Tuesday, August 30, 2011
First Cup: Tuesday
- Michael Lee of The Washington Post: "Organizers for Tuesday’s star-studded exhibition in Baltimore featuring LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant have found a new venue to possibly meet the high demand of a rapidly planned event. Morgan State University has agreed to host the game at 7 p.m. at Talmadge Hill Field House, which has a capacity of about 4,500 people. The game originally was scheduled at St. Frances Academy, but Kurk Lee, the athletic director of Anthony’s Melo Center in Baltimore and head of the summer pro-am in his name, had concerns that the 1,000-seat facility may have been too small to accommodate the expected crowd."
- Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press: "Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley suffered a wrist injury Sunday night in an exhibition game in China, according to a report on HoopChina.com. Beasley, playing for a team led by Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, reportedly had his wrist re-examined after it 'felt worse in the morning.' The extent of Beasley's injury is unknown. Timberwolves media relations director Mike Cristaldi said the team has yet to receive confirmation of the injury. Because of the NBA lockout over a labor dispute between owners and players, team officials are prohibited from having contact with players or commenting on players."
- Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times: "Concerns over his poor dance moves and mobility quickly evaporated for Ron Artest as soon as he talked with his 8-year-old daughter Diamond. She's the only one who the Lakers forward said could convince him to appear on 'Dancing With the Stars.' 'She said, 'Daddy, you can do it,' ' Artest recalled Monday in a phone interview. 'It's going to be fun.' It wasn't just a case of Artest being unable to say no to his daughter. At age 4 in 2007, Diamond was diagnosed with wilms tumor, Artest said, a kidney cancer that affects children. So in honor of his daughter successfully fighting the illness, Artest said he plans to donate the money he earns on 'Dancing with the Stars' to the Cancer Research Foundation. That will include the $125,000 Artest said he's making for appearing on the show beginning Sept. 19 and any additional money he earns should he advance in each round. 'That's the only reason I'm doing it,' Artest said. 'I'm doing it for a cause.' "
- Benjamin Hochman of The Denver Post: "Wilson Chandler won't be on the Nuggets' roster this coming season, if there is a season. The restricted free agent signed a contract with Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association, his agent said Monday. Chandler doesn't have an out clause in the contract, so if the lockout is resolved, Chandler can't leave his team and return to the NBA, the way Lithuania-bound Nuggets guard Ty Lawson can. 'Trust me, we discussed all of the risks and how being a trendsetter can be seen as a positive or a negative — most people will view it as a negative,' Chandler's agent, Chris Luchey, said by phone. 'But we discussed all the risks and steps.' Chandler, 24, will make between $1.7 million and the $3.1 million qualifying offer the Nuggets made. He will play for coach Jim Cleamons, a longtime Phil Jackson assistant for the Bulls and Lakers. 'He's very excited,' Luchey said. 'He's looking forward to it. The kid wanted to play, and it's an opportunity to play. It's similar (to the NBA), in regards to three games a week and playing for a great coach, a guy who's seen it all.' "
- Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times: "The ongoing NBA labor uncertainty has only helped expand the power base in Westwood. Last week, the likes of Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and Russell Westbrook were at UCLA, and there were enough NBA players on hand to hold a players' association meeting, according to Adam Mills, the long-time organizer of these games. On Monday, Mills was busy putting games together on the fly with the air of an affable maitre d', accommodating the request of the eight-player 76ers' contingent to play on the same team. ('Most of the contract guys are here,' Holiday said.) Timberwolves draft pick Derrick Williams was a late arrival, meaning that Mills was doing some last-second adjusting to the lineups. The Clippers' Eric Bledsoe was back at the UCLA games for the second time and said he planned on returning in the future. Bledsoe said he worked out a bit with Clippers teammate and rookie of the year Blake Griffin."
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune: "ESPN.com's Ric Bucher reported, citing an unnamed league source Monday evening, that Rick Adelman will be back in town on Tuesday to meet with Glen Taylor, a meeting I couldn't separately confirm tonight but I have no doubt is correct. (Maybe everybody was out to dinner together). For a guy who claims not to have a horse in this race, Kevin Love couldn't help but tweet apparently about the team's search just about the time the ESPN.com story hit the web. 'Hey Coach,' Love tweeted. 'I can call you coach, right?' And to that Ricky Rubio responded from Europe, 'LOL! Can we?' ... We'll see what Tuesday brings and if Adelman again flies home to Portland like he did last week without a deal."
- Marc Berman of the New York Post: "After announcing the hiring of former Hawks head coach Mike Woodson as his top assistant yesterday, Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni acknowledged the tenuous state of his job security as he enters what might be a lame-duck season without the man who hired him, Donnie Walsh. D'Antoni pointed out the hiring of Woodson was not made only to shore up the team's defense, but give the club another strong voice with head-coaching experience because of the potential of a lockout-induced, short training camp. Unsolicited, D'Antoni referred to his status with one year left on his contract. If he does not make it through the season, Woodson would be the only Knicks assistant who has NBA head-coaching experience. ... Explaining the Woodson move, D'Antoni admitted the expectations are the Knicks must do better than last season when they were swept by Boston in the first round of the playoffs. 'I'm on a one-year deal, and we could have a quick turnaround,' D'Antoni said, referring to free agency and training camp. 'It's a special type situation. We got the best of everything. Head-coaching experience was very important to have the respect of the players. We got to have a better team next year. It's good to have someone who's been through it already, knowing what I need.' "
- Doug Smith of the Toronto Star: "Man, I wish I were on a plane to Lithuania today. No, not to visit Sonny but to see EuroBasket, which could turn out to be the best basketball tournament ever with so many good teams in such a delightful atmosphere and with so much at stake. Seriously, I can’t tell you often enough the passion a European championship evokes, there’s nothing to compare it to over here at all. Forget any World Cup of pucks, never mind the small Olympic pucks tourney; I guess the closest you can come is if you remember the World Cup when it was in the States eons ago. Now, I think it’s ridiculous that they’ve gone to 24 teams and a tournament that’s going to take almost three weeks to complete because there will be some dreadful first round games and it’s almost as much a case of surviving as winning. But as an event – with only two Olympic berths at stake and just four other spots in that last-chance tournament next summer available --- it will be unrivalled."
- Michael Lee of The Washington Post: "John Wall decided to take about two months off immediately after the season before heading out to Los Angeles, where he began focusing on getting back to his old ways of leaving skid marks on the hardwood. He has trained with Abunassar, commuting back and forth between the Impact Basketball facilities in Las Vegas and Reseda, Calif., and the results have been evident through his performances in pro-am games across the country. Wall declared himself “back” after scoring 28 points in the Goodman League’s victory over Drew League at Trinity last week, and Abunassar agreed. 'I think that he’s back,' Abunassar said in a telephone interview. He added that Wall had a great season regardless of what ailed him but noticed at times that 'something was bothering him.' Wall has trained with Abunassar since he declared for the NBA draft out of Kentucky and has already agreed to play in his proposed NBA-only summer league in Las Vegas next month, which should give him an opportunity to show off how much he has improved physically against his peers. If you haven’t noticed already, Wall hasn’t been wearing the padding, tights and knee supports that he wore after sustaining the right knee injury."
- Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News: "George Hill was one of the most popular Spurs over the past few years before his recent trade to the Indiana Pacers. Hill will be returning to the area for one game after the Texas Fuel of the ABA have announced that the former IUPUI standout will join the team Oct. 16 in Brownsville against the West Texas Whirlwinds. This is a league that is a step below the NBA’s D-League, although Dennis Rodman did appear in a few games several years ago. ... Hill obviously could have made much more money by choosing to play overseas during the lockout. But given the chance, it appears he prefers playing in Brownsville over Belgrade or Beijing. But before he plays, Hill would be wise to consider this recent report from Pro Basketball Talk.com about a wrist injury that Minnesota forward Michael Beasley sustained during an exhibition game in China. Beasley may have sustained a broken wrist during the weekend game, according to several reports. More will be known later, but his injury should give all players pause before committing to playing anywhere."
- Mike Wells of The Indianapolis Star: "I don’t think there’s any question that the Pacers should re-sign the 34 year old. Jeff Foster isn’t the same player he was several years ago, but he can still be effective in a backup role. His backup position is at center playing behind Roy Hibbert. Foster and have Hibbert have developed a strong bond. Foster doesn’t have to play big minutes. He’ll give you all he has when he’s on the court. He’ll even send a message or two to players driving the lane (Chicago’s Derrick Rose in the playoffs). Foster, whose experience will likely draw the interest of playoff teams needing his blue-collar work ethic, comes from the mold of Reggie Miller in the leadership department. You’ll rarely hear Foster give motivational speeches. He’s one of those lead-by-example players. ... The Pacers need to continue to have players like Foster."
- Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune: "Former Jazz guard Jeff Hornacek will participate in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders (BWB) program from Sept. 1-4 in Johannesburg, Africa. The ex-Utah sharpshooter will be joined by former NBA greats Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo, Bo Outlaw and Dee Brown. Hornacek served as a Jazz assistant coach and shooting consultant during the 2010-11 season. He became an assistant after coaches Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson resigned Feb. 10. Hornacek is expected to return to the Jazz next season. However, he is no longer under contract and cannot sign a new deal until the NBA lockout ends. This year marks the 10th anniversary of BWB, a partnership between the NBA and FIBA that attempts to spread the reach of basketball while encouraging social change."
- Irv Moss of The Denver Post: "A forced walk back to his old neighborhood may have started Roland 'Fatty' Taylor down the path to a long career in professional basketball that included a stop in Denver. Known as 'Fatty' by just about everyone, Taylor played one season for the Nuggets of the ABA in 1974-75 and one season for the Nuggets of the NBA in 1976-77 — Denver's first NBA season. Taylor played a hard-nosed game as a 6-foot guard, probably learned by necessity growing up in a tough part of Washington, D.C. His grandmother called him Fatty and the name stuck. ... Taylor has an interesting connection to Denver's basketball history and some of its most remembered participants. He played in the Auditorium Arena (6,900 seats) and McNichols Sports Arena. Both venues are gone. While with the Squires in the ABA, Taylor played against Larry Brown and Doug Moe, both of whom became head coach of the Nuggets. In the final years of the ABA, Taylor played on the same team with Brown and Moe. The connection was completed in 1976-77 with the Nuggets, when his coaches were Brown and Moe, the assistant."