Archive for December 17th, 2013

New York Knicks President and General Manager Steve Mills announced today that the team has recalled guard Chris Smith from the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League.

Smith, 6-0, 200-pounds, was assigned to Erie on Nov. 18 and has averaged 11.3 points, on 50.0-percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists over 24.7 minutes in six games for the BayHawks.

With a 7-17 record, the Knicks are 4th from bottom in the league. Smith is considered strictly backup material, so he isn’t expected to play much, if at all. The bigger story for the team right now is that center Tyson Chandler should soon return.

With an 11-13 win-loss record, the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t a championship contender. Simply making the playoffs would be a solid accomplishment for them this season. But don’t tell that to Kobe Bryant, who continues to work his way back into form in his return from injury. Here’s the Los Angeles Daily News blog with more:

Kobe Bryant still working his way back into form for Lakers

Bryant had showed some slow albeit steady progression in each game that he had played in the past week. He graded himself an F in his debut in the Lakers’ loss last Sunday to Toronto where he posted nine points on 2 of 9 shooting, eight rebounds, four assists and seven turnovers. But Bryant expressed feeling a sense of accomplishment that he had returned to the court. Bryant graded himself a B in the Lakers’ loss last Tuesday to Phoenix after posting 20 points on 6 of 11 shooting. He showed there he could score and set screens for others.

Bryant’s performance dipped in the Lakers’ loss Friday to Oklahoma City where he posted four points on two of six shooting, 13 assists and seven turnovers. But with injuries to Steve Nash (nerve issues in back), Steve Blake (torn ligament in right elbow) and Jordan Farmar (strained left hamstring), Bryant offered some encouragement he could man the point guard position once he sheds enough rustiness to reduce his turnovers. Bryant then showed off his scoring touch and clutch play by posting 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting in 32 minutes and hitting two free throws to seal the Lakers’ win Saturday over Charlotte. Though he still posted seven turnovers, Bryant’s improved lift in his shot and his eight assists suggested the two-man tandem between Bryant and Pau Gasol could become a winning formula in the same way that secured them two NBA championships.

“So far it’s been successful,” Gasol said. “He hasn’t gotten hurt or rehurt. That’s a positive.”

Here’s Reuters reporting on the overseas antics of your favorite former NBA rebounder, Dennis Rodman:

Retired basketball star Dennis Rodman will return to North Korea for a third time on Thursday, despite political tension surrounding the execution of leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle, trip organizers said.

“It’s certainly safe, even when there is a bit of disruption like there is now — a bit of trouble or chaos — there’s even more need for cultural or sporting exchanges,” said Rory Scott, a spokesman for Irish bookmakers Paddy Power, which has arranged the trip.

Rodman has visited Pyongyang on two other occasions, during which he spent time dining as a guest of Kim Jong Un, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship.

In Washington, a State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, sought to distance the U.S. government from Rodman’s visit.

Remember Chris Kaman? He’s on the Los Angeles Lakers, in case you forgot. And the big guy isn’t too happy about barely getting off the bench this season. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles with more:

Chris Kaman getting little run with Lakers

Chris Kaman has stopped trying to figure out how he fell so far out of the Los Angeles Lakers’ rotation.

The veteran center says he joined the team as a free agent this summer because he saw opportunity to play significant minutes and re-establish his value after a couple of up-and-down seasons with New Orleans and Dallas.

Instead he’s found himself at the end of the Lakers’ bench.

“It’s absolutely not what I was looking for,” Kaman told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Monday morning after the Lakers’ shootaround. “It’s not really in my control. I just try to keep working hard and be ready if the time comes. And if it doesn’t, then it just wasn’t meant to be.”

Basketball blog