Archive for May 6th, 2014

Michael Carter-Williams undergoes shoulder surgery

Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams underwent successful surgery today to repair the labrum of his right shoulder.

The surgery was performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and his rehabilitation will be supervised by head team physician Dr. Brian Sennett of Penn Medicine.

“The health of our players is our primary concern,” said Sixers President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Sam Hinkie. “There were a number of healthy discussions between Michael, our medical team, several medical specialists and Michael’s representatives. After careful consideration and thoughtful research, we collectively agreed that it was in Michael’s best interest to move forward with the procedure now and allow for maximum recovery time.”

There is no timetable set for his return.

Warriors fire head coach Mark Jackson

mark jackson

The Golden State Warriors have fired head coach Mark Jackson. Jackson, who recently completed his third season as head coach of the team, guided the Warriors to a 51-31 record this season and a combined 121-109 record (.526) during his tenure in the Bay Area. Jackson was named the 24th head coach in the team’s West Coast history on June 6, 2011.

Jackson has been a successful coach with the Warriors. Yet they have cast him aside, reportedly due to personality conflicts between the coach and upper management.

“It’s never easy to make a decision of this nature,” said General Manager Bob Myers. “Mark has accomplished many good things during his three years with the organization, including his role in helping elevate this team into a better position than it was when he arrived nearly 36 months ago. We’re appreciative of his dedication and commitment since his arrival and are extremely grateful for his contributions. However, as an organization, we simply feel it’s best to move in a different direction at this time.”

“Mark Jackson has had a big impact on the improvement of our team and the success that we’ve had over the last couple of years,” said Owner & CEO Joe Lacob. “Nonetheless, we must make some difficult decisions in our day-to-day operations of the club and this would certainly qualify as one of those examples. We wish Mark the best of luck in his future endeavors and thank him for his contributions over the last three years.”

Jackson, 49, became just the third head coach in franchise history to lead a team to at least 50 wins in a season, joining Don Nelson and Alvin Attles, who both posted 50-win seasons twice with the Warriors. With 121 regular-season victories overall, Jackson ranks fourth on the franchise’s all-time wins list, trailing Attles (557), Nelson (422) and Eddie Gottlieb (263). Additionally, the 98 regular-season wins posted over the last two seasons (51 in 2013-14 & 47 in 2012-13) represent the Warriors best two-year stretch since the team posted 99 victories combined in the 1990-91 (44) and 1991-92 (55) seasons, which was also the last time Golden State made consecutive postseason appearances.

According to Yahoo Sports, “Golden State plans to pursue several top coaching candidates, with Steve Kerr and Stan Van Gundy at the top of the list, league sources said. The possibility of reaching out to the Chicago Bulls for permission to speak with coach Tom Thibodeau will also be a consideration, league sources said. The Warriors will likely move quickly to reach out to Kerr, who has strong relationships with owner Joe Lacob and president Rick Welts, league sources said.”

Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri announced Tuesday the club and head coach Dwane Casey have agreed in principle on a new three-year contract through the 2016-17 season. Casey guided the Raptors to a team-record 48 victories and an Atlantic Division championship in 2013-14.

“From day one last summer Dwane has done an excellent job both on-and-off the court,” said Ujiri. “There’s been growth from each player on the roster and the team’s identity of toughness and a desire to always compete has clearly been established.

“We’re very excited to continue to grow and develop this team with Dwane as our head coach.”

Casey incorporated four new players into the roster following an early December trade and from that point forward led the Raptors to the best mark in the Eastern Conference at 41-22. He directed the club to eight victories in the final 11 games in December and was rewarded with NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honours. His 2013-14 squad finished in the Top 10 in the NBA in defensive field goal percentage (.450) and points allowed (98.0), and also posted a franchise-best 22 road wins.

“I thank Tim (Leiweke) and Masai for providing me and my staff the platform this season to coach and now to continue the process of developing this young team,” said Casey. “We have taken some big steps toward our goal of installing a culture and a defensive mindset.

“At the same time we realize the challenge ahead in order to complete our quest to build a championship program for the best fans in the NBA!”

In his third season at the helm of the Raptors, Casey continued to oversee the development of a young nucleus. Toronto was the only team this past season with two second-year starters to reach the postseason. Point guard Kyle Lowry established career highs in scoring (17.9) and assists (7.4), guard DeMar DeRozan earned his first All-Star selection, sophomore forward Terrence Ross moved into a starting role in December and increased his scoring average by 5.7 points and second-year centre Jonas Valanciunas led the team in double-doubles (25).

Casey was named head coach of the Raptors on June 21, 2011, just nine days after he helped lead the Dallas Mavericks to the 2011 NBA Championship. He earned his 100th career victory as head coach of the Raptors on April 2 with a 107-103 win versus Houston.

Casey has served as a head coach, associate head coach and assistant coach during his 19 seasons in the NBA.

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is the winner of the Maurice Podoloff Trophy as the 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player, the NBA announced today. It is the first MVP award for Durant, who captured his fourth scoring title in five seasons, joining Wilt Chamberlain, George Gervin and Michael Jordan as the only players to accomplish this feat. Despite teammate Russell Westbrook appearing in only 46 games, Durant guided the Thunder to the NBA’s second-best record at 59-23.

Durant totaled 1,232 points, including 119 first-place votes, from a panel of 124 voters that consisted of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada as well as an NBA.com MVP fan vote, making for 125 total ballots. For the fifth consecutive season, the NBA gave fans the opportunity to submit their votes by ranking their top five choices through a dedicated Web page on NBA.com. The fan vote counted as one vote and was compiled with the 124 media votes to determine the winner. Players were awarded 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five for each third-place vote, three for each fourth-place vote and one for each fifth-place vote received.

Rounding out the top five in voting are Miami’s LeBron James (891 points, six first-place votes), the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin (434 points), the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah (322 points), and the Houston Rockets’ James Harden (85 points).

Durant averaged a career-best 32.0 points to go with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists, also a career high. In capturing his fourth scoring title, he joined Jordan (10), Chamberlain (seven), Gervin (four), and Allen Iverson (four) as the only players in league annals to win at least four scoring titles. He shot .503 from the field, .391 from three-point range, and .873 from the free throw line, leading all players in free throws made (703) and attempted (805). Durant authored two 50-point games, topped the 40-point mark on 14 occasions, and turned in 17 games with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds.

Durant’s consistency was highlighted by his streak of 41 consecutive games scoring at least 25 points, which ran from Jan. 7 through April 6, and was the longest streak since Michael Jordan did it in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season. It’s the third-longest streak (single season) in NBA history, behind Wilt Chamberlain, who did it in all 80 games during the 1961-62 season, and Oscar Robertson, who went for 25-plus in 46 straight games during the 1963-64 season. Chamberlain did it for 106 straight games over the course of the 1961-62 and 1962-63 seasons.

The winner of four NBA Player of the Month honors in 2013-14 (October-November, December, January and March), Durant was also named Player of the Week six times (Dec. 2, Dec. 30, Jan. 20, Jan. 27, Feb. 10 and March 24).

The NBA MVP trophy is named in honor of the late Maurice Podoloff, the first commissioner of the NBA who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on the latest in the Donald Sterling saga:

Donald Sterling is reportedly shopping for lawyers to swat back at the NBA.

The embattled bigot has reached out to several law firms, including Los Angeles-based Glaser Weil, to build a legal bench that can rush to court and cry foul over his lifetime ban and league efforts to force a Clippers sale, TMZ Sports reported Monday.

Sterling did not return calls seeking confirmation.

“Sorry, he’s sound asleep,” a man who picked up on one of Sterling’s personal numbers told the Daily News Monday.

Glaser Weil partner Patty Glaser is a Hollywood super lawyer who has repped other big-name clients, including Conan O’Brian in his exit from NBC and Keith Olbermann in his fight with Current TV.

Her firm recently helped defend Paula Deen in a racially charged employment discrimination case in which the culinary queen admitted she used the “N” word.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times on Clippers point guard CP3 and the great things he did last night:

Chris Paul

Tired from a grueling seven-game first-round playoff series?

Not Chris Paul and the Clippers.

Exhausted from the dark cloud that enveloped them at every turn?

Not Paul and the Clippers.

Paul orchestrated an impressive show of force Monday night that carried the Clippers to 122-105 demolition of the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1 of a Western Conference second-round playoff series.

His 32 points in only 27 minutes 44 seconds propelled the Clippers to a resounding win in the opener of the best-of-seven series at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Even more impressive was his shooting. Paul made his first eight three-point attempts and finished eight for nine, and hit 12 for 14 shots overall as the Clippers snatched the home-court advantage away from the Thunder.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times on Clippers point guard Chris Paul, who put up a monster performance Monday night in a Game 1 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder:

He’s spent three seasons as Los Angeles’ most unappreciated star, loved by Clippers fans but scorned everywhere else, even booed at Dodger Stadium by Lakers fans who — and this is starting to get a little silly — have little respect for greatness that isn’t wearing their uniform.

Chris Paul entered this postseason famous for a ring he doesn’t have, a city he doesn’t own, and a television commercial featuring a twin brother who doesn’t exist.

Maybe that’s why, on a wind-stopping Monday night in Oklahoma City, he spent three hours shouting, “Enough.”

Enough of the talk that he’s too injured and weary to lead the Clippers to NBA greatness, as the smallest starter ducked his head and shouldered them to a stunning 122-105 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the opener of their second-round series.

Enough of the idea that his sore hamstring and thumb limit him offensively, as he missed just two of 14 shots and just one of nine three-point attempts, scoring 32 points in the best pure shooting postseason game of his career.

Enough of the talk that he’s too slow defensively, as he led a swarming Clippers defense that deadened the dazzling Thunder offense into 18 turnovers, resulting in 23 points.

Enough, enough, enough of the idea that Donald Sterling has anything to do with this anymore.

Basketball blog