Tuesday, September 13, 2011
First Cup: Tuesday
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune: "The Timberwolves accomplished two things Monday you might never have imagined possible: With one patient, well-executed move by owner Glen Taylor and basketball president David Kahn, they convinced Rick Adelman to be their next coach and they got Kevin Love to talk more optimistically about his future in Minnesota. According to three league sources, Adelman agreed to replace the fired Kurt Rambis, more than two months after Adelman likely was first approached about the job. He will lead a team that is thick with young talent but has won a total of 32 games over the past two seasons. Terms of the deal were not immediately known, but Adelman was believed to have sought a five-year contract worth at least $25 million. He will be introduced at a Target Center news conference later this week -- where he won't be allowed to discuss the team's players because of the lockout -- after contract details are finalized and the agreement is signed. An experienced, proven winner in 20 seasons as a NBA head coach, Adelman's .605 career winning percentage is by far the best of the six other candidates interviewed for the job."
- Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press: "When Kahn and Taylor hired Rambis they thought they were getting an upbeat, enthusiastic, teaching type of coach. As it turned out, they ended up with something else altogether. With Adelman there will be no surprises. He's not going to morph into something else 12 months down the road. At this point in his career, he is what he is. And what he is should be perfect for the Timberwolves."
- Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune: "Adelman is not perfect; nor is the situation into which he steps. He's a 65-year-old man who was forced out of his last job and is taking over an historically inept operation. Better plans than this have failed. His hiring, though, offers real promise. Adelman should extract the most out of Kevin Love and Williams. He should be able to immediately double the Wolves' victory total. And if he can teach Ricky Rubio to make the occasional basket, he is destined for the Basketball Hall of Fame. Given the woeful state of Minnesota professional sports at the moment, it's not hard to see Adelman and the frisky young Wolves becoming the hot ticket in town whenever the NBA lockout ends. This organization has employed a few of the worst NBA head coaches in basketball history, including Jimmy Rodgers, Bill Blair, Randy Wittman and Rambis. Into the breach steps Adelman, who, in a year or two, might be earning faint praise as the best coach in franchise history."
- Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: "Luis Scola had scored 32 points to carry Argentina to the Tournament of the Americas title. He had become his national team’s all-time leading scorer during the tournament. He was MVP of a third Tournament of Americas event. The Rockets power forward could not retain his joy and had no inclination to try. Argentina (and Brazil) had qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London, which does offer one downside to Scola: He won’t have a qualifying tournament to play next summer. Everyone else, of course, is happy to skip that duty, but Scola remains a guy that loves to play basketball and still fully appreciates how much he loves it. He also knows how much he dislikes practicing, which is remarkable considering that through the NBA season he refuses to take a day off. Scola believes he has to compete to play his best and prefers to play to stay sharp and fit enough to compete. Scola has often cited those reasons for his determination to play every summer, but he has done this so long and often, he knows how much he cherishes moments like Sunday’s. This one, however, was special, a last time together at home, and probably a final bow for Scola, Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto together with gold medals."
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: "Hedo Turkoglu didn’t give the Orlando Magic much reason for optimism over the last few weeks. Playing for his native Turkey in EuroBasket 2011, the Magic’s starting small forward posted statistics that were eerily similar to his subpar numbers during the 2011 NBA playoffs. Turkoglu averaged 10.6 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in eight EuroBasket games. He also shot an anemic 15.6 percent from 3-point range. Those numbers sound familiar? They should. In the Magic’s first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks this past spring. Turkoglu averaged 9.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He also shot just 23.3 percent from 3-point range. ... Turkoglu is 32 years old now. Although he made strides with his conditioning before the 2010-11 season, it’s possible that age has caught up to him. The numbers seem to indicate that."
- Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times: "Despite the team's website listing him on the official roster, Lakers guard Derek Fisher tweeted that he won't play in the Impact Basketball Academy's 'Competitive Training Series' that is set to begin Monday in Las Vegas because of his responsibilities as NBA Players Assn. president. 'While I fully support the Impact League and all the players, I have NOT committed to playing, nor can I at this point,' Fisher tweeted. 'My first priority is serving as president of the NBAPA. Everything else comes as a far second right now. I'd love to play, but no plans to given my schedule of meetings and my lead role in them.' "
- Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News: "With the NBA season on hold due to the expired collective bargaining agreement, players are balling where, and when, they can. The where is the Palestra. The when is Sunday, Sept. 25. A group led by New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony, will compete against a team made up of players primarily with Philadelphia ties. The Anthony team is set to include megastars LeBron James (Miami), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City) and Chris Paul (New Orleans). The team could also include former La Salle star Gary Neal (San Antonio), Eric Bledsoe (Los Angeles Clippers), Donte Greene (Sacramento) and Josh Selby (Memphis). Slated to be headlining the Philly team is 76ers guard Lou Williams. He is supposed to be joined by Episcopal Academy grad Wayne Ellington (Minnesota), South Jersey native Jason Thompson (Sacramento) and Friends' Central product Hakim Warrick, now with the Suns. Former Prep Charter stars Markieff and Marcus Morris are also scheduled to appear, but the twins have a commitment at the University of Kansas the day before the Palestra game. Markieff was taken 13th in this year's draft by the Suns, while Marcus went with the next pick to the Rockets."
- Craig Stouffer of the Washington Examiner: "Technically, summer isn’t over. That means there’s still time for one more NBA player-infused exhibition game for charity – and to remind us what might go missing this fall and winter should the lockout continue. The latest spectacle is set for Saturday at Coolidge High in the District, where some 10 or more NBA players are expected to take part in what is being billed as Clash of Superstars. The list: Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, Jeff Green, Kemba Walker, Jarrett Jack, James Harden, Corey Brewer, Greg Monroe, Eric Maynor, and John Wall."
- Brian T. Smith of The Salt Lake Tribune: "The final roster for former BYU standout Jimmer Fredette’s upcoming NBA lockout exhibition game has been set. Charlotte’s Bismack Biyombo, Denver’s Kenneth Faried and Washington’s Chris Singleton were among 11 players announced Monday as confirmed participants in the event, which will be held Sept. 22 at the Marriott Center in Provo. Milwaukee’s Tobias Harris, Sacramento’s Tyler Honeycutt, Golden State’s Charles Jenkins, Minnesota’s Malcolm Lee, Detroit’s Vernon Macklin, the Kings’ Isaiah Thomas, and undrafted free agents Xavier Silas (Northern Illinois) and Chris Wright (Dayton) will join previously announced participants Fredette (Sacramento), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Nolan Smith (Portland) and Jackson Emery (ex-BYU guard)."
- Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News: "Brandon Knight isn't stressing over a deal being reached to salvage a full season. The owners and players met last week and are scheduled to meet again today. 'There's no reason to be anxious,' said Knight, selected seventh overall out of Kentucky. 'It's something I can't control. It could last awhile so who knows? I didn't have any expectations when I was drafted. I had no clue what would happen.' That's not to say Knight isn't concerned with the current state of affairs. But the uncertainty is a reason why he hasn't set any lofty expectations for his rookie season — yet. 'I don't have any goals right now,' he said. 'Once I know there will be a season, then I'll start setting goals, but not right now.' As for the possibility of playing overseas if the lockout continues into the season, it's not high on Knight's list. 'No, I'm probably going to stay here,' he said. 'I don't have any plans of going overseas.' "
- Tim Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "If the NBA approves the Meruelo deal, the seven remaining Spirit partners, including Gearon, Bruce Levenson and Ed Peskowitz, will retain a sizable minority stake in the Hawks for at least a period of time, believed to be five or six years. But all ownership decisions, as well as all obligations for financial losses, would be Meruelo’s. Getting NBA approval of a sale is typically a time-consuming process that includes extensive vetting of the prospective owner, negotiation of an agreement between the owner and the league, and ultimately a vote by the league’s Board of Governors on whether to approve the change of ownership. The process is in progress with Meruelo, but a vote hasn’t been scheduled and isn’t expected until next month at the earliest. Part of the process is for Meruelo to meet with a committee of NBA owners; originally scheduled for this week, that meeting has been delayed until late this month. Meanwhile, the Spirit group remains the Hawks’ owner, although Meruelo already has been brought into the loop on major decisions -- not that there have been a lot of major decisions to be made with the NBA in a lockout and no player-personnel moves permitted."
- Jody Genessy of the Deseret News: "Enes Kanter and Alec Burks won't be the only newcomers to the Utah Jazz organization this year. While the NBA remains in lockout mode, the Jazz hired Rich Sheubrooks for their new position as the executive director of global pro scouting. He'll be in charge of scouting international players and leagues. 'We feel fortunate to be able to bring someone in with as much international experience as Rich has,' Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor said in a news release. 'Rich's knowledge and background can be a real asset to the Jazz organization in what has clearly become a global game.' Sheubrooks held a similar position with the Charlotte Bobcats for the past four years and with the Memphis Grizzlies the six years before that."
- Steve Visser of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "A Buckhead tavern's practice of asking men to give up seats at the bar for women brought accusations of demands for discrimination from both sides in a federal civil-rights lawsuit Monday. Former NBA All-Star player Joe Barry Carroll and attorney Joseph Shaw contend that they were asked to give up their seats and eventually kicked out of the Tavern at Phipps because they were black; David Long-Daniels, the attorney for the restaurant, said in actuality the two men were demanding discrimination in their favor. Long-Daniels said when the men were asked to relinquish their seats they declined, and evoked Carroll's former NBA status and Shaw's profession. When told of the restaurant's long-time practice of currying favor with female patrons by having men give up their bar stools for standing women, the men repeatedly refused, implying that other patrons should forfeit their seats, the lawyer said. No other men were seated in Carroll and Shaw's section of the bar, Long-Daniels said."
- Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal: "Children and adults alike can learn basketball drills Friday when Cavaliers coach Byron Scott and his staff scrimmage the U.S. men’s Olympic wheelchair team in Northeast Ohio. Scott, General Manager Chris Grant and former Cavs players Larry Nance, Austin Carr and Campy Russell will take on the Olympians at 6:30 p.m. at SPIRE Institute in Geneva. Fans can learn basketball drills from Scott and his staff before the game. Team USA is training at SPIRE for the 2012 Paralympics in London. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2012, SPIRE will offer residential training programs in swimming, soccer, track and field and volleyball. Lacrosse will be added in 2013."