough,” coach Jason Kidd said after his team nearly blew all of a 15-point lead in the final 5:22. “You’ve got a bunch of guys in there with pride and they knew what they had to do tonight against the division-leading Raptors and got a big win on the road.” …

Andray Blatche carried the offensive load for Brooklyn early, scoring 15 first-half points on 7-for-10 shooting in a variety of ways: easy points in the paint, difficult drives to the hoop and 20-foot jumpers. He finished with a team-high 24 points.

DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points for Toronto (6-8) and Kyle Lowry had 24 points and six assists.

Jermaine O`Neal steps up for Warriors

Here’s the Bay Area News Group via the San Jose Mercury News on veteran big man Jermaine O’Neal stepping up for the Golden State Warriors Tuesday:

Jermaine O'Neal

There is Denzel Washington’s speech in “Remember the Titans” and Gene Hackman’s talk to his squad in “Hoosiers.”

And then there’s the postgame oration Jermaine O’Neal gave Tuesday after his improbable performance to lift the Warriors to a much-needed 102-101 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

“I keep telling these guys that trials and tribulations will build character for a true championship team,” O’Neal said. “It may not look good all the time, but we keep fighting, we keep fighting. It doesn’t matter who’s on the court in a Warriors uniform, we always feel like we have enough. Hopefully these lessons we’re learning early, all the injuries … is teaching us a lesson. I truly believe at the end of the year, we’re going to be rewarded for these lessons that we’ve learned.”

Leave it to the 35-year-old, 18th-year veteran to lift the Warriors when they needed it most. The Warriors were without Andrew Bogut, suspended for a game for his role in the altercation with Portland on Saturday. Swingman Andre Iguodala (strained left hamstring) didn’t make the trip. But O’Neal, a former All-Star turned backup center, pulled off a timely throwback performance.

He finished with 18 points and eight rebounds in his first game back after missing the previous four. He was out with a bruised right knee and strained right groin. O’Neal revealed Tuesday that he also had a sore wrist and a viral infection that left him barely able to speak Sunday.

The LeBron James “Decision” TV special is old news, but here’s the Akron Beacon Journal blog with good stuff from Anderson Varejao:

anderson varejao

Anderson Varejao, the last remaining player with ties to LeBron James, said Tuesday he disagreed with the way James left but believes he could return to play for this organization again.

“It could happen,” Varejao said. “Bron is from Akron. Akron is not too far from here. Eventually in his career, he probably wants to play at home.”

And then unprovoked, the normally quiet Varejao said he didn’t like the way James left the Cavs via the one-hour television special.

“Going back to that, I think the way he left was wrong,” Varejao said. “But regardless … He helped me a lot, helped my game and helped me as a person. I have nothing against him. It could happen.”

Ognjen Kuzmic out at least six weeks after hand surgery

Golden State Warriors center Ognjen Kuzmic underwent successful surgery yesterday on his right hand, the team announced. The procedure, which was performed by Dr. William Maloney and Dr. Amy Ladd at the Stanford Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine Clinic, was necessary to repair the fractured fifth metacarpal in his right hand. Kuzmic suffered the injury when he hit his hand on the backboard during the first quarter of the team’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies on November 20. He is expected to be out for a minimum of six weeks.

Kuzmic, 23, has appeared in 10 games this season, averaging 4.1 minutes per contest.

The New York Knicks are struggling, and forward Carmelo Anthony isn’t getting much help from teammates. Here’s New York Newsday with more on the situation:

carmelo anthony

If the Knicks don’t go deep in the playoffs or make major changes to upgrade the roster, there’s no guarantee that Anthony will re-sign just because they can offer him five years and roughly $129 million, about $34 million more than any other team.

Anthony says he continues to remain positive because he has to for his team, but he also had some revealing comments about the Knicks’ 3-9 start.

“I think it’s time for us to kind of get that monkey off our back,” he said. “It’s starting to turn into a gorilla. I can’t handle that. It’s starting to get tough.

“When you’re losing, it’s not fun. Are we having fun on the basketball court? No. The game is not fun right now. When you start pressing, pressing, pressing, it makes everything that much worse. So no, we’re not having fun playing basketball right now. We got to get back to that.”

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has acquired forward Luc Mbah a Moute (BAH-ah MOO-tay) from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for forward Derrick Williams.

“We are excited to acquire a solid veteran player in Luc Mbah a Moute,” said Flip Saunders, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “Luc is known as one of the premier defensive players in the league with an ability to guard multiple positions. He adds a lot of energy, grit and a high basketball IQ to our team. We thank Derrick for his contributions to our organization and wish him well in Sacramento.”

“We’re excited to acquire a player with Derrick’s skillset,” said Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro. “He will add size, length and serve as a scoring threat in our frontcourt. We also want to thank Luc for his contributions during the short time he was a King. We wish him the best.”

Mbah a Moute, a 6-8 forward, has averaged 6.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game over parts of six seasons with Milwaukee and most recently Sacramento. After the Bucks matched an offer sheet from the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 13, 2011, Mbah a Moute was traded by Milwaukee to the Kings on July 12, 2013 in exchange for two second-round picks. Today’s trade reunites Mbah a Moute with Kevin Love, as the pair led UCLA to a Final Four run in the 2008 NCAA Tournament.

Williams averaged 10.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game over 2+ seasons with the Wolves. The 6-8 forward is averaging 4.9 points and 2.4 rebounds in 14.7 minutes per game this season.

Read NBA fan reaction or share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

bradley beal

The Washington Wizards announced today that guard Bradley Beal has been diagnosed with a stress injury to his proximal right fibula. He will miss the next two weeks and then be re-evaluated. The injury was diagnosed by team doctors following an MRI exam on Monday after Beal experienced soreness in his right leg.

Beal has appeared in all 13 games for the Wizards this season, averaging 20.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 40.2 minutes. He missed the final eight games of last season due to a stress injury to his distal right fibula.

The following is a medical update on Utah Jazz center Enes Kanter, who was injured during the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game at Oklahoma City:

Kanter was examined by the Utah Jazz medical staff and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on his right ankle Monday in Salt Lake City. The MRI findings confirmed Kanter has an inversion sprain of his right ankle.

Kanter will not play in tonight’s game vs. Chicago and is considered day-to-day. He will be a game-time decision for Friday’s game vs. Phoenix.

Kanter (6-11, 247, Kentucky) has played in all 15 games (14 starts) for the Jazz in 2013-14, ranking second on the team in both scoring (13.8 points) and rebounding (7.0 rebounds) in 31.9 minutes per game. He has scored in double figures in 11 of his 15 games this season, reaching 20-plus points four times, and also has three double-digit rebounding efforts. The 21-year-old native of Turkey was originally selected by the Jazz in the first round (third overall selection) of the 2011 NBA Draft.

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut and Portland Trail Blazers guard Mo Williams have each been suspended one game without pay for fighting after Bogut initiated an incident by elbowing Trail Blazers center Joel Freeland in the jaw.

In addition, for escalating the incident, Portland forward LaMarcus Aldridge has been fined $45,000, and Portland guard Wesley Matthews and Golden State forward Draymond Green have been fined $20,000 each.

The incident occurred with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter of the Trail Blazers’ 113-101 win over the Warriors on Saturday, Nov. 23 at Oracle Arena.

The penalties were announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Williams will serve his suspension tonight when the Trail Blazers host the New York Knicks. Bogut will serve his suspension on Tuesday, Nov. 26, when the Warriors visit the New Orleans Pelicans.

To view the play, click on this link.

Lakers sign Kobe Bryant to two-year contract extension

The Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant really like each other. And want to stick together. And have put it in writing.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak announced today that the Lakers have signed Bryant to a two-year contract extension. According to ESPN reporter Chris Broussard, the deal will pay Bryant $23.5 million in the 2014-15 season, and $25 million in the 2015-16.

“This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization,” said Kupchak. “We’ve said all along that our priority and hope was to have Kobe finish his career as a Laker, and this should ensure that that happens. To play 20 years in the NBA, and to do so with the same team, is unprecedented, and quite an accomplishment. Most importantly however, it assures us that one of the best players in the world will remain a Laker, bringing us excellent play and excitement for years to come.”

Bryant, a five-time NBA Champion, has earned numerous accolades over the span of his 17-year career, including being selected as the NBA MVP in 2007-08 and winning the NBA Finals MVP award in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The 15-time NBA All-Star has also led the United States to gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics. Bryant has earned All-NBA honors in each of the last 15 seasons and has been named to the NBA’s All-Defensive Team 12 times.

The Lakers have appeared in postseason play in all but one season (2004-05) of Bryant’s 17 campaigns with the team, and have reached the NBA Finals seven times, winning championships in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010. The 6’6” guard scored a career-high 81 points (55 in the 2nd half) on January 22, 2006, the second highest game and half point totals in NBA history.

Originally acquired by the Lakers from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Vlade Divac on July 11, 1996 after being selected by the Hornets with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, Bryant is the Lakers all-time leading scorer and currently ranks 4th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

Read fan reaction or share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

Derrick Rose injury news update: Out for season after knee surgery

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is gone again.

Earlier this morning, Rose underwent successful surgery to repair his previously torn medial meniscus in his right knee. The surgery was performed at Rush University Medical Center by Chicago Bulls head team physician Dr. Brian Cole and team physician Dr. Chuck Bush Joseph.

Rose is out for the remainder of the season. He suffered his injury in the third quarter of Chicago’s loss at Portland on Friday night.

This is a real shame. D-Rose is a dynamic, exciting player and a key member of the Bulls. The former league MVP continues to be hit by major injuries that keep him off the court for extremely long stretches of time. Hopefully he someday finds consistent health. Until then, the Bulls go on without him.

Read fan reaction or share your opinion in this basketball forum topic.

After hot start, Timberwolves cool off

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune with an update on the Timberwolves:

ricky rubio

After a 5-2 start that provided their long-suffering hope for the playoffs and perhaps even a 50-victory season, the Timberwolves now are 8-7 and headed to Indianapolis on Monday to play a Pacers team that shares the NBA’s best record.

They have lost three of their past four games and five of their last seven. They are 6-2 at home but are 2-5 away from Target Center and have lost their last four on the road.

A challenging November schedule in which they will play a franchise-record 18 games by month’s end hasn’t helped. Neither have injuries to key reserves Chase Budinger and Ronny Turiaf that have exposed weaknesses in the team’s depth.

Is it time to worry?

“We’re fine,” Wolves veteran guard Kevin Martin said after Saturday’s 112-101 loss at Houston. “We’re a solid team right now. We’ve got some work to do. It’s a long season. Things will start to work in our favor. Everybody goes through tough stretches. We just have to weather the storm.”

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