Archive for July 30th, 2014

Brooklyn Nets announce coaching staff

The Brooklyn Nets have named Paul Westphal, John Welch, Tony Brown, Joe Wolf and Jay Humphries as assistant coaches and Jim Sann as an assistant coach/advance scout on new head coach Lionel Hollins’ staff, General Manager Billy King announced today.

Westphal brings over 20 years of coaching experience to Brooklyn, including three stops as a head coach in Phoenix, Seattle and Sacramento. After beginning his NBA coaching career as an assistant in Phoenix in 1988, Westphal was named head coach of the Suns in 1992, where he led the Suns to three of their most successful seasons, reaching the NBA Finals in 1993, and advancing twice to the conference semifinals. Westphal was twice selected to serve as head coach of the Western Conference All-Star team in 1993 and 1995. In his three and a half seasons as head coach of the Suns, Westphal compiled a 191-88 (.685) record. Westphal returned to the coaching ranks in 1998, when he led the Seattle SuperSonics for parts of three seasons, and was named head coach of the Sacramento Kings in 2009, where he served until early in the 2011-12 season. Overall, Westphal holds a career NBA coaching record of 318-279 (.532). A five-time NBA All-Star, Westphal played 12 seasons in the NBA, was named to the All-NBA First Team three times, All-NBA Second Team once and was a member of the 1974 NBA Champion Boston Celtics. The number 10 pick in the 1972 NBA draft out of USC, Westphal averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 assists in 823 NBA games with Boston, Phoenix, Seattle and New York.

Welch returns for his second season as an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets. Welch came to Brooklyn in 2013, following eight seasons as an assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets under George Karl. Before joining the Nuggets, Welch spent two seasons as an assistant coach/workout coach for the Memphis Grizzlies. Prior to his arrival in Memphis, he spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Fresno State, serving under head coach Jerry Tarkanian. Welch joined Fresno State in 1995 and helped the Bulldogs to two consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, six consecutive 20-win seasons and seven straight postseason appearances. Welch began his coaching career with a three-year stint as a graduate assistant at UNLV, including when they advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1986-87. When the Rebels’ season ended, Welch also served as a player and coach in the New Zealand Professional Basketball League from 1986-89. Welch then served as an assistant coach under Seth Greenberg at Long Beach State from 1993-95. As a player, Welch spent three seasons at the University of Nevada, Reno and transferred to UNLV for his senior year. Welch played under Tarkanian for one year when the Rebels compiled a 33-5 record and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Brown joins the Nets after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks under Rick Carlisle. Brown also served as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers (2009-10), Milwaukee Bucks (2007-08), Boston Celtics (2004-07), Toronto Raptors (2003-04), Detroit Pistons (2001-03) and Portland Trail Blazers (1997-2001). Prior to beginning his coaching career, he was an advance scout for the Bucks (1994-97). Brown spent seven seasons as an NBA player with nine teams after being selected with the 82nd pick in the fourth round of the 1982 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets. His best professional season came in 1986-87 with the Nets, where he recorded career-bests for points, assists, steals, minutes and games started. In 360 career NBA games, Brown averaged 6.0 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. In addition to his seven seasons in the NBA, Brown also spent time in the Continental Basketball Association and Italy. The Chicago native played four years at the University of Arkansas under head coach Eddie Sutton.

Wolf enters his sixth season coaching in the NBA after spending five seasons as an assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks under Scott Skiles (2008-13). Wolf’s coaching career also includes stints as head coach and general manager of the Colorado 14ers of the NBA Development League (2006-08) and head coach of the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association (2004-06), as well as one season as an assistant coach at the College of William & Mary (2003-04). Most recently, Wolf has been serving as an assistant coach for the Ukrainian national team. Wolf spent 11 seasons as an NBA player after being selected with the 13th pick of the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. In 592 career games with Los Angeles, Denver, Boston, Portland, Charlotte, Orlando and Milwaukee, Wolf averaged 4.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. The Kohler, WI native spent four years at the University of North Carolina under Hall of Fame head coach, Dean Smith.

Humphries joins the Nets after spending 13 years as a coach in the NBA, NBA D-League and overseas. Humphries began his coaching career in 2001 as the associate head coach for the Jilin Northeastern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association and spent the next five years in the Korean Basketball League. He served three years as the associate head coach for the Wonju TG Xers and two years as the head coach of the Inchon ET Land Black Slamer. Humphries then returned stateside, joining the Phoenix Suns as an assistant coach on Mike D’Antoni’s staff for one season (2007-08) before taking over as the first head coach for the Reno Bighorns of the D-League (2008-10). He then spent one season as the head coach of the Foshan Long Lions in China. Humphries played 11 seasons in the NBA after being selected with the 13th pick of the first round in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Humphries holds career NBA averages of 11.1 points, 5.5 assists and 1.50 steals in 29.3 minutes per game in 788 games (557 starts) split between Phoenix (1984-88), Milwaukee (1988-92), Utah (1992-95) and Boston (1995). The Los Angeles native played four years at the University of Colorado under former Nets assistant and interim head coach, Bill Blair, and long-time college basketball head coach, Tom Apke.

Sann is currently in his second stint with the Nets organization after working as a Nets assistant coach/coaching associate for five seasons (2005-10). From 2010-12, Sann spent two seasons as a member of the Chicago Bulls staff, serving as an assistant coach/video coordinator. Sann was the advance scout for the Houston Rockets during the 2004-05 season and served as an assistant coach with the Toronto Raptors in 2003-04. He began his professional basketball career with the New York Knicks organization, holding various positions over 11 seasons, eventually rising to director of basketball administration. The Larchmont, NY native graduated from the University of Colorado in 1991.

Kings sign Eric Moreland

The Sacramento Kings have signed Eric Moreland to a contract, according to Kings General Manager Pete D’Alessandro.

The 6-10, 218-pound forward-center averaged 3.5 points (.444 FG%, .500 FT%), 8.8 rebounds, 0.7 assists, a team-high 2.7 blocks and 19.2 minutes per game in six games off the bench for the Kings Samsung NBA Summer League 2014 Championship squad. Moreland led all players in Las Vegas with 16 blocks and his blocks per game average was the highest among all players seeing action in at least four games.

According to the Sacramento Bee, “the Kings have been fans of Moreland’s game for a while. He was a part of the first pre-draft workout in June and a player the Kings wanted to monitor after the draft process. The Kings are looking for more athleticism along the frontline to help improve their defense and rim protection. If Moreland sticks and makes the regular-season roster, he could eventually help in that area.”

A two-time Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention, Moreland finished his career at Oregon State in 2013-14 as the Beavers’ all-time leader in blocked shots (184) and blocks per game (2.07 bpg).

Warriors waive Hilton Armstrong

Warriors waive Hilton Armstrong

The Golden State Warriors have waived center Hilton Armstrong, the team announced today.

Armstrong, 29, appeared in 15 regular-season games (one start) for the Warriors in 2013-14, posting averages of 1.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in 6.5 minutes per contest. He appeared in all seven of the team’s playoff games, averaging 1.1 points in 2.4 minutes. Armstrong originally signed with the Warriors on December 11 and signed a pair of 10-day contracts on February 22 and March 30 before signing for the remainder of the season on April 8.

Armstrong also appeared in 32 games (23 starts) with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League in 2013-14, averaging 12.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.75 blocks in 30.3 minutes per contest.

Heat officially re-sign Chris Bosh

The Miami HEAT announced today that they have re-signed forward Chris Bosh. The agreement has been known for a while now, but actually became official today.

According to multiple reports, it’s a five-year contract worth a bit over $118 million.

“Chris Bosh is a two-time NBA champion and one of the most versatile big men in the league,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “His unique skillset makes him one of the best players in the game today. I’ve always felt he was committed to this organization, this staff and this city. I think he’s going to have the opportunity of a lifetime leading this team next season and having the nine-time NBA All-Star back in the fold was a big key for us. We are very blessed to have him.”

Bosh, a two-time NBA champion, has appeared in 796 games (784 starts) during his 11-year NBA career, averaging 19.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.10 blocks and 35.9 minutes, while shooting 49.8 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the foul line. The nine-time NBA All-Star has appeared in 287 games (all starts) for the HEAT over the last four seasons, averaging 17.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 34.1 minutes while shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 81.3 percent from the foul line. Among the HEAT’s all-time leaders, he ranks third in free throw percentage, fourth in field goal percentage, seventh in blocks (273), ninth in free throws made (1,077) and defensive rebounds (1,652), 10th in points (4,976), field goals made (1,894), total rebounds (2,116), and double-figure scoring efforts (260), 11th in double-doubles (60), 12th in starts, 13th in offensive rebounds (464), and minutes (9,787), 16th in games played and 18th in steals (256).

Last season, Bosh started all 79 games in which he appeared and averaged 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.01 steals and 32.0 minutes while shooting 51.6 percent from the field and 82 percent from the foul line. He totaled a career-high 80 steals and connected on a career-high 74 three-point field goals. He has now totaled 111 treys during his HEAT career, the most by a player 6’11” or taller in franchise history. Bosh scored his 15,000th career point on March 12 vs. Brooklyn, recorded his 1,500th career assist on December 8 at Detroit and went a perfect 9-of-9 from the field on January 4 at Orlando, tying for the most makes without a miss during a single game in HEAT history. He earned Player of the Week honors on December 29 and improved Miami’s record to a perfect 12-0 when scoring at least 30 points as a member of the HEAT, including a 37-point effort on December 28 at Portland, a game in which he hit the game-winning three-point attempt with five-tenths of a second remaining to give Miami a, 108-107, victory.

Bosh has appeared in 78 postseason games (74 starts) with the HEAT and averaged 14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.14 blocks, 1.1 assists and 34.7 minutes while shooting 48.1 percent from the field, 40.6 percent from three-point range and 79 percent from the foul line. Last postseason, he shot 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from three-point range in Round One against Charlotte, the highest three-point field goal percentage during a four-game series in HEAT postseason history. He has now appeared in the NBA Finals in each of his four seasons in Miami, helping the HEAT become just the third NBA franchise to make four-straight NBA Finals appearances.

Timberwolves sign Mo Williams

Timberwolves sign Mo Williams

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed guard Mo Williams.

“We are excited to bring Mo into the fold this season,” said Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders. “His veteran leadership and excellent three-point shooting ability will be a valuable addition to our team.”

According to Yahoo Sports, it’s a one-year deal for $3.75 million.

Williams, 31, appeared in 74 games for Portland last season, averaging 9.7 points and 4.3 assists in 24.8 minutes per game. He shot 36.9 percent from three-point range, including a 42.2 percent clip over a two-month stretch from January through February. Williams appeared in eight games during the postseason with the Blazers, averaging 7.4 points per game before missing the final three games of the playoffs due to a groin strain.

The 11-year veteran was originally selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round (47th overall pick) of the 2003 NBA Draft. Minnesota is Williams’ sixth NBA stop, previously spending stints in Utah (2003-04, 2012-13), Milwaukee (2004-08), Cleveland (2008-2011, L.A. Clippers (2011-12) and Portland (2013-14). He has averaged 13.3 points and 4.9 assists per game while connecting on 38.5 percent from three-point range over his 709-game career. His best season came with the Cavaliers in 2008-09, when he averaged 17.8 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting (43.6 percent from three-point range) to earn an All-Star appearance.

The Milwaukee Bucks have signed second round draft pick Johnny O’Bryant, General Manager John Hammond announced today.

The 36th overall selection in the draft, O’Bryant (6-9, 256) appeared in all five games for the Bucks’ entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and averaged 8.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 18.2 minutes per contest. In the summer league finale vs. Golden State on July 18, O’Bryant posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

A native of Cleveland, Miss., O’Bryant played three collegiate seasons at Louisiana State University, averaging 12.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists over his career. He was named to the All-SEC First Team by the coaches in 2013 and 2014, and earned All-SEC Second Team honors from the AP in 2014. O’Bryant is one of 14 LSU players to record at least 1,000 career points (1,157) and 700 career rebounds (702). He recorded 25 career double-doubles as a Tiger and scored 10+ points in 28 games his junior season. He also led the team in scoring his sophomore season, averaging 13.6 points per game.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting Kevin Durant’s reaction to news from earlier in July that LeBron James was taking his talented back to the Cleveland Cavaliers:

kevin durant

Kevin Durant made a point not to ask his friend LeBron James any questions. He gets enough of those already. And besides, James answered just about every question of him with the letter he penned in Sports Illustrated which explained his decision to leave the Miami Heat and come home to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

But Durant did reach out to congratulate James soon after he announced his decision.

“I thought it was well-thought-out. It was classy. It was a great move to do it as a letter,” Durant said Tuesday, after a training camp session with USA Basketball. “That was pretty cool. It’s funny seeing guys think about more than just basketball for once. He thought about the city where he comes from, about Northeast Ohio and how he can affect so many of the kids just being there playing basketball. I love that. So many guys get criticized for making the decision that’s best for them instead of what’s best for everybody else. He’s a guy that did that. You gotta respect that. I applauded him, I texted him and told him congratulations on the decision and told him I was happy for him. As a fan of the game, it’s going to be pretty cool to see him back in Cleveland.”

Here’s the New York Daily News with a fascinating report:

Matt Barnes uses social media to find guy who may have killed his aunt

Los Angeles Clippers’ small forward Matt Barnes used his social media following to help track down the alleged murderer of his aunt and it may have led to his arrest.

“Michael Williams, suspect in the 24th street homicide, is in police custody thanks to a citizen tip. He was located in the Sacramento area,” the Sacramento police announced via Twitter on Tuesday.
L.A. Clippers forward Matt Barnes helps keep his aunt’s murder investigation in the public eye. Jae C. Hong/AP L.A. Clippers forward Matt Barnes helps keep his aunt’s murder investigation in the public eye.

Following the announcement from the police that Williams had been taken into custody, Barnes tweeted out a thank you to his supporters.

“We are very grateful and humbled by all the help we received from the media and most importantly you guys,” he said.

Here’s the Sacramento Bee reporting on the Kings’ young, super-talented big dude DeMarcus Cousins:

DeMarcus Cousins has opportunity to reach worldwide stage

On this warm, wet afternoon in the desert, DeMarcus Cousins sprinted toward the most significant few weeks of his professional career and, perhaps, of his young life.

The choice is his. The global stage awaits. The question hovers.

Is he ready to take his show on the road – to accompany the 2014 U.S. men’s national team to the FIBA World Cup next month in Spain – or will he let this gold medal opportunity slip through his undeniably capable fingers?

Cousins, who turns 24 on Aug. 13, has been here before. Sort of. This is his third appearance at the Team USA training camp, but his first as a contender for a roster spot. In previous summers, he was invited to scrimmage his NBA elders and prep the big boys for the upcoming world tournament and Olympics. Now, he has a chance to prove he’s all grown up, that his 6-foot-11, 270-pound frame can anchor a squad depleted the previous 48 hours by the withdrawals of power forwards Kevin Love and Blake Griffin.

“We have to have active bigs,” Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the opening practice. “Our main guy is Anthony Davis. Then we have to see who else fits in, but also how they fit in with the other guys. (Cousins) has continued to get into better shape. We love the fact he’s committed. He’s trying like crazy. He’s come (to the training session) multiple times. That level of commitment is not just to be admired, it needs to be talked about.”

NBA players union elects new executive director

The National Basketball Players Association has elected Michele Roberts as executive director, making her the first woman to lead a North American pro sports union.

Roberts received 32 of 36 votes in a process that was completed in the early morning hours of Tuesday. The Washington trial lawyer defeated tech industry CEO Dean Garfield and Dallas Mavericks CEO Terdema Ussery in the final vote.

“After all the hours and time (invested by) our executive committee, along with an amazing search committee that helped throughout this process, it’s an unbelievable feeling to have the wonderful Michele Roberts now as a part of our team,” NBPA president and Los Angeles Clippers star guard Chris Paul told reporters in Las Vegas.

The vote capped a long and arduous process to replace Billy Hunter, who was ousted in February of 2013. Roberts was one of the finalists initially offered to the rank-and-file during All-Star weekend in February, but the process was re-opened to broaden the search at the urging of some players and agents.

– Associated Press

Here’s stuff.co.nz via the Oklahoman reporting on young Thunder big-man Steven Adams:

Steven Adams discusses representing his country in the U.S.

New Zealand native and Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams takes being a role model seriously.

Along with some of New Zealand’s other famous athletes, Adams spoke to a group of elite young athetes in Auckland, New Zealand, on Tuesday at the Powerade Breakthrough Academy. Adams isn’t one to mince words, and wasn’t shy about the responsibility he has to represent his home country.

“For me once I go out there to America I’m pretty much representing all of New Zealand because most people haven’t met New Zealand people, so I have to take that into consideration. If I’m like a d—, then they’re like New Zealand guys are d—-,” Adams said. “If you’ve just got a normal Kiwi attitude then they’re fine with it. That’s one of the key things.”

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