Archive for May 19th, 2014

Enjoy these video highlights of the best assists from the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs:

Enjoy these video highlights of the best dunks from the second round of the 2014 NBA playoffs:

The Orlando Magic, Erie BayHawks, and the NBA Development League today announced that the Magic and BayHawks have entered into a three-year single affiliation partnership beginning with the 2014-15 NBA D-League season. Orlando becomes the record 16th NBA team to have a one-to-one affiliation with an NBA D-League team.

The partnership, also referred to as a “hybrid affiliation,” is the eighth of its kind in the NBA D-League and allows an NBA team to control the NBA D-League team’s basketball operations, while the existing local ownership maintains primary responsibility for the team’s off-the-court business operations and community initiatives.

“We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial partnership with the BayHawks,” said Orlando Magic Chief Executive Officer Alex Martins. “We feel this hybrid relationship will further assist our efforts in regards to developing NBA talent, while providing Erie with a team they can be proud of. I would like to thank Steve Demetriou. His vision and values fit very well with ours and we are excited about this exclusive affiliation.”

The BayHawks, which just finished its sixth NBA D-League season in Erie, have previously been affiliated with the Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors and have produced four NBA D-League All-Stars and developed 11 players who earned GATORADE Call-Ups to the NBA. Additionally, the BayHawks have welcomed 15 NBA players on assignment, including Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets and Danny Green of the San Antonio Spurs.

“We’re thrilled to have the Orlando Magic as our new NBA affiliate,” said Erie BayHawks majority owner Steve Demetriou. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know Alex Martins and other members of the Magic management team, and we are extremely excited to join forces with this first class organization. The Magic are aligned with our goals of providing an outstanding product on and off the court that our fans, corporate partners and the Erie community can continue to be proud of.”

The NBA D-League, entering its 14th season for 2014-15, saw a record 36 players earn 49 call-ups during the 2013-14 campaign. An all-time high 33 percent of all NBA players (149) on 2013-14 NBA end-of-season rosters now boast NBA D-League experience, including two members of the Magic. A record 62 NBA players honed their skills on assignment in the NBA D-League last season, while the league reached record totals in attendance drawing over five percent more fans than the previous year. For the fifth consecutive year, the league reached the one million fan plateau.

“The Magic’s partnership with the BayHawks is yet another example of the increasing significance of the NBA D-League to NBA teams, as more than half of all NBA teams have now invested in an exclusive NBA D-League affiliate” said Dan Reed, NBA D-League President. “The BayHawks and Magic are two excellent organizations with outstanding leadership, and I know they will be great partners.”

The Magic become the eighth NBA team to enter into a hybrid affiliation with an NBA D-League team for the 2014-15 season, joining the Boston Celtics (Maine Red Claws), Detroit Pistons (Grand Rapids NBA D-League Team), Houston Rockets (Rio Grande Valley Vipers), Memphis Grizzlies (Iowa Energy), Miami Heat (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Phoenix Suns (Bakersfield Jam) and Sacramento Kings (Reno Bighorns). Seven additional NBA teams will own and operate their NBA D-League affiliates for the 2014-15 season: Cleveland Cavaliers (Canton Charge), Golden State Warriors (Santa Cruz Warriors), Los Angeles Lakers (L.A. D-Fenders), New York Knicks (Westchester NBA D-League Team), Oklahoma City Thunder (Tulsa 66ers), Philadelphia 76ers (Delaware 87ers) and San Antonio Spurs (Austin Toros). Additionally, the Dallas Mavericks have a single affiliation with the Texas Legends by way of Mavericks’ General Manager Donnie Nelson’s ownership of the Legends.

Steve Kerr today officially becomes Warriors head coach

The Golden State Warriors have finalized an agreement for Steve Kerr, a 15-year NBA veteran and five-time NBA Champion as a player, to become the team’s new head coach, it was announced today. Kerr becomes the 25th head coach in franchise history and the 20th since the team moved to the West Coast in 1962.

“We’re very pleased to introduce Steve Kerr as our new head coach,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “We are confident that he will be an extremely good fit for our team and our organization as we venture into the future. The fact that he played for several of the greatest coaches in the history of the game – including Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich – will serve him well, as will the many nuances that he learned from performing on the brightest stage during his incredibly successful, championship-filled career.”

“I’m really excited about the unique opportunity to coach a very talented team and work for this committed management group,” said Kerr. “In my estimation, the Warriors, from top to bottom, have become one of the marquee organizations in the NBA in recent years. I’m looking forward to becoming part of that environment and building upon the success of the last two seasons.”

Kerr, 48, joins Golden State after spending the last four seasons as a color commentator with TNT, his second stint with the network. Prior to rejoining TNT in 2010, Kerr spent three seasons as the President of Basketball Operations and General Manager for the Phoenix Suns from 2007-10, during which time the club posted a 155-91 (.630) record and a pair of playoff berths, including a trip to the 2010 Western Conference Finals.

Having made the playoffs 11 times during his playing career, Kerr is one of only 25 players in NBA history to win five championships, earning three rings with Chicago and two with San Antonio. A key reserve for Chicago during the team’s three-peat championship run from 1996-98, Kerr famously hit the game-winning, title-clinching shot in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals. He won his fourth consecutive championship in 1999 with the San Antonio Spurs to become one of only two non-Boston Celtics to win four-straight NBA titles. His fifth ring came in his second stint with the Spurs during his final NBA campaign in 2002-03. Overall, Kerr appeared in 128 postseason games, averaging 4.3 points and 1.2 assists while shooting 37.0 percent from three-point range.

The NBA’s all-time three-point percentage leader, having converted on 45.4 percent (726-of-1599) of his attempts from long range, Kerr amassed career averages of 6.0 points, 1.8 assists and 1.2 rebounds in 910 regular-season games with the Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs (twice), and Portland Trail Blazers.

A native of Beirut, Lebanon, who grew up in Pacific Palisades, Calif., Kerr played four seasons at the University of Arizona, helping lead the Wildcats to their first Final Four appearance during his senior season in 1988. An All-Pac 10 guard in both 1986 and 1988, he remains the school’s career leader in three-point field goal percentage (57.3). Kerr was also a member of the USA Basketball team that captured the 1986 World Championship in Madrid, the last American Men’s Senior National Team composed strictly of amateur players to capture a gold medal.

During his career, Kerr played for some of the most successful coaches in the history of the game, including Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Lenny Wilkens, Cotton Fitzsimmons and Lute Olson.

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting:

Officially, open season for finding a new Timberwolves coach began nearly a month ago, when the team announced Rick Adelman’s retirement.

In reality, it won’t truly start until Tuesday night.

That’s when the NBA holds its annual draft lottery, its annual game of luck in which the Wolves have less than a 1 percent chance to leap from their 13th overall draft position into the top three or lose their pick altogether to Phoenix because of a prior trade arrangement.

By then, Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders will know if his team finally has beaten the lotto odds — and very long ones at that — for the first time in the franchise’s 26-year history.

By then, he also will know much better just what kind of roster he will have to offer a prospective coach … or himself.

Here’s the San Antonio Express-News blog reporting:

Spurs wonder if Serge Ibaka still might play in series

Oklahoma City announced on Friday that forward Serge Ibaka, one of the NBA’s best shot blockers and defensive anchors, will miss the remainder of the playoffs with a calf strain.

The Thunder followed that up by telling the media on Sunday that Ibaka would not travel with the team on their flight to San Antonio in advance of the Western Conference Finals, which begin Monday.

And still, the Spurs remain skeptical to the point of paranoia.

“I don’t really believe it,” said point guard Tony Parker, who has been cleared to play in the opener after straining his left hamstring in the second round. “I’ll believe when I see tomorrow he is not on the court. It’s hard to believe. We’ll see tomorrow.”

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