Archive for June 7th, 2018

Bryan Colangelo out as Sixers president of basketball operations

The 76ers’ Bryan Colangelo era, short as it was, is over.

The team announced Thursday that its embattled president of basketball operations resigned after a scandal involving secret Twitter accounts.

Colangelo was not at the Sixers facility Thursday, a day after sources said he was spotted at pre-draft workouts.

The Philadelphia 76ers organization has accepted the resignation of President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo, effective immediately. We appreciate Bryan’s many contributions during his time leading our basketball operations and thank him for the work he did in positioning the team for long-term success.

An independent investigation by New York-based law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP was conducted into certain anonymous social media accounts that posted information concerning the club, personnel, and related topics. It has become clear Bryan’s relationship with our team and his ability to lead the 76ers moving forward has been compromised.

– Sixers Press Release

As a result of our investigation, we do not believe that Mr. Colangelo established the Twitter accounts or posted content on those accounts. The evidence supports the conclusion that Ms. Barbara Bottini, Mr. Colangelo’s wife, established the Twitter accounts and posted content on those accounts. When interviewed, Ms. Bottini admitted establishing and operating the accounts. Forensic evidence corroborates her admissions.

We cannot conclude that Mr. Colangelo was aware of the Twitter accounts prior to the May 22 press inquiry. Mr. Colangelo denies any such awareness and we have not observed any forensic evidence establishing that he had knowledge of the Twitter accounts prior to that date. We note, however, that our investigation was limited and impeded by certain actions taken by Ms. Bottini, including her decision to delete the contents of her iPhone by executing a factory reset of the device prior to surrendering it for forensic review.

– The Investigation Team Hired by the Sixers

Nets announce additions to Performance Team

The Brooklyn Nets have announced three new additions to the Performance Team, joining Zach Weatherford, director of human performance, Dan Meehan, director of sport science and Sebastien Poirier, head athletic trainer.

Les Gelis has been named director of sports medicine and will begin in this role at the conclusion of his World Cup commitment with the Australian national team. With over 20 years of experience, Gelis comes to Brooklyn after most recently serving as head of physiotherapy for Football Federation Australia, a position he held since 2010. In that role, Gelis oversaw the physiotherapy departments of the Australian national football team, all FFA national teams and the national league. Previously, Gelis served as head of physiotherapy for the Manly Sea Eagles of the Australian National Rugby League and the South Melbourne Soccer Club. He worked two stints as an Olympic team physiotherapist for the Australian national football team, including at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Gelis earned a Bachelor of Science in physiotherapy and a Master of Science in sports physiotherapy from La Trobe University in Melbourne.

Stefania Rizzo has been named director of performance rehabilitation. Rizzo comes to Brooklyn from Fortius Sport & Health in Vancouver, where she most recently served as director of physiotherapy. Since 2006, Rizzo has also functioned as the lead physiotherapist for the Canadian national alpine ski team. In this role, Rizzo has worked over 40 international World Championships, World Cup Finals and the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics. Among other past positions, Rizzo has served as head of rehabilitation for the Buffalo Sabres and as a physiotherapist with the Canadian national snowboard team, the Canadian national women’s soccer team and BC Provincial Rugby. Rizzo earned Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and physiotherapy from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Clinical Science from the University of Western Ontario.

Daniel Liburd has been named head strength and conditioning coach. Prior to joining the Nets, Liburd spent nine years (2009-2017) with the Buffalo Bills as the team’s assistant strength and conditioning coach. During the 2017 NFL season, Liburd worked with the Pittsburgh Steelers in a similar strength and conditioning role. Other previous experience includes strength and conditioning positions with American International College and Springfield College. Liburd earned a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Boston University and a Master of Science in human performance from Canisius College.

Dan Meehan has been promoted to the position of director of sport science, following two seasons as the team’s head strength and conditioning coach.

Sebastien Poirier has been elevated to the position of head athletic trainer. Poirier, who joined the organization in 2016, served the past two seasons as assistant athletic trainer.

Bucks hire Darvin Ham, Ben Sullivan, Taylor Jenkins, Charles Lee and Patrick St. Andrews as assistant coaches

The Milwaukee Bucks have named Darvin Ham, Taylor Jenkins, Charles Lee, Ben Sullivan and Patrick St. Andrews as assistant coaches on the staff of Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Additionally, Sean Sweeney has been retained by the Bucks as an assistant coach.

“I’m thrilled to have my staff together again as we work to help improve our players and build sustained success here in Milwaukee,” Budenholzer said. “I am also excited to work with Sean, who is highly thought of in the league. All six coaches are great people and each brings a variety of expertise and experience. They all possess a tremendous work ethic and have great track records in player development. I know our players will benefit from their coaching.”

Ham spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach with Atlanta, including the last two as the lead assistant under Budenholzer. He began his coaching career in 2008, first as an assistant and then as general manager and head coach of the New Mexico Thunderbirds of the NBA Development League. Ham joined the Los Angeles Lakers coaching staff in 2011 where he worked two seasons before joining the Hawks.

Ham played eight NBA seasons for six teams, including three years for the Bucks (1999-2002). He won an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons in 2004. Ham played internationally in Spain, the Philippines and Puerto Rico before retiring from the NBA after the 2004-05 campaign.

Jenkins also spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach with Atlanta. Previously he served as the head coach of the Austin Toros of the NBA G League, the San Antonio Spurs affiliate. In 2012-13, Jenkins led the Toros to a first-round playoff victory over the Bakersfield Jam before falling to the Santa Cruz Warriors in the semifinals. Prior to being named head coach, Jenkins served as an assistant coach with the Toros the previous four seasons, including their championship season in 2012 and playoff appearances in 2009 and 2010. Before joining the Toros, Jenkins interned with the Spurs basketball operations department during the 2007-08 season.

Lee spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach with Atlanta. Prior to joining the NBA ranks, he was an assistant coach for two years at Bucknell University, his alma mater. As a player, Lee helped guide the Bison to two straight Patriot League Championships and consecutive NCAA Tournament second round appearances (2005-06). After graduating with a degree in business management, the Gaithersburg, Md., native played professionally in Israel, Belgium and Germany.

Sullivan served as an assistant coach with Atlanta for the last four seasons. Before joining the Hawks, he worked in basketball development and as an assistant video coordinator with the San Antonio Spurs. He played collegiately at Cal-State Northridge and University of Portland, competing professionally in China, Germany and Chile following graduation. Sullivan joined the University of Portland’s coaching staff in 2009, then was an assistant coach at Lewis & Clark College in Portland before joining the Spurs.

In 2014-15, Ham, Jenkins, Lee and Sullivan were all part of Budenholzer’s Eastern Conference All-Star coaching staff, as the Hawks recorded a team-record 60 wins – including a team-best 19-game win streak – en route to the club’s first-ever appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals.

St. Andrews was named an assistant coach with Atlanta in 2017. He began his NBA career in 2013 with the Hawks as a seasonal assistant in basketball operations and moved to assistant video coordinator prior to the 2014-15 season. He was promoted to head video coordinator for the 2016-17 campaign. St. Andrews worked as an assistant coach for the Dominican Republic National Team for the 2015 FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City. A two-year captain on the basketball team at Penn St. Behrend, St. Andrews earned bachelor’s degrees in Business Economics and International Business, and a master’s degree in Business Administration.

Sweeney returns to the Bucks bench for his fifth season and first under Budenholzer. Before joining the Bucks, he was an assistant coach in Brooklyn for one season and prior to that spent two seasons as the Nets assistant video coordinator.

Before entering the NBA ranks, Sweeney served as the video coordinator for the University of Northern Iowa, and previously held the position of director of basketball operations at the University of Evansville. He’s also held assistant coaching positions at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Cambridge, Minn., and the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. A native of St. Paul, Minn., Sweeney played one season at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay before transferring home to the University of St. Thomas where he was a three-year starter and earned All-Conference honors as a senior in 2005-06.

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The New Orleans Pelicans and Head Coach Alvin Gentry have agreed to a contract extension. Gentry, the Pelicans’ head coach since 2015, will now be under contract through the 2020-21 season.

Gentry in 2017-18 led the Pelicans to one of the best seasons in team history, finishing the regular season with a 48-34 record and advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals for just the second time in franchise history. The 48 regular season wins were the third highest total in franchise history.

And team success continued in the postseason, as the Pelicans swept the Trail Blazers in four games during the first round, and in doing so became first team seeded sixth or lower to sweep a first-round playoff series since the 2001 Charlotte Hornets.

The Pelicans saw a 14-win increase in 2017-18 over their 2016-17 win total, the largest jump in the Western Conference, and the second largest in the NBA behind Philadelphia (24 games).

“I am extremely thankful to Mrs. Benson and the Pelicans organization for their support and confidence in my abilities to lead this team,” said Gentry. “Since day one, they have treated me like family and have provided us with the necessary resources to compete at the highest level. Mrs. Benson has been incredibly supportive of our coaching staff and players, and I couldn’t be happier to work for such an exceptional owner. I am excited for the great opportunities that are ahead for our organization and the City of New Orleans.”

Over 246 games as Pelicans head coach, Gentry has a record of 112-134 (.455).

David Fizdale now has a coaching staff. The New York Knicks have hired Keith Smart, Jud Buechler, Pat Sullivan and Royal Ivey as assistant coaches.

“We’re thrilled to have this diverse group of high character coaches join the Knicks,” said Fizdale, who was recently named new Knicks head coach. “They are highly motivated and bring a wealth of basketball experience that will be a great fit in developing and building this team. All four coaches are tireless workers, reliable teammates and share the same intense passion to win.”

Smart most recently was an assistant coach in Memphis (2016-18) on Fizdale’s staff (later J.B. Bickerstaff). He also worked as an assistant coach in Cleveland (2000-03), Golden State (2003-11), Sacramento (2011-12) and Miami (2014-16).

Also, Smart served as head coach for Cleveland (2002-03), Golden State (2010-11) and Sacramento (2011-13), posting a 93-170 (.354) record.

Previously, he was the head coach of Fort Wayne (CBA) from 1997-99, following a professional playing career in San Antonio (two games), the Philippines, World Basketball League, CBA, Venezuela and France. He was originally selected by Golden State in the second round (41st overall) of the 1988 NBA Draft following a two-year collegiate career at Indiana University. As a Hoosier, he earned the Most Outstanding Player of the 1987 Final Four after hitting the game-winning shot against Syracuse in the National Championship Game.

Buechler spent the past two seasons as a player development coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and was also the head coach of their 2017 Summer League team that won the championship in Las Vegas. A three-time NBA Champion (1996-98) with the Bulls, Buechler was originally selected by Seattle in the second round (38th overall) of the 1990 NBA Draft, following a four-year career at University of Arizona. He posted career averages of 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds in 720 games over 12 seasons with New Jersey, San Antonio, Golden State, Chicago, Detroit, Phoenix and Orlando.

Ivey spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for Oklahoma City after beginning his coaching career as a player development coach with their G League affiliate, Oklahoma City Blue (2014-16). Born in Harlem, NY he was originally selected by Atlanta in the second round (37th overall) of the 2004 NBA Draft after a four-year career at University of Texas. He appeared in 492 games, recording averages of 3.3 points and 1.1 rebounds over 10 seasons with Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Oklahoma City. He played his high school basketball at Benjamin N. Cardozo High School (Queens) and Blair Academy (Blairstown, NJ).

Sullivan spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers after serving in the same capacity with Washington (2013-16), Detroit (2008-11) and New Jersey (2005-08). He began his NBA coaching career in 2004-05 as an assistant coach/video coordinator for the Pistons, who went on to win the NBA Championship that season. Previously, he worked in the college ranks as an assistant coach for North Carolina-Wilmington’s women’s team (2001-03) and at his alma matter University of North Carolina (1997-2000). The Bogota, NJ-native played four seasons for the Tar Heels, reaching the Final Four three times (1991, 93, 95).

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