Tag:Ben Golliver
Posted on: October 25, 2010 12:56 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:03 pm

Dwyane Wade named co-captain, wants new nickname

The Miami Heat have named Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem captains. Wade helped keep Haslem in Miami and has decided he wants a new nickname. Posted by Ben Golliver

With their season opening tomorrow night in Boston, it's a whirlwind day for a whirlwind Miami Heat team.  The biggest news? The best professional basketball player in the world, LeBron James, won't even be a captain on his own team.  Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel reports on Twitter that the honor will go to guard Dwyane Wade and forward Udonis Haslem. 
Winderman quotes Haslem as saying that "all voices will be heard" and that "LeBron James is one of the best leaders I've been around." I read this as good news for all parties involved. If James decides to quit on his team during the playoffs again, he'll have to answer to a championship-ring owning star and a bruising power forward. The relationship between Wade and Haslem is much deeper than simply co-captains, though. As Dan Le Betard of the Miami Herald reports, Wade was instrumental in pitching James and fellow free agent signing Chris Bosh on the idea of taking less money to ensure that Haslem, who was himself a free agent, would stay in Miami.
Wade called Bosh and asked him to cut $15 million off his salary for Haslem. Wade called James and asked him to do the same. Bosh and James barely knew Haslem. Just a few short conversations here and there. But Wade told them this team needed someone hungry and gritty and unselfish like Haslem, and promised to cut $17 million out of his own contract to make it happen, too. ``They said `I'm in' without hesitating,'' Wade said Sunday.
Now that's leadership. The moves allowed the formation of the strongest roster in recent NBA history and opened up a new chapter in Miami Heat basketball. This fact hasn't escaped Wade, who says he wants a new nickname to go along with the new era.  Winderman writes that "Flash" will no longer cut it... 
Shaq bestowed the nickname on Wade shortly after O’Neal’s 2004 South Florida arrival. Wade took the moniker and ran with it. Superman and Flash it was. Since then, the two have grown apart, O’Neal lamenting Wade as “Wonder Boy” in the Heat locker room after Wade began to receive the greater amount of attention during the final days of their Heat collaboration.
OK, cool, whatever. Wade is the rare athlete that transcends blog snark. He has a ring, got LeBron James to sacrifice for the greater good, hooked up his buddy Udonis in a big-time way and is poised to co-captain a team that should make a serious run at 70 wins if it takes things seriously.  I give up. He can have whatever nickname he wants.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 12:33 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:03 pm

Memphis owner: fans shouldn't worry about future

Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley tells fans they shouldn't worry about the team's future in Memphis. Posted by Ben Golliveroj-mayo The word of the week in the NBA has been contraction. Once Ken Berger broke the news that reducing the number of teams in the NBA from 30 was an option that will be considered during upcoming rounds of Collective Bargaining between owners and players, the spotlight started shining on the league's struggling franchises, with an apparent gap developing between rich and poor.  Small-market Sacramento Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof came out quickly to state unequivocally that the Kings wouldn't be contracted or sold, while big-market former Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Magic Johnson came out in favor of contraction. Over the weekend, another small-market owner, Michael Heisley of the Memphis Grizzlies, was interviewed by Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal about the future of the Grizzlies, who are celebrating their 10th anniversary season in Memphis but are struggling to fill their stadium. Calkins asks Heisley whether the Grizzles can survive another 10 years.
"I don't know if I'll make it to a 20th year!" he says.
Heisley laughs. Even at 4 a.m., the man has a point. Who knows what will happen over the course of the next decade? Who knows if the Grizzlies will still be here in 2020? Who knows if Heisley -- now 77 -- will even be around to own the team? "I don't think it's something for people to worry about," Heisley says.
Making promises you can't keep is a cardinal sin for a professional sports team owner, so Heisley plays this one correctly, re-assuring the team's fans without committing to something he can't certainly deliver.  Calkins goes on to paint a morbid picture -- a half-empty FedEx Forum, talk of relocation at the team's 10th birthday party -- but he also points out that the team's arena deal and the depressed national economic state work against a Grizzlies relocation plan. The Grizzlies almost always make the short list for teams that might be contracted, given their attendance, struggles to make the post-season, and the fact that the team is in Memphis after relocating from Vancouver, in probably the best case of an expansion going wrong for the NBA.  One thing's for sure: no team that has been included in the contraction discussion has more talent than the Grizzlies. Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol, OJ Mayo, Mike Conley and Hasheem Thabeet would make for one heck of a dispersal draft.  Thanks to Heisley, however, that fantasy doesn't sound like it's in play any time soon.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 9:52 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:03 pm

Joey Dorsey discusses cousin's kidnap and murder

Toronto Raptors forward Joey Dorsey opens up about the kidnapping and murder of his cousin in West Baltimore. Posted by Ben Golliverjoey-dorsey It's not every day an NBA player decides to open up to a reporter about a family member's death, but that's what happened recently, when bruising Toronto Raptors forward Joey Dorsey poured his heart out to Holly MacKenzie of The Score. Dorsey, a native of West Baltimore, one of the most crime-ridden places in the United States, describes playing at the D-League showcase last January, trying to impress scouts and Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey. After a particularly strong outing, Dorsey received a call from an assistant coach who passed on his regrets for Dorsey's loss.  Unfortunately, Dorsey didn't know what the coach was talking about. At least not yet.
He didn’t know what was happening, and after the coach hung up the phone suddenly, Dorsey immediately called his mother in a panic. When he got her on the phone, his mother first tried to hide the pain from her son, pretending nothing had happened. Not on this weekend, not when he had so much to prove. After Dorsey told her about the call from the assistant coach, his mother broke down. Dorsey takes a breath before revealing the tragedy he found out about that day. “My mom started crying. My cousin had got kidnapped and killed.” The impact hit Dorsey immediately. “It’s very hard for me to trust anybody. I really don’t go back home like that. It’s just like, ‘What am I doing going back home for if they killed him?’” After that, Dorsey shut himself off even more. “I really don’t let people get close to me anymore or anything like that. My mom says you should stop shutting people out of your life, so coming up here, this is good for me. An outdoor place, I can walk around, have friends and have fun. I’m cool with it up here.”
Dorsey's immediate NBA future hangs in the balance, as he is the 15th man on the Raptors roster. Final cuts come today. After reading MacKenzie's full piece, which describes Dorsey's growing affection for Toronto and his relationship with his mother, who worked two jobs to support him by herself and traveled by Greyhound bus to attend his college games in Memphis, it's impossible not to root for him to stick.
Posted on: October 25, 2010 9:27 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:03 pm

Allen Iverson to Turkey confirmed by Besiktas

Allen Iverson has reportedly agreed to join Besiktas, a basketball team in Turkey. A top official has confirmed that the move is likely. Posted by Ben Golliverallen-iverson
Last night, we noted a Yahoo! report that states all star guard Allen Iverson is set to agree to terms with Besiktas, a prominent basketball club in Turkey.  Today, the Associated Press reports that a top official for the club believes a deal will be reached.
Besiktas executive board member Seref Yalcin told the Anatolia news agency Monday that he will travel to the United States to discuss terms of a possible deal with the 11-time NBA All-Star and former scoring champion.
Yalcin said he would discuss "a variety of details" with Iverson later this week. He said issues included schools in Istanbul for Iverson's children.
Yalcin said "I think this transfer will take place."
AFP news agency provides greater detail and more quotes from Yalcin.
"Unless there is a massive difference of opinion, we think he will come to Istanbul in 10 days. "Our agreement is for a year with the option of extending it by another year. We have agreed wages of 1.5 million dollars for the first year, to which will be added a bonus of 300,000 dollars on his passing a medical after arriving in Istanbul," he added.
Iverson crashed and burned out of the NBA twice last season, first in Memphis and then later in a return trip Philadelphia, so it's not a huge surprise he wasn't able to drum up NBA interest. But Turkey? It seems a random and far-fetched home for Iverson. The question for The Answer: how long will he last?
Posted on: October 25, 2010 8:04 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:00 pm

Shootaround 10.25.10: Season starts tomorrow

Rejoice! The NBA season starts tomorrow. As the league's 30 teams make final cuts and set their rosters, here's a first look around the NBA at this week's happenings. Magic talks contraction, Delonte dances, Steve Nash gripes, Jeff Green stays focused, Shelden Williams and Jason Terry start, plus a whole lot more.  
Posted by Ben Golliver
  • Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson tells NaplesNews.com he would be in favor of contraction in the NBA. “How much would it hurt the league if we lost teams? It wouldn’t hurt it. It might make it better,” Johnson said. “… I think if you take away a couple teams, the talent level goes up and the league will only benefit, so I don’t see a problem with that. We just hope that we put a good product out on the court, and that’s the key.”
  • Phoenix Suns all star point guard Steve Nash tells Seth Pollack of SB Nation Arizona that he wouldn't bet on the Suns to make the playoffs in the Western Conference and that the team has chemistry question marks. "To be honest, if I was outside this picture and a betting man, I would probably pick us to be outside of the playoffs considering all the changes and the new guys."
  • Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes  that perennial sixth man of the year candidate Jason Terry will open the season starting for the Mavericks. "Terry started at shooting guard Friday in a 97-96 win over Houston in the preseason finale. Coach Rick Carlisle has kept a tight lip on who will start the opener against Charlotte. But it appears Terry has the inside track, at least until Roddy Beaubois returns from left foot surgery."
  • It's a contract year for both forward Jeff Green and guard Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks tells Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman that he's not worried about Green putting his own interests above the team. "Maybe because I know him,” Brooks said. "I know who he was when he came into the league, and he hasn't changed. He still works every day in practice. He still tries to get better. He still tries to make the right play. He's not forcing shots. He's not taking bad shots … He hasn't forced anything in camp. He's a pro and he likes being on this team.”
  • ESPN.com's Michael Wallace quotes LeBron James on Celtics fans in advance of tomorrow's season opener between Boston and Miami. "They bleed green; that’s all they care about,” James said. “We have to be mentally focused and mentally prepared. Some arenas believe and love basketball more than others. Sometimes, more history adds more intimidation. Not saying it’s an intimidation factor for me. It’s never been an intimidation factor for me. But as far as the crowd and as far as the team, Boston is one of those hostile environments to play.” 
  • Minnesota Timberwolves wing Martell Webster, acquired in a draft night trade from the Portland Trail Blazers, will find out if he needs surgery on an ailing back today. Jerry Zgoda of StarTribune.com quotes Webster: "It's just one of those things that starts to nag and you don't want to make it worse."
Posted on: October 24, 2010 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:01 pm

Allen Iverson agrees with Turkish club Besiktas

Allen Iverson has reportedly agreed to sign with Turkish club Besiktas. Posted by Ben Golliverallen-iverson Marc Spears and Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports are reporting that former Philadelphia 76ers all star guard Allen Iverson has agreed to sign with the Turkish club Besiktas.
Allen Iverson has agreed in principle to sign an incentive-laden, two-year, $4 million contract with Besiktas of the Turkish professional league, sources told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday night.
Iverson plans to sign the contract this week, the sources said, and is expected to report to Besiktas the week of Oct. 31.
Iverson’s contract will give him an opt-out clause after this season. 
Given how Iverson crashed and burned out of the NBA twice last season, this move is not without risk for Besiktas. However, there's potential reward too, in the form of the international interest and profile that comes with adding a future NBA Hall of Famer. If there's a question about The Answer these days, it's one of reliability. Istanbul, although a modern, international city, is a long way from home in Newport News, Virginia. And, unfortunately, Iverson hit Barry Bonds territory last year, after refusing to come off the bench with the Memphis Grizzlies and attempting a hero's return to Philadelphia but then disappearing quickly amidst all sorts of accusations of gambling and drinking. While this signing isn't creating the same stir as "God Chose Memphis", Iverson's once-in-a-generation personality and skills will be a draw no matter where he takes his act.  My guess is Besiktas won't be the final stop on A.I.'s journey.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 8:34 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:01 pm

Blazers trade Jerryd Bayless to Hornets for pick

The Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly traded guard Jerryd Bayless to the New Orleans Hornets for a future first-round draft pick. Posted by Ben Golliver  jerryd-bayless
Marc Stein of ESPN.com first reported that the Portland Trail Blazers have traded guard Jerryd Bayless to the New Orleans Hornets for a future first-round pick.
The Portland Trail Blazers have found a trade to create some extra roster room, agreeing Saturday to deal guard Jerryd Bayless to the New Orleans Hornets for a conditional future first-round pick, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources tell CBSSports.com Saturday evening that the trade has gone official and the pick that Portland is set to receive is top-7 protected in 2011 and top-8 protected in 2012, 2013 and 2014. After that, it would turn into two second-round picks in 2015 and 2016. The Blazers also receive a trade exception worth nearly $2.3 million. Because the Blazers are currently luxury tax payers, the move saves the team roughly $4.6 million.  Bayless is entering the third year of his NBA career and, while showing flashes of sensational athleticism, has never found a defined role in Portland's backcourt. A prototypical score-first combo guard, Bayless has had trouble running an offense and defending without fouling. For New Orleans this is a move that makes them better in the short term, as it fortifies their backcourt depth, which took a hit when they traded reserve point guard Darren Collison to Indiana this summer. Bayless should be able to play both off the ball alongside all star point guard Chris Paul and behind him in a reserve point guard role. Bayless is familiar with New Orleans's new head coach, Monty Williams, who was an assistant in Portland for Bayless's first two seasons. For Portland, the move frees up a roster spot. The Blazers had 17 players under contract prior to the trade. Now, Portland is down to 16 players and, if they waive injured big man Jeff Pendergraph as expected, can retain the rights to Australian guard Patty Mills and still meet the league's 15 man roster maximum or they can waive Mills and carry 14 players. 
Posted on: October 23, 2010 3:22 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:01 pm

Miami Heat sign Jerry Stackhouse

The Miami Heat have signed free agent guard Jerry Stackhouse. Posted by Ben Golliverjerry-stackhouse The Miami Heat announced on Twitter Saturday that the team has signed veteran guard Jerry Stackhouse, as expected. Heat star guard Dwyane Wade welcomed Stackhouse to Miami on Twitter, writing, "Welcome Jerry Stackhouse to the Miami family everyone. He is now apart of us. Shhhh dont bring up 06." The tweet is a reference to Wade's Heat facing off against Stackhouse and the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, which the Heat won. Stackhouse, 35, is running on fumes, but the Heat had to pull the trigger after losing forward Mike Miller for months with a finger injury. This year's Basketball Prospectus cautions not to expect too much from Stackhouse.
Jerry Stackhouse has entered the Roger Clemens phase of his career, where he sits out training camp and the early part of the season, waiting until some team that needs an infusion of offense comes calling ... He was useful in spurts for Scott Skiles in Milwaukee last season and played some important minutes. When you add it all up, however, he was merely filling space. If Stackhouse wants to play in the NBA this season, he probably will, but fans of whichever team he ends up with shouldn’t expect much.

The Heat are an ideal landing place for a player in Stackhouse's situation. Where better for an aging player to hide out when he no longer has the physical skills to dominate? Long, athletic players like Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh will provide cover for him at every turn. It's fair to call this a marriage of convenience for both parties but it comes at a small financial price and the timing is right for Miami, who needed to quickly plug a hole as they prepare to open the season Tuesday in Boston. With the signing, Miami's roster stands at 17 players. Two will need to be cut or traded prior to Monday's deadline for teams to set their 15 man rosters. Guard Patrick Beverley and forward Da'Sean Butler are the most likely Heat players to be released.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com