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Tag:Memphis Grizzlies
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 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 19, 2010 8:38 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 8:39 pm
 

Magic sells his 105 Starbucks; what's he up to?

Posted by Royce Young

A day after Laker legend Magic Johnson sold his 4.5 percent share in the Los Angeles Lakers, he has also sold his 105 Starbucks franchises he owns back to the company he purchased them from for over $100 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Adding today's sale with yesterday's, Magic has quickly put upwards of $160 million in his pocket quickly. So the question is, what is he up to?

A source tells the L.A. Times that he's not necessarily interested in purchasing an NBA franchise as is widely rumored. But the source told the paper he's interesting in something "in sports."

At different points, Johnson was linked to potentially buying the Detroit Pistons and Golden State Warriors, though those rumors have been refuted a bit. And if he's not interested in buying, could he be having financial issues? The source says that's not the case but in these two cases, they were just good "business decisions." As mentioned earlier, Magic reportedly got a Godfather offer from Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong that he couldn't refuse.

While obviously most feel that Magic is looking into potentially purchasing an NBA franchise much like his buddy Michael Jordan, some feel Johnson could actually be interested in the Los Angeles Dodgers. And that throws a curveball into the whole thing (that was lame, I apologize).

But if Johnson decided to make a play in the NBA, here's the top five franchises I hope he buys.

1. Los Angeles Clippers - I don't know if he would, but this seems like it makes a lot of sense. At the same time, it doesn't make any. Johnson is forever a Laker and for him to purchase the in-town rival seems a little weird. But Donald Sterling's time is up and Johnson could be the perfect guy to step into that franchise. Plus, Johnson stays in L.A., stays in the Staples Center and stays in the bright lights. I'm rooting for this.

2. New Orleans Hornets - The sale of the Hornets is stalled and maybe this is an opportunity for Johnson to swoop in and reinvigorate the franchise. And something seems right about Magic Johnson being Chris Paul's boss.

3. Indiana Pacers - Granted, the Pacers aren't really for sale, but they are in a bit of danger of leaving Indianapolis. The city approved a new bill to tie the Pacers to the downtown arena, but still things are great in Indy for the Pacers. Forget all that stuff though, I'm just thinking about uniting Magic and Larry Bird together in the front office. I think that would be cool.

4. Phoenix Suns - Robert Sarver is known as a pretty tight, greedy owner in which his team has won in spite of. He's long been rumored to potentially be parting with the team at some point and having Johnson take over would work. The Suns are a fun West Coast franchise that should always be a staple in the Western Conference. Maybe Magic could give them a bump.

5. Memphis Grizzlies - I think most agree it's kind of Michael Heisley's time to go. Especially after his disastrous interview in which he revealed he really didn't know what he was doing.

Again, Johnson isn't necessarily buying, but I'm here to speculate so that's what I did. He's selling stuff off for some reason and it makes sense for him to get in the NBA ownership game. And as well-spoken and business-minded he is, I can't help but think he'd be as excellent at it as he was at basketball.
Posted on: October 5, 2010 10:19 am
Edited on: October 5, 2010 10:44 am
 

Shootaround 10.5.10: Giving and Getting

We're getting a new guy, the Grizzlies aren't giving Conley the dough, and the Heat know they have to give to succeed, all in today's Shootaround.Posted by Matt Moore

You'll be seeing a new face around these parts soon as Ben Golliver joins the F&R staff for the season. We're excited to have Ben on board and we know you'll love the coverage you'll get from Ben on the Blazers and across the league. As an initiation, we're planning on forcing  him to dougie like Babbit .

The Grizzlies have no plans to commit to a contract extension with Mike Conley until after this season, the Commercial Appeal reports. After putting too much money into too incomplete a player in Rudy Gay over the summer, and with more important assets Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol also in need of extensions, this is an essential decision. Conley has not proven to be starter worthy despite being given all the starts the past two seasons. Conley's got to prove it.

The buzzword at Heat camp? Sacrifice . Which is exactly what you want to hear if you're hoping for the Heat to accomplish something special with the triad. That's the word that can help rehabilitiate their image, and push their game beyond video game stats and into playoff wins.

Lance Stephenson shwoed up at camp and has been working hard despite his off-court woes. The bad news is that he's such a defensive liability, coach Jim O'Brien says he wouldn't play a single minute in game . Ouch.

Brandon Bass has committed to learning the playbook which could help him, you know, play in Orlando, a problem he had last year.

The last remaining roster spot in Charlotte may be down to Javaris Crittenton versus Sherron Collins out of Kansas. It's a contrast in styles that could lead to a hard decision for Larry Brown, via the Charlotte Observer's Rick Bonnell.

Dwight Jaynes in Portland is skeptical of Nate McMillan's intention for the Blazers to run.

If you're not ready for the John Wall era, read David Aldridge's piece and you will be. I'm an advanced stats guy, and even I know that if your numbers don't support the theory that Wall's going to be incredible , you need to recheck your digits.

Michael Beasley only missed two shots! Woo-hoo Wolves fans! Except the one he made were almost all outside of the paint... oh .

Posted on: September 27, 2010 9:36 am
Edited on: September 27, 2010 9:36 am
 

Shootaround 9.27.10: Taking and Giving

Jazz will take back Fesenko, Conley has to take charge, Dampier will take his time, and Shaq giving quotes as usual, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore


It's Fesenko time! ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported via Twitter last night that Kyrylo Fesenko had elected to turn down an offer from the Rockets and return to the Jazz for a one-year, $1-million deal. NBA FanHouse's Sam Sam Amick confirmed that same report . Funny thing is, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports that while Fesenko's made up his mind, discussions haven't begun with Utah to finalize. So we're in the 90% range but not a done deal. If you're wondering why you care, take a look around the Western Conference to see how big the West is. Every center matters.

The Commercial Appeal 's Ron Tillery has a look at five things to watch during Grizzlies training camp, and Mike Conley is the big one. The Grizzlies have eliminated all competition for the point guard job in an effort to give him the confidence to be the player they need him to be. Which isn't really the player he's been for the duration of his career.

Guyism has an awesome run-down of the new technical foul violations , as demonstrated by Rasheed Wallace. Here's a question: How's the league going to make up for the loss of revenue with 'Sheed retiring? That's a lot of fine money going out the door. Could it be that's the reason for the expanded tech rules? Conspiracy! (Note: Not a real conspiracy.)

Sam Amick at FanHouse has another interesting story, as he spoke with Erick Dampier and found out Damp has expanded his list of prospective teams , with Portland, Toronto, and Milwaukee joining the list of teams he's considering. Portland's an interesting option, considering they have Greg Oden, Marcus Camby, and Joel Przybilla on roster, even with the injuries to the first two. Would be quite a statement if Portland brought in Dampier.

NIUBall.com, which covers the Chinese leagues, reports via HoopChina.com that either Von Wafer, Rafer Alston, or both could be headed to China . You realize Rafer Alston was starting for a Finals team a year and a half ago? Geez, talk about a plummet.

Among the many, many quotes that Shaq gave ESPN Boston , he says that this is the first time in his career he doesn't have to hold anyone's hand, nor have anyone hold his. Which is kind of ridiculous considering the level to which Dwyane Wade shouldered the load in Miami, having already made the playoffs. And I think it's hard to argue he had to hold James' hand. And he actually damaged Amar'e Stoudemire's confidence to a large degree. But hey, whatever makes the big guy feel good about himself. Also, apparently Glen "Big Baby" Davis is considered a "great player" by O'Neal. ... 'Kay.

Kwame Brown was injured in a pickup game and will be out 4-6 weeks. The Bobcats are going to be insanely short on centers. Bloggers will be insanely long on jokes about this situation.

Primoz Brezec is playing in Russia this season, according to ... himself . Again, see shot #1 here for why that's relevant.

Don't get Brook Lopez started on comic books .... you'll be there for a while.

Disney is now sponsoring Amway Arena , where the Magic now play. ESPN is owned by Disney. Maybe now you'll see Orlando getting the kind of attention respect that Boston and Cleveland have enjoyed from ESPN for... "BREAKING NEWS! The Miami Heat have gone to dinner together! We take you there live!"

Posted on: September 23, 2010 6:03 pm
 

Preseason Primer: Memphis Grizzlies

Posted by Matt Moore
 
Out of nowhere, the Grizzlies rose to relevance last year, nearly making the playoffs in the hyper-competitive Western Conference. Over the summer they bucked up and paid the bill to keep Rudy Gay and became embroiled in a bizarre holdout with their rookies. The team again has low expectations and is flying under the radar. The question most people have is if they can possibly succeed like they did last season, and is that nearly enough? We take a look at where the Grizzlies are as we continue our Preseason Primers...




Training camp site: Memphis Grizzlies

Training camp starts: September 28th

Key additions: Tony Allen (free agency), Acie Law (free agency), Xavier Henry (draft)

Key subtractions: Ronnie Brewer (free agency)

Likely starting lineup:
Mike Conley (PG), O.J. Mayo (SG), Rudy Gay (SF), Zach Randolph (PF), Marc Gasol (C)

Player to watch:
Xavier Henry. Why? Because we haven't seen him since Kansas finished getting eliminated by a massive underdog in the NCAA tournament. Henry was absent from Summer League due to the holdout stemming from Michael Heisley's bizarre insistance that the rookie earn his bonus by doing something extra as far as performance. Like, some sort of bonus performance. Silly man. Eyes will be on Henry, whose play could have multiple impacts on the Grizz. If he solidifies the backcourt rotation, the Grizzlies will finally gain some depth after being one of the shallowest rotations in the league last season. Furthermore, if he can work with O.J. Mayo as a pair of combo guards, it could mean less time for Mike Conley. With Conley coming up on a possible extension, these are relevant questions not just for this season, but going forward.


Chemistry quiz:
How can the frontcourt stay chipper? Marc Gasol, whose overall play may have been better than All-Star Zach Randolph last season, continues to face the fact that the Grizzlies drafted Hasheem Thabeet with the second overall pick. Hamed Haddadi occasionally looks like a player worthy of minutes. DeMarre Carroll needs to compete and compete hard in training camp if he wants to find minutes this year. The Grizzlies aren't deep in the frontcourt, but given the bizarre makeup of the players involved, its a wonder they got along so well last year. But they did. Shockingly, after Allen Iverson departed for the basketball ether, the team became very close, constantly rushing to each other in confrontations and celebrating. The team genuinely likes each other. They're like a peacful commune... that probably smells really bad at times.


Camp battles:
Backup point guard should be a good one, with Acie Law, Greivis Vasquez, and other camp invites vying for the backup slot. Okay, maybe "good one" is a bit much, but it should be competitive, especially given there's not that much of a gap between those players and Mike Conley in the point guard department.

Injury issues:
The Grizzlies are primarily healthy. Marc Gasol looked completely healthy in the FIBA tournament, though the wear and tear may have some impacts. All in all, they're a young team that's pretty healthy.

Biggest strength:
Up and down. The Grizzlies can get up and down the floor and have an efficient offense. They crash the offensive glass especially well with Randolph and Gasol. They hustle and very rarely get caught without an option to create a shot.

Glaring weakness:
Yet again, the answer is defense. The Grizzlies aren't individually terrible on defense, they're just bad within the system. Part of that function is built around their inability to get rest. The starters always play, and they get worn down. Plus, they're young. Put simply, if the team defense doesn't improve considerably, the odds of their record improving the ten games they need to make the playoffs are slim.
Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:46 am
 

Grizzlies end stalemate with Henry and Vasquez

Posted by Royce Young

It's been 84 days since Xavier Henry and Greivis Vasquez were drafted by the Memphis Grizzlies. And finally, after those 84 days, both have agreed to deals with the Grizzlies, the last two rookies in the class of 2010 to do so.

Both players will sign contracts worth 120 percent of the NBA's rookie salary scale designated for their draft positions. The hangup the led to both players holding out was that Memphis was offering 100 percent of the rookie salaries with an added 20 percent tied to performance clauses.

It was a stalemate that as of a month ago, didn't look like would be resolved. Owner Michael Heisley was defiant on a Memphis radio show saying he didn't know you could put those performance incentives in the contract or he'd have done it before. Only one other players has ever had performance incentives in a rookie contract and that was in 1995.

But Heisley backed off, saying, ""As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy the issue has been resolved. There's no question I'm doing what I should have probably done earlier."

A swallowing of pride for a pretty prideful man.

What the Grizzlies were doing is completely allowed under the terms of the CBA. Teams can pay players between 80 and 120 percent of an amount set by the league's rookie scale. The Grizzlies' proposed incentive deal included:

  • Participation in summer league.
  • A two-week workout program with the team's training staff.
  • Satisfying one of the following: play in NBA rookie/sophomore game during All-Star Game weekend, earn an all-rookie selection or average 15 minutes in at least 70 games.

Truthfully, not too much to ask for a couple first round picks. But both players' agents were steadfast in not setting a precedent of signing a rookie scale contract with incentives. And for good reason too. Why should Henry and Vasquez be treated any differently from the other 28 first round picks? You can see how the stalemate went. Both sides had a point and there was really no middle ground. One or the other was going to have to give in.

The Grizzlies fielded trade offers from teams, but it was all show. They wanted their rookies all along. And finally, after a compromise, they'll get them.

Posted on: September 13, 2010 12:06 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2010 12:08 pm
 

Pop Quiz: Who's ready to break out?

Posted by Royce Young

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

What player makes a Durant-like leap into a new stratosphere?

Everyone wants to crown the next great NBA player. But going from solid star player on your team, to recognized NBA wide superstar is a different story.

Kevin Durant won the Rookie of the Year award, then followed that season up with a quality second season. Most folks thought he'd be the next big thing, they just weren't sure when. But his third season was a leap of another kind.

Durant became the NBA's youngest scoring champion at 21 years old, took his previous 23-win team to 50, got his group to the playoffs, pushed the eventual champions as hard as anyone and also finished second in the MVP voting. Durant in 2009-10 appeared on national TV only four times (not including the playoffs). Going into this season, he's rapidly becoming one of the faces of the league as he's slated to be on the big stage 26 times.

And after this summer's performance in Turkey, well, some are even elevating Durant to the top of the heap. But that's a whole other story.

We're asking what player could be next. Not the next Durant, but the next player to go from borderline star to the next level. Maybe he's already an All-Star. But is he a superstar? Who could be the next guy mentioned along with the top players in the league? Five candidates:

Tyreke Evans, Kings
- Last season's Rookie of the Year definitely had his moments. He averaged 20.1 ppg (odd, that's exactly what Durant averaged when he won Rookie of the Year...), shot 46 percent from the floor and dished out nearly six assists a game. Evans blew people away with his ability to get to the rim and with a reportedly improved jumper, he might be unguardable .

Now his hangup is that he doesn't officially have a position. Most can't figure out if he's a point guard, a shooting guard or something that we don't even know about. No bother though, because Evans is going to get points wherever he plays.

Now can he get to the next level? He absolutely has the ability to. But what really began to take Durant up was how his elevated play improved his team. That will be crucial for Evans. If the Kings are in the basement again this year, it doesn't really matter what Evans is doing. But if he plays well and the Kings win, he could certainly be an All-Star.

Derrick Rose, Bulls - The world is waiting. Waiting on Derrick Rose to become what we know he can be. He's the kind of player that reveals glimpses, flashes, small tastes of just how ridiculously good he can be.

But he hasn't been able to put it together for a consistent period of time.

Now however, Rose has the best supporting cast he's had yet. He no longer has to be point guard, creator and scorer all wrapped into one. He can relax and pass off to Carlos Boozer. He can penetrate and kick to Kyle Korver . Or his still can take games over all by himself.

Greatness awaits Derrick Rose. It's just a matter of when he breaks out. And I'm guessing this year.

Russell Westbrook, Thunder
- Before you dismiss, consider Westbrook's stats: 16.1 ppg , 8.0 apg and 4.9 rpg . Only one other player in the league averaged at least 16-8-5. His name? LeBron James.

Westbrook had a case to make the All-Star team last season with Chris Paul out and Deron Williams pulling out at the last minute. Jason Kidd got the hometown bid, but Westbrook was right there. His game has steadily improved since he came into the league two seasons ago without a position. He has a jumpshot that's improved, he handles the game like a legit point man and he's probably the fastest end-to-end player in the league.

No matter what, Westbrook will be overshadowed by Durant, but with Durant's high profile, his teammates' rise as well. Durant's not the only guy getting all those appearances on national TV. Westbrook impressed people that hadn't seen him much in Turkey with his athletic ability and his lack of fear. The more people see him, the more blown away they'll be.

Rudy Gay, Grizzlies - Sometimes big money can make a guy complacent. Sometimes though, it can motivate him to prove people wrong.

A lot of fans, media and heck, even Rudy Gay himself, were shocked with his massive contract extension. And Gay has had to hear how he wasn't worthy of the big payday. Either he can be satisfied and just cash his checks and put up 19 and 8, or he can use it as a little extra to push him and his Memphis squad to a different level.

The Grizzlies weren't far off last season. Behind Gay's improved play, Memphis made a small playoff push for a time. The talent is there for Rudy. Actually, he's got more than enough talent. His issue is that on some nights, he disappears. He goes from dropping 25 on Tuesday to 10 on Wednesday. When he starts to put it all together, he has the makings of a star. It's easy to forget that he's just 24.

Danny Granger, Pacers - Over the past two seasons, Granger has averaged 25.8 ppg and 24.1 ppg . He shot over 44 percent from the field and over 36 percent from 3. He also averaged over five rebounds just as an extra.

Yet in the world of small forward talk, Granger gets left out. He's one of the top scorers in the league, yet most forget about him. That to me, is the definition of a breakout player waiting to happen.

Much like these other guys, Granger has been playing for a team that's not winning. Tough to be a recognized star when your team stinks. The Pacers might not be good this year, but they certainly should be better. And if Granger is the man leading that charge, maybe he starts to get a bit more recognition. The points are there. He scores at basically the same clip Carmelo Anthony has during his career. Now it's just about people seeing it.
 
 
 
 
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