Archive for September, 2014

Sunday in Spain, the USA beat Serbia 129-92 to win the 2014 World Cup gold medal. Enjoy these video highlights of some of the game’s best plays:

Heat sign forward Khem Birch

Heat sign forward Khem Birch

The Miami Heat announced today that they have signed forward Khem Birch.

We assume this is a non-guaranteed training camp signing that merely gives Birch a chance to compete for a regular season contract. 

Birch appeared in six games (all starts) with the Washington Wizards during the 2014 Vegas Summer League and averaged 5.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.17 blocks and 19.3 minutes while shooting 47.8 percent from the field. He led the team in offensive rebounds and finished second in blocks, third in total rebounds and fourth in field goals made, free throws made and minutes. Additionally, he posted a seven-point, 11-rebound game vs. Miami on July 15 while shooting a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and a perfect 1-of-1 from the foul line.

Last season at UNLV he averaged a double-double after appearing in 33 games (32 starts) with the Rebels averaging 11.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.76 blocks, 1.2 assists and 31.4 minutes while shooting 51 percent from the field. He was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Defensive Team and All-Mountain West Second Team honors. He finished second in the NCAA in blocks per game and total blocks (124) and tied for seventh in total rebounds (337). He capped the season leading the team in blocks, free throws made (131), minutes (1,037), offensive rebounds (131) and tied for total rebounds.

The HEAT’s roster now stands at 17.

Watch the top five plays from the September 13 third-place game between Lithuania and France. The bronze medal was won by France, who squeezed out a 95-93 win.

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel reporting on the Magic:

tobias harris

Every player reaches some kind of crossroads, and Magic forward Tobias Harris is looking both ways as he steps into the 2014-15 season.

Harris will get an idea how the Magic value him, perhaps before the regular season begins. The deadline for rookie-scale extensions — Harris is part of the 2011 class — is Oct. 31

Does he fit into Orlando’s long-term plans or not?

He and the team can strike a new deal. The Magic also can still retain the ability to match any offer for Harris next summer if he becomes a restricted free agent.

“Obviously, I want to be here. … I love the fans, the city of Orlando and the guys. Management knows I want to be here. It’s the perfect situation for me,” Harris said after presenting a $50,000 check to Orange County Public Schools on Friday at the Orange County National Golf Club.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on a Team USA player that recently took a nasty hit while playing in the World Cup:

Rudy Gay suffers fracture in jaw, broken tooth at World Cup

Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay said he has a fracture in his jaw and a broken tooth, but he insists that won’t keep him off the court as Team USA plays Serbia in the gold medal game of the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Sunday.

Gay suffered the injuries after getting elbowed in the fourth quarter of Team USA’s 96-68 victory over Lithuania in the semifinals on Thursday night in Barcelona.

“I’ve got a fracture in my jaw, a broken tooth and am going to probably need a root canal,” Gay told USA Today Sports on Saturday. “The top is where I got hit. It’s painful. It’s uncomfortable, and it still bleeds, so I’ve got to continuously gargle. It is what it is, man.”

Here’s ESPN Boston reporting on the Celtics:

James Young eager to play with Rajon Rondo

What is James Young looking forward to most during his rookie season with the Boston Celtics?

“Playing with [point guard Rajon] Rondo,” Young told the team’s official website during a recent video Q&A. “He’s a player I looked up to growing up, and he sees the floor very well and has a high IQ for the game. So just getting open with him and seeing if we have can have a good connection.”

Young and Rondo are both Kentucky products and Young is clearly eager to see if Rondo’s playmaking can generate some open looks at the NBA level.

Melo supports LeBron return to Cavs

Here’s ESPN New York reporting Carmelo Anthony’s thoughts on LeBron James’ return to Cleveland:

Melo says return to Cavs was great move for LeBron

Anthony supports his buddy LeBron James’ move to the Cavs.

“I applaud him. I applaud him. I thought it was a great move for him,” Anthony said. “That’s not to take nothing away from what he’s already established and created down in Miami, but for him to go back home at this point in his career, you can’t ask for nothing better than that.”

Anthony didn’t want to talk much about the team James formed in Cleveland with Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving. The Knicks play the Cavs in Cleveland on the second game of the season — James’ first game back in his hometown.

“We’ll see them when we play them,” Anthony said. “They’re not on my radar right now. Don’t take that the wrong way. But they’re not on my radar. I’m focusing on one game at a time. When we play them the second game of the season, we’ll be ready.”

Clippers re-sign Hedo Turkoglu

Clippers re-sign Hedo Turkoglu

The Los Angeles Clippers announced today that they have re-signed free agent forward Hedo Turkoglu.

“We are happy to welcome Hedo back to the Clippers,” Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Doc Rivers said. “Hedo is a versatile, veteran presence who contributed to the championship culture we are building in Los Angeles.”

Turkoglu, 35, appeared in 38 games for the Clippers last season after being signed on January 10. He averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes of play. Turkoglu has appeared in 935 career games (569 starts) with Los Angeles, Orlando, Phoenix, Toronto, San Antonio and Sacramento. A 14-year NBA veteran, Turkoglu owns career averages of 11.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 27.8 minutes per game. The 6-foot-10 inch forward is a career 38.2 percent shooter from three-point range.

The NBA’s first Turkish born player, Turkoglu was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 2007-08 when he averaged a career-high 19.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists. The Istanbul native was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week twice (periods ending Jan. 27, 2008 and Feb. 3, 2008) and was a key member of the Orlando Magic team that appeared in the 2009 NBA Finals.

Turkoglu has appeared in 98 career postseason games (72 starts) with averages of 10.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists.

Originally selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Kings, Turkoglu played four seasons in the Turkish Professional League before coming to the NBA.

Here’s Reuters reporting on an aging basketball legend:

Future of Pau Gasol on Spanish national team in doubt

Spain centre Pau Gasol has doubts about his future with the national team following the hosts’ shock quarter-final defeat by France at the basketball World Cup on Wednesday.

The Spaniards, packed with NBA talents and joint favourites with the United States, were expected to reach the final but the contest against France which began with fans in festive spirits ended with calls for coach Juan Antonio Orenga to resign.

The defeat could well mean the end of an era for a successful Spanish side who lifted the 2006 World Cup, bagged silver medals at the last two Olympics and won two of the last three European Championships.

“You never know when it is your last game or your last tournament,” Gasol told reporters after the 65-52 loss.

The Chicago Bulls player has been the talisman for the side but he, like several others in the squad, are approaching the end of their illustrious careers.

Fun video of Jeremy Lin as he startles guests at Madame Tussauds wax museum in San Francisco:

Here’s ESPN Boston looking on the bright side — entertainment-wise, at least — for the Celtics:

Rajon Rondo

One prominent theme that’s emerging as the new seasons nears is a sense from Celtics players/management that some have simply forgotten what a healthy Rajon Rondo is capable of. As Celtics team president Rich Gotham noted last week, “I think a healthy Rondo is a huge difference-maker for us.” Further removed from the ACL surgery that limited him to 68 games over the past two seasons, it’ll be interesting to see if Rondo can return to All-Star form and just how much he’s able to elevate the play of a young supporting cast….

There’s maybe no bigger reason to watch this year’s team than the development of the youngest players. The Celtics have an intriguing young nucleus with players at all different stages of their development and lingering questions about just how good they can become. You’ve got someone like 23-year-old shooting guard Avery Bradley coming off his first big payday this offseason and he must prove he can be a consistent two-way threat to justify the team’s spending. Then there’s recent draftees like Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, both of whom will be expected to take the next step in their developments with potential to assert themselves as key parts of the team’s future. Then there’s rookies Marcus Smart and James Young. Even as the No. 6 overall pick, Smart has created an awful lot of buzz this offseason for both his personality and potential. The 19-year-old Young might even spend a good chunk of the season in the D-League shadows if he simply needs game reps to further his development, but there will be interest in his progress after just one season at Kentucky.

New Nets coach discusses his point guard

Here’s the New York Post reporting on the Nets:

New Nets coach discusses his backcourt

Nets coach Lionel Hollins has heard all the dire predictions for his team, but doesn’t care. He said Brook Lopez is recovering well and is expected to be ready for the start of the season, and he also said he plans to put the ball in Deron Williams’ hands and let the All-Star point guard do what he does best.

“He’s a point guard,’’ Hollins said. “He’s our point guard. Will we play Jarrett Jack and Deron together? I’m sure we will. But that doesn’t mean Deron has to be off the ball. When you have two guys who can handle the ball, it doesn’t matter who handles it, but he’s going to be the primary ballhandler.’’

Williams, 30, played off the ball frequently last year with the emergence of Shaun Livingston, but this season Hollins said Williams will be the primary playmaker. Either way, Williams has to be better than his last two seasons, when — beset by ankle woes — he shot 44.4 percent and wasn’t his old attacking self.

Charlotte finished last season with a 43-39 record. Enjoy this video showcasing some of their top highlights:

The Oklahoma City Thunder finished last season with a 59-23 record — the second best winning percentage in the entire league. Enjoy this video showcasing some of their top highlights:

Warriors, Jerry West reach new deal

Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting on the Golden State Warriors. Apparently a legend will stick around as an executive:

Warriors, Jerry West reach new deal

Warriors executive board member Jerry West has agreed to a two-year extension with the team through the 2016-17 season, an NBA source confirmed to this newspaper Wednesday.

West had one year remaining on his original deal with the team, and this new deal will be tacked on for a total of a three-year commitment from this point.

This move, coupled with the new deal for general manager Bob Myers through the 2017-18 season, puts a bow on co-owner Joe Lacob’s desire to keep his front office together for the long term as the team gets set to move into a San Francisco arena by 2018.

West, 76, had told associates recently that he was thinking about retiring for good, especially after the chaos of the Warriors’ 51-win season and subsequent firing of coach Mark Jackson.

Nets sign center Jerome Jordan

Nets sign center Jerome Jordan

The Brooklyn Nets have signed free agent center Jerome Jordan, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today. We assume this is just a training camp signing, and that Jordan must still work to try to earn a regular season contract.

Jordan spent last season with Virtus Bologna in the Italian League, after the 7’0” center split the 2012-13 season playing in the NBA Development League for the Reno Bighorns (24 games) and the Los Angeles D-Fenders (18 games). Jordan was named to the 2013 All-NBA D-League Third Team after averaging 12.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 42 games (36 starts). During the 2011-12 season, Jordan played 21 games, along with one playoff game, for the New York Knicks, averaging 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.1 minutes of NBA play. Additionally, Jordan spent part of the 2011-12 season with the D-League’s Erie BayHawks, where he appeared in eight games. Selected out of Tulsa with the 44th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Jordan was traded to the Knicks on July 8, 2010, before pursuing his career abroad with KK Hemofarm in Serbia (2010-11) and BC Krka in Slovenia (2011).

Warriors sign Leandro Barbosa

Warriors sign Leandro Barbosa

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent guard Leandro Barbosa to a contract, the team announced today.

Barbosa, 31, appeared in 20 games with the Phoenix Suns last season, averaging 7.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 18.4 minutes per contest. The Sao Paulo, Brazil, native spent the first part of the year with Sao Paulo-based Pinheiros/Sky, tallying averages of 15.9 points and 3.1 assists in eight Brazilian League games.

An 11-year NBA veteran, Barbosa owns career marks of 11.9 points, 2.3 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 23.7 minutes in 649 games (111 starts) with the Suns, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics. The 6’3” guard, who ranks 23rd among active players in three-point percentage (.390), has made postseason berths in six of his 11 campaigns (five with Phoenix, one with Indiana), helping the Suns to Western Conference Finals appearances in 2005, 2006 and 2010. In 2006-07, Barbosa earned the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award after posting career highs of 18.1 points and 4.0 assists to go with 2.7 rebounds and 1.20 steals in 80 games (12 starts) with the Suns, converting on 43.4 percent of his three-point attempts (7th in the NBA).

Originally selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round (28th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft, Barbosa played professionally in Brazil from 1999-2003, making his professional debut with Palmeiras in Brazil’s second division in 1999-2000 and earning Brazilian League Rookie of the Year honors with Baura Tilibra in 2001-02. He recently competed with the Brazilian National Team in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, averaging 11.9 points in seven games and helping Brazil advance to the quarterfinals.

The Warriors roster currently stands at 18 players.

New York Knicks President Phil Jackson announced today that the team has signed guard Langston Galloway and forward Travis Wear.

We assume that these are nonguaranteed deals that merely bring Galloway and Wear to Knicks training camp, giving them a chance to compete for a regular season contract.

Galloway, 6-2, 202-pounds, is an undrafted rookie out Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. After four seasons, the Baton Rouge, LA native finished his collegiate career as the Hawks’ second all-time leading scorer with 1,991 points and the school’s all-time leader on three-point field goals with 343. For New York’s entry at the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas this past July, he averaged 5.8 points, 1.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists over 13.8 minutes in four games

Wear, 6-10, 230-pounds, is an undrafted rookie out of the University of California, Los Angeles. After three seasons, the Huntington Beach, CA native averaged 9.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 96 games for the Bruins after transferring after his freshman year with the University of North Carolina. For New York’s entry at the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas this past July, he averaged 2.7 points over 5.7 minutes in three games.

Marvin `Bad News` Barnes dead at 62

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting that Marvin Barnes has passed away:

Marvin Barnes, whose NBA career was derailed by substance abuse after leading Providence to the Final Four in 1973, has died, according to the college. He was 62.

Nicknamed Bad News and Marvin the Magnificent, Barnes was a 6-foot-9 center who teamed with fellow stars Kevin Stacom and Ernie DiGregorio to lead Dave Gavitt’s Friars to a 28-4 record in 1972-73, ending with a loss to Memphis State in the NCAA semifinals.

“Marvin will always be remembered as one of the greatest Friars of all-time,” Providence A.D. Bob Driscoll said in a statement.

Barnes was a consensus All-American during the 1973-74 campaign, leading the NCAA in rebounding with 18.7 per game. He was drafted No. 2 overall in the 1974 by Philadelphia, but instead signed to play with the Spirits of St. Louis in the ABA.

Video: In memory of Marvin Barnes

Marvin “Bad News” Barnes has passed away at the young age of 62. Here are some video highlights of him on the court:

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