Hot Rod Hundley passes away

Hot Rod Hundley passes away

Longtime broadcaster Hot Rod Hundley, the beloved voice of the Utah Jazz from 1974-2009, passed away Friday at his home in Phoenix, Ariz. area surrounded by family. He broadcast many of the most memorable moments in Jazz history, calling 3,051 Jazz games in three-plus decades.

“Hot Rod was the voice of the Utah Jazz for 35 years and his voice was synonymous with Jazz radio,” said Gail Miller, owner of the franchise. “The expressions he used throughout the game broadcasts are legendary. He had the unique ability to make the game come to life so that you felt as though you could see what was happening on the floor when listening to him call the games. Rod was a very special talent and will be missed by our family as well as Jazz fans everywhere. Our thoughts and condolences are with the Hundley family.”

The only member of the original New Orleans Jazz staff to remain with the team for its first 35 seasons, he joined the organization prior to the expansion team’s inaugural season in 1974-75 and moved with the team when it relocated to Salt Lake City in 1979-80. A banner hangs in the rafters of EnergySolutions Arena honoring the 3,051 games he called during his 35-year career. In 2010, the team dedicated the media center at the arena to Hot Rod, outlining his legendary career from his days at West Virginia University to his calls as a Jazz broadcaster.

“Rod was a true professional, a great personal friend and remains a legend in the NBA broadcast industry,” said Utah Jazz President Randy Rigby. “From his start with the franchise in New Orleans in 1974 when the Jazz were an expansion team, Hot Rod built a fan base that remains unmatchable. With his signature ‘You Gotta Love it, Baby!’ to ‘With a gentle push and a mild arc the old cow hide globe hit home,’ Rod will be remembered as a true scholar of the game and will always remain a member of the Jazz family.”

Hundley spent the first 31 years of his Jazz career as the play-by-play voice of Jazz radio/television simulcasts before becoming the radio voice for his final four seasons.

The latest Donald Sterling crap

The latest Donald Sterling crap

You probably don’t care about Donald Sterling anymore. But thanks to the beauty of the Internet, it’s quick and easy to share the latest on him anyway. Here’s Reuters reporting:

The woman behind the downfall of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling painted two conflicting portraits of him in court on Friday, saying he was a kind, generous mentor and father figure to her but was mean-spirited to others.

V. Stiviano, 32, also testified that the 80-year-old billionaire real estate mogul spent far more time with her and members of her family during the two and a half years she spent as his personal assistant, driver and confidante than he did with his own wife and children.

“We were so interconnected on a level that was more spiritual. He became my everything and I became his all,” she said, describing their bond as “love at first sight,” though she repeated under oath that the relationship was never sexual.”

Enes Kanter playing well for Thunder

Enes Kanter playing well for Thunder

Here’s the Oklahoman discussing Thunder center Enes Kanter, who is playing very well and appears to be a keeper for OKC — if the team can make it happen:

Enes Kanter playing well for Thunder

Enes Kanter has been with the Thunder only five weeks. In that time, he’s wowed observers with his inside play on offense, the kind of play that hasn’t been seen in the state since Big Country.

The soon-to-be free agent is also causing some fans to suffer some heartburn about his future with the team. Fears are percolating that the Thunder may not be able to keep its new inside presence past this season. While you never know what crazy events could unfold, the Thunder is in position to offer Kanter long-term security if he wants it.

Kanter is in the last season of his four-year rookie scale contract, so the Thunder will have the ability to make him a restricted free agent. All that requires is tendering what’s called a Qualifying Offer, which is a 1-year offer that, in Kanter’s case, would be worth over $7.4 million. As sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, the Thunder will do this.

Bulls finally getting healthier

Bulls finally getting healthier

Derrick Rose remains out, the 44-29 Chicago Bulls, who recently clinched a spot in the 2015 NBA playoffs, are finally getting healthier. Here’s ESPN Chicago reporting:

The Chicago Bulls are getting healthy at seemingly the right time of the season.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau doesn’t want to hear about that, though.

“I don’t get wrapped up in the talk,” Thibodeau said after practice on Friday. “I want to see performance. I want to see the work go into it. I know how you win. We have to be more concerned with the process of how we’re approaching it and are we putting the work in to give ourselves the best chance possible. Talk is talk. I want to see action.”

Some of the optimism surrounding the Bulls is based on action, especially in the case of Jimmy Butler. He scored 23 points on 7-of-8 shooting Wednesday in his second game back after missing three weeks because of an elbow injury.

Forward Taj Gibson is also slowly getting back into form after missing nearly a month with a left ankle injury.

Kevin Durant will have bone graft, out for 4-6 more months

Kevin Durant will have bone graft, out for 4-6 more months

The Oklahoma City Thunder released the following statement on behalf of Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti regarding Kevin Durant:

“As we communicated last week, Kevin was going to use this time to engage in consultation and evaluation regarding the persistent soreness in his right foot at this stage of his rehabilitation. As part of this process, Kevin and Thunder personnel traveled to two additional specialists this past week; Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York City and Dr. James Nunley at Duke University. These in-person consults were designed to further supplement the previous evaluations of Dr. Bob Anderson. Several conference calls and discussions amongst the specialist team concluded that, while the majority of the soreness in Kevin’s foot was related to continued inflammation of the cuboid bone and would subside with rest, the evaluation process also determined that the Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal, which had shown significant healing previously, was now demonstrating signs of regression.

With the focus of this process being aimed entirely on Kevin’s long term health and stability, it was the consensus of the specialists team, in addition to a collective decision by Kevin, his representation and the Thunder, that to address the setback of the fracture site, a bone graft procedure would be the most proactive and recommended approach. The bone graft is the standard procedure for the five to eight percent of Jones fracture surgeries that do not initially have success or experience setbacks sometime within the recovery period. While everyone is disappointed that Kevin falls into that group, we are encouraged that the bone graft procedure has historically demonstrated long-term health and stability.

Dr. O’Malley will perform the bone graft surgery early next week in New York. He has extensive bone grafting experience amongst athletes and has been consulting on the case throughout. Kevin will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season and is expected to return to basketball activities in the next four to six months.”

Nets sign Earl Clark to 10-day contract

Nets sign Earl Clark to 10-day contract

Nets sign Earl Clark to 10-day contract

The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward Earl Clark to a 10-day contract, Nets General Manager Billy King announced today.

Clark (6’10”, 234) is a five-year NBA veteran who was originally selected with the 14th pick of the first round of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns. Clark, 27, has seen action with the Suns (2009-10), Orlando Magic (2010-12), Los Angeles Lakers (2012-13), Cleveland Cavaliers (2013-14) and New York Knicks (2014). In 251 career games (54 starts), Clark has averaged 4.4 points on 40.4 percent shooting, including 33.1 percent from three-point range, and 3.0 rebounds in 14.1 minutes per game. His most productive season came with the Lakers in 2012-13, when Clark recorded career-highs for games played (59), starts (36), points per game (7.3), rebounds per game (5.5), assists per game (1.1) and minutes per game (23.1). The Plainfield, N.J. native has also appeared in 13 playoff games (one start) with the Suns, Magic and Lakers, posting career playoff averages of 3.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game. Most recently, Clark appeared in 19 games with the Shandong Flaming Bulls of the Chinese Basketball Association during the 2014-15 season, where he averaged 26.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in 32.9 minutes per game.

Prior to his NBA career, Clark spent three years at Louisville, where he helped lead the Cardinals to a Big East title and their first-ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament in his third and final season (2008-09). In 104 career collegiate games, Clark averaged 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in 26.7 minutes per game.

Wizards sign Will Bynum to 10-day contract, waive Toure’ Murry

Wizards sign Will Bynum to 10-day contract

Washington Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced today that the team has signed guard Will Bynum to a 10-day contract. The team has also waived Toure’ Murry.

Bynum (6-0, 185) has played seven seasons with Golden State and Detroit appearing in 353 career regular season games while averaging 8.2 points, 3.3 assists and 1.6 assists in 18.5 minutes per game. Undrafted out of Georgia Tech in 2005, Bynum enjoyed his best season in 2009-10 for the Detroit Pistons when he averaged career highs with 10.0 points and 4.5 assists per game. Bynum appeared in 30 games this season for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association where he averaged 22.3 points, 7.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds while shooting .564 from the field.

Murry appeared in three games for the Wizards and averaged 1.5 points in 4.3 minutes per game.

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed forward Chris Johnson to a multi-year contract.

Johnson re-joins the team following a 10-day contract with the Jazz from Jan. 28 through Feb. 6, during which time he appeared in two games and averaged 7.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 19.0 minutes per game.

The 24-year-old Johnson (6-6, 201, Dayton) most recently spent a pair of 10-day contracts with the Milwaukee Bucks (March 6-26), seeing action in eight contests and averaging 3.9 points and 1.4 rebounds in 16.0 minutes.  He began the 2014-15 with the Philadelphia 76ers, where he averaged 6.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 20.8 minutes in nine games (two starts) before being waived on Nov. 15.  For the season, Johnson has played in a total of 19 games (two starts) and averages 5.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 0.9 steals in 18.6 minutes per game.

For his NBA career, Johnson has spent portions of three seasons with the Jazz, Bucks and 76ers (2014-15), Boston Celtics (2013-14) and Memphis Grizzlies (2012-13), appearing in 67 NBA games (two starts) and owns averages of 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game.

Prior to being called up by the Jazz and becoming the 15th D-League Call-Up in team history (fourth this season), Johnson had also appeared in 14 games for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League in 2014-15 and was selected as a 2014 NBA D-League All-Star and named to the 2015 NBA D-League Showcase Second Team.  Following his 10-day with the Jazz, Johnson returned to the Vipers for two additional games, and appeared in a total of 16 D-League games (all starts) this season, averaging 20.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 34.6 minutes per contest. He scored in double figures on 15 occasions and recorded 20-plus points in 10 games, including one 30-point contest.  Johnson has appeared in 75 games (58 starts) for Rio Grande Valley over three seasons and owns averages of 15.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.6 steals in 31.3 minutes.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Johnson played four seasons at Dayton (2008-12).  He earned Atlantic 10 All-Championship Team honors following his junior season and was the 2010 Atlantic 10 Most Improved Player recipient.  He was not selected in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Jazz waive Ian Clark

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has waived guard Ian Clark.  Following the move, the Jazz roster now stands at 14 players.

Clark (6-3, 180, Belmont) appeared in 23 games as a reserve this season for the Jazz, averaging 1.9 points in 7.0 minutes per game.  He also appeared in seven games (six starts) while on assignment with the Jazz’s exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, the Idaho Stampede, where he averaged 14.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 32.0 minutes per contest.  The second-year guard appeared in a total of 46 games over two seasons with the Jazz, owning a career scoring average of 2.4 points in 7.2 minutes per game after originally joining Utah as an undrafted rookie free agent on July 29, 2013.

Sixers putting up some wins lately

Sixers putting up some wins lately

The Philadelphia 76ers are 18-54 in this season of rebuild, but have played decent basketball lately and put up some wins. But challenging opponents are ahead. Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer reporting:

The 76ers know the real tests are coming.

They’ve won five of their last 10 games, but one of those wins came against an Atlanta Hawks squad that rested three starters. The other four victories were vs. opponents that had a combined winning percentage of .328 heading into Thursday’s games.

The Sixers (18-54) have made dramatic improvements since opening the season with 17 consecutive losses. But the upcoming games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers will be a true barometer of how far they’ve come.

The Clippers (47-25), who have won five straight and come to the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night, might be the Sixers’ easier matchup. On Sunday, they’ll face a Cavaliers squad (47-26) than has won 10 of its last 12 games.

Darrell Arthur dealing with lingering injury

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on the 27-45 Nuggets and forward Darrell Arthur, who is averaging 6.6 points in 17.0 minutes per game as a reserve:

Nuggets: Darrell Arthur dealing with lingering injury

Darrell Arthur feels today — and everyday — as if it was Feb. 25.

The problem: He feels it in his strained right calf, which has given him problems ever since he sustained an injury that day against Phoenix. And it is making the end of his season with the Nuggets a daily struggle, not only to play but make it through a game. And then be able to bounce back for the following game.

“I’ve been sore for about a month,” Arthur said. “The only thing that’s going to help is time. Time and treatment.”

It is an all-too familiar feeling for Arthur, who endured constant nagging injuries and pain late last season due to a left hip strain and then a knee sprain.

Utah Jazz sign Jack Cooley to multi-year contract

Jazz sign Jack Cooley to multi-year contract

The Utah Jazz announced today that team has signed forward Jack Cooley to a multi-year contract.

Cooley signed his most recent 10-day contract with the Jazz on March 16 and has appeared in six Jazz games, averaging 1.7 points in 4.3 minutes per contest.

When the Jazz signed him from the NBA Development League’s Idaho Stampede, Cooley (6-9, 246, Notre Dame) was averaging 16.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.3 blocks in 30.8 minutes per contest in 20 games. On March 13, Cooley set a new D-League single-game record by grabbing 29 rebounds vs. Los Angeles D-Fenders, adding 27 points while going 11-of-14 from the floor (78.6 percent). Over his final three games, Cooley averaged 22.7 points on 65.9 percent shooting (27-of-41) and 22.7 rebounds per game with the Stampede. He recorded 13 double-doubles, including four straight since returning to the D-League. He scored in double figures on 17 occasions and recorded 20-plus points in six games.

Cooley also attended 2014 training camp with the Jazz, averaging 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 5.8 minutes in two preseason games before being waived on Oct. 22.

A native of Glenview, Ill., Cooley played four seasons at Notre Dame (2009-13).

Derrick Rose expects to return sometime this season

Derrick Rose expects to return sometime this season

We’ve been through this before. Nevertheless, we must remain positive-minded. Or not. Whatever you want. Here’s the Chicago Tribune reporting the latest on injured Bulls point guard D-Rose:

Bulls guard Derrick Rose said he expects to be cleared for contact either this week or next and remains confident he’ll return from arthroscopic right knee surgery this season.

“Oh yeah, I’m not worried about that,” Rose said. “I’m feeling good. I’m trying to do all the right things. Put all the positives in the bag and just try to go with it. It’s something that I’ve been doing for a long time. Rehab is definitely a grind. But I’m getting used to it.”

Rose had a small piece of his right meniscus removed on Feb. 27. The Bulls estimated his return to action at four to six weeks. Friday marks four weeks since the surgery.

Warriors win 2014-15 Pacific Division title

Warriors win 2014-15 Pacific Division title

The Golden State Warriors have clinched the 2014-15 Pacific Division title, improving to 58-13 on the season following Tuesday’s 122-108 road victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. This marks the organization’s first Pacific Division title since the San Francisco Warriors won back-to-back Pacific crowns in 1974-75 and 1975-76.

This is the organization’s fifth division championship since the team moved to the West Coast in 1962, with the Warriors claiming Western Division titles in 1963-64 and 1966-67. Overall, the team has now won eight division championships in franchise history, including Eastern Division titles by the Philadelphia Warriors in 1947-48, 1950-51 and 1955-56.

The Warriors are slated to make their third consecutive postseason appearance as the team finished second in the Pacific Division in each of the past two seasons, with records of 47-35 in 2012-13 and 51-31 in 2013-14. Golden State’s 58 wins thus far, with 11 games remaining in the 2014-15 regular season, are the second most in team history and just one shy of the franchise-record 59 wins by the 1975-76 squad.

Hawks sign Austin Daye to second 10-day contract

Hawks sign Austin Daye to second 10-day contract

The Atlanta Hawks (53-17, having amazing season, but struggling a bit recently) have signed forward Austin Daye to a second 10-day contract, it was announced today by Head Coach Mike Budenholzer.

Daye has appeared in two games with the Hawks. He also played in 26 contests (four starts) earlier this season with the San Antonio Spurs, averaging 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 10.3 minutes.

In 10 games this season with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA Development League, Daye averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 blocks in 28.5 minutes.

Bucks struggling since trading Brandon Knight

Here’s the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting on the struggling Bucks:

Since Brandon Knight left the Bucks in a trade deadline deal, Milwaukee has struggled to a 4-13 record.

Knight has not played recently for his new team, the Phoenix Suns, due to a sprained left ankle. The Suns are 4-6 in the games he has played and 9-8 since making the trade for Knight and two other deals on Feb. 19.

Knight told azcentral.com about the Bucks: “Their struggles aren’t my struggles any more. I moreso feel bad for the guys that I was there with. I feel a little bit bad for them because they know the hard work we put in. I know they feel it kind of went down the drain a bit.

“I wish those guys the best. Hopefully they can get back on track. I’m about the Suns right now.”

Pelicans re-sign Toney Douglas

Pelicans re-sign Toney Douglas

Pelicans re-sign Toney Douglas

The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that the team has re-signed unrestricted free agent guard Toney Douglas.

Douglas, 6-2, 185, appeared in three games for New Orleans, averaging 9.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 22.0 minutes per game while signed to two 10-day contracts with the team. Prior to joining the Pelicans, Douglas played for the Jiangsu Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association, appearing in 35 games while averaging 19.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 steals. Drafted 29th overall out of Florida State in 2009 by the Los Angeles Lakers, Douglas has appeared in 300 career NBA games with New York, Houston, Sacramento, Golden State, Miami and New Orleans, averaging 7.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists.

Douglas will wear #16 and be available for Wednesday night’s home game against Houston.

New Orleans’ roster stands at 14.

Trey Burke is shooting below 37% FG this season

Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune reporting on Utah Jazz guard Trey Burke, whose longterm NBA need is a better jumpshot:

Trey Burke is shooting below 37% FG this season

Trey Burke had a rough night.

The Utah Jazz point guard took 22 shots. He made four of them. And one of those makes might have been just as costly as any miss.

With 10.7 seconds left in overtime and the Jazz trailing 105-102, Jazz coach Quin Snyder wanted a 3-pointer. Instead, the lane opened up for Burke and the point guard took it to the hole for a layup.

“It was a called play for a 3,” Burke said. “I didn’t want to force anything like I did the last shot [of regulation] but they gave me the whole lane and there were still 12 seconds*, so I got in there and tried to get a quick two.”

But it wasn’t quick enough…

As for the rest of Burke’s night, the point guard did manage to dish out six assists and record four steals. But he countered that with five turnovers and, of course, a dreadful shooting performance.

After going 4 for 22, Burke’s shooting percentage is down to 36.8 on the season. Both his overall percentage and his 3-point field goal percentage are down from his rookie campaign.

Metta World Peace signs in Italy

Metta World Peace signs in Italy

Metta World Peace signs in Italy

Metta World Peace remains alive and well, and is still a basketball player. And will be taking his talents to Italy.

The Italian basketball team Pallacanestro Cantu, via their verified account, tweets that they have signed World Peace (the artist formerly known as Ron Artest) for the remainder of their season.

It’ll be interesting to see how Metta fares at this late stage of his playing career.

Grizzlies beat Knicks, clinch playoff spot

Grizzlies beat Knicks, clinch playoff spot

The Memphis Grizzlies clinched a playoff spot for the fifth consecutive season on Monday night. They hope this is only the beginning.

Zach Randolph scored 23 points and Marc Gasol had 21, leading Memphis to a 103-82 win over the lowly New York Knicks.

The Grizzlies (50-21) shot 52 percent from the field in their third consecutive victory. Vince Carter added 14 points, Jeff Green scored 12 and Kosta Koufos had 10.

“This is the NBA,” said Randolph, who also had seven rebounds and five assists. “We have been together a long time and we have to keep playing. We know what we are playing and getting ready for.”

– Associated Press

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