Archive for April 21st, 2014

The top-seeded Fort Wayne Mad Ants will face the sixth-seeded Santa Cruz Warriors in the 2014 NBA Development League Finals, which tip off on Thursday, April 24, at 9:30 p.m. ET, with the Warriors hosting the Mad Ants in Santa Cruz.

The Mad Ants, who are undefeated in the 2014 NBA D-League postseason, will face off against the Warriors who are making their second consecutive trip to the NBA D-League Finals. The Mad Ants (4-0) swept the Reno Bighorns and the Sioux Falls Skyforce to reach the Finals for the first time in franchise history, after having amassed a league-best 34-16 regular season record. The Warriors (4-1) defeated the Los Angeles D-Fenders in two games before besting the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 2-1 in the second round to advance to the Championship round. Fort Wayne defeated Santa Cruz in the team’s lone regular season meeting.

CBS Sports Network resumes exclusive coverage of the 2014 NBA D-League postseason when it telecasts the first game of the 2014 NBA D-League Finals live from Santa Cruz, before following the series to Fort Wayne, Indiana, when the Mad Ants host Game Two on Saturday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET, which will air at 10:30 p.m. ET that night. If the series requires a third game, CBS Sports Network will televise the decisive Championship game live on Monday, April 28, at 7 p.m. ET from Indiana. Brent Stover and Alaa Abdelnaby call the action on CBS Sports Network for all three Finals games.

Kobe Bryant begins new training routine

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on veteran Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who maintains his competitive fire and is still being paid like a team-carrying superstar:

Kobe Bryant begins new training routine

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant began an intense six-month training program with an early-morning workout Monday, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

Bryant has been cleared for running and shooting as he returns from a broken bone in his left lateral tibial plateau that caused him to miss all but six games this season. He has been ramping up his activity level the last few weeks and was confident about pushing harder after receiving positive feedback during a consultation last week with the doctors in Germany who previously performed the platelet-rich plasma treatment known as Orthokine on his knees.

Bryant visited the doctors while he was in Europe on a short trip with his family last week, sources said.

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley. Houston is facing the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the NBA playoffs:

Patrick Beverley healthy enough to keep playing for Rockets

Patrick Beverley limped badly, sat on the bench by himself while his teammates were huddled and generally looked like a player whose postseason had come to a screeching halt Sunday after he was injured during the Houston Rockets’ overtime loss to the Trail Blazers in Game 1 of their Western Conference series.

But instead of losing their defensive-minded point guard, the Rockets will apparently have him back in the lineup Wednesday for Game 2 at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets announced Sunday that Beverley suffered a sprain to his right knee, the same knee in which he suffered a meniscus tear last month, sidelining him for eight games. But the team announced Monday that Beverley “had a knee examination which revealed no acute issues. He will likely be available for Game 2 Wednesday.”

Ed Manetta has been named Director of Sports Programming for Barclays Center. He will spearhead the programming of the BROOKLYN HOOPS college basketball and BROOKLYN BOXING franchises, along with college hockey, high school sports and new sports properties.

Manetta has more than 25 years of experience in the sports industry, including serving as Director of Athletics for St. John’s University and DePaul University. Most recently, Manetta served as Managing Director at Fastlane Communications where he created the first ever digital channel for high school sports and led the programming efforts for a minor league baseball complex. Prior to Fastlane, Manetta worked for MSL Sports and Entertainment and Edelman Worldwide.

Manetta is also currently an adjunct professor at both Iona College and St John’s University.

“Ed’s extensive experience in major college athletics and professional sports will help us expand our great programming for Barclays Center,” said Sean Saadeh, SVP of Programming for Barclays Center. “Our college basketball and major boxing franchises have been successful during our first 19 months, and we are excited to continue to bring the best to Brooklyn.”

“I am honored to be part of such a thriving sports and entertainment venue,” Manetta said. “Barclays Center has captured Brooklyn, the City of New York and the nation as one of the most popular and exciting sports destinations in the industry today. I am proud to be joining the team and I am looking forward to contributing to the growth of the arena’s programming.”

Raised in East Northport, Long Island, Manetta received his undergraduate degree from St. John’s University and his graduate degree from Fordham University. Manetta and his wife, Debra, reside in Larchmont, NY and have children Lindsey, Nicole and James.

Rick Adelman retires from NBA coaching

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman today announced his retirement from coaching in the NBA after 23 seasons as a head coach. Adelman will remain with the Wolves in a consultant role.

“I think it’s time for me to step aside,” said Adelman. “When I came here, we really tried to see if we could turn some things around and we made some strides. Not as much as we would have liked, but I think it’s time for me to step aside and let someone else come in with this group. We’re not that far away. I really enjoyed my time here. I thank Glen so much. He’s the best owner I’ve ever been around. Not only as an owner, but as a person and everything. It’s been an enjoyable experience, but I’m ready and my wife’s ready to move on to another phase. We’re looking forward to that.”

Adelman ranks eighth all-time in NBA coaching wins with a 1042-749 (.582 winning percentage) career record in 23 seasons as a head coach. Adelman took over a Wolves team prior to the 2011-12 campaign that had won 15 and 17 games the previous two seasons, and won 26, 31 and 40 games under his leadership. With a win over Detroit on April 6, 2013, Adelman became the eighth NBA head coach to record 1,000 wins in a career. By reaching the milestone in his 1,703rd NBA game, Adelman became the fifth-fastest NBA head coach to win 1,000 NBA games.

“On behalf of the Minnesota Timberwolves, I would like to thank Rick for all he has done for our organization,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “Under Rick’s leadership, our team has improved each of the past three seasons. It has been a pleasure getting to know Rick and his wife Mary Kay, and I wish them the best in retirement.”

“Coach Adelman is truly one of the greatest coaches in our game’s history, and he has helped restore credibility and respectability to the Timberwolves franchise through what he stands for both on and off the court,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders. “He has impacted the NBA with his offensive vision and influenced the philosophies of many coaches in the league. I wish Rick and Mary Kay the very best in their future, and look forward to his continued contributions to the Timberwolves organization.”

Adelman, 67, served as head coach of five NBA teams: Portland (1988-94), Golden State (1995-97), Sacramento (1998-2006), Houston (2007-11) and Minnesota (2011-2014). Some of his coaching highlights include: two NBA Finals appearances (1990 and 1992 with Portland), four Western Conference Finals (1989-90, 1990-91 and 1991-92 with Portland and 2001-02 with Sacramento) and four division titles (1990-91 and 1991-92 with Portland; 2001-02 and 2002-03 with Sacramento).

“Rick Adelman established himself as one of our game’s great coaches, manning the NBA sidelines for the better part of a quarter century,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “One of only eight coaches in our history to amass 1,000 victories, Rick’s versatility and rapport with his players ultimately led to that legacy of success. On behalf of the NBA, I would like to thank Rick for his extraordinary service to the league.”

Adelman’s teams reached the NBA playoffs in 16 of his 23 seasons as a head coach, and he holds an all-time playoff record of 79-78 (.503 winning percentage). He is one of only five head coaches in NBA history to win 60+ games in a season with two different teams (Portland and Sacramento). Adelman has been runner-up for the NBA Coach of the Year award four times.

Adelman’s trademark offenses have finished among the top five in the NBA in scoring on 14 occasions over his head coaching career. He has had four additional teams rank in the top 10 in points per game.

Adelman began his coaching career at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, where his teams amassed a 141-39 record over six seasons (1977-83). Chemeketa won or shared in three Oregon community college championships and one regional title.

As a player, Adelman spent seven seasons in the NBA with the San Diego Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Jazz and Kansas City-Omaha Kings. Selected by the Rockets in the seventh round (79th overall) of the 1968 NBA Draft, the 6-2 guard averaged 6.7 points, 3.1 assists and 2.7 rebounds in two seasons as a reserve in San Diego. Adelman was taken by Portland in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft and was made the first team captain in Trail Blazers history. Traded by the Trail Blazers to the Bulls prior to the 1973-74 campaign, Adelman was again dealt to the Jazz early in the 1974-75 season. Looking for veteran leadership in their run to the 1975 NBA Playoffs, the Kings made a late-season acquisition to obtain Adelman. He retired in 1975 with career averages of 7.7 points, 3.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 462 regular season games.

Adelman began his playing career at St. Pius X High School in Downey, California, before attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he was named MVP of the West Coast Athletic Conference as a senior in 1967-68.

A native of Lynwood, California, Adelman and his wife, Mary Kay, who have been married for more than 40 years, enjoy playing golf and tennis, as well as spending time with their six children: Kathy and her husband, John, R.J., Laura and her husband, Chris, David and his wife Jenny, Caitlin and her husband Jeff, and Patrick; and eight grandchildren: Mary Kay, Anna, Mackenzie, Emilie, Madison, Zachary, Tyler and L.J.

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team’s coaching staff have been relieved of their duties, effective immediately.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mike Woodson and his entire staff,” Jackson said. “The coaches and players on this team had an extremely difficult 2013-14 season, and blame should not be put on one individual. But the time has come for change throughout the franchise as we start the journey to assess and build this team for next season and beyond.

“Everyone in this franchise owes a great deal of gratitude to what Mike and his staff have done. We wish him the best.”

In parts of three seasons with the Knicks, Woodson compiled an overall record of 109-79 (.580) that included two consecutive NBA Playoff appearances and an Atlantic Division title – the team’s first in 19 years. On Mar. 19, 2014, he became just the seventh coach in franchise history to reach the century mark in victories. Initially named Knicks interim head coach with 24 games remaining in the 2011-12 season, Woodson completed his ninth season at the helm of an NBA franchise, posting a record of 315-365.

The search for a new coaching staff will begin immediately.

Sioux Falls Skyforce guard DeAndre Liggins has been selected as the 2013-14 NBA Development League’s Defensive Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s 17 head coaches, it was announced today.

Liggins (6-6, 209, Kentucky) appeared in 42 regular season games for the Skyforce, anchoring the defensive efforts of a Sioux Falls team that held their opponents to league-lows of only 45 percent shooting from the field and 100.1 points per 100 possessions. Sioux Falls’ opponents averaged 102.9 points, good for second-lowest in the NBA D-League. As an individual, he averaged an NBA D-League best 2.6 steals, to go with 14.2 points and 4.8 assists.

Liggins’ defensive prowess helped Sioux Falls to a 31-19 record during the regular season and the fourth seed in the 2014 NBA D-League Playoffs. The Skyforce defeated the Canton Charge 2-1 in the best-of-three first round series, and were defeated by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the top overall seed in the 2014 NBA D-League postseason, in second round playoff action.

“DeAndre has demonstrated his ability to be a consistent lock-down defender all season long – a quality that surely helped Sioux Falls have such a successful campaign,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA D-League. “A top prospect in the NBA D-League this season, I’m looking forward to watching DeAndre continue to develop on both ends of the court and congratulate him on this well-deserved accomplishment.”

Originally selected with the 53rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic, Liggins has appeared in 57 career NBA games, including one with the Miami Heat during the 2013-14 campaign following a GATORADE Call-Up from the Skyforce. He owns NBA career averages of 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds.

Veteran guard Leilani Mitchell has notified the New York Liberty that she will forgo the 2014 WNBA season and spend the summer in Australia.

Below is a statement from Mitchell on her decision:

“This past offseason I played in Australia. In addition to enjoying playing here, I have been able to get to know and spend time with relatives on my mother’s side, that I either had not met before or just have not been able to spend much time with. It has been such a blessing getting to know them and also learning more about my roots and family background.

While the decision has been very difficult, I have decided to stay in Australia for the summer to continue to spend time with my family and train with the national team in preparation for the World Championships. I will miss my teammates and the entire Liberty family, especially the fans, and wish everyone the best of luck when the team returns to Madison Square Garden.”

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has elected not to offer head coach Tyrone Corbin a new contract. As a result, a search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

“I would like to thank Ty and his staff for all of their hard work, dedication and professionalism over the last three-plus seasons,” said Jazz General Manager Dennis Lindsey. “This has not been an easy decision, but after a thorough review process, we as an organization feel that this is the best decision for our franchise moving forward.”

Corbin compiled a 112-146 (.434) record with the Jazz in four seasons, guiding the team to a winning record in two of his three full seasons and a playoff appearance in 2012. The Jazz finished the 2013-14 season with a 25-57 (.305) record.

“The decision to make impactful changes in our organization is never taken lightly,” said Greg Miller, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. “Ty has always represented the Jazz franchise in a first-class manner both on the court and in the community. He did a wonderful job of building relationships with the players and encouraged their growth throughout the season. We wish Ty, Dante and their family nothing but the very best for their future.”

Corbin became the seventh head coach in Jazz history and only the fourth since the franchise’s relocation to Utah in 1979, when he was elevated to head coach on February 10, 2011 following the resignation of Jerry Sloan. Prior to his promotion, Corbin served as an assistant coach for the Jazz under Sloan from 2004-2011. He also played for nine teams during a 16-year NBA career (1985-2001), including three seasons with the Jazz from 1991-94.

“Ty represented himself and the Utah Jazz organization with great class and dignity, and he and his family have been an important part of our team and community for many years,” said Jazz President Randy Rigby. “I want to thank them for their numerous contributions to this franchise and wish them well in the future. They will always remain a part of the Jazz family.”

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, the centerpiece of a defense which held opponents to a league-low 91.8 ppg, is the recipient of the 2013-14 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, the NBA announced today. Noah becomes the first Bulls player since Michael Jordan in 1987-88 to earn the honor.

Noah received 555 of a possible 1,125 points, including 100 first-place votes, from a panel of 125 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. Indiana’s Roy Hibbert (166 points, eight first-place votes) and the Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (121 points, eight first-place votes) finished second and third, respectively. Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.

Noah, who appeared in 80 of Chicago’s 82 games, ranked sixth in the NBA in rebounding (11.3 rpg), 12th in blocks (1.51 bpg) and added 1.24 steals. He was one of just three players (Detroit’s Andre Drummond and New Orleans’ Anthony Davis) to average at least 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals. Behind Noah, the Bulls held opponents to a .430 field goal percentage, second-stingiest in the league.

On Sunday the Trail Blazers beat the Rockets 122-120 in overtime, getting 46 points and 18 rebounds from forward LaMarcus Aldridge. The Blazers now lead the first round playoff series 1-0. Here are some video highlights of Aldridge’s great performance:

Spurs Big 3 does big damage to Mavs

Here’s the Fort Worth Star-Telegram blog repoting on the Spurs and Mavericks, who are facing each other in the first round of the NBA playoffs:

Spurs Big 3 does big damage to Mavs

On a night when the Dallas Mavericks’ offense went silent after the first 41 minutes, the San Antonio Spurs’ Big 3 came up big Sunday afternoon.

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined to score 65 of the Spurs’ 90 points, grab 17 of their 48 rebounds, and dispensed nine of their 14 assists as San Antonio opened the playoffs with a 90-85 triumph over the Dallas Mavericks at AT&T Center.

“I wish I could always score like this, or Tony, or Tim,’’ said Ginobili, who scored 17 points and collected six rebounds. “The way they play defense didn’t let us move the ball as much as we usually do to find open teammates, so we played way more one-on-one.”

Here’s the Oregonian reporting on the Trail Blazers:

Rockets guard Patrick Beverley hurts right knee

After suffering an overtime home loss in Game 1 of their first-round series against Portland, the Houston Rockets got more bad news.

Their starting point guard, Patrick Beverley, suffered a sprained right knee when he was hit by LaMarcus Aldridge on an attempted screen, the team announced after the game.

Beverley will have a magnetic resonance imaging taken on the knee Monday. It was the same knee on which Beverley suffered a meniscus tear in March. The injury had been serious enough that there was talk that it might require season-ending surgery, but he instead missed eight games before returning for the final four games of the regular season.

Sunday in Miami, the Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1 of their first round NBA playoff series. But the Bobcats did enjoy a highlight coming in the form of a great Josh McRoberts dunk on Chris “Birdman” Andersen. Enjoy the video clip:

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