Tag:Ben Golliver
Posted on: October 23, 2010 2:38 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:01 pm

Dwyade Wade returns to Miami Heat practice

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade returned to practice on Saturday. Posted by Ben Golliverdwyane-wade ESPN.com's Michael Wallace reported on Twitter that Miami Heat all star guard Dwyane Wade, who has been dealing with child custody proceedings in Illinois and with an injured hamstring, returned to the practice court on Saturday. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel writes that Wade was glad to be back.
"We're excited about having the band back together," Wade said after the two-hour, non-contact session. "It felt great. It was like I was dreaming about it."
Winderman also reports that Wade will participate in a full-contact practice session tomorrow, in preparation for Miami's regular season opener on Tuesday in Boston against the Celtics. Wade played just 3 minutes before injuring his hamstring in his only preseason appearance, an Oct. 5th win over the Detroit Pistons. The injury kept him out of the Heat's six other preseason games.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 2:14 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:02 pm

Sacramento Kings owner: we won't contract or sell

Sacramento Kings owner Gavin Maloof says his team will not be contracted or sold. Posted by Ben Golliver maloof-brothers
The hot topic in the NBA this week has been the possibility of contraction, and how and why it's being used as a negotiating technique as the players and the owners work to create a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.  When the story first broke earlier this week, I took a look at how the idea could be seen as an "either you're in or you're out" challenge to small-market owners, a dare to struggling owners to fold, sell, or relocate so that they do not create unnecessary complications later on down the road during negotiations with the players.  That brings us to the Sacramento Kings, who are in a small market, have been embroiled in a lengthy struggle to get a new arena, have been linked to the city of Seattle in rumors, and who have struggled financially since falling from their glory days earlier this decade. On Saturday, Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof stated unequivocally to Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee that his franchise should not be linked with the recent talk of contraction, even after NBA Commissioner David Stern expressed frustration on Friday with the Kings' inability to get a new arena approved in Sacramento. 
"My optimism on there being a new building (in Sacramento) has faded completely," Stern said. "We really tried hard, the Maloofs spent a good deal of money. … And frankly, it wasn't meant to be.
"I don't have any more good ideas. Where we flow on that, right now we have a season to worry about, and I know that the Maloofs are spending their time feeling really good about their Rookie of the Year last year, their draft choice this year, their coach and the general makeup of their team."
Upon hearing Stern's quote, Gavin Maloof told The Bee: "We're not contracting. That's not going to happen. No way we'll fold – and no way we're selling."
Gavin Maloof and his brothers are widely regarded as a strong ownership group with a deep commitment to their organization. With a solid, developing young nucleus that includes 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans and 2011 Rookie of the Year candidate DeMarcus Cousins, the team is only on the rise, both basketball-wise and finances-wise. These statements are a promising sign for Kings fans and they stand as an example league-wide, too: bullying struggling clubs won't produce instant results. With that said, surely Kings fans are reading Maloof's quote and asking themselves why he didn't explicitly rule out the possibility of relocation. While relocation is surely a better option than contraction for any NBA team, there wouldn't be a tangible difference between the two for Kings fans.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 2:03 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:02 pm

Jerry Sloan unimpressed by Jazz's 8-0 preseason

The Utah Jazz finish the preseason undefeated and coach Jerry Sloan still isn't satisfied. Posted by Ben Golliverjerry-sloan We give you gruesome injury photos . Luxury car photos. Goofy Adam Morrison photos. All in the name of entertainment and distraction. But these are cheap tricks when compared to Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan, whose single-minded devotion to achieving perfect basketball play is as entertaining as the NBA gets for die-hard hoops fans.  To recap, the Utah Jazz completed a perfect 8-0 preseason tonight, holding the Sacramento Kings to just 71 points (only 13 in the fourth quarter!). The Jazz's average margin of victory was 8.125 points per game during the exhibition season, and they beat division rival Portland twice, the Los Angeles Lakers (the league's best team) twice and the Phoenix Suns, a playoff team last year, twice.   This year marks the first time in the illustrious history of the Jazz franchise, and the first of the Sloan era, that the completed the preseason undefeated.  Sloan enjoyed the accomplishment for approximately 0.0 seconds. Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune caught up with Sloan after the game, who looked to manage expectations and criticized his team's work ethic. 
"Teams will take a lot of stuff away from us that they gave us in exhibition season," Sloan said. "That's just the nature of this business. That's why you try not to get too high." Sloan on losing focus: "I don't think we're losing our focus as much as we're losing our ability — we were running harder; running for layups. Now, when the ball goes in the post we're not getting anything out of it. We're not getting any screens or things like that you've got to be able to do if you get in tough ballgames, because you can't always beat somebody one on one."
That enduring perfectionism is what makes Jerry Sloan the NBA's best coach, and it's what will keep him the league's best coach until the day he decides to retire. It's also what makes him so entertaining.  8-0! Take a shot, Jerry, live a little! He never will.
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 22, 2010 11:35 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:59 pm

DeMar DeRozan dislocates finger, pops it back in

Toronto Raptors wing DeMar DeRozan dislocated his finger during a preseason game, but returned to the game. Posted by Ben Golliver Don't you just love the late night freak injury posts that we can't stop putting up?  The other day it was Stephen Curry rolling his ankle.  Tonight, we up the gruesomeness substantially. Check out what happened to Toronto Raptors wing DeMar DeRozan, who dislocated his finger during a 108-103 preseason win over the New York Knicks in Montreal, Canada, on Friday night.   Here's a fuzzy screen grab, but you can still feel the pain. demar-derozan-finger Via @justcallmejuice on Twitter. The injury occurred during the second quarter and forced DeRozan to leave the game, but he returned to the court during the second half. After the game, DeRozan posted on his Twitter account that everything was all good. "My finger is good, trainer pop'd it back in so I'm good." Here's a slow-motion replay via @Nat77 on Twitter.
And here's a longer video of the sequence posted on Raptors.com. Remember when Eddie House recently said "middle finger to all the haters"? I think DeMar DeRozan's finger is so crooked it can actually point at every single hater in the entire world at the same time now.
Posted on: October 22, 2010 9:37 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:59 pm

Portland Trail Blazers To Sign Fabricio Oberto

The Portland Trail Blazers will sign Argentinian big man Fabricio Oberto. Posted by Ben Golliverfabricio-oberto

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Portland Trail Blazers will sign Argentinian big man Fabricio Oberto.
Sources told ESPN.com that Oberto -- who has turned down several offers from Europe in recent weeks because he was determined to keep playing in the NBA -- is joining the Blazers on a one-year deal to fortify their depth as Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla continue to recover from the serious knee injuries they suffered last season.
A league source with knowledge of the deal has confirmed the report to CBSSports.com Friday evening. The news comes as no surprise because the Blazers have limped through the preseason, often using power forwards LaMarcus Aldridge and Dante Cunningham in the middle and getting production from veteran (aging?) center Marcus Camby only when he's been healthy. A season-ending knee injury to big man Jeff Pendergraph left the Blazers with no frontcourt depth, making life even more difficult in the continued absence of Oden and Przybilla. Oberto will likely serve as Portland's fourth big man, at least until Przybilla's return, which is anticipated in mid-November.  Rookie Luke Babbitt -- a combo small forward/power forward -- had been logging time at the four spot during the preseason, but he isn't yet ready to play heavy minutes in the NBA. With the signing, Portland's roster currently stands at 17 players, meaning GM Rich Cho will need to trade or waive two players before Monday's deadline. If no trade develops, those two players are expected to be Australian guard Patty Mills and, in a sick twist of fate, Pendergraph.  It's been a horrible month for Pendergraph, a second-year fan favorite out of Arizona State, who went from being projected as a major contributor for the Blazers to, likely, a player without an NBA home. On the bright side, his contract this season is fully guaranteed, so he won't walk away empty-handed.   
Posted on: October 22, 2010 8:49 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:00 pm

History Tells Carmelo Anthony: Get Out Now

Carmelo Anthony is said to be ready to wait until next year to sign a new contract. Should he feel more urgency given his situation in Denver? Posted by Ben Gollivercarmelo-anthony
This afternoon, Ken Berger noted that one major, practical implication of the ongoing CBA negotiations is that Denver Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony might not feel the need to sign an extension prior to the implementation of a new CBA because the league could retroactively reduce the value of that extension, as the National Hockey League recently did.
An NHL-style rollback would result in Anthony's extension (if he signed it) and every other existing deal in the league being reduced to fit the new model. Maybe that is why a person familiar with Anthony's strategy told me that Melo is fully prepared to spend the entire season in Denver without signing an extension and then take his chances under the new deal. "Carmelo is not afraid to go into next year and test the CBA," the person said.
Kudos to Carmelo (and/or his people) for this confidence and patience. For now, by not yet agreeing to an extension, Anthony holds all the cards when it comes to influencing his future destination. He can wait for the right team to make the right offer, and for the Nuggets to agree to that team's terms, and then pull the trigger, or he can continue to wait and enjoy all the riches free agency has to offer. But while Anthony may be prepared to stick with things in Denver, history tells us that the next year of his life could be nasty, brutish and interminable.  Let's take a look at three recent, high-profile examples. LeBron James LeBron James was bombarded with questions last fall regarding his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers and he did a commendable job of sidestepping the issue until the season ended. As Danny Ferry and Cavs management desperately did what they could to put a winning team around him, including a trade deadline deal for Antawn Jamison, it became clear very quickly during the playoffs that the Cavaliers were not going to be the championship team they had hoped to be. James's season ended in bitter disappointment and defeat, frustrated with a supporting cast that couldn't keep up with the Boston Celtics and fed up with shouldering the burden by himself.  Given Denver's aging roster and injured frontline, it's easy to imagine a similar situation playing out if Anthony decides to stick around. It's a certainty that the Los Angeles Lakers -- deeper, more athletic, longer, more talented, more tested -- would pick the Nuggets apart in the playoffs. The only question would be whether it would take four games or five games. Anthony, a collegiate champion, should understand that reality better than anyone, just like James did last spring, when he quit on his Cavs teammates because he knew not even a superhuman performance from him would overcome the Celtics collective.   Indeed, James's Cavaliers supporting cast last season was arguably better than Anthony's this year. The question Anthony should be asking himself is, "If LeBron couldn't do it, how will I?" Amar'e Stoudemire

The best case scenario for Carmelo Anthony if he does stay in Denver is the path traveled by Amar'e Stoudemire last year in Phoenix. Despite trade rumors whirling throughout the year, Stoudemire came on strong down the stretch, helping Steve Nash and an inspired Jason Richardson push the Suns all the way to the Western Conference Finals. It was surely the highlight of Stoudemire's career and it paid off in a big way: a max deal from a big city, marquee franchise in the New York Knicks.  Are the Nuggets capable of such a push? Probably not, but no one foresaw the Suns streak last season either. If there's a key difference between the two teams it's that there are no major systemic changes for the Nuggets entering this season. Other than the addition of Al Harrington, it's a similar cast of characters, one year older, and with the same coaching staff and philosophy. The Suns surprised people in large part due to the quick success that came from a shift in coaching style and offensive philosophy brought on by coach Alvin Gentry. Also, the Suns possessed unbelievable chemistry on the second unit, something Denver doesn't possess on paper. While it's not impossible for the Nuggets to ride Anthony and his veteran teammates deep into the playoffs, it's also not likely. If you're Anthony, are you really willing to bet on that risk?  Chris Bosh The worst case scenario for Anthony is what Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh endured last year. Forced to carry a mediocre supporting cast, Bosh simply couldn't do it, and the Raptors failed to quality for the playoffs as critics questioned his toughness and commitment to winning. Disagreements and bickering between teammates were clearly visible on the court last season, and Bosh was unwilling, unable or too frustrated to rally the troops.  During late-season road trips it was difficult to imagine a less enthusiastic prime time player, as Bosh went through the motions and the losses piled up. Could this history repeat itself in Denver? No question about it. If the Nuggets start slow, or Kenyon Martin misses significant time, or Chauncey Billups is out for a stretch, or Anthony doesn't get his required touches one night, what happens? If his heart and mind are already somewhere else, what's in Denver motivating him to pull the team together?  This nightmare isn't difficult to imagine. In fact, I would say it's the most likely of the three situations discussed, given Denver's questionable depth, the fact they are playing in a loaded Northwest Division and the tumultuous offseason the organization just endured. Keeping these examples in mind, shouldn't Anthony and his people go easy on the "wait it out" approach? If it's just posturing, fine. But if they're serious? They need look no further than to last season to realize it's not the best idea. For Stoudemire, James and Bosh it all worked out fine in the end: they found lucrative new homes thanks to the wonders of free agency. But it wasn't an easy path to riches, and Anthony would do well to remember those struggles as he ponders his own future.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 7:03 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:57 pm

Sad to see Sundiata Gaines go

Sundiata Gaines, perhaps the D-League's greatest success story, was waived by the Utah Jazz today. Posted by Ben Golliver

Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Utah Jazz have cut four players today to trim their roster down to 13 players, choosing to go forward with less than the roster maximum of 15 players so they can cut down on their luxury tax bill.
The Jazz waived Othyus Jeffers, Sundiata Gaines, Ryan Thompson and Demetris Nichols on Thursday. "It's a part of the job. It's just the nature of the business," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "We can't mope around about it for two or three days. You've got to go back and go to work."
One of those names surely hurts to read more than the others for Jazz fans: point guard Sundiata Gaines.   Gaines made a blip on the national radar last year when the phone call of his midseason call up from the D League's Idaho Stampede to the Jazz was videotaped and uploaded to the internet.  Soon after, Gaines became a household name nationally by hitting arguably the best shot of the 2009-2010 season, a last-second three-pointer to defeat LeBron James's Cleveland Cavaliers.   Given today's circumstances, it's worth another look. Immediately after Gaines made his Magic, the usually reserved Sloan told reporters that he would sign Gaines, who was playing on a non-guaranteed 10-day contract when he buried the Cavs, for the rest of the season. Ten months later, Sloan tells reporters that it's a business and that he won't mope about it. If that doesn't sum up how precarious life in the NBA can be, nothing will.
Posted on: October 21, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:58 pm

NBA contraction: painful but necessary?

The NBA is open to the idea of contracting its less successful teams in the face of a potential lockout. A painful process, no doubt, but a good idea?david-stern  Posted by Ben Golliver

Contractions are painful; if you don't believe me, ask your mom.
And today's news from Ken Berger , that the NBA is open to the idea of contracting its less successful franchises, is painful for the NBA and its fans on a number of levels.
In another staggering development Thursday, CBSSports.com learned that salaries may not be the only area cut as the NBA tries to gets its financial books up to speed with the explosion in popularity the league will experience this season. A person with knowledge of the owners’ discussions said the league “will continue to be open to contraction” as a possible mechanism for restoring the league to profitability. The owners’ ongoing talks about competitive balance, profitability and revenue sharing have included the notion of whether teams are operating in “the best available markets,” the person said, and whether reducing the number of teams from the current level of 30 would help improve the product and the bottom line for the league.
Contraction brings so many negatives. For the city, a loss of history, pride and identity. For the organization, a loss of, well, everything, including the office supplies, which will have to be liquidated on Craigslist. For the league, contraction is a major blow to its overall image and long-term prospects, hard facts running counter to plans for international expansion and global domination jingoism. Despite all of the pain and Seattle-style heartache that would result in any city that saw its NBA team folded, a strong argument for cutting off the foot (contracting struggling franchises) to save the leg (avoiding a lockout) can be made here.  It's no secret that the NBA's business model isn't working and that it adversely affects owners in small markets, who are, in turn, most likely to want to take a hard line with the players, because they 1) have less to lose and 2) have more to gain. Need proof? Look at the league's latest proposal , which aims to shave off $750 million or more off total player salaries, an astonishing figure. Those kind of demands dare the players to walk and are so dramatic that they could only arise from a contingent of owners who aren't invested in, or profiting from, the current system.  Owners pushing the player pay envelope are operating in their own best interests, first, and the league's second. So it's only right for the league, if it is audacious enough to publicly demand these concessions from the players, to take a long, hard look in its own house to make sure everything is in order.  An honest appraisal of its ownership groups would find a wide variance in commitment to excellence and profitability. On one end, you have the Los Angeles Lakers, global brand with fistfuls of championship rings, more than 1.6 million followers on Twitter and untold merchandise sales. On the other, you have someone willing to turn over the keys to the car to David Kahn. Instead of trying to find a solution that's in the best interest of every owner along that continuum, it would seem from the outside that a compromise with the players would be easier to reach if the league's poorest, least profitable ownership sisters simply weren't at the table. Perhaps, then, this early contraction talk is a nudge for certain owners who might be on the edge of relocation, selling their franchise or reconsidering their financial commitment to their team. Something like, "It's about to get rocky, guys. Do the rest of us a solid and parachute out now while you have the chance." Am I a gung-ho advocate for contraction? No, not particularly. But am I in favor of contraction if it means that a labor stoppage can be avoided, or minimized, and an easier path to a successful business model for all can be found in the future? Definitely.  The long-term global benefits to the league for keeping the product on the court - in terms of continuity, fan loyalty and image -  far outweigh the costs of losing the game in a few courts across the country. In the end, basketball and those who play it cannot be made the scapegoats for a system that is too large and inefficient for its own good. The NBA owes it to the game and its players, past, present and future, to establish the best business climate for the product. And if that doesn't include the David Kahns, Michael Heisleys, or Donald Sterlings of the world? So be it.  Coaches love to say that basketball is a team game, bigger than any individual player. We shouldn't forget that it's bigger than any individual executive or franchise, too.
Category: NBA
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com