Archive for April 14th, 2014

Kings recall Willie Reed from D-League

Kings recall Willie Reed from D-League

The Sacramento Kings today recalled forward Willie Reed from the Kings D-League affiliate Reno Bighorns, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

The Bighorns’ season came to a close Sunday night with a 115-93 playoff loss to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Reed averaged 9.5 points (.643 FG%, 1-2 FT), 8.5 rebounds, 2.00 blocks and 25.0 minutes per game in two postseason contests for Reno.

Reed, a 6-10, 220-pound forward, averaged 13.6 points (.649 FG%, .800 FT%), 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists 2.4 blocks, and 25.0 minutes per game in five games off the bench for the Bighorns this season. He scored in double-figures in all five appearances and recorded two double-doubles.

Earlier this season, Reed played for the NBA D-League Springfield Armor and averaged 14.8 points (.590 FG%, .612 FT%), 10.1 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.6 blocks per game in 31.8 minutes per game in 44 games, of which he started 33.

Reed previously played with Sacramento during the 2012 preseason when he averaged 0.8 points (1-3 FG, 1-2 FT), 1.0 rebounds, and 2.8 minutes per game in four preseason contests before being waived. He went on to play in his first stint for the Springfield Armor, earning Honorable Mention All-Development League Team honors after averaging 14.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game before joining the Memphis Grizzlies for the remainder of the season.

Warriors center Andrew Bogut injured, out with rib fracture

Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut has been diagnosed with a rib fracture and will be sidelined indefinitely. The injury, which occurred during the fourth quarter of Golden State’s overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers last night, was revealed in x-rays taken immediately after the game and confirmed today by the team’s medical staff.

In 67 games this season, Bogut is averaging 7.3 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.81 blocks in 26.4 minutes, while shooting 62.7 percent from the floor.

DeMarcus Cousins suspended one game for receiving 16th technical foul of season

The Sacramento Kings’ DeMarcus Cousins has received a one-game suspension without pay for receiving his 16th technical foul of the 2013-14 season, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

Under NBA rules, a player or coach is automatically suspended without pay for one game once he receives his 16th technical foul during a regular season. For every two additional technical fouls received during that regular season, the player or coach will be automatically suspended for an additional game.

Cousins received his most recent technical foul with 1:13 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Kings’ 106-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 13, at Sleep Train Arena. Cousins will serve his suspension in the Kings’ season finale on Wednesday, April 16, when Sacramento hosts the Phoenix Suns.

To view the play, click on this link.

detroit pistons

The Detroit Pistons announced today that Joe Dumars will step aside as President of Basketball Operations, effective immediately. The team has launched a search for a new head of basketball operations.

“Joe Dumars is a great champion who has meant so much to this franchise and this community,” said Pistons owner Tom Gores. “We are turning the page with great respect for what he has accomplished not only as a player and a front office executive, but as a person who has represented this team and the NBA with extraordinary dignity.”

During the transition, Director of Basketball Operations Ken Catanella and Assistant General Manager George David will continue preparing for the upcoming NBA Draft and free agency signing period, reporting to ownership executives Phil Norment and Bob Wentworth. Mr. Norment said the organization has developed a preliminary list of candidates that includes “the best executives in the business,” but he declined to place a specific timetable on selecting a replacement.

Mr. Dumars will continue his relationship with the franchise as an advisor to the organization and its ownership team.

“It’s time to turn the page on a wonderful chapter and begin writing a new one,” Dumars said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great people throughout the last 29 years as both a player and executive, and I’m proud of our accomplishments. Tom Gores and ownership is committed to winning and they will continue to move the franchise forward.”

Drafted with the 18th selection in the first round of the 1985 NBA Draft, Dumars has spent 29 years with the Detroit Pistons organization, 14 years as a player (1985-1999) and 15 years as a member of the front office (1999-2014). Throughout that time, the franchise won three NBA Championships (1989, 1990, 2004), five Eastern Conference titles (1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2005), nine Central Division titles and reached the Eastern Conference Finals 11 times.

Over the last 14 years as the club’s top basketball executive, Dumars guided the organization to a 595-536 (.527) regular-season record, 73 playoff wins, six Eastern Conference Finals appearances (2003-08), six Central Division titles, two Eastern Conference Championships (2004, 2005), two NBA Finals appearances and the 2004 NBA Championship.

During an eight-year period from 2001-2009, the club won an NBA Championship (2004), compiled 423 regular-season victories, 73 playoff wins and made six consecutive trips to the Eastern Conference Finals (2003-2008), the most since the Los Angeles Lakers went to six straight from 1984 to 1989. In 2007-08, the club won 50-plus games for a franchise-record seventh consecutive season and won its sixth Central Division title in seven years. In 2005-06, Detroit recorded its best regular-season record in franchise history (64-18), and, in 2004-05, the club won its second consecutive Eastern Conference Championship and reached the NBA Finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1989 and 1990. Dumars’ efforts did not go unnoticed as he was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2003 and NBA Executive of the Decade in 2009 by The Sporting News.

Dumars’ Detroit beginning coincided with one of the most successful eras in Pistons basketball history. Following a 46-36 rookie campaign in 1985-86, Dumars’ teams won 50-plus games each of the next five seasons and two NBA Championships (1989, 1990). He won the first of many NBA honors following the team’s 63-19 record in 1988-89, being named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team. The six-time NBA All-Star was named Most Valuable Player of the 1989 NBA Finals, the first of the club’s back-to-back NBA Championships. Dumars was named first team NBA All-Rookie in 1985-86 and first team NBA All-Defense four times (1988-89, 1989-90, 1991-92 and 1992-93). He was named All-NBA Third Team in 1989-90 and 1990-91 and All-NBA Second Team in 1992-93 when he averaged a career-best 23.5 points per game. He went on to play 1,018 regular season games for Detroit in 14 seasons, making him the most tenured player in franchise history. He retired as the team’s all-time leading three-point shooter with 990 made and its second all-time leading scorer with 16,401 points.

Dumars, who became the seventh Pistons player to have their jersey retired, was the inaugural recipient of the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award in 1996. The NBA Sportsmanship Award winner, which recognizes the NBA player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, is presented with the Joe Dumars Trophy each year. His basketball career was recognized with the highest of all honors when he was officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2006.

Bulls sign Greg Smith, waive Tornike Shengelia

The Chicago Bulls announced today the team has requested waivers on Tornike Shengelia (TOR-Neek Shen-ge-liya), and signed forward Greg Smith for the remainder of the season

Smith (6-10, 250), has played two-plus seasons in the NBA for the Houston Rockets where he appeared in 89 regular-season games (10 starts). During that time, he has posted career averages of 5.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 0.53 bpg in 14.4 mpg, while shooting .623 from the field and .615 from the free throw line. This season, Smith played in 11 games for the Rockets and averaged 3.5 ppg and 2.5 rpg in 9.1 mpg.

Shengelia (6-9, 220), was acquired from Brooklyn in exchange for guard Marquis Teague on January 21. He appeared in nine games for the Bulls and averaged 0.4 ppg and 0.2 rpg in 1.9 mpg. In his NBA career, Shengelia has appeared in 45 games and averaged 1.3 ppg, 0.9 rpg and 0.4 apg in 5.5 mpg, while shooting .451 from the field.

Chicago’s roster currently stands at 15 players.

Pelicans sign Melvin Ely, waive Greg Stiemsma

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team waived center Greg Stiemsma and signed center Melvin Ely for the remainder of the season.

Ely (6-10, 260) has appeared in 373 games over eight NBA seasons, averaging 5.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 16.0 minutes per game. The 6-10 center joins the Pelicans after playing the last two seasons for the Texas Legends in the NBA D-League, where he appeared in 78 games (74 starts) and averaged 13.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game. In the 2013-14 season, Ely totaled 15.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 41 appearances and was selected to the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game.

Stiemsma appeared in 55 games (20 starts) this season for the Pelicans and averaged 2.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.0 block in 18.3 minutes per game. The three-year veteran holds career averages of 3.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 16.0 minutes per game.

Ely will wear No. 4 and will be available for tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Steve Koonin named CEO of Atlanta Hawks

Steve Koonin named CEO of Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks have named Steve Koonin as the organization’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), it was announced today. In his role as CEO, Koonin will oversee all business, financial and strategic operations of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. He will also acquire an equity position within the ownership group, and represent the owners as the head of the organization. A nationally respected entertainment and marketing veteran, Koonin’s 28-year track record of working with the National Basketball Association (NBA), along with his marketing expertise and leadership abilities, will help usher in a new era of Atlanta Hawks basketball.

“Steve Koonin’s reputation as a game changer in both marketing and media makes him the ideal leader to usher the Atlanta Hawks into a new era. He has created a legacy as an expert in sports marketing, television, branding and digital media,” said Hawks Majority Owner Bruce Levenson. “The Hawks are thrilled that Steve is joining the ownership group as both our CEO and a partner.”

“I have known Steve for more than two decades and based both on first-hand experience and his stellar record of accomplishments, he is one of the very best executives and creative minds in the entertainment industry,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “I am thrilled that he is joining the Hawks and bringing his expertise and passion for the game to the team and its fans.”

Steve joins the Hawks following a 14-year stint with Turner Entertainment Networks, where he most recently served as the division’s president. As president, he oversaw programming, marketing, scheduling, strategy and operations for top-rated networks TNT, TBS, TruTV, and Turner Classic Movies. Under his watch, the aforementioned networks have won numerous Emmy Awards and Peabody Awards, as well as established ratings records and critical acclaim. Koonin has been instrumental in the programming and media rights acquisition processes around the NBA and NCAA, and has helped build strong brand franchises in “Inside the NBA” and “NBA on TNT”. Prior to Turner, Koonin was at the helm of presence marketing and worldwide advertising at The Coca-Cola Company, where he spent over a decade. While serving as Coca-Cola’s vice president of sports and entertainment marketing, he was named Sports Executive of the Year by Sports Business Journal.

“I have a deep commitment to Atlanta - my family has been a part of this city for nearly a century. I have watched the excitement and potential of the entire city growing together as our sports teams achieve success,” said Koonin. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Hawks organization. We have a lot of work to do, but I believe my professional experience, my passion for this team and the NBA, as well as the Hawks’ great existing executive talent, including our President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry and President of Business Operations for the Hawks and Philips Arena President Bob Williams, make this organization’s future very bright.”

A lifelong resident of Atlanta, Koonin has given a great deal back to his native city through his civic involvement. Along with his professional successes, Steve has positively impacted many Atlanta organizations important not only to the Atlanta Hawks, but also the team’s fans, business partners, and community. Koonin serves on the boards of Emory Healthcare, the Georgia Aquarium, the Fox Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He is a trustee of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. He attended the University of Georgia, where he and his wife, Eydie, recently established the Koonin Scholars Fund at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The fund will provide scholarships for Grady students preparing for careers in the creative industries and media.

Here’s the Washington Post Blog reporting on Wizards point guard John Wall:

The prevailing feeling both inside and outside the Washington Wizards locker room is this: the team will only go as far as John Wall leads it.

Such a burden is of course natural for a former No. 1 overall draft pick who signed a five-year, $80 million contract extension last summer. But Wall’s status as franchise player stretches far beyond the figurative sense and into the statistical realm, where his leadership responsibilities have emerged in several categories this season.

With two games left in the season, Wall has positioned himself to finish as the NBA’s total assists leader with 699, which is 21 ahead of Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio. When considering that Rubio plays alongside All-Star Kevin Love and that Chris Paul, who leads the league with 10.7 assists per game, is teammates with high-flying All-Star Blake Griffin, Wall’s position among the league’s top playmakers is that much more notable.

Not only does Wall rank third overall with 17.2 assist opportunities per game (passes to a teammate in which the teammate attempts a shot, and if made, would be an assist), he’s also third in points created by assist per game with 21.2, according to NBA.com’s Player Tracking stats.

Basketball blog