Tag:Ben Golliver
Posted on: February 7, 2012 2:04 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 2:07 pm

Kobe calls Howard trade report 'kiddy drama spit'

Kobe Bryant denies a report that he tried to bring Dwight Howard to L.A. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard Kobe Bryant has many things to do: carry a weaker-than-usual Lakers team, find a new house to live in after his divorce, pitch KobeSystem shoe products, the list goes on.

One thing Bryant will not do: engage the daily Dwight Howard trade rumor mill.

Last week, a RealGM.com report indicated that Bryant pitched the Orlando Magic's All-Star center on joining the Lakers by saying that Howard could be a defensive stopper and third wheel before eventually become the franchise guy once Bryant retired.

The New York Post reports on Tuesday that Bryant called the report "not true" and said that he was "too old" for the online coverage of potential Howard trades, which he called "kiddy drama spit." 
“I have no clue what’s even being said. I have a lot to deal with as it is,” he replied. 

“omg! I’m not getting mixed up in this kiddy drama spit, bro. too old for that spit,” Bryant responded via email.
Bryant, 33, has made multiple references recently to his body clock ticking. He passed future Hall of Fame center Shaquille O'Neal on the NBA's All-Time scoring list on Monday and his key quote, as reported by Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: "I don't have many more of these games left."

It's difficult to argue when Bryant says that he is above the day-to-day minutiae of the rumor mill. But it's equally hard to imagine that he is actually above interest in acquiring Howard, who would help him acquire his coveted sixth championship ring.

After L.A.'s attempt to land All-Star point guard Chris Paul fell through before the season, all eyes turned to Howard as a potential savior for the Lakers. And that story isn't going anywhere until he signs an extension or is traded somewhere else. Bryant may have the luxury of tuning out the small stuff, but the bigger issue still looms. This kiddy drama spit ain't going away anytime soon.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:37 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 2:02 pm

Popovich: Manu Ginobili to return next week

Manu Ginobili is expected to return next week. (Getty Images)
Posted by Ben Golliver

Things are looking up for San Antonio Spurs All-Star guard Manu Ginobili.

MySanAntonio.com reports that Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters on Monday that Ginobili, who has been sidelined since Jan. 2 after breaking a bone in his left hand, is nearing a return.
“The doctors say he’s healed and healthy,” Popovich said before the Spurs’ 89-84 win over the Grizzlies. “It’s just a matter of conditioning and timing, rhythm and confidence, all those things right now.

“I’d expect him in the next week or so.”

When Ginobili does return, Popovich said he’s leaning toward bringing the former Sixth Man of the Year off the bench in order to ease him into game action.

The original timetable for Ginobili's return was 6-8 weeks. If he indeed returns next week, that would put him at the lower end of the original estimate.

In typical Spurs fashion, the team weathered what looked like a disaster on paper and kept right on winning in Ginobili's absence. Entering Tuesday's action, San Antonio sat atop the Southwest Division with a record of 17-9. The Spurs are 14-7 since Ginobili went down, making due thanks to talented rookie Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal and Danny Green

Ginobili, 34, averaged 17.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in his five appearances before suffering the injury. He was named to the 2011 All-Star team and All-NBA third team last season.
Posted on: February 7, 2012 12:03 am
Edited on: February 7, 2012 4:48 pm

Gallinari (ankle chip fracture) out 1 month

Danilo Gallinari suffered a chip fracture in his left ankle Monday. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver 

Denver Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari suffered an ankle injury in the first half against the Houston Rockets. An X-ray taken at the arena confirmed a chip fracture of his left ankle

An MRI conducted on Tuesday determined that the chip will sideline Gallinari for "at least a month," according to the Denver Post. The Nuggets released this statement.

CT and MRI today determined that the chip fracture was from a prior injury probably before professional career began. He will remain in a walking boot for 3 to 5 days. Treatment will be for a significant ankle sprain.

His status is undetermined at this time.

Losing Gallinari is devastating for a Nuggets team, despite theirdepth. They're already dealing with injuries to Nene, Arron Afflalo, and Timofey Mozgov, but Gallo has been the Nuggets' best overall player, performin at a near-All-Star level. Between injuries and a brutal schedule period, the Nuggets have lost five of their past six games.  

Without Gallinari, it means more time for Rudy Fernandez who also has had injury issues this season. The Nuggets had been one of the hottest teams in the league in the opening month, but injuries have taken their toll, damaging their biggest strength in depth.

Gallinari is averaging 17 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 33 minutes per game this season with a 20.1 PER.

The No. 6 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft inked a 4-year, $42 million extension in January.
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:22 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 8:01 am

Chauncey Billups (torn Achilles) done for season

Billups could possibly be done for the season with a serious Achilles injury. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliver

Update (Tuesday): The Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles Clippers' worst fears have been confirmed. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro told the paper that an MRI test has revealed a torn left Achilles' tendon for guard Chauncey Billups, an injury that will cause him to miss the rest of the 2011-2012 NBA season. 

The Clippers confirmed the news in a statement on their website on Tuesday.
Billups underwent an MRI today at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio which confirmed the injury. He will return to Los Angeles on Thursday for further evaluation. A date for surgery is yet to be determined.

Billups, who was claimed off of amnesty waivers after he was released by the New York Knicks, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Original Post (Monday):

The Clippers' dream season might have been dealt a major blow.

With 5:48 left in the fourth quarter, Chauncey Billups injured his left Achilles tendon. But not just a tweak type of thing. Billups was helped off the court and didn't return.

According to the L.A. Times, Billups will be evaluated Tuesday when the team arrives in Cleveland.

“He’s going to be re-evaluated,” coach Vinny Del Negro told reporters after the game. “He’s got an Achilles injury. I don’t know the severity of it but it’s kind of bittersweet. We will see what happens but we will re-evaluate it tomorrow.”

HoopsWorld reports that Billups could potentially be finished for the season.
Many of Billups teammates commented in the locker room that Billups was “done”, hinting that the Achilles was more than a strain and was in fact a full tear.

Billups left the locker room with his foot in a boot and walking with the aid of crutches and did not speak to media.

One of the Clippers coaches commented under his breath that losing Billups was “a damn shame” shaking his head.

Yahoo! Sports adds this via a source: "Doesn't look good. MRI tomorrow. I'm sick for him."

Obviously more information will be available Tuesday once Billups has all the necessary tests done, but if the Clippers have indeed lost Billups for the remainder of the season, that could change their positioning in the Western Conference. Not only is he a steady veteran player, but he's also their starting shooting guard. Subtract him and the Clippers' backcourt suddenly gets very thin with either Mo Williams or Randy Foye having to step into the starting five.

Billups, 35, would likely miss 12 to 16 months if it's an Achilles tear. Regardless of what it is, it appears to be a significant injury that will cost him some time. 

Posted on: February 5, 2012 3:43 am
Edited on: February 7, 2012 6:29 am

Mike Brown suspended, fined after ref bump

Posted by Ben Golliver

Update 12:08 p.m. Monday, February 6th: Yahoo Sports reports that the NBA has suspended Lakers head coach Mike Brown for Monday's game against Philadelphia. The league subsequently announced Brown had been fined $25,000.


New Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown was very anti-zen during the fourth quarter of a loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

Brown completely lost his mind during an argument with referee Zach Zarba, earning himself an immediate ejection and potentially a fine and/or a suspension from the NBA league office.

The Los Angeles Times reports the details of Brown's meltdown and his comments after the incident.

The Lakers coach could face a suspension after appearing to bump referee Zach Zarba early in the fourth quarter of a 96-87 loss to Utah on Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena. Brown was upset after watching Utah guard Earl Watson mug Pau Gasol for a steal that led to a dunk by Derrick Favors with 8 minutes, 35 seconds left in the game. The Lakers coach bounded onto the court and received two technical fouls, resulting in his first ejection of the season.

Brown said he apologized to his team but did not think his actions resulted in the defeat.

"I shouldn't have done what I did because it put our team in a deeper hole than it was in," Brown said. "It's not good to do that. It's not setting a good example or setting the right tone for our team."

Lakers assistant John Kuester and forwards Matt Barnes and Metta World Peace had to restrain Brown during his argument with Zarba. Brown told the Times that he wasn't sure whether he had made contact with Zarba during the fracas. 

The Lakers next play on Monday against the 76ers in Philadelphia.

Here's the video of Mike Brown getting ejected for arguing a foul call and melting down gainst the Utah Jazz via YouTube user TheScrappyCocoz.

Skip ahead to the 2:55 mark.

Posted on: February 4, 2012 10:00 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2012 12:24 pm

Kevin Love suspended for stepping on Scola's face

Posted by Ben Golliver

Update 12:22 p.m. Monday, February 6th: The league announced Monday that Kevin Love has been suspended two games for the whole "stepping on Scola's face" thing. Scola handled the whole thing pretty well.


Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love is a surefire All-Star this season and one of the most promising young players in the NBA. But he'll catch some Heat for what went down during a Saturday night game against the Houston Rockets. There may very well be some people who watch the video below and deem it "dirty."

The incident began with the Rockets holding possession of the ball, trailing the Timberwolves leading, 64-52, with a little less than nine minutes remaining in the third quarter. Scola was working on Love with his back to the basket in the post. Scola fell to the ground in the paint after Love swiped down hard on the ball to force a turnover and Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio collected the ball and passed ahead to start a fast break the other direction. Love then moved to join the play as Scola lay on his back in the paint, in between Love and the upcourt action. Love seemed at first to attempt to step over Scola but his left foot wound up coming down with full force on Scola's face. Replays seemed to indicate that Love was looking down at Scola prior to stepping his foot down.

No foul was called on the play. The only question now is whether the act will draw the attention of the NBA league office.

Here's the video of Kevin Love stepping hard on Luis Scola's face via YouTube user RocketsRed and ClutchFans.net.

This isn't the first recent incident between the two big men. Less than a week ago, Scola threw the ball at Love's male region while attempting to save the ball from going out of bounds. Love doubled over in pain at the force of the throw and lay on the ground motionless while Scola checked on his well-being.

Here's video of Scola throwing the ball at Love's male region via YouTube user RocketsRed.

Posted on: February 4, 2012 5:45 pm

Vegas releases LeBron James Super Bowl bets

Posted by Ben Golliver
You can bet now bet on LeBron James versus the Super Bowl. (Getty Images)

Thanks to Las Vegas, you can now place action on whether Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James comes up short on Super Bowl Sunday.

Just before the New England Patriots and New York Giants will be facing off in Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI, James and the Heat will be hosting the Toronto Raptors in Miami. And SB Nation.com notes that oddsmaking site Bovado.com has crafted wagers that pit James' performance versus the Raptors against the play of key Super Bowl participants, such as Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.

Here are a few of the site's cross-sports prop bets.
What will be higher: 
Eli Manning Completions +2½ (+105)
Lebron James Points -2½ (-135)

What will be higher: 
Wes Welker Receptions Pick (-115)
Lebron James Assists Pick (-115) 
Bettors can also wager whether Heat forward Chris Bosh will score a greater number of points compared to the receiving yards tallied by Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
Manning is averaging 25.3 completions per game during the 2011 NBA playoffs after averaging 22.4 completions per game during the regular season. By comparison, James is averaging 29.2 points per game this season and 29.4 points per game in his last five games.

Welker, meanwhile, averaged 7.6 receptions per game during the regular season and 6 per game during the postseason. James is averaging 7.0 assists per game during the 2011-2012 season and 6.6 assists per games in the last five games.

James is playing the seventh most minutes in the NBA -- 37.5 per game -- and hasn't played less than 30 since New Year's Day. He's been one of the NBA's most consistent performers this season, so Toronto is the major X-factor for these bets on the NBA side. Expecting a big scoring or assist night from James assumes that his services will be needed for the entire game against the 8-16 Raptors, who are 4-11 in their last 15 games. The two teams haven't faced each other this season but the Raptors managed to score just 64 points in a Wednesday loss to the Boston Celtics.

Neither one of these bets is an obvious lock from an NBA perspective. James has scored 30+ 12 times already this season so that would probably give Manning fans some pause, given that he topped 30 completions just three times this year (including the NFC championship game). But is that worth giving the 2.5? James has also reached double figures in assists just three times this season, so if you're expecting a monster night from Welker, that one seems to jump out a bit more. 

Of course, this is all for entertainment purposes only. Lose your money however you see fit. Or, don't, especially if it's not legal.
Posted on: February 4, 2012 3:53 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 3:47 am

Jazz CEO trashes Karl Malone in blog post

Posted by Ben Golliver
Jazz CEO Greg Miller went off on Karl Malone on his blog. (Getty Images)

Things are getting really real in Utah.

This is a long, complicated and hyper-emotional soap opera, so I'll do my best to distill the key details.

Hall of Fame Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan abruptly retired during the middle of the 2010-2011 season after reportedly getting into a locker room argument with All-Star point guard Deron Williams. Everyone involved was really upset, given Sloan's long tenure as one of the most well-regarded coaches in the league. Williams was traded soon after to the New Jersey Nets.

As things unfolded, Hall of Fame Jazz forward Karl Malone rushed to the defense of Sloan and insinuated that the Jazz hadn't done right by Sloan. He later claimed in a Salt Lake Tribune column that the Jazz also had not offered him tickets to the first game of the post-Sloan era, forcing him to purchase scalped tickets for himself.

This particular claim totally set off Jazz CEO Greg Miller, who wrote on Twitter that Malone was "lying" and then doubled-down on his angst by penning a piercing 1375-word blog post in which he aired decades of grievances and family business. In his post, published on his blog GregInUtah.com, Miller calls Malone "high maintenance," "unreliable," "unstable," and said that he would be unfit to serve as a coach for the Jazz big men.

Miller provided a laundry list of Malone's alleged flakiness and then offered his take on the ticket scandal, writing that Malone was using the situation as a stage to lobby for a job with the Jazz.
A year ago, when Jerry retired, Karl rushed to Salt Lake City. He got in front of every camera he could find at the first game following Jerry’s departure. He positioned himself as an authority on Jerry’s departure by saying something like “the Jerry Sloan I know isn’t a quitter. He left because he didn’t feel wanted.” Karl wasn’t in the locker room during the conversations with me and Jerry. Had he been, he would have seen me (and my mom) do everything possible to convince Jerry to stay. By his own admission Karl hadn’t spoken to Jerry since Jerry left. Karl’s comments on the radio and on national television made an already stressful situation worse. Then in his next breath, on national television, Karl asked me to hire him as a coach.

These are just a few experiences I’ve had with Karl that clearly demonstrate that he can’t be counted on. I am not willing to invite the elements of unreliability and instability into the Jazz organization. It would obviously do more harm than good.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Malone's response, which was essentially: "Oh yeah? Say it to my face."
"We’ve all become very brave when we’re tweeting, texting, blogging. We just write, press send. I don’t have time for that. Don’t tweet it, don’t blog it, don’t text it, give me a little human element. I’m in town two or three times a month. Until I see [Miller] face to face, there won’t be any more comment about Greg Miller. … He’ll see me again.
The paper also reported a statement from Sloan, which, as you would expect, was total class. Sloan said that the team had his back, tried to get him to stay on as coach and that the family conducts itself with integrity.

Meanwhile, Williams, who had been criticized by Malone, emerged as the smartest person in all of this, telling the Associated Press: "I don't respond to people who talk about themselves in the third person."

Miller would have done well to heed Williams' advice himself. Malone is a legend, sure, but he is human and his personality quirks are well-documented. Family business is family business, and ranting for paragraph after paragraph against a valued former employee is simply never the right move for any business owner. It's one of those ancient axioms: you can't defend your reputation by smearing someone else's. You might feel better after venting but your method will be remembered far longer than your words.

It won't be long until regret sinks in. An apology from Miller -- if not to Malone, then to fans of the team for his expression of emotion -- is the likely next chapter of this story.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com