Archive for September 17th, 2018

Open tryouts are always fascinating, in that anybody with a dream and hopefully some actual talent can head to an event and get a shot at making their dreams come true. Of course, in pro sports, the vast, vast, vast majority of players hoping to play the game of their lives when it matters most will fall short. Still, an open tryout for a pro team is a fun event. Here’s NBC Sports Washington reporting on the Wizards’ G League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go:

These were basketball players, young and old by the sport’s standards, all waiting for their chance to try out for the Wizards’ new G-League affiliate, the Capital City Go-Go.

G-League teams are permitted to hold local tryouts and this was the first one in the history of the inaugural franchise.

The Wizards hosted over 100 players total across two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They ran them through shooting drills, taught them two plays and then let them go in 5-on-5 scrimmages spread out between three courts; one in the main arena and the other two in the back of the building.

Just about everyone from the Wizards front office was in attendance. Team president Ernie Grunfeld, senior vice president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard and others looked on as hoopers from all walks of life played what were essentially pickup games, one after another.

The Go-Go are allowed to keep up to four players from the event. Those four would merely get invites to the team’s training camp, which begins in October. The odds for these players to even get that far are minuscule and from there they get no guarantees for a roster spot.

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Milwaukee Bucks play-by-play announcer Jim Paschke, who is entering his 33rd season calling Bucks games, was named the recipient of the NBA’s Todd Harris Spirit Award at the annual NBA Broadcast Meeting on Sept. 14 in New York. The Todd Harris Spirit Award, named in honor of longtime NBA executive Todd Harris, recognizes an NBA broadcaster or executive who is the ultimate team player and inspires people to make every day brighter.

“Jim Paschke is the perfect recipient of the Todd Harris Spirit Award, exemplifying the same dedication and spirit that Todd showed during his life,” said NBA Senior Vice President, Broadcast Schedule Management, Tom Carelli. “As one of the longest tenured announcers in the NBA today, Jim has brought a unique perspective to our game and to our fans throughout his 33 years as the play-by-play voice for the Milwaukee Bucks. He has also been a trusted advisor and friend to the NBA, its teams and its broadcasters.”

“This is such a well-deserved honor for Jim,” said Bucks President Peter Feigin. “Jim is a pro’s pro and we are fortunate to have such a terrific broadcaster and person with the Bucks organization. The team congratulates Jim on this meaningful recognition.”

Paschke is the second-ever recipient of the Todd Harris Spirit Award after the inaugural award was given to Travis Henderson of the Utah Jazz. In addition to broadcasting Bucks game on FOX Sports Wisconsin, Paschke is the Bucks Broadcast Director and works year-round on telecasts, television projects and other team broadcast ventures while regularly contributing video content to Bucks.com. Paschke is also a featured speaker in the community, addressing various civic groups and school assemblies throughout the year, and is a long-time supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The 2018-19 season will be Paschke’s 33rd season as the television “Voice of the Bucks” and 23rd as Broadcast Director for the team.

NBA coach Jeff Bzdelik to retire

Jeff Bzdelik, a longtime coach who is currently with the Houston Rockets, is reporting hanging up his clipboard and calling it a career. Here’s the Houston Chronicle reporting:

Bzdelik, 65, had been weighing whether to return for a third season on Mike D’Antoni’s staff throughout the summer, reaching his decision this weekend, an individual with knowledge of the decision said. He had been uncertain about taking on the demands and time away from family of another season.

The Rockets will shift his responsibilities throughout the coaching staff, with assistant Roy Rogers likely to lead the defense. Former Vipers coach Matt Brase had already been added to D’Antoni’s staff.

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Timberwolves center Justin Patton out after foot injury

Minnesota Timberwolves center Justin Patton will be sidelined indefinitely after suffering an injury to his right foot during a recent workout. Surgery will be scheduled for the near future. Further updates to his progress will be issued when appropriate.

Patton, 6-11, played in one game for Minnesota in 2017-18, totaling two points and one steal in just under four minutes of action on April 1, 2018 vs. Utah. Patton appeared in 38 games for the Iowa Wolves, Minnesota’s G League affiliate, starting 28 of those and averaging 12.7 points on 47.5% shooting from the field. He also averaged 5.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 23.1 minutes a game.

The Wolves acquired the draft rights to Patton (selected 16th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft), along with Jimmy Butler, on June 22, 2017 from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the draft rights to Lauri Markkanen, the 7th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Dwyane Wade isn’t hanging up his sneakers yet. The future Hall of Famer has announced that he’ll play one more NBA season, and will stick with the Miami Heat.

Wade for weeks has stated openly that if he were to return for another NBA season, it would only be for Miami.

Here’s the Miami Herald on Wade’s decision:

This will help the Heat. After all, Wade was the only Heat player to finish last season’s five-game playoff run with a positive plus-minus while leading the team to its only playoff victory in Game 2 in Philadelphia with 28 points in 26 minutes.

But at 36 years old, how much will Wade really help the Heat this season?

“This decision is bigger than the game of basketball,” Wade said in the video posted Sunday night. “This decision don’t have nothing to do with the talent I have in my body. Yeah, I’m not as quick as I used to be. Yeah, I don’t jump as high as I used to. Yeah, I don’t. Yeah, I don’t. Yeah, I don’t.

“But there are things in this game that I have that I can write a book on, that I can still do and I can still accomplish with the right organization, with the right individuals, with the right coach and in the right situation.”

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The Heat won’t be a contender this season, but they’re a solid team, and it’ll be cool to see fans get to applaud D-Wade on his retirement tour.

At the same time, the Heat’s primary need is to figure out their future. So this won’t be an all-about-Wade type of season the way Kobe Bryant’s final Laker season was all about him. The Heat will compete. Wade will contribute to that. And there will be lots of standing ovations in the process.

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