Tag:Matt Moore
Posted on: August 26, 2011 8:48 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2011 1:08 pm
 

Crittenton charged with murder of Atlanta woman

By Matt Moore

Javaris Crittenton, a former NBA player best known for being suspended by the league for bringing a gun into the Washington Wizards' locker room, has been charged with murder in the shooting of a woman in Atlanta.

From WSBTV in Atlanta
An arrest warrant has been issued for former NBA player and Georgia Tech star Javaris Crittenton in connection with the shooting death of a mother of four, Atlanta police said.

The shooting happened Aug. 19 shortly before 10 p.m. in the 2900 block of Macon Drive in southwest Atlanta.

Investigators said 22-year-old Jullian Jones was walking with others when someone from a dark SUV opened fire. Jones was struck and later died.
via Former NBA player, Ga. Tech star wanted in killing - News Story - WSB Atlanta

The report also states that the targets were two unarmed men in the company of the victim and the shooting is believed to be in retaliation for a robbery of Crittenton in April.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the FBI is involved in the investigation, and that Crittenton is not in custody, as he's currently in L.A. The two men believed to be the target were unharmed and fled the scene. The AJC reports that several people witnessed the shooting.

NBA LEGAL TROUBLE

An athletic guard with handle, Crittenton was drafted by the Lakers, and was then traded to the Grizzlies in the Pau Gasol deal, then later dealt to the Wizards. He infamously became entrenched in the bet that wound up with Gilbert Arenas bringing out his guns in the locker room, with Crittenton making similar threats. He was signed briefly with the Bobcats before the 2010-2011 season but was waived prior the season and finished the year with the D-League. 

More from the Associated Press report: 
Jones, a mother of four, was walking with a group of people on the city's southwest side when she was shot by someone inside a dark-colored SUV, police said.

Investigators say they don't believe the woman was the intended target. Campos said the motive appears to be retaliation for a robbery in April, in which Crittenton was a victim.

Crittenton was suspended for the final 38 games of the 2009-10 season by the NBA after he and Arenas acknowledged bringing guns into the locker room. Two days after a dispute stemming from a card game on a team flight, Arenas brought four guns to the locker room and set them in front of Crittenton's locker with a sign telling him to "PICK 1." Crittenton then took out his own gun.

Crittenton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge on Jan. 25, 2010, and received probation.

After the Wizards declined to re-sign him, he signed a non-guaranteed contract with Charlotte before last season. The Bobcats waived him Oct. 15, and he then played five games in China for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, averaging 25.8 points. He also played 20 games for the NBDL's Dakota Wizards, averaging 14.3 points.

Crittenton was drafted 19th overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007. He played little with Los Angeles and was traded to Memphis in his rookie year, then to Washington in December 2008.

Crittenton averaged 5.3 points and 1.8 assists in 113 NBA games.

Posted on: August 26, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: August 26, 2011 11:25 am
 

Dwight Howard hires free throw shooting coach

By Matt Moore

Dwight Howard shot a career high in free throw percentage last year at 59.6 percent. Getting past the fact that his career high was still below 60 percent, it's good that he made progress in what was considered to be his best year in the league. Granted, it was only a .4 percentage point improvement over the previous season and a .2 percentage point improvement over his previous best, but hey. Baby steps? Apparently Dwight doesn't think those baby steps took him quite far enough, so he's started what he should have started years ago. He's hired a free throw shooting coach. 

From the Orlando Sentinel:
In his quest to become a better free-throw shooter, Dwight Howard has turned to a man who bills himself as the "Shooting Surgeon General" and the "Free-Throw Master."

Howard is working with shooting coach Ed Palubinskas, an Australian sharpshooter who played in the 1972 and 1976 Summer Olympics and is the career free-throw percentage leader at LSU. Palubinskas has worked with Orlando Magic power forward Brandon Bass and also briefly worked with Shaquille O'Neal.
via Dwight Howard: Orlando Magic all-star Dwight Howard hires Ed Palubinskas to be his shooting coach - OrlandoSentinel.com

Palubinskas told the Sentinel that he will change Howard's numbers in one year. The idea here is that Howard will be a better student than Shaq. That's kind of interesting to note. Howard comes across as a willing student, having sought out Hakeem Olajuwon to improve his game. But Howard also took some of what Hakeem taught him and sought to disregard the rest, telling CBSSports.com last year that there was only so much Olajuwon could teach him since the game was so much different now. Free throw shooting obviously doesn't change, so it'll be interesting to see if Howard fully embraces Palubinskas' teaching or not. 

What's the real impact of Howard's free thows? Last year he missed 370 free throws. If he raised his percentage to the league average of 76.6 percent, that's over 155 more pointss per season, or, based on his 78-game season, nearly two points per game (1.9 exactly). Doesn't sound like much, right? Thing is, that would move him to 24.8 points per game, which is only .2 points behind Derrick Rose. It's worth it for Howard to just make the league average. If he were to become even beetter, the offensive impact would cover his still-less-than-excellent footwork and post moves. It's the quickest way to an MVP trophy for him, and would naturally help the Magic out as well. 

We'll see if it actually makes a difference, and how Palubinskas reforms his shooting, in form or function. 

(HT: PBT)
Posted on: August 25, 2011 11:05 am
Edited on: August 25, 2011 11:11 am
 

Mark Jackson linked to alleged drug kingpin

By Matt Moore

Warren Braithwaite is one of those people who is an "associate" to various celebrities. You know what I'm talking about. Those people who don't have an official capacity, but always hang around with well-known people and are always involved in various ventures with them. He's friends with Jamie Foxx, Lady Gaga, held a soiree for Magic Johnson, and generally hung out with the ritziest of the ritz, including one new head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Mark Jackson. 

Oh, and one more thing. He's currently being charged by federal authorities with running a massive criminal organization specializing in a massive drug ring. Along with 22 of his associates. 

So that's not good. 

Just how close were Jackson and Braithwaite? According to Star Magazine
In fact, Jackson took Braithwaite to a news conference on June 100 -- just 4 days before Braithwaite’s arrest -- when he announced his decision to leave broadcasting and accept the role.

Braithwaite was also involved at the True Love Worship Center International, in Van Nuys, Calif., a ministry helmed by Jackson and his wife.

While the Warriors had no comment, Jackson tells Star he has “not seen one piece of evidence that Brother Warren is the person police say he is. Our prayers, thoughts and love are for Warren and his family.”
via INVESTIGATION: Jamie Foxx, Lady Gaga & NBA Coach Mark Jackson Linked To Drug Kingpins | Radar Online.

(Side note: Jackson can preach. )

Jackson clearly wasn't the only one close with Braithwaite; he's a known commodity in celebrity circles. But especially for a coach who values traditional morals, the charges have to be a shock. What's more, Jackson must feel pretty strongly about Braithwaite in order to speak on his behalf to Star Magazine about him. The typical line is to not comment. Now Jackson's on record as speaking out in defense of an acccused drug kingpin. Then again, if Braithwaite is clear of all charges, Jackson will have stuck by his friend through the hardest of times. You can bet the Warriors are monitoring this situation pretty closely. 

(HT: PBT)
Posted on: August 25, 2011 9:09 am
 

Report: Woodson to join Knicks bench

By Matt Moore

Apparently Mike Woodson's interview with the Knicks for "defensive coordinator" went pretty well. The New York Daily News reports that Woodson has been telling those close to him that he expects to get the gig. (Side note, who are these people? Family? They're the ones calling up reporters? Is it his pastor? Maybe his dry cleaner? I'm pretty close with my dry cleaner.) From the Daily News:
In the past few days, Woodson had told two confidantes that he expects to join the Knicks. The move might become official next week, according to sources, when Garden and team executives return from vacation. Woodson had what he called a good meeting with D'Antoni earlier this month, but he had people above D'Antoni in his corner from the start.

Woodson's hiring was recommended by Isiah Thomas, a long-time friend and former teammate who continues to serve as Garden chairman Jim Dolan's top unpaid consultant.
via Knicks ready to add former Hawks head coach Mike Woodson as defensive coach on Mike D'Antoni's staff. 

Oh, thank Goodness. I was worried that the Knicks were making decisions based off the recommendations of their former G.M. who is considered one of the worst executives in the history of pro sports and managed to drag the organization into a sexual harrassment suit. But it was just Isiah Thomas. 

Woodson pulled the Hawks up from 18th in defensive efficiency in 2007-2008 to 13th in his final season with the Hawks, before being released in search of a different direction (or however you'd like to characterize Larry Drew). He's not a defensive mind on par with Tom Thibodeau or Lawrence Frank, but in reality, the change of emphasis for the Knicks is really what's important. The only question is if the principles of Mike D'Antoni's offense, even if it's modified to fit this specific set of players, will hinder Woodson's ability to to draft a scheme, should he in fact get the job. 

Woodson may not be a long-term answer for the Knicks, however, as he did interview several times in the last few months for head coaching positions. If nothing else, he'll make a prime candidate to see how D'Antoni handles a defensive assistant who is outside of his usual circle of assistants. 

Posted on: August 24, 2011 12:47 pm
 

Blake Griffin to intern at Funny Or Die



By Matt Moore


Being funny is better than being valorous in today's society. True story. Okay, to be honest, being smart, good at sports, famous, or good looking is better than being valorous. Luckily, Blake Griffin, by all accounts, is a little bit of both. And he's handling the first part with a summer internship. Brandon Jennings can have his internship at Under Armour. The Rookie of the Year is spending his summer with the folks at Funny or Die. 

From the AP:  
This week, the Los Angeles Clippers All-Star forward is interning at Funny Or Die, the comedy website co-founded by Ferrell and Adam McKay. Griffin arrived at the site's LA offices Tuesday to begin three days of work in video production.He will help write, shoot, edit and act in several videos for the site.

Griffin said he's a big comedy fan and an avid viewer of Funny Or Die. As an intern, he hopes to learn more about film production."

Just to get an inside look at how things are run here is exciting to me," Griffin said by phone Tuesday. "I don't know what interns at Funny Or Die are like, but I'm about to find out, I guess."
via Blake Griffin begins internship at Funny Or Die - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

My first thought is to wonder if Baron Davis had an influence here during his time with Griffin before his trade to Cleveland. Davis is heavily involved in entertainment and film in particular. This is obviously the impact of playing in Los Angeles as well. These kinds of opportunties aren't afforded to young players in other cities, though Kevin Durant's Warner Bros. deal shows it's not a market issue. Griffin is particularly a fan of comedy, though, and he fits well. He's got a good personality and shows well on camera. 

Maybe the more interesting bit of the piece is this:

Griffin counts "Old School," "Wedding Crashers" and "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" among his favorite movies. On Funny Or Die, he likes Zach Galifianakis' mock interview series "Between Two Ferns."

"I'll go see a bad comedy over a good action movie any day," Griffin said.

So no big  surprise there. That's pretty much every major fratcom of the past ten years, and with Will Ferrell involved with Funny or Die and a star in all those movies, that makes sense. In that spirit, here are Griffin's dunks put to Frat Pack films

The Mozgov = "Wedding Crashers"

The Amar'e Nod = "Anchorman" ("I plain, straight hate you. But damn it, I respect you.")

The Dunk Contest = "Zoolander"

The Near-Stuckey= "Old School"


(HT: Dime
Posted on: August 24, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: August 24, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Jeff Green admits it was hard joining Celtics

By Matt Moore

Jeff Green hasn't had the easiest road in the NBA. He was expected to be the Pippen to Kevin Durant's Jordan. The problem is that he's a power forward that doesn't rebound (6.0 rebounds per game is his career high, which was two seasons ago), or a small forward who doesn't pass (2.0 assists is his career high, three seasons ago). He's a three-point specialist who's a 34 percent career shooter from the arc. The rebounding is what really gets him in trouble. He's got good athleticism and shows flashes of defensive skill, but has never fit a role. When he was brought to the Celtics, though, that was a no-win situation. Replacing a fan and locker room favorite in Kendrick Perkins, Green was confusing for those who didn't know him and infuriating for those that did. 

But even worse than the struggles with his game is what Green had to do in terms of fitting in with the Celtics, who were a championship core that had been together for four seasons and felt like family. In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Green talked about the reality of how difficult it was walking into that locker room:
“They’ve been together for a number of years,” Green said of the Celtics. “They’ve already won a championship, they’ve already have a system, they already have their chemistry and that bond on that team.

“It was tough to go into that situation.”
via Green eyes future with Celtics - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.

The tone of the interview is definitely not one of "I'm excited to be here and feel we can win a championship." It's more "Look, I got sent here, I didn't ask to come here." Green pretty much stops short of saying "They hated me." He talks about how hard it was to grasp all the defensive concepts in half a season. Green's a professional and has never been a locker room problem. He's a restricted free agent, and if the Celtics match or offer Green the best money, he'll play as well as he can. But sometimes it's just not a fit. Maybe when the current core has moved to retirement Green will have a chance to stretch his wings and become a more complete player. 

For now, he's in a dfficult position of having to be something he's not, and being judged by that standard.  What's funny is he could lose five points off his per game average if he picked up five rebounds. That's all anyone cares about these days. Defense and rebounding. The offense will apparently take care of itself.

(HT: SLAM)
Posted on: August 24, 2011 10:17 am
Edited on: August 24, 2011 10:26 am
 

New person jokes about LeBron's hairline: LeBron

By Matt Moore

lebron-james-hairline

Everyone likes to make fun of LeBron James' receding hairline. It's been vanquished from the battle field and is now headed home after a complete surrender. James' move towards the full shaved head is only a matter of time, really. Dwight Howard in particular is awfully fond of making fun of James' hair, or lack thereof. But today, someone else joined the fray. From Twitter: 




For a guy who too often takes himself and his "brand" too seriously, this is a nice change of pace. Of course, it was probably hand-crafted by a half-dozen members of his marketing team, but still. James has been super active this summer in terms of his charity work, and made an appearance at Drew League. Of course, he also got dunked on by a Taiwanese guy. But maybe this is a change of heart from his self-centered, takes-himself-too-seriously ways? 

Nah.
Posted on: August 23, 2011 12:04 pm
 

Drew League talking to Kobe Bryant for rematch

By Matt Moore

After Kobe Bryant showed up and lit up Drew League two weeks ago, there began to be he hopes he'd make another appearance. With a scheduled rematch of the Drew League vs. Goodman League showdown in Los Angeles, Drew League officials immediately began talking about Bryant possibly participating. According to the L.A. Times that's going from more of just whispers to actual conversations. 
With hopes that an earlier meeting will expedite the process in organizing an exhibition game in Los Angeles on Sept. 10 between the Drew League and Goodman League, Drew League officials plan to meet with Kobe Bryant's representatives at an undetermined location in Los Angeles at 1 p.m. Tuesday to discuss a possible appearance.

"I think he wants to play because he’s hungry like that," Drew League Commissioner Oris "Dino" Smiley said of Bryant late Monday evening in a phone interview. "We have some real solid basketball and it’s well organized. I think he wants to be a part of it."
via Drew League's meeting with Kobe Bryant representatives pushed up to Tuesday - latimes.com.

Goodman won the first match 135-134 on account of some free throws from Kevin Durant and a missed game winner (and a call debated by the Drew League contingent). Adding Kobe Bryant would obviously tip the scales in favor of the Drew team, because, well, he's Kobe Bryant. It would also make for a much more profitable and promotable event (no offense, James Harden). Kevin Durant vs. Kobe Bryant? That's something that will sell tickets, and promoters, and streaming rights. 

If the representatives can convince Bryant (who turns 33 today and who Laker fans wish would just chill out and rest up) to enter, it's a game changer for the next showdown. 
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com