Archive for December 25th, 2013

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on 5-9, 185-pound Kings guard Isaiah Thomas, who is having an impressive season:

Isaiah Thomas having great season for Sacramento Kings

Since being drafted at No. 60 in 2011 – a resounding last – Thomas has nudged Tyreke Evans off the ball, outperformed his more celebrated teammate Jimmer Fredette, outplayed veteran Aaron Brooks, beat out Greivis Vasquez, the pass-first point guard who was acquired during the offseason and traded again before the turkey and dressing had cooled.

Finally, or for now at least since there should be nothing final about a team with an 8-19 record, Thomas has his own team to run. And he has shown no signs of slowing down. In his eight games as lead guard, he is averaging 20.9 points, 7.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds, numbers that most diminutive NBA guards of the modern era (Muggsy Bogues, Earl Boykins, Nate Robinson, Keith Jennings, Spud Webb, among them) couldn’t reach with a step ladder.

“I’ve always been the shortest guy out there,” Thomas said the other night, “and always had to make adjustments. You have to use different moves, tactics, either to shoot over the defense or get past people.”

A sampling of the left-hander’s favorite offerings include high-arching floaters, 3-pointers in transition, stepback 19-footers, hesitation dribble-drives that freeze defenders and open the lane for dunks, bank shots, layups and an increasing array of off-balance circus shots he admits stealing from colleagues Steve Nash, Jason Terry and Chris Paul, all of whom beat him by a few inches.

Gilbert Arenas hopes for NBA comeback

Here’s TMZ reporting on a former beloved NBA player who really should keep the sneakers hung up in the closet at this point. It’s unlikely that any team would sign Gilbert Arenas at this point, but here’s the story:

Gilbert Arenas hopes for NBA comeback

Gilbert Arenas has had a change of heart … telling TMZ Sports he’s abandoned his plans to retire from pro basketball … and he’s currently training to RETURN TO THE NBA!!

It was just last month, Agent Zero told us he was walking away from the sport forever … happily … ’cause he’s still got another $38 million coming his way from the $111 million contract he signed with the Washington Wizards back in the day.

Dirk Nowitzki, still an NBA star

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who is still a force in basketball:

Dirk Nowitzki, still an NBA star

The greatness that is Dirk Nowitzki struck again Monday night at the Toyota Center.

Nowitzki poured in a game-high 31 points and converted 11-of-18 shots while leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 111-104 victory over the Houston Rockets. Afterward, leave it to forward Vince Carter to explain why Nowitzki will go down in history as one of the greatest to ever play in the NBA.

“He’s very confident and he understands who he is and how he can dominate the game,” Carter said. “And that’s a dangerous player to me is a guy who knows, ‘Hey, I might not take you off the dribble, but at the same time, I’m going to score all day.’

“He has you at his mercy, and I think he also does a great job of just letting [the game] come to him.”

Kevin Garnett discusses Nets struggles

The Brooklyn Nets are 9-18 and have had a very tough season. In their defense, injuries have played a big factor in their struggles. Still, the team is under-performing. Here’s the New York Daily News reporting:

Kevin Garnett discusses Brooklyn Nets struggles

A day after Jason Kidd blasted the Nets as being comfortable with losing, Kevin Garnett acknowledged they were a team without an identity – another depressing admission about a third into the season — but stopped short of seconding his coach.

“I wouldn’t agree with that. Personally, I can only control myself and I’d never step on the floor if I never was going to accept anything less than (wanting to win),” Garnett said ahead of Brooklyn’s Christmas noon showdown against the Bulls at Barclays Center. “I’m not built like that, and I don’t think my teammates are built like that. Obviously we’re going through a tough time. That’s (Kidd’s) assessment. I don’t think it’s true.”

Garnett, 37, again reiterated that his lack of production this season is a result of his reduced role, not a personal struggle or a decline in his game.

Still, he admitted — somewhat stubbornly — that might have to change with the season-ending injury to Brook Lopez. Garnett is averaging just 6.7 points while shooting 37.5% in 22 minutes per game – career lows, by far, if sustained.

Here’s the Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting on an interesting possibility:

Former UNLV and NBA basketball player Jackie Robinson is proposing a $1.3 billion, privately funded 22,000-seat arena and resort on the Strip. The $1.3 billion includes $690 million for the arena.

Robinson is calling it, for now, the All Net Arena and Resort, because he does not have an official name for the venue. He said he plans to pursue an arena naming rights deal. His company is All Net Arena LLC, he said.

Robinson wants to build between the under-construction SLS Las Vegas hotel-casino and the halted Fontainebleau project. He hopes to break ground in the spring and open the arena in December 2016.

Robinson said he is financing the arena-resort through a $250 million equity raise, federal tax credits, a construction loan and the federal “EB-5 visa” program, which allows foreign investors to get visas if they invest $500,000 in projects. He said he is working with the Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency to recruit foreign investors from India and China.

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