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Tag:Royce Young
Posted on: July 22, 2011 2:42 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 12:37 pm
 

Chris Kaman and Dirk to play for Germany

Posted by Royce Young

Eurobasket is just getting better and better.

Already a good number of NBA players have committed to their countries to play in the tournament which starts in Lithuania late in August, but you can add two more to the German national team. And two All-Stars at that: Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki. You could say Germany's chances just got a lot better.

According to talkbasket.net, both Kaman and Dirk will even be with Germany during the BEKO-Supercup tournament in Bamberg Aug. 19-21, which is a warm-up.

Dirk had previously said he planned to play for his country because of the opportunity to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. But adding Kaman really increases Germany's chances. 

Kaman has dual citizenship between the United States and Germany, while of course Dirk is from Germany.

The competition is pretty stiff with France and Spain both looking very strong to go with the other number of quality countries. But Germany now has an anchor in Dirk and a solid post player in Kaman. They aren't quite a favorite, but certainly a team to be considered.

Posted on: July 22, 2011 2:11 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 12:38 pm
 

Adelman, Bickerstaff to interview with Wolves

Posted by Royce Young

Two more names to picture running the wildly interesting Timberwolves roster: Rick Adelman and Portland assistant Bernie Bickerstaff. Both had been rumored to be candidates, but according to the Star Tribune, the two will get interviews this weekend.

Previously, the Wolves had interviewed Mike Woodson and Terry Porter. Don Nelson, who is easily the most interesting candidate, has only spoken with David Kahn about the position. It's unknown if he'll have a formal interview.

What's intriguing about Adelman is that only a few months ago after he departed from the Rockets, he said he would likely be done coaching and look to the front office. He's older and has certainly been around, but even then it seemed odd that Adelman might really be done. He's been coaching for a long time and is still one of the best offensive minds in the game.

Which is what makes him an interesting fit for the Wolves. I get the feeling that this is Adelman's job if he wants it. He understands up tempo, understands young players and can install an offensive system that works. He's a proven winner and likely will connect well with the Wolves young roster.

However, he could be anxious about working with Kahn who tarnished his already well-tarnished reputation with his handling of Kurt Rambis. Hence, Bickerstaff might be a more natural fit since he's an assistant looking for a head position and also that his son, J.B., already worked with the Wolves. (J.B. recently took an assistant position with the Rockets but could come back to Minnesota if his dad got the job.)

It's still very up in the air and if we learned anything from how Kahn handled Rambis, we probably won't have a firm answer until somewhere around 2014. But the candidates are piling up and interviews are happening. Who it'll be though, is still a pretty interesting though.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 2:53 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 8:55 am
 

Durant to lead Goodman League against Drew League

Posted by Royce Young

You need basketball. I need basketball. We wouldn't have it now anyway, but the prospect of not having it at all next year is a terrifying idea. That's why people have taken an odd amount of interest in players participating in exhibition games overseas.

Well, now there's going to be a pretty significant streetball exhibition and it's happening in Washington, D.C. We told you there was a possibility of this and now it's pretty much definitely happening.

The legendary Goodman League is set to take on the legendary Drew League in a showdown taking place Aug. 20. (You can watch a stream of it here.) And the rosters aren't going to disappoint.

Kevin Durant leads the Goodman and joining him will be John Wall, Ty Lawson, Gary Neal, Tyreke Evans, Michael Beasley, DeMarcus Cousins, Josh Selby, Sam Young, Donte Greene and from the And1 Tour Hugh Jones, Emmanuel Jones and Warren Jefferson.

For the Drew, James Harden, DeMar DeRozan, Nick Young, Dorrell Wright, Brandon Jennings, JaVale McGee, Craig Smith, Pooh Jeter, Bobby Brown (Aris BC), Marcus Williams and three more players yet to be named.

Durant, of course, has been playing in the Goodman League at Barry Farms for a long time, kind of making it his second basketball home. It's sort of the place to be for good pro-am hoops on the East Coast right now. The Drew League has become the premier pro-am league on the West Coast. So it's only natural someone organized a showdown.

With a dark summer of no official basketball because of the lockout, you should be very, very excited for this. And there’s no doubt the Goodman has a major edge here. First, it’s in D.C. Second, look at that roster. KD, Wall, Lawson, Reke and Beasley are quite the core. Harden’s been tearing up the Drew (he scored 52 there a couple of weeks ago), but the Goodman roster is way better.

I mean, who the heck is guarding Durant? Dorrell Wright certainly will get the call, but the Goodman has a ton of speed. Of course, I'm hoping to see Harden on Durant for most of the game, for obvious reasons.

You can be sure this showdown will be awesome. And you can be sure I’ll be watching. You better be, too.


Posted on: July 20, 2011 5:19 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 6:03 pm
 

Report: Mozgov to sign with Russian team

Posted by Royce Young

It's been a few days, so it's time for another marginal NBA player to sign in Europe. The latest is Nuggets big man Timofey Mozgov, who is planning to return to play in his native Russia, according to Sports.ru.

Mozgov would play for BC Khimki, who is who he was with from 2006-10 before coming to the NBA after being drafted by the Knicks last year.

The report indicates that the deal is just for the lockout, meaning that Mozgov will have an opt-out clause to return to the NBA if the lockout doesn't wipe out games.

Depending on Nene's situation in Denver, Mozgov could be a very important piece. He's already got a good amount of value to the organization as a quality backup to the Brazilian big man and a piece of the Carmelo Anthony trade, but if the Nuggets can't keep Nene, he immediately becomes starting material. Probably not ideal for the Nuggets, but it could be reality.

Mozgov, who is 7-1 and can run a little, had a decent rookie season in New York and Denver averaging 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. All of that came in limited, spot minutes, but his role could increase next year.

Obviously he's comfortable playing in Europe, specifically Russia, since, you know, he's from there. There won't be any surprises for Mozgov and he's going to handle everything fine. He's currently under contract in the NBA with the Nuggets, so there will be some FIBA issues to sort out, but none of that comes into play unless the NBA misses games.
Posted on: July 20, 2011 4:40 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 6:44 pm
 

Alonzo Mourning sued over alleged hit-and-run

Posted by Royce Young and Ben Golliveralonzo-mourning

Update (6:21 PM): Mourning gave the following statement to the Associated Press on Wednesday.
“I have been completely cooperative and have met with the police, and now that the facts are straightened out, I think everyone will see that I didn’t cause the accident and didn’t cause any injuries. Now I hope this distraction is over and we can focus on what’s really important this week, which is our foundation’s annual charity event, The Summer Groove. I am now waiting for the police to finish their investigation, and happy they are conducting a thorough one.”
Original Post:

Former Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets big man Alonzo Mourning is facing a lawsuit from a Miami college student over an alleged hit and run accident. Via the Sun-Sentinel:

A Miami college student filed a lawsuit Wednesday claiming he was injured and nearly killed three days ago, when a sports car driven by Alonzo Mourning smashed into his car on the Julia Tuttle Causeway and then fled the scene.

William Candelario, 20, was driving home from Miami Beach early Sunday morning when a blue Porsche driven by the former Heat star slammed into Candelario’s 2010 Audi, causing the car to flip over several times, according to Coral Gables attorney Spencer Aronfeld.

According to the police report, here's what happened: Candelario had just been in a separate, unrelated accident and was stopped in the street to exchange insurance information and do all the usual riff-raff. Mourning then supposedly came speeding in and smashed into Candelario's car, and then took off. According to the police, Mourning returned 45 minutes after the accident, in a different vehicle.

Currently, Mourning is vice president of player development for the Heat. The accident occured after Chris Bosh's wedding, where Mourning was in attendance. Efforts to reach Mourning, or the Heat, for comment have been unsuccessful.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 5:54 pm
 

2011-12 schedule breakdown: 20 can't-miss games

Posted by Royce Young



With everything regarding "next season" in the NBA, you've got to add a disclaimer that the lockout could very well wipe out all of these games. So with the 2011-12 schedule being released, I suppose it's realistic that this might just evolve into the 2012-13 schedule if things go bad.

But if you're an optimist in these negotiations, you've got 2011-12's lineup, which means you have to start getting ready. Clearing your schedule on a holiday isn't really a challenge and you're most definitely not going to miss opening night, but what about the can't-miss, super-showdowns littered throughout the schedule? Here are 20 games you absolutely cannot miss.

Nov. 2: Cleveland at Boston
And thus kicks off top pick Kyrie Irving's NBA career. Too bad for him it comes in Boston against one of the best defensive teams in the league. It might not be a pretty start for young Kyrie, but it'll definitely be a learning experience. And a quick welcome-to-the-NBA moment.

Nov. 2: Houston at Sacramento
Jimmer Mania will finally get off to its NBA start and the league was kind enough to let it begin at home. You can be sure Sacto will be buzzing but not just over Jimmer. There could be a little optimism for the Kings are Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and company might have a little something brewing this season.

Nov. 2: Atlanta at Minnesota
Before there was Jimmer Mania, there was Rubio Fever. Kevin Love will finally be able to believe what he sees as the floppy-haired Spaniard takes the floor with the Timberwolves for the first time against the Hawks.

Nov. 2: Memphis at Clippers
The Blake Show returns. Enough reason to be excited about this one.

Nov. 3: Orlando at Miami
The first showdown. It could be Dwight Howard's beginning to his farewell tour and one a few games against the Heat he has left. But there's never any love lost between these two Florida squads and with an early leg-up at stake, you can be sure this game will be intense.

Nov. 16: New York at Denver
Melo returns. It won't be near as monumental or should I say, angry, as LeBron's return to Cleveland, but you can be sure that Nugget fans will be ready for it. Carmelo made it very clear that he didn't want to be in Denver and I'm sure fans there don't appreciate that. Plus a bonus: Unlike the Cavs, the Nuggets shouldn't suck.

Nov. 18: Miami at Cleveland
LeBron returns, again. It's the third time he's played in Cleveland since "The Decision" and some of the sting certainly has worn off, at least in that fans won't be buying tickets ONLY to yell at LeBron. But you can be sure that an unusual amount of Maverick blue will be littered throughout Quicken Loans Arena.

Dec. 1: Miami at Boston
LeBron and Wade return to the scene of one of their greatest crimes. The Heat opened the season in Boston and took an embarrassing, humbling loss at the hands of the Celtics but got revenge in the postseason, besting the Celtics in five with the final game coming on the parquet. It's not exactly a rivalry, but the Heat don't enjoy the Celtics and the Celtics certainly don't enjoy the Heat.

Dec. 8: Lakers at Miami
I'm not totally sure, but I think Kobe is still in American Airlines Center shooting. Kobe loves beating LeBron and you know the feeling is mutual. Two of the league's biggest, most visible teams with the two biggest, most visible stars. If you aren't watching, I have to wonder what the heck you could possibly be doing.

Dec. 23: Oklahoma City at Miami
LeBron and Kevin Durant. Two of basketballs most enjoyable, explosive talents that are always easy on the eye. The Thunder have always been painted as the anti-Heat, but the young kids from OKC don't care about making a statement for the little guy. There may be a good storyline, but it's more about a really good Eastern team versus a really good Western team.

Dec. 27: Clippers "at" Lakers
By no means have the Clippers caught up to the Lakers, but there is a chance that this team could be pretty decent. After a horrific start to last season, the Clippers put together a solid last four months of the season. Some might be looking at this game as a changing-of-the-guard type of affair -- which it's not -- but the Clippers could definitely raise some eyebrows.

Dec. 29: Dallas at Oklahoma City
The first Thunder opportunity for payback and redemption comes almost two months into the season. It’s a long time to wait, but you can be sure the Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center will be amped about this one. The last time the Mavericks were in Oklahoma City, they broke the Thunder’s heart with that ridiculous 15-point comeback. No way Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder fans have forgotten.

Jan 14: New Jersey at Utah
It'll certainly be more unceremonious as Melo's return to Denver which was more unceremonious as LeBron's return to Cleveland, but Deron Williams coming back to Utah will definitely have the attention of Jazz fans. There's some that still blame Jerry Sloan's retirement on Williams and that whole situation didn't sit well in Salt Lake. Williams will likely feel some anger from Jazz fans, even if it's not entirely deserved.

Jan 19: Chicago at Miami
A rematch of the Eastern Finals. Derrick Rose's last memory of the Heat is LeBron and Wade storming back in Chicago and stealing Game 5 when the Bulls had it all but won. These two teams will likely be the class of the East and with this being the first meeting of the season, somebody's going to make a statement.

Jan. 29: San Antonio at Dallas
The old champs versus the new ones provides a new twist to an old rivalry. These two Texas titans have never gotten along and have had some pretty awesome games over the past decade or so. You can be sure that for once, Dirk and the Mavs will have a bit more swagger in Dallas as the Mavs take the floor against Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Funny how a ring can do that.

Feb. 12: Chicago at Boston
It's the Thibodeau Bowl. The Celtics might be aging but you know they aren't going to just hand the East over. The Bulls are rising and you know they want to rub last year's triumph over the Celtics in the regular season in their face.

Feb. 17: New Orleans at New York
Take a good look at Chris Paul and wish, Knicks fans. You know he's a free agent in 2012 and you know he'd look pretty nice alongside Amar'e and Melo. But he's on the other side right now and there's a pretty good chance he's going to drive you crazy, at least on this night.

March 11: Boston at Lakers
It's the league's best rivalry, maybe sports' best rivalry. Every Celtics-Lakers game is an event. I don't think I even need to give you reasons why this game is huge.

April 1: Memphis at San Antonio
It was stunning at the time, but after watching the Grizzlies rip through the Spurs before bowing out to the Thunder in seven-game, it felt like we should've seen this coming. And this was with the Grizzlies missing their best scorer in Rudy Gay.

April 8: Lakers at Oklahoma City
The Lakers visit the Thunder Nov. 23 for the first time, but go almost four months between trips as they return with just a week left in the season. That’s a bummer, but there’s a chance this game could have major Western playoff seeding implications. The Lakers always bring out the best in Thunder fans, but if the stakes are raised, it’ll just be that much better.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 2:51 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 3:57 pm
 

2011-12 schedule breakdown: The big ones

Posted by Royce Young



With everything regarding "next season" in the NBA, you've got to put the disclaimer on it that the lockout could very well wipe out all of these games. So with the 2011-12 schedule being released, I suppose it's realistic that this might just evolve into the 2012-13 schedule if things go bad.

But if you're an optimist in these negotiations, you've got 2011-12's lineup. You can start planning your evenings around big games, TNT double-headers and of course, the NBA's showcase games which come on opening night, Christmas (only three games!) and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Let's take a look at those.

OPENING NIGHT
Chicago at Dallas (8:00 ET, TNT)
The champs will be handed their rings against the MVP and the Bulls to kick off the 2011-12 season. Honestly, the Mavs' ring ceremony may be better entertainment than the game. Mark Cuban has hinted at doing something bigger than just rings, so we'll see what he has in store, if anything. It'll be an emotional night in Dallas as the Mavs raise their first championship banner into the rafters as Dirk, Cuban and Jason Kidd all soak it in and get handed a ring.

Houston at Utah (9:00 ET)

Not a marquee game and it's really just kind of filler, but it'll be our first look at the remade Jazz with Enes Kanter and Alec Burks against the Rockets without Yao. Not necessarily a game full of stars, but it's two teams looking to get off to a good start on the path to a playoff push.

Oklahoma City at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 ET, TNT)
The young Thunder travel to L.A. to take on the veteran Lakers to finish up opening night. It's Kendrick Perkins versus Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, Kevin Durant against Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook against whoever the Lakers try and stick on him. The Thunder and Lakers always play entertaining games as evidenced by their opening round series in 2010. Maybe there's a chance that either Durant or Kobe will catch fire and push Michael Jordan's opening night record of 54 points. At least that could be in play with these two terrific scorers facing off.

CHRISTMAS DAY

Boston at New York (12 ET, ESPN)
It's not Christmas Day basketball without the Knicks. Actually, I don't know if that's totally true, but it's somewhat of a tradition to kick things off after present opening wraps up with a day game at Madison Square Garden. This one features a rematch of the opening round of the playoffs last season with the Knicks hosting the Celtics. The Knicks have a bunch of star power and should be improved from last season. The Celtics are the Celtics and will be good. There's a chance that this game could reasonably feature two of the top three or four teams in the East. Which of course would make Christmas afternoon at MSG that much more fun.

Miami at Dallas (2:30 ET, ABC)

Feels like these two teams have a history or something. Did they play recently? The league loves to come back with a Finals rematch on Christmas and not only is this going to be a good game featuring two good teams, but these organizations really don't care a lot for each other. It's in Dallas which is an edge, but it'll be the first time LeBron steps on the floor with Dirk after the wrenching defeat in Miami in six games.

You can be sure that both teams will approach this game almost as if it were more important than just a late-December regular season game. It's bigger than that. Maybe just in terms of pride, but for two teams that aren't keen on each other that just finished up facing off for the title, Dallas against Miami on Christmas could be one of the NBA's premier games this season.

Chicago at Los Angeles Lakers (5:00 ET, ABC)
The reigning MVP taking on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in what'll certainly be a majorly hyped showdown. Both teams will be at or near the top of their respective conference and both teams might be looking at the other as a potential Finals opponent. The Lakers have had a history of big letdowns on Christmas, but Kobe said emphatically last season that the Lakers need to get up more for those games. Well, here's another chance, this time against the suffocating Bulls and their MVP point guard.

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY
Chicago at Memphis (1:00 ET, ESPN)

Completely fitting for the game to be in Memphis. Honestly, I think it should become league traditional that the showcase game in the afternoon happens there. But not only will it be a special day in Memphis, it'll have two pretty darn good teams. The surging Grizzlies will host the Bulls in a game featuring two terrific front courts and a couple of scrappy defensive teams.

Oklahoma City at Boston (8:00 ET, TNT)
Two contenders, yes, but the hook to this one honestly might be that it's Kendrick Perkins' return to Boston. He was adored by fans, coaches, player and the front office, so no doubt it'll be emotional. Then once that's out of the way, we'll have a game with two really good, fun teams.

Dallas at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 ET, TNT)

One of the West's most underrated rivalry games closes it all out. Late last season, the Mavs and Lakers scuffled a couple of times which led people to assume the Mavericks were soft as the Lakers pounded them in an important game. Didn't matter obviously in the end, but no doubt the Mavs haven't forgotten.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 3:55 pm
 

Terry Porter interviews for Timberwolves position

Posted by Royce Young

Let's be realistic: Don Nelson probably isn't going to be taking the Timberwolves job. Yes, I realize that David Kahn doesn't operate under the law of what's "realistic," but still, pulling the 71-year-old out of retirement (and off a beach in Hawaii) won't be easy. Besides, even though the Wolves would immediately become a cult favorite, it's probably not a great fit.

Which means the Wolves aren't just starting and stopping with Nelson. Other names have popped up -- like Bernie Bickerstaff, Rick Adelman and even Washington Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. One more name to add to the list: Former Suns head coach Terry Porter. Via the Star Tribune:

Former Timberwolves player and former Milwaukee and Portland head coach Terry Porter today is the first candidate to formally interview for the team’s head-coaching job, according to league sources.

(Wolves GM) David Kahn has made background research calls and talked by phone to at least one other candidate -- Don Nelson -- but Porter is the first to come to town to interview with Kahn and likely owner Glen Taylor.

Notice that Porter is actually the first official interview for the Wolves. Nelson spoke with Kahn, but that was just informal talk, likely for feeling out to gauge mutual interest.

With Porter, he was Mike D'Antoni's replacement in Phoenix and attempted to change the culture of the team, slowing down the pace and focusing on defense. It didn't work, and he was fired halfway through the season and replaced by Alvin Gentry, who restored the run and gun to the Suns. Porter also coached two seasons in Milwaukee but didn't experience a ton of success there, either.

Kahn has made it very clear he's looking for a coach who wants to run, and Porter obviously isn't opposed to that. While he slowed the Suns down some, it's not like he turned them into the walk-it-up Blazers or anything. They still played fast, just not as fast. With a roster like the Wolves, Porter might be a solid fit mentoring young Ricky Rubio.

There's a lot of buzz around Nelson, but Porter is the only official interview as of now. Doesn't mean he's the top candidate or the favorite, but it does mean that he's at least in the running.

 
 
 
 
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