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.

Knicks sign Langston Galloway, Travis Wear

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:

Here’s the Charlotte Observer with good news about the Hornets arena:

Charlotte City Council members on Monday approved spending $33.5 million over 10 years on improvements to Time Warner Cable Arena, money that the city said it was contractually obligated to spend.

The Charlotte Hornets will use the money to renovate restaurants and bathrooms, add lower bowl seating, improve lighting and replace the scoreboard, among other improvements.

The team and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority had originally asked for nearly $50 million in public money.

Some council members Monday lauded the city for spending less than was requested, while others said they felt they were giving the NBA team a free ride.

Orlando Magic hire Jay Hernandez

The Orlando Magic have named Jay Hernandez assistant coach/player development, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

“We are extremely excited to add Jay (Hernandez) and his family to the Orlando Magic,” said Head Coach Jacque Vaughn. “Jay will bring a tireless work ethic and dedication to development to our coaching staff.”

Hernandez established Pro Hoops, Inc. in 2004, a basketball training service based in New York for teams and individuals seeking to improve their performance.

Hernandez played one season at the University of New Hampshire (1996-97) and three seasons at Hofstra University (1998-2001). He helped Hofstra to a berth in the NIT in 1999, then back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2000 and 2001. Hernandez went on to play professionally in Puerto Rico for three seasons.

Greg Monroe signs Pistons qualifying offer

The Detroit Pistons announced today that forward Greg Monroe has signed the team’s one-year qualifying offer for the 2014-15 season.

“I have said from day one that we have great respect for Greg as a person and like what he brings to this team as a player,” said Stan Van Gundy, Head Coach and President of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons. “We have had good dialogue with Greg throughout the offseason with the understanding that there were multiple options for both parties involved, and we respect his decision. We look forward to a great year from Greg as we continue to build our team moving forward.”

“I look forward to playing for Coach Van Gundy and his staff,” said Monroe. He has a proven track record and I’m excited about working with my teammates to get better and prepare for the season.”

Monroe, the seventh overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, averaged 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals and 32.8 minutes in a career-high 82 games (all starts) last season. In 309 career games (277 starts), Monroe has averaged 14.0 points (.508 FG, .678 FT), 9.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals in 31.3 minutes per game.

The 6-foot-11, Gretna, LA native has averaged 15.0-plus points, 9.0-plus rebounds, 2.0-plus assists and 1.0-plus steals in each of his last three seasons. He has recorded 101 double-doubles since 2011-12 – second most in the Eastern Conference (Joakim Noah – 102) and recorded his third consecutive season with 1,000-plus points and 600-plus rebounds, joining Grant Hill as the only Pistons to do so since 1994-95.

Warriors sign guard Justin Holiday

Warriors sign guard Justin Holiday

The Golden State Warriors have signed free agent guard Justin Holiday, the team announced today.

Holiday played for the Warriors at the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, starting all five games and averaging a team-high 14.8 points to go with 5.0 rebounds in 22.8 minutes.

Holiday, 25, played professionally last season in Hungary, where he posted averages of 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 50 games with Szolnok. The 6’6” guard has previous NBA experience with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012-13, appearing in nine contests and averaging 4.7 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 15.8 minutes. He spent the rest of the 2012-13 campaign with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League, tallying 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and a league-leading 2.43 steals in 34.7 minutes over 47 games, earning 2013 All-NBA D-League Third Team and All-NBA D-League Defensive Second Team honors. Following a four-year career at the University of Washington, the Mission Hills, CA, native made his professional debut with Aalstar in Belgium during the 2011-12 season after going unselected in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Holiday will wear uniform #7. The Warriors roster currently stands at 17 players.

Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting a Pistons arena development:

Detroit Pistons getting massive new arena scoreboard

There’s no telling yet if the Detroit Pistons will be any better in Tom Gores’ fourth season as team owner, but they’ll definitely be bigger on a massive new high-definition scoreboard.

The 56,000-pound scoreboard with six video screens, triple the size of the 15-year-old system it replaces at the Palace of Auburn Hills, is the capstone of a three-year, $40-million renovation by Gores and Platinum Equity, which acquired Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) about three years ago.

In an interview with the Free Press last week, PS&E president Dennis Mannion and other officials shared renderings of the scoreboard and details of the renovations that they aim to complete by the Pistons’ Nov. 1 home opener.

Then it’s up to the Pistons basketball team, under new head coach and team president Stan Van Gundy, to play better — and thus juice up attendance and enthusiasm to a level worthy of the spiffed-up surroundings.

The FIBA World Cup basketball tournament is ongoing. Check out this video of the best plays from Sunday, September 7:

Here’s the Denver Post reporting on Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried, who is currently playing for Team USA in the World Cup:

Kenneth Faried doing big things for Team USA

Kenneth Faried’s recent rising-star status is proof that a world stage can be a powerful thing. Average 18 points and 10 rebounds after the all-star break last season for the Nuggets, against the best players in the world? The skeptics’ voices rang loudest.

Do the same thing against overmatched competition in group play of the FIBA World Cup? Now he’s a keeper. Strange thinking, and backward thinking, but true.

It can be argued Faried has done more to open up the eyes of his own fan base and NBA fans nationwide in one week in Spain than he had in the final two months of the NBA season. That’s been the real value of the tournament for him. He’s playing as he always has, but his name and his nickname, the “Manimal,” are becoming more recognizable. For a player looking to earn his first all-star berth this upcoming season, this is big-time stuff.

Michael Jordan is a big Derek Jeter fan

Here’s the New York Post reporting fun stuff about Jordan and Jeter:

Add Michael Jordan to the long list of Derek Jeter admirers.

His Airness was at the Stadium on Sunday afternoon, part of the Derek Jeter Day tribute before the Yankees fell to the Royals, 2-0.

“The thing I like about Derek, you see all the competitors and all his teammates [he’s played with], and I don’t think anybody can say one thing bad about Derek,” said Jordan, who wore a blue suit and was one of the last guests introduced, to raucous applause, during the ceremony. “He’s an idol to me, how he’s well respected in the game. He carries himself like every baseball player or professional athlete should. A very classy guy, very straightforward, very friendly.”

It was Jordan who handpicked Jeter to be part of the Jordan Brand line 15 years ago, taken with his professionalism, dedication and accomplishments.

Here’s the Salt Lake Tribune blog reporting on a fascinating journey:

In all, the longest trek of Greg Miller’s life took three years.

He completed 58,196 miles over 33 countries and all seven continents. He literally drove the world in his Toyota Land Cruiser.

It took Miller 218 days, and required a significant financial commitment. 47 different individuals, and five different photographers chronicled the journey of Miller, the principal owner of the Utah Jazz.

The trip was draining. It was exhilerating. He made friends that he’ll keep for life. He visited significant worldly landmarks. When he thought of the trip over a random breakfast with his good friend Scott Brady in 2011, Miller never dreamed that it would turn out so taxing, yet so rewarding.

Here’s the Detroit Free Press reporting on the Pistons, who have Greg Monroe back next season — though his future in Detroit beyond that is in doubt:

Andre Drummond glad that Greg Monroe is back with Pistons

Reacting to the Pistons’ reported signing of teammate Greg Monroe for the 2014-15 season, Drummond said he felt relieved to hear the news on Saturday.

“I was very excited knowing we got Greg back for another season,” he said. “The tandem we have is something we’ve been working on for the past two years. Going at it again, it’s going to be fun.”

Though he denied any involvement in Monroe’s decision-making process, Drummond suggested he had inside information on his counterpart’s final decision.

“I knew he was coming back,” Drummond said. “It was just a matter of time.”

Here’s ESPN New York with a World Cup update that Brooklyn Nets fans should care about:

Well, this should get Nets fans pretty excited.

Bojan Bogdanovic, the European sharpshooter who signed a three-year, $10 million contract with the Nets in the offseason, had a game-high 27 points for Croatia on Saturday in the team’s 69-64 elimination loss to France in the round of 16 at the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

Bogdanovic had 14 of his points in the fourth quarter as Croatia nearly rallied back from a 16-point deficit. He hit a 3-pointer with just more than a minute left to bring his team within two, but he missed a long triple out of an isolation set 28 seconds later that could’ve given Croatia a 67-66 lead.

Bogdanovic scored nine points in the first quarter, but he was held to just four in the next two quarters as he stopped getting touches before erupting in the fourth. His offensive talent was on full display, and he showed that he can get hot in stretches and isn’t afraid to take the big shot.

Here’s the South Florida Sun Sentinel reporting some insight from NBA commissioner Adam Silver:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver isn’t denying Miami as a sexy market, but in his recent interview with Bloomberg Television he clearly did not have an issue with LeBron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, citing NFL-style parity. “And so we want to build to be at that same point where 30 teams are all competing for championships,” he said in the wake of the Heat’s four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals. “If, for example, in the NFL, when Green Bay’s playing Pittsburgh, the reaction isn’t, oh, that ‘they’re small markets,’ it’s that, ‘they’re storied franchises,’ ” he said. “And I think we’re beginning to see that in the league with teams like Oklahoma City, with the San Antonio Spurs, now, with the return of LeBron to Cleveland. And that’s what you want if you’re a commissioner. You want all of your teams to be competitive and you want them ultimately to succeed based on management, not who’s got the deepest pocket or what market is the most attractive.” Of course, it’s one thing for LeBron to return home to Cleveland, another for a top-tier free agent to aggressively pursue a future in Sacramento, Utah or Milwaukee.

The Atlanta Hawks finished last season with a 38-44 record. Enjoy this video showcasing their best plays of the season:

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