First Cup: Wednesday

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
4:52
AM ET
  • Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune: Brandon Roy on Tuesday left the Timberwolves cap that he wore so briefly so long ago back home in his mother's Seattle living room, but he officially, finally returned six years later to the NBA franchise that drafted him. ... Roy made three NBA All-Star Games in five seasons after the Wolves drafted him sixth overall in 2006 and then quickly traded him to Portland for Randy Foye and a big chunk of Blazers owner Paul Allen's cash. Now he is back to the place he never really was, intending to resume a career that temporarily ended for a season because of a degenerative condition that has left him with no cartilage in either knee. Declaring himself rested and ready, Roy is back after a season away and after undergoing the same medical procedure that gave Kobe Bryant's knee relief. ... Roy chose to sign with the Wolves after talking with at least four other NBA teams. Wolves owner Glen Taylor flew with Kahn and coach Rick Adelman on Taylor's private jet to Seattle for a lengthy meeting with Roy and his agent and continued to court him after that. Roy's relationship with Bayno and former Blazers star Terry Porter, a Wolves assistant coach, helped him feel comfortable. NBA personnel urged him to play for Adelman if he got the chance.
  • Dan Bickley of The Arizona Republic: The P.A. announcer calls him, "Eye-Kay." It sounds unfamiliar, very African. I guess that's the point. We like Ike? They love him in Nigeria. "To have 160 million people behind you is an amazing experience," said Ike Diogu, former Arizona State star. Diogu came to the Olympics looking for a single person: that one NBA general manager who will give him another chance, a real chance, to play at the highest level. He never thought he'd inspire a country. The son of Nigerian schoolteachers, Diogu led the D'Tigers to stunning upsets of Greece and Lithuania at a qualifying tournament in Venezuela. For an encore, his 25-point, 10-rebound performance against the Dominican Republic clinched Nigeria's first-ever Olympic berth in basketball. Once here, it didn't take long for Diogu's crew to score a first Olympic victory, beating Tunisia in its London debut. Do you believe in miracles? "When we first got together, we talked about making history," Diogu said.
  • Marc Berman of the New York Post: At least Tunisia forced Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski into his first benchings of the Olympics. With his team shockingly trailing Tunisia by three points late in the first quarter after a sluggish start, Coach K benched his five starters en masse then started the bench brigade in the second half. It sparked Redeem Team II to pull away and post its expected 110-63 rout Tuesday before 12,000 at the basketball venue at Olympic Park. It all worked well for Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, part of the second unit. Anthony finished with a team-high 16 points in 11:58, going 6-of-6 from the field to ignite the 47-point win that gave USA a 2-0 record. “You never know what Coach K is going to do,’’ Anthony said. “You never know what kind of lineup he’s going to throw out there. You just got to stay ready. He held us responsible. He held us accountable for what we were doing out there.’’
  • Alex Cassara of The Times-Picayune: New Orleans Hornets small forward Al-Farouq Aminu is spending the summer in London as a major player in Nigeria's first-ever Olympic efforts. His team team suffered its first setback of the games on Tuesday in a 72-53 loss to Lithuania. Their record in pool play evens to 1-1, having beaten Tunisia in their inaugural Olympic contest. While Nigeria is unlikely to advance, the Olympics will be a success for Aminu whether he comes back with a medal or not. The young forward's role with the Hornets will only increase this season and the competitive experience he'll gain abroad will prove more valuable than anything that could have been provided in the NBA Summer League. On the international court, his 27 points trail Ike Diogu's total by only one for the team lead. He's also come up clutch, sinking a free throw to put a Tunisian 10-2 run to bed in the final seconds.
  • Marcus Thompson II of The Oakland Tribune: So next season, Brandon Rush will make less than the $4.4 million qualifying offer he signed, and less than the $5 mid-level exception he was hoping to land. However, Rush immediately becomes the top candidate to be the Warriors’ sixth man and may have a shot at earning the starting small forward job. If he has another big year, he stands to get a nice payday next season in free agency. Rush, who spent his first three seasons with Indiana before being traded to the Warriors, had a breakout season under coach Mark Jackson. In his 26.4 minutes, he averaged 9.8 points on 50.1 percent shooting (both career-highs). He shot 45.2 percent from 3-point range (sixth in the NBA) while proving to be a reliable defender, leading the Warriors with 58 blocks last season. Rush’s signing likely concludes the Warriors’ offseason movement.
  • Sarah Kogod of The Washington Post: John Wall was featured in the most recent issue of Dime magazine. If there’s one thing that’s clear in the story, it’s that the Wizards star knows he needs to have a big year. “You wanna do it all,” Wall told Dime. “You wanna be an All-Star. You wanna be one of the top five best point guards. You wanna make the playoffs, and get this city back to where they know they can be. When you have the playoffs, I heard how crazy it could be when everybody is wearing all white. That’s what I want to get to. I want to be the savior.” It’s a far cry from the humility shown by D.C.’s other young superstar, Robert Griffin III. With two young team leaders in town, the comparisons between RGIII and Wall are inevitable. Both marketing machines — three of the five Dime photos of Wall show him posing with a can of Red Bull — both at the helm of teams with a recent losing history, both with potential superstar talent.
  • Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune: Unrestricted free agent small forward C.J. Miles has narrowed his options down to a few teams, a league source told The Salt Lake Tribune on Tuesday, and the longtime Jazzman is drawing serious interest from the Los Angeles Lakers. The 6-foot-6, 222-pound Miles could make a decision during the next 2-3 days. If he signs with the Lakers, the source said, it'll likely be a one- or two-year deal via Los Angeles' mini mid-level exception. Miles, 25, has already met with Dallas and Cleveland since free agency started July 1.
  • Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald: Joakim Noah has a reputation as a free spirit, but the devoted Bob Marley fan keeps more of a laid-back, Jamaican demeanor most of the time. The only real loud guy I can remember is guard Anthony Roberson, who was around for only a short time in 2009. This state of calm seems about to change with the addition of guard Nate Robinson, who officially signed a one-year deal worth $1.1 million on Tuesday. The 5-foot-9 Robinson, the shortest player in Bulls history, is usually the loudest person in any locker room. The three-time slam dunk champion, with a 43-inch vertical leap, has a personality to match his game. To learn more about Robinson, just watch his YouTube reality show, “State of Nate.” “The best asset to my game is my energy,” Robinson told bulls.com after signing his new deal. “Night in and night out, that’s what I’m going to bring. I’ll play as hard as I can for as long as I can.”
  • Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News: Saw you mentioned Dwight Howard. Wasn't gonna ask, but what are the chances we see him here in the next two years? Sefko: As you know, we try not to deal in hypothetical garbage on this site. We leave the "if then, then maybe that, but probably not'' type of stories to the people who enjoy flinging stuff against the wall. But just using common sense, you have to believe that the Mavericks are still feeling like they are right in the mix for Howard. They have acquired a lot of trade-worthy assets with short contracts and still have cap room that, if it comes to that, they could sign Howard next summer when he's a free agent. There still is way too much ground to cover to say that it's going to happen. But they are in the conversation. And unlike Deron Williams, Howard has no intentions whatsoever of staying with his current team, which would seem to bode well for the Mavericks since they have a lot of things to offer.
  • Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News: Many may have questioned the decision of Maalik Wayns when he decided to forgo his senior season as the Villanova point guard and enter the NBA draft. Wayns, however, never had any doubts his choice was the right one. Not immediately after he made it, not after he went undrafted in June’s draft and not after a strong performance in the Orlando Summer League failed to immediately secure him an invite to anyone’s training camp. Turns out, worrying for Wayns would have been a waste of time. Tuesday the 76ers announced that they had signed the 6-2 Philadelphia native. The deal is for one-year. “It’s going to be a great experience for me, I’m just so happy and excited that things worked out the way they did,” said Wayns.
  • Davod Shoalts of the Globe and Mail: The sale of the majority interest in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. to Rogers Communications Inc. and BCE Inc. will not make the Aug. 1 closing the principals hoped for but it is still on track to be completed within a week. A source familiar with the process said Tuesday that lawyers were not able to finish the paperwork in time to close Wednesday. There is no major obstacle to the closing and it is hoped all parties will sign off by next week. All of the approvals necessary for the sale have been received, with the NHL, NBA, American Hockey League, Major Soccer League and the Competition Bureau all giving their consent to the sale of 75 per cent of MLSE.

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