Archive for August 4th, 2014

Hawks hire Neven Spahija as assistant coach

The Atlanta Hawks have named Neven Spahija (NEV-in SPA-hee-ah) an assistant coach, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

“Neven is one of the most successful coaches in Europe and we’re thrilled to add him to our staff,” said Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. “As an organization, we have great respect for international basketball and we will benefit tremendously from his perspective and his wealth of experience.”

Spahija, a Croatia native and former Croatian Coach of the Year with nearly 30 years international coaching experience, was most recently head coach of Cibona Zagreb (Croatia) last season. From 2010-12, Spahija led Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey), winning a Turkish Basketball League and Turkish Cup championship in 2010-11 after directing the club to a 27-3 regular season mark.

Spahija had previously guided Cibona from 2000-01, additionally serving as head coach for four other Euroleague teams since that time – Krka Novo Mesto (Slovenia), Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania), Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) and Tau Ceramica (Spain).

He has won domestic league titles in six countries – Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, Spain, Israel and Turkey. Spahija has also been a head coach in Russia (Avtodor Saratov), Italy (Roseto) and Croatia (Gradine Pula). He won the 2009-10 Eurocup with Valencia (Spain), reached the finals of the 2003 ULEB Cup with Krka and the 2008 Euroleague Final Four with Tau Ceramica.

Spahija has also spent time as head coach of the Croatian National team (2001-05) and the Under-22 National Team (2001).

Enjoy these video highlights of Utah Jazz rookie Dante Exum from 2014 summer league, which ended on July 21:

Ray Allen still undecided about future

Here’s the Hartford Courant reporting on NBA veteran Ray Allen:

Ray Allen still undecided about future

Ray Allen could play one more year in the NBA. He is wanted, and he knows it.

Or he could retire with no regrets, all business finished. All the years of solid play and diligent work at conditioning have put him, at 39, in this rare position — to script his own ending, and take his time doing it.

“I’m not in any rush [to make a decision],” Allen said during a break in the Citi Ray Allen Basketball ProCamp at East Granby High on Saturday morning. “I’ve played 18 years, and the way I look at my career, I’m content with everything that I’ve done. I just want to take this summer and see how it goes.”

Allen, an All-American who scored 1,922 points at UConn, is back in Connecticut doing his usual summer round of good works, including hosting this camp for 200 boys and girls in grades 1 through 12. Last week, his Ray of Hope Foundation provided a new computer lab for Ponus Ridge Middle School in Norwalk, something he has done for other schools across the state. On Monday, he will host his annual golf tournament, benefiting his foundation, at the TPC in Cromwell.

Paul George recovery info

Paul George recovery info

Doctors say Paul George’s biggest battle is yet to come, and it may take a year or more before he returns to the Pacers lineup.

One day after the two-time All-Star suffered a gruesome open tibia-fibula fracture on his right leg during a USA Basketball intrasquad scrimmage in Las Vegas, the questions began in earnest about George’s recovery — and whether he’d ever regain the form a that made him one of NBA’s most complete players.

The 24-year-old George and said he was resting comfortably Saturday morning following surgery. Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird later issued a statement saying hopes George will return to Indianapolis next week before the long rehab process begins.

“The thing about breaking a bone is that if you get it back in the appropriate position, it can be as good as new,” said Dr. James Gladstone, the co-chief of sports medicine at Icahn School at Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “If the muscle is not involved and the bone and muscle are fully healed, then I think he will get back (to his previous form).”

– Associated Press

Raptors sign Lucas Nogueira, Will Cherry

The Toronto Raptors announced Sunday they have signed centre Lucas Nogueira (no-GARE-uh) and guard Will Cherry.

Nogueira, 7-foot, 220 pounds, was selected 16th overall by the Boston Celtics in the 2013 NBA Draft. His draft rights were traded on draft night to Dallas and then to Atlanta. Toronto acquired his draft rights June 30 from the Hawks. He competed for the Raptors’ entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas where he contributed 5.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 20.3 minutes in five contests.

Nogueira has played since 2009 with Asefa Estudiantes in Spain’s Liga ACB. The native of Sao Goncalo, Brazil averaged 6.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 16.0 minutes in 18 games during the 2013-14 season. He scored in double figures on 10 occasions and had nine games with two or more blocks. At the 2011 U19 World Championships, he averaged 9.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in eight outings.

Cherry, 6-foot, 185 pounds, appeared in 18 regular season games (12 starts) with the Canton Charge of the NBA Development League last season, averaging 11.6 points, 3.7 boards, 4.5 assists and 30.4 minutes. He scored in double figures 13 times and had 10 or more assists on three occasions. In the playoffs, Cherry upped his averages to 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 36.7 minutes in three games versus Sioux Falls.

Cherry went undrafted in the 2013 NBA Draft after a four-year career at Montana. He was a three-time All-Big Sky selection and finished as the school’s all-time leader in steals with 265. Cherry posted averages of 12.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 25.3 minutes in five games with Cleveland at the 2014 Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

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