Friday, September 14, 2012
First Cup: Friday
By Nick Borges
- Dan Cahill of the Chicago Sun-Times: Moments after a video played showing him tear his ACL during last season’s playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Derrick Rose sat with his head in his hands and cried. When asked a question, Rose continued to sob before taking almost a minute to compose himself. “It’s truly a blessing, man,” said Rose, still fighting back tears. “With all this stuff that’s going on in this city. A kid from Englewood has something positive going on. That makes me feel so good. The shoe is great. All this is great. I can’t explain this. I can’t. I went through so much. To have, like, true fans, that means a lot to me. And I know it means a lot to my family. Because we aren’t suppose to be here at all. But God made the way. This is truly unreal. I’m just happy to have true fans out there.” It’s not the first time Rose has broken down off the court. Upon receiving his 2011 MVP award, he cried when speaking about his mother. Rose said the rehab from the ACL surgery on his left knee is going good and that he started jumping a “couple days ago.”
- Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press: After several weeks of workouts, Timberwolves guard Brandon Roy wants to ease concerns about his knees. Roy, who announced his retirement in December because of a degenerative condition in his knees, says he is satisfied with his progress and is "not holding back" in preparation for the 2012-13 season. "I've had no setbacks," the three-time NBA all-star told reporters Thursday, Sept. 13, after an informal practice with teammates and several former college players. "There's nothing stopping me from getting back to my old game. It just takes work and getting my rhythm back." Roy, 27, has been in Minnesota for two weeks working out with Timberwolves player development coach Shawn Respert and a handful of Wolves players.
- Percy Allen of The Seattle Times: Standing behind the bar at F.X. McRory's, Chris Hansen raised a plastic cup of beer and saluted a festive crowd Thursday. Hours after a Seattle City Council committee approved a revised agreement with Hansen on a new $490 million basketball and hockey arena in the Sodo District, he hosted a victory party that drew roughly 1,500 to the Pioneer Square restaurant. "I probably wouldn't be here today if we weren't as successful as we were in getting all of you guys rallied behind us," he said. "So thank you. And that's what this beer is for." Hansen bought the first round of beer — Redhook or Bud Light. However, he expects Sonics fans to pay the next time. "The real celebration will come when we have a team," he said. "The celebration will come when there's an NBA player that steps off the plane in this city. "That will be the day when you all can buy me a beer." With Mayor Mike McGinn at his side, Hansen lingered for hours posing for pictures, signing autographs and talking with fans dressed in Sonics green and gold. For many, it was a chance to say thank you.
- Greg Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News: Could any other elite team in the league have traded for Stephen Jackson last March without fear had it not already had a previous — and positive — experience with the mercurial swingman? These are the kinds of organizational advantages throughout the years that led to the Spurs being named “Team of the Decade.” But what is that worth? The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys were 89th in last week’s rankings, but they are second in Forbes Magazine’s valuation of sports franchises, with a net worth of $2.1 billion. Forbes estimates the Spurs are worth $418 million. Would Holt give up his four Larry O’Brien Trophies for Jones’ bank account? Maybe not. But would Jones give up his account for being designated as the ultimate franchise around? Certainly not. To be recognized as a great franchise is always nice, no matter how contrived. But so is being a rich one. As Jerry might say of the Forbes’ valuation: You can take that to the bank.
- Dave D’Alessandro of The Star-Ledger: James Dolan is the only owner we know of who is satisfied with mediocrity, because he had spent a decade learning to live with abject failure. It’s people like Thomas who put him there. And the people who gave him his brief whiff of success were dismissed. This is the Chairman who pushed Donnie Walsh out 15 months ago, the genius who rejected this gift from the marketing gods known as Jeremy Lin, the egomaniac who dumped team president Scott O’Neil last week, and dozens of other competent people who you never heard of. The fact is, he never cared what you think about him, and never will, as long as you tolerate his demented business model, and buy all hype and sizzle without a need for success and results. Hence, he thinks you will tolerate a Zeke Reprise. We can only think back to what a wise man said about Dolan’s stewardship in November of 2007: “They,” David Stern observed, “are not a model of intelligent management.” Rehire Isiah, and they’ll never erase that from the Seventh Avenue marquee.
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune: Speaking from Russia on Thursday, new Timberwolves forward Andrei Kirilenko listed the reasons -- beyond $10 million a season, of course --why he chose to resume his NBA career in Minnesota. "It's very flattering when the G.M., the coach, players are calling you and saying, 'We need you, we need your experience,''' he said of a courtship process that included numerous telephone calls as well as $20 million guaranteed over the next two seasons if Kirilenko wants it. He also called himself a fan of Wolves coach Rick Adelman, dating to his seasons in Sacramento a decade ago. ... The chance to play with CSKA Moscow and Russian national teammate Alexey Shved, whom the Wolves signed in July, didn't hurt any, either. "He's a great young kid," said Kirilenko, who said he will arrive in Minnesota the last week of September for the start of training camp Oct. 2 in Mankato, Minn.
- Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: That $300 LeBron James sneaker? It won't be $300. In the wake of speculation that Nike's impending LeBron James release would eclipse the $300 mark, Nike said Thursday that the top end of the "LeBron X" line will go on sale on Sept. 22 for $270. That model, however, will include Nike's high-end technology package. The more standard model of the shoe will retail for $180. The technologically advanced model will sell for $200 for those who already have the equipment needed to operate the "Nike+" technology. Initial speculation of James' impending release were price points up to $315, with ESPN and the Wall Street Journal quoting Nike on the actual price. News of James' impending release comes at a point when Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade is expected to leave Nike's Jordan Brand in favor of a new shoe deal elsewhere.
- John N. Mitchell of The Philadelphia Inquirer: The 76ers, having gone outside the organization early on in their search for a general manager to eventually replace Rod Thorn, are now looking inward - this time at senior vice president of basketball operations Tony DiLeo. According to a team source, the Sixers, who have interviewed four others from outside the organization for Thorn's position, were impressed with the role DiLeo played this summer alongside Thorn as the team rebuilt the team around center Andrew Bynum. ... The Sixers have set no timeline in which to name a general manager. Thorn has a little less than one year remaining on his contract. Upon its completion, Thorn will move to an advisory position with the Sixers. Meanwhile, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation, one of the three candidates mentioned for the job - Boston assistant general manager Mike Zarren - has withdrawn his candidacy. The Sixers have also interviewed ESPN analyst and ex-Portland Trail Blazers assistant general manager Tom Penn, whom they have cooled on, according to a source, and former New Orleans general manager Jeff Bower.
- Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News: It’s one of the biggest moments of Tyshawn Taylor’s life, he was picked up by his hometown squad, and at the forefront of his brain is a 1/15th of one percent minority owner. “That’s the first thing you think about when you think about the Nets,” Taylor says. “When I first got drafted and Portland traded me to Brooklyn, that’s the first thing I thought about – to be with Jay Z. I thought that was so dope.” Taylor was speaking Thursday in front of the Hoboken projects, his old and renewed stomping grounds, where the 22-year-old point guard was distributing free school supplies to children lined up outside a basketball court. “Brooklyn Nets” apparel, namely hats and shirts, was sprinkled throughout the crowd, representing a new look here and elsewhere, with retailers boasting of “dynamic” sales. The Nets are suddenly cool. They’re cool because of Brooklyn. They’re cool because they’re new. They’re cool because of Jay Z and an unavoidable link to hip hop.
- Nate Taylor of The New York Times: Since the start of the off-season, the Knicks have been recruiting veteran free agents, some of them fairly old by N.B.A. standards. The latest to get a look is 33-year-old Tracy McGrady, a seven-time All-Star who is not as old as some of the other players the Knicks have signed but who has had significant injuries during his career. McGrady worked out for the Knicks on Thursday at their Greenburgh, N.Y., practice gym, just a few days after he reportedly worked out with the San Antonio Spurs. The decision to have McGrady go through drills as training camp draws closer is yet another sign that the Knicks are looking to create a sizable group of savvy players — albeit past their primes — to help Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire contend for an N.B.A. title.
- Reid Laymance of the Houston Chronicle Rockets forward Jon Brockman was released from Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center on Thursday after suffering an eye injury on Monday during a training session, the team announced. The injury did not require surgery but the team does not have a timetable for his return to basketball activities.
- Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times: Matt Barnes is moving down the hallway. The small forward who spent two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers is expected to change locker rooms inside Staples Center and sign with the Los Angeles Clippers this week, according to a person close to the situation who was not authorized to discuss the matter until it becomes official. Barnes will rejoin the team he started his NBA career with nine years ago. He was a productive reserve for most of last season with the Lakers, when he averaged 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds.
- Ronald Tillery of The Commercial-Appeal: The Griz begin training camp Oct. 2. Communications mogul Robert Pera's bid to purchase the team from Michael Heisley is expected to reach a conclusion by then. The NBA Board of Governors is wrapping up the vetting and likely will vote on approval before training camp.